News and Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The denial has come like lightning. The Editor of the very blog which Antonio Socci cited to support his report that Bergoglio has decided to resign in December, on his 85th birthday, has publicly denied part of that report.
On today’s front page in the newspaper, Libero, Gianluca Veneziani asks Luis Badilla point blank: “Are there possibilities that the 85 year old Bergoglio is going to resign?” To which Badilla responds:
No, I exclude that. It is a topic about which nothing is said in Vatican circles, nor has the holy father ever thought of this possibility.
This response is quite an exaggeration, because obviously Badilla could not possible know what is in the mind of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, nor be privy to all the conversations in the Vatican. The extremity of the assertion, in an interview obviously conducted the same day as yesterday’s breaking news by Antonio Socci, seems crafted for one purpose alone: denial. A lot of ecclesiastical careers are going to implode when Bergoglio does leave the scene — as Italians are wont to say, when speaking politely — and that political faction in the Vatican was undoubtedly shaken to the bones by yesterday’s news.
Badilla’s testimony is impugned, however, by that of Austen Ivereigh, who in December of 2019 said that Bergoglio had decided to resign by the end of 2020. While that date did not turn out to be true, it remains that Ivereigh, a journalist who moves inside the internal circles of the Mafia of St. Gallen, did affirm that Bergoglio was considering resigning.
And in fact, in response to the next question, Badilla takes back the universality of his negation, when admitting that Bergoglio’s degenerative condition of the colon has not been cured by his recent operation and can only be managed, he says that he believes that Bergoglio has the same approach to sickness as Pope John Paul II, who did not consider it a worthy motivation for resignation.
This leaves the result, that what Badilla is NOT denying, is that Bergoglio has intended to resign for reasons of age. And this jives with the report on the same p. 9, of the Libero, where Caterina Maniaci in a separate article reports that Bergoglio will soon publish a papal law for resignations and set the age of 80 or 85 as the suggested age for retirement for all popes, eliminating or regularizing the status of popes emeriti.