Culture

Follow The Munus! Why Benedict Is [Likely] Pope — Guest Post by Edmund J. Mazza; Rejoinder by Fr John Rickert

Fr John Rickert had an article last week (with links to other sources therein) reasoning that Francis is Pope. Today, a response by Dr Edmund J Mazza, followed by a brief rejoinder by Fr Rickert.

All history shows that the best of friends sometimes cannot come to agreement on certain matters. That will likely be true here. But I absolutely refuse that any of us should fall out over this. Again I say, we have more than enough true enemies to worry about.

Lastly, please do not feed the trolls.

Response by Edmund J Mazza

Follow The Munus! Why Benedict Is [Likely] Pope

For decades, millions of faithful Catholics have been defending the Traditional Mass, the Traditional understanding of Evangelization, the Traditional teaching on abortion, etc. against the all-pervasive and suffocating “spirit of Vatican II.” Fighting a war on so many fronts, one may be forgiven for not even being aware of another post-Conciliar “crisis” with stakes just as high—a crisis in Ecclesiology. It took the innovation of a “Pope Emeritus,” before even this university scholar found it on his radar.

Let us begin our analysis with a quote from Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts: “the problems which have arisen since the Council with regard to the public function and the notion of office are particularly reflected in the fluctuating use of notions such as “munus“, “ministry” and “office“, both in doctrine and in the official texts of the Church…notions close to that of public function, such as “munus“, “ministry” and “office”; terms which do not find univocal [synonymous] content in the documents of Vatican Council II, nor among the normative texts, being used indiscriminately by doctrine.”[1]

Anna Slowikowska, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, echoes Arrieta:

The Latin noun munus is an ambiguous word. In the teaching of the Second Vatican Council this word is present up 255 times, whereof 55 times in the Constitution Lumen gentium. The Council Fathers used this term in the meaning of: “office”, “function”, “mission”, “service”, “task”, “obligation”, “ministry”. In many places the translations of constitution from Latin language into Polish language in 1968 and 2002 are different. This can cause not only problems of interpretation, but also doctrinal problems.[2]

You’re telling me!

The greatest confusion has arisen over the interpretation of Pope Benedict XVI’s peculiar use of “munus” and “ministerium” in his renunciation of February 11, 2013.

Canon Law (Can. 332 § 2) states that such renunciations CAN BE INVALID if the pope does not renounce his munus, or if it is not done freely, or if it is not manifested properly: “Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur…”

Let us then examine Benedict’s Declaratio:

…ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum.

Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando… ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romaerenuntiare…[3]

Benedict uses the term “munus Petrinum” to describe the essential spiritual nature of the “Petrine Office.” Indeed, he IS STILL able to passively put it into service through “suffering and prayer,” but is NO longer strong enough to actively do so through “words and deeds.” In the all-important concluding quote, he declares that he renounces the “ministerio Episcopi Romae.”

Why, may we ask, did he suddenly replace “munus” with “ministerio”? Why abandon the consistency of his narration? We may NOT simply ASSUME that “ministerium,” is equivalent to “munus.” As Slowikowska points out:

The knowledge of all the meanings of a given word – in this case munus – is not enough to correctly identify the thoughts of the author of the translated text.

The term munus is most often analyzed in the literature with two others: officium and ministerium. They are also synonymous with it. But at the same time each of them can mean something different. Their use, whether separate or synonymous, always depends on the context of the utterance, the author’s intention or the purpose for which they are used.”[4]

Benedict makes it clear he is NOT renouncing the munus per se, because he IS STILL capable of passively exercising the munus: “prayer and suffering.” He renounced instead, the active service or ministerium.

Likewise, in his last General Audience on February 27, 2013, Benedict stated:

The “always” is also a “forever” – there is no longer a return to the private. My decision to renounce the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this [papal commitment to God]… I do not abandon the cross but remain in a new way with the Crucified Lord. I no longer carry the power of the office for the [active] government of the Church, but in the [passive] service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the precincts of St. Peter [i.e. Petrine munus/office]. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example to me in this. He has shown us the way to a life, which, active or passive, belongs totally to the work of God.[5]

As in his Declaratio, Benedict explicitly renounces only the “active exercise” of the office, not the office itself and the consequent passive exercise of it. Indeed, he says St. Benedict will be a great example to him as he practices the “passive” aspect of the Petrine munus! “Ora et Labora!”

Is there still more evidence of authorial intent outside the Declaratio? Yes, Benedict’s 2016 interview with Peter Seewald, who threw the words of his own Declaratio back at him: “Is a slowdown in the ability to perform, reason enough to climb down from the chair of Peter?”

Benedict: “One can…make that accusation, but it would be a functional misunderstanding. The successor of Peter is not merely bound to a function; the office [munus] enters into your very being. In this regard, fulfilling a function is not the only criterion.”[6]

What is this talk of “accusation”?? A simple “yes” or “no” would suffice. But Benedict characterized Seewald’s question as a “functional misunderstanding,” as if Seewald had missed the transcendent component of the Petrine munus by suggesting: “whenever he is not actively leading the Church, he is not papal.” Benedict corrects him by saying that the “office enters into your very being;” it as an ontological “always,” a “forever.”

Benedict once criticized Martin Luther precisely for misunderstanding the difference between office (munus) as jurisdiction or function and office (munus) as rite or sacrament:

[For Luther] the priest does not transcend his role as preacher. The consequent restriction to the word alone had, as its logical outcome, the pure functionality of the priesthood: it consisted exclusively in a particular activity; if that activity was missing, the ministry itself ceased to exist…There was purposely no further mention of priesthood but only of “office”; the assignment of this office was, in itself, a secular act.[7]

As if all this evidence were not enough, we have it again from Benedict’s own lips, that there is a distinction between munus and ministerium, between the transcendent and the practical use of it. In the early 1980s, Ratzinger expresses his approval of the reform of the rite of ordination carried out in 1947:

Pius XII defines as the central words those spoken at the consecration by the bishop: ‘Send forth upon him, O Lord, we beseech thee, the Holy Spirit, by whom may he (the ordained) be strengthened to perform faithfully the work of thy service with the help of thy sevenfold gift’ ‘Emitte in eum, quaesumus, Domine, Spiritum Sanctum, quo in opus ministerii tui fideliter exsequendi septiformis gratiae tuae munere roboretur.’ Accordingly… ministerium or munus: service and gift.”[8]

Ratzinger remarks that the key words now are munus,” the divine gift which allows “ministerium,” the service (active or passive) to God and His People:

The rigid juxtaposition of sacrament and jurisdiction, of consecrating power and power of governance, that had existed since the Middle Ages and was one of the symptoms marking the Western separation of the Churches from the East, has finally been eliminated…In the eucharistic office, both the sacrament and the “ruling power” interpenetrate one another, and it becomes at once clear how inappropriate the words “rule” and “power” are with regard to the Church. We have no more right to speak of a quasi-profane ruling power, neatly separated from the sacramental ministry, than we have a right to speak of a separation between the mystical and eucharistic body of Christ.”[9]

Benedict above is expressing his wholehearted approval of the novel teaching not only of Pius XII in 1947, but of the Second Vatican Council in 1963, that not only do bishops receive the power to administer sacraments when they are ordained, but sacramentally they also receive the power to govern the flock of Christ—even before they are assigned a juridical “office” such as Bishop of Paris, London—or Rome?

First, a directly sacramental root is established in the very act of a bishop’s consecration… Sacrament is no longer understood merely as an individual gift, but relates to the living unity of Church as an organism…collegiality is not based on a papally conferred jurisdiction, paralleling the sacrament of ordination as though that sacrament were merely an individual gift;[10]

Ultimately, Benedict goes so far as to suggest that the governing power of the Roman Pontiff himself, is not so much jurisdictionally-based, as it is sacramentally. Expressing his sympathy for the view of the Orthodox churches of the East, Ratzinger writes:

In the [Catholic view]…the source of law appears to be the will of the sovereign, which creates on its own authority new laws that then have the power to bind. The old sacramental structure [Eastern view] seems overgrown, even choked, by this new concept of law: the papacy is not a sacrament; it is “only” a juridical institution; but this juridical institution has set itself above the sacramental order[11]

For Benedict, the Pope does not occupy “an office of jurisdiction,” which comes and goes, so much as a spiritual “office of rite” which is irrevocable. As scholar Roberto de Mattei complains:

Vatican Council II did not explicitly reject the concept of “potestas,” [“power”] but set it aside, replacing it with an equivocal new concept, that of “munus.” Art. 21 of “Lumen Gentium” then seems to teach that episcopal consecration confers not only the fullness of orders, but also the office [munus] of teaching and governing, whereas in the whole history of the Church the act of episcopal consecration has been distinguished from that of appointment, or of the conferral of the canonical mission. This ambiguity is consistent with the ecclesiology of the theologians of the Council and post-council (Congar, Ratzinger, de Lubac, Balthasar, Rahner, Schillebeeckx…) who presumed to reduce the mission of the Church to a sacramental function, scaling down its juridical aspects…

Ratzinger…distanced himself from tradition when he saw in the primacy of Peter the fullness of the apostolic ministry, linking the ministerial character to the sacramental (J.Auer-J. Ratzinger, La Chiesa universale sacramento di salvezza, Cittadella, Assisi, 1988).[12]

In the end, the preponderance of the evidence is that Pope Benedict believes that Sacred Power comes from the munus received in episcopal consecration and that it is an “always” and “forever” gift that remains even after the loss of the active “ministerium.”

And so we return to Canon 332 § 2 and ask: Was Benedict’s renunciation valid? The pope did not “renounce his munus;” it was hardly “manifested properly” if it contained such multivalent language (i.e. munus vs ministerium), and if Benedict’s intellect suffered from an erroneous Ecclesiology (thank you Vatican II), neither was his renunciation free (Cf. Canon 188 on “substantial error”).

 

  1. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, “Funzione pubblica e ufficio ecclesiastico,” in Ius Ecclesiae, VII (1995), pp. 92-93.
  2. Anna Slowikowska, “Interpretation of the term munus in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen GentiumAnnals of the Humanities, 2015 (125-145) [ROCZNIKI HUMANISTYCZNE Tom LXIII, zeszyt 8 – 2015]
  3. Pope Benedict XVI, Declaratio, February 11, 2013.
  4. Slowikowska, “Interpretation of the term munus.
  5. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, February 27, 2013.
  6. Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, Last Testament, (Bloomsbury Continuum; Reprint edition 2017).
  7. Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology, M. F. McCarthy, Trans. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 248.
  8. Ibid., p.241.
  9. Joseph Ratzinger, Theological Highlights of Vatican II (Rev. ed). New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1966) pp. 128;188-189.
  10. Ibid., pp. 127-28;141. ?
  11. Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 194-195.
  12. Roberto de Mattei, “One and One Alone is Pope,” quoted in “Reigning and ‘Emeritus.’ The Enigma of the Two Popes,” Chiesa Espresso [Sandro Magister’s Blog], September 15, 2014 at http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350868bdc4.html?eng=y

Rejoinder by Fr John Rickert

Benedictus Locutus, Causa Finita

In my last post, I said that quibbling on and on about the words munus and ministerium is actually a red herring. I stand by that. To address those, however, who are convinced that the word munus is a sine qua non, let us consider the following. (Cf. this link.)

For convenience, we repeat:
Can. 332 Sec. 2 (Latin) — Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur.

Can. 332 Sec. 2 (English) — If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.

Was the resignation freely made? Yes. The previous pope made this decision with full cognizance of the act and its consequences and with full freedom: bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro.

Is the resignation properly manifested? Yes. The AAS is the official journal of record for the Vatican.

As I argue in my last post, it is not prescribed for the pope to use any particular formula, phrase, or word. But for those who think so, look at the title: De muneris episcopi Romae, successoris sancti Petri abdicatione.

There it is, the second word: munus in the genitive singular, as required by the grammar. But I also draw your attention to the word abdicatio. Lewis and Short make it clear that this is a strong and unequivocal word; when applied to persons, it means to disown them.

Sat est. Benedictus locutus, causa finita.

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Categories: Culture

74 replies »

  1. Dear Father. God Bless you for this excellent post.

    You’re no doubt aware that many in the D.O.A. Cult (Disciples of Ann) will reflexively gainsay it owing to their ideology but I sure hope this pierces their delusional defenses.

    An ideology and a delusion are not normally correctable by facts but one can hope because there are a lot of good men and women in The D.O.A.

    It will be difficult for many to accept the facts because there has been so much ink spilt over this and so many have publicly proclaimed with certitude that BISP and so it will take an act of great humility to quit The BISP Cult.

    Sadly, some of them have begun circulating a petition demanding thus and such and if thus and such is not accepted as their preferred process then they will not accept other results.

    The Catholic Church does not need another schism.

  2. Mick,

    Are you open to an investigation of the resignation? If not, why not?
    Are you open to an investigation of the 2013 “conclave’ for crimes against UGD? If not, why not?

  3. Dear Debbie. No.

    https://onepeterfive.com/dogmatic-fact-francis-pope/ (internal link to part 1)

    http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/p/peaceful-and-universal-acceptance-of.html

    With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations.37…

    https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_en.html

    There can b ebno legitimate desire to “investigate” a dogmatic fact.

    Besides, the D.O.A. Cult would not accept any answer other than the one it desires. You appear to desire both but that is not how The Catholic Church works. IF what you desire was permitted it would set a precedent wherein every singe Conclave result could be challenged by one Canon Lawyer or one disgruntled Catholic.

    Who would adjudicate the challenge? The very church that complainants/challengers have already refused its authority to decide dogmatic facts.

    Let’s say the Catholic Church did let the challenge rise to the Apostolic Signatura. Do you think the complainants/challengers would accept its decision?

    Of course they wouldn’t.

    You think the legal system in America is chaotic and free of logic? What you desire would be far worse; a satanic dream realised.

  4. The answer, of course, is that neither was/is the pope, nor were their preceding occupants going back to Roncalli, except in a material fashion.

    Briggs, you might want to reach out to Mario Derksen for a third-way rejoinder:

    https://youtu.be/ab9bKdp4bfg

  5. I’m gonna put this up on my crummy blog in a day or so but I’ll post it here first so others can understand the D.O.A. * Cult and its refusal to accept the authority of The Catholic Church to which they presumptively belong.

    The D.O.A. Cult ain’t going away.

    What has happened amongst the D.O.A. Cult * was explained by researchers back in the 1950s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails

    Conditions for increased fervour after disconfirmation

    Condition Effect

    “1. A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he or she behaves.”

    Makes the belief resistant to change.

    “2. The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual’s commitment to the belief.”

    Makes the belief resistant to change.

    “3. The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.”

    Exposes believers to the possibility of their belief being disproved.

    “4. Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.”

    Exerts pressure on believers to abandon their belief.

    “5. The individual believer must have social support.”

    While an individual might be unable to resist the pressure to abandon their belief in the face of disconfirming facts, a group might be able to support each other to maintain the belief.

    (This looks better in its original form but I couldn’t reproduce the effect here)

    Ms. Ann has failed to convince anyone but her D.O.A. Cult that Francis ain’t Pope and so the Cult responds to the failure by increasing their devotion to her false claims and they support each other in the shared delusion that of 1.2 billion Catholics alive right now she is the sole person who is right.

    Thus, the entire Episcopacy, the entirety of the Cardinals who elected Francis as Pope, along with virtually every single Priest and Religious are wrong in thinking Francis is Pope.

    It is how they roll…

    * Disciples Of Ann

  6. Dear Dr. Weezil. Mario relies upon a few things when it comes to his use of E. Sylvester Berry, STD and his “The Church fo Christ”

    First, He thinks his readers will believe the source is accurate in what it asserts – it is

    Secondly. He rashly presumes his readers will not bother to buy the text and read it for themselves for if they do they will discover that Mario is repeatedly denounced and condemned for what he has been doing lo these man years.

    I could type out the many places it refutes Mario and his now late Guru, the entertaining Father Cekada – He did have a great sense of humor even though he was as wrong as June 21st is long – but it will profit you to buy the book your own self and release yourself from Mario’s malign and mendacious machinations.

    Pages to read: 29, 30,31,45,68,78,79,81,104,118,126,128,131,198,215,221,234

    The truth will set you free brother

  7. Mick, your snark gives you away. Whatever you think of Dr. Mazza, he has sacrificed a lot. He isn’t some mindless Disciple of Ann. I get why you guys don’t like her, but that should not cloud your intellect. Dr. Mazza is a good dude, who loves Jesus and wants to get to the truth. I find these arguments always turn into attacks, again a giveaway.

    You always go after Ann, but there are many smart people with compelling arguments. You go after her because she is an easy target.

  8. Father,

    Thanks for your article on this.

    The Benepapists fail to read that canon 332.2 lists only two requirements, and that the use of the specific word “munus” is not one of them. When papal resignations were declared possible back in the time of Pope Celestine V and Boniface VIII, it was said the the Roman Pontiff can resign the ‘papacy’. Then a canon was added to the Liber Sextus, and there “Roman Pontiff” was used. So, any number of words might be used to express the reality that the “papacy” is being resigned. Even the Ms. Acosta appears to admit the specific word “munus” need not be used. I discuss this specific part of the controversy here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/21/regarding-benedicts-declaratio/

    Furthermore, the Benepapists have warped what Benedict meant by “always” and “forever” in his last audience. I explain, citing Benedict’s words, how he defined his use of them. The Benepapists do not read the full context of the last audience, for if they did, they would see that their rendering of the text is untenable. They are simply reading there theories INTO the text. I discuss that here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/27/regarding-benedicts-last-audience/

    The other part of this mess, is the suggestion that Benedict (certainly when Fr. Ratzinger) had a mistaken view of the Petrine munus, for example, thinking the papacy “sacrament.” Dr. Mazza has cited various Ratzinger texts to this effect. However, he wrongly uses these texts. This has been demonstrated here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/22/a-closer-look-at-mr-coffins-evidence-dr-mazzas-thesis-3-0/

    Regards,

    Steven O’Reilly
    http://www.RomaLocutaEst.com

  9. Stephen O’Reilly, thanks very much.

    Mick, it seems pretty clear to me that the D.O.A. will become outright Sedevacantists when the pope emeritus dies.

    Debbie, Prima Sedes a nemine judicatur.

    Going back to my previous article, we must not lose sight of our own munus of filial piety.

    You will all remain in my prayers.

  10. Dear Stephen. Thanks for your correction, although wrong I do think Mazza is a good guy (from the little I know of him0 and I don’t know if he is a D.O.A. I did listen t his debate with Mr. O’Reilly wh easily won it in my estimation – and I don’t think that is just an example of confirmation bias.

    I go after Ann and The D.O.A because she is the one who started the Substantial Error madness (and, she gets wrong what that means) and the D.O.A. is headed for a permanent schism/sedevacantist status owing to what I posted earlier.

  11. Dear Father Rickert. When I win the lottery, I will give my Bishop two million dollars and buy you a little-attended Church if he will agree to let you have a mission in Palm Beach County.

    God Bless you for your work and ministry. The FSSP is aces

  12. It used to be that soi disant traditionalists would never attack a pope but, owing to Diabolical Disorientation even putative strong Catholics have decided they can eat of the Pope.

    Who eats of the Pope dies

    In the castle of Fontainebleu Napoleon forced the Pope to give up the States of the Church, promising an annual income of two million francs. In the same castle Napoleon was himself later forced to sign an abdication and was promised a yearly income of the same amount. When the Pope excommunicated Napoleon, he answered that the words of an old man would not make the arms drop from the hands of his soldiers. In the Russian campaign, because of the intense cold, this actually happened. He kept Pius VII prisoner for five years; he himself was later a prisoner for seven years. Four days after ordering the union of the States of the Church with France, he lost the battles of Aspern and Erlingen.

    73. The Gates of Hell

    What was the end of the leaders of persecution, schism, and heresy? –Many of the leaders of persecution, schism, and heresy came to a bad end.

    Of the first persecutors, several died violent deaths. The death of Judas is the type for his imitators. It is related that: Herod, the murderer of the Holy Innocents, died in unspeakable torture

    Herod, the murderer of James the Apostle, was devoured by worms.

    Of the persecutors in Rome, Nero was deposed, and in despair stabbed himself.

    Domitian was assassinated.

    Hadrian became insane.

    Marcus Aurelius, despondent over the ingratitude of his only son, starved himself to death.

    Septimus Severus, whose life had been attempted by his only son, died in despair.

    Decius died miserably in a swamp, during a battle.

    Valerian was flayed alive by the Persians.

    Maxentius was drowned in the Tiber.

    Diocletian died from a loathsome disease.

    Julian the Apostate was struck down by a lance on the field of battle, and died crying: “Galilean, Thou hast conquered!”

    The case of Napoleon is instructive.

    ?Drunk with power, Napoleon seized Rome in 1808, declaring himself the “successor of Charlemagne”. He banished Cardinals and bishops, and carrying off Pope Pius VII, held him prisoner in Savona. Enemies of the Church exulted: “The Papacy is ended! The Emperor has devoured the Pope!” They forgot the divine promise to Peter: “The gates of hell shall not prevail!”; on that promise was based the ancient saying: “Who eats of the Pope dies like a beast.” On the same day that Napoleon died in exile at St. Helena, Pope Pius VII was celebrating his own feast day in Rome.

    Heretics and schismatics have shared the same fate. Arius burst asunder during a triumphal procession. Voltaire died in despair. The Greek Schismatics fell under the Turkish yoke in 1453, on Pentecost, the feast of that Holy Ghost about whom they had expressed doubts.Truly history has shown the truth of the words of Holy Scripture; “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).

    Why can no other church except the Catholic Church be the True Church of Christ? —

    No other church except the Catholic Church can be the True Church of Christ, because no other church possesses the marks of unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity.

    Truth cannot change; hence the constantly changing doctrines of non-Catholic churches can not be true. They also differ in their government. Some recognize the temporal ruler as their spiritual head. Others have ministers whom they call bishops, deacons, elders. The majority reject such titles.

    There are hundreds of churches and Christian denominations, each different from the others; they do not possess the mark of unity. They differ in even the essentials of faith. They cannot agree, and keep dividing and subdividing (SSPX -> SSPV -> SSP2.5) year by year. Their only similarity appears to be their opposition to the Catholic Church. (SSPX)

    Such churches are multiplying. In the United States there are over two hundred religious bodies. They arise, then pass away, to give place to other denominations. Realizing the great handicap of disunity, efforts have been made by various groups of churches to organize. General councils and conferences of different bodies have been held; but there is no vital result for unity. This is of course because, though agreement may be general concerning matters such as social work, beneficent societies, and the like, no agreement can be found in the essentials of faith and doctrine. This is the result of free interpretation of the Bible, and the repudiation of Peter’s successor, Vicar of Christ. (SSPX)?

    The denominations and their founders are not holy in the same sense or degree as the Catholic Church and its Founder are holy. Many non-Catholics are upright and good because they have retained many doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church.

    Many founders of non-Catholic churches were far from holy. Luther, the founder of Protestantism was an apostate friar, who married a nun who had left her convent and turned against her vows. During his life he taught contradictory doctrines, some of them immoral. ??Henry VIII, the founder of Anglicanism, married five women successively, after divorcing his lawful wife; he had two put to death.?

    No denomination is catholic, or universal. ?

    These non-Catholic churches are everywhere, but are different everywhere.?

    A regional or national Church cannot be the true Church, since it cannot teach all nations, as Christ commanded.?

    No heretical Christian denomination is apostolic. The Protestant churches are some 1500 years later than the Church founded on the Rock of Peter.?

    Not even their teachings come down from the Apostles. Their ministers cannot trace their succession from the Apostles. Not one teaches all the doctrines of the Apostles. How then could they be the Church founded by Christ?

    What should be the attitude of Catholics towards those who do not belong to the True Church? —

    Catholics should observe an attitude of understanding towards them, because the majority of those who do not belong to the True Church are in good faith.

    Catholic teachings are not easy to understand at first sight; many Catholic practices require sacrifice. Towards such a religion there is bound to be prejudice.

    To be obliged to go to Mass every Sunday under pain of mortal sin; to have to confess to a priest, who is another human being like ourselves; to condemn divorce and birth control; to observe fasts and abstinence;-these are not easy doctrines.?

    No wonder in looking for relief, man often, however unconsciously, seeks motives for not accepting the Church that commands its members to obey such precepts, to accept such doctrines.?

    When Our Lord first announced the institution of the Holy Eucharist, many of the disciples said, “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?” (John 6:62). And they no longer went with Jesus.

    Catholics should above all try to give good example; nothing is more effective in the eyes of non-Catholics than the exemplary lives led by good Catholics.”Behave yourselves honorably among the pagans; that, whereas they slander you as evildoers, they may through observing you by reason of your good works glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12). Catholics should often pray for the conversion of those outside the Church, praying with the Good Shepherd for only one Fold.

    While avoiding useless discussions that generally end in bitter quarrels, Catholics should try to show the beauty, the truth of the Catholic Church.

    In our friendly discussions with non-Catholics we should not be always on the defensive, but should try to see whether they can trace the origin of the authority of their ministers to the Apostles, whether their church can be proved the True Church by the possession of the four marks. Often our non-Catholic friends criticise the Catholic Church on account of some devotional practices like holy water, candles, etc., as if such practices belonged to the essentials of faith.

    Well, yeah; I too need a metanoia because I can not always blame my combativeness and joy in arguments on my Irish-Algonquin heritage…I’ll try to be mo’betta.

  13. Thank you, Matt! Will read the article. No falling out over who is Pope topic … each has their own thoughts and ideas.

    The latest on Pope Francis is very, very worth reading. Link is below. Pope Francis gives nary a word about those who are humble of heart and who are strong in Faith of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ …. and yet gives ever so many words to those whose faith wavers and also to those who are proud of heart yet strong in Faith in the Resuurection. He writes of himself, as one who wavers in faith … or did I misread his words???

    Without the Resurrection, there is no Christianity, just as St. Paul writes:
    “12Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

    Pope Francis’ talk:
    http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/angelus/2022/documents/20220424-regina-caeli.html

  14. Bullets Barnhardt is not a Canon Lawyer. She never studied Canon Law. She has never practiced Canon Law which is prolly why she made a substantial error about Substantial error.

    I will provide a link to another woman who, unlike Bullets, studied Canon Law, took degrees in Canon Law and knows what substantial error means.

    Scroll down to paragraph 12 and see Bullets error on substantial error. It does not mean what she has been telling the D.O.A. Cult

    https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/01/03/can-a-pope-everresign/

  15. Dear Fr Rickart I was surprised to see you use the term D.O.A. which is clearly meant to be a pejorative. It comes across as a lack of Charity on your part.

  16. Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel
    26 April 2022 A. D.

    DNFtT’s, Please.

    Mick Moss is upon information and belief a trollbot formerly known as amateur Brain Surgeon who apparently never quietens down on this subject and is to boot full of downright nasty and un-Catholic verbiage judging from his vitriolic ad hominems. See, for example, his hot hatred of Miss Barnhardt et al. including Joy. Whatever someone’s opposing or erroneous views, common courtesy precludes a Christian gentleman from speaking this way.

    Fr. Rickert ought not fall for McMoss’s faux flattery. Two million bucks and your own bishop to boot. “Lmao” as Gonzo Lira might say.

    Neither should Briggs’s otherwise intelligent readership. Let us heed Matt’s warning and DNFtT’s.

    People have the right to freedom of conscience on this question, and should not back down in the face of bad argument (pace Fr. Rickert, who relies on a bad dictionary definition of a theological term of art with which Benedict is demonstrably amply professionally acquainted for over half a Century), and bullying.

    Speaking of bullying…. When push comes to shove and Bergoglio tries to force you, Fr. Richert, and your confreres to concelebrate the Chrism Mass–What are you going to do?

    The crack on veering toward sedevacantism is another canard. We’ll see who dies first. And Our Lord and the Immaculate Heart ultimately chooses to save Holy Mother Church when They wish, and the latter can resolve this immediate problem of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the true Successor to the true pope with the wave of her Immaculate finger.

    Chris Benischek
    Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  17. Thank you Mr. Benischek. I remember ABS from a while back and believe you are correct. I will not engage.

    To Fr. Rickert, do you administer the Sacraments to couples in irregular marriages? If not, why not?

  18. “D.O.A.” and flooding the comments with walls upon walls of text means I’ll never read or consider a single thing you have to say.

    Just in case you thought this obnoxious tactic was effective… it ain’t.

  19. **Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, Ph.D.- writes (@ April 26, 2022// 12:57 pm) : “Mick, it seems pretty clear to me that the D.O.A. will become outright Sedevacantists when the pope emeritus dies.”

    **C. P. Benischek, writes (@April 26, 2022// 9:54 pm): “We’ll see who dies first.”

    Let me interject a plain hypothetical, which may (or may not) bear meaningfully on this question (a question (an issue) which is far over my head): ||If Francis were to predecease Benedict (an event which appears far more than likely to my eyes) how might that influence those most directly concerned, or, would it simply not?||

  20. A whole book could be written on this (and I believe there are several already) but I’m not going to do it as my personality defects do not dispose me to do any such thing.

    Even a cursory examination of the very wise and proper definition of Papal Infallibility from Vatican I reveals that by the very precise definition of the parameters of Papal Infallibility it says much more about when papal musings are NOT infallible than when they are; as in a carefully explicit definition of some matter of Faith and/or morals that has become a matter of contention or debate addressed to the whole Church…. end of arguments, the matter is settled! The popey fellow has no authority whatsoever to add to, delete or change anything from the Apostolic Faith. Even matters that have become confused or contended in academic wrangles must be at least implicit in the “sensus fidelium” (the good sense and traditions of the faithful) all the way back to the Apostles.

    Now, My Lord did say to Peter: “What you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven” but!!! it is clear that Peter is a temporal authority acting in Christ’s stead. As a temporal authority the “binding” is by properly promulgated laws and precepts. There is plenty of good philosophy that can show that the arbitrary whims of ideologically perverse tyrants are not morally binding even if they are popey. (See Paul “withstanding to his face” Peter who was unduly subservient to Rabbinical conventions).

    There’s a tactic known as “fifth column” subversion in which the Enemy provokes, or encourages, their adversary to overstate or exaggerate their position for later exploitation. I will contend that the blardy ‘Masons have done that to encourage ultramontanists and papalalters to accept all sorts of subtle antichrist notions on papal whim.

    Fr. rickety Rickets, I think you’ve fallen into the papalatry trap.

  21. Oldavid,
    We used to swim at the royal masonic school.
    Lovely people.
    Freezing cold water though
    I hope the masons have made things really difficult for the ex pope, but somehow, I doubt it.
    Too parochial. The dynamic is that protestants don’t concern themselves with popes. They’re not the boss.
    So it’s curious that such neurotic accusations are levelled at causes outside of the church. It couldn’t possibly be an internal churchy problem, or a problem of internal corruption and cowardice? No, it’s the masons!
     
    Masons are too busy with to care. They don’t run the church either, but don’t let that get in the way of your
    peculiar take on reality

  22. Dear Father Rickert,

    The entry in the AAS is published post facto as evidenced by the date given. The words “muneris” “and abdicatione” are NOT Benedict’s words, they are the words of the publishing house, much like the headnotes of a judgement form no part of the obiter or ratio.

    Canon law is self-referential so no amount of dictionary definition is of any use in this debate.

  23. Walls of text. I love it. I see I am not the only one who reads Theodore Beale.

    Yes, providing pertinent information is hateful according to The D.O.A. Cult which prefers to operate unopposed and anyone who objects to their obviously false claims is considered mean, hateful and a troll.

    But the D.O.A. Cult is not mean. No, not at all; nor does it engage in ad hominen when it insists it knows the interior motivation of he who abdicated and they claim with certitude that he bifurcated the Papacy and issued an intentionally deceptive resignation intending to fool the entire Catholic Church.

    No, nothing negatively personal there.

    The entire subtext of The D.O.A. argument is it possesses an afflatic ability others lack and if one disagrees with it he is a Papolatrist.

    C’est la vie.

    These responses prove the point of what I earlier posted – what happens when prophecy fails – but membership in and fealty to The D.O.A. Cult renders one blind (and forgetful) and they are blind leaders leading others into a pit.

    ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails

    The D.O.A Cult is a material schism racing towards a formal schism but like all other schisms preceding it, only it thinks it is is right, reliable and possessed of the truth and so it it is only by maintaining the Bonds of Unity in Doctrine, and Authority with Bullets that one will not jeopardise his salvation.

    This madness is a Diabolical Disorientation but because they are part of it, the D.O.A. Cult can not see it because it is possessed and ensnared and blinded by it and humility is the only key for each member to be released from it but who can imagine, say, Bullets after such a long and public time of banging on and on about this, quitting her haughty heights and apologising for her actions?

    I pray it does happen and that she returns to communion with the Pope ( I do not know who her Bishop is and whether or not she is in communion with him) because EENS and, also, 2 John 9 anticipated the D.O.A. Cult.

  24. C. P. Benischek
    April 26, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Re: ABS / Mick Jagger (bornacatholic)

    Good catch Brotherbeowulf

    A question for Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque where he said
    January 10, 2022 at 6:49 pm
    Children are innocent, they are pure.
    They are neither. They are born in darkness and ignorance and they require the Sacrament of Baptism to become children of God.

    If this were true, how is it you and and ABS could be bornacatholic?

    I miss the speaking in the third person

  25. Dr. Briggs I was glad to see this post and more importantly the opportunity to discuss this issue from multiple sides.

    I confess at the start I have no idea which man is the Pope. However I think the preponderance of the evidence favors Benedict. I think this – I don’t require other Catholics to agree we me and admit I could be mistaken.

    I have noticed that the professional catholic pundits were ignoring this issue – similar to how the secular media avoids covering certain topics. So I was happy to see some discussion of this topic in the professional catholic world on this.

    I’m not an expert but it does strike me as interesting that:

    We have two bishops “dressed in white” living in the Vatican, in light of the words of the third secret, namely: `”… we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it, a bishop dressed in white. We had the impression that it was the Holy Father.” Vatican’s official translation into English of the full text of the third secret of Fatima (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/vatican-issues-text-of-third-secret-1.286393)

    Add to this the fact that Bergoglio is a complete and utter heretic and pervert (see here: https://en-denzingerbergoglio.com/ and here: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-pope-s-bizarre-rant-about-eating-faeces-makes-me-wonder-if-he-should-retire) and we have quite a bit of smoke if not actual fire.

    Add to this the profound novelty of a reining pope resigning his office.

    Add to this the issues related to his Bergoglio’s “election” via the machinations of the St Gallen’s mafia – and it seems reasonable that some Catholics may be uncertain who is the validly elected Pope.

    Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque – threating folks with talk like: “Who eats of the Pope dies like a beast” when they have a completely reasonable doubt as to who is actually the Pope – seems uncharitable, and counter-productive to this discussion. Especially when knowing who is the actual pope is apparently NOT a requirement for salvation or holiness (see the life of St Vincent Ferrer, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Ferrer#Western_Schism)

    Thank you Dr. Briggs for taking up the discussion on your excellent website. God bless.

  26. There’s so much wrong about Bergoglio I forgot to add his mania and hatred of Tradition, his wanton destruction of good religious orders, and his slavish obedience to the Great Reset Crowd – in particular his absolute participation in the crime against humanity – Covid jab.

  27. Dear L. Ron, Moi aussi. I have used many different S/N over the years.

    I think the first one I used was Catholic Guy at Free Republic where I was TOSed for making fun of George Bush. I said the reason he invaded Iraq instead of Iran was that thought he was invading those countries in alphabetical order.

    Dear Jeff. I copied and pasted a section from an old Catholic Manual that treated of the old axiom – Who eats of the Pope does like a beast – and so it is not my threat but an axiom from Tradition.

    Jeff. Bergoglio is not the cat’s pajamas but even if he were an arm of the devil he would have authority over you and every other Catholic.

  28. ?Presented to hopefully clear up many of the misunderstandings of the extent and limits of Papal Authority, which are easily seen in the comments.

    On the authority of the Pope holding the Papal Office at any time, which Office was given and established by God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ …. presentation by Cardinal Burke April 7, 2018.

    Here is Cardinal Burke’s full presentation at the conference … below is partial report by Mr. Pentin at the NCR.

    Full Presentation by Cardinal Burke is at:
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/full-text-cardinal-burkes-address/

    Below is a Partial report .. by Mr. Ed Pentin at the NCR … there is more at the site …

    https://www.ncregister.com/blog/cardinal-burke-papal-authority-derives-from-obedience-to-christ
    “Cardinal Raymond Burke has stressed that popes must safeguard and promote Church unity, and that if a Roman Pontiff fails to act in conformity with Divine Revelation, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, such actions “must be rejected by the faithful.”

    In a talk given today in Rome on the current state of doctrinal confusion in the Church, the patron of the Order of Malta warned that any expression of doctrine or practice by a Roman Pontiff must be an “authentic exercise” of the Petrine ministry.

    He explained in a speech on The limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church that plenitudo potestatis — the fullness of power given to a pope — does not mean that a pope’s authority is “magical, but derives from his obedience to the Lord.”

    The canonist and prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura made the comments in light of growing concern that Pope Francis is leading the Church in a totalitarian and even lawless direction, not in continuity with the Church’s teaching and Tradition. The cardinal, however, did not specifically mention the Holy Father during his talk.

    Drawing on the teaching of 13th century canonist Cardinal Enrico da Susa (‘Hostiensis’) and the writings of English Professor John A. Watt, the American cardinal focused primarily on a pope’s absoluta potestas (absolute power) which, he said, is different from that defined by Machiavelli or totalitarian dictators in that it is used to “remedy defects” in existing law arising from “non-compliance” or because existing law was “inadequate to meet particular circumstances.”

    He added the “fullness of power” does not mean authority over the Church’s Magisterium, but rather as a “necessity” of governance “in full fidelity” to the Church’s Magisterium. As such, Cardinal Burke continued, it is only to be used “with great caution” and as a power for “building, not for destruction.”

    The Pope’s absoluta potestas, the cardinal added, is given by “Christ himself” and so can “only be exercised in obedience to Christ.” A pope could dispense with the law or interpret it, he said, but only so that it helps the law to serve its “proper purpose, never to subvert it.”

    He pointed out that any act of a pope considered “heretical or sinful” or that could “favor heresy or sin, undermined the foundations of society and was therefore null and void.”

    It was well understood, the cardinal explained, that the fullness of power given to a pope did not allow him to “act against the Apostolic Faith” but was a power he should use “sparingly and with the greatest prudence.”

    Quoting Watt, the cardinal said the exercise of plenitudo potestatiswas meant to serve souls and the unity of the Church, not the personal interests of individuals. “If the Pope acted in this way sine causa [without cause] or arbitrarily, he would put his salvation at risk.”

    God bless, C-Marie

  29. ?Presented to hopefully clear up many of the misunderstandings of the extent and limits of Papal Authority, which are easily seen in the comments.

    On the authority of the Pope holding the Papal Office at any time, which Office was given and established by God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ ….

    Here is Cardinal Burke’s full presentation at the conference … below is partial report by Mr. Pentin at the NCR.

    Full Presentation by Cardinal Burke is at:
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/full-text-cardinal-burkes-address/

    Below is a Partial report .. by Mr. Ed Pentin at the NCR … there is more at the site …

    https://www.ncregister.com/blog/cardinal-burke-papal-authority-derives-from-obedience-to-christ
    “Cardinal Raymond Burke has stressed that popes must safeguard and promote Church unity, and that if a Roman Pontiff fails to act in conformity with Divine Revelation, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, such actions “must be rejected by the faithful.”

    In a talk given today in Rome on the current state of doctrinal confusion in the Church, the patron of the Order of Malta warned that any expression of doctrine or practice by a Roman Pontiff must be an “authentic exercise” of the Petrine ministry.

    He explained in a speech on The limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church that plenitudo potestatis — the fullness of power given to a pope — does not mean that a pope’s authority is “magical, but derives from his obedience to the Lord.”

    The canonist and prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura made the comments in light of growing concern that Pope Francis is leading the Church in a totalitarian and even lawless direction, not in continuity with the Church’s teaching and Tradition. The cardinal, however, did not specifically mention the Holy Father during his talk.

    Drawing on the teaching of 13th century canonist Cardinal Enrico da Susa (‘Hostiensis’) and the writings of English Professor John A. Watt, the American cardinal focused primarily on a pope’s absoluta potestas (absolute power) which, he said, is different from that defined by Machiavelli or totalitarian dictators in that it is used to “remedy defects” in existing law arising from “non-compliance” or because existing law was “inadequate to meet particular circumstances.”

    He added the “fullness of power” does not mean authority over the Church’s Magisterium, but rather as a “necessity” of governance “in full fidelity” to the Church’s Magisterium. As such, Cardinal Burke continued, it is only to be used “with great caution” and as a power for “building, not for destruction.”

    The Pope’s absoluta potestas, the cardinal added, is given by “Christ himself” and so can “only be exercised in obedience to Christ.” A pope could dispense with the law or interpret it, he said, but only so that it helps the law to serve its “proper purpose, never to subvert it.”

    He pointed out that any act of a pope considered “heretical or sinful” or that could “favor heresy or sin, undermined the foundations of society and was therefore null and void.”

    It was well understood, the cardinal explained, that the fullness of power given to a pope did not allow him to “act against the Apostolic Faith” but was a power he should use “sparingly and with the greatest prudence.”

    Quoting Watt, the cardinal said the exercise of plenitudo potestatiswas meant to serve souls and the unity of the Church, not the personal interests of individuals. “If the Pope acted in this way sine causa [without cause] or arbitrarily, he would put his salvation at risk.”

    God bless, C-Marie

  30. You’re no doubt aware that many in the D.O.A. Cult (Disciples of Ann) will reflexively gainsay it owing to their ideology but I sure hope this pierces their delusional defenses.

    Well… only if you and Fr. Rickert can also explain to us the ramifications of what to make of the fact that Francis’ adulterous-eucharistic receiving letter to the Bishops of Buenos Aires is also part of the Acta Apostolicae Sedes…

    https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/12/pope-francis-promulgates-buenos-aires.html

    So… are we to give our full assent to Acta Apotolicae Sedes or not? Can we pick and choose which Actas of the Sedes we like?

    I think this is worth spilling some ink over… don’t you?

    Are you open to an investigation of the resignation? If not, why not?
    Are you open to an investigation of the 2013 “conclave’ for crimes against UGD? If not, why not?

    Dear Debbie. No.

    Oh…? Why not buttercup?

    With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations.37…

    https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_en.html

    There can b ebno legitimate desire to “investigate” a dogmatic fact.

    I see… I see… so at no time ever in the history of the Church were there ever anti-popes or any period during their reign where a considerable number of people followed them nor any investigations between two sides with holy men and women on either….

    Wow! What a “dogmatic fact”! Either all of Church history must be wrong, or the quote up there taken from the Doctrinal Commentary Section doesn’t mean what somebody thinks it means…

    Perhaps one should consider the term ‘historical necessity’ where the word ‘necessity’ should be emphasized, as to declare the truth otherwise would be to distort a historical truth to such an extent that it undermines the integrity of the Church if it were in error for a considerable historical period that if not corrected in due time would’ve done great damage. Considering we are still living in the contemporary time it is incumbent on the ‘anti-Barnhardists’ to demonstrate what historical necessities necessitate that Francis must absolutely be Pope and absolutely cannot be an anti-Pope because some integrity on the Church’s part may be destroyed. Pray, tell us what that would be? Maybe the integrity of Amoris Letitia, reinforced in the Acta Apostolicae Sedes by the Buenos Aires letter? The Pachamama worship? The Vexxine Green Pass Program?

    Mick, it seems pretty clear to me that the D.O.A. will become outright Sedevacantists when the pope emeritus dies.

    That is the implication, yes. But that scare-tactic tends to lose it’s gist when the ones reveling in this future prognostication find themselves in open violation of the Acta Apostolicae Sedes to refuse obedience to the one they hold as Pope to deny public adulterers Holy Communion. So which side here subscribes to the larger scandal?

  31. The Benepapists fail to read that canon 332.2 lists only two requirements, and that the use of the specific word “munus” is not one of them. When papal resignations were declared possible back in the time of Pope Celestine V and Boniface VIII, it was said the the Roman Pontiff can resign the ‘papacy’. Then a canon was added to the Liber Sextus, and there “Roman Pontiff” was used. So, any number of words might be used to express the reality that the “papacy” is being resigned. Even the Ms. Acosta appears to admit the specific word “munus” need not be used. I discuss this specific part of the controversy here:

    Granted… but here’s the issue – Pope Celestine V and Boniface VIII’s resignations were clearly expressed that they wanted out, and behaved like they wanted out after-the-fact. Benedict’s is a lousy mess that requires clarification from the man himself alongside his behaviour that is unlike that of the prior Papal resignations, and Benedict allegedly even expressed that his was not like Celestine’s according to Ganswein alongside other suspicious statements by the same man that the Papal Ministry was not like before and that Benedict’s acceptance of the Papacy was “irrevocable.”

    https://cathnews.com/cathnews/25377-did-benedict-resignation-redefine-the-papacy

    So tell us Steven… Is Ganswein a liar? Perhaps you might be charitable and say that Ganswein is confused. But how do you know? Were you there? Do you know better? Are you in touch with Benedict? At the very least, I think you agree that Benedict should be called on to clarify, and Ganswein made to retract even if it stains his honor, but his statements don’t look like some poetic embellishments to me and are in fact VERY consistent. So, no I don’t believe Ganswein is lying. How about you?

    Furthermore, the Benepapists have warped what Benedict meant by “always” and “forever” in his last audience. I explain, citing Benedict’s words, how he defined his use of them. The Benepapists do not read the full context of the last audience, for if they did, they would see that their rendering of the text is untenable. They are simply reading there theories INTO the text. I discuss that here:

    Translation: Ganswein, Benedict’s long-standing personal secretary and close friend and minder doesn’t know what Benedict was talking about, but Steven O’Rielly does and has the right interpretation and it is that “Benedict is speaking of his own privacy being forever lost.”

    Yeah… I mean… look at all the privacy he’s lost now that he is virtually inaccessible…

    Also you seem to sum up the opposition as, “The theory that Benedict XVI believed such nonsense is evidence for the beneplenist that Benedict committed a “substantial error” in his resignation.”

    Well, not quite. Many beneplenists don’t believe that Benedict “believed such nonsense”, but rather that Benedict deliberately sabotaged his own resignation because he was being forced into it or some other such theory. I don’t personally have any stake in which side of that is right, I do believe in just asking the man, he is very open and engaged with the public what with belonging to everyone without any return to the private sphe… oh… ooooohhhhhh…. wait…

    No offence Steve… but Ganswein has more credibility by being closer to Benedict than you. Unless you want to go on the record and call Ganswein a liar. Because that is what you’re going to have to do, as your objections depend on your assumption that Benedict has only in mind his “private life” and that one cannot cease being a “father.” But if anything these are also read easily in the light of him thinking that the Papacy leaves some indelible mark that is “irrevocable”, as per Ganswein.

    The other part of this mess, is the suggestion that Benedict (certainly when Fr. Ratzinger) had a mistaken view of the Petrine munus, for example, thinking the papacy “sacrament.” Dr. Mazza has cited various Ratzinger texts to this effect. However, he wrongly uses these texts. This has been demonstrated here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/22/a-closer-look-at-mr-coffins-evidence-dr-mazzas-thesis-3-0/

    This is a good rebuttal by you Steve. I also agree that Dr. Mazza has not concretely proven anything from Benedict’s previous writings. We do know that Benedict’s circles of nouvelle theologians from Germany were speculating on the idea of expanding and redefining the Papal office as part of the whole “opening up” to the world and the Prottys and the Easterns. While Benedict was no doubt aware of these things there is nothing indicating that he was aligned with them despite being open to other liberal erroneous things that made up much of the Vatican II era crowd in his early days. In fact, given Francis himself is pursuing more collegiality, and independent autonomous bishops conference models of doing things to cater to their more “local” tastes and preference for the Eastern model of the Church that Francis likely is more sympathetic to these expansive Papal ideas than Benedict.

    But this doesn’t get us away from Ganswein, whose remarks DESERVE a formal Inquisitorial hearing for scandal and a formal retraction if he is indeed a liar. And by consequence, so too does Benedict by necessity of association and alleged attribution, need to come out and settle this matter.

    I’m sure the usual anti-Barnhardists are lividly up in arms at the mere suggestion that more clarification would somehow be a bad thing because if there is anybody we can blindly trust it’s the Gay lobby in the Vatican who leaked things, threatened, and ran circles around Benny. But it would simply put the matter to rest from the mouth of the man himself who I’m sure can schedule it into that very non-private life he was no doubt expecting. So please remind him that according to Steven O’Rielly’s own interpretation of Benedict’s words that Benedict is on-call and the sheep need him to acquiesce to a few of their baa-baa-ing for the sake of unity. And when said and done also this should hopefully serve as another fine episode of “Papal resignations are a bad idea” especially when done by Popes touched by modernism like Benedict XVI who’d have been better served by curtailing his need for excessive flowery verbosified intellectualism and simply laid down his munus in no more than 10 words. So he only has himself to blame for failing to be succinct. Unless of course, the conspiracy theory is true… in which case it makes sense that Mr. Open-to-The-Public is oddly hard to get ahold of and cannot release any non-private statements that haven’t been selectively edited, photoshopped and left unsigned, by the Vatican Press Office and those select journalists who “understand.” Maybe we should just send in Eugenio Scalfari at this point as he seems to have better luck asking all kinds of things.

  32. Jeff and Johnno, right On-o. Bergoglio’s authority ends at the terlet (that’s Brooklynese). You’d have to be mad, living in Siberia and blissfully ignorant, just plain dumb, or plainly unCatholic to follow this False Pope and his novel teachings.

    As St. Paul reminds us in today’s epistle, “For there will be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned onto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3)

    Ecce Homo (pun most wickedly intended):

    “As a result of [Francis’s] change, religious-order priests who sexually abuse minors and other vulnerable persons, or who commit canonical crimes related to child pornography, will no longer be automatically dismissed from their religious institutes.

    “In addition, religious-order priests who ‘force someone to perform or submit to sexual acts’ will no longer be automatically dismissed from their religious institutes.”

    https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=54632

    What an advance for the faith. Well done, Jorge.

    Question is, which faith?

    C. P. Benischek
    Guadalajara, Mexico

  33. Jeff and Johnno, right On-o. Bergoglio’s authority ends at the terlet (that’s Brooklynese for the can). You’d have to be mad, living in Siberia and blissfully ignorant, just plain dumb, or plainly unCatholic to follow this False Pope and his novel teachings.

    As St. Paul reminds us in today’s epistle, “For there will be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3)

    Ecce Homo (pun most wickedly intended):

    “As a result of [Francis’s] change, religious-order priests who sexually abuse minors and other vulnerable persons, or who commit canonical crimes related to child pornography, will no longer be automatically dismissed from their religious institutes.

    “In addition, religious-order priests who ‘force someone to perform or submit to sexual acts’ will no longer be automatically dismissed from their religious institutes.”

    https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=54632

    What an advance for the faith. Well done, Jorge.

    Question is, which faith?

    C. P. Benischek
    Guadalajara, Mexico

  34. Jeff / johnno / c p

    re: Francis’ remarks on coprophilia

    That puts me in mind of the rumors about Joe Biden making a ‘grumpy’ in the presence of Francis

  35. Good stuff Johnno, CPB, and a few others, papalatry is not intrinsic to the Catholic and Apostolic Faith; as per the Pauline “withstanding him to his face” right from the get-go.

    I say again, that the only way that a temporal authority (such as a pope) can “bind on Earth” is by duly promulgated laws and precepts; such as Canon Law and defined “articles of Faith” in conformity with the Apostolic Deposit. Even in the most egregious secular despotism it is not regarded as lawful to change a precept of law retrospectively by simply ignoring it and doing something proscribed by the existing valid laws. Such an act is rightly regarded as anarchy and/or revolution.

    It is commonly proposed and accepted that “Catholic” means “universal” which gives the modernist impression that if an idea or belief is widespread or dominant then it is “catholic”. Modernism, both secular and “theological”, presume that everything (including notions of the nature of life, truth and good) are spontaneously produced out of the primeval Nothing turning itself into Everything.

    More precisely, though, “Catholic” means “the same in every time and place”. It does not admit an Evolutionary “becoming” what it was to what it will be ad infinitum.

  36. @Johnno,

    Benedict’s resignation was clearly expressed. Resigning the “ministry of the bishop of Rome…in such as way that…the See of Rome, The See of Peter will be vacant…”. A vacant See of Peter means no pope. If he meant something other, the responsibility is on the side of the Benepapists to prove their case, and this they have no done.

    While it would be best if ex-popes were locked away in a monastery to avoid confusion, and or mischief (imagine Francis as an ex-pope); too much has been made of the wearing of white, etc. Benedict wears a simple white cassock without the mozzetta, or red shoes, which are symbols of authority. He removed his Fisherman’s ring upon his resignation, as Ganswein bore witness to. The Benepapists neglect to mention these things which argue against their Argument Ad Confusion.

    As for Ganswein…if you haven’t, take a look at my article on his speech. Here too, I think the Benepapists are misreading Ganswein and they misunderstand the nature and context of the speech. See

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/03/19/regarding-gansweins-speech/

    Show me where I am wrong rearding Ganswein, using his speech…as I do. Don’t bring your presuppositions to the discussion as folks like Ms. Barnhardt, etc., have done.

    With regard to Benedict’s meaning behind “loss of privacy” in his last audience; I see you make no attempt to use Benedict’s text to show where my explanation of his meaning is wrong.

    Explain where I am wrong: https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/27/regarding-benedicts-last-audience/

    Of all the theories, the “sabotage” theory is the most unbelievable, and the most desperate. I have discussed why I believe that is most certainly the case in a couple of places. Most recently, I look at Andrea Cionci’s absurd use of the “Ratzinger Code” to try to explain away Benedict’s clear words, only a few hours before his resignation on February 28th 2013, at 8pm: “I will no longer by the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church…”

    If one wants a hoot, read Mr. Cionci’s article. My response to him, and Ms. Acosta’s explanation may be found here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/28/regarding-the-ratzinger-code/

    I’ve address Mr. Cionci’s articles elsewhere, as well as him directly in response to a reply from him, see:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/04/12/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space/
    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/04/12/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space/

    Now…as to what us, the sheep, should do? Well, first, I can tell you what should not be done. It should not be to issue Declarations, and Petitions definitely declaring Benedict IS STILL POPE, and also declaring “we” will not accept any conclave while he still lives, or if when he dies, any conclave with Francis appointed cardinals — all things the Declaration says.

    Such a course of action is guaranteeing a schism. It is a presumptuous act of folly which will not end well. Folks like Ms. Acosta, Ms. Barnhardt, et al…and even Dr. Mazza who tempers his comments somewhat (Benedict is “likely” pope) do their readers and followers no service, and no good. It is absurd to “follow” Benedict as pope, especially when he says such theories are “absurd,” and has stated in some many ways he is not pope (See Seewald interviews, etc). If there is some credible theory…then leave it there as a *theory* only; leave it as a theory, or hypothesis that the Church may one day take up an examine.

    What might the sheep do? Is it fair to ask for clarification? I am not opposed to asking for clarification — and certainly support it, if only to possibly head off many of my fellow Catholic going off into schism over the question. I have suggested that instead of these presumptuous acts of folly (i.e., the aformentioned Declaration and Petition; publicly affirming Benedict is definitely still pope, etc); the leading Benepapists could do something constructive to address the key points of their doubts, and those of well-meaning others.

    Why do the leading Benepapists not privately confer, and then come up with a list of 5-10 agreed upon “yes” or “no” questions which get to the heart of the Benepapist claims, and get these “dubia” to Benedict? There are ways to get these questions to someone like a Cardinal Burke or someone else — such as through certain Vatican reporters or Catholic personalities who DO have contact with the likes of Burke, who might then prevail upon Benedict the necessity to answer them, i.e., to head off a potential schism. I suggested it here:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/21/a-suggestion-for-beneplenists-before-its-too-late/

    I think the above suggestion would be a better way to approach the situation; and they should get on with it before Benedict dies. Why has there not been a concerted effort to do this by the leading Benepapists? This might have been done quietly, respectfully, long ago, behind the scenes. Instead, they have chosen a course of controversy and vituperative commentary. Why is that? My speculation is…they know they would not get the answers to support their public theories.

    Regards,

    Steve O’Reilly

  37. Steven O’Reilly,

    Benedict’s resignation was clearly expressed. Resigning the “ministry of the bishop of Rome…in such as way that…the See of Rome, The See of Peter will be vacant…”. A vacant See of Peter means no pope. If he meant something other, the responsibility is on the side of the Benepapists to prove their case, and this they have no done.

    Let’s consider those specific lines “ministry of the bishop of Rome…in such as way that…the See of Rome, The See of Peter will be vacant…”

    You know what this sounds like Steven? Like Benedict is really taking pains to explain what ought to have been obvious. Why is that? Why the EMPHASIS that laying down the “ministerium” in “such a way” that the “See of Peter is vacant”?

    Why not just say, “I lay down the munus of the bishop of Rome and the See is Peter is now vacant.”

    That’s because Benedict is introducing a novelty, and he knows it and he knows his statements are confusing. All this despite even going on to say, “and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”

    So why are you omitting all the other context? Benedict “resigned the ministry of Bishop of Rome” such that the “See of Peter would be vacant” because he “still remains within the enclave of St. Peter” within an office that is “irrevocable” part of “the Petrine ministry” “new way” etc. etc.

    In other words this can also be read as that Benedict believes he retains an aspect of the Papacy, while dividing the office such that it will be shared with someone else who will take the specific position that actively exercises the other half of the ministry from the vacant See who will have to be elected and carry out those duties and he will have that title while Benedict keeps his new title.

    So Frankie is deputy Pope in charge while the other guy is on inactive as a neutral-Pope?

    That is of course… nonsense! But let’s get to the heart of the matter…

    Are the words cited of “the See of Peter being vacant” magical enough to affect his resignation?

    Maybe. But how do you know? You got some ironclad rule you can point to like the Eucharistic Consecration formula? No you don’t, because as our friend Mick pointed out, and you as well, there is no such “formula.” Maybe next time there ought to be, but here we are now because we need to ascertain the following…

    Are all the other words surrounding the “resignation” before “the See of Peter being vacant” enough to invalidate those magical words? Maybe. But how do I know? I do think someone should find out…

    That’s nonsense, you think? The specific words you want to focus on are sufficient in and of themselves? Okay, let’s play that game… let’s consider a hypothetical resignation that goes:

    “Dear sheep. On such and such day, a group of cardinals who hate me came in, shoved me down and put a gun to my head and said, “Retire! Or else!” After a long time of careful consideration and taking into account my age and prior years of thinking about this step, I have now made the careful decision to resign in such a way that the See of Peter will be vacant. Thank you, I’ll be with you always!”

    Now tell us, Steven, would that resignation count? I mean… the words specifying that the “See of Peter will be vacant” are there. Look! You can read them for yourself! He said it! And that’s that! (*dusts hands*)

    Now obviously you would note that the resignation was made under duress and coercion, possibly even against the Pope’s own free will.

    But wait, wait! How do you know it was against his own free will? Maybe the Pope was planning on retiring anyway, and being threatened at gunpoint was all just a coincidence! That could happen! Look, here’s a decontextualized quote provided in ROMA Magazine where he once again says he’s retired! Here’s an interview with his aide that says the Pope was always going to retire so when the armed buffoons stormed into his chambers, he silently stared them down like Clint Eastwood and called their bluff until they left! So nothing to see here! Excuses and hand-waving can be manufactured ad infinitum.

    I mean… I guess we could just at least ask the guy… This could even be done quietly, respectfully, behind the scenes. But that also risks that some might choose a course of controversy and vituperative commentary! Why is that? My speculation is…they know they would not get the answers would lead to scandal and that they’d rather that it all just quietly gets swept under the rug so that they can happily sit on their back ends and carry on peacefully. What’s wrong with just wanting a normal day at the office?

    Let’s deal with that little statement of yours first, which I believe now obviously betrays a great naivety on your part.

    Why do the leading Benepapists not privately confer, and then come up with a list of 5-10 agreed upon “yes” or “no” questions which get to the heart of the Benepapist claims, and get these “dubia” to Benedict? There are ways to get these questions to someone like a Cardinal Burke or someone else — such as through certain Vatican reporters or Catholic personalities who DO have contact with the likes of Burke, who might then prevail upon Benedict the necessity to answer them, i.e., to head off a potential schism.

    Some of us have.

    https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/04/5-dubia-questions-for-pope-benedict-xvi.html

    I think the above suggestion would be a better way to approach the situation; and they should get on with it before Benedict dies. Why has there not been a concerted effort to do this by the leading Benepapists? This might have been done quietly, respectfully, long ago, behind the scenes. Instead, they have chosen a course of controversy and vituperative commentary. Why is that? My speculation is…they know they would not get the answers to support their public theories.

    Oh I see… yeah everyone, why can’t we just get a private audience with Benedict? I mean, easy, amirite?!

    Heck, why can’t Cardinal burke get an audience with Francis to answer his own Dubia? I mean, easy, amirite?!

    Oh heck, why can’t we schedule a private meeting with Vladimir Putin? Something quiet and respectful, maybe get an idea with what is going on? How about Trump? Elon Musk? Xi Yiping? I mean… easy! Amirite?!

    C’mon now Steven, this is HIGHLY disingenuous of you… You know PRECISELY why we will not get that hearing. This is why we are knocking so loudly on the door of the judge day after day to finally listen just so that we can stop making such a racket.

    Also we PREFER THAT IT BE PUBLIC, because we have nothing to hide. If it turns out our dubias can be sufficiently answered, then, great! Speaking for myself, anyway, I’m a-okay with the conclave being validly convened. I’ve even proposed the following possibility:

    – If finding that Benedict holds that the Papal Office can be split apart and shared by several members, and holds that opinion obstinately, then he is therefore a formal heretic and ipso facto lost of office regardless of the question of his resignation, therefore a state of sedevacantism existed, and the conclave that followed was legitimately convened –

    So please explain for us your shoddy BS accusatory statement that:

    This might have been done quietly, respectfully, long ago, behind the scenes. Instead, they have chosen a course of controversy and vituperative commentary. Why is that? My speculation is…they know they would not get the answers to support their public theories.

    Actually, we would be happy to receive any answers at all! And by being public we want the world to know them. There’s nothing to hide. Covering up things to avoid scandal damaging to them is the modus operandi of the modernist Catholic bishops. Not us.

    Why do YOU want things to be kept quiet and quietly brushed aside, Steven? Are you afraid the answers won’t be to your liking? I think that better explains why Burke won’t get answers to his dubia, and why nobody will confront Ganswein and instead we have to rely on Steven O’Reilly to act as his diplomatic interpreter and the Mouth of Benedict simultaneously. Why don’t all those reporters and interviewers ask those questions?

    If someone like Antonio Socci, a well know Catholic Italian journalist and writer who on the record raised these questions publicly can’t get official answers and direct access to Benedict, then what chance have we internet warrior Bene-Barnhardtists? Was Socci choosing a course of controversy and vituperative commentary just for fun?

    What magical world are you living in Steven? Is it the one where conspiracies and bureaucratic chasms between the common man and their alleged representatives don’t exist?

    While it would be best if ex-popes were locked away in a monastery to avoid confusion, and or mischief (imagine Francis as an ex-pope); too much has been made of the wearing of white, etc. Benedict wears a simple white cassock without the mozzetta, or red shoes, which are symbols of authority. He removed his Fisherman’s ring upon his resignation, as Ganswein bore witness to. The Benepapists neglect to mention these things which argue against their Argument Ad Confusion.

    Yes, yes, and there are no black cassocks his size throughout all of Rome, nor money to tailor one, nor any of his beloved children in the profession to make one for their public father; and he blesses and John-Hancock’s very apostolically, and for some odd reason every new bishop Francis makes needs to see him. Shall we continue with this game where you play a reverse card and I play a reverse card and we all play our reverse cards until somebody finally get Uno? Or can we just ask the guy about all this where you and I can both see him?

    Properly manifested, my foot… More like half-in/half-out typical modernism incarnate. We even know that Benedict initially contradicted the press releases by the Holy See who initially thought he’d go back to being Cardinal Ratzinger, and return to Bavaria. Nobody in there seems to know what was going on from one minute to the next. Why is Benedict still in Rome? What changed? Did he suddenly want a very private life contrary to his original being there for the children? It’s one contradiction after another and no explanation from Mr. Public.

    As for Ganswein…if you haven’t, take a look at my article on his speech. Here too, I think the Benepapists are misreading Ganswein and they misunderstand the nature and context of the speech.

    Show me where I am wrong rearding Ganswein, using his speech…as I do. Don’t bring your presuppositions to the discussion as folks like Ms. Barnhardt, etc., have done.

    I did. Essentially, it rests upon your OWN assumptions such as:
    – Ganswein’s interpretations pre-date Benedict’s actual resignation and could therefore be wrong
    – Ganswein’s speech occurred years later and could therefore be mis-remembering what he discussed with Benedict prior.

    Also:
    – Out of Benedict’s many contradictory statements, here are some that I am choosing to refer to that I feel put the matter to rest and should therefore override all the others because off-the-cuff statements casually given to pilgrims are more authoritative than the mess Benedict officially announced and promulgated.
    – Ganswein could be read by the Beneplenists one way, but here’s another way, Steven’s preferred way, alongside a list of Steven’s personal speculative suspicions about what Ganswein might have had in mind and possibly meant.
    – Rather than reading Benedict in Benedict’s own words, read them as Steven says Benedict means his own words, and also how Steven means Ganswein means about Ganswein. But we will never touch upon the actual words people want to know about.

    You don’t concretely answer anything. Your interpretation could be right. It could be! But so could Mazza’s.

    Benedict and Ganswein could just be referring to a new official fancy title for retired Popes that they could put on their fancy business cards with all the abstract textured synodal dimensions they want in the background that has no actual effect on the office or resignation. Or Benedict and Ganswein could have in trying to modernize the Papal role in such a way have inadvertently produced results that are so erroneous and heretical in their understanding of the office that if having this in mind as a chief necessity for Benedict to effectively retire, could invalidate his resignation without him intending to. Because Benedict cannot just alter as he wishes what Christ has instituted even a slight bit any more than that Moses was at liberty to strike the rock twice. Perhaps you and I and most human beings today just brush over such things with an “eh, whatever”, but does God?

    Even if Steven O’Reilly is right, then I believe pains should still be taken to run Ratzinger and Ganswein through the ringer as a lesson for their blatant stupidity and as a warning to future successors.

    So where the heck is Ganswein anyway? Why doesn’t he just come out and simply affirm what Steven O’Reilly says he meant? That he was just referring in excessively flowery verbiage to a pointless new title card that Benedict wanted to try and introduce in Church history as one last act of modern German vandalism on the way out? Why can’t we just get a private audience with Ganswein? I mean, easy, amirite?!

    With regard to Benedict’s meaning behind “loss of privacy” in his last audience; I see you make no attempt to use Benedict’s text to show where my explanation of his meaning is wrong.

    It’s the part where Benedict says “My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.”

    “active exercise of the ministry”

    “active exercise of the ministry”

    “active exercise of the ministry”

    That is where the problem is, and this is what is laid down in his official resignation.

    Why not say, “My decision to resign does not revoke this.” Why such ongoing DELIBERATE SPECIFICITY?

    All the rest is him waffling about still being there as a public figure for everyone, distinct from “active exercise of the ministry.”

    And for being such a public figure, us Beneplenists can’t reach him. Thanks father for being there for us! I can just feel the bond of love with all the access to you that Steven believes we have somehow deliberately chosen not to take full advantage of!

    Benedict is indeed all-around talking about his private versus public state of life. But you have danced around the bomb. The bomb being that the Beneplenists are concerned with Benedict’s insistence of specifying munus versus ministerium and what he specifically is laying down, and whether or not that had any bearing on his resignation; not how many people he has access to. You are focusing on the dough and not the little leaven.

    You attempt to address this by stating:

    Yes, Benedict immediately says that his “decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” However, contrary to what the beneplenists claim, Benedict is not speaking of an indelible mark. When Benedict says the resignation “does not revoke this,” the “this” — grammatically and in context — necessarily refers to the “no return to the private sphere.”

    And again in the list of objections:

    How then to understand what Benedict says immediately afterwards: “My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this“? The answer is clear, the “this” refers back to the inability to return to the “private sphere,” in other words, his resignation does not revoke the bond of love of which Benedict spoke; he will carry it “for ever” — and thus the meaning of the “always is also a for ever.”

    But we are NOT talking about this which of course is referring to his private/public life. We are specifically talking about his “decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry” REGARDLESS of “this.” What does that mean?

    Of all the theories, the “sabotage” theory is the most unbelievable, and the most desperate. I have discussed why I believe that is most certainly the case in a couple of places.

    I also think the sabotage theory is unlikely. Benedict always had a propensity for modernism. I also hold him as a accomplice for covering up the 3rd Secret of Fatima. More likely his modernistic habit got the better of him and created a mess he didn’t intend to create. The ramifications either are that he himself is responsible for confusion in the Church, or he has inadvertently produced an anti-pope whether he likes it or not.

    Now…as to what us, the sheep, should do? Well, first, I can tell you what should not be done. It should not be to issue Declarations, and Petitions definitely declaring Benedict IS STILL POPE, and also declaring “we” will not accept any conclave while he still lives, or if when he dies, any conclave with Francis appointed cardinals — all things the Declaration says.

    I agree, in that we should not make anything definitively declarative, but allowance should be made to strongly make a case for argument’s sake.

    Such a course of action is guaranteeing a schism. It is a presumptuous act of folly which will not end well. Folks like Ms. Acosta, Ms. Barnhardt, et al…and even Dr. Mazza who tempers his comments somewhat (Benedict is “likely” pope) do their readers and followers no service, and no good. It is absurd to “follow” Benedict as pope, especially when he says such theories are “absurd,” and has stated in some many ways he is not pope (See Seewald interviews, etc). If there is some credible theory…then leave it there as a *theory* only; leave it as a theory, or hypothesis that the Church may one day take up an examine.

    Not “one day.” As soon as possible. We all know how “one day” in the Church has been handled in the case of sexual abuse.

    What might the sheep do? Is it fair to ask for clarification? I am not opposed to asking for clarification — and certainly support it, if only to possibly head off many of my fellow Catholic going off into schism over the question. I have suggested that instead of these presumptuous acts of folly (i.e., the aformentioned Declaration and Petition; publicly affirming Benedict is definitely still pope, etc); the leading Benepapists could do something constructive to address the key points of their doubts, and those of well-meaning others.

    Sure, but the longer it takes for the Church and authorities to get on with the matter, the longer they ignore it, the more the responsibility falls on THEM for any falling away of Catholics who will rightly conclude that they are either hiding something or care so little for the Truth and their duty that they are all best avoided altogether. And all those irregularities during the 2020 US Election were all just a coincidence too with perfectly good explanations for, but in the public interest none of them will be pursued or answered by those in authority whose competence it is to do so. So stop talking about it and just trust the system, it’s infallible.

  38. @Johnno,

    Benedict did not need to say the word “munus” for the resignation to be valid. I’ve provided the reasons for this here, addressing a number of Benepapist objections:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/21/regarding-benedicts-declaratio/

    As to Benedict *supposedly* believing he retained any part of the Petrine munus is untenable in light of canon 331; which he surely knew of — as it is in pontifical section of the canon law. Further, had he intended to split the papacy, or split the Primacy from the See of Rome as some Benepapists allege; then he would have needed to change Universi Dominici Gregis…which he did NOT do on that score, as is evident from the changes he DID make to UDG just a few days before his effective resignation. Benepapists don’t like talking about Normas Nonnullas.

    See https://romalocutaest.com/2022/02/24/regarding-benedicts-normas-nonnullas/

    As to force or coercion; you have no evidence the demonstrates Benedict was forced. The extent of your evidence is to essentially try to explain away all the evidence for the freedom of his decision. Now no one in the BXVI camp has disputed he said contrary theories are “absurd.” He said hours before his resignation “I will not longer be Supreme Pontiff…”; he said in various Seewald interviews his resignation was free; and he has been visited for the last 9 years by friends and cardinals, co written a book or two…and none of them…not one…has suggested he hinted he did not resign freely. In the face of such cumulative evidence, it is really unbelievable anyone could argued he was coerced, or forced.

    You say:

    “You don’t concretely answer anything. Your interpretation could be right. It could be! But so could Mazza’s.”

    The problem is, Dr. Mazza, for example, essentially says his interpretation is the ONLY one; as does Ms. Barnhardt et al. That is the problem…they don’t allow the possibility that a less controversial interpretation is possible. Remember…the burden of proof is on them…thus…they must demonstrate why my interpretation is impossible. All Ms Barnhardt has said on that score is anyone who doesn’t accept the Benepapist reading of the last audience, or of Ganswein is a ‘liar’, etc., or words to that effect. They don’t even consider that Ganswein speaks in any other sense, than what they allow. But, I have demonstrated how Dr. Mazza has misinterpreted Benedict, and I have elsewhere demonstrated where Ms. Barnhardt have misinterpreted Benedict.

    See Dr. Mazza on Benedict:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/22/a-closer-look-at-mr-coffins-evidence-dr-mazzas-thesis-3-0/

    See Ms. Barnhardt on Benedict:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2019/01/15/benedict-is-still-not-pope-and-other-errors/

    Consequently, readers should be cautious when leading Benepapists declare they certainly know how to read Benedict in the last audience, or Ganswein in his speech.

    I’ve shown in my article, Ganswein speaks of the end of Benedict’s pontificate, of his removing the ring, etc. He also speaks figurataive of Regoli and Seewald also sharing in the expanding Petrine ministry. Was he speaking in a loose, figurative sense of them? Surely. Why could he not have been doing so of Benedict’s continuing in prayer for the whole Church in a similar fashion.

    Further, Ganswein has objected to the controversial interpretations of his speech. I cite at least one article to that effect in my Ganswein article.

    Again, see: https://romalocutaest.com/2022/03/19/regarding-gansweins-speech/

    Regarding the last audience, the decision ‘to renounce the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke THIS”…the THIS refers back to what he meant about the ‘loss of privacy’, i.e., ultimately the bond of love for his ‘sons and daughter.’ This is grammatically obvious in the text. Aside from that, his statement does not deny he resigns…he admits it. The “active” does not suggest the Petrine “ministry” is divisible. Remember, his Declaratio makes no such distinction in the key declaration…he said he “renounced the ministry of the bishop of Rome”…he did not say “I renounce the active ministry…”; as if to say he kept something “passive.” He further comments in the last audience of an active and passive LIFE which St. Benedict speaks of. BXVI has given up the ‘active’ part of his life where he engages in a ministry; and now retires to a passive life of prayers and reflection and contemplative.

    For reasons previously given…the fact of the Declaratio, Normas Nonnullas, Benedict saying “I will no longer be pope…”, BXVI calling contrary theories “absurd” without contradiction from his camp, the Seewald interviews where he speaks of his free resignation; visitors and friends not suggesting the resignation was coerced or invalid over 9 years, etc., the obvious thing is, the resignation of BXVI is valid. Clearly, if nothing else, the weight of the evidence, is on the side of validity.

    I do think the Benepapists should try to get some question to BXVI…I suggested how. That might try Seewald. Given the Declaration and Petition is out there, the possibility of a real schism here; I think is real…and I’d be surprised if Benedict would not answer a few simple “yes” or ‘no’ questions that get to the heart of the issue. I won’t presume to tell the Benepapists what they should ask for that purpose.

    I would love it if Francis could be should shown not to be a real pope, or no longer pope, or whatever. This pontificate is a catastrophe. On my blog…I have explored questions about the conclave (see https://romalocutaest.com/2020/09/23/the-conclave-chronicles/). But…it is not for me to judge what only the Church/future pope can do. I would not mind being proved wrong on the BXVI question, for this purpose above. However, a bad theory is no substitute for a good one…and I believe in critically examining claims, and the “evidence” put forward for them. As much as I’d love it to be true; this does not relieve one of a responsibility to the truth. I’d love Benepapism to be true…but it simply isn’t based on the information presented to date. The Benedict is still pope theory is a very bad theory.

    I outline here, why Benepapism is wrong: https://romalocutaest.com/2022/03/21/the-case-against-those-who-claim-benedict-is-still-pope/

    Thanks for the discussion.

    Regards.

    Steve O’Reilly

  39. @Steven O’Reilly

    Some questions, then … why did Pope Benedict XVI use the two words … “munus” and “ministerium” … when apparently, he could have used either one, twice.

    Also, why the change in paragraphs in the translations from Latin, from three to two? Did Benedict authorize the change? http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/la/speeches/2013/february/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20130211_declaratio.html

    And why, in the co-authored book with Cardinal Sarah, did Pope Benedict XVI write the words “Jesus and His movement”?? I have never read “Jesus and His movement” anywhere else. Rather, it was and is, Jesus and the Good News Of Salvation which He brought to us and revealed to us.

    Benedict, being the absolute scholar that he is …. it is very hard to believe the word “movement” in this context, was authored by him.

    God bless, C-Marie

  40. C-Marie, hi.

    As to why he used two words, munus and ministerium, you’d need to ask him. Some have speculated the switch was for the purpose of the prose; not reusing the same word a few times; and or the switch to “ministerium/ministero” was because the latter seemed to him more personal, or relational. Regardless, there is no canon law requirement for a specific word to be used.

    As to the number of paragraphs…I have no idea…but I don’t see that it really matters; as it would not substantially change the meaning.

    As to his use of “Jesus and His movement”…again…you’d have to ask Benedict. Regardless, it has no bearing on the resignation question — we know he read his resignation letter. We know he told pilgrims a few hours before 8pm on 2/28/2013 that “I will no longer be Supreme Pontiff…”; we know he spoke of his resignation with Seewald; he’s entertained visitors and friends for the last 9 years — no one has said he has ever said or hinted he is still pope.

    What are you suggesting? That Benedict didn’t really co-author the book? This is your proof? Paper-thin speculations are no basis to be declaring him still pope.

    God bless,

    Steve O’Reilly

  41. Don’t take Steven O’Reilly seriously. He is an “authority” but doesn’t even know Latin and mocks those who do because he relies on bad “expert” Latinists. A man who has never genuinely considered the arguments against his own for many years now, but argues always in the favor of his own preconceived conclusions. But his “expertise” in Latin is too much and deserves no little ridicule of its own. At least Cionci never pretends such expertise.

    Andrei Cionci does an excellent job proving that it was Benedict’s INTENTION not to resign the munus, only the ministerium: words Benedict was careful to distinguish in his document itself (Declaratio). New to me in his argument are these finds: that Benedict is an excellent Latinist (those aren’t mistakes), that he chose the day — a day well known to him to give way his intent, that his precedent is Benedict VIII and not Celestine V (the latter I knew, not the former). https://www.byoblu.com/2021/10/20/papa-antipapa-inchiesta-32/ He has written many articles, some of great merit, a few mistaken. But it’s worthy of consideration and not O’Reilly’s mockery.

    As to the words, they are everything. It was not “RITE manifestetur” that is made known in a PROPER manner. It’s ambiguous, deliberately — and again Cionci proves it was deliberate, which I was uncertain of before. Moreover, not in Cionci, Benedict ASSURED its invalidity in the words themselves, many ways. He cleverly said “plena libertate declaro” not “declaro me plena libertate resignare”; he said “declaro me resignare”, never “resigno” — the former is definitively not an ACT, but in the mind only. These are just the beginnings of the oddities, but there is more than a thread or crumbs to follow.

    Besides the words, as Benedict told his friend Bransmuller, he had to do what he did (that is wear the white inter alia, and can we say give in the letter his Apostolic blessing too?) because it CONFORMED to the reality. He is pope. He did not resign “freely” but forced by great fear, fear he noted when he was first elevated, which fear must be investigated, not ridiculed. It can be presumed he resigned from fear, but he only resigned the ministerium, not the munus, which is clear in the reading of the actual resignation. This was to escape the designs of the Saint Gallen Mafia, which Ganswein himself had noted, not just some conspiracy theory.

    The words, his intentions (manifested in the words, also clothes, also habitation, signature, blessings, countless acts), and his lack of freedom ( why did never even told a friend nor his secretary his intention — we can and must PRESUME he has something to fear) are manifest. To me it was clear since 2014, and while I have taken every argument to the contrary seriously, the evidence has only grown for eight years and I can no longer see it refutable (while Fr. Rickert’s new to me, worthy argument on the title is an argument of true abdication, but the words actually used show the opposite).

  42. Benedict knew the two words would bring up questions, as he is a total scholar in the use of words as in the use of super-substantial for our daily bread in the Our Father.

    The number of paragraphs does affect Benedict’s right to have his wording understood as he wrote it. I would have my writings just so, and perhaps you would, too.

    Do not be so hasty to jump to the conclusions that I even intimated that Pope Benedict did not co-author that particular book with Cardinal Sarah. With the deep love and honor and respect that Benedict has for Our Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot even imagine that he would write those words … Jesus and His movement. Maybe that which he wrote was edited to those words, which words are completely lacking, concerning Jesus and the Good News of salvation.

    God is in charge of His Church. For now, He is allowing Francis to be the holder of the Papal Office. God, by this, is showing the extreme need of repentance by His Church in ever so many ways.

    Praying for the man whom God will move to restore His Church to faithfulness to Him, to His Son, to being led of and guided by, His Holy Spirit. Will that be the next Pope??? Only God knows.

    God bless, C-Marie

  43. @John P.

    What Latinist have I mocked? In my article I cited Grant, and Cardinal Burke’s own authority as a renowned canonist with knowledge of Latin to the effect the words munus/ministerium were used interchangeably by Benedict.

    As to my own “authority”…I have never claimed any special authority; and have disclaimed it where I’ve learned that someone has mistakenly attributed a special “authority” to me. Again, here, I disclaim being an “authority.” I am just an average, baptized, and confirmed Roman Catholic, educated in Catholic schools through University, and I just believe in applying common sense to this question.

    When I started to research Benepapism…I actually did so HOPING it was a true…precisely because I am no fan of Francis. However, I am also one who tries his best not to be guided by wishful or fanciful thinking when pursuing the truth.

    Now, as you may be an authority on “authority”, some of the founding members of Benepapism have no special authority; but that has not stopped them for providing arguments for their views. For my part, I don’t begrudge them that. However, it is fair to call them out where I believe they are wrong, and I state why I believe they are wrong; and this I have done here: https://romalocutaest.com/2022/03/21/the-case-against-those-who-claim-benedict-is-still-pope/

    For example, see my arguments against the views of someone like Dr. Mazza. He is an authority on Church History…I am not. Still, I welcome anyone to read my review of one of this Benepapist arguments which cited Josef Ratzinger. Folks can read it, and decide for themselves the relative merits of the case I put forward as I critique Dr. Mazza’s citation of Ratzinger: (see https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/22/a-closer-look-at-mr-coffins-evidence-dr-mazzas-thesis-3-0/ ).

    As for Mr. Cionci and his “Plan B” theory, what I reject is that Benedict could possibly have intended to sabotage his own resignation — and then letting the great majority of Catholics think he was not pope for 9 years. It is absurd to advance such a notion; that a man who is charged with tending and feeding the Lord’s sheep as Peter was first charged; could pretend to resign — and leave hundreds of millions of faithful at the mercy of potentially ravenous wolf of an anti-pope who could lead many to perdition.

    One would have accept that Benedict thought it was better to pretend NOT to be pope, than to be pope – and do the things a pope can do. The theory is absurd on its face; as it make Benedict a liar and monster these past 9 years.

    Cionci’s “Ratzinger Code”, necessary to support “Plan B”, is equally absurd…as seen most recently in his attempt to explain away Benedict’s words on February 28, 2013, a few hours away from 8pm: “I will no longer be Supreme Pontiff…” (see https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/28/regarding-the-ratzinger-code/).

    For Cionci’s “Plan B” thesis…see also:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/04/12/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space/
    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/08/03/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space-the-sequel/

    People should avoid the “Plan B” and “Ratzinger Code” nonsense.

    You say Benedict was forced. Where is the concrete evidence? Ratzinger said he resigned freely in his Declaratio, and has subsequently affirmed in his Seewald interviews that he did not leave because he was forced out — something which stated he could not do (resign) if he was forced. So, are you calling Benedict a liar? He’s been seen by friends, co authored a book or two over the last 9 years…not one of them has suggested he was forced out, etc.

    Regarding how he dresses…I will make no apologies for his decision. I think former popes should be sent away to a monastery to live in solitude out of the public eye. However, regarding his clothes, he wears a simple white cassock, but no longer wears the mozzetta or the red shoes — all symbols of authority. Further, as Ganswein testifies in his speech, he was present when Benedict removed the Fisherman’s Ring from his finger. Again, a symbol of his papal authority. He said on Feb 28 2013, “I will no longer by Supreme Pontiff…”. As for the Apostolic Blessing…others beside a pope can give it, and it can be delegated by the Apostolic See. Whether or not Benedict as Pope delegated to his future “emeritus” self such a privilege; or whether Francis did so…that is a fair question. But, the point is, there are potential explanations which do NOT require jumping to the conclusion he is still pope.

    However, perhaps the Benepapists should address a few of these questions to Benedict in order to potentially ease their doubts. That would be more constructed than issuing Declarations that Benedict is definitely still pope, and stating, as some have, they will not accept a future conclaves under conditions presumptuously specified by themselves.

    Regards,

    Steve O’Reilly

  44. We have had many discussions in the past, Mr. O’Reilly. I kindly pointed out Mr. Grant’s errors to him when he wrote so that he might not embarrass himself. He heeded it not. I will not again argue with you on Latinity as in the past.

    I will take a look at your recent blog posts, but your real problem seems to be as you say: “As for Mr. Cionci and his “Plan B” theory, what I REJECT is that Benedict could POSSIBLY have intended to sabotage his own resignation — and then letting the great majority of Catholics think he was not pope for 9 years. It is absurd to advance such a notion; that a man who is charged with tending and feeding the Lord’s sheep as Peter was first charged; could pretend to resign — and leave hundreds of millions of faithful at the mercy of potentially ravenous wolf of an anti-pope who could lead many to perdition.”

    You can’t grasp the possibility. I don’t claim to know the answer here nor what Benedict’s real intention was (though he has somewhat manifest that if you care to read with care his recent statements of the last few years) nor God’s ways. As I said — and I only observe the facts — he said he was afraid. Moreover, there were threats, Ganswein mentioned them. Many others too. You IGNORE these; you simply dismiss them out of hand to suit your conclusions. I can piece together a reason for why Benedict has done this — and have — but it’s taken eight years, and I’m not sure of it. I have no reason to share it. Also, you ignored my point about “plena libertate.” It’s like I didn’t write it. And we’ve had this problem before where you simply ignore arguments or evidence that don’t fit your theory.

    Still, it is far worse — I cannot see otherwise — to follow a false pope who leads now many to perdition. And keep in mind, I was for many years ambivalent towards Benedict: it’s not my “wishful thinking.” No. I simply follow the reasoning where it leads, as always, as best I can, and am open to correction but not to twisting of words or logic or my senses to see what is not.

    In the end no one will be judged (esp laymen) on whether they were right or not a about Benedict or Bergoglio: that is certain. As to Burke, he himself has changed his mind on this (perhaps again for all I know).

    Pax Christi

  45. Ok. Mr. O’Reilly.

    I have almost finished the barage of words you sent me running after. It’s the same as always. I’m glad you reminded me of some of Benedict’s strange sayings. However, Cionci too notes as I have, what you yourself quote: “however, at the basis of all his dispute, there is an error of method , because the interlocutor [O’Reilly] does not start from where we started, or rather from the ascertainment of some OBJECTIVE AS IN EXPLAINABLE FACT DATA . We have been “FORCED” BY LOGIC to have to configure the very uncomfortable and shocking hypothesis of Plan B which is the only one to provide a coherent framework for a series of facts that this man avoids analyzing ” en masse.
    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/28/regarding-the-ratzinger-code/

    Mr. O’Reilly, do you understand what you are accused of here? And most justly?

    Again and again, you cherry pick quotes and when answering others ignore their evidence, premises, and arguments and focus instead on what is speculation, especially true in Cionci’s case. You are not a serious interlocutor. I am not alone in observing this. Cionci has too. Cionci has written a great many articles, some of merit, others not. You seem to have considered nothing, nothing except the most speculative (and mistaken I think) part of his thesis.

    It seems Benedict was forced out: this merits investigation at the least. But at this point, and based on what Cionci has added, I can safely conclude he did not resign freely, and therefore appeared to resign, and with such fear that he still has not told anyone his real intentions. Instead of judge the pope, Mr. O’Reilly, you ought at least to speculate what it is that Benedict so greatly feared that he would keep silence and continue in prayer. This reminds me of Benedict’s frequent (for now 17 years) comparison to the Apostle’s in the bark during Tempest, while Christ slept below: that is the time now we are in.

    There are many problems with the wording of the Declaratio: canon lawyers have noted them. A number render the act at the least dubious, sine dubio (if you catch my drift). One is the “deferred” resignation, which canon lawyers of some merit have raised. Above, I raise a substantial doubt, which you do not deny nor dispute. That’s just the words which are not “RITE manifestetur”; they are doubtfully and ambiguously manifested. If at the sacrament of matrimony, one were to say “I think I do”, it would invalidate. Likewise Benedict’s “declaratio”: this is clearer in the Latin “declaro me resignare.” His expression is not worded to give the force of an act but a thought. Benedict, master of Latin that he is, how did he not know this? Indeed he said he gave it in Latin so that he would not make a mistake as he might in Italian which he knows less well. How do you figure that?

    But I do think, the most evident revelation of Benedict’s intention (not Ganswein’s speculation — for I don’t think Benedict told anyone: why else did Bransmuller write him?) is in those letters between him and Bransmuller. As to intention, the evidence therein seems to me definitive though I do not know German and must rely on translation.

    Thus we have the WORDS “non rite manifestata”; the violence that caused the resignation from FEAR; and his INTENTION, which he manifested in the speech, in subsequent writings and interviews, and in many ACTS by which he SHOWED (the English word for “manifestavit”) that he was still pope. Each of the three are invalidating. Each.

    You hardly touch the evidence or arguments. Even granting that Benedict “intended” to resign, still that is not enough. It was not properly (rite) manifest.

  46. For the canonical errors / problems with the renunciation, see the canonist here. And these are only a few of the nullifying factors. There are many others — it’s not just one error we’re dealing with but many as well as many additional indications and doubtful acts and words. https://www.liberoquotidiano.it/articolo_blog/blog/andrea-cionci/27378245/benedetto-xvi-rinuncia-invalida-parere-giurista-patruno.html

    Patrick Madrid here has a good view of matters for those unable to work through the complexity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Q8GAsYzMY&t=109s

    The resignation, I am certain, is invalid. For every canonist who has seriously examined the evidence and spoken out, there are ten or twenty who do not, from doubt or fear or weakness.

    We ought as Benedict recommends seek closer union with Christ, Who alone gives true peace: it’s His Church, and though seemingly sleeping, He is in complete control and can with a word calm the storm.

    JR

  47. @John,

    “It seems Benedict was forced out: this merits investigation at the least. But at this point, and based on what Cionci has added, I can safely conclude he did not resign freely, and therefore appeared to resign, and with such fear that he still has not told anyone his real intentions. Instead of judge the pope, Mr. O’Reilly, you ought at least to speculate what it is that Benedict so greatly feared that he would keep silence and continue in prayer.”

    No..it doesn’t seem so. He said it was free at his resignation. He said so in his Seewald interviews. He’s had visitors, etc., etc. No indication he resigned against his will. None. Thus, it is ridiculous to “speculate” what it was he feared — when there is no evidence he fled. None. I don’t exclude there are things that deserve investigation, and have written about these things with regard to Francis and the conclave. But…Benedict intentionally sabotaging his resignation is simply not one of them.

    As far as ‘instead of judging the pope’…what? I am not judging him. I am defending his reputation from the absurd notion that he intentionally sabotaged his resignation to pretend not to be pope; while leaving the Church to someone who therefore who definitively be an anti-pope. Benedict would need to be a liar, coward, and monster to do such a thing. I don’t believe that of him.

    I’ve read a lot of Mr. Cionci. Folks can read Mr. Cionci…and they can decide for themselves whether my quotes do him a disservice. They don’t.

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/28/regarding-the-ratzinger-code/).
    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/04/12/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space/
    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/08/03/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space-the-sequel/

    There is no logic that can justify giving any credence to Mr. Cionci’s “Plan B” theory. If you want to go down the rabbit hole after Mr. Cionci, I am sure Mr, Cionci will keep digging as deep as you or others want to go in following him. There is probably some benefit with folks being familiar with the “plan B” theory; as it is an ongoing, cautionary tale about following bad conspiracy theories.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    God bless,

    Steve O’Reilly

  48. I have read your outer space pieces. They do not address what I linked above, which are several grounds upon which a canonist finds Benedict’s resignation invalid. Mentioned is one of the invalidating grounds I observed (farther above), which requires no consideration of intention. Here it is again: https://www.liberoquotidiano.it/articolo_blog/blog/andrea-cionci/27378245/benedetto-xvi-rinuncia-invalida-parere-giurista-patruno.html

    As I stated above, and as Cionci notes, you don’t address the facts, evidence, or arguments. You only address the hypothesis of Cionci to make sense of the facts, evidence, and conclusions. Cionci errs in thinking this is the ONLY possible explanation. However, he seems to offer elsewhere other possibilities.

  49. John,

    The conclusion (Plan B) as a proposition is in itself absurd. That was the scope of the articles. Any hypothesis, or theory, Plan B or otherwise which concludes that BXVI sabotaged his own resignation having come to an implicit understanding it is somehow better to pretend not to be pope, etc., to preserve the papacy or Church from a potential modernist successor, etc.; than to visibly and actively be pope is absurd. I explain why in my articles:

    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/04/12/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space/
    https://romalocutaest.com/2021/08/03/benedicts-plan-b-from-outer-space-the-sequel/

    What Mr. Cionci (or you) have not done is, is to explain the common sense plausibility of Plan B. Credibly explain to us how BXVI would not be a liar, coward, and monster, etc., and would not be gravely derelict in his duty of tending the sheep given to him, through Peter, by the Lord. Explain to us how any number of lost souls that might result from enabling an anti-pope for 9 years can be justified by such a plan, etc. Explain to us how no other more plausible option was available to BXVI to remain actively the pope? How could it ever be better to pretend not to be pope, or impede the see, or whatever, etc., all surreptitiously; rather than actually remaining visibly and actively the pope, and doing all that is possible to tend the Lord’s flock to the best of one’s ability?

    Those are just a few of my questions for starters.

    The “Ratzinger Code” is just more nonsense of the same; intended to sustain the “Plan B” theory in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. Or course! It is all a secret code only the wise, like Mr. Cionci, can decipher. Gnostic nonsense.

    https://romalocutaest.com/2022/04/28/regarding-the-ratzinger-code/).

    As to the various theories which give the reasons why the resignation was supposedly invalid, and or that Benedict supposedly intended to keep a whole or part of the papacy, etc., I have addressed many of them on my blog (www.RomaLocutaEst).

    God bless,

    Steve O’Reilly

    Regards

    Steve O’Reilly

  50. O’Reilly wrote: “What Mr. Cionci (or you) have not done is, is to explain the common sense plausibility of Plan B. Credibly explain to us how BXVI would not be a liar, coward, and monster, etc., and would not be gravely derelict in his duty of tending the sheep given to him, through Peter, by the Lord.”

    As I stated above, your problem is the conclusion. You never address the arguments. We cannot know for certain what Benedict’s mind was. Maybe he was doing just as Ganswein said in 2016: then your grief is with Ganswein & Benedict.

    What the canonist linked above shows is that the resignation itself is invalid for several reasons (and doubtful for others he doesn’t mention). The intention do not then matter, just his words & actions.

    Do you understand?

    JR

  51. John,

    I am “denying the consequent” of Cionci’s argument in the articles. I am starting with rejecting Mr. Cionci’s conclusion as being illogical, and contrary to common sense. That was the scope of the articles. Why the Plan B hypothesis is ridiculous.

    Now, separately, as to the various sorts of arguments for invalidity, such as made by Mr. Cionci’s canonist, I’ve addressed quite similar arguments on my Blog. I’ll add more to my blog if warranted. But, as to the validity of the resignation on canonical terms with respect to arguments from authority; a highly respected, and recognized expert on canon law, Cardinal Burke, former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, accepts the validity of the resignation.

    If most canonists were of the same opinion of Mr. Cionci’s canonist, we would have known this by now. Of the 20 Cionci asked, but from whom he could not draw an answer, this is not proof of anything, other than, most probably, none of them wanted to get publicly caught up in this nonsense, especially with a journalist with clear sensationalist bent on this question. It is simply not worth the trouble.

    What you, personally, may draw from that in relation to Mr. Cionci’s evidence, I leave to you…but one cannot reasonably conclude “Benedict is still pope,” and that it is perfectly okay to issue Declarations and sign petitions declaring the same, and declaring one will not accept a future conclave if it doesn’t meet the specified conditions of the petitioners. These are all things some Benepapists believe and have done.

    It may be one thing to wonder about the question in light of the Bergoglian pontificate, and wait for the Church/future pope to address Benedict or Francis question one day; but it is quite another to declare absolutely Benedict is pope, issue and sign the aforementioned petitions. It is unfortunate, but this is heading toward a schism.

    So…as this discussion is now going in circles. I say “ciao.”

    Regards,

    Steve O’Reilly

  52. Here is an easy refutation. I once said to a pious Baptist while I was debating him on the Real Presence & the Eucharist “If Jesus himself told ya ‘this is my Body’ was meant to be taken literally would you believe him?”. He replied “Well of course! Jesus is the interpreter of His own words.”.

    Checkmate! Benedict has said Francis is the Pope. Ergo he intended to resign his office. Reading yer own dosh into his words falls in the face of his own clarifications. Benedict is the interpreter of his own words and he has said Francis is Pope. If ye believe otherwise ye nor being rational.

    It is like believing in Sola Scriptura. The Bible nowhere teaches it is the sole rule of faith or sufficient so wee Protestants havering over it nor explicitly saying “Mary is sinless” is a meaningless objection. Benedict said wee Francis is now the Pope. It is nor hard. Francis may have a lot of problems but pretending his nor Pope won’t solve those problems. Facing ’em will.

    Sorry but this BIP dosh is wrong.

  53. On this — and I have noticed it elsewhere — Feser is a very unserious man. He has not considered the matter. As with most, they cursorily run through arguments and ignore whatever does not like them. I guess NO ONE HAS READ WILLIAM BRIGGS BOOK that addresses all the fallacies you are mired in.

    As to Mr O’Reilly, he has chosen not to consider the matter, only the consequences. He has no expertise nor willingness to follow an argument. I no longer believe he is capable.

    At to Burke, I have been assured, not long ago he regarded the abdication as invalid, just as this and most all serious canon lawyers. (I noted this above and also noted that perhaps he has since changed his mind. Unfortunately, he has done nothing. De Mattei is of the do nothing sort too. While he acknowledges the invalidity, he thinks nothing can be done til after. By what miracle, that I know not.)

    This is not new. I have seen this for eight years. It’s the same on Vatican II, the same on any hot topic. Most really aren’t interested in the truth.

  54. As to Feser’s latest salvo, it misses the mark.

    Emeritus is a canonical term referring to a bishop that no longer exercises his office but is STILL BISHOP. It’s not academia. It cannot apply to a pope because the only difference between a pope and a bishop is his jurisdication: a pope without jurisdiction is merely a bishop (or bishop emeritus). Benedict and John Paul II had discussed this long ago and agreed there can be no such thing as an emeritus pope. Why then did Benedict choose this title? He knew better. Was it to reflect the reality as he wrote his friend, Archbishop Brandmuller? What is your answer?

    No, Benedict does not write like a Thomist or canonist. However, he did distinguish ministerium and munus himself, in his style. Just look to that. He is precise in his language and it’s evident not only in his Declaratio but all his subsequent acts and choices, as he wrote to Cardinal Brandmuller. He was extremely precise in all he did; it is his way. Moreover, since the “resignation” Benedict has repeatedly commented on how precisely he has done just what he has done and not what, say Celestine V did (though he did place his pallium on Celestine’s grave years ago). If Benedict’s distinction is “crystal clear”, Feser offers no proof and seems to resort to Special Pleading. Whereas it’s clear (though not “crystal clear”) to me that he makes a distinction within the Declaratio itself between the two.

    Feser reference’s Siscoe’s argument on “dogmatic fact” which does NOT apply to a resignation (only an election). A true red herring: which is the entire argument of the host of SSPX mouthpieces. A resignation need not be accepted by anyone. True. However, a non resignation cannot be accepted by anyone. Before that Feser invokes matrimony as an example, and that is appropriate. If afterwards we find that one party did not say the words (Benedict did not say “resigno” merely “declaro me resignare) or intend the essentials, it is null. As to laymen having no authority to say anything, that too is untrue. Every baptized Catholic has less a right than a duty to adhere to the true pope. If all the hierarchy have lost their tongue or mind or Faith, we can look to many precedents in history where laymen saints spoke up and not in a mere whisper. Indeed Catherine of Sienna is one such, but there are other examples too.

    Feser misapplies schism and heresy here since Aquinas is not speaking of those many times the Church has had schism with a true pope and an antipope, which until now did not involve heresy.

    But the RESOUNDING error of Feser, as with all who deprecate and cast out of hand the possibility of an invalid resignation, is the fallacy of Special Pleading. Thus he says, there is “no evidence at all for the BiP thesis, not even “very trivial” evidence.” Balderdash: caeci caecos ducentes. Certainly, I would never have been able to conclude as I do, except for what is overwhelming evidence, ignored. It would never have occurred to me. I had no horse in this race.

  55. James Scott wrote: “Benedict has said Francis is the Pope. Ergo he intended to resign his office.” You raise an important point. I too thought Benedict said so. However, that’s contested. Still if true and if he never changed his mind, it’s only CHECK, not mate.

    Intention alone does not determine validity. The words, in which consist the act, must be clear. Moreover, he cannot have resigned out of fear or pressure. At best the words are ambiguous and doubtful: if doubtful, invalid.

    I do think Cionci offers the best hypothesis of what Benedict did; it’s better than Archbishop Ganswein’s account, which too is possible despite his partial walk-back. But to understand Cionci’s reasoning on the matter, one need take the time to consider and read through his many articles. Still, the hidden reasoning and, if you will, “end game” of Benedict is unknown. That’s mere speculation.

  56. Yes. All are unserious, without expertise, and of the do nothing sort — all except for Mr. Ruplinger, and those who agree with him.

    It is all clear now.

  57. Viewing Feser’s original foray, it’s clear he is unserious. His argument is scandalous and pointless.

    He has given it no consideration and has no idea what he is talking about, yet puts his authority on the scale to ridicule it. The “resignation” has been contrpversial from day one. Others, such as myself, never looked into it to “dissolve” the Francis problem. Thus, he attacks the motivation, of which he knows nothing. And indeed I know no one who has taken up this problem motivated as he says.

    After some shadow boxing, he then turns to Ganswein’s astounding speech. Does it never occur to Feser that Ganswein’s speech may have motivated many to question the validity of the resignation?

    No. We must attack their character and ridicule their acumen.

    Then he fails utterly to even grasp the matter contended. It’s not primarily intention. Moreover, he does not realize that Benedict if he truly intended to fully resign the office would have donned black and ceased giving the Apostolic blessing, as did his predecessors who resigned. And Benedict was not ignorant of the history. He said he did not follow Celestine V explicity, but that he followed Benedict VIII (who did not resign).

    Then Feser assumes that Ganswein gave a true account of Benedict’s intention, for the sake of argument. Here, however, Feser doesn’t apprehend what is really important. It’s not about whether Benedict is a better or worse pope than Francis. No. It’s that one IS pope, the other not. That’s all that matters. Again, Feser’s ruminations are all based on his assumption that he has sounded the MOTIVATIONS of those who merely wish to be in union with the true pope. This is projection: that is what Feser would think or do or want if in the other camp. It reveals more of Feser than his imaginary opponents.

    Feser engages in mere rumination. It actually DOES NOT MATTER what Benedict thinks or intended. What matters is the act itself: did he resign? We’ve had before in living memory an incapacitated pope. One, surrounded and manipulated by wolves. Yet, quelle surprise!!! The Church did not defect.

    But Feser fails to grasp the reality. Thomism has not helped him. What matters is the act first, not the intention. And that is why every Canonist focuses on the act itself. Secondary considerations are intentions and fear or violence.

    Finally, Feser reveals again the error in his mode of inquiry. He assumed those that question the resignation were trying to find a solution to Bergoglio. No. The Church is in Christ’s hands, not Feser’s, not even Benedict’s (and Benedict has repeatedly said as much too). Dominus providet.

    HEre’s his first article.

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/04/14/benevacantism-is-scandalous-and-pointless/

  58. I’ve not felt properly hated for a fair while now; so I’ll have another go at provoking outrage amongst the Scribes and Lawyers.

    Joseph Ratzinger was (and presumably still is) an out and out Modernist right from his earliest days and has often spoken in praise of the arch heretic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ and an “evolving christology” and an “evolving Church” to suit an “evolving Man”. He is also on record as saying that he doesn’t “like” Thomism because it’s “too rigid”, presumably, because the Scholastic Method doesn’t lend itself to “reinterpretation” according to fashionable “modern” speculations and opinions. See “the quintessential evolutionist” by James Larson:http://waragainstbeing.com/parti/article12/

    I will contend that he is entirely complicit in the radical reform (read revolution) of all ecclesiology including the nature of the papacy. I will also contend that he is called a great theologian because of his mastery of cunning and deceit and the way to use his great knowledge to effect his clandestine objectives. It’s about the dialectics of the “Evolutionary process” to effect fundamental change to the whole notion of the nature and purpose of Creation. There’s even a picture of him grinning gleefully and making the double handed Satanist sign. I can only presume that he knew well that it meant the advent of a “novus ordo seculorum”.

  59. Some years ago I tried to provoke Ed Feser into a public argument about his defence of the theology of change but he apparently preferred to remain in his ivory tower with his academic friends flexing their rhetorical muscles in a hall of mirrors.

  60. Oldavid,

    I have read all of James Larson’s (RIP) essays and regard him as a friend as we corresponded for many years. He was certainly a zealous and faithful Catholic. His critique of Benedict, you’ll note, is of his earliest writings, the worst of which Benedict largely abandoned by or upon his elevation. Of course, he did not entirely abandon his evolutionary thinking; and it’s hard to draw the lines nor have I studied all of Benedict’s writings — hardly. I am sure that he did a 180 on his most essential errors though.

    Because of the confused philosophical and theological origins of Benedict’s thought, I can at least consider that Ganswein’s wondrous strange theory possibly reflects (imperfectly) Benedict’s own reasoning: N.B. it would be invalidating. Cionci overall presents a more coherent hypothesis, nevertheless. (More coherent in that it better “saves the appearances” to use an old scientific term, that is accounts for ALL or most of Benedict’s words and acts.)

    In 2013 I really saw little difference between Benedict and Bergoglio (I had no dog in the fight, truly), but over the years it has become more and more clear that Benedict over the years had grown much more orthodox, even if he retained some of the muddled philosophical errors of youth: and Modernism is in the very root a philosophic heresy. (As to Larson, I don’t think he grasps the depths of the problem of Modernism in its philosophic root: I’m uncertain Thomas himself fully answers it. It’s a very difficult matter of epistemology more than of metaphysics.)

  61. Can or will, anyone answer as to why in the book, FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS, Benedict co-authored with Cardinal Sarah, Benedict wrote (unless someone else put this statement in and attributed it to Benedict), the words: “Jesus and His movement”, more than once!!

    Jesus did not have nor start a movement!!!!!!

    Thank you and God bless, C-Marie

  62. O’Reilly wrote: “Yes. All are unserious, without expertise, and of the do nothing sort — all except for Mr. Ruplinger, and those who agree with him.”

    No. Dr. Feser accuses all the so called BiPers of being unserious. I just returned the favor. He is very flippant. He has clearly not really considered the matter, but just glossed over it. He merely calls it scandalous and “pointless.” If it’s pointless, it is safe to say he’s given little time or thought, and that is clear. He weighed in with over haste. That is not serious.

    In your case, you admit what I said, that you can’t accept the conclusion — or to be precise the hypothesis of Cionci. Your main argument is ridicule: that is not serious. It’s fair for you to snipe and deride, Steven, but at the mere word “serious” you are prickled.

    You do not address the serious arguments on the invalidity of the resignation based on a simple analysis of what Benedict said and did. I linked above the canonist arguments. The only conclusion he made was that the resignation was invalid on a number of grounds. This, you did not contest. Instead you deal with monsters from outer space, or keep stating again and again the same things, which don’t address the heart of the invalidities, at all. It is the fallacy of Special Pleading, and has no place in such a serious matter as this. Now, I ask you, how am I to take you seriously?

  63. What picture is that with Benedict with the “satanic sign”? Is it certain that it was Benedict and not an impersonator?? If it was him, did he have knowledge of the sign or that there was any meaning to the position(s) of his hands?

    I purposely do not follow the re-interpretations of hand signs at all. I do not accept people taking commonly understood hand signs and then their re-interpretations of them …. and/or assigining different or new meanings to them. Their loss, not mine.

    Also, the absolutely ruining of the meaning of “gay” by many or all of the same sex attracted community, is completely unacceptable, for many reasons. One reason is that they are living a counterfeit of God’s creation and that is so very sad. And another reason is that some childhood books from the thirties and forties, have a street named Gay Street.

    The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy are at fault for not teaching people that they can be freed from same sex attraction counterfeits, so they can live our Beloved Father God’s creation of those so attracted so as to live the heterosexuality He created them in.

    God bless, C-Marie

  64. Steven, apologies for a late reply…

    Benedict did not need to say the word “munus” for the resignation to be valid.

    This is missing the forest for the trees. It’s not that Benedict has to use a specific word, it’s that Benedict had to be CLEAR about what he was doing. By Benedict himself deliberately choosing to distinguish and use specific words, he has created confusion. He has to clear it up.

    As to Benedict *supposedly* believing he retained any part of the Petrine munus is untenable in light of canon 331; which he surely knew of — as it is in pontifical section of the canon law. Further, had he intended to split the papacy, or split the Primacy from the See of Rome as some Benepapists allege; then he would have needed to change Universi Dominici Gregis…which he did NOT do on that score, as is evident from the changes he DID make to UDG just a few days before his effective resignation. Benepapists don’t like talking about Normas Nonnullas.

    We’ve been over this over and over. If Benedict believes a falsity that he can retain some minsterium part of the Papal munus and considers himself retired and creating a new Emeritus office, that he believes a conclave can be called to elect an ‘active’ Pope doesn’t change the argument. Benedict believes himself retired and the Chair vacant. But is the validity and reality of that incumbent on his beliefs in his new Papal title and portioned ministry?

    We first have to ascertain if a) Benedict actually believes that, then b) Assuming he does believe it, does such an error invalidate his resignation. All this operates under the assumption that he did want to resign, but couldn’t help screwing up the process by introducing novelty.

    As to force or coercion; you have no evidence the demonstrates Benedict was forced. The extent of your evidence is to essentially try to explain away all the evidence for the freedom of his decision.

    Steve, are you even reading what I’ve written? Or what you think I’ve written? Who are you talking to? Some certainly do believe in the above, but everything I’ve said assumes Benedict is freely trying to create a novelty. Whether he did it out of his own free will, or with a gun to his head, is irrelevant as the point remains the same. When I created a hypothetical above about a Pope being coerced, it was only as an illustrative point about the use of specific weight of words that changes with situational context. Because the argument that you’ve made that specific words in an isolated sentence alone suffice is not sufficient if you ignore the previous sentences surrounding it. So, no you can’t just hyperfocus on “the seat will be vacant in such a way and a conclave called to elect a successor” if there are sentences prior to that that call it into question.

    But let’s not just brush over the ‘conspiracy’ idea as if it has no merit, because there is plenty of odd circumstantial behavior surrounding Benedict’s Papacy and “post-papacy” that is odd, such as that he chose to wear the white cassock because apparently there are no black cassocks available in his size nor apparently obtainable… this is SUCH AN OBVIOUS, BLATANT AND HILARIOUS LIE, that it has to be made part of the official inquiry. Why put away your ring, but keep the most overt visible sign of the Papal identity? Why not just say it’s part of his new novel ‘Papal-Emeritus’ title? Why LIE about it in such an obvious way? Maybe Steven O’Rielly doesn’t want to pursue this further. Many of us do care to know why Benedict is LYING and doing so in such an OBVIOUS fashion.

    The problem is, Dr. Mazza, for example, essentially says his interpretation is the ONLY one; as does Ms. Barnhardt et al. That is the problem…they don’t allow the possibility that a less controversial interpretation is possible. Remember…the burden of proof is on them…thus…they must demonstrate why my interpretation is impossible. All Ms Barnhardt has said on that score is anyone who doesn’t accept the Benepapist reading of the last audience, or of Ganswein is a ‘liar’, etc., or words to that effect. They don’t even consider that Ganswein speaks in any other sense, than what they allow. But, I have demonstrated how Dr. Mazza has misinterpreted Benedict, and I have elsewhere demonstrated where Ms. Barnhardt have misinterpreted Benedict.

    Mazza and Barnhardt both have a position they strongly believe in. I don’t get the impression that they hold anything against anyone for honestly believing otherwise. What Ms. Barnhardt’s specific frustration is, is that many people refuse to “deal with the dataset.” She is usually speaking generally and sweepingly so we have no idea who ticked her off that day. I do not believe you’ve sufficiently made your case either. The only person who can clarify all this is Benedict, and nobody has asked him or pressed him on these points specifically other than just generally asking him if he considers himself “retired.” Which is not the question we want answered.

    I’ve shown in my article, Ganswein speaks of the end of Benedict’s pontificate, of his removing the ring, etc. He also speaks figurataive of Regoli and Seewald also sharing in the expanding Petrine ministry. Was he speaking in a loose, figurative sense of them? Surely. Why could he not have been doing so of Benedict’s continuing in prayer for the whole Church in a similar fashion.

    No, you have not. Because as seen with both your breakdowns of Benedict’s address and Ganswein’s interview, their phrases could be taken one way or another. And that’s being generous.

    The first obvious question to ask is, assuming that your interpretation is correct, then…

    -Who in Hell, talks the way either of these two men do?-

    Seriously, consider that question. Why all this flowery mystical figuartive verbosity over things that ought to be simple?

    For example: When Benedict is talking about being unable to return to a more private life, why did he not just say:

    “My resignation of the Papacy does not change this.” Or “My vacating the Papacy does not change this.”

    Why SPECIFICALLY “my decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this”???

    So the entire context of Benedict’s address hinges on what he means by those words, because throughout it he is offering reassurances, and those reassurances of being with the people and a supposed non-private life hang upon that reference which itself has absolutely nothing to do directly with his private or public life. Hence why he is bringing it up.

    The same for all of Ganswein’s crap. The plain meaning of the excessively figurative language both Benedict and Ganswein use makes no natural sense under Steven O’Reilly’s interpretation, and better fit the ‘Benepapists’ interpretations where Benedict believes he has specifically done something -different- compared to prior Papal resignations.

    Steven O’Reilly’s interpretation demands “loose, figurative” language that MUST THEN BE IGNORED AND BRUSHED ASIDE. The “Benepapist” is trying to take that “loose, figurative” language into account, and it makes better sense if read in light of their suspicions. The weight of the evidence is on the “Benepapist”‘s side.

    The only one who can clarify this with certainty is Benedict.

    Steven, you keep trying to claim that no BiP is dealing with the context of either Benedict’s or Ganswein’s words. That is substantially false. What you’ve done throughout your various articles is set up a stawman whereby correctly identifying that a certain context is established (example:”public vs. private life”), you then claim that every sentence can only be referring to that specific context and that there are no departures in-between the conversation that contain a different context; or that when certain things are brought in to reinforce a point in the original context of the conversation or address are of themselves references APART FROM the overall context (example: “resigning the active exercise of the ministry”).

    Regarding the last audience, the decision ‘to renounce the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke THIS”…the THIS refers back to what he meant about the ‘loss of privacy

    There you go Steven, you are doing THAT again. Nobody is arguing with you about what the “THIS” refers to. We want Benedict to explain the “renounce the active exercise of the ministry” part. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE “THIS.” Again, as Banrhardt is frustrated by, YOU ARE NOT DEALING WITH WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    Aside from that, his statement does not deny he resigns…he admits it.

    Yes, and I am sure he genuinely believes that, but YOU ARE NOT DEALING WITH WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    The “active” does not suggest the Petrine “ministry” is divisible.

    How do you know that with any certainty? Now you are doing what you accuse Barnhardt and Mazza of, by allowing no other interpretation and insisting that only yours is valid. I prefer we just ask Benedict himself. Which NO ONE HAS DONE! And we don’t mean asking him if he thinks he’s “retired.”

    Remember, his Declaratio makes no such distinction in the key declaration…he said he “renounced the ministry of the bishop of Rome”…he did not say “I renounce the active ministry…”; as if to say he kept something “passive.”

    The Latin text has the distinctions. And Canon Law requires proper distinction. You know this already.

    He further comments in the last audience of an active and passive LIFE which St. Benedict speaks of. BXVI has given up the ‘active’ part of his life where he engages in a ministry; and now retires to a passive life of prayers and reflection and contemplative.

    No, he said, “my decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” These distinctions MATTER in the CONTEXT of the Church. Only the “THIS” refers to his public/private life, and you’ve now IGNORED the CONTEXT of your own interpretation, where Benedict is precisely saying that he CANNOT return to a private life. He has NOT got the “passive life” he wanted. He is contradicting himself as far as his contemplative aspirations go, and now so are you.

    But…it is not for me to judge what only the Church/future pope can do.

    You can’t judge this as a matter of legality or as a superior making a judicial decision, but you can judge this as a matter of a natural intellectual assessment of the facts and express your present belief or simply your doubts pending further clarification.

  65. ” munus” and “ministerium” ….. hmmm! Well, God knows.

    God bless, C-Marie

  66. Here is an easy refutation. I once said to a pious Baptist while I was debating him on the Real Presence & the Eucharist “If Jesus himself told ya ‘this is my Body’ was meant to be taken literally would you believe him?”. He replied “Well of course! Jesus is the interpreter of His own words.”.

    Checkmate! Benedict has said Francis is the Pope. Ergo he intended to resign his office. Reading yer own dosh into his words falls in the face of his own clarifications. Benedict is the interpreter of his own words and he has said Francis is Pope. If ye believe otherwise ye nor being rational.

    Here is an easy refutation. Benedict XVI is NOT Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for playing.

    And at least the Jews in John 6 bothered to ask Jesus 3 times for specific clarification, which has not been done in the case of Benedict XVI. Heck, some people are actually horrified that we might dare to request an inquiry for clarification about his own words! D’wosh!

  67. It may be one thing to wonder about the question in light of the Bergoglian pontificate, and wait for the Church/future pope to address Benedict or Francis question one day; but it is quite another to declare absolutely Benedict is pope, issue and sign the aforementioned petitions. It is unfortunate, but this is heading toward a schism.

    Steven, what are you prepared to declare about Francis’ letter to the Argentinian Bishops in the Acta Apostolis Sedes clearly that “there is no other interpretation” to his formal allowance of Holy Communion for public unrepentant adulterers? Or for that matter also from the Acta Apostolis Sedes that God (positively?) wills all religions?

    Are you going to sit back and wait for the Church/future pope to address Francis on these question one day? Is something that simply obvious and obstinately heretical even in need of addressing by all the King’s horses and all the King’s men? Are you waiting for Burke to finally remember he promised to do something about it before to goes to the grave like the other signatories of his dubia?

    I don’t bring this up as some settlement to the matter of who is the Pope. But rather, that it seems to me that you are on a more certain path towards sedevacantism than the BiPs many are predicting will go at some hypothetical time in the future.

    You also seem to want a double standard. You take umbrage with those who “declare absolutely Benedict is pope”, but are you reciprocal enough to at least cease declaring that Francis is absolutely Pope until the matter is resolved? Are you willing to do at least that much?

  68. Johnno: “You also seem to want a double standard. You take umbrage with those who “declare absolutely Benedict is pope”, but are you reciprocal enough to at least cease declaring that Francis is absolutely Pope until the matter is resolved? Are you willing to do at least that much?”

    Bingo.

    With everything going on in the Church and the world together with the antics of an obvious non-Carholic ‘Pope”, I am highly suspicious of anyone insisting there’s nothing to see, nothing we can do, shut-up, Francis is Pope. It’s at best cowardly.

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