Why It’s a Good Thing Pope Benedict Resigned and We Have Pope Francis

By Peter Wolfgang Published on September 4, 2018

Last week the former Vatican ambassador to the United States accused Pope Francis and senior Vatican officials of covering up sexual abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò also alleged that a pro-homosexual cabal had taken control of episcopal appointments. And he called upon Pope Francis to resign.

“If only we had been given a sign,” joked Catholic Vote’s Joshua Mercer. Accompanying his comment was a photo of lightning hitting the dome of St. Peter’s the day Pope Benedict announced he would resign.

He thinks Benedict should not have resigned. That God did not want Francis to be pope the last five years. Viganò’s letter proves it.

My reaction was the exact opposite.

God Did Tell Him

It was the first time in five years that I truly believed that God really did tell Pope Benedict to resign. When Benedict shocked the world in 2013 with the first papal resignation since before Columbus discovered America, he said that God had told him to resign and that he was completely at peace with it.

He has never expressed any doubt about that. But many of us have. The last five years have been a time of great confusion in the life of the Church.

There have been dark moments when we have wondered, to borrow a phrase (and again, a joke from Josh) whether “the Benedict Option” was really “the Quitter Option.” Perhaps God had not wanted the Francis pontificate but (at least) five more years of Benedict’s.

I wondered too, until the Viganò letter. Now, for the first time, I truly believe the last five years have played out according to God’s plan. Here’s why.

I Believe Benedict

Benedict said he was resigning because he was too old. Some claimed he was resigning because he got a report revealing the full extent of the Vatican’s pro-gay cabal.

I believe both those things. I think Benedict read the report and decided he lacked the strength to clean house at the Vatican. So he resigned.

Benedict likely thought that his resignation would lead to the election of a young Pope with the strength to clean house in Rome. He was not entirely wrong. God is using his resignation to clean up his Church. Just not in the way that was expected.

“For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light”

Had Benedict continued to reign as Pope these last five years, the things alleged in Viganò’s letter about corruption at the Vatican might never have come to light. There may have been a sacking of a bishop here, a re-assigning of one there. But we would never have learned the full extent of it.

Instead, because of how Francis has managed the Catholic Church these last five years, we now have the Viganò letter. It is all out in the open.

It Was God’s Will, After All

I now see it as God’s will. Just as Benedict did five years ago. And I am not the only one. Last year Fr. Thomas Weinandy, the former U.S. Bishops’ head of doctrine, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis. He objected to the confusion in the Church that had occurred under Francis and called him to dispel it.

But in the wake of the Viganò testimony, it is the end of his letter that is most striking. He begins by asking why Jesus let this happen. “The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops,” he writes.

Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness. In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

He concluded: “Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.”

As we now know, that darkness is not only doctrinal. But doctrinal, moral and criminal darkness all hang together. And God is exposing it all. “For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17 RSV).

The Lightning

The lightning that hit St. Peter’s dome the night of Benedict’s announcement was not, I believe, a sign of God’s displeasure. It was, rather the lightning of Luke 17:24, as described in the Battle Hymn of the Republic: “He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.” May that lightning now cleanse His Church.

Thank you, Pope Benedict, for bringing the lightning.

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  • Reddwine

    God Did Tell Him

    • rkt10

      How do you know that? Any more than God told Jeffrey Dalmer to commit murder. Of course not. We cannot know how the hand of God works in our lives (or not).

  • tz1

    Benedict XVI Arnold.
    Perhaps God didn’t accept the resignation and Frances is an anti-pope?
    Frances is swimming in an ocean of pollution and corruption and he is worried about disposed of plastics.

    That said, I can see Divine providence. The USCCB is corrupt and gets enough cash being the ***** of the US Government for refugees and other charities they don’t need us to contribute. The Lavender Mafia is still around. They may have just moved the junk into the basement but haven’t cleaned house.

    Pity the commandment requires me to go to one of those bathhouse buildings with the crazy music and worse every sunday and holy day of obligation to receive Christ, maybe from a corrupt priest that went through safety training, but it is a penetential time.

    • Jacob Miller

      >> and he is worried about disposed of plastics.

      There is a raft of plastic in the Pacific the size of Texas. And that’s not the only one! It’s an outrageous abuse of God’s creation.

      So, Francis is doing God’s work to point it out.

      To do so in no way means he can’t address the priestly sex abuse scandals as well.

      • Once more, what precisely about the scandal really has to do with Priests? It is sodomites doing what sodomites do everywhere.

        • Jim

          Not sodomites but pedophile priests. Get it right. Nothing holy about pedophile priests.

          • Nothing “pedophilic” about the Priesthood, as that is a quality unique to sodomites.

            The problem is sodomites alone.

      • Patmos

        “Jacob Miller” you should probably just make another account and try again, your troll status has already been revealed here.

        • Jim

          You seem to be the only juvenile bothered by him.

      • tz1

        And it is the africans and asians, particularly the Chinese who don’t care one whit for the environment (see their dirty air where they have to wear masks) that is causing it.

        How is making a group that is already 98% clean 99% clean going to fix a bunch of 90% dirty people that pollute and don’t even know who Francis is, much less listen to him?

        So we have to trade with these polluters, oppressors, persecutors? If it were Iran doing these things, or Russia, we would increase sanctions. With China, we negotiate. Why is this devil given a pass?

        • Sgt Carver

          Americans are far bigger polluters than the Chinese.

          Any basic analysis looks at per capita rates and the average American is responsible for about 50% more pollution than a Chinese person.

          So maybe you should clean up your own house first…

          Oh wait….. the US elected a government determined to do the opposite.

          • tz1

            Cite? Even in LA I don’t have to wear a mask, but in many Chinese cities the citizens must.
            And perhaps China shouldn’t send us all the toxic polluting disposable stuff.
            But what do you consider pollution (No, Carbon Dioxide is NOT a pollutant).
            Actually the White House is much cleaner now, and the dirty, malarial, disgusting swamp is being drained, albeit slowly.

    • God permits whatever the Popes do with their free will, just as He permits you to blaspheme Him and His Church.

  • Jacob Miller

    If we are going to be objective — we have to at least entertain the possibility that Benedict resigned because of the priestly abuse scandal.

    Consider how high it has gone, so far, it’s not far-feteched to at least speculate that it went to the top and that why Benedict resigned.

    To be clear — I am not accusing Benedict of anything. But, this article is highly speculative so let’s be honest here.

    • Cody

      Well said

    • Yes, subversive, you do have to “entertain” the idea because it sows confusion and dissent among the weak. As your teacher alinsky said “freeze, polarize, politicize.”

      Pope Benedict XVI resigned because he was days away from dying. Removing himself from his position allowed him to recover for a time, but Pope Benedict XVI is once more sickly.

      Using inuendo to insult a Holy man, to sow dissent, and to scapegoat the Church to distract from what sodomites do will all be paid back in full to you in eternity.

      • Jim

        He’s no holy man. He’s covered up ages of abuse by himself and the rest of the pedophilic priests

        • samton909

          No he has not, Mr. nutcase

        • All Clergy are Holy men due to their office.

          Why are you fixating on pedophilia when this has nothing to do with that?

          Is it because this is all just a ruse to cover that sodomites must groom the young and you figure you will get two communist bonus points by scapegoating the Church?

    • Patmos

      The resident troll tries to hide his intent by adding token comments on other subjects.

      • Jim

        Poor baby.

    • samton909

      Why not speculate that you yourself are a child abuser? We have as much evidence for that as Benedict.

  • Samsquanch

    “God is using his resignation to clean up his Church. Just not in the way that was expected.”

    Seems to be His standard operating procedure. 🙂

  • Even though I am a Christian, I get very suspicious at folks who say “God told me this” or “God told me that.” Also, I don’t believe the RCC is a Christian organization.

    • Andy6M


      • Jim


      • Patmos

        Yep. NIGELTEAPOT is the latest troll on this site, joining the current one Jacob Miller.

        • Jim

          Poor oppressed one. Woe is me.

        • Steven Hotho

          I am not a troll (whatever that is); convenient way to say I don’t know how to respond.
          As a Catholic of 77 years, I can say that, if anyone isn’t aware of the massive destruction in the Church over the, let’s say, 60 years, he’s either stupid or venal. What does it take to see that the Church is going to hell in a handbasket. And, to Mr. Brown, if the Catholic Church is not a Christian organization, then none of them are.

        • Pattie Brown

          Nigel is spewing all over the place at “Crisis” as well. Blocked him withing 24 hours of reading his posts.

    • This is because it gets in the way of your ego.

      The Bible cannot rebuke you when you purposely torture and twist it to fit your ego, but the Church can.

      • Ego? What are you talking about? My comment isn’t based on my “ego”, whatever that means.

        • The Church gets in the way of your ego. Just as I said.

    • samton909

      Don;’t care what you think

    • Julia Lengyel

      “Also, I don’t believe the RCC is a Christian organization.”
      This is a popular opinion of some evangelical protestant denominations. Most larger christian faiths do not agree with you. Actually what you believe in this respect does not change the validity of your statement one way or another. 🙂

  • Sandy Klaud

    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

  • Laurelmarycecilia

    If things were so bad that Pope Benedict didn’t have the energy to ‘…clean house…” it meant he knew the how strong and widespread the homosexual corruption was.

    Given that…. he had to know anyone elected after him would be such as Bergolio. In fact, wasn’t Bergolio second choice at the time Pope Benedict was elected?? Benedict had to have known.

    If he had stayed – maybe, he couldn’t have done anything administratively – but, the Church wouldn’t have had to endure a ‘pope’ who spouted full-blown heresy. Yes, it would have been a ‘white’ martyrdom for him; and yes, and ordinary person would have been too weak to endure this. But God will give the necessary grace………….

    • samton909

      Not at all. Supposed the liberals were only able to get 40 votes for Bergoglio the first time around, a very small percentage of the what? 200 cardinals or whatever it is.

      No, Bergoglio was only a minor candidate and it should have been apparent to Benedict that he would be minor again, and that some true conservative would be elected. In addition, the progressives backed Bergoglio in 2005 as an acceptable middle ground conservative, rather than a progressive.

      It appears that in the last concllave they were somehow able to convince the cardinals that Bergoglio woud “clean up the curia” and by that, some assumed they meant the homosexuality and corruption in the curia. Bergoglio was a Manchurian candidate.

  • Nick Galiardo

    I’ve had similar thoughts. With as bad as the vague and oftentimes seemingly contradictory teachings of this pontificate have legitimately frustrated faithful Catholics, I think the ascendance of Francis to Pope was a much needed event. The issues that are coming to light were still issues five years ago; they were just bubbling under the surface. For as much as I may question many of Pope Francis’s motives, at least his actions have forced us to finally confront some long-standing problems. Catholics need to remember that the true head of the Church is God, not any single Pope. We have had great Pope’s and we have had terrible Pope’s, and God often has used bad sitautions to bring about much needed change. That doesn’t change our lay importance. By virtue of our baptism, we are all priests, prophets and Kings, and we must be actively involved in the restoration of the faith. But with the knowledge that God is still in control, we should never lose hope.

  • Steven Hotho

    It strikes me as very questionable that all this destruction is the work of God. Does God take away the greatest of all gifts to man, free will, after life itself. So, God decided that, with all of this corruption in the Church, He would do away with Ratzinger in order to impose a greater menace, Bergoglio, in order to expose the mess? What if there is no great cleansing? What if Bergoglio continues to create greater havoc for several more years? Then, we blame God for that? No, we’re making this foul nest and it’s been going on a lot longer than five years. No one knows where it’s going to lead, but best get off these pious platitudes and make some strong personal decisions (free will, again) and get on with what we decide.

    • samton909

      On the contrary. The five years of Pope Francis have revealed all the sickness in the church. The author is correct. All the rot has now come to the surface, and now God is dealing with it, and there is going to be a far deeper cleaning than if Benedict had remained Pope. The entire homosexual clergy has now been exposed.

      • Steven Hotho

        And, I ask you again, what if there is no great cleansing? What will you do then and how long will it take for you to decide? But, if God is dealing with it, then you are relieved from making any personal decisions; just sit back and wait.

        • kacmcg

          He has already promised us that right will win. Now some of the details just get written. Yes, pray! Prayer changes us, and we change things! Be prudent in your actions, informing your conscience with the truth of the Church, then following what makes sense in as much virtue you may muster. We are protesting here. We are being kind knowing that the most important thing we are doing is helping save souls. But at the same time, we must hold our leaders to account for how they’ve hurt our vulnerable and how they’ve sinned. We do this with love, out of love, and for God.

          • Steven Hotho

            And just how do you intend to hold ‘your’ leaders to account?

          • kacmcg

            Sorry, I am just seeing this reply. I am supporting legislation in my state that will open up a window for victims to potentially sue the church for damages after the statutes of limitations have closed. The church has been pouring a lot of money into keeping the window unjustly small. I understand that I will be paying for this, potentially needing to close churches to finance the penalties (which heavens, we may need to close anyway), but I would rather attend Mass at a Motel 8 than leave this the way it is. Love expands, evil consumes itself.

        • retiredconservative

          This is my fear, that we won’t see the great cleansing that we can all see is necessary. At least, not in my lifetime. I know that the Church will prevail and that the battle has already been won, but I long for a church that shepherds the flock and leads it to salvation. Right now, it seems that the majority of the church’s leadership is lukewarm at best, and our souls are in peril. The more I pray for Pope Francis, the more puzzling his behavior becomes.

          • Steven Hotho

            I understand the feeling of wanting a strong witness for Christ in the Church but, if it isn’t forthcoming, you know that our salvation does not come from any man or group of men. We can hope for strong leadership, but know that our faith in God is what’s important, and the charity toward which it leads. There are many ways to pray, but sometimes its ok to act in a positive manner too. Write some letters to priests and bishops and explore different options, i.e., traditional parishes. And stop giving your hard-earned money to people who are going to fritter it away on stupidity.

        • Julia Lengyel

          You could be right. However Hope is one of the main cardinal virtues. Not knowing the outcome, it is better to hope for the best, as long as you also prepare for the worst. i.e. In God we trust.

    • Danielck

      The cleansing has begun, whether or not you can see it. “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

      • Steven Hotho

        Well, I’m not God and neither or you. It’s the height of human pride to say something like that. I can only think as a human and what I see is a church that is crumbling before our very eyes.

        • Danielck

          You obviously are a rotten person. I don’t have to be God to say what I did. Obviously you are filled with pride yourself for taking the comment personally. Where is your humility? If you can’t take a word that wasn’t aimed at you, but generally, you shouldn’t be in these forums. You should check yourself, because the devil is lurking very close to you, if not within you.

          • Steven Hotho

            What? I made it personal, after you said “Get behind me Satan”? That’s pretty damn personal, if you ask me. No doubt I am a rotten person and lack humility; after all, I am human and not God.
            As for who comments, I don’t think that is your call to make, sir; unless you continue to think you are God who knows where Satan lurks.

          • Vincent J.

            You can tell if the devil is influencing Steven or anybody else using the challenge 1 John chapter 4: Ask him to say (type), “Jesus is the Son of God.” It’s only by the Holy Spirit that we can say it.

        • Julia Lengyel

          This is all foolishness. The writer of an article have an interesting hypothesis. I liked it. He might be right. Also he might be wrong. The critics say that Benedict did not abdicate because of God’s will. They could be perfectly right also. Certainly following human history, no one can say that such and such happened, because God willed it so. The only thing we can say that God can bring out good even from the evil what man do. This whole dispute I find sensless.

          • Steven Hotho

            I agree. Almost all comments in cyberspace are foolishness. People, including myself, love to pontificate on all sorts of things they know nothing about. It’s primarily an ego-boost, making us feel important in our foolish little lives, as if anyone really cares what we think.

  • Sherry

    Yes! Exactly what I have been thinking! Beautifully written.

  • KSJ

    Finally! Someone says what I have been thinking! B16 is neither a coward or a liar. If he said God told him to resign, then God told him! I can almost hear the Lord saying to him, “Be at peace, my faithful servant, you have done what I called you to do, and now I will take over!”

    • Two Small Coins

      And so many are forgetting that he was almost 86 years old. I am 20 years younger than that and I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. 86 is an age when most people who are still alive (JPII was not) are frail, infirm, hard of hearing, have poor eyesight, suffer from incontinence, arthritis, back pain, use a walking stick, etc. I don’t know the reasons behind Benedict’s resignation but believe that they would have been good ones.

      • Roger Morais

        His brother ran a PAEDOPHILE ” ring in the 90’s What planet do you live on ?

        • Two Small Coins

          1. Even if his brother did run a paedophile ring in the 90’s, and I am not suggesting that he did, how would that be relevant to Pope Pope Benedict’s resignation?

          2. I live on planet earth.

          3. What have I done to you that you should treat me so rudely?

  • Bob Wilkens

    Benedict is an extremely well read man.

    A classic strategy in individual combat, or between two entire armies, is that when surrounded and overwhelmed, no help on any side, even from those around you, is to….

    Retreat in very good order, at very high speed, and disengage the enemy…

    to suddenly yield, fall back unexpectedly, throw the opponent off balance and in disarray, as they lose all discipline, and break ranks in howling disorganized triumphant persuit.

    And let them expose themselves, show their forces as many stop all persuit and gorge off the spoils, sure in their triumph, and let the people see who their new rulers are, and what they are really like..

    And then to attack, and with many more behind you than you started with….

    • Florian

      I agree…it seems clear that with Pope Francis at the helm, all the darkness is coming into the light and those who pervert the teaching of Christ’s Church are becoming known for who and what they are. The Holy Spirit is at work and Pope Benedict is at prayer – and that is as it should be.

      • Maria

        Yes, but the problem is where the darkness is. If Pope Francis was indeed shining a light on that darkness then that would be a good thing. The problem is that Pope Francis is a participant and obstructing the light. Therefore, that work is not of the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean of course that the Holy Spirit cannot bring good out of it but God does not cause or participate in evil in order to bring good.

      • Howard

        “…it seems clear that with Pope Francis at the helm, all the darkness is coming into the light ….” But none of that is coming from Francis. It’s coming from the attorney general of Pennsylvania. Even Vigano’s revelations are not FROM Francis, but ABOUT Francis — a problem that could not have “come to light” if Benedict were still Pope because we would not have had a Pope coddling the likes of McCarrick.

        • Bill_B

          Again, it seems that words are being put into the mouth of the writer/commenter, in this case, Florian. And I don’t think the AG of Pennsylvania has done nearly as much as Archbishop Vigano in exposing the corruption. As to your ending, the problem that has been clearly exposed is the extent to which certain wayward bishops and cardinals have influenced decision making in the church.

  • Howard

    I am extremely doubtful about the direction this article is going. It is a dangerous thing to confuse God’s perfect will with God’s permissive will. Everything that happens is an expression of God’s permissive will, even the abuse itself, but that is very far from having been God’s perfect will. So what about the resignation of Pope Benedict? God permitted it, but did He require it? No. Benedict used his human judgement to determine it was time to abdicate, and God permitted him to reach this conclusion — but let’s not pretend there was any kind of Divine demand. It was just human judgement, as was the selection of the next Pope.

    We can look for the silver lining, but that is ALL that is happening here.

    • Bob Wilkens

      Do not minimize God prompting, calling, his people to take certain and decisive actions or inactions. Seeing God’s will in things is not dangerous in and of itself, unless one sees that will in evil actions.

      • Howard

        Let’s put it this way: If Benedict said that the Virgin Mary and St. Michael the Archangel appeared to him and told him it was God’s will that he abdicate, I would have my doubts, to which I am fully entitled, as that is private revelation. He made no such claim; instead, he felt it was God’s will. Why should I have more certainty about a feeling than I would about a vision?

        Secondly, even if I were to accept Benedict’s conviction that God wanted him to abdicate, that still gives me no true insight into what God’s purposes were.

        “Seeing God’s will in things is not dangerous in and of itself, unless one sees that will in evil actions.” That sounds more pious than it really is. In fact, it can be the sin of pride to claim Divine mandate for every decision that you make yourself; it can also be a sin against the virtue of prudence.

        • Florian

          You are certainly entitled to your doubts and your ‘interpretation’, your own ‘feeling’ about why the Pope resigned. But I will stand with Pope Benedict on this.

          • Howard

            My “interpretation” is that Peter Wolfgang is not Pope Benedict. Perhaps your “feeling” is otherwise.

        • Bob Wilkens

          My friend, all you are doing is proclaiming YOU know what is in the mind of Benedict and God through your equally useless counterspeculation. What I shall do is simply say the earth is made of green cheese and be done with it. Why? because YOU told me. And thank you much for your revelations, I can now sleep better at night, knowing YOU have the inside line, and nobody else.

          • Howard

            I’m not sure if you are deliberately lying or simply an idiot. It is probably more generous to assume the latter.

          • Howard

            My first response was rather unkind, so let me give a better response here: You’re just making crap up.

            Benedict’s claim that he thinks he did what God wanted him to do is not different in kind from the claim any Catholic man who gets married makes that God wants him to marry this particular woman, yet we know that many perfectly valid and indissoluble marriages are unwise, and presumably NOT the reflection of God’s will, but the will of the couple, whatever they may have thought. Likewise with the decision of a Catholic to take a new job or move to a different city. Nothing Pope Benedict said indicates that he had a prophetic inspiration; he likely inferred the will of God from his knowledge of his own strengths and weaknesses and of the demands of the job, made a decision based on his God-given reason, and felt that he could not in good conscience do otherwise than follow the course suggested to him by his reason. It is not wrong to say that such judgement are, when made with care and in good faith, expressions of the will of God, but they are sort of a distant echo of God’s voice, reflected off created reality and muffled through human wisdom. Just as the perception of the will of Gold by Catholic men in love is not infallible, neither was the perception of Benedict regarding God’s will for his abdication infallible.

            Even if it WAS God’s will for Benedict to abdicate, though, the reasons Benedict gave for his abdication were nothing remotely like what Peter Wolfgang infers in the article above. THAT is where I most intensely disagree. Respect for Benedict does not imply respect for Wolfgang’s suggestions, which are highly speculative AT BEST.

            Not only is Wolfgang presumptuous in trying to guess a different reason for Benedict’s abdication than that given by the Pope Emeritus, all EVIDENCE is that Wolfgang is simply wrong. The revelation of corruption among the bishops did not come from the Vatican: it came from the Pennsylvania attorney general and the Archdiocese of New York. Francis had nothing to do with that, as in AT ALL. As for the Vigano testimony, that really is mostly about Francis not being a very good Pope; but that is a problem that could not have been revealed BECAUSE IT WOULD NOT HAVE EXISTED if Benedict were still Pope. So Wolfgang thinks Benedict resigned for a reason other than what Benedict gave, in order to accomplish something that did not happen.

    • Florian

      Sept. 4th: Howard, you say that God permitted Pope Benedict to resign but He did not require it…may I ask how you know that? Did you yourself receive a divine revelation?

      • Maria

        Because the disunity or at the least ambiguity which flows from the top of the Church is not desired by God.

      • Howard

        Apparently you live — in thought, at least — in a universe in which divine revelation really is that cheap and useless. I met a young woman a year or two ago who lived in that universe with you. She thought that God was giving her all kinds of “revelations”, such as that she should eat only an even number of grapes on one day.

      • Howard

        Let me be a bit more precise. I do not need divine revelation to refute the idea that God wanted Benedict to resign so that sin could be exposed and addressed: reason is sufficient to refute that claim.
        1. The misdeeds of bishops was not really a secret to begin with. Several journalists have come forward saying that “Uncle Teddy”‘s reputation was something they knew about more than a decade ago, and something that all the priests and seminarians in the area knew about; the only people in the dark were the bulk of the laity, and that simply because none of McCarrick’s victims were willing to go on the record. So it was not necessary for Benedict to resign to expose something that was an open secret to begin with.
        2. If it wasn’t about exposure, maybe it was about cleaning out the rot? Except that hasn’t happened. A few bishops have called for some sort of changes to make bishops more accountable, but absolutely nothing has happened, and it probably can’t happen unless Francis drives it. Francis, on the other hand, is busy passive-aggressively attacking his critics and attempting to draw parallels between himself and Christ — a behavior that is, to say the absolutely very least, extremely distasteful. It is unconvincing to argue that God wanted Benedict to abdicate so that the sins could be corrected when the sins have still not been corrected.
        3. Finally, at least in my opinion, the response of Francis is an even bigger problem than the crimes of McCarrick — precisely because Francis is the Pope. I hope I don’t need to go into detail; the problems with Francis’s reactions should be obvious. The response of Francis is a problem we obviously would not have if Benedict were still Pope.

    • Bill_B

      So, What makes you think the writer saw it as God requiring/demanding/commanding Pope Benedict? Perhaps God was speaking to him as a friend, offering good advice. This fits the picture people have of Pope Benedict desiring to adhere to God will.

      • Bill_B

        Please note, I had not read your later posts when I posted my question. Will try to get to your later posts.

    • Craig Roberts

      There comes a point where the desperation to find something positive in such an extremely horrible situation that common sense and objectivity get sacrificed. Not consciously, just the very human tendency to grasp for something good when in reality, it’s all bad.

  • Maria

    If the circumstances and lack of obedience, which are now more than every apparent with respect to the curia’s relationship with Pope Benedict, then I can only think that his resignation was not a free decision.

  • Dave Snyder

    Thank you Peter Wolfgang. I have been troubled by Benedict’s abdication, thinking like some that “the boys” had something on Ratzinger. It wasn’t a pleasant thought. But, Wolfgang’s theory makes perfect sence as I have learned long ago that God will answer us but it usually does not come in the form we humans think is best. Clearly the cat is out of the bag now.

  • christopherschaefer

    Ha! This morning I was thinking the very same thing!

  • Debra Dolce

    God will protect his church. Time to pray and watch it unfold. I am in awe and unafraid.

    • Carlos

      If we are not the Church God cannot protect us. We all need a much deeper conversion. Deeper prayer Life.

  • swordfish

    Was it God’s will for the abuse to happen?

    • Carlos

      The reason for evil is you my friend and I and all the people in the world. No one is clean. The degree of culpability will be known at The Last Judgement, my friend. Our enemies my friend are: our world, our flesh and the devil we often please with our sins. The only way out is perfect contrition. Few get there. Few are saved, my friend.

  • Ray

    Seems to me that if people want to do church all wrong, for so long, this is the sort of thing you will get for all of that.

  • TK

    “Instead, because of how Francis has managed the Catholic Church these last five years, we now have the Viganò letter.”

    It also might have a little to do with Benedict allowing McCarrick to remain a cardinal. And you can’t claim that he wasn’t able to do this because of resistance from McCarrick’s camp or something like that if you are simultaneously expecting that Francis should have defrocked him immediately. Whatever the heck Vigano has said today, it seems resoundingly clear that McCarrick was doing whatever he wanted for the entire time he was supposedly under “sanctions”.

    • Bill_B

      What it seems is the glaring difference between Benedict and Francis in this case is that Benedict slowed McCarrick down, while Francis did not.

      • TK

        No. The Francis detractor position has been that Francis should have defrocked him the second that trustworthy and non-partisasn Vigano made him aware of McCarrick. Benedict “sanctions” him in name only and that is sufficient for you? I am a detractor of neither pope, but how are Benedict’s actions not seen as simply “covering” for McCarrick, prelates protecting prelates.

  • Rowdup

    ‘How weak the faith’…..” “grow in holiness’….Uh…..I would say…’what faith’? and ‘what holiness’…More like Sodom on the Tiber. Sick…

  • Craig Roberts

    “God is using his resignation to clean up his Church. Just not in the way that was expected.”

    Apparently God is a slob. You’re implicitly blaming God for letting this happen and turning around and congratulating the Church for failing to keep it a secret. Where does the buck stop? The only thing worse than, “The devil made me do it.” is, “The pope you gave us, God, is the one who made it happen.”

    • Billy Bee

      Ummm nope.

      The article is crystal clear when you use the premise that the Holy Spirit is still active in the Catholic church, which it is.

  • Deacon Dennis Purificacion

    Benedict the Wise
    Doctor of the Church

  • nubinski

    Could not have phrased such profundity and true vision more eloquently myself. Thank you.

  • Maria delgado

    Pope Benedict XVI a humble servant of GOD, resigned to protect the Church! I do believe like Moses, he is holding up The Church! pray for Pope Benedict XVI he is a gift,

To God be the Glory
James Robison
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