PopeWatch: Liars

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Anyone shocked by this?


The Vatican admitted Wednesday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

The Vatican’s communications office released the photo of the letter on Monday on the eve of Francis’ five-year anniversary. The letter was cited by Monsignor Dario Vigano, chief of communications, to rebut critics of Francis who question his theological and philosophical heft and say he represents a rupture from Benedict’s doctrine-minded papacy.

In the part of the letter that is legible in the photo, Benedict praised a new volume of books on the theology of Francis as evidence of the “foolish prejudice” of his critics. The book project, Benedict wrote, “helps to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, with all the differences in style and temperament.”

The Vatican admitted to The Associated Press on Wednesday that it blurred the two final lines of the first page where Benedict begins to explain that he didn’t actually read the books in question. He wrote that he cannot contribute a theological assessment of Francis as requested by Vigano because he has other projects to do.

A Vatican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, didn’t explain why the Holy See blurred the lines other than to say it never intended for the full letter to be released. In fact, the entire second page of the letter is covered in the photo by a stack of books, with just Benedict’s tiny signature showing, to prove its authenticity.

The missing content significantly altered the meaning of the quotes the Vatican chose to highlight, which were widely picked up by the media. Those quotes suggested that Benedict had read the volume, agreed with it and given it his full endorsement and assessment. The doctoring of the photo is significant because news media rely on Vatican photographers for images of the pope at events that are otherwise closed to independent media.

Go here to read the rest.  Just when you think that the powers that be at the Vatican have hit rock bottom, they keep on digging to new low levels.  Way to pick a fight with the Pope Emeritus.

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  1. I am shocked at how not surprised I am that they did this. But I am a bit surprised they fessed up to it.

  2. A few thoughts:

    1> His humility was just ranting about fake news not too long ago.
    2> Who knows who wrote the letter? It is entirely possible that Benedict had nothing to do with it.
    3> The fact that the Vatican still thinks it is necessary to convince the world that the pope is Catholic, speaks volumes
    4> One seems to warm up to the Borgia era popes after 5 years of Francis.

  3. Maybe the time is nearing that radical Islamic forces over take the Swiss Guard.
    Question is, would that be a bad thing at this moment in time?

    Stories like the one above, bring to my mind that the forces of evil comfortable in the Vatican. The gates of hell will not prevail aginist Holy Church but they sure are pounding on the door. What’s it gonna take to clean house?
    Divine intervention?

    Increase our prayers for our Church. May God break out His cords and chase the thieves out of his house.

  4. There’s no reason at this point to assume any of it is real. My guess is that they wrote something for Benedict to sign, which explains the ludicrous language, and then Benedict asked/insisted that it include the last lines about never reading the material. This didn’t suit the purpose of the Vatican, so they covered up the words that were actually coming from Benedict.

    I’m just shocked they’re admitting to being frauds.

  5. I’ve been harboring the anxiety that Benedict’s stated reasons for resigning were secondary or tertiary considerations for him. His life expectancy at the time was about 5.6 years, so he’s not doing badly all things considered. There’s no indication that he’s anywhere near as debilitated as was John Paul II in his last years.

  6. I do wish Benedict was not living in the Vatican. Trouble is, his closest relation is his brother (age 94) and the next closest is a cousin living in Australia (whose name I forget – IIRC she is middle-aged with children). I do wish he was under her care.

  7. I’m just shocked they’re admitting to being frauds.

    Since there’s no reliable indication that they actually subscribe to what the Church teaches, fraud shouldn’t surprise. What Fr. Joseph Wilson of Queens had to say about most clergy 15 years ago applies: Jungians, Unitarians, and goofies. Most such still have actual parishioners to minister to; these guys are just careerist apparatchicks.

  8. The Swedish chef has lived in Central New York since 1986. His actual upbringing was split between Cape Cod and Indiana.

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