So it came to pass that Pope Benedict issued a 6000 word exhortation regarding the abuse crisis in the Universal Church, because that’s totally what retired, sickly, frail, and unable to continue his services six years ago non-popes do. HERE
From the preface:
“The extent and gravity of the reported incidents has deeply distressed priests as well as laity, and has caused more than a few to call into question the very Faith of the Church. It was necessary to send out a strong message, and seek out a new beginning, so to make the Church again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of destruction.
Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself – even though, as emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible – what I could contribute to a new beginning.”
Remember, always and forever, once a pope always a pope, I’m just turning over the governance part, keeping the contemplative part, blah blah blah. Someone else is now responsible for the day to day operations, but I’m retaining the true essence of the papacy, the spiritual part. Remember this from the Declaratio?
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.”
And guess what… that’s totally wrong. The essential nature of the papacy is that of a GOVERNING OFFICE. This is the ontological reality of what the papacy IS. And since Benedict explicitly did NOT resign the Munus in his Latin pronouncement of the Declaratio, the conclave convoked by the cardinals was invalid. No one on earth, not even the entire college of cardinals, has the power to accept the resignation of a pope, EVEN IF IT WERE VALID. If valid, the resignation would have been effective by the act itself, not by anyone’s “acceptance” of it. If invalid, no amount of “universal peaceful acceptance” can turn a lie into the truth.
I’m reposting below the meaty part of what I wrote in my Moral Certitude post of 3 July 2017. The upfront quote is from Benedict’s “final” general audience of 28 February 2013:
“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 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
Now, combine those words with his decision to retain the papal title as an emeritus, to retain the vesture, to physically remain at the Vatican, etc etc. This is the evidence that is contemporary with the (supposed) abdication. It doesn’t invalidate the other evidence, where he says he is renouncing, but it sure is a serious counterweight to it.
Now, fast forward to Abp. Ganswein’s comments last year where he dropped the bombshell of the “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 on 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’.
“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.“
“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
His words follow EXACTLY the active vs passive elements as outlined by Benedict in his final general audience, and suggest Benedict has in fact been operating under this guise the entire time. It’s nearly irrefutable.