On May 10, 2021 it was published on Stilum Curiæ, 1 the site directed by the Vatican expert Marco Tosatti, an article by two American Catholic publicists, Robert Siscoe and John Salza, with a significant title: Ratzinger: who denies valid- ity to the papal election is outside the Church (original title: Cardinal Ratzinger: Beneplenists are outside the Church).

With the unusual neologism « Beneplenists », the original title is clearer than the Italian one, because the crasis between ‘Benedict’, the apostolic name of Pope Ratzinger, and ‘plenists’, that is ‘those who recognize a fullness of power in someone’, identifies exactly all those Catholics who are still convinced today that the fullness of the Pope’s powers (= ‘plenist’) must be recognized only and exclusively to Benedict XVI (= ‘Bene’), and those who do not do so are «Outside the Church, » or it is iure ipso excommunicated by himself; and to affirm all this – here is the reason for that “Ratzinger” placed at the beginning of the title – it is still him: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, here called into question in his capacity as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (we are in 1989), so that it should be concluded that if the so-called “Ratzingerians” have to thank someone in the current situation, for which the head of the Church is Cardinal Bergoglio, this someone would still be to their much regret Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger himself.

But it is not so. This is not the case at all.

There are two inflexible equalities that we will encounter in these pages. First equality: in the Church there are truths which, due to their almost divine origin, belong to what are called ‘sententia definitive tenenda’; Pastors and faithful must obey these truths in a ‘firm and definitive’ way, with the utmost obedience, called de fide. Second equality: whoever refuses to give such de fide obedience to such almost divine truths places himself ‘outside the Church’, that is, he self- excommunicates.

With these pages one wonders: why in 1989 Cardinal Ratzinger reserved a certain treatment for an act of the Church and did not give the same treatment to the opposite act, thus creating the preconditions for terrible, distressing and, moreover, unavoidable self-excommunication that, as we shall see, has the Church itself imposed on itself, moreover without telling anyone, that is, not even herself, moreover without telling anyone, that is, not even herself?

We will not deal with the article by the two scholars, who must be given credit for having been able to clearly show a relevant aspect of Ratzinger’s doc- trine, but we will concentrate on the Cardinal’s theory, since if it were true it would sink the opposite thesis, supported by the writer in this essay, according to which papal Election and Renunciation are two acts whose veracity, which should be specular, and therefore of the same exact level, even if diametrically

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opposite, is instead asymmetrical, that is, of two different levels of truth, all to the detriment of the Renunciation, because the Renunciation lacks the jurispru- dential elements necessary to be conformed to so that it can then be objectively recognized for what it is, as it is the Election.

In fact, in 1989 the Cardinal Prefect, in agreement with Pope John Paul II, had drawn up an important doctrinal text following the Professio fidei drawn up by that Pontiff, calling it Nota illustrativa della formula conclusiva della Professio fidei [Explanatory Note on the Concluding Formula of the Professio fidei], « in order to explain – thus the Preface, par. III – the meaning and the doctrinal value of the three concluding paragraphs, which refer to the theological qualification of the doctrines and to the type of assent required of the faithful. » (My emphasis).

In the Note, Cardinal Ratzinger argues that among the various « truths con- nected with Revelation which are to be held definitively, but which cannot be de- clared as divinely revealed » (Chap. 6, par. III), taught by the ordinary and univer- sal Magisterium of the Church as ‘sententia definitive tenenda,’ that is, as a truth to be recognized and obeyed in a « firm and definitive » way (ibidem), there would also be – and this is the reason of our interest – « the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff. » (Chap. 11, par. VII)

Which, as we will see now very slowly, would be a bit like the title says, that Cardinal Ratzinger effectively excommunicates de facto the future Papa Ratz- inger who elaborates an invalid renunciation and the whole Church that with- out batting an eye approves and behaves then as if it were valid, with all the se- rious consequences that we know. But let’s take a good look at it point by point.

Indeed, the truth of the assertion is not at all obvious, and indeed it would seem doubly denied. In the first place it is historically denied by the events of 1130 reported at § 4 of my work on the serious problem arising from the 2013 Renunciation of the Papacy by Joseph Ratzinger, At the heart of Ratzinger. He is the Pope, not the other (Edizioni Aurea Domus, Milan, expected date September 2021, pp. 448), from which these pages are taken, events in which for eight dramatic years a half of the Church first obeyed the antipope Anacletus II, and on his death to his worthy successor Victor IV.

Those shocking events made up of struggles, armed alignments, rebellions, wanderings from one capital to another of all Christianity at the time and wick- ednesses of all kinds, demonstrate that the election of a Pope is not an act of so obvious a qualification that it can be counted so serenely among the great and strong truths referred to under the name of ‘sententia definitive tenenda,’ at least because of the fact that the first who could and indeed should have made use of this sublime and solid prerogative – if it were true and therefore a strong and eternal staff of faith as stated in 1968 by Cardinal Ratzinger – was Pope Inno- cent II, who instead, in all his anguished and moving pilgrimages up and down the courts of Italy and Europe intended to gather around him the necessary consents to regain the Throne so hatefully usurped, he did not use it at all, never and in no case.

What Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Wojtyla bring as an example of truth be- longing to « doctrines … infallibly taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church, » as it says in the Explanatory Note, Chap. 6, par. III, would see its universality interrupted by all those Pastors – Cardinals and Bishops in the firstpage2image8702016page2image8705856page2image8706048


place – who in the most diverse crises of the Church have followed all the vari- ous antipopes, starting with Anacletus II, and then also by all those other Pas- tors – Cardinals and Bishops in the first place – who, while following the le- gitimate popes duly elected, never even used an argument so evidently in their favor, and never used it simply because the argument was not there: It was not there, absolutely.

In fact, obviously the infamous Anacleto did not appeal to this hypothetical truth, although he had every interest in demonstrating that the election to be acknowledged and obeyed to was his, but neither did the persecuted Innocent, who would have had even more interest in demonstrating that his own election entailed, because of its perfect legitimacy, the « firm and definitive » de fide obedi- ence that we know demanded by all the doctrines directly connected with Christ’s Revelation.

Why did neither of the two contenders appeal against it? This is where, in my view, the universality invoked by Cardinal Ratzinger would fall: Because a doctrine that interrupts its own continuity of hold and normative recognition is not universal at the very moment in which it should be identified, lived and used, but it is not universal at all, simply because it cannot be identified, lived and used an argument that does not exist. And who more than a Pope should have shown, if he had existed, the good of using him precisely to validate his own reality as Pope?

And we will now see how much Ratzinger’s risky assertion is sensationally denied, as well as historically, even theoretically.

The Note goes in fact on to warn that anyone who fails to adhere to the due de fide – that is, absolute – obedience to these ‘connected truths’ – among which, I repeat, the one that is close to our heart here, regarding the « legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff », is remarked – for this very reason « is no longer in communion with the Catholic Church » (Chap. 6, par. III), i.e. he is iure ipso ex- communicated by the Catholic Church (iure ipso: ‘by provision deriving immedi- ately from the law’, therefore excommunication that occurs without an act or im- plementing measure). And I said excommunicated.

As we have seen, this conclusion would seem quite hasty and questionable, because it rests on an argument which, having no historical basis, and therefore it is rather it, one would say, decays iure ipso.

The doctrine of Cardinal Ratzinger – moreover supported by the signature of the then reigning Pope, John Paul II – could find the necessary solidity only if ratified by a papal locutio ex cathedra, which in my opinion is however impos- sible precisely because of its historical inconsistency.

But, admitted and not granted that it was true that the election of a Pope must be acknowledged and obeyed because it would be part of the ‘sententia definitive tenenda,’ specularly, with the same extreme and absolute claim as a high exam- ple still of ‘sententia definitive tenenda,’ also the act by which a possible resigna- tion of the Papacy is achieved, that is, a possible resignation of that Munus Petrinum, or Munus Clavium, obtained at the time by the august Subject with his election to the Papacy, should be put on the same rank.

But it is precisely this entirely logical expectation that is made impossible, and it is made impossible precisely for the very laws of the Church, that is, for the Codex Iuris Canonici which governs the Church in every act.

Indeed, Canon 332, § 2, explicitly states – as can be seen in § 13 of that work of mine cited above –: « If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office for its


validity, the renunciation is required to be validly made and properly manifested but it is not required that someone accept it, » (my emphasis) and no one is required to accept it because to establish the validity of a papal renunciation and therefore to give it the force of ‘sententia definitive tenenda,’ the Church doesn’t wait for any legitimating consent, since, in order to establish it, it is necessary and sufficient only that:

First, its internal formulation is correct;
Second, that the due publication is given.
Provided that it is not vitiated by any of the four perverse causes enumer-

ated by Canon 188, seen at § 12 of my essay (« A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself »). The presence of just one of these perverse causes can contribute to formulating the Resignation in the wrong form that we will later formally find through the rigorous semantic grid laid down by Canon 332 § 2 that will invalidate it without hope.

Important distinction: Canon 332, § 2, specifies that « to be validly made … it is not required that someone accept it, » but, once its validity has been ascertained, all must accept it, just as everyone accepts, specularly, a papal Election, under penalty of self-disclosure iure ipso.

So it may happen, in perfect accordance with the Codex Iuris Canonici, that even if the whole Church starting with the resigning Pope himself, approves a Resignation whose Declaratio is not formulated validly, or is caused by a per- verse motive, that Resignation is and remains invalid, it is and remains null and void, that is, it is and remains a reality that doesn’t exist at all, that is, it is a “non- reality,” as much as, in Andersen’s fairy tale, the new clothes of the Emperor falsely embroidered by two scoundrels are a “non-reality;” actually, as we know, those clothes are, in fact, completely non-existent.

But: First), who; second), on the basis of what; third), when, and, fourth), in what ways does the Church allow all this to be acknowledged?

Notice that, for the papal Election, all of this is widely contemplated by a legislation drawn up by Paul VI, by John Paul II and by Benedict XVI himself, in which each of these four questions has precise and well-detailed jurispruden- tial answers from three Popes three, which allow to know how its development is governed in every aspect, while the issue of the Resignation isn’t addressed in the least, so that it poses itself with these four vibrant questions that have al- ways awaited an answer that has never before been given, other than ‘sententia definitive tenenda‘:

– First, who, who ever establishes that the Declaratio of Papal Resignation is valid and legitimate according to the regulations required by the CIC? Is it per- haps the same august Author who elaborated it? We have seen that there are not sufficient guarantees of the objectivity of his analysis, in addition to the fact that there may be substantially perverse elements – in which the Renunciate himself could easily be involved – which can cloud and invalided his act from the outside, as indicated by the already seen Canon 188.

So who is it? Is it a third party officially called to evaluate it?

In the whole jurisprudential order of the Church there is no paragraph that indicates the case in point, yet the Explanatory Note above and the CIC of 1983 were drawn up by the same and very high Pastors: Pope John Paul II and the Prefect Joseph Aloisius Cardinal Ratzinger. So where is the dysphasia?

– Second, within how long and in what manner must the authority or bodypage4image8661312


responsible for this very high indication have to declare the functionality of the act? Even these needs do not correspond to any legislative indication.

– Third, if the Declaratio does not satisfy the required regulations, what pro- cedure is envisaged to report the non-achievement of the same, and, if this is caused by pathogenic factors external to it (a circumstance whose possibility is foreseen precisely by usual Canon 188), how, to whom and in what terms the difficulties that arose there should be illustrated?

– Fourth and last, and especially: What degree of truth is exercised by what must be rightly recognized as a ‘truth connected to Revelation’ – and precisely at Mt 16: 18-9 – elaborated by a Subject elevated to the top of the Munus do- cendi, who is therefore able to utter also infallible and unfailing ‘sententia defini- tive tenenda’?

It is therefore true or it is not true that it must necessarily be a truth placed at the same level of Magisterium as the truth which has raised the august Pastor there with a regular Conclave and to which the same degree of obedience must be given in order to adequately acknowledge, on the contrary, even its decline?

Is it true or not true that it is only in this way that he himself would not allow any situation that would bring the Church to ruin, which is currently happening precisely because the Papal Declaratio of Resignation is today left in a situation of complete anarchy by the same Legislator who should care more than anybody else about its perfect correspondence with the elective act which, as in a delicate palindrome, allows its high realization?


Furthermore, this is a Resignation that leads the whole Church, in its universal- ity, starting from the Pope himself who formulated it, to approve a reality which, although it doesn’t exist, puts the whole Church in the horrendous, absurd situation of carrying out acts whose nature would demand a de fide obedience not observing which the Pastors and the faithful would come to be – all of them in their universality as militant Church – iure ipso « no longer in communion with the Catholic Church, » that is, they would self-excommunicate themselves from the Catholic Church, Catholic Church which they still are, according to all the most legitimate effects.

But how can it ever happen that the whole Church – Pope first – finds herself excommunicated by herself only for not having been able to recognize the inva- lidity of a formula of Resignation written and manifested by one of her Popes, and I underline the even metaphysical absurdity of the thing?

In other words, the legitimacy and consequent necessary obedience de fide referred to in the 1968 Note of Cardinal Ratzinger presuppose the same legal legitimacy of each of the acts that preceded and led to the election of the Su- preme Pontiff successor to the Renunciate, a legal legitimacy which in our case is constituted in the first place precisely by the Resignation itself, which is the first act of the Magisterium whose legitimacy is to be verified, and which in the specific case, since it is intrinsically invalid and hence null and void, renders any subsequent act of the Magisterium that does not acknowledge it as it is due –that is, recognizing precisely its invalidity and nullity – invalid, null and void.

All the more so since it is the same § 2 of Canon 332 which, as we have seen, explicitly reminds that what makes a Resignation valid or invalid is – in- trinsically – its formulation and – extrinsically – even just one of the four per- verse causes that may have produced it, listed in Canon 188, and absolutely notpage5image8753856


any approval by anyone, even if it was also given by the whole Church.

On the contrary, here we point out once again that whoever has not consid- ered the reality of the facts and therefore the invalidity and nullity of the 2013 Resignation is outside the Church: The College of Cardinals in its entirety and practically all the Bishops of the Church, apart from, today, the American Mons. René Henry Gracida and the Polish Mons. Jan Pawel Lenga, the two Bishops who recently recognized the nullity of the Resignation as the first and essential act of illegality from which the illegal spurious Papacy of the antipope “Francis” – aka Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio – arose.

For eight long years, the whole militant Church, which uncritically accepted all the acts performed by Benedict XVI after February 11, 2013 in order to carry out that “halfway Resignation of the Petrine Munus” which he cared so much about, has in some way self-excommunicated herself, starting with her Cardinals so un- critically and blindly voters of a Pope that he was not elected at all because, like all of them they had a way of knowing very well, and nobody takes it from my head that in fact they did not know, that is, that in fact not even one of them had not reached the conclusions that were there before everyone’s eyes and to which so many have come all over the world, there was no Pope to be elected, and the thing, however scandalous, improbable, horrible, should not disturb too much, because it is nothing else than the radical extremization of Romano Amerio’s second assumption seen here at pp. III-IV of my work: « The Church is not lost if she doesn’t match the truth, » explains the great catholic philoso- pher, « but if she loses the truth, » (underlines by the Author), because even the Apostles, when the Lord was chained and brought to the horrendous trial- farce, shamefully disappeared in a flash, a real shame

Now as then it is an escape from reality: a horrendous escape from reality, complete with a traitor, of course, and great too! Why, what do you call them an antipope and all his courtesan? And all the labyrinthine and indeed ultra- labyrinthine Ratzingerian ploy to remain Papa de iure without being one de facto, or perhaps vice versa, is the same, what is it, if not a betrayal of the Logos and His inflexible laws, but only by obeying which are they shown to love Him?

Now as then, this kind of creeping de facto self-communication of the mili- tant Church, providentially opposed here and there by some spiritually shrewd Pastor, has been producing for eight years the most shocking effects that are there for all to see, is producing the most shocking effects which are under the eyes of everybody, starting with the disappearance of the Church herself from the life of the world, canceled and evaporated as never before in history: The Church has never experienced such a serious and self-annihilating crisis as the contemporary one.

On the other hand, without a Pope, as in fact he is, indeed, even headed by an antipope, since the true Pope denies that he is still one despite the fact that the opposite is evident, how could it not disappear too?

Yet this devastating crisis will be remembered only as a miserable contingent fact to which the militant Church, by the merciful grace of God, will soon rem- edy, and we have seen that, thanks to those two Bishops, as with a faint flame, or rather two, she is already remedying it, but it takes much more: it takes a shock, it takes something big, it takes blood, like two thousand years ago: yes, just like two thousand years ago, with their blood, bitterly crying over their own ignominious sin, they made up for it the two most repentant and today mostpage6image8657280page6image8657472


holy Apostles Peter, John, and all the others, except the Iscariot.
So we can now hope that soon the movement aimed at correcting the obe- dience to be given will act to overturn the Church’s ill-advised judgment and that, repentant, starting with her Cardinals, but then also by all its Bishops and Pastors of every order and degree, the Church will quickly acknowledge from the bottom of her heart the true and actual reality that is right before her: There has never been any Resignation, the Pope whom we must obey is still, always and only Benedict XVI-Joseph Ratzinger, who, in turn repent of the foolish, mis- leading and devastating doctrines that had led him to falsify the papers, finally recognizes him, regrets it, corrects himself, trash for ever the notorious Declara- tio that had lost him and who had dragged with him, in a universal excommuni- cation, the whole Church, and therefore not only the Church is saved, but also those who with so much insane and too obstinate arrogance had dragged her to

the brink of their own miserable but also, providentially, truly impossible death. Deo gratias!

Yes: once again, thanks be to God, and from the heart too! But let me be clear: it is the first time that God is thanked before He, for all too merciful grace of him, performs the great miracle, and some miracle!

But it is worth it: thank you, Lord, for all the good you are about to bestow upon us, to Your glory, so that once again man may recognize the unattainable power of Your goodness, the ineffable superiority of Your name, the infinite and unsurpassed benevolence of Your love for us.

* The original of the pages that make up this article consists of a six page Annotation that concludes the Prequel chapter of the book, the details of which

are given below:

At the heart of Ratzinger. He is the Pope, not the other, Aurea Domus Editions, Milan September 2021, pp. presumable: LXVI + 385; price to be determined; bookable at:

Al cuore di Ratzinger. È lui il Papa, non l’altro, Edizioni Aurea Domus, Milano 2021, pp. LXV + 384, € 59,99 (Introductory Offer: € 45,00); bookable at:


About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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