I could speculate further, but I really have no idea what Benedict is up to here in terms of an endgame. It seems like a course of last resort. He knows it’s all gone terribly wrong, time is short, and it’s better to do something, anything, rather than sit there and do nothing. He’s thinking about his Particular Judgement, to be sure.
Mr. Verrecchio thinks the concept, in the mind of Benedict, is rooted in the novel teaching of Lumen Gentium. LG elevated the teaching authority of the bishops, which, supposedly, in modernist machinations, elevated the papacy at the same time HERE. Of course, this concept had already been proposed and debated vigorously at the First Vatican Council, and finally put down with Pio Nono’s famous “I am the Tradition.”
Before we get further into this, please remember that the Catholic world was not turned upside down in February 2013. The Catholic world hit the iceberg decades earlier, and has been sinking steadily since, even if the sinking had appeared to slow for a brief time under Benedict. If you don’t yet understand that Francis was inevitable, start HERE. Then decide on the red or blue pill.
Don’t waste a lot of time saying to yourself, “Well, I just need to meditate on this a little deeper. Benedict is so smart (yes, he is) I just need to push my tiny brain a little harder. A Contemplative Pope versus an Active Pope. Two heads must be better than one!”
Instead, push your brain a little harder on the next paragraph.
Let’s talk about Immutability. The Petrine office was instituted by God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, who is perfect. Not only is He perfect, He also exists outside of time, because it was He who created time. John 1:1-3. Time is a construct, just like all other created things. Being as He is co-eternal with God the Father, He exists both before the beginning of time as well as after the end of time, plus everything in between, AND… it is all happening at once. All of eternity exists for Him in the same instant. Without the construct of time, change is impossible. If this seems to be putting a limit on God’s omnipotence, it does not, because a) in His omnipotence, He could have designed it any way He wanted, b) He designed it this way because that is His will, and c) HE’S PERFECT.
Applying all this to the situation at hand, we can see plainly that Jesus Christ, who is immutable and perfect, most certainly did NOT institute an imperfect, defective, ‘version 1.0’ of the papacy, not yet beta tested. And he most certainly did NOT, 2000 years later, send the Third Person of the Holy Trinity down to Benedict in a Geek Squad van to deliver ‘version 2.0’, with bug fixes, increased compatibility, and an enhanced user interface.
Furthermore, ponder the idea that a human being, even a pope, could have the authority to alter the intrinsic nature of the divinely instituted Petrine office, the Vicar of Christ, in order to make it more perfect than God made it.
Please make it stop.
Only three possibilities exist for the “situation” of the current papacy.
- BXVI validly resigned, followed by a conclave where Francis was validly elected
- BXVI was forced out under threat, rendering his resignation invalid, followed by an invalid conclave where Francis was, a jure, invalidly elected
- BXVI validly resigned, followed by a valid conclave where Francis was invalidly elected by a gang who conspired to the end result beforehand (the +Danneels admission)
#1 seems less and less likely, given a great many things, although this is what Benedict himself has insisted upon up until now. It’s also what 99% of the Catholic world believes, and the only version you’re allowed to talk about at the parish social.
I think there are multiple reasons to believe #2 is true, from threats to shut the bank to Vatileaks. But when asked directly about concerns his resignation may have been coerced, Benedict called the idea “absurd”, so I don’t think this is going anywhere.
#3 seems most likely, weighing all the observable facts. It’s a bombshell. It would mean that Francis, +Danneels, and all the co-conspirators at the conclave have been excommunicated since 2013. This scenario has lots of benefits, like being able to wipe the entire Franciscan era off the books. In fact, it may be the only way, since I’m not seeing any kind of “imperfect synod” coming together to charge him with heresy and depose him. But it doesn’t, by itself, fix the root problem; it’s only a start.
The entire Great Facade must be torn down.