Honestly, I’m not making this up.

Almost as if it was in cue to follow my post which immediately precedes this one, Robert Siscoe at 1P5 opines,

“Dogmatic Fact: The One Doctrine that Proves Francis Is Pope”

His error was refuted in my post immediately below.
Be sure to click the link for the pure gold in the combox content while you can, for it is sure to be deleted soon.

8 thoughts on “Honestly, I’m not making this up.”

  1. Docmx001, Thank you for your continued analysis of this situation; you and Barnhardt both. I’ve been following all this for some time–I was made aware of it while I was in RCIA last spring, just before I converted, and the “scandals” came out that summer, so on the one hand I believe there has never been a better time to be a Catholic and, as the saying goes, to ‘Preach the Gospel and sometimes use words’. But this is an issue that I have a lot of trouble with. So, begging your pardon for my possible incoherence and long windedness, I was wondering if you can help me understand how to grapple with the issues surrounding the Chair of Peter. I’m speaking out of ignorance, so please forgive me if I’m totally off the mark and please correct me where I deserve it.
    Enough prologue. I am of two minds on the papacy at the moment. First and, in my opinion, foremost: If the confusion surrounding the Papacy is hindering or hurting ones relationship with God, or ones ability to be Charitable to his fellow man, then priorities are misplaced. The young-adult group I attend has a cutout of Pope Francis, and his image adorns many walls of many Parishes I’ve been to. I don’t begrudge them this; many are likely unaware and/or haven’t thought about it. I don’t want to hurt THEIR faith by talking to them about this before they are ready. On my own blog, I wrote briefly about Pope Francis (essentially repeating what i’ve said above) and a little later, I shared my blog with a friend and he was totally unprepared for peering behind the curtain. I worried I scandalized him.
    Secondly, I really do buy the sagacious insights you, Barnhardt, and others have shared. At a minimum I am willing to concede that there are serious questions that must be asked. I flirt with the idea of fully embracing the Pope Benedict Option, but my concerns outlined in the preceding paragraph inhibit more than just flirtation. This is a more serious issue than ideology. It’s not just “are you for or against [topic]”. This is the Vicar of Christ. Some time ago (embarassingly recently) I was in a brief and unvirtuous relationship. I was forced to end it before I made more grievous errors because I knew I could not make a valid confession AND remain in that relationship. Similarly here: If I fully embrace the reality of Pope Benedict, that implies certain things and necessarily must change how I interact with the world. My fear and uncertainty are barriers there, I certainly don’t appear to have any logical barriers.
    Third, though, and I believe not to be discounted, is an argument I’ve seen made well by the late Zippy Catholic, and hinted at in the article by 1P5: We, as laity, don’t get to decide who is or isn’t Pope. Which, on it’s face, is true. But how it is being applied is that, the Church is telling us Francis is Pope, and until the Church tells us Francis isn’t Pope, we shouldn’t dispute the Church. I’m very sympathetic to this argument: Are we really at fault if those in places of Authority tell us something that isn’t true, and we believe it? And there is a question that remains unanswered in my mind: Is there a sin to accepting Francis while simultaneously believing he may not be legitimate? I certainly don’t agree with 1P5 that we are obligated to accept Francis; we have free will and free thought and raising valid questions merits valid answers, for which 1P5 and the Church so far have none.
    So my final thought is this: What ought I to do? I fear scandal for my blissfully ignorant peers; I fear for my soul; I fear for the Church though I try to remind myself of the parable (I think Barnhardt wrote about) with Christ asleep on the ship while the storm-tossed seas rocked the boat. These three ideas seem to pull me in different directions, and I am not so firmly rooted in Catholic Tradition that I can trust my instincts, being as I am Catholic for barely one year.
    Can you help me understand what all this means?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Read John 14 and keep the faith. God will not abandon His Church. Ain’t gonna happen. So if appearances seem to be deceiving, perhaps things are not as they appear. It’s never wrong to seek the truth.

    2. My opinion, fwiw, as a fellow convert; In reference to questions surrounding the Pope:
      All 266 Popes are as important as the one whose picture currently hangs on the wall in your Parish. I do not worship them or him. They are collectively Peter with an equally shared charism through time. They are in communion with each other; and with each other are in communion with Christ; with Christ we are in communion with them. This is the Body of Christ – the Communion Of Saints – living, dead, yet to come.
      A Pope who has left this communion has not the power of God to change the nature of the Communion or compel God to act in a different way. Dogmatic Truth stands objectively apart from living actors, especially the living heir of St. Peter. We are all servants of Dogma: God’s Word; Law.
      And so, what to do about this current “Pope”?
      I *first* look to the last valid occupant of St.Peter’s Chair. We cannot have a *new* occupant of the Chair until the precious occupant is vacated by death or full complete resignation/abdication. We can objectively judge whether this is so. So, did he vacate? We are all able and responsible to judge this cornerstone act. Cardinals, high in Office as they may be, cannot declare reality unreality.
      Emeritus. Forever within the enclosure of St. Peter. Remains within the Papal charisma of prayer and contemplation. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (Emeritus). In white. In the Vatican. Bestows Papal Blessings. Receives and blesses new entrants to the College of Cardinals. Hmmm.
      There is no man alive who can convince me I don’t see what I see and that this has ever been seen before in 2,000 years of Chirch history or that Christ willed this in Scripture. New. Innovative. Show me in Tradition an Emeritus Pope who remains and does not completely, cleanle leave to his *prior state* …. still serving alongside an active governing Pope.
      Sacred Tradition governs me which includes ever word of Sacred Scripture and Dogma. Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, Layman: all are servants of Christ, Dogma, Sacred Tradition. All are responsible to remain true regardless of who might try to cause deviation or error up to and including the living Pope (or “Pope”).
      After much confusion and suffering, that is my personal firm conclusion, which I have made known to my local Church authority. Emeritus is not possible. It is the worst of Catholic error and at the source of all future sins, errors, heresy. It must be recognized and corrected. Now, not later. While the current Pope still lives.

  2. I do not understand. JPII made it clear that if any provisions of UDG were violated, the election would be invalid. Many provisions were violated. From recording devices in the conclave to campaigning ahead of time to voting violations. Why can’t his and Benedict’s cardinals man up and declare the obvious?

  3. Oops…double post due to delayed transmissions. Slight mods in the second one. Hope the first can be deleted.

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