Of McCarrick and Past and Future Conclaves

September 13, 2018 (Steven O’Reilly) – It has now been over a couple weeks since the publication of Archbishop Viganó’s testimony. This testimony accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions placed upon former-Cardinal McCarrick by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Whatever the precise nature of these penalties, Viganó’s second accusation against Pope Francis, in my opinion, is the more troubling. Viganó claims he informed Pope Francis in June 2013 of McCarrick’s history of having corrupted generations of seminarians. Thus, even if Francis had been previously ignorant of either McCarrick’s past or the penalties placed upon him by Benedict, Francis can’t claim ignorance after this date. The implication is: the Pope, ignoring  Viganó’s report, knowingly and willfully availed himself of a corrupt McCarrick’s advice and counsel regarding episcopal appointments in the U.S., and likely other matters related to the care and government of the Church.

Yes, all of this assumes the truth of Viganó’s account. But, the efforts to discredit him have failed miserably; Viganó’s account is very credible. In the face of these allegations, the Pope has chosen to remain silent.  For those with common sense not corrupted by the cult of personality which surrounds this Pope, this silence certainly betokens – if indeed it does not confirm – the truth of the accusations. Aside from knowledge of guilt, there is simply no credible explanation for the Pope’s silence.  And, if the Pope did as Viganó’s accusation alleges, he should abdicate/resign as Viganó and many others have suggested. Roma Locuta Est agrees that the Pope should voluntarily step down if the allegations are true, but believes it is not in his nature to do so (see here).

The 2013 Conclave

Given the current controversy and calls for a papal resignation, the conclave of 2013 which gave us Francis as pope is likely to attract even more attention than it already has – which has been considerable. This past conclave is likely to be one of the most scrutinized by historians. Focus on the conclave over the last five years has already yielded various “Francis just can’t be a real pope, can he?” theories which fall into three broad categories – though there are some others:

Conclave and election of Francis invalid because Benedict is still pope

  • There are those who argue Benedict XVI did not resign of his own free will, and was perhaps forced out by a plot instigated by the St. Gallen mafia. If true, they argue, Benedict’s resignation under duress would be null. While I don’t discount there was a plot of some kind, I do believe it is quite clear Benedict XVI resigned of his own free will (see Thoughts on Free Will and Hypothetical Papal Plots).
  • The other Benedict-centered theory is that his resignation was invalid due to a substantial error on his part. Personally, I think it is the weakest of the “Francis can’t be pope” theories for reasons I have previously discussed (see Benedict is NOT pope and Benedict is STILL not Pope).

Conclave valid but election of Francis invalid due to violations of Universi Dominici Gregis

  • The Italian journalist Antonio Socci had put forth in his book, Non e’ Francesco (“He is not Francis”), the theory a procedural violation of rules in Universi Dominici Gregis (the papal legislation established by John Paul II which governs conclaves) involving the balloting had invalidated the election which gave us Pope Francis. My understanding is Socci has since abandoned the theory.
  • Then there is the theory – in its most recent elaboration by Bishop Gracida (see here) – regarding violations of Universi Dominici Gregis both in and in the lead up to the 2013 conclaveSpecifically, as stated by Bishop Gracida, the “notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated” with the St. Gallen mafia. I find this an interesting theory that points to some smoke, but which has yet to find the fire.

Conclave and election of Francis valid, but his acceptance of papacy was ‘invalid’

  • While I find all the “Francis just can’t be a real pope” theories improbable (this one included), I must say this is the one theory which intrigues me most. It was suggested to me from within Pope Francis’ own Jesuit order – while other Jesuit efforts to defuse it have appeared clumsy and weak. This theory is unique in that while it concedes the election of Jorge Bergoglio was valid, his acceptance of it was not (see Curiouser and Curiouser: Who Dispensed Jorge Bergoglio SJ from his vows?).

While the theories above are improbable, that is not to say there is not much more we can learn about what happened both before and in the conclave. There have been suggestions that the NSA monitored the 2013 conclave as alleged by the blog The Eye-Witness in an October 2013 article (“A Compromised Conclave“). The apparent close ties between the Democratic Party and this Vatican in the years following the conclave led the Remnant Newspaper to publish an open letter [see A Vatican-Democratic Party Alliance (Catholics ask Trump Administration to Investigate)] to the Trump administration in January of 2017 asking a number of interesting questions. In the letter, the signatories ask, for example, what role US intelligence agencies might have played in both the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Francis. It is curious to note that Cardinal Bergoglio was a long shot to win, at least according to the odds makers; but he won the papacy on only the 5th ballot of the Conclave.

The questions are interesting, if for no other reason than that the Francis papacy has been a Democratic Party dream come true as it de-emphasized cultural war issues (e.g., abortion, homosexual “marriage”) and emphasized ‘social justice’ issues (e.g., immigration, the environment). The icing on the cake has been a series of US episcopal appointments (e.g., Cupich, Tobin, McElroy) who willingly follow the new Francis political and social agenda. Another indication of how close the Vatican ties to the Democratic Party have become appears in Henry Sire’s book on Pope Francis, The Dictator Pope. In it, Sire reports that reliable sources state Pope Francis gave funds to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign from Peter’s Pence (NB: I hope U.S. bishops ask the Pope if this report is true – and  if it is, they should ask him to stop using the laity’s contributions for political donations.  Otherwise, many Catholics will stop giving to Peter’s Pence). Sire writes:

“If indeed, money from Peter’s Pence was diverted to fund Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, at Pope Francis’s request, as has been repeatedly rumored from reliable sources, it could be the unraveling of an enormous scandal.” (The Dictator Pope, p. 193)

Sire suggests that Francis did such a thing to avert a Trump presidency in favor of “a liberal president willing to abase himself (or herself) to Latin American claims.” It is difficult to imagine the Obama Administration using any derogatory intelligence gathered during or before the Conclave to publicly embarrass a liberal like Francis – a seeming ally of so many Democratic Party issues. However, President Trump is perhaps another story. Henry Sire in his book on the Francis papacy, The Dictator Pope, writes:

“It is known that the CIA was  monitoring the Conclave of 2013, and the thought that the American government might make use of its knowledge is said to be causing sleepless nights in the Curia.” (The Dictator Pope, p. 193)

If the report in the book of “sleepless nights” is to be credited, the fears in the Curia appear to be centered on what Trump might do with the information gathered back in 2013. If so, what revelations are feared in the Curia? Might the fears relate to the activities of the St. Gallen mafia – or perhaps others – to influence the election?

This brings us back to McCarrick whose role in the 2013 conclave is a curious one. Ineligible to vote in the conclave due to his advanced age, he was able to participate in the pre-conclave discussions. In a talk at Villanova University in October of 2013 (see here) McCarrick relates how he was visited by an “influential Italian gentleman” who asked McCarrick to ‘talk up Bergoglio‘.  Who was this “influential Italian” and with what organizations was he affiliated? Did others affiliated with this Italian lobby other cardinals in the days before the conclave? What special interests led him to lobby McCarrick for a Bergoglio papacy? Why did this “influential Italian” think McCarrick had any special influence with other cardinals which might aid a Bergoglio candidacy?

These and other questions, I believe, will one day have answers. Who can say for sure, at the moment, why this “influential Italian” thought McCarrick had any unique influence with other cardinals. But, with such a question in mind, it is interesting to read a news report, as I did the other day, which suggested former-Cardinal McCarrick was in the habit of handing out envelopes of cash to bishops and cardinals of the Roman curia whenever he visited Rome. In a CNA article (“What Pope Francis can clarify about the Vigano testimony- and what he can’t“, September 11, 2018), Ed Condon wrote (emphasis added):

Viganò’s testimonial asserted that Sodano played a key role in defending Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ who was later revealed to be a serial sexual abuser. The archbishop speculated that “if Sodano had protected Maciel, as seems certain, there is no reason why he wouldn’t have done so for McCarrick, who according to many had the financial means to influence decisions.”

No evidence, or even firsthand knowledge is presented by Viganò for this supposition, though McCarrick’s abilities as a prolific fundraiser were well-known.

While McCarrick was able to produce sizable donations for everything from the Papal Foundation to individual projects in dioceses around the world, the financial support he offered could also be quite personal.

When he would visit Rome, Cardinal McCarrick was well-known for handing out envelopes of money to different bishops and cardinals around the curia to thank them for their work,” a curial cardinal recently told CNA. “Where these ‘honoraria’ came from or what they were for, exactly, was never clear – but many accepted them anyway.”

The world now knowing the true sort of man McCarrick is by the evil he has done, it is difficult to accept these ‘honoraria’ were awarded by McCarrick out of pure motives without any strings attached – implicitly or explicitly – or without any expectation that the favor would be eventually returned. If the reports of these gifts are accurate, then as with the tale of McCarrick’s “influential Italian,” various questions arise.  Who or what was the source of the funds disbursed to the bishops and cardinals in the Curia? Did the funds come from any of the charities with which McCarrick was associated?  If so, were the expenditures properly accounted for and reported? Who received the gifts and what were the dollar amounts? Were the gifts limited only to curial cardinals?

I am not a lawyer, but I do wonder if there are any legal issues involving these gifts. For example, the gifts were apparently given to officials of the Holy See, a sovereign country. Therefore, did the gifts possibly run afoul of any provision of the The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?  Whether the gifts meet the strict legal definition of bribes under the FCPA is up to federal officials to decide and enforce, but – looking at them as a Catholic – these gifts, at a minimum, had the potential to corrupt the individuals to whom they were given and who might be reasonably expected to one day repay McCarrick’s ‘kindness’ in some way.  Presumably, some of these curial cardinal voted in the 2013 conclave. One cannot help but wonder if the alleged gifts (reported by CNA) to curial cardinals over the years improved McCarrick’s “powers of persuasion” with these same prelates as he “talked up Bergoglio” and inclined them more favorably to Bergoglio than they might otherwise have been. Who knows?  But, it seems to me, aside from any interviews McCarrick faces with state attorneys over any potential abuse cases, it seems to me he should not be surprised if he were visited by officials from the IRS or FBI over some of the financial questions posed above.

The Next Conclave

I am not an infallible prognosticator.  But, I do sense that there will be some interesting revelations to come forth about the last conclave in the wake of Viganó’s accusations and the McCarrick scandal. Regardless, the Viganó allegations will definitely impact the next conclave in ways that are not yet clear. That said, at this moment, I expect that the stock of the papabili mentioned in Viganó’s testimony (e.g., Cardinals Parolin, Maradiaga, Ouellet, etc) has plummeted as a result. Furthermore, more episcopal “earthquakes” are in the offing as there is no telling yet how the current round of abuse cases and seminary scandals in the U.S., and now in Germany (see here) will shake up the College of Cardinals. Yes, Pope Francis does get to fill the vacancies.  However, we are not even close to seeing the worse of this crisis, either in the U.S. or elsewhere around the Catholic world. Therefore, I suspect. as is increasingly the case in the U.S., the voices of the Catholic laity around the world – seeing the breadth and depth of the homosexual infestation of the priesthood and episcopate – will rise up in indignation and demand their voices be heard. Let us pray the Pope and the bishops listen – and that the Lord gives us good bishops and cardinals for the future.

I posted an article (see The Historicity of Miracles: The case of Julian the Apostate and a lesson for our time) on Julian the Apostate back in June, before the recent revelations – and things look even more bleak now than when I wrote it.  The article concluded:

“The enemies of the Church, both within and without it, wish for Hell to prevail over it, and are striving for this end – and appear to have little effective opposition. Thus, at such a time, the memory of Julian the Apostate’s failed efforts to falsify the Lord’s words in his day, might serve as a reminder to the faithful at this moment. The Lord is in control of history.  He is true to his infallible words.  They will not be falsified – ever. How the Lord will save the Church in our time remains to be seen.  Whether by tempest, whirlwind, earthquake or by flame, or the rising up of one or more great saints, it might not be for us to yet know – but, that the Church will in the end triumph, there is no doubt. So, keep the faith, ‘always pray and never give up’ (cf Luke 18: 1) – especially in dark times, and do not worry – because it is the Lord who has promised the Church “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Victory is assured.”

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is married to Margaret O’Reilly.  He lives near Atlanta with his family. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical-adventure trilogy, set during the time of the Arian crisis. He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA).

















14 thoughts on “Of McCarrick and Past and Future Conclaves

    1. John, thanks for the comment. I don’t think the a prohibition on cardinals entering Italy is doable. I’d be surprised if such a ban is not prohibited under the Lateran accord. Further, I think such a call is a double edged sword. What happens if a leftist government decides to keep out orthodox cardinals one day? I don’t that this is the sort of precedent we want to set, even now.


  1. The title of Socci’s book is a play on an Italian pop song “It’s Not Frances” (Non é Francesa), the theme of which is that the woman the singer sees cheating on him can’t be his girlfriend but only someone who looks like her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. O’Reilly, while appreciate your article, I think you give short shrift to those of us that have made highly educated and informed arguments (using public and corroborated facts) regarding the violations of UDG. All of the so called “theories” you debunk call for the “willing suspension of disbelief” (as Hillary Clinton once opined). More than enough evidence suggests that the College of Cardinals violated UDG on many fronts. JPII in UDG explicitly wrote that if the cardinals violated ANY of the provisions enumerated, the election is invalid. Additionally, many past pre-Vatican II documents of the Catholic Church and prior Councils repeatedly teach that a known heretic cannot become pope. The evidence out of Argentina is now overwhelming that Bergoglio taught and supported condemned heresies of the past- Modernism not the least among them. I am NOT a Sedevacantist. The evidence is also clear that IF Benedict did indeed render a valid resignation, and IF the election of Bergoglio is valid, he most certainly has lost the papacy due to material, pertinacious heresy. Either way, I do not believe he is a valid pope, but an anti-pope. The Indefectibility of the Catholic Church is in no way affected by any of this papal mess. BTW, I am a former major seminarian. I left the seminary in 1991 just six months prior to ordination as a transitional deacon. Again, thank you for your thoughts written above, but I believe you have drank the Cool-Aid of the Novus Ordo, post Vatican II “church.”


    1. Al, thanks for the comment. I don’t know what the “Novus Ordo” cool-aid has to do with my evaluation of the theories. I certainly may be wrong, but my evaluation was based on my appraisal of the facts – not anything else. Now, I don’t completely dismiss the UDG theory as it relates to the St. Gallen group. There though, I believe one would probably need to demonstrate that Bergoglio was complicit in the plot. I do say there is a lot of smoke – but we need to find the fire. As to Bergoglio’s status prior to the conclave and potential heresies, I have touched upon this several times in articles where I ask Mr. Walford two questions about Bergoglio. I definitely agree this is a definite line of inquiry. Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (section 6 if I recall) clearly, to me, suggests that should an apostate or heretic be elected – the election is invalid. But, I am not even close to being a canon expert – so the question there for me is, does this speak of someone who is a heretic (secret or not), or one who is and has been declared one publicly prior to the conclave. Further, I believe there is the question of whether subsequent papal acts regarding conclaves, including UDG, have superceded Cum Ex Apostolatus, This was one of the theories I had in mind in my article when I said there were other theories. As to Frances at this point, I have written quite a bit about the need for a formal correction – and taking that process to its natural conclusion as the facts warrant. So, I don’t really think you and I are that far apart at all. Again, thank you for reading the article and leaving the comments.

      P.S. One final thought. You say I debunk all the theories. I don’t think that is accurate – it was not my intent to debunk *all* of them. I reject the Benedict is still pope theories, that is true. I think the evidence against them is overwhelming. Socci, as I understand it, gave up on the ballot theory. With regard to Bishop Gracida’s resurrection of the UDG-St. Gallen theory, I would say this. If the evidence is produced that demonstrates with moral certainty the violations “we” think happened IN FACT happened, then “yes” – per UDG the election is null. However, as I said…there is smoke., i.e., the appearance. But, the proof has yet to be determined. Lacking such proof, we can’t act based on speculation. With regard to the Jesuit Vow theory….this one, as I said, I find most intriguing. If I *had* to bet on the 5 theories in the article – given foreknowledge that one of them IS true, but knowing no more than we know today about any of them – this is the one I’d bet on.


  3. Mr O’Reilly, in regards to Benedict’s partial resignation, have you heard the addendum of Fr. Schweigl’s 1952 article? The important twists from all the other theories that you mention in your article is that Pope Benedict freely and without error chose his decision. His own statements as well as his personal secretary’s statement seem to indicate those facts clearly. Perhaps his freedom in deciding as he did was made in light of having read both the description of as well as Our Lady’s interpretation of the 3rd Secret. In his decision to retain a part of the munus, what he heroically, knowingly, and freely chose has kept the infallibility of the papal office safe from the diabolical rot that surrounds him and that he (as well as JPII) was powerless to do anything about.

    In case you are not aware, Fr. Schweigl, SJ is the one who in 1952 at Pope Pius XII’s request visited Sr. Lucia and asked her a total of 31 questions. He wrote an article that was published in a journal from the Russicum College in Rome in 1956 entitled, “Fatima and the Conversion of Russia”. In this article on page 15 he states, “The Third Secret [of Fatima] deals with a victorious, triumphal decision by the Pope, triumphal, yes, but also difficult and heroic”. That could describe Benedict’s decision.

    At his final General Audience of February 27, 2014, Pope Benedict spoke about his decision to resign:
    “In these last few months, I have felt my strength diminish and I have asked God with insistency in my prayers to illuminate me with his light and make me take the best decision. I took this step in full awareness of its gravity and novelty but with profound serenity of spirit. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make difficult, painful choices, always keeping the good of the Church in mind and not ourselves.” (from the Vatican Press)

    From the same audience, Pope Benedict also said:
    “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.”

    To be clear, Pope Benedict said, “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.”

    Pope Benedict’s personal Secretary, Ganswein, explains here that earlier on February 11, 2013 speaking in latin the Pope retained part of the munus:

    “The momentous resignation of the theologian pope represented a step forward primarily by the fact that, on February 11, 2013, speaking in Latin in front of the surprised cardinals, he introduced into the Catholic Church the new institution of “pope emeritus,” stating that his strength was no longer sufficient “to properly exercise the Petrine ministry.” The key word in that statement is munus petrinum, translated — as happens most of the time — with “Petrine ministry.” And yet, munus, in Latin, has a multiplicity of meanings: it can mean service, duty, guide or gift, even prodigy. Before and after his resignation, Benedict understood and understands his task as participation in such a “Petrine ministry.” He has left the papal throne and yet, with the step made on February 11, 2013, he has not at all abandoned this ministry. Instead, he has complemented the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi shared ministry again the invitation contained in the motto that the then Joseph Ratzinger took as archbishop of Munich and Freising and which he then naturally maintained as bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis,” which means “fellow workers in the truth.” In fact, it is not in the singular but the plural; it is taken from the Third Letter of John, in which in verse 8 it is written: “We ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.”

    Since the election of his successor Francis, on March 13, 2013, there are not therefore two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up either his name, or the white cassock. This is why the correct name by which to address him even today is “Your Holiness”; and this is also why he has not retired to a secluded monastery, but within the Vatican…”

    It can be seen by Ganswein’s detailed citation that the key word is munus. Pope Benedict did not surrender the total munus; therefore, as he said himself he has not abandoned this ministry–his resignation was incomplete. He made no mistake and he freely made this decision.

    Indeed this is a theory, but a theory with a decided twist from the others that you have cited, namely, an heroic and free decision made with certain knowledge of the enemy that he alone would face in order that the guarantee of infallibility would not be transferred but would remain safely resting upon him. All the while the darkness reveals itself for what it has grown to be and Holy Mother Church is protected not by “the bishop in white” but by the Holy Father who has had much to suffer.

    With this theory, there is no need for an antipope to resign because by definition an antipope has never been a pope and neither has the Chair of Peter been vacant. Since there can never be two popes only one, Francis is actually not on the throne. Benedict needs to be rescued.


    1. Thanks for reading the article and for your comments. I disagree with you about Benedict’s resignation. If you get the chance, read my linked rebuttals of the theory, entitled “Benedict is NOT Pope” and “Benedict is STILL not Pope.”

      The Benedict theory fails on several grounds in my opinion. As to whether the belief that Benedict’s supposed resignation fits into the Third Secret and to a “triumphal” decision….I’d say this. Regarding the latter point, Benedict would have accomplished more to help the Church by remaining pope. What is more, there is nothing triumphal at all in enabling what has happened these past 5 years…and who knows how many more to come. What impact such an alleged purpose may have on millions or billions of souls in unknowable – but I shudder to think. Sorry…i think that theory fails too in my mind – I see nothing “heroic” at all in what Benedict did if he acted with the purpose you allege. The theory just doesn’t hold water at all.

      That said, I do agree that the Third Secret – the unreleased portion of it – mostly likely deals with a great apostasy in the Church and a bad pope or an anti-pope. Aside from that, it is only speculation to guess whether Benedict acted with the 3rd Secret in mind when he resigned. My guess is….he resigned – after seeing the dossier – hoping a stronger pope than he could reform the Church. He was a bookworm. The Church needs a street fighter.

      Again, if haven’t yet read them, read the articles I wrote on the Benedict theories. Thanks again for reading the article and for your comments.


      1. Thank you for your response. I will read your articles about why Benedict is not pope.

        I acknowledge the devastation in the vineyard that has been permitted by God. I have brothers and sisters and children affected by the ravages of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. That souls have been and are being lost is a mystery of the permitting will of God that I struggle to accept. Yet He is almighty or He is not God.

        I acknowledge that it is only speculation in light of Fatima regarding Pope Benedict’s motivation; however, Father Malachi Martin, Father Gruner, and others as well as Father Schweigl’s article based on his interview with Sr. Lucia give credence to this speculation.

        Father Martin’s interviews with Bernard Janzen are replete with descriptions of the vast and humanly unknowable depth of the infiltrating networks because of their diabolical nature. I suspect the dossier only begins to identify the members who by Divine Providence have been and are revealing themselves. In this piece concerning the Dossier, it seems plausible that Benedict knew that only God–not the next Pope–only God could reveal and cut out the cancer because of its diabolical root.

        Isn’t is possible that just as satan believed he had triumphed in Christ’s crucifixion so the evil infiltrators and their minions have miscalculated their own success and because they finally got their pope they’ve revealed their hand? This is Divine Providence in action.

        How will the faithful, both clergy and laity, respond to this breach in the Gates of Hell? Will the Church Militant step out and acknowledge that Our Lady is leading the Churches Triumphant and Suffering in this assault? Do we believe that she has our back? There are those like Absh. Vigano, Fr. Paul John Kalchik, Fr. Juan Gavancho, Fr. Altiers, Fr. Lankeit, Bp Olmestad, and bloggers like you, Mr O’Reilly who have bravely risked much to step into the breach. How many more is God waiting on before He wins the day?

        Not only these questions come to my mind but also I think on the example of the saints and I see that to be truly Catholic is to be a hero. To that end the other theories as to Benedict still being the Holy Father don’t allow for the grace of his conversion from modernism or the redeeming grace of his freely accepted heroic suffering. Rather they bash him for being a coward, a weakling, or an idiot. This theory based on Pope Benedict’s own words as well as sound speculation regarding Fatima, allow for a most elegant, simple, and heroic explanation for his historically unprecedented partial resignation.

        At least that’s how this militant sheep sees it.


      2. Thanks again for the comments. Although we disagree on Benedict, it is safe to say we agree the situation in the Church and the world is very grave. Unfortunately, most people seem unaware of the significance of the moment. I definitely agree that as bad as the moment, it has for once revealed many of the Church’s enemies, who before were hidden. I believe things will get much worse before they get better. But, we know victory is assured.


  4. Cardinal Bergoglio was a long shot to win, at least according to the odds makers;

    He came in second in that last conclave, so those odds makers are pretty poor at their craft.

    just as satan believed he had triumphed in Christ’s crucifixion

    I tend to lean toward Mel Gibson’s interpretation in The Passion – satan knew he lost when Christ was crucified. He was probably hoping that at some point, Christ would not go through with it, but once He did, game over.

    I tend to cautiously agree with you on this spectacle. Fact is, we do not have sufficient information. The language Benedict used in his resignation is just sufficiently vague enough to allow for various interpretations, coupled with his “post” Papal actions (wearing the white, living in the Vatican, etc. – does he still have his Papal ring?) giving enough contradictions to at least raise questions. But, as with the other theories, there is not quite enough to put it to rest . . . yet. Francis is, at this point, the presumptive Pope as far as I can tell. I know, I know, that is a bit Laodicean.


  5. You left out one important thing. UDG had another condition: no electronic devices, no surveillance. This was violated.


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