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Monday, September 15, 2014

Wow! Do We Really Have Two Popes?

One who kept the responsibility of praying and suffering for the universal Church and one responsible to exercise Church governance? Can the papacy be schizophrenic?

Read these two articles by Antonio Socci and Vittorio Messori (I missed them when they were published last Spring.) and see what you think:

"Two Popes": Has the Papacy become a Diarchy?Messori enters into the picture, Socci stands his ground and questions

Then read Sandro Magister's article published today:
Reigning and “Emeritus.” The Enigma of the Two Popes
Magister includes at the end of his own article, one by historian Roberto de Mattei, One and One Alone is Pope. This section by Mattei is worth meditating on, although I recommend reading the entire article:
The pope is a human creature, although he is imbued with a divine mission. Impeccability has not been attributed to him, and infallibility is a charism that can be exercised only under precise conditions. He can err from the political point of view, from the pastoral point of view, and even from the doctrinal point of view, when he does not express himself “ex cathedra” and when he does not present the perennial and unchangeable magisterium of the Church. This does not change the fact that the pope must be given the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a man, and that one should nurture an authentic devotion to his person, as the saints have always done. 
One may debate the intentions of Benedict XVI and his ecclesiology, but what is certain is that there can be only one pope at a time and that this pope, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is Francis, legitimately elected on March 13, 2013. 
Pope Francis can be criticized, even severely, with due respect, but he must be considered the supreme pontiff until his death or until his eventual loss of the pontificate.
Benedict XVI has renounced not a part of the pontificate, but the whole papacy, and Francis is not a part-time pope, but entirely the pope. 
How he exercises his power is, naturally, another discussion. But even in this case theology and the “sensus fidei” offer us instruments for resolving all the theological and canonical problems that may arise in the future.
So...should Pope Benedict continue to wear the papal cassock and call himself Pope Emeritus? Is this a dangerous break with tradition, a threat to Church unity, and one more example of confusion?

Frankly, I'm not sure what to think!

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