On locutions and smacks upside the head

At prayer, most of the time, peace and serenity is the best you can hope for. It’s that tranquil comportment where it seems you could just sit alone in the church for hours. I use the word “comportment,” because it’s not “feelings.” It is a supernatural bearing.

The opposite is dryness in prayer. This is a really empty place, where you think all your efforts are just being poured into the abyss. It is really unpleasant, and tempting toward sins against hope, despair at the worst. Then gradually you learn how to profit from these moments through redemptive suffering.

Other times, you get some really fascinating stuff. Sometimes it is a deeper insight into some mystery of salvation history. Sometimes it is a very direct answer to direction you’ve been seeking. Other times it’s a bolt out of the blue – a vision or piece of information that is completely unrelated to anything you were thinking or praying about.

Lastly, there is just the plain old, run of the mill, getting your cage rattled, smacked upside the head, ass-kicking. That was me, on the receiving end today.

QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY
EPISTLE (I Cor. 13:1-13)
Brethren: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up, Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil: Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void or tongues shall cease or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part: and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
The Gospel was the Healing of the Blind. A blind man was healed, yet his blindness represents all of us. We were all blind, and we can be blinded again if we’re not careful.
My Rosary today is for the readership. Towards a holy, healthy, productive Lenten Season for us all.
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The Healing of the Blind of Jericho, Nicolas Poussin, 1650

 

The Church Visible, bread crumb #23,597

Well this is encouraging.

I had a face-to-face conversation yesterday with a person who had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome less than two weeks ago.

Pope Benedict is completely mentally lucid and sharp, and speaks and moves between multiple languages (that my contact eyewitnessed) with complete facility…

…So, all claims that Pope Benedict is either senile or suffering from dementia are 100% incorrect. HERE

Completely mentally lucid and sharp.

Which is why he can still CO-AUTHOR BOOKS in order to defend the Church against a usurper antipope.

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Which reminds me, I caught something the other day that I hadn’t noticed before. Take a close look at the Benedict head shot on the book cover. Notice anything… strange?

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Instead of the cassock, he’s wearing a simar. The simar is basically a cassock with a short, elbow-length cape (the pellegrina) attached to it. Below is a better look at it.

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Why is this interesting? Because after the faux abdication, Benedict stopped wearing the simar and went with a simple cassock instead.

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Presumably, as I will explain in a moment, he did that because of his purported delegation of the POWER of the Office, a situation wherein a monarch retains his crown but power/jurisdiction is transferred to a regent (cf. Can. 131.1). I’m not commenting here on whether the power was really transferred, all I’m saying is that if we’re playing dress-up, it all makes sense. It fits with this:

“The “always” is also a “for ever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this…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.” (Pope Benedict last General Audience 27 Feb 2013) HERE

You see, the simar, with its distinguishing pellegrina, is a symbol of JURISDICTION. The color is a symbol of rank. The simar is “formally restricted to reflect it’s true jurisdictional significance.”

Per The Church Visible, James-Charles Noonan, Jr., First Edition, page 293:

So many questions.

Why did totally-lucid Benedict choose this particular photo for the book cover? If he didn’t choose it himself, he at least would have had to personally approve it, right? Is it a recent photo, or is it over seven years old, which is the last time he was seen in a simar? If the photo is new, when did he start wearing it again? If the photo is old, why did  ++Sarah, the publishers, and Benedict himself want the book cover to VISIBLY DEMONSTRATE Benedict’s jurisdiction and authority?

But nah. I’m sure it’s nothing.

 

“The demon that speaks through Bergoglio recognizes the courage and integrity of Benedict and knows that Benedict is still somehow – impossibly – in charge.”

What follows is from “Giuseppe Pellegrino” via Marco Tosatti’s site. HERE

1)  Benedict XVI still considers himself to be pope. His direct intervention on the question of priestly celibacy, of such central importance for the life of the Church, was not casual or haphazard. His writing in From The Depths of Our Heartsis lucid and theologically reasoned. It shines with great clarity… He is encouraging priests – as their true Holy Father – and calling them back to what should be their first love. Behold, the voice of the true and perennial Magisterium, the voice of Peter exercising his call to strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32).

2) Bergoglio is afraid of Benedict. We do not know what really happened or what agreements may or may not have been made between the “Bergoglians” and the “Ratzingerians” both in 2005 and 2013. Some have said that Bergoglio’s faction agreed to allow Ratzinger to be elected pope in 2005 but placed certain conditions on what he would do and that he would resign after a certain amount of time. Others maintain that in 2013 Benedict XVI resigned in such a way that he retained the Chair of Peter while allowing Bergoglio to become Bishop of Rome and ostensibly the pope… the demon that speaks through Bergoglio recognizes the courage and integrity of Benedict and knows that Benedict is still somehow – impossibly – in charge…Bergoglio changed his plan to approve the ordination of married “viri probati” – which was in the work for years– because Benedict called his bluff: “If you change this, you will be placing yourself in opposition to the entire Tradition of the Church,” says Benedict’s book in a nutshell. Bergoglio backed down because he fears Benedict.

3)  Benedict XVI understands that the Church is living in the end times. Nobody has been more aware of the evil present within the Church throughout his entire life than Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI…As cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger inserted a new topic into the Catechism of the Catholic Churchthat had not been present in previous catechisms: “The Church’s Ultimate Trial.” Inserted as part of the teaching on the Second Coming of Christ, paragraphs 675-677 focus on what will happen to the Church in the time immediately preceding the Second Coming. These paragraphs describe a religious deception that is in fact apostasy. Does anyone else feel that that is about as succinct a definition as any of what Bergoglio is doing? Furthermore, we know that as a young theologian and again as pope, Benedict has been intrigued by a somewhat obscure patristic eschatology that asserts that prior to the Second Coming, the Church must and should be split in two so that the Church could be saved ( see article here)…It is no longer possible to deny that there are two magisteriums speaking to the faithful today, one spewing ambiguous syncretism, the other testifying to perennial wisdom with clarity. Let the hearer decide if this is in fact the foretold “splitting” of the Church into an Ecclesia decora [a beautiful Church] and an Ecclesia furba [a dark Church]. But the reality of a false magisterium that exists alongside a true magisterium, both of which are speaking, can no longer be denied.

There is more that I left out, click the link up above to read the whole thing.

As for CCC 675-677, I wrote about this in May 2018 HERE and August 2016 HERE.

Nothing says #BeKind #Tolerance #NoNazis #NoH8 like ripping up an American flag and stomping on it

POTUS was in Phoenix last night. Sold-out venue. Big screens set up outside for the overflow crowd. Bigly.

Protesters were kept across the street. Some of them were triggered.

I was home watching the Dem debate, which was a hilarious two-hour pissing contest that I would have paid to see. Bloomberg looked like he wanted to murder someone.

I hate to say anything to make anyone overconfident, but I think Trump could have a clear path to win 40 or more states at this point. He won 30 in 2016.

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The retention of Office even when powers have been delegated, according to Canon 131.1

Most of what follows appeared in an essay from 15 June 2019 HERE. I’ve reworked a few minor things and re-post it here, as the BiP Barnhardt Thesis continues to gain traction by the day.

———————————————–

Words have meaning; in the law, and in actions. That words are to be taken at face value, both in the law and in specific acts, is actually part of canon law. Everything presented here is done so according to the plain meaning of words, and you don’t need to be a genius to decipher it. Otherwise, it would be Gnosticism.

When it comes to the law, words matter; the plain and proper meaning of the words. This idea is so important, they wrote this canon specifically to address it:

Can. 17. Ecclesiastical laws must be understood in accord with the proper meaning of the words considered in their text and context. If the meaning remains doubtful and obscure, recourse must be made to parallel places, if there are such, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the mind of the legislator.

In addition to the importance of words in the law itself, there is also the importance of words in any individual act, as found in Canons 36 and 38. These appear in the section of the code called:

TITLE IV. SINGULAR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTS (Cann. 35 – 93)

Can. 36 §1. An administrative act must be understood according to the proper meaning of the words and the common manner of speaking. In a case of doubt, those which refer to litigation, pertain to threatening or inflicting penalties, restrict the rights of a person, injure the acquired rights of others, or are contrary to a law which benefits private persons are subject to a strict interpretation; all others are subject to a broad interpretation.

As we saw in Canon 17, the phrase “the proper meaning of the words” is used, but this time it’s about administrative acts. It then goes on to explain, more or less, that in juridical matters pertaining to persons, those words are subject to a strict interpretation, whereas in other matters they are subject to a broad interpretation.

Can. 38. An administrative act, even if it is a rescript given motu proprio, lacks effect insofar as it injures the acquired right of another or is contrary to a law or approved custom, unless the competent authority has expressly added a derogating clause.

Canon 38 seems to be stating the obvious… an act which is contrary to law lacks effect. But the kicker is the last clause, which stipulates that if the competent authority expressly adds a derogating clause, the act DOES take effect, despite it being contrary to the letter of the law.  This means an administrator, facilitating an act which he knows goes against some portion of the law, is able to validate the act by specifically (“expressly”) calling out the conflict, and exempting (“derogating”) his specific act from that aspect of the law, provided that the administrator has the “competent authority” to do so.

Now you may have heard it said that the pope is above the law; that canon law does not apply to him, because he is the supreme administrator. That notion is false. We know this because we have canons that specifically apply to popes and no one else. However, as supreme administrator, the pope does have the “competent authority” to abrogate or derogate whatever he wants, as we just saw from Canon 38. The thing is, he has to actually do the derogation. He has full power over the law, yet he is subject to the law as it is written. Father Brian Harrison has explained the concept this way:

“As supreme legislator, the pope may change any ecclesiastical law by officially and expressly abrogating it or derogating from it. But if he were to decree something which broke the law-that is, which acted against an existing ecclesiastical law without expressly adding a clause derogating from that law-then canon law itself (c. 38, 1983 Code; c. 46, 1917 Code) states that such a lawless action, even on the part of a “competent authority” (and that, of course, includes the pope) would have “no effect.””  HERE

Now let’s take a look at two very specific canons related to Pope Benedict’s failed partial attempted resignation, and apply what we just learned to the proper words of Benedict’s act and the proper words of the law. Example #1:

Can. 332.2 If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.

We’ve beaten this one to death, right? He did not resign the Munus, he “resigned” the ministerio, so the resignation did not take effect. The combined force of Canons 17, 36, 38 tells us that his proper words did not properly manifest resigning the Office according to the proper words of the law, nor did he derogate any portion of the law in the Declaratio. The effect of his act was, as eye can plainly see, a mere delegation of the power of governance. Which conveniently bring us to Example #2:

Can. 131 §1. The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself; delegated, that which is granted to a person but not by means of an office.

Well. Isn’t that interesting?

Canon 131.1 appears in the section of the code called,

TITLE VIII. THE POWER OF GOVERNANCE (Can. 129 – 144)

Aside: This canon is very interesting in light of all the uncovered theological discourse about a “demythologized” synodal papacy, or a scenario where the ruling monarch might “delegate” part or all of his proper power of governance to a surrogate(s), in an arrangement akin to a Regency. In fact, I seem to recall that this notion was so widespread among contemporary theologians of the 1950s and 60s that someone actually wrote their doctoral dissertation on it, and then, the Gregorianum thought so highly of it, they published it as a book, which now can be yours for the low low price of USD$4.87.

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Free preview (pg. 197, parenthetical mine):

“When contemporary theologians (i.e. Kung/Rahner/Kasper/Ratzinger/Dulles/Neumann) apply ius divinum to Roman primacy they do not thereby imply that there can be no changes in the way papal authority will be exercised in the future.”

To wit:

“In theory, the Petrine function could be performed either by a single individual presiding over the whole Church, or by some kind of committee, board, synod or parliament – possibly with a ‘division of powers’ into judicial, legislative, administrative, and the like” – Cardinal Dulles, 65 years ago

Let’s get back to Canon 131.1. Since we are talking about separating the governance of an office from the actual office itself, we better check the Latin to see if this really says what we think it says. It’s the only way to be sure.

Can. 131 — § 1. Potestas regiminis ordinaria ea est, quae ipso iure alicui officio adnectitur; delegata, quae ipsi personae non mediante officio conceditur.

Look. At. The. WORDS.

The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself. Now in the case of the Petrine Office, we are obviously talking about the active governance of the whole Church. So, what if the power of governance for the Petrine Office was “delegated” from the monarch to a regent? What does Canon 131.1 say happens in such a case? Look at the words.

It says that in such a case of delegation, the power of governance is transferred to the person of the regent, but not by means of an officeThe monarch fully 100% retains the office and fully 100% retains his monarchy. Remember, Benedict could have chosen to derogate this clause (delegata, quae ipsi personae non mediante officio conceditur), in accord with Canon 38 as explained above, when he attempted to “resign”/delegate the active governance of the Church, but he did not. And since he did not, the force of the law remains in effect: Benedict is the sole occupant of the Officeeven though he is no longer exercising the power of the office for the governance of the Church. Here, let him explain it:

“The “always” is also a “forever”…My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life…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.” – Pope Benedict, Last General Audience (so far), 27 February 2013

Brick by Brick: Socci, Magister, Tosatti, and now Valli openly opining on the antipapacy, and they’re getting it right

Aldo Maria Valli is the latest Vaticanista to utter public commentary regarding the faux resignation of Pope Benedict (per canons 332.2/188) and subsequent invalid conclave (per canon 359), wherein the Cardinals “elected” an antipope. Original reportage HERE and HERE.

“After my walk, I returned home, and turned on my computer and found an email with a message from a friend who for some time has invited me to reflect on the impossibility of having a pope emeritus. I will summarize it in my own poor words (I ask pardon of any canonist who is reading this): just as one does not receive a consecration to be the pope, when a pope renounces the pontificate he cannot become a pope emeritus, because he is no longer a pope. He does not even return to being a Cardinal, but a bishop. Period.  Consequently, Benedict XVI, with his renunciation of ministerium but not of munus (that is, of the active exercise, but not of the mandate) did something which he could not do and hence his renunciation is invalid. But if his renunciation is invalid, the Conclave which followed it is also invalid, and even the pope which came out of that Conclave.”

Note well that this isn’t some sort of vague hypothesizing. This is pretty much spot on, if you boil the reality down to its essence. When a bishop retires, he becomes bishop emeritus. He’s still a bishop, you see. But in the case of a pope, you cannot have a pope emeritus, because a truly retired pope cannot retain any of papacy. It’s a one man gig. You can’t still be some sort of semi-pope anymore. There is no indelible mark of consecration imparted to a recipient of the papacy. It’s not a degree of Holy Orders: It’s an Office. The Office itself is a state of being, a temporal juridical authority, like POTUS. When you’re POTUS, you’re POTUS. When you’re not, you’re not. It’s a binary set.

You can’t still be a little sorta non-active pope. You can’t “remain” pope in any way whatsoever, because only one man can be pope at one time. So if you intended to remain pope, in any way, this is Substantial Error, which nullifies the renunciation, which, oh by the way, was already invalid because you attempted to renounce the ministerium, not the Munus, and oh by the way, was almost certainly executed under grave fear, malice, and coercion. Invalid renunciation = invalid conclave = antipope “elected.” The fact that the Cardinals unanimously “accepted” the resignation has zero effect on the validity of the resignation. The fact that they convoked a conclave and “elected” someone, even if they did it in good faith, has zero effect on the validity of the “election.”

Can. 188 A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.

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

If you’re gonna resign the office, you need to actually resign the office. And there’s no sharesies.

People hurl ad hominems at us for supposedly throwing everything against the wall hoping something will stick. But honestly, have a thorough look at the data set and you will see ALL OF THE ABOVE in play. The resignation is invalid ten ways to Sunday.

As the truth continues to filter into the mainstream, at some point we will reach critical mass, and the trickle will become a flood. It will happen overnight, and you need to be prepared for this.  Putting the truth up in Klieg lights is going to elicit a response from the demons that will be… not pretty. Isn’t it interesting how this whole affair has lured all the cockroaches out into the open? Just seven years ago, most of us had no idea how deep and wide the rot went. It’s almost as if all this were Providential, no?

That light switch is about to get flicked on.

 

“Juridically there is only one pope. A ‘pope emeritus’ cannot exist.”

Hey! Remember that time when a bunch of Latinists/canonists/theologians publicly called out the invalidity of Benedict’s “resignation” within DAYS of him pronouncing it? Yep.

Take the time. Read it all.

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The Church Visible: How can a simple layperson ever figure out who is pope? Um, you have the internet, right?

https://nonvenipacem.com/2019/06/11/the-church-visible-how-can-a-simple-layperson-ever-figure-out-who-is-pope-um-you-have-the-internet-right/

Don’t be intimidated, be thorough. The truth is never, ever, something to be afraid of.

Truth bomb: There were highly prominent canonists/theologians raising a stink about Benedict’s “resignation” WITHIN DAYS of it taking place. Not in 2017, not 2016, but within mere hours of his Declaratio being written and read out in Latin (and then mistranslated into several other languages).

Were you aware of that? Well, it’s true: Classically trained, professional canonists and theologians called BS right away, and you are about to read all about it. Here are just a few names:

  • Manuel Jesus Arroba, a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University
  • “Leading light of canon law” and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit Gianfranco Ghirlanda
  • Valerio Gigliotti, professor of the history of European law at the University of Torino
  • Fr. Stefano Violi, professor of law at the theological faculty of Emilia Romagna

I am pasting here a large chunk of Sandro Magister’s blog post from 15 September 2014, because it contains all the relevant links for you to click and investigate the original works of these canonists and why they came to the conclusion that they did. Don’t be lazy; click on the links!

One last note. If you’ve read Pope Benedict’s address from his last (so far) General Audience, 27 February 2013, HERE you know that he called himself out for what he was doing. He called it a “novelty.” That’s a big no no, kiddos, and it’s not like he didn’t know it.

“I have asked God insistently in prayer to grant me his light and to help me make the right decision, not for my own good, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty

It was immediately after this paragraph that he launched into his “Always and Forever” discourse, reflecting his apparent belief that popes can’t really resign, once pope always pope, the very idea that +Ganswein expounded upon in his speech at the Greg in May 2016:

“The “always” is also a “forever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this…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.”

Anyway, here is the Magister post. CLICK THE LINKS AND LEARN!


Reigning and “Emeritus.” The Enigma of the Two Popes

It is an unprecedented innovation in the history of the Church. With many unknowns still unresolved, and with serious risks already in play. An analysis by Roberto de Mattei

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 15, 2014 – That the figure of “pope emeritus” is an unprecedented innovation in the history of the Church, “instituted” by Benedict XVI himself in his act of resignation, has been recognized by Pope Francis himself, during the press conference on the airplane that brought him back from Korea to Rome last August I8.

This does not change the fact that from both the juridical and the doctrinal point of view it is by no means established that this new figure in the Catholic hierarchy has any real foundation. “Time will tell if it is right or wrong, we shall see,” Francis said prudently, although he is personally an enthusiast of the innovation.

Among theologians and canonists, in fact, the viewpoints continue to be highly discordant.

Just two days after the announcement of the abdication, Manuel Jesus Arroba, a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University, warned against the use of the title: “Juridically there is only one pope. A ‘pope emeritus’ cannot exist.”

But it was above all a leading light of canon law and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit Gianfranco Ghirlanda, who refuted the legitimacy of the figure of “pope emeritus” in a long and thoroughly substantiated article published on March 2, 2013 in “La Civiltà Cattolica” and therefore – as for all the articles of this magazine – printed after review and authorization by the Vatican secretariat of state:

> Cessazione dall’ufficio di Romano Pontefice

At the end of his article, Fr. Ghirlanda drew this conclusion:

“To deal at some length with the question of the relationship between the acceptance of legitimate election and episcopal consecration, and therefore of the origin of the authority of the Roman pontiff, has been necessary precisely in order to understand more deeply that the one who ceases from the pontifical ministry not because of death, although evidently remaining bishop is pope no longer, in that he loses all of the authority of primacy, because this did not come to him from episcopal consecration, but directly from Christ through the acceptance of legitimate election.”

And he therefore ruled out the notionthat the one resigning could continue to use the name of “pope,” even as emeritus:

“It is evident that the pope who has resigned is no longer pope, and therefore no longer has any authority in the Church and cannot interfere in any matter of governance. One might wonder what title Benedict XVI will retain. We think that he should be given the title of bishop emeritus of Rome, like any other diocesan bishop who steps down.”

Afterward, however, it was Ratzinger himself who took the title of “pope emeritus” and in a certain sense retained the trappings by continuing to wear the white cassock.

He enigmatically anticipated the meaning of this decision in the last of his general audiences as pope, on February 27, 2013, the eve of his effective abdication:

“Anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any private dimension. […] My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. 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.”

(In other words, he attempted to split off or delegate the power of governance, while retaining the office itself.)

There are those who remember that Pius XII, when he prepared his letter of resignation that would go into effect in the event that the Germans should come to arrest him, said to his closest collaborators: “When the Germans cross that line, they will find not the pope, but Cardinal Pacelli.”

But this was not at all the case for Benedict XVI. In resigning, he had no thought of being able to go back to being “Cardinal Ratzinger.” It was and is his firm conviction that there is something of his election as pope that remains “forever.”

And this is what some scholars have been trying to identify and justify.

Like Valerio Gigliotti, a professor of the history of European law at the University of Torino, in the book “La tiara deposta,” which http://www.chiesa covered last April:

> The Pope’s Third Embodiment

Or like Fr. Stefano Violi, a professor of law at the theological faculty of Emilia Romagna, in an article in the “Rivista Teologica di Lugano”:

> La rinuncia di Benedetto XVI. Tra storia, diritto e coscienza

According to Violi, in abdicating Benedict XVI indeed left the active exercise of the Petrine ministry, but not the office, the “munus” of the papacy, inalienable precisely because it was entrusted to him forever with his election as bishop of Rome and successor of Peter.

Those who know Ratzinger know that he would never subscribe to such a splitting of the papal office, which in his judgment can be only accepted or rejected as a whole.

But he has never said anything to clarify what he sees as the nature of his being “pope emeritus” even after the abdication.

The adjective “emeritus,” borrowed from bishops who have resigned, is of no help in understanding.

A bishop remains bishop forever, by virtue of the indelible character of the sacrament of orders, even after he no longer governs any diocese.

And a successor of Peter also remains bishop forever, after his resignation. But how can he still remain “pope,” after he has renounced all, not only a part, of what constitutes the specifically Petrine?

This silence of Ratzinger gives free rein not only to doctrinal conjectures that he certainly does not share – like the invention of an indelible “character” impressed by election as pope, as if it were a sacramental act – but also to the disorientation of not a few of the faithful, tempted to maintain that there can be two popes in the Catholic Church – perhaps on different levels, but still more than one – and to take sides for one against the other.

Full post is HERE. Be warned, it’s about 3500 words.