Skip to main content

Marco Tosatti: "Edmund Mazza. Ratzinger’s Attempted Resignation: An Open Letter to Andrea Cionci"

Discussion Time Episode 12 - And That's Terrible! - YouTube


A civil war? That’s extending the situation more than a little.

Coinci takes the base premise (invalid resignation, Benedict XVI never stopped being Pope because he never resigned the Papal Office as required by Canon Law) and draws conclusions from it – new conclusions, expanded; not essentially different in any fundamental way. 

Discussion is not civil war. The discussions I’ve seen are interesting, civil, illuminating []

Edmund Mazza. Ratzinger’s Attempted Resignation: An Open Letter to Andrea Cionci

23 Maggio 2022 Pubblicato da  

Published today by Marco Tosatti:

Dear friends and foes of Stilum Curiae, we receive from Dr. Edmund Mazza this open letter directed to Andrea Cionci, in response to the article found at this link. Happy reading

On May 11th, Italian journalist and blogger, Andrea Cionci, addressed an open letter to me and Ann Barnhardt publicly disagreeing with our stated position that Pope Benedict likely committed substantial error in his 2013 renunciation, thereby invalidating it according to Canon 188 (and Canon 332.2). Cionci invited us to examine his research and adopt his view. Cionci, however, did not engage any of my arguments, he merely presented his own. He argues that Benedict did not intend to renounce anything, but to create an impeded see. He further claims that Benedict is speaking in coded messages for “those who have ears to hear.”

Since St. Paul and St. Thomas both prominently teach that fraternal correction is an act of charity toward our neighbor, I hope that Mr. Cionci will accept this public reply in that spirit in which it is offered. In saying this, I do not claim to be a “know-it-all.” I could be wrong about the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation. I have always maintained that I am merely presenting an hypothesis.

That having been said, in my estimation, the evidence is insurmountable that Pope Benedict intended to renounce something. (Specialists and non-specialists alike may differ on what that something was and whether he succeeded in his endeavor in the eyes of God.)

Let us turn to the evidence, starting with his own testimony to Peter Seewald in his 2016 book, Last Testament: In His Own Words:

Seewald: You say that you sought counsel on your decision. Indeed, with your ultimate boss. How was that?

Pope Benedict: You have to lay out all your affairs before Him as clearly as possible and try not to see everything only in terms of efficiency or other criteria for resignation, but to look at it from faith. It was from precisely this perspective that I became convinced that the commission of Peter demanded concrete decisions, insights, from me, but then, when it was no longer possible for me for the foreseeable future, that the Lord no longer wanted me to do it and freed me from the burden, as it were. I could resign because calm had returned to this situation. It was not a case of retreating under pressure or feeling that things couldn’t be coped with.[1]

Or again, Benedict speaks of his resignation in the context of the curial retreat that occurred after his Declaratio was delivered:

Pope Benedict: …retreats are places of silence, of listening, of prayer. Of course it was part of the whole plan of the resignation for it to be followed by a week of silence, where everyone is able to work it out inwardly, or the bishops, cardinals and staff of the Curia at least.

Seewald: Have you ever regretted the resignation even for a minute?

Pope Benedict: No! No, no. Every day I see that it was right.

Why does Benedict repeatedly speak of resignation if that was not his intention?

Then we have his testimony from his last General Audience on February 27, 2013:

In these last months I have felt my energies declining, and I have asked God insistently in prayer to grant me his light and to help me make the right decision, not for my own good, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity…

Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005. The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church…

The “always” is also a “forever” —there is no longer a return to the private. My decision to renounce the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, etc. I do not abandon the cross but remain in a new way with the Crucified Lord. I no longer carry the power of the [Petrine] office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the precincts of St. Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example to me in this. He has shown us the way to a life, which, active or passive, belongs totally to the work of God.[2]

Finally, we have Benedict’s Declaratio itself:

…in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, 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.[3]

Benedict speaks of a physical incapacity to completely fulfill the Petrine ministry entrusted to him and then proceeds to “renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome…” He even speaks of a “conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff.”

Furthermore, in his interview with Seewald, Benedict acknowledges Francis as the new Pope!

Pope Benedict: The new Pope, though, is South American and Italian, so he represents both the intertwining of the new and old worlds and the inner unity of history.

He is definitely a Pope of reflection as well. When I read Evangelii gaudium, or even the interviews, I see that he is a thoughtful person, who grapples intellectually with the questions of our time. But at the same time he is simply someone who is very close to people, who stands with them, who is always among them.

Or in the 2021 book, Benedict: A Life:

Seewald: On March 23, 2013, the first meeting between the newly elected and the resigned Pope took place in Castel Gandolfo, an absolute novelty in history. What were your thoughts in that hour?

Pope Benedict: I knew Pope Francis from his Ad Limina visit and from various correspondence contacts that my congregation had had with him. I also knew that he tried to call me immediately after the election, before he showed himself to people from the balcony of St. Peter’s Church. So I was looking forward to meeting my successor and knowing thankfully that it would be a good meeting between brothers. Incidentally, of course, I carefully considered what I should say to him without consuming too much time. So this first encounter remains as a good light in mine memory. As you know, personal friendship with Pope Francis has not only remained, but has grown.[4]

I could cite many other examples as well, but these should suffice.

In conclusion, I appeal to you Mr. Cionci to consider how much it strains credulity to believe that Benedict did not intend to resign. It strains it unimaginably further to argue that he not only intended not to resign but is sending us cryptic messages to confirm it.

Now that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is calling for an investigation of Benedict’s Renunciation and Francis’ Election, the last thing we need is to lose credibility by proposing theories that open us so easily to ridicule and accusations of Gnosticism.

In Jesus and Mary,

Edmund J. Mazza, PhD

May 19, 2022

Feast of St. Celestine V, resignant pope


[1] Peter Seewald, Last Testament: In His Own Words, (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016).



[4] Peter Seewald, Benedict: A Life, (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2021)


Note: Posted with the permission of Dr. Edmund Mazza

Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia.

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

Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.

Francis Notes:

- Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)

Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."

- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?":

- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?":

 -  LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:

The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"

-  On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:

"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."

- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.

Election Notes:  

- Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: "212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted...Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden" []

- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003":

- Tucker Carlson's Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written" according to Rush:
- A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:
What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?: and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: "Anitfa 'Agent Provocateurs'":

Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God's Will and to do it.
Pray an Our Father now for America.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.



Aqua said…
Fred, What is your take on this?

I find the Cionci thesis compelling, but not determinative (doesn't change anything fundamental).

He accepts important fundamental facts. He draws interesting and,to my way of thinking, reasonable inferences.

What say you?
Steven O'Reilly said…

Aqua, Fred...

the Cionci thesis is utterly ridiculous. It is comprised of his "Plan B" thesis, and his gnostic claims of a "Ratzinger Code." On my blog, Roma Locuta Est, I have addressed his nonsense.

Regarding Plan B, see:

Regarding the Cionci's "Ratzinger Code", see:

For the record, I do note that Cionci blocked me on Twitter when I challenged his analysis - utilizing the Ratzinger Code - involving Benedict's words on February 28, 2013 to a group of pilgrims from Albano.

Though I certainly disagree with Mr. Docherty on was good to see that even some Benepapists can see the Ratzinger Code/Plan B nonsense for what it is.


Steven O'Reilly

For the case against the Benepapists, see:


Thanks your thoughtful comments as always unlike someone who seems to be doing a lot of name calling. It's late and I'll tell you my hope for this discussion tomorrow after work.


Aqua said…
How's your investigation of the "St. Gallen Mafia" coming along?
Aqua said…
Anonymous said…
Ann Barnhardt is never going to admit she is wrong on this, none of you Beneplenists are going to admit that Benedict is not Pope anymore.

A bunch of dreamers, and I get it...Francis is a liberal and not doing the church any favors promoting Amoris Letitia again. He's a bad pontiff. You guys just can't accept that he had a valid conclave. Mazza is a fool too.
Anonymous said…
@Steven O'Reilly,

Thank you for all the good work. And @Aqua I do enjoy reading your posts.
Steven O'Reilly said…


I haven't really looked into the St. Gallen mafia per se. Julia Meloni investigated that question through her recent book. My interest has been on focusing on the conclave. I continue to look into things. The results of that research to date is gathered together here:

I think there's some interesting stuff in it; and there are some details not covered elsewhere -- such as McCarrick declaring "we did it" after Francis was eleced, or a detailed look at the "October Surprise" that seems to have targeted Scola's papal chances. Take a look if you haven't already.

@anonymous: thanks.


T said…

You best tell missionaries that they sin badly when they try to convince unbelievers to become Catholic instead of being friends and dialoging with them like your Holy Father says. Maybe He’ll correct the Great Commission in the scriptures just like he corrected the Our Father to be more in line with modern sensibilities.
Anonymous said…
Francis can have his version of the our Father, I'll keep praying the one that the church had always used...I'm not saying I'm a fan of him.
Aqua said…
Anonymous @ 8:53

I don't think you really understand the true nature and power of the Papacy.
Aqua said…
You said repeatedly on your blog (and on the Mazza podcast, as I recall) that was the most promising path to understand how we now have an apostate Pope. Sounds kind gnostic to me, but ... just interested to see if that bore any fruit for you.
Steven O'Reilly said…


I have said, Francis is the presumptive pope. That to overthrow this would require a high bar of evidence -- and that level of evidence has not yet been met under any possible theory. I have not said that evidence exists.

I have said *if* such evidence does exist and is to be found; it is not to be found in Benepapism...but in issues surrounding the conclave.

There is nothing 'gnostic' about that at all. It is gnostic to talking about BXVI having a supposed "plan b" where he remained in office, or that he is communicating a hidden knowledge via "ratzinger code," and such things.


Aqua said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aqua said…
Hi Steven,

Nothing to be sorry about. You have your opinions. I have mine. I've read you enough to know what you believe. I know enough about what I believe to know where that leaves you. I appreciate your search for truth, and pray you (not just you, but all suffering Catholics ... including myself) find it.

God bless,
Fred Martinez said…

Time is something I don't have a a lot of now to invest in going over the difference in points between the two positions. I know that Dr. Ed Mazza is as smart as they come, but I'd would still like to know what Cionci's thesis in a quick summary. My hope for this discussion is that you who are always fair and don't get into name calling will give me the solid reasons why you find "Cionci thesis compelling, but not determinative without changing anything fundamental." I trust your fairness and intellect and after seeing what you have to say then I might see if I want to try spending some time researching Cionci's position.



Popular posts from this blog

The Nuremberg Trial-like Excuse which Cardinal Burke has so Staggeringly, so Stereotypically Proffered on the Promised “Formal Correction”

Does Cardinal Burke think Francis is an antipope? On at least five occasions, Cardinal Burke has rejected the magisterial nature of official papal teaching (in one case, pre-emptively dismissing a hypothetical official teaching of the Magisterium): Cardinal Burke has rejected the official teaching of Pope Francis in the new Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio concerning the possibility that a pope can raise the final synodal document to the level of ordinary magisterium, if the pope chooses. (We covered the Episcopalis Communio here .) The whole apostolic constitution on the Synod is problematic. … This idea that either the Pope on his own or the Synod together with the Pope can create some new Magisterium [i.e. a new teaching of the ordinary Magisterium], is simply false. The Synod is a consultative body, to help the Pope to see how best to present the Church’s teaching in time. It’s not able to create ordinary Magisterium. As a canon lawyer, Cardinal Burk

"I Personally have No Doubt that Obama did in fact Orchestrate the Vatican [Pope Benedict] Coup, a[n]... Obama/Francis Partnership"

Attorney and World Net Daily (WND) contributor Scott Lively believes "that Obama did in fact orchestrate the Vatican [Pope Benedict XVI] coup, and... the Obama/Francis partnership behind the United Nation": Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis in March of 2013. I published  my first article about Pope Francis and the LGBT agenda  on August 1, 2013 when he was in the news for appearing to legitimize the concept of a “gay” identity as innate and unchangeable.  That concept is the false, anti-biblical premise of so-called “Queer Theory” (their term, not mine), a pseudo-scientific invention of “gay” political strategists, which underlies the entire LGBT political agenda. Francis infamously said in a media interview “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?”.   I actually defended him against the charge that this statement represented an endorsement of homosexual conduct, and gave him the benefit of t

Does Pop Star Justin Bieber have the Pfizer Vaccine Smile?

[]     VERIFY: Is there a connection between the Pfizer vaccine and Bell's palsy? | The Eponymous Flower (Tancred) Canadian Pop Star [ Justin Bieber] Who Had Death Vaxx Canceling Tour — Has Facial Paralysis Does pop star Justin Bieber have t he Pfizer vaccine smile? Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia. Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice.