The Cionci Thesis: Benedict XVI Never Resigned

I think it is time to finally approach an important subject, and I will attempt to do so very carefully. There exists a chasm, a caesura, an informational barrier separating Anglophone Catholics and their Italian counterparts. This disconnect has existed for a very long time. Up until the epoch of the internet, this disconnect could be explained by geographic distance and isolation, but in our current age of mass information, the barrier is purely language.

Due to this, it is very easy to gaslight American Catholics, and Anglophone Catholics as a whole. Francis has been very successful in this endeavor. Let me give you an example from a recent article.

Pope Francis blasted what he described as groups of “very strong, reactionary” American Catholics, warning against becoming “backwardists” who oppose change in the Catholic Church.

“The situation in the United States is not easy: There is a very strong, reactionary attitude. It is organized and shapes the way people belong, even emotionally,” said the pope. “I want to remind these people that backwardism is useless, and it is necessary to understand that there is a correct evolution in the understanding of questions of faith and morals.”

Such comments from Rome are very common these days. All resistance to the Roman Regimes reforms is blamed on the strawman of reactionary American conservatives. And due to the fact that over the last five years “international” news outlets broadcasted nothing but indictments of the rise of “racist” MAGA populism, videos of supposed systemic police brutality, the world at large is primed to accept such a narrative.

It is undeniable that the anglophone internet ecosphere is dominated by American personalities and media outlets. This is also certainly the case for “conservative” Catholic information bubbles. But are these American conservative Catholic personalities and news outlets really that radical? At least, relative to their Italian counterparts? The answer is no.

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