The Two Popes … Trouble ahead?

A “Pope Emeritus” is a new concept in the Church. The question has to be whether this new type of pontiff is a welcome development  or an unacceptable break with Catholic Tradition. Is there a connection between Pope Benedict’s decision to adopt this new title and Francis’ insistence on describing himself as the Bishop of Rome? Is the existence of two popes a recipe for disaster? Could there be trouble ahead? Or – given the fact that the two popes seem to get along well together – are those commentators correct who argue that this really is a case of “two heads are better than one” – that it is beneficial for the Church to have the two very different papal characters in the Vatican? According to Fr Gruner, the issues surrounding “the two popes” are being discussed in the Italian media and in high places in Rome, so tell us what you think about Fr Gruner’s thoughts on the matter. Agree? Disagree? Not sure? Over to you…  

83 responses

  1. Unprecedented? For sure. The analogy that is used of a father is sensible and apt given the circumstances when a question of authority arises. What begat this question of who is Pope is the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. More and more people are beginning to dig around looking for the truth: not just internet bampots but mainstream respected journalists at the top of their game. One could argue that Pope Benedict XVI resigned of his own free will and made the mistake of assuming this Emeritus position, which is without precedent. There is also a reasonable question worth asking whether this was a compromise instead? But instead of what? And if it was a compromise, what were the the two positions that had to be compromised? Was Pope Benedict XVI ever at risk of being ousted from the Seat of Peter? What forces exist within Rome that could be so powerful to manage such a feat?

    It will all come out in the wash. (unless of course the mark comes from tango, which is a stain that will never wash away.)

  2. The stigmatist Anne Catherine Emmerich – blessed – had a vision of 2 popes and one would not know who was the real pope. The October synod could cause a rupture if doctrine changes. If so, we could see Pope Benedict coming out of hiding. We must be prepared for this possibility and all the implications

    • Yes, well with the sensationalist media, it only takes an ambiguity, never mind a criticism from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to potentially cause a storm. But the whole resignation smells of something amiss as I mused on above. But of course with the Vatican Spin Doctors, a Pope can say anything and it can be explained away by interpreting through the Haemoroids Hermeneutic of Continuity and even the most holy of holy gaff of all gaffs can be spun away as long as we interpret it in the most (inconceivably) orthodox way possible.

      • Stephen,

        Yes, it’s almost comical to see the nonsensical attempts of certain Catholics to make everything today seem normal. Everything is orthodox, the Holy Spirit just didn’t realise it until now!

        • There is a decent blog post, currently in two parts with a third to come, on the Remnant website. Definitely worth a read.

          • Stephen,

            Hang on. I have that two part article earmarked to post as a blog discussion when it is all available. Original said “two parts” so three is a bit much, but I think it requires to be a new topic, since it is about lay responses to crises in the Church in general – so if everyone waits, I’ll post that separately as a new topic. If you can’t wait, well, I won’t – the decision is yours, folks. I honestly don’t mind.

    • DominieMary,

      That’s all very interesting. The forthcoming synod will certainly be a landmark, because if we are pleasantly reassured by the outcome, then the “liberals” who are hyped up to expect changes, as they were by Pope Paul VI’s ridiculous Commission on Birth Control, will engage in heavy foot-stamping and there will be rattles thrown out of prams all over the place. If – on the other hand – it’s a case of (as I suspect) a reaffirmation of doctrine with the additional friendly signal to the “liberals” in the way of “but be pastorally sensitive…. give ’em mercy” to allow clergy to administer Communion to adulterers, then that will also be a major landmark of deep concern. Either way, this forthcoming synod is one to watch, rosaries in hand.

      Re: “Emeritus” – I said at the outset that I would never use the title “Emeritus” – I refer to Pope Benedict as I refer to all past popes, as Pope (Name) – i.e. he is Pope Benedict XVI.

    • DominieMary,

      Are you saying that if there is some statement about allowing the divorced and remarried to receive Communion (at the synod in October) that Pope Benedict might say something publicly to challenge this? If so, that would definitely be the schism coming out in the open. I shudder to think of it but wouldn’t it be better than what is happening now, all this confusion?

  3. I think that the title of ‘Pope Emeritus’ is a worrying development. It stands to reason that the Church can never have two Popes, even if one is not reigning, because certain conspiracy theorists will treat his successor as an invalid Pope, i.e one who was imposed by those who orchestrated the ‘coup’ against the predecessor. I personally believe that Benedict XVI was ousted. Even if he did have weakened strength of mind and body, that is a poor excuse to abdicate. John Paul II for all his faults stayed in place, using the correct rationale that ‘Christ did not get down from the Cross’. Benedict XVI should have gone back to being Cardinal Ratzinger. When Pius XII was threatened by kidnapping by the Nazis, and when he was ready to abdicate in 1954, he said he would have become Cardinal Pacelli once again. Am I correct in understanding that in the old days, Diocesan ordinaries after retirement were still known a ‘Bishop’ and not ‘Bishop Emeritus’? The best thing to do when Francis dies, if it is possible, would be to anathemise his Pontificate, and declare his successor the legitimate successor of Benedict XVI. I mean, what if Francis predeceases Benedict?

    • In general a person an assume the title “emeritus”, and he was Bishop of Rome!

  4. From the latest Francis interview, apparantley the new Pope Emeritus is a welcome development as there is a recent development of Emeritus Bishops. So he says.

    • Here’s part 2 of the televised interview with Fr Gruner on “Pope Emeritus…”

      I haven’t had time to watch it myself, although will do so later.

      Thanks to DominieMary for emailing me the link.

  5. The innovators in the Church have long desired to have a retired Pope, one who “resigned” office rather than “abdicated” it. Such a development from their perspective would greatly undermine the authority of the Petrine See as it would immediately eradicate the 2000-year belief of divine election and autocracy in respect to the Papacy, replacing it with something more akin to the human and democratic processes of Anglicanism and other Protestant bodies.

    Popes simply cannot “resign,” it’s a nonsense proposition! They can abdicate for very grave reasons as two have done in the last 2000 years, but they cannot resign. The word “resign” is quite deliberately chosen to emphasise the derogation of the Papacy from divine institution to worldly CEO of a Board of episcopal directors. The term “Pope Emeritus” is equally ridiculous since it is clear from history that the Pope who abdicates office automatically becomes Cardinal. Pope Benedict knew this at the time of his decision and that’s why he said he would not retain the title of Pope. It seems Francis later convinced him otherwise.

    The entire business is devised to undermine the sacredness of the Papal office, it is a scandal beyond measure and it is greatly harmful to the Church. These innovators tried to get Pope John Paul II to “resign” at the height of his last illness but he disappointed them with the words “Christ did not come down from the Cross, neither will I come down from mine.” This was a perfectly Catholic Papal response to a plot to undermine the dignity and authority of the divinely instituted See of Peter. If only Benedict, now Cardinal Ratzinger, had given the same answer!

    • Well said, Athanasius.

      I’ve just (reluctantly) released a comment from Lionel Andrades, addressed to you on the Bishop Schneider thread. Sorry I took so long to post but it’s not showing on the sidebar so thought I would alert you here, in case you miss it.

  6. It seems to me there are really four possibilities.

    1. As Athanasius suggests it an attempt to downgrade the papacy to a CEO-type function.

    2. It’s an attempt to upgrade the papacy to a kind of pseudo-sacrament which once acquired can’t be lost. All that’s needed now is for Francis to retire so that we have two emeriti and then the new pope (pre-selected, of course) can say ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be much better if the three of us worked together – much more collegial, you know!’ If you want a bigger committee just persuade a few more short-term appointees to resign. 😮

    3. An attempt to introduce a fixed-term papacy. After all, it was unreasonable of JPII to hang on for all that time, no?

    4. The Vatican apparatchiks were taken as much by surprise as the rest of us, headless-chicken syndrome ensued and in the end an insane acceptable fudge was agreed on. After all, this is the New Springtime – confusion is good, no?

    Frankly, I think 4 is much the likeliest explanation but Benedict should have had the sense to refuse to play along.

    The scary thing is that you would probably have no difficulty finding supporters (and high-ranking ones at that) for 1,2 and 3, notwithstanding that they bear no resemblance to any even vaguely Catholic understanding of the papacy.

    Confused? – you will be!

    • CD…An attempt to introduce a fixed-term papacy. After all, it was unreasonable of JPII to hang on for all that time, no?

      Fixed term Papacy? I shudder to think of the ramifications. I can see it now, the political tour buses, the smear campaigns, the live TV debates.

      It should and must be the final position for the Pope. So in this respect I think, regardless of what we think of JPII’s term, he was correct to stay as our Pope until God took him.

  7. The last Pope resigned from Office, and has as recently as this year gave an interview explaining his decision. The Conclave was only able to meet and elect a Successor because it was certain that Benedict has resigned.

    It is irrelevant where he lives. It could have lived in the house in Scotland that Cardinal O’Brien planned to use in his enforced retirement, and his situation would not change. He is not The Pope!

    Not to revert to another title is nonsensical, as is the choice of outfit. But neither alters he status: he is a retired Bishop of Rome just as any other retired Bishop and he has no jurisdiction over any Diocese, but he can still teach, and preach, and even celebrate all the sacraments.

    Francis, chooses to be called The Bishop of Rome to emphasis he is, by virtue of his Office, a member of the College of Bishops, he, not they, exercises the Petrine Office with all of its right’s and privileges. he even said so at his Installation Mass. If only self professed Trad’s could even begin to understand Church teaching!

    Francis, Bishop of Rome, preached The Homily at his Mass of Installation, 19th March 2013:

    “Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude………………
    Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!”

    • That “inauguration of my Petrine ministry” was, for more than 1000 years up to John Paul I, a coronation ceremony, whereupon a triple crown was placed on the head of the newly elected Pontiff with the words:

      “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art father of princes and kings, ruler of the world, vicar on earth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever.”

      Paul VI, having himself been crowned Pope, later renounced the tiara in a gravely mistaken act of solidarity with the poor. His Holiness clearly misunderstood the supernatural significance of the triple crown and the words of coronation. This act of Paul VI followed soon after his closing address to the Council, in which he announced:

      “The religion of God made Man has come up against the religion of man who makes himself God….You can be grateful to it [the Council] for this merit at least, you modern humanists who deny the transcendence of supreme things, and learn to recognise our new humanism: we too, we more than anyone else, subscribe to the cult of man.”

      This is what Vatican II’s opening to the world signified – a subscription to the cult of man. Well, then, did Cardinal Suenens later declare that the Council was the French Revolution in the Church. Cardinal Suenens was no friend of Traditional Catholicism. Indeed it was he who introduced Communion in the hand illicitly into the Church. So his were significant words, proven to be true on so many levels since Vatican II, including the democratisation of the Papacy and of Church authority in general through the error of Collegiality.

      Cardinal Ottaviani hit the nail on the head regarding this great error when he said: “The only example of Collegiality at work in the history of the Church is when the Apostles collectively abandoned Our Lord during His Passion.” A very wise observation indeed!

      • Athanasius,

        A great post, very clear as usual. I love the quotes especially the Cardinal Ottaviani quote at the end which definitely, as you say, hits the nail on the head re. the error of collegiality:

        “The only example of Collegiality at work in the history of the Church is when the Apostles collectively abandoned Our Lord during His Passion.”

        As you say, “A very wise observation indeed!”

        • Margaret Mary,

          Yes, I really liked that observation of Cardinal Ottaviani, a distinguished prelate who knew what was what. He was the old Cardinal who had the microphone switched off on him (to much laughter and applause) during an impassioned address to the Council Fathers warning them of the dangers of the liberal influence that had seeped into their deliberations.

          • Athanasius,

            Who switched off the microphone, do you know? That’s terrible. How unkind.

        • The First Council decided many things, an its decisions are recorded in The Acts of The Apostles. You do not accept Holy Scripture, or Tradition? It is rather worrying!

          • You’ve lost me with those comments. Please expand on precisely where I have rejected either Holy Scripture or Tradition. I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re referring to – I mean a particular statement, etc. Please be more specific.

            • The Magisterium have articulated Tradition, which you ignore with your total misreading of that Tradition. The Church began with the Primacy of Peter working within a collegial body. Simple really.

      • I do believe Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world. However, even without “The Crown” The Papacy is exerting influence on the world stage, and world “powers”, at least implicitly, recognise his true power within The Church? How odd.

        As Francis said people like you, “rent a room in The Church, but only believe in yourself!

        How can you desire The Pope where symbols of worldly power, and yet you do not

        • FA,

          Since a person is either inside or outside the Church, the Pope would appear to have fallen into grave error with his “renting a room” remark. Is he introducing yet another novelty – a new way of being a member of Christ’s Church?

          What on earth does he mean, by “renting a room” – sounds like he is frustrated that not everyone is yet a “liberal” and is venting his anger (I’m told he has quite a temper if he doesn’t get his own way) which is not really fitting given his “I’m a simple, humble soul…” image.

          • I wonder you are the way you are, sometimes, presented in the media? Jesus, himself, got angry, and anger an be justified.

            • You see, FA, there you go again – completely ignoring the question and launching into a personal, ad hominem attack. I don’t know how I am “presented in the media” so your slur has gone right over my head.

              Anger can surely be justified – but not bad temper.

              • I have seen reference to you in the media that was interesting!

                No one would doubt the humility of Francis, and the way the way Holy Scripture and Tradition have shaped his life.

                • FA,

                  Well, that’s good. I hope you enjoyed reading about me. I never do. I’m too busy reading about Papa Francis in the media and he’s never short of a camera crew, is he? I wonder where I could get one of those?

                  PS – you doubting my humility? Really? Shucks – that’s a blow 😯

                  • I think the media are fairer about you, than are you, and your followers, about holder of The Keys in recent decades. Which is sad as the media are officially secular, and, are, often, anti Catholic. The devil works in mysterious ways.

  8. I`m certain that Pope Benedict is a prisoner in the Vatican to be wheeled out on certain occasions to look as if everything is above board.

    • Frankier,

      It’s an interesting theory but not consistent with the cordial relations we’ve witnessed in public between the two men in white.

      • Perhaps, but often there is more to things than meets the eye. It’s all guess work of course, but the Vatican can hardly accuse people of being conspiracy theorists given that they themselves, through unprecedented and unconventional acts, have created a bit of a mess.

      • Athanasius

        I think the cordial relations may be similar to the ones between Margaret Thatcher and The Queen and everyone knows there was no love lost there.

        Editor

        I did make the remark with the tongue (maybe not firmly) in the cheek but
        who knows whether or not Pope Benedict had a gun put to his head. I think the poor soul would have knuckled down even if someone had put a sausage to his head.

    • Frankier,

      I don’t think that theory (prisoner in the Vatican) holds water. I do believe Pope Benedict was under pressure (not necessarily overt, more like the type of pressure a lay worker experiences as “constructive dismissal”) but the bottom line is, nobody held a gun to his head and he should have told his enemies to take whatever is the equivalent papal expression for “a hike” complete with (in)appropriate adjective 😀

      • Editor
        And again I make no apologies for musing on what should be the ridiculous, but given that the Vatican seems to be the source of sustained debacle presently… nonetheless telling someone to take a hike largely relies on that person being sure footed themselves. Given the extraordinary events of late, it is at least plausible that Benedict XVI was given an ultimatum. I’m not sure we will ever be privy to what has passed to arrive where we are, but Benedict XVI is no dummkopf: it just doesn’t make sense for someone to make such an effort to clean up a mess by issuing Summorum Pontificum, then create this latest fiasco.

        • Stephen,

          I think Summorum Pontificum and the lifting of the SSPX excommunications raised the temperature in the Vatican (not “think” – I know so) and that is what has led to the final nails being driven into the resignation coffin. So you’re spot on there.

          However, since Pope Benedict has publicly denied being overtly “pushed” or forced to resign, we have to take his word; but that he more likely than not did not really WANT to resign, seems a very real possibility to me, hence my “constructive dismissal” scenario. But then, as I keep reminding you all, I’m just a simple gal.

          Now, I’m never going to get into any of the pubs and clubs if I don’t head out now. That’s the problem with you being over there in sunny Australia – your day is just beginning isn’t it when we are.. well… heading for he pubs and clubs! 😀

      • He indicted he might resign years earlier, and gave an interview this year repeating why he resigned.

        • Maybe that’s why the worst of the Church’s liberal prelates, not to mention the secular authorities of a Godless State or two, decided to ramp up the pressure on him. We have to admit that they and the media made his life fairly intolerable at the end. It’s a great tragedy for the Church that Benedict himself didn’t feel equal to the Cross of wicked intrigue he had to bear.

          • He says he was physically aging, and hinted he could not see himself publicly suffering to the end, like Saint John Paul. I think I would sooner believe St Benedict, than a person who, metaphorically, writes in Red Ink, and hides behind the name of a genuine Saint, Scholar, and Teacher.

            • I wasn’t aware that suffering had its limits for a Catholic, St. Paul suffered right up until his martyrdom. You should read the lives of the early Christian martyrs, you’ll know then what real suffering is. By the way, is Benedict now canonised before he’s even dead? I wondered when the process would speed up to that point for the Conciliar Popes.

              • There is a difference between torture, imprisonment etc, and knowing that you cannot give everything you need to give to a role in the service of Christ, and his Church. The majority of priests and Bishop’s retire from a public role. Being a Pope is such a role, as he is a Bishop.

                • Only after Vatican II did bishops retire from their duties. Before that, for 2000 years, priests and prelates served Our Lord unto death in the offices they had been placed in. The intention behind the introduction of retirement was to undermine that supernatural commitment and make the priesthood look like just any other worldly job. It used to be that those consecrated to God anticipated a happy eternity for their exhaustive efforts on earth. Now they look to a pleasant earthly retirement. So tragic!

                  • Natural justice, and the need for sound leadership, from a person at full capacity, mean it is sensible for people to retire from a particular Office, but they do not retire from being at the service of The Church.

                    For example, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor was appointed to the C and on Congregation for Bishops after “retirement, and he has represented The Pope at various major events, and Papal Commissions.

                    Many Parishes have benefitted from the supply work from retired priests, and many Diocese, without a Bishop, from the work of a visiting “retired” Bishop.

                    A Bishop may be physically failing, and his mind may not be as sharp as it needs to be, but they an still pray and administer much needed Sacraments.

                    More than one Parish, and Diocese, has been scarred, and suffered, because those in charge have been past their sell by date. The devil can use such a time well.

                    Pope Benedict has served The Church well by recognising, and acting upon, his failing health. You may recall he looked like his was at death door, and many reported he was near death, and now we see his is healthy looking for a man of his age, now he is free from the burdens of leadership.

                    One has only to read your posts to see what happens when people don’t accept certain things….

                    • Tragic that the Church was lost to that wisdom for 2000 years until the enlightenment of Vatican II, eh?

                    • The point is Vatican ll is part of the hermeneutic of continuity Pope Benedict promoted. It added nothing new, stayed faithful to Tradition, and called us all to respond, faithfully, to The Holy Spirit.

                    • Dominiemary,

                      Yes, retiring priests and prelates was an entirely new concept for the Church introduced post-Council. It was unheard of for 2000 years before. And it’s not left to choice either. There is a mandatory expectation to resign office at age 75, just as with any worldly corporation.

                    • “hermeneutic of continuity” is just an empty term that actually doesn’t mean anything. And Vatican II did add to the faith, at least post-Council. Ecumenism is a novel doctrine condemned by the Magisterium and forbidden to Catholics for almost 2000 years. The same can be said of religious liberty, another condemned proposition, and Collegiality.

                      But then, Communion in the hand, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, the New Mass, etc., are all breaks with the Church’s Traditional practice and teaching. It amazes me that you can make such statements as you have – that Vatican II reform added nothing new. Come on, you can’t be that blind and ignorant.

  9. Father Gruner is spot on, that more troubles are ahead. Recently the news media spoke about Pope Francis’ health possibly declining. One doctor remarked that His Holiness seemed to be breathing heavy, and gained about 20 lbs., leading him to think that he may have congestive heart failure.

    So here’s a nightmare scenario: Pope Francis takes ill, and Pope Benedict XVI steps up as a substitute since he’s the “pontiff emeritus”. Benedict proceeds to celebrate Mass, appoint bishops, do all the things that popes do, you know.

    So which one would be the real one?!

    • Thurifer,

      I think in the scenario you describe it’s more likely that a conclave would be held to elect a new Pope. Whether or not that might be Cardinal Ratzinger (his proper title now) for a second time, is anyone’s guess. But I think it’s fairly impossible that a now non-Pope could just assume the Papal office, even if he does bear the novel title of “Pope Emeritus”. You just couldn’t make this Modernist stuff up!

    • Chrisis,

      To create a smiley, just type a colon : then type the word grin followed by another colon = : grin : (no spaces) colongrincolon to achieve this 😀

      To do shock or sad faces, just substitute those words in between the colons but without leaving spaces = 😯 😦

      Love them!

  10. Thanks Editor :grin:, Keep up the good and very important work your doing, you have my, and I’m sure many more people’s, prayers to support you.

    • Chrisis,

      Brilliant! It worked!

      Thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement. Very much appreciated. God bless you.

    • Stephen,

      Thank you for that link – I’ve hunted high and low to find a photo of that “blessing”.

      Now, for all and sundry, Dominie has emailed the third part of the Fr Gruner interview on the “Pope Emeritus” title and associated issues. Again, I’ve not had time to view yet, but will do so asap.

      • Hi Editor
        I tried to use tags to post the image, but couldn’t work it out. The problem of course being that tomorrow’s front page will be different.

      • Just watched the third part and its pretty clear that they think that the Devil is in Benedict XVI due to his dereliction of duty, or have I read that right?
        And the further point is that we don’t need the Pope (who he is) to continue with our Tradition, is very important to fortify us.

        • Stephen,

          In fact, Fr Gruner is not actually saying anything new by his remark that Pope Benedict was “under the power of the Devil”. If you think about it, what he goes on to describe is exactly that “diabolical disorientation” that we know has gripped the hierarchy – including the papacy, and increasingly so (think planting olive trees) – throughout this crisis and right up to the present day (think pope asking for/receiving “blessing” from Anglican schismatic “archbishop” when he’d run a mile rather than ask Bishop Fellay for a blessing!) “Under the power of the Devil”? You bet. And that’s because…

          As Fr Gruner points out. the Devil has convinced Pope Benedict that he has done the right thing by resigning and convinced Pope Francis that he has done the right thing by engaging in his scandalous ecumenical/inter-faith events etc. So, that’s not exactly breaking news, as far as I’m concerned. That is the very nature of the diabolical disorientation of which Sr Lucy spoke in relation to the Fatima apparitions.

          What is particularly interesting about this third interview in the series, is the way Father Gruner links what is happening to the Third Secret. That’s real food for thought, methinks.

          • Editor says What is particularly interesting about this third interview in the series, is the way Father Gruner links what is happening to the Third Secret. That’s real food for thought, methinks.

            You are right of course. I suppose it is just a little shocking to hear someone say that the Devil is working in Benedict. (I have seen the Exorcist (1973)!!!)

            Can you explain anything around the suppression of the third secret?

            • Hi Stephen,
              we are in strange days indeed. I have much affection for Pope Benedict, I also did have a lot of appreciation for his predecessor. But I agree with Editor about many of their shortcomings. Those shortcomings I do attribute to diabolical disorientation and I think it is indeed something that was always part of revelation, which describes apostasy and that only a remnant will remain true when Our Lord returns.
              It is indeed in my mind and I am sure in many others a noticeable thing that almost immediately after Christ conferred the words that have always been taken as establishing the Petrine office, He thundered “Get behind me Satan!”
              We have indeed had salacious popes before, but I think that the current holder of the title needs our prayers indeed, because he seems so deeply unconcerned about keeping the treasures of the Church intact, and in fact seems completely imbued with the very same views and sentiments described by former popes as the heresy of Modernism.
              Whereas John Paul and Benedict were tarnished by the heresy, Francis seems committed to its cause.

              • It is difficult to take an objective position on what has passed and continues to this day. This modernist era we are caught up in will only really be understood long after we have left this earth. I pray to God that it will be seen by the majority of the Church in the future, as another period of heresy.

                All we can do is pray and resist.

              • Burt,

                Well said. I used to think (and said publicly) that Pope John Paul II would be judged by history as one of the worst popes ever, but Pope Francis really does take the biscuit. I’ve run out of adjectives to describe him (well, printable ones anyway!)

            • Stephen,

              Fr Gruner didn’t say “the Devil is working in Pope Benedict” – he used the phrase, in passing, “under the power of the Devil” but that’s semantics on my part because, as I say, that’s what we’ve known for a long time now. The hierarchy, including the upper hierarchy, has taken the Church down a wrong road due to the Devil’s success in convincing them that this new road is the right road. That is, he’s had power over them – they have been/are under his power and influence. It’s called spiritual blindness – perhaps that’s a less shocking description when we omit the role of the Devil in bringing such spiritual blindness about.

              If you read the Fatima.org website you will find all you need to know about the Third Secret – this page, for example, is very interesting indeed.

              • Just read that page. Intriguing and bewildering both! Why they would suppress I can only conclude would be for modernist reasons. ie ‘They’ll never believe it’ etc

                • Stephen,

                  I think the reason the Vatican/popes have suppressed the Third Secret is because it points to the current apostasy and the diabolical disorientation in the Church which, obviously, implicates the recent popes and bishops. It may even, who knows, mention Vatican II specifically (as some Fatima scholars believe); it is not unlikely that there is some reference to it in some way, since Our Lady said that the Third Secret was to be revealed no later than 1960. The Council began in 1962. Go figure!

          • I had to watch it twice to hear that about the devil! Don’t forget Malachi Martin read the 3rd secret and he let bits out in various interviews. One was that the last pope would be under Satan.

            • Well, Dominie, unless my arithmetic is even worse than I thought, Pope Benedict has proved NOT to be the last pope.

              I think the meaning of “diabolical disorientation” is clear enough. To suggest more than Our Lady has apparently suggested, is dangerous. It is, in fact, the dangerous road that leads to sedevacantism, to be specific. We do not promote that error on this blog. Not remotely.

  11. He might be if one follows the reasoning of the journalists dicussed by Fr. Gruner and John Vennari to the most obvious conclusion.

    • Christina,

      If by “under the power of the Devil” Fr Gruner et al mean something different from “diabolical disorientation”/spiritual blindness, would you mind explaining it to me, because I can’t grasp what is meant here. Is “the most obvious conclusion” something other than diabolical disorientation/spiritual blindness? If so, what is it? I am genuinely puzzled because unless you mean we have a pope who has sold his soul to the Devil, and it actually possessed, then I just don’t get it. Help!

  12. Editor,

    My comment was apropos your first paragraph, i.e. that Benedict has proved not to be the last pope. In the first video Fr. Gruner says, during the discussion about the ‘ministerium’ and ‘munus’ of the papacy, that the question raised by Socci, Messori and a ‘canonist’ as to whether or not Pope Benedict did indeed resign was being considered ‘in places higher than the Italian press’. The ‘most obvious connclusion’ of the journalists (and by some in ‘higher places’ according to Fr. Gruner) is that Benedict has not resigned and so he is still the pope and so may still be the last one!

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