A Closer Look at Benedict’s Resignation and the Ensuing Papal Crisis
By David Martin
With the controversial buzz that surrounded the election of Pope Francis upon the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, it seems that we may have lost sight of a key element in this episode, namely, that Benedict never fully resigned the papal ministry but only the active exercise thereof. On the eve of his resignation, he said:
“Anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church… The ‘always’ is also a ‘forever’ – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” (General Audience, February 27, 2013)
From these words it appears that there has been no revocation of Benedict XVI’s office. According to Church law, a pope must give up his office for his resignation to be valid. (Canon 332) The text indicates that Benedict XVI chose to retain his office “forever,” which is why he continues to wear the papal garb and to go by the name Benedict XVI.
This matches the explanation offered by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict’s long-time friend and confidant who serves as prefect of the Pontifical Household. Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University on May 20, 2016, he told the press that Benedict XVI did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine office in a way that better accommodated his frailty.
“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” adding that the renunciation of his office would have been “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.”
Enlarged Papal Ministry
Gänswein said that Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement of February 11, 2013, marked the introduction of a new institution into the Catholic Church: “a de facto enlarged ministry, with both an active and a contemplative member.” He said we now have “two living successors of Peter among us” that “are not in competition with each other,” i.e. Benedict and Francis. https://veritas-vincit-international.org/2016/09/13/papal-secretary-archbishop-ganswein-speaks-on-benedict-the-two-popes-and-prophecy/
This indeed is the reason Benedict did not renounce his papal name or give up his white cassock as did Celestine V. “This is the reason why the correct appellation for him is ‘Your Holiness,’” Gänswein said. “This is finally the reason why he did not retire to an isolated monastery, but within the Vatican walls, as if to simply take a step aside to make space for his successor and for a new step in the history of the papacy.”
If Archbishop Gänswein is right and Benedict XVI still occupies a “contemplative dimension” of the papacy, then there is no dimension of the papacy that he doesn’t occupy, i.e. he still has his powers. If this is the case, it means that Francis is not the pope, since there cannot be two popes. If Francis is the pope, then Benedict’s office is revoked, but Benedict says it was not revoked.
Benedict has never corrected Gänswein about his claim nor has Gänswein recanted it, but continues to allege that Benedict XVI introduced a modified papacy consisting of “a de facto enlarged ministry, with both an active and a contemplative member” whereby there exist “two living successors of Peter among us.”
Veteran journalist Paul Badde—author of Benedict Up Close: The Inside Story of Eight Dramatic Years—confirmed with this writer on Dec. 15, 2017, that Gänswein “hasn’t denied” saying this in his May 20, 2016 address, adding that “there was no reason for such a step.”
In an interview with Paul Badde on May 27, 2016, Archbishop Gänswein minced no words in saying that we have two popes in the Vatican today. “We have had for three years two popes and I have the impression that the reality that I perceive is covered by what I have said.”
Badde summed up his understanding of Gänswein’s position, saying:
“If I understand you aright, he [Benedict] remained in the office, but in the contemplative part, without having any authority to decide. Thus we have – as you said – now an active and a contemplative part which form together an enlargement of the Papal Office.”
Gänswein replied: “That is what I have said, indeed, that – if one wishes to specify it – it is very clear.”
No Shared Papacy
Naturally, there is no such thing as a “shared papacy.” Christ said to Simon, “Thou art Peter.” He didn’t say to Simon and John, “Thou art Peters.” And while the papacy indeed has various facets, i.e. contemplative, theological, active, etc., it is all one ministry. 1 The idea that two dimensions of the Petrine office can be cubbyholed into separate departments (active and prayerful), each with its own capacity and each occupied by a separate Petrine representative, is heresy. Gänswein no doubt realizes this, but his explanation to the press was apparently the best he could do to cover for a very embarrassing situation that caused his mentor to be dethroned.
Benedict XVI Ousted
What it boils down to is that Benedict XVI was forced into abdicating the Chair of Peter, but this was done under the guise of a resignation so as to not split the Barque of Peter asunder with controversy. Credible reports from 2015 indicate that Benedict XVI was coerced into stepping down, which was providentially foreshadowed in Pope Benedict’s inaugural speech of April 24, 2005, when he said: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
We know from the late Cardinal Danneels of Brussels that he was part of a radical “mafia” reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI. Danneels, known for his support of abortion, LGBT rights, and gay-marriage, said in a taped interview in September 2015 that he and several cardinals were part of this “mafia” club that was calling for drastic changes in the Church, to make it “much more modern,” and that the plan was to have Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio head it. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal-danneels-part-of-mafia-club-opposed-to-benedict-xvi This infamous clique—which is documented in Austen Ivereigh’s book the Great Reformer—comprised key members of the Vatican “gay lobby” that had clamored for Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the same that had almost prevented the election of Benedict in 2005.
Ivereigh’s book brings to light the intense lobbying campaign that was spearheaded by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor to get Cardinal Bergoglio elected as pope. Up to 30 cardinals were involved. https://fromrome.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/the-great-reformer-francis-and-the-making-of-a-radical-pope/ According to Ivereigh, “they first secured Bergoglio’s assent” and then “they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man.” Wall Street Journal report from August 6, 2013. As the conclave neared, they then held a series of closed meetings, known as congregations, one of which featured Cardinal Bergoglio as the keynote speaker.
On the eve of the 2013 conclave, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga was busily on the phone with cardinal electors from the Honduran embassy in Rome. His phone effort was the tail end of this intense lobbying campaign to secure votes for the election of Cardinal Bergoglio as pope.
That same day, Maradiaga attended a private meeting of Bergoglio supporters, which included key players in the “St. Gallen Mafia,” and together they garnered pledges for up to twenty-five votes for Bergoglio. Not surprisingly, Bergoglio opened with twenty-six votes on the first day of the conclave, though that number would rise to 77 on the second day indicating that this campaign effort was gaining ground. Three days later the newly elected Pope Francis asked Maradiaga to head his powerful new Council of Cardinals, known as the “Council of Nine.”
1. That is, the various facets all comprise part of the same Petrine ministry, all of which is active.
On August 27, 2018, Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin tweeted concerning this political campaign.
“Cdls Danneels & Ex-Cdl McCarrick campaigned for Bergoglio to be Pope, as did ++Maradiaga on eve of Conclave, phoning up various cardinals from the Honduran embassy in Rome. Despite their pasts, all 3 prelates have since been special advisors of Francis or rehabilitated by him.”
Rules and Regulations Violated
Clearly, there was intense politics and vote canvassing at work around the time of the conclave, which directly violated Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, governing papal elections. Therein he makes it clear that vote canvassing among cardinal electors is strictly forbidden, and that it incurs automatic excommunication. Consider the following from his Constitution:
“The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition.” (81)
This prohibition applies not only to the election itself but to that time just before the election when preparations are underway, since it is during this time that illicit political activity would exert its greatest influence on the vote. “Any form of pact” obliging electors “to give or deny their vote to a person” would be secured before the election.
The pope also says in his Constitution:
“Confirming the prescriptions of my Predecessors, I likewise forbid anyone, even if he is a Cardinal, during the Pope’s lifetime and without having consulted him, to make plans concerning the election of his successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings.” (79)
A clique of cardinals did “make plans” to force Benedict XVI’s resignation and to campaign for “the election of his successor,” with up to 25 cardinals “promising votes” the day before the election, this having come about through “private gatherings,” thus revealing the illicit conduct of those cardinal electors to be.
Under the pain of excommunication latae sententiae, Pope John Paul forbids “each and every Cardinal elector, present and future, as also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and all other persons taking part in the preparation and carrying out of everything necessary for the election” to allow “all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope.” (80)
Unfortunately, secular and political interference played a key part in the election of Pope Francis. According to John Paul II, such interference renders the papal election null and void.
Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason 2 null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected. (76)
A Pope “Not Canonically Elected”
Bearing this in mind, we turn now to the prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi concerning a future pope. This is found in the Opuscula or Works of St. Francis, which was published by the preeminent Franciscan historian Fr. Luke Wadding in 1621.
Shortly before his death in 1226, St. Francis of Assisi called together the friars of his Order and detailed this prophecy of what was to come upon the Church in the latter days. The following is an excerpt taken from Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250, with imprimatur by His Excellency William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham.
At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error…. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer.
Evidence of a pope “not canonically elected” would be his success in drawing “many into error,” something that has been ongoing since Francis’ election. For instance, on February 4, 2019, he signed a joint statement with the head of Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque, which states that “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.” This blatantly contravenes the Church’s dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, yet this “religious diversity” heresy is now preached everywhere from the pulpit, courtesy of Francis.
There is also the issue of Francis’ ongoing collusion with U.N. globalists. On October 28, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences partnered with U.N. pro-abortion advocates to pledge fidelity to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) championed by socialist rebels like George Soros and Jeffrey Sachs. The pope has also honored abortionists Emma Bonino and Lilliane Ploumen for their work.
And let us not forget that Francis engaged in idol worship in St. Peter’s Basilica during the recent Amazonian Synod. The pope and several cardinals were filmed chanting, dancing, and praying before the Pachamama idol as part of the synodal effort to make “reparation” to “Mother Earth” for the “sins” committed against her. Vatican rep denies claims that alleged ‘pagan’ statue is the Virgin Mary
2. Only in cases of collusion involving simony does the pope lift the nullity in order that the election may remain valid (78).
Is it any wonder that two shafts of lightning struck the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 11, 2013? Clearly, this signaled that a time of divine retribution is at hand.
Need for Episcopal Examination
It is high time that a committee of bishops convene to address the matter of Benedict’s resignation, seeing that it launched what is being called the most destructive pontificate of Church history. They need to bring into question the illicit nature of the 2013 conclave, Francis’ destructive path, and Gänswein’s assertion that Benedict XVI still occupies a “contemplative” dimension of the papacy. They need to ask themselves: “Was Francis’ election valid or did it simply appear that way?”
Unfortunately, Benedict won’t speak the truth about Rome’s collusion with Antichrist because he is bound by fears and kept under surveillance by an iron-clad Vatican bureaucracy, if in fact they haven’t threatened him physically. There could be more to Danneels’ “mafia club” than meets the eye.
Death Threat Against Benedict XVI
This is credible, when we consider that on February 10, 2012, almost one year to the day before Benedict XVI announced his resignation, it was reported that the pope was given only one year to live if he didn’t resign. The Telegraph UK reported that Cardinal Paolo Romeo, Archbishop of Palermo, said these things to a group of people in Beijing toward the end of 2011.
“His remarks were expressed with such certainty and resolution that the people he was speaking to thought, with a sense of alarm, that an attack on the Pope’s life was being planned,” the report said. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/9073811/The-Pope-will-die-within-a-year-Vatican-assassination-fears-revealed.html
The extraordinary comments were written up in a top-secret report, dated Dec. 30, 2011, and delivered to the Pope by a senior cardinal, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, in January 2012. The report was written in German, apparently to limit the number of people within the Vatican who would understand it if it was inadvertently leaked. It warned of a “Mordkomplott” – death plot – against Benedict.
Sr. Lucy’s Vision
Hence Pope Benedict XVI, in an emotional farewell speech at St. Peter’s on February 25, 2013, told a crowd of 100,000 that God had called him to step down and devote himself to prayer, and ‘to scale the mountain.’ https://ynaija.com/god-told-me-to-climb-the-mountain-pope-gives-farewell-speech/
This would suggest that Benedict XVI is “the Holy Father” who scales the mountain in Sr. Lucy’s vision. If you’ll recall, it was in conjunction with the Third Secret of Fatima that Sr. Lucy of Fatima received this symbolic vision, which she penned on January 3, 1944. The following is an excerpt that was published by the Vatican on June 26, 2000.
“We saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”
In her vision, Lucy sees two popes as it were. The first is a mirrored image of what appears to be the pope, but is actually “a bishop dressed in white” who gives the “impression” he is the pope. The true pope [BXVI] and his followers scale the mountain amidst peril and danger, praying for the spiritually dead along the way, before which they pass through a city half in ruins, which represents the Church in shambles. At the end of their journey they are martyred for their allegiance to Jesus Crucified. It is a symbolic picture of the Church being put to death.
We should note that a reflection in the mirror is not a reality, but only an appearance – an impression. Lucy makes the point that this impression is “a bishop dressed in white.” It doesn’t appear that the bishop dressed in white is Benedict XVI or any previous pope, but Pope Francis.
Perhaps, this is something that an episcopal committee would want to consider as well.