Does the New Mazza Thesis apparently say that Francis is an Antipope not just because of Benedict's Substantial Error Resignation, but because he couldn't Resign in the first place due to the Teachings of Pope Innocent III?
And this brings us to the most important teachings of the man many consider the most important pope of the High Middle Ages, Innocent III. In a sermon on the anniversary of his election to the papacy, Innocent taught:
The sacrament between the Roman pontiff and the Roman church perseveres so firm and unshakable that they cannot be separated from one another ever, except by death. The Apostle says that after her husband dies, a wife “is released from the rule of her husband.” A husband joined to his wife, does not seek a release, does not leave her, and cannot be dismissed, for “it is according to his Lord that he either stands or falls—and it is the Lord who judges.’ (emphasis mine)
It could not be clearer. Innocent teaches that the papacy is a “sacrament,” a spiritual marriage: “until death do us part.” A pope (husband) is not allowed to resign (“seek a release”), he “does not leave her,” his bride, the Church: “It is the Lord who judges.”
My discovery of this teaching was somewhat “distressing” to this author since a century later Pope Boniface VIII completely contradicted Innocent III, asserting that popes may resign. Though in his case the conclusion was self-serving, for as we shall see, he himself would otherwise be an antipope.
The question, of course, is who should we believe? The recent remarks of Bishop Athanasius Schneider take on increased significance:
Traditional and constant doctrinal statements of the Magisterium during a centuries-old period have precedence and constitute a criterion of verification regarding the exactness of posterior magisterial statements. New statements of the Magisterium must, in principle, be more exact and clearer, but should never be ambiguous and apparently contrast with previous magisterial statements. (emphasis mine) - The Catholic Monitor [https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2022/10/pope-boniface-viii-completely.html]
It appears that Church history professor Dr. Edmund Mazza told LifeSite News in the "What happens if a pope is a heretic?" YouTube video that his research shows that it is possible that Pope Benedict XVI may still be pope because the great medieval Pope Innocent III taught that popes can't resign.
Innocent's traditional "doctrinal statement... of Magisterium" had greater weight than Pope Boniface VIII's new fangled teaching which was never taught before that time which claimed Pope Celestine V could validly resign from the papacy. If this is true then Boniface was an antipope until Celetine died; upon the death of Celestine then he became pope. If I follow the new Mazza thesis correctly then Francis may be an antipope not just because of the substantial error in Benedict's resignation, but also because Benedict couldn't resign in the first place because of the teachings of Innocent III.