Summa Contra Andrea Cionci, Plan B, and the Ratzinger Code

December 14, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – Over the course of its history, Roma Locuta Est has published various “summas,” i.e., compilations of Roma Locuta Est articles on specific topics of interest. These “summas” are intended to collect in one place related articles to serve as resources on these topics. To date, a half dozen or so of these have been assembled:

  1. Summa Contra Stephen Walford (rebuttals of various articles and the book authored by Stephen Walford)
  2. Summa Contra the BiP Theory (Why Benedict XVI is NOT the pope) (rebuttals of the argument which alleges Benedict either intended or mistakenly botched his resignation so as to make it invalid)
  3. The Case against those who claim “Benedict is (still) pope”
  4. The Conclave Chronicles (Articles on the 2013 Conclave, Theodore McCarrick, and the “Influential Italian Gentleman,” potential skullduggery, and the question of Jesuit vows)
  5. The Summa Contra Dr. Mazza
  6. Summa Contra the Francis-Apologists

Now, to these “summas”, Roma Locuta Est now adds another: “The Summa Contra Andrea Cionci.”  

Mr. Andrea Cionci, an Italian journalist, has for some time advanced a theory which asserts Benedict intentionally submitted a resignation that was canonically meaningless. Cionci alleges this was all part of Benedict’s “Plan B”, whereby through this ‘fake’ renunciation, Benedict either resigned only the doing of the papacy — if that is canonically possible, or — if that is not possible – his resignation was canonically meaningless (i.e., because one cannot resign only the “doing” of the papacy), and thus void. Regardless of which of these two ways one looks at the question from the Benepapist perspective, Benedict retained the papacy.   

In addition, Mr. Cionci claims Benedict communicates this reality to the faithful even to this day via a “Ratzinger Code” whereby whatever he says has both a bland superficial meaning intended for the masses, but which really has a true underlying meaning intended for the knowing faithful which communicates the reality, i.e., that he is still pope.  So, when Benedict said, for example, “I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff”, which should close the question of the validity of his renunciation, Mr. Cionci objects and provides another explanation of what Benedict really meant by saying this. I will save a discussion of that for the articles below, but will here only note Cionci claims Benedict’s real meaning is not that he is “no longer the Supreme Pontiff.” 

In the end analysis, Cionci and the other Benepapists who promote this theory are engaged in gnostic nonsense which simply demonstrates their cognitive dissonance. Various arch-Benepapists, to one degree or another, hold to this sort of interpretation of Benedict’s Declaratio, and alleged veiled-manner of speaking, including Estephania Acosta, and now Patrick Coffin.

Roma Locuta Est has written several articles rebutting Andrea Cionci’s thesis related to Benedict. These rebuttals may be found in existing broader collections of articles against the Benepapists found on this blog, such as the Summa Contra BiP or the updated The Case against those who claim “Benedict is still pope”.  In addition, my recently published book, Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, addresses all the major forms of Benepapism, including “Plan B” and the “Ratzinger Code.” However, since the publication of the book, I’ve authored some additional articles on the subject, which are included below. 

Given that both Mr. Cionci’s views are ‘unique,’ and Roma Locuta Est’s existing critiques of Cionci’s thesis continue to draw a lot of traffic, it seemed that the creation of a new “summa” seemed to make sense to create a handy index of all Roma Locuta Est related articles that touch upon on this topic for interested readers:

  1. Benedict’s Plan “B” from Outer Space
  2. Benedict’s Plan B from Outer Space – the Sequel
  3. Regarding Benedict’s Declaratio
  4. Regarding the “Ratzinger Code”
  5. Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”
  6. A Response to Andrea Cionci and his “Ratzinger Code”
  7. Lumen Gentium Destroys Benepapism in Toto
  8. Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Faulty Logic, and Faulty Comprehension with Respect to Canon 17
  9. No, Patrick Coffin, Benedict is NOT “our pope”

Roma Locuta Est will continue to add to this list as warranted.

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).

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