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Friday, May 5, 2017

This Disastrous Papacy and the Big Question!

Will the real pope please stand up!
I've always admired Phil Lawler for his integrity and clear writing as well as his charity. So when I saw his article, This Disastrous Papacy, in the March 16th issue of The Wanderer; I read it carefully.

He minces no words. Acknowledging that he criticized the two former popes for what he considered imprudent actions, he then stresses that "never did it cross my mind that [they] posed any danger to the integrity of the Catholic faith." Then he writes more pointedly about Pope Francis:

...there have been bad Popes: men whose personal actions were motivated by greed and jealousy and lust for power and just plain lust. 
But has there ever before been a Roman Pontiff who showed such disdain for what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced -- on such bedrock issues as the nature of marriage and of the Eucharist? 
Pope Francis has sparked controversy from the day he was elected as St. Peter's Successor. But in the past several months the controversy has become so intense, confusion among the faithful so widespread, administration at the Vatican so arbitrary -- and the Pope's diatribes against his (real or imagined) foes so manic -- that today the universal Church is rushing toward a crisis.
That's it in a nutshell. We are, indeed, "rushing toward a crisis."

Now, I don't want to confuse anyone since I'm going to raise a big question in a bit. Phil Lawler states  clearly that he does not believe Francis is an anti-pope. He does not believe that the See of Peter is vacant or that Benedict is still the real pope. Pope Francis hasn't made any ex cathedra statements, but Lawler says if he did, in union with the world's bishops, we could be sure he was passing on "what the Lord gave to St. Peter: the Deposit of Faith."

On the other hand, while Francis has not made such authoritative statements, his writings which are considered part of the "ordinary magisterium" are so filled with questionable statements they seem to break with the past. Doesn't that put all papal writings in question. If one can disbelieve that Pope Francis' writings are authoritative, why should one accept any other Pope's writings. Why should one accept the teachings against contraception, abortion, sodomy, modernism? The list is endless! If the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (AL), is in error, what about other Papal exhortations?

EWTN has an interesting article on the level of authority of papal writings. It quotes Vatican II:
This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme Magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. [Lumen gentium 25]
This quote, however, is prefaced by a statement saying that  "documents may also contain teachings which come from the common teaching of the Church, but which cannot yet be said to be de fide, and even new insights and explanations which manifest the mind of the Magisterium. Such authentic teaching has a presumption of correctness and deserves the reverence and submission of Catholics."

So, does a document like AL deserve the "reverence and submission of Catholics?" Does it, in fact, "come from the common teaching of the Church" and does it "manifest the mind of the Magisterium?" The papolatrists, of course, would say that every word from the mouth of Francis is gospel truth. On the other hand, many experts in canon law, scripture, and doctrine at the highest levels are expressing concern about the direction Pope Francis is taking the Church. Meanwhile, what happens when he uses praxis to change the doctrines on the indissolubility of marriage and the proper reception of the Holy Eucharist by allowing adulterers and fornicators to receive Communion while living in their sin? What impact does that have on the Sacrament of Confession as well? Is a "firm purpose of amendment" no longer required for absolution? Sum it up. AL cast doubt on the doctrine of Marriage, the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, and the doctrine of Confession. How many other doctrines have been undermined by this pope in his other statements and writings?

And now the big, controversial question which likely will get me in trouble. (Oh well.)

I recently read an article that originated with Ann Barnhardt. No matter how you feel about her astringent style, she brings up an interesting point. Some have said they believe Benedict was forced out and is therefore still the legitimate pope because he resigned under duress. Barnhardt doesn't go there. She brings up another possibility under Canon Law 188 which reads: "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." She goes on to make a case that Pope Benedict resigned under the "substantial error" that he could be a kind of co-pope executing the role of prayer and contemplation while Francis took on the role of the active pope. Could she be correct? I've always wondered why Benedict continued to wear the papal white and call himself Pope Emeritus while continuing to reside in the Vatican. Isn't that a source of confusion for the faithful?

And so I urge you to read Ann's article. I'm no canon lawyer, but I know how to read and I think she makes a good argument. There is no provision in Canon Law for two men to occupy the See of Peter at the same time. So did Pope Benedict resign under the substantial error that he could still legitimately serve as a kind of co-pope? And, if so, is he still the real pope until he resigns properly?

I'd love to hear your opinion about the big question: Who is the real pope? Is the answer obvious. Of course, Pope Francis is the legitimate successor of St. Peter. Or did Pope Benedict impact the legitimacy of his successor by the manner in which he resigned?

Will the real pope please stand up.


  1. I'm SO very very glad that eyes are being opened. I think Ann is one has contradicted her logic; they've just either ignored it or attacked ad hominem. There is simply NO. POSSIBLE. WAY. that a legitimate Peter could teach and say the things this man has (and I don't really need to recount the INNUMERABLE teachings directly against the Deposit of Faith and 2000 year Tradition of the Church....these guys make a good summary;

    There is utterly NO charism of the Holy Spirit regarding Truth in teaching about fact the diametric opposite has been on display, and intensified, for the past 4 years now, and only the most obtuse, intransigent, and blind are still denying it. He has literally spoken against the words of CHRIST Himself, and has appointed some of the most reprobate dissenters the Church has ever known, to Her highest offices.

    Blessed Emmerich, St. Francis, and numerous other Saints (not to mention MANY parts of Scripture) have prophesied these days and these things which are unfolding before our eyes. Our Lord tells us that no one knows the day or the hour bit the Father, but he adjures us to keep our wits and reasons sharp to read the 'signs of the times' which according to Him will be fairly obvious. HELLO???

    I believe the quickening is well under way. Either these are (for-real) end days, or He will institute a cleansing the likes of which hasn't been seen since Noah's time. Either way, the tribulation is going to intensify immensely, and listening to the man bergoglio will only take you further and further from the Heart of Christ and His Church.

    ....that ain't Peter.

  2. This is one of your very best posts, Mary Ann! Thank you so much! I don't know if Ann Barnhardt is correct, but I do believe that either her contention that Benedict was in error about being a co-pope is correct, OR more likely that Benedict was forced to resign by some threat not against himself personally, but perhaps by some serious harm to others. Perhaps it's a combination of the two theories: Being forced out, Benedict deliberately chose the error of resigning from the active ministry of the papacy while simultaneously not relinquishing some key part of the papal office. I sincerely believe that Pope Benedict knew that he could not be a co-pope; I think it could have been a deliberate error to prevent his successor, who he probably knew would be disastrous for the Church, from becoming the REAL pope.

  3. I will link to this tonight, if that's okay. Susan's comments are especially good. Fast and pray- Ann


    Does this ‘declaratio’ mean anything?

    If it was not the Holy Spirit ‘Who’ chose the Bishop of Rome, Francis, then we know that is not how conclaves work. BUT God has certainly allowed it, and He has allowed it to continue.....until He chooses it necessary to end His Vicar’s time here on earth, as He does to each one of us. This is the ‘cross’ of all Catholics, the ‘chosen in Christ’, for our sins, and the sins of the ‘consecrated religious.’ Let us not forget the ‘once chosen people’ of the Old Testament, what punishment has come upon them......we ought to tremble. Dare we say; ‘No, to The Royal Way of The Cross’, for this generation! (as was assigned by the Divine Providence in every age). Dare we, to say to Him....’Lord, take this ‘cross’ from us, for the burden of carrying ‘this cross’, is forcing us to our knees, too often. For we have become the laughing stock of the ‘world’ (sounds familiar?), too many times.

    For as long as there’s a picture of Pope Francis hanging on the wall of the Church, where I worship God (SSPX)......we parishioners know, we have a Pope, and his name is Francis, in spite of what is said.....for only God is his judge. Let us discern at all times, and pray for the Pope in Rome. After all, ‘We are our brothers keeper!’

    By God’s Providence, this is ‘the hour of darkness’ for the adversary, but also ‘our hour of mercy’, to repent, do penance (for we are tried like gold in a fire), for the love of God, His Church, for the good of saving souls, especially, our own! Amen!

    Ps: Under who’s authority Ann Barnhardt is making such outrageous claims? Not from God!
    Why so many Catholics are so taken by her ‘wit?’ We ought to pray for the self-made so-called theologians, for they will have to answer to God for spreading errors, and confusion. As we speak legions of souls are going to HELL!.......Miserere! Only the next Pope, or a Council can make such a claim. This is the ‘diabolical disorientation’ amongst us Catholics, that Our Lady of Fatima spoke off!

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis!

    1. That "self-made so called theologians" like Ann Barnhardt cause this " 'Diabolical disorientation' " in the post Vatll church is nothing but sanctimonious drivel. You hide your own fears and uncertainties behind pious words. It is Francis, Benedict, JPll, PaulVl, JohnXXlll, masons, homosexuals and Talmudic Jews, who have caused this internal catastrophe in the conciliar church.

      I have an obligation to face disagreeable TRUTHS about Francis as well as the whole ediface of Vatll and all the popes since 1958. And to pretend otherwise is impossible since my reason just won't allow it. And my Catholic faith enables me to place supreme confidence in reason. Even as I say that, I also have unshakeable faith in the church's infallible doctrine of Original Sin. In other words, our wounded natures, make it very difficult without sanctifying grace to reason from true premises.

      So, does that result in an impossible contradiction? Not really. I insist on respecting my reason, and accepting that Francis is an apostate(the avalanche of evidence against Francis compels me). But I don't presume to speak for the church. I have a God given right and obligation to judge him, based on evidence. I submit, in humility, that the state of his soul and his eternal destiny are known only to God.

      And,by the way, I am reluctant to accept Ann's notion that Benedict is still the pope. In fact I disagree with many things she says when she veers into the spiritual life or confuses the spiritual with the psychological. However, I appreciate her guts and willingness to call a spade a spade.

  5. Seeing as how you asked...

    I wrote about just this last August, several months after remarks made by Archbishop Georg Gänswein wich he made on May 20 in the aula magna of the Pontifical Gregorian University. In those remarks, the good Archbishop referred to Carl Schmitt, a German political theoretician that is very widely known in German circles.

    What alerted me to Herr Schmitt and his "state of exception" is that this theory corresponds to what is known in the Law as the "state of necessity". Now for those who follow the SSPX "debates", the State of Necessity is the ecclesiastical principle that provides the SSPX with extraordinary supplied jurisdiction under which they can licitly provide Holy Sacrements to their faithful.

    What's important about the State of Necessity is that is appears to be a mechanism that exists in Natural Law itself. Therefore, it can be observed in the Law, in political science and in Canon Law.

    If my theory in turn is correct, then what Arch. Gänswein did at the 20 May lecture is place in the historical record the FACT that Pope Benedict XVI never abdicated.

    Now just to be clear. I am not making this statement authoritatively since I am a nobody. What I am saying is the evidence sure as heck points to this interpretation of objective reality.

    Furthermore, it also explains the rather odd choice of words that Pope Benedict used in his priesthood anniversary speech where he said that he felt "safe" under Francis' care. A rather bizarre statement that came out of nowhere.

    Anyways, here is that post and links:

  6. Of course, you are welcome to link, Ann. Thanks for your work!

  7. People look. What if the pope declared ex cathedra a world wide boycott of GMO corn under pain of sin? Would we lose our faith? No. Because boycotting GMO corn is not a matter of faith and morals. There is no need for supernatural intervention because everyone knows the pope has no divine teaching authority outside of faith and morals.
    It's no different for a pope to make a formal statement against settled doctrine. It's settled. No supernatural intervention needed. It's ALREADY SETTLED. The only thing a pope would declare in this case would be his own heresy.


  8. Mary Ann,

    More troubling than what Ann Barnhardt usually writes about the papacy is the fact that there is one person, an archbishop, who serves both Popes Benedict and Francis and in the unique position, more than anybody else in the world, to interpret/manipulate the mystery of the "Two Popes."

    Archbishop Georg Ganswein is Francis's head of household and at the same time, Benedict's secretary/caregiver - Well, so to speak. He is, to the two popes like Huma Abedin to Hillary Clinton, nimbly basking in their contradicting limelights.

    To explain the Emmerich-prophesized situation, Ganswein, reportedly a top-notch theologian, created out of whole cloth the theory of a Martha-and-Mary joint papacy, an idea he later attacked, thus debating against himself.

    I'm sorry, but I don't like what I read about Georg (called "Gay-org" in the bars of Rome) Ganswein at all.

    The blogger at Torch of the Faith explains my strange feeling about gorgeous Georg:

    "Articulate, intelligent and dashing, Archbishop Ganswein gave engaging media interviews that seemed to reach out with the Faith to young people and to the interests and concerns of contemporary society.

    "For me at least, the wheels of that particular bandwagon fell off on Pentecost Sunday 2014. When Pope Francis invited leaders of different religions to 'pray together for world peace' in the Vatican Gardens, I was bemused by Archbishop Ganswein's actions. I just could not understand how any man, let alone an archbishop with a reputation for orthodoxy, could go along so merrily with something which the Catholic Faith actually forbids.

    "And yet, as the live television footage showed, there was Archbishop Ganswein grinning and fawning over each of the guests as they arrived.

    "I was beyond scandalized that day.

    "The whole thing seemed to be the very antithesis of the real Pentecost; wherein the Holy Ghost brings unity to all peoples in and through the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which was founded by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...

    "Many of us were deeply disturbed by the highly choreographed event that marked Pope Benedict's 65th anniversary of priesthood during the summer of 2016. Catholics around the globe were confused when they could not reconcile the medicated-looking Pope Benedict's touchy-feely speech to Francis, with the deeply rational and nuanced articulation that had always typified his actions, speeches and copious writings before.

    "Not only that, but his famous request for Catholics to pray for him that he would not flee for fear of the wolves took on a distinctly creepy quality, when he said to Francis: 'Thank you Holy Father - your goodness - from the first day of your election, every day of my life here moves me interiorly, brings me inwardly more than the Vatican Gardens... Your goodness is the place in which I live and where I feel protected'.

    "Frankly, that un-Ratzingerian squishyness and philosophical improbability - 'your goodness is the place'??? - raises the question: from whom, or even what, does the Emeritus feel protected? And why does he need protecting?"

    Go there and read the rest:

    Eastertide blessings to you and your readers.

  9. Miss Barnhardt's analysis is QED, & obviously so. Pope Benedict's openly stated intention only partially to resign the Papal office is manifestly the 'substantial error' that renders the entire abdication invalid.
    His inactive papacy has allowed chaos to be sure, but not the destruction that would obtain were Bergoglio other than the coprophagiac antipope he clearly is.

  10. There's one more thing to ponder about.....for our own good...

    In His Church, there will always be Peter,Thomas,Judas,Scribes and Pharisees, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and crooked.....till, the end of time.....accordingly to His Design!

    Yes, we ought to work out our salvation in fear (of God), and trembling....

    O ye angels, archangels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, all ye martyrs of Christ, and all you saints, orate pro nobis!

  11. Ms. Kreitzer:

    Our Holy Father Benedict, for good or ill, publicly, properly, licitly and with all due process resigned, withdrew and abandoned the Papacy. He is no longer the Pope. He is no longer the Successor to Peter.

    Our Holy Father Francis, for good or ill, was publicly, properly, licitly and with all due process elected to the Papacy as Christ's Vicar on Earth. He is now the Pope. He is the Successor to Peter.

    There is no clear, direct, hard evidence that Benedict did not resign. Nor is there any clear, direct hard evidence that Benedict intended to launch a novel, two Pope Papacy.

    There is only endless speculation, gossip and tale bearing that somehow Benedict is still Pope and Francis is a fraud.

    There has never been and never will be a perfect Pope. Popes are not immaculately conceived. A Pope is a sinner just like you and I. And even if he lives a heroic life of virtue, the life of a Saint, that will not prevent him from making mistakes on matters matters. A Pope will only be protected from teaching error by the Holy Ghost in certain carefully defined circumstances and also only when preserving the Deposit of Faith.

    Our duty in this matter is not to worry. Rather our duty is to strive to become Saints.

    IN the end the only thing the Church needs is Saints.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

    P.S.: Blogger does not allow me to post on your excellent site. Fell free to use this e-mail as you see fit.

  12. Something to ponder about, for us Catholics.....

    In His Church there will always be Peter, Thomas, Judas, Scribes, Pharisees, the blind, deaf, lame, crooked, and the poor in ‘spirit,’ accordingly to God’s Design!

    ....excerpts from Bl. Anna Catherina Emmerich

    I again understood that man was created to fill up the places of the angelic choirs that had fallen from heaven. If the fall had not taken place, men would have multiplied only until that number was reached, and then creation would have come to an end. But by the Fall, a dispersing, an arbitrary scattering, a transplanting arose mixed up with impurity and darkness; therefore is the punishment of death a necessary consequence, a real benefit, a real kindness to man. (who can imagine, such kindness!).

    As to what is said of the end of the world, this much is certain: it will not end UNTIL all of the wheat is separated from the chaff and those choirs of the fallen angels filled up with it. (Thousand years is ‘one day’ for God! 2000 years, just 2 days for God! monstrous was the amount of the fallen angels? The ‘end’ is near, according to God’s time.....Miserere!).

    O ye angels, archangels, patriarchs and prophets, apostles, all ye martyrs of Christ, and all you saints, orate pro nobis!

  13. ......excerpts from “Fatima in Twilight”, by Mark Fellows

    “It could have been so simple. Peace in return for the Consecration of Russia, and the development of the already existing devotion to the beautiful Lady with the wounded Heart: that admirable Heart whose blood nourished the infant Heart of the Redeemer. It is this Immaculate Heart, venerated for centuries by the Church, that eight Popes (Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis).....have scorned, relying instead on Vatican II, (false ecumenism, false peace, false charity.....for savings souls has always been the mission of the holy Church emphasis) with the enemies of the Church – men of blood who are the sworn enemies of truth and of real peace.....this is part of the diabolical disorientation that gripped the Church hierarchy, including the papacy, halfway through the last century”......(today, the bitter fruits that the faithful Catholics are ‘tasting’ emphasis).
    “Confirmation of the gravity of the present plight of the Church comes from Pope Leo XIII who foretold a day in the 20th Century when: “In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”
    “Alas for our stricken Holy Father (Fathers, my emphasis) and his efforts at peace, ‘for there will be no peace without the Queen of Peace.’ After Our Lord has once more allowed Satan to sift Peter like wheat, he will prove himself worthy, and confirm his brethren; Peter, that is. For we have it on Heaven’s authority that God’s will, as manifested at Fatima by the Blessed Virgin Mary, shall prevail – thanks to the Pope: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted the world.”
    “Meanwhile, we wrestle “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness; against the spirit of wickedness in the high places.” In this bleak winter of the Faith, may the Immaculate Heart of the ever Blessed Virgin Mary be our refuge and the road that leads us to God, and may She and Her Spouse, the Holy Ghost, illumine this present darkness foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima.”
    “For it is not Fatima that is in twilight. Fatima is a beacon of faith, hope, and charity, a message as clear and uncompromising as the Gospel, shining on all souls stumbling in the twilight of the Church and the world, as both fade to black in the long hours before the dawn.”
    “Shall we slumber through her passion as the Apostles slept through Our Lord’s agony in the garden? Shall we renounce membership in our disfigured Church as our first Holy Father renounced Our Lord in His final hours? We must not. We must pick up our cross, chosen for us before the foundation of the world, and bear witness to the one true faith, and the Church created by Our Lord to preserve this truth, even unto the end of the world!”
    Let us remember....... that Satan and the Antichrist are loosed for the ‘little season’ (Apoc 20:1-3); and then Christ will return and cast Satan and his hirelings into hell, and begin the New Heaven and New Earth (Apoc 20:9-150.)
    O holy perseverance! O holy hope!

    Ps. Also, an excellent book to read on this topic is “The Consecration of Russia” by John Salza and Robert Sungenis

  14. I agree with Richard Comerford above. As for Benedict living in the Vatican - where else would he have lived? There is nowhere else he could have gone that would have been able to provide the security he needs.

    He could have been invited to live in a monastery somewhere but they would have had to have provided 24/7 security at great cost. Security is built in at the Vatican and he deserves to be there in seclusion and privacy without fear and without worry that he is "putting others out" providing for him.

  15. Via Email...

    Mary Ann, hi. I see a problem with Ann’s position. It is logical and could be true, I suppose. But there is the problem of the evidence.

    We only have second hand and indirect evidence that Pope Benedict intended a diarchy. We have the words of an interlocutor, Ganswein, and we have Benedict’s actions in continuing to wear white and live in the Vatican.

    The first could well be a misrepresentation; in any case, it is not basis for taking a firm public position.

    The second could well mean that he is signaling something, but the implications could be various. ( And there is his clear resignation statement.)

    Even if he were signaling something, that is not enough evidence for a firm conclusion.

    My point is that we can hazard guesses and opinions, but we cannot know with moral certitude. At least not yet. And not knowing should cause some reticence in the matter, because this is serious business.

    Another thing, the drawing of conclusions in a matter like this is not our job. We the laity can have our opinion, and even a fairly sure opinion. But judgment in this matter belongs to – whom? To the Church in some official way, bishops and cardinals. It’s like a court decision. You can “know” the guilt or innocence, but deciding it is for the jury or judge.

    I think we need to be careful in saying publicly that Francis is not the Pope. It might make us feel good and solve a lot of cognitive dissonance problems, but we do not yet know. He might be a bad pope, and that would explain why he has not used authentic manners of solemn teaching to do his teaching – he knows the limits.

    1. We have a bad pope. We need to pray for the pope.
    2. Pope Benedict was forced to resign and is imprisoned and “cared for” and spoken for and is still really Pope. We need to pray for the Pope and for his captors.
    3. Pope Benedict resigned in substantial error and is still pope, but one that is willingly and knowingly in what he thinks is a diarchy with a bad “active pope.” We need to pray for the pope.
    4. Benedict resigned validly and we had an invalid manipulated election and we don’t have a pope. We need to pray for the Church.

    Any way you look at it, we need to pray for the Church and the pope. Figuring things out is not a requirement.

    Let me know what you think.

    Mary Ann Parks

    1. A good summary of the 4 options. Each of us may have a deep conviction and adhere to one of the 4 options. Stating it publicly is something different as we need to be prudent. Still, I guess the Holy Spirit may, in current exceptional circumstances, inspire some souls to claim the truth loud and clear.

  16. Please, forgive me for almost two of the same comments. I had a problem with my first posting, so assuming it did not go thru. I have posted my second........

  17. The reason given at the time was that Benedict didn't feel up to another Youth Day event. As one who has never been on board with "youth day" my own answer would have been, GOOD!! Then let's not have one. STAY HOME. Write. Receive visitors like all popes used to do before they owned their own jet planes. Since this traveling began the pope has been more and more "the world's pope" and not simply the shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church.

    It just seems to me that being tired of the job is not any excuse for turning it over to someone else. The job should boil down to holding on to the keys of the Church with a firm grip. A pope could stay home and do absolutely nothing and it might be said he did his job well if he stood as an obstruction to error. It is very unlikely this was Benedicts REAL reason for retiring, since he seems to continue to enjoy good health and the longer he does so, the less acceptable his reported reason for abdication becomes. We can be sure there was more to it than a lack of enthusiasm for the job.

    This is about the money in the Vatican bank, who (or what organization) is managing it, and how it has been comingled with the bad money of other players in the game of global finance. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

    Follow the money.

    Like it or not, Francis was elected, Benedict accepted it, the college of cardinals accepted it and we have moved on. He is the pope. What is, is. Otherwise, there is no Church and we know that cannot happen. You can say he is as bad as popes can get, but you cannot say he is not the pope.

  18. Well, to play devil's advocate here, Chriss. Title IX of Canon Law clearly identifies the laws regarding "ecclesiastical offices." They go from Canon Law 145 to Canon Law 196. The papacy is the highest ecclesiastical office and this section would presumably govern the papacy as well as other elected or designated offices. The section on resignation, canon law 187-196 contains the law that Ann Barnhardt discusses, canon law 188. Since the law itemizes situations in which a resignation is invalid, the possiblity of invalidity is obvious. If none of those situations in the law took place -- "A resignation submitted out of grave fear, which has been unjustly inflicted, or because of fraud, substantial error or simony" then I agree, Pope Benedict's resignation was valid. However, if any of those situations exists, then the law says the resignation "is invalid by the law itself."

    Now, maybe I'm not reading that right in which case I'll happily be corrected by a canon lawyer. But it seems pretty clear to me. And frankly, I don't know whether Pope Francis is the legitimate pope or not because I don't know the situation surrounding Pope Benedict's resignation and whether any of the situation in Canon Law 188 exist.

    Whatever the answer, I pray for both Pope Francis and for Pope Emeritus Benedict, and for Holy Mother Church. The answer will not affect my faith, but I think the question is legitimate and as long as long as both popes are alive, I think it will continue to be asked especially the more Pope Francis undermines doctrine.

  19. Mary Ann,

    May I open a rabbit hole of sorts?

    Whether Father Benedict (as he likes to be called these days) legitimately abdicated the See of Peter or not (which, as one recent infamous politician put it, is "above my paygrade") - I would like to ask why, since the release of Amoralis Lamentia (as Restore D.C. Catholicism brilliantly labeled it), isn't the *scandal caused* by this document rarely, if ever, mentioned?

    To give Holy Communion to those living in an objective state of adultery (i.e. mortal sin) blatantly goes against St. Paul's grave warning about those who receive unworthily the Body of Christ and how this can bring damnation or judgment upon souls (see 1 Cor. 11:24-30).

    The Catechism is clear about scandal:

    2284 "Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense."

    2285 "Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing."

    It just seems to me the above is rarely mentioned. And in the case it is - those who do so are labeled "rigid", "fundamentalist", "dogmatic", "pharisaical", etc. (insert your favorite PF slap here [ ]).

    St. Paul is clear when says that he received the Faith from our Blessed Lord Himself (see Gal. 1:11-12).

    If one downplays St. Paul's words they downplay the Word Incarnate's words. That is to say The Gospel.

    Catechist Kev

    PS: Loved that piece by Mr. Lawler.

  20. Ms. K:
    Re: Donatists
    Via: E-Mail

    Please use the following on your excellent blog regarding the controversy swirling around Francis and Benedict if you so see fit.

    Can I declare a Pope to be a non-Pope? Or a Bishop to be a non-Bishop? Or a Priest to be a non-Priest? Or a Catholic to be a non-Catholic?

    This is largely what happened under the horrific persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian (303-305). During which much of the urban, Catholic Church and lay elites renounced Christ and worshiped the Emperor as a god. However many of the poorer, country, Catholic Church and lay men stood fast under the persecution - and suffered accordingly.

    After the persecutions ended many of the urban Catholic elites resumed their positions of power. But the faithful, poorer Catholics refused to accept them claiming that due to their apostasy the Bishops and priests had lost their authority and that Sacraments received from their hands were invalid. As a result two separate and distinct Churches were formed in North Africa.

    St. Augustine spend much of his life laboring mightily to suppress the Donatist heresy. The Saint argued that the validity of the Sacraments did not depend on the holiness of the Bishop or priest who administered it.

    The divisions created by the Donatist heresy explain why the Muslims were able to conquer Christian North Africa so quickly and with so little resistance.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  21. In the current diabolical disorientation, many are struggling with reading the signs of the times while trying to keep themselves and their loved ones on the straight path. One blog post that I continue to go back to is here:

    This post was made PRIOR to the recent conclave. Many striking points are made. At the end of the post, it quotes Pope St. Pius X:

    "I have seen one of my successors, of the same name who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death”.

    The question is then posed whether the new Pope will be named "Pius". What is not there however is that Pope St. Pius X and Pope Benedict XVI have the SAME FIRST NAME, Joseph.

  22. Tom Healey is correct in his post of 3:25 PM. Our God-given reason can't help seeing this obvious truth: Jorge Bergoglio is a modernist heretic, and he is deliberately dismantling the institutional Roman Catholic Church.

    Was he validly elected Pope? I simply do not know at this point. But blindly swearing loyalty to him in the face of what our senses and our reason tell us about his actions is the height of irrationality, no matter how much papalist pseudo-piety is summoned up as an excuse for it.

    Yes, Ann Barnhardt can be a little over the top at times. I don't agree with everything she says on every issue. But the lady has more high-octane testosterone than the 82nd Airborne, and I only wish there were more high ecclesiastics of the Church for whom that could be said. Maybe there wouldn't be this universal supine acceptance of Bergoglio.

  23. With all due respect to Ann Barnhardt and other making the "substantial error" argument:

    Pope Benedict XVI's letter of resignation is quite clear: " I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant...."

    Well, if, as a consequence of Benedict's resignation, the See of Rome is VACANT (as Benedict asserted), then one cannot speak of Benedict still participating in the office of Pope, regardless of whatever informal comments he may have made regarding his role as "Emeritus Pope", and regardless of what he wears or where he lives. At 2000 Rome time on 28 February 2013, Pope Benedict ceased being Pope.

    One might argue the validity of Benedict XVI's resignation on various grounds, but "substantial error" is not one of them.

    Richard Bonomo
    Madison, WI

  24. To Richard Bonomo:

    There's no question that Benedict XVI sincerely intended to resign, and that he used the unambiguous language you quote to do it. The question is whether he labored under the false assumption that he could do so while creating a Papal diarchy that is totally incompatible with Catholic history and tradition, not to mention Scripture. That is what is meant by "substantial error," and it's about time that more people besides Ann Barnhardt started thinking about it and discussing it.

    The title of "Pope Emeritus" is an absurdity. I don't know if the See is vacant, or if Bergoglio is an antipope. But I know for a certainty that we are in big trouble, and blind papolatry of "Francis" is contemptible and cowardly.

  25. Thanks anonymous. Ann has"more octane testosterone than the 82nd regiment". So true. Even though I'm Canadian I appreciate the allusion to your famous American 82nd.

    Ann's no holds-barred outrage over the relentless betrayal of Christ and His church deserves support and praise. Not despicable condemnation. And like you said she has more raw guts than your 82nd.

    Since she is so outspoken, her faults and errors are much more glaring that those of Catholics, who may think as she does but are very cautious.

    I have disagreements with many things she says, but I still love her. God bless you Ann.

  26. Ann has more "high octane testosterone than the 82nd airborne". So true Anonymous. Even though I'm Canadian, I appreciate the allusion to your famous 82nd. Anyway, no half measures for Ann. She puts her heart into her righteous outrage over the internal betrayal of Christ and His church going back to at least 1958.

    Like anyone who speaks the truth, that comes from her love of the Catholic faith, she deserves respect and support. She has weaknessess and I disagree with many things she says(original sin is real in her life, and I know that I can't "throw the first stone")but her heart is true to Christ. If she chooses to grow in holiness in the coming years, the Holy Spirit will give her healing.

    The other thing about Ann - because she is so outspoken, she is an easy target for people who can't handle the truth "neat". God bless you Ann.


  27. Catechism - God is Truth -

    Father Rodriguez....a saint in the making.....

  28. To Tom Healey --

    Yes, Ann Barnhardt is like "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." As just as all true prophets sometimes need to indulge in hyperbole and intense polemics, Ann must do the same. When our bishops and cardinals and almost all other high ecclesiastics are wrapped in cowardly silence and mute acceptance, it falls to individual Roman Catholics to speak out in defense of the truth.

    I have no idea when or how the Bergoglio impasse will be resolved, and whether the resolution will be for the good of the Church or a prelude to further destruction. But I know this: Bergoglio has single-handedly cured most of the Traditionalist Catholic movement of its debilitating papolatry. The few dimwitted exceptions (Catholic traddies who insist on honoring Bergoglio as "The Holy Father") are looking increasingly ridiculous with every stupid thing that comes out of this Argentine's mouth.

  29. Dear Anonymous,

    In your reply you indicate: "The question is whether he labored under the false assumption that he could do so while creating a Papal diarchy...."

    The point of my comment and quote is that he did NOT create, intend to create, or attempt to create a Papal diarchy. He made it very clear that at the stated time the See of Peter, or Rome, would be *vacant*. He did not attempt to "partially" resign. He just resigned, completely. He was not re-elected in whole or in part. There was no attempt to create a Papal diarchy.

    "Emeritus Pope" or "Pope Emeritus" is, in keeping with the usual use and definition of "emeritus": "a person retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held" (Merriam-Webster online), just that, an *honorary* title.

    While the title and usage of "Pope Emeritus" is novel, it is clear. A "Pope Emeritus" is NOT Pope; it is, again, an honorary, not functional, title. Its use is not evidence of "substantial error."

    If one wishes to challenge the validity of Pope Benedict's resignation, another approach would have to be sought.

    At least, such is my opinion.

  30. Marie, the correct pronunciation of Georg sounds like gay-org. It's hard to make a double entendre out of that alone.

  31. To OjczeNasz3/Susan Matthiesen

    The Holy Ghost does,s not and never has picked the bishop of Rome/pope.
    Papal conclaves are not free from imperfection or error.
    There have been many anti popes in the past.
    During the western schism 1378 1417 both pope Uban V1 and pope Clement V11 were elected one after the other by a valid conclave of legitimate catholic cardinals unhappy with their first choice of man .
    The fact fact that both men were still alive led to 39 years of schism
    The Holy Ghost protects a valid catholic pope from preaching error.

    It is extremely likely that cardinal Bergoglio has not been validly elected in view of the serious doubts surrounding Pope Benedicts alleged resignation.
    Cardinal Bergoglios heretical statements and attacks on catholic truth are further proof of the dire situation.

  32. Bp. Fulton Sheen: “The church is not a continuous phenomenon through history. Rather, it is something that has been through a thousand resurrections after a thousand crucifixions. The bell is always sounding for its execution which, by some great power of God, is everlastingly postponed.”

    The long history of the Catholic Church is (has) been thru schism, heresy, but each attack has only strengthened it. It continues to live and spread in spite of scandals from the enemy ‘within’, especially. And even from the mysterious (not to God), dual papacy. As long as Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Sarah.........and other great servants of God, address Pope Francis, as His Holiness Pope Francis......we have a Pope! Rome has spoken: the cause is ended! Until next Pope, or Council will pronounce otherwise. Amen!

    The ‘Wonder’ of ‘wonders!’ Once the post-Vatican II popes, opened the doors to ‘false human dignity, human liberty, human rights (indifferentism, false ecumenism.....putting the holy Faith on the same level with every stripe of heretics.......etc.), all these outrages against God and families.....are the fruits, and deadly ideas of modern man’s obsession with unrestricted liberty!!! Rome itself contracted the disease and has therefore herself fallen gravely ill!!!

    As a good soldier of Christ once said: “Liberty for everyone and everything but error and sin!” How about such blasphemy, when human rights usurps the Rights of God? “Where the Reformation introduced Protestantism to the world, Liberalism and Modernism introduced Protestantism to the Church.” We should all tremble!

    Man’s true dignity of course lies not in his freedom from every restraint, but in his trustful submission to God......and full cooperation with divine very few Catholics HEAR this? This ignorance is not only a Church disaster, but also a world disaster. As Saint Pius X (true saint) said, they treat the truth ‘like smugglers on the border,’ carrying Catholic fundamentals shyly hidden under their coats.

    How cheated is Our Lord Himself, and not just cheated but insulted on the table of false worship!!! Where the Reformation introduced Protestantism to the world, Liberalism and Modernism introduced Protestantism to the Church. Our parish churches have been desecrated by the New Mass.....where there is no holiness, there is no fear of God! Catholic worship has been reduced to a ‘diabolic’ mockery of the Divine Liturgy. If any of the saints, were to enter the average post-Vatican II Church (in the last 50 years), and today, they would be instantly overcome by shock......would turn and flee in near-panic, thinking that they had entered a Protestant building (which in essence they have). This is what the Reform of the Reform has done! And God Knows!!! How many Catholics have (legions) given up their own Faith, some because of their tendency to worldliness, but many scandalized, the division (hatred, persecution of priests, and faithful) amongst us Catholics unknown in any age, but today......this has been a crime of high treason, so many souls went to hell, and go every day! May God have mercy, on those that have been the cause of despair of so many!

    Emeritus Benedict XVI.....has paved a path for the future (weak) popes, for which only God will judge him!......Miserere, Domine!

    St. Peter, St. Pope Pius V, Pius VI, Pius VII, pray for the See of Peter!

    May God grant us holy, Vicar of Christ, a true soldier of Christ, who only fears Thee! Let us all arise to help with the true ‘reconstruction’ of JERUSALEM, in fearless faith!

    Viva Cristo Rey

  33. There's lots to ponder about.....