Benedict XVI Letter Fake News/Selectively Quoted & Spun by Vatican!
|Mons. Vigano at the presentation to the press of the series "Theology of Pope Francis" photo: Settimo Ceilo|
So yesterday's weird story about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writing to the prefect for secretariat for communications, Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò stating his pontificate and that of Pope Francis have an "interior continuity," albeit with "differences in style and temperament" has rapidly fallen into complete disarray, as is unfortunately becoming so common with this pontificate.
Key to developments is the fact that Vatican News only publish a couple of lines of the full letter. This has turned out to be very selective quoting as everyone has rapidly discovered as soon as the full text of the letter has been released.
In short, it seems to me that what has gone on is quite clear. On 12th January, mons. Viganò sends Benedict XVI a series of booklets written by various theologians who have attempted to offer an appologia for Pope Francis "paradigm shift" of accompaniment and discernment. It would appear that in the accompanying letter, Viganò has articulated somehow that he intends to use the Pope Emeritus to thwart those who judge Bergoglio's "theology" inferior to that of Ratzinger. Benedict replies on February 7th, giving a little smile at the beginning, a slight doff of the cap if you like, but not in any way defending the theology of Bergoglio, rather only in compliance with the fact that "it is foolish" to compare the two. And then the icing on the cake: Viganò must have asked him to make a PREFACE to the operetta and here Ratzinger tells him NO! first because he did not read them, second because he took other commitments.
The Italians are all over this. Under the headline "The Half Fake News on Benedict and Bergoglio, Someone in the Vatican Has Said: Enough!" Vaticanista Marco Tosaati notes:
The minimum professional correctness requires that if you publish a document, publish it in full. But this has not happened either on the website of the Holy See Press Office, nor, as we have seen, on Vatican News.Tosatti correctly asserts that the portal published the first two paragraphs of the message, but omitted the third one, which begins with "However ..." and says that Benedict has NOT read the eleven volumes, he does not intend to read them or write them down. And that consequently empties the kind sentences of the previous paragraphs, and the attempt to credit the endorsement. he closes his piece by asserting that this exercise is, in reality, the epitome of fake news and quoting Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò himself:
"Fake news is one of the elements that poison relationships. These are true-to-life news, but in fact unfounded, partial, when not even false. In fake news, the problem is not the non-truthfulness, which is very evident, but the verisimilitude"Sandro Magister who acquired the full text first, explains that the letter pertains to a series called "Theology of Pope Francis", published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana and comprising eleven pamphlets, by various authors, on various aspects of written and oral teaching current pontiff. Magister points out that the specific quoting as well as the very particular timing of the release of said quotes, shows beyond doubt that this is an attempt to try and manipulate public opinion of Pope Francis. Moreover, Magister asserts the Pope Emeritus' true meaning is clear to anyone who bothers to read the full text of the latter.
Even legendary papal tailgaters like Massimo Faggioli are dismayed at how badly this has been handled by the press office: