FAQ: Did Pope Benedict reveal his intent to bifurcate the papacy in the actual Declaratio?

Answer: He absolutely did.

It’s far more subtle than the devastating evidence shown previously, but it is clearly visible when read within the context of Benedict’s erroneous ideas about the papacy, which we shall review as a primer. Also, the subtlety within the Declaratio is strategic, due to the criticality of this particular speech/document.

Before I explain this, we need to go over a couple things just to make sure you are framing this up properly in your mind, working from a true premise, and allowing linear thinking to do its work. The majority of reader comments I’ve received, whether they be positive or negative, reveal a disturbing level emotive reasoning. Don’t fall into this trap. Wishing  for Francis not to be pope cannot play any role in your search for truth. Arriving at the conclusion that Pope Benedict failed in his attempt to bifurcate the papacy, therefore rendering his abdication invalid by reason of substantial error, cannot in any way be influenced by your dislike of Francis or out of a desire to see him removed/expunged. That’s called intellectual dishonesty. The flip side of this, and equally dishonest, is resisting the truth out of fear of ridicule or being seen as some sort of freak. PLEASE STOP… THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU.  Your feelings don’t have any bearing on what’s true, and the truth doesn’t care about your feelings. So put Francis out of your mind, demand absolute objectivity from yourself, and start with the Substantial Error supposition. Work through the available evidence, rationally judge the weight, and make your conclusion based on where the weight lies.

Before we get to the Declaratio, we need to review the smoking gun. This is from Benedict’s final general audience of 27 February 2013, the day before his invalid resignation did not become effective, where he exposes his erroneous notion of the indelible nature of the Petrine Ministry. In doing so, he directly contradicts all those previous statements where he claimed he was “renouncing”, “leaving”, and would then be Pontiff “no longer, but a simple pilgrim”. This is the lens through which we must evaluate the Declaratio (comments/emphasis mine):

Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005 (Ratzinger’s elevation to the papacy). The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated. I was able to experience, and I experience it even now, that one receives one’s life precisely when one gives it away. Earlier I said that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and feel great affection for him; that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, throughout the world, and that he feels secure in the embrace of your communion; because he no longer belongs to himself, he belongs to all and all belong to him.

The “always” is also a “for ever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. (<in his mind> the papal coronation indelibly anoints the pontiff in a distinct way, which is different from, and more profound than, the priestly or episcopal ordination/consecration). My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. (the indelibility is <in his mind> irrevocable – Benedict is pope forever, but <in his mind> now exercising only part of the Petrine ministry). I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God. HERE

“I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter.” I wish I could find video to see if he winked when he said that.

In summary, Benedict erroneously believes that acceptance of the papacy itself confers an indelible and irrevocable character on the man who accepts it (similar to the indelible marks of ordination to the priesthood and consecration to the episcopate, except in the case of becoming pope, there is no such thing). Therefore <in his mind> he (Benedict) remains pope even after he “resigns” the governing office and passes the throne to the next “pope”.

This is SUBSTANTIAL ERROR. Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see it already at this point. But let’s press on.

In the original post where I declared with moral certainty the invalid abdication, we also entered into evidence as Exhibit B, Benedict’s decision to retain the papal title as an “emeritus”, to retain the vesture, to physically remain at the Vatican, etc etc. We also reviewed Exhibit C, Abp. Ganswein’s comments last year where he dropped the bombshell of an “Expanded Petrine Ministry.” These were not off the cuff remarks, but rather a formal, well-prepared speech on Benedict’s papacy, given at the Greg in Rome on 20 May 2016:

Archbishop Gänswein…said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”

He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’. (Not in its “Office”, the governance of the Church in the world, but in its “essentially spiritual nature”, through prayer and suffering.)

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“ (Do you see how this echoes Benedict’s erroneous idea of the papal coronation being an irreversible event, creating an indelible/irrevocable mark on the recipient forever? It’s exactly the same idea Benedict put forth in his final general audience).

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.” HERE

Not that we need any additional evidence, but many are clamoring that they just won’t accept reality unless it can be shown that these ideas/intentions can actually be found in the Declaratio itself. So let’s have a look at that, shall we?

As I said at the top, the evidence in the actual Declaratio is far more subtle, out of necessity. Benedict, knowing the extraordinary nature of what he was about to do, would have spent an enormous amount of time writing this short speech. Every single word would have been chosen with great care. Keep in mind, the actual Declaratio was written and read out by Benedict in Latin, so you need to take a look at that as well. But the point is this:

THE DESIGN OF THE DECLARATIO IS PRIMARILY DIRECTED TOWARD ITS LONE OBJECTIVE: TO HAVE THE ABDICATION ACCEPTED AS LEGITIMATE BY THE CARDINALS, AND THUS, A CONCLAVE CONVOKED TO NAME A “SUCCESSOR.” THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE BENEDICT’S ENTIRE PLAN HINGED ON THIS OUTCOME.

So it’s not surprising that Benedict did not speak of the false bifurcation as openly in the Declaratio as he did several weeks later, in his final general audience, at which point he knew his plan had worked, all the wheels in motion, conclave convened, etc. But he also couldn’t help himself, and made sure his meaning was clear if we look with eyes to see.

So now let’s break down the Declaratio of 11 Feb 2013 in its entirety, bathed in the light of the aforementioned evidence. English, Latin, and seven other languages  HERE .

“Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

He’s saying he is inadequate. His faculties are insufficient to fully execute the entire Petrine Ministry.  He needs help.

“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. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

He’s still up for the prayer and suffering part, but not the words and deeds.  The governance part will need to go to someone else, a new participant in a new “expanded Petrine ministry”, because he feels inadequate for the governance role.

Now comes the money quote. This is the part that Benedict absolutely had to get right, to ensure the resignation looked so rock solid that no one would question it. But yet even within the same sentence we can, with hindsight, see what he did here.

“For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

“In such a way?” Why are those words in there? Those words are a qualifier. He didn’t renounce completely, he renounced in a certain way. Because as we’ve already seen from his own lips, Benedict doesn’t believe it’s possible for him to completely renounce the Petrine ministry, due to its <in his mind> permanent and irrevocable nature. So he is <in his mind> vacating the “See of Rome”, such that a successor must be named to administer the governing office, while Benedict retains the spiritual role of the prayerful suffering servant pope. Nowhere in this sentence, in any language, will you find the words, “I fully renounce the Papacy,” because in Benedict’s mind, that’s not possible.

“Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects.  And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”

So there you have it. Come join the party.  The truth will set you free.

Reading Benedict through Meisner through Ganswein

The other day, we got another glimpse into the mind of Pope Benedict. The comments attributed to him were read out by Abp. Ganswein at Cardinal Meisner’s Requiem, and the underlying message reinforces perfectly the “logic” behind Benedict’s failed partial abdication of the papacy.

Remember, Pope Benedict’s SUBSTANTIAL ERROR is the idea of a papal diarchy, with one “active” member controlling the worldly affairs of the ecclesiastical office (munus), and one “contemplative” member with an essentially spiritual role dedicated to prayer and suffering. Remember those words, “essentially spiritual role, prayer and suffering” – that was the actual phrasing he used in the Declaratio. We’ll come back to this later.

Also remember that it is absurd to think a mere man should or could alter the intrinsic nature of the divinely instituted Petrine Ministry out of, irony of ironies, some kind of Supplied Jurisdiction. We’ve covered this over and over again. Benedict did not, in reality, bifurcate the papacy. He only thinks he did, and thus in accordance with Canon 188 Benedict remains the only true living pope, his attempted abdication rendered invalid by means of substantial error.

Whatever his reasons for doing so, Benedict sought to maintain some level of control within the Petrine Ministry, not only by (falsely) expanding it, but also by giving himself the greater portion of the ministry, by “delegating” the temporal governance role to his successor while retaining the supernatural, contemplative, spiritual warfare role for himself.

Is there anything else that more accurately explains the observable evidence? What about the confidence, the serenity…the man seems truly at peace. Like he thinks he’s winning.

So now let’s have a look at what +Ganswein read out, supposedly from Benedict’s hand, supposedly regarding the mentality of Cardinal Meisner, in his final days:

“We know that this passionate shepherd and pastor found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time in which the Church stands in need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age…However…he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

Talk about patting yourself on the back.

Everyone is taking this as an attack specifically on Francis. You have to stop looking at Francis as the disease instead of merely a symptom of a long-term illness. To stay with the analogy, the boat was already in danger of shipwreck long before Francis, but the damage was below the waterline. Now that the waves are crashing over the bow, it’s just more visible to everyone.

Aside: There actually was a part of the address that specifically mentioned the Eucharist, Confession, Adoration, etc, and that’s the part where he seemed to be drawing distinctions regarding Francis Doctrine. That will be the topic of another post.

Pope Benedict knows exactly how bad – how systemic – the problem really is. He probably even realizes he himself is part of the problem, but at this point it’s too late for him to do anything about it, at least in the mortal realm. Imagine what a horrific moment of clarity that must have been. Maybe that would explain why he attempted to give up the governing office of the papacy, so that he could concentrate all of his strength toward a supernatural solution. He likely knows there is no earthly solution at this point, that if there is any solution at all short of the apocalypse, it will have to be supernatural in nature. And when we need a supernatural remedy, what are our most effective tools?

Prayer, fasting, offering suffering in reparation… an “ESSENTIALLY SPIRITUAL ROLE”.

Benedict chose to deploy this strategy, thinking it was the best way forward, even while knowing the identity of his likely (invalid) successor.  Oh yes, Benedict was fully in attendance at the 2005 conclave which elected him, and he most assuredly knew full well who came in second. And since the forces behind Bergoglio only strengthened and multiplied during the Benedictine pontificate, it would have been no surprise to him when Francis was (invalidly) elected. Pressing this line further, it’s conceivable that knowledge of the inevitability of the Francis or someone like him may have not only hastened but also shaped Benedict’s attempted abdication, not the other way around.  Think about it. This is why his decision looks like a strategy.

Because it IS a strategy, in the mind of Benedict, in SUBSTANTIAL ERROR, still reigning, in the thirteenth year of his pontificate.

 

 

Fatima at 100, Third Apparition: Vision of the “Bishop in White”

One hundred years ago today, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, announced the Miracle of the Sun to occur in October, revealed the vision of Hell – the fact that it’s a real place and that real people are in it (First Secret), the need for reparation and the means by which we are to pursue it (Second Secret), and… the vision of the Bishop in White, which is part of the still not fully revealed Third Secret.

“Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” As Our Lady spoke these words she opened her hands once more, as had during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now following back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. HERE

Sister Lucia later commented that this vision was so terrifying, she believed she would have died on the spot had Mary not previously assured the children their place in Heaven.

Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:

“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.

“This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January 28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.

“To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal the faith will always be preserved…”

Here we have the establishment of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the prophesy of WWII, the desired consecration of Russia, the First Saturdays, etc.

About the “certain nations will be annihilated”… anyone remember those abortion stats from my last post? 1.5 Billion abortions worldwide just since 1980.  That’s the same number of total people who were alive on the planet when this prophesy was made in 1917.

Now the Third Secret we know factually is still being partially concealed by the Vatican. No time to go into the particulars, but you can do your own research. Here is part of the portion which has been revealed:

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in white; ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.

“We had the impression it was the Holy Father.” It just doesn’t make any sense that Lucia would add that qualifier, does it? Hmmm…

You know what is really ironic? That the obfuscators in the Vatican, when parsing the true and complete Third Secret, which must be absolutely horrific, thought that this passage was not particularly relevant, or in any case surely harmless to release to the public.

Me thinks the Mother of God might be smarter than the white and red hats.

 

 

 

“History has NOT always been like this. It has never been this bad.”

Laramie Hirsch over at The Hirsch Files had a short, sweet, devastatingly accurate observation yesterday. Lamenting the various sinful plagues currently infesting the world, he opined:

“There are those who blow this kind of news off and roll their eyes, scoffing, and telling us the world has always been this way.  It’s always been like this.
But history has not always been like this.  It has never been this bad.  Though there is an immense availability of knowledge these days, there is hardly a scrap of wisdom to be found in people.”  HERE

The words here have a sort of expectant tone to them. More than a few of us have been (helpfully?) pointing out that the stars seem to be aligning, both literally and figuratively. The world has not always been this way, and at some point we know it will get bad enough that something supernatural is going to happen. I’ve been accused of fear-mongering for stating the obvious. If your soul is properly disposed, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Where shall we start? Well there is only one place to start, which is the Contraceptive Mentality. This is the Pandora’s Box of all eternity, and there is no way back without a hard reset. Accepting the separation of the generative function from the marital act means one CANNOT condemn ANY sexual act that is consensual. Full Stop.

If you still find yourself on the wrong side of this, you really need to set your emotions aside and trace your logic. If the generative aspect is not intrinsic to the nature of the marital act, why exactly is sodomy a sin? Why would masturbation be a sin? Why would fornication be a sin? Why would adultery be a sin? Why would “marriage” between three people be wrong?  Why would marriage between adults and “consenting” children be wrong? Do you not see how your logic leads inexorably to this?

Also, the Contraceptive Mentality can only and inevitably lead to the Abortion Mentality. Because once children become the enemy to be sacrificed, one way or the other, at the altar of selfishness and pleasure, all bets are off.

Since 1980, there have been 1.5 Billion (yes Billion, with a B) abortions worldwide. For perspective, that’s roughly the same number of total people alive on the planet a hundred years ago.  Got that? There are a couple handy abortion counters over at http://www.numberofabortions.com/.

Now, let’s imagine there were no other sins being committed by anyone else, anywhere in the world. Let’s say the entire world was totally a “sin free zone”, except for these abortions. I have this strange feeling that even if that were the case, God would still be perfectly just if he decided to bring down the curtain. But abortion, while never having been this mainstream, is certainly not new. It’s an ancient practice, as is infanticide, sodomy, etc. Oh the irony of the “progressive” agenda.

Now let’s consider that while the aborted souls do not attain the Beatific Vision, they do spend eternity in perfect natural happiness. What about the billions of souls becoming lost in pornography in the past 20 years, falling into a pit that they will never get out of, and destined for an eternity far, far worse. When I say billions, know this, and I mean it:

NEARLY EVERY SINGLE MALE, AND A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF FEMALES, ON THE PLANET, OVER THE AGE OF TEN, WITH ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, WHO HAVE NOT MADE AN EXPLICIT ACT OF CONSECRATION TO PURITY AND WHO ARE NOT FIGHTING THIS SCOURGE WITH TOTAL ASCENT OF THE WILL, ARE TODAY, RIGHT NOW, AND EVER SHALL BE TOTALLY AND FULLY ADDICTED TO PORNOGRAPHY.

I realize nobody talks about this, but it’s true. And unlike the previously mentioned “ancient” sins, this is new. Not that pornography in some form hasn’t always existed, but what we are talking about today is orders of magnitude worse. The entire world is drenched in this sin, and its associated sins, to a level not remotely approached in the past. As a result, we’re to the point where it is totally mainstream for Teen Vogue to publish a how-to guide to anal sex.  TEEN Vogue.

Lastly, Laramie touched on the how the existence of the very same internet that brings all the horrible things also brings us the sum total of all human knowledge into the palm of our hand. Which means that the message of Christ, the plan of salvation, the keys to heaven, have never been more accessible to more people in the history of mankind.

And yet.

So no, it has never, ever, been this bad.

But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. Mt 18:6-7
And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea. Mk 9:41
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones. Luke 17:1-2

“They have raised the throne of their abominable impiety”…YEP

Anyone reading this blog is surely quite familiar with the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. It’s said after the Rosary and after Low Mass, as instituted by Pope Leo XIII, who composed it after having a dark vision regarding the future of the Church.  What many don’t know is that the prayer we use is a drastically shortened version of the original. And boy, the original is simply terrifying. But it’s also a WMD in the realm of Spiritual Warfare, so we need to learn about it.

There are varying traditions regarding the circumstances and even the year in which Leo had his vision and then transcribed this prayer. However, there are several elements that seem to be common to all of the accounts I’ve read. Shortly after saying Mass one day, Leo became entranced. Some reports have him falling to the ground and appearing dead, others have him standing upright as if dead on his feet, ashen-faced.  When he regained his faculties, he reported “Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!” What he saw was Satan with a multitude of evil spirits charging forth from Hell, engaged in an epic battle in an attempt to destroy the Church. Then Saint Michael intervenes to consign Satan and his minions to the depths of Hell, just as he did at the time of the original non serviam (Rev 12 HERE).

The political/social/economic climate of the 1880s is an important backdrop to all of this. The profound promises errors and evils of the Endarkenment were freely mixing with the profound promises errors and evils of Marxism. The industrial revolution and its fledgling Capitalism were not without their own abuses. Rome had been conquered militarily and the Papal States lost, bringing a deep concern over the temporal sovereignty of the Pope and its effect on his ability exercise his spiritual authority.

As an aside, you really should dive into all the great writing of Pope Leo XIII. Start with just a few paragraphs of Rerum Novarum HERE.  When something written 125 years ago so clearly applies to our times, and seems like it could have been written yesterday, you know you’ve got something good.  A lot of his stuff is that way, and if you are remotely aware of current events in the Vatican, the prayer you’re about to read is going to seem rather on-target.

So what was so horrible in Pope Leo’s vision?  Well, it wasn’t the ending, because the ending would have been a great relief. Yet it wasn’t a sense of victory that Leo came away with. Why?  Because the first part of the vision – in which he saw how Satan would come to attack the Church – must have been truly horrifying. Pope Leo had been around the block a time or two at this point.  He would not have been easily shocked. Keep this thought in mind as you read the long version of the prayer.

Lastly, a word of caution. This is truly a weapon of Spiritual Warfare, which is a very real thing. It’s more real than the room you’re sitting in and the chair you’re sitting on.  Get that through your head. It’s not something to be messed around with. In this prayer, which is used in exorcisms, you are engaging with creatures whose intellects are orders of magnitude greater than your own. Make the Sign of the Cross before and afterward and adopt a military bearing.

 

ORIGINAL PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL, POPE LEO XIII, ~1886

“O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.

“This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be. 

“Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.”

 

The failed partial resignation of Pope Benedict: Reader Commentary

Well, it’s been quite interesting the past few days as reaction rolled in about the MORAL CERTAINTY that Pope Benedict failed, by reason of Substantial Error as anticipated by Canon 188, in his attempt to partially resign the papacy.

I deleted 98% of the online comments, because I don’t have time to moderate/reply to all those, and much of it was such total nonsense that it made my head hurt.  So what I thought I would do is present the most common misperceptions about what I presented and concluded, and what it all means. It might get a little harsh.

  1. “But but but there CAN’T be two popes.  There can only be one pope. So if Benedict is pope then we have two popes.” Do you imagine you are arguing against my position with this? Of course there cannot be two “supreme” pontiffs, nor can there be two men each occupying different roles within an “expanded Petrine ministry”. You don’t need to send me links to articles explaining this, I linked to an older blog post that already explained it. Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, perfect and immutable, divinely instituted the papacy perfectly and immutably. No man, not even a pope, can alter the intrinsic nature of the papacy. Benedict’s attempt to do just this was one of the most egregious acts of hubris in the history of mankind.
  2. “You just like Benedict better because of his orthodoxy and Summorum Pontificum and fancy vestments and and and.” Again, the question of who is the “better pope” has ZERO impact on the reality of who “is pope.” Benedict being viewed as better, based solely on the fact that he’s not a full blown Marxist heretic intentionally leading souls to Hell on a daily basis, is true as far as it goes.  But it’s also true that Benedict is a Modernist through and through, which ultimately makes him part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Thinking at one point that he was part of the solution was a mistake made by many, myself included, who thought there was a way forward if only Vatican II was “properly implemented”. Not gonna happen.
  3. “You just like Benedict better so you’re making stuff up so that Benedict can be pope again.” Right. I am such an intellectually dishonest person, that I would knowingly advance a grave falsehood in order to mislead the faithful to make myself feel better.
  4. “Must you really drone on with all this legalistic mumbo jumbo?”  You’ve been spending too much time on twitter if anything longer than 140 characters seems like mumbo jumbo to you. Go back and read it again, and then try to dispute the structured thought and evidence-based conclusion.  I’m all ears, but please bring facts. Arguing from emotionalism, the epidemic of the day, only shows that you think reality is influenced by your feelings.
  5. “But if this is true, and Benedict is the sole Roman Pontiff, what happens next? What if Benedict dies before Francis? What if Francis dies before Benedict? How will we ever get back to apostolic succession? You turned Sede!”

Can we please focus on the evidence? We can’t know the future, nor does it have any bearing on determining the situation at hand. I have no idea what happens next. Dwelling on the implications is a distraction from studying the evidence. None of this has anything to do with the moral certainty that Pope Benedict is still reigning as the sole Roman Pontiff. The only thing that matters are the OBSERVABLE FACTS, which when viewed objectively are the best lens on REALITY.

The beautiful thing about being Catholic is never having to be afraid of the truth. Catholicism is the central truth of the universe. Wherever our current conundrum leads, we rely above all on Christ’s promise to the Church.  Divinely instituted as the Bride of Christ, upon which the gates of Hell will not prevail, She teaches us to place all our concerns at the foot of the Cross. What have we to worry in sight of so great a sacrifice?