OF THE 265 popes, nine chose the name Benedict (‘Blessed’)
in the first millennium, and six in the second.
names are given in the covenant hope that children will live up to them. Names
are also significant in the realm of the occult. People take them to live up
to the name’s associations. The modern Babylon, built on Rome’s seven hills,
is “the hold of every foul spirit”. Here the Chilean Cardinal, Dean Jorge
Arturo Medina Estivez, will have secretly asked the new pope: “Do you accept
your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff? Ratzinger would next have been
asked, “By what name do you wish to be called?” Ratzinger would then go to
“The Room of Tears” to lament on the gravity of his responsibilities as
Benedict The first thing the waiting world is told is the new Pope’s name: “I
announce to you a great joy. We have a Pope. The most eminent and reverend
Lord, the Lord Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, who takes
to himself the name Benedict.”
will have taken that name for a reason.
Gigantic power struggle
election broke all the rules. He was the oldest Cardinal ever to become pope.
Yet he went into the Conclave a likely candidate and, contrary to all protocol,
emerged as Pope despite his age:
is more, a run of two non‑Italian popes has not occurred since the so
called ‘Babylonish captivity’, which still sends shudders around the Vatican.
This was when 14th century European politics drove the papal epicentre, to
all the sophisticated Vatican anti-bugging devices, the Italian newspapers
seemed to know that a gigantic power struggle was in progress on the second day
of the conclave. The Ratzinger camp was pushing forward like a panzer brigade
flattening everything before it. And whatever his travail in the “Room of
Tears”, he duly emerged as pope that evening, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Futures Market got it right
Evans, the BBC’s North America business correspondent gives us a clue to these
events. “If you had wanted to know who was the most likely cardinal to be
promoted to Pope you shouldn’t have relied on the pundits. Nor should you have
taken any notice of the Vatican watchers who studied the arcane politics of the
Catholic Church. Your best bet would have been ... an investment in an online
futures market. They got it spot on. The Intrade futures market had Cardinal
Ratzinger well ahead of the field. On top of that, it ‑ or rather the
tens of thousands of traders collectively ‑ reckoned there was a 60%
chance of there being a European pope”.
business knew. Papal Europe must be resurrected. And who was better qualified
to be the embodiment of a new Europe‑centred Vatican initiative than the
middle European veteran of the fascist era, Joseph Ratzinger?
No to Turkey
definition of “Europe” as “a cultural and not a geographical continent,” is
straight out of the Book of Revelation. So is his defining of its limits:
“Turkey always represented another continent throughout history, in permanent
contrast with Europe … so to equate the two continents would be a mistake,” he
told Le Figaro in August 2004.
he afirmed to Le Monde, “Turkey should seek its future among Islamic
organizations, not in the Christian‑rooted EU”.
to Zaman, the Turkish news agency, the dismayed Assembly Spokesman of
the Catholic Bishops of Turkey, George Marovitch, retaliated, “I do not
approve of Cardinal Ratzinger’s remarks about Turkey.
Ratzinger’s did was only to state his views on a political matter. Catholics
are not bound to, these views about Turkey’s EU memership.
Such a short conclave will already have been a welcome
saving on housekeeping for a Vatican which is back in the red. Disgraced
Vatican banker Paul Marcinkus observed “You can’t run a Church on Hail Marys”.
Nor it seems on “arcane politics” nor the papal aspirations of the countless
poor Roman Catholics of Latin America and Africa. The Time reports $840 million
(£444 million) has already been paid out in the USA, historically the largest
contributor to Peter’s pence, on paedophilia settlements. A host of
irrefutably claims wait in the wings worldwide. But with the US dollar falling
and US market supremacy threatened from the east, it is time for the, scarlet
woman to dig her spurs firmly into the European beast and meet European
secularism and indifference head on.
Benedict of Europe
Benedict is the papal saint of Europe. The shrine of Subiaco where Benedict
founded an order of monks in AD 529 is near Rome. St Benedict’s monastic
“rule” was like Ratzinger’s, conservative but not too austere. For a
millennium, the Benedictines were responsible for keeping Europe in papal
thraldom. Rome used the Benedictine network to influence medieval economic
migration through Europe. In the same way, Rome seeks to maintain her
influence, during today’s economic migration of Spanish, Portuguese, Poles and
passing, we note that Cardinal Hume was a Benedictine and embodied the
Benedictine ideal. His was the iron hand in a velvet glove which Rome claimed,
“personified the final healing of the wounds of King Henry VIII’s Reformation
rule” in England.
Benedict the Holy pilgrim
16th is Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict XVI’s birthday and also of another
Benedict, St Benedict Joseph Labre, known as the “Holy Pilgrim”. This delicate
youth wandered about Europe and ended up in Rome, sitting in churches all day
and sleeping rough in the Coliseum at night. He eventually collapsed in a
church and, holy or not, was quickly removed to a nearby butchers to breathe
his last. Ratzinger would presumably see little likeness between himself and St
Benedict Joseph Labre, apart perhaps for the imminence of his own demise.
Pope Benedict XV
Cardinal Meisner says Ratzinger chose the name Benedict because the last
Benedict, Pope Benedict the XV, “did much for peace in the World”. He was a
tiny cripple and sat on the papal throne like a child. The Vatican has
attempted to cover up his disability. He was early swept away by pneumonia.
had a brain haemorrhage in 1991 and subsequent drop attacks. His time too is
potentially short. Ratzinger’s brother thinks the conclave has signed his death
warrant. If Ratzinger avoids an early stroke, he may nevertheless drag the
Vatican ‑ for who can oppose him now ‑ into ever more fanatical
stands through impaired judgement, from lack of blood circulation to the brain.
what in Benedict XV’s life could be relevant to this pope?
Della Chiesa (literally James of the Church) became Benedict XV on 3rd September
1914. Only at the end of the 20th century did it emerge that ten ballots over
three days had relentlessly pushed Della Chiesa forward. This was no late
compromise, contrary to what Rome has always insisted. Della Chiesa was unusual
in not being the offspring of poor Italian Roman Catholic peasants made good,
as were five of the 20th century Italian popes. Nor was he like the urban
sophisticate who became the second world war pope; Pius XII. Della Chiesa was
the real thing, a Genoese aristocrat, a bit down at heel, but with nearly a
millennium of history, including the fact that his wife’s side had fielded a
pope. Here was old Roman Catholic Europe writ large, as it was with Pius XII,
and now once again in Ratzinger.
Chastising the Orthodox
Della Chiesa had to deal with a schism over modernism.
This he handled with acts of compromise, always leaning to the conservative.
He wooed back estranged France by canonising Joan of Arc. But his greatest
challenge was reuniting the newly warring European powers under Vatican
control. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria‑Hungary was
assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serbian activist, Jesuit Cardinal Merry del Val
had insisted that Serbia, which for him represented Rome’s mortal enemy the
Eastern Orthodox Church, be firmly “chastised”. Rome feared the waning
Ottoman Empire would allow the emergence of the Orthodox church with a
revitalisation of Istanbul as a new second Rome with St Andrew’s successor,
backed by Russia, rivalling the successor of St Peter.
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, St Andrew’s 270th successor, still sits
locked away in the Phanar district, of Istanbul. Visitors “cannot enter the
Phanar’s main gate because it was welded shut in 1821 after the Ottoman Turks
hanged Patriarch Gregory V from its lintel. The black doors have remained
sealed ever since”. Benedict XVI, like Benedict XV before him, faces a threat
from Eastern Orthodoxy. He needs a strong Rome centred Europe and Islamic
Turkey to resist it, unles he can trick Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew into
XV repreatedly made overtures for peace in the first World War. His
encyclicals exuded emotion and were filled with generalities to avoid upsetting
any one. They were reminiscent of those of Pius XII in the second war.
Benedict XV’s peacemaking efforts have been described as follows: his “idea of
a general Christmas truce in 1914 as en end to what he termed the suicide of
Europe was initially accepted by the Germans but dismissed by the Allies”.
What is more, “in Italy where his regular intervention was resented as
potentially weakening national fighting resolve, (this interference) further
diluted his influence from 1915 onewards … the 1915 Treaty of London included
secret provisions whereby the Allies agreed with Italy to ignore papal peace
moves towards the Central Powers. Consequently, the publicaiton of Benedict’s
proposed seven-point Peace Note of August 1917 was roundly ignored by all
parties except Austria-Hungary. Despite requesting a role in the definition of
the pace the Vatican was excluded from the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.”
he lay in his deathbed Benedict XV was attended by Monsignor Giuseppe Pizzardo,
a young Vatican diplomat involved in getting Catholic Aid to the starving
Soviets, secretly by-passing Lenin. Pizzardo was the Roman end of a conspiracy
to proselytise the Orthodox wholesale. A ready trained army of missionaries,
hyped to fever pitch by propaganda of an imminent “mass conversion to the
Catholic church”, stood by. A reliable expert writes, “The hope that the
Catholic church could still become the heir of the orthodox in Russia motivated
this Pope to the very end. Even during the night when he died of sudden
pneumonia on Jan 22nd 1922, Benedict XV called Msgr. Pizzardo to his
bedside three times to ask him, ‘Have the Visas come yet from the Bolsheviks?’”
And now, nearly a hundred years after Benedict XV,
another Benedict must seek to unite Europe under Roman Catholicism, build a
bulwark against a renewed Eastern Orthodox church, keep Turkey Islamic and
infiltrate Russia by fair means and foul. Meanwhile Latin America and Africa
will have to grab attention as best they can.