BETWEEN DE MATTEI AND SOCCI
Analysis of Benedict’s Latin Renunciation Text and Parts of Dom Gänswein’s 20 May 2016 Speech
In reply to the Article in CFN entitled de Mattei vs. Socci
Virtue stands as the mean between two extremes, and this article proposes to reach a mean position between Dr. de Mattei and Antonio Socci, whose positions were presented by Doctor Brian McCall in the August issue of CFN: de Mattei vs. Socci as two antithetical opinions, Dr. de Mattie’s being the preferred method to address the present crisis in the Church. The first thing to note is that Doctor McCall’s two legged presumption that “[a]lthough the current crisis in the Church seems to be greater than all others in its extent, it is not in quality unprecedented,” Is actually limping on one leg, namely, that leg concerning the “quality” of the disaster confronting Holy Mother Church today.
The greater “extent” of the disaster has certainly been made evident since the resignation of Pope Benedict, a move that provided the opportunity for the homosexual Mafia to “exit” the closet where it had been securely hidden for years. By Benedict’s mysterious move that which was unnoticeably festering beneath epidermis of the Church was made manifest in all its filth and horror. However, what regards the “quality” of the crisis is in need of adjustment.
If one really contemplates the situation today in light of Fatima, more specifically, in light of the Third Secret, it’s hard to believe that he would deny that Satan, himself is involved. Indeed, Sr. Lucy had repeatedly spoken about the “diabolical disorientation” within the Church. And in her interview with Fr. Fuentes in December 1957 she said that Our Lady “told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin.1 Then too, Fr. Amorth has testified publically at various times concerning the existence of a demonic element within the Vatican itself. An interview of the former Chief Exorcist of Rome by Richard Owen should be enough to leave all readers without any doubt of the demonic influence within the Church, for if it’s at the top it will certainly be throughout.
“[He] said that the consequences of satanic infiltration include power struggles at the Vatican as well as cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon.’ He added: ‘When one speaks of “the smoke of Satan” … in the holy rooms, it is all true—including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia’”2
1 The Whole Truth about Fatima, The Third Secret, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, Vol III, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, 1990, p. 503.
2 Richard Owen. “Chief Exorcist Father Gabriel Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican.” TIMESONLINE, 11 March 2010, http://www.thetimes.co.uk.article/chief-exorcist-father-gabriele-amorth-says-devil-is-in -the-vatican-x3hs22jz7gc
Aside from Sr. Lucy’s comment to Fr. Fuentes, no one has specifically attributed the activity of Satan within the Church as being part of the Third Secret, although several other aspects of that Secret have been revealed by certain individuals privy to it. Nevertheless, the Third Secret remains a secret still needing to be revealed fully. Of course, the words of Our Lady to Sr. Agnes at Akita, Japan (an apparition approved by the local Bishop after a comprehensive examination of the events there), concerning the infiltration into the Church of the “work of the devil, in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals and Bishops against other Bishops,”3 leaves no room for doubt that element of demonic involvement amidst the crisis in the Church makes that crisis truly unprecedented.
Now, the quality of the crisis within the Church having been amplified here by including the demonic aspect, one would be hard pressed to equate the present situation in the Church to ANY other time in Its 2000 year history. And it seems, therefore, justified to posit that, in fact, today’s crisis IS unprecedented in every way, and it would be an injustice to Our Lady of Fatima and of Akita to deny or to dismiss this aspect of the catastrophe unraveling before our very eyes.
One other matter that augments the note of “unprecedented” is the fact that there are two men living in the Vatican who call themselves “Pope.” And each one is recognized as being in good standing; that is, so far neither is considered to be an anti-Pope. Again, such a situation is unknown in the history of the Church.
At this point, it seems most necessary to issue a caution4 regarding the involvement the devil, who, as Bishop Sheen stated in a 1947 broadcast, Signs of our Times, on the future of the Church, “has been given a particularly long rope,”5 in these times. That “long rope” not only encompasses the Church but also embraces the whole of mankind. The activity of Satan and his demons in more normal times is mainly that of simple temptation, though God may give Satan and his agents a little more rope under certain circumstances. However, today, in every aspect of human life the activity of the demons goes way beyond simple temptation. But because these evil spirits are just that, spirits, their activity is not always recognized or understood. And this is something that CANNOT be forgotten or disregarded.
However, perhaps someone more familiar to readers of CFN could provide a more credible assessment of demonic influence that ought to be taken into account. I am referring to a close friend of Father Malachi Martin, Mrs. Suzanne Pearson. Mrs. Pearson gave a talk at one of Fr. Gruner’s Fatima conferences and the transcript of her talk was printed in The Fatima Crusader. In this address Mrs. Pearson provides what I consider, given the current circumstances in the
3 Teiji Yasuda O.S.V., Akita, The Tears and Message of Mary, English version by John Haffert, 101 Foundation, Inc. Asbury, NJ, 1992, p. 78.
4 This caution is based not only on personal experience of this writer, but this author has listened to hours of talks on the demonic and exorcism by authorized Exorcists as well has having studied the works of Fr. Amorth, the former Chief Exorcist of Rome. In fact, this article has been under attack has been manipulated while working on my computer by demonic forces.
5 This broadcast stands out way beyond practically every other one of the Bishops talks, and is well worth listening to (about 19 minutes) at: https://www.the-american-catholic.com/2017/02/26/fulton-sheen-on-the-anti-christ/
Church, the most credible explanation of what was happening to Pope Benedict while he was active. The relevant portion of the talk follows:
“Another part of the spiritual chastisement that he [Malachi Martin who had read the Third Secret] often mentioned was ‘Satan would gain power even in the highest echelons of the Church.’ The strongest statement of this kind came from a caller on the Art Bell Show, who said an old Jesuit had told him, ‘The last Pope will be under the control of Satan.’ Father Martin responded that this man ‘would have had a means of reading or would have been given the contents of the Secret.’ And yet, he said, the quotation was imprecise. That is because no one was allowed to quote the Secret exactly.
“But even if ‘The last Pope will be under control of Satan’ were the exact quote, Father Martin had at other times qualified two prime components of that sentence. ‘The last Pope,’ he said did not necessarily mean the last Pope before the end of time, but the last Pope of ‘these times’. Could that mean the last Pope before the Consecration of Russia? And then the expression ‘under the control of Satan’ can have various meanings.
“Fr. Martin used to explain when talking about demonic activity and exorcism that there are several ways Satan can control a human being. He can possess the person, either partially or perfectly, the person could have ‘sold his soul to the devil’ in return for some favor, or Satan could so thoroughly control the people and circumstances surrounding the person that he can get nothing done thatiscontrarytothewillofSatan[Author’semphasis]. PopeBenedict’s lament to several visitors to his papal office that ‘my authority ends right at that door!’ makes one wonder how close the Church has already come to that scenario.6
Except for those who have been personally subjected to that intensified activity of the demons and those exorcists who have to deal with it, most people have no idea whatsoever how those evil spirits work, how they can influence human affairs, how they oppress individuals, and even causes harm to them through their human agents. This caution is made, because most people who criticize Benedict do so unjustly, without in any way realizing the tremendous attack he was, and surely still is, under by Satan’s demons and their human agents. They criticizing through ignorance, of course, but nonetheless doing a great disservice to the person of a former Pope, if one doesn’t consider him the Pope in fact.
So many misjudgments occur without knowing ALL the circumstances surrounding Benedict’s actions. This is not to exonerate him from mistakes he may have made—we are ALL human, but we ought to be careful to take into consideration that given the most evil circumstances under which he had to operate, both as the Prefect of the CDF as well as while he was active as
6 Suzanne Pearson, The Fatima Crusader, Fall 2013, pp. 23 – 36. This can be found at ttp://www.fatima.org/crusader/cr107.pdf.3
Pope, he had to be extremely careful, shrewd and judicious certainly using a diplomacy and tactics that we are unaccustomed to see in ordinary times.
Now Doctor McCall, in his lead article of the June 2019 Issue quotes St. Robert Bellarmine, who said: “’Wretched would be the Church’s condition if she were forced to take as her pastor one who manifestly conducts himself as a wolf.’” Indeed, such would be a disaster for the
Church. However, Sacred Scripture infallibly informs us that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against It” (Mt. 16:18).
This is no petty promise; Our Lord means what he says and will not fail to provide, especially when it comes to Peter, to whom he promised two tools for the sake of shepherding the Church and the salvation of souls. The first was ROCKNESS, matters dealing with the Teaching Power of the Petrine Office, i.e., unchanging Faith which regards the intellect and protected by infallibility, and the second consisted of the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM, involving matters dealing with the Power of Governance of the Church, i.e., generally concerned with all that is related to the Salvation of souls in the realm of action, namely, what regards the will and protected by indefectibility in the strict sense. 7
So, Christ established His Church intending to employ weak and fallible men to be His visible Vicars until the end of time, which Vicars, the Supreme Pontiffs, can be judged by no one. Yet He had promised that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” The question, then, is not that God protects His Church, for that promise of Our Lord is eternal and unfailing; in some way God does protect His Church in Its Teaching and in Its Governance through the Gifts of Indefectibility and Infallibility. The question is, rather, how in practical situations does He apply those safeguards in protecting His Church? Infallibility, because it keeps the Church “immune” from error, has a negative or preventative character. But this create to cause a difficulty, when the Vicar of Christ seemingly “teaches” heresy.
If Our Lord promised that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” His Bride, He means it. Yet, what if a Pope teaches heresy? That question has been pondered down the ages, and to this day no absolute answer has really been provided. In fact, for all the hypothetical scenarios concerning heresy, the possible solutions proposed by the learned theologians are just that- possible, but not in any way certain. Michael Davies in his book, I Am With You Always: The Divine Constitution and Indefectibility of the Catholic Church, says the following:
Saint Robert was (in De Romano Pontifice Vol. II, chap. 30, p. 720), of course, discussing a theoretical possibility, and believed that a pope could not become an heretic and thus could not be deposed, but he also acknowledged that the more common opinion was that the pope could become an heretic, and he was thus willing to discuss what would need to be done if, per impossible, this should happen: ‘This opinion (that the Pope could not become an heretic) is probable and easily defended. . . . Nonetheless, in view of the fact that this is not certain, and
7 As under the genus of “Animal” are included the species, “animal” and “rational animal,” so too under the genus of “Indefectibility” are included the species of “Indefectibility” and “infallibility.”
that the common opinion is the opposite one, it is useful to examine the solution to this question, within the hypothesis that the Pope can be an heretic’ [De Romano Pontifice, Vol. II, chap.30, p.418]. The great Jesuit theologian, Francisco de Suarez (1548-1617) was also sure that God’s ‘sweet providence’ would never allow the one who could not teach error to fall into error, and that this was guaranteed by the promise Ego autem rogavi pro te… (Luke 22:32). But, like Bellarmine, Suarez was willing to consider the possibility of an heretical pope as an hypothesis, particularly in view of the fact, he claimed, that several ‘general councils had admitted the hypothesisinquestion'[Delegibus,vol.IV,chap.7,no.10,p361]. SaintAlphonsus Ligouri (1696-1787) did not believe that God would ever permit a Roman Pontiff to become a public or an occult (secret) heretic, even as a private person: ‘We ought rightly to presume as Cardinal Bellarmine declared, that God will never let it happen that a Roman Pontiff, even as a private person, become a public heretic or an occult heretic’ [Dogmatic Works of St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, Vol. VIII, p. 720].”8
Certainly, God would not allow his Church to be left in the dust of doubt either with regard to Faith or with regard to Morals. Considering the reality of the situation in the Church today, therefore, one that is absolutely unparalleled, indeed exceptional, can one really look to the past for a solution, which no one has actually demonstrated to be absolutely workable for actual past crises or for merely theoretical problems envisioned for the future? Yet, those problems in no way even approach the unprecedented reality here and now. The mind of this author resolutely balks at the idea. Does it not seem, therefore, more likely that the unprecedented reality of today demands an unprecedented concrete solution? And can you guess what’s coming; yes, you’re right, Benedict is that unprecedented, yet concrete, solution that if looked into can be seen as that unquestionable protection of God.
Now, God doesn’t do everything for us; He expects us to use whatever means we have at our disposal, and especially our intellect, for problems are solved by seeking and examining the cause of those problems. The present debacle in which we find ourselves, namely, the Chair of Peter, supposedly having been filled by a perpetrator of a major demolition of the Roman Catholic Church in order to restructure it in conformity with Modernist and New Age principles, definitely had a cause, indeed various causes. But those ideological elements from the past, to wit Liberalism, Rationalism, Freemasonry, Communism, Modernism, Vatican II or whatever are not going to provide an answer to the more recent problematic event, the catapulting of an unknown Argentinian Bishop to the See of Peter in 2013, that has the best minds in the Church scrambling hither and thither for a solution.
The search by Church authorities and the intelligentsia over the last six years for some kind of solution is fixated solely on the problem itself, the fait accompli of a Conclave that thrust Francis onto the scene, while the faithful are pointing fingers at those past causes, especially Vatican II. And hence the immediate cause of that unexpected and disastrous event seems to go unnoticed in the shadow of that difficulty. Certainly, no problem will be solved by looking
8 Michael Davies, I Am With You Always: The Divine Constitution and Indefectibility of the Catholic Church, New rev. ed. 1997, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1997, pp. 44 – 45.
strictly at the crisis itself. The inquisitive mind initially searches for the most immediate cause or for what may be a possible cause, of the issue at hand; and what ultimately brought about Francis and his obviously harmful governance was nothing other than Benedict’s official Latin Renunciation Proclamation!
Nothing happens in God’s Providence that is extraneous or accidental and hence THAT RESIGNATIONOUGHTTOBESIGNIFICANT,ITOUGHTTOBETHEPLACETOBEGIN! Butwhat follows immediately on 28 February 2013? Here, most surprisingly, we have a sane and competent (as Benedict’s commentary last February on the sex abuse problem attendant upon the Abuse Summit at the Vatican attests to with great certitude) “formerly active Pope” who wears the white soutane, lives in the Vatican, demands he be called His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and has as his Secretary the Prefect of the Papal Household and, of course, the subsequent preparation for a Papal Election. The utter audacity of anyone to attribute to a simulated action, an intentional error or a mistake which no one attempts to verify, or the total disregard of a basic principle of Aristotelian/Thomistic Philosophy, i.e., Actio sequitur esse (Action follows being), is absolutely bazaar to say the least.
It would be difficult to deny that Benedict has always exhibited an intellectual honesty, that is, he’s been willing to change his tune when he knows he’s wrong (e.g., his truthfulness with Fr. Dollinger, admitting a warning about a “bad council and a bad mass,” when pressed for information about what was missing from the so-called Third Secret published in 20009). He is unaffected and guileless, a genuine gentleman. Moreover, he has in no way minimized the dire warnings of the Third Secret to which he is privy, especially when he broke with the Sodano/Bertone Party Line in no uncertain terms, exposing the “enemy within” on his trip to Portugal in 2010. He says:
“As for the new things which we can find in this [Fatima] message today there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: That the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice.”10
Now, given that the Renunciation of Pope Benedict was a factor in the election of Francis, and given that some unprecedented solution is in fact necessary for an unprecedented situation, perhaps, just perhaps, it would be worth taking a look at the official Latin text of Benedict’s renunciation Proclamation. Furthermore, it deserves to be taken at its face value, before making any assumptions based on appearances, or upon the suggestions of those from the
10 Pope Benedict XVI/Fr. Lombardi, Apostolic Journey to Portugal on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco: Meeting of His Holiness: Benedict XVI with journalists during the flight to Lisbon (Papal Flight 11 May 2010), http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2010/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20100511_portogallo- interview.html
School of Bologna, or of those who, making use only of the errant translations from Benedict’s Latin text, maintain that he has changed the nature of the Papacy. Where’s the real proof?
The calumnies implicit in the accusations against Benedict are absolutely unwarranted, namely, that Benedict, former Prefect of the CDF, doesn’t know Catholic Theology, that he in fact holds that there can be more than one Pope, that he doesn’t know Latin (as is the case, unfortunately, with many ecclesiastics in the Church), that he’s a liar (when he says that his resignation was free and valid). These insinuations are absolutely disingenuous.
What follows is an attempt to show that the cause of current problem is actually a solution; that is, in the Providence of God Benedict, through his resignation, was a secondary cause by which the Papacy would be protected from the “gates of hell.” Since this author makes no claim to any credentials other than being a Priest of Holy Mother Church, this expose is not an attempt to usurp authority or to be an authoritative explication of what Benedict did, and certainly not a complete analysis of that Renunciation document. It is intended only to provide an argument based upon a Treatise resulting from five years of study regarding the situation In the Church. It remains a unique alternative approach to the solution of what seems to be an insurmountable problem in the Church. Hopefully, this will be a stimulus for competent authorities to investigate Benedict’s Latin text.
As circumstances regarding any action have a greater or lesser bearing on that action, and cannot be ignored, the reader is asked, once again, to keep in mind intense activity and power of the enemies of the Church even within the Vatican. These include the infiltration of the devil (Our Lady at Akita, Japan), spoken about earlier, the presence of the Modernists and the Homosexual Lobby certainly involved with the demonic as well as the Masonic/Communist agents with their control of the mass Media, within and without the Vatican. It was in the presence of these perfidious enemies of Holy Mother Church that Benedict was laboring for the salvation of souls while active.
For the sake of reference, the text of Benedict’s renunciation, which consists of three paragraphs in the Latin text, is here provided in Latin and then in English—taken mainly from the official Vatican translation,11 unless another meaning or rendition of the Latin is substituted by this author for clarity concerning Benedict’s situation or for more literally reflecting the Latin syntax.
11 Pope Benedict XVI, Declaratio. Declaration of Abdication on the occasion of the Consistory for the Canonization of Saints, 11 February 2013, http://w2.vatican.va./content/benedict- xvi/la/speech/2013/february/docuements/hf_ben- xvi_spe_2013211_declaratio.html
Paragraph 1 – Latin
Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum.
Paragraph 1 – English translation
I have convoked you to this Consistory not only on account of the three Canonizations, but also in order to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having examined my conscience again and again before God, I have arrived at the definite understanding that as my age advances my strengths are no longer suitable for adequately administering the Petrine office.
After introducing the purpose for having called the Consistory of 11February 2113, i.e., the Canonizations, Benedict reveals a second intention, namely, to communicate his decision to step aside from “something”; he assures the Cardinals that he is aware of its gravity, and that having diligently examined his conscience repeatedly, he categorically states that his weakening powers are no longer “suitable for adequately [rightly] administrating the Petrine office” 12[“munus Petrinum”]. Here he makes the first distinction between the Petrine Office (together with the Powers of Governing, Teaching and Order innate to the Chair of Peter), from theadministering of the Office according to the three Powers. The gerundive (“administrating”) used in the prepositional phrase indicates action in contrast to something stable and abiding (the Papacy itself). In other words, he is inadequate for functioning in regard to the Petrine Office under the present circumstances, but not personally inadequate to hold the Office itself under normal or accommodating circumstances. THEY, THE OFFICE AND ADMINISTERING, ARE NOT THE SAME THING! This point cannot be overstressed.
Secondly, in this first paragraph of Pope Benedict’s Declaration, he uses the word “vires” literally meaning “strengths” or “power”, when he speaks about his strengths not being suitable for administering the Petrine Office “adequately” (“aeque” translated as “adequately,” in the Latin can also mean “rightly” or “justly”) as he “advances in age.” Actually, if the translation of “aeque” with “rightly” or “justly” were used to describe how one is or is not able to function, it would obviate better the reality of Benedict’s situation. For, rather than suggesting Benedict’s weak health of body, it connotes his lack of physical power, vigor, effectiveness, or influence with respect to the Petrine ministry.
Thus, in this first paragraph, Pope Benedict immediately announces that he has a made a “decision of great moment” and then states that he is not “suitable,” for exercising the powers of the Office of the Papacy. In other words he says that he is not up to “administering (carrying out or discharging) the DUTIES or MINISTRIES of the Office of the Papacy. Once again, making the distinction between the Office and the exercise of the Office, between the “munus” and “ministerium” Benedict is implicitly indicating that the Office is NOT the problem, and, in fact, is
a certain indication of his intention to keep it. He is distancing himself only from the ministries involved with the Petrine Office. Suffice it to say, for the time being, that the exercise of a power is not the power itself, just as the exercise power of sight is not the power of sight. For, when one shuts his eyes such that he cannot see, or falls asleep, he still possesses the power to see. On the other hand, one can speak of the obligation to keep his eyes open, as for example while he’s driving his car. However, there are other times when shutting one’s eyes is obligatory as wehn one is confronted with pornography. Please bear in mind throughout that the power of sight is distinct from the act of seeing, and such is the case with any power and it’s act.
|Paragraph 2 – LatinBene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam.Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare et Conclave ad eligendum novum SummumPontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.|
|Paragraph 2 – English translationI am well aware that this office according to its spiritual essence must be executed not only by being active and by speaking but not less than by suffering and praying. Nevertheless, in the world of our time subject to the rapid changes and shaken by questions of great consequence for the life of the Faith, indeed a certain vigor of body and soul is necessary for governing the Barque of St. Peter and for proclaiming the Gospel, which [vigor] has diminished in me in such a way that I should be bound to acknowledge my incapacity for administrating successfully the ministry committed to me. “Wherefore, well aware of the seriousness of this serious act with complete freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th day of April 2005 and [I declare] that a Conclave for electing a new Supreme Pontiff is to be convened by those who are competent|
In this second paragraph of Pope Benedict clearly associates his renunciation with the message of Fatima. In 1984 during his interview with Vittorio Messori when he is questioned about the 3rd Secret of Fatima he states that it differs not from what is contained in Revelation, namely, “a radical call to conversion, the absolute seriousness of history, the dangers threatening the FaithandthelifeoftheChristianandthereforeoftheworld.”13 InhisDeclarationannouncing his renunciation, he speaks about the “world of our times” being “shaken by questions of great
13 Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima, The Third Secret, Vol III, translated by John Collorafi from the original French, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, N.Y., 1990, p. 822.
importance [seriousness] for the life of the faith.”14 This connection between what Benedict says in his Declaration and what he says in the Missori interview is intentional, without doubt; and as with the quote from the interview so too his statement here does not provide all the details concerning the Third Secret. However, it is certainly legitimate for one to surmise that there is something in the Third Secret that has a bearing on his “resignation.”
Benedict actually begins the second paragraph by defining the “munus,” the Office itself of the Papacy. In general way, he sets forth two characteristics comprising the nature of that Office, basically, the actions that flow from the essence of the Papacy, of which there are two main ones: on the one hand, “being active and speaking,” and on the other, “suffering and praying.” These are two ways by which the Petrine Office is executed.
Theologians specify these characteristics as the Power of Jurisdiction and the Power of Order. However, the Power of Jurisdiction encompasses two distinct powers, namely, the Power of Teaching, or the Magisterium, and the Power of jurisdiction (in the strict sense), or Governance. 15As was indicated earlier in speaking about the promises of Christ to Peter, Magisterium regards Faith while Governance regards Morals, the living out of the Catholic Faith. The former is protected by Infallibility and the latter by Indefectibility. As human nature is endowed with the powers of intellect (knowing) and will (acting), so the Mystical Body of Christ is equipped with the powers of teaching and governing. Of course, this division ultimately derives from the three-fold Office of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King.
Now, since the ultimate purpose for which Christ instituted His Church is the sanctification of souls, first and foremost it is necessary that the Supreme Pontiff is possessed of the Episcopal Character through Consecration as a Bishop. Such is necessary in order that he be able to exercise fully and properly the Power of Order as Pope in the sanctification of souls under his jurisdiction. And in a certain respect the Power of Order excels the Power of Jurisdiction, i.e., the Powers of teaching and governing. Ad. Tanquerey explains the superiority of the Power of Order in this way:
“The Power of Order depends upon the Power of Jurisdiction with regard to its legitimate exercise: indeed in no place and at no time is it able to be exercised, except according to the canons having originated from the Power of Jurisdiction, which govern all acts which pertain to the end of the Church. 2. In turn, the Power of Jurisdiction depends on the Power of Order as on a quality or condition required in a subject, so that in the subject it [the Power of Jurisdiction] is able to manifest itself in a regular and connatural manner: indeed it is most fitting that the episcopal power is found in the cleric, who is destined for the governing of a Church, so that by teaching the Gospel (magisterium) and by imposing the laws of Christ (ruling), he sanctifies (Power of Order) the faithful directly through the
14 Pope Benedict XVI, Declaratio. Declaration of Abdication on the occasion of the Consistory for the Canonization of Saints, 11 February 2013, http://w2.vatican.va./content/benedict- xvi/la/speech/2013/february/docuements/hf_ben- xvi_spe_2013211_declaratio.html.
15 Ad. Tanquerey, Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae Fundamentalis, Vol. I, 24th ed., DISCLÉE ET SOCII. Parisiis/Tornaci (Belg.)/Romae, 1937. P. 627.
sacraments [in a general sense, for in Latin ‘sacramenta’ can mean ‘holy things that sanctify’] and in this way leads his subjects to eternal life.”16
Thus, one cannot really accede to the Petrine Office WITHOUT having been consecrated a Bishop. Hence, the necessity of consecrating as a Bishop someone immediately upon having been elected as Pope, if he has not yet been made a Bishop. Tanquerey goes on in his discussion to list the various ways in which Order is superior to the Powers of teaching and governing, but it is not necessary to delineate them here.
So Pope Benedict, by explicating the “spiritual essence” of the Petrine Office in no way does an injustice to that Office as established by Christ. For, the nature of the Petrine Office certainly demands that the exercise of the Power of Order in a personal way cannot be isolated from the public exercise of that Power of Order. Indeed, there is an intrinsic obligation for the Pope personally to be concerned spiritually for every one of the faithful over whom he reigns, which concern and holiness ought to be manifest in his personalspiritual life. And although Popes have acted in a schizophrenic way in the exercise of that Power, when Popes whose personal lives were not in accordance with their Public administration, the nature itself of the Papacy is not affected. Hence, the distinction Benedict made cannot be in any way be understood as a change of the Papacy as Christ established it.
Having distinguished the two essential characteristics of the Petrine Office, Benedict, in the long second sentence immediately acknowledges more specifically his inability of carrying out the Powers of Governing and of Teaching. It is very curious that Benedict, in the second paragraph, uses the word “vigor” (instead of “vires”) when he describes what has diminished with regard to “governing . . . and . . . proclaiming the Gospel,” in a world “subject to rapid changes and shaken by questions of great consequence for the life of the Faith.”17 As with “vires” in the first paragraph, the use of the word “vigor” meaning “vigor,” “force,” or “power/strength” seems to intimate something exterior affecting Benedict’s functioning within the Petrine Office. The mention here of both “body and soul” certainly provides the clue in that the soul neither ages nor deteriorates.
In fact, in that long second sentence, there is no reference to anything affecting Benedict’s physical condition; definitely no medical or psychological cause is mentioned as being directly involved. Nor is there any attribution made even to the ordinary pressures that naturally “come with the job,” which are too much for his advancing age. Furthermore, he places no blame specifically on his enemies, nor on the difficult problems he’s encountered, e.g., “Vatilleaks,” the contents of the two volume 300 page investigation made by three experienced Cardinals. However, by the absence of any “blame” he definitely asserts his freedom; indeed he implicitly denies that there is any external moral force or violence that limits his freedom.
16 Ibif., p. 629.
17 Pope Benedict XVI, Declaratio. Declaration of Abdication on the occasion of the Consistory for the Canonization of
Saints, 11 February 2013, http://w2.vatican.va./content/benedict- xvi/la/speech/2013/february/docuements/hf_ben- xvi_spe_2013211_declaratio.html.
Thus, he is able to emphasize that it is the “good of the Church,” whose life of faith is endangered, for which he acts, rather than his own good. That he does not specify precisely that what the good of the Church entails concerns the corruption within is understandable, for at that point, no one would really understand. THAT CORRUUPTION HAD TO BE REVEALED FIRST. It had to be revealed for three reasons. First, the nature of the Church Itself in the eyes of those who have the faith is such that Benedict would have sounded preposterous—just the thought of such corruption being totally abhorrent. Secondly, he had to give the enemies of the Church free hand in order to manifest the depth and the evil within, in other words, to bring the “apostasy” within to light. Thirdly, in order to fight an enemy with any success, one must know who they are and where they are!
In addition, the prepositional phrase “in me” (“vigor of body and soul has diminished in me”) should be noted. The preposition “in” can used with either for the Accusative Case or the Ablative Case. If Benedict intended “me” to be in the Accusative Case, the phrase could be translated as “for me” or “regarding me”; if he meant “me” to be the Ablative Case the phrase could be translated “in me” or “in the case of me/in my case.” It is this author’s belief that Benedict intended the use of the Ablative case, since it more properly describes the situation.In other words, the external forces against him, the demonic, the Masonic, and the filth with which he had to deal were much greater than his “vigor,” or “strength” or “force was able to overcome. Indeed, it would be beyond the “vigor” even of a Pope recognized to be a saint, for it would be impossible to know fully the depth, obscurity and diversity of such an enemy within.
Before going any further, a little summary of the Subjuncitve Mood is necessary, for it is the key to understanding what Benedict actually did.
Now the Gildersleeve-Lodge Latin Grammar defines the Subjunctive thus: “The Subjunctive Mood represents the predicate as an idea, as something conceived in the mind (abstracts from reality)”.18 The authors of Latin Grammar divide the Subjunctive into two main categories: the Potential and the Optative. In the case of the Optative, the idea is a wish, while in the Potential the idea is a view.19 With regard to the Potential Subjunctive it is stated that “[t]he Potential Subjunctive represents the opinion of the speaker as an opinion. The tone varies from surmise to moral certainty, from ‘may’ and ‘might’ to ‘must.’”20 Of course, the “opinion of the speaker,” in the context of a particular situation or circumstance, may express the “opinion” of one other than the speaker, as Roman Diplomacy is wont to do.
Furthermore, the Optative Subjunctive is used for sentences of design, called Final Sentences, which contemplate the END as an aim; the Potential Subjunctive is used for sentences of tendency or consequence, which are referred to as Consecutive Sentences which look to the END as the consequence of an action.21 Both Final and Consecutive sentences are introduced by ”ut” (“uti”). However, “ne” is used to introduce a Final negative sentence, while “ut non,”
181818 B. L. Gildersleeve and Gonzalez Lodge, Latin Grammar, D. C. Heath & Co. Publishers, Boston, 1894, p. 169.19 Ibid. p. 170.
20 Ibid. p. 170.
21 Ibid. p. 342.
“ut nemo,” etc. introduces a negative Consecutive sentence.22 In addition, Pure Consecutive Sentences often use Correlative Demonstratives, i.e., the particles ita (sic), talis, tantum, tam, adeo, eo, huc, etc. with “ut”,23 the first two particles just listed being used by Pope Benedict in his announcement: “modo tali” in the second sentence of the middle paragraph and “ita” in the last sentence, seemingly indicating the use of two consecutive clauses.
When a tendency or consequence is such that it may not always be effected, the result being an inference from a tendency and not an actual fact,24 the Potential Subjunctive is used. Because Benedict makes use of the introductory particles listed above, 1) “Modo tali…., ut…..debeam”, and 2) Ita ut…. Vacet,” it is evident, therefore, that he intended to express, at least in the case of #1, a consequence by a Pure Consecutive construction of the Potential Subjunctive. Hence, far from stating a fact, Benedict meant, by his use of the Subjunctive, to convey the signification proper to it, namely, a tendency or possible consequence concerning only the ministry, which may or may not result or be effected—depending what type of ministry he has in mind.
Should anyone doubt the intention of Benedict in using the Subjunctive, as opposed to the Indicative Mood used in the various translations, this remark by the authors of Latin Grammarshould certainly dispel it: “Inasmuch as a subjunctive cannot express a fact, the Latin Consecutive clause does not properly express actual result, but only a tendency, which may, we infer [we opine], lead to a result. To obviate this difficulty, the Latin has recourse to the circumlocutions with accidit, evenit, etc.”25
Having deliberately used the Subjunctive Mood Benedict avoids stating a fact, but rather he expresses “only a tendency”, a “possible result,” not a necessary or absolutely all inclusive result. Why? Consider first what Benedict posits: “in the world of our time subject to the rapid changes and shaken by questions of great consequence for the life of the Faith, indeed a certain vigor of body and soul is necessary for governing the Barque of St. Peter and forproclaiming the Gospel, which [vigor] has diminished in me to such an extent26 [according as things currently are but not according as they should be] that I should be bound to acknowledge my incapacity for administrating successfully the ministry [management of the current duties of governing, teaching and sanctifying currently] committed to me.”27 Of course, that “committed to me” references the object of the external opposition, i.e., the way he ministers; it is a way of saying: “my incapacity is relative, not absolute; I am capable of ministering according to the intentions of Christ, but not according to the way you ‘enemies’ intend.”
22 Ibid. p. 343.
23 Ibid. p. 351 -352.
24 Ibid. p. 351
25 Ibid. p. 343.
26 This phrase “ita ut” was rendered as “in such a way” in the translation given in the Paragraph two box above; the translation here provides a better assessment of Benedict’s situation.
27 Pope Benedict XVI, Declaratio. Declaration of Abdication on the occasion of the Consistory for the Canonization of Saints, 11 February 2013, http://w2.vatican.va./content/benedict- xvi/la/speech/2013/february/docuements/hf_ben- xvi_spe_2013211_declaratio.html.
Benedict once more makes a distinction between the Office and its exercise, speaking about his diminishing “vigor” necessary for “governing the Barque of St. Peter . . . and proclaiming the Gospel.” But it is curious that when he says he must “acknowledge my incapacity for administering successfully . . . , “ he concludes with “the ministry committed to me,” rather than the “munus Petrinum,” the term he had used earlier. He seems to be equating “ministry” with the Office of the Papacy as Modernists are wont to do. However, having made a distinction between the “munus Petrinum” and the administering of the Office both in the first paragraph as well as in this second paragraph, it wouldn’t seem plausible that he would want to deny that distinction here. Most likely, Benedict is using the phraseology in an ambiguous way so as not to agitate the Modernists.
By the use of a Consecutive Subjunctive, by not making an absolute statement of fact, Benedict is saying quite plainly, that “there IS something I can do; I’m not completely limited; I am morally certain that I can do and actually feel obliged to do for the good of the Church, whose Faith is in danger; I may be “incapable of administering successfully the MINSTRIES ENTRUSTED TO ME,” but I can still minister positively in a spiritual way! And as will become evident further on, by his continuation of the Petrine Office along with a new unique Petrine ministry, he would deny control of that Petrine Office, as well as its usual ministry, to the enemies of Christ, i.e., the Gates of hell. With that lengthy sentence, then, Benedict is letting the Cardinals know that he wished to be true to his prayer towards the end of his sermon at the Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate “heard around the world” when he said: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.”28 He certainly had in mind the dangers that he would have to face during his Pontificate; perhaps even at the time of his election he had contemplated the prospect of a resignation.
He also repeated to the world his intention to continue to minister for the good of the Church, when at his 27 February 2013 Audience he states:
“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, notformyowngood,butforthegoodoftheChurch. Ihavetakenthisstepwith full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity. Loving the Church means also having the courage to make difficult, painful decisions, always looking to the good of the Church and not of oneself.”29
If Benedict were actually resigning from the Petrine Office, it could certainly be said that he was looking out for his own good. He would be free to study, write, socialize or perhaps even do some teaching. He would not have been interested in staying at Mater Ecclesiae within the Vatican. And as had been done in the past, when a Pope retired from the Chair of Peter and returned to his previous status, he would have returned to his previous status of Cardinal, using that title. But for the good of the Church he indicated by his words and his actions that he was
28 http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050424_inizio-pontificato.html29 http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2013/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20130227.html.
not fleeing “for fear of the wolves; rather he was keeping the “munus Petrinum” from the enemies of the Church.
Notice, here he admits that his decision is a “novelty,” but it is not the novelty that practically everyone believes, namely, a Diarchy. Because he continued wearing the white soutane, living in the Vatican and demanding he be called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, it is certain that he did not resign in the normal way. But there is NO mention, not even a hint, that he is “sharing” or as some would say, “splitting” the Petrine Office with another Pope. He has laid down, in what we have reviewed so far, his goal, namely, “the good of the Church,” which entails keeping the “munus Petrinum” from the enemies within. When someone says I’m shutting my eyes so as not to view pornography, it does not mean that someone else should or can look at it. Really, for anyone to suggest, that Benedict intended to bifurcate is to impute to Benedict something absolutely false.
It is that last sentence of the second paragraph of his Proclamation where he drops a bomb and manifests that “novelty”: “For this reason well aware of the seriousness of this serious act I declare that I renounce the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th day of April 2005 . . .”
Here, for a third time, Benedict makes the distinction between the Chair of Peter and the ministry, proper to that See, conferred to him in 2005, i.e., the Office with its Powers and the “exercise” of the Powers of Magisterium, Governance and Order. The Indicative Mood, which states a FACT, is used here: “I declare . . . I renounce the ministry [not the “munus” or even the “Petrine ministry”] of the Bishop of Rome . . . entrusted to me . . . .” By that distinction having been made, however, Benedict plainly manifests that he intends to keep the Petrine Office, for as was indicated earlier, the “exercise” of the Powers of the Office is not the Office itself. Hence, the Chair of Peter cannot be vacant, which precludes the possibility of the election of another Pope. But how does he formally accomplish what he intends, namely, maintaining the Petrine Office for himself without the ministry on the one hand and on the other refusing to accommodate the modernist idea of a shared Papacy or as some put it, bifurcate?
What must be observed initially is that there are no commas marking off the three clauses whereby he manifests his intention. What follows immediately are the three clauses in the order given by Benedict in the official Latin text, first in the Latin and then the translation of each by this author according to the rules of Latin Grammar, which will be explicated further down.
–a (me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare); that I renounce the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th day of April 2005;
–b ( ); provided that from the 28th day of February 2013, at the 20th hour, the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter be vacant;
–c (et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse); and a Conclave for electing a new Supreme Pontiff may be needing to be convened by those to whom the competence belongs.
To sum up Benedict’s construction of the last sentence of the second paragraph, there are two indirect discourse (accusative with infinitive) clauses: “a” and “c”, and between those two clauses is a subjunctive clause “b”, again, with no punctuation marks, such as commas to indicate a break between clauses, in the Latin text. Furthermore, in Latin “’et’ is simply and, the most common and general particle of connection, and combines likes and unlikes”30 in a Compound Coordinate Sentence.
In other words, Benedict is using “et” (“and”) to connect the two indirect discourse clauses. This is really the only explanation for the use of “et” in the paragraph under consideration, for the verb “vacet” of clause “b” introduced by “ita ut,” being a subordinate clause itself, cannot be connected to an Indirect Discourse clause constructed with the Accusative and Infinitive. The rule is that “active verbs of Saying, Showing, Believing, and Perceiving and similar expressions take the Accusative and Infinitive.”31 The word “et” must therefore be used only to connect the two Accusative and Infinitive clauses, i.e., two coordinate clauses. The various possibilities for that “ita ut” clause will subsequently be explored.
As a subordinate clause, namely, the clause introduced by “ita ut,” clause “b”, at least from a superficial glance, seems to have three possible antecedents: clause “a,” clause “b,” or clauses “a” and “c” together. The problem that first confronts us is: what type of Subjunctive categorizes that “ita ut” clause; is it a Consecutive clause or is it a Final clause? Since a Final clause is not usually introduced by a correlative demonstrative as “ita” or “sic,” the Subjunctive clause would not appear to be a Final clause. So, we assume here that it is a Consecutive sentence or clause, which regards the consequence of an action, making it dependent on the first Accusative and Infinitive clause (as the antecedent) in that long third sentence of the second paragraph of Benedict’s Declaration. The rendering of that sentence would be: “I declare THAT I renounce the ministry . . . in such a way that . . . the See of Peter may be vacant [a consequence] and [that sole “et”] that a Conclave is needing to be convened . . .”
But such a rendering, typical of many translations, certainly the English translation, transforms the function of “et” from a conjunction connecting two Accusative Infinitive clauses to a conjunction connecting an Accusative and Infinitive clause to a subordinate clause, quite an impropriety, to say the least. Thus, in a way, the second Accusative Clause becomes dependent upon a dependent clause as result issuing from that clause. The use of “et” according to the above principle that it “combines likes and unlikes” in coordinating sentences becomes nonsense. Besides, it was already stated above that the word “vacet cannot take an Accusative and Infinitive clause. Furthermore, if “the See may be vacant,” the conclusion that “a Conclave is needing to be convened” does not follow necessarily. In other words, if the See may be occupied, a statement necessitating the convening of a Conclave cannot be made.
30 B. L. Gildersleeve and Gonzalez Lodge, Latin Grammar, D. C. Heath & Co. Publishers, Boston, 1894, p. 300.31 Ibid. p. 329.
It may be argued that the above translation is the proper one because in the Latin the Subjunctive clause is placed between the two Accusative Infinitive clauses. However, Subordinate clauses in the Latin are not always placed in the sequence where the dependent clause follows the independent clause. Consider the following sentence from Cicero.
“Socretes dicere solebat omnes in eo quod scirent satis esse elqpuentes, C. Or., I. 14, 63.“ “Socretes used to say that all men were eloquent enough in what they understood.”32
Here one can see that the subordinate clause (red and underlined) in the Latin text is placed in front of the major part of the Accusative Infinitive clause, as opposed to the English translation, where the subordinate clause is placed after the clause of indirect discourse, which is the main clause.
We spoke generally about Final and Consecutive Subjunctive sentences earlier, but another more particular observation needs to be made. Gilsersleeve-Lodge states regarding Sentences of Design (Final Sentences) that Complementary Final Sentences follow the verbs of Willing and Wishing, of Warning and Beseeching, of Urging and Demanding, of Resolving and Endeavoring
. . .”33
Now, since we have argued against the possibility of that “ita ut” clause being a Consecutive sentence expressing a consequence and depending upon the first Accusative Infinitive clause, it may be asked whether the clause in question could still be a Consecutive Subjunctive depending on the second Accusative Infinitive clause. The answer must be in the negative, because it would make no sense: “I declare THAT I renounce the ministry . . . and that a Conclaveisneedingtobeconvened…. insuchawaythat…theSeeofPetermaybe vacant.” Such a consequence is pure nonsense and possibility of making that Subjunctive clause dependent upon the second Accusative Infinitive clause must be absolutely rejected.
Another rendition could be thus: “I declare THAT I renounce the ministry . . . in such a way that . . . the See of Peter may be vacant and [I declare] that a Conclave is needing to be convoked . . . ..” This translation or understanding of the indirect discourse, however, gives rise to a certain contradiction as was suggested earlier, that is, that a possible vacancy can give rise to an absolute declaration that a Conclave for electing a Pope can be convoked. This is something that Benedict, in this author’s opinion, would not mean to say. He intends to keep the Petrine office and, knowing the teaching of the Church would certainly not fabricate a new theology of Diarchy by the use of a contradiction. Any accusation of such is nothing more than a presumptuous, perhaps even calumnious, assertion based on no real evidence but is rather something that such people just want to believe; but what one believes does not make it true, any more than those who, at the time of Columbus, believed the world was flat actually made it flat.
32 Ibid. p.315
33 Ibid. p. 345-346.
Thus, given the use of “ita ut” with the Subjunctive, there must be something different that Benedict wished to express. Perhaps that the second Accusative Infinitive clause, requires something expressing “Will” or “Warning” or “Urging/Demanding.” In light of the impossibility of electing another Pope, Benedict is, in a way, obliged to relay a “warning” by way of a condition, if he is going to be grammatically consistent and theologically correct. Such would be the case if that clause would fall into the category of a Complementary Final Sentence of Will and Desire.
Having recourse to Gildersleeve-Lodge once more, we learn that:
“[w]hile ita (sic) is usually an antecedent to a consecutive ut, it may also be antecedent to a Final ut or ne, when the design or wish intrudes. Ita me gessi ne tibi pudori essem, L., xl. 15, 6; ‘I behaved myself so as not to be a disgrace to you’
“So not infrequently when a restriction or condition is intended: Ita probanda est mansuetudo ut adhibeatur rei publicae causa severitas, C., Off., I. 25, 88; mildness is to be approved, so that (provided that) strictness be used for the sake of the commonwealth.”34
The resulting translation, then, is that which was provided in the translation frame above, and this author believes this is the proper, indeed the only translation that can be had. Furthermore, Benedict made NO MENTION of sharing the Petrine Office with another Pope. Truly, nothing in this renunciation Proclamation can be pointed at in any way to suggest evidence that the Petrine Office was going to be shared.
So, at this point, let’s take a deeper glimpse into the reason for such an unprecedented step by Benedict. Can anyone really believe that Benedict, with at least thirty two years of experience in the highest Offices of the Church, namely, as Prefect of the CDF and as Pope, was not aware of the designs of Freemasonry, Communism and the involvement of the demonic in the Church? In fact, Benedict was the one who told the former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, Howard Dee that Akita and Fatima were “essentially the same:” Indeed, it certainly indicates the possibility that the Third Secret of Fatima does mention something about the work of Satan in the Church.
“’Bishop Ito was certain Akita was an extension of Fatima, and Cardinal Ratzinger personally confirmed to me that these two messages, of Fatima And Akita, are essentially the same,” Dee told the magazine. “Bishop Ito said: ‘The Father wants to purify mankind before it enters into the third millennium.’” 35
Benedict was also “invited” to resign, for “In June 2012 Benedict and Cardinal Martini were together at the World Meeting of Families and the liberal Cardinal told him, according to Fr.
34 Ibid. p. 353.
35 John Doughery, “Third Secret Compared to Japan Apparitions.” WND, 6 July 2000, http://www.wnd.com/2000/07/2042/.
Silvano Fausti, the Cardinal’s Confessor, “The Curia is not going to change, you have no choice but to leave.”36
Moreover, during his active reign Benedict was bringing tradition and orthodoxy back to the Church and was attempting to clean up the filth. He promulgated Summorum Pontificum, lifted of the excommunications of the SSPX Bishops, placed the words “for many” back into the Consecration of the wine, established theological discussions with the SSPX, and defrocked at least 800 priests as well as brought Marcial Maciel, founder of the L. C., down. The enemies of the Church hated him, while those who today decry him were lauding him. But pressure was mounting.
Now, as is the character of the Mafia, the St. Gallen and those involved with the demonic, there are no definite threats, there are only warnings, innuendoes, signs and signals. Nothing is certain, and hence no definite action can be taken against the enemy; there were no specifics— only suspicions were possible. On the other hand, these same forces of evil were using incredible manipulative ploys in order to move Benedict to do their will. But by the same token they would use their resources to prevent him from doing what he knew ought to be done. What Benedict was experiencing was a covert, indeed occult, well organized network determined to take over and change the Church according to their designs.
It cannot be denied that with every effort to “turn back” the Church to tradition, the pressure mounted for him to step down. From the psychological perspective, there are few who, when their right is obstructed by enemies, will cave in without a fight or have some escape possible, especially when that right is inalienable. Even more so from a spiritual and moral viewpoint the prospect of his work being destroyed as well as the determination of the enemies within to remake the Church to their own image, the idea of having to “give in to” those adversaries could only intensify Benedict’s resolve thwart the opposition. How can anyone doubt that he was going to do what he could to keep the Chair of Peter from the hands of those vicious enemies?
Admittedly, this is a very difficult and complex matter, but perhaps some further explanation and examples will help. We know that the Petrine Office or “Munus”, which actually means office, obligation or duty, consists of the three powers of Governing, Teaching and Sanctifying. The occupant of the Petrine Office then has the duty, the obligation, to carry out (“exercise” if you will) all that was mandated by Christ Who instituted that Office. Furthermore, the legitimate occupant of the Roman See has not only the obligation but also the right to carry out the prescribed duties. Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J. states: “We cannot be obliged to keep the moral law and at the same time be deprived of the means necessary to this end. This obligation requires that we have the power both to do the things necessary for keeping the moral law ourselves and to restrain others from interfering with our observance of the moral law. No
36 Posted by Francesca Romana. “The Original Story: When the Jesuit Cardinal told Pope Benedict XVI he had to resign.”Rorate Caeli. Article written by Cian Guido Vecchi, Corriere della Sera, 16 July 2015, https://rorate- caeli.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-original-story-when-jesuit-cardinal.html
one can be obliged to the impossible; hence if it is a fact that we are obliged, we must beempowered to fulfill our obligation.”37
That one is “empowered to fulfill [his] obligation” means that he has the right (as a moral power) to do what is necessary in fulfilling what is required by his office to the extent that he can. In addition, however, there is the promise of Our Lord to St. Peter to protect His Church from the “gates of hell. ”Fr. Fagothey goes on to define “right”
“as the moral power over what is one’s own, or more expressly, moral power to do, hold or exact something. To do here is to be taken both affirmatively and negatively; it means either to perform something or omit some action, for one may have a right to keep silent as well as to speak. To hold means to own, keep, or use something, and includes metaphorical meanings, such as to hold an office or a job. To exact means to demand that someone else performs or omits some action; thus a teacher exacts attention and silence from his pupils.”38
The above definition is the primary sense in which “right” is to be taken. And rights are considered to be inviolable. Again, Fr. Fagothey writes:
Thus a right puts a moral bond on the free will of another so that, even if he can infringe my right physically, he cannot do so without committing an evil deed and incurring moral guilt with its corresponding sanctions. Hence a right is said to be morally inviolable, even when it is physically violable.39
Of course, when a Cardinal is elected validly and that Pope-elect accepts the Petrine Office to which the Cardinals have elected him, God Himself confirms the election and the new Pope possesses an inalienable right to that “Munus” and to the exercise of that “Munus”.
Moreover, even though a right is morally inviolable in relation to another person, it is not necessary, in every case, that a person make use of his right.40 Hence, we regard the right to life as inviolable, and thus it is even immoral for a person to take his own life. In the case fo suicied, one rejects both the duty of preserving life and the right to protect it as well. However, if a person who risks his life in an effort to save the life of another and may even die in the process, a higher good is involved, and he neither disdains his duty to preserve his life nor rejects his right to it.
And even if there was no absolute fact to which to point whereby Benedict was directly being denied his right to act properly, still the power and devious ways of the enemies of the Church working “in the dark,” in reality not only prevented him from so acting, but they were
37 Fr. Austin Fogothy, S.J., Right and Reason Ethics in Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed., TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, IL, 2000, p. 239.
38 Ibid. p. 240
40 Ibid. p. 254
manipulating him to do what he couldn’t in conscience do. Hence he used the Consecutive Subjunctive to indicate that he WAS NOT BACKING DOWN; that he intended to preserve his RIGHT to the Papacy, resigning ONLY from the “exercise” of the Powers of Office.
As he indicated both in his 11 February Announcement and 27 February Audience, Benedict was acting for a higher good, a common good, namely, the Faith of the Church, rather than his personal good. The diabolical enemies were attacking that Rock, indeed the Church Itself, for which Christ promised protection against the “gates of Hell,” and Benedict took a “novel” step in the Providence of God to secure that Rock. At this point in the diabolical battle, he was not so much concerned about the Consecration of Russia (which at this point was impossible), but the very life-blood of the Church. He was, in this author’s mind, even risking his life. And thus, it can truly be said that Benedict, in acting as he did, neither disdains his duty to preserve his life nor rejects his right to it; but neither does he cede his right to the Papacy to his enemies nor abandons his duty to protect the Papacy. And although Benedict had stated that “a Conclave was needing to be called provided the See of Rome, . . . , be vacant,” it was only to allow the enemies to do what they wanted; it was a safety valve, so to speak. He had the Petrine Office in his hands, which was his primary concern.
Here is the dilemma which Benedict was facing:
1) a) Benedict sensed, on account of his knowledge of the Third Secret, among other prophecies, what he had come to know while at the CDF concerning the Demonic influence in the Church, the Investigative report of the Three Cardinals given to him just before Christmas 2012, and most likely even being aware of the Masonic determination to take control of the Church knew that the next Pope would be the one to dismantle the Church, to put it mildly, that something had to be done to keep the Papacy out of the hands of the absolute enemies of Christ.
b) Benedict was faced either with capitulating to their commands to resign properly from the Petrine Office; or be murdered, which may not have been an explicit threat, but even implicit threats cannot be ignored.
2) The prospect that the Petrine Office would be taken over by Christ’s enemies, ultimately by Satan’s henchmen, in reality rendered that which would appear as martyrdom (which many had considered a necessity for Benedict), at this specific time in the history of the Church, nothing but betrayal of Christ and His Church as well as a mockery of Christ’s promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against It [the Church]”. A full-fledged resignation would amount to the same thing.
3) The laws governing the resignation of a Pope thus became an obstacle, a detriment, to the Good of the Church! They could not be accommodated!. So, Benedict did what was not only philosophically possible, but IN THIS CASE was also given the right by the Virtue of Equity to do what he did, i.e., resigning from the existing Papal Ministries, the various ministries being that by which the “exercise” of the three Powers is divided, but which existing Papal Ministries do not exhaust all the possible ways a Pope could be able to minister.
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani explains the virtue of Equity thus:
“EPIKY. We have enumerated certain cases in which this ars boni et aequi (equity) is to be applied. Frequently, however, we speak of equity only in reference to positive laws. A human lawgiver is never able to foresee all the individual cases to which law will be applied. Consequently, a law, though just in general, may, taken literally, lead in some unforeseen cases to results which agree neither with the intent of the lawgiver nor with natural justice, but rather contravene them. In such cases the law must be expounded not according to its wording but according to the intent of the lawgiver and the general principles of natural justice. Law in the strict sense (jus strictum) is, therefore, positive law in its literal interpretation; equity, on the contrary, consists of the principles of natural justice so far as they are used to explain or correct a positive human law if this is not in harmony with the former. Epiky (Gr. ‘Επιεικειεα, equity) is therefore defined: The benign application of the law according to what is good and equitable, which decides that the lawgiver does not intend that, because of exceptional circumstances, some particular case be included under his general law. D’Annibale (I, p. 180) states that epieikeia is a species of equity.” 41
In taking that drastic step of maintaining the Petrine Office, while resigning from the Ministries, Benedict was not acting “ultra vires,” or in any way that would be against the law; he was “correct[ing] a positive human law . . . not in harmony with [natural justice]”. It is just that in the situation in which Benedict was involuntarily placed by the powers that be, he had to have recourse to Epieikeia; the Ecclesiastical Laws concerning the resignation of a Pope were such that Benedict could not abide by them in the circumstances in he found himself.
Now back to the rest of that last sentence of the second paragraph of Benedict’s proclamation: “. . . and that a Conclave for electing a new Supreme Pontiff is needing to be convened by those to whom the competence belongs provided that the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter maybevacantfromthe28thdayofFebruary2013.” GiventhatBenedict,byinitially distinguishing between the Petrine Office and the Ministries of the Petrine Office, and then declaring that he was resigning from the exercise of the Ministries of the Office, could not use the Indicative Mood, which states a fact, as for example, “since the See of Rome will be vacant . . .” This would be an outright contradiction.
So, in order to accommodate his intention, he makes use of the subjunctive again; this time, however, instead of using a Pure Consecutive construction of the Potential Subjunctive, Benedict employs the Final Sentence construction which takes the Optative Subjunctive. As was argued above Benedict constructed that clause with “ita ut” and in so doing he designated a condition “provided that . . .” The context of those first two paragraphs of the Proclamation,
41 Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, Canon Law, Second Revised Edition, Autorized English Version by The Rev. Joseph M. O’Hara, Ph,D. And The Rev. Francis Brennan, D.D., J.U.D., The Dolphin Press, PA., 1935, p. 15.
more precisely the preceding declaratory sentence cries out for an indication that the See is NOT vacant. And as the Supreme Pontiff, he had every right to accommodate his intention to keep the Petrine Office to the circumstances of that most difficult position into which he had been maneuvered.
But the objection will most likely hurled that if Benedict actually intended to keep the Petrine Office and thus preclude a Conclave from being convoked, he should have stated the fact by means of the Indicative Mood specifying as much, i.e., that he should have stated outright that the See was not vacant. This is certainly a legitimate objection, but one must keep in mind with whom Benedict is dealing: the most dangerous and unscrupulous enemies of the Church. They wanted him out of the way, so they could destroy the Church. And as mentioned above Benedict would either be found dead in bed or he would have to resign fully.
However, what Benedict did was to put the onus on the enemies. He gave the warning that a Conclave could be convoked provided the See was vacant! His ploy gave only the appearance of setting up a Diarchy, and that was sufficient for those who actually believed in the possibility; they let Benedict “do his thing” as long as he kept out of their way. But he DID keep the Petrine Office in fact out of the hands of what this author would call a vicar of Satan. The FACT that he put forth the proviso speaks volumes! He meant to keep the Papacy. And whatever appearances were there, which appearances were acted upon by others, the idea of setting up of a Diarchy, of bifurcating or whatever, exists only in the minds of the Modernists and those who failed to read or understand the Latin.
The accusation may be made as well that he has simulated or dissimulated regarding his Renunciation of the “ministry of the Bishop of Rome.” However, this is nothing more than another gratuitous allegation. And to verify this it is only necessary to look at the definition of these two terms. Rev. Merkelbach in his Summa Theologicae Moralis states:
“Simulation properly so called, or formal, is a lie through deeds, by which someone through external actions intends to signify something other than he has in mind, e.g., if someone shows signs of friendship on account of unfriendly intentions; from that is distinguished simulation improperly called, or material: this is dissimulation or ambiguous action for hiding the truth which is licit for a just cause, always so others are able to infer from the circumstances the mind of the one dissimulating.”42
Thus Benedict, in what he did, does not simulate a resignation from the Petrine Office; he was not pretending to resign. That is to say, he did not lie about his resignation. Nor was he pretending to set up a Diarchy! He, however, may have, for diplomatic reasons, for the sake of his safety, or other legitimate reasons, e.g., preserving the Bride of Christ spotless, given (most likely intentionally?) an appearance of setting up a Diarchy. If such were actually the case (the setting up of a Diarchy) he would not have issued a warning, a condition, to the Cardinals;
42 Benedictus Henricus Merkelbach, O.P. Summa Theologicae Mroalis, Tomus Secundus, Editio Octova, Desclée de Brouwert Cie, La Librairie Dominicane, Montréal, CANADA, 1949, p. 833.
rather, he would have used the Indicative Mood and stated a fact or a Consecutive Subjunctive clause, allowing for a Conclave as a possible result, without in any way setting up a contradiction, as we shown earlier, with the use of a Consecutive clause. Neither does he simulate by his actions subsequent to his Declaration, for he acts in no way different from what he intended by his wording in the Declaration. The most that could be said is that he was being ambiguous or equivocal, which is what dissimulation really is. But certainly the seriousness of the situation demanded such a tactic for the good of the Church.
At this point it is necessary to correct the misunderstanding about certain things Dom Gänswein said in his 20 May 2016 talk at the Gregorian University at the presentation of a new book by Roberto Regoli entitled Beyond the Crisis in the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XV being evidence for a Diarchy. But first, it would do well to expose the nature of the Papacy and its relation to Canon Law. For this the most renowned Canonists of the last Century, Amleto Giovanni Cicognani has again been chosen for the task, providing the nature of the Papacy and the full range of Papal Powers. In his book entitled “Canon Law” He teaches that:
“The Supreme Pontiff is THE CHIEF, THE ORDINARY AND UNDYING SOURCE OF CANON LAW, BOTH GENERAL AND PARTICULAR.
“(a) In proof of this we have only to read Canon 218 [Old Code]: § 1. As successor to the primacy of St. Peter, the Roman Pontiff has not only the primacy of honor, but also supreme and full power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, in matters of faith and morals as well as in those pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.”
“(b) The pope’s plenary, absolute and strictly monarchical jurisdiction, manifesting itself in the exercise of judicial, administrative and especially legislative power, is restricted by NO HUMAN AUTHORITY. Accordingly, the Pope’s primacy of jurisdiction over the Church of Christ is not circumscribed by General Councils, by the College of Cardinals, by any group of Bishops, nor for a stronger reason, by the faithful, of by civil rulers, or by any human power whatsoever.”
“(c) The Power of the Pope is limited ONLY by Divine Law, both natural and positive. The Roman Pontiff cannot make any law at variance with this law, nor can he strictly speaking, dispense from it.”
“(d) The primacy of jurisdiction accounts for the vast power of the Roman Pontiff, whereby he has the right : (1) To make new laws, both universal and particular: hence the fact that a Pope enacts new laws, ACCORDING TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND NECESSITIES OF THE TIMES [including when invoking the virtue of epieikeia], SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS SOMETHING STRANGE. (2) To interpret laws, both ecclesiastical and divine, for he is the Universal Doctor and the Supreme Teacher. (3) To safeguard laws and to enforce them, for he must be their defender against attacks (hence the Holy Father obliges bishops to bring him a report (Relatio) on the state of their dioceses, especially for the purpose of learning whether discipline
prevails and the cannons are obeyed. (4) To abrogate, derogate, and change human ecclesiastical laws, whether they be laws of his predecessors, since, ‘an equal has no dominion over an equal’, or the laws of ecumenical or particular Councils, or even those of the Apostles. (5) To grant dispensations, privileges and indults. Rightly, therefore, did Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) assert that the Roman Pontiff has all laws in the Archives of his heart (in scrinio sui pectoris; c. 1, ‘De Constit.’, in VI).”43
Throughout the history of the Church, many “innovations,” ministries if you will, were introduced into the Vatican’s operating structures according to the needs of the time. For example the manner of electing a Pope, initially accomplished by the Clergy of Rome, eventually developed into an election by means of a very formal Conclave of Cardinals from around the world. Dicasteries (Congregations) were added as the Church grew and procedures became more specialized. Hence, as long as there was a real need and as long as the proposed additions or changes were not opposed the nature of the Papacy or the Divine Law, those changes were certainly legitimate.
Until it is proved otherwise we must admit that Benedict was by no means ignorant of the history of the Church, of Canon Law or of the teaching of the Church that the Papacy is strictly a monarchy. Moreover, having argued from the wording of his resignation that Benedict intended to maintain the Petrine Office and that with no extraneous intimation whatsoever that he wished to share the Papacy with anyone, it ought to be accepted that he did not attempt to set up a Diarchy. Indeed, as Pope he could add any kind of ministry which was NOT contrary to the nature of the Papacy or to any Divine Law, according as he saw fit for the situation in the Church confronting him. So it is necessary look to what he actually did. And for this purpose we turn to Dom Gänswein, Benedict’s Secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, who provides the arrangement that Benedict instituted. We provide herewith three paragraphs from his 20 May 2016 talk wherein the details are set out, and then present an analysis of those three paragraphs in order show that Benedict in no way established something contrary to the nature of the Papacy.
As during the times of Peter, also today the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic continues having one legitimate Pope. And still, after three years from that step [Benedict’s renunciation], we are/we may be44 living with two successors of Peter among us – who are not in a competitive relationship with each other, and yet both with an extraordinary presence! We would be able to add that the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger has previously already marked in a decisive way the long pontificate of Saint John Paul II, whom he faithfully served for nearly a quarter of a
43 Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, Canon Law, Second Revised Edition, Autorized English Version by The Rev. Joseph M. O’Hara, Ph,D. And The Rev. Francis Brennan, D.D., J.U.D., The Dolphin Press, PA., 1935, p. 72-73.
44 Note that the 1st person plural in Italian has the same form in both the indicative and the subjunctive moods–viviamo!
century as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith. Many continue to perceive even today this new situation as a kind of state of exception willed by God.45
Here, again, we offer a reminder on the use of the Subjunctive Mood. Although hitherto the Latin Subjunctive has been treated, the translations given by this author are rendered from the Italian, which was the language in which Dom Gänswein delivered his speech of 20 May 2016. And since Italian is the “first born” of the Latin language, the use of the Subjunctive Mood will not in any way differ from that of the Latin. Italian Grammar textbook Italian For You provides a clear summary: “The Subjunctive mood (modo congiuntivo), used in Italian much more than in English or French, expresses an action or a state not as a fact, but as a possible, probable, uncertain or expedient and, most frequently, depending on another action or state expressed or understood. It is therefore used especially in subordinate clauses which depend on principal clauses—hence the name congiuntivo, the mood which joins two actions or states, when one wishes to convey an impression, an opinion or some conception of the mind, but never a fact.”46
In this paragraph, Dom Gänswein is stating absolutely that there is only one legitimate Pope as has always been the case in the Church since the times of St. Peter, but without mentioning who is really Pope. At this point Benedict’s Secretary seems to contradict what he said at first by saying: “we are living with two successors of Peter.” However, with diplomacy shrewd and ingenious, Dom Gänswein, forms his sentence in such a way as to be able to use a word that can have two meanings, namely, the Italian word “viviamo”. This can mean either “we are living” (Indicative mood) or “we are seemingly/apparently living/as it were living” (Subjunctive mood) “with two successors of Peter among us.” There can be no doubt whatsoever that Dom Gänswein intends the latter meaning. Of course, Benedict and Francis are not in competition with each other; Benedict is doing what he intended to do, which is to pray and do penance and at the same time maintaining the Papal Office, while Francis is doing what he was supposedly elected to do—destroy the Church. And if there is only one Pope, as the Archbishop initially stated, alongside an anti-Pope, there is no doubt that each one has “an extraordinary presence”.
Next, the Prefect of the Papal Household compares the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger with the long Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, or rather with the spirit of Pope John Paul II concerning his Pontificate. In other words, just as John Paul II was determined, despite his debilitating health, due to an interior affliction preventing him from fully performing his duties, not to abandon the Papacy, so is Pope Benedict determined, despite difficulties (diabolical disorientation) within the Vatican, a limitation from something exterior to his person preventing him from doing his job properly, not to abandon the Papacy. It is a very subtle way of indicating that he is imitating John Paul II, but in a different way. There is an “exceptional” situation “willed by God” Who indicated to Benedict through uncontrollable circumstances, given that the conditions in the Vatican were such as to prevent Benedict from doing what was good and just as well as forcing
45 Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Speech discussing the Pontificate of Benedict XVI at the presentation of a new book by Roberto Regoli entitled Beyond the Crisis in the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XV on 20 May 2016, ACI Stampa 21 May 2016, https://www.acistampa.com/story/benedetto-xvi-la-fine-del-vecchio-l’nizio-del-nuove-l/inizio-di-georg- gänswein-3369.
46 Delia Lennie and Moira Grego, Italian for You: A Practical Grammar, Longman Group Limited, 1977, p.131.
him to do what was evil and unjust. What Dom Gänswein means by saying that “many perceive” this “state of exception” as willed by God refers to a political theory advocated by Carl Schmitt, a renowned political philosopher of the last century.47 This theory is quite an interesting and this author believes that the state of the Church warranted such an “exceptional” retreat form the normal functioning of the Papacy, though not for the same purpose as that considered by Carl Schmitt.
The epochal resignation of the theologian Pope has represented a step forward essentially on account of the fact that on the 11th of February 2013, speaking in Latin before the surprised Cardinals, he introduced into the Catholic Church the new institution of “Pope Emeritus”, declaring that his strengths were no longer sufficient “in order to exercise in a suitable manner the Petrine Ministry”. The key word of that Declaration is munus petrinum, translated – as occurs most of the time – by ‘petrine ministry’. And yet, munus, in Latin, has a multiplicity of meanings: it can mean service, duty, guide or gift, even prodigy. Before and after his resignation Benedict understood and understands his duty as participation in a certain “petrine ministry.” He has left the Pontifical Throne and yet, with the step of 11 February 2013, has not absolutely abandoned this ministry. He has instead integrated/ supplied the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as if a ministry in common, as if with this he had wanted to validate once again the invitation contained in that motto which the then Joseph Ratzinger took for himself as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and which later on he naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which signifies precisely “cooperators of truth”. In fact, it is not in the singular, but in the plural, drawn from the Third Letter of St. John, where at verse 8 it is written: “We ought to welcome these persons in order that they become cooperators of truth.”48
After speaking about Benedict’s election and some aspects of his Pontificate related in Professor Regoli’s book, Dom Gänswein centers in on Benedict’s renunciation on 11 February 2013. By this announcement that shocked the entire world, Benedict’s Secretary states that a “new institution” was introduced into the Catholic Church, the institution of “Pope Emeritus.” What was meant by the novelty of a “new institution” in the Archbishop’s mind? Surely, he meant only that such a title had never been used by any Pope who had retired in the past. And it must be understood that such a title was never, and today is not, a formal ecclesiastical title1;49 it remains a title of honor only, used in the areas of business, academics, Protestant
47 Guido Ferro Canale. “The resignation of Benedict XVI and the shadow of Carl Schmitt.” A ”Pontificate of Exception.” The Mystery of Pope Benedict, posted by Sandro Magistro, Cheisa, 26 July 2016 http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351344bdc4.html?eng=y.
48 Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Speech discussing the Pontificate of Benedict XVI at the presentation of a new book by Roberto Regoli entitled Beyond the Crisis in the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XV on 20 May 2016, ACI Stampa 21 May 2016, https://www.acistampa.com/story/benedetto-xvi-la-fine-del-vecchio-l’nizio-del-nuove-l/inizio-di-georg- gänswein-3369.
49 Canon 185 of the New Code of Canon Law makes allowance for the title “Emeritus”: “The title ‘emeritus’ may be conferred on one who loses office by reason of age, or of resignation which has been accepted.” This canon is placed in the section
ministers, and more recently for retired Catholic Bishops. In fact the Definitions website defines it generally as “honorably retired from assigned duties and retaining your title along with the additional title ’emeritus’ as in ‘professor emeritus.”50 But because of the precise manner of his renunciation, i.e., from the Petrine Ministry, Benedict was establishing a new classification for his unique situation concerning the Papal Office by the use of “Pope Emeritus.” Basically, he intended to intimate that he still had a connection with the Petrine Office.
Proceeding, Archbishop Gänswein immediately appears to equate “Petrine Ministry”, with the Petrine OFFICE (“munus Petrinum”), which term Benedict himself used and meant literally in his Official Latin Declaration and which, to repeat ourselves, is the formal canonical term used in referring to the Papacy. However, quoting from the Latin text of Benedict’s Declaration, Dom Gänswein tells the audience that Pope Benedict’s “strengths were no longer sufficient ‘in order to exercise in a suitable manner the Petrine Ministry’”. Although the Archbishop uses the term “Petrine ministry,” and not “Petrine Office, he hastily adds that the word ‘munus petrinum’ is the “key word of the Declaration,” admitting, however, that it is “translated . . . by ‘petrine ministry’” in many cases.
In post-Vatican II language and understanding of the Papacy such terminology, “petrine ministry”, unfortunately does refer to the Office of the Papacy. This novel tactic of denoting the Papacy as a “ministry” seems to be an effort to view the Papal Office as a way of accommodating the new theology of “collegiality,” and implies as well that the Papacy is essentially sacramental rather than juridical. Although it is possible that the use of the title “Emeritus” accommodates the modernist idea of the Papacy, that was not Benedict’s intention. Rather, he used it to “hide” his full intention of maintaining the Papacy exclusively for himself.
Having noted that the “key word of the Declaration” is “munus petrinum,” the Archbishop then provides certain meanings for the “munus petrinum,” and ultimately chooses the term “duty” to define the Office of the Papacy. The Archbishop then continues:
Before and after his resignation Benedict understood and understands his duty asparticipation in a certain “petrine ministry.” He has left the Pontifical Throne and yet, with the step of 11 February 2013, has not absolutely abandoned this Petrine ministry.
Now just as Dom Gänswein notes that the key word in Benedict’s Declaration is “munus petrinum,” so is it here noted that the key phrase here is: “Before and after his resignation.” In other words, in Benedict’s mind there is NO SUBSTATIONAL CHANGE TO, NO ADDITION TO the Petrine Office. In order to understand this, we must consider what comes next. Benedict’s Secretary says that Benedict understood “his duty as participation in a certain “petrine ministry” before his resignation. So what does THIS mean? Without doubt NO POPE personally
entitled On the loss of an ecclesiastical office, and since it makes no distinction concerning offices, there seems no reason for Benedict not to use it. In fact, the commentary on Canon 185 in Code of Canon Law Annotated, states that , “The titles ‘retired’ or ‘emeritus’ are merely honorary and confer no juridical attribution whatsoever on an office.” (E. Caparros, M. Theriault, J.Thorn eds., Wilson & Lafleur Limitée; Montréal, Canada, 1993, p. 175).
oversees every aspect of the many faceted and great numbers of ministries which are necessary for the governing of the Church!
Canon 360 states: “The supreme Pontiff usually conducts the business of the universal Church through the Roman Curia, which acts in his name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the Churches. The Curia is composed of the Secretariat of Sate or Papal Secretariat, the Council for the public affairs of the Church, the Congregations, the Tribunals and other Institutes.” Hence, as a rule, the Pope “participates in” or shares his “workload” with the different Dicasteries; and perhaps in a sense it could be legitimately called a “collegial” effort—the heads of the various Congregations being Bishops.
The Archbishop continues: “He has left the Pontifical Throne and yet, with the step of 11 February 2013, and “yet has not absolutely abandoned this ministry.” What is “this ministry” or duty, post resignation, to which the faithful Secretary alludes, which Benedict is now able to undertake?
The point here is that, although the exercise of the powers of an office are not the office itself, it would be a grave injustice for the holder of an office, capable of carrying out some type of “ministry,” while intending to maintain the office, to resign from the “ministry” only and then refuses to undertake some type of obligation (duties or “ministries”) proper to that office. Therefore, having resigned from the usual “ministry” for commensurate and just reasons, Benedict intends to undertake some type of “ministry.” He cannot act in the usual manner, but there are other possible ways to “minister” within the nature of the Petrine Office. As Pope and prior to the date set for his withdrawal from the “ministry as usual,” he arranges for the change or addition of a certain type of “ministry” and the reduction of the size of the Curia. It is Dom Gänswein who sets the program out. However, before looking at his explanation, it should be added that if a Pope were to be totally and absolutely incapacitated by some ill-fated accident, or even reduced a vegetative state, he would still be Pope.
The following sentence provides the answer, indicating the continuation of a certain ministry in Benedict’s new “personal” “munus petrinum,”: “He has instead integrated or supplied the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as if a ministry in common, as if with this he had wanted to validate once again the invitation contained in that motto which the then Joseph Ratzinger took for himself as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and which later on he naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: ‘cooperatores veritatis’, which signifies precisely ‘cooperators of truth’”. Here the Archbishop uses the Subjunctive to express a state or an action expedient for Benedict’s new status, but based on his previous (“before . . . his resignation”) positions.
So, according to the Archbishop there is a Pope, Benedict (implied in the next paragraph of the Archbishop’s speech), who maintains the Petrine Office after renouncing his participation in the usual ministries of the Roman Curia, but then supplied his “personal” Office with a sort of Curia of ,“cooperatores veritatis” with a collegial dimension. As the Archbishop of Munich and then as an active Pope he utilized in his Episcopal Curia and his Roman Curia those whom he trusted as lovers of truth, so now in his new “Personal” Curia there will be only “cooperatores veitatis.”
The question arises, “Who is Benedict cooperating with?” Who would be a worthy Cooperator of Truth? Certainly not Francis! It is hard to believe that he intends to cooperate with Francis, whom he knew ahead of time to be at odds with Catholic Teaching. There is only an appearance, then, of cooperating with him, precisely because Benedict has maintained the Petrine Office but with singular ministry, a kind of exercise of the Office of Sanctifying different from the exercise of the Office while he occupied the Throne of Peter. This distinct mode of “ministry would be the Benedictine monastic style of praying and doing penance at his residence, Mater Ecclesiae. In addition, it was Benedict’s intention to have Dom Gänswein as his Secretary in his new situation in order to be a “cooperator of truth” with him, as although he is also the Prefect of the Papal Household for Francis.
From the election of his successor Francisco on 13 March 2013 there are therefore not two Popes, but in fact an expanded ministry – with an active member and a contemplative member. On account of this Benedict XVI has renounced neither his name nor his white soutane. For this reason the proper appellative with which he is addressed is still today “Holiness”; and on account of this, moreover, he has not withdrawn into an isolated monastery, but to the interior of the Vatican – as if he had taken only one step aside to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the Papacy which he, with that step, has enriched with the “central” office for his prayer and his compassion in the Vatican Gardens.51
In Paragraph 19 the Archbishop stresses once again that “there are therefore not two Popes, but in fact an expanded ministry….” That ministry belongs to Benedict, not in union with or in addition to Francis. Rather, it is an expansion of the “exercise of the Power of Sanctifying, by means of a mode distinct from the usual “ministry,” or way of exercising the Office of Sanctifying, which he had while actually active in the Chair of Peter, as will become clear hereafter. Benedict’s situation, or better yet, Pontificate, is only in a minor way different from several other Pontificates which have existed in the past—listed below.
Two of which were stressed at the beginning of his talk:
- Pope John Paul II, a Pope incapacitated by illness;
- Pope Gregory VII, a Pope in exile;
To these can be added:
- Pope Caius, a Pope in hiding;
- Pius VII, a Pope in captivity;
51 Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Speech discussing the Pontificate of Benedict XVI at the presentation of a new book by Roberto Regoli entitled Beyond the Crisis in the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XV on 20 May 2016, ACI Stampa 21 May 2016, https://www.acistampa.com/story/benedetto-xvi-la-fine-del-vecchio-l’nizio-del-nuove-l/inizio-di-georg- gänswein-3369
Finally there is the added “extended” ministry:
5. Benedict XVI, a Pope voluntarily and officially reduced to a religious, because due to circumstances while active it was impossible for him to function justly.
The Archbishop emphasizes that Benedict kept the title “His Holiness,” and that he has not moved to an isolated monastery. On the contrary, Benedict moved to the “interior of the Vatican – as if had taken only one step aside . . . ,” [but not really—the Subjunctive again expressing an idea, an appearance, a possibility]. Benedict does this in order “to make room for his [apparent] successor and a new stage in the history of the Papacy . . .” Benedict’s Secretary continues: “which [Papacy of Benedict] he [Benedict], with that step, has enriched [back to the Indicative, the Mood of fact] with the “central” office for his prayer and his compassion in the Vatican Gardens. This is absolutely sublime Vatican Diplomacy.
In stating that the expanded ministry has an active and a contemplative member, Dom Gänswein is saying, as indicated above, that Benedict would be the contemplative member exercising in a special way the Office of Sanctifying through prayer and penance and Archbishop Gänswein as the active memberof a sort of attenuated and specialized “Curia.” The choice of words MUST be noted, namely, “active MEMBER” and “contemplative MEMBER,” not an “active POPE” and “contemplative POPE.” There can be no mistake that the Archbishop meant what he said; that there are two members, not two Popes, and that Pope is Benedict, the contemplative member, while the active member is Dom Gänswein.
The only difference between Benedict’s situation and those of the others mentioned above is that he established it by an official and legitimate act freely made. All others were either forced into their situation by external forces beyond their control or, as was the case with John Paul II, by internal malady. Who can doubt that those Popes while in captivity, in hiding, in exile or with illness fulfilled the Power of Order in a personal and special way for the good of the Church of which they were still Pope? Each one in his own way unquestionably prayed and offered their sufferings for their flock while they were unable to exercise the Powers of the Petrine Office in a normal fashion.
Paragraph 3 – Latin
Fratres carissimi, ex toto corde gratias ago vobis pro omni amore et labore, quo mecum pondus ministerii mei portastis et veniam peto pro omnibus defectibus meis. Nunc autem Sanctam Dei Ecclesiam curae Summi eius Pastoris, Domini nostri lesu Christi confidimus sanctamque eius Matrem Mariam imploramus, ut patribus Cardinalibus in eligendo novo Summo Pontifice matena sua bonitate assistat. Quod ad me attinet etiam in futuro vita orationi dedicata Sanctae Ecclesiae Dei toto ex corde servire velim.
Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die 10 mensis februarii MMXIII
Paragraph 3 – English translation
Dearest Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and labor with which you have carried the weight of my ministry with me and I ask pardon for all my failings. But now we confide the Holy Church of God to the care of Its Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ and implore His Mother Mary, in order that She may assist the Cardinal Fathers by her maternal goodness in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. As far as I am concerned, I by all means, wish in the future to serve the Holy Church of God most sincerely by a life dedicated to prayer.
From the halls of the Vatican, the 10th day of the month of February 2013.
The final “closing” paragraph of Benedict’s Declaration is somewhat curious, to say the least. First, he thanks his Brothers for the kindness and help in carrying out his ministry, and apologizes for all the deficiencies he brought to his ministering. Then it gets interesting. For he says “However, We (the Royal “We,” whereby he speaks on behalf of the Church) now confidetheholyChurchofGodtothecareofitsHighestPastor,OurLordJesusChrist…” He doesn’t include here the Camerlengo or any of the Cardinals who provide for the necessary day to day business until the next Pope is elected!!!
Benedict’s entrusting of Holy Church to Its Supreme Pastor is reminiscent of a similar act by Pope Pius VII while in captivity under Napoleon Bonaparte at Savona. Napoleon had been sending his best negotiators in an effort to manipulate Pius into being his puppet, but Pius was not going to cooperate no matter what.
“The Prefect’s [Chabrol, who was sent by Naopleon to Pius VII to convince him to celebrate a ‘Gala Mass,’ an attempt to indicate to the Savonis that he was not a prisoner] efforts next became concentrated on endeavoring to induce Pious VII to approve the incorporation of Rome and Papal States into the French Empire, where the Pope, he argued, should act as chaplain-in-chief to the Emperor, with residence in France. Invariably and unwearyingly, humbly and patiently before such blinded ambition and incomprehension, Pius repeated that what the monk Barnabas Chiaramonti might consent to, the Sovereign Pontiff could not. The See of Peter had been established at Rome, and as Bishop of Rome his was a sacred trust, handed down through the centuries, and not his to renounce. He reminded Chabrol of the
disastrous consequences for the Church and society which had come about with the removal of the papal residence to Avignon in the 14th century.
“But deaf to the Holy Father’s reasoning and subservient to his master napoleon’s might and glory, Chabrol would not give up; his daily persuasions went on until, during one of them, Pius cut him short, exclaiming with unwonted force and firmness: ‘What is it you are trying to get from me? I have told you I cannot yield and compromise my conscience. I am left with my back to the wall. God Himself will see to the saving of His church.’ and saying no more, the Pope retired to pray alone.”52
Continuing, Benedict adds “and We implore His Holy Mother Mary so that She may assist by her maternal honesty the Cardinal Fathers in electing the new Pontiff.” Although the first meaning of “bonitas” is goodness, “honesty” and “integrity” are also primary meanings. Its antonyms are “malice” and “malum.” How can this entreaty made to Our Lady not be a cry for help for enlightening the Cardinals to understand with honesty (not with malice) what he is doing, at least those who have the Faith?
Benedict concludes his Declaration by indicating that HE wishes to serve2 the Holy Church of God—in prayer, “As far as I am concerned, I by all means wish in the future to serve the Holy Church of God most sincerely by a life dedicated to prayer.”53 It is as if he is telling the Cardinals “At last I can serve the Holy Mother Church ‘with my whole heart,’ something I was prevented from doing while active.”
With this totally unique and innovative move on the part of Benedict, there is no precedent that exists that would provide a sample for a “farewell” speech or any protocol having been established for this “improvisation.” The fact remains, however, that this Declaration was absolutely ingenious, and ought to be looked at more closely per se, rather than through any translation. For, there can be no doubt that it expresses the mind of Pope Benedict to maintain the Papacy.
God Himself could certainly have intervened directly, but He is usually wont to use secondary causes in His Providential care of the Church. The intervention of the Power of God, in bringing about the conversion of Russia and triumph of Our Lady, by means the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, is definitely a “direct intervention,” one which was foretold. And one ought not to expect some unexpected “direct intervention” in the meantime. That intervention must await a time propitious or desperate enough for a holy Pope to corral the faithful Bishops to cooperate with him. In the meantime, in matters that need immediate attention due to the refusal to make that Consecration will be taken care of through those secondary causes, of which Benedict’s renunciation is, this author believes, an example. Thus, we here present a chart visualizing what Benedict did, keeping in mind that any operation of a POWER is
52 Robin Anderson, Pope Pius VII, 1800-1823 His Life, Times and Struggle with Napoleon in the Aftermath of the French Revolution, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Ill,2001, p. 89-90.
53 This is a Final Subjunctive which is indicated by the word “velim” and hence Pope Benedict’s expresses his end as a desire, a desired goal rather than as a consequence.
its exercise, but not the power itself, and that exercise consists in various species of ministries, whether public or private, proper to the Office.
Power of Jurisdiction
Exercised (being active=ministry) Exercised (being active=ministry)
^Benedict renounced this: ^ ^Benedict renounced this^
Power of Orders (Sanctifying) .Sanctifying includes
a) Exercised (being active=ministry & depends on Jurisdiction for its exercise
b) Exercised (being active=private ministrypraying/doing penance privately)
^Benedict renounced a):^ ^Benedict added b):^
In summarizing, and asking the reader to recall the caution given at the beginning, we can say, from the logic of this presentation, that Benedict is the true and only Pope of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Being opposed by a Cartel of demonic thugs, Benedict was being manipulated to do what he knew was wrong and prevented from doing what he knew needed to be done. And furthermore, those vicious enemies of God and His Church wanted him out. Benedict’s election to the Papacy gave him an inalienable right to the “munus Petrinum” which no one could morally extract from him, although he could be deprived of it physically in one way or another.
Nevertheless, relying on the help of the Divine Supreme Pastor and of Our Lady, Benedict resolved to maintain the Petrine Office, even at the risk of his own life, and prevent it from falling into the hands of a vicar of Satan. In so doing Benedict acted as a secondary cause in God’s promise that the “gates of hell shall not prevail against [His Church].” Benedict had the right, but also the duty to minister insofar as he was able. In other words, Benedict couldn’t just voluntarily resign the “ministry” while maintaining the Office, without setting up some way to carry out at least a spiritual ministry in order to sanctify his flock. His usual ministry had to be aborted because he had been physically deprived of his autonomy and moral right to operate properly. But he could still keep the Petrine Office and a spiritual ministry.
Since the laws of the Church had made no provision for, indeed could not have foreseen, the unprecedented situation that the Supreme Pontiff would have to face, it was legitimate for Benedict to have recourse to the virtue of Epeiekeia, or Equity, in order to a establish by his extensive power as Pope an “institution,” a Pontificate of Exception,” that would accommodate the most serious nature of the attack on Holy Mother Church—as long as that “institution” was not contrary to the nature of the Church or contrary to the Divine Law. The result was a simple Vicariat of two members, Benedict and Dom Gänswein, his trustworthy Secretary, utilizing the
Exercise of Munus Petrinum Munus Petrinum
last two remedies provided by Our Lady: the Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with their sacrifices and penances.
It remains for the faithful to recognize the true Pope, to unite behind him and through that unity in Faith to be able to work together in harmony and Charity, in facing the chastisement due to mankind for its refusal to obey Heaven’s requests, and which cannot be far off.
We humbly exhort the leaders of Holy Mother Church to examine Benedict’s Declaration seriously so as to establish with certitude what we have presented here, and with a determination as to its veracity to make a concerted effort to bring about that unity of the faithful behind the true Pope. The Church of Jesus Christ thus becomes visible again, the true way of salvation is pointed out, and the good of souls becomes the object of one’s activity according to his state in life, rather than the fighting, bickering and criticizing which accomplish nothing. It is our wholehearted conviction that what issued in the situation under which we presently labor was a necessary cause, indeed the Divine solution to the immediate, though not fully recognized, crisis infecting the Church at the time it occurred, and meant ultimately for the good of the Church.
fr. roberto abdicto