Hey! The Popes! Then there were three! Some “what if” scenarios…

Hey! The Popes! Then there were three! Some “what if” scenarios…

Father George David Byers
5/25/16
ariseletusbegoing.com/2016/05/25/hey-the-popes-then-there-were-three-some-what-if-scenarios/

Do you ever wonder how it is that in history we had even three Popes at the same time? Well, today we have a scenario in which this is now in the works.

His Grace, the Most Reverend Georg Gänswein, recently spoke of the Petrine ministry as being expanded to include two fully installed non-competing Pontiffs, one contemplative (Benedict XVI) and one active (Francis).

He said that Benedict did not abdicate as others have done, but before and after (that before bit is important) did not at all consider his action as abandoning the Petrine ministry.

He said that Benedict participates in an expanded Petrine ministry.

But, in the rules of the Conclave, this non-abdication-abdication would make the election of Francis invalid:

If Benedict didn’t really abdicate, that means that he is still the Supreme Pontiff, and that Francis’ election was invalid, making Francis an anti-Pope.

If Benedict did abdicate, it would mean that Francis is the only duly elected Successor to the See of Peter, and that Benedict is strangely insisting on being some sort of anti-Pope.

In the future, if and when Francis imitates this kind-of-like-an-abdication (but, you know, not really, or really, you know, with ambiguity), then a third Pontiff will be elected.
Just say that he’s a man of Tradition. With a heavy heart he will surely excommunicate Benedict and Francis unless they clearly abdicate altogether. Regardless of whether Benedict originally abdicated or not, he will do so upon request. Francis will not cooperate, as obviously he really likes Benedict’s idea, and will declare that the new abdication of Benedict was forced and therefore invalid. Moreover, the election of the third Pontiff will be invalid as Benedict, like it or not, never really abdicated, or he did and Francis is really Pope, insisting, as he will, that he won’t abdicate, you know, not entirely, kind of, you know, with ambiguity. The third Pope, however much a man of Tradition, will be an anti-Pope as well.

His Grace, the Most Reverend Georg Gänswein, has no standing in all this, except for the fact that people will give him credence. They will align themselves to Pope Benedict over against Francis or vice versa, causing entrenched division in the Church. Sad, that. Or maybe what will happen is that people will look for a clarification from Pope Benedict himself…

Let’s do some what ifs…

What if it was thought that the Petrine ministry is just that, something you do instead of someone you are, so that instead of the Church being built upon Peter himself, as in Matthew 16, it’s just built upon his faith, as the Protestants say, or upon all the Apostles, as those ignorant of New Testament Greek embarrass themselves by saying. Oh, and by the way, in Matthew 16:19 the statement of the provision of the power of keys to Peter is in the simple future indicative tense, for this will not happen until Peter is ordained. He does not receive the power of keys as a layman.

But what if such a Petrine ministry is merely something anyone might do? Hey! In that case, why not let the power of keys go to a layman, or for that matter, a laywoman, you know, the whole Pope Joan thing? Or better, let’s make it like a parish council with executive power (as it’s all about power). In fact, let’s make the sacrament of Holy Orders into a ministry that, when discarded, no longer leaves the soul of the once-upon-a-time ordinand marked for eternity. That’ll make it easier to say that the power of keys need not reside with the bishop of Rome, you know, so we can forget those pesky words of Jesus in Matthew 16. Those who know about the ferocious canon law controversies of some decades ago involving Ratzinger will know what I’m talking about.

So what if, in this scenario, Benedict is now fully the bishop of Rome, or “a” bishop of Rome, but without the power of keys, which resides only with the non-contemplative, active member of the expanded Petrine ministry, Francis for the moment, because, again, the ministry is just something you do, not the person you are. And, in that case, you can have as many Popes as you want, lay or ordained, bishops or not, women or no. And, in fact, heck, in this scenario, just ordain women to whatever they feel called to be. Right? Isn’t it all about nice feelings?

By the way, sure, through history there have been many successors of Peter, but that doesn’t mean that they were Popes at the same time, does it, I mean, because time is greater than space, right?

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http://angelqueen.org/2016/05/26/hey-the-popes-then-there-were-three-some-what-if-scenarios/
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