Ratzinger backs bishops’ statement

Ratzinger backs bishops’ statement

It was very apparent upon reading Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter to Cardinal McCarrick, which was leaked last week, that McCarrick had misrepresented what Ratzinger’s letter had to say about denying Communion to pro-abort pols. Yet, how then do we explain this letter from Ratzinger to McCarrick, addressed to him but intended for public consumption saying that Ratzinger supports the US bishops’ statement on the matter. Now, for one thing, a distinction should be made between what McCarrick said and what the bishops eventually adopted. Ratzinger is clearly giving approval to the bishops’ statement, not McCarrick’s report that misrepresented Ratzinger’s letter. Even so, Ratzinger is apparently backtracking here to save McCarrick. Why?

For one thing, maybe McCarrick was miffed that Ratzinger’s letter leaked out of the German cardinal’s office in Rome, and he demanded some payback. Maybe this was Ratzinger’s attempt to mend fences. For another, I notice that while the note is addressed to McCarrick, it says nothing about what McCarrick said, only the bishops’ statement. Yet the bishops’ conference puts McCarrick’s name on this whole thing very prominently, making it appear to be a vindication of McCarrick.

Whatever the case, I’m saddened to see that the cause of truth and clarity has taken a hit here. So which position are we to follow here? McCarrick’s task force, the US bishops’ statement, or Ratzinger’s original letter?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli