That question has been hovering in the background of European geopolitics ever since he did it, and one Italian geopolitician and strategist, Germano Dottori, thinks he has an answer, according to this article shared this week by Mr. G.P.:
The essence of Signor Dottori's argument is this:
The conflicts between the Church and the United States did not become less, even with the passing of John Paul II. They instead continued during the pontificate of Pope Ratzinger, in the course of which, what exacerbated them was not only the [policy and strategic] investment made by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring, but also the firm desire of Benedict XVI to achieve an historic reconciliation with the Patriarchate of Moscow [under Patriarch Kirill], the true and proper religious coronation of a geopolitical project of Euro-Russian integration, which were in his intentions strongly supported by Germany and also by Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy – but not by that more American-friendly one [Italy], which is to be recognized in Giorgio Napolitano [Italian President, 2006-2015].
How it has come to an end is well-known to everyone. The Italian and papal governments were simultaneously hit by a scandalous, coordinated, and unusually violent and unprecedented campaign, even involving more or less opaque maneuvers in the financial field, with the final effect coming to a head in November 2011 with Berlusconi’s departure from the Palazzo Chigi and, on February 10 [sic – 11], 2013, the abdication of Ratzinger. At the height of the crisis, Italy progressively saw its access to international financial markets closed, while the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) [the Vatican Bank] was temporarily cut out of the Swift 4 circuit.
Note the implied claims:
(1) the Vatican, with Germany's blessing (Ratzinger was, after all, the first German pope in about six hundred years), was pursuing a closer relationship with Eastern Orthodoxy, principally through Patriarch Kiril III;
(2) This was apparently being done in conjunction to create a "Eurasian integration", which apparently was emphasizing the cultural basis of that integration in a common Catholic heritage;
(3) the Vatican and Italy were both hit by "a scandalous, coordinated, and unusually violent and unprecedented campaign," which we may assume is "code" for the pedophilia scandals rocking Ratzinger's pontificate. Dottori is clearly suggesting this emanated from the circles of western power. (At this juncture, one has to pause, and mention another possibility: with the pedophilia scandals erupting around western leaders, and the arrests in this country and others associated with it, that possibility emerges from the fact that, a few years ago, when one said "pedophilia rings" one thought of the Vatican, and, to a lesser extent, other churches. Now, however, there has been an interesting shift of perception, for when one says "pedophilia rings" one thinks of corrupt, and largely secular, western politicians. This may indicate a covert counter-operation emanating from the Vatican.)
(4) This campaign was also coordinated with a campaign to strip the Vatican of its access to international financial markets.
We can recall much corroboration of these suggestions, in that shortly after the beginning of his pontificate, Jorge Cardinal Bergolio (Francis I) began to attempt to clean up(yet again) the operations of the Vatican Bank, even going so far as to appoint the same auditor for it as for the Bank of International Settlements and, reportedly, Lloyd's of London. In short, Bergolio's efforts appear to cave to the pressures being exerted by the West and the USA.
It's that first point, however, that seems to have been much more important than meets the eye:
Here an Italian expert in geo-strategic studies thus claims that both the Italian government under Berlusconi and the papacy of Benedict XVI were toppled due to financial maneuvers that put both states in jeopardy. Alessandro Rico published, on 17 May, an article entitled “Ratzinger costretto ad abdicare dal ricatto di Obama” (“Ratzinger Forced to Abdicate Due to Obama’s Blackmail”) in the Italian newspaper La Verità – a publication which has no inclination toward traditional Catholicism at all, but, rather, sharply rebukes traditional and conservative Catholics in that same 17 May issue (as Giuseppe Nardi points out). Rico himself puts the Dottori statement in context with the 20 January 2017 Open Letter to President Trump, published by the traditional Catholic newspaper The Remnant, which called for an investigation into a possible U.S. intervention against Pope Benedict XVI. As Rico points out, Pope Benedict at the time stood in opposition to President Obama’s collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood, especially with the pope’s Regensburg address in which he criticized Islamist fundamentalism. The U.S., as Rico along with Dottori explains, was not in favor of a papal rapprochement with the Patriarch of Moscow which could further support a European rapprochement with Russia. A partial basis for this desired rapprochement could also be a rejection of the moral relativism of the West.
When speaking about the financial pressure that was, in 2013, put on the Vatican by excluding the Papal State from the SWIFT system – which interrupted the credit card payments in the Vatican City, and thus in the Vatican museums – Rico also recalls: “Strangely, this [SWIFT] function was re-established immediately after the resignation of Benedict XVI.” (Bold-italics emphasis added)
In other words, American policy was deliberately attempting to forestall the formation of what can only be called a "Christian bloc." If this seems farfetched, one should recall that Russia, prior to the Soviet era, played precisely this role in European and world geopolitics, as the protector of Orthodox Christians. The Vatican exercised this role through proxy states, most recently through Austria-Hungary, Italy, and various other Catholic regional powers.
"OK, so what?" one might think. "Where's the high octane speculation?"
Well, brace yourselves, because it's a whopper: note that the actions taken against the Vatican were (1) a pedophilia scandal and (2) a severing of access to international financial clearing in response to Ratzinger's statements about fundamentalist Islam. (And at this juncture, please recall that Francis I has indicated that Christians do have the right of self-defense against Islamic terrorism, a point often lost in the shuffle). This suggests, as the Russians were similarly affected by threats of exclusion from SWIFT, to the point of developing their own domestic, and ultimately parallel system of international financial clearing, that the Vatican may have been attempting to do an end run around the Western Financial blackmail (denial of service, effectively, to SWIFT), and to gain access to the system(s) being built out by and in Russia. In short, this means the Vatican was attempting to gain access also to the space assets that make international clearing possible.
If this reading of the covert warfare taking place against the Vatican by Mr. Globaloney (and vice versa, if my reading of the pedophilia scandal having moved from the Vatican to western politicians is true), then what one is witnessing is a long-term strategy and goal of the Vatican, which, for the moment may be summarized in the following high octane speculation:
(1) Intermediate goal: Gain access to other systems of financial clearing that are independent of that of the West. For the moment, this means the systems being put into place by Russia and China and, to a lesser extent, existing Japanese capabilities in the Pacific (and for a historical note, do not forget that connection between Japan and the Vatican, via Emperor Hirohito who deposited some of the Golden Lily loot in the Vatican bank, according to Peggy and Sterling Seagraves in Gold Warriors);
(2) Longer term goal: use contacts thus gained to utilize (and perhaps finance) their space launch capacity to launch Vatican-owned communications satellites;
(3) Ultimate goal: build out an independent system of financial clearing by and for the Vatican and any allied churches.
If that high octane speculation is correct, then the USA and the Vatican are engaged in a covert war, just as are the USA and China and the rest of the BRICSA bloc, for those independent financial clearing systems, more than anything else, are a direct challenge to the US dollar reserve currency status.
(And as for the religious "rapprochement", Orthodoxy's position has always been clear, because conceptual/doctrinal content defines Orthodoxy, not institutional boundaries or adherence to supreme authorities claiming infallibility: if there is to be such an arrangement beyond mere ecumenical cooperation, then there must be a full return of Roman Catholicism to that conceptual content, and a jettisoning of all those doctrines added to Orthodoxy on the basis of papal authority alone. While this is not the place to elaborate on this, it is to be noted that the recent statements of Francis I and Kiril III focused, not on doctrinal differences and the departure of the Papacy from that tradition, but rather on areas of common cultural concern. This would seem to indicate that both churches perceive a very serious existential threat, perhaps exhibited by Benedict XVI's remarks about Islamic fundamentalism which led, according to Dottori, to his resignation.)
There's one more implication here: if indeed Ratzinger was forced to resign, i.e., resigned under duress, then a case might be made that the resignation is null and void... and that, of course, would be a scenario that would throw the papal church into a position it has not been in since the middle ages, and it may thus be the "high trump card" the plotters of the coup are holding over Bergolio.
Whatever one makes of these high octane speculations, this is definitely one to watch, because we have not heard the last of this story.
See you on the flip side...