Retirement has not visibly diminished Joseph Ratzinger’s intellectual faculties: in his last work published on September 16, 2021 in Italian, the former Roman Pontiff pleads for Europe to rediscover and reaffirm its Christian identity. And in the process he tackles the promoters of homosexual unions of all kinds.
The news may not find a favorable response in the progressive press. This is a real indictment appearing at the end of summer 2021 as the European Parliament calls for the recognition of “marriage for all” in all the European Union countries.
In his latest opus, La Vera Europa Identita e Missione - Authentic Europe, Its Identity and Its Mission (not translated to date) - the former pope does not mince words when it comes to evoking the evils affecting the Old Continent.
In particular the drift towards “marriage for all”: “the concept of 'homosexual marriage' contradicts all the civilizations which have succeeded one another until now, and therefore signifies a cultural revolution which opposes the whole tradition of humanity up to the present,” he explains.
This “original certainty that was evident to humanity” has, in Benedict XVI’s eyes, been undermined with the introduction of the contraceptive pill which then paved the way for the “separation between fertility and sexuality.” From there, all forms of sexuality became “equivalent”: “there are no longer any substantive criteria,” said the Pope Emeritus.
A clear and correct, although incomplete, observation which will serve to underline how much Vatican II, by accompanying, in the name of an irenic aggiornamento, the secularization movement at work in the 1950s and 1960s, accelerated this ethical bankruptcy.
This 264-page book is in fact the third volume of an editorial project which brings together a selection of texts by Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, with the addition of an unpublished text, written in April 2021, entitled “To give an account before God of the task entrusted to us for man.”
A book that is the last and sincere appeal to Europe to rediscover and reaffirm its origin and its true identity which have made it a great civilization and a model of beauty and humanity.
To avoid any ambiguity, the current pope insisted on personally signing the preface appended to the work of his predecessor:
“With the clarity, immediate accessibility and at the same time the depth which are characteristic to him, the pope-emeritus here sketches magnificently this ‘idea of Europe’ which undoubtedly inspired its founding fathers and which is at the basis of his greatness, and whose final obscuration would sanction its global and irreversible decline,” writes the current Roman pontiff.
And Francis added: “Over the years, Benedict XVI has not been afraid to denounce with great courage and clairvoyance the many manifestations of this dramatic renunciation of the idea of creation, up to the most recent current consequences.”
Moreover, in the plane which brought him back from Slovakia last September 15, Pope Francis returned to the question, affirming that if on the one hand “marriage can only exist between a man and a woman,” nevertheless when “two homosexuals want to spend their lives together, the States have the civil possibility to support them, to assure them the security of inheritance and health.”
And to conclude: “we must respect everyone, but the Church does not deny her truth.”