PopeWatch: Anti-Pope?

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PopeWatch is breaking Thanksgiving hiatus for this post.  Thanks to co-blogger Bob Kurland who brought this to the attention of PopeWatch:

In an important interview that was overlooked last month, a Vatican theologian said that unless Pope Francis corrects himself and reaffirms Church teaching on morals, the faith, and the sacraments, “the apostasy will deepen and the de facto schism will widen.”

To address the current crisis, he suggested that an examination of the “juridical validity” of Pope Benedict’s XVI’s resignation was in order to “overcome problems that today seem insurmountable to us.” The theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was implying that further study of the situation could reveal that Francis is not and has never been a valid pope, but is, in fact, an antipope who could be removed from the papacy, thus nullifying his “insurmountable” errors.

Msgr. Nicola Bux, a former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Benedict XVI, made the remarkable comments in an in-depth interview with Vatican reporter Aldo Maria Valli, the same reporter who interviewed Archbishop Carlo Viganò before he accused the pope of covering up clerical sexual misconduct in a stunning eleven-page letter back in August.

Go here to read the rest.  Was Pope Benedict forced out against his will?  PopeWatch doubts this was the case, but if it were, then the resignation would be null and Pope Francis would be an anti-Pope.  Half a decade later, with the Pope Emeritus still alive and kicking, the given reason for the resignation, ill health, looks more dubious with each passing day.  Was Pope Benedict subject to black mail?  Considering  what has gone on at the Vatican during this pontificate, PopeWatch would put absolutely nothing beyond the gangsters currently at the head of the True Faith.  Unpleasant thoughts right before Thanksgiving, but reality is always best dealt with straight on, something sadly lacking in the Church currently.


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  1. “Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.” -St. Peter Damian

    St. Peter Damian, pray and help the Church of Christ on earth to do what is right in the sight of God.

  2. My one comment about “uncle ted” is indecent. So let us leave it at that.
    Defrock “uncle ted”. Letting “uncle ted” spend his life reliving and enjoying his crimes against innocents is a crime.

  3. The Classical jurists distinguished between Vis or compulsion, where the action is involuntary, as where goods are washed overboard in a storm and Metus, involuntary in itself but voluntary in preference to given alternative and so desired and chosen at the time, as where goods are thrown overboard in a storm to lighten the ship.

    So, where goods are washed overboard, the loss falls on the owner, but where they are thrown overboard, the loss is subject to a general average contribution, by those interested in the ship, freight and cargo.

    Acts done metu are valid as against 3rd parties acting in good faith.

  4. It seems to me most likely that Benedict did resign of his own volition, so that avenue is a dead end. A more profitable path if inquiry might be consider whether or not the actions of the so-called St. Gall[en] mafia render Francis’s election invalid.

    But that’s a rocky, weedy, overgrown path not to be lightly trod.

    The one thing I’m one hundred percent sure of is this: Nothing good comes of a Pope resigning.

  5. Defrock “uncle ted”. Letting “uncle ted” spend his life reliving and enjoying his crimes against innocents is a crime.

    If that in fact is how he’s living his life of prayer and penance, the punishment in store for him is far worse than a mere defrocking.

  6. JFK….. agreed!

    The church survived the scandalous times of St. Peter Damian…. the church will survive this current infestation of wormy clerics… regardless of how high the worms have crawled.

    That we can be sure of.

    Jesus is our King. Imposters be damned!

  7. I think Benedict’s health claim is…dubious. Nothing in Tradition (or tradition) mandates that a pope be a high-energy globetrotter, and he of all people knows this. He could have spent his last years puttering about the Vatican gardens issuing the occasional missive or more authoritative document. That worked fine for Leo XIII.

    That said, I think the idea that a papal election can be nullified by corruption is really, really, really dubious. The “Pornocracy” of the 10th Century saw the Church electing valid (if awful) popes, as did the Church in the simoniacal decades before and during the early Reformation era. And then there is the existence of the secular “veto,” which allowed the Habsburgs to negate papal elections if an objected-to candidate won–see the Conclave of 1903.

    There is no question the members of the Saint Gallen Mafia violated positive church law in 2005 and 2013, possibly even excommunicating themselves. But excommunicates can cast valid votes. The Church as a whole accepted and recognized the election of Jorge Bergoglio as pope, which is an important ecclesiastical fact.

    So I don’t see any way to challenge the validity of the 2013 Conclave. However, the fact that this pope has issued decrees which are impossible to square with the unchangeable magisterial teachings of the Church is another matter entirely. This puts us in the uncertain theoretical waters of what to do if a pope appears to manifest heretical positions and does so obstinately. At some point, the Church has to be able to resist a wayward pontiff, lest the Faith be reduced to an institution of pure human positive law vested entirely in the person of the reigning pontiff.
    As Peter Kwasniewski said, the magisterium has to be “more than the reflecting pool of the reigning Narcissus.

  8. If capital punishment is the temporal punishment for homicide in the first degree, then defrocking is the temporal punishment for sodomy. If defrocking can save “uncle ted” from hell, and who is to say, then defrock McCarrick.
    Sodomy is NOT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Pope Francis has placed himself at the service of a lie.
    Can anyone believe that Pope Benedict XVI was free of pressure and blackmail by the Lavender Mafia and the dictator Pope? Sodomy is not sexual intercourse. Who has been free of the dictates of Francis?

  9. My wife made an interesting comment about all this. And, as a student of medieval history, she’s much more knowledgeable than I about Church history, I’ll put it forward. First, Benedict XVI will never acknowledge that he was forced to resign, so that avenue is out. Second, let’s assume that God would never permit a heretic to be Pope. There have been schismatic popes in the past, but not heretics. Accordingly, if someone presumed to be a pope issues heretical pronouncements, then it follows his election was invalid (the pre-conclave agreements of certain Cardinals?) and he should be disposed. How that might be done is another matter.

  10. I’m a student of (early) medieval history myself, and in my studies, I’ve found that the best way to depose a Pope is for the Holy Roman Emperor to march on Rome.

  11. Were it up to me, I wouldn’t defrock him. I would however degrade him to the order of the priesthood (assuming that’s a thing).

    The reason I am disinclined to defrock McCarrick is that as long as he remains under orders, he’s subject to canonical discipline, and young men are relatively more safe.

    Defrock him (or those like him) and he (or they), can simply go to work for the TSA.

  12. BK, don’t you think we should start by reconstituting the Holy Roman Empire first, and then find where Archduke Karl of Austria is hiding?

    I mean, we wouldn’t want this to turn into an underpants gnome operation or anything!

  13. The Hapsburg pretender is living in Salzburg. He’s had a series of positions over the last 25 years with international NGOs, most of which look like wheel-spinning exercises. However, you go to war with the army you got.

  14. @ c matt;
    Barnhardt crazy?


    Trying to follow the logic wasn’t easy for simpleton here, but it looks like the office is still Pope Emeritus’. Or, at the very least, technically it is because of his official description of the resignation. (?)

    Many a barrister might be able break this down for junior to grasp it better. Or did I understand the line of reasoning?

  15. Bugnolo’s reasoning boils down to wishcasting: sloppy grammar and statements about retained munus mean that Benedict did not properly resign and thus he’s still the pope.

    Thus, Christ didn’t accept the resignation, either. How Br. Bugnolo ascertained that is not easily discerned from the wall of verbiage.

    The bottom line is that some alleged technical defects–regardless of Benedict’s stated and obvious intent and the Church’s reaction to it (holding a conclave and all that)–means that there was no valid resignation despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

    That argument does not fly. It cannot limp. It is incapable of extending an amoeba’s pseudopod.

    If sloppy verbiage invalidated ecclesiastical acts or statements–regardless of how the Church reacted to and applied said acts or statements–then Katy bar the door! We have to deploy the Latinists posthaste to comb through the record to see what else never really applied. Because that’s what Br. Bugnolo’s hypothesis demands.

    Look, as I said above, I think Benedict’s stated reasons for resignation look more dubious by the day. It is easily provable that bad men conspired in violation of positive ecclesiastical law to elect Jorge Bergoglio pope. But said facts (with nothing more) do not invalidate either the resignation of Benedict nor the election of the atrocious Francis.

    I would like to be able to snap my fingers and erase the past five and a half years of error, corruption and extralegal fraud. But it is not that easy. The Church will have to drink this miserable draft to the dregs. Granted, there might not be much of her left by the time it is done, but God has a history of dealing that way with those who stray from His Covenant.

  16. “Granted, there might not be much of her left by the time it is done”

    I doubt that. The great disaster of the Reformation set in motion a rebirth and renewal of the Church that endured for centuries. May God, in His goodness, use the current evil and folly for the same end. The Church has not endured for twenty centuries to see all that faith and work and love undone in an historical instant.

  17. Thank you Dale Price.
    I appreciate your opinion.

    The Lavender Mafia pressuring Pope Emeritus I presume..(?)

  18. Pope Francis and his acolytes’ religion is secular progressivism, and their theology is sloppy. That is a paraphrase of a sentence I saw elsewhere on the www. To wit, communism is a religion with sloppy theology.

  19. I assume Benedict resigned because the the stress of the job, physical, mental and spiritual, was killing him, and would have killed him had he not resigned.

    And thus Pope Francis would still have been elected Pope at some point in the previous five years.

  20. “And thus Pope Francis would still have been elected Pope at some point in the previous five years.”

    Not necessarily. Conclaves are creatures of the moment and are very influenced by the constant flow of events. Additionally, Pope Francis in 2013 was getting ready to retire. The Conclave of 2013 was probably his final chance to be Pope.

  21. But that’s just it, Dale – can he retain the munus, or whatever, and how much sloppiness in verbiage is allowed before an act is invalid? The rest of what you point to (the Church’s actions afterward, Benedict’s reasons for resigning, etc.) do not validate an act that is invalid ab initio. Why the strange verbiage to begin with? It may be ultimately determined that there was no attempted bifurcation of the office, I don’t know. But looking into it can’t hurt.

  22. I think the idea that a papal election can be nullified by corruption is really, really, really dubious

    But that is not the Monsignor’s argument. To be nullified, the election would have had to be valid to begin with. His argument is that Benedict did not validly resign, thus the election of Francis was void from the beginning, even if the election had been carried out in a pristine manner by living saints. The SGM angle is irrelevant (to this particular argument).

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