(AMERICAN SPECTATOR) -- In one of his last speeches before abdicating in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI decried the liberalism that had seeped into the Church after Vatican II. To this liberalism, he traced “so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized.” But he then proceeded to hand the Church to the very liberals responsible for these problems and to a successor set upon liberalizing the Church even more.
Not long after assuming power, Jorge Bergoglio took a veiled swipe at his predecessor. He told an interviewer that Vatican II had encouraged openness to “modern culture” but that “very little was done in that direction,” a shortcoming he promised to correct: “I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”
To accelerate his liberal revolution in the Church, however, Pope Francis had to make sure that his predecessor was under control. He accomplished that by having Benedict live on the Vatican grounds — an arrangement designed to muzzle him that has amounted to turning Benedict into the prisoner of the Vatican.
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