Ecclesiastical Corruption Must be Met Not Just With Prayer, but Action
“I have been asked over and over again by lay Catholics,” writes Fr. Gerald Murray a recent column for The Catholic Thing, “‘What can I do to help resolve the crisis in the Church?’ My answer is: ‘Pray and act.’ By action, I mean: make known your dissatisfaction to the American bishops, to the Holy See, and to your fellow Catholics.”
Discouragement over the long history of sexual crimes and episcopal cover-ups is widespread. This is understandable, but something to resist, because discouragement can become an excuse for inaction.
Ordinary lay people have great power to influence their shepherds at the present moment. Bishops depend upon the support of their people and on the goodwill of the civil authorities who are sensitive to whether the Catholic people as a whole support their bishops. If those authorities sense that the flock is angry with the shepherds, then they will use their power to hold those shepherds accountable to the law.
It has been difficult for most of us to figure out the most effective way to hold our shepherds accountable. To let them know just how angry we are. While platforms like this give us an opportunity to raise our voices, we are nevertheless left to wonder if they will be heard. Or for that matter, if anyone will care.
In an interaction with Cardinal William Levada, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Christine Niles of Church Militant got a taste of just how little some of the Church’s most powerful and influential prelates care about what the faithful think.
Niles pressed Levada on the accusation, made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, that even the pope was involved in the coverup of former-Cardinal McCarrick’s abuse. Levada dismissed Viganò’s concerns, saying that he questioned the former nuncio’s motives.
“The laity have lost confidence,” Niles fired back, “that the Vatican is trustworthy on this, and are tired of the complicity and cover-up”.
“Oh, the laity,” Levada replied, with what Niles describes as “a dismissive wave of the hand.”
“I’ve met so many laity throughout my life, and they’re all over the spectrum.”
“The tone of disdain in his voice,” Niles reports, “was unmistakable.”
Levada went on to take a swing at the media and their calls for transparency. And this indeed seems to be a new focus of the pope and his allies in repelling mounting criticism from all sides. As I told you last week, paragraph 146 of the final Youth Synod document produced last month takes aim at Catholic media that is not on board with the agenda of “reform”. It describes a desire for the Church to “develop adequate tools” that could include “certification systems of Catholic sites, to counter the spread of fake news regarding the Church”.
Earlier this week, NBC News ran a piece that seems torn straight from the pages of the Church’s new playbook on silencing dissent from their dissent. “Many Catholics say they are worried,” the report states, about “a new offensive by ultra-conservative Catholic groups that see the growing acceptance of LGBTQ Catholics by Pope Francis and other reformers as a mortal threat to their church.”
The report goes on to name Church Militant, LifeSiteNews, and the Lepanto Institute as examples of those “ratcheting up the rhetoric while replacing polite and prayerful discourse with personal attacks on supporters of gay Catholics, they say.” (These three outlets were accused of inflicting “physical and emotional violence” and outing the personal information of a partnered gay man working in a California parish earlier this year.)
Jason Steidl, a “theologian” from Fordham University, has borrowed a pejorative term for independent Catholic media outlets from the popular culture: “I call them the ‘Catholic alt-right,’” Steidl said to NBC News. “We haven’t seen anything like this before.”
Fr. James Martin, SJ, arguably the Church’s most active promoter of LGBT ideology and a part of the Vatican’s official communications apparatus, also weighed in:
“Some bishops promote sites like LifeSite,” he said. “I know some people read them in Rome. … These groups are very small, but they have an outsize influence and a very big voice. Fear and hatred are remarkably motivating for some people.”
The good news about these attacks is that there’s no greater evidence that independent Catholic media have been effective. They have tried for years to ignore us, and it has cost them the battle for public perception. Now, they’re desperate, and looking for any way they can to discredit us.
NBC News says that they made “repeated requests for comment” to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and finally received a statement from spokesman Bishop Coyne:
“The promotion and defense of the faith should invite an encounter with the merciful love of Christ and contribute to a more civil and peaceful dialogue in our church and society,” he said. “I urge my brothers and sisters to exercise extreme caution before giving credence to anyone who instigates shameful, digital stoning as a way to defend the Church. Catholic participation in the public square should be marked by both fidelity to the Gospel and to charity toward all our fellow citizens.”
Digital stoning? That’s a hell of a reach. But I suppose after all the crybaby victim signaling we got from the pope after Viganò cut his legs out from under him in August (and after), we shouldn’t be surprised.
It appears that the papal cabal and its allies in the American Church are courting a powerful ally: the secular mainstream media. They have taken advantage of the pro-homosexual bias of progressive journalists to wage war against critics of their larger agenda, since those critics are often the loudest opponents of the “ideological colonization” of the Church by pro-homosexual forces. Secondarily, the willful blindness of the correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and clerical sexual abuse found in most modern commentary works well as a cover for the Church’s mishandling of the abuse crisis – and the epidemic of homosexuality in the priesthood that is the cause of so much of it. The mainstream media is far too wedded to the idea that there is no connection between the two issues, and they’ll do whatever mental gymnastics are required to avoid looking at the evidence head on.
But the evidence exists. Evidence like that found in a new study issued this month by the Ruth Institute, which found that “The concentration of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice the concentration in overall population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s.”
The study found that “Four out of five victims over age 7 were boys; only one in five were girls. Ease of access to boys relative to girls accounts for about one fifth of this disparity. The number of homosexual priests accounts for the remaining four fifths.”
The authors conclude that “Estimates from these findings predict that, had the proportion of homosexual priests remained at the 1950s level, at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse.”
That’s not a narrative that can be allowed to flourish. There’s simply too much ideological capital on the line. This is why we are fighting an uphill battle. When it comes to the war of ideas, we are working against both the World, and a Church that has co-opted its agenda.
And that’s why the second piece of the “action” in the “pray and act” strategy has to go to the root. We must find every way possible to deprive them of funding.
I’ve written before about just how much cash the U.S. Bishops receive from the Federal Government for programs like “refugee resettlement”. From 2008 to 2015, the amount was in the billions of dollars. There is evidence that since Trump has taken office, a reduction in the number of refugees authorized for admission to the United States has dropped, and the funding along with it – but just how much is unclear. According to a report earlier this year in Crux, “Catholic organizations charged with resettling refugees have laid off or transferred as many as 300 employees as a direct result of the reduced numbers”.
Whatever the current state of the financial take from sources other than donations from the faithful, the U.S. Bishops have done a good job diversifying their income. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make them feel it.
And perhaps more importantly, we can make the Vatican feel it.
That’s exactly what Legatus, an international organization of Catholic business leaders led by former Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan has done. According to a report in the National Catholic Register:
Nearly $1 million in funds which had been earmarked for the Holy See will now be withheld, following the Vatican’s action to delay the U.S. Bishops’ vote on a plan to end the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.
On Friday, Nov. 16, following the Vatican’s unexpected intervention into the USCCB’s General Assembly in Baltimore and its demand that the bishops delay voting on a plan which could bring closure to the sexual abuse crisis, Legatus’ Board of Governors took the next step and formally revoked the organization’s 2019 tithe to the Holy See. Members who have already submitted their dues for the 2019 year will receive a refund of that portion (10 percent) which had been earmarked for the Holy See; and members who have not yet remitted their dues will receive a new, revised invoice.
And the Vatican is not a position to lose cash. Take a look at recent actions by the Vatican through the lens of finance, and you’ll see indications that money has become quite the priority:
- Cardinal Pell found over a billion euros improperly hidden away during his audit of the Vatican Bank. Almost immediately, he wound up being called back to Australia to face 40-year-old allegations of abuse, while Archbishop Becciu, one of the pope’s ranking hatchet men, made sure the financial reform died.
- At the heart of the Vatican-led coup within the Sovereign Military Order of Malta was a battle over a significant bequest to the order — to the tune of 30 million Swiss francs. During the coup, the brother of key figure Albrecht von Boeselager was appointed to a position on the Vatican bank. (Recall that here, too, Becciu took over Cardinal Burke’s role within the Knights of Malta following the coup.) Where is that money now?
- It is widely believed that the suppression of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has been over their considerable assets. According to at least one report, assets totaling roughly 30 million Euros — assets which the Vatican has been said to have tried to seize control of.
- A $25 million grant to the Vatican this year was made through the Papal Foundation, and the money is “unaccounted for”. The hospital designated as a recipient of the grant claims not to have received it. (It was Cardinal Wuerl, incidentally, who “spearheaded” the grant.)
If the Vatican is having money problems, they’re about to get worse. Just this month, The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgment ordering Italy to recover five billion euros worth of property tax from the Vatican, throwing out an earlier exemption. It has been reported that the Vatican Bank only controls about 6 billion Euros in assets, so one can only imagine how this ruling will affect their position.
In addition, a U.S.-based class action lawsuit has been filed against the Holy See and the USCCB by six men who claim to have been victims of clerical sexual abuse. (The USCCB has also been targeted in an additional, separate suit.) As the US Department of Justice begins investigating cases in New York and Pennsylvania, it is looking increasingly likely that an investigation under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) could happen on a national basis. And the class-action suit is seeking to use RICO provisions to “triple” the “financial damages”. Any hope that the Vatican could distance itself from an international lawsuit was dashed at the USCCB meeting in Baltimore this month, when Rome demonstrated just how much control it has over the actions of US bishops. According to the Washington Post:
The suit filed in the District notes that the Holy See has successfully avoided liability in the United States by claiming it did not have direct authority over priests. But then on Monday, as the bishops were meeting at their national conference in Baltimore to address the issue, they were directed by a letter from the Vatican to stop the discussion, and did. “If that’s not command responsibility, I don’t know what is,” said Mitchell A. Toups, one of the lead attorneys in the class-action case.
The situation in the Church is both scandalous and challenging, but the faithful are not without power. As the walls close in ever more tightly against a systemically corrupt hierarchy, it’s anyone’s guess how things will turn out. But however protracted, the tide will turn in this battle for control of the heart and soul of Catholicism, and we know which side will win.
Until then, chickens are finally coming home to roost. As Msgr. Charles Pope so succinctly put it in a recent column, “The pope owns this.”
TWELVE OF THE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.
Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church? This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.
If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals. So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election? His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question. The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.
His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms. For example, Paragraph 76 states: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”
From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility. If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.
Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.
What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”). The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words: “. . . knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.” (“. . . scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”) [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.
Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with: (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.
This is so because:1. Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2. Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3. Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.
Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred. Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis. These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.: “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”. While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them: “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]
No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.
Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff. In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding. Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is: “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.” (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.) In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”
His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal.
In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo. No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis. See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.
Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government. The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ. After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ. It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation. Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”. But, the fact that “The Church . . . will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II. The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake. This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person . . . in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff. Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals. They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave. They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation. Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals. If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals. In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either. (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal. So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors. Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here. May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual. If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election” “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter. May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de PlumeUn ami des Papes