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By Maria Antonietta Calabrò

While the body of Benedict XVI is descending into the Vatican Grottoes, alongside those of his predecessors, it is understood that a new page is being turned in the millennial history of the Church. Sad on the face, when Francis rests his hand on the coffin, the Pope have already read the homily of his predecessor's funeral Mass with highly spiritual contents.

In the text, Ratzinger is assimilated in all respects to Christ who died on the cross, to Christ the Sheperd who "allowed himself to be chiseled by the will of God, shouldering all the consequences and difficulties of the Gospel, to the point of seeing his hands sore out of love”.

Ratzinger did the same and tooked upon himself the consequences” of the evils of the Church and acted responsibly.

The homily is short . Little more than a page, read by Francis, while the Mass is celebrated by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Giovan Battista Re. So short that according to the comment on Twitter by the correspondent of the "Wall Street Journal" , Francis X. Rocca "it risked disappointing many of Benedict's admirers and was a reflection of the discreet commemorations that the current pope made to the deceased pope after his death”.

In recent days, efforts have been made by Ratzinger's fan to request that the ceremony mimic that of John Paul II. And today a cry of the "Santo Subito" was added, which instead of being a tribute risked turning into a caricature.

Moreover, forgetting that the first to say that Ratzinger was "a saint" was Pope Francis in an interview in early December with the Spanish newspaper ABC.

In 2015, over a million people flocked to Wojtyla on a day of strong winds.

This morning, according to estimates by the Rome Police Headquarters, fifty thousand faithful followed the funeral in the square, and the fog hung over St. Peter's. Completely obscuring the vision of that same Dome which on 11 February 2013, the day Benedict resigned from the Papacy, had been struck by a powerful bolt of lightning. An image that went around the world.

“The Vatican had said it would be a 'simple' ceremony and it was probably even simpler than many expected. It lasted just 90 minutes, half the length of John Paul II's funeral,” noted Washington Post correspondent Chicco Harlam.

The narration of Ratzinger's "fans" tried to stress beyond belief the exceptional nature of the situation, which in reality was not. Given that, as recalled by the historian Alberto Melloni, in 1801 a Pope, Pius VII, celebrated the solemn funeral of his direct predecessor Pius VI, Napoleon's prisoner.

But now that the mortal remains of Benedict XVI have descended into the Vatican Grottoes to support the Church, there is another question to ask. And that is if the palace conspiracies, the clashes between factions that tore the brief pontificate of the German pontiff, will return "in the Vatican's basement" (according to the definition of Andrè Gide, in his famous panphlet from the early twentieth century). What will happen in the American Church? And in the German one?

Yet from this point of view the words of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in an interview this morning with Corriere della Sera seem to bring down a second tombstone: "Those who thought they were taking advantage of the two Popes to create confusion have failed".

English version of the article publish by


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