Pope accuses critics of exploiting Pope Benedict XVI’s death

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Religion

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis accused some of his critics Sunday of taking advantage of retired Pope Benedict XVI’s death to score ideological points in the latest salvo in the partisan divide of the Catholic Church.During an airborne news conference returning from South Sudan, Francis was asked about the criticism that accelerated after the Dec. 31 death of Benedict, who lived in the Vatican as an emeritus pope alongside Francis for the first 10 years of his pontificate.
In the days and weeks after his death, Benedict’s longtime secretary and some conservative cardinals came out with books, interviews and memos criticizing Francis’ papacy. The commentary had the effect of pitting the recently departed former pope, who remained a point of reference for conservatives and traditionalists, against the current pope.
Francis insisted that rumors of differences with Benedict, or that Benedict was bitter about some decisions he had taken, were false and that the two consulted frequently and were in agreement.
“I think Benedict’s death was instrumentalized,” Francis said. “People wanted to score points for their own side. And the people who instrumentalize such a good person, so close to God, I would almost say … those people don’t have ethics, they are people who belong to a party, not to the church.”
To drive home the point that Benedict was above such partisanship, F …

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