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A “LANGUAGE TRAP” : THE “TWO POPES”.

by Maria Antonietta Calabrò

Since the beginning of 2020, Monsignor Ganswein has begun to spend his time at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where he has lived since 2013, as he was dispensed from his commitments as Prefect of the Pontifical Household, to devote himself to his role as Private Secretary of Joseph Ratzinger.

Thus ended after seven years, the "cohabitation" with Pope Bergoglio. In fact, he was "dismissed". The last Wednesday general audience he attended sitting next to Francis was that of January 15th.


A clear public signal. After the editorial mess of the book signed jointly by "Benedict XVI" (that is, with the pontifical name of Ratzinger) and Cardinal Robert Sarah on priestly celibacy "From the depths of our hearts", which had been published in France a week before.


Monsignor Georg's request to correct the title page of the book (by removing the double signature) and the attribution of "guilt" to Cardinal Sarah was not enough. Gaenswein had spoken of a misunderstanding.

But Pope Francis was adamant because the contracts for the French edition and the translations (including the Italian one) spoke clearly. The book undoubtedly had two co-authors: Cardinal Sarah and Ratzinger who, signing himself Benedict XVI, fueled the confusion of the existence of "two Popes" (which until then had meandered underground and which however had already substantiated itself in the guise white that Ratzinger continued to wear and in the choice of calling himself Pope Emeritus).


In reality, no commentator, journalist or man of the Church should have had to call Ratzinger, Benedict, after his resignation. And even less Benedict XVI. Because Benedict XVI no longer exists since February 28, 2013, the date of the end of his pontificate.

His fisherman's ring, symbol of his being the successor of St. Peter, the Fisherman, was destroyed, as is the case for all Popes upon their death.


Benedict XVI can be cited for what he wrote and said during the period of his pontificate, as is done with his deceased predecessors.


Having jointly signed a book with Cardinal Sarah, with the name Benedict XVI, in which the so-called pope emeritus placed a halt on priestly celibacy, was considered in the Vatican an entrance with a straight leg, a tackle in football terms , by Ratzinger and Ganswein towards Pope Francis.


A red card foul, to the detriment not so much of Bergoglio, but of the very authority of Peter's successor given that Ratzinger wrote in the book "I cannot be silent", quoting a famous phrase from Saint Augustine.


The editorial initiative of Ignatius Press - beyond the content and the thesis supported - triggered what the philosopher Wittgenstein would call "a language trap" .


The 2020 incident caused the Papacy to expire in the dynamics of the fiction of “Two Popes” (2019).


It would have been better for Ratzinger to follow the dictates of another famous proposition of Wittgenstein: "About what one cannot speak of, it is better to remain silent".


"Philosophy must serve this, to help the fly out of the bottle" wrote Wittgenstein (who in common with Ratzinger had a love for the "Confessions" of St. Augustine). And not plug it in.


For this reason, Pope Francis, evaluating the hypothesis of his eventual resignation, has already clearly said that he will not be called Pope Emeritus, and will go to live outside the Vatican.


There are not and there cannot be two popes. And there never even existed any “enlarged” ministry of Peter, shared between Ratzinger and Francis, a concept that was ridden by the most agitated and sedevacantist frond of Pope Bergoglio's opponents. A thesis instead that had been presented during a famous lecture given by Msgr. Ganswein at the Gregorian University already four years earlier, on May 20, 2016.


A month after June 27 (2016) on the return flight from his trip to Armenia, Francis intervened to correct: "Benedict is Pope Emeritus he said it clearly on February 11 when he withdrew from helping the Church with prayer, and several times I have declared that it is a grace to have a wise grandfather in the house. For me it is the man who guards my shoulders and back with his prayer".


Again: "I never forget the speech of February 28 that he made to us cardinals: 'My successor will be sure among you, from now on I promise obedience'. I've heard (I don't know, maybe they're rumors, but if it's not true, it's welcome) that some have gone to him to complain about this new pope. And he treated them in the best mannered Bavarian style, but he chased them away, he's a man of his word. It's right."

“But - he concluded - there is only one Pope."

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