We Have Not been Paying Sufficient Attention .

     On 19 March 2013 Jorge Bergoglio , elected on 13 March with the papal name Francis, presided at a Mass where he received the Pallium  and bestowal of the Fisherman’s Ring to mark the beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome . 

Before we turn to the address he delivered on that occasion [ our text is a Vatican edition in English of what one supposes to have been an Italian original ] we must enter an interpolation of the first magnitude . There is no Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome . If there were the Petrine Ministry would have a geographical basis which neither is nor can be the case . In simple terms Peter is Bishop of Rome on account of his ministry there  and martyrdom, and his successors continue to be Bishops of Rome out of reverence for the saint; and indeed on account of  simplicity of access to a physical governmental base, but the Bishop of Rome is not Peter .

If he were his election by the Cardinal Electors would make him so . That election  neither does effect nor can effect the reception of a Petrine Persona which Christ alone has power and authority to confer . The Cardinals neither have nor conceivably could have power that is necessarily divine . The most recent canonical statement of Christ’s direct appointment of the elect of Rome as Peter was made By John Paul 11 in his Apostolic Constitution [ the present equivalent of a papal bull ] Universi Dominici Gregis , 1996 ,where he epitomizes the conferment of Peter’s office as being effected ‘’per immissionem divinam ‘’. The first pope to govern as Vicar of Christ , Innocent 111 [ 1198-1216 ] could not have been more lucid as to the universality of Petrine authority and its non-geographical basis : –

         —–etiam expresse notatur , quod Petro non specialiter aliqua specialis ecclesia , sed totus mundus commissus fuerit et Ecclesia generalis . [Reg.V11,1. ]

As has been said the Bishop of Rome is not Peter . In accepting the Divine Will that he be Peter the new Summus Pontifex , with universal power in se , also accepts his election to the See of Rome but if the acquisition of universal authority could spring  [an impossibility as has been seen] from election to the Roman See  there would be no reason to postulate divine power as the source of  Petrine Authority . If Petrine Authority does not proceed directly from Christ then by sleight of hand –the Roman -Petrine contention is false—the so-called pope acquires universal authority without the constraints of  the pre-set agenda of a Deposit of Faith divinely predetermined . The pope , alias Bishop of Rome , acquires a free hand to remould the Catholic Church in his own image and likeness 

 Had Jorge Bergoglio  intended to show obedience to the sacred canons , the duty of every pope until such time as , with the Divine Assistance ,  he perceive a better solution   than the canons  currently provide [ Pope Benedict XV1 , for example , in his modifications of 2005 ?7 to the voting procedures of Universi dominici gregis restored the 1179 ruling of Alexander 111 that a majority of two thirds and one was decisive ] he would have observed the canonical , and indeed theological truth , that he became Peter by Christ’s authority at the moment he gave assent to the Papal Camerlengo’s question ‘’ Acceptasne officium Summi Pontificis ?’’  In the implementing of a commission the operative divine word is ‘’now’’. Christ employed the present tense at Caesarea Philippi [ Matth. 16:18 ] to make Simon the Rock  as  he had promised in their first encounter in Transjordan [ John 1:42 ] and although the great authority he also conferred would be operative in the future it was  in  Petro

 from the moment that Simon  was invested with a   governmental and legal persona boundless in power to safeguard and to disseminate  the Deposit of Faith.  From the time , the day after his election in fact , that Innocent 111 revealed  His having received the papacy directly from Christ [ Reg. 1 , 1 ] until 19 March 2013 it has been the unshaken teaching of the Church that he is pope who having been canonically elected Bishop of  Rome  is made Peter and therefore  Summus Pontifex by Christ . Assent to what Christ has conferred commits the Roman elect to what may be called Petrinity all day every day until his death . Peter does not have off piste moments , his path and the essence of every word he speaks or writes are epitomized for him in the Lucan Commission [ 22: 32 ] to be unfailing in the Faith  , and to confirm his brethren in the same , that is the Faith Christ revealed and brought to its consummation on Calvary , a Faith whose primary values are spiritual because God is spirit and is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth [ John 4 : 24 ]so that his gift of eternal life ,  in and through Christ ,  may be granted . The life of Faith that is of obedience to God in observance of his commands and fidelity to the New Life of the Gospel does not include ascribing a Petrine Ministry to the Bishop of Rome  so that the said bishop may wholly reconstruct the agenda of the Church .   Annuario    L’innizzio solenne del Suoministerio di Pastore Universale della Chiesa  ie 19 March 2013 not 13 , the day on which he became Summus Pontifex.    Pastore Universale  Universal Bishop ie of Rome . There is one or more modern theologian , name unknown to me , who has taught Pope is universal Bishop  , not Vicarius Christi  [ I know because the previous Bishop of this diocese ‘’ learned ‘’ from him or them . So it seems has Bergoglio .


About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. mortimerzilch says:

    Francis gave the order to the bishops to close the churches – and they obeyed! But could it really be an order? Is the Pope a General, like in the army? I have always considered the Pope to be the eldest brother among equals. Is this an Eastern Orthodox idea? In other words, each bishop is sovereign in his own diocese and is not a lackey to The Bishop of Rome. Am I correct, or incorrect? If bishops were creative and could think independently like REAL MEN, and had an ounce of ZEAL, they’d have figured out a safe way to confr the Sacraments to their flocks, instead of running for shelter like hired hands.

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