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Some Thoughts on Taylor Marshall's Podcast: "Pope Benedict Resignation 7 Years Later"

Today, Dr. Taylor Marshall did a YouTube video called "Pope Benedict Resignation 7 Years Later: LIVE Rosary PLUS Q&A (500th Upload)." The Catholic Monitor is going to analysis the video post and then give a transcript of part of the post.[

Here are some thoughts and comments on his video:

1.        Marshall demonstrates familiarity with the munus/ministerium controversy.  Why has he been suppressing the subject up until now?  It isn’t news to him.

2.        Marshall implicitly dismisses the invalidity question by calling it “very popular right now,” as though being popular means being shallow and misguided.  But what argument does he put forward—what argument has ever been put forward by anyone—that Francis is the Pope, except that he is popularly believed to be so?

3.       Marshall infantilizes those who question Francis validity by using terms like “real Dad.”  We are not intellectually children.  There are serious arguments to contend with here, not the emotional issues of youngsters growing up in dysfunctional families. 
4.       Who says Ratzinger couldn’t be the Worst Pope in History?  What does that have to do with anything, anyway?  Why does Marshall invoke this caricature as though it has any probative value?

5.       Whether Ratzinger is a “lame” theologian or not has nothing to do with whether or not his resignation was written in a canonically acceptable way.  How lame of a theologian is Marshall himself, not to know or to admit this? 
6.       The argument about Ratzinger doing this on purpose does not hold that Ratzinger is lying to anyone.  Rather, it holds that the subtle distinctions in the resignation were designed to bring about a certain canonical effect.  The whole line of argumentation about the “end justifying the means” is completely irrelevant here.

Transcript of Taylor Marshall’s February 11, 2020 Podcast:
From about 1:29 to about 9:40

Today we’re gonna talk about Benedict, talk about the resignation, and we’ll pray the Rosary . . . for me, this is a day of mourning.  It is a day in which a Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, quit.  He stepped down, in a moment of greatest crisis, a moment of . . . this stuff has been going on for decades.  And all of us, you and me, we were in the dark.
But Benedict wasn’t.  Ratzinger’s been in the game . . . since the early 80s.  He knows what’s going on, and yet he walked away.
The reason I find this so scandalous is, it’s not like, when you think about a father who abandons a family, you know sometimes there are men who father children and they’re alcoholics and they’re heroin addicts, and they were raised poorly and they just . . . don’t have anything to give.  It would take a very radical change in sobriety and just a complete 180 for them to be the fathers they need to be.
But I think all of us would agree that Joseph Ratzinger wasn’t that kind of father.  He wasn’t a drunk, heroin addict.  He was a guy who was theologically trained at the best faculties and universities in Europe, he was right there at Vatican II; he knew all the players; he knew all the Nouvelle Theologie guys; he was a Cardinal; he was Prefect of the Holy Office, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; he was the closest confidante of John Paul the Second.
He knew all about . . .  the Legion of Christ; he knew about the Vatican Bank scandal; he knew about everything!  He was equipped.  He even knew to restore the Traditional Latin Mass in Summorum Pontificum.  He even lifted the excommunication of the Society of Pius X.  This is a father who was plugged in, and prepared by God to do something—and he walked away. 
I think that is the most frustrating and discouraging part of the narrative of being a Catholic at this time period.  We had Benedict XVI, and he quit.  He walked away.  And I’ve heard that the Congregation for the Clergy, that they are at record highs of priests asking for laicization, priests wanting to quit.
And why not?  If the Pope himself, the Vicar of Christ, quits, why wouldn’t a priest in the local parish say, “Well, I want to quit, too”?  And that’s the problem.  We can’t be quitters.
And Benedict knew he was going into this battle.  He said, when he was elected Pope, “Pray for me, that I don’t flee in fear of the wolves.”  He knew what he was up against—and he fled.
He fled.
And I take the lightning strike, here as a sign from God.  What else can it be?  Lightning struck the Vatican on February 11, 2013, when Benedict XVI announced to the world, “I am resigning the papacy.”
Now, just to remind everyone, February 11, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I remember, I was in Mass.  I was at a Traditional Latin Mass, and I remember the priest announcing at the Mass that . . . the Pope has announced that he’s resigning, and everyone should stay calm and we don’t know what’s going to happen, he hasn’t resigned yet.  I remember all that, and everyone being kind of in turmoil, and wondering, “What is going on in the Church?”
So this is in 2013.  February 11, he announced that he was resigning, and then in February 28, the resignation took effect.  That’s when he was no longer the Pope.
In his resignation note, it says that he has abdicated from the ministry of Saint Peter, of the Bishop of Rome, and he calls for a new conclave to elect his successor.
Now, before we pray the Rosary . . . I know there’s a lot of people, it’s a really popular movement right now, for people to say, “Well, Francis isn’t my real Dad.  Benedict XVI is my real Dad.”
But think about it.  From my point of view, the way I understand it is, Benedict had all the tools, all the knowledge, and he quit.  He fled for fear of the wolves.  But if you hold that his resignation on February 28, 2013, is invalid because he . . . does make a distinction—it’s arguable whether he does make this distinction—that he resigns the ministerium and not the munus, how lame of a theologian was Cardinal Ratzinger, that he couldn’t even write a valid resignation note of a paragraph or two?  How lame is that?  This would have to be “Worst Pope in History.”  Right?  So he’s either a quitter, or he was so ignorant, his theology was so bad he couldn’t even resign the papacy.
Now, another theory goes on out there which is more and more popular is that Benedict XVI is our real Dad; he’s awesome; he’s good; and he did all of this on purpose to purge the Church of Freemasonry, Communism, Modernism, etc.  But here’s the problem with that.
He couldn’t have created a false resignation and lied to Planet Earth and the Holy Catholic Church for seven years.  In Catholic theology, the ends do not justify the means.  He can’t be sitting there quietly saying, “At any moment now, I’m gonna expose everyone (sic).  I’ve pretended not to be the Pope for seven years, and sat by, and congratulated Francis, but I have this plan in my back pocket, and I’m gonna save everyone.”
That’s ridiculous.  That would truly make him the Worst Pope of All Time—that he would lie, in order to do this.
So, I don’t see any other way around it.  He’s a quitter, or he was so theologically inept that he couldn’t even resign properly, or he’s lying to the world and he’s gonna come and save us, and the ends justify the means—none of these are good.  None of these are good.
As I’ve said in the last year, probably the only person right now in the Catholic Church—besides the persons of the Divine Trinity, besides the Mother of God, the saints—the person on earth who could settle all those things and bring about clarity is Joseph Ratzinger.  He’s the one who knows everything.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the courageous Br. Bugnolo's important work and especially for his personal safety.  


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