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OPEN LETTER TO TAYLOR MARSHALL


Dr. Marshall, for many of us (myself included), your podcasts have been a source of enlightenment, entertainment, and—quite frankly—hope, during this very dark time in the history of the Church.  As someone who studied his way into the Catholic Faith, having the grace and the integrity to acknowledge the necessity of conversion from the Protestant sect to which you formerly belonged, you have not been content to rest on your laurels but have “put yourself out there,” launching the New Saint Thomas Institute and discussing current events sub luce aeternitatis.  Your willingness to deal with things the way they are, and not the way they would be if we were all painted on holy cards already, is refreshing and appreciated.

Accordingly, I am writing to you today in regard to your recent statements about being “open” to the idea that Jorge Bergoglio is not actually the pope.  For a person in your position, so much as admitting that possibility must require all the grace and integrity you have demonstrated in the past—and then some.  I say this not in the spirit of flattery, but in the hopes of spurring you to go even further in the search for truth upon which you embarked some years ago.

Either Bergoglio is the pope, or he isn’t.  The concept of objective reality, to which our minds must conform, is a philosophical prerequisite, so to speak, for acceptance of the Catholic Faith itself.  It is humility to recognize the existence of objective reality—not pride.

There seems to be a missing step, in other words, in the “rush to non-judgment” taking place among unapostasized Catholics, post-Resignation.  “It is not up to us, to say who is and isn’t the pope,” has become (rather conveniently)  the mantra of the day.  True—and at the same time, not so.  While the final determination may be up to the Church, no one is excused from the requirement of using his or her own rational faculties in reaching a determination on a matter so weighty.  If we all did so, and began to act legitimately on our determinations, what would keep things from changing for the better?

As a thought experiment, why don’t we apply this attitude to another issue—one we all tend to agree on?  What if someone were to say, “I am not a Supreme Court Justice, and therefore it is not up to me whether unrestricted abortion is the law of the land.  I have no opinion on the matter, and no responsibility to form one, either”?   Would we not reject such a stance as self-excusatory sophistry of the worst kind?  The fact that an ordinary person truly doesn’t have the authority to overturn Roe v. Wade does not excuse him or her from the responsibility of doing everything possible, regardless—namely, to understand that abortion violates the laws of God and man, to recognize that outrages against the rights of the Creator and one’s fellow man cannot be permitted to stand, and to demand that those who are Supreme Court Justices reach and respect this reality as well.

“Ah, but that is politics,” I can hear you (and everybody else) respond.  “That’s not how things work, where Cardinals are concerned.  The Church is not a democracy, after all!”  Of course not.  But it is not Nazi Germany, either.  The faithful are not required to behave like brainwashed tools in totalitarian systems.  On the contrary, God both wants and obliges us to use the gift of reason with which He has endowed us.  Is it possible to know who is the true pope?  First of all, let us agree that we are not excused from attempting to find out.  “But what can we do?”  In addition to keeping up the prayers we can exercise our rights and responsibilities as baptized Catholics, start demanding that others do so as well, and quit wimping out.

Secondly, I would like to address your own tendency--shared by other Catholic luminaries as well--to speak as though reaching such a determination is a matter of indifference, even if it is possible.  “Saints have disagreed about who the actual pope is; some have even been wrong!” runs the next stage of the argument.  (The name Vincent Ferrer is almost certain to crop up at this stage.)  It is telling, however, that this observation only cuts one way.  As currently wielded, it means that people who accept Bergoglio as the successor of Saint Peter will be justified if they turn out to be wrong in the long run, while people who question the Argentinian’s papal validity in the first place are bad Catholics, ipso facto.  You yourself, commendably, have backed off from this double standard markedly in recent days, but many others have not.

In the same vein let’s talk, for a second, about your treatment of Felix II in a recent podcast.  What struck me, as someone admittedly ignorant of the historical circumstances beyond what you stated in the presentation itself, was your selective application of “the moral of the story” to one side of the current conflict only.  OK, so there still exists some residual fuzziness about who was the authentic Roman Pontiff, or even (in some attenuated sense) whether there were “two popes at one time,” back in the day.  That doesn’t mean that comparable confusion exists right now, nor that an aberration can be retrofitted as the norm.  Maybe it is difficult to sift through the tangled theological and political intricacies of that all-but-forgotten episode.  Reading through Universi Dominici Gregis isn’t.  Why not draw the lesson that, because there have been antipopes before, there very well could be again?  It’s not impossible.  It’s not even unlikely, as Cardinal Pell did a stint in jail for knotting his eyebrows over.

Another big difference between then and now is, of course, Amoris laetitia Chapter 8.  Could it be that Vincent Ferrer made it to Heaven without getting the “pope quiz question” right because, at the time, it didn’t make any serious difference to souls—his own, or anybody else’s?  Before Bergoglio, deciding between one claimant to the papal throne and another was a matter of merely temporal, not theological, importance, since only the former archbishop of Buenos Aires has ever dared to insert situation ethics into the AAS, or change the Catechism of the Catholic Church to suit his own revolting, long-discredited ideological biases, or take issue with (you can’t make this stuff up) the wording of the Our Father itself.  L’eglise c’est moi!  I for one do not attempt to justify the bad example of John Paul II at Assisi and elsewhere, but between Veritatis Splendor and Laudato Si’ there exists an abyss like unto the one separating Lazarus resting in the bosom of Abraham from the Rich Man in torment.  Did Our Lady come down from Heaven and make the sun spin in order to warn everybody against Felix II?  She did not; and why not?  Maybe because he wasn’t worth Her time.

Speaking of Fatima, here’s another thing you guys always stop just short of taking into consideration.  When a person passes in front of a mirror, it is quite true that you can suddenly see two of them.  Problem is, reflection not only doubles; it also reverses.  If the Third Secret revealed that there will be more than one “Holy Father” in this sense, then according to the apparition’s own imagery, one of them—the one that isn’t the original--has to be exactly backwards.  Are you seriously going to contend that we have no way of identifying which man-in-a-white-cassock-currently-residing-in-Rome (Jorge Bergoglio or Joseph Ratzinger, take your pick) constitutes the perfect inversion of everything an authentic Supreme Pontiff is meant to be?

At the more practical level, I (among other Taylor Marshall loyalists) have been waiting a long time now for you to move beyond private judgment in your treatment of the Bipapal Arrangement.  I listen as often and as carefully as I can, and maybe I have missed something, but all I have ever heard you say about the munus/ministerium clash is that you have examined those arguments for yourself and have found them wanting.  Well frankly, every Protestant convert has to confront the fact that his or her own perspective simply isn’t, in the final analysis, the determining factor about anything.  I have a good friend, for example, to whom I often try to explain points of Catholic belief while she patiently identifies which ones she agrees with, and which ones are out of luck.  What I have yet to succeed in getting across to her is that her personal rejection of the Immaculate Conception, for instance, taints Our Blessed Mother not one spot.  What I am trying to say is that what you think, Dr. Marshall, doesn’t . . . well . . . matter.  If someone dares to opine that Ratzinger may still be reigning, he or she immediately runs afoul of the “Karens of Bergoglianism,” ever ready to issue the scolding reminder that “Francis” is “the Pope” whether we like it or nor!  Nobody ever points out, however, that there is a flipside to this very coin.  If “Francis” actually isn’t “the Pope,” then all the Karens in the world can’t make him one.

“But the Cardinals elected him!”  That’s the whole problem about antipopes, isn’t it?   If someone who isn’t the pope hadn’t been apparently raised to the papal dignity somehow, he’d hardly qualify in the first place.  The question is—how?   “But most of the Cardinals believe he’s for real, and they’re the ones who make the call!”  The private judgment of a Cardinal, or even a majority thereof, has no more bearing on the issue than yours or mine.  Even Princes of the Church have to conform their subjective determinations to reality, and elect popes in deference to canon law.

In the same way, everybody (and I believe I am correct in including you, Dr. Marshall, in this crowd) brushes aside the thought that Benedict might have resigned under duress by piously repeating his attestations to the contrary.  Have you ever seen “Charade,” with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn?  There is a classic scene in which Hepburn’s character tries to determine whether Grant’s character is lying, and he points out it’s nearly impossible to do so.  There are two kinds of Indians, according to him (please excuse the deplorable lack of political correctness, back in the day) a Truthful Whitefoot, and a Lying Blackfoot.  One always tells the truth, and the other always lies.  “Which are you?” she wants to know. 


“A Truthful Whitefoot,” he replies, with that winning and iconic but ultimately enigmatic smile.

Dr. Marshall, if Benedict XVI did resign under duress,  perhaps through fear inflicted by threats so horrific that you and I cannot make any informed conjecture about their magnitude, from which his prompt abdication and self-imposed lifelong silence constitutes in his mind the only possible deflection, then what do you expect him to say about it, afterwards?  “Pope Emeritus, did you freely resign?”

“No way, Jose.  I stepped down because only by doing so and then keeping quiet forever could I avert consequences too terrible to talk about, which is precisely why I’m mentioning them to you right now.”  Makes sense, no?  No.

In other words, Dr. Marshall, think for a second!  Benedict XVI would have to say the same thing about the “force or fear” question, whether he is being a “Truthful Whitefoot” or not.

Still, duress isn’t the only invalidating factor; it just seems to be the only one you ever talk about because, in your mind at least, it appears to be the most easily debunked.  What about the Daneels admission that the Sankt Gallen Mafia colluded to elect Bergoglio, in direct contravention of existing conclave rules?  The extra ballot?  The fact that no one seems to have dispensed the Argentinian Jesuit from his religious vows prior to March 13, 2013, making it impossible for him to have accepted the office even if elected validly?  What about Cardinal Burke’s perspective, expressed to Patrick Coffin and swiftly consigned to the Memory Hole, that it could probably be proven that Bergoglio is an imposter and that the only real drawback is the difficulty of collecting the evidence?  And by the way, has the Holy Spirit also decided that all of this is all above His pay grade, too--quietly giving up on His responsibility of protecting genuine successors of Saint Peter from teaching error in matters of faith and morals?  Or are we just going to continue moving the doctrinal and pastoral goal posts until all that was previously identifiable as “Catholicism” simply disappears, in deference to the insatiable Bergoglian appetite for globalist control, entirely?

I do not know the answers to all of the above, even if my opinion is just about as “revealed” as Qui Gon Jinn’s regarding whether or not young Anakin is supposed to bring balance to the Force.  What I don’t like is the effective suppression, by the relevant commentariat at large, of all such questions.  Please, Dr. Marshall, crack open the Overton Window a little more, if you really meant what you said about possibly being wrong yourself.  You speak with edifying clarity, authority, and erudition on many other matters pertaining to the ongoing crisis of our times.  Why not the one on which the rest may finally hinge?

Note: This was written by a good friend and one of the most intelligent persons I know. The Catholic Monitor is honored to post it.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Mass and the Church as well as for the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of the Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Comments

Aaron Aukema said…
I want to know why Dr. Marshall so easily rejects the FACT that munus and ministerium DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING!! Seriously, Canon Law distinguishes between the two terms, and he NEVER actually attempts to put up an argument on how they can be seen as synonymous.
Alexis Bugnolo said…
Someone should ask Taylor if he has ever studied Latin, let alone Canon Law.

Also, some one should ask him the ethical question of teaching as definitive something which you have never studied, especially in such a grave matter and dispute, when you own opinion is basically, Let's not pay attention to the documents and the evidence, let's approach this merely politically on the grounds that the Cardinals are always right in their majority opinons...

Mark Docherty said…
The "Karens of Bergoglianism" ... mic drop.

Can I re-post this?
Fred Martinez said…
Mark,

Of course. Always feel free to re-post anything from the Catholic Monitor. Thanks for all your great work.
Unknown said…
There are great minds and great arguments on both sides of this issue. One side has the truth and the other does not. Do both sides want to know and conform to the truth? Is the issue vital enough to find the truth? If so (and I presume all would agree on at least that), then we need a means of discovering the truth together as Christians. I propose a classical debate, or, better yet, a series of debates. The objective is to develop a cohesive demonstration, if, post the debate(s), one can honestly be produced, of Benedict's invalid resignation. The demonstration would be submitted to Cardinal Burke, together with the arguments and counter-arguments of the debate. The Cardinal would be requested to judge the matter either as worthy of further action or not. If not, a weighty summary would be requested as to where exactly the demonstration fails and why it is, in all probability, not the truth. The Cardinal has stated that an invalid resignation of Benedict has not been adequately demonstrated. Well, demonstrate it! A scholarly, classical debate may be just the ticket to producing an argument worth the Cardinal's time. Perhaps Taylor could use his professionalism and platform to make it happen with great efficacy! Will someone please request this of Dr. Marshall?
Anonymous said…
ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TAYLOR MARSHALL LEADING THE OPPOSITION

WHY IS EVERYONE A LEMMING WHEN IT COMES TO HIM
CRS said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexis Bugnolo said…
CRS,

I am constantly amazed how patently uninformed are those who use the word, Benevacantism. Its a word wonderful to hear in their mouths, because while they think it means something, it really means only at that they are ignoramuses pretending a Catholicism which exists only in the manuals of Kark Marx, Gramisci and Leonard Boff.

Michael Dowd said…
What's the issue? It seems to me that Dr. Marshall covered the questionableness of the of the Bergoglian papacy in his book 'Infiltration'. The only issue I see is Dr. Marshall lacks the courage to boldly state that Bergoglio is an anti-pope for fear he will lose audience and funding.

If one is to advocate for Christ one must except poverty.
Unknown said…
"...manuals of Kark Marx, Gramisci and Leonard Boff"

So we can call them: KaMaGraLeBo Bercatholics.

Ivan
Anonymous said…
I've dealt with Marshall on twitter. He has condemned those who think Bergoilo is an antipope. And he stews in his condescension.

Why do people look up to the Marshalls, the Skojecs, etc? We have dogma, we have history, we have the statements of the evil doers themselves. None of this matter. Bergolio is antipope, that is abundantly clear. Benedict's resignation letter is incomplete. Just read it. He still wears white. He gives apostolic blessings. He. Is. Pope.

Fr. VF said…
Taylor Marshall and Edmund Mazza. Benedict is Pope; Bergoglio is only Bishop of Rome. Obviously, this is YUGE!

https://youtu.be/bABWi2CoVlc
Unknown said…
Rationalise it any way you like, it still remains a fact that BXV1 walked away from the papacy and left us with what???
The Bear said…
Bears being lazy can’t be bothered with a bunch of Latin. What this Bear hasn’t seen is the argument he finds most satisfying, to wit:

ONE pope RESIGNING (an extremely intelligent and learned pope, by the way), under highly suspicious circumstances, and in such an odd fashion, and remaining on in a manner he can have no possible doubt is unprecedented, confusing to the faithful and just plain weird would be a mind-boggling event in the history of the Church all by itself.

But wait!

His “replacement” makes Pope John XXII look like the very pillar of orthodoxy by his wildly un-Catholic Magisterium of the Photo Op such as signing off on the Abu Dhabi Three Great Abrahamic Religions Worship Complex and Waterpark with the words “God wills the diversity of religions” (to pick only one scandal, if not heresy, from a list about which volumes have been written). Bergoglio would, again, just happen to be the single most destructive pope in Church history.

So, a Bear must proceed from, “hmm” to “grrr.”

So (for example) a Bear thinks, “To be charitable, that gentleman’s rifle may have accidentally discharged, sending a bullet ricocheting off Bear’s thick skull. Strange things do happen, after all.” But when three seconds later the Bear is shot again, TWO extraordinary, indeed unprecedented, events of great magnitude equal one Very Messed-Up Situation That Requires Courtesy Give Way to Sorting This Nonsense Out Immediately and Bearishly.

This is not canon law or even logic, but mind-boggling exceptions to recorded history do not happen at the same time and place. That’s what makes them “exceptions,” “historic,” “mind-boggling,” and wrong beyond a Bearish doubt. So, besides all the other very good arguments the Bear has seen that there still hasn’t been a “Pope Francis,” he adds one shot might be a curiosity. Two is an attack.

There’s an informal legal standard of argument known as the “straight face test.” Dr. Marshall’s—I’ve seen his shows and like him—half-hearted, hang-dog defense of Bergoglio does not pass the straight face test and I have never read a witness if he doesn’t know this old Bear is right.
Michael Dowd said…
It is heartening to see that The Bear is Back with all his wit and erudition calling 'em and he sees them. Thanks Bear. I noticed you are no longer St Corbinian's Bear. What's up with you now?
The Bear said…
Mostly mending after a Good Sabearitan act went horribly wrong January last year then falling into the hands of vivisectionists. No more shall the Bear chase fat ponies, Glory to God.
Michael Dowd said…
Thanks Bear. "Good Sabearitan act" sounds like the basis for, if not another novel, at least a short story.
Michael O'Hearn said…
NB St. Corbinian helped to evangelize Bavaria, so the Bear may be biased toward one of the subjects of this debate, if his or her animal ethnicity is taken into consideration. As a former law practitioner, I was taken in by Ed Mazza’s supposition that the Petrine office is somehow separable from the bishophoric of Rome following the civil law analogy propagated by Carl Schmitt having to do with a state of extreme necessity. As was pointed out in the discussions with Taylor Marshall, Ratzinger and his confr√®res in the German theological school used Schmitt’s argument as a backdrop to ideas about papal supremacy. As Yogi Bera once opined about what to do when one comes to a fork in the road, these German theologians including Ratzinger considered possibilities not unlike the political circumstances in the Church which eventually led up to the attempted, invalid resignation of Benedict XVI.

By this point it is clear to all serious periti that Benedict is Pope and Francis is Anti-Pope. As Pope, Benedict could no renounce the bishophoric without giving up the papacy as Taylor eloquently points out citing numerous Church Fathers, popes, theologians. Taylor has the right idea and is under no obligation to show his cards in the ongoing disputation. Anyone who has ever studied ecclesiastical Latin knows that munus and magisterium are not interchangeable terms.
Michael O'Hearn said…
Brother Alexis has done a heroic service in researching this topic from the Roma point of view. While I am in agreement with his conclusions as to what prompted Pope Benedict to step down, there is one small error in one of his enquiries. Requiescat en pacem Father Georg of Bavaria brother of His Holiness. Their great uncle Georg was also a good Bavarian priest. Prior to their generation, unless I overlooked something there was no connection with Tirolo now located in northern Italy. The Tyrolian lineage is from their mother’s family of Peintner who at some point settled in Bavaria. No evidence of the Ratzinger ancestry from Tyrol in prior to that. In fact, the name itself derives from the town of Ratzing in Bavaria near the Inn River. Not coincidentally perhaps, the German Fuhrer was born on the other side of that river in the state of Austria. Thus it is not surprising that Benedict in a brilliant strategy has outed the crypto-Nazis of the Sankt Gallen Bergoglian faction including Bergoglio himself. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Michael O'Hearn said…
I stated on my blog Western Perspective back sometime in February that Benedict’s appropriation of the designation Pope Emeritus is quite in keeping with his intent to renounce the episcopal office and See of St. Peter. Now it appears also to be what he himself relates as being his intent in the interview with Peter Seewald in April. The lesson from history is what happened to Pope Celestine after he left Rome. One could make the case that Celestine also continued with a “spiritual dimension” of the office whether he liked it or not. Benedict certainly did not want to make the same mistake. History will have to reveal whether Benedict was under duress from an external threat. However, as things stand today the ordinary meaning of his written statement clearly indicates that he did indeed renounce the Bishophoric of Rome, and therefore the Papacy.
Michael Dowd said…
I agree with Alexis Bugnolo. And whether or not you buy the Benedict faulty resignation argument you should agree that Bergoglio is no longer the "Pope" because he is a blatant heretic.
Michael O'Hearn said…
Having the mandate of being vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict said that he received an inspiration from God in 2013 to continue with a life of prayer as I recall. You are right brother that this pertains to munus. My Latin instructor pointed out clearly the meaning of office, when I was at Holy Apostles seminary in Connecticut on my own spiritual journey many years earlier. Benedict’s statement was not based on a mistake. He did give up the ministerium in the sense of active role because it was what God wanted, not because of a clerical error, no pun intended. Because of the financial corruption at the Vatican and Cdl. Pell’s oversight, Benedict was well aware that evil figures were plotting against him. Regardless of the unlikely probability of an untimely demise which would have resulted in disaster, Benedict apparently chose a more prudent path based on the spiritual vision. By actually keeping for himself the munus which goes along with the episcopal See of Rome, this invalidates the subsequent Conclave and election of Bergolio whether or not he is guilty of heresy. Deus vult.
Anonymous said…
To the extent that the argument that Benedict XVI still holds the papal office while not the ministry is based on his intent, it cannot stand or prevail. His resignation letter clearly evinced an intent to resign the papal office in that he called for a conclave to assemble shortly thereafter to replace him, something he would not have done had he intended to step down from active ministry only while still retaining the office. To my knowledge, there is nothing in canon law prescribing a conclave to choose one to engage in ministry only, apart from the assumption of the duties of the papal office. Hence by calling for a conclave to elect a successor, Benedict XVI intended to step down from the office itself, not ministry only.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous,

Good try, but intent to resign does not a resignation make. Try reading the Canon, 332.
Michael O'Hearn said…
The “resignation’ of February 11, 2013 was of the active exercise ministry, made clear by Pope Benedict during his last papal audience on February 27, 2013 In the same paragraph, he announced that he has kept the service of prayer within the enclosure of Saint Peter. This essentially the munus is the Petrine office, or what it means to be Pope.

He did mention in the Declaratio of February 11 that he was renouncing the ministerium “in such a way” so as to necessitate the convocation of a Conclave. Who can say that he was not speaking of a future Conclave to be convoked after his (Benedict’s) own death? He did not prima facie renounce the Petrine office as a matter of law, only the active ministerium. Since there was no sede vacante, the Conclave which elected Bergoglio was illicit. Bergoglio is de facto a usurper.
Anonymous said…
I posted a response to the commenter who said: "Good try, but intent to resign does not a resignation make. Try reading the Canon, 332." It appears to have been deleted. I'll recreate it, lest anyone think that Canon 332 actually supports the notion that the resignation was not as I said.
******
In partinent part Canon 332 reads as follows: "§2. If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone."

Pope Benedict XVI issued as resignation letter on February 10, 2013. In pertinent part it references his intent to resign "in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."
NOTE. The See of ST. Peter will be vacant. And a conclave must be convoked to determine his successor. The intent is to step down from the papal office. If not so why the anticipated need to convoke a conclave?

The point is unanswerable, which may explain why my prior post was taken down. Benedict XVI intended, per Canon 332, to step down from his papal office. That was all he needed to do. That he mentioned that doing so would result in a vacant of "the See of St. Peter" AND that a conclave would be needed to select a successor, destroys totally the notion that he intended to resign and/or did in fact resign a "ministry" only and not an office.

Put it to bed. Benedict XVI is no longer Pope. We have one pope, like it or not, approve or not. Pope Francis. If you think otherwise, ask yourself honestly: IF you approved of his successor; had he been one fully supportive of everything you wish our Church to be, would you still insist that he was NOT pope?


Anonymous said…
Anonymous,

If you are going to base your argument on Canon 332, then you have to quote the Latin, not the English, because the English is the opinion of the translator, the Latin is the binding legal text.

So try again. Benedict never renounced officium, either. So your argument is based on an error.

Sincerely,

Fellow Catholic
Michael O'Hearn said…
Part of the misunderstanding is that some rely on the canon law provision dealing with delegation of powers of office. Since Benedict clearly expressed his desire to renounce the ministerium of the Petrine office, they try to make it appear that he was delegating ministerial powers to someone. This has come up recently with regard to Dr. Mazza’s explanation of Benedict’s use of the term Emeritus as though this proves a heretical act.

In truth, as I have pointed out earlier, Benedict’s renunciation was merely a statement that as of a specified future date, he as Pope would no longer exercise the active ministry associated with the Petrine office. This neither ipso facto gives up the munus of being Pope, nor is an attempt to delegate powers. As stated above, Benedict later made clear the day before the renunciatory act went into effect, that he was fully keeping his “service of prayer” which is at the heart of the papal office “within the enclosure is Saint Peter”. Anyone who has never studied ecclesiastical Latin of course may find this difficult to comprehend. That is the meaning of munus which Benedict has clearly never renounced.

The problem with modern interpretation, particularly by those with a vested financial motivation, is the tendency to draw conclusions not apparent from the context itself. In this case, some make the wrong assumption that Benedict was designating the active ministry to some unknown entity. The Pope is the Pope. There is nothing requiring him to delegate anything when he says that he is renouncing active ministry effective such and such a date. Likewise, there is nothing contextually in the Declaratio requiring him to cease being Pope by virtue of his giving up the ministerium. It is not prima facie a renunciation of munus. In fact it is the opposite of such a renunciation. And more importantly, that Benedict saying such that a future Conclave will be convoked, is simply explanatory of how this stepping down process will necessarily unfold. Obviously, a valid Conclave to fill a seat can only happen when the seat is vacant. In this case, what could Benedict possibly have been referring to, except the Conclave to elect a successor after Benedict’s own death???
Anonymous said…
Commenter who said: "If you are going to base your argument on Canon 332, then you have to quote the Latin, not the English, because the English is the opinion of the translator, the Latin is the binding legal text."

Please! How pathetically weak. My English translation of the Code of Canon Law contains an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. That's all it needs to be cited authoritatively for purposes of commenting in response to this article. At this point I think you're trying desperately to avoid the issue, having realized that you have no chance of actually refuting the point, which is that Benedict XVI manifested a clear and unmistakeable intent to resign the papal office and effectively did so. You're simply wrong in claiming otherwise and I suspect you know that. Admit it. Or at least stop digging.
Fred Martinez said…
Anonymous,

You are close to being banned as was Steve Skojec for your name calling. Are you associated with Skojec? You sound like him. You know this an old post so most CM commenters are not going to tear you to pieces. One more name calling post and I am going to delete every post you made and block you.
The Bear said…
The Bear would rather defend Bruno Hauptmann and the Rosenbergs pro bono than decide who the pope is based on canon law, which is outside his area of expertise. While I understand the appeal of the argument, I can't go further than agree with my friend Michael Dowd that Francis has departed from Catholic teaching--he's a disaster. Does that ipso facto make him an anti-pope under canon law? I dunno.

Here's a question: assume ad arguendo, that Francis believes papal infallibility and the exercise of his ordinary magisterium are quaint superstitions along with all the rest of the Fatih. Does he retain those charisms in spite of his implicit rejection of them? In other words, is there any intent required in order to speak authoritatively? I'm not so sure that's an easy, "no, whatever he says on faith and morals is reliable because of Pope." One might call it "the Caiphas Rule," who, by virtue of his office prophesied unwittingly. However, while Caiaphas rejected the Messiah, I don't think he was going around telling everyone "you're all good, I'm not all that special." While I admit this is speculation, it's difficult to reconcile the idea of papal infallibility with his blatant indifferentism, or am I missing something?

I don't think Francis thinks he's infallible. In fact, I think he has demonstrated that the idea is utterly foreign to his Abu Dhabi 3GAR Complex and Waterpark. Whether he's pope or not, I can't say. But it seems to me the ultimate irony of Modernism is that he has sawed off the limb (branch of the Vine?) on which he sits. I would argue that whatever else one says, it is hard to argue his papacy is not self-nugatory.
Michael Dowd said…
Thanks Bear. We agree. Arguing about the legalities of "Pope" Francis status as Pope is a waste of time for the laity. However, his status as a teacher of Catholic truth is a matter of proper discussion as Catholics should, at least, be acquainted with what is and what isn't Catholic truth. In this regard Francis has a questionable record.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bear--Please place me on your mailing list for your blog. dowd@comcast.net
I value your common sense insights. Thanks, Michael Dowd
Servus said…
Is it plausible that Marshall is an Opus Dei gatekeeper to keep the “Francis is Pope” narrative going? The OD connections are definitely there if you go back to the early days after he says he converted.
PNF said…
I know that I might be stepping on some toes here because every good Catholic knows that only Church Fathers and Doctors are allowed to read the Bible.

But Daniel Chapter 11 is all about the Two Popes (kings) of the end times. Don't believe me? No need to take my word for it. Stay tuned. Benedict XVI will soon assert his papal claim and lead, with St. Michael and the Blessed Virgin, the remnant Church into eternal victory.

With his "Declaratio," Benedict XVI has employed a classic maneuver called the feigned retreat. Pray and await further instruction.
Anonymous said…
I reject the idea that Benedict XVI acted with duplicity and deceit when he resigned in 2013. I believe his love of our Lord Jesus is far too great and steadfast to engage in such alleged skullduggery.

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