Commentary: Remembering Pope Benedict XVI

A couple of months ago I was in a fascinating conversation with a Catholic colleague regarding the papacies of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, here in the ninth year of this curious era, 2013-22, when the world was living with, in effect, two popes of sorts, a reigning pope named Francis and a resigned pope — a “Pope Emeritus” — named Benedict XVI. We were wondering if the latter would, ironically, ultimately outlive the former, who few expected to have a papacy this long. When Francis’ papacy started in 2013, he was already known for poor health, which has progressively gotten worse.

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dead at 95

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who shaped Catholic doctrine for decades before surprising the church by resigning as pontiff, died Saturday at age 95, the Vatican announced.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” Vatican press secretary Matteo Bruni told media.

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Pope Francis Asks for Prayers for ‘Very Sick’ Benedict as Vatican Says Health Has ‘Worsened’

Pope Francis on Wednesday asked for prayers for his 95-year-old predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who the Vatican said is constantly receiving medical care.

At the end of his weekly general audience, Francis said in Italian: “I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the Church,” as translated by Reuters.

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‘Laicized’ Pro-Life Priest Father Frank Pavone: Pope Francis ‘Definitely Signed Off on This’

Prominent international pro-life leader Father Frank Pavone said Monday Pope Francis “definitely signed off” on a letter that reportedly states the Vatican has laicized Pavone, for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”

“I have received nothing,” Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, told The Star News Network during a telephone interview Monday. “And what’s worse, that has been the pattern for the last 20 years of abuse by church authorities.”

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German Cardinal Gerhard Müller: ‘LGBT Ideology’ Attempting ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Catholic Church

Catholics must “stay firm in the truth” as those who have embraced an LGBTQ agenda are in the midst of a “hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church, warned German Cardinal Gerhard Müller in interviews over the past week with both EWTN’s The World Over and LifeSiteNews.

Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s highest doctrinal office, is voicing his significant concerns about the dangers to the Church brought on during Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality, a process that involves collecting the views of lay Catholics in every diocese around the world prior to the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.

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Commentary: Pope Francis Set to Add 20 New Names to College of Cardinals

As most Italians are enjoying the last days of summer, Pope Francis has called the College of Cardinals to the Vatican.  From August 27-30, the Holy Father will preside over three consistories and a pastoral visit.  

On August 27, Pope Francis will convene two consistories, on August 28, he will make a pastoral visit to L’Aquila, and on August 29 and 30, he will preside over a third consistory. 

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Rumors Swirl at the Vatican That Pope Francis May Soon Retire

In the past year, rumors have swirled in Rome that Pope Francis may soon retire, and in the past few days, those rumors have accelerated. The 85-year-old’s frail health is one reason for the speculation.  In recent weeks, he has been confined to a wheelchair due to debilitating knee pain.

He also reportedly struggles to stand due to his sciatica.  The “Woke Pope” recently cancelled a trip to Africa scheduled for next month due to his knee ailment, “raising questions about his ability to walk during the rest of his papacy,” according to Reuters.

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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Denies Media Reports That Vatican Told Bishops to ‘Hit The Brakes’ on Biden, Eucharist Discussions

Vatican Saint Peter's Basilica at dusk

The Vatican did not tell bishops not to move forward drafting a document on the Eucharist, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops clarified this week.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox and multiple other outlets have claimed that the bishops were flouting a Vatican warning when they approved a measure June 18 to draft a statement on the Eucharist.

In a document issued June 21, the USCCB explicitly said that the Vatican did not tell the bishops not to move forward with the document.

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BOMBSHELL: Vatican Whistleblower Archbishop Viganò Tells Bannon Why Trump’s Leadership Key to Defeated Deep State, Deep Church & Pope Francis’ Alliance with Red China

The former papal nuncio to the United States, now a retired archbishop, told Stephen K. Bannon that if Joseph R. Biden Jr., becomes the president Jan. 20, it is one more step in the linkage of the so-called Deep State, the Deep Church and the ultimate primacy of the Chinese Communist Party.

“It would be an irreparable disaster if Joe Biden, who is heavily suspected of being complicit with the Chinese dictatorship, would be designated as President of the United States,” said Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who from 2011 to 2016 served at the Holy See’s ambassador to the Washington, a role that also made him the principal liaison between the American bishops and the pope and the Vatican bureaucracy.

The archbishop said he was troubled by the power of the mainstream media to overwhelm legitimate questions about the 2020 presidential election.

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Military’s Top Catholic Prelate: Navy’s Indoor Religious Services Ban ‘Odious’

The leader of the Archdiocese for the Military Services compared the Navy’s banning sailors from attending religious services to the treatment of the Catholics in 17th century Japan depicted in the movie “Silence.”

“The persecution was systematic and destined to eradicate the faith from the islands,” wrote Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, who has led the Catholic military chaplaincy and its programs since 2008, in a public letter posted Sunday.

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Commentary: The Church Collaborates in Its Own Destruction

Pope Francis

One might think the Catholic Church would stand against the orgy of iconoclasm that we are witnessing across the country — toppled statues, defaced churches, and the like. But, no, the feeble voices of priests and bishops join the creepy chorus of the mob. In California, the mob has targeted statues of Junipero Serra, the saintly Franciscan who spread the faith through a system of missions. Where is the Church to protect the statues? Nowhere. In Ventura, where the mob demands the removal of a Serra statue in front of its city hall, the Church has gone along with it.

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