Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Luther-Bergoglio Reformation Phase Two

Pick Your Pope

Question: What is Halloween?
Answer: A day when old men dress up as popes and give away all your candy.

Please, please, enough applause. The Bear is here until Management decides otherwise.

The Bear could not help but notice that the main page for the Holy See acknowledges two popes. Two popes are "alive." Their deceased predecessors are shadowed. Of course we knew this, and the web page design doesn't really prove much, but still, seeing it brings it home. No one is disputing that there are two popes. Sure, they have different roles. Somehow. One hides and doesn't say much. The other is everywhere and cannot keep his mouth shut.

But it is undisputed that we have two, real, living, popes at the same time. Yet no one has really explained this satisfactorily. But it has to mean something, right? The Bear means, this is kind of a big deal, isn't it?

Heather Has Two Popes?

The Bear finds it interesting that at the very time we have the most destructive Pope in history, we also happen to have another Pope. When the Bear applies his 450 gram ursine brain to this matter, it makes him go "hmm."

The Bear has refrained from saying this before, but even aside from  Francis' what? Error? Evil? Dimness? Insanity? Whatever else is going on, we have, behind the smile and behind the frown, an unparalleled situation that calls into question the validity of Francis's pontificate.

Now, take this unprecedented situation, and add to it an unprecedented, disastrous pontificate of historic significance, and the Bear sniffs something really weird in the air.

Rin Tin Tin
The Bear is aware that others, far more educated than he, have considered the two pope problem and dismissed it as no big deal. The Bear has nonetheless drawn his own conclusions. A: Benedict is Pope. B: Therefore, he never stopped being Pope (really just a restatement of A). C: You cannot elect a Pope when there is already a Pope. D: There is no precedent for a dual papacy. E: Benedict is Pope and Jorge Bergoglio is not.  Q.E.D.

"But Benedict intended to resign," you object. So? The Bear intended to make as much as Rin Tin Tin in Hollywood. "Intent" is only relevant when the act is covered by the law somehow. The Bear can intend to end his relationship as father to his children. He may ignore his children. He may never speak to them again. He may disinherit them. What he cannot do, is "intend" himself out of his biological and legal relation of fatherhood to his children. (An apt example.)

A man is shot. His wife admits to shooting him, but claims it was an accident. Now, whether she had the intent to kill her husband is an important question. To give another example, a couple may intend to get married. They are wedded before the Justice of the Peace. But, the following day, they discover he did not hold that office, but was a joker. Their intent does not matter. You cannot be legally married by a grocer.

You cannot invoke "intent" to justify an act for which "intent" is irrelevant.

Finally, how about this. "I'm still the Pope, but I'm going to arbitrarily change the nature of my duties. As Pope, I will neglect 99% of my job, but you can bet I'm somewhere out of sight, praying. Because, that's what I say is all that is required of me as Pope." The Bear believes Benedict's resignation was void ab initio. We don't have to read the tea leaves to discover what Benedict thought he was doing. He simply had no authority to lay aside some duties of Pope, yet retain some sort of "spiritual pontificate."

Obviously, Benedict knew all this. Did he really think he could resign, yet still be Pope, of a sort? The Bear doesn't know, but it doesn't matter. One Pope at a time, please. That's the rule. If there is a clear rule of canon law that says what has happened is legal, the Bear would love to see it.

The only way Jorge Bergoglio is Pope is if Pope Benedict isn't.

Francis: When Jesuitical Scheming Ceased to be a Joke

It is difficult to say in what sense Francis may be called Catholic. Were he to live long enough to complete his program, the Bear can tell you what kind of Church we would have. Decisions on doctrine will devolve upon the national bishops' conferences. You might have gay marriage in Mexico, but not in Poland. Lutherans would take communion in Germany, but not in Italy. You might even have gay marriage in New York, and not in Peoria.

(Oh, and that Catholic aunt of yours who divorced her lousy husband, and never got remarried? A big toothy Francis laugh at her. "Sucker!")

In effect, we would have national Churches with only a symbolic connection to one another. Like crazy-quilt Orthodoxy without the orthodoxy.

Of course, it would not be called doctrine. It would be pastoral. But in Francis' program of deception, practice drives doctrine, not the other way round. This is key to understanding Francis. Celebrating Luther is not a nice gesture. It is a rejection of orthodox ecclesiology. It is establishing a new doctrine of a church that is just one choice among many. Francis preaches a new gospel.

Phase Two of the Luther-Bergoglio Reformation.

Martin Luther (Actually, Lex
Luthor, who was not as bad.)
Please read the featured post, where Blaise Pascal explains how Jesuits work. The Bear guarantees you will be astonished how a 17th century polemic might come from a good Catholic ephemeris today.

The Bear has no confidence in Pope Francis.

The Bear believes Francis is by far the worse choice between two real popes; or, in the alternative, that Francis was never pope at all. Or if he does actually hold a novel office - The Pope Who Really, Really Counts - the Bear gets sick on the scorpions Francis tries to feed him, and will not eat them. And the Bear will tear the jawbone off of anyone who keeps trying to shove them down his throat.

Let Francis go have his slobbering love affair with Lutheran High Priestess Antje Jackelen, and burn incense before his predecessor and spiritual father. Let him praise Luther for his butchered and misleading bible, in which he deliberately added "alone," to "faith," then bragged about it. Let him parrot generations of Protestant lies against the Church, like it took the Great Luther to "put the Bible in the hands of the people," as Francis said in his latest word salad interview.

Pope Buster

Pope Buster daily releases a different cute picture of himself.
And every month a video of him performing a trick.
Here: "A Lutheran Lady Archbishop?"

Bear calls BS  on the whole sorry mess (Bear Scat, of course.) And he has a hard time working up a lot of warm feelings for Pope Benedict, who put us here in the first place. (However, now that we're here, he's looking pretty darned convenient.) The Bear's dog is next to him as he writes. Buster would be a better Pope. He would not damage anything, except perhaps some furnishings in the papal apartments, in which Bear guaran-damn-tees you he would live. And he would bite Antje Dress Up somewhere below her knees when she jetted in from Gustavus Adolphus' Muslim immigrant Hellhole. 

Buster just said something. He said, to Hell with Martin Luther, to Hell with Gustavus Adolphus, and To Hell with make-belive Protestant prelatesses. The Bear didn't say that. It was Buster.

Sadly, Buster is many years from puppyhood, and his pontificate (he would show his humility by being just Pope Buster) would be short. But he would never lose so much as a period from the deposit of faith. He would give no pressers. He would leave the Church the same as it was when he took the helm.

Whatever Jorge Bergoglio is or is not, the real question is can we safely listen to him? The Bear does not think we need to complicate matters when the answer to that question could not be more obvious.


  1. Most of my family and friends aren't Catholics. The few who are believe in the Church's teachings when it's convenient. All but a few think about heaven and hell. All but a few presume that everyone goes to Heaven, unless they are truly "evil". Live and let live, don't judge, be nice, and do what you want to do, because this life is all that matters to them. God is seldomly talked about. Most all of them have interpreted what little they have read of the Bible, and our satisfied with their infallible notion of God. I love them. I tell them that we should not presume the role of God, and presume Heaven for those that we have lost in this life I tell them that we should pray for those that we love to have accepted the grace of true faith and sorrow for what they have done and failed to do. They know I'm Catholic, and they know that I believe that I belong to the only Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Sometimes I elaborate with words.

    There is only One way to Heaven, and that is through be united to the Body of Christ, each of us has our part to play in Gods Work of Salvation through accepting the Way, the Truth, and the Life that Christ gives us through His Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    We are proud if we think that we can make God in our own image, according to the chaotic and destructive power of our own will.

    I wish I could talk to our "humble" "Pope". I have no love for him, and I pray that God have mercy on me for my great anger towards him. He breaks my heart, and hurts those that I love.

    1. He breaks my heart too. And I am angry with him too. And I cry. They are saying we have shepherds we deserve. I am faithful Catholic, you are faithful Catholic. We DO deserve better shepherds.

    2. Anna, you're looking at this from an individual perspective and not a corporate perspective.

      Notwithstanding individual graces, God works with his whole flock—the whole corpus. The People of God (which is a perfectly good expression even though horribly abused post-VII) includes ALL the de jure Catholics, and arguably ALL the validly baptized [I will leave aside theological debates about the communion status of protestants and Orthodox). It's not correct to say someone like Pelosi is not Catholic. Of course she's Catholic; she may be a schismatic, heretic, or outright apostate, but once a Catholic always a Catholic. Even Luther.

      In America, 75% of Catholics don't fulfill their Sunday obligation (it's worse overseas). Of the 25% who do go to Mass on any given Sunday, what percentage would you venture are "faithful"? How many commit an occasional mortal sin (even if they go to confession)? Is that faithful? How about intentional venial sin? "I know this is a sin, but it's not mortal, so I'm going to do it anyway. And Hell, technically I don't even have to confess it." Is that "faithful"?

      So, do the People of God—corporately--deserve good shepherds? Or just a few, who,quite frankly, are faithful by the grace of God and not by Pelagian self-empowerment?

      Just as the rain falls on the wicked as well as the good, so does the punishment fall on the good as well as the evil. It's the mystery of being part of the Body, not to mention part of the human race. We're all in this corporately.

      I understand being angry and hurt and confused. I truly do. Fortunately for me, I went through the primary part of my "angry Catholic" phase at the tail end of JPII's pontificate. That's not to say I'm completely immune even now. What I can say though, is that as difficult as it is, the only way to find peace is a holy resignation to the will of God after we have done all we can for those things that are actually within our control. That resignation does not mean we cannot weep for the Church. But one would accomplish more by shouting at the wind, than simply railing against the injustice.

      What the "typical" Catholic can do, though, is cooperate with the grace of God to sanctify ourselves so we can more ably offer reparation for the conversion of others and the restoration of the Church. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once remarked on how much wasted suffering was going on in hospitals. How much of the suffering in the Church is wasted--even by the faithful--because of a refusal to accept it and avail oneself of the redemptive value of it for their own good and the good of the Church?

  2. Amen, Keith. I also have great anger towards him. He beaks my heart, too, and I tremble to think of all of the souls he is leading to Hell. When all of the world loves the "Pope" we are in a heap of trouble.

  3. Good job Bear. To what should we listen? Answer: Anything Catholic prior to Vatican II. Pope Francis is the culmination and personification of Vatican II Protestantization and should be driven from office and Vatican II rescinded in it's entirety as it has corrupted the faith.

    1. Just because it is pre-VII, doesn't mean that it is good. That which was written before VII gave rise to VII. VII is largely a massive shift officially away from Neo-Thomism, but the groundwork for official shift is very much present in the literature prior to VII.

      Even saying, "stick only to Neo-Thomistic Literature" is problematic because Neo-Thomism isn't the totality of the Church's thought nor is it without flaws and problems that needed, and were, corrected by VII.

      My suggestion is to listen to the Deposit of Faith and pray for wisdom. The Faith is the same yesterday and today. Listening to what was true then, is how one finds what is true today.

  4. "Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them." Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  5. Bear, you really do have the best commenters. Utebeo gave a thoughtful, charitable response - especially last paragraph.
    And as I get older, I am finding myself increasingly cussing and I do not like it. I thank you very much for my new habit which I will form by saying "BEAR SCAT"
    in my times of frustration/anger.

  6. Bless My Enemies , O Lord...

    Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have.

    St Nikolai Velimirovich

  7. Wow nancy, funny you should say that, this has come to my attention as a growing vice in myself and, oh, tartar sauce! I'm having a hard time stopping. My temper is too close to the surface, in fact, true story, the other day I had road rage at some "youths" who pegged a senior jogger with donuts. I thought they were crabapples, but still, that's bad, depending on how old they were. the donuts I mean, not the youths. the point is, this is something I'm struggling with too. It must be the times.
    Great article Bear! You've done it again.

  8. ----> Bear "If there is a clear rule of canon law that says what has happened is legal, the Bear would love to see it."

    The reigning Pontiff is not bound by Canon Law by the sovereignty of his office. He, according to his yea or nay, determines what is Ecclesial Law. The Pope is bound by Divine Law, but that has a certain freedom to how it is applied, or not, via Ecclesial Law. A good case in point are Holy Days of Obligation, there enforcement or their being set aside.

    The abdication of Pope Benedict XVI leaves a host of problems, but that Pope Francis, he of the "great (sic) Mercy^tm", is not validly Pope isn't one of them. One would have to argue that Pope Benedict XVI's abdication, which entails a modification of Ecclesial Law, is a violation of Divine Law or Natural Law and Divine Law.

    I do believe that Pope Francis will live long enough to complete or mostly complete what he wants to do. This is chiefly because it isn't that hard to accomplish in a short period of time. All it takes is someone who understands how to wield power and a lack of meaningful opposition.

    In Catholic Academia, there is a certain "appreciation" for Luther. I have seen it at what would be considered an orthodox Catholic University. As a convert who has read Luther, this makes no sense, as Luther really does believe differently in a way that is poisonous to Faith, and, besides, Luther isn't really inline with modern Lutherans or Protestants.

    People went in search of the Historical Jesus and couldn't find him and instead produced this reconstructed a historical monstrosity. The same thing happened with other historical figures, Luther being one of them. There is a great and grand desire that, if Luther can be rehabilitated from the "legends" (polemics) that surround him, both Protestant and Catholic, the rifts in Christendom can be healed. However, very few people seem to be interested in the approach that, perhaps, Luther was just no good, or more bad than good. But no, there is a vested interest in maintaining the legend that Luther "gave the bible to the people".

    But most people, Catholic and Protestant, are invested in myths and legends surrounding Luther. They are baked into their education, their training, and their prayers. All of this forms who Pope Francis is and his thoughts and his actions.

    There are two ways in which divisions between peoples can be healed: by one side joining the other side or by declaration that there are no more divisions. One is the Gospel -- repent, be baptized, and hold to the teachings -- and one isn't -- accept that the divisions are legally over because Mercy.

    Owl fully expects some form of inter-communion because why not? Generally speaking, the hope is that Pope Francis will not do X or Y because he feels enough pressure not to. See the problem? The hope is that Pope Francis doesn't do that which he believes and wants to do. How horrible!

    You can really tell an abusive co-dependent relationship that a wife is in when she spends most of her time praying that her alcoholic husband will be prevented from drinking so much that he won't hit her for not preparing his meal, that she prepares to be a faithful wife and not get hit, to his liking.

  9. I agree that BXVI is still the Pope, although I'm not sure exactly what anybody can do about this. Not that BXVI would seem to be much better, since most of his public statements about Bergoglio are adulatory or downright fawning. Certainly it is possible that he is under duress or perhaps even non compos mentís, but I find his tolerance for Bergoglio's steady stream of heresy to be quite mystifying and distressing.

    That said, I have always felt that his resignation-without-really-ceasing-to-be-Pope was the result of external pressures, possibly from the UN or the World Court, since this was about the time some group was trying to get them to decide that the Pope could be arrested as the leader of a criminal conspiracy for "covering up"clerical child abuse. They may have been planning on issuing an arrest warrant for him, something that would certainly explain why he never set foot on anything that was not sovereign Vatican territory after that (until very recently, when he visited Germany but I believe even then stayed with the nuncio) and why the question of whether he would be unable to go to World Youth Day in Brazil seemed to have been so important in his decision. BXVI, because of his honesty about Islam and his opposition to statism, was hated not only in his capacity as Pope but as an individual by UN and Soros types - the same ones who love Francis so much. Perhaps a deal was reached, in other words. OK, I guess I can take off the tinfoil mantilla now...

  10. It is a big mistake to say that Benedict did not have the power to resign. First of all, the Pope can do anything not contrary to the natural or divine law. I can't say which canon--but it's on the first or second page of canon law.

    Second: Previous Popes have resigned, and nobody has ever questioned their power to do so.

    The HUGE blunder was Benedict's yielding to pressure to be called "Pope Emeritus," and to continue to wear white. He should have reverted to being Cardinal Ratzinger, and dressed accordingly. It would have been good for him to return to Germany.

    The fact that Benedict DIDN'T get out of Rome, and seems to be living as a prisoner, is what seems like smoke evidencing a fire--i.e., some sort of hidden skullduggery. We know there was a years-long effort to make his life miserable. We know there was a years-long conspiracy by men whose names we know, and who are ALL evil, to elect Bergoglio.

    1. That Pope Benedict XVI stayed on and created the position of Pope Emeritus out of whole cloth is the oddity. I would be fascinated to know what in his previous writings would lead him to think that doing such would both be appropriate as well as a good idea.


    3. The Pope isn't bound by Ecclesial Law, he is sovereign when it comes to that.

      If someone believes that a Pope cannot do X because X is opposed/contrary/not in Canon Law, that someone doesn't believe in Catholic Ecclesiology. Canon Law isn't sovereign, the Pope is sovereign.

      Pope Francis should often be ignored, but ignoring that Pope Francis is Pope (trying to wish that away, or trying to find away out of him being Pope) is perilous.

      What is the reason anyway to pretend that Pope Francis isn't Pope? To sleep better while one ignores him? Really, what effect does it have?

  11. So, how do we know Benedict is unequivocally not a pope of a different sort? Is it possible to have a public pope and a praying pope? I think such confusion has been created that it is difficult for people to agree.

    1. We know Benedict is not Pope because he resigned, using the clearest possible language. He said he was resigning "in such a way that the See will be vacant."

      All the confusion and doubt arises from what he is called and the way he dresses--but those things are AFTER THE FACT--after the resignation. They cause confusion, but they cannot affect the resignation after the fact.

      The confusion caused by Benedict himself, and Archbp. Gaenswein, with talk of two different Papal "ministries," is unfortunate. But such talk is to be dismissed as muddleheaded.

    2. The Pope, by definition, is the Bishop of Rome--i.e., the ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. Just as a Bishop Emeritus is no longer the ordinary of his diocese, a Pope Emeritus is no longer the ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. He is, of course, a bishop, but no longer Bishop of Rome.

      There is NO theological ambiguity. There is ONE Pope. the "Petrine Ministry" is excercised by one man at a time.

      ALL the confusion is the result of Ratzinger's continuing to wear white, continuing to be called "Pope [Emeritus]," and several preposterous statements by Abp. Gaenswein about a "shared" or "divided" "Petrine Ministry."

      But, THEOLOGICALLY, there is no confusion or ambiguity. There is one Pope, Bergoglio.

    3. and once again....

    4. The Orthodox position is not "there is no such thing as a Pope". Rather it is "the Pope is not Orthodox so he isn't Pope. If he were Orthodox, he would be Pope."

      That Pope Francis isn't Orthodox doesn't make him "not pope". It is not even evidence or lend credibility to that position. As much as Pope Francis wants to make the Petrine Office primarily a spiritual and pastoral position, it is not. It is a Juridical Office. The orthopraxy and/or orthodoxy of the office holder doesn't affect whether or not the office holder actually holds the office. It is dependent upon being installed in that office.

      Because a Pope is sovereign, he can accumulate juridical powers and functions and divest himself of juridical powers and functions. The Pope's own juridical actions are themselves law without the need to first modify Canon Law. This is what it means to be sovereign -- the Pope is not bound by any law of the Church but rather makes the law of the Church.

      The Protestant Revolt has a lot to do with how Clerics were to be judged and how the laws of the Church are to function. There are a million Protestant sects because there are a million different opinions on what is the ultimate sovereign. It can be argued that Protestantism is a failed exercise in how to deal with bad clerics. Sola Scriptura is not an argument against bad exegesis, it is an argument on how to ignore bad clerics giving bad ecclesial law.

  12. Two heads are better than one- even if one is a cabbage?
    Your call which is the cabbage.
    Or: Two heads are worse than one because both are cabbage heads.

  13. So, seriously, has Benedict NEVER indicated his continued participation in the Petrine Ministry? Never?

    1. The Petrine Ministry is more expansive than just the juridical nature. The juridical nature is limited to the Church Militant, exercised by one man, though this power can be entrusted to organs of the Curia and fellow bishops, especially fellow Patriarch, have a share and participation in this juridical ministry.

      But there is also more to the Petrine Ministry than its juridical nature. St. Pope JPII is still Pope, he just doesn't exercise the juridical ministry, because, not being a part of the Church Militant, he cannot. But he is still Pope.

      Pope Benedict XVI doesn't participate in the Juridical ministry because, figuratively, he gave the keys back to the College of Cardinals and told them to pick someone. Can a Pope do that? Yup. And the Conclave picked someone new and Pope Francis now has the keys.

      What Pope Benedict has now is that certain participation in the Petrine Ministry that other bishops, because of their nature as bishops, have. But he doesn't have the keys and is not the source of the unity of the episcopate. That is Pope Francis.

      Pope Francis is the only one not bound by Canon Law. He is the sovereign due to holding the keys. Pope Benedict XVI is not the sovereign, and is thus bound by Canon Law, even though he is still Pope. Some of the Eastern Patriarch are called Pope (some would say rightfully so), but they are bound by Canon Law. They have a participation in the Petrine Ministry, but they do not hold the keys. Only the Roman Pontiff does. And that is Pope Francis.

    2. and, for a third time....

    3. I dunno about that one, Lurker.

      We say, for instance, of St. Edward the Confessor that "he was the king of England," not "he is the king of England." Now, the papacy, as you have mentioned, is primarily a juridical position; elevation to the Papacy is not a sacrament. A priest is a priest forever, and likewise a deacon or a bishop, but that does not apply to the Pope. St. Hormisdas is NOT still Pope, as much as we might like that to be the case.

      Likewise, if a king abdicates rather than dying, we say he WAS king, not he IS king. If Bergoglio is Pope, then Ratzinger is not.

      On that topic, for what it's worth, my position is I don't know. Until we get something definite, not just ambiguous fluff about a "Petrine ministry" (which could reasonably be understood to encompass more than the Papacy proper, and what exactly Ganswein meant by it he left regrettably unclear), I intend to operate on the assumption that the apparent Pope, Francis, is in fact Pope.

      Of course, while things are lousy either way, but I don't see that it makes much immediate practical difference to most of us anyway.

    4. Hrodgar.

      Yes. Though we still say Pope Saint John Paul II, so the "Pope" is more than just an honorific, even if not a sacramental thing.

      I am not sure where the peddlers of "Petrine ministry" are going with that. Card. Ratzinger wrote against such nebulous thought. You can see an understanding of a more expansive Petrine Office in Eastern Catholic/Orthodox theology.

      My line of thought tends to be that one should assume the obvious until proven otherwise. Being skeptical about the basic workings of the world doesn't lead anywhere.

      You are right, things are lousy either way...though perhaps more lousy if Pope Francis wasn't Pope. How do you fix that? You cannot.

  14. Bear, wrt " The only way Jorge Bergoglio is Pope is if Pope Benedict isn't." does it really matter?
    Let's suppose that Pope Benedict is still the Pope with reduced duties and Jorge Bergoglio is effectively Pope since he does all other duties.
    Pope Benedict has effectively said, whatever papal legate "Jorge Bergoglio" says, even if it's an infallible statement, it will be as if I made the pronouncement. So any mess this so-called non-Pope "Jorge Bergoglio" still stands.

    IMO, this is a distraction. IMO, the real issue is that Popes, bishops, and priests since at least Pope Paul XVI have broken the faith by assuming that they have more power to change the liturgy and other parts of the faith than they do. The Eastern Orthodox recognize that you can't make wholesale changes of the Byzantine liturgy and if any bishop tries to make such changes there will be revolt. In fact, when the Byzantine liturgy was first translated, it was sloppy and when a subsequent Patriarch tried to fix the errors, many Russians revolted because "you don't change the liturgy" and went into schism as the "Old Believers". Granted, they went to far, but at least they understood that we are custodians of the Tradition that was handed down by God and not originators of Tradition which we can manipulate any way we want.

    Until a Pope rejects the "new clericalism" grants the Pope/bishop/priest/layperson privileges that only belong to God, things will only get worse, no matter how good the intentions the Pope/bishop/priest/layperson.

    1. ^
      This. There is a sense that Pope Benedict XVI understands the problem, as he has made reference to the Liturgy as 'an independent source of revelation'. That is important for many reasons, chiefly being with how that thought conflicts with VII Dei verbum.

      Mucking around with the Divine Liturgy is a pretty serious thing, and there are many Protestant sects that have split apart over such mucking around.

      On one hand, the Church DOES have the authority to formulate the Liturgy, but on the other, that authority is not absolute or normative. It is akin to the Magisterial authority to interpret scripture -- a normed norm, IHOP. But I don't think there is much written on that subject from the Magisterium, though I could be wrong as I am not a liturgist.

      The dreadful thing is that one should be able to be formed by the Liturgy, and only the Liturgy, and be pretty well off. Unfortunately, such a condition is not widely present in this day and age HOWEVER we often look with jaundiced eyes at the present and rose coloured glasses at the past. It has often been the case that the "in practice" Liturgy is a mess, just as it is today.

  15. There are Eastern Orthodox who didn't go along with the modern calendar, either. Orthodoxy is a wonderful museum. I mean that in the best way. I used to be Orthodox. I wish I were still Orthodox. I don't know why I am not Orthodox. Except I'm Catholic. And Orthodoxy has it's own problems.

    1. you aren't Orthodox because you are orthodox. They have left the one true Church established by Christ.

  16. But it is undisputed that we have two, real, living, popes at the same time. Yet no one has really explained this satisfactorily. But it has to mean something, right? The Bear means, this is kind of a big deal, isn't it?

    Actually, it is disputed.

    However, it is not disputable that there are more than one man claiming to be Pope.

    Here is my take on two Popes ( < - click)

    And here on the one Pope I provisionally consider the right one ( < - click).

  17. "Of course, it would not be called doctrine. It would be pastoral. But in Francis' program of deception, practice drives doctrine, not the other way round."

    I am reminded of one of the very few things Velleius Paterculus actually clearly states about the then fifteen years or sixteen years of Tiberius' reign. He did not doctrinally declare Augustus to be a God, he pastorally showed him to be such, by making sacrifice to him.

  18. When the discussion is better than the article, I'm more proud of a piece.

  19. First, I accidentally deleted a couple of comments. Sorry. As for the pope problem, I still maintain that no matter what Benedict said, he has beyond question persistently manifested an intent to remain a novel sort of pope. The Pope IS subject to canon law, e.g. regarding coercion or error in resignation. Which is exactly the question here.

    We are a bunch of smart woodland creatures here. We cannot even agree on who the Pope is. Anyone who claims that Benedict had no intention of completely resigning as pope bears the uncomfortable burden of explain many inconvenient facts. Hand-waving, no. Anyone who claims a pope can arbitrarily change the very office of the Pope is also in an uncomfortable position. Why not three popes, each with different duties? Why not appoint a Bear as co-pope? (Which would be an excellent idea)? If the pope is not bound by canon law, and can arbitrarily change the papacy without any restrictions whatsoever, because he has unrestricted powers, why not add a Bear and let's have three popes?

    There have been several blanket statements in these comments. How can they be correct if they yield absurd results? I could be wrong. I never claim to have the monopoly on truth (except when it comes to Ginger). Please explain how (1) Benedict's unmistakable manifestation of his continued role as "a Pope" is consistent with the position that he is not pope. (2) Please explain also how the absolute authority a pope has to do whatever he wants with the papacy, and his total immunity from canon law does not conflict with canon law controlling his resignation. (3) see (2) and explain how a pope could not use his unrestricted authority to create absurd situations. Why not a Lutheran co-pope? Why is this impossible and what would be your response since, after all, a pope can do anything at all with the office, being unrestricted by canon law or any other rules. Why not the ecumenical patriarch, to bring Orthodoxy in? An evangelical?

    And, by the way, is it impossible to imagine such innovations from Francis? If Francis resigned (he won't) do really think he would be silent? No. He would probably be holding pressers every day, don't you think? Please give a reasoned explanation why multiple co-popes could not utter opinions? Why could they not be magisterial?

    This situation is far more irregular than many seem willing to admit. Granted, some of my arguments are reduction ad absurdum, but that does not invalidate them when claims are made for unrestricted authority and complete immunity from canon law.

    1. Sure.

      I would strongly argue against this statement of yours and argue that, in so far as something is Canon Law, the Pope can do whatever he pleases without the need to change Canon Law first. The Pope is sovereign in so far as something is a mater of Canon Law and cannot be bound.
      ----->The Pope IS subject to canon law, e.g. regarding coercion or error in resignation. Which is exactly the question here.

      In order to argue that coercion or error in resignation void a resignation of a sovereign, one has to make that argument at the level of metaphysics, not at the level of law. To argue that a Pope cannot change any aspect of the law is to say that the Pope is not sovereign but rather something else is.

      PROOF : Saying that the Pope is bound by Canon Law violates Vatican I, Chapter 3

      1. The universal jurisdiction of the Pope over the entirety of the Church.
      2. The immediacy of that jurisdiction.
      2. The authority of that jurisdiction over discipline and governance.
      8. That the Pope is supreme judge, cannot be judged, is the final appeal, cannot be revised.

      Your questions:

      First. Is St. Pope John Paul II rightfully to be called Pope, even though he no longer has any juridical office in the Church Militant? OK then it should be agreed upon that the juridical office / powers can be and are set aside and passed along to another.

      A lot of your questions can be dealt with by looking at the sovereign nature of the Petrine Office. If a Pope is sovereign, then he can accrue or divest juridical functions. Historically, we have seen this happen. Early Popes had very limited juridical authority. The Popes of the middle ages had massive juridical authority. Modern Popes often divest themselves of juridical authority.

      Can a Pope split himself into two with each having different authority? Yes. That is why there are more than 12 bishops in this world. The episcopal authority splits. If a bishop is a new creation, then apostlicity doesn't work. The apostolic nature of the Church is that the authority is the same authority shared and passed on in succession, not an authority created as a new thing at each episcopal consecration. There is one part of the Petrine authority that cannot be split or divested -- the principle of universal sovereign jurisdiction. There can only be one sovereign (though practically a sovereign could so choose not to judge and thus, in practice, there be no sovereign).

    2. Your more specific questions. Numbers refer to Great Bear's numbers above.

      1. BXVI is Pope but does not hold the sovereign juridical petrine office. Same way as St. JPII is pope but doesn't hold the Keys.
      2. See above post and Vatican I. See also Can 331 - the exercise is FREE, that is not bound, including by Canon Law. Canon 332.2 states that the validity of abdicating is also FREE, being not bound, including Canon Law, including the coercion Canons. It has to be this way, else you bind the Pope and thus he is not sovereign and thus not Pope.
      3. You cannot split juridical sovereignty because it isn't sovereignty anymore. A Pope could say "I am making Andrew Co-Pope over juridical matters XYZ and I will confirm anything he says". However, you will notice that the Pope, not Andrew, is still sovereign over matters XYZ. This is how the Curia functions. The authority of the various organs of the Curia is dependent upon the Pope confirming their decisions, even if his is just rubber stamping them.
      "Why not a Lutheran co-pope?" Why must that be ipso facto impossible? There is much to be said on this, but I am not starting from an ipso facto impossibility. Why don't we start with why you think it is impossible.

      There are many things impossible with Pope Francis. For example, it is impossible for Pope Francis not to be a South American Jesuit. If Pope Francis resigned, he would be silent. Why? Because he would only resign if he was sure he had stacked the deck and there is no worse authoritarian than a liberal. (For example, do you think that Obama would remotely have any platform to carp about President Hillary?).

      Opinions are not magisterial. Authority is dependent upon what one has authority over. An abdicated Pope cannot exercise the ordinary universal petrify judicial authority because he is no longer the ordinary of the Universal Church (Militant). The keys have been handed on, the abdicated Pope is no longer sovereign.

      Why must the Pope have complete immunity from Canon Law? Because Canon Law is not principally the application of the Natural Law, but rather Divine Law. Divine Law is known through revelation and indicated by Natural Law, but it is not something that one can arrive at via reason or philosophy. If it could be, we should worship the god of the philosophers not the God of Revelation.

    3. Ratzinger clearly renounced the bishopric of Rome and declared the Holy See to be vacant as of 28 February 2013. Whatever he has done or said since then is, as far as the certainty of the passing on of authority is concerned, irrelevant. At least in my opinion. The only thing that could call his renouncing into question is if he were to now assert that he had been severely pressured into making that declaration. So far he has expressed only his joy at the Franciscan revolution.

      Calling himself "Pope Emeritus" is an oddity, but since emeritus means "ex-" or "retired," I don't have a substantial problem with it. Things would be less confusing if he had just reverted to the state of a cardinal and removed himself from the possibility of voting for any future popes, of course.

      Apologies if I've missed any important points earlier in the conversation. Life has been hectic, and Papa George's latest shenanigans can only hold my interest for so long.

  20. The Bear would be a sentient, baptized Bear, of course.

    A dead pope has the title and honor, but does not exercise the office.

    If Benedict is not Pope, what is he? An old man who lives in Rome, dresses like the Pope, calls himself Pope "Emeritus," and confuses everyone with conflicting stories about the whole thing? If Benedict is not "a pope," please explain what is going on in his head, and what HE thinks he is saying by all of this. If this just the greatest practical joke ever? Has he lost his mind? How is his resignation different from Pope Celestine (who "really, really resigned") as Pope Emeritus Benedict has claimed?

    I'm sorry, but there are too many questions to be resolved by flat statements like "no question he resigned," and "canon law does not apply." You have to be able to answer the questions in order to back up your positions.

    In Christian charity, your friend and autocratic ruler of the Woodlands, and benevolent presence, Bear Emeritus, who has retired, but nonetheless remains the author of this ephemeris and master of all he surveys.

  21. I think that Pope Benedict XVI tried to square a circle. If there is an answer to what Pope Benedict XVI had/had in his head, it might be found in his Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma coupled with some of his more academic writings on ecclesiology.

    I don't think it matters too much though. It is done, the result was bad things, and no one should try it again.

    Besides, what does one gain by arguing that Pope Francis isn't Pope? Nothing. It is just sticking one's fingers in one's ears and humming really loudly. Like the Lutherans do. Like the Orthodox do. Like anyone who says Pope X really wasn't Pope because REASON Y. Who is Pope, and who is not Pope is, and MUST be really really basic and so easy to follow that people of simple understanding can follow. Human's create MESSY social structures that are very contentious when it comes to lines of succession. Has to be simple or we wouldn't be able to draw a straight line from Pope Francis back to Pope Peter.


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