Benedict’s death leaves Catholic conservatives

VATICAN CITY — As thousands of Roman Catholics flocked to St Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning to see Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI buried and pay his last respects, conservatives were left out. fallen mourned the passing of a leader who defended the traditions, doctrines, and laws of the church and the order they held dear.

“He is the sun that shines on us all,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato, former secretary of the ecclesiastical office, which Benedict XVI ran before becoming pope, and head of the ecclesiastical office. Vatican’s canonization chamber, said. He called Benedict “the Holy Father,” and called him a “saint,” adding, “When there’s no sun, there’s only fog.”

Benedict, who died Saturday at the age of 95, was the Church’s foremost leader and conservative thinker in the decades before, during and after his pontificate, which ended in 2013 when he suddenly abruptly broke with Church tradition by becoming the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. Pope Francis, his successor, has a less orthodox vision, angering conservatives, who accused him of causing confusion when he destroyed much of Benedict’s legacy by firing and disembarking some of Benedict’s top cardinals.

Pope Francis told priests and bishops to welcome divorced and remarried Catholics, saying of an accused priest of homosexuality, “Who am I to judge?” and restricting the Latin Mass worshiped by traditionalists. He has expressed openness to same-sex unions, welcoming a debate about the priestly ordination of a small number of married men and shrugs at the possibility of schismor break with Rome on the right.

Through it all, many church traditionalists – and right-wing political populists alike – have called Benedict’s name the true moral authority of the church and sought to entice he entered an ideological war between the stages.

Now he is gone.

“There was a vacuum between the conservative crowd,” said Benwen Lopez, 43, a conservative seminarian from Mumbai, India, who is studying in Rome, who was among the first mourners to enter the church after the service. Visits to the body of Pope Benedict XVI officially begin at 9 a.m. “The Holy Spirit will fill that void and guide those who feel lost.”

No lack of them. The Catholic hierarchy in the United States, largely appointed by Pope Benedict, still prevails and has openly opposed Francis in antagonism with Catholic political leaders such as President Joe Biden and the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The future of the church seems to lie in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Africa and Asia, where conservatism is still prevalent.

John Allen, a longtime Vatican expert and founder of Crux, a Catholic news website, said: “There was a vibrant conservative movement in Catholicism before Joseph Ratzinger came along, and now Now there’s going to be a conservative movement when he’s gone.

He suggested that prominent conservatives in the region, the “little Benedictians,” would take Benedict’s place globally. But he also said that traditionalists and conservatives, who have sought to tie their agenda to Benedict when he retires, will not necessarily stop when he is gone. especially since you’re not here to tell them to give it up.

“For surrogacy in the church or deeply rooted traditions in the church, there is a sense that Benedict might be even more useful in death,” he said.

Mr. Allen said that Benedict’s closest collaborator, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, would be responsible for keeping Benedict from becoming Pope’s football.

On Monday, Archbishop Gänswein, who was viewed with deep suspicion by Francis’ allies, accepted the condolences of nuns, priests, Vatican firefighters and other faithful outside. next to Bernini’s towering bronze Baldachin tree.

A few feet away, Benedict lay still, lying among the Swiss Guards, knees on crimson pillows, waxed face, almost unrecognizable. He wears a helmet, red vestments and simple black shoes, but does not wear a silver scepter with a crucifix or a pallium, the vestments symbolizing papal authority.

“No one can replace him but his legacy remains,” said Paul Badde, 74 years oldGerman author of “Benedict Up Close” who worked as a reporter in Rome for EWTN, the conservative American Catholic news network.

He represents West par excellence, he said. “The Constantinian era, the European era of the church, ends with him.”

Mr. Badde said: “Benedict has brought back the fundamentals.

While Benedict preferred ornate clothing from the church’s past and downplayed the return of old Latin rites, his most ardent supporters rejected traditionalist labels , and even conservative, to the point of imprecise.

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, a German aristocrat, said: “It is possible to be a traditionalist in terms of dress, but theologically not possible.” soft to the point of incomprehension.

Yet for decades, the conservative Catholics he admired and the liberals he deposed, Benedict heard loud and clear.

As a fierce defender of church orthodoxy from 1981 to 2005 during the pontificate of his predecessor and mentor, John Paul II, Benedict – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany – served as the chief catechist of the Vatican. “God’s Rottweiler,” his critics called him.

He acted as an enforcer, conservative compass, and culture warrior, steering the church away from what he ultimately saw as excessive liberalization of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. He sought to suppress social activity in the church that he suspected of Marxism. He quashed disagreement among more liberal theologians and took a hard line against homosexuals. He helped promote missionaries to follow his and John Paul II’s model.

After John Paul II’s death in 2005, Benedict delivered a decisive speech against the “dictatorship of relativism,” before the conclave to elect the next pope. The College of Cardinals chose him to continue John Paul’s legacy and essentially encourage the church to make a last-ditch conservative effort to counter the growing forces of secularism.

But as pope, and leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, the soft-spoken theologian seems to have softened. His first encyclical was titled “God is Love.”

Instead of a repressive papacy, it is a complex and often overwhelmed regime, wobbling from crisis to crisis. When Benedict retired amid more internal scandals in 2013, saying he lacked the energy to do the job, he lost his authority to enact dogma. But among a small group of powerful conservatives — some of whom quietly berated Benedict for leaving the job — he retained the power to influence and validate their views.

Even as Benedict has largely upheld his vow to “hide from the world,” Vatican culture warriors have carried his name as a standard of battle into the ideological trenches. Sometimes he gets frustrated with using his name to bring down his successor. In 2017, he rebuked leading conservatives, saying their anger threatened to tarnish his pontificate.

But other times, he – or the aides who wrote his name – used his influence to try to push church policy to the right.

As Francis seems to be pondering whether to lift restrictions on The priest is married in remote areas, Benedict staunchly defended the church’s teachings on celibate priest in a 2020 book. Conservatives rejoiced when Francis finally rejected the proposal.

Now no one has that influence.

“His death is in a sense a loss to the conservative side of the Church,” said Sandro Magister, a veteran Vatican observer at L’Espresso magazine. Mr. Magister argued that conservatives were particularly at risk because they failed to understand the nuance of Benedict’s vision, his tolerance of holiness, but also of reason and Enlightenment thinking.

He said the conservative movement was “very weak” because it lacked “important figures who could guide and lead it to unity.”

Some analysts even consider the conservative trend that has dominated the church for 35 years now to be over. Pope Francis continues to promote cardinals to the college that will choose his successor when he dies or resigns.

But Vatican politics are unpredictable. And Benedict’s legacy lives on.

Just before a special Mass for Benedict in the chapel behind his remains, Mr. Lopez, the seminarian, went to see Archbishop Gänswein. “I am very happy for Pope Benedict,” he said, squeezing the prelate’s hand. “He was instrumental in drawing my conversion back to the Catholic faith.”

“Pray to him,” Archbishop Gänswein instructed. “For him. And with him.”


News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button