, the daily of the Holy See, publishes this afternoon (dated May 30) an interesting interview with the Substitute of the Secretariat of State (the “Sostituto”), one of the highest positions in the Curia, currently held by Abp. Angelo Becciu. Breaking its silence on the affair, it is the first interview published by the paper with a curial officer.
, from which we transcribe the following excerpts, with some very important reflections for all Catholics:
How did you find Benedict XVI?Saddened. Because, given what it has been possible to find out so far, someone close to him seems to be responsible for conduct that is unjustifiable from every point of view. Of course, sorrow for the person involved is what the Pope feels most deeply. Yet the fact remains that he suffered a brutal act: Benedict XVI saw published papers stolen from his house, letters that were not merely private correspondence but indeed information, reflections, expressions of conscience and even outbursts which he only received by virtue of his ministry. For this reason the Pontiff is particularly sorrowful and also because of the violence suffered by those who wrote these letters or writings addressed to him.
Can you express an opinion on what happened?
I consider the publication of the stolen letters an immoral act of unheard of gravity. Above all, I repeat, because it was not only a violation, already very serious in itself, of the confidentiality to which anyone would be entitled, as rather a vile offence to the relationship of trust between Benedict XVI and anyone who turns to him even to express, in conscience, protests. Let us reason: the Pope was not merely robbed of letters. Violence has been done to the consciences of those who turn to him as Vicar of Christ, an assault has been made on the ministry of the Successor of the Apostle Peter. In many of the documents published we find ourselves in a context we presume to be of total trust. When a Catholic speaks to the Roman Pontiff, he is duty bound to open himself as if he were before God, partly because he feels that he is guaranteed absolute confidentiality.
There was a desire to justify the publication of the documents on the basis of criteria for the Church’s cleanliness, transparency and reform.
Sophisms do not go very far. My parents not only taught me not to steal but also never to accept stolen goods from others. To me these seem to me to be simple principles – perhaps to some people too simple – but it is certain that someone who loses sight of them, easily loses him- or herself and also brings others to ruin. There can be no renewal that tramples on the moral law, even on the basis of the principle that the end justifies the means, a principle which, among other things, is not Christian.
According to various comments, the papers published reveal a murky world within the Church and in particular within the Holy See.
Behind certain articles I seem to see an underlying hypocrisy. On the one hand the central government of the Church is accused of being absolutist and monarchical, and on the other, people are scandalized because a few write to the Pope expressing ideas or even complaints about the organization of this same government. Many documents published do not reveal conflicts or revenge but rather the freedom of thought which, on the contrary, the Church is accused of not permitting. In short, we are not mummies; rather, different viewpoints or even contrasting evaluations are normal. If someone feels misunderstood he has every right to turn to the Pope. What is shocking about this? Obedience does not mean renouncing the right to have an opinion of one’s own, but expressing one’s opinions sincerely and fully, in order to adapt to the superior’s decision. And not out of calculation but out of adherence to the Church that Christ desired. These are fundamental elements of the Catholic viewpoint.