Since the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013, speculations have never fully ceased as to whether he was pressured to do so, after all, in order to make way for a more progressive-leaning pontiff. Archbishop Luigi Negri has now given new fuel to this debate in a recent 6 March interview, as reported by John-Henry Westen at LifeSiteNews:
An Italian archbishop close to Pope Benedict XVI says the former pope decided to resign as a result of “tremendous pressure.”
Archbishop Luigi Negri, who says he has visited Pope Benedict “several times” since his resignation in 2013, is the only Italian bishop to have ever participated in the annual pro-life march in Rome. Negri resigned as archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio in February  after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
In an article published Monday by news outlet Rimini 2.0, Archbishop Negri said that, while he has little knowledge of the inner workings of the Curia, “I am certain that the truth will emerge one day showing a grave liability both inside and outside the Vatican.”
“It is no coincidence that in America, even on the basis of what has been published by Wikileaks, some Catholic groups have asked President Trump to open a commission of inquiry to investigate whether the administration of Barack Obama exerted pressure on Benedict,” he said. It remains shrouded in mystery for now, he said, “but I am sure that those responsible will be found out.”
Archbishop Negri is referring in this interview to the 22 January 2017 Open Letter to President Donald Trump, as published by the traditional Catholic newspaper The Remnant. Part of that letter reads, as follows:
We were alarmed to discover that, during the third year of the first term of the Obama administration your previous opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other government officials with whom she associated, proposed a Catholic “revolution” in which the final demise of what was left of the Catholic Church in America would be realized. Approximately a year after this e-mail discussion, which was never intended to be made public, we find that Pope Benedict XVI abdicated under highly unusual circumstances and was replaced by a pope whose apparent mission is to provide a spiritual component to the radical ideological agenda of the international left. The Pontificate of Pope Francis has subsequently called into question its own legitimacy on a multitude of occasions. […]
We remain puzzled by the behavior of this ideologically charged Pope, whose mission seems to be one of advancing secular agendas of the left rather than guiding the Catholic Church in Her sacred mission. It is simply not the proper role of a Pope to be involved in politics to the point that he is considered to be the leader of the international left. [my emphasis]
Among The Remnant‘s trenchant questions put to the President of the United States, the following can be found: “What other covert operations were carried out by US government operatives concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict or the conclave that elected Pope Francis?” [my emphasis]
This Open Letter has subsequently, after its publication, found international interest, even some notoriety, and has now been spreading much more than some ideological circles in the U.S. and in Europe might have desired. Archbishop Negri’s own reference to it is the best proof of the wide circulation of that Remnant document. The reason for this strong interest in the Remnant’s Open Letter might be that many people in the world – and I do not even talk only about Catholics; for I have likewise heard, as well, from secular people in Europe about this same story – realize that something has gone wrong in Rome ever since Benedict’s abdication.
Important to note is that the former head of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J. immediately released a statement denying Archbishop Negri’s claims about Pope Benedict’s resignation, calling Negri’s words “untenable” and even “a strange proof of friendship” toward Benedict.
However, there have now also come to us other voices joining the one from Archbishop Negri, and they are supportive of his claim with regard to the pressure that had been put on Pope Benedict to resign. In the following, we shall therefore present translations from two texts as composed by two distinct lay witnesses.
One is an 8 March interview with the former President of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was forced to resign not long before Benedict’s own resignation. As the Vatican expert, Dr. Sandro Magister, had put it in February of 2016: “And they drove him [Tedeschi] out in short order, in 2012,” even though he was committed to reforming the bank. Tedeschi most of all admires the cardinals Robert Sarah, Carlo Caffarra, Gerhard Müller, Raymond Burke, and George Pell. Tedeschi, in book excerpts published last year by Sandro Magister (see above link), then also criticized Pope Francis’s Encyclical, Laudato Si, for allowing certain dubious people to work on this papal text. Tedeschi wrote last year, as follows:
But what surprises me the most is to see that neo-Malthusian environmentalists were called to work on the encyclical itself. Fortunately the spirit of the magisterium remained intact, even if it took no little effort for most observers to find it, or rather, to give it the benefit of the doubt that it was [actually] there.
These older quotes from Tedeschi might help us to get a sense of this man who has now again raised his voice, in the here translated 8 March interview, and this time with regard to the discussion about the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013.
The second text here presented in translation, entitled “Ratzinger Eliminated by Hypocritical Do-Gooders” (“Ratzinger eliminato dal buonismo ipocrita”) is written by the Italian scholar, book author, and journalist, Dr. Rino Cammilleri, and it has been published on 10 March by Professor Roberto de Mattei’s website Corrispondenza Romana.
But, before I present to you more fully these two translations, let me repeat my report of an important article written by Antonio Socci, which I published back in the summer of 2016. It would be fitting to reconsider his own earlier insights and findings in this new context:
In this context, it might be worth referring to a 12 June post written by the Italian journalist and Fatima expert, Antonio Socci. Socci tries to clarify the matter of two putative popes – Francis and Benedict – in light of the recent confusion caused by the speech by Archbishop Georg Gänswein. Socci thus attempts to put this claim into a larger geopolitical perspective. Although I myself cannot fully follow parts of Socci’s reflections here, one part seems very striking and sobering – and if true, it is also gravely shocking. Socci claims that, while still in his papal office, Benedict XVI was given an “opportunity” – a proposition. To him it was “proposed to accept an ‘ecumenical re-unification’ with the Protestants of North Europe and/or North America in order to create a kind of ‘common religion of the West.’” For the Catholic Church, says Socci, this would have meant to “enter the unified politically correct thought soup” and to become an “irrelevant folk museum within a ‘multicultural’ Europe.” Socci continues: “To this ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ Benedict XVI said ‘no!’ He answered: ‘As long as I am here, this will not happen.’”
The Italian journalist then adds that, subsequently, Pope Benedict “was forced to give up the ‘active exercise’ of the Petrine Office (only half-way?).” Later on, Socci puts the further development of Bergoglio’s election as pope into the larger context of the hegemonic reign of relativism in the West, which we now see to be growing. Moreover, he says: “Bergoglio has made the Obama agenda his own.” And Socci then refers to a speech by United States President Obama in May in front of the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., where he said that the Church should abandon “divisive terms” such as abortion and “gay” marriage and and that she should rather “dedicate herself to the problem of poverty.” Socci thus concludes: “The empire wants the Church to be a ‘social worker’ who comforts the losers in the field hospital of the strong powers, but does not disturb the handlers.” Additionally, according to Socci, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton herself had proposed a year ago, at a conference of pro-abortion feminists, that “the deeply rooted cultural codes, religious beliefs and the structural bias must be changed.”
Socci then piercingly and ironically says: “The churches must therefore surrender to the ‘liberal’ secularism of the imperium. In fact, Bergoglio has already abandoned the ‘non-negotiable principles [such as those found in Amoris Laetitia!].’” It is in this same context, that Socci sees the upcoming 31 October 2016 papal trip to Sweden, in order to “celebrate Luther and to ‘stitch up’ the 500 years exactly since the schism – evidence of a new imperial religion?” [my emphasis added]
These earlier insights from Antonio Socci might become more weighty in our judgments when we now consider and incorporate the new developments coming to us from Italy.
Let us now first consider Ettore Tedeschi’s interview, and, subsequently, then the text written by Rino Cammilleri.
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Former President of the IOR (Institute for the Works of Religion – Vatican Bank) from 2009 to 2012, Interview with IntelligoNews.it, 8 March 2017
Monsignor Negri says that “Obama’s hand was behind the resignation of Benedict XVI.” The former archbishop of Ferrara speaks of an “American conspiracy” against the Pope. Is this plausible?
“The plot appears to be American only because they have had the leadership of the New World Order. You see, the conspiracy, if we can so call it, was aimed at trying to solve some problems caused by the failure of the famous New World Order of the ’70s, gnostic, neo-Malthusian and environmentalist. This project of the New Order was openly intended (among other things) to relativize the most dogmatic religious faiths and clearly proved to be so opposed to the Catholic faith as to publicly state – and by the highest authorities at the U.N., WHO…. – that Christian ethics could no longer be applied and that religious syncretism is to be required to create a new universal religion (thanks also to processes of immigration). Even the U.S. President, Obama specifically, in 2009, personally declared that, for healthy bio-psycho-social well-being, free access must be given to abortion without restrictions, euthanasia due to rationing of care, and denial of the rights of conscience. Well it is not difficult to understand that, in this context of opposition to the Catholic faith, the Pope, the highest moral authority in the world, could become the subject of attention for his disposition or else his willingness ‘to understand the needs of the global world.’ Now, Pope Benedict XVI insisted, instead, on re-proposing the anthropological problem according to the Catholic vision (ergo man is a creature of the Creator-God), he combatted relativism, bringing God to the center of the cultural debate, especially closing the gap between faith and reason, and he affirmed the need to return to evangelizing, explaining that the failure of Western civilization was due to the rejection of Catholicism, etc. Why are we surprised that such a restorer Pope should not be considered ‘out of play’? A famous secularist philosopher wrote, as reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano, on November 26, 2009: ‘When the Church of silence will take the floor, the ‘reconquista’ of Ratzinger will vanish, like dreams and vampires at daybreak.’”
If the Americans had been able to make a Pope resign, could they have had the strength also to make them elect someone else to their liking?
“The Americans were able to ‘fire’ Clinton/Obama and get Trump elected. I am thinking that they have great capacity to react…. One day I would like to explain to the Pope my Vatican experience with American circles which are directly and indirectly influential. But returning to Monsignor Negri, I think that it is difficult to understand how it can be decided to no longer take seriously a priest of his character. Neither is it even comprehensible to me how people like him and the four cardinals who have raised the dubia, demonstrating just how much they love Church, can be ignored and put aside. I find it not only incomprehensible but also unwise, because thereby we are deprived of their expertise, which does not seem to me so easily replaceable. Monsignor Negri, who will certainly continue to serve the Church, will do so with many worthy Catholics who are nearby. It is a sin that the current leaders of the Church close to the Pope, threaten to deprive him of his loving and prestigious help, expertise, and energy. Someone suggested yesterday that one could think of putting Monsignor Negri in charge of the [Ecumenical Monastic] Community of Bose, in order to ‘enhance it,’ as was already done with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.”
Could his removal and the resignation of Ratzinger be connected?
“How should I know? Certainly Negri was a favorite ‘spiritual son’ of Ratzinger, certainly with an extraordinarily strong personality and character, typical of great ‘saintly’ personalities in the history of the Church. They also tell me that, apart from everything else, we are only at the beginnings of the attack on our holy Church. But I can also assure you that the Church will be defended, unto martyrdom, by people just like Monsignor Negri. This is the difference between a saintly man like him and the many rampant ‘boot lickers.’” [my emphasis added]
(Translation kindly provided by Andrew Guernsey)
Rino Cammilleri, “Ratzinger Eliminated by Hypocritical Do-Gooders,” Corrispondenza Romana, 10 March 2017
If it was not a plot, then it certainly is very similar to one. We speak about the resignation of Benedict XVI on 11 February (the Lourdes Day) four years ago .
The former Archbishop of Ferrara, Msgr. Luigi Negri, wanted to get rid of a stone in his shoe which has bothered him for quite a while: “I am certain that the truth will emerge one day showing a grave liability both inside and outside the Vatican.”
He declared, to be sure, that there was put upon Benedict XVI an enormous pressure. From whom? From Obama?
Negri reminds us that: “It is no coincidence that in America, even on the basis of what has been published by Wikileaks, some Catholic groups have asked President Trump to open a commission of inquiry to investigate whether the administration of Barack Obama exerted pressure on Benedict.”
The one concerned himself has denied [the existence of such pressures] in a recent book of conversation with Peter Seewald, saying: “Nobody has attempted to blackmail me.”
Maybe. But, one may ask how much credibility these above-quoted Ratzinger words should have since they contradict his earlier words. At the time of his resignation, he announced that he would retire into silence and prayer, and that he wished to make himself “invisible to the world.” Since when, however, does someone who wishes to retire into silence and prayer, give bestseller-interviews? Thus remains the fact that he never gave a convincing reason for his resignation. After all, this is not about just anything that one could take lightly.
A pope who resigned is an epochal event for the Church, even more so when he still dresses as a pope and lets himself be called pope (emeritus). And moreover: such a thing has never happened before.
Another additional fact is: through him and his resignation, the Church has come to face a new pontificate which is out to do always the opposite from the previous one. Just as Trump now dismantles Obamaism.
The dark marks which have lain on the resignation of Benedict XVI remain. The fact that it is mostly traditional Catholics who have doubts about this case does not change any iota of the assumption. Yes – and exactly because one judges the trees by their fruits, as the Gospel teaches us and it is also basic common sense.
As much as Ratzinger was reviled by those who truly have influence, just as much Bergoglio is now being celebrated by those same people. Ratzinger was blocked from speaking at the State University of Rome; but, for Francis, the red carpet was laid out in front of that same university. And surely not because Francis has held there any epochal speeches as did his predecessor in Regensburg. No, he [Francis] spoke spontaneously; and more: he kept on talking as if he were among friends in the bar. Most of all, this was really a political speech, that is to say, a politically correct speech. Also, his insistence – whether appropriate or not – upon the undifferentiated reception of the migrants fosters the further suspicion of those who are now convinced of a plot.
The Catholic teaching is seen to be too strict for the “New World,” which gnomes like Soros want to create: a hybrid, flowingly amorphous, homosexualized and individualized world of uprooted consumers. Therefore: away with the theologian-pope and move forward with the pastor-pope who attenuates the doctrine of the Faith and who pleases, so much, the masters of political correctness. Moving on in the direction of a Jovanotti [Italian rapper] Church, which can best be inserted into the coming Brave New World.
As I said: It will not be a conspiracy. Of course not. Only: If it turns out to be one, after all – would the results then look different? [my emphasis added]
(Translation Maike Hickson)
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.