With all the controversy that surrounded the election of Pope Francis upon the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013, it seems that Catholics may have lost sight of a very key element of this episode, namely, that Benedict XVI never resigned his papal office, but only the active exercise thereof.
On the eve of his resignation, he said: “Anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church… “The ‘always’ is also a “forever”—there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” (General Audience, February 27, 2013)
According to these words, Benedict XVI remains pope, with no revocation of his office having occurred. According to Church law, a pope must give up “his office” for his resignation to be valid. (Canon 332) Pope Benedict clearly chose to retain his office “forever,” which means he is still pope, which means that Francis cannot be pope, since there cannot be two popes. The late Fatima expert Fr. Nicholas Gruner points this out in a rare video on Benedict XVI’s resignation. If Francis is the pope, then Benedict’s office is revoked, but Benedict insists it was not revoked.
To explain away the papal chimera that was born of the historic 2013 conclave, Archbishop Georg Gänswein who serves as prefect of the Pontifical Household told the press that Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement on February 11, 2013, marked the introduction of a new institution into the Catholic Church: “a de facto enlarged ministry, with both an active and a contemplative member.” He said the Petrine office is now a “common papacy” comprising more than one member, i.e. Benedict and Francis.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “shared papacy,” and Gänswein no doubt must realize that this is an argument used by heretics to undermine the Primacy of Peter, but his explanation to the press apparently was the best he could do to cover for a very embarrassing situation that caused the man he honored to be dethroned.
What it boils down to is that Benedict XVI was forced into abdicating, i.e. to give up the “active ministry,” but this was done under the guise of a resignation so as to not split the Barque asunder with controversy. Credible reports from 2015 indicate that Benedict XVI was coerced into stepping down, which was providentially foreshadowed in Pope Benedict’s inaugural speech of April 24, 2005, when he said: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
We know from Cardinal Danneels of Brussels that he was part of a radical “mafia” reformist group opposed to Benedict XVI. Danneels, known for his support of abortion, LGBTQ rights, and gay-marriage, said in a taped interview in September 2015 that he and several cardinals were part of this “mafia” club that was calling for drastic changes in the Church, to make it “much more modern,” and that the plan was to have Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio head it. This infamous clique—which is documented in Austen Ivereigh’s book the Great Reformer—comprised key members of the Vatican “gay lobby” that had clamored for Pope Benedict’s resignation, the same members who stirred up so much chaos at the October 2014-15 Synods on the Family.
Ivereigh’s book brings to light the intense lobbying campaign that was spearheaded by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor to get Cardinal Bergoglio elected as pope. Up to 30 cardinals were involved. According to Ivereigh, “they first secured Bergoglio’s assent” and then “they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man.” This was confirmed, in the case of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal O’Malley, in the Wall Street Journal report from August 6, 2013.
As the conclave neared, they held a series of closed meetings, known as congregations, one of which featured Cardinal Bergoglio as the keynote speaker. Ivereigh points out that “because the organizers of his campaign stayed largely below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media.”
Clearly, there was intense politics and vote canvassing at work in and around the time of the conclave, but this directly violated Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, which lays down the rules for conducting conclaves. Therein he makes it clear that vote canvassing among cardinal electors is strictly forbidden, and that it *renders the election “null and void.” Key passages are as follows:
81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition…
82. I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.
76. Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.
Clearly, “the conditions laid down” by the Holy Father were not observed, so it’s only proper to say (or to at least consider) that the 2013 election conferred “no right on the one elected.” Should one retort by saying it is up to a committee of bishops to declare this nullity, let him remember the pope’s ruling that vote canvassing renders the election “null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter.” Universi Dominici Gregis (February 22, 1996) | John Paul II
Bearing this in mind, let us consider now the prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi concerning a future pope. This is found in the Opuscula or Works of St. Francis, which was published by the preeminent Franciscan historian Fr. Luke Wadding in 1621.
Shortly before his death in 1226, St. Francis of Assisi called together the friars of his Order and detailed this prophecy of what was to come upon the Church in the latter days. The following is an excerpt taken from Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250, with imprimatur by His Excellency William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham.
“At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error…. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer.”
The clearest evidence of “an uncanonically elected pope” would be his success in drawing “many into error.” Because of the perfidious errors that Francis has preached in the name of the Church’s Magisterium, we see Catholics today dignifying adultery, praising Luther, and preaching that we should never try to convert non-Catholics. And whereas some will argue that this heresy is material, and not formal, how do they explain the blatant formal heresy contained in paragraph 297 of Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetita?
“No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves.” (AL 297)
This clearly contradicts the Church’s dogmatic teaching that hell is eternal. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) teaches that “the reprobate” will receive “perpetual punishment with the devil.” Dz 429. Cf. Dz 40, 835, 840. The Athanasian Creed likewise teaches that “they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.” Holy Writ makes it clear that the torments of the dammed “shall ascend up forever and ever.” (Apoc. 14:11)
If Francis had asserted his denial in the context of one of his “plane ride” interviews or at the local cafe, it could perhaps be argued that the heresy was material, and not formal, but given the fact that he said this in the context of a highly authoritative papal document, and very emphatically at that—after serious reflection and full consent—it appears to leave no question as to the nature of the heresy.
In an interview with Catholic World Report (CWR) in December 2016, Cardinal Raymond Burke, archbishop and patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said that if a pope were to “formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope.” Burke was reiterating Church teaching, as expressed by famed canonist Franz Wernz in his Ius Canonicum:
“In sum, it needs to be said clearly that a [publicly] heretical Roman Pontiff loses his power upon the very fact.”
Unlike with an uncanonically elected pope, the deposition of a pope for the sin of heresy requires that a committee of bishops convene and declare his nullity to the Church. However, this declaration itself does not render the pope deposed, but merely makes official what already was the case, namely, that he automatically ceased to be pope at the time he professed formal heresy.
This is in keeping with the Apostolic Constitution Ex Cum Apostado, issued ex-cathedra in February 1559 by His Holiness Pope Paul IV. Therein he infallibly decreed that the office of a cleric is null and void if, prior to his elevation as bishop, cardinal, or pope, he had fallen into “some heresy.”
“By this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define: that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy: (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the cardinals, shall be null, void, and worthless.”
“Some heresy” is taken to mean “some formal heresy,” e.g. a denial of the Resurrection, a denial that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, a denial that the punishment of hell is eternal. It would be a service to the Church if Cardinal Burke and the other good cardinals could examine the question of Amoris Laetita 297 to see if in fact formal heresy is professed therein.
And too, it might be good for them to examine the issue as to why Francis is held in such high esteem by the world’s Freemasons. We cannot deny that from the onset of his election, the Masonic Grand Masters throughout the world have heaped unending praise on Francis for the role he has assumed in spearheading their cause a new ecumenical church of man which discounts rules, dogma, and tradition. Global elite masters, both in the religious and political sector, look to Francis as a hero for the way he has turned the Vatican into a bully-pulpit for the advancement of left-wing political causes like gun-control, open borders, and a communistic one-world government.
In 2014, Masonic Grand Master Licio Gelli who headed the infamous P2 Lodge in Italy, told his archivist Michela Scolari that Pope Francis (then Jorge Bergoglio) visited him at the Villa Wanda in Arezzo 6-7 years ago. Gelli said that he had known Jorge Bergoglio since 1973, when he [Gelli] was the Argentinean Plenipotentiary Minister.
This raises serious questions about Francis, since the P2 Lodge has always been committed to infiltrating and destroying the Vatican hierarchy. Consider this excerpt from their 1962 guidelines which were leaked in 1976:
(30) “Get women and laity to give Communion, say that this is the Age of the Laity. Start giving Communion in the hand like the Protestants, instead of on the tongue, say that Christ did it this way. Collect some for Satan Masses.”
Francis’ connections also lend credence to George Neumayr’s recently published book, The Political Pope: How Pope Francis is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives, wherein he discusses Francis’ early Marxist formation and the love for Communism he has always had. He points out how Francis told Latin American journalists Javier Cámara and Sebastián Pfaffen that as a young man he “read books of the Communist Party that my boss [a communist] in the laboratory gave me” and that “there was a period where I would wait anxiously for the newspaper La Vanguardia, which was not allowed to be sold with the other newspapers and was brought to us by the socialist militants.”
When we consider all of the above, it starts to shed light on the mystery as to why St. Faustina, known for her role in establishing the devotion to the Divine Mercy, penned an unusual entry into her diary on December 17, 1936. Entry 823 is as follows.
“I have offered this day for priests. I have suffered more today than ever before, both interiorly and exteriorly. I did not know it was possible to suffer so much in one day. I tried to make a Holy Hour, in the course of which my spirit had a taste of the bitterness of the Garden of Gethsemane. I am fighting alone, supported by His arm, against all the difficulties that face me like unassailable walls. But I trust in the power of His name and I fear nothing.”—Diary of St. Faustina, 823
It is significant to note that St. Faustina on that day was making reparation for priests, an offering that brought upon her the worst suffering she had ever endured, and perhaps the worst she would ever endure. But too, on that bitter day of December 17, 1936, was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who would later reign as Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
Could it be that on that day St. Faustina was atoning for the many priests, bishops, and cardinals of the future that would be misled by Francis? But too, could it be that her mysterious torment that day signaled the arrival of a future anti-pope?
David Martin is the former moderator for St. Michaels Radio which is the one radio program of our time specializing in Catholic prophecy. He has also authored numerous articles on the Church and the Papacy which have appeared on various blogs and websites.
David presently resides in Los Angeles, California where for thirty years he has coordinated a Catholic ministry. He is a daily communicant in his parish church and strongly supports Benedict XVI’s aspiration to see the Traditional Latin Mass returned to every Catholic parish of the world.Commenting Policy
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