Bishop: Please Pray – Only Divine Intervention Will Solve Francis Crisis

From Lifesitenews…   

For several past generations until our days there reigns in the life of the Church a kind of ‘pope-centrism’ or a kind of ‘papolatria’ which is undoubtedly excessive compared with the moderate and supernatural vision of the person of the Pope and his due veneration in the past times. Such an excessive attitude towards the person of the Pope generates in the practice an excessive and wrong theological meaning regarding the dogma of the Papal infallibility.

Editor’s(LSN) note: LifeSite is here publishing an important text issued [28 Feb] by Bishop Athanasius Schneider [right] commenting on some key questions that have been vexing many faithful Catholics in the midst of the current crisis in the Church under Pope Francis.

On the question of the true pope in the light of the opinion of the automatic loss of the papal office for heresy and the speculations about the resignation of Benedict XVI

The hypothesis of the possibility of a heretical pope derives from the Decree of Gratian (dist. XL, cap. 6, col. 146) from the 12th century. According to the opinion expressed in this decree, the pope cannot be judged by any human authority, except if he has fallen into heresy (a nemine est iudicandus, nisi deprehendatur a fide devius). Basing themselves on this spurious decree erroneously attributed to St. Boniface (+754) and accepted by Gratian, the Medieval theologians and theologians of the subsequent centuries maintained as possible the hypothesis – but not the certitude – of a heretical pope. The eventual condemnation of a pope in the case of heresy by a so-called imperfect Council of bishops corresponds to the thesis of mitigated Conciliarism. The heretical thesis of Conciliarism holds that a Council is superior to the pope.

Even if — according to the opinion of the automatic loss of the papacy for heresy — the judgment of the loss of the papal office is pronounced by the heretical pope upon himself, and he automatically falls from office without any judgment by the Church, such an opinion contains a contradiction and reveals a hint of crypto-conciliarism. For according to this opinion, the College of Cardinals or a group of bishops would have to issue an official declaration about the fact of the automatic loss of the papal office. According to another opinion, the automatic loss of the papal office for heresy would be tantamount to a renunciation of the papal office. However, one has to bear in mind the inevitable possibility of disagreement among members of the College of Cardinals or the episcopacy regarding whether or not a pope is guilty of heresy. Hence, there will always be doubts regarding the automatic loss of the papal office.

The pope as pope cannot fall into formal heresy in the sense that he would pronounce a heresy ex cathedra. But according to renowned traditional theologians he can favor heresy or fall into heresy as a private doctor or also as pope, but only in his non-defining and non-definitive Magisterium, which is not infallible.

St. Robert Bellarmine’s opinion is that “a pope who is a manifest heretic, ceases in himself to be Pope and head, just as he ceases in himself to be a Christian and member of the body of the Church: whereby, he can be judged and punished by the Church” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 30). The opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine and other similar opinions on the loss of the papal office for heresy are based on the spurious decree of Gratian in the Corpus Iuris Canonici. Such an opinion has never been approved explicitly by the Magisterium or supported by an explicit teaching about its doctrinal validity by the Roman Pontiffs during a considerable period of time. In fact, this matter has not been decided by the Church’s Magisterium and does not constitute a definitive doctrine pertaining to the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium. This opinion is supported only by theologians, and not even by all the Fathers of the Church from antiquity. This opinion was not taught unanimously and universally by the bishops and the popes in their constant Magisterium. Neither Gratian nor St. Robert Bellarmine, nor St. Alphonsus, nor other renowned theologians asserted with their opinions a doctrine of the Magisterium of the Church. Even some interventions of individual Fathers of the First Vatican Council, which seem to support the opinion of the automatic loss of the papacy for heresy, remain their personal opinion, but not a formal teaching of the First Vatican Council. And even if some few popes seemed to support such an opinion (as e.g. Innocent III or Paul IV), this does not constitute a proof for the constant teaching of the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium. One also cannot cite Pope Gregory XVI to support the opinion of the automatic loss of the papal office for heresy. For he supported this thesis in his book The Triumph of the Holy See and the Church Against the Attacks of the Innovators before he became pope, hence not in his papal Magisterium.

The automatic loss of the papal office by a heretical pope touches not only on the practical or juridical aspects of the life of the Church, but also on the Church’s doctrine — in this case, on ecclesiology. In such a delicate matter, one cannot follow an opinion, even if it has been supported by renowned theologians (such as St. Robert Bellarmine or St. Alphonsus) for a considerable period of time. Instead, one must wait for an explicit and formal decision by the Magisterium of the Church — a decision which the Magisterium has not yet issued.

On the contrary, the Magisterium of the Church, since Popes Pius X and Benedict XV, has seemed to reject such an opinion, as the formulation of the spurious decree of Gratian was eliminated in the Code of Canon Law 1917. The canons that address the automatic loss of an ecclesiastical office for heresy in the 1917 Code of Canon Law (canon 188 §4) and in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (canon 194 §2) are not applicable to the pope, because the Church deliberately eliminated from the Code of Canon Law the following formulation taken from the previous Corpus Iuris Canonici: “unless the pope is caught deviating from the faith (nisi deprehendatur a fide devius).” By this act, the Church manifested her understanding, the mens ecclesiae, regarding this crucial issue. Even if one does not agree with this conclusion, the matter remains at least doubtful. In doubtful matters, however, one cannot proceed to concrete acts with fundamental implications for the life of the Church, such as, e.g., not to name an allegedly heretical or an allegedly invalidly elected pope in the Canon of the Mass or preparing for a new papal election.

Even if one supports the opinion of the automatic loss of the papal office for heresy, in the case of Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals or of a representative group of bishops has not issued a declaration regarding the automatic loss of papal office, specifying the concrete heretical pronouncements and the date when they happened.

According to the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine, a single bishop, priest, or lay faithful cannot state the fact of the loss of papal office for heresy. Consequently, even if a single bishop or priest is convinced that Pope Francis has committed the crime of heresy, he has no authority to eliminate his name from the Canon of the Mass.

Even if one subscribed to the opinion of St Robert Bellarmine, in the case of Pope Francis doubt still remains, and there is still no statement by the College of Cardinals or a group of bishops, affirming the automatic loss of the papal office and informing the entire Church about this fact.

Faithful Catholics can morally (but not canonically) distance themselves from erroneous or evil teachings and acts of a pope. This has occurred several times in the course of the Church’s history. However, given the principle that one ought to give the benefit of the doubt regarding the position of one’s superior (in dubio pro superiore semper sit præsumendum), Catholics should also consider the correct teachings of the pope as part of the Magisterium of the Church, his correct decisions as part of the Church’s legislation, and his appointments of bishops and cardinals as valid. For even if one subscribes to the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine, the necessary declaration of the automatic loss of the papal office has still not be issued.

A moral and intellectual “distancing” of oneself from erroneous teachings of a pope also includes resisting his errors. However, this should always be done with due respect for the papal office and the person of the Pope. St. Bridged of Sweden and St. Catherine of Siena, both of whom admonished the popes of their times, are fine examples of such respect. St. Robert Bellarmine wrote: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 29).

Warning people about the danger of a pope’s wrong teachings and actions does not require convincing people that he is not the true pope. This is required by the nature of the Catholic Church as a visible society, in contrast to the Protestant understanding and to the theory of conciliarism or semi-conciliarism, where the convictions of an individual or of a particular group inside the Church are considered as having an effect upon the fact of who is the true and valid shepherd in the Church.

The Church is strong enough and possesses sufficient means to protect the faithful from the spiritual damage of a heretical pope. In the first place, there is the sensus fidelium, the supernatural sense of the faith (sensus fidei). It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which the members of the Church possess the true sense of the faith. This is a kind of spiritual and supernatural instinct that makes the faithful sentire cum Ecclesia (think with the mind of the Church) and discern what is in conformity with the Catholic and Apostolic faith handed on by all bishops and popes, through the Universal Ordinary Magisterium.

One should also remember the wise words that Cardinal Consalvi spoke to a furious Emperor Napoleon, when the latter threatened to destroy the Church: “What we, i.e. the clergy, tried to do and we did not succeed, you for sure, will not succeed.” Paraphrasing these words one could say: “Even a heretical pope cannot destroy the Church.” The Pope and the Church are indeed not totally identical. The Pope is the visible head of the Militant Church on earth, but at the same time he is also a member of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The sentire cum Ecclesia requires from a true son or daughter of the Church that he or she also praise the pope when he does right things, while asking him to do still more and praying that God enlightens him so that he may become a valiant herald and defender of the Catholic Faith.
The former Pope Benedict XVI is no longer the pope. It suffices to re-read the core of Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of renunciation to realize what it meant. The following affirmations of the former Pope Benedict XVI eliminate any reasonable doubts about the validity of his abdication, and his recognition of Pope Francis as the only true pope: “Among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience” (Farewell address to the Cardinals, 28 February 2013). “I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity” (Last General Audience, February 27, 2013). “There is not the slightest doubt about the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry. The only condition of validity is the full freedom of the decision. Speculation about the invalidity of renunciation is simply absurd” (Letter from February 18, 2014, to Andrea Tornielli, published in La Stampa, February 27, 2014). During a conversation with a journalist from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the former Pope Benedict XVI said: “The Pope is one, he is Francis.” These words of Benedict XVI were reported in the written edition of Corriere della Sera, June 28, 2019 and anticipated in the Italian version of Vatican News on June 27, 2019.

The Church is a visible society. Therefore, what was essential for the fulfillment of Benedict XVI’s resignation was not his possible internal thought but what he externally declared, for the Church does not judge about internal intentions (de internis non iudicat Ecclesia). Pope Benedict XVI’s ambiguous acts, like wearing a white cassock, keeping his name, imparting the apostolic blessing, etc., do not affect the unequivocal meaning of his act of renunciation. Many of his demonstrable and unequivocal words and actions after his resignation also confirm that he considers Pope Francis, and not himself, to be the pope.

Declaring Pope Francis to be an invalid pope, either because of his heresies or because of an invalid election (for reasons of alleged violations of the Conclave norms or for the reason that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope because of his invalid renunciation) are desperate and subjectively taken actions aimed at remedying the current unprecedented crisis of the papacy. They are purely human and betray a spiritual myopia. All such endeavors are ultimately a dead end, a cul-de-sac. Such solutions reveal an implicit Pelagian approach to resolving a problem with human means; a problem, indeed, which cannot be resolved by human efforts, but which requires a divine intervention.

One need only examine similar cases of the deposition of a pope or declaration of the invalidity of his election in Church history to see that they provoked rivaling and combatting claimants to the papal office.

Such situations caused more confusion for the Church than did tolerating a heretical or doubtfully elected pope with the supernatural vision of the Church and trust in Divine Providence.

The Church is ultimately not a human but a divine-human reality. She is the Mystical Body of Christ. Attempts to resolve the current crisis of the papacy which favor the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine with its concrete solution, or take refuge in the unproven theory of Benedict XVI still being the only true pope, are doomed to fail from the start. The Church is in the hands of God, even in this most dark time.

We must not be lax in proclaiming Catholic truth and warning and admonishing when papal words and actions clearly harm the faith. But what all true sons and daughters of the Church ought to do now is launch a serious world-wide crusade of prayer and penance to implore a divine intervention. Let us trust in the Lord’s words: “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?” (Luke 18:7).
February 28, 2020
+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Mary in Astana

Comment: 

Catholic Truth is not permitted to advertise in the Catholic press, so we cannot launch any meaningful crusade of prayer in terms of numbers, but we can resolve to undertake a prayer crusade of our own, each of us, individually.  We celebrate the Feast of St Joseph, who is Patron of the Universal Church, on 19th March, so it would be good to ask that powerful saint to intercede for us in order to obtain the required divine intervention  in the crisis in the Church, which is worsening – and even gaining a title of its own – under the Francis pontificate.  The “Francis crisis” is deepening and widening with every passing day, so let’s seek the help of St Joseph in this month of March.  The prayer below, has been [cheekily] slightly amended…

 O most powerful patriarch, Saint Joseph, patron of that universal Church which has always invoked thee in anxieties and tribulations; from the lofty seat of thy glory lovingly regard the Catholic world. Let it move thy paternal heart to see the mystical spouse of Christ weakened by sorrow and persecuted by powerful enemies. We beseech thee, by the most bitter suffering thou didst experience on earth, to strengthen, in faith, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and to intercede with the Giver of peace and charity, that every hostile power being overcome and every error being destroyed, the whole Church may serve the God of all blessings in perfect liberty, and in total fidelity to Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Amen.

25 responses

    • Mary Anne,

      Me, too – I was greatly helped by Bishop Schneider’s essay. It really does settle the arguments about whether Francis was properly elected, whether he is a true pope etc. It’s quite a relief to have those answers on record to refer to.

  1. 7 March is the Feast of Blessed Leonid Fedorov, Bishop-Martyr of the Russian Catholic Church (yes, there IS a Russian Catholic Church!). He was martyred 7 March 1935.

    This year is the 85th anniversary of his martyrdom.

    O Blessed Leonid, pray to God for the revelation of the Third Secret of Fatima and the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

  2. I am very grateful to read this explanation of the crisis within Holy Mother Church, from Bishop Athanasius. He has cleared up a few of the doubts which were in my mind regarding the validity of the resignation of Pope Benedict and the validity of the consecration of Pope Francis. I think that it is indeed a wonderful idea to invoke St. Joseph and I really do like the prayer which has been quoted above and I intend to make use of it.

      • Lily,

        Me, too – St Joseph is very powerful and being Patron of the Church he has a special interest in bringing this crisis to and end. Here’s hoping!

  3. Bishop Schneider’s words are full of wisdom. A master in Patristics, the study of the Fathers and their teachings, he clearly defines for every Catholic during this crisis what approach they should take concerning the Conciliar Popes, especially Francis.

    It has never been in the power of subordinates in the Church to define or declare the heresy of Popes, much less depose them (St. Robert Bellarmine). Our duty before God extends only as far as a respectful rebuke to those in authority who teach error and a resolute resistance to their harmful teachings, but with the caveat of always maintaining charity by praying for them, as per the request of Our Lady of Fatima regarding the Pope. Anything beyond this is bitter zeal and is from the devil. As St. James rightly admonished: “The anger of man worketh not the justice of God”. That’s the lesson for our time!

    I was also pleased to see Bishop Schneider silence the conspiracy theories surrounding the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. I have always maintained that the very words of Benedict at the time of his abdication, as well as after, prove conclusively that his choice was a free one, even if novel and harmful for the Church.

    It’s a sad reality that in this time of great crisis in the Church, when Popes themselves do immense damage to faith and morals, as much by what they don’t say (reiterating the moral teaching) as by what they do say (“who am I to judge”), we walk a fine line between lawful resistance to error and unlawful overstepping of our remit as subordinates in the Church. In this matter faithful clergy should always be the example, like Bishop Schneider, of what is and is not permissible. Sadly, however, there are too many so-called Traditional clergy who exacerbate the crisis either by encouraging extreme views about the Pope and what should be done, or by usurping to themselves the authority of bishops they determine to be co-hereitcs with the Conciliar Popes.

    Examples of such would be declaring Holy Days of obligation to be still binding under pain of mortal sin when the bishops have declared such days no longer to be binding, introducing women into the choir against the Church’s ancient liturgical norms (notwithstanding Pius XII’s exceptional case scenario), refusing to pray for the Pope and local ordinary in the Canon of the Mass. These are just some of the sad manifestations of a Church ravaged simultaneously by hierarchic adbication of duty and a resultant clericalist individualism.

    The only way to get through this present crisis is by rigid adherence to the traditional doctrinal teaching of the Church and a rigid, but respectful, resistance to clerical error in all circumstances and at all levels, whenever and however it manifests itself. These are certainly trying times for the faithful but they will end and Our Lord will restore His Church. In the meantime, as Bishop Schneider admonishes, we must resist emotional urges (borne of pride) to act with bitter zeal and instead maintain charity, praying for all those with authority over us who bear a great responsibility before God for the sanctification of our souls.

  4. Athanasius,

    You mentioned this in your post:

    “…introducing women into the choir against the Church’s ancient liturgical norms (notwithstanding Pius XII’s exceptional case scenario)…”

    Could you please provide references? I’m assuming that this is only in the Latin Church. Traditionally in the Byzantine and Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches, women and men sing antiphonally. Women sit on Our Lady’s side and the men sit on Our Lord’s side as seen here during Great Vespers at SingCon 2019:

    https://ugccmusic.com/

    It was magnificent. That’s the way the Divine Services should be sung. ❤❤❤❤❤

    Yours truly was privileged to be there in Stamford, and please God will be at SingCon 2020 in Philadelphia.

    • Maragret USA

      First of all, you make a good point about the separation of men and women in joint choirs, for this is by order of the magisterium of the Church “for modesty’ sake”. Hence women on one side of the chapel and men on the other.

      Now I can’t speak of the Eastern rite, which is culturally different in so many ways from the Latin rite. But it doesn’t really impact on my statement anyway since I was referring to teaching unique to the Latin rite.

      Here’s what St. Pius X wrote in his Motu Proprio Tra Le Sollecitudini of November 22, 1903: “…On the same principle it follows that singers in church have a real liturgical office, and that therefore women, being incapable of exercising such office, cannot be admitted to form part of the choir. Whenever, then, it is desired to employ the acute voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys, according to the most ancient usage of the Church.” (Para. 13).

      I think these words of the saintly Pontiff sum up exactly why women should not be employed in choirs for the singing of the liturgy. However, it has been argued that Pope Pius XII overruled Pius X in his 1956 Encyclical Musicæ sacræ disciplina, wherein he writes: “Wherever such a choir (all male) cannot be organised, a choir of the faithful, either mixed or consisting only of women or girls, can be permitted…”

      This is a mistaken conclusion because Pius XII goes on to delineate that only where there is a dearth of men and boys can such an exception be permitted, and even then it is a decision for the bishop, “bound in conscience”, not for the average priest.

      Father Peter Scott (SSPX) was asked to clarify the position of the SSPX in the matter back in the 1990s, his repsonse basically was that the Society does not approve of women in the choir and therefore Pius XII’s exception must always remain exceptional.

      The upshot of it all is that while rare exceptions CAN be admitted in the Latin rite (by authority of the local ordinary), they are by no means the norm of the Church, nor must they become so.

      I hope this clarifies for you.

      • Thank you, Athanasius.

        Btw, please check out the link I posted. In the Sunday Divine Liturgy video, 8 other girls and myself sang Eis polla eti despota. We were shy so we sang in the back. If you look very carefully you can see me leaving the pew with another girl to go to the back of the chapel.

        Great Vespers was over 3 hours long. My knees were killing me but I was happy. Seriously, it was magnificent.

        • Maragaret USA

          Let me first say that it was nice to see so many young Catholic women in those videos, yourself included. I had imagined a group of elderly crones (joke) but was pleasantly surprised.

          The singing was indeed beautiful, though in the vernacular which I wasn’t expecting.

          For me, personally, the Latin rite is the sole rite I attend, even though I’m aware of a dispensation of the Church for Latin Catholics when no Latin rite is available. Eastern rite churches and liturgies confuse me a little because of things like the inconostasis and, correct me if I’m wrong, absence of tabernacle for silent adoration. The singing is, as you say, beautiful, but not enough to attract me to Eastern rite services. For those who can’t get to a Latin rite chapel, however, they are certainly preferable to the Novus Ordo.

  5. I think Bishop Schneider’s analysis is fully consonant with the contents of True or False Pope, especially chapter 11 (“The Deposition of a Heretical Pope”) and Chapter 20 (“We Recognize and Resist”). Chapter 11 outlines the only method of deposition available to the Church: for a Council of Cardinals to try a Pope for heresy and either convict or exonerate him. If a Pope is convicted and refuses to recant his heresies, then the Council may depose him.

    Chapter 20 in essence repeats what Bishop Schneider discusses above: distancing ourselves from erroneous teachings and resisting errors.

    The only questionable item in this analysis is that he repeats a quote that has been demonstrated to be inaccurate: former Pope Benedict’s statement that “The Pope is one, he is Francis” was actually an inference and not a statement of the former Pope. This was reported in a LifeSiteNews article as soon as it became news.

    That said, I think our former Pope has contributed to the rampant confusion on this subject, in two ways. Father Gruner and John Vennari – may those beautifully faithful souls rest in peace – discussed the resignation several times near the end of their “Your Questions Answered” series of videos. Particularly, and first, that former Pope Benedict attempted to separate, at some point, the Petrine Office from the Petrine Mininstry, and allegedly resigned only the ministry. As Father Gruner pointed out, that is impossible.

    Second, our former Pope gave himself the title of “Pope Emeritus” (which I notice that Bishop Schneider, thankfully, does not use), a title which does not exist in the Church.

    Another factor in this confusion is the cottage industry of loud-mouthed lay “experts” that has sprouted up in the trad movement during the crisis in the Church. I briefly tracked the reactions to Bishop Schneider’s analysis among these “experts,” and there was quite an uproar about his alleged theological mistakes, replete with cherry-picking of quotes from various theologians – just like the sedevacantists do.

    This was certainly not helpful, and is far removed from the spirit of “recognize and resist.”

    • RCA Victor,

      One major concern of mine about Pope Benedict’s resignation is placed in bold in the extract below – in short, I refer to his promise of “unconditional obedience” to his successor…

      From Bishop Schneider’s essay:

      The following affirmations of the former Pope Benedict XVI eliminate any reasonable doubts about the validity of his abdication, and his recognition of Pope Francis as the only true pope: “Among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience” (Farewell address to the Cardinals, 28 February 2013)

      Nobody, including any pope, is due “unconditional obedience” – if that were true, then right out of the window goes the right and duty to “resist” false teaching. If popes are due “unconditional obedience” then Archbishop Lefebvre, for example would have been wrong to do what he did, and St Catherine of Siena – well, how on earth could she have written her forthright letters instructing the Pope of her day to deal firmly with “bad priests” or else resign! And I write this in the full knowledge and understanding that today is International Women’s Day 😀

    • RCA Victor,

      You are right about Benedict, Pope Emeritus etc. People keep saying they wish he hadn’t resigned – and so do I, in fact – but in reality he wasn’t much better than Francis, and to make the clanger of “unconditional obedience” in his final address to the cardinals, is unbelievable.

  6. I think it’s great that Bishop Schneider has put all this information together in one article – it’s got all the answers to all the questions that I keep hearing.

    There’s no question that Francis is a dreadful pope but we have to accept that he is the pope. As I’ve read on here umpteen times, we can’t just believe that bad popes only happened in the middle ages. We’ve had our fair share in the 20th/21st centuries, unfortunately.

  7. I’ve sometimes thought that the only possible wiggle room in this abdication (in favor of the “Benedict is still Pope” camp) is Our Lady of Fatima’s statement of one of the consequences of the popes’ failure to perform the Consecration of Russia as requested: “The Holy Father will have much to suffer.”

    It certainly doesn’t seem as though Pope Francis is suffering, as he accelerates – to the point of a slash and burn campaign – his cultural Marxist “long march through the institution” of the Church. Although perhaps he will suffer eternally if he doesn’t repent. In fact, he seems to be quite enjoying himself as he “makes a mess.”

    But what if, I’ve wondered, the suffering Holy Father refers to our former Pope Benedict? Doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what I’ve wondered. Doesn’t get me anything but a bowl of haggis, though…

    • RCA Victor,

      Or it just might refer to a future pope? Our Lady did say that the Consecration would be done “but it would be late” (and if it gets much later, we’ll be back where we started!)

      So, unless we find ourselves with another bad pope, which is more than possible, perhaps the next (sound) pope will suffer because he tries to right everything, and that would include setting the scene for the Consecration of Russia.

    • RCA Victor

      I think it probably does refer to a future Pope, since Benedict’s time has come and gone. Interestinlgy, though, what Benedict suffered at the hands of the Vatican’s revolutionaries in cope and mitre prior to his abdication does indicate that a future sound Pope will indeed have much to suffer.

    • RCA Victor

      My preferred solution would be a good whiskey, otherwise known as “the water of life”, that is, if I was a man for the booze rather than the wine gums. For your interest, though, the Latin name for the Water of Life is “Grouse ‘ilarious Scotch episimi”

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