One has to be very careful with big breaking news stories, and few are bigger than the (supposed) Pope dying. Therefore, we will tread carefully here, but tread we must.
Conservative journalist John Gizzi, formerly a writer for Human Events, is currently the chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. Today, Dec. 7, he released the following report:
The brief article is behind a paywall, but the $1 immediate access fee will be affordable for most. For copyright reasons, we cannot quote much from it here.
Gizzi writes that a “secretary of one of the most powerful Vatican Cardinals” told him straightfowardly: “Pope Francis is dying.” Furthermore, Gizzi asserts that sources inside the Vatican do not expect Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) to see the end of next year, 2022, and are in “pre-Conclave mode”.
Without more details, one can only speculate as to what exactly the situation is, but apparently Francis is said to be terminally ill and not expected to live another 13 months for that reason. A diagnosis has not been revealed or rumored, but colon cancer would be a possibility, considering Bergoglio’s colon surgery back in early July. At the time, some Vaticanists expressed concern that this surgery had not been announced days or weeks in advance, as would have been customary.
This past July 7, Luis Badilla Morales of the Francis-friendly and well-connected Italian Novus Ordo blog Il Sismografo reported that Francis’ condition was more serious than the Vatican was letting on. He wrote:
…[T]here is a very significant detail that many in these hours underestimate, ignore or manipulate: the disease that has struck Pope Francis is severe and degenerative. It could also be chronic.
Certainly the Holy Father will return to the Vatican to resume his journey in the footsteps of Peter but he will never be the same again. The Holy Father must take care of his health carefully and in this he must be helped by everyone, mainly Catholics. He knows that he will have to change his life a lot: fatigue, rest, limits, nutrition, rehabilitative physical exercises …
One small way to stay close to the Pope while he regains his strength — a slow, gradual and complex process — is to do away with flattery in the press. Pope Francis does not need it.
In light of the speculations about his health this summer, the false pope himself weighed in during a meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia on Sep. 12, 2021:
[I am] still alive, even though some people wanted me to die. I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope’s condition was more serious than the official version. They were preparing for the conclave. Patience! Thank God, I’m all right. Undergoing that surgery was a decision I didn’t want to make. It was a nurse who convinced me. Nurses sometimes understand the situation more than doctors because they are in direct contact with the patients.
Clearly, today’s report from John Gizzi about what that secretary to a powerful Vatican cardinal told him is right in line with what Francis laments there. The question at issue, then, is whether it is Francis and the Vatican public relations machine that are downplaying the reality, or whether certain officials in the Vatican are exaggerating it, perhaps due to wishful thinking. Time will surely tell.
Francis will turn 85 on Dec. 17, and it isn’t terribly surprising that at that age, there should be talk of the state of his health and his eventual death. This is true especially considering the man’s immense workload and tiring schedule — it’s not like he’s just sitting around all day, solving crossword puzzles. One wishes he were!
It would be most ironic if Francis should die before “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI. The “Resignationists” would have a field day! Others would probably call for a campaign to “re-elect Ratzinger”.
Do not be fooled, however. It doesn’t matter whether the Holy See is infected with the Bergoglio variant or the Ratzinger variant — either way, the virus is the same: Vatican II.