I really hate being pinched for time when a story is out there burning a hole through the internet, especially when you know there is information readily available that will be new news, but you just don’t have time to do the research and find the citations. Having found full time employment a few weeks ago after a three month unplanned vacation, I am grateful but… busy. So I always appreciate it when someone else does the dirty work for me.
Say hello to “Smith,” an anonymous reader who helpfully helped drop the following into my combox. The question at hand, as you’ll remember, is the potentiality of splitting the papacy into a “synodal body” with two or more members. This was the topic of great debate, for ecumenical reasons, among the German theological elite in the late 60s – early 70s, Ratzinger among them. There will be several more posts about this, and let me tell you up front, the ones who backed the idea of a synodal papacy were actually the moderates or even conservatives of this group. The real radicals of the time were arguing that the structure of the papacy could not only change, but that the papacy itself could be ABOLISHED. Oh, have you bought the Archbishop Miller book yet? Not even the $9 eBook version? The paperback is now on back order at Amazon (but you can still put in your order) because for some reason there was a run on the existing inventory HERE.
I have seen in the past month a flurry of comments on several sites pondering the Two Popes question, as in, “Well, maybe there really are two popes. I mean, that’s what it looks like, right? And the pope is above the law so he can do whatever he wants, right? And Ganswein said Benedict “resigned” in such a way that had never been done before, only taking a step to the side, such that the papacy is no longer the same… expended petrine ministry yadda yadda. So maybe that is really what Benedict did.”
Well, he didn’t, because he doesn’t have the power to change the essential nature of a divinely instituted office. He did and does have the power to resign, but that’s not what he chose to do.
And so let’s examine why the bifurcation was impossible and did not happen. Without further comment, I give you “Smith:”
Here is some authoritative confirmation of the Non-Bifurcatable papacy.
Vatican I, Sess. IV, Ch. I (Denzinger 1822)
St. Pius X, Lamentabili (Denzinger 2053)
St. Pius X, Pascendi (Denzinger 2091)
St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter “Ex Quo” (Denzinger 2147a)
There are numerous other quotes that would help to show that the Church was indisputably founded *by Jesus Christ Himself* as a monarchy. These quotes use the word ‘monarch’ in reference to the pope. The very word ‘monarch’ means ‘lone ruler’, for its Greek antecedents are ‘monos’ (alone) and ‘archein’ (to rule). I restrict myself to these four quotes only, simply because they make clearer reference to the fact.
“So we teach and declare that, according to the testimonies of the Gospel, the primacy of *jurisdiction* [nothing about prayer here, folks] over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed Apostle Peter by *Christ the Lord*. For the *one* Simon [Unum enim Simonem], to whom he had before said: “Thou shalt be called Cephas, after he had given forth his confession with the words: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Lord spoke with these solemn words: “Blessed art thou [etc.]”… And upon the one Simon Peter [uni Simoni Petro], Jesus after His resurrection conferred the *jurisdiction* [nothing about prayer here, folks] of the highest pastor [= shepherd/guide] and rector [= ruler] over His entire fold… To this teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, *so manifest as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church*, *are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely DENY THAT THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN HIS CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST THE LORD; that to Peter *alone* [solum Petrum], before the other apostles, *whether individually or all together*, was confided the true and proper primacy *of jurisdiction* [nothing about prayer here, folks] by Christ; or of those who affirm that the same primacy was not immediately and directly bestowed upon the blessed Peter himself, *but upon the Church*, and through this Church upon him as the *minister* of the Church Herself.”
Important: The word ‘one’ in the above passage is to be understood in the sense of the official Latin (as always), which uses the *cardinal* number ´unus,a,um’. That number ‘one’ does not mean ‘first’. Nor does it mean ‘one’ as in ‘someone’; it means the numerically one, single (person) Simon. I’ve taught Latin for over 15 years, but you should not trust me on this. It will be a matter of minutes to look it up in a basic Latin grammar. You don’t even need to know any Latin to verify this.
The word ‘alone’ in “to Peter alone”, is in the Latin the adjective ‘solus,a,um’. The words ‘alone’ and ‘solus’ are exact synonyms.
Otherwise, the English translation given above of Dz1822 is quite literal, and speaks for itself. Anyone who does not see that Vatican I here condemns the idea of a bifurcated papacy is wilfully blind, or incapable of understanding plain language, or, worse yet…a Modernist whose intellect, even if perfectly functional, is corrupted by false philosophy…like…mmm…Ratzinger’s intellect is corrupted.
Dz 2053 (Syllabus of Errors, or Lamentabili, of St. Pius X):
*Condemned* proposition: “The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable, but Christian society, just as human society, is subject to perpetual evolution.”
Dz 2091 (Pascendi, St. Pius X): It is a little long to quote, but in sum it condemns as a Modernist error that authority emanates from the Church itself, as a *collectivity* of consciences. It affirms that the authoritative structure of the Church is autocratic, and was given as such by an external mandate of God.
Dz 2147a: “…[It is] an error, long since condemned by Our predecessor, Innocent X…[cf. Dz 1091 — quite interesting], in which it is argued that St. Paul is held as a brother entirely equal to St. Peter…[also an error] that the Catholic Church was not in the earliest days a sovereignty of *one person*, that is, a monarchy…”
Now it occurs to me that all the above is a sort of dialogue with a lunatic.
Up until the supposed bifurcation of BXVI, the *very idea* that anyone should *need* to prove to the public at large that the papacy is
1) A *jurisdictional*, non-sacramental, revocable office, with NO “spiritual essence”; no integral component, or munus, of “prayer and suffering”.
2) A monarchy; an office that only one man can hold.
3) That this one man holds the entirety of the office, and cannot share any part of it with anyone.
…the very idea, I say, of a *need* to prove to the public at large that the papacy is such as the Church has always understood it…would have been considered bat**** crazy.
But here we all are, engaging in an exercise that actually dignifies this insanity with serious consideration — all because of the colossally arrogant posturing of kooks like Rahner, Ratzinger, Neumann (and don’t forget Walter Kasper!) and all the other Mad Modernist Muckrakers, who think they know better than the Church’s +two thousand years of experience, better than all previous popes, better even than Jesus Christ.
May God do with them as He sees fit…but do it quickly.