The Real Problem With Francis

I gather from some corners the impression that the problem with Francis’ legitimacy resides in the way Benedict resigned; or rather, following the argument, not resigned. I think this is a false problem.

There can be no doubt that Benedict himself: 1. Wanted another to be selected Pope and 2. Regards him as the guy in charge. Therefore, to claim that Francis is not Pope because of this is like saying that the man did not know what he was doing and we can decide for ourselves what his position is. You can as well maintain that Edward VIII never abdicated because, say, he was threatened with forced removal from office.

Those more in tune with Italian society, however, understand very well what Benedict – who has lived in Italy for many decades now, and knows the ins and outs of our cultural environment – wanted to do: avoid being called a Celestino. Which latter thing is, canonisation or not, an insulting concept many Italians are acquainted with from grade school, courtesy of our greatest poet (who, smartly, never called him by name; but as they say, intelligenti pauca ).

I simply take people at their words, and Benedict has given such support to Francis that there can be no doubt about his intentions.

Also, and perhaps more importantly in this matter, the way of Benedict’s abdication has no bearing on the way Francis behaves. There is no reason to believe that Francis pontificate would have been any different if the Conclave which elected him had been triggered not by Benedict’s resignation, but by his death, on exactly the same day. You would have had the same Cardinals and the same procedure. Conversely, you can rest assured that, had the Conclave resulted in the election of a perfectly orthodox, heroically Catholic Pope, absolutely no one would, now, be questioning his legitimacy.

Francis’ legitimacy problem is not a function of his election. It is a function of his behaviour. He is a legitimately elected Pope who has, through his innumerable heresies and scandals, deserved to be deprived of his office in the way Church tradition and common sense allow: with an imperfect Council triggered by either Bishops or Cardinals declaring the man self-deposed and electing a new one. And all this does not require in the least any questioning of the legitimacy of his election.

Benedict’s supposedly erroneously abdicated papacy is a false problem. The real problem is Francis’ very real scandals. We don’t need Benedict to remedy those; nor, very frankly, would he want to.


Posted on April 13, 2018, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. And what about St. Francis of Assisi’s prediction that God would send us a Destroyer Pope un-canonically elected? What about St. Paul’s correction of St. Peter? Man-made canon law, which didn’t take care in covering our present predicament, is standing in the way. It’s God we should be looking to & there is nothing to suggest that PF was the choice of the Holy Ghost. Everything about him suggests he is an infiltrator planted by the Dark One.

    Apart from PBXVI’s actual abandonment, there was electioneering by St. Gallen Mafia, probable coercion within & without the CC on PBXVI which doesn’t appear to have been investigated & also the rules set out by PJPII being disregarded. That’s quite a lot of ???s to be truthfully & transparently answered. There is also another two – did PF lose the faith a long time before his election & therefore was ipso facto excommunicated? Should anyone aligned to a political agenda ever be elected Pope?

    • One must repeat these things again and again, because apparently they do not sink in: if a Pope becomes an atheist he does not lose his office. The coercion is a fantasy of yours, and Benedict said he was not coerced, so you are actually slandering him. The Papacy would be finished if disregard of procedural rules would be enough to make a pope illegitimate. For heaven’s sake, how can you not see this? This kind of reasoning undermines the papacy.

  2. Edward VIII removed himself to France. He did not remain in Windsor castle. He went into exile.

    His royal titles were replaced with mere nobility (Duke for him and Duchess for her).

    His birthright inheritance removed and replaced by a modest pension.

    Participation in the royal family and functions, strictly prohibited.

    He was cut off, forcefully, persistently; persona non grata; shamed; returned to his prior state; isolated and alone.

    The difference between Edward and Benedict; between Benedict and any legitimate abdication could not be more stark. There he sits, in the Vatican, His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, exercising his specifically, carefully retained spiritual munus, by word and deed, in a newly shared Fatherhood of the Church.

    I believe the newly promulgated, and widely accepted, title Emeritus Pope will be one of the most damaging legacies of this entire sordid affair. All the bitter fruit, imo, starts with that evil grafting.

    • Different situations will always have different circumstances. It is a fact that Edward did not freely choose to abdicate. He was put in front of the choice between marrying the woman and remaining King. He was also not afraid of being considered a Celestino. Actually, he did not care a damn how he would be considered. He wanted to spend the rest of his life partying with his extremely rich wife and this is what he did. Nor have geographical questions any meaning, and Benedict would have remained the Pontiff Emeritus even if he had returned to Bavaria. *Benedict did not want to be seen as a coward*, and this perfectly explains both the choice of the title (unfortunate, I agree with you) and of residence.
      Still, neither of us doubts that, were Francis to order Benedict to remove himself to Passau, Benedict would obey the Pope.

  3. I always thought Benedict’s idea of a bifurcated papacy a pretty compelling reason to question the validity of his abdication, but if nobody cares, I guess it doesn’t matter. To me it’s bizarre, and Benedict has given credence to it a few times, that there is an active and a contemplative dual-papacy. It’s nonsense, there’s no precedence for it, so why would he even imagine it could be so? But again, nobody cares so it doesn’t matter. It’s like Hillary Clinton and all her illegal activities. The media ignores it so, it may as well have never happened.
    No Cardinals or bishops are going to declare him a heretic. Only God can stop this man and do anything about the fact our church is filled to the top with sodomites and destroyers.

    • There is a simple explanation for this: vanity. Benedict does not want to be seen as a coward. He does not want to be seen as one who abandoned his post. Celestino went back to be a monk and, whilst he was eventually canonised, the stain of the coward remained on him and, again, is very strong in Italy.
      But there is also no precedent for a wannabe schism in which the leader of the schism denies that there is anything wrong going on.
      Like many modern theologians, Benedict has left his vanity get the better of him. His desire not to be seen as one who fled from the wolves is, in fact, made more acute by the fact that he was always scared of them. But this is par for the course for a V II theologian. There is no need to elaborate complex theories which he himself vehemently denies.

  4. Daniel P. Furey

    Personally, I couldn’t care less as to whether or not the election of PF was valid, or invalid, or exactly what Benedict had in mind. It only matters to me that the current occupant of the Vatican is spewing garbage that isn’t even Catholic, and pushing agendas that will make the Church into a kind of faux-Catholic Episcopal Lutheran “feelings” Church… all the while the men who DO know better, allow it.

    Sadly, I don’t expect any sudden change in direction. I think the future means even more wimpy piss-poor clergy surrounding even worse popes.. I know this is contrary to promises that hell will not prevail, but I suspect the ONLY reason will be that Christ does return before these guys completely destroy the faith.

    • oh, we were never promised that we would not have decades of rubbish. It took centuries to eradicate Arianism from the church even after St Athanasius.

  5. I think you’re right. It doesn’t matter why Benedict quit, he quit and that’s that. We’re stuck with the evil clown until he dies or resigns, and he’s never going to resign because he’s having too much fun being the big cheese. That’s his whole Peronista/Marxist shtick. Lord, please take him soon, and may he be in a state of grace when he dies.

  6. I find it incongruous that Catholics wish death upon a Pope. I have, and will continue to make the case that the resignation was no such thing, and thus the subsequent election was invalid; disagree if you wish. But, “Death Be Upon Him”? I don’t get that. If he is Pope, “His Holiness”, that seems highly inappropriate. If he is not Pope, only then we should treat him like the malefactor that he is.
    Catholic blogs and commenters feel free to personally pronounce upon all sorts of heresy, promoted as doctrinal by the Pope, the Vatican, the hierarchy. Why such aversion to pronouncing upon the baseline heresy behind it all: the unprecedented, suspect, invalid resignation and subsequent election resulting in two Holy Fathers in a Papacy “newly expanded, forever altered and new”?

    • You are a victim of your own Papolatry. Catholics have always been authorised, and some theologians said even obliged, to pray for the painless death of a Pope dangerous for the Church. You don’t need to invent fake Popes to preserve a fake premise.

  7. I didn’t invent the two Popes residing within the Vatican walls. No fake premise. There they are. Holy Father 1. And Holy Father Emeritus 2. Never before seen in history. A Papacy “newly expanded, forever altered and new”. They insist on that premise.
    Alongside all the heresy you discuss, I don’t understand how this new Pope Emeritus innovation can be ignored. It is clearly an innovation, without support, against Christ, and the precedent of all the evil that has come after.
    But there they both sit. Ignored. Accepted. And we will see many more Emeritus Popes. That is a fact. The worst of all the heretical surprises.
    The time of death and judgement is up to God. Accepting, or not, an “expanded Papal ministry” is up to us. I don’t. One Pope at a time. Emeritus Bishops, yes. That is an Office. No Emeritus Popes. That is a person. The Rock of Christ.

    • However, once we accept that Benedict himself states that Francis is in charge this becomes a moot argument. Also, the expanded papacy is Schoenborn’ s attempt to keep influence, I do not remember Benedict ever stating anything else but that Francis, not him, is the one who rules.

  8. irenaeuspaganus

    Fr. Ratzinger has been telling for us how long that he resigned willingly? As Mr. Skojec and Ms. White said some time ago, we have to take him at his word and believe him when he says such things. To do otherwise would be a falsehood. Thank you, Mundabor, for stating the really hard truth when the rest of us simple men and women want to plug our ears and go la-la-la. Francis is pope. We cannot deny it. Just as we cannot deny that he is a formal heretic and has not lost his office. There is precedence for the heretic as a pope situation.

  9. Re: iranaeuspaganus: Take him at his word, then, and do not call him Fr. Ratzinger.

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