Catholic / Contemporary / Ethics / History / Medival / Religion / Spiritual

The pope steps down – a philosopher hunted down.

This is a sad day: “Der Lotse geht von Bord”. Our great spiritual and intellectual leader leaves the ship. I have respect for his decision, which must not have been an easy one for this modest man. I want to discuss the spiritual and political background of this.

Spiritual consequences

Der Lotse geht von Bord"Karikatur aus dem Londoner "Punch" vom 2. September 1890 zur Entlassung Bismarcks durch Wilhelm II.

Der Lotse geht von Bord”
Karikatur aus dem Londoner “Punch” vom 2. September 1890 zur Entlassung Bismarcks durch Wilhelm II.

I pray that he has still enough time left and for his health. Catholicism does not depend like other “beliefs” on new doctrines and to hurry from fashion to fashion because opinions of yesterday’s turn out useless already today. Sometimes it seems only the Catholic church can preserve us from the embarrassing and degrading slavery of stupidity, decay and greed, of dark totalitarian forces being ideological motivated ones or creeping out of dark medieval ages. The catholic church is no invention of our time. She will survive as the first steely global organisation, even if  her enemies have not given up the hope to see catholic dying one day. Thanks to the Holy Father for his smart and modest guidance of our church. The pope was neither ultra conservative, nor a Church-CEO. He was as a bishop of Rome in the succession of Peter and is time of his life an intellectual thinker and light tower  for us Catholic Christians. And if one really deals with his writings and his work, one recognises how deeply religious this man is and what a luminous example he is to us Catholics.

From a Jungian view I may not always have agreed with Pope Benedict ,  but I do thank him for his work, for taking a stand and wish him a few more quiet years in late autumn of his life. All the best for the future! I hope the next pope comes from a spiritual young Catholic church  – Asia, Africa or South America – not from the Western Ship of Fools. When the last pope resigned with Celestine V 1294 and Gregory XII 1415, it was on the eve of the fall of Constantinople,  of East Rome 1453,  of Christianity in the Middle East.  Pope Benedict XVI created a new Vatican department aimed at “re-evangelizing” the most secular regions of the globe, including areas of Europe that have become “de-Christianized.” That is needed indeed. In any case, Pope Benedikt is a universally educated high dignitary of the Church, willfully misunderstood by most,  never mind if they really have read a line from him. His level is another than coarse and vicious debate culture let alone the jaded role models for the masses. Ironically it became clear those last years, that he was a modern intellectual. He spoke out for freedom, also individual freedom, for separation of state and church, building bridges to other religions, to science and philosophy and fighting for a global church in countries where spirituality still prospers.

Political reasons

Pope Benedict XVI has made many enemies within and out of the Catholic church. An enlightened scholar and philosopher was hunted down by indignity. His relation with Germany was stressed. In his last speech in Germany he spoke of “Entweltlichung” hinting that German clerics live to cosy within the state concordat and lack spiritual drive. In the parliament he quoted for our “great” politicians St. Augustine: “What are the states without justice than only than a big band of robbers?“ (Book 4.4).  It can be also interpreted as: A state without God is at best a well organised band of robbers. Indeed, that was the European Union and Germany became. Given the disgusting public noise towards his person it was a sensible decision to retire. It was telling, that the German (cleric) officials referred only to Celestine V, a hermetic monk,  who,  overwhelmed and tired of the poisoned climate of the Vatican tepped down after five months. Some of them had wished a Pope Benedict XVI more streamlined, more postmodern or at least more protestant. He was neither. Joseph Ratzinger has recognised early that reforms, when they lead to a religious relativism, block the essentials, the faith in God and  lead in a dead-end. The 68er movement has made clear to the young theologian Ratzinger the dangers of the approaching spirit of the time. Today’s coinage very clearly drags everything onto the suction of a doctrinal secularism and dissolves thus the Christianity in pagan belief. In this respect one may see the big achievement pope Benedikts XVI to have held up those disastrous currents  and with it perserved the livelihood of the Catholic church. Besides, Joseph Ratzinger had to lead the discussion with the Marxist liberation theology arising in Latin America as a prefect of the religious congregation that has severely challenged the church just in these countries. Furthermore his achievements are indisputable regarding the unity of the Catholic faith. Newsweek stated gaffes statements are the red thread of his pontiff, and the Regensburger speech is stated as an example. Clearly who reduces such a speech into a 130 Twitter message comes to such a mistaken judgement. The speech opened even a dialog with moderate Muslims on a peer level in addition to the Orthodox and Jewish. Of course, there are many which want to misunderstand for political reasons. Many just wish a politically correct church –  Johannes Paul just as like Benedikt disappointed them and this is a good thing.

Pope Benedict XVI’s spokesman has denied the pontiff will resign over the VatiLeak of confidential documents. However, there were smearing gossip articles lately and hints that some treacherous infighting was going on in the Vatican. He was the one who cleaned up the act of the church regarding the abuse cases, reaching out to the victims. Maybe he had alienated some preference groups with his “zero tolerance” policy and because he was firm on catholic tradition and truth. It seems clear, that the pope has deeply been made sick by the child abuse in the Catholic church and came to conflict with the cardinals. He will disappear from March, 2013 out of sight of the public and Vatican will provide for the fact that this also remains extensively so.

As head of the state, Pope Benedict XVI has not done so well. Not always he trusted the right people. To be fair, the ailing pope before him left behind a big administrative and financial mess (not improved by the EU financial crisis). A cluster of banking scandals have been surfacing in Italy recently. They concern the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) involving head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi (G&S alumni) when he was still head of the Italian central bank. The history of the bank is a telling example of the murderous symbiosis of politics and investment banks. The fired boss of the bank, Giuseppe Mussari, is a leading Freemasons according to the  newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. Freemasons have a long tradition in Tuscany and numerous members of the socialist party. Those socialists who control the city of Siena since generations installed Goldman Sachs together with the Citigroup and Merill Lynching as a „joint Worldwide Coordinators“ and for buying  the Spanish Bank Antonveneta 2007 on the brink of the finance crises. One of the most important actors in the crime movie was Mario Draghi. It is completely implausible that Draghi has known nothing about the details about the state of the Antonveneta as he claimed of the G&S deals with Greece in the scandal around manipulated figures of the Greeks for the EU entry. As a boss of the EZB he is meanwhile the true ruler of Europe. The  EU installed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, also a Goldman adviser, has tried during the past years to keep the bank with tax money alive, and has pumped billions of taxpayer money into the bank.  While little has been said in the mainstream western press about the ongoing fiasco surrounding Siena’s Banca Monte dei Pasci, Italy’s third largest bank and the world’s oldest may get its third bailout in three years. The situation on the ground in Italy is getting more serious, and will have implications on both next month’s general election, on Mario Monti, on Silvio Berlusconi, as the scandal reaches as far up as the head of the ECB – Mario Draghi. Due to previously undisclosed derivative contracts first exposed by Bloomberg, the Siena bank has hidden as much as $1 billion in losses.  The “Latest Italian Bailout Scandal”, has far greater implications for the implied credibility of both the Bank of Italy, and especially the man who headed it for five years before becoming head of the ECB (where he now demands the same supervisory authority over all European banks that he had in Italy, only to supposedly let countless derivative fiascos slip through his fingers). Or in plain English, why the then-Draghi led Bank of Italy allowed this to happen not once, not twice, but at least three times.  This scandal maybe connected with Pope Bendict’s VVI significant problems of the Vatican bank IOR. The Italian press indicated that those scandals have an international dimension. The former Vatican IOR boss, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was before his engagement with the Vatican Chef of the Italian establishment of the Spanish Santander, the very bank who sold Antonvenet for an inflated price (and under investigation of kickback corruption) to the now troubled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Benedikt XVI attempted to resolve the shady behavior of the Vatican Bank by installing the former German Banker Tietmeyer. Bad customs, defamation, power plays, ambitions without barriers and theft led to the destruction of the Vatican Bank. Established financial power groups could be involved for their part in the Vatican bank scandal and may be also behind the butler who stole confidential papers from the desk of Pope Benedikt. The shadows behind the butler never came to light and the Pope sure must have been tired and disappointed. The Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi ( he has to be taken with a bit of salt) is convinced: Pope Benedikt XVI has stepped down to put a sign against the mismanagement in Vatican. He has felt as a theologian not competent enough to solve the economic problems of the church state. He has had no friends in the Vatican. Above all his cardinal’s Assistant Secretary Tarcisio Bertone has built up a dangerous network of ropes and carries on opaque business with „dubious figures“. The pope has not stopped Bertone. The loyalty of the pope to a man who clearly damages  him is surprising: „They fit not really. Ratzinger is a subtle intellectual, a shepherd. Bertone is a cunning administrator who knows the Curia inside and by heart”, Nuzzi wrote. Fact is, the he former head of the IOR Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been recently fired  for never revealed reasons and the pope has approved today the German layer Ernst von Freyberg as new head of the IOR. Pope Benedikt XVI. had tried to enforce stricter rules for the IOR  by founding 2011 an independent controlling institution and also favored Gotti Tedeschi proposal for compliance to international rules while some parts of the Vatican, particularily Secretary Tarcisio Bertone, wanted to keep its current “independent” mode.


One can argue, that the Pope did no solve the management crisis he inherited completely. This cheap criticism comes predictable from sides, however, which never liked a strong catholic faith. It is often just unfounded repetition or strange spin of  shady economic and political  clusters. To the resignation of pope Benedikt XVI the Freemasons have sharply criticised the economic behaviour of the Vatican. They hope for a complete coup. In the TV broadcasting “Öteki Gündem” the Turkish (!) journalist Aytunç has raised Altındal heavy charges against the parting pope based on hearsay of American (!) sources – John Patrick Quirk, a professor and former CIA advisor. It looks like the Pope emeritus has to watch his back even more now than before, also physically. Somebody has unleashed many dogs, after Pope Benedikt XVI forced the cleanup by his resignation.

An observation of the history is always interesting:

The more powerful the financial dynasties  became, the more and more audaciously the Christianity and the Catholic church was attacked. They control not only semi-secret organizations (Freemason, Bilderberger, CFR, trilateral commission, Illuminati, black nobility etc.), but manupilate politicians and transnational organisations (EU, IMF, UN) more and more violently the fate of us all.

Pope Benedict XVI was a great admire of Augustine, a contemporary of the (declining) Roman Empire. This world state was taken over by the early Roman Church because of visible injustice. Similar like radical Islam outshines today corrupt secular governments. After the victory over the communism by Johannes Paul, to Pope Benedict those greater challenges became obvious. During the last years the Christianity has become the mostly persecuted religion of the world. The European West seems lost to the Christianity whose heritage it owes most. By failing Augustine’s – lets call it ethical – virtues the West fails its secular objectives too. Continuing this way, world finance and its paid servants will lead us back to the dark ages to either secular or religious totalitarian systems. One can take from the “God’s state” of Augustine the following eight elements:

  •  God’s image must be promoted. Secondly uniqueness of any person created after God’s image has to be acknowledged. In this the dignity of any person has its foundation.
  • Above all, man is made good. If man sins, he /she acts under his/her dignity and against possibilities and God’s order. The evil is the absences of the good, it has no substance in itself.
  • The states must allow the God’s love, that is „the true religion“. The God’s citizen who face God live the truth. The cosmopolitan who are aimed only to themselves live the lie.
  • The God’s state is formed by citizens who live the spirit, the world state by citizens who live after the flesh. The states should allow to live after the spirit.
  • The highest aim of the God’s state is peace. In order that anybody achieves the everlasting aim, the state must guarantee above all “freedom”.
  • The state being must provide for justice. The rhetorical question: „What are the states without justice differently than big bands of robbers?“ (Book 4.4), may be interpreted so also: A state without God is at best a well organised band of robbers.
  • Another important principle for the state is that it rules by virtue. Even the Roman’s empire – the first and only world state – has prospered according to Augustine, as long as Romans have practiced virtues.
  • The state authority who acknowledges God has a right to obedience if it concerns the worldly things. The state is no remedial way itself.

One thinks this is old stuff – look around.


Gianluigi Nuzzi works as an investigative journalist with the Italian magazine “Panorama”, before he was for the newspapers “Corriere della Sera” and „Il Giornale.

  • Vatikan AG – Ein Geheimarchiv enthüllt die Wahrheit über die Finanz- und Politskandale der Kirche, 360 Seiten, Ecowin-Verlag, 22,50 Euro
  • Seine Heiligkeit – Die geheimen Briefe aus dem Schreibtisch von Papst Benedikt XVI., 416 Seiten, Piper-Verlag, 22,99 Euro

Note: One who is less a servant of God and more a servant of his own self-esteem might have embraced the power of the office he held and ignored the needs of the flock. Not so Pope Benedict, he truly accepted the second half of St. Peter’s exhortation: “Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock.” His example tells us clearly that the needs of those we serve out-weigh our own.

Added Note: February, 22th

There has been a claim put forth by Italian daily newspaper La Republica, that pope’ decision was influenced by a  secretive “gay lobby” within the Vatican itself.

Yesterday this paper published an article alleging that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign this month was partly prompted by a report that accused Vatican officials of being under the influence of several internal lobbies, reportedly including a gay one. The nearly 300-page dossier would be passed on to pope’s successor, the report added.

The Irish Times reports that Benedict commissioned the report after the Vatileaks scandal broke last year. The report, written by a trio of cardinals, concluded that “various lobbies within the Holy See were consistently breaking” the sixth and seventh commandments, “thou shalt not commit adultery” and “thou shalt not steal.”

(The sixth commandment referencing adultery has historically been tied to the Catholic Church’s doctrine banning homosexuality.)

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released an arguably vague statement about the accusations.

Throughout his life, Pope Benedict XVI has professed our Lord Jesus as the Christ. No person needed to tell him this; he was truly given access to the will of the Holy Spirit. We, who like him, are adopted by Christ must now thank him for the gift of his life, energy, and service to the people of God and the Church. We look to the empty Chair of St. Peter and pray that, as in past Conclaves, a new Pontiff will emerge and that he will become stronger than he had ever thought possible.

Today especially we conclude with Prayer:

Lord, send forth your Holy Spirit and continue to guide and inspire our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI during these final days of his papacy. Be with the College of Cardinals for the next conclave and fill them with your grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.