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Thought I would share some interesting pieces I've been reading regarding Benedict's resignation. Some interesting questions naturally arise, like how would Francis be deposed, and would it cause the de facto schism present in the Church to finally become manifest legally? I'm sure we all have thoughts and articles to share on the topic. I found the Canon 188 question especially fascinating. 
I must say that the question of Francis' validity has always made me uncomfortable, but it seems like the conclusion we have to come to if we are honest Catholics is that he is simply not the true Pope.


https://abyssum.org/2018/11/20/the-valid...GNyN3-HL8g

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/20...-retiring/
Fortunately (or unfortunately) there are two points to be remembered with regards to this question which are philosophical and theological, so no news articles, desires, worries or appearances will change.
  • Most traditional theologians have held that it is an infallible fact (because certain dogmas and doctrines depend on that fact) that a man who is publicly and openly accepted as Pope without any significant questions (even if they should later come up) is the Pope. That was confirmed by the Western Schism and its resolution in which the last of the Antipopes simply lost the support of the faction he had behind him, who transferred their allegiance to the true Pope, which made it clear that that man was the Pope, and the other the Antipope, solving the question.
  • The Pope is the Supreme Legislator, and thus is not bound by Canon Law. He is bound by moral law, divine law and fundamental ethical principles, but not by Canon Law.
The take away from this is that he can resign however he wants and under whatever condition he wants. His resignation is not invalidated by Canon Law, because it is not governed by Canon Law (which simply lays out a procedure so that resignation can be properly manifested, since one usually resigns to one's superior, and the Pope has none).

The question of Canon 188 is not applicable to a Papal resignation for the same reason, but does embody a principle of moral theology. It extends the principle, however, beyond what moral theology teaches. Canon Law says that fear invalidates, which is more than the moral theology principles would state. The freedom or voluntariness of an action is reduced by grave fear according to traditional moral principles, but is is not taken away unless reason is taken away. If a gun is held to your head and you are told to press a button to kill your father, if you do so you are guilty of murder, and the fear reduces your guilt, but does not remove the grave sin. Similarly, while the Church states for those bound by Canon Law that fear will invalidate a resignation, that does not apply to the Pope's resignation which is not necessarily governed by Canon Law (unless the Pope intended this, and then there is no reason to think this), and would be governed by the moral principles of Natural Law and human actions.

I never cease to wonder why people are so stuck on bringing Benedict back.

Would he be better the Francis? Probably, though he still has some quite wrong ideas that are more subtle and set the stage for Francis.

But I think people forget that if Benedict did resign out of fear, and has consistently played the role of the resigned Pope, then he has at best, when the going got tough, failed gravely in his duty as Pope to protect the faithful and instead facilitated the rise of Francis and encouraged him by his apparent support and silence. At best Benedict in such a scenario is a terrible coward and failed to stand up when his duty required ... and that's the man many people want to pop back in and supplant Francis ... ?
(11-24-2018, 02:10 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
  • The Pope is the Supreme Legislator, and thus is not bound by Canon Law. He is bound by moral law, divine law and fundamental ethical principles, but not by Canon Law.
Is there an official Magisterial teaching regarding this? On its face it doesn't make a terrible lot of sense, if I understand what Supreme Legislator means. Why would anybody be above what is contained in Church law? As far as Benedict coming back is concerned, I don't think anybody expects him to go on crusade and start swatting heretics. We just want a pope who doesn't appear to be totally mad and constantly attack the Faith.
Huh Huh Huh It's a matter of simple logic. The Supreme Legislator determines what the Law is. Ergo, he cannot be bound by it. Pretty simple.
(11-24-2018, 02:10 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]I never cease to wonder why people are so stuck on bringing Benedict back.

Would he be better the Francis? Probably, though he still has some quite wrong ideas that are more subtle and set the stage for Francis.

But I think people forget that if Benedict did resign out of fear, and has consistently played the role of the resigned Pope, then he has at best, when the going got tough, failed gravely in his duty as Pope to protect the faithful and instead facilitated the rise of Francis and encouraged him by his apparent support and silence. At best Benedict in such a scenario is a terrible coward and failed to stand up when his duty required ... and that's the man many people want to pop back in and supplant Francis ... ?

I actually do not want Ratzinger back.  When you abdicate, you abdicate.  You don't get do-overs.  I wish someone would tell the "Pope-Emeritus" Bishop Ratzinger that he's no longer Pope and he can stop wearing the white cassock as there's only room big enough for 1 pope.  Though I wish it wasn't Francis. Still it could be worse. Pope John Paul III aka Cardinal Kasper.
While I guess some make the case for anomalies worth trying to bring back the former pope, he's not going to come back, and I sincerely doubt our current Holy Father would allow the reins to slip from his fingers unless it were a result of assuming room temperature. Although some things make one remember the former pope fondly (SP, f'rinstance), he left the papacy. Whether he had unknown leverage applied to him is not for us to know at the moment. In some ways, we have the clergy we deserve, and that may very well mean the current Holy Father, also. I find myself agreeing with something Hillary White wrote, about the good that comes from not having had another so-called "conservative" pope, but one who is more brazen in his pursuits. Even some of the mainstream Catholic press is taking notice. I pray for the Holy Father daily. And for his conversion/reversion.
Are there enough lay Catholics that really care enough to schism? Trads probably - but the average Catholic I have encountered isn't all that passionate that they'll break anything with anyone over much.
(11-24-2018, 03:13 PM)friendly.neighborhood.papist Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-24-2018, 02:10 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
  • The Pope is the Supreme Legislator, and thus is not bound by Canon Law. He is bound by moral law, divine law and fundamental ethical principles, but not by Canon Law.
Is there an official Magisterial teaching regarding this? On its face it doesn't make a terrible lot of sense, if I understand what Supreme Legislator means. Why would anybody be above what is contained in Church law? As far as Benedict coming back is concerned, I don't think anybody expects him to go on crusade and start swatting heretics. We just want a pope who doesn't appear to be totally mad and constantly attack the Faith.

What Jovan wrote, but perhaps another way of looking at it.

If you can create and change the law, then you cannot be bound by it.

In a representative system, of course each individual legislator must follow the laws they create as a legislature, but that is because they don't act individually, but as a corporation, so none can exempt himself. The whole has to act together. In a monarchical system, however, the legislator acts personally all the time, so cannot be bound by a law he creates (except perhaps morally so as not to scandalize people) because he can always exempt himself.

The government of the Church is monarchical, and belongs to the Pope alone, and to those to whom he may devolve certain powers. They are still his powers, and thus he can exempt himself from the laws created by subordinate bodies, provided these are human laws. He cannot touch Divine Law or Natural Law.

The procedural requirements for resignation however, are a matter of human law or discipline. Since the Pope can change these so long as he does not touch Divine or Natural Law, he cannot be bound by them. 

A perfect example of this is Quo Primum which was previously discussed here. One Pope cannot bind a future Pope in disciplinary matters, since they both have the same power. A fortiori, the same Pope cannot bind himself in disciplinary matters.