The failed partial abdication of Pope Benedict was rendered invalid by Canon 188, due to Benedict’s SUBSTANTIAL ERROR of attempting to establish an “expanded petrine ministry.” This substantial error is grounded in his idea that a pope cannot ever really resign/retire, because 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. I will review the proof set of this error in a moment.
Last week, news broke about a new book, a collection of essays, released to mark the 70th birthday of Cardinal Müller. Pope Benedict wrote the Forward to the book in the form of a letter to the cardinal. The whole thing is certainly worth reading HERE, with references to Rahner, von Balthasar, Paul VI, and a lot of words about himself, which if you have any doubt that Benedict was part of the problem all along, it’s on full display here. Then there is one sentence faintly trashing the Novus Ordo. There is also praise for Müller, for having “defended the clear traditions of the faith, but in the spirit of Pope Francis you also sought to understand how they can be lived today.”
But there is also a part that addresses the future role of the cardinal in his ministry, which continues on despite the loss of his “office.” Does that sound familiar?
Addressing Müller, Benedict said, “your five-year commission at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has expired, so you do not have a specific office anymore, but a priest and certainly a bishop and cardinal is never simply retired,” which is why he must continue to “publicly serve the faith.” HERE
Here is the full passage in the original German:
Dein Fünf-Jahres-Auftrag für die Glaubenskongregation abgelaufen.
So hast Du zwar kein bestimmtes Amt mehr inne, aber ein
Priester und erst recht ein Bischof und Kardinal ist nie einfach im
Ruhestand. Darum kannst und wirst Du auch in Zukunft aus dem
inneren Wesen Deines priesterlichen Auftrags und Deines theologiGrußwort schen Charismas heraus weiterhin öffentlich dem Glauben dienen. HERE
Francesca Romana over at Rorate renders it this way:
In the meantime, your five-year contract in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith has expired. Thus you no longer have a specific charge, yet a priest and above all a bishop and cardinal, never retires. For this reason you can and will be able to serve the faith publically also in the future, starting from the heart of your sacerdotal mission and theological charism. HERE
The most common translation of the underlined text I can come up with seems to be:
“Thus you no longer have a specific office, but a priest and even more so a bishop and cardinal is never simply retired.”
To which one must ask, in terms of Logical Progression: What are your thoughts about EVEN MORE SO A POPE, Your Holiness?
We need to look back at the words of Benedict in his speeches around the time of his failed partial abdication, because his idea of a prelate never really retiring certainly extends to the papacy, in his mind, which is a really big deal. And if a pope thinks he can’t really retire, but there are a bunch of reasons why he needs to appear retired, then he better make up some believable story, while scheming to maintain a portion of the ministry, because his conscience won’t allow him to fully resign. Obviously, I’ve written quite a lot about this in the past several months. There is a link to a longer essay at the end of this post, but I’m reproducing much of it here.
The real smoking gun was Benedict’s final general audience of 27 February 2013, where he exposes his erroneous notion of the indelible nature of the papacy. In doing so, he directly contradicts previous statements where he claimed he was “renouncing”, “leaving”, and would then be Pontiff “no longer, but a simple pilgrim”. Remember, at this point he knew his plan had worked; his resignation had been “accepted” by the world, and the conclave had been called. This is the lens through which we must evaluate the entire situation, in order to see the obvious Substantial Error that we have before us: (My emphesis and comments)
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. ( 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. (He can’t make it any more obvious than this. The indelibility of the papal ministry is irrevocable – Benedict thinks he is pope forever, but 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
In order to read this any other way, you literally have to deny the meaning of the words, “always, forever, does not revoke, remaining in a new way, I remain.”
This interpretation, that Benedict attempted a bifurcated papacy, was confirmed by Abp. Ganswein when 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, 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
You can find a more complete rendering of all this HERE.
Now that Antipope Bergoglio has enshrined his blasphemous heresy in the AAS as part of the “Authentic Magisterium,” perhaps a few more people will be looking at the situation with eyes to see. His heresy continues, and continues to worsen, in no small part because he enjoys none of the supernatural protection of a true pontiff. Not that his election is rendered invalid by means of his heresy, but rather that his election never took place, because Benedict’s resignation was invalid.
Already four months ago we found out that this position is amazingly popular, although you would never know it from what’s out in the public domain. A stunning 72% of respondents at the Saint Louis Catholic poll believe Benedict is still pope, with Bergoglio pulling in only 16% HERE. The main reason you don’t hear more people openly supporting this truth is the same reason the bishops and cardinals are almost entirely silent: Fear of losing rank, income, security, readership, donations, etc. It’s foolish fear, because they are risking a far worse fate by keeping silent than any worldly punishment they might receive by speaking up.
The reason only a tiny number of traditional Catholics think Bergoglio is pope is because that’s where the weight of the evidence leads. You will in fact be joining an overwhelming majority when you accept this. Not that you should believe something because it’s popular, on the contrary, popularity has no bearing on truth. But it does help knowing that you’re not alone, you’re not crazy.
Don’t be gaslighted into accepting Antipope Bergoglio any longer.