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Friday, June 17, 2016
Not One Pope But Two, One “Active” and One “Contemplative”?
Not One Pope But Two, One “Active” and One “Contemplative”
TCK Foreword: The proposition of having the Papacy "split" has been previously condemned. You can't have "two popes". BXVI was forced out under pressure (admitted publicly by this "Vatican mafia") thus he still is the true Pope. Francis is an antipope.
Note: Not an endorsement
It is the unprecedented innovation that Ratzinger seems to want to put
into practice. It has been announced by his secretary, Georg Gänswein.
Redoubling the already abundant ambiguities of the pontificate of
ROME, June 17, 2016 – The revolution of Pope Francis is turning the
Church upside-down. But his meek predecessor named Benedict is not to be
The resignation of the papacy was not his last act.
Already in his withdrawal from the see of Peter, in that memorable
February of 2013, Joseph Ratzinger made sure to say that in his election
as pope there had been something that would remain “forever.”
fact, he continues to wear the white tunic, continues to sign himself
“Benedictus XVI, pope emeritus,” continues to use the coat of arms with
the two Petrine keys, continues to live “in the enclosure of Saint
Peter,” continues to have himself called “Holiness” and “Holy Father.”
most recently the archbishop in closest contact with him, Georg
Gänswein, has told us that Benedict “has by no means abandoned the
office of Peter,” but on the contrary has made it “an expanded ministry,
with an active member and a contemplative member,” in “a collegial and
synodal dimension, almost a shared ministry”:
staggering statements from Gänswein, made on May 20 in the aula magna
of the Pontifical Gregorian University, have sown dismay among
Ratzinger’s admirers themselves. Because no one doubts that they
correspond to his thought and were authorized by him. But no one would
have expected from him such an unheard-of act of rupture in the history
of the papacy, totally without precedent, “a sort of exception willed by
Heaven,” as Gänswein himself has called it, after a pontificate that is
also “exceptional,” an “Ausnahmepontifikat.”
The absolute innovation is not the resignation, but the sequel.
on December 13, 1294 Celestine V announced his abandonment of the
pontificate, as the story goes “he came down from the throne, took the
tiara from his head and put it on the floor; and mantle and ring and all
he took off in front of the astonished cardinals,” aftfer which he went
back to being an ordinary monk, in complete withdrawal from the world.
is what even the most authoritative of Catholic canonists, the Jesuit
Gianfranco Ghirlanda, envisioned in “La Civiltà Cattolica” immediately
after the resignation announcement of Benedict XVI: that he would indeed
remain a bishop, more properly “bishop emeritus of Rome,” in that
sacred ordination is an indelible act, but would “lose all his power of
primacy, because this did not come to him from episcopal consecration
but directly from Christ through the acceptance of legitimate election.”
But then Ratzinger’s behavior contradicted this order of things.
right away appeared some who justified him theoretically. Like the
other canonist Stefano Violi, who maintains that Benedict XVI did not by
any means renounce the office of Peter, but only his active exercise of
governance and magisterium, keeping for himself the exercise of prayer
and compassion. Precisely what Gänswein gave as fact one month ago: a
double papacy “with an active member and a contemplative member,”
Francis and Benedict, “almost a shared ministry.”
Now, that there
could be two popes in the Catholic Church, of different profiles but
still more than one, is something that expert theologians and canonists
like Geraldina Boni and Carlo Fantappiè judge as not only unheard-of but
“aberrant,” as well as being a source of conflicts.
But there is
more. Violi even theorizes the hypothetical superiority of the
“contemplative” pope over the “active,” in that he is closer to the
example of Jesus who despoiled himself of everything, even his divinity.
And then it is not at all true that the distinction of roles between Francis and Benedict is so clear.
has repeatedly broken the silence that he had foreshadowed after his
resignation. Roughly ten times already he has said or written something
in public, each time requiring the study of what is or is not in accord
between him and the magisterium of the “active” pope.
when, in the interval between the two synods on the family, Ratzinger
retracted his youthful ideas in favor of communion for the divorced and
remarried and rewrote the exact opposite, in a sort of preemptive
contestation of “Amoris Laetitia.”
In the magisterium of Francis ambiguity triumphs, but the “papacy emeritus” of Benedict is an unsolved enigma, too.