Benedict names “always and only Pope Francis” in the mass

November 2, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – Over the last couple weeks or so, I commented on an unintended humorous account, as told by Br. Bugnolo, regarding Andrea Cionci applying the hermeneutical approach of his supposed Ratzinger Code to certain comments made by Archbishop Ganswein with regard to Don Minutella and Benepapism.  My article, and the link to Br. Bugnolo’s, may be found in a Roma Locuta Est article titled Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”.  This article, in turn, provoked a response from Andrea Cionci, which, in turn, led to my penning a rebuttal article.  My rebuttal, and the link to Cionci’s original article, may be found in a Roma Locuta Est article titled A Response to Andrea Cionci and his “Ratzinger Code”.  To date, Signor Cionci has not responded to the rebuttal.  I don’t think he will.

Now, as noted, these articles address some comments Archbishop Gänswein had made to certain priests regarding the Benepapist controversy.  However, there is one comment in particular that Gänswein made I’d like to highlight here, as I had not specifically addressed it in my other articles above.  The commentary below is part of Br. Bugnolo’s summary account of Gänswein’s statements made during a phone conversation with a priest associated with Don Minutella.  Bugnolo writes (emphasis added):

In summary, the phone call:  Don Minutella is a nut, theologically out of his mind. His book is not worth the paper it is written on. That Pope Benedict is totally faithful to Pope Francis. That he names not himself but Pope Francis in the Canon of the Mass. That there are errors in the Declaratio, but that it remains valid.  This communication was like a kick in the legs, to use a metaphor from soccer.  The telephone call ended by asking Father Gebhardt to seek spiritual counsel to avoid further canonical penalties.


Again, my articles above deals with this commentary, and the rest of Br. Bugnolo’s unintended humorous account of Cionci’s attempt to explain away the meaning of Gänswein’s comments regarding Don Minutella, et al.

The point though, in this article, is simply to highlight that here we have confirmation from Gänswein, as if we needed it, that Benedict clearly does not believe himself to be pope, as he “names not himself but Pope Francis in the Canon of the Mass.” Attempts to dismiss Gänswein’s words, or through any attempt to reinterpret them to mean anything else in light of a supposed Ratzinger Code are obviously desperate.  The whole “Plan B”[1] and “Ratzinger Code” house of cards has collapsed.

Indeed, in the actual video, Don Minutella said the Gänswein stated that Benedict does not name himself in the Canon of the Mass but “always and only Pope Francis” (“sempre e soltanto…“) [See video found here; time stamp 16:10 – 16:18]. Those Benepapists who believe Benedict XVI intentionally retained his Petrine office really have no good answer to this.  If Benedict believes himself pope, then why is he lying during the mass?

Recently, ad noted above, we have considered Cionci’s comical attempts to explain away some of what Gänswein said to the 8 priests (see Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”) as well as Cionci’s nonsensical attempt to defend his position on “Pontefice Sommo”[2] even after conceding the truth of my counter-evidence (see A Response to Andrea Cionci and his “Ratzinger Code”), but if he offered a “Ratzinger Code” explanation of Benedict naming “always and only” Francis in the mass, I have not seen that in any article to date.

Now, by coincidence, on Ann Barnhardt’s site, she recently entertained a question from one of her readers as to whether it was okay to go to a mass where a priest names Francis in the canon of the mass (see here). Ms. Barnhardt answers in the affirmative, and states her reasons.  But neither the original question or Ms. Barnhardt’s answer consider what Benedict does. Whether she does elsewhere, I don’t know.  Regardless, the difficulty remains that Benedict names “always and only” Pope Francis in the mass, and not himself.  For those believing Ms. Barnhardt’s “substantial error” theory — a theory, and its variants, already back on its heels; this undermines any theory which alleges Benedict still believes himself pope in some way alongside Francis because Benedict “always and only” names Pope Francis.

On what grounds can Benepapists credibly attack those who accept the validity of Benedict’s resignation? The obvious question here is, if Benedict does not believe himself pope, why should anyone else?

In sum, the last couple of months of September and October have been rough for the Benepapists. The nonsensical attempts to apply a Ratzinger Code have been exposed, and the outright contradiction of the Plan B theoretical construct (i.e., if Benedict names Francis in the mass, Benedict cannot believe himself pope as the Plan B theory alleges). On all of this, again, see my recent articles Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes” and A Response to Andrea Cionci and his “Ratzinger Code”; and for more detail on the exposure of the Ratzinger Code and other Benepapist theories, see Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict – The Case Against the Benepapists.

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. He has written apologetic articles, and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms; and of Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI(Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at  or (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, TruthSocial, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


[1]  I have previously addressed Benepapist theory of a “Plan B” in the following articles, including: Benedict’s Plan “B” from Outer SpaceBenedict’s Plan B from Outer Space – the Sequel; and The Case against those who claim “Benedict is (still) pope”.  Plan B and the Ratzinger Code is also addressed even more thoroughy in my new book: Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict – The Case Against the Benepapists.  See Chapter 1, and Chapter 4.

[2] For background on the “Pontefice Sommo” controversy, see Regarding the “Ratzinger Code”; and for even more detail and examples for my rebuttal, see Chapter 4 of my book:  Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict – The Case Against the Benepapists.

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