Benedict still the Pope - a legitimate option?
#1
I am currently reading The Great Facade by Christopher Ferrara. He has a collection of statements from Pope Francis that contradict the perennial teachings of the Church. I knew about some of them but others are just shocking.

A friend of mine believes, along with others, that Pope Benedict XVI is still the Pope because he didn't properly resign (either because of coercion or by his claim to "expand" the Petrine ministry into having one active member and one contemplative member). Ann Barnhardt has written a good defense of this position, citing prophecies of a false pope from St Francis of Assisi and others.

Currently I accept Francis as the true Pope until a future Pope or council declares him to be otherwise (as happened with the Avignon claimants to the papacy during the Western Schism). But the position that he isn't really the Pope at all is becoming more and more attractive to me, from what I'm reading.

Do you believe that it is possible to hold this position yet still be a faithful traditional Catholic in good standing with the Church?
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#2
We all know we must be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

However, there are mitigating circumstances. Few Catholics know of this.

F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal: “Finally they cannot be numbered among the schismatics, who refuse to obey the Roman Pontiff because they consider his person to be suspect or doubtfully elected on account of rumours in circulation.” (Ius Canonicum, 7:398, 1943)

Rev Ignatius Szal: “Nor is there any schism if one merely transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state.” (Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, 1948)

De Lugo: “Neither is someone a schismatic for denying his subjection to the Pontiff on the grounds that he has solidly founded [‘probabiliter’] doubts concerning the legitimacy of his election or his power [refers to Sanchez and Palao].” (Disp., De Virt. Fid. Div., disp xxv, sect iii, nn. 35-8)

So even if we are sincerely WRONG about the legitimacy of a certain Papal claimant, we are not schismatic, if we are in good faith in our doubts.

I personally have doubts to Francis` claim for the reasons you cited, and then some.....
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#3
Benedict XVI was obviously given some kind of ultimatum to leave office because he actually taught stuff that resembled Christianity. As Bergoglio's reign has demonstrated, the behind the scenes players who have occupied the Vatican and have veto power over the papacy, who may or may not be a clique of Jewish international bankers who conduct Luciferian child sacrifices, will only tolerate the Catholic Church's existence so long as it becomes a toothless vague doctrine which kind of resembles socialism and green party rhetoric.
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#4
Can you recommend the book? I have not read it yet but I really like Ferrara's articles and speeches.

I believe that it is possible to be a good catholic and a sedevacantist at the same time because it is crystal clear - and the liberals agree with that - that Rome's theology changed within the last 60 years extremly and Pope Francis seems to be the climax of this development. That does not mean that I am a sedevacantist - I am definitely not.
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#5
Yes, I can definitely recommend the book It's easy to read and explains a lot of what has been happening since Vatican II.

People who hold to the view that Benedict is still the Pope are not sedevacantists. They believe that Benedict "sits" (in a figurative sense) on the Throne of Peter. They do agree with the sedes in saying that Pope Francis is an antipope, but that is because a second Pope cannot be elected while the first is living.
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#6
(05-09-2017, 04:49 AM)Pacman Wrote: Benedict XVI was obviously given some kind of ultimatum to leave office because he actually taught stuff that resembled Christianity. As Bergoglio's reign has demonstrated, the behind the scenes players who have occupied the Vatican and have veto power over the papacy, who may or may not be a clique of Jewish international bankers who conduct Luciferian child sacrifices, will only tolerate the Catholic Church's existence so long as it becomes a toothless vague doctrine which kind of resembles socialism and green party rhetoric.

So basically, anybody?
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#7
I don't think it's an option.

Benedict, from what I've heard and read, insists that his resignation was valid and God was calling him to do it.
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#8
(05-09-2017, 07:42 PM)In His Love Wrote: I don't think it's an option.

Benedict, from what I've heard and read, insists that his resignation was valid and God was calling him to do it.

But what if Benedict was mistaken? What if he genuinely thought that he had resigned but he actually hadn't? Canon 188 states:

A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.

Benedict claimed that he was "expanding" the Petrine Ministry into having an active member and a contemplative member. He still wears the white cassock, still lives in the Vatican, still uses the name Benedict and considers himself "Pope Emeritus". Benedict apparently considers his resignation different to that of Pope Celestine V, the last pope to resign of his own free will. Celestine reverted to his baptismal name after his resignation. Could this not be a case of "substantial error"?

In light of the above, is there not the possibility that Benedict was mistaken about resigning the papacy and therefore didn't validly resign? That would mean he's still the Pope but doesn't know it.
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#9
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#10
(05-09-2017, 09:29 PM)MichaelNZ Wrote:
(05-09-2017, 07:42 PM)In His Love Wrote: I don't think it's an option.

Benedict, from what I've heard and read, insists that his resignation was valid and God was calling him to do it.

But what if Benedict was mistaken? What if he genuinely thought that he had resigned but he actually hadn't? Canon 188 states:

A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.

Benedict claimed that he was "expanding" the Petrine Ministry into having an active member and a contemplative member. He still wears the white cassock, still lives in the Vatican, still uses the name Benedict and considers himself "Pope Emeritus". Benedict apparently considers his resignation different to that of Pope Celestine V, the last pope to resign of his own free will. Celestine reverted to his baptismal name after his resignation. Could this not be a case of "substantial error"?

In light of the above, is there not the possibility that Benedict was mistaken about resigning the papacy and therefore didn't validly resign? That would mean he's still the Pope but doesn't know it.

Don't play the armchair canon lawyer or theologian.  You don't have sufficient and proper study in either subject to go around making any kind of reasonable determinations

That is clearly seen by your gross misunderstanding of terms. "Substantial error" is a very specific term with philosophical and theological ramifications. An error is substantial when it touches on the very nature of things itself. It's not just a "really big" error.

The very nature of the "Petrine ministry" is supreme jurisdiction over the Church (Cf. Mt. 16.19). Clearly only one man exercises supreme jurisdiction over the Church, and it's not the Pope Emeritus.

There is no doubt that Benedict XVI abdicated his this jurisdictional power over the Church, which means whatever theological errors he may have had in mind, he understood he was renouncing the essential aspect of the Papacy—that means no substantial error.

There is also no way to prove grave fear or a lack of freedom without the clear testimony of Benedict XVI to such. To speculate otherwise is what is called a "negative doubt", and one of the main moral axioms is that such doubts are to be despised. It's these kind of negative doubts that lead to scruples.

Further, we have a practically universal recognition of Francis as Pope, and that means whatever the case before, we can be theologically and morally certain that only Francis is Pope. Let's cite Msgr. van Noort (Christ's Church, p. 112) :
Quote:The Church’s infallibility extends to dogmatic facts. This proposition is theologically certain.

A dogmatic fact is a fact not contained in the sources of revelation, but the admission of which depends the knowledge or certainty of a dogma or of a revealed truth. The following questions are concerned with dogmatic facts: ‘Was the Vatican Council a legitimate ecumenical council? Is the Latin Vulgate a substantially faithful translation of the original books of the Bible? Was Pius XII legitimately elected Bishop of Rome? One can readily see that on these facts hang the questions of whether the decrees of the Vatican Council are infallible, whether the Vulgate is truly Sacred Scripture, whether Pius XII is to be recognized as supreme ruler of the universal Church.”

And later in his Sources of Revelation, p. 265 :

Quote:The Church possesses infallibility not only when she is defining some matters in solemn fashion, but also when she is exercising the full weight of her authority through her ordinary and universal teaching. Consequently, we must hold with an absolute assent, which we call ‘ecclesiastical faith,’ the following theological truths: (a) those which the Magisterium has infallibly defined in solemn fashion; (b) those which the ordinary magisterium dispersed throughout the world unmistakably proposes to its members as something to be held (tenendas). So, for example, one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII is the legitimate successor of St. Peter’; similarly … one must give an absolute assent to the proposition: ‘Pius XII possesses the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church.’ For — skipping the question of how it begins to be proven infallibly for the first time that this individual was legitimately elected to take St. Peter’s place — when someone has been constantly acting as Pope and has theoretically and practically been recognized as such by the bishops and by the universal Church, it is clear that the ordinary and universal magisterium is giving an utterly clear-cut witness to the legitimacy of his succession.

This is confirmed historically, as well, during the Great Western Schism when antipope Benedict XIII was excommunicated for his schism and antipope Clement VIII was not considered a legitimate Pope. When the Council of Constance secured the promise of resignation of all papal claimants and elected Martin V, Benedict XIII refused to accept. As a result he lost any recognition he had except a few lonely followers. That was sufficient to declare him schismatic.

The Church is visible and has a visible head.

In short, the very fact that the whole Catholic world recognizes Pope Francis as Pope means he is certainly Pope. If the whole Catholic Church is so universally deceived, how is it that the gates of hell have not prevailed?

The Antipope Francis theory also suffers from another clear failure : it's way too simple and idealistic. In the history of the Catholic Church one never finds simple solutions to crises.
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