UPDATE: Some commenters have noted Benedict may not be wearing the Fisherman’s Ring in this photo. It’s not clear. I assumed it was, given his insistence on keeping it even after “retirement”. Nevertheless, this changes nothing about the material covered in the post. Another commenter dug up a piece about Antipope Bergoglio’s ring, which you can read about in the comments. While it is a design belonging to Paul VI, it’s not the same one Paul VI wore as pope.
UPDATE 2: Gloria.tv has picked up on this. H/T Frank Walker HERE.
The latest public photograph of Pope Benedict helpfully provides another visual reminder of his failed partial abdication of the Petrine Ministry: Full frontal display of the Fisherman’s Ring.
We have previously demonstrated by weight of the evidence, and declared with moral certainty, that Pope Benedict is still the sole living pontiff. This is due to his intention to bifurcate the papacy into an expanded ministry with two living members, one active/governing member and one passive/contemplative member. It is this novel impossibility, attempting to alter the intrinsic nature of the Divinely Instituted Petrine Ministry, that renders invalid Benedict’s attempted partial abdication, as it clearly rises to the level of Substantial Error as foreseen by Canon 188.
Anyone who denies the essential truth of the preceding paragraph must support their counterargument with facts that refute the evidence presented. Any appeal to emotion, any appeal to “who are you to make such claims?”, any appeal to “but Francis is universally accepted!” are all fallacious. The truth doesn’t depend on your emotions, it doesn’t depend on earthly authority, and it most definitely doesn’t depend on popularity. The Passion comes to mind.
Recall that the most convincing evidence of the failed abdication comes from the words of Pope Benedict himself, in his last (so far) official General Audience, later echoed by his personal secretary Archbishop Ganswein (pictured here with Benedict). We’ve covered that ground quite extensively, and the silence has been deafening. You might call it a dictatorship of crickets.
But what I haven’t written about too much is Benedict retaining the papal vesture. Most infamously, he claimed to be retaining the white cassock (sans pellegrina) out of necessity – because “no other clothes were available.” Yeah, I’m sure Gammeralli was just too busy. Reminds me of the necessity to resign due to fear of jet lag from WYD. Oh and he retained the papal title and name and form of address (His Holiness) out of “convenience.” Whoppers, they are.
Now, about that Fisherman’s Ring. This ring is cast for each pontiff according to his own unique design and conferred at the “inauguration” (formerly coronation) and imposition of the Pallium. Both the Pallium and the Fisherman’s Ring are symbols of the power of the papal office. The ring itself is unique to each pope due to its historical use as not only visual symbol of power, but also as a physical seal to be used when executing official documents in the governance of the Church. At the end of every pontificate, the former pope’s ring is destroyed, smashed with a special silver hammer made expressly for this purpose, in the presence of the College of Cardinals, therefore ensuring no curial misconduct such as generating false documents. Then the new pontiff selects his own unique design and away we go.
Except that’s not what happened this time.
After announcing his intent to (partially) abdicate, the press began running all sorts of stories about things Benedict would be forced to give up in his (false) retirement. Chief among them, of course, was the Fisherman’s Ring. You can do a quick search and find dozens of articles on this. Then, Benedict intervened to inform everyone that oh no, he wasn’t giving up the ring, see? He was keeping the ring, but he was having an “X” applied to the seal to “negate” its power of governance. Because, as we have learned, Benedict intended for the governance aspect of the ministry to be be passed to the new pontiff. But Benedict kept the ring, because “always” is also “forever” when it comes to acceptance of the Petrine Ministry. Notice here Abp Ganswein showing it off quite nicely.
None of this is conspiracy theory. Nothing is being twisted to fit a narrative. These are facts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a liar or in denial. Do your own research. Don’t be afraid of the scoffing, the bullying, and being accused of “being on the crazy train.” Think for yourself and act accordingly. The Catholic media, even Trad media, if they are making any sort of income from being Catholic, are not going to admit to any of this until prelates start going public.
One last thing. You know that part about every pope designing his own unique ring as the unique seal for his pontificate? Well, guess what? Antipope Bergoglio didn’t do that.
He ordered a copy of Paul VI’s ring.
You can’t make it up.