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Letter #6, 2023 Fri Jan 6: Viganò’s reflection on Benedict

    The hands of the late Pope Benedict, as he lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica from January 2 to 4, before his funeral in Rome on January 5, yesterday. The rosary beads that wrapped his fingers suggested that he was a man of prayer, a man who spent his last years praying for the Church, and the world…

    Letter #6, 2023 Friday, January 6: Viganò’s reflection

    I am sending out to readers the reflection prepared by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for the death of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

    I draw the text from the website of Marco Tosatti, in Italy, at this link: link)

    Benedict died on December 31 at the age of 95.

    His funeral Mass was celebrated on January 5, yesterday, in Rome.

    Benedict is now buried in the crypt below the main floor of St. Peter’s. —RM    

    Archbishop Viganò. Homily on the Death of Benedict XVI. “Absolve, Lord…” (link)

    Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae, we receive and gladly publish this homily by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Enjoy the reading.


Homily by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

on the death of Pope Benedict XVI

Dies iræ, dies illa, dies tribulationis et angustiæ,
dies calamitatis et miseriæ, dies tenebrarum et caliginis,
dies nebulae et turbinis, dies tubæ et clangoris
super civitates munitas et super angulos excelsos.

    Zephaniah 1, 15-16

(these Latin verses are translated into English below)

    Bitter is the day of the Lord! Even a brave man shouts it. A day of wrath that day, a day of anguish and affliction, a day of ruin and extermination, a day of darkness and gloom, and a day of cloud and gloom, a day of the blowing of the horn and of war cries on the fortified cities and on high towers. Thus the Prophet Zephaniah.

    Absolve Domine. Forgive, O Lord.

    We sing these words in the section of the Mass of the dead, whether they are Popes or simple clerics, rich or poor, wise or simple. Et gratia tua illis succurente, mereantur evadere judicium ultionis, et lucis æternae beatitude perfrui. “May they pass the final judgment with the help of your grace, and enjoy the bliss of eternal light.”

    Let us address this same prayer to the divine Majesty, as we celebrate the Holy Mass of suffrage for the soul of Joseph Ratzinger, Roman Pontiff until February 28, 2013.

    And as it asks for mercy towards the deceased, we entrust it to the mercy of God, who knows everything and who peers into the secret of hearts.

    Of what he did and said during his long life, and in particular after ascending to the Throne of Peter, we want to recall that providential gesture of truth and justice with which he recognized the full legitimacy of the Apostolic Liturgy, promulgating the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

    The good that the liberalization of the ancient rite has done to the Church will weigh in the balance of souls that we see in many depictions of the Archangel St. Michael.

    Thanks to it, a multitude of faithful and priests – among whom we can also number ourselves – have been able to know the priceless treasure of doctrine and spirituality which unfortunate choices had made inaccessible for fifty years; thanks to it a flood of graces, which no one will be able to stop, has poured out — and is still pouring out today — on the Church and on the world.

    In contemplating the rubble that survived the conciliar devastation, I dare not think what the situation of the Church might be without the Mass of Saint Pius V.

    Yet, in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum itself, one cannot fail to notice the precarious structure adopted by the distinguished theologian Ratzinger: the thesis of Catholic orthodoxy (and of the traditional Mass), the antithesis of the modernist heresy (and of Montini’s Mass) and the synthesis of Vatican II (and of the coexistence of two forms of the same rite). Unfortunately, the delicta juventutis [“sins of youth”] were never formally disavowed, even if the horrors of the last ten years have almost overshadowed them.

    We can only pray fervently that in the near future that complete restitution of the ancient rite may take place which will put an end to decades of abuse, manipulation, adulteration and persecution made more ferocious in the Bergoglian era.

    Si iniquitates observaveris Domine, Domine, quis sustinebit? “Who can stand God’s judgment, if only we consider our faults?”

    No one.

    Yet the Mercy of God, who is our Father and who loves us to the point of giving his Only Son for our salvation, deigns to look at the good done with greater attention than it pays to our shortcomings. It is as if, in knowing us to be weak and sinful, He was looking for all the ways to save us from eternal damnation, giving us a thousand opportunities to redeem ourselves.

    This applies to the least of the faithful and to the one who sits on the highest Throne.

    The consideration of our sin should not lead us to consider ourselves destined to give in, and exempt from punishment, but spur us to put all our trust in the One who gives us strength (Phil 4, 13).

    And this is also true for whom Providence has chosen to govern the Church.

    Animated by this trust, Pope Benedict XVI tried in some way to repair that terrible vulnus that one of his Predecessors had caused to the ecclesial body; a wound that was healing, but that the maneuvers of the Enemy and of his acolytes try to keep open, nullifying Summorum Pontificum even in the face of the undeniable spiritual goods that it brings to souls; indeed, precisely because of these infinite Graces, because they represent the most burning defeat of the secularized and worldly spirit of the conciliar ideology.

    And if the reformed rite canceled the Dies iræ from the Requiem Mass and imposed the Alleluia, we find in the old Mass reasons for hope and composed suffrage for the soul of a man whom the Lord wanted as His Vicar.

    In this rite we hear the voice of the Bride imploring mercy, forgiveness, indulgence, absolution, remission; the voice of the Bride who, in acknowledging the sins of her children, presents them before the Eternal Father, whom the divine Son redeems with his own Sacrifice.

    Therefore, may Pope Benedict’s soul find the place of refreshment, light and peace that we invoke for him in the Memento of the Canon.

    In the blessed glory of Heaven, or in the purifying flames of Purgatory, Pope Benedict XVI will be able to pray for us and for the whole Church, finally knowing facie ad faciem that divine Truth which earthly exile reveals only obscurely.

    His prayers join ours and those of the holy souls and of the heavenly Court, to implore the divine Majesty for an end to the present tribulations, and in particular the defeat and expulsion of the sect of heretics and corrupt which afflicts and eclipses the Holy Church of God.

    And so be it.

—Archbishop Carlo Maria Viagnò

5 January MMXXIII

Eve of the Epiphany of the Lord