Fake News: Vatican distorted Pope Benedict XVI’s letter praising Pope Francis

Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 8, No. 1853 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission.

Four days ago came news from the Vatican that in a letter Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI praised his successor, Pope Francis, as a “man of profound philosophical and theological formation,” and that there is an “inner continuity” between his pontificate and that of Pope Francis.

Benedict had written the letter in thanks for having received an advance copy of a series of books on the theology of Pope Francis, released on the eve of Francis’ 5-year anniversary as pope.

The Vatican, in the person of Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, released this photo (see below) of Benedict’s letter, next to the stacked series of 11 books on Francis’ theology. Note that only the first page of the letter is visible.

In the portion of Benedict’s letter made public by the Vatican Press Office we read the following:

“I applaud this initiative that seeks to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice according to which Pope Francis would only be a practical man devoid of particular theological or philosophical formation, while I would have been only a theoretician of theology that understood little of the concrete life of a Christian today.

The little volumes rightly show that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation and they help therefore to see the internal continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences of style and temperament.”

Nicole Winfield reports for the Associated Press that on March 14, 2018, the Vatican admitted that it had altered the photo of Pope Benedict XVI’s letter about Pope Francis, which changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

Most independent news media, including The Associated Press, follow strict standards that forbid digital manipulation of photos. The AP norms, considered to be the industry standard among news agencies, states that “No element should be digitally added to or subtracted from any photograph.”

The Vatican admitted it had blurred the two final lines of the first page of Pope Benedict’s letter where he begins to explain that he had not actually read the books in question, and therefore cannot contribute a theological assessment of Francis as requested by Msgr. Vigano because he has other projects to do.

According to the AP, Msgr. Vigano read only parts of Benedict’s letter during a press conference launching the series of 11 books on Francis’ theology, including the lines that were blurred out. But Vigano didn’t read the whole letter. The Vatican didn’t respond to a request to see the full text.

Remember the sin of omission?

This is what Pope Benedict XVI, age 90, actually wrote in his letter, which is concealed by the Vatican (source: The Remnant):

“However, I don’t feel I can write a brief and dense theological passage on them because throughout my life it has always been clear that I should write and express myself only on books I had really read. Unfortunately, if only for physical reasons, I am unable to read the eleven volumes in the near future, especially as other commitments await me that I have already assumed.

[Tuttavia non mi sento di scrivere su di essi una breve e densa pagina teologica perché in tutta la mia vita è sempre stato chiaro che avrei scritto e mi sarei espresso soltanto su libri che avevo anche veramente letto. Purtroppo, anche solo per ragioni fisiche, non sono in grado di leggere gli undici volumetti nel prossimo futuro, tanto più che mi attendono altri impegni che ho già assunti.]”

In other words, Pope Benedict XVI is saying:

  1. He has not read the series of 11 slim volumes on Pope Francis’ theology.
  2. Consequently, he cannot comment on Pope Francis’ theology, as Mgsr. Vigano requested.
  3. Furthermore, Pope Benedict XVI has no intention to read the series because he has other things to do.

That being said, Pope Benedict XVI did send mixed messages in his letter. As Christopher A. Ferrara of The Remnant points out:

The fact remains, however, that Benedict has lent his name and signature to the fraudulent claim that Bergoglio [Pope Francis’ real name] exhibits a profound philosophical and theological formation, even though he has spent the past five years engaged in shallow mockery of “the theologians,” whom he would consign to a desert island, while shamefully misrepresenting the teaching of Saint Thomas as supportive of his campaign to admit public adulterers to Holy Communion. […]

Despite its contrary signaling, therefore, Benedict’s letter to Vigano must be seen as cooperation in a scheme to rescue Bergoglio’s imploding papacy from itself, no matter what Benedict’s subjective intention may have been in going along with the ruse. The letter’s claim of an “internal continuity” between his pontificate and Bergoglio’s is a transparent evasion of the truth. “Internal continuity” is just another way of saying “apparent lack of continuity.” Nor can the apparent lack of continuity be reduced to “differences of style and temperament.” There is not an even arguable continuity between the two Popes regarding the dominant theme of Bergoglio’s pontificate: an absolutely unparalleled attack on the Sixth Commandment and even the natural law, far more dramatic than Bergoglio merely trudging along the path of “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “liturgical renewal” established at Vatican II. […]

Benedict would have to know in particular that Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia reduces the Sixth Commandment, an exceptionless precept of the divine and natural law, to a mere “rule” and an “ideal” that does not bind strictly in certain “complex circumstances,” thereby smuggling into the life of the Church, under the guise of “authentic Magisterium,” precisely the evil of situation ethics that John Paul II condemned. […]

The unprecedented and untenable division of the Church into traditionalist, “conservative” and liberal branches, with Bergoglio now clumsily attempting to saw off the first two branches, signals an historical turning point at which it seems only divine intervention of the most dramatic sort will be able to restore the Church [….]

See also:

Update (March 21, 2018):

The Vatican said Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Mgsr. Dario Vigano and named his deputy, Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz, to run the Secretariat for Communications. (AP)


10 responses to “Fake News: Vatican distorted Pope Benedict XVI’s letter praising Pope Francis

  1. Fake news you nailed it. Sad sad sad.☻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    For your information.



  3. I never trust in a man in a dress. More so, one who teaches babylon religious teachings.


  4. this church cant be restored ,yet the church will go into the evil ,into its god,satan,more profoundly,nothing can stop that…the pope(s)? nothing to do w God Almighty,it is corrupted,sins n sinners every where you look,far away from the real God,far away from Hes Son,Jesus Christ,away away from the Holly Spirit,emptyness its her name,no true faith,only human-alike faith,worthless…the pope(s)? mason(s)!


  5. The ONE THING about any “continuity” between the theology of Benedict and Francis that I can see is that of AMBIGUITY.
    Years ago, I tried to read from two of Benedict’s books. Ambiguity seeped out in almost every paragraph. I have found Benedict to be, simply and frankly, UNREADABLE.
    To this effect, I can say that Francis seems to be much less ambiguous, in that his end or aim is CRYSTAL CLEAR. And that end of aim of Francis is THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION AND COLLAPSE OF HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.

    We have to remember things according to where they stand. We have to get our facts right, and we also have to get the context right. And then we have to remember the Hierarchy of Things. FACT NUMBER ONE is this: The Roman Catholic Church is Our Lord’s Mystical Body on Earth. We must rest assured: Our Lord told us that “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” So we have His Word on it.
    My own humble opinion: As the demons “believe and tremble,” Our Lord allowed the Devil to have his way with Him. As a matter of fact, I believe that Our Lord COMMANDED it: As the Devil “believes and trembles,” I have the feeling that the Devil would not have done what he did unless commanded, for this simple reason: He does not have the guts or the gall to do it.
    I admit that I may be wrong, despite Satan’s real hatred.

    This being said, I believe that the human race is in the End Times, and that certain Rubicon’s must be crossed. Now is the Church’s Hour of Trial. Marvel Not: Freemasonry itself admitted that they would do to the Church what was accomplished in 1958: Infiltrate it, and put at least one of their own upon the Throne of Peter.
    Now we are stuck with the worst Pope in History, Benedict XVI, and his impostor successor, an anti-Pope, whose intentions and motives are plain to see and, frankly, QUITE BALD as to what he intends to do. MAKE NO MISTAKE: Frankenpope will soon be tossed into the Ashbin of History. The Day will come when the Church shall rise again. Our Blessed Mother has simply and sublimely declared it: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart shall triumph.”

    I would sooner wait for a troop of chimpanzees with typewriters write sound theology than wait upon Frankenpope for anything resembling the same! And I actually agree with Benedict’s “back-handed compliment” in that he seems to be saying that he simply—cannot be bothered. (Huh! We finally have a clear and straightforward move from Mr. Ambiguity himself!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kevin J Lankford

    I just don’t understand this “theology’ nonsense at all. In the book of “Acts” Peter and Paul come to agreement; the twelve disciples were to tend to the Jews just as Jesus was a priest of the “circumcision”, and Paul was the disciple of the Gentile. The salvation of the Jews was to come with their belief that Jesus was the promised King and that the Kingdom was at hand.

    Instead, and of course with Gods own foreknowledge, Jesus was crucified causing the coming Kingdom to be set aside to fulfill the time of the Gentiles. The crucifixion of Jesus is the last sacrifice that pays the price for all sins, past, present, and future.

    The roman catholic church is a perversion of Christianity as the Jewish people refused the teachings of the original disciples, as is self evident. The roman catholic church forces a ‘works religion’ on its followers instead of teaching our Christian Church and salvation comes from our belief that Jesus is the son of God, and that he did die on the cross for all our sins, and was the first resurrected as all who believe in him will be.

    Of course this does not mean one can commit all sins as long he confesses, as catholics believe, as a true believer is going to be guided by real conscience. We have no need of a vatican, or a pope, as Jesus himself is our ‘Advocate’.

    I know I am no Biblical scholar, but I can not see how one can read through the book of ‘Acts’, ‘Roman’, and the rest of the letters of Paul, and not realize that with out the teachings of Paul, Gentiles would just be left out.


  7. Since I am not a Catholic, I am not qualified to weigh in on the scriptural aspects between these two Popes. However, to see that “cute tee shirts portraying a Pope in a comic-book like character” is beyond what I would call a Godly pursuit. I do not like this any more than I would like Jesus Christ portrayed in this same manner. For me, it seems to cause dissonance in my very spirit. I think that Godly things, or people, are treated with a special reverence due to them being of a Godly nature. Perhaps there are those who will disagree with me, but I just do not like that at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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