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By way of answer to Bishop Tissier de Mallerais' persuasive criticism of Pope Benedict's thinking, laid out briefly in the last four numbers of these "Comments", what then shall we say? (Rom.VI, 1) ?  Let us look at three arguments by which good Catholics might seek to defend the Pope from the accusation that his thinking is not Catholic.

A first line of defence might claim in general that to attack in any way the Pope is to help the enemies of the Church. But is not the primary duty of the Pope to "confirm his brethren in the Faith" (Lk.XXII, 32) ? If then a Pope's thinking seriously strays from the Faith, to point out to him, with all due respect, where he is going astray, is not to attack him, or to do the work of the enemies of the Church. It is to help him to see clear to do his duty, and to remind him of the one and only means he has of conquering those enemies, who are today more powerful than ever - "This is the victory which overcometh the world - our Faith" (I Jn.V, 4).

A second objection to Bishop Tissier's argument, particular to our own time, might be that Pope Benedict is a prisoner in the Vatican, so he is not free to defend Catholic Tradition as he would really wish to do. Now it is true that the post-Conciliar Popes have been surrounded by high-up Church officials who are Freemasons secretly bent upon destroying the Church. It is also possible that since Vatican II the money-men have had more and more of a financial slip-knot around the Vatican's neck. But enough dollars would follow the true doctrine, if only it were proclaimed, and if Benedict's faith were not imprisoned by Hegelian errors, it would easily have the victory over the Freemasons all around him. Victory by martyrdom ?  It might take a series of martyr Popes, but if only we deserved them, as in the early Church, the Vatican would soon again be free !

A third more direct objection was alluded to in the last "EC": Benedict XVI might claim that he believes not only in Faith and Reason correcting one another, but also in the Traditional Faith. Thus, he might say, he himself absolutely believes that Jesus' own crucified body rose alive with his human soul from the tomb on Easter morning, so if he also tells modern man that the real meaning of the Resurrection is not a material body coming out of a material tomb, but spiritual love conquering death, that is merely to make the Resurrection accessible to disbelieving modern man.

But, Holy Father, did or did not that crucified body rise alive from that material tomb ?  If it did not, stop believing that it did, stop even pretending to believe that it did, and resign from being the Pope of delusional Catholics. But if it did rise from the tomb, then THAT is what you must proclaim to poor modern man, and you must - pardon my language -- cast his disbelief in his teeth. Modern man does not need to be told about luv, luv, luv. He hears it all day long !  He does need to hear that only Our Lord truly risen could have both stopped his implacable enemies in their tracks and turned his totally dispirited Apostles into world-conquerors.

Holy Father, it is useless trying to get through to the world on its own rotten terms.  Conquer it on Our Lord's terms !  And if you are obliged to give to us an example of martyrdom, do believe that that is the example that many of us may need in the not too distant future. We humbly pray for you.                                                                             
                                                                                        Kyrie eleison.