“The pope resign? Christ can perhaps step down from the cross? “, A cleric answered long ago, the hypothesis that Ratzinger left the throne to live. Or the cleric was short-sighted, or more precisely the person concerned was on the throne, who on the cross.
After the release, a swarm of rumors, conjectures and blunders. The pope was about to be murdered, a plot, a diversion, a way to manage the succession alive (as if there there was not the way to handle it even in death). A buzz of chatter outputs directly from the Basements of Vatican Gide, but without the panache of that novel tasty. And here I am to speak my mind, not in the Latin curia sub specie aeternitatis chosen by the pope to announce the withdrawal, but in the Italian vernacular, in the language of a secular country, my, that gives a lot to the king dressed in white, receiving little or nothing.
He did as Celestine V, it was said. Just a little ‘of Dante learned evil, may have given space to this comparison. First of all, it is not certain that the great Tuscan refers to Celestine. Anyway, Pietro da Morrone reluctantly accepts the assignment, the place for a few months between fierce enemies, and resigned for the intrigues of his successor, Boniface VIII. Ratzinger, however, before looking to the Vatican throne with patient appetite, and then place eight years of the papacy, active and robust. No great refusal, and precisely no waste. At the banquet of power, Celestino almost fast. Ratzinger sits, is satisfied and then gets up when he wants, giving instructions on how to riapparecchiare the table.
The reasons for the gesture? I want to put myself in the queue, among the many who claim to have the explanation. The press in Latin is held on the general. Has anyone found a couple of cases out of place (and the Vatican website has rectified), but this already-error speaks for itself. The resignation will be remembered as a historic gesture, and the grammarian who discovered the inconveniences will be forgotten. Have to want to, I could pretend to work up, I wonder if I’d look good. For example. The pope says that its forces with age are no longer appropriate, “vires meas worsening Aetate aptas iam not they …”. In those words, vires meas, a strange echo intrigues me. I put in a search engine, and find myself in a letter to Luther writing from Wittenberg in 1525, with “excedit enim vires meas” the author gets rid of a book in Hebrew, saying just that is beyond his strength. Of course, the pope is not Lutheran. Though. Two Germans, and perhaps two ways to measure similar obstacles.
But let’s put aside these gleanings. Pope looks to the attention of a multitude, from the centers of the story to the remote suburbs. There is a delicate poetry of Pascoli, the New poems: an old woman in the high Garfagnana – treasure chest of women with peach cheeks and puzzles in his eyes – the pope receives the news of the agony away. Granny knows who were born on the same day, and gently set him off, seeing the Milky Way “the way, / in the blue sky, the stars burning / almost white but soft with dew, / silent on the sleep of people / road to Rome. ” It’s been a century since those exquisite verses, but still many hearts beat as one, thinking about a white dress perched in a Renaissance palazzo, with a man inside selected for centuries through a proven gear of power and relationships. Despise those hearts is not more intelligent than their stubborn faith.
The criticisms that have been heard, to Ratzinger and his papacy, are not up to the reality. His positions on celibacy, on sex, on condoms. All ways to change the subject. In the world there are crowds of indifference with a condom tucked soul every day, and we worry about what the Pope says on a rubber tire wear on the body at intervals. Others, well others are the responsibility of the papacy, and the story of this man, the place it occupies in the short century, they’re in full. A taste?
Joseph Ratzinger was part of the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht. And also the Flak, the German flak, in a department that has defended, among other things, the systems of the complex of Dachau, and precisely of the KZ-Aussenlager Allach. The slaves of Dachau worked for industries, also of the BMW, and in the production of weapons. A copy of the coring system of concentration camps: the slaves manufacture weapons for their masters, which protect militarily the mill to continue to fight with weapons produced by slaves, and a small Joseph does its part in uniform. Interviewed, his comrades said that no, he did not shoot from that position. But they confirmed that he was assigned to the equipment for the detection of Allied planes; those who fired equipment receiving the information needed to shoot. Also in the Flak, did the overseer of a group of slave laborers, forced to build fortifications on the eastern front. There is a comfortable way out to change the subject, and it is to remember that he was a teenager, a boy, that he could not disobey, that there was a war. Building personal responsibility is dangerous, as disassemble, and sentences can be misleading as the acquittals.
Instead, just the historical fact that this guy is an anti-aircraft became Pope, he dot, segment, and then the protagonist of the story, through the German defeat, the burning of Berlin, Germany’s rearmament, the division of his country and then reunification and the end of the Cold War, globalization and yet, this very long historical fact is disturbing, regardless of the reductive question of guilt. The Nuremberg trial is over, you do not make judgments, posthumous, and indeed Ratzinger is still alive, but you can not prosecute him for mere participation in war activities. And if he laughs best who laughs last, even better, smiling placidly who has never been seen in public while laughing. And the story, street, you do not either in a trial or in a confessional, as lawyers will act out a role for clerics, historians and journalists to judges in academic history. All poses caricatures rather popular in Italy.
The prospective change induced by overlay or replace the national identity of belonging to the church, and especially to his clergy, threatens to erase the fact that a German becomes Pope, passing by the uniform of the armed forces Hitler to the white robe of the vicar. Full of paradox, this happens even in the shadow of the papacy of a Pole, which since 1978 the high priest Ratzinger working in harmony, especially in the repression of liberation theology. A Pole and a German?
Since 1939 Germany seeks to annihilate Poland even erasing the name, then it is the Catholic Poland, Latin among the Slavs, to make as a Trojan horse in the Soviet bloc, until 1989, by which time West Germany is strengthened, and then impose its model to East, and restore the order of things in Europe. And then the end of the seventies, the Polish Pope paves the way for the German pope, who beatified his predecessor. I wonder if the flames of Götterdämmerung in 1945, or even earlier, when the German divisions were running towards Warsaw, the Valkyries were laughing, seeing surprises that neither Stalin nor Pius XII would have imagined. The new Soviet Union, built on the ruins of the age of empires, would be weakened and finally archived. Ancient kings were gone for a few years: the Kaiser, the Emperor of Austria, the Tsar, the Sultan of Constantinople, the emperor of China. All street, between the lines of history books. And within a few generations, Germany would not only dictated the economic agenda, in Europe and beyond, but much more meaning. For years, the spread and finance take in comparison to German bonds. And since 2013, the modernity in the relationship between a man and his power will be designed taking into account the gesture with which a German was able to slip off her dress as head of state and church, while others – in Italy and they are legion – cling such as spiders to their more modest chair. There was already an economic debt measured in Frankfurt, now there’s another moral to be measured in Rome, Castel Gandolfo, in a convent, or wherever this man will bring even his silence.
Not long ago, Ratzinger declared that an aversion against him is racist: it is due to the fact that he is German. Here, in this story of set theory is the kernel of many issues. How can we forget, that Wojtyla of Poland is a chosen nation, because he has suffered and gone through the ultimate sacrifice of the attempted annihilation? And what is the Ratzinger in Germany? It brings to mind the concept of sanctification by the blood abysmal, a theme that is often dismissed but that sometimes emerges. The expressed for example in 1977 a controversial film, Hitler, A Film from Germany by Hans Jürgen Syberberg: the extermination presupposes the purity of the victim but sacralizes the author, making it an officiant, “came a man who knew well how the sacrifices would increase the power of divinity, and he knew that demanded blood sacrifices. […] As he repeated, who makes sacrifices there is a chosen one, a chosen people. ” With the extermination Nazi Germany has become a caste of priests? The hypothesis is atrocious, but the curiosity to understand is strong.
If there is a deeper meaning in this, the Polish pope follows the German one, guilt and redemption are in balance, and the result is a prestige so authoritative, that the most famous of the Germans can afford a retreat, a decent waiver that subtracts to the stares and gossip the physical decline of a man, to leave the Vatican a dress drive as an armor, with which the successor will have to deal (it’s just been appointed and is soon to comment on the choice). The German pope does not show exhausted and trembling before the crowds, it’s not a Polish tearful. He is a son of Germanism, is master of Selbstbewusstsein, resigns with composure and teaches a lesson in self-control and timing, fabbricandosi the special role of Pope Emeritus.
Just the Facts Ratzinger will tell you if a senior cleric at rest, children’s author of booklets, or Jiminy Cricket ready to turn back on the wall, the most insidious of an antipope, because it has no ambitions legitimist, and free from the administration of Vatican affairs. A man who was first at the top of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and then Pope, if you later do or say, whether praise or admonish, what you can replicate? you dare accuse him of excesses, ambitions? Humility is a virtue that at the very moment in which I believe to possess, already escaped me and makes me guilty of pride. But there is a flip side: exercised in a way, creates the fault of others. Who could imagine that after wearing a uniform of the armed forces Hitler, a German with a gesture of humility would have made a step higher than the throne of Peter.
The outlet of all this could in turn be a trap. Incapable of violence of a schism, with the necessities of choice that brings with it, the Catholic Church has, instead of a pope and an anti-pope, a pope and a former pope. The all-new duplicate symbolic hardly teach those who are not accustomed to a polycentric the need of deepening cultural roots, choices, laceration of consciousness. It is possible that this means an immediate moral impoverishment, for one will be the pope, but you will know that in addition to the vicar is a former vicar ready to think about it, and then to make a gesture of assent or shake his head , about many things. You can get divorced? and live? and end of life? and war? If the reigning pope says A, that is silent at rest but maybe he thinks B, and goes a little ‘you know, and in the meantime we do as we please, then we’ll see. Every man for himself, to each his own pope, and a little ‘holy water for all.
And the old lady of the Garfagnana? As poor and on the margins of history, he could share something with ancient authority: the two are different and distant, but they die together. It’s a little? You should ask her. If you never understood what it means to resign, which she has only a small sheep and immense faith, and therefore can not get rid of anything, the resignation of the pope would seem a betrayal.
More. In the background, you can see the relationship between Catholicism on the one hand, and on the other law, Human Rights, Rule of Law, because the resignation split the functions of the person, the rules by charisma. Support for the issue of human rights, expressed by Ratzinger speaking the UN General Assembly in 2008, and later reiterated in the synagogue of Rome in 2010, has been hailed as a success, but concealed implies an embrace political and ideological. The very concept of human rights, to how it is evolving, is both a political theory, a system of values and a kind of religion in cold light. In fact, Ratzinger seemed much more secular than his detractors are willing to admit, and perhaps should be read in conjunction with this, his resignation from the papacy as if it were a civil office. But it was really secular or secularized? And in that embrace who remains stifled, the Anglosphere or the Roman Church?
Perhaps here, there is a piece of the riddle. Christianity is many things, even strange, the last heir of Hellenism: intersects the nations relying on a symbolic system, though admittedly monotheistic. Challenged by the multiculturalism of globalization, the papacy reacts with an apparent elasticity organizational structure to defend, as the tree drops its leaves to subtract the sap to frost. One is reminded of a concept borrowed from physics, resilience, that is fashionable in times of insecurity: not to be fragile, we must absorb shock.
And in all this, Italy? Dead Pius IX, in 1878, the Italian patriots attempt to steal the body and throw it into the Tiber, and cry: “A river hog the pope.” John Paul II died in 2005, a crowd cheers: “Santo subito!”. Between the desire to give the fish a Marche and the desire to pray a Pole, where they are now Italians? It would have us believe that every human being is born with original sin, but pretends that every Italian born with two: one against Christ and the other against his vicar, because a united Italy was formed by ousting the Pope of what he claimed to for the inviolable right to possess. The reverse of the chosen people, is the people cursed: Italians seem an Israel with a god as an enemy, rather than ally. In Italian words like home and people are suspicious, and the very idea of a democratic nationalism is seen as a political oxymoron.
In this dark sense of discomfort and guilt, this distrust in the national identity that turns into a thing caricature, belly or sex (the macaroni, Italians do it better), there is the footprint of the story unification. There are colonial ‘woes, the uproars fascists, the postwar subjection. And there is the internationalism of the left ambiguous, able to speak of Euro-communism and Italian road to socialism, but to survive the Marxist parties a solid block popular, to ferry deed in globalization ideals proclaimed until the Cold War . It is perhaps in this sense of inferiority, the fact that in February 2013 a few Latin phrases of a pope be able to shrink the national elections for days.
Go out the last notes of the chorus Ruht Wohl, as among the aisles of a Gothic church. Here I am again, abruptly, in the century. Now I want to hear the comedian Nanni Svampa, that of the Owls, in the lovely jazz version of Bella Gigogin: “Rataplan, I hear drums, calling me … the flag.”