So it has come to this: La Repubblica reports on what the three Cardinals tasked by Benedict to investigate Curial intrigues and worse informed him about – Vatican officials no better than whitened sepulchres, so corrupted are they by their continual breaking of the sixth and seventh commandments, that is, by homosexual vice, and theft of money, money laundering, and every sort of malfeasance courtesy of the notoriously dubious "Vatican Bank". Judases, not just selling their souls for thirty pieces of silver, but committing sacrilege against their bodies, bodies consecrated to celibate chastity, for the sake of carnal pleasure! What more can be said?
Exhausted, worn out, frail with age, and now informed that the among the men who ought work for him are slaves of the Devil instead, who can wonder that the Pope has decided to resign, having prudently and carefully adjudged himself unable to fulfil his Petrine ministry given his advanced age and incapacity, and thus in duty bound to beg the Lord to appoint a new Pontiff in his stead? Pray, as Benedict no doubt does so fervently, that the new Pope to be elected will be a man of steel, able and willing to purge out the Augean stables that the Roman Curia, hitherto ever resistant to all real reform, has proven to be. From corrupt and cynical prelates, priests of empty and evil heart, good Lord, deliver us. And send us, Lord, a truly holy man of God, be he a Cardinal or not, to be the Pope to do what must be done.
Those words of His Holiness, which he spoke while yet a Cardinal, at the Ninth of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in 2005, prove ever more prophetic and terrifying in their dreadful import:
What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).
I turn now to the famous prayer for Christ's Church – now taken up for Catholic use, courtesy of the Ordinariates established by Pope Benedict – authored by the Anglican William Laud so long ago:
Gracious Father, we humbly beseech Thee to bless Thy holy Catholic Church, and fill it with truth and grace. Where it is corrupt, purge it; where it is in error, direct it; where anything is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is wanting, furnish it; where it is divided and rent asunder, heal the breaches thereof, O Thou Holy One of Israel, for Jesus Christ’s sake, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost now liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.