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The Ongoing Discussion about Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation Receives New Fuel

Since the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013, speculations have never fully ceased as to whether he was pressured to do so, after all, in order to make way for a more progressive-leaning pontiff. Archbishop Luigi Negri has now given new fuel to this debate in a recent 6 March interview, as reported by John-Henry Westen at LifeSiteNews:

An Italian archbishop close to Pope Benedict XVI says the former pope decided to resign as a result of “tremendous pressure.”

Archbishop Luigi Negri, who says he has visited Pope Benedict “several times” since his resignation in 2013, is the only Italian bishop to have ever participated in the annual pro-life march in Rome. Negri resigned as archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio in February [2017] after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In an article published Monday by news outlet Rimini 2.0, Archbishop Negri said that, while he has little knowledge of the inner workings of the Curia, “I am certain that the truth will emerge one day showing a grave liability both inside and outside the Vatican.”

“It is no coincidence that in America, even on the basis of what has been published by Wikileaks, some Catholic groups have asked President Trump to open a commission of inquiry to investigate whether the administration of Barack Obama exerted pressure on Benedict,” he said. It remains shrouded in mystery for now, he said, “but I am sure that those responsible will be found out.”

Archbishop Negri is referring in this interview to the 22 January 2017 Open Letter to President Donald Trump, as published by the traditional Catholic newspaper The Remnant. Part of that letter reads, as follows:

We were alarmed to discover that, during the third year of the first term of the Obama administration your previous opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other government officials with whom she associated, proposed a Catholic “revolution” in which the final demise of what was left of the Catholic Church in America would be realized. Approximately a year after this e-mail discussion, which was never intended to be made public, we find that Pope Benedict XVI abdicated under highly unusual circumstances and was replaced by a pope whose apparent mission is to provide a spiritual component to the radical ideological agenda of the international left. The Pontificate of Pope Francis has subsequently called into question its own legitimacy on a multitude of occasions. […]

We remain puzzled by the behavior of this ideologically charged Pope, whose mission seems to be one of advancing secular agendas of the left rather than guiding the Catholic Church in Her sacred mission. It is simply not the proper role of a Pope to be involved in politics to the point that he is considered to be the leader of the international left. [my emphasis]

Among The Remnant‘s trenchant questions put to the President of the United States, the following can be found: “What other covert operations were carried out by US government operatives concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict or the conclave that elected Pope Francis?” [my emphasis]

This Open Letter has subsequently, after its publication, found international interest, even some notoriety, and has now been spreading much more than some ideological circles in the U.S. and in Europe might have desired. Archbishop Negri’s own reference to it is the best proof of the wide circulation of that Remnant document. The reason for this strong interest in the Remnant’s Open Letter might be that many people in the world – and I do not even talk only about Catholics; for I have likewise heard, as well, from secular people in Europe about this same story – realize that something has gone wrong in Rome ever since Benedict’s abdication.

Important to note is that the former head of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J. immediately released a statement denying Archbishop Negri’s claims about Pope Benedict’s resignation, calling Negri’s words “untenable” and even “a strange proof of friendship” toward Benedict.

However, there have now also come to us other voices joining the one from Archbishop Negri, and they are supportive of his claim with regard to the pressure that had been put on Pope Benedict to resign. In the following, we shall therefore present translations from two texts as composed by two distinct lay witnesses.

One is an 8 March interview with the former President of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was forced to resign not long before Benedict’s own resignation. As the Vatican expert, Dr. Sandro Magister, had put it in February of 2016: “And they drove him [Tedeschi] out in short order, in 2012,” even though he was committed to reforming the bank. Tedeschi most of all admires the cardinals Robert Sarah, Carlo Caffarra, Gerhard Müller, Raymond Burke, and George Pell. Tedeschi, in book excerpts published last year by Sandro Magister (see above link), then also criticized Pope Francis’s Encyclical, Laudato Si, for allowing certain dubious people to work on this papal text. Tedeschi wrote last year, as follows:

But what surprises me the most is to see that neo-Malthusian environmentalists were called to work on the encyclical itself. Fortunately the spirit of the magisterium remained intact, even if it took no little effort for most observers to find it, or rather, to give it the benefit of the doubt that it was [actually] there.

These older quotes from Tedeschi might help us to get a sense of this man who has now again raised his voice, in the here translated 8 March interview, and this time with regard to the discussion about the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013.

The second text here presented in translation, entitled “Ratzinger Eliminated by Hypocritical Do-Gooders” (“Ratzinger eliminato dal buonismo ipocrita”) is written by the Italian scholar, book author, and journalist, Dr. Rino Cammilleri, and it has been published on 10 March by Professor Roberto de Mattei’s website Corrispondenza Romana.

But, before I present to you more fully these two translations, let me repeat my report of an important article written by Antonio Socci, which I published back in the summer of 2016. It would be fitting to reconsider his own earlier insights and findings in this new context:

In this context, it might be worth referring to a 12 June post written by the Italian journalist and Fatima expert, Antonio Socci. Socci tries to clarify the matter of two putative popes – Francis and Benedict – in light of the recent confusion caused by the speech by Archbishop Georg Gänswein. Socci thus attempts to put this claim into a larger geopolitical perspective. Although I myself cannot fully follow parts of Socci’s reflections here, one part seems very striking and sobering – and if true, it is also gravely shocking. Socci claims that, while still in his papal office, Benedict XVI was given an “opportunity” – a proposition. To him it was “proposed to accept an ‘ecumenical re-unification’ with the Protestants of North Europe and/or North America in order to create a kind of ‘common religion of the West.’” For the Catholic Church, says Socci, this would have meant to “enter the unified politically correct thought soup” and to become an “irrelevant folk museum within a ‘multicultural’ Europe.” Socci continues: “To this ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ Benedict XVI said ‘no!’ He answered: ‘As long as I am here, this will not happen.’”

The Italian journalist then adds that, subsequently, Pope Benedict “was forced to give up the ‘active exercise’ of the Petrine Office (only half-way?).” Later on, Socci puts the further development of Bergoglio’s election as pope into the larger context of the hegemonic reign of relativism in the West, which we now see to be growing. Moreover, he says: “Bergoglio has made the Obama agenda his own.” And Socci then refers to a speech by United States President Obama in May in front of the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., where he said that the Church should abandon “divisive terms” such as abortion and “gay” marriage and and that she should rather “dedicate herself to the problem of poverty.” Socci thus concludes: “The empire wants the Church to be a ‘social worker’ who comforts the losers in the field hospital of the strong powers, but does not disturb the handlers.” Additionally, according to Socci, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton herself had proposed a year ago, at a conference of pro-abortion feminists, that “the deeply rooted cultural codes, religious beliefs and the structural bias must be changed.”

Socci then piercingly and ironically says: “The churches must therefore surrender to the ‘liberal’ secularism of the imperium. In fact, Bergoglio has already abandoned the ‘non-negotiable principles [such as those found in Amoris Laetitia!].’” It is in this same context, that Socci sees the upcoming 31 October 2016 papal trip to Sweden, in order to “celebrate Luther and to ‘stitch up’ the 500 years exactly since the schism – evidence of a new imperial religion?” [my emphasis added]

These earlier insights from Antonio Socci might become more weighty in our judgments when we now consider and incorporate the new developments coming to us from Italy.

Let us now first consider Ettore Tedeschi’s interview, and, subsequently, then the text written by Rino Cammilleri.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Former President of the IOR (Institute for the Works of Religion – Vatican Bank) from 2009 to 2012, Interview with, 8 March 2017

Monsignor Negri says that “Obama’s hand was behind the resignation of Benedict XVI.” The former archbishop of Ferrara speaks of an “American conspiracy” against the Pope. Is this plausible?

“The plot appears to be American only because they have had the leadership of the New World Order. You see, the conspiracy, if we can so call it, was aimed at trying to solve some problems caused by the failure of the famous New World Order of the ’70s, gnostic, neo-Malthusian and environmentalist. This project of the New Order was openly intended (among other things) to relativize the most dogmatic religious faiths and clearly proved to be so opposed to the Catholic faith as to publicly state – and by the highest authorities at the U.N., WHO…. – that Christian ethics could no longer be applied and that religious syncretism is to be required to create a new universal religion (thanks also to processes of immigration). Even the U.S. President, Obama specifically, in 2009, personally declared that, for healthy bio-psycho-social well-being, free access must be given to abortion without restrictions, euthanasia due to rationing of care, and denial of the rights of conscience. Well it is not difficult to understand that, in this context of opposition to the Catholic faith, the Pope, the highest moral authority in the world, could become the subject of attention for his disposition or else his willingness ‘to understand the needs of the global world.’ Now, Pope Benedict XVI insisted, instead, on re-proposing the anthropological problem according to the Catholic vision (ergo man is a creature of the Creator-God), he combatted relativism, bringing God to the center of the cultural debate, especially closing the gap between faith and reason, and he affirmed the need to return to evangelizing, explaining that the failure of Western civilization was due to the rejection of Catholicism, etc. Why are we surprised that such a restorer Pope should not be considered ‘out of play’? A famous secularist philosopher wrote, as reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano, on November 26, 2009: ‘When the Church of silence will take the floor, the ‘reconquista’ of Ratzinger will vanish, like dreams and vampires at daybreak.’”

If the Americans had been able to make a Pope resign, could they have had the strength also to make them elect someone else to their liking?

“The Americans were able to ‘fire’ Clinton/Obama and get Trump elected. I am thinking that they have great capacity to react…. One day I would like to explain to the Pope my Vatican experience with American circles which are directly and indirectly influential. But returning to Monsignor Negri, I think that it is difficult to understand how it can be decided to no longer take seriously a priest of his character. Neither is it even comprehensible to me how people like him and the four cardinals who have raised the dubia, demonstrating just how much they love Church, can be ignored and put aside. I find it not only incomprehensible but also unwise, because thereby we are deprived of their expertise, which does not seem to me so easily replaceable. Monsignor Negri, who will certainly continue to serve the Church, will do so with many worthy Catholics who are nearby. It is a sin that the current leaders of the Church close to the Pope, threaten to deprive him of his loving and prestigious help, expertise, and energy. Someone suggested yesterday that one could think of putting Monsignor Negri in charge of the [Ecumenical Monastic] Community of Bose, in order to ‘enhance it,’ as was already done with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.”

Could his removal and the resignation of Ratzinger be connected?

“How should I know? Certainly Negri was a favorite ‘spiritual son’ of Ratzinger, certainly with an extraordinarily strong personality and character, typical of great ‘saintly’ personalities in the history of the Church. They also tell me that, apart from everything else, we are only at the beginnings of the attack on our holy Church. But I can also assure you that the Church will be defended, unto martyrdom, by people just like Monsignor Negri. This is the difference between a saintly man like him and the many rampant ‘boot lickers.’” [my emphasis added]

(Translation kindly provided by Andrew Guernsey)


Rino Cammilleri, “Ratzinger Eliminated by Hypocritical Do-Gooders,” Corrispondenza Romana, 10 March 2017

If it was not a plot, then it certainly is very similar to one. We speak about the resignation of Benedict XVI on 11 February (the Lourdes Day) four years ago [2013].

The former Archbishop of Ferrara, Msgr. Luigi Negri, wanted to get rid of a stone in his shoe which has bothered him for quite a while: “I am certain that the truth will emerge one day showing a grave liability both inside and outside the Vatican.”

He declared, to be sure, that there was put upon Benedict XVI an enormous pressure. From whom? From Obama?

Negri reminds us that: “It is no coincidence that in America, even on the basis of what has been published by Wikileaks, some Catholic groups have asked President Trump to open a commission of inquiry to investigate whether the administration of Barack Obama exerted pressure on Benedict.”

The one concerned himself has denied [the existence of such pressures] in a recent book of conversation with Peter Seewald, saying: “Nobody has attempted to blackmail me.”

Maybe. But, one may ask how much credibility these above-quoted Ratzinger words should have since they contradict his earlier words. At the time of his resignation, he announced that he would retire into silence and prayer, and that he wished to make himself “invisible to the world.” Since when, however, does someone who wishes to retire into silence and prayer, give bestseller-interviews? Thus remains the fact that he never gave a convincing reason for his resignation. After all, this is not about just anything that one could take lightly.

A pope who resigned is an epochal event for the Church, even more so when he still dresses as a pope and lets himself be called pope (emeritus). And moreover: such a thing has never happened before.

Another additional fact is: through him and his resignation, the Church has come to face a new pontificate which is out to do always the opposite from the previous one. Just as Trump now dismantles Obamaism.

The dark marks which have lain on the resignation of Benedict XVI remain. The fact that it is mostly traditional Catholics who have doubts about this case does not change any iota of the assumption. Yes – and exactly because one judges the trees by their fruits, as the Gospel teaches us and it is also basic common sense.

As much as Ratzinger was reviled by those who truly have influence, just as much Bergoglio is now being celebrated by those same people. Ratzinger was blocked from speaking at the State University of Rome; but, for Francis, the red carpet was laid out in front of that same university. And surely not because Francis has held there any epochal speeches as did his predecessor in Regensburg. No, he [Francis] spoke spontaneously; and more: he kept on talking as if he were among friends in the bar. Most of all, this was really a political speech, that is to say, a politically correct speech. Also, his insistence – whether appropriate or not – upon the undifferentiated reception of the migrants fosters the further suspicion of those who are now convinced of a plot.

The Catholic teaching is seen to be too strict for the “New World,” which gnomes like Soros want to create: a hybrid, flowingly amorphous, homosexualized and individualized world of uprooted consumers. Therefore: away with the theologian-pope and move forward with the pastor-pope who attenuates the doctrine of the Faith and who pleases, so much, the masters of political correctness. Moving on in the direction of a Jovanotti [Italian rapper] Church, which can best be inserted into the coming Brave New World.

As I said: It will not be a conspiracy. Of course not. Only: If it turns out to be one, after all – would the results then look different? [my emphasis added]

(Translation Maike Hickson)


243 thoughts on “The Ongoing Discussion about Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation Receives New Fuel”

  1. Though if even the Catholic Church be reduced to just a few good traditional priests and a few good traditional members of the laity, the total and final victory over the devil will still be complete. Because the day will inevitably come when the pagan will discover that the fleeting things of this earth will have deserted him and he will find his soul empty.

    The pagans will finally recognize that their inner thirst can never be satisfied by lies and half-truths to which they were partial. They will look for a light to guide them out of their misery – and they will discover that light in the flourishing remnants of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, watered by the Word of God and warmed by the Grace of The Holy Spirit and His Spouse, Our Mother Mary – who is the destroyer of all heresy.

  2. Due to the content of the article and the confusing nature of the situation, expect a slightly lighter hand as regards moderation with comments about the confusing nature of two living popes (from me at least!). We need to discuss this and figure out how we need to react and deal with this. That said, blatant assertions that we have an antipope without solid evidence and a clear willingness to discuss the issue, or obvious classic sedevacantism will likely result in bans.

    In short, comment policy is in effect… now, let’s get down and dirty!

      • It’s a website. This isn’t the government moderating what you can and can not say and assigning penalties. It’s a private website and those who moderate it are laying some ground rules which it is their right to do.

        Follow them or leave.

          • Why not? Like I said, it’s a website. Do I not have a right to ban erroneous ideas on a site I moderate? Like I said, freedom of speech doesn’t really apply here. If you don’t like it, take your opinions elsewhere

          • Just as you have a moral right, even a duty, to shoo someone from your home who is shouting vile blasphemies against God and His Church from your own home, Steve, and by extension his moderators, have the right and even duty to shoo people from this home on the web who shout vile blasphemies (in this case sedevacatism) against God and His Church.

            Read the comment policy. You can find it in the menus at the top of the page. If you don’t agree, don’t post. And if you continue to post arguing against it, you’re gone. Cheers.

      • He’s enforcing my policies, and no, it doesn’t mean as much to me as preserving souls from the needless confusion and spiritual dead end that sedevacantism leads to.

        What we allow is, “If this happened, it may very well mean that Francis is not the valid pope because of X, Y, and Z reason.”


        I’m exaggerating for effect, but this matters.

        From my perspective, this changes nothing…yet. Pressure does not equal duress. We all make decisions under pressure that are nevertheless a full engagement of our free will. But it does make things more interesting.

        To declare with certitude that a man who by all appearances is the pope is, in fact, not the pope, is, by necessity, a juridical act. It cannot be made by the likes of us. And while some are spiritually nourished by the present conflict, others find it sufficiently confusing and disheartening that they’d prefer to stay home than participate in a religion that can’t even figure out who their pope is.

        I’m far more worried about souls than giving a platform for people to get things off their chests. And frankly, the traditional Catholic position on free speech is far more in line with my view than the current American standard.

        • Good Morning, Steve. I am intrigued by your comments regarding pressure not being equal to duress. I have attempted to do a little bit of research, and found an interesting analysis of Canons 188 and 332 by an American canon lawyer practicing in Rome named Cathy Caridi. I know nothing about her other than her credentials listed on her web site. But I found her conclusion that a papal resignation would have to be “fully free” to be relevant and even helpful to this discussion:

          God bless.

        • How would you distinguish between pressure and duress? I am mindful that there is a difference, but I suggest that we need to be very cautious in how we “fence” duress, because we can’t say that it means one thing when it’s convenient to stave off sedevacantism, and another thing when we wish to establish lack of even partial consent of the will in a different situation.

          • Pressure is the threat or possibility of adverse but endurable consequences that might affect a decision making process. Duress is the application of a negative experience sufficiently profound that it would cause a person to act in a way he wouldn’t if he were otherwise free to do so.

            Pressure could be, “All these people want you to resign and if you don’t they’re going to do all in their power to make it difficult for you to do your job.”

            Duress could be, “If you don’t resign we’re going to kill this person you love or destroy their reputation or release this damning secret that will scandalize the faithful” etc.

            These are my definitions, so they may be imprecise. But I think pressure is the exertion of influence whereas duress is the exertion of some means of control.

        • I am not familiar with the traditional Catholic position on free speech to which you are referring, but I know God’s position on freedom. Political correctness is not Catholic.

          • ” And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that “that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require.” From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an “insanity,”2 viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.” But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching “liberty of perdition;”3 and that “if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.”4”

            — Pope Pius IX; Quanta Cura (1864)


          • Thank you, Steve, for taking the time to reply. I see now that your opinion has some weight to it indeed, and, while I still disagree, I will adhere to the Comment Policy.

          • Thank you. We are at this moment in history grateful for the freedom of speech afforded here in America as we attempt to resist the pernicious infiltration of the Church by means of a free press. But my concern in this work is now and has always been the salvation of souls, and a desire to keep all manner of error, whatever its provenance, from leading them astray.

            Hence, a comment policy that demonstrates docility to the divinely-instituted authority that belongs to the Church alone — even when many in the Church abuse that same authority. I hope it makes sense.

      • “Does freedom of speech mean anything to you?” Irony. Freedom of speech was never a Catholic maxim. Religious liberty in the sense of a positive right to err is a Vatican II novelty. You should know that.

      • most heavily trafficked blogs utilize moderators to tame the wild west com boxes. Those that don’t usually moderate comments before allowing them to be posted.

      • Steve owns and operates the site. There are also 3 others (myself included) Steve asked to help him out as volunteer comment moderators to ease up his burden of moderating the comments so he could focus on more important matters, like actually running the site, writing articles, etc.

    • There can’t be two living Popes. Only one of the men under discussion is Pope. I do not propose a definitive answer as I do not have one. I fear the heretic Francis is Pope, but the statement “two living Popes” is not possible.

      • If Francis is a heretic wouldn’t that automatically make him not the Pope? Then we’d have no pope and the seat would really be vacant.

        • Maybe, but I am giving my lay opinion which has no canonical force. Someone with authority more than me must take appropriate action.

          • Formal heresy has to be declared as such before it is formal, and a formal heretic also has to be declared as such for it to be formal, even if the heresy held by the accused has been declared as such formally. I agree, actually that if he is a formal heretic that he would no longer be pope… the question that remains, though, is who has the authority to judge the pope? The answer of course is no one… So then you have to wonder how to determine this. Scholarly work has been done to indicate an imperfect council, and nothing less, could indeed determine such. I mostly agree, I think, but it’s hard to say. You can’t be a formal heretic without being declared one. Otherwise you’re a material heretic and material heresy does not remove someone from the papacy (cf. John XXII, Honorius, Liberius, Marcellinus).

          • So if he were a manifest, obdurate, formal heretic, we could be stuck with him until he resigned or died? I thought the Council could make a statement that by virtue of his manifest heresy, he was no longer pope. It would be a statement of fact that he is no longer Pope, not a condemnation as no one can condemn him.

            Btw, Marcellinus was not a heretic. He was an apostate. And he repented of his apostasy and died a martyr’s death.

          • Correct about Marcellinus. I wasn’t saying he was a heretic, but that he fits in as a reference with the others, even though it’s not the exact same.

            And yes, according to the work done, it does appear that that is what such a council would do. The pope himself, by clearly manifesting his heresy, judges himself and deposed himself from the throne of St. Peter. The council just makes the statement, after at least two formal corrections during the council of the pope’s error that, by virtue of his pertinacity in heresy (pertinacity is necessary for formal heresy) that he has lost the office of the papacy. BUT the pope remains pope until this is done. He is pope until it is proven he holds heresy. He doesn’t lose it ipso facto at some undetermined point. It requires this ministerial act of the church.

            This all assumes that the work done regarding this is all true. I don’t see any problems or errors myself, so I tentatively hold to this, but it’s never been done before, so we can’t quite be sure yet…

          • I pray that God somehow spares the ordeal of having sort all this out. There is great potential for many souls to be lost in the ensuing confusion.

            The willful blindness of many of the “Francis Fanboys (and Girls)” is staggering

      • Well of course. But there is a man in Rome wearing the clothing proper only to a pope who is not in fact the pope. The two men who wear the garb of the pope both have the word “Pope” as a prefix to their names, one admittedly with emeritus stuffed in. However, though there looks to be two men with the attire and dignity of Pope, there is only 1 pope. It’s a confusing situation, especially for those with less familiar with the insanity going on in the Vatican than the regular readers and commenters here, like you and I. Obviously there is only one. But it kind of looks like there are two.

        Benedict should have dropped the name and clothing and gone back to Cardinal Ratzinger IMO…

    • Does anyone else recall Pope Benedict saying years ago something along the lines of “it’s up to America now to save the Church”. I know I’m not imagining this but maybe it was a bad translation. At the time I thought, wow, what does he mean by that? We’re the last people that could save anyone at the moment.

      • keep swinging, I say! just keep posting any reinforcing news/prophecy/scripture that reinforces what your conscience is niggling you about

    • I can’t recall exactly where I copied these statements of canon law from, but I believe they were taken from the comments section of this very site a couple of years ago if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, in light of these statements, why such a strict policy?

      “Finally they cannot be numbered among the schismatics, who refuse to obey the Roman Pontiff because they consider his person to be suspect or doubtfully elected on account of rumours in circulation.” (F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal. Ius Canonicum, VI:398, 1943)

      “Nor is there any schism if one merely transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state.” (Rev. Ignatius Szal. Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, 1948)

      “Neither is someone a schismatic for denying his subjection to the Pontiff on the grounds that he has solidly founded [‘probabiliter’] doubts concerning the legitimacy of his election or his power.” (De Lugo. Disp. de Virt. Fid. Div., disp xxv, sect iii, nos. 35-8)

    • Francis’ papacy is a dogmatic fact. The theologians teach that acceptance by the Church (especially a moral unanimity of the episcopate) constitutes such a dogmatic fact – something in the practical realm so closely related to the dogmas of the papacy it must be true.

      If this was not the case, no papacy in history would be morally certain, and thus nothing the Church teaches, since every Catholic dogma is authored by or ratified by a pope.

      Cardinal Billot, among others, explains that any possible canonical irregularities are “healed in the root” by that moral acceptance of a papacy. Christ will not allow the entire Church to be deceived into following a false pope.

      If Francis were to, say, be anathematized by a future pope, and have his acts nullified, he still is pope at this moment.

      (Francis can be deposed by proving himself pertinacious in heresy by the mechanism outlined by the theologians – the part they all agree on, that is. The Church is involved in this process (via formal warnings) as the Church decides such matters. To paraphrase Bellarmine, as men are involved in binding a man to the form of the papacy, certainly they be involved in deposing him.)

      We are protected from bad popes by the fact that they are unable to bind the faithful to error. This is being demonstrated yet again by Francis, the quintessential Vatican II pope.

        • Good morning, Steve. Succinct, yes. But not completely accurate. At the risk of seeming pedantic, it is important to understand what Cardinal Billot — often quoted by that hero of the latter part of the 20th Century, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre — means when he writes of “healing the root.” He clearly envisioned a progression that has been, for lack of a better word, normal for centuries in the Church; to wit, a pope dies and a conclave meets to vote for a new pope. Cardinal Billot is simply reiterating the constant teaching of the Church (and Archbishop Lefebvre confirmed this to us many times) that any juridical (canonical) abnormalities or deviations would be “healed” (and this is the crux of the matter) at the “root” of the pope who was voted on to succeed the previous deceased pope. In other words, it is the irregularities in the new pope’s accession to the See of Peter that are healed, but this is predicated on the conviction that the successor had the right to succeed the previous (deceased) pope. I can find nothing that shows clearly what the Church teaches regarding a pope being installed following a questionable resignation of the previous pope who is still alive. So, posters to the comment section of your fine website who wish to pass themselves off as having more “theological training” than others tend to be, in my opinion, a bit tedious in their arrogance and condescension. I’m not sure any of us have an easy answer to this papal conundrum.

          For the record, since Mr. Folbrecht perceives that I was “disparaging” Cardinal Billot in a previous post (above), I want to state unequivocally that Cardinal Billot was (in not just my opinion, but that of Archbishop Lefebvre) one of the greatest of theologians of more recent times (latter 19th and early 20th centuries). My comment that Mr. Folbrecht calls “hearsay” regarding the stormy meeting between Cardinal Billot and Pope Pius XI in September of 1927 is a well-documented occurrence. I was not criticizing Cardinal Billot. As the well-known issue of that meeting was the disagreement between the good Cardinal and the Holy Father regarding Catholics participating in the political process (specifically, Action Francaise), I would have to place myself in line with Cardinal Billot’s thinking on the matter. Perhaps I did not make my point clearly to Mr. Folbrecht, so I will assume responsibility for being awkward and verbose in getting my thoughts across. Still, I stand by my assessment that Cardinal Billot’s brilliance as a theologian is of little help to us in this unprecedented situation, whereby a previous validly elected pope is now a “pope emeritus,” and living under the mistaken conviction that he can be a “contemplative” part of the papacy. It is not the “root” of Francis being “healed” that is the issue. The reasonable question is whether there was a valid “regime change” (to use Michal Matt’s words) in the first place. If the resignation was invalid, we have no legitimate “root” to “heal.”

  3. ” Socci thus concludes: “The empire wants the Church to be a ‘social
    worker’ who comforts the losers in the field hospital of the strong
    powers, but does not disturb the handlers.”That summary is very credible. The Catholic Church is recognisable by always behaving the same way, teaching the same things, speaking spiritual truths. I dont recognise the discordant non-spiritual voice that claims it is the voice of the Church of Christ, at this moment.

  4. The pit of wicked snakes that is the current Vatican – liberal progressive alliance makes even a hardened old Bolshevik like me weep.

    Remember, fellow Comrade Traditionalists! Reject from this day forth any attempt to treat the questions of our Faith and Church with the political categories of conservative or liberal. Refuse to use these terms.

    There are only orthodox Catholics, heretics, schismatics, pagans and atheists.

    It is clear that Bergoglio and his cohorts do not belong to the first category. Therefore we are ordered (not advised, but commanded!) by Scripture itself, by the Fathers, by the Saints and theologians not to follow him or them. I think it has reached the point where assisting at a Novus Ordo Mass, even where the priest is a good man and Mass is said reverently, is now the thin end of the wedge and consists of supping with the devil. Anything at all springing from the hell-damned false Council Vatican II and the revolution is tainted with poison.

    What then should members of the Comintern do? Hold fast Comrades to the integral and complete Catholic Faith, to the Old Mass and to Tradition!

    The Athanasian Creed tells us that if we fail to do that, we cannot be saved. Remember that.

    • Hi Stalin- I wonder if claiming that the Novus Ordo is “supping with the devil” is indeed nothing less than blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That would, of course, have eternal consequences. Schism can weave such a warm and comforting cocoon of delusions, apparently false comforts are all the devil needs to offer those who yearn to separate themselves from the Truth preserved by the Holy Spirit. And that is how the comrades of the unholy spirit end up in his kingdom. For some it will be quite the surprise.

    • Why does God permit evil and bad things to happen? …so as to bring about a greater good. And, because as Catholics we believe in free-will.

      So even as bad as the N.O. can get with abuses, even if the N.O. is entirely based on an abuse, that still doesn’t make it invalid, illicit, or as you suggest..evil.

      If the SSPX can exist within the complexities of their priestly faculties, then so too can the N.O. operate as sufficient conduit for God’s grace.

      The Latin Mass didn’t come into being till hundreds of years after our Lord’s Ascension, and thank Christ for it! I love the TLM, but the Mass prior to that, in whatever simpler form as it existed then, was not inferior in any way. I believe the Mass became the liturgical cult that it did to PROTECT and PROMOTE the sanctity and dogmatic truth of Transubstantiation. As dogmatic theology developed, so too did the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass to reflect that knowledge.

      • “The Latin Mass didn’t come into being till hundreds of years after our Lord’s Ascension …”

        Here you merely display your total ignorance of the liturgical history of the Party, Comrade. The oldest part of the “Latin Mass” as you call it, the Canon, has been traced back to the end of the 1st Century; while even the Orthodox accept that it is the oldest rite in Christendom. Patriarch Alexei of Russia explicitly called it so in his official reaction to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

        The N.O. is evil in the sense that it has a Protestant, not a Catholic, mentality. It was explicitly designed (by a Mason and six Protestants!!!!) as an ecumenical meal service which would attract the “separated brethren”. In fact, it is a straight-forward copy of the service concocted by Cranmer and Bucer one Winter in England (1559? Something like that).

        Nobody denies this. It represents a theology wholly at odds with the whole history of the Church.

        If one wants to keep to the full, undiluted, integral Catholic Faith, one should avoid the Novus Ordo.

        • Er, no. Cranmer’s service was re-ordered specifically to avoid any suspicion of the Real Presence. Even the Novus Ordo doesn’t go that far.

        • Ok fine, I’ll concede all of that because I’m opposed to the N.O. as well. My point is, God can and does bring about a greater good from any evil and in-justice. My wife is a saintlier person than I am and she grew up with the N.O., singing and playing the acoustic guitar…all things I’d rather jump out of a window than listen to at Mass, lol..I’m a convert from atheism ( 9 years Catholic now ) and started at a reverent N.O. parish and yet I’ve made my way to traditionalism and the TLM. Both of us are examples of God bringing about a greater good. We can walk and chew gum at the same time Comrade…we can resist the abuses and the N.O. Mass when possible, but also rejoice and what great fruit God has plucked from the thistle of the past 60 years.

  5. Of all the marvelous books that Benedict has written over the course of his lifetime, one remains unwritten and most needed. I think an appropriate title might be “Confessions” or if that one sounds too familiar, perhaps “Apologia” or if that seems too academic, perhaps “Regrets, I’ve had a few”. Please write that book Benedict and end your silence, and please put an end to the lies and the confusion that always flows into the vacuum such silence creates. If this helps, I would buy that book, as long as I know the proceeds go to some holy cause. We love you Benedict, please love us in this time of need.

  6. It’s articles like this one which left me seeking desperately for answers from places I wouldn’t previously have considered, including – yes – the Remnant (I’m a regular visitor there now, and subscribe to their online e-edition). I still struggle with questions of how to reconcile the words and actions of Francis with the promises of Christ to Peter (‘You are Peter (rock), and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.’). Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a pope – a POPE – would become a direct ally of the New World Order and international leftists like George Soros. As a layperson, I know I don’t have the authority to declare that Francis is an antipope, but the fact is, at the end of the day, given the statements I’ve read in the article above and elsewhere, I just don’t know.

    • As someone else above said, why would Our Lord use the word “prevail” in His promise if it didn’t look like Satan actually would prevail? Look at the Arian heresy. As St. Jerome said about that time, one day the Church woke up to find itself Arian. While scholarly estimates put the number of bishops who supported Arianism at ~75%, which is significant, history records only St. Athanasius as standing against the heresy. Not even the Pope, Liberius, was firm in holding against the error. He actually made some accommodations. It certainly looked like Satan would prevail. Now today, we have another heresy, modernism, the synthesis of all heresies, prevailing among the hierarchy. Even the pope doesn’t stand firm, may, he even seems to support it. But we have among the hierarchy not just one prelate opposed to this. We have, as an article on this very website a few days ago says, at least 15 who desire the truth, and likely at least 20 more. Things look bad, but Our Lord’s promises never fail.

  7. Is conspiracy theory becoming conspiracy fact? Are rumors, slowly but surely, being confirmed? Wheat and tares grow together in the field. The angels of the harvest gather it all — the wheat to be stored in the barns and the tares to be burned. What I know is that I want to be on “the right side of eternity” when all is said and done. I’ve said this before: I believe prophesy is being fulfilled as we watch, wait and pray.

  8. So how exactly could a pope be forced to resign? Blackmail, but are there even rumors of something like homosexuality? Even if so, it would be his responsibility to soldier on.

    • What if he resigned in order to protect the Church from some kind of worldly threat (I’ve heard that the Vatican bank was threatened, for instance)? His fear may have been very real, albeit misguided, but is it conceivable that he resigned because he thought it best for us??

    • Nuclear weapons? Just a thought. Would a holy man be able to resist threat of mass human annhilation? Not promoting any theory just proposing that it seems like there could be ways to put tremendous pressure on a man outside of homosexual blackmail.

  9. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that all the speculation is true, the question remains: is Francis’ papacy valid?

    • I’m not a legal expert but I don’t think any contract or document signed under duress would be valid anywhere in the world.

      • I hear you, and I’m not exactly a Francis fan. But, there is precedent in the Old Testament, and can be used, and will be used, in this case – Jacob & Esau.

        • Communiqué: on various articles regarding the “Tremendous Pressure upon Benedict XVI”

          Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Archbishop Luigi Negri according to which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, after his resignation (which took place in February 2013), gave him the impression that he was under tremendous pressure that may have led to his resignation.

          In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares “never to have spoken with Archbishop Luigi Negri about tremendous pressures”, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Archbishop Luigi Negri on the matter “are pure inventions, absolutely untrue”, and he confirms decisively that “his resignation from the active exercise of the ministry of the Papacy, but remaining in a new way in the enclosure of Saint Peter was made with full freedom”.

      • As Steve said, duress and pressure are not the same. As I’ve said before, regarding this, “coercion” is often being confused for “convincing.”

  10. who really can lift up the veil and uncover the dark secrets with their conspiracies? it does seem that this very year the veil will be taken off. sure it is going to be taken off in October. whatever is hidden will be exposed in broad daylight.

  11. Just as with AL and the correction, who can depose Bergolio based on this new information of a forced resignation? And if they can depose him, what are they waiting for?

  12. “Benedict XVI was given an “opportunity” – a proposition. To him it was “proposed to accept an ‘ecumenical re-unification’ with the Protestants of North Europe and/or North America in order to create a kind of ‘common religion of the West.’”

    I don’t understand the logic of this proposition at all. Why did they even assume protestants would want to go along with this idea? First of all, most protestants have a problem with the structure of of the Catholic Church itself and with the papacy in general, regardless of who is currently pope. And the idea of wanting to put in a progressive pope to make this reunification happen makes even less sense because most protestants I know are not leftists/globalists, but are very socially conservative. Most protestants I know are as scandalized by Francis as they were by Obama.

    • I think the answer to that is that there are many that proclaim to be Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran etc…when in all reality they are not and may purely and only be members of the Masons and/or Illuminati (I am referencing only a portion of their leadership).

      Thus this “reunification” is hoped to not be a reunification with the Protestant world as Martin Luther and John Calvin understood it but a reunification with these “secret societies” that march under the banner of Christianity, when in reality they’d like to see the total death of it and especially the Catholic Church.

      This is why, often times, I read what the Pope says and say to myself, “such a teaching is not Catholic, its not even Protestant….simply not Christian period”

      What we are experiencing isnt just about the Catholic Faith (although this is the apple of the enemies eye). This is about all of Christendom.

  13. A disturbing reality grows more ominous with perceived counter-doctrinal sentiment broached by “Pope” Francis. Prophetic private revelation through the centuries appears more relevant every day. Will “Rome become the seat of the Antichrist?” Will the valid Pope flee Rome?

    There have been a few bad popes and/or antipopes in the Church’s nearly 2000 year history. None promoted doctrinal error or adhered to the Modernist (Progressive) Heresy. The Barque of Peter is in uncharted and perilous waters, presently.

  14. On YouTube you can view a series of videos called ‘Pope and Pope Emeritus’ by Father Gruner (questions at the Fatima Centre), where Father Gruner said it was common knowledge in Rome that the Vatican was losing 10000 dollars a day due to the suspension of credit card use at the Vatican Museum in January 2013. This was done by the Italian central bank and the article was still on CNN last time I looked. Once Pope Francis was elected, a swiss company came forward to restore credit card use at the museum.

    • I suggest someone make a copy of that series because it seems to me that things like this tend to go “poof” if they get too much traffic or interest. (Call me a cynic.) I am not enough of a tech geek to make copies into another format, but it might be useful for someone to do this. Why am I not surprised? (If the information is true, of course.) Then again, it could be misinformation, disinformation or downright “fake” news. (Yep, cynic status confirmed.)

      • You are not a cynic. The NYT has taken down the articles published substantiating that the Trump campaign was wiretapped. And yes they used that term. Inconvenient truth, now. POOF!!!

        • Julia, I would not be surprised at all if Melanie’s post is 100% accurate as to what was happening. 30 x 10,000 = 300,000 each month. 300,000 x 12 months = 3,600,000 each year. Or 10,000 x 365 = 3,650,000 So if true, that would mean somewhere between 3.6 and 3.65 million (not sure if in dollars or Euros). Then multiply times x number of years.

          Would you resign if your Church (a Church you have loved and have given your life for) would be benefited to the tune of that amount? So what someone else is pope in your place? You work out a deal for “emeritus” and keep the title. It’s not as if there wouldn’t be a pope, right? As Hillary would have said, “What difference does it make?”

          Of course, all of this is speculation …. but then again, maybe its not.

          • “Would you resign if your Church (a Church you have loved and have given your life for) would be benefited to the tune of that amount?”

            In short; no. Not at all, actually. That amount is a relatively small number. I’m sure that if these rumours are true, it is something far greater than selling of their museum wares. To put things into perspective, the martyrs gave their lives for the Church. I would hope that Benedict XVI would not sell it for a relative pittance.

          • Roy, I suspect the credit card authorization for museum gifts would have been the tip of the iceberg. My guess is the problem extended to all Vatican banking operations. Who knows, maybe there were threats of fines and confiscation and/or the freezing of all assets. The US FACTA law has its tentacles throughout the banking world, and who knows what the Central Banks might have been threatening.

            To put it mildly, it would not look good for the Catholic Church and the Vatican Bank to be caught up in allegations of who knows what ….. fraud, conflict of interest, corruption, money laundering, financial dealings with UN sanctioned countries … who know what the “blackmail threat” would have been. (If it was a matter of blackmail.) Perhaps there was evidence that could not be easily explained away. Again, I may be completely off base.

            Yes, the martyrs did give their lives for the Church. Maybe Benedict gave his employment/ his title for the Church to spare her scandal and embarrassment. Again, speculation on my part, but like Jafin noted above, speculation can sometimes lead to real conclusions.

          • Well, it’s all speculation, but no one ever said speculation doesn’t lead to real conclusions! 😉

        • Something Mr. Skojec wrote in a previous article, a lot of people simply dont understand the power we have due to “Web 2.0” (The Internet of Things).

          Its a battle of quickness, wit, eloquence, precision, truth, followup, video, images, sharing, linking, liking, commentators and diligence…..The side of this battle that does this scholarly and consitently is the side fueled by the passion of the Holy Spirit.

          The other side, knowing very well their error, are moreso haunted by their own personal demise than keeping up with the professionalism of their competition.

          To us, its an issue that strikes at the honor of our family. To them, its an issue that threatens their own personal reputation.

  15. Thank you so much for this. One question nags, very deeply: WHAT threats did they put upon good Pope Benedict XVI to “force” this “resignation?” I am NOT saying I think it was a real resignation. That is not the point. I agree with the statement in the article that the excuses Benedict gave are not plausible. It further does not seem plausible to me that simple hatred of him by the liberal wing, nor even threats against his person, had he stayed, would be enough for such a holy man to crumble before. His entire life has been the Church, every molecule of his being. It must to me therefore have been a threat to the Faith itself, and no less. That he resigned on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes cannot be insignificant. Lourdes is sometimes said to be the Apparition of Faith, while Fatima is the Apparition of Penance. So what aspect of the Faith itself would they have gone after had he stayed on in full-force? It would seem to need to be something utterly foundational in areas they can control without the Pope’s “signing off” and which, left to the destroyers, would take us to a place worse than we are now. I leave it to those who are more schooled in the finest points of Canon Law and Church administration to speculate.

  16. Great post today on Barnhardt.

    I find her argument persuasive that for conclusions to be true, you must first start from the proper premises. Like when your GPS calibrates it’s present position prior to generating a route to destination, you cannot get to “there” if you do not first accurately know where you are “here”.

    The whole Papal soap opera is unprecedented and bizarre. We pretend it is normal. Everything will be fine in the end; it always was and it will always be. It is not fine. We are being taken to unexpected destinations. That is likely the product of mis-calibrating our Catholic GPS four years ago. We are not only in the wrong place, we don’t know how we got here and why we keep getting more and more lost.

    Anne Barnhardt has the correct answer, imo. The resignation was invalid. Calibrate to that.

    • I’ve seen Barnhardts position before and, while I certainly sympathize, we simply do not have the knowledge or authority to make such a determination. I’ll read the article and respond after I do, but, no matter the persuasiveness, I think we’re missing too much information to know. And, regardless of the truth of the matter, we have to act as if Francis is indeed the pope since nearly all the world and the entire hierarchy of the church believes that Pope Francis truly is the pope.

      • We don’t have full knowledge. We don’t have authority.

        But we are responsible for whatever it is we do have.

        We do have prudential judgement. And there are facts available; more now than before, like this article. The reality of our situation faces us, along with those (limited) facts, and prudential judgement must be engaged to make sense of it, according to our particular place in the Body.

        Lack of clarity is just the way it is in this case. Judgement is necessary, any way you go.

        I’m not necessarily trying to convince either way, as much as just advocating for the useful idea of logic Barnhardt presents: “correct premises are required for correct conclusions”. Check them from time to time. That’s all. Cheers!

        • I just now read the article you linked. To me, it seems like she’s mostly just bashing traditional websites like 1P5 for not allowing unorthodox opinions. And most often we’re just dealing with the nutties who want to yell “ANTIPOPE!!!11!!111!!!oneoneone!!”

          Aside from that, though, you’re right, we do need to deal with the reality of the situation. And regardless of the specific occupancy of the Chair of St. Peter, the reality is that the enemy has infiltrated the Church and is seeking to beat and murder the Bride of Christ. And it is clear that, to whatever extent, we have an enemy on the throne. Either Francis is the Pope, who is a clear enemy, or Benedict is and he’s deserted us to the enemy… a father who abandoned his children. Deserters are often dealt with more severely than enemy combatants by armies… much more severely. So what should we think?

          There are apparent papal encyclicals and apostolic exhortation(s) that are opposed to the Catholic faith. There are people in parishes all over the world with a terrible, protestantized liturgy who simply know no better. There are people who don’t know that missing Mass is a sin, or don’t believe that contraception leads to the death of the soul that are otherwise “good” catholics. 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and how many of them go to Mass every Sunday? How many have gone to confession since their most recent mortal sin? How about their oldest mortal sin? How many truly good Catholics have been so scandalized by the Bergoglian Dominion that they’ve left the promises of Christ behind and have left His Church? How many sin against God, unto death, because the “church” tells them something is no longer a sin anymore? How many priests anymore even speak of sin and the need of redemption, much less believe it?

          THIS is the reality today. Quibbling over whether Francis or Benedict is the enemy on the throne seems rather small compared to that. I deal with it on an at least weakly basis, helping out with the Faith Formation and “Youth Ministry” at a nearby Novus Ordo parish, educating children in the faith because their parents have left that job to others. I see the damage done by these traitor priests up close. Besids, the discussion of who’s-the-pope can scandalize, rather harshly, many souls not ready to deal with this issue. I’d rather focus on the big problem, that is, getting the traitor off the throne, whether he be there legitimately or not, and get the faith back on track.

          Now, like the article deals with, these revelations can help lead us to where the enemy is attacking, what methods he’s using to attack, how to defend against it later. And, perhaps, one day evidence will come forth indicating doubt that Benedict’s resignation was faulty. It’s possible. I have yet to see it. Perhaps it will come from Benedict himself. But we don’t seem to believe him now when he says his decision was free, so who are we to trust him if he says the other later? Until we come to that bridge, let’s not try to cross it. It’s premature.

          • Thanks.

            Without recalling specifics, it comes to mind all the times in the Bible where “binary” choices are required of God’s chosen. A person’s destiny came down to a moment of choice: this or that. The OT is filled with examples (Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Jonah, Prophets, Kings); or Jesus himself: “throw down your nets and follow me; sell all that you have and follow me; climb down out of the Sychamore tree and follow me; who do you say that I am; will you also abandon me.”

            This is a binary choice. We must choose one or the other. Not choosing is actually a choice. It is best summarized in your opener: “Either Francis is the Pope, who is a clear enemy, or Benedict is and he’s deserted us to the enemy.”

            And I just, personally, think God requires from me to choose; requires me to carefully consider the base premises driving my understanding and choices thereof.

            Those are stark realities you framed there, with specific consequences either way.

          • I think that’s an interesting bit of info you just surfaced there about God’s nature. He is a being of either this or that (or perhaps the third option – in the case of redeeming our fallen humanity rather than ignoring it or starting over), but never, *ever* wishy washy or lukewarm or “grey area”.

            Deuteronomy 11:26 – “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse”

            Stark realities indeed.

          • Reading through the Bible in a year exposed me for the first time to this consistent, clear choosing, framed perfectly by your selection from Deuteronomy.

            The clear picture I drew was that God want His people back; but on His terms. Love God first; Love your neighbor second. Choose that or reject that; A blessing or a curse.

          • Heya. Can you add me on Steam? I tried to talk with you like an adult and you whined saying I was “terrorizing” you. Grow up

          • The situation is bad, no matter how you look at it. Our Lord has already said He will triumph, and that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, so we must hold to that truth while fighting the good fight. Lord, strengthen us!

          • I don’t think she’s speaking about 1P5. She has a podcast with Steve here. The “unorthodox opinions” are all over 1P5 according to the modernists. Also, we do have to admit that many “traditional websites” won’t even sniff at the idea that there is a problem with the election of PF, and yet here it is on 1P5. I’m not sure she was talking about this site.

      • Perhaps not we, but only the competent authorities can say Francis is not the Pope, but what we can say is that Cardinals who are prone to “promoting heresy” cannot be trusted to refrain from electing one of their kind to the Chair of Peter, nor can we expect that the Holy Spirit will prevent them from doing so, if they are left in their places.

    • I just read Barnhardt’s piece, also. I am glad she has clarified the meaning of sedevacante. That Catholic political football has done much harm. It is akin to calling Catholics a heretic or Protestant every time they say something disagreeable to another Catholic. As far as I know, Barnhardt has no skin in the game other than her desire to attain heaven.

      • Yes. Another very useful idea of hers.

        I very much appreciate her recourse to logic to make sense of the inexplicable, and to cut through all the clutter of emotion and anger attached to precarious personal positions.

        Too much emotion these days. It inhibits proper thinking.

      • She is rational thinker. She gathers information and comes to rational and logical conclusions based on the available information. She then has courage and charity to share what she has learned with those she has very good reason to fear have been bamboozled.

  17. Just a couple of thoughts on those that always point to the promise of Jesus that ‘that gates of hell will not prevail against the Church’ Focus on the word ‘prevail’ That means it will be tried to the point where people will wonder if it will be toppled. Fight the spiritual battle with prayer and fasting. Thank you for translating this Italian article. I feel that we are on the brink of some big revelations that will help us understand the tribulations that we are going through. One more thing is from Our Lady to Father Gobbi on October 27, 1986 …The attempt to bring together all religions, even those who adore false and lying gods, with the prospect of forming a world-wide religious union for the defense of human values is vain, dangerous and not in conformity with the desire of my Immaculate Heart. It can on the contrary lead to an increase of confusion, to religious indifference and even make the attainment of true peace more difficult. For this reason, I say to you today: announce Christ to everyone, be faithful only to Christ and to His Gospel and you will become true builders of peace.

    • Headline, Catholic Herald today: “Reports in Italy claim Francis will visit Cairo’s Al-Azhar, the leading centre of learning of Sunni Islam, in May”.

      I seriously doubt he will proclaim Christ there and the redeeming power of His Sacraments through Holy Mother Church. My guess is advanced progress towards Catholic syncretism with Islam.

      We are going the wrong way. Fast.

    • It states in the article, “something has gone wrong in Rome ever since Benedict’s abdication.” It has been going on a lot longer than that as I think your quote alludes to.

  18. I have a question that may be a little off topic, but maybe not. I would not be surprised if, in the near future, the mass is altered so that “a joint Catholic-Protestant communion service/ celebration” is allowed. What is the absolute minimum necessary for there to be a valid consecration of the bread and wine? In other words, if these words or actions are missing, there is no body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ? (I would really love an answer.)

    • I was startled a number of months ago, after confession, by receiving an extremely abbreviated and strangely worded, informal absolution. I had to look it up to see if it met the minimum sacramental requirement. Wish we could depend on uniformity and precision.

      Great question. Hoping for some clarity from the more experienced Catholics here.

      In the meantime, here is one view, from New Liturgical Movement blog:

      • According to my knowledge, and I can try to look this up when I have some time, proper matter, minister, intention and the form of the words “This is my Body” followed with “This is… my Blood” are all that’s necessary for transubstantiation to occur. That said, in such a joint liturgy, one has to question both minister and intention. If it’s some sort of ecumenical service, is the intention to do what the church does really there? I wouldn’t dare attend such a blasphemy. I might sit outside and pray a rosary though…

        • No, those words are not needed if they use the consecration from The Anaphora of Addai and Mari. Pope Saint JPII ruled that consecration to be valid.
          That is what I read they are going to be using for the “New new mass”

          • Unfortunately, no one has specifically codified the words of consecration that *must* be used, not even St Thomas.

            However, this ‘study’ by the the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was approved by the CDF and the Pope but it’s just for a particular church. It was never posted in the AAS (which makes it official). It is not a part of the Magisterium.

            From the link on Rorate Coeli…

            The 2001 letter to the Chaldean bishops from the Unity Council, which has never been published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, was an official act of the Unity Council, not of the Pope or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Even though the CDF and the Pope gave their approval to the letter as the culmination of inter-dicasterial consultation, this approval has never been published as an act of magisterium to the universal Church. And whereas “supreme magisterium” is usually associated with acts promulgated to the universal Church, the Unity Council’s letter of 2001 was specifically addressed to a single sui iuris particular Church and not to the universal Church.

            To reiterate, this approval has never been published as an act of magisterium to the universal Church.

            This is another situation which the Modernists/crypto-Protestants in the Church will use to effectively weaken the faith of Catholics, again.

          • As I said, PF can do it today.
            Let’s face it, this is a man who quoted his own works to define his teachings, quoting Lumen gentium to give credence to Amoris Laetitia.
            He’ll make it universal if he wants to.
            Modernists appropriate from the Eastern rites all the time. Laity using the Orans and receiving in the hand are traditional and proper in the Eastern rites. They had no problem usurping those.

          • Pope Francis wouldn’t be doing this to strengthen the faith of existing Catholics. He’d be doing this to make the Mass even more attractive to Protestants, i.e. watering down its ritual.

            Sorry to keep hectoring you. 🙂

          • Usurping the Orthodox will not strengthen the faith of any Catholics, you’re right.
            The rule about the Chaldeans being able to attend a mass at The Church of the East was simply because their numbers were devastated after the genocide in the 1920s. There weren’t enough Priests for all areas. By God’s grace they recovered, many by moving to the US (they adopted me so I love them very much)
            So the Vatican allowed them to attend The Church of the East. as we can, in emergency attend any Orthodox mass. But if you notice, the Chaldean Priests were not allowed to celebrate that mass, just attend.
            Priests celebrating another rite without being dual rite is not allowed. Having them use an Orthodox rite consecration is astounding. And not in a good way.

        • If the consecration sought to replace the words “given up for many” with “given up for all” – does it portend a lie, thus invalidating the consecration, and permitting a false expansion to incorporate all world religions.

        • I asked my Chaldean Priest about this. He states that historically, the Words of Institution were added after the Nestorians split and the Chaldeans joined back to Rome. He can find no where that Rome demanded they add them and yet their Masses were valid.

    • The words of consecration must be spoken precisely according to the formula. These words are different in the Latin Mass and Pope Paul VI’s New Mass.

      Latin: “Hoc est enim Corpus meum.” (For this is My Body.)

      New Mass: “Take this all of you, and eat of it, for this is My Body, which will be given up for you.”

      Precious Blood
      Latin: “Hic set enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni Testamenti: Mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionen peccatorum.” (For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal (Testament), the Mystery of Faith; which shall be (shed) for you and for many (unto the remission of sins).

      New Mass: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal (covenant), which will be (poured out) for you and for many (for the forgiveness of sins). Do this in memory of me.”

      Source from Traditional Catholic Priest:

      There is also an extended discussion in New Theological Movement on words that are missing, in the wrong order, contracted or altered. It’s too detailed to summarize; mostly for Priests.

      As far as I’m concerned, the answer is the Consecration must be perfect, or it is not valid.


  19. Ya know what, folks? I’ve been thinking about all this crazy stuff. I don’t think very often but I’ve had an epiphany regarding all this Francis/Benedict kerfuffle.

    Here’s what I ‘ve come up with; when popes resign, baaaad things happen!!

    Whaddy’all think?

    • Well that last time it happened (Celestine V), the next pope had the former pope imprisoned and, if I remember correctly, Dante had Celestine V in the fires of hell… so there’s that. Bad things happen when Dad abandons his family.

  20. “The empire wants the Church to be a ‘social worker’ who comforts the losers in the field hospital of the strong powers, but does not disturb the handlers.”

    It’s hard to think of a more apt summation of what the powers that be desire for the Church – I mean, if they must have it around at all.

  21. What needs to be done is to fumigate the City of London and make sure none, not one of the plague bearing rats live to see their dream fulfilled.

  22. Here is a parallel. If the Democrats had realized Donald Trump could actually win the election, you can rest assured that Hillary Clinton would have been elected. The fraud and corruption machine would have been in full force. She was not elected because they had absolutely no idea he could win. I believe Providence blinded the Democrats to this reality, thankfully, which was the only way this could happen. God heard the prayers of so many people, who realized quite rightly that if she was elected, it was over for America.
    This should be fully investigated, although in the same way, the huge and powerful Modernist lobby is going to fully resist any effort, and it would be hard to correct this, even were it proven the pope was “driven out”. They are so powerful that they bragged about it openly. They fear nothing.
    The abdication was of course fairly unprecedented, and never seemed right. His strength was failing? But he seems strong enough now, years later, and as you said, there are many indications he considers himself to still be pope. Perhaps Archbishop Gansweins mysterious words about the papacy alluded to that. Let’s face it, what he said about the papacy made no sense. Of all people, Pope Benedict knows there is no such thing as a “dual papacy” with one active and one contemplative member.
    Personally, the timing on the world stage of both Obama and Bergolio seemed unlikely unless it was manipulated. I have always found that astounding and not likely to be just timing. We have come to realize in the last year, due to the Wikileak dumps, how powerful and entrenched and far-reaching these Globalists really are, George Soros and the kind. They are frankly, frightening. Anyone powerful enough to bring down foreign governments, which he already has reportedly done, is powerful enough to remove one pope and insert another. Money is what makes this world go round, and he’s got plenty. Absolutely none of this sounds crazy any more.
    Good God, if it were possible to remove this charlatan and find Pope Benedict still pope, can it be possible to be done? Surely we are a ways from that, but I for one am going to pray for it.

  23. A remnant will remain that will preserve the true Catholic and apostolic faith. What a disaster we have in Francis.

  24. The former press secretary of the Vatican Father Lombardi has called into question the views expressed by the good Archbishop Negri and went so far as saying he insulted Pope Benedict because the emeritus Pope had stated that he resigned of his free will and that since Pope Benedict is a lover of truth no one has any basis for doubting him.
    Hmm a Jesuit complimenting Benedict for being a lover of truth, where were all the Jesuit defenders of Benedict when he ran the CDF or preaching against the dictatorship of relativism or reinstating the traditional liturgy…doing their level best to undermine him at every turn…I have no faith in the words of Lombardi or most members of the society of Judas now being run by a relativist South American dictator… but I guess we got what we deserved a Peronist socialist South American Pope and a relativist dictatorial South American black Pope …I am reminded of the saying “when God is angry at the sheep he sends bad shepherds”..I guess God has had his fill of us

  25. We keep calling His Holiness Benedict’s stepping aside abdication as if he has rejected the papacy – he’s done no such thing. He just couldn’t govern these guys. And I’m sure whatever threat/ reason was great enough to warrant this extreme. Something grave wherein he thought this was the best solution. What a Holy man – Papa Benedito – Pope Emeritus.

    He’s resisting by retaining his title.

    ‘wolves…purer, smaller church’….he’s been hinting for a while.

      • If the abdication was under duress then by Canon law the abdication is invalid and so he is still the Pope and then Francis will be the invalid one. So if Trumph does start an investigation it would be good since it will prove whether Benedict was forced to resign maybe by threats to his very life. That’s what is required.

      • That’s what YOU would like to believe. He is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and THAT is how he will be remembered. In retirement, praying for the Holy Church. And his great works will forever be recalled and studied. AND, the Faithful will continue to honour his pontificate (which albeit is not public); as a matter of fact, this is a cause for some reflection this aspect of the office of Peter. So the pontiff continues to annoy you all by not leaving Rome; retaining his title. LOL…too funny.

      • That is the impression you would like people to have. And what do you mean “End of discussion”? The arrogance of the left is unvelievable. The man is Pope Emeritus.

        • The Left?!?! Is it possible that Americans are so damned stupid and lacking in any sense if humour whatsoever Comrade that TGS is deemed to be a serious avatar?

          God help us in the face of American Calvinists. Even the Catholics are infected with it.

        • There have been 5 renunciations in Church history; 5 more considered apocryphal. Reading the Wiki history thumbnails is to see the gravity of each and every one. And they were all full renunciations. Peter’s history is glorious faithfulness and a tiny, highly charged subset of unfaithfulness (like his own life).

          With Benedict XVI, it is not a renunciation at all. By “emeritus” and mutually agreed upon definition, his is a “retirement”; in this case retirement from active Petrine ministry only, but full retention of spiritual Petrine ministry.

          It is asserted that this is the new normal. Bishops retire. Peter(s) retires. Bishops stay active in retirement. Peter(s) stay active in retirement.

          I agree with you. Words mean something. Words have consequences. If he was not Pope, he would not call himself Pope.

          He did not renounce.

          • Thank you Aqua. Well said; history and all. Can I copy that? I say this because there is a movement afoot to deny his right to do this. And, if he was coerced into retirement, all the more reason he wants to do this. He used the word resign which was rather odd. He remains in Rome and continues to look like the Pope. I don’t think his adversaries wanted or expected this. I will give him his due. He has been in that realm for nearly 50 years. He is no upstart. This status is deliberately thought out.

          • You may. And I appreciate your calm demeanor and insights here. So many good commenters on 1P5. I learn a lot here. Some very smart people here; even those I disagree with sometimes I still respect and consider carefully.

    • “Could not govern these guys”? He could have made them all chaplains for crippled nuns in the Pyrenees and Peru. He lacked the courage and imagination.

      • Lol. ArthurMcGowan. That may be so, and probably he should have but perhaps His Holiness B16 thought it was not an effective way of dealing with the dissidents. Time will tell; and truth will out in due course I suppose. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt, however.

      • Lol. Perhaps you are right, but I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. And without full information, we cannot say why he did it.

  26. From the very outset of this pontificate/regime, in the midst of many doubts and concerns, we were looking for hopeful signs. One such sign seemed to appear two months after Bergoglio’s installation, (I hesitate to use the word ‘election’ – at least in its strictest sense), when his pontificate was consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima. I am now increasingly inclined to wonder if this, along with his other ‘photo-op’ public displays of Marian devotion, are nothing more than a propaganda exercise; a cynical con-job, no less.
    It is in a sense amusing that, on May 13th. 2013, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Jose Polycarp invoked the guidance of Our Blessed Lady when he said; “Grant [Pope Francis] the gift of discernment to know how to identify the paths of renewal for the Church; grant him the courage to not falter in following the paths suggested by the Holy Spirit; protect him in the difficult hours of suffering, so that he may overcome, in charity, the trials that the renewal of the Church will bring him.
    Well, he certainly doesn’t lack courage, (or more aptly, a demonic determination) in “follow(ing) the paths suggested by ….” The Holy Spirit? Or is it an infernal spirit? And, as for “overcoming in charity etc.etc.” it seems fair to say that “Francis” and “charity” are mutually exclusive.

  27. I recently saw a picture of Pope Benedict smiling and gladhanding with Pope Francis. Is it possible that he does not know about the destruction Pope Francis was wreaking on the Church. If he does know, why the public affirmation of Pope Frances?

    One good thing that Pope Francis has wrought is that we now know who the sheep and goats are at the vatican. Much better than the luke warm condition of the Church we have endured for the last 50 years.

    • Yes, the goats have been encouraged to come out in the open when Francis was elected. During the papacy of Benedict and John Paul, they stayed prudently in the background.

  28. One aspect I fail to understand is why Pope Benedict did not speak out and expose the intrigue, the evil intent of his successor. He had the support of many faithful cardinals – why did he choose the path of least resistance?

    I smelled a rat from the beginning when C. Burke was demoted and renegades like Kasper, Baldisseri, Forte, Daneels were handpicked to head up the synod. The whole process was a hijacking which should have been denounced.

    Thank God for the courage and persistence of the Remnant, and the faithful media who rallied.

    A Vatican-Democratic Party
    Alliance? (Catholics Ask Trump Administration to Investigate)

    An Open Letter to President Donald Trump (20 January, 2017)

  29. I’d like to see Pope Francis pass away peacefully in his sleep. Then, instead of electing a new pope, Benedict can come out of retirement and live out his days as pope non emeritus.
    History books can then call Francis an antipope and his encyclicals and actions can be wiped away.

  30. What worries me the more is the validity of Pope Benedict’s resignation (abdication). If one can truly evidence and prove that he resigned under obscure force’s pressures (remember:; “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”) then this canonically invalidates his abdication and consequently the election of Francis.
    Benedict is still the Pope and Francis isn’t.
    I wish to have the opinion of a theologian about this.

  31. Too many people here comment on the basis of mad speculation or wishful thinking. Both are human traits but must be foreign to the Catholic Soldier in the field.

    See the enemy in the Church for what he truly is. The enemy is an unholy combination of atheist, liberal protestant, homosexual and Mason. Pope, many Cardinals, most Bishops – they do not believe in the Catholic Faith but have given us a false religion to take us all away from the Catholic Faith which saves.

    All their works must be shunned. Vatican II, the New Mass, what passes for their theology, the leftist ideology – all of these are fruits of the enemy.

    The timid start to cry “schism!” Bring it on I say: there can be no holding the hand of Christ with one hand and the devil’s with the other.

  32. “The one who should speak will be silent” said Our Lady of Quito, when marriage comes under attack, as it surely is now.

    Well, that surely refers to a Pope, who is the one who SHOULD speak, after all. But it is Benedict who has been silent, not Francis. Therefore, it is Benedict who is Pope. Our Lady says so.


    • You are perfectly right: Who is attacking the marriage in allowing the communion to be given to the divorced-remarried? Who is saying that the Church should welcome the couples living in cohabitation, the homosexuals, the transsex people etc…? Francis.
      Who should speak but sadly remains silent? Benedict, the true Pope.

    • Yr logic makes perfect sense. But if a threat to Benedict’s life was there that forced him to abdicate then that threat may be there today even and that could be the reason he is silent. One of Mother Mary’s prophesies, I offhand don’t remember which one, said that the Pope will have to flee Rome. If Benedict is the one who does that in the near future then he would be that Pope and since Mother Mary says a Pope flees Rome, then Benedict would be Pope even today as far as heaven’s perspective goes. Francis has been teaching and doing things so wrong for the last 2 yrs at least that it is difficult to believe a true Pope can ever do such things. So the concern that he may be the invalid one becomes stronger

  33. If Pope Benedict was forced to resign by the liberal political powers in the USA and the Conclave was rigged to have elected a Pope Francis who in the last 4 yrs of his papacy has proved by his remarks and writings and actions that he is very much aligned with the liberal left, then he is an anti-pope who has usurped the papacy from Pope Benedict and since Pope Benedict was forced to resign his resignation is invalid and so he remains the legitimate Pope. So whether Trumph starts the investigation on whether Obama had any hand in forcing the resignation of Pope Benedict or not, we as Catholics need to pray to God Almighty, Abba Father to act to bring the legitimate Pope back to his Papacy and oust the present one. Our prayers will go a great extent for God to intervene and show the liberal left that they are nothing in his sight and He can do His Holy Will under all circumstances. But God wants the free will of faithful Catholics to ask Him to act. So Church, shall we all pray specifically from today onwards at least and make the right thing to happen. Truth must win at all costs. And sitting in r rooms and praying is the safest and the most potent way to act. So let’s do it if u are not already doing it everyday

    • Coercion and convincing are not same. Pressure and duress are not the same. Nothing in the article is definitive, all well-reasoned speculation and investigative journalism. There is currently no proof of any sort beyond speculation, conjecture, and wishful thinking that Francis is not in fact pope.

      That said, yes, prayer is the most potent act we can make during the current crisis.

  34. There once was a pope ” contemplative”,
    Who resigned (it was kinda pre-emptive).
    Now we’ve got a ‘successor’
    Humble Jorge the Messer,
    When will Someone take measures preventive?

    • There once was two men they called ‘Pope’
      But they must think Catholics a dope
      Two Popes there can’t be
      It’s so easy to see,
      We’re not going down that slipp’ry slope.

    • Pope Benny got dumped by a cabal,
      Who thought they could please left-wing rabble.
      Out to pasture he went,
      With a monkish-like bent,
      Now we’re subject to heretical babble.

    • Pope Frankie, they’ll tell you, is humble,
      But of doctrine he makes quite a jumble.
      Much to-do was made,
      Of a hotel bill paid,
      But the Gospel he’ll typically fumble.

  35. St. John Paul II’s directives in regards to the conducting of a Conclave clearly rule out campaigning and formation of cliques or other informal groups for the purpose of electing the Pontiff. On that basis, is it possible that Bergoglio’s election is in fact invalid?

    Is it possible that Sr. Lucia’s vision at Fatima of a “Bishop in White” amongst the ruins of Rome refers to Benedict XVI, with “Rome” (i.e., the Church) in ruins? This Francis is not re-building Jesus’ church but un-building it, brick by brick.

    • We were actually looking at this exact issue in the comboxes on another article about a week ago (I forget exactly which), but, while campaigning or planning PRIOR to the conclave is indeed not allowed, such does not invalidate the forthcoming election. As I recall, aside from fault in the process, the only similar crime that would invalidate the election is simony (buying the papacy.)

    • Canonical regularities are “healed in the root” (Billot) when a papacy becomes a dogmatic fact by its acceptance by the Church. Otherwise, nothing in the Church is certain.

  36. Anglican Archbishop Moxon presided over the Anglican version of Vespers, “Evensong”, in St. Peter’s Basillica yesterday.

    “Archbishop Arthur Roche, Vatican Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, preached a homily.” (Catholic Herald)

    And meanwhile they do nothing.

    • Big Church on the move. Fabricating reasons to lay aside differences (doctrines and moral laws). In this context, Pope Benedict’s setting up the Anglican Ordinariate must have gone down like a lead balloon in Rome at the time.
      It’s amazing the speed with which these initiatives keep rolling out.

      • Yes. The speed is another unnatural, unholy aspect not commented on much.

        Whatever happened to “Catholic Time” in which years are minutes; decades are hours; centuries are days; millennia are years.

        And quiet, content Catholics just go about their business of giving God glory at Mass; praying throughout the unchanging days.

  37. Some general comments on the entire notion that some canonical irregularity could mean a pontificate is invalid, *even if and after it has been accepted by the Church at large.*

    This cannot occur. Cardinal Billot, among others, explains that any canonical irregularities that might exist (occult or not) are “healed in the root” by the Church’s moral acceptance of a papacy. Christ will not allow the entire Church to be deceived into following a false pope; on this point the theologians are unanimous. Canon law cannot rule the day; the tail does not wag the dog.

    Francis’ papacy is a “dogmatic fact” (a fact in the practical realm intimately connected to a dogma); it became such when he was accepted as supreme pontiff by the Church (especially a moral unanimity of the episcopate). If we could not have moral certainty regarding the validity of a pope accepted by the Church, no papacy in history would be morally certain, and thus nothing the Church teaches, since every Catholic dogma is authored by or ratified by a pope (dogmas formulated by an ecumenical council are the latter case). This is a string that undoes the sweater.

    To repeat part of an earlier comment:

    If Francis were to, say, be anathematized by a future pope, and have his acts nullified, he still is pope at this moment.

    A pope can be *deposed* by proving himself pertinacious in heresy by the mechanism outlined by the theologians – the part they all agree on, that is. The Church is involved in this process (via formal warnings) as the Church decides such matters. To paraphrase Bellarmine, as men are involved in binding a man to the form of the papacy, certainly they be involved in deposing him.

    We are protected from bad popes by the fact that they are unable to bind the faithful to error. This is being demonstrated yet again by Francis, the quintessential Vatican II pope.

    • We have not had an Emeritus Pope before. We have had a few resignations, a few disputed claims, but never an active and contemplative pair-of-Popes.

      What do you make of that?

      In ref to your comment below, it appears that we can now have as many Popes Emeritus as they please, fulfilling their “Offices” in their own unique, chosen ways.

      “Canonical regularities are “healed in the root” (Billot) when a papacy becomes a dogmatic fact by its acceptance by the Church. Otherwise, nothing in the Church is certain.”

      It happened. Therefor it is true?

        • That’s a biggy.

          The Church was built on Peter.

          The Office of Peter has been changed.

          The Church’s trajectory is then drastically altered.

          We will not be healed until that fundamental breach is healed. It will not happen on its own.

      • As jdumon says below, this is a novelty – at least the notion that there is such a thing as a “passive pope,” or at least that he IS Vicar in any true sense, is. I do not think that Christ has changed the form of the papacy to accommodate the blissful wish for any such novelty on the part of anyone, if it truly existed. I also do not think that Benedict XVI meant it in that sense.

        • Not “Passive”; Contemplative. Active spiritually, though not physically. One is not “less” than the other. Pope BXVI: “I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but NO LESS with prayer and suffering.”

          That is important. He specifically retained, along with the Title, honorifics, residence and Papal attire, the Contemplative portion of the Papacy (the more important portion, connecting the Church to God). He gave up the Active portion only as a practical matter of age and demands.

          And also, not a “novelty”. A permanent reality. Both Popes specifically state that “for all time” the Papal Office is now, as a result, forever altered by their actions. A renunciation, properly understood, leaves the nature of the Petrine Office intact. An alteration does not.

          This innovation is setting itself into stone; “Dogmatic by Church acceptance”. But in my opinion, not Dogmatic in God’s eyes. Dogma belongs to God. We will be judged, if we fail to act, and God will restore Peter’s Chair to His intention.

          • I meant passive in terms of Church governance and teaching, *which are the two spheres of papal power.* So, Benedict, by his own words even in the most “generous” interpretation, is not assuming ANY (real) aspect of the papacy.

            I’m not sure you understanding the meaning of “novelty” as it relates to Catholic doctrine. Believe me, this is a novelty, and Christ does not bend to it.

          • I know Christ doesn’t bend.

            Men do. And sometimes only chastisement can make things right. We are given every chance, like unfaithful Israel, and then wrath.

            The “novelty” is a neutron bomb within the walls. The structures stand. Life inside is now different. Constant, bedrock change. And it started with the “resignation”.

            I will just go back to what I said at the beginning. I agree with Barnhardt. To reach a true conclusion, you must start from true premises.

          • If you know Christ doesn’t bend, you should know the form of the papacy can’t change.

            Barnhardt’s view is based on feelings, and a loose application of canon law, which isn’t relevant here, as the Church teaches. She is a convert with no Catholic theological training.

          • As I said, Christ doesn’t bend. Man does. In this case men did.

            The Office was objectively changed. The consequences are objectively clear.

            We will either return to the Truth of Peter’s Office willingly, of our own accord. Or we will face chastisement and purifying fire.

            The Office, belongs to God. The Keys are on loan from God. We are allowed to damn our own souls by choice, but we may not choose to alter God’s Petrine Office. One “Peter” at a time.

            You cannot retire from being Peter. You must renounce being Peter. You must be something else than an emeritus Peter.

            You make of the facts what you will. It is obviously spiraling out of control. Why? How? And what do we do?

            We all admire Archbishop Lefebvre because he checked his premises and came to a different conclusion from that that of everyone else at V II. Brave man. Thanks for SSPX! But this is our time. What do we do with this?

      • ” … but never an active and contemplative pair-of-Popes.”

        We don’t have it now either. The fact that Ratzinger wears white, has an unheard of notion about the nature of the Papacy and stays in the Vatican means precisely nothing.

        The USSR is the State of Lenin and Stalin, two separate GenSecs.

        • By the rules of Papal Supremacy, the words, and actions, of both Pope Francis and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI have actually, literally, altered the Petrine Office. Two men, both referred to as “Your Holiness”, means what it means. They have both clearly affirmed their meaning of the resignation, not yours.

          I take them at their Pontifcal word. They speak of this as a permanent, not a once-only alteration of the Papal Office itself to include two + Popes holding to various chosen roles. The Church confirms them in this alteration. This is, in fact, the new reality. We will not go back. We could very well see another one soon.

          Unless the facts change.

          • Aqua, neither the words nor the actions of either *can* alter the Petrine office. The office has been formally defined, not only by Vatican I but even by Vatican II. No bizarre theology can change what has been defined. No conspiracy, stitch-up, con job or anything else can change what it is by its ontological being.

            You can choose to believe otherwise my friend, but neither Ratzinger nor Ganswein can gainsay 2,000 years of Tradition nor Councils.

          • And yet, the current (and previous) Pope clearly proclaims it to be so.; with the full assent of the College of Cardinals and the Bishops united with him throughout the world.

            I agree with you. Believe me. The Pope does not agree. The previous Pope does not. And, barring a miracle or Divine intervention, all future Popes will not.

            Your assertion is true. Yet it is disconnected from the current set of facts. The entire Church is in confusion and turmoil, rendered impotent, because they will not face these highly irregular, dare I say diabolical, set of facts.

    • How do we end up with two men each having the title of “pope” (Emeritus or not!)? Both men wear white. Both men live in the Vatican. One is “active” and one is “contemplative”. Did Christ split the office of the Vicar of Christ to be shared by two? This has never happened before. If Benedict resigned under substantial error or under coercion or under fraud, then is his resignation truly valid? In law, if you sign a contract under coercion or under fraud, it is not a valid contract. Truth is truth even if no one believes it and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. Something is wrong — very wrong. I don’t know what, and I have no authority to make any declarations …. but I think prophesy is being fulfilled.

      • No. Benedict cannot force Christ to split the office in two even if he may wish it.

        Again, even if his resignation was canonically invalid, what the theologians teach is that Church’s general acceptance (especially that of the bishops) makes Francis pope. That is that.

        As you note, you have no authority to decide who is pope, and neither do I. The Church decides, and has decided. This does not undo the bizarre situation that exists now regarding our Pope Emeritus – it remains bizarre. However, Pope Emeritus is what he is (and what he calls himself).

        • Paul,
          I don’t know what Francis is. Is he Pope, albeit a bad one? Is he an anti-Pope? Is he a material and formal heretic who has not yet been officially declared as such (and if he refuses to repent after the process of correction, he vacates his office and is no longer Pope)? None of us know what is happening with the dubia and any formal correction. What we do know is that Francis has refused to answer the Cardinals’ questions.

          Yes, you are correct that the Church has declared Francis to be the Pope. Seemingly all agree and act accordingly. One of the few voices to speak otherwise is Ann Barnhardt. And who is Ann Barnhardt? If a Catholic, clergy or religious, a theologian or professor, a writer or speaker were to speak as Ann speaks, would it not be career suicide?

          You are asking for scholarly authority and writings (in a later post) when never has such a thing happened as is happening today. I do not think anyone in the course of 2000 years ever contemplated what we are witnessing in our lifetime (except perhaps what we find in prophesy and the words of Our Lady). There is no history; it is entirely unprecedented. And I think it is safe for me to say there are no scholarly writings either.

          Yes, the Church has decided. But I have decided too. After much heartache and much prayer, I have concluded: the fruit of the tree of Francis is rotten. His “make a mess theology” and his “God of surprises” has caused chaos and division, uncertainty and doubt, arguments and divisiveness. I hear the snarl of a wolf not the voice of a Shepard.

          Whatever Francis is or is not, I will not follow him into hell. I pray for his soul. Susan

    • “This cannot occur. Cardinal Billot, among others, explains that any canonical irregularities that might exist (occult or not) are “healed in the root” by the Church’s moral acceptance of a papacy. ”

      At the risk of being argumentative, Mr. Folbrecht, I most strenuously disagree with you. And I would further dispute that this is, as you later assert, a unanimous opinion of theologians (and all the Fathers and Doctors of the Church?).

      The term “canonical irregularities,” as you use it here in reference to an invalidating condition, is a perilous understatement. And very misleading. Even if practically every man and woman on earth is duped into accepting someone as pope, how does that then become a moral certainty or reality? It is a slippery slope, in which a case could easily be made by that logic, for example, that a couple who had a diriment impediment in existence at the time of their marriage are “healed at the root” and married in the eyes of God and the Church. After all, nearly everyone “accepts them as married.” You may argue that it would take an annulment tribunal to declare the invalidity of the marriage; but to say that the two are married at the time that everyone thinks they are (“he is still pope at that moment”) and until such time as the annulment is declared, is simply wrong.

      Moreover, your assertion that “if we could not have moral certainty regarding the validity of a pope accepted by the Church, no papacy in history would be morally certain” is completely untenable. With very few exceptions, there have not been serious doubts about the validity of the vast majority of popes. I know that we have had anti-popes, and I also know that there is strong evidence to suggest that Celestine V was under “immense pressures” (to use Archbishop Negri’s words) to resign by Cardinal Gaetano — who then became Boniface VIII. Yet we have never had a situation like the one we are seeing today. As so many of Steve’s readers (and I) believe, it is almost certainly unprecedented.

      Finally, since Steve asks that we speak of this issue in terms of “if” and “then,” what would happen “if” tomorrow, Archbishop Luigi Negri provides us with the requisite evidence that Benedict’s “resignation” was done under duress. Frankly, your whole posting is based on the premise that there is no possibility of such an event occurring. But, again “if” it becomes clear that Benedict’s supposed resignation was not, in the words of Canon Lawyer Cathy Caridi, “fully free,” then he is still pope, and your fundamental postulation that the-whole-world’s-acceptance-of-Francis-as-pope-makes-him-pope, falls flat. There is no way around it.

      I mean no disrespect by these comments. You are obviously a self-confident and learned individual. But if there is one thing that 63 years as a cradle Catholic during these turbulent decades has taught me, it is that we can’t always look to Rome to guard the Faith. No, I am not a sedevacantist, but neither do I believe that just because everyone says something is so, makes it so. . .

      • If you disagree with my statement concerning the theologians, post your source that says that it is possible for the entire Church to follow a false pope. I look forward to
        seeing it.

        “Canonical irregularities” are just that, no matter what you may wish to call them. And you are completely missing the point, which is that Christ simply allows the moral unanimity of the Church to prevail once it has been established, because He will not allow the Church to be deceived into following a false pope.

        Here is the quote from Cardinal Billot:

        “From the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.”

        I could highlight something – instead, I suggest you read this quote from the eminent cardinal, several times, and let it sink in.

        Likewise, you are clearly failing to grasp the ramifications of the Church accepting a false pope. How on earth could you possibly know of canonical issues that might have existed is the election of every single pontiff of old?! These irregularities need not even be generally known! According to what you propose – there is no way around this – no pontificate is certain. Was Pius V’s election invalid, and his ratification of Trent meaningless? Your house of cards comes crashing down.

        Luckily, the Church doesn’t really work this way.

        Unfortunately for you, Archbishop Negri doesn’t accept your theology of the papacy – of that we can be sure.

        Now it’s my turn to hope to refrain from offending. Your post suggests to me the type of will-over-intellect approach that characterizes sedevacantism and francisvacantism. Don’t worry – we can have a really bad pope. Christ is still in charge of the Church, and we’ll get through this.

        • Mr. Folbrecht, I find it interesting that you chose as your one source a cardinal — certainly eminent and learned — who became so disgusted with the pope (Pius XI) after a fiery private meeting in September of 1927 that he handed in his red hat and lived out his life quietly in a monastery. We can’t possibly know if he had a change of heart about his earlier opinions — which, as with most theologians, are just that, opinions. And we certainly can’t speculate on what Cardinal Billot, or any of the great theologians of the past, would think of what we are seeing today: whether you wish to admit it or not, it is completely unprecedented. Do we really know what that eminent cardinal, or any great theologian or Doctor, would opine regarding a pope whose root needs healing, following immediately upon (and as a result of) a pope who may or may not have actually resigned? (There was never a “pope emeritus” before, by the way, as you contend in a later post. Are you referring to Celestine V? Poor Pietro was kept by Boniface VIII under … shall we say, house arrest, in the Vatican. He was never referred to as a “pope emeritus.” As an aside, there is an interesting story that still circulates today, which I heard often during my many years of living in Italy, regarding how Cardinal Gaetano allegedly pressured/coerced/placed under duress poor Pope Celestine V. If you are ever in the Inland Northwest, perhaps we can get coffee together and I will tell you about it.)

          I have no source specifically addressing this travesty of canon law, for that’s what it is: it is not an irregularity, it is an egregious violation of, in all probability, at least two canons of the 1983 Code (188 and 332) . How could the great theologians and Doctors of the Church have foreseen:
          — a pope who “resigns” yet retains all manifestations of his previous? office;
          — a “pope emeritus” who dissimulated about his reasons for resignation: “I was too frail to go to World Youth Day and consequently had to quit the Chair of Peter”;
          — a “pope emeritus” who gave questionable reasons for his retained accoutrements (“Call me ‘Your Holiness'” and “there were no black cassocks to be found in Rome”);
          — a “pope emeritus” who resigned through “substantial error” in believing that he could be a “contemplative” part of a dual papacy;
          — a new pope who was placed in his position by a self-described “mafia” of conspirators at the highest level of the Church, thereby arguably bringing about a latae sententiae excommunication upon the conspirators and their pope.

          So, let me get this straight: “Christ will not allow the Church into following a false pope,” yet the Mystical Spouse of Christ was allowed to follow a false doctrine about the Divinity of Our Lord. The overwhelming majority of Christians, and nearly every last prelate (including a pope, Liberius, who signed a “Semi-Arian” formula) adhered to the Arian heresy. St. Jerome lamented that “the whole world groaned and found itself Arian.” So the Church would never be chastised with a false pope, but would be permitted to fall into full-scale heresy?

          As you correctly point out, St. Robert Bellarmine believed that a pope could be “un-done” by men, but did he mean to imply that it had to be the very same men who placed him in his position? It is unclear from his writings.

          I do not understand how you can be sure of knowing what Archbishop Negri does or does not accept regarding the papacy. Do you know him personally? Have you discussed this with him? And even if it were true that the good Archbishop or any number of theologians supported your position, how does that make it a constant teaching of Holy Mother Church? Just as Cardinal Billot was not protected by infallibility, neither are theologians, individually or collectively, until such points of contention are formally defined by a legitimate successor to Peter, the Vicar of Christ. The old axiom, “heresies are the unpaid bills of the Church” goes for “opinions” as well. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have confusion on whether there are three forms of Baptism, or what the correct meaning is of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”.

          You are preaching to the choir with your platitude regarding Christ being in charge. And I am not in the least worried. As Catholics, we know how it all ends, when Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. But in the meantime, caveat! Things may get worse before they get better. I lived through the turbulent decades when a pope, expressing “bewilderment,” nevertheless proceeded to foist upon the Catholics of the world the awful Novus Ordo ritual. I wonder what Cardinal Billot or St. Robert Bellarmine would have said about a protestantized liturgy, forced on virtually all the faithful world-wide, after having been authored by a group led by a Freemason and significantly influenced by six Protestant “observers,” with practically every reference to sacrifice expunged. And you don’t think that the world can be deceived by a fraudulent pope (theoretically, of course)?

          The bottom line is that we can be sure of very little concerning the current confusion in the Church, so we go back to the basics. Canon law is a basic. As such, those of us who have privately expressed their belief that Benedict is the real pope (and there are many here in North Idaho and Eastern Washington) based on canon law don’t see ourselves as tails wagging the dog. I applaud your ability to feel secure in your beliefs — I mean that sincerely. But I hope I have given you an idea how I, and apparently many other 1Peter5 readers, could (theoretically) privately believe that Benedict XVI is still pope. I would also respectfully request that when you post in the future, you do so with more qualifying words and phrases, such as “in my opinion” or “based on some theologians”. We are all trying to get through this tragedy as best we can, for the sake of our souls, and the salvation of our children and grandchildren. It just doesn’t seem helpful — at least not to me — to make a certainty out of something that isn’t.

          • So you disparage the source I referenced – by no means the sole source on the topic, but just the one I chose quote here in the comboxes – with hearsay, and, on top of that, offer none of your own.

            If you can’t understand, for starters, the simple logic that underlies this teaching, I can’t help you. That is where you need to start.

            It is amazing to me that you could believe that there is any chance Archbishop Negri believes that Francis is not actually the pope. You don’t appear to recognize that believing anything else takes one into the realm of pure fantasy. He is an archbishop of the Catholic Church and quite clearly recognizes Francis as supreme pontiff every day that he arises from bed.

            All of the details you raise are immaterial. What matters is that Francis was elected pope and accepted by the Church as pope. Those are the relevant facts.

            What gives us certainty is the teaching of the Church on these matters, which follow the dictates of reason and are consistent with the Catholic norms on how ecclesiastical office is regulated. You need to study these things, not form your own conclusions. I can heartily recommend that you purchase the book “True Or False Pope.”

            I will most certainly not modify my posting here to suit the dictates of someone who – no offense intended – seems to have no theological background and is set upon a certain course apparently by will.

            I won’t reply further.

          • Theologians on Pope Paul VI’s Commission on Birth Control determined contraception was not intrinsically evil.

            The Second Vatican Council was fully staffed and Bishops advised by Periti experts.

            They have their place. They can be overrated. And they also can be wildly wrong.

          • Your are once again missing the point. The intrinsic evil of artificial contraception is an implicit dogma that has been taught since the time of the Fathers. No *orthodox* theologian has ever denied this, just as no orthodox (or any?) theologian has been so foolish as to deny the dogmatic fact of public acceptance by the pope.

            If you believe the Church can bind to a false pope, again, nothing the Church has ever taught is certain. This is basic logic.

            This will be my last reply to you here.

          • I would say you are also missing the point.

            A drastic error was made at the root of this election rendering the election invalid (awaiting the judgement of competent ecclesiastical authorities). Pope Benedict did not renounce. He retired. That is asserted strongly by both Popes and as a rule for all future Popes. That is not valid.

            Renunciation: “an act or instance of relinquishing, abandoning, repudiating, or sacrificing something, as a right, title, person, or ambition: the king’s renunciation of the throne.”

            Retirement: “withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from active working life.”

            A Pope is still the Pope until he renounces his Office and refuses to be Peter. You can have more than one Bishop in a diocese (Emeritus, Auxilliary), but you can have only one Peter. That is objectively not the case here.

            For comparison: King Edward VIII renounced his rightful claim to be King. He returned to his prior state as Duke for the rest of his life. He did not retain portions of prior responsibilities. He was not King Emeritus. He did not wear his Crown and Royal Robes. He was not King Edward, living out his years in retirement, advisor to the “active” King. He was Edward, Duke of Windsor.

            Why does it matter? Talk of schism due to the cascade of theological errors that began with the strange, foreboding resignation announcement four years ago. Highly Irregular. All of it.

            Appreciate the exchanges. Especially those with Marinaio. Very substantive. Signing off as well.

  38. Don’t despise the prophecy:
    “I saw also the relationship between two popes … I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome. The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness…”
    (Anne Catherine Emmerich)

  39. Don’t be naive. Ratzinger is an arch-modernist’s modernist…just a more savvy and literate one than the hapless Bergoglio.


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