PopeWatch: Francis the Mad



A Vatican-based journalist has alleged that Pope Francis was “furious” over Pope Benedict’s contribution to a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah defending priestly celibacy, demanding that Benedict retract his name from the work. 

Antonio Socci, an Italian Catholic journalist best known for his coverage of Church news, has reported on social media that Pope Francis was infuriated by the texts in Des Profondeurs de nos coeurs (From the Depths of Our Hearts) supporting priestly celibacy. 

“The day before yesterday … the end of the world broke out in the Vatican because Bergoglio was furious,” Socci wrote this Tuesday. 

“In fact, that very authoritative pronouncement of Benedict XVI prevents him from taking a pickaxe to ecclesiastical celibacy as he had planned to do in the next post-synodal exhortation,” he continued.   

“Thus, [Pope Francis] personally called Archbishop Gänswein, the secretary of Benedict XVI as well as the prefect of Bergoglio’s pontifical household, and ― furious ― ordered him to remove the name of Benedict XVI from the cover of the book …”

Socci said that “reliable sources within the Vatican” had given him the “behind the scenes” story leading up to the Pope Emeritus’ decision to distance himself from the book he co-authored with Cardinal Sarah. The prolific author of such works as The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope?  stated that Pope Francis wanted his predecessor to renounce his authorship entirely ― which would have been a falsehood. 

“Bergoglio demanded a full and total retraction,” Socci wrote. 

“For this reason the first filtered news spoke of sources ‘close to Benedict XVI’ who said that Benedict had neither co-authored a book with Sarah nor approved the cover, that is, his signature on the book,” he continued. 

“This, however, was not true, and Benedict XVI could not bring himself to bear false witness implying that Cardinal Sarah had involved him without his consent. Nor had Pope Benedict the least intention of retracting what he had written in defence of celibacy in that volume.”  

Socci noted that at the outbreak of the scandal Cardinal Sarah had published his correspondence with the Pope Emeritus that demonstrated that the book was the work of them both and that the book had Benedict’s consent. The Pope Emeritus’ instructions to publishers to downplay his authorship in future editions of the work, however, was allegedly to protect Archbishop Gänswein. 

Go here to read the rest.  Take mendacity away from this pontificate and very little would be left.

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  1. Not a fan of Francis and I despise the attack on clerical celibacy, but I’d be mad if I was in his place. Frankly this book makes me even more irritated with the papal resignation.

  2. The only cure for lust is abstinence. The Sacrament of Holy, that is Holy Matrimony is to be kept holy. When Francis has a stroke from anger, the devil will have him.

  3. “The prolific author of such works as The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope? stated that Pope Francis wanted his predecessor to renounce his authorship entirely ― which would have been a falsehood.”
    It seems Pope Francis has no problem with falsehood.

  4. Ken, please explain why you would be mad?

    Do ALL Cardinals and or Bishops need to have Francis’s permission to publish a book, an article or a homily upholding Catholic teachings and Traditions?

    BTW, Cardinal Sarah’s title is “Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments”. It seems that this IS job. Why should doing the job Francis appointed him to do make him “furious”?

  5. Whether PE Benedict XVI’s name is on the cover and co-author is irrelevant. The message about the gift of celibacy to the Church has been stated publicly and will remain in the public sphere for all who have the courage to read it. If prelates and priests were faithful to the teachings and traditions of the Church we wouldn’t even be talking about this since Saint John Paul II and previous popes have taught definitively on it.

  6. JFK, There can be no “apples to apples comparison”, but as best as I can use to show my position, if I was named CEO of a company and the retired CEO sent a letter to all shareholders stating his disagreement with my actions as CEO I’d be furious.

    Or try this thought process, Francis resigns and miraculously Sarah becomes pope. Francis writes books attacking things Sarah is doing as pope. Will you affirm it is fair for the retired pope? Francis to act in this manner?

    Benedict’s case is different. He is not just another ex bishop. He was the Supreme Pontiff so his input does have a greater impact then just another retired bishop. This is the pope versus pope theory that many people feared when Benedict resigned. If other bishops want to disagree with Francis, I’m fine with that. It goes all they back to Paul’s rebuke of Peter.

  7. Ken,
    I understand your “apples to apples comparison” position, but the CEO is only the care taker, the Steward. The CEO can’t contradict the Owner and Founder. Francis does. He also contradicts all of the previous CEOs and the purpose of the “business”. The Church has always taught that it can’t happen. If tried, it is wrong.

    Is it your position that ANY “Pope” can change the Church’s Teachings and Traditions, including the 10 Commandments, at Will and no one can or should dispute the “new” teachings? As heirs of the Apostles, it is their Duty to respond and to teach what the Faith is and has been everywhere been taught as handed down to them. If “someone” doesn’t they must point it out.

    BTW, I’m not trying to be argumentative, only thing to understand your position better and make mine more clear.

  8. Jesus Christ was not only celibate, Jesus Christ lived and died as a virgin. Disciples and apostles who follow Christ ought to follow Christ.
    This one is for you, Ken

  9. JFK,

    Our host’s 1st post on this topic from Monday was: Pope vs. Pope. The optics of two popes sparring are horrible for the Church. Popes can change traditions, but they can’t change doctrine. Francis may seem inclined to easing the discipline of clerical celibacy (a mistake, I believe), but this is not a doctrine of faith.

  10. My guess is that if “Pope” Francis allows married priests Cardinal Sarah and Pope Benedict be silent. Throwing yourself on your sword has its limits it appears.

  11. In the old days, that is, before Vatican II if a married man wanted to become a deacon his wife had to agree to surrender their marital privileges. Now I am told that the deacon does not have to surrender his marital privileges.
    It seems that if a person loves Jesus Christ he would give all he has to the poor and follow Jesus Christ.
    Some men still want the seats in high places and honors. A lot of good it will do them. Parishioners know frauds when they see them.

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