Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict and the ‘Secret Magisterium’

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COMMENTARY: Why is it assumed by some of the Catholic press that the Pope Emeritus is undermining the Pope on priestly celibacy when he agrees with him?

By Father Raymond J. de Souza, EWTN News, 1/15/20

Father Raymond J. de Souza is the editor in chief of Convivium magazine.

A vigorous agreement has broken out in Rome, and there is rancor and recriminations all round. The new book by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah — or latterly by Cardinal Sarah with Benedict XVI — has occasioned much debate about authorship. Edward Pentin sorts through that here.

But the more puzzling question is this: Why is it assumed by the liberal Catholic press that Benedict is undermining Pope Francis on priestly celibacy when he agrees with him? The protests of those considered to be connected to Pope Francis’ inner circle — Austen Ivereigh, author of two biographies of the Holy Father; Gerard O’Connell of America magazine who, with his wife, Argentinian journalist Elisabetta Piqué, have been friends of the Pope since before his election — assume that Benedict defending priestly celibacy is frustrating the agenda of Pope Francis.

It’s not the first time it has happened. Some of those close to the Pope seem to think that what Pope Francis says is not what Pope Francis thinks. Therefore, to agree with his public statements is to really disagree with his private thinking. It is to contradict a secret magisterium that only a few are privileged to know.  ….

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