Andrea Cionci carves up the Benedict Bot Report

English translation below, for Italian original click image above.

by Andrea Cionci

Already, yesterday, we illustrated here how mainstream newspapers have imposed on the last words of Benedict XVI a hasty and tendentious interpretation that raises even more suspicions in regard to the case of the two popes.

For example: If you ask Titius: “But do you or Caius hold a degree?”, and Titius answers every time, sibilantly: “Only one of us has a degree”, for eight long years without EVER saying the most obvious thing, that is “Caius is the one with the degree”, is it appropriate to ask oneself some questions?

Is it then legitimate to report with certainty that “Titius has said that Caius is the graduate”?

It is necessary to illustrate the technique by which this narrative is constructed, but in the meantime we offer some details that are intriguing.

First of all, the perfect timing – like an excusatio non petita – with which Massimo Franco’s interview with Pope Benedict was published in the Corriere della Sera newspaper. One or two days after Aldo Maria Valli’s shocking article “Rome without a pope” which, due to the authority of the former Vaticanista of Tg1, created panic among Catholic intellectuals and ecclesiastics.

We reported it (here):

The same interview, with similar literary and romantic tones about the “infragilito” old man, recalls the one that always Massimo Franco made back in 2019.  (source)

And here the new one:

Curious how also this time, as already in 2019, Benedict XVI is given some cartoons by Giannelli. Just a great passion – that of Ratzinger for the cartoonist – which evidently justifies the scarce gift fantasy of the colleagues of the Corriere…

Strange, however, that no images of the new interview have been published, as happened for the one in 2019.

But so far we are only in the realm of the questionable and certainly there will be an explanation for everything.

What is not explainable is, instead, under what title Massimo Franco makes Benedict say “the pope is Francis” when Ratzinger himself only repeats, since ever: “The pope is one and only one”, this time also tapping on HIS armrest.

So, isn’t it a bit naïve of a journalist of his stature, after eight years in which ecclesiastics and intellectuals are explicitly talking about Benedict’s forced resignation, not to evaluate with cold objectivity Ratzinger’s sibylline statement?

To be fair, he should have at least written, “Benedict continues to repeat this phrase, which, however, does not completely dispel the doubts of Francis’ opponents.”

Yet, the colleague is no stranger to these “leaps forward”: we went to reread the interview of June 2019 and we discover a detail. Franco wrote:

“Bergoglio’s opponents, often conservatives desperate for a word from Benedict that sounded critical of Bergoglio, were invariably answered that ‘the Pope is one, he is Francis’.”

Oh yeah, he was there? Did Bergoglio’s conservative opponents tell him that, or did he infer it? Because that quote, “The Pope is one, is Francis,” is not Benedict’s, but Massimo Franco’s.

And, despite this, it is even more astonishing that, again in June 2019, Vatican News, strangely quoting (the day before the release) the interview in Corriere, put Massimo Franco’s words in Benedict’s mouth, titling:


And in the text, “The Church is and must remain united. Her unity has always been stronger than struggles and internal wars.” It is the certainty of Benedict XVI who reminds everyone, “The Pope is one, Francis.”

NOT TRUE. BENEDICT DID NOT SAY THAT. He said, that the pope is one. Without clarifying which one. Period. Let’s ask ourselves a question and try to give ourselves answers. All.

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