Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

Prefect of Pontifical Household [for Pope Francis and personal secretary for Pope Emeritus Benedict] also recalls “dramatic struggle” of 2005 Conclave.

[“No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other …” (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). If so, which one does His Excellency serve, and how does that affect the “spin” of this article?]

by Edward Pentin

In a speech reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Gänswein has confirmed the existence of a group who fought against Benedict’s election in 2005, but stressed that “Vatileaks” or other issues had “little or nothing” to do with his resignation in 2013.

Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome May 20, Archbishop Gänswein also said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who doubles as the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus and prefect of the Pontifical Household, said Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.”

Reflecting on Benedict’s time as Pope, Archbishop Gänswein said that although he was “a classic ‘homo historicus’, a Western man par excellence who embodied the richness of the Catholic tradition like no other,” at the same time he was “so bold as to open the door to a new phase, for that historic turning point that five years ago no one could have imagined.”

Gänswein drew attention to “brilliant and illuminating” and “well documented and thorough” passages of the book, written by Roberto Regoli and entitled Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI — “Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI.”

The German prelate highlighted Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Conclave between the “so-called ‘Salt of the Earth Party’” (named after the book interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) comprising “Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medina” and their adversaries: “the so-called St. Gallen group” that included “Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor” — a group Cardinal Danneels referred jokingly to as “a kind of mafia-club,” Archbishop Gänswein recalled. (His reference to that struggle back up an interview German journalist Paul Badde gave the Register last November)

“The election was certainly the outcome of a battle,” Gänswein went on, adding that the “key” to the Conclave was Cardinal Ratzinger’s “dictatorship of relativism” homily that he gave on the first day of the election when he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Benedict’s personal secretary then referred to how Regoli highlights the “fascinating and moving” years of Benedict’s pontificate, and his “skill and confidence” in exercising the Petrine ministry. He recalled, in particular, the “black year” of 2010, when Manuela Camagni, one of the four Memores Domini consecrated women who assisted Benedict, was tragically killed in a road accident in Rome.

The year, which he attests was a dark one, was further blackened by “malicious attacks against the Pope” and the fallout from Benedict’s lifting of the excommunication on Bishop Richard Williamson who denied the extent of the Holocaust.

But nothing affected Benedict’s “heart as much as the death of Manuela”, whom he considered part of the “papal family” of helpers. “Benedict wasn’t an ‘actor pope’, and even less an insensitive ‘automaton Pope’,” Gänswein said. ”Even on the throne of Peter, he was and remained a man… ‘a man with his contradictions’.”

Then, after having been so affected by the death of Camagni, Benedict suffered the “betrayal of Paolo Gabriele”, his “poor and misguided” former valet who was found guilty of leaking confidential papal documents in what became known as the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. That episode was “false money” traded on the world stage as “authentic gold bullion” he said, but stressed that “no traitor, ‘mole’, or any journalist” would have caused Benedict to resign. “The scandal was too small” for the “greater, well considered step Benedict made of millennial historical significance.”

Such assumptions that they did have something to do with it, he said, “have little or nothing to do with reality”, adding that Benedict resigned because it was “fitting” and “reasonable”, and quoted John Duns Scotus’ words to justify the decree for the Immaculate Conception: “Decuit, potuit, fecit” — “He could do it, it was fitting that He do it.”

Various reports have suggested that pressure was exerted on Benedict to step down. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”

But in his speech, Gänswein insisted “it was fitting” for Benedict to resign because he “was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained. “Instead, he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

Archbishop Gänswein point out that the motto is not in the singular but in the plural, and taken from the Third Letter of John, in which it is written in verse 8: “We must welcome these people to become co-workers for the truth”.

He therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.”

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

“So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel, while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

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8 comments on “Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

  1. Even a bright seventh grader schooled in the Baltimore Catechism could see through that load of undiluted, unapologetic, anti-traditional hooey.

    Novelty in theology, liturgy and ecclesial administration have been condemned since the earliest centuries of the Church.

    As has virtually everything else these progressives have concocted and then imposed by fiat!

  2. Their Latin stinks, too.

    In the Vulgate, Matt 16:18 does not state: “Two es Petrus.”

  3. Abp. Gänswein: Pope Benedict Part of an “Enlarged” Papal Ministry?

    BY STEVE SKOJEC ON MAY 23, 2016 @

    Antonio Socci, who has at various times asserted his own theories on the status and legitimacy of the Francis pontificate (none of which I endorse) has, understandably, a particular interest in stories relating to this topic.

    Which is, perhaps, why he took notice of a statement from Archbishop Gänswein — Prefect of the Papal Household and private secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — about the relationship between Benedict and Francis. His post is long (and only in Italian) and touches on some of his previous theories about the fullness and legitimacy of Benedict’s resignation. But it is the particular (and very odd) statement from Gänswein that caught my attention above all else. It is taken from a larger speech, given on May 20, in which Gänswein reflected on the pontificate of Benedict XVI (our translation):

    From the election of his successor, Pope Francis—on 13 March 2013—there are not then two Popes, but de facto an enlarged ministry with an active and a contemplative member. For this reason, Benedict has not renounced either his name or his white cassock. For this reason, the correct title with which we must refer to him is still “Holiness.” Furthermore, he has not retired to an isolated monastery, but [has retired]within the Vatican, as if he had simply stepped aside to make space for his Successor, and for a new stage in the history of the Papacy, which he, with that step, has enriched with the centrality of prayer and of compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.

    Edward Pentin, reporting on the same story for the National Catholic Register, also adds this:

    Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

    “So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel, while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

    If you take the time to ponder these statements, they’re really quite staggering. What could it possibly mean for there to be “not then two Popes, but de facto an enlarged ministry with an active and a contemplative member”? How is this a “new stage in the history of the Papacy”?

    This seems a momentous statement…and one that calls into question the very nature of the papacy.

    Another thing that caught my attention was when Gänswein said “For this reason, Benedict has not renounced either his name or his white cassock. For this reason, the correct title with which we must refer to him is still ‘Holiness.’”

    You may recall that in 2014, La Stampa’s Vatican Insider blog reported on Benedict’s response, by letter, to questions they posed about his resignation. Among his statements was this:

    “I continue to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available. In any case, I wear the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the Pope wears it.”

    In that same letter, Pope Benedict stated emphatically:

    “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Ratzinger wrote in his letter of reply. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd.”

    I do not claim, at this time, to have a workable theory that would resolve these apparent contradictions.

    Neither can I seem to quite wrap my mind around these peculiar observations of Archbishop Gänswein, who has the unprecedented distinction of working closely with two living popes. Nonetheless, I find them quite noteworthy, and, most likely, historic. When future generations of Catholics look back on this absolutely unique moment in the Church’s two-thousand year history, they will no doubt do so with an attention to what was answers were gleaned from precisely these questions.

  4. One is Simon, the other is Peter? – Gänswein: Papacy was changed in 2013 into an “expanded” Petrine Office with two members. – Does this confirm the Socci-Messori thesis of a papal diarchy?

    Posted by Augustinus at 5/23/2016 @

    Edward Pentin’s latest column on National Catholic Register (Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry) reports on a speech delivered by Archbishop Gänswein at the Pontifical Gregorian University, May 20. The speech, as reported by Pentin, has two topics of capital significance.

    From the viewpoint of “current events” perhaps the topic that will attract more attention is his reference to the election of Benedict XVI in 2005 as the outcome of the battle between two factions of Cardinals: the infamous “St. Gallen” group of liberal Cardinals who wanted to prevent Ratzinger from ascending to the papacy and the “Salt of the Earth” group of conservative Cardinals who supported him. Surely our regular readers will remember the furor last year when the machinations of the St. Gallen “mafia” was first revealed in a biography of Cardinal Danneels — see our posts about it (St. Gallen Mafia) as well as the Pentin’s detailed interview about the 2005 conclave with Paul Badde.

    From a theological and dogmatic point of view however, more attention is warranted by Gänswein’s comments on the transformation of the very office of the Papacy after February 11, 2013, his claim that the resignation of Benedict XVI was of a different character compared to previous papal resignations, and his assertion that that there are “not two popes”, but one yet expanded Petrine Ministry with Francis and Benedict both as members — one active, the other contemplative.

    The idea that the papacy itself has now been transformed in its very depths, and that to effect this transformation Benedict XVI’s will and actions in February 2013 were enough, raises extremely sensitive, nay, disturbing questions about the very theology of the Church. Questions and…. implications we dare not discuss here for the moment. As for how two men cannot be both Popes and yet be both members of one Petrine ministry….

    It is all too easy to dismiss Gänswein’s comments as merely his personal opinion, if not for the fact that in addition to being a doctor of Canon Law and a former official of the CDF he is, above all, the secretary and daily companion of Benedict XVI himself. Surely we can take his interpretation of Benedict’s resignation as a faithful reflection of the latter’s own thinking.

    The thesis that since March 13, 2013 the papacy has become some kind of “diarchy” was first expressed in the writings of Antonio Socci early in 2014, then taken up by Vittorio Messori a few months later on the basis of an article written by the canonist Stefano Violi. Providentially, Rorate had published translations of both Socci’s and Messori’s articles in just one post:

    “Two Popes”: Has the Papacy become a Diarchy?
    Messori enters into the picture, Socci stands his ground and questions

    Posted by New Catholic at 5/31/2014 @

    Our contributor Francesca Romana presents us with a special double translation: first, Vittorio Messori’s article published in Corriere della Sera earlier this week (May 28) in which he presents his (in our opinion disturbing and theologically troubling) view of a kind of diarchical papacy. Antonio Socci, who has been defending this bizarre concept for months, published on the following day (May 29) a reply in Libero.

    What is going on? Why on earth is probably the most influential Vatican affairs commentator, Messori, raising this matter now? Why, as Socci implies, does he seem to have made a 180-degree turn on the very important matter of “here we rule one at a time.” We provide no answers, as it often happens we just wish to bring to English-speaking readers what is being written in other languages but is being overlooked by the mainstream media. We report, you decide.


    Ratzinger did not withdraw to a private life. Here is why we truly have two Popes.

    Vittorio Messori
    Corriere della Sera, May 28, 2014

    “Dear Brothers, I have convoked you […] also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God […]and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter.”

    Completely unexpected, said in Latin in a low voice, those words were like a whip that went round the globe in just a few minutes. And also into countries where the majority is not Catholic and not even Christian, but where the historical uniqueness of the event was understood immediately. Let us not forget that – according to the recent words of the Protestant Obama, the Orthodox Putin and the Anglican Cameron – the Roman Pontiff would be today the highest moral authority on the planet.

    To return to that February 11, 2013, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, those who know the Catholic world are aware that we are still questioning and confronting each other [about it], even harshly.

    The sides seem to be two: on the one hand there are the guardians of Tradition, for whom the “renunciation” (not demission, the Pope not having anyone on earth to present it to) even if it is foreseen in Canon Law, would be a sort of defection, almost as if Benedict XVI considered his office like that of a president of a multinational or a State. And so, it was necessary he retire to a private life because of declining age, for the sake of issues of efficiency; [he]refused, instead, the long public agony chosen by John Paul II. On the other hand, we have the side of those who are rejoicing: the renunciation would end the sacredness of the Pontiff – that mystical aura surrounding his person – and therefore [there would be] the conforming of the Bishop of Rome to the same norm of all bishops – desired by Paul VI; that is, the renunciation of the governing of a diocese and official appointments in the Roman Curia at the age of 75.

    In the background, though, there remained questions which seemed to have no answers: why did he not choose to call himself “Bishop Emeritus of Rome” (as the Civiltà Cattolica suggested) rather than “Pope Emeritus” ? Why did he not renounce the white cassock, even if he took off the cape and the annulus piscatorius from his finger, the sign of his ruling authority? Why did he not withdraw into the silence of a cloistered monastery, instead of staying within the confines of Vatican City, next to Saint Peter’s – meeting often – even if in private – with his successor, receiving guests and participating in ceremonies and canonizations like the ones recently of Roncalli and Wojtyla?

    I must confess I asked myself similar questions – remaining perplexed.

    A response to these questions comes now from a study by Stefano Violi, esteemed Professor of Canon Law at the Faculty of Theology in Bologna and Lugano. It is worth examining these many pages, since with Benedict’s decision, unknown and somewhat disconcerting scenarios have opened up for the Church. It is probable that the conclusions by Professor Violi will stir up debate among colleagues, seeing that this canon lawyer hypothesizes that Ratzinger’s act is profoundly innovative, and that there really are two living Popes: even if one of them by his own will, – to say it in a simplistic but not wrong way – in our view – “halved himself”.

    So that we understand: firstly, all of the delirium from conspiracy hunters is to be abandoned, by taking Benedict seriously when he spoke of the growing burden of old age as the prime and only motive for his decision: “[…]strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me […] my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” However, studying in-depth the very precise Latin with which Joseph Ratzinger accompanied his decision, the eyes of the canon lawyer discovered that it goes way beyond its few historical antecedents and also beyond the discipline foreseen for the “renunciation” in the present Code of the Church.

    That is to say, we discover, that Benedict XVI did not intend to renounce the munus petrinus, nor the office, or the duties, i.e. which Christ Himself attributed to the Head of the Apostles and which has been passed on to his successors. The Pope intended to renounce only the ministerium, which is the exercise and concrete administration of that office. In the formula employed by Benedict, primarily, there is a distinction between the munus, the papal office, and the execution, that is the active exercise of the office itself: but the executio is twofold: there is the governmental aspect which is exercised agendo et loquendo – working and teaching; but there is also the spiritual aspect, no less important, which is exercised orando et patendo – praying and suffering. It is that which would be behind Benedict XVI’s words : “I do not return to private life […] I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter.” “Enclosure” here would not be meant only in the sense of a geographical place, where one lives, but also a theological “place.”

    Here then is the reason for his choice, unexpected and innovative, to have himself called “Pope Emeritus.” A bishop remains a bishop when age or sickness obliges him to leave the government of his diocese and so retires to pray for it. More so, for the Bishop of Rome, to whom the munus, the office, and the duties of Peter have been conferred once and for all, for all eternity, by the Holy Ghost, using the cardinals in conclave only as instruments. Here we have the reason for his decision to wear the white cassock, even though bereft of the signs of active government. Here is the reason for his will to stay near the relics of the Head of the Apostles, venerated in the great basilica.

    To cite Professor Violi: “Benedict XVI divested himself of all the power of government and command inherent in his office, without however, abandoning his service to the Church: this continues through the exercise of the spiritual dimension of the pontifical munus entrusted to him. This he did not intend renouncing. He renounced not his duties, which are, irrevocable, but the concrete execution of them.” Is it perhaps for this that Francis seems not to be fond of calling himself “Pope” aware as he is of sharing the pontifical munus, at least in the spiritual dimension, with Benedict?

    Instead, what he has inherited entirely from Benedict, is the office of the Bishop of Rome. Is it for this reason, as everyone knows, this has been his favourite definition, from the very first words of greeting to the people after his election? So much so, that many surprised, asked themselves why he had never used the word “Pope” or “Pontiff” on such a solemn occasion, in front of the televisions of the entire world and spoke only about his role as the successor to the Roman Episcopate.

    Therefore: would the Church then for the first time, truly have two Popes, one reigning and one emeritus? It appears that this was the will of Joseph Ratzinger himself, with the renunciation of active service only and that it was “a solemn act of his magisterium” to cite the canon lawyer.

    If it truly is so, so much the better for the Church: it is a gift that they are near each other even physically – one who directs and teaches and one who prays and suffers for everyone, but most of all to sustain his confrere in his everyday pontifical office.


    Now even the “Corriere” and Messori have discovered that there are two Popes. Repeating what we had written three months ago, but pretending not to know the consequences (“they hide their hand after throwing the stone”)

    Antonio Socci
    Libero, May 29, 2014

    Yesterday a page written by Messori in the “Corriere della Sera” (with the title: “Here is why we truly have two Popes”) disclosed a sensational revelation: Benedict XVI, in renouncing his mandate by using certain expressions, left: “only his power of government and command over the Church.”

    Nevertheless he maintains” the munus, the papal office” which “is irrevocable”. He renounced only “its concrete exercise.” Which means that the Church would really have “two Popes” – a diarchy.

    This revelation is truly sensational. It is a shame that it was already made and commented upon – many times, with plenty of argumentation – three months ago, here in the columns of “Libero” (four installments of my inquiry, starting on February 9).

    Three months later, Messori and the “Corriere” presented all of it as if it were their own scoop (taking as a pretext one of the essays by a canon lawyer which came out recently), without referring to everything that had happened between February and March.


    Indeed, my inquiry into the demission of the Pope, a year after the renunciation, caused a great row: and the “Swiss Guards” of Vatican Insider- La Stampa” immediately protested, scandalized.

    On February 14, the most zealous of them, Andrea Tornielli, after the first three installments of my enquiry, excommunicated it with these textual and surreal words:

    “(a year after the demission) we have read many comments and analyses. Some – I must confess – reading them made me shudder – the idea almost of a diarchy is outlined, and even the notion that the “true” Pope is still Ratzinger. And unfortunately I am not referring only to the galaxy of prophecy followers – or of the false, apocalyptic prophecies – but also to writers, whose positions, nobody would have been able to imagine a year ago. Not to mention the many, who sensing they are no longer as “confirmed” in their vision, cultural battles, pastoral strategies, patterns of thought and their presence everywhere as “first of the class ” – instead of a healthy examination of conscience, end up by being nostalgic and oppose – more or less subtly – the magisterium of Benedict to that of Francis.”

    Will Tornielli shudder also this time because of Messori’s article? Last February, such was the horror of the Vatican journalist, investing himself in the role of tutor in the public order of ideas, that he felt it his duty to bother even poor Benedict XVI in order to ask him to deny or confirm my theses – despite knowing well that he had chosen the cloister.


    The “Pope Emeritus” obviously could not evade this petulant request, otherwise who knows what insinuations would have been made. Neither could he talk about what he had remained silent about until then. So he gave a fantastic answer…

    “La Stampa” displayed – as a worldwide scoop, launched all over the globe – that strange note by Pope Ratzinger wherein –as the Turin newspaper reported – he denied my argumentation. In a particular way – according to Tornielli – Ratzinger denied being “ Pope number two – he is not part of a “diarchy.”

    In reality, that note was not at all about a diarchy. Primarily his note however, contained a single piece of real news: it was in an enigmatic, exquisite response given by the Pope Emeritus, which by itself, should have made the “insiders” jump up onto their chairs!

    Having to explain why he had kept the title of “Pope Emeritus”, the name “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and the white cassock, Ratzinger wrote verbatim: “at the moment of my renunciation there were no other clothes available.”

    “La Stampa-Vatican Insider” thought such a surreal answer sounded just right. They were not even aware of the Pope’s sensational irony and how he had elegantly eluded them.

    It is obvious in fact, that such an answer meant that the Pope could not or did not want to speak nor explain the reasons for that choice.

    You do not need much to understand it, since the renunciation had also been decided a year before and was announced twenty days prior to it becoming official. Therefore, it is impossible that “at the time of the renunciation” there were no “other clothes” available.

    Anyway, nobody could believe that one would remain Pope for [purely] sartorial reasons…

    In fact, two days after, February 28, the trusted Don Georg Gänswein, Ratinger’s secretary, in an interview to “Avvenire” gave the real answer which Benedict could not or did not want to give in person. Here is how Don Georg explained why he had kept the title of Pope Emeritus: “He considers that this title corresponds to reality.”

    Anyone can understand that this statement is of exceptional importance: it means that Ratzinger dresses like a Pope because “he is” Pope.

    So Tornielli, who became the fireman that extinguished a fire I caused, ended up involuntarily setting off a bigger one. It was increasingly evident that Benedict XVI did not resign from the Petrine Ministry, but only it from its “active exercise.”

    If and how this is possible and what it implies is a completely unresolved question, above all theologically.

    In fact, last April 7, Sandro Magister, the most authoritative and reliable of Vatican journalists, on his very well-known internet site, recalled my inquiry and the “answer” given by “Vatican Insider” saying that – in his judgment – it did not respond the questions I had raised.

    The TV had broadcast news of the controversy along with the Pope’s extraordinary note; even the “Corriere della Sera” had (although with a superficial and arrogant article).

    It is surprising that of all this, in the page of yesterday’s “Corriere”, there was not even the slightest mention.


    What is particularly surprising however, is that Messori concludes his article with an (apparently) ingenuous hymn about the beauty of having two Popes “in the enclosure of Peter”. An enclosure – explains Messori enthusiastically – that is not only geographic, but also a theological “place.”

    Evidently Messori does not remember his interview of a year ago, precisely with Andrea Tornielli, who never appeared to be enthusiastic about the fact that Ratzinger remained Pope Emeritus. In that interview – spurred by Tornielli’s questions – Messori said he was very perplexed at the fact that Benedict had decided to stay in the Vatican.

    And he said it very brusquely:

    “What had surprised me at the time was the decision by Benedict XVI to stay “within the enclosure of St. Peter’s”[…] I always remember this motto from the Savoia House: ‘Here we rule one at a time.’ The idea that one can construe being on the outside is that the emeritus may in some way, despite himself, influence his successor.”

    Yesterday Messori wrote something that seems to be the exact opposite:

    “Would the Church then for the first time, truly have two Popes, one reigning and one emeritus? It appears that this was the will of Joseph Ratzinger himself, with the renunciation of active service only, and that it was “a solemn act of his magisterium” […]If it truly is so, so much the better for the Church: it is a gift that they are near each other even physically – one who directs and teaches and one who prays and suffers for everyone, but most of all to sustain his confrere in his everyday pontifical office.”

    Is everything just fine then? Is everybody happy? It is exactly the opposite. Messori in fact, as an “insider” – cannot ignore that this situation – as he outlines it – does not have any theological nor canonical foundation.

    Through the Divine Constitution of the Church, in reality only one can be the Pope. And if it is as Messori says – Benedict XVI “did not intend to renounce the pontifical munus” which “is irrevocable” what kind of demission is his?

    Messori knows well that his entire article induces one to ask a dramatic question (who is the Pope?), but he avoids carefully formulating it, allowing the reader to pose it. Why? Is this article a signal that many are posing it in Church circles?

  5. Salza: “Ratzinger has been a double dealer for decades”

    May 23, 2016

    The complex web of lies and deceit being spun out of Rome concerning the Third Secret of Fatima just got a little more tangled.

    On May 15, Dr. Maike Hickson, writing for the website 1Peter5, reported that she had spoken directly with Fr. Ingo Dollinger, a longtime personal friend of Benedict XVI, and he confirmed precisely what Fr. Nicholas Gruner and others associated with his efforts had long since claimed:

    Not long after the June 2000 publication of the Third Secret of Fatima by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Fr. Dollinger during an in-person conversation that there is still a part of the Third Secret that they have not published! “There is more than what we published,” Ratzinger said. He also told Dollinger that the published part of the Secret is authentic and that the unpublished part of the Secret speaks about “a bad council and a bad Mass” that was to come in the near future.

    While confirmation is nice, this is old news, so it’s no big deal, right?

    Not so fast…

    Apparently, it is a big deal; so much so that the Holy See Press Office felt the need to respond with a Communiqué stating:

    Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete.

    In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares “never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima”, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter “are pure inventions, absolutely untrue”, and he confirms decisively that “the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete”.

    I’ll have more to say about the content of the Communiqué momentarily, but for now let us ask:

    Given that this story has already been in circulation for many years, why do the Enemies of Fatima in Rome feel compelled to respond now?

    While this may seem perplexing at first glance, it actually makes perfect sense to those who are familiar with their modus operandi.

    You see, while the story may be old, the source is new, and if little else about the Holy See’s handling of the Fatima message is clear, at least one thing most certainly is:

    The Enemies of Fatima have no interest whatsoever in actually addressing the many credible arguments and claims that challenge their official position; rather, their modus operandi is simply to assassinate the character of those who make them.

    So far, we must admit, their strategy is paying dividends; a perfect example of which comes to us courtesy of Karl Keating, the now retired Founder of Catholic Answers.

    Posting on his Facebok page, Keating recently wrote:

    Maike Hickson describes Ingo Dollinger as “quite elderly and physically weak.” That might explain why he just now happened to “remember” this conversation with Cardinal Ratzinger, sixteen years after it supposedly occurred. Why didn’t Dollinger announce this news years ago? The most likely reason: because it never happened.

    No, the only thing that apparently never happened is the five minutes of research it would have taken for Keating – an attorney by training – to realize that Dollinger did indeed “announce this news years ago.”

    In addition to being a personal embarrassment, Keating’s ignorance is a direct fruit of Rome’s tireless efforts to sully the reputation of Fr. Nicholas Gruner – buon’anima!

    Indeed, the entire smear campaign against Fr. Gruner was carried out for precisely this reason; namely, to see to it that the claims put forth by this truly holy priest and his confreres would simply be dismissed out of hand by those too intellectually lazy to examine the arguments in the case on their merits.

    Keating, apparently having bought-in to the whole operation, is pleased to follow suit by likewise smearing others who might suggest that there’s more to the story than what Rome has chosen to reveal.

    As for Dr. Hickson and Steve Skojec, the publisher of 1Peter5, the time is now at hand for their reputations to be destroyed, and it must happen quickly lest disoriented men like Karl Keating finally awaken from their slumber long enough to realize that the matter is worthy of closer examination.

    As for the Communiqué itself, there is more than ample reason to believe that the quotes attributed to Benedict therein are themselves “pure inventions” – just like so many other things the Enemies of Fatima have shamelessly presented as fact over the years.

    For the sake of argument, however, if we begin by assuming that Benedict really did offer the response that was published by the Holy See Press Office, it is fair to question his credibility in the matter.

    This is the same man who said of the Third Secret of Fatima back in 1984 – some sixteen years before the official spin job was crafted:

    [It concerns] a radical call to conversion, the absolute gravity of history, the dangers threatening the Faith and the life of a Christian, and therefore the world. And also the importance of the last times.

    The story behind this quote is itself an indication of just how far the Enemies of Fatima will go to hide the truth.

    I got in touch with John Salza, one of the world’s foremost experts on Fatima, for some background.

    “Ratzinger’s quote,” he said, “comes from the November 11, 1984 interview he did with Vittorio Messori, which was published in the Italian journal JESUS, in an article called ‘Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis.’”

    Salza then directed me to the following excerpt from his book, The Consecration of Russia:

    To add fuel to the fire, Cardinal Ratzinger’s interview with Vittorio Messori was mysteriously edited when later published in a book. In June 1985, Ignatius Press included the above interview in the book The Ratzinger Report. The book, which is translated into English, French and German from the Italian, has over one million copies in print. Upon comparing the original November 1984 interview with what appears in the 1985 The Ratzinger Report, one will notice that the words “the dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian, and therefore the world. And also the importance of the Last Times…the things contained in this Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture” were excised from The Ratzinger Report. (The Ratzinger Report, San Francisco, California: Ignatius Press, 1985, pp. 109-111)

    If this isn’t enough to call Cardinal Ratzinger’s credibility into question, consider what he had to say about Fatima as pope:

    I would say that, here too, beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in the first place refer to Pope John Paul II, an indication is given of realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident. (In flight press conference, Rome to Portugal, 11 May 2010)

    He would even go on to say while in Portugal, “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”

    Clearly, something simply doesn’t add up.

    As for Benedict’s alleged denial of the quote attributed to Fr. Dollinger, like me, John Salza isn’t convinced that it’s plausible.

    “The Dollinger quote has been out for nearly 16 years,” Salza pointed out. “Fr. Gruner reported it years ago and so did I, and Ratzinger never denied it, even though he had plenty of chances to do so.”

    And then there is the questionable tone of the Holy See’s recent Communiqué; i.e., it really doesn’t seem very “Benedictine” to so plainly accuse anyone, much less an old friend, of putting forth a “pure invention.”

    “Is Ratzinger calling Fr. Dollinger a liar? That is what his denial would amount to,” Salza said. “Unless he made the denial publicly, why should we believe it?”

    On the other hand, there can be no doubt that the Enemies of Fatima in Rome – who in the year 2000 didn’t think twice about ensnaring Cardinal Ratzinger in their web of deceit by putting him in a position at odds with his own previous statements with respect to the Third Secret – have no compunction about doing so.

    In the end, for John Salza, the conclusion to be drawn concerning Benedict’s credibility in the matter is fairly obvious, and I make it my own.

    “He first said Fatima was about the end times (in 1984), then denied it (in 2000), only to confirm what he said in the 1980s in 2010,” he said.

    “Ratzinger has been a double dealer for decades.”

  6. 24 MAY 2016

    “…but it’s not like we haven’t already figured it out…”

    Call it the Hilary White Must-Read Trilogy. And it’s now complete.

    Of course, she doesn’t call it that. It’s my own shorthand for three recent posts concerning Reality, the reality of what has happened, where we are, and what if anything to do about it.

    IF you are Catholic, or want to be, and IF you really want to deal with the reality of the current mess, and IF you want to know how to be and remain Catholic once you face reality, these three posts make for productive reading. Well, as much as blog posts can– no one is saying to throw your bibles or missals or catechisms away.

    I’ll get to the final installment, but here is a link to the first one, on the road to waking up and the concomitant “tradversion”, along with my own post discussing it.

    The second one is here, and covers some necessary authors and works to provide the context to our little 50+ year stuff-storm.

    And the third, today, in my opinion, marks the perfect post to put a bow on the first two. Using the intended to astound and confound “news” of Msgr. Georg Ganswein’s published comments on the “expanded Petrine ministry” caused by the actions and relations and coordination of the Pope and a Bishop dressed in White, ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’ (roles as yet unconfirmed– wait for the Third Act!), Miss White does a wonderful job of not being impressed.

    In other words, whatever the game being played, of which we are to be the dupes, she is having none of it. And in this post, now describing the matters for daily care, now coming back to the mess, now again focusing on the real, she lays out quite the plan for “action” for the faithful remnant. That is to say, be Catholic, focus on the real, forget the distractions, and pray.

    Prayer is the only difference we are going to make here. It is the only power we have, and it is the task Our Lord has given us. By praying, we are able to most effectively cooperate with Divine power and grace. And isn’t that enough? At the least, if we are not praying very well, what hope have we of acting well?


    …Anyway, you know, this speech by Ganswein is pretty damning, to be sure. “An expanded petrine ministry…” Good grief. Seriously, do they actually expect people to buy this crap?

    I dunno, maybe he meant to spill it, tell us what was really going on, while still sounding like he was on their side, like it’s a coded message or something. “Everything’s great! It’s just FINE THAT WE HAVE TWO POPES, isn’t it? Right? Wink-wink, nudge nudge… Oh, did I just say that out loud? Heh… ahem…”

    Sigh… You know, I’m kind of at the stage when when I hear stuff like this, I’m more inclined to eye-rolls than anything else. Blah blah blah… world’s ending …blah blah… invalid Conclave… blah, blah…two popes … blabbity-blabbity… Great Chastisement… yadda yadda…


    As for the anti-pope thing, I’m just going to stick with my original theory: it’s possible Bergugsie is an antipope. It’s possible that Benedict was coerced and this whole resignation thing has been bullshit from the start and the Conclave was a lie that everyone went along with. In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that I think that’s getting to look more and more likely all the time. But it still isn’t my call to make. I’m officially agnostic on the antipope question.

    The doo-doo hit the fan three years ago, and we are in no position, whilst swimming in the midst of it all, to make such determinations. In the history of the Church, these have always been the things that future popes and ecumenical councils have had to work out. Previous ages of chaos have required a lot more work than a blog post to sort out. I’m just glad it’s not going to be my job.


    As a Traditionalist Catholic, it’s a great deal easier not to get into a tizzy over it all. I Tradded 13 years ago because the logic attached to the observable facts led to precisely this conclusion. The abandonment of the Principle of Authority and adoption of “make-reality-up-as-we-go-along” Modernism. When you’ve got people who refuse to pay attention to the Logical Principle of Non-Contradiction, who deny ontology, who can’t define “is”… it was going to lead to this exact moment; utter chaos, bad prelates just doing whatever the hell they want, saying whatever the hell they want, despoiling the Church for every nickel they can get, using their Modernist excuses to bugger the choir boys with impunity…

    The things I observed 13 years ago were like looking down and seeing that I was standing on a road. It was the work of a moment to look down the length of the road and see where it led, and to say, Erm… no thanks.

    So I changed roads. I had to wade through some tall weeds and hike around a bit to find the Old Road, and it was pretty difficult to see, all hidden and ignored as it was and sometimes grown over. But it was there, and seeing it made it possible to look along its length and see that this was where I was supposed to be going; somewhere much nicer than where NOChurch was going….

  7. [Hat-tip to gpmtrad]

    Archbishop Ganswein and the Two Headed Pope

    Written by Chris Jackson | Remnant Columnist
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    No matter how much Archbishop Ganswein wants to delude himself, Christ did not build His Church on a “ministry” or an “office.” He chose to build the Church on a man, Peter. Until today, I don’t think any Catholic writer in history has ever had to point out that Peter was one individual human being. Yet this is the level of detachment from reality we are dealing with in our time.

    Churchmen today, learned in the make-believe modern philosophies, see reality as something subjective that can be toyed with. The entire teaching of the Church is like a large linguistic sandbox they play in. By reinterpreting the meaning of words, these men have made a living out of creating a false theological world that has no existence except in their own minds. Thus, it is really no exaggeration to say that the intellectual state of these men mimics mental illness.

    If what Ganswein says is true, then Benedict XVI believes he possesses the power to fundamentally change what Christ laid down as if the papacy were his own personal plaything. What is truly frightening is that anyone would take this transformation seriously.. The papacy is the pope and the pope is the papacy. The papacy is not a job that can be separated into two sets of duties to be performed by two people. It is rather an institution which is inseparably bound to one individual at a time.

    Therefore, Benedict the XVI is either the pope, or he is not. The same goes for Francis. Benedict has absolutely no authority or power to abdicate “some” of the papacy and outsource the rest to another. Yet Ganswein says “the papal ministry is not the same as before” and that Benedict XVI has “profoundly and lastingly transformed” it! Does he think us fools? Nobody, not even a pope, can change or alter one iota what Christ has established.

    To admit otherwise, is to accept the absurdity that for 2,000 years there has always been a latent ability for multiple individuals to be “members” of the papacy. Is this yet another novel doctrine that was discovered in the inner workings of Benedict’s mind in the year 2013? Regardless, it is not true. It is a false non-reality. Nevertheless, we are now living in a frightening situation where our own prelates are no longer bound by reason or common sense much less Catholic doctrine. That the personal secretary of Benedict XVI could feel comfortable stating this abhorrent deformation of the papacy publicly and proudly is a clear sign that the crisis in the Church is reaching a fever pitch.

    As Traditional Catholics we now seem to be watching much of the hierarchy and our Neo-Catholic brethren drift beyond mere serious disagreement with Tradition into a fantasy world where Tradition, common sense, and logic itself are jettisoned for hallucination and illusion. They are indeed headed towards a realm into which we can no longer follow them or hope to reach them. As Dr. John Senior said, “It is not that they have committed an error; they have abandoned intelligence.”

    So, as the Conciliar Church continues to float this absurd self-refuting novel proposition as if it were serious, and as the Neo-Catholics begin writing their tomes of sophistic defense of this anti-reality, we are left like the man Dr. Senior referred to as “The poor lost functionary in the fabricated world of 1984.” As Orwell said:

    “It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you — something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense…

    The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command…And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! …Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s center. With the feeling … that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

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