Gänswein: Traditionis custodes was a “turning point” for Pope Benedict, a “crucial moment”.

Archbp. Georg Gänswein did a video interview with Die Tagespost. He was asked about Benedict’s reaction to the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, that mess of cruelty.

Gänswein said that reading that Motu Proprio was a “turning point” for Benedict (Einschnitt, a “crucial event”).

He said that Benedict read it “mit Schmerz im Herzen… with pain in his heart”.  Put another way… “it broke his heart”.


Traditionis custodes was a turning point for Benedict that filled his heart with pain.

It was a turning point.

Gänswein also said that the “Old Mass” had been the “source of their spiritual life” for many people for centuries, “food for many saints”.  He could not imagine “that this is something that is no longer good”.  This applies to many young people “who no longer really understand the whole fuss (Theater) about the Council”.  Gänswein said he was “not comfortable” (nicht ganz wohl) taking this treasure away.


As we enter a new year of grace make a committment to be a true Custos Traditionis.

I propose…

… an informal association of prayer and penance dedicated to two petitions offered to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which are

  • the softening of hearts of those interpreting Traditionis custodes (bishops, Roman Congregation/Dicastery officials);
  • the overturning of, or reversal of, Traditionis custodes.

I ask you to join with others, making an informal but serious pledge to do two things for the two intentions, above.


  • recite the beautiful and powerful Memorare prayer DAILY;
  • make an act of physical or material penance for the two intentions ONCE A WEEK.

ACTION ITEM! Be a “Custos Traditionis”! Join an association of prayer for the reversal of “Traditionis custodes”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tzabiega says:

    This is truly sad, but what was maybe even more tragic is that Pope Benedict XVI realized he should have never resigned. Nine years of Pope Francis’ rule must have been a torture to him, but he should have listened to Cardinal Dziwisz (Pope John Paul II’s secretary) who told Pope Benedict personally that it was wrong for him to resign as: “when they put you on the cross, you have no right to get down from it by yourself.” He could have put Cardinal Pell or Burke in charge of running the Vatican, while appearing publicly maybe only at the Sunday Angelus and making a brief blessing via TV at World Youth Day, etc. We do not need “showy” popes, but holy ones. A conclave in 2023 would have been so much different than the one in 2013.

  2. summorumpontificum777 says:

    God bless Abp. Gänswein for being honest about this rather than keeping it to himself. We among the TLM faithful and clergy have largely focused on how T.C. affects us, but there hasn’t been much discussion of its effects on the author of Summorum Pontificum. Sadly, it must have constituted a sort of earthly purgatory for the saintly Benedict XVI in his final year and a half. I am, though, slightly grateful to the current Vatican gang for having spared us the indignity and insult of ever pretending that B16 was in any on board with or supportive of T.C.

  3. Gregg the Obscure says:

    i audaciously suggest adding this brief prayer “Lord, in thy mercy and in thy justice, cast down the mighty from their seat”

  4. kurtmasur says:

    Hopefully, moving forward we will be seeing more of what Benedict really thought of Bergoglio’s actions. Maybe Benedict left some sort of secret letter with instructions to be published sometime after his passing explaining the real reason behind his resignation, in particular if he was coerced or threatened into doing that, etc. THAT would be a game changer with enormous implications.

    Btw, has anybody else noticed an interesting parallel between the deaths of Benedict and JPII? They both died on a Saturday of an octave. JPII died on Saturday of the Octave of Easter, whereas Benedict died on Saturday of the Octave of Christmas. Could this as well be a sign?

  5. Chiara says:

    Father, I think you are wise to encourage your readers to pray the Memorare, for this intention and for others.

    The Memorare is the “parish prayer” of my parish, St. Bernard. St. Bernard, who had a great devotion to Our Lady, wrote this prayer himself.

    My parish is beautiful, but poor, and we have faced many challenges over the last 15 years or so. Our young pastor, who just turned 38 and is also pastor to our sister parish, encourages us to pray this for our parish in every need.

    I happily join with you and your readers in praying this beautiful prayer to Our Lady, as well as praying for the soul of our good Pope Benedict.

  6. Suzanne says:

    I can’t help thinking, with sadness, that surely the displays of honoring Pachamama were turning points for Benedict. Are we supposed to forget that happened? Is TC worse because it undermined Benedict’s papal efforts for the Mass? I would think idolatry in St. Peter’s might have broken Benedict’s heart.

    The comment about young people not understanding the theater (theater?) regarding Vatican II is unfortunate, too. There are problems with VII, and we shouldn’t have to pretend not to notice that fact so that we can be given the Mass as it should always have been offered. The Mass isn’t a bone to be thrown to us for our good behavior toward Vatican II.

  7. cmfzed says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Father. I have been good about my Memorares but slacking in the penance department.

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