The new papacy of Francis, after the death of Benedict XVI | Editorial

Yesterday for the first time, after almost ten years of anomalous cohabitation, Bergoglio found himself projected into a solitary pontificate, therefore normal

THEFrancis’ new papacy began yesterday morning in St. Peter’s Square.

The previous one, accompanied and at times conditioned by the shadow of Benedict and his renunciation, ended on December 31st with his death.

Joseph Ratzinger’s funeral was not only a solemn and sober homage, for some even too much, to the Pope Emeritus. For the first time they projected Jorge Mario Bergoglio into the unprecedented sea, for him and for the Church, of a solitary and therefore normal pontificate, after almost ten years of anomalous cohabitation.

And the question that popped up in the crowd, neither large nor small, among the numerous, involved and slightly graying clergy, was the one destined to reverberate for a long time over the next few months.

And that if the Argentine Pope manages to represent and convince the other Church, which has never forgotten its German Pope; if he manages to demonstrate that he is able to unite everyone, adopting some of the themes, the theological cues, the style bequeathed by Benedict.

not an easy challenge. Its background is widespread and hitherto contained tensions. He suffers from a confusion and disorientation that is difficult to deny, which certainly pre-existed Ratzinger’s resignation and the arrival of Francis.

But in this almost decade they have grown and in some respects they even seem to be exacerbated: above all in the ecclesiastical ranks. Someone not only bets on an accentuated conflict in the Catholic world, once the moderator embankment of the Pope emeritus has been demolished from his monastery at the top of the Vatican gardens. Deep down, he seems ready to feed it, convinced that a showdown is not simply inevitable but almost beneficial.

Not a predisposition limited to the nebula of traditionalist Catholicism, moreover divided internally.

The temptation also creeps among some of Bergoglio’s supporters, who have tried to push him, without success, to make radical reforms without assessing the disruptive consequences.

The first positions taken by the prefect of the Papal Household, Monsignor Georg Gnsweinthe man closest to Ratzinger, show the will to underline the silent suffering that would mark the Pope emeritus in recent years; and probably your own too.

The risk of an exploitation of his defense of Benedict is evident.

However, a confrontation between the party of the Monastery and those who today believe they have a stronger power because it has no shores, levees, critical consciences would be equally risky. actually, the Church and the papacy appear weakened and lagging behind in the questions of spirituality and religiosity; and to a still unsatisfied need for unity. Yet, without a reconciliation it is difficult to imagine not only the possibility of governing such a complex institution, but of consolidating and increasing its influence.

One day someone will appreciate the amount of energy wasted in exhausting clashes between Catholic factions: an oxymoron compared to a religion that seeks to understand and harmonize everything, with the ambition of being a perfect society.

And if Ratzinger leaves a will, however controversial due to the resignation, ultimately not only that of the theological purpose. mostly the priority search for unity, paradoxically sublimated in the years of the Monastery; and in the relationship, one does not know whether to define brotherly or paternal, with his successor: a relationship of loyal and respectful obedience.

There are those who see even in the extreme simplicity of yesterday’s funeral, in the Vatican’s decision not to call a day of mourning, in the parsimony of invitations to state authorities, the sign of a sort of unconscious repression of Benedict’s anomaly.

But perhaps in the first place the confirmation that the trauma of the resignations of 2013 has not yet been overcome; and that for this reason there is not yet a rule capable of escorting the life and death of a Pope emeritus: an expression in itself ambiguous. Francis will also have to put this in order, and make people understand what it means to be Pope today.

an unavoidable task at this point. Otherwise the future runs the risk of being not that of two popes but of two or even more Churches.

January 5, 2023 (change January 5, 2023 | 23:52)

The new papacy of Francis, after the death of Benedict XVI | Editorial