A Response to Dr. Mazza’s BiP Theory Discussion with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 3

May 29, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – This article is the third and final part of my rebuttal of Dr. Mazza’s BiP (Benedict is [still] Pope) position, as well as a general rebuttal of all BiP theories.[1]  Dr. Mazza’s position was outlined in an appearance on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Youtube podcast (see here), a position paper, and most recently an appearance on an Ann Barnhardt podcast (see #112) on which Mark Docherty also appears.  The outlines followed in this rebuttal has been as follows:

  1. A Response to Dr. Mazza’s BiP Theory Discussion with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 1” which will discuss evidence against Dr. Mazza’s thesis as found in Pope Benedict’s Declaratio, his last audience, and his motu proprio Normas Nonnullas; and John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis.
  2. A Response to Dr. Mazza’s BiP Theory Discussion with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 2” which will address Pope Benedict XVI’s final audience, and explain why it does not support any BiP theory.
  3. “A Response to Dr. Mazza’s BiP Theory Discussion with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 3” which will address Dr. Mazza’s appeal to Archbishop Ganswein’s May 2016 speech, which contrary to Mr. Mazza’s position, is evidence which does not, in the final analysis, support his thesis
  4. Addendum: Normas Nonnullas explodes Dr. Mazza’s BiP theory

This article, the third of the series, will now address the speech made by Archbishop Ganswein in May 2016.  I do not currently expect to add to this series.

Archbishop Ganswein’s Speech

 In May 2016, three years following Benedict’s resignation, Archbishop Ganswein, Prefect of the Papal Household under Pope Benedict, and until recently, under Pope Francis as well, gave a speech at the Gregorian in the Rome (see Translated Speech here). It was a speech which at the time raised many eyebrows among Vatican watchers, as Mr. Mazza in his position paper rightly observes: “Gänswein’s musings left many veteran Vatican commentators nonplussed.” This one speech, more than any other thing as I reckon it, helped launch the “Benedict is (still) Pope” (BiP) theory in all its ‘glory.’

I recommend the reader — who has stoically and heroically persevered with patience through this three part series — to take a look at the Ganswein speech (see Translated Speech here) if not already familiar with it. There are indeed portions that raise an eyebrow. For example, Ganswein speaks of witnessing Benedict’s “spectacular and unexpected step” (i.e., resigning to become “pope emeritus”), and then somehow, oddly, likens this decision to what John Duns Scotus had posited about the Immaculate Conception.  Here is the basic core of the problematic passages (emphasis added):

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 (als einen quasi gemeinsamen Dienst); as though, by this, he wanted to reiterate once 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 — as if he had only taken a step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy which he, by that step, enriched with the “power station” of his prayer and his compassion located in the Vatican Gardens.”

Before addressing some of the above elements of Ganswein’s speech, I’d draw the reader’s attention to the concluding remarks in Dr. Mazza’s position paper, which were also echoed in his appearance on the Dr. Marshall video podcast  [01:09:05]. I think his remarks nicely summarize the BiP punchline with regard to the speech:

“Or as Archbishop Gänswein (quoting Scotus on Mary’s Immaculate Conception) said: “Decuit, potuit, fecit.” It was fitting…God could do it, therefore he did it. In this case, so did Pope Benedict. If he truly separated Peter’s Primacy from the Roman See, then Gänswein’s gushings over Benedict’s maneuver, at last, appear apt: “profoundly transformed,” “extraordinary courage,” “daring,” “spectacular,” “unexpected,” “a new phase,” “turning point,” “historic,” “entirely different,” “never been a step like it,” “unprecedented,” terms that fall flat describing a simple bishop’s retirement—even a pope’s! Only a “Captain Kirk” “Kobayashi Maru” solution by Pope Benedict could justify the use of such superlatives while simultaneously answering all the criticisms of his “renunciation” and satisfying all the parameters of the “Pope Emeritus” controversy.” 

My thanks to Dr. Mazza for pithily crystallizing the point. But is what he asserts really true? Is it really true to say (emphasis added): Only a ‘Captain Kirk’ ‘Kobayashi Maru’ solution by Pope Benedict could justify the use of such superlatives while simultaneously answering all the criticisms of his ‘renunciation’ and satisfying all the parameters of the ‘Pope Emeritus’ controversy?” Elsewhere Dr. Mazza makes a similarly strong statement that (emphasis added) “There is only one explanation that satisfies all and it’s been staring us in the face for seven years.”

In other words, is it true that the one and only possible explanation for Ganswein’s “superlatives” and comments about Benedict and the “Petrine ministry is that Benedict believes himself to still be pope in some way? Is that the only possible explanation that makes possible sense? That is a strong statement to say there is only one explanation. The reality is, a great many of the critics of  Ganswein’s speech have lost sight of the forest for the trees, focusing as they do on the problematic passages apart from the full context of the speech. I, for one, do believe there is another explanation.  It is one that doesn’t require the accusation Benedict concocted a potentially heretical theory, or that he changed, or somehow altered the Petrine Primacy without telling us beforehand.

Unfortunately, Ganswein’s speech is the launching pad into the realm of BiP.  Benedict’s actions and words seem to be often understood — or rather misunderstood — first through it. However, I think BiP-ers have things backwards. Instead, if we are to understand what Benedict XVI did in his resignation and in his use of “pope emeritus,” then we must understand Benedict through Benedict, not Benedict through Ganswein. We must focus first on Benedict’s own words as pope, such as in his Declaratio, Normas Nonnullas, and his last audience. This we have done in Part 1 and Part 2 of this rebuttal thus far.

These documents do not demonstrate or support the claims of the BiP theory. All these cited documents, including the last audience, support the view Benedict fully resigned as Supreme Pontiff.  Furthermore, Benedict’s last audience does give us a sense of how he sees himself as a “former pope” – just as he called himself in his letters to Cardinal Brandmuller (discussed here).  Benedict does not claim to be pope in any real sense any longer.  Rather, he sees himself as a former or ex-pope (“pope emeritus”) who still retains the bonds of charity for his “sons and daughters” he came to know as pope — this is his ‘spiritual mandate,’ his ‘spiritual connection’ spoken of in his Peter Seewald interview (see here). In that interview, Benedict compares himself, as a former pope, to a father who has given up his worldly responsibilities as he grows old. Though Benedict resigned his office as universal pastor of the Church, the bonds of charity he felt and had for the flock (his ‘sons and daughters’ and ‘brothers and sisters’) remain, just like the “spiritual side of the fatherhood” remains for the father in the analogy in the Seewald interview.  This sentiment is present in Benedict’s last audience as pope as I pointed out in Part 2.

The above established, we can address Ganswein’s superlatives and “Petrine ministry” commentary. To understand Ganswein’s rhetoric, we must first understand the context of his speech — something I have not seen any BiP-er actually do. We must keep in mind that Ganswein’s speech was not given at some theological forum where we might expect special care and precision in language and expression. Rather, Ganswein spoke “at the presentation of a new book by Roberto Regoli entitled Beyond the Crisis of the Church — The Pontificate of Benedict XVI” (see here).

Usually, such retrospectives on a pope’s life and papacy are written after the pontificate when the subject is dead — something noted by Ganswein in his speech. However, on this occasion, the subject involved a living Benedict. Given Ganswein was quite close to Benedict, and still served him, it should not be unexpected this retrospective on Benedict’s life and work would be excessively flowery, effusive, and even full of panegyrical language of praise we might more expect to hear at a eulogy. But here, the speaker’s task was especially unique in that the subject was not yet dead [NB: I would not be surprised he was also mindful Dante had consigned the first pope to resign to the Inferno]! In this light, it should be understandable Ganswein, while singing glowing praise of Pope Benedict (of the past), would also paint a flattering picture of Benedict (of the present, and future), giving his post-resignation life as “pope emeritus” great meaning and purpose in the same panegyrical style. 

Thus, with this in mind, we might understand — even if we roll our eyes as we groan — Ganswein’s application of Duns Scotus’ axiom (“Decuit, potuit, fecit”) to Benedict’s decision to resign and become “pope emeritus.”  But even in saying this Ganswein still affirms a true resignation occurred from the Petrine office (e.g., “it was fitting, because Benedict XVI was aware that he lacked the necessary strength for the extremely onerous office).

Benedict said of himself in his last audience he remains “in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord” – i.e., not as pope. He says he “no longer bear(s) the power of office for the governance of the Church” – i.e., not as pope. However, in “service of prayer” he remains “so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter.” Thus, ‘so to speak’, or in a manner of speaking he continues his Petrine ministry — but not really as pope; but instead praying for those toward whom he formed a bond of charity – and they toward him – as a father for “sons and daughters” by having been the pope. Thus, in this limited ‘figurative’ sense he ‘participates’ in the Petrine ministry.  In this way we should understand Ganswien when he says “…Before and after his resignation, Benedict understood and understands his task as participation in such a “Petrine ministry.” Indeed Ganswein broadly defines the word munus (e.g., “service, duty, guide or gift, even prodigy”) and even puts “Petrine ministry” in scare quotes to signify he is using the term in a special, unique sense. Furthermore, Ganswein immediately affirms Benedict has “left the papal throne” — i.e., he is no longer pope. 

Next a BiP-er might point out  that Ganswein says Benedict  “has complemented the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi shared ministry,suggesting Benedict intended to be some sort of co-pope. However, it should be observed that Ganswein speaks only of a “quasi shared ministry,” i.e., shared in a qualified sense only. We have already seen how it can be said in a qualified way Benedict can be said to ‘participate’ in the “Petrine ministry” —  understood in something of a figurative sense. Following this reference in the speech, Ganswein references Benedict’s Coat of Arms and in a letter of the Apostle John to “fellow workers in the Truth” (cf 3 John 8). One can share a ministry of the truth without sharing the same office in any real sense, e.g., a layman can be a “co-worker of the truth” with a priest, bishop, or pope. 

Ganswein also affirms Benedict hasn’t “abandoned this ministry…” similar to when he says of Benedict that “…he has not abandoned the Office of Peter — something which would have been entirely impossible for him after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.” Both references are generally consistent with Benedict’s last audience, wherein he says: “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.”  Again, Benedict is remaining in a “new way” – i.e., not as pope, as he no longer bears the “power of office” to govern, but in the “service of prayer” he remains “so to speak,” i.e., in a qualified not equivalent sense.

And it is in this way we can understand Ganswein when he speaks of an “expanded ministry” immediately after saying “there are not therefore two popes.” It should also be noted that Ganswein makes statements which make it unmistakable Benedict is no longer pope at all.  Ganswein affirms Benedict “left the papal throne,” and speaks of him as having “stepped down,” and references Francis as “his successor.” He makes other references making it clear Benedict is no longer pope, e.g.: “I was present when Benedict XVI, at the end of his mandate, removed the Fisherman’s ring, as is customary after the death of a pope, even though in this case he was still alive!”  

Dr. Mazza in his position paper said of the Declaratio that “…the “key word” in that statement, as Gänswein first pointed out in 2016, “is munus petrinum.” However, it seems clear enough that beneath the superlatives and rhetorical flourishes of the speech, Ganswein in describing Benedict as “emeritus” was neither speaking of a real expansion nor even change in the “Petrine ministry” whether as “munus” or “ministero.” 

If Ganswein might be criticized for potentially troublesome or unguarded panegyrical praise of Benedict as pope and “emeritus,” he might be forgiven for being taken quite so literally on the occasion of a release of a book covering Benedict’s papacy. But, for those who want to interpret Ganswein’s talk of an “expanded ministry,” or a continued “participation” in the “Petrine ministry” in a real, strict sense; how then do these same folks interpret Ganswein when he says of the book’s author (Roberto Regoli) at the end of the same speech (emphasis added):

“Thus, this book once again throws a consoling gaze on the peaceful imperturbability and serenity of Benedict XVI, at the helm of the barque of Peter in the dramatic years 2005-2013. At the same time, however, through this illuminating account, Regoli himself now also takes part in the munus Petri of which I spoke. Like Peter Seewald and others before him, Roberto Regoli — as a priest, professor and scholar — also thus enters into that enlarged Petrine ministry around the successors of the Apostle Peter; and for this today we offer him heartfelt thanks. “

Ganswein says the author Roberto Regoli now takes part in the munus Petri! Ganswein even goes farther saying Regoli, Peter Seewald, and others(!) enter into that “enlarged Petrine ministry!” Where are our “Benedict is Pope” interpreters on this?  Is Ganswein speaking literally or figuratively of Regoli taking “part in the munus Petri?”  I will answer for them. Clearly, Ganswein is speaking figuratively of Regoli now also taking part in the “munus Petri,” and also when he says Regoli and the others have entered “into that enlarged Petrine ministry around the successors of the Apostle Peter.” But that of course is the point…that is how Ganswein should be taken throughout his speech regarding Benedict’s post-resignation participation in the “Petrine ministry.”  

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of the recently published Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA

Notes: 

[1]  Technically, these rebuttals are aimed at those BiP theories which allege one of the following: (1) Benedict’s Declaratio is either deficient by not being “properly manifested” in some way (canon 332.2); (2) Benedict fell into “substantial error” in his resignation in some fashions; or (3) Benedict in his Declaratio sought, either erroneously or without error, to remove the Petrine Primacy from the See of Rome.  My recent rebuttals do not address any claim that Benedict resigned under duress.  That said, I do not see any evidence this was the case, but would be happy to entertain any evidence offered.

 


22 thoughts on “A Response to Dr. Mazza’s BiP Theory Discussion with Dr. Taylor Marshall – Part 3

  1. I agree Steven. Your interpretation of Benedict’s resignation makes the most sense. Benedict resigns the papacy as he stated. There is no co-papacy. Benedict participates in the same way we all do, spiritually as a member of the mystical body of Christ. Again it totally unnecessary to make the case that Benedict is the true Pope in order to dismiss the actual and real papacy of Pope Francis. Francis has made the case for his own anti-papacy himself with his heresies and the general conduct of his office.

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  2. Dear Mr. O’Reilly,

    Although my time at U.D. was many decades ago, and even though I later pursued further studies in philosophy at other universities, I find your analysis very coherent and convincing, unlike others who have responded to your reflections.

    Moreover, you are meticulously attentive to the very words in different contexts uttered by then Pope Benedict that state his intention.

    Whether his resignation fulfilled, strictly speaking, the canonical requirements for resignation of the papacy without any ambivalences is another question.

    However, to fail to fulfill these requisites need not necessarily have been intentional, especially given the laxity in discipline and thinking that has come to prevail in the Church during the last half-century plus.

    Finally, Archbishop Ganswein’s utilization of the Scotist adage is itself disputable, since it may well be questioned whether what Benedict did was ‘fitting,’ no matter what he claimed influenced him to act thusly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Steve, I was there between 1965 or so until 1969, when I was in the Army for two years. After that, I went to Saint Louis University for a M.A. and later to the University of Salamanca for Ph.D.

        When were you there?

        Best regards.

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      2. There were still some of the original faculty there in your years, I’m sure, such as Frederick Wilhelmsen and some of the Cistercians, along with some persons in the history, politics and English departments.

        At any rate, I’m glad to meet you.

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      3. Well, Fritz and others in the philosophy department likely would be impressed with your analysis of what has and has not been said by all involved in the resignation of Pope Benedict. U.D. definitely inspired some of its grads to have wide horizons without getting blurring in their thinking.

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  3. I having been following the issue of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation over the past few years, having read Fr. Kramer’s thesis along with Ann Barnhardt and other commentaries on the issue,

    Besides the various issues and problems already raised, there is another glaring issue with Pope Benedict XVI resignation that has yet to be addressed, and this has to do with Pope Benedicts resignation announcement on Feb. 11, 2013.

    The papal office is not like a CEO position in some corporation. If Mr. CEO tenders his resignation for some future date — say in a month, all he has to do is clean out his office on that date and leave, and he’s done, and new CEO can take his place. The same would be true for some title or position a Bishop or Cardinal holds such as Secretary of State or one of the various dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Each of these various appointments is simply an disciplinary appointment to some function or authority in the Vatican, as there are no additional sacramental or divine powers beyond that of being a Bishop that comes with these appointments. This is not so with the Seat of Peter, which is a divinely instituted office that carries with it a divine commission and privileges from Christ himself over and above that of just a Bishop.

    It is clear from what took place when Pope Benedict announced his resignation on Feb. 11, 2013 in the declaratio, that this was an intent to resign at a future date, and not an actual resigning of the papal office on Feb. 11. This is so because Benedict was still the Pope the day after this announcement and for the rest of the month. Given this, one can conclude that his announcement on Feb. 11 amounted to an intent to resign at a future date (Feb. 28, 2013) and not an actual resignation on that day. The words and actions clearly show that is what the intent was.

    The issue then becomes whether Benedict actually resigned or left the papal office on Feb. 28, 2013 as he declared on Feb.11. I would maintain that simply cleaning out his suite in the Vatican and moving to a monastery on this date is not sufficient as in the case of the CEO. He still must resign the papal office — as clearly the previous statement amounted to only an intent to resign at a future date. This means that Pope Benedict was still Pope on Feb. 28, 2013 and still had to speak his resignation publicly on that date, which he did not do. The papal office simply doesn’t leave Benedict on Feb. 28 without some action on his part, as the Feb. 11 declaration was clearly an intent to resign at a future date.

    The Feb. 11 2013 declaration was therefore insufficient to resign the See of Peter. One can’t simple state that the papal office (divine commission and privileges) will leave me at a future date, without some action on that future date that completes it. One either actually resigns the papal office here and now, or he retains it.

    The issue also arises is that anytime between Benedicts declaratio on Feb. 11 and Feb. 28, he could have internally decided to not resign the Papacy, after all he is the Pope and could make that decision. And how would anyone know but him? This would create a serious situation of doubt by Christians as to whether Benedict actually resigned and whether he was still the Pope. No declaration about resigning the papal office, or See of Peter, was made after the Feb. 11 declaration.

    Given this we have no actual resignation of the papal office or See of Peter by Pope Benedict XVI, but only a declaration that the papal office will somehow leave his person on Feb. 28, without any subsequent actions on the part of Benedict. Again, simply stating the papal office will somehow leave his person on Feb. 28 or expire of its own volition does not suffice to resign the Seat of Peter and its divine privileges and prerogatives.

    So I say — no way, no how. Without an actual resigning of the See of Peter on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict still retains the papal office.

    This is one of the major problems with Benedicts resignation.

    Also, in Part 2, (regarding the Feb. 11 declaratio) there you stated … ” … To recapitulate briefly, in telling us the “See of Peter” is vacant, Benedict is clearly manifesting that by his renunciation the Chair of Peter is vacant. A vacant See of Peter means “no pope.”

    Not necessarily — what does the Pope mean by the term “is vacant?”

    The 3rd meaning of vacant on Merriam-Webster’s dictionary site is …

    “… free from activity or work : DISENGAGED”

    In the Pope Benedict XVI General Audience at Saint Peter’s Square Wednesday, 27 February 2013

    http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2013/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20130227.html

    … where Benedict states, regarding his acceptance of the See of Peter, and the subsequent resignation, he clarifies what he meant by his usage of the term “vacant,” when he stated the following …

    ” … In these last months I have felt my energies declining, and I have asked God insistently in prayer to grant me his light and to help me make the right decision, not for my own good, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity.

    … Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005. The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. …

    … 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. … ”

    So in his public audience of Feb 27, Pope Benedict states his intention to resign only the active ministry and not the Office of the See of Peter — a clarification of what he meant by vacant. This is the “novelty” that he speaks about in the previous paragraph and what he means by stating the See of Peter will be vacant. It’s right there — Pope Benedict XVI publicly states he only resigned (vacated) the active ministry of the See of Peter and not the papal office, or Seat of Peter.

    This resigning of only the active ministry, was alluded to in the Benedicts Feb. 11 Declaratio, where he stated …

    ” … … with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, …”

    So, Benedict simply renounced the active “ministry” of Bishop of Rome rather than the papal office.

    In conclusion, Benedict XVI is still the reigning Pope, and Francis’ election is therefore invalid. Pope Francis is an anti-Pope.

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    1. Lawrence, thanks for the commentary.

      I don’t see the problem with him in announcing a future date for a resignation. I believe some popes may have had pre-written statements of resignation that would be effective if certain conditions were met. But up until the actual effective date of the resignation, certainly….BXVI would have been able to withdraw his resignation. However…he did not. In fact…certainly on Feb 22 he issued an update to the norms of papal elections (Normas Nonnullas).

      As for what does “vacant” signify….I think it is evident if one says the See of Peter is vacant.

      As for the “active ministry” issue….that I think, is pretty much covered by the recent series of articles, and or those found in the compilation of articles (“Summa Contra BiP”) which can be found on my blog.

      So…in the end…I must disagree with you. But thanks for reading the articles, and sharing your view.

      Thanks.

      Steve

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Roma locuta est and silence fell, apart from the very emotional response* of brother Alexis Bugnolo, complete silence. ‘BiP’ protagonists recover after this knockout.

    * Fromrome.info / 2020/05/31 / steven-OReillys-theory-of-meta-signification /

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  5. You conclude anther great series about the former Pope abdicating/resigning.

    Sadly, you will not convince the Bullets Barnhardt Brigade which is an ideological movement because one can no more successfully correct an ideologue and get him to abandon his ideology anymore than one can use reason to correct the delusions of one who is psychotic.

    The ideologue will simply move on to another reason why BIP.

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    1. Vermont, thanks again for the kind words about the series.

      All folks should prefer to keep the focus on arguments rather than people no matter the issue at stake. I would not go so far as to say anyone on the ‘other side’ of this debate is ideological.

      In fact I think it is love of the truth that is a motivator for BiP-ers. They, like other concerned Catholics, see the problems with Francis — and we are seeking to make sense of it. They are motivated by a love by truth and love of the papacy as a divinely instituted office. However, ‘motivations’ alone do not make for good arguments. I think the “Francis” thing has generated a lot of confusion and smoke that is obscuring the fact set that is out there. If the BiP proponents had simply left it at ‘this is a possibility that should be explored, but I could be wrong’ I wouldn’t have had as much interest in the topic. However, they are overly dogmatic for the ‘facts’ they cite — and thus without intending it, are leading folks into potential schism. This will become a real problem upon Benedict’s and or Francis’s death(s).

      If these articles at least help others, at least one, rethink allegiance to BiP…I’ll consider these many articles worth it.

      Thanks again for reading the site and the articles.

      Steve

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  6. Matthew 13: 9-16

    It really is as simple as that.

    And then Luke 7: 18-23

    Sometimes answers are just not that complicated – with “eyes to see”; “ears to hear”. I believe God allows the simplest among us to understand the most important questions in this way. The educated couldn’t understand Jesus. The simple and the childlike could.

    There they both are – Pope 1 and 2. The second one is a demonstrable schismatic taking the visible Church with him.

    The Faith is in total collapse. Your answers for why are unsatisfactory. The visible signs are overwhelmingly against you.

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    1. Aqua, thanks for your comments.

      I believe you and me are in total agreement on the Faith appearing to be in total collapse. There are many reasons for it that go back a long way, but in recent years we have one cause in particular: Francis. I am sure we agree on that as well.

      Certainly if you read my blog, you know I am not blind or deaf to that reality. That’s where I’d agree with your citation of Matthew and Luke above — practicing Catholics see and hear something is wrong.

      The question is, how do we “explain” Francis–what is it that is wrong? Is he a pope who is a “favorer of heresy,” a material heretic, or a formal heretic? Or is he an anti-pope from the start?

      Like many average Catholics, I continue to ponder these things–but with regard tothe evidence we must be ruled ultimately by reason, not sentiment. On this blog I’ve offered and suggested potential answers — such as the question of his Jesuit vows, or exploring oddities surrounding the 2013 conclave (e.g., “the influential Italian man” articles). I still continue to try to research and investigate all these issues.

      I do see something is wrong with Francis…and it would be nice to have the definitive explanation to the questions above. But if someone is going to ask me to go down one these roads (e.g., “Benedict is Pope”) with confidence and gamble my eternal destiny on it; then they better have an excellent theory and sufficient evidence. BiP has none of this.

      Frankly, I wish BiP were true. I do. I looked at it closely when I first heard the arguments for it. Then I read the primary documents. I have concluded there is no “there” there. I’ve offered now over a dozen articles explaining why BiP fails.

      The Lord knows whether my arguments may indeed be “unsatisfactory” — but I did/do believe I have a moral responsibility to offer the reasons I reject BiP. I find the evidence lacking/non-existent, and I believe the path it places its adherents on is a dangerous one, that will become evident once Benedict or Francis passes away.

      God bless,

      Steve

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  7. [Luke 7, 20] “And when the men were come unto him, they said: John the Baptist hath sent us to thee, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another?
    …………….
    [[23] And blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me.”
    John the Baptist also expected the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth, and here he was, unblemished and holy, in prison when the messiah Jesus was active in Israel. Hence his doubt.
    After his resurrection, the Lord Jesus told His disciples about the Kingdom for 40 days, and in their naivety they asked Him whether the Kingdom would come now. He gave them an evasive answer, as did John the Baptist: [Acts 1, 6] “They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: ”
    The Lord gave such an answer, because the Church was to wait and pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God for another 20 centuries. The promised Kingdom will only come about now. Jesus revealed this to his chosen one, Luisa Piccarreta:
    January 29, 1919
    “My beloved daughter, I want to let you know the order of my Providence. Every TWO THOUSEND years I have renewed the world. In the first two thousand years I renewed it with the Deluge; in the second two thousand I renewed it with my coming upon earth when I manifested my Humanity, from which, as if from many fissures, my Divinity shone forth. The good ones and the very Saints of the following two thousand years have lived from the fruits of my Humanity and, in drops, they have enjoyed my Divinity. Now we are around the third two thousand years, and there will be a third renewal. This is the reason for the general confusion: it is nothing other than the preparation of the third renewal. If in the second renewal I manifested what my Humanity did and suffered, and very little of what my Divinity was operating, now, in this third renewal, after the earth will be purged and a great part of the current generation destroyed, I will be even more generous with creatures, and I will accomplish the renewal by manifesting what my Divinity did within my Humanity; how my Divine Will acted with my human will; how everything remaining linked within Me; how I did and redid everything, and how even each thought of each creature was redone by Me, and sealed with my Divine Volition. ”
    Yes, God the Father allowed the collapse of the Mosaic religion and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem so that Christ’s Church could exist. In the same way, God the Son allowed the fall of Christianity and the destruction of the Holy See, so that … the Kingdom of God on earth could occur.
    Below I paste my own text in which I describe the same thesis based on the prophecy of Saint Malachi, the Primate of Ireland.

    The ‘B&B16’ Duo
    The confusion that can be seen in the Roman Catholic church is not a crisis but an epochal breakthrough.
    The last papal decision of Benedict XVI led to the transformation of the Saint Peter’s Office into a synodal two-headed hybrid. Actually he dissolved – by virtue of power given to him by Jesus Christ [Matt 16, 19] – the same office on Feb. 28, 2013 at 8 p.m. (CET), so no he may already be a Roman Pontiff neither himself nor anyone else. This decision is irrevocable.
    The dissolution of the papacy does not mean that the gates of hell have overcome the militant Church [Matt 16, 18]. The Church will be reborn with the power of God as it was when the Mosaic religion degenerated into the form of the synagogue of Satan and Jesus Christ appeared to breathe new life into the Church of God and raise her to a higher level thrugh the Holy Sacraments.
    By the act of Feb. 10 (11), 2013, B16 released the keys of the God’s Kingdom that Christ entrusted to Saint Peter the Apostle. These Keys are the Apocalyptic Woman and the Paraclete; only now the Church will shine on the whole earth with full splendor.

    The end of the papacy in Rome is precisely described in the Prophecy of Saint Malachi (+ 1148), the archbishop of Armagh:

    ‘Gloria Olivae’ – Benedict XVI; the glory/finial of the Roman Catholic church are two olive trees [Rev. 11, 4], which will blossom only now at the end of times – the Paraclete and the Woman of the Revelation.

    ‘In persecutione extrema S.R.E. Sedebit’ – ‘S.R.E [Sancta Romana Ecclesia] is in a period of extreme persecution’ – this is the phenomenon of Jorge Bergoglio, the destroyer of the Roman Catholic church (especially of the College of Cardinals, the very top of the Church hierarchy). Bergoglio, aside from the B16’s dissolution of the papacy, as an apostate, could not be the vicar of Jesus Christ, and therefore Saint Malachi does not name his name among pontifices but only characterizes the effects of his actions.

    ‘Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur & Iudex tremendus iudicabit populum suum. Finis’. (“Peter the Roman will feed his flock in the midst of many persecutions, and when it ceases, the city of seven hills will be torn down and a terrible judge will judge his people”.)
    Saint Peter the Apostle was not a Roman (citizen of Rome). Peter the Roman is a Son of the Roman Catholic church (means a Roman) and is identical to the terrible Judge, the same as the Paraclete.
    The papacy in Rome was abolished definitively and irrevocably. What now? The fulfillment of this request addressed to God the Father for nearly 2,000 years: ‘Come Thy Kingdom, thy will be done, as in heaven so also on earth.’ The Kingdom of God on the earth, finally!

    The John Baptist’s dilemma, “Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another?”, will find a satisfying solution only in the disclosure of Paraclete now at the end of times.

    P.S.
    It’s good that Aqua gave a sign of life, because people were already worried about him.

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  8. Dear Mr. O’Reilly. To settle the matter, you and Bullets must have a fight/contest and the winner will be declared of being in possession of the right theory/explanation of BIP.

    Guns? Don’t do it. She has a pink rifle and because it is a girl color you’d be polite and let her go first and she is prolly a good shot.

    No, the fight/contest should be 25 push-ups, immediately followed by hitting a four iron onto a green 200 years away, over a lake, and protected on each side by cavernous bunkers.

    Because she is a girl, she’d get to go first and she will likely be aggressive as always and hook her shot into the water, costing her a stroke and distance penalty.

    One you see her do that, choke down on your four iron and punch your shot about 120 yards, leaving you a wedge onto the green. Easy Peasy win.

    After you hit your punch shot, don’t make eye contact with her or she may try and brain you with her four iron.

    Keep your head down, keep your backswing short of parallel to you shoulders and strike the ball firmly with aggression and keep your follow through short of shoulder level.

    Many will think I suggest this sort of fight/contest owing to chauvinism, but that is not the case. I suggested it because you surname makes me think you know hw to play golf.

    Keep your head down, Grip it and Rip it, and win one for right reason.

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    1. Vermont, I am a lousy golfer.

      But I do not regret it. I believe, as I have long said, there is something inherently un-American about a sport where low score wins. At least that is what I tell myself, as my score tends to be quite high.

      Still, occasionally, one of my drives, chip shots, or putts may still surprise. So, I can at least contribute to the effort in a best-ball team competition.

      Thanks for the laugh.

      Regards,

      Steve

      Like

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