Tag Archives: Benedict XVI

Trump has been gagged about Pope Benedict XVI until 2024

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Many Catholics have appealed to the U.S. sitting President, Donald Trump to intervene about all the corruption which is spilling out of the Vatican since February 2013, and to investigate the dubious renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI.

As reported here extensively (see Index to Pope Benedict’s Renunciation), I have covered also the external influences involved, such as Deutsch Bank, Gladio and the St. Gallen Mafia.

However, I recently discovered why it may be that President Trump has done nothing to investigate or respond to these appeals by thousands of prominent Catholics, among which one such appeal was published by The Remnant.

FromRome.Info can now reveal why this may be.

In an article at Mother Jones, entitled, “Trump has a half a billion in loans coming due etc..” by Russ Choma, published in the July/August 2020 edition of their newsletter, it is reported that Trump has an outstanding loan for $170 Million, due in 2024 from Deutsch Bank:

In 2014, Trump took out a separate floating loan from Deutsche’s private bank to bankroll the development of his luxury hotel in Washington, DC. The balance of this $170 million debt is payable in 2024. That year, Trump will also owe Deutsche between $25 million and $50 million in connection with his Chicago hotel and complex.

And further down the article:

Even before Trump was elected, Deutsche executives soured on the relationship, turning down Trump’s request for a $10 million-plus loan in early 2016, the New York Times reported. They worried, among other things, how it would look if Trump defaulted and the bank had to pursue the assets of the US president. His most recent financial disclosure no longer lists brokerage and savings accounts at Deutsche’s private bank, suggesting he’s no longer a client.

Just as Donald Trump has failed to take action against BLM and Antifa, groups which are funded by George Soros — who just happens to have $160 million dollar investment in Trump Hotel in Chicago — so perhaps the reason for Trump embracing Bergoglio as the Pope and ignoring Benedict, has everything to do with money and nothing to do with what he thinks of Catholics.

Whether Trump was offered this loan from the very Bank which was instrumental in shutting down the ATMs at the Vatican as a means of pressure to force Benedict to abdicate, or whether it was to buy his silence at the coup once he discovered it, we may never know. But we can be sure that Trump has been gagged until 2024, the year he leaves the Presidency.

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The Corona Virus & the Next Conclave?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There has been a lot of speculation by Catholics about the next Conclave.

Will Benedict die before Bergoglio, or Bergoglio before Benedict?

If Benedict before Bergoglio, will any Cardinal Elector break with the others and elect a successor to Benedict? — Only 1 is required.

If Bergoglio before Benedict, will the Cardinals proceed to a Conclave, or will the recognize that Benedict was always the pope?

Who would be the next Pope? Someone made a Cardinal by Bergoglio or someone made a Cardinal by Benedict or John Paul II.

But so far, I have not seen any Vaticanista or even blogger approach the question of what role the Corona Virus might play in the next Conclave.

So here goes.

The Corona Virus was reported in one patient at the out-patient clinic at the Vatican yesterday. Today, the entire office of the Secretary of State was sanitized.

Panic is spreading at the Vatican. If they sanitized the Secretary of State offices, then the infection probably has spread to the entire Roman Curia and all of the Vatican, since the Secretary of State is the beehive, as it were, of the entire Vatican apparatus. Numerous officials go in and out on a hourly basis. Numerous officials go from the Secretary of State to all parts of the Vatican. Not to mention the mail, which is processed by the Vatican Post Office in restricted spaces above and below ground.

So we can be certain that the Corona Virus will spread at the Vatican in the next 14 days.

Before the arrival of the Corona Virus at the Vatican it was widely reported that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has the flu. This years flu is very powerful. Those who grew up in the New World, like myself and Bergoglio, won’t have resistance to it.

Thankfully, I already had the flu. I was sick for 10 days, in bed constantly. And for another 10 days, I was so weak I was in bed most of the time. I had a lot of time to think of eternity, and when I was nearly recovered, I decided to start FromRome.Info as a full time apostolate advocating for Pope Benedict.

Those who catch this influence are likely to be harmed particularly severely if they catch the Corona Virus at the same time. Its not polite to speculate about a specific person dying at the Vatican, so I won’t.

But not only Bergoglio but every Cardinal who works in the Roman Curia might fall sick.

Thus, the scenario of a new Conclave this spring is now very likely.

Pope Benedict XVI is under quarantine and I think he will have a better chance of surviving the Corona Virus, since he has lived his whole life in Europe and has much more robust antibody preparation.

The prospect of a new Conclave this spring probably sends chills of terror down the spines of many Cardinals. They would have to come to Italy, and remain in the confined quarters of Santa Marta and the Sistine Chapel for several weeks, making their infection by the Corona Virus highly likely. Others might already have succumbed at the Vatican, changing entirely the political dynamic of the next conclave.

Many probably will decide not to participate.

Others will have a lot of reasons to think of Judgement of God.

Also, who will want to be pope? He will have to live at one of the major epicenters of the Corona Virus?

You can be sure that all those Cardinals who might have weakened immune systems will opt out.

The ones who do have the courage might very well be inclined to act on the kind of proposal which I based my Letter to the Cardinal Dean on, or upon that which my proposal to relect Pope Benedict contained.

Because the consequences of electing another pope, while Benedict XVI lives, is having another antipope. And who wants to risk the Corona Virus to be an antipope or have a dubious claim to the papacy? That would not be a good ending to an ecclesiastical career which aimed for real achievements.

But on account of the epidemic, the College might simply refuse to convene, and leave the Church with Pope Benedict on the one hand, and a sede vacante in the Bergoglio Church on the other. And that would make the crisis in the Church even more confusing.

In any event, God is in control and this corona virus might be the divine intervention that some Bishops and Cardinals — who refuse to look at Canon Law and — prayed for instead, which is sent in reply, but not quite the kind they expected.

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CREDITS:  The Featured Image is a photo of the funeral mass of Pope John Paul II, presided over by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his capacity as Dean of the College of Cardinals, and attended by the entire College of Cardinals. Source and rights, here.

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Russo to Schneider: We must believe Benedict, when he says he is still the pope

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MARCOTOSATTI.COM

Authorized English translation by FromRome.Info

Due Papi, Due Domande Impellenti, Una Risposta urgente.

by Marco Tosatti

Dear Friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae: a friend of our community, Sergio Russo, author of the book about which about which we spoke some time ago, Sei tu quello o dobbiamo aspettarne un altro? (Are you the one or should we expect another?), has sent us a reflection which seems to us particularly interesting and stimulating on the strange situation in which we we are living, and about which we have spoken in recent days.  Have a good read!

§ § §

Two Impelling Questions
which necessitate an urgent answer

by Sergio Russo

The first is: “Is Pope Francis a pope in every way, or not?”

The second, which is consequent upon the first, is: “Is Pope Benedict XVI still the pope, or not?”

I offer my personal contribution to the present debate, taking occasion also from the recent intervention by the Mons. Athanasius Schneider (dated Feb. 28, 2020) published originally in English at the site LIfeSite News, and also in French translation on the blog, Le Blog de Jeanne Smits.

Therefore, I will list here simply a series of facts, and not of argumentations, leaving it to the Reader to form his own opinion on the matter, knowing well, however, that contra factum non valet argumentum (against a fact no argument is valid).

  • Both academics and experts of things theological, as well as simple faithful, have noted how, from the date of March 13, 2013, even unto today, there has been created an unheard of situation, never before happening in the two thousand year history of the Church: the co-existence and co-habitation in the Vatican of two popes.
  • All of these, however, know well that the expression, “pope emeritus”, plays on the congruence/assonance of “Bishop Emeritus” and “Cardinal Emeritus”, and that, besides, it is not ordained by any canon of ecclesiastical law, neither past nor present …
    Moreover, it is to be noted – and here it basically returns to the same univocity which occurs in effect in the principle — just as there is, thus, no “priest emeritus”, so also, both the academic and the faithful have always known (but perhaps today the way to understand things has changed?) that there absolutely is no other kind of pope, neither Emeritus nor Presiding, and more so, and this by “una contraddizione, che nol consente … (a contradiction which does not consent to it)”, as Dante would say, since — and all believing Catholics have always held this as valid — the pope is the symbol and guarantor of unity in the Catholic Church, and She is one Body (though Mystical, but a true body), which cannot have but one sole Head!
    Therefore, not a two-headed Body, which would be a monstrosity, and neither a headless body, which would instead be a deficiency: as a matter of fact, one alone is the Christ, one alone is the Church, one alone the Faith, one alone the Vicar of Christ and one alone the Head of the Church …. and this is what the two-thousand year Magisterium of the Church has always affirmed, without the least hesitation!
  • Pope Francis, on the one hand would be the pope in every way, since he was licitly elected by all the Cardinals, united in a lawful Conclave (and which consequently is indubitable)
  • On the other hand, we are given to know that the election of Pope Francis (and this is also indubitable) might not be equally valid, since according to a declaration — never denied — of the now late Belgian Cardinal Godfried Dannels, present in his book-biography, which reports the admissions of the prelate made to the journalists, J. Mettepenningen and K. Schelkens, the said Cardinal revealed to them that a group of Cardinals and Bishops (to which he also belonged) worked for years to prepare for the election of J. M. Bergoglio, seeing that all of these porporati were opponents of Joseph Ratzinger: it was, in fact, a group which was kept secret, which the same Cardinal Danneels defined as “a mafia club, which bore the name of St. Gall”.
    And this type of agreement, according to the Apostolic Constitution of Saint John Paul II, Universi Dominic Gregis, which regulates the “vacancy of the Apostolic See and the election of the Roman Pontiff”, falls under a latae sententiae excommunication, as is clearly affirmed in nn. 77, 81, and 82:

    « Confirming also the prescriptions of our Predecessors, I prohibit anyone, even if he is marked with the dignity of the Cardinalate, to make agreements, while the Pope is alive and without having consulted him, about the election of His Successor, or promise votes, or take decisions in this regard in private meetings » (n.79);
    « The Cardinal Electors are to abstain, moreover, from every form of vote-canvassing, agreements, promises or other pledges of any kind, which can constrain them to give or deny their vote to one or another.  If such in reality would happen, even if under the obligation of a vow, I decree that such a pledge be null and invalid and that no one is bound to observe it; and from this moment I impose the excommunication latae sententiae upon the transgressors of this prohibition.» (n.81);
    « Equally, I forbid to the Cardinals to make, before an election, formal agreements, whether to receive pledges of common agreement, obliging themselves to put them into effect in the case that one of them be elevated to the Pontificate.  Even these promises, as much as they might be made, even under the obligation of an oath, I declare null and invalid » (n.82).

  • It is good to repeat that the “Renunciation” of Benedict XVI (according to his own admission) was truly made in full awareness and without any constraint … and yet that such a “renunciation” cannot be held to be truly such, since (and this is the seventh one which has occurred in the course of the two thousand years of Church history) all those who did renounce the papacy afterwards returned to their prior status as before thier election: and hence he who was a Bishop or Cardinal, returned to being a Bishop or Cardinal … he who was before a hermit, returned to be a hermit … (if one remembers the events of Pope Celestine V and Pietro da Morrone!), and hence none remained pope (not even an “emeritus”, or any other kind), by continuing to wear the white cassock, by maintaining the papal coat of arms, by signing wtih the name of the Pontiff, etc..
  • Hence, just as, if one must believe that Benedict XVI posited his “renunciation” in total autonomy and independence … so and equally, one must believe in what He himself declared:  “… When, on April 19 nearly 8 years ago I accepted to assume the petrine ministry … from that moment on I was engaged always and for always by the Lord …  The “always” is also a “for always”, there is no longer a return to the private: My decision to renounce the active exerciste of the ministry, does not revoke this ” (Benedict XVI, Wednesday General Audience of Feb. 27, 2013, Piazza S. Petro).
    And hence, through his own same admission, Benedict XVI is always and still pope, whether others say so or not.
    Therefore, in this case more than ever, there is required by all a firm intellectual coherence: if we ought to believe and hold as true the words of the Holy Father about His own renunciation, we ought, on the other hand and equally, believe and hold as true the just mentioned words pronounced by Benedict XVI, which affirm that he remains still and always pope!
  • In conclusion, how can one explain, then, such an apparent and present unresolved situation in the Church … what, in substance, ought we hold to have clear ideas and not to let ourselves be overwhelmed, even us, by such a contemporary “confusion”?

The solution is supplied us both by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, but as something requiring of us the highest attention and correct discernment ….

It is Our Lady Herself, in fact, who asks us to pay attention to Her words, left in our own days at Fatima, in which She speaks, both of the Holy Father, and of a Bishop dressed in white.

The Divine Providence has also arranged, also in our own days, that Pope John Paul II elevated to the honors of the altar the Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich, making in this way known to all believers her singular visions, especailly those in which she saw “the Church of the two popes”, the Church of always, faithful to the Magisterium, at whose head is the Holy Father, and another “new” church: big, strange and extravagant … (and, moreover, that the warnings, in part from the Mother of God are truly very many: the Miraculous Medal, La Salette, Fatima, Garabandal, the Marian Movement of Priests and many, many others …).

And, at last, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (in nn. 675-677), in which it informs, that, in our own days, all the faithful will be called to confront a “final test”, capable of shocking the faith of many believers, since in it there will be revealed the “mystery of iniquity”, able to provide an apparent solution to contemporary men, under the form of a religious impostiture, and it will be then that we will have to decide on which side to stand: whether with the Anti-Christ (the Anti-Church and the Anti-Gospel, as even John Paul II was wont to say), though this at the cost of apostasy from the Truth, in joining in such a manner the “new church”, great and lauded by the world, as ecological and ecumenical, which concerns itself primarily with the poor … or if we would remain with the Church of always, even if it is today seen in a bad light by the world, which reputs Her as integralist and fundamentalist, to remain with the holy Magisterium, held even today as antiquated, and faithful to the Gospel of Christ, the one and true God, our Savior and Redeemer: “Whom we hold most dear!”

This is an authorized translation of the original at

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Christ regards Benedict alone, as His Vicar on Earth

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

ben+xvi+corpus+dni

In controversies, we often forget the higher principles and end up disputing only in regard to the minutiae. This is dangerous, because the chief motives, especially in controversies in the Church, should depend upon Eternal and Divine principles.

For this reason, it is important for us to remember that Christ Jesus founded the Catholic Church and is the Author and Grantor of all ecclesiastical offices: offices, which are of supernatural origin and to which He has affixed a gift of grace (munus) which cannot be alienated except by explicit renunciation.

We know this by Divine Revelation. For when He asked Simon bar Johan what men thought of Himself, Peter responded:  Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

To which Our Lord, Messiah and Redeemer responded:  Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Gospel of Saint Matthew, Chapter 16)

We often fail to recognize, that by a Divine Promise God, who cannot be bound and obligated to man, has nevertheless bound and obligated Himself to man in what He has promised.  In regard to the Petrine Office (munus petrinum), Christ has actually bound HIMSELF to the official acts of the Roman Pontiff and to the words thereof. He has thus WILLED as GOD not to act, if the Roman Pontiff does not allow Him to act, and to act when the Roman Pontiff allows Him to act.

While this binding of God to Peter is not universal, it nevertheless does regards Papal Acts, where the man who is Pope acts as pope.  It also regards the man who is pope, inasmuch as he is a man, in the matter of accepting and renouncing the Papal Office (munus petrinum). For when a man accepts his election or acclamation as Pope, Christ bestows on the man the office and gift of grace (munus) which he gave Saint Peter to be passed on to the Bishops of Rome until the end of time.  The Church in Her wisdom has signified this office and gift of grace with the only Latin word which means both office and gift, “munus”.

No other Latin word having such a meaning, Pope John Paul II, as legislator of the New Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1983, added munus to Canon 322 §2, as the fundamental condition to spark, as it were, the recognition of a papal resignation.

While men can ignore that word in canon 332 §2, Christ cannot.

This is no exaggeration, no mere human opinion. Because since it is of Divine Faith that Christ promised to bind and loose according to the word of His Vicar. His vicar in adding that word to the canon regarding papal resignation, did bind Christ Himself not to withdraw the office and gift of grace (munus), if the munus were NOT renounced.

The Sacred Hierarchy, and especially the College of Cardinals, need to recognize this fundamental theological truth of Christology and Ecclesiology, and return to a correct recognition of the facts of the case.  They must ignore what men say about what happened on February 11, 2013 on the basis of what a pool reporter, with little knowledge of Latin thought Benedict signified. They must ignore what all who think what that act signified. They must attend solely to Canon 332 §2 according to what that canon says in its Latin official text. They must read it in accord with canon 17 and the text Non solum propter.

They must recognize, that when the Vicar of Christ does not renounce the office and gift of grace which Christ gave to him alone, Christ cannot transfer it to another, even if the whole Church wants Him to transfer it. He cannot act, until His Vicar acts. And even if His vicar is confused due to old age, He cannot act.

Thus, it’s indubitably true that Pope Benedict XVI is still the Pope, and that Christ Himself regards Benedict alone as His Vicar on Earth. God Himself can do no other. He cannot break His promise to Peter.

Literal English Translation of Benedict XVI’s Discourse on Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

07-Ratzinger-ciao-OR

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There being few in the Church today who know the Latin tongue well enough to read and analyze a canonical text, I offer here my own translation of the discourse which Pope Benedict gave during the Consistory of Feb. 11, 2013 A. D..  You can find modern translations of this discourse at the Vatican Website, with notable errors and seemingly purposeful misrepresentations.  Compare my own with theirs, if you like, to know which words have been altered in the vernacular versions.

– – – –

Declaration of Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

Not only for the three canonizations have I called you to this Consistory, but also so that I may communicate to you a decision of great moment for the life of the Church. Having explored my conscience again and again before the Lord, I have arrived at certain recognition that with my advancing age my strengths are no longer apt for equitably administering the Petrine Office [munus Petrinum].

I am well aware that this office [munus], according to its spiritual essence, ought to be exercised not only by acting and speaking, but no less than by suffering and praying.  Moreover, in the world of our time, subjected to rapid changes and perturbed by questions of great weight for the life of faith, there is more necessary to steer the Barque of Saint Peter and to announce the Gospel a certain vigor, which in recent months has lessened in me in such a manner, that I should acknowledge my incapacity to administer well the ministry [ministerium] committed to me.  On which account, well aware of the weightiness of this act, I declare in full liberty, that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals on April 19, 2005, so that on February 28, 2013, at 20:00 Roman Time [Sedes Romae], the see of Saint Peter be vacant, and that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those whose duty it is [ab quibus competit].

Dearest brothers, I thank you with my whole heart for every love and work, by which you bore with me the weight of my ministry [ministerii], and I ask pardon for all my failings.  Moreover, now We confide God’s Holy Church to the care of Her Most High Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and We implore His Mother, Mary, to assist with Her maternal goodness the Cardinal fathers in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.  In my own regard, I wish to serve in the future by a life of prayer dedicated to the Holy Church with my whole heart.

[From the halls of the Vatican, Feb. 10, 2013]

 


Translator’s Commentary

As can be seen from Ganswein’s talk at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016, and from the other comments made by Benedict XVI afterwards, this text regards the resignation of ministry, not office. If one were to say it effects the resignation of office, he would be in substantial error, as I have demonstrated elsewhere.

Unlike Archbishop Ganswein, when he spoke at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016,  I translate munus as office, following not only all the Latin Dictionaries which I have at my disposal, but the Latin text of Canon 145, which defines every office in the Church as a munus. See also, Pope Paul VI’s decree, Christus Dominus, which uses the same term for office.

I translate vacet as the main verb of a subordinate subjunctive clause of purpose, introduced by ita ut, “so that”. Those who opine that such a form of vaco, vacare can be translated as could be vacant know nothing about Latin and how as a Classical tongue it lacks the conditional mood. (Cf. my Ecclesiastical Latin Grammar, for an explanation on how to translate the subjunctive mood in Latin, into English).

Having spoken with one of the most eminent Latinists who has worked at the Vatican, I note that the Sedes Romae refers to the time Zone, and is not an appositive to Sedes Sancti Petri. Note there are 2 things declared:  that I renounce... and that a Conclave be convoked….  Note also, that in the original text the commisso in the phrase, “committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals” was erroneously written and spoken as commissum.  (Cfr. Pope Gregory XIII’s 1582 edition of the Decretales Gregorii IX. Book. I, Tittle III, de Rescriptis, c. XI.)

Finally, if you find any typographical errors, let me know. as I understand there are some out there who hate the truth so much, that if they find one, they believe the rest of a text by a translator is of no value.

 

The Validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation must be questioned — Part I

Resignation

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Recently, the noted Vatican theologian, and former member of the Congregation for the Faith, Msgr. Nichola Bux publicly opined that the validity of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI should be studied in regard to the question of what appears to be substantial error in the formula of resignation. (For a correct English translation of the formula, see here).

Msgr. Bux was not the first to raise this issue. In fact, doubts as to the validity of the act of resignation were raised immediately upon the news being made known. Flavien Blanchon, a French journalist working at Rome, writing only 2 days afterwards, cited an eminent Latin scholar who pointed out errors in the text of abdication, and who noted that the presence of any error, according to canonical tradition, was held to be a sign of lack of deliberation, rendering the act null and void. These errors in the Latin were also reported by Luciano Canfora, Corriere della Serra, Feb. 12, 2013, p. 17.

More importantly, the famous Italian Philosopher, Prof. Enrico Radaelli wrote a supplication to Pope Benedict XVI, on Feb. 18, begging him to withdraw the resignation, because, inasmuch as it was done in a secular fashion, it would result in the consequent election of an Anti-Pope. His article was entitled: Perché Papa Ratzinger-Benedetto XVI dovrebbe ritirare le sue dimissioni: non è ancora tempo per un nuovo papa, perché sarebbe quello di un Anti-Papa. (Link to text with commentary, here). Which warning, alas, was ignored, even by myself at the time, for frivolous reasons.

Then a year later, the famous Italian controversialist, Antonio Socci openly speculated that the resignation might be invalid on account of the lack of interior will given by Benedict. In the same year, a very noteworthy study published by a Professor in canon law at the Theological Institute of Legano, Switzerland, in 2014 by Fr. Stefano Violi, which discussed canonically the renunciation: The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Between History, Law and Conscience, without, however, raising the question of its invalidity. (Its a must read on account of its rich citation to the canonical history of papal resignations, despite its glaring error of affirming that a novel way of resigning was fulling in accord with Tradition!) — However, the study by the professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Theology, Lugano, Switzerland, by identifying the matter of the renunciation to regard the active ministry, not the munus, made it clear that the question of substantial error invalidating the resignation was a real question, founded upon the text of the act itself.

On Nov. 14, 2014, in a public conference, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, “the Fatima Priest” of Canada, affirmed of Pope Benedict, on Feb 11, 2013, that “whatever he was doing, he was not resigning the papacy”.

However, on June 19, 2016, the USA citizen Ann Barnhardt raised specifically the question of a doubt arising from canon 188, which cites substantial error as sufficient grounds to establish the grounds for a canonical determination of invalidity in any resignation. She did this following the remarkable comments by Pope Benedict’s personal Secretary on May 20th earlier, in which he claimed that Benedict still occupied the Papal Office (Full Text, English Translation).

Barnhard was not the first to make such an observation. Dr. Cathy Caridi, JCL, a canonist, openly speculated in January of 2013, more than a month before Pope Benedict XVI acted, that a substantial error in a papal renunciation could in fact invalidate it in virtue of Canon 188.

Then the blogger, Sarmaticus, discussed the issue raised by Ganswein’s words on August 5, 2016, with a post drawing out the significance of what the Archbishop had said at the Gregorian University, in a post entitled: “Ockham’s Razor Finds: Benedict Still Pope, Francis Is False Pope, Universal Church in State of Necessity since 24 April, 2005.”

Msgr. Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the United States, and a former member of Opus Dei, has also sustained this same doubt and others regarding the validity of the resignation. I understand that the Bishop has written many members of the Sacred Hierarchy and Curia about these matters urging action be taken (He suggests a public declaration by 12 pre-Bergoglian Cardinals).

According to Ann Barnhart, in the following year, the Americans, Attorney Chris Ferrara and Mrs. Anne Kreitzer also sustained this same doubt. The Italian historian Richard Cowden Guido opined the same on May 11, 2017. And, the famous Italian controversialist, Antonio Socci quoted Violi at length on May 31, 2017 and sustained the same thesis.

On August 11, 2017, the popular Catholic TV program from Colombia, founded by Dr. Galat and know as Cafe con Galat, in an English edition, discussed why Pope Benedict XVI is still the true pope. While this program emphasizes the lack of freedom in the act, it does include the matter regarding the lack of conformity to Canon 332 §2 and canon 188.

Sometime before March of this year, Fr. Paul Kramer, a priest from the United States of America sustained also that canon 188 nullified the resignation, on account of the lack of the resignations conformity to canon 332 §2 in mentioning ministerium rather than munus.

In May of this year, at the latest, the Spaniard Fr. Juan Juarez Falcon expounded the canonical reason for the invalidity of the resignation, on the basis of substantial error, in an article entitled, “Dos Graves Razones”Dr. José Alberto Villasana Munguía followed from Mexico on June 27th, concurring with his opinion.

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI in his private letters to Cardinal Brandmueller, published in the summer of 2018, openly asks for suggestions for a better way to resign, if he did not do it correctly.

There being a number of notable Catholics sustaining this doubt, and since Msgr. Bux called for an investigation of this matter, I will add here in Scholastic Form, some arguments in favor of sustaining it, in course of which I will refute all substantial arguments against it. In the course of time, as I find other arguments, or think of new ones, I will add them to this list.

All the arguments for and against should be understood in context of canon 124 §1, which reads: For the validity of a juridic act it is required that the act is placed by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act.

Can. 188, 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.

And Canon 322 §2: If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his munus, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and be properly manifested (rite manifestatur), but not that it be accepted by anyone at all.

Its also important to note, for native speakers of German, that the German translation of the Code of Canon Law gives the erroneous translation of munus as Dienst in canon 145 §1, where munus if it be translated at all, should be rendered Verantwortung, which is a proper synonym of the Latin munus, as an onus. Moreover, the correct sense of munus in canon 332 §2 is “office, charge and gift of grace” (Amt, Verantwortung, Geschenk der Gnade), not ministry or service (dienst), for only this full sense of munus, as an officium, onus, donum reflects the magisterial teaching of Pope Boniface VIII in his rescript, Quoniam.

 

Whether Pope Benedict XVI by means of the act expressed in his address, “Non solum propter”, resigned the office of the Bishop of Rome?

And it seems that he did not:

1. First, because substantial error, in an act of resignation, regards the vis verborum, or signification of the words, as they regard the form and matter of the act.  But the act of renouncing a ministry regards one of the proper accidents of the office [cf. canon 41] by which that ministry can be rightfully exercised.  Therefore, if one renounces a ministry, he does not renounce the office. And if he believes to have renounced the office, by renouncing one of the ministries, he is in substantial error as to the signification of the words he has used. But in the text, Non Solum Propter, Benedict XVI renounces the ministerium which he received as Bishop of Rome, when he was elected.  Therefore, to understand that act as a renunciation of the office is to be in substantial error as to the effect of the act. Therefore as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

2. Saint Peter the Apostle exercised many ministries in many places. But no one is the real successor of Saint Peter except the Bishop of Rome (canon 331). If one renounces a petrine ministry, therefore, he does not renounce the office of Bishopric of Rome (cf. canons 331 & 332), who has other ministries in virtue of his office. Therefore, if one believes he has renounced the Bishopric of Rome by renouncing a petrine ministry, he is in substantial error, and thus as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

3. According to Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 12) there are diverse graces, ministries and offices in the Church, inasmuch as the Church is the Body of Christ. Therefore, since the Bishop of Rome can exercise several of these ministries, it follows that one does not renounce the Bishopric of Rome if one renounces one of these ministries, since no one ministry is coextensive with the Bishopric of Rome. Ergo in such a renunciation, if one believes he has sufficiently signified the renunciation of the Bishopric of Rome, he is in substantial error. Therefore, as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

4. According to Seneca (Moral Essays, vol. 3, John W. Basore, Heineman, 1935), one must distinguish between benefices, offices and ministries. Benefices are that which are given by an alien, offices by sons, mothers and others with necessary relationships, and ministries by servants who do what superiors do not do.  The Petrine ministry is a service to the Church. But the office of the Bishop of Rome is a duty to Christ. If one renounces the ministry of a servant, he does not renounce the office of a son. Ergo in such a renunciation etc…

5. The validity of an act of resignation cannot be founded upon the subjective definition of words, or the mere intention of the one renouncing. If that were the case, the interpretation would make the act an act of resignation. The act itself would not declare it. But the Church is a public society founded by the Incarnate Living God. Therefore, the renunciation of offices must be not only intentional but public, to give witness to the fact that the office was established by the Living and Incarnate God. But the office of the Bishop of Rome is such an office. Ergo in such a renunciation etc..

6. As Msgr. Henry Gracida argues on his blog, abyssum.org: If Christ did not accept the resignation of Benedict as valid, because the act itself was not canonically valid per canon 188, then Christ would be obliged in justice to deprive Bergoglio of grace, so that his lack of being pope be MOST EVIDENT to all with Faith, Hope and Charity. But it is MOST EVIDENT to everyone, even non Catholics, that he has NOT the grace of God in him or in his actions. Ergo, either Christ is unjust, or Christ is just. He cannot be unjust. Ergo, Bergoglio is not pope! But the Cardinals hold that his election was in accord with the procedures required by the Papal Law on Elections. Therefore, if he is not the pope, it can only be because someone else is still the Pope. Therefore, Benedict is still the pope, because in a resignation of this kind, the substantial error of renouncing the ministry, rather than the munus, renders it invalid.

7. Likewise, Christ prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail, and so that he could confirm his brethren in the Apostolic College. Now this prayer of Christ must be efficacious, since Christ is God and the Beloved Son of the Eternal Father, and because of the office of Saint Peter is not something merely useful to the Body of Christ, but necessary in matters of faith and unity. Therefore, Christ’s prayer for the Successors of Saint Peter must be efficacious in some manner as regards the faith and unity of the Church. But Bergoglio manifestly attacks both the faith and unity of the Church. Far be it, therefore, to judge that in this one man Christ’s prayer was not intended to be effective. Ergo, Bergoglio is not a valid successor of Saint Peter! But the Cardinals hold that his election was in accord with the procedures required by the Papal Law on Elections. Therefore, if he is not the pope, it can only be because someone else is still the Pope. Therefore, Benedict is still the pope, because in a resignation of this kind, the substantial error of renouncing the ministry, rather than the munus, renders it invalid.

8. From the text of the act of resignation. Pope Benedict admits in the first sentence that he holds the munus petrinum. But further down, he says he renounces the ministerium which he had received as Bishop of Rome. Therefore, he has not renounced the munus. But munus means office and gift of grace (cf. Canon 145 §1 and Paul VI, Christus Dominus). Therefore, he has not stated that he has renounced the office and gift of grace. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

9.From the sense of the Latin tongue, which lacks the definite and indefinite article. When you say: Renuntio ministerio, you do not say whether you have renounced the ministry or a ministry. Therefore, you leave unsaid what ministry you have renounced. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

10.From the papal law Universi Dominici Gregis, on Papal elections:  One is not elected to the Petrine Ministry, but to be the Bishop of Rome.  Therefore, unless one renounce the Bishopric of Rome one has not vacated the See of Saint Peter. But in public statements Pope Benedict XVI after March 2013 says only that he has renounced the ministerium. Therefore, he is in substantial habitual error as regards what is required in an act of resignation of the office of the Bishopric of Rome.  Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

11. From the Code of Canon Law:  Canonical resignations are valid if 3 things are valid: liberty from coercion, right intention, unambiguous signification. This is confirmed in canon 332, § 2 which expressly denies that the acceptance of a resignation affects is validity or non-validity. But Pope Benedict admits in his letters to Cardinal Brandmueller that his intent was to retain something of the Pontifical Dignity. His private secretary also publicly has affirmed that he occupies the  See of Peter but shares the Petrine Ministry still. This is incontrovertible evidence that the act of resignation is ambiguous. For either it means he has renounced the See or has not renounced the See, that he has renounced the ministry, or has not renounced the ministry.  Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

12. From Pneumetology, that is, from the theology of the Holy Spirit. After Feb 2013 the whole Church still recognizes and accepts Pope Benedict with the title of pope and with papal prerogatives. All call him Benedict, not Ratzinger or Joseph (even Bergoglio, during his visit to Panama in January 2019, exhorted the crowds to wave to “Pope Benedict XVI”.) But the whole Church cannot be deceived. Nevertheless, according to Divine Institution, the Papacy cannot be held by more than one person at one time. And he who holds it first, has the valid claim to the office. Therefore, the Church does not understand the act as one which renounces the office. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

13. From insufficiency of intention:  If a Pope renounces eating bananas, he has not renounced the office of Bishopric of Rome. Therefore, if he says, “I have renounced eating bananas, to vacate the See of Rome”, he is in substantial error as to the effect of his act.  But in his text of renunciation he says he has renounced the ministry so as to vacate the see of Saint Peter [ut sedes Sancti Petri vacet]. But that is a substantial error, since the ministry is only a proper accident of the Bishopric of Rome, for to be the Bishop of Rome is the first act of its being [esse primum], to exercise the ministries of the Bishopric of Rome is the second act of its being [esse secundum]. Therefore, since the second act of being is in potency to the first act, and potency is divided from act as accident to substance, to renounce a or all ministries of an office is an act regarding the accidents not the substance of the office. Therefore, one could just as well renounce any or all of its ministries and retain the office. Therefore, by renouncing a or the ministry he does not renounce the office. Indeed, in public statements, he explicitly affirms only to have renounced the ministry. Therefore, his insufficiency of expressed intention does not save the act from substantial error.  Therefore, in such a renunciation etc..

14. The Pope is not more powerful than God the Son. But God the Son in becoming the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, at the moment of Consecration, renounces all the accidents and action of His Sacred Humanity, yet remains still God and Man.  Hence, even if a Pope were to renounce all his actions and ministries as Pope, he remains the Pope. But Pope Benedict XVI in his declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, renounces only the ministerium of his office, not the office. Therefore, he remains the Pope.

15. If you get up from your chair, but to not give the chair to another, the chair becomes vacant but remains your property.  Now the office of St. Peter’s Successor is to Saint Peter’s Successor as a throne is to the one enthroned. So if a Pope renounces the ministry of his office, but not the office, even if he intends by such a renunciation that the Throne of St. Peter be vacant, he does not cede his right and holding of the office. So when Pope Benedict writes declaro me ministerio … renuntiare ita ut Sedes Petri vacet its clear that while he renounces serving as Pope, he does not renounce the Papacy.

16. If any President, Prime Minister or father of a family renounces fulfilling the duties of his office, he nevertheless has not ceased to be President, Prime Minister or father. Likewise with the Pope, if he textually renounces only the ministry of his office, he has not lost his office.

17. God, who is Being, as the institutor of the Office of Peter, cannot regard as resigned from the office of the Successor of Saint Peter, any Roman Pontiff, validly elected, who only renounces accidents or second acts of the being of that office. But Pope Benedict XVI renounced only the ministerium, or exercise of the office, which he had received, not the munus, which is the office itself [cf. Canons 332 §2 and 749 §1]. Therefore, since the exercise of office is the second act of the being of the office, God cannot acknowledge such a resignation as valid. And if God does not recognize it as valid, neither can the Church. Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

18. The essence of ‘being the Pope’ is the dignity of the office held. The essence of a ministry is the service rendered. Therefore, just as renunciation of a service does not cause the loss of dignity, so the renunciation of the Petrine Ministry does not cause the loss of Papal office.   Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

19. In Canon Law ministerium is not the locus of right (ius), that is found only in sacraments (sacramenta) and offices (munera).  Therefore, he who renounces ministerium, renounces no right. But Pope Benedict XVI in his renunciation, Non solum propter, renounces the ministerium he received from the hands of the Cardinals. Therefore, he does not renounce any right. And if he renounces no right, he retains all rights, and thus remains the Pope.  If it be objected, that he renounced the ministerium so as to vacate the See of St. Peter (ita ut Sedes S Petri vacet), it must be responded that, since vacare, in Latin has 2 senses: that of conceding right and that of simply going away, as on a vacation, the assertion of renouncing ministerium so as to vacet the Roman See implies no necessity of signifying a renunciation of right.  Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

20. As the learned canonists Juan Juárez Falcó argues:  Canon 332 which is the only canon regarding Papal renunciations speaks of the renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium. But Benedict XVI speaks only of renouncing the ministerium, not the munus. Ergo per canon 188, the renunciation is invalid to effect a renunciation of munus. But as per canon 145, the munus is the office. Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

For the arguments, to the Contrary, and their refutations, see part II.

In summation:

As the eminent Canon Lawyer, Fr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, says, commenting on Canon 126:  When the ignorance or error regards the essential object of the act, … then the act must be considered as never having been posited, invalid. (Codice di Diritto Canonico, e Leggi Complementari: Commentato, Coletti a San Pietro, 2004, commentary on canon 126).

Hence, it appears, that if a Pope were to intend to retire from active ministry, but retain the Papal Office in all its fullness, that he could just as well read out loud the statement made by Pope Benedict XVI, Non solum propter, since the vis verborum of that text is that he renounced the ministry of the office of the Bishop of Rome, but not the office. Herein lies the substantial error, and thus that act of Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013 must be judged to be invalid, as per canon 188, if it be asserted to be an act of resignation of the office of Bishop of Rome. However, if one were to assert that it is only the act of renunciation of active ministry, not of office, then yes, it should be said to be a valid act, containing no substantial error.

In Conclusion, Philosophical Reason

Though there can be many kinds of substantial error in an act of resignation, there is NONE more SUBSTANTIAL than the one which involves confusing the accidents of the office to be resigned as sufficient terms to signify the substance of the office itself. Now, according to canon 188, where substantial error is present in such an act, the act is invalid in its effect “by the law itself”. Therefore, the text of Non solum propter, of Benedict XVI does not effect validly his resignation from the office of the Bishopric of Rome.

In Conclusion, Canonical Reason

This is corroborated by undisputed facts of law, namely that the only Canon in the Code of Canon Law, Canon 322 §2, which speaks expressly of a papal resignation, requires that the man who is pope resign the munus and do so rite (i.e. properly according to the norms of law). But the text of Benedict’s resignation speaks only of a renunciation of ministerium.  Therefore, since it regards an act wholly outside the meaning of Canon 332 §2, the act is invalid to effect a Papal resignation. It is also thus invalid to effect the same by the law itself, according to Canon 188, and by canon 126.

Indeed, the inherent separability of ministerium from munus in Ecclesiastical history and canonical tradition is the fundamental reason why no renunciation of ministerium can be equated in law as a due manifestation of the resignation of an office. For that reason, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI made through the act, Non solum propter, of February 11, 2013 A.D., has no valid canonical effect regarding the office of the Papacy. He remains the Pope, therefore, with all rights and privileges.

On which account, as a baptized Roman Catholic, Italian Citizen and legal resident of the City of Rome, I call upon the Italian Government to invoke its right, as a party to the Lateran Pact and its subsequent agreements, to convene the entire Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, to judge in tribunal, just as they did in A. D. 1046 at Sutri, at the command of the Germany King Henry III, the validity of the claim to office of Popes Benedict and Francis, namely, whether the act of renunciation of Benedict XVI was valid as to a renunciation of office, and if not, to declare the Conclave of 2013 canonically invalid ex radicibus.

 

Archbishop Georg Gänswein’s revelations point to Conclave Pact to elect Bergoglio

Archibishop Georg Gänswein of the Pontifical Household, former private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI
Archibishop Georg Gänswein of the Pontifical Household, former private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI

Rome, May 24, 2016:  The recent revelations by Archbishop Georg Gänswein point to a stunning possibility, that during the Conclave of 2005, which elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI,  Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio and his supporters consented to his rival’s election, on the condition that after a fixed number of years, he would resign, and the next conclave elect himself Pope.

This theoretical postulate is based on the following reasoned speculations:

  1. There is precedent in the history of Conclaves for deals among rival factions:  As we noted in the article, “Team Bergoglio” and the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, during the Conclave which elected Saint Pius X, there was the curious consequence that Rampolla’s supporters were consecrated Bishops by Pius X following his election, and Pius X’s supporters, bishops, by Cardinal Rampolla.
  2. Archbishop Gänswein confirms the existence of the St. Gallen group, a self-named “mafia” organization in the Church which worked actively to promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio in 2005. This confirmed what Vaticanist Paul Baade admitted last year.
  3. Pope Benedict XVI explained his reason to retire for reasons which do not seem credible:  namely for poor health, even though he has not lost the capacity to speak, think, walk or make decisions.
  4. Pope Benedict XVI planned his retirement well in advance:  according to Cardinal Bertone, as much as 7 months in advance; according to publish reports, the former Cardinal of Palermo knew more than 2 years before, a fact which he revealed during a dinner in a restaurant in China.
  5. Pope Benedict XVI has not issued one word of criticism of Pope Francis’ outrageous statements and scandalous actions.
  6. The supporters of Pope Benedict XVI have not personally criticized Pope Francis in public for any of his heretical, erroneous or scandalous words or actions during the latters’ pontificate.
  7. There is constant emphasis, by Pope Benedict XVI and now Archbishop Gänswein that in some way both Benedict and Francis share the Petrine ministry.

None of this seems possible to From Rome without there having been a formal agreement among the Cardinals in the conclave of 2005 to share the Papacy among the 2 rival candidates.

Finally, if such a pact were made, it is not clear whether it would violate UDG 81 or canon law. But seeing that there is yet no firm evidence of the existence of such a pact, we will omit speculating as to its effect in law on the basis of UDG 81 (read more about this in the series of articles published here).

However, if this pact to elect Bergoglio did in fact happen, it would be more than sufficient explanation why none of the Cardinals have made any objection or heard any petitions regarding the Team Bergoglio scandal, in which it appears that up to 20+ Cardinals canvassed for votes for Bergoglio, most likely with his consent, in the 2013 Conclave, in violation of UDG 81, the violation of which is an excommuncate-able offense. For, if the College made an pact regarding votes in 2005, they might very well have been excommunicated, in virtue of the Papal Law, since that time. This might explain the utter breakdown of public virtue and faith which is spreading like a wild fire among the Sacred College, as a spiritual punishment for that most occult crime.

Bl. Emmerich’s prophecy of Schism in the time of 2 Popes

With commentary in Italics by From Rome blog, regarding how it may apply to our own day

May 13, 1820.“Last night, from eleven to three, I had a most wonderful vision of two churches and two Popes and a variety of things, ancient and modern.

“I shall relate, as well as I can, all that I remember of it. My angel-guardian came and told me that I must go to Rome and take two things to the Pope; but I cannot now recall what they were — perhaps it is the will of God that I should forget them. I asked my angel how I could make so long a journey, sick as I was. But when I was told that I should make it without difficulty, I no longer objected. — An odd-looking vehicle appeared before me, flat and slight, with only two wheels, the flooring red with white edges. I saw no horses.

This sound uncannily like the Segway’s used at Rome, to show tourists the city.  Which only came into use in recent years. I myself noticed them in use in 2010.  You can see that some of them are read in color:

Photo by Tripadvisor.com
Photo by Tripadvisor.com

“I was gently lifted and laid on it and, at the same instant, a snow-white, luminous child flew toward me and seated himself at my feet. He reminded me of the Patience-child in green, so sweet, so lovely, and perfectly transparent. He was to be my companion, he was to console and take care of me. The wagon was so light and smooth that at first I was afraid of slipping off; but it began to move very gently of Itself without horses, and I saw a shining human figure going on ahead. The journey did not seem long, although we crossed countries, mountains, and great waters. I knew Rome the instant we reached it, and I was soon in the presence of the Pope.”

— Her “experience” of traveling on this strange mode of transportation, except for the length of the journey, is exactly that of someone riding a Segway for the first time.  This places the time of the fulfillment of her prophecy in our own days.

Pope Boniface IV
Pope Boniface IV

“I know not now whether he was sleeping or praying, but I had to say two things to him, or give him two things, and I shall have to go to him once again to announce a third. — Then I had a wonderful vision. Rome suddenly appeared as in the early ages, and I saw a Pope (Boniface IV and and an Emperor whose name I knew not (Phocas). I could not find my way in the city, all was so different, even the sacred ceremonies; but yet I recognized them as Catholic. I saw a great round building like a cupola — it was a pagan temple full of beautiful idols. It had no windows, but in the dome was an opening with a contrivance for keeping out the rain. It seemed as if all the idols that ever existed were gathered together therein every conceivable posture. Many of them were very beautiful, and others exceedingly odd; there were even some of geese which received divine honor. In the center of the building stood a very high pyramid formed entirely of those images. I saw no idolatrous worship at the time of which I speak, although the idols were still carefully preserved.

Emperor Flavius Phocas
A Coin bearing the image of Emperor Flavius Phocas

Visions are often symbolically significant, even in the details they relate. Note that she speaks of a Pope and the city of Rome under pagan influence.  When she had this vision, Rome was ruled by the Popes, but now it is under the pagan domination of the modern Republic of Italy. Note too that she says that she cannot recognize the rituals used by Catholics, they were all different. This is what a Catholic in 1820 might say of the Novus Ordo mass which arose after the Second Vatican Council.  Note too, that “Boniface” is from the Latin for “Good-doer”, it is very similar in meaning to “Benedict”, which means “Good-speaker”.  The emperor in the time of Pope Boniface IV (who reigned from August 25, 608 to May 8, 615) , was Flavius Phocas (d. Oct. 4, 610).

“I saw messengers from Pope Boniface going to the emperor and petitioning for the temple to be changed into a Christian church, I heard the latter declaring distinctly that the Pope should allow the ancient statues to remain, though he might erect therein the cross to which the highest honors should be paid. This proposal, as it seemed to me, was made not wickedly, but ” in good faith. I saw the messengers return with the answer and Boniface reflecting as to how he might in some measure conform to the emperor’s will. Whilst he was thus deliberating, I saw a good, pious priest in prayer before the crucifix. He wore a long white robe with a train, and an angel hovered by his side. Suddenly he arose, went straight to Boniface, and told him that he should by no means accede to the emperor’s proposal. Messengers were then dispatched to the emperor, who now consented to the temple’s being entirely cleared. Then I saw his people come and take numbers of the statues to the imperial city; but still many remained in Rome. Then I saw the consecration of the temple, at which ceremony the holy martyrs assisted with Mary at their side. The altar was not in the center of the building, but against the wall. I saw more than thirty wagon-loads of sacred relics brought into the church. Many of them were enclosed in the walls and others could be seen through round openings covered with something like glass.

It is interesting to note that she speaks of this Pope Boniface who would received and accepted the sound advice of a devout Catholic priest, who dressed in traditional garb, to have nothing to do with the mixing of Catholic rites with idolatry. Which Pope had the courage to confront the civil authorities of his day with the truth, even to the point of risking their disfavor.  In the time of Emperor Flavius Phocas, the capital of the Roman Empire, the Imperial City, was Constantinople, modern Istanbul. It was in Istanbul, during the Apostolic Nunciature of the future Pope John XXIII, that an international assembly of Free Masons called for an Ecumenical Council to reunite all Christians. Note, that the new church, which Bl. Anne sees consecrated, has its altar against the wall, not like the other churches she sees.  The initiation of the restoration of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ad orientem, facing the tabernacle was the hallmark of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, especially through his decree Summorum Pontificum, which defended the rights of the clergy and faithful to the celebration of the ancient Roman Rite, which Bl. Anne Emmerich knew as the Mass of the universal Church.

“When I had witnessed this vision even in the smallest details, I saw again the present Pope and the dark church of his time in Rome, It seemed to be a large, old house like a town-hall with columns in front. I saw no altar in it, but only benches, and in the middle of it something like a pulpit. They had preaching and singing, but nothing else, and only very few attended it.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

— This aptly describes not only the liturgical architecture but the rituals which prevail in the Latin rite since the time of Vatican II, the many abuses and deficiencies of which Pope Benedict XVI was noted for criticizing.

“And lo, a most singular sight! — Each member of the congregation drew an idol from his breast, set it up before him, and prayed to it. It was as if each man drew forth his secret thoughts or passions under the appearance of a dark cloud which, once outside, took some definite form. They were precisely such figures as I had seen around the neck of the illicit bride in the Nuptial House, figures of men and animals. The god of one was short and broad with a crisp head and numerous, outstretched arms ready to seize and devour all in its reach; that of another was quite small with miserable, shrunken limbs; another had merely a block of wood upon which he gazed with rolling eyes; this one had a horrible animal; that one, a long pole. The most singular part of it was that the idols filled the place; the church, although the worshippers were so few, was crowded with idols. When the service was over, every one’s god re-entered into his breast. The whole church was draped in black, and all that took place in it was shrouded in gloom.

— When the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass becomes a time for celebrating the community, then religion becomes nothing more than the self-affirmation of one’s own personal fancies, vices and idols.  Thus Bl. Anne aptly describes a form of Catholicism which has gone astray from a right and orthodox spirituality.

“Then I saw the connection between the two Popes and the two temples. I am sorry that I have forgotten the numbers, but I was shown how weak the one had been in adherents and human support, but how strong in courage to overturn so many gods (I knew the number) and to unite so many different forms of worship into one; and, on the contrary, how strong in numbers and yet how irresolute in action was the other since, in authorizing the erection of false temples, he had allowed the only true God, the only true religion to be lost among so many false gods and false religions.

Here Bl. Anne critiques the two “churches” which exist among the Catholic faithful: one which which has few members, but great zeal to overthrow false religions and establish authentic Catholic worship, suitable to the rites of many nations — this is the Catholic Church; the other which has many members, but little zeal for defending the true Religion from the false, compromising with the world — this is the Church of Modernists and the Church born of the Aggiornamento.

“It was also shown me that those pagans humbly adored gods other than themselves, and that they would have been willing to admit in all simplicity the only God, the Most Holy Trinity. Their worship was preferable to that of those who adore themselves in a thousand idols to the total exclusion of Our Lord. The picture was favorable to the early ages, for in them idolatry was on the decrease, whilst in our days it is just the contrary.

Here Bl. Emmerich gives us a key for interpreting her vision of Pope Benedict IV as applying to Pope Benedict XVI, because she says, “The picture was favorable to the early ages…” and shows that her vision of the former was a spiritual interpretation of the state of the Church under the latter.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

— Next, she speaks of the Church of the Modernists, who in our day are lead by the followers of Cardinal Martini and Cardinal Kasper, under the aegis of Pope Francis’ protection and promotion:

“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city (1). I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening. — And now the vision became more extended.

At this point in her vision, Bl. Anne seems to speak of things yet to come, an ominous persecution of the Catholic Church by the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the Church of the Modernists:

“I saw in all places Catholics oppressed, annoyed, restricted, and deprived of liberty, churches were closed, and great misery prevailed everywhere with war and bloodshed. I saw rude, ignorant people offering violent resistance, but this state of things lasted not long. Again I saw in vision St. Peter’s undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect whilst, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress.

This persecution could refer to Pope Francis’ notable persecution of Catholic Bishops, clergy, religious and laity who attend the ancient Roman Rite: for several Bishops have been removed for promoting this mass, many priests and religious and laity have been denied this mass or persecuted in Italy and throughout the world, at express direction of Pope Francis, for their loyalty to this ancient rite.  Such a persecution, according to Rev. Fr. Matthias of Corona, S.T.D. Paris, A Carmelite of Liège, is grounds for the College of Cardinals to depose the pope.  However, Bl. Anne sees the salvation of the Church by divine means:

“Again I saw the Blessed Virgin extending her mantle over it. In this last scene. I saw no longer the reigning Pope, but one of his successors, a mild, but very resolute man who knew how to attach his priests to himself and who drove far from him the bad. I saw all things renewed and a church which reached from earth to heaven.”