It has been ten days since Joseph Ratzinger was 'surprisingly' elected to succeed John Paul II in modern Rome by a covey of cardinals in conclave. If you believe that Ratzinger prayed that he didn't want to be pope, when all along he's been so slyly campaigning for it, then I'll find you some swampland in Florida. Also, if you believe no bargains were struck - can you say 'compromises' - in effecting an election so swiftly from such a diverse group of men with such wide-ranging ideologies that seem more radical than the next, than I'll expand that search in the bogs of the sunshine state for you. Now the media bought into everything peddled to them and ate up all the pomp and circumstance. I would have, too, had I not realized what a Catholic Requiem Mass is all about and how a true Papal Coronation is supposed to be conducted.
For ten days we have been relatively pretty silent on Benedict XVI and given him the benefit of doubt during this moratorium of respect. I think that moratorium has run its course and it's time to speak out because so many are being baffled by the ratz-glitz. You know how many times we've taken the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to task for not protecting the Doctrine of the Faith. We've done so not because we had an axe to grind with him personally, for he is a likeable guy, but because that is what we must do in response to what that holy Cardinal of that same office Saint Robert Bellarmine insisted we do. The example and encouragement of Saint Catherine of Siena, whose feast we celebrate tomorrow, should also spur us on to speak out. What we're going to do today, however, is not even consider what Benedict has said since his election, but in what he has done. There are seven points that tell the story. Seven diadems.
He reappointed the very culprits responsible for the devastation in the new Vatican, all the curial curs from Angelo Sodano to Walter Kasper! Uggh, not good! No hope there! It sure didn't send the message that he would be his own man and move the conciliar church back towards the True Church beginning with herding in the false shepherds within the Vatican walls. Not good for that means the foxes are still guarding the hen-houses.
He chose to reaffirm his no-return path to patronizing Zionist interests while those very Zionists were, so nastily, the very ones raising the Nazi connection even though that was something Ratzinger had no control of for every student was conscripted by the Third Reich and, at least he had the good sense to flee from the swastika youth sewers as soon as he could. Not easy in those days. Nevertheless, his patronizing the Jews shortly after his election only confirmed the anathemas he approved that the Jews wait for the Messias is not in vain, first exposed exclusively on these pages in 2002 by Atila Sinke Guimar„es with his thorough review "The Biblical Commission on the Jews: Changes in Doctrine and New Anathemas". Benedict's reassurance to the Jews that he was persisting in these errors? Not good.
He came out sporting the very same crooked cross first adapted by Paul VI in the days when he and his agenda became ever more sinister following his issuing of the Novus Ordo Missae, better known as Christ identified it in Matthew 24: 15, "Abomination of Desolation". Any hope that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI was his own man and would turn away from the certain path to perdition, took a hit. The crooked cross, which many have associated with satanic undertones, is not good.
At the beginning of the "Inaugural" - I'm sorry, I just can't get used to that word or accept it for such an august office as the Primacy of Peter - the symbolism and significance was overwhelming. I'm talking of the television shots of Benedict and his train of cardinals slowly but surely walking away from the tomb of Saint Peter and then further away from the main altar of St. Peter's. Behind them an empty church as they grew further and further from the center until they were, appropriately speaking, "extra Ecclesiam" - outside the Church. The camera shots captured this cavernous gap so vividly and starkly. The significance: not good.
Once outside we were treated to more novelties. Evidently the controversial contorted effeminate corpse of Christ first perpetrated on the world during John Paul's funeral services in St. Peter's Square is back to stay. Who in the name of our Crucified Savior authorized that? It reminds one more of a Salvidor Dali reject or as I pointed out in an earlier editorial, more representative of the kind of sculpture you'd find in San Francisco bath houses than Vatican City. Not good.
Rather than looking stately in Papal robes fitting a Papal Coronation, Benedict XVI looked more like a turtle in an oversized shell decorated with gold shells. The significance was supposed to be "fisher of men" but with his little head peeking out it reminded me more of the tortoise and the hare. The vast expanse between the sedelia and the bare Novus Ordo table in front seemed forever and the narrow carpet looked more like a race-track. My mind wandered if Benedict's MC Pierini (the same one JP2 had) as the hare, would race the golden shelled-one. Quickly my imagination was brought back from Looney Tunes-land to the reality of it all. As the camera pulled back it seemed even further, and again the point was overwhelming that the greatest significance, just as the funeral showed, was that all of this was conducted "outside the Church" - "Extra Ecclesiam." It was so obvious, and yet, in true Vatican Two fashion the conciliar church celebrated these variances from tradition. Not good.
What made it all the more disheartening was the use of Latin. Now you're saying, but wait a minute, I thought you were promoting the Latin Mass? Yes, we are - the Immemorial Mass of All Ages, and what was conducted on world-wide TV from St. Peter's Square was NOT the Latin Mass. This is what makes it ever more dangerous when Latin is used to deceive. That is exactly what happened. So many thought they were seeing the real Latin Mass. How sad. Remember I said I would comment on what he has done, not said? Well watch him during his Latin Novus Ordo and you'll note he extends his hands with all fingers pointing straight up, no different than a Protestant minister. A true priest meticulously holds his hands out with his forefinger always touching the thumb. That is mandatory for every priest during the Canon of the Mass. In the Latin Novus Ordo we watched on TV in St. Peter's Square, there was no Confiteor, no sacrificial offering, and no confected sacrament since the words of the Consecration omitted the Mysterium Fidei. In listening intently above the annoying "American interpreters" I could distinctly hear "pro multis" not "pro omnes - meaning they had it half right, but this isn't horseshoes, this is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and close doesn't count. It has to be exact and placing the words Mysterium Fidei outside of the Consecration and said no less by the people makes it all the more of a sacrilege as so many have pointed out and documented, most astutely by Father James F. Wathen in his magnificent opus The Great Sacrilege written over thirty years ago and yet to be credibly refuted. Just as our Lord assured that not all who say Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, so also not all who say Latin are attending the True Latin Mass established unchangeable by the Council of Trent and Pope St. Pius V. We know it has been changed and ergo cannot be the True Latin Mass. But Catholics, as we have hammered home the point, have been so dumbed down they'll buy anything including a few bits of Latin as making it an authentic Latin Mass. Please! The placing the wafer in people's hands by Benedict XVI nailed the very fact this was not a Catholic service.
Finally, the release of Benedict's Coat of Arms was the coup de gras - a definite sign that any chances of Benedict XVI returning the conciliar church to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church were not only slim, but very remote. Yes, those hopes took a severe blow Wednesday with the revealing of his papal coat of arms, or at least they call it a "papal" coat of arms, but the one symbol used by Popes for centuries and synonymous with the Triple Reign or Triregnos has always been the Papal Tiara. Every man since Pope Clement V in the early 1300's who has occupied the Chair has exhibited the tiara in some way on his official coat of arms.
In retrospect, we should have seen it coming when Paul VI sold his off, John Paul I refused the Papal Coronation or to wear the tiara even though his coat of arms was so traditional. Do you think if John Paul I had the opportunity he'd not do it differently and totally adhere to tradition? And the same for John Paul II who followed suit with ignoring the Papal Coronation, the Solemn Pontifical Oath and the tiara, though he had a semblance of it with sharp streamlined spikes on his coat of arms. But Benedict XVI has scrapped all of those traditions: no Papal Coronation, no Pontifical Oath, no tiara on his head or his coat of arms! Instead we see a modernized miter which gives little evidence of Catholicity in its design though the pallium at the bottom is a "we tried, but couldn't convey any papal identification" effort.
It was designed by Italian Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza who stated, "Benedict XVI has chosen a coat of arms that is rich in symbolism and meaning, so as to put his personality and his papacy in the hands of history." Yes, there was plenty of personality in the shell-adorned gold garments worn by Benedict at his "inaugural", which of course, as stated earlier, is called in the true Church a Papal Coronation for one is crowned Supreme Pontiff with the tiara in the proper vestments fitting of a priest, pope and prophet. What was conducted in Rome last week? Traditio.com said it best: "Benedict was 'impalled'" referring to the obstinate importance given the pallium over the tiara. All bishops have palliums, only Popes true to Holy Mother Church have tiaras! Can you not see 'collegiality' so obviously at play here?
The symbols on his crest are different and, as Ricky Ricardo said to Lucy, "shu've got some splainin' to do." At first inspection we see the rooster-like, Aztecan head in one corner and an uphill-bear with tongue hanging out with an X-marks the spot on his back-pack in the other corner. That might all be colorful and heraldic in symbolism, but there is nothing of religiosity there save for the three small black crosses at the very bottom - beneath and apart from the crest. Note also how the Keys of the kingdom have been pared way back, as if almost an afterthought with no semblance to the detail of the way the keys have been depicted in the past. Look at the detail in the keys on John Paul I's coat of arms and the one on Benedict's hardly represent sturdy, authoritative keys. You'll note the exact similarity of the stole extending from the bottom of John Paul II's "tiara" to Benedict's miter. You'll also note the design is almost the same except Benedict's has further diffused any papal assimilations with the miter which cleverly with the gold design, could at first be mistaken for a tiara but on second look is definitely not a tiara, but a miter. Also the simplicity of JP2's cross and M have been replaced with a busy shield.
What is the significance of all that busyness? It's interesting that in today's Zenit they used the very words: "Personal elements and novelties characterize Benedict XVI's coat of arms." Ah, yes, novelties! Haven't we had enough of those over the past 40 years?! As for his personal symbols, evidently the rooster-like Aztecan head bust is, in actuality a "Moor of Freising" - in other words a royalty from Ethiopia - caput ethiopicum. Yeah, it's caput alright! Moor as in Muslims? The very Moors St. Anthony of Padua wanted to convert? Racially politically correct? Who knows. It evidently has some meaning in Bavaria but no one has been able to explain the religious significance on the shield. As for the up-hill bear, we discover that it is "St. Corbinian's bear" based on an old Bavarian legend. St. Corbinian is said to be the first bishop of Freising in Bavaria and when the grizzly ursine savaged the saint's horse, Corbinian humbled the furry one to carry his belongings on its back all the way to Rome. Okay, I can buy that, but still it's a stretch for a papal coat of arms, even for Ratzinger's own ancestry for it refers to Freising, not him. It's nice and all to say the beast being tamed by the saint means "tamed by the grace of God" and the back-pack representing the "weight of the episcopate;" yet, in Ratzinger's own words, he actually distorts it by saying "The bear with the pack, which replaced the horse or, more probably St. Corbinian's mule, becoming, against his will, his pack animal, was that not, and is it not an image of what I should be and of what I am?" Huh!?! Wouldn't the image of St. Corbinian himself have been more relevant and edifying, as well as being right and proper to emulate rather than the beast?
The shell in the dead center of the crest and which overpowered his garments on "inauguration day" is the interesting one. On one hand we are told the shell is supposed to represent the legend of when St. Augustine found a boy - really an angel - on the seashore trying to pour the ocean into a hole in the sand with a seashell. Augustine told the boy it was impossible to do what he was doing. It was futile. That's when the angel reminded Augustine that "so it is futile for the mind of man to try to understand the mystery of the Trinity" and the mind of God. Only in Heaven will this imcomprehensible mystery be understood. Truly ethereal, but again a stretch considering Ratzinger himself in his autobiography Milestones, Memoirs stated the shell is a "sign of our being pilgrims, of our being on a journey." Good thing he didn't put a car or plane on there. Seriously though, folks, it might have been more appropriate for man has control of where he wills to go in those vehicles, compared to a shell to represent a journey!? A shell has no rudder, no way to steer. In a shell we're at the whims of the waves with really no direction. This is not Catholicism, it is basically nihilism and free will is surrendered to the fates of predestination - really, when you think about it, an anathematical stretch to put on a papal coat of arms! Ah, but novelty rules the day as we've seen for he himself is one of the architects of all this innovating which abandons tradition.
Montezemolo, who created Benedict XVI's new insignia, is said to be an expert on heraldry so he's not ignorant of the significance of breaking from an 800 year-old tradition. He added, "for at least the past eight centuries, popes have had their own personal coats of arms in addition to the symbols of the Apostolic See." He failed to say that for those past eight centuries the papal tiara was an essential element in those coats of arms. Not so Benedict XVI, who Zenit confirmed was the sole arbiter of trashing the tiara for the miter. Collegiality calls.
Look at the elegance and magnificence of Pope Pius XII's crest here and look at how far Benedict XVI's has veered from that. Save for the very traditional crest of John Paul I, you can see the progression away from tradition just in the coat of arms. In fact, in looking at Albino Luciani's crest, one wonders had he lived longer if he would have sought to return to the Truths and Traditions. Was that why he was murdered? Questions we may never know the answer to. Yet the name he chose may have sealed his fate. Let us hope God didn't hold that against him.
And speaking of that, let us not forget the souls of the departed who sat on the throne over the past half century. Let's hope they made it to Purgatory and if so, they sure need our prayers. Don't be so quick to buy into the "straight-to-Heaven" spin we've been inundated with about John Paul II from the pagans to the pantheists to Benedict XVI himself.If we are to believe Sacred Scripture, if we are to believe the Catechism, if we are to believe what Saints and Doctors of the Church preached, if we are to believe what past reliable and holy Roman Pontiffs decreed, then we had better get down on our knees for those recent men who have had much to account for to Almighty God for the devastation of the vineyard on their watch.
With all this in mind, and what we have seen just in the first ten days, it does not portend an improvement for modern Rome. It is not good folks and there are more signs which we won't delve into here that we will hold for now which, when revealed will make many shudder ever more as the prophecies of Our Lady and past saints and mystics are coming to pass in our very times. Remember who it was as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who buried the true Fatima Third Secret and fashioned a fabrication. If that was John Paul II's s, than Benedict XVI now has the opportunity and duty to retract it and disclose the true secret. If not, watch out! It makes it all the more mandatory that we seek out the True Faith wherever there is a traditional chapel and endeavor to share it with others as Christ mandated in Matthew 28: 19-20 and Mark 16: 15-16. Oh, and just as important for the sake of souls so lost in the muck of the flesh, the world and the devil, do what St. Catherine would encourage: pray for the conversion of Benedict XVI.