The Catacombs

Full Version: Archbp. Gänswein: 'Benedict XVI ... wished to get them away from Lefebvre'
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Abp. Gänswein: Traditionis Custodes caused Benedict XVI ‘pain in his heart’
'If you think about how many centuries the Old Mass was the source of spiritual life for many people, nourishment for many saints, you cannot imagine that this is something that is no longer good.'

[Image: GettyImages-457486212-810x500.jpg]

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, flanked by Prefect of the Pontifical House and his former personal secretary Georg Ganswein, April 2014.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Jan 4, 2023
(LifeSiteNews [adapted]) — Archbishop Georg Gänswein has revealed that Pope Benedict XVI read Pope Francis’s orders restricting the use of the Traditional Latin Mass “with pain in his heart.”

Gänswein, Pope Benedict’s private secretary from 2003 until the Pope Emeritus’ death in 2022, made the comments about the late pontiff’s reaction to Traditionis Custodes in a recent interview with the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost

When asked if Pope Benedict was disappointed about the release of the motu proprio, Gänswein said that “it was indeed a blow.” 

I believe that Pope Benedict read this motu proprio with pain in his heart because he wished to help those who wanted to find inner peace, also the liturgical peace, and to get them away from [Archbishop Marcel] Lefebvre. Those who simply found a home in the Old Mass,” Gänswein stated.

“If you think about how many centuries the Old Mass was the source of spiritual life for many people, nourishment for many saints, you cannot imagine that this is something that is no longer good,” he continued.

“Many young people who were born long after the Second Vatican Council and no longer really understand the whole fuss about the Council, who also know the new Mass… have found a spiritual home and a spiritual treasure in the Old Mass. To take this treasure away from the people, I am not quite comfortable with that.”

Gänswein also stressed that the “Vati-Leaks” scandal or “so-called homosexual lobbies” had nothing to do with Pope Benedict’s resignation. The German prelate called these theories “stupid and wrong.”

“That’s what they want to have so they can say he couldn’t handle it and just threw in the towel. Just not true,” Gänswein said.

He insisted that Benedict resigned “because he did not have the strength,” referring to his physical health. 

When asked why Pope Benedict chose to still wear white, be referred to as “His Holiness,” and live in the Vatican, Gänswein said that “a cardinal who resigns stays an ‘Eminence’” and keeps his red colors, and so a pope who resigns could do the same.

Pope Benedict expanded then-current permissions to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) with his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and said that the older form of the Roman Rite had never been abrogated. In a letter accompanying his motu proprio, Benedict wrote the following about the TLM: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”

However, on July 16, 2021, Pope Francis issued his restrictions against the TLM, abrogating Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum at the same time. Directly contradicting his still-living predecessor, Francis declared that the liturgy of Paul VI, or the Novus Ordo, is the “unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” [Catacombs note: Summorum Pontificum also noted that the Novus Ordo is pre-eminent rite of the Church, while the Latin Mass of all time was relegated to a secondary or 'extraordinary' form.]

According to a statement by the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditional priestly society that exclusively celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, the Pope Emeritus sent a “private letter of encouragement” to the superior of the FSSP after the publication of Traditionis Custodes in the summer of 2021. 

The FSSP did not publish this news until after Benedict’s death on December 31, 2022.
The SSPX's [non]comment on the alleged intentions of Benedict XVI to lure souls from Archbishop Lefebvre's Society. And notice not a word about defending the Faith from the errors of Vatican II, just the indult-esque mentality of appreciating the old Mass: 

Msgr. Gänswein’s Comments on Benedict XVI in a German Newspaper

JANUARY 09, 2023

Journalist Guido Horst interviewed Msgr. Georg Gänswein, Benedict XVI's private secretary for many years, on behalf of the newspaper Die Tagespost. The interview was conducted in German, but English subtitles are available. It lasts a little over half an hour.

We will return in this small report only on one point. It concerns the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. This passage begins at 23mn 18s of the recording.

The editor of the German Catholic newspaper asks Msgr. Gänswein, “As Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI was able to follow the promulgation of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. Was he disappointed?”

The prelate's answer is a bit mixed, because he seems to say that he knows the result it produced: “It hit him quite hard.” But he adds a nuance: “I believe that this was a wound to the heart of Pope Benedict.” But the “I believe” nuance leaves little room for doubt as to the effect the document produced on the deceased pope.

The rest of the answer is no less interesting. It gives restates Benedict XVI's intention with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum: “Because his intention had been to help those who had simply found a home in the old Mass to find an interior peace, in order to distance them from Lefebvre.”

Msgr. Gänswein has no hesitation in expressing this intention. He reports it as he heard it expressed by the author of the motu proprio.

The prelate then develops his thoughts on the traditional Mass, explaining that it had been the “source of spiritual life” for many people for centuries, “the food of many saints.” He could not therefore imagine “that it is something that is no longer good.” And, he confesses that “taking that treasure away from people, well, I can't say I'm comfortable with that.”

It must be recognized that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was an opportunity for many people to discover or rediscover the traditional Mass and to become attached to it.