PopeWatch: Pope Editor

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Hmm, apparently Pope Francis is turning to Pope Emeritus for critiques:


— The man who serves two popes has revealed that retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote four pages of critique and commentary on Pope Francis’s landmark interview in which he blasted the church’s obsession with “small-minded” rules.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Benedict’s personal secretary and head of Francis’ papal household, told German broadcaster ZDF that Francis had solicited Benedict’s input on the interview, which was published in September in 16 Jesuit journals around the globe and helped define Francis’ agenda.

The Jesuit priest who conducted the interview, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, said Tuesday that he gave the first printed copy of the interview to Francis on the day it was published. Francis gave that version to Benedict to critique, Spadaro told The Associated Press.

Though Benedict’s comments had no impact on the published article, the revelation is further evidence of the remarkable and unprecedented collaboration between the two popes, who stay in touch by phone, in person and by sending notes back and forth across the Vatican gardens via Gaenswein.

Go here to read the rest.  A Pope can turn to whoever he pleases for help, but PopeWatch believes this is a very bad idea.  We have popes one at a time, and having a living Pope and a retired Pope strains that concept.  Far better had the Pope Emeritus gone to a monastery as far from the Vatican as possible, and spent the rest of his life “By the world forgetting, and by the world forgot.”  Some precedents are being established now that are likely to serve the Church ill in the future.

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  1. Is Pope Francis looking for help or feedback? It sounds more like feedback in this case. I don’t have a problem with feedback. I would imagine all popes want opinions from people how they handled a situation. The opinions can impact future decisions, but those opinions are only one factor in a long list of factors the pope will consider.

    Looking for advice or help is something different. It has a more direct impact on the outcome and is troublesome. I don’t think Pope Emeritus should play vice president and pope president. Or is it the other way around? Hmm….. 😛

  2. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

  3. It is very interesting that he choose to ask advice from his predecessor. This does show that he is not as arrogant as people make him out to be, to be quite honest it shows him to be very humble and not taking this role too lightly.

  4. This shows humility etc. but even more it shows that there is no ‘break’ between Benedict and Francis. Despite those who claim Francis has broken with his predecessor etc. (especially in the liberal Catholic circles, as well as more radicalized conservative circles) it reveals a certain ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ which is both enriching and refreshing.

  5. Sorry, but this pseudo “hermeneutic of continuity” is neither enriching nor refreshing. This too public a revelation of communications between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis lends to making the faithful muse about weakness and cluelessness in the latter, and unnecessarily drags the former to a life and environment that he, fully empowered by the office he previously held, voluntarily in the light of the Holy Spirit, left, in order to pray for himself and the Church he once led. I submit that this open “consultation” stream between the two is NOT a sign of ‘humility” of Pope Francis, but a further obscuration of Pontifical leadership.

  6. The “faithful” musing on the weakness and cluelessness of Pope Francis actually is a subtle mirror, don’t you think?

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