Can a true pope invalidate infallibility?

Wait, say what?
The Law of Non-contradiction sure is getting a workout these days. But the truth is becoming so clear that honest people who see what is happening are able to assess it honestly and begin to evolve their mindset.
A post appeared the other day from Never-BiPer Steven O’Reilly at his blog Roma Locuta Est HERE.  Steven has long been open to the possibility that Bergoglio could be declared an antipope, at some point in the future, which would mean that he is an antipope right now.  But he has steadfastly denied any notion that Benedict might still be pope, hence the “Never-BiPer” moniker.  Steven has always been very respectful in our exchanges on this matter, so I hope to treat him fairly here.
He highlights in this post a passage from ++Müller’s lastest attempt to rehabilitate himself among the “good guys,” after his massive failing as Prefect at CDF at the beginning of the Bergoglian Antipapacy.

July 26, 2019 (Steven O’Reilly) – When is a “pope” not a pope? A recent commentary by Cardinal Müller seems to suggest, albeit in an oblique manner, how we might know.
Cardinal Müller recently released a statement “On the Synodal Process in Germany and the Synod for the Amazon,” … In the most recent commentary, rejecting the possibility of female deacons, Cardinal Müller writes the following (emphasis added):
“The Magisterium of the Pope and of the bishops has no authority over the substance of the Sacraments (Trent, Decree on Communion under both species, DH 1728; Sacrosanctum Concilium 21). Therefore, no synod – with or without the Pope – and also no ecumenical council, or the Pope alone, if he spoke ex cathedra, could make possible the ordination of women as bishop, priest, or deacon. They would stand in contradiction the defined doctrine of the Church. It would be invalid…”
If we assume hypothetically that Pope Francis were to make such an ex cathedra declaration on the subject above, there seems to me to be two implications embedded in the Cardinal’s statement. The first — obviously — what the Cardinal says explicitly, i.e., that such an “ex cathedra” declaration, in the Cardinal’s mind, would be invalid, and thus should be disregarded by the Faithful.
However, as Catholics well know, this poses an obvious difficulty.

That, my friends, is intellectual honesty. I’m sorry to say that Trad Inc. is sorely lacking this trait.
Steven continues:

Vatican I defined the dogma of papal infallibility in the following terms (emphasis added):
“…the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that his church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable.”  (Pastor Aeternus cited in Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine, Denzinger, 1839)
In addition, this definition is followed by a canon, which states: “But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathama” (Denzinger 1840).
Clearly, a faithful Catholic will note the seeming disconnect between what Pastor Aeternus defined infallibly, and what Cardinal Müller said above. But, the Cardinal is no dummy as to suggest ex cathedra statements can be disregarded. This suggests, to me at least, a hidden, unstated and inescapable implication in the Cardinal’s statement, as well as being an indication of how he and other Cardinals are now privately viewing Pope Francis–though this is speculative.
There is only one way, in logic at least, for a Catholic to accept Vatican I on papal infallibility but reject a heretical declaration that seemingly meets the formal conditions of being ex cathedra.
Given that a true pope is protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching an error ex cathedra, it follows that if a man, seemingly “pope,” were to teach something which denies or conflicts with a known truth of the Catholic Faith it must be either (1) the man thought to be “pope” was never a true pope to begin with, or (2) the man thought to be “pope” had, at some point in the past, already fallen through heresy or apostasy from the Petrine office. Those are the logical implications as I see them. Whether these are intended by the Cardinal or not with respect to Francis, in such a hypothetical scenario as he outlined, I cannot say.
If this a fair analysis, it may suggest the Cardinal and at least a few others in the Sacred College are actively considering one of these options to be a real possibility in the case of Pope Francis. If nothing else, it certainly is a shot across the bow of Pope Francis. It does suggest, along with other statements from the likes of Cardinal Brandmuller, that some in the “resistance” are reaching the point where they can bend no more. So, after so many years, we may be reaching a decisive moment.

But it gets better, because Vatican I went further than a just a simple definition of the doctrine of infallibility as it relates Ex Cathedra (the portion quoted in Steven’s post). Take a look at the teaching leading up to formal definition of infallibility, and ask yourself: If these words are infallible, which they are, then is it possible that Bergoglio is pope? 

Chap. 4. The Infallible “Magisterium” of the Roman Pontiff

3065 Dz 1832 [Arguments from public documents]. Moreover, that by the very apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, holds over the universal Church, the supreme power of the magisterium is also comprehended, this Holy See has always held, the whole experience of the Church approves, and the ecumenical Councils themselves, especially those in which the Last convened with the West in a union of faith and charity, have declared.
3066 Dz 1833 For the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, adhering to the ways of the former ones, published this solemn profession: “Our first salvation is to guard the rule of right faith [. . .]. And since the sentiment of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be passed over when He says: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church’ (Mt 16,18), these words which were spoken are proven true by actual results, since in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated. Desiring, then, least of all to be separated from the faith and teaching of this [Apostolic See], We hope that We may deserve to be in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the solidarity of the Christian religion is whole and true” *
3067 Dz 1834 [cf. n. 171 f.]. Moreover, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks have professed, “that the Holy Roman Church holds the highest and the full primacy and pre-eminence over the universal Catholic Church, which it truthfully and humbly professes it has received with plenitude of power from the Lord Himself in blessed Peter, the chief or head of the Apostles, of whom the Roman Pontiff is the successor; and, just as it is bound above others to defend the truth of faith, so, too, if any questions arise about faith, they should be defined by its judgment” [cf. n.466].
3068 Dz 1835 Finally, the Council of Florence has defined: “That the Roman Pontiff is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to it in the blessed Peter has been handed down by the Lord Jesus Christ the full power of feeding, ruling, and guiding the universal Church” [see n.694].
3069 Dz 1836 [Argument from the assent of the Church]. To satisfy this pastoral duty, our predecessors always gave tireless attention that the saving doctrine of Christ be spread among all the peoples of the earth, and with equal care they watched that, wherever it was received, it was preserved sound and pure. Therefore, the bishops of the whole world, now individually, now gathered in Synods, following a long custom of the churches and the formula of the ancient rule, referred to this Holy See those dangers particularly which emerged in the affairs of faith, that there especially the damages to faith might be repaired where faith cannot experience a failure. * The Roman Pontiffs, moreover, according as the condition of the times and affairs advised, sometimes by calling ecumenical Councils or by examining the opinion of the Church spread throughout the world; sometimes by particular synods, sometimes by employing other helps which divine Providence supplied, have defined that those matters must be held which with God’s help they have recognized as in agreement with Sacred Scripture and apostolic tradition.
3070 For, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth. Indeed, all the venerable fathers have embraced their apostolic doctrine, and the holy orthodox Doctors have venerated and followed it, knowing full well that the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Lc 22,32).
3071 Dz 1837 So, this gift of truth and a never failing faith was divinely conferred upon Peter and his successors in this chair, that they might administer their high duty for the salvation of all; that the entire flock of Christ, turned away by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nourished on the sustenance of heavenly doctrine, that with the occasion of schism removed the whole Church might be saved as one, and relying on her foundation might stay firm against the gates of hell.

13 thoughts on “Can a true pope invalidate infallibility?”

  1. From a practical point of view should we not treat “Pope” Francis as potentially an anti-Pope whatever the legal arguments? That is how I look at him until proven otherwise.

  2. Doctrine says what pope says ex cathedra is true. If pope says “p=p” ex cathedra, it is true. If he says “p=¬p”, which is irrational, either doctrine is wrong *or he is not pope*. Because it is irrational to claim that Doctrine, and by extension God, is wrong, the only rational option is that the speaker is not pope.
    Why can’t the pope be wrong? Papal infallibility can only be invoked ex cathedra. So if he says “p=¬p” ex cathedra, which is objectively wrong, and Doctrine cannot be wrong, it only leaves the option that He is pope.
    All that to restate what everyone here already knows. I am sympathetic to the person in the article because he lives in a world where Francis is Pope. In his world, a Pope is saying p=¬p, and he can’t square that. Because he hasn’t been primed, he tries to relieve the cognitive dissonance by accommodating the logic. If anyone looked at the facts and thought it out, slowly, rationally, prayerfully, they will see the conclusion. Even if they haven’t watched Anns videos, the logic is sound. Like all Truth, data only reinforces its self evident coherence.

    1. @Scoot: The main problem is that kind-hearted and generous Mr. O’Reilly at Roma Locuta Est has written oodles and oodles about how Benedict being Pope just does not make sense to him. He has thought long and hard and slowly and rationally, but he continues to insist that the evidence for BiP makes no sense. His was the first blog I ever saw the BiP acronym. In fact I think that he is the one who came up with it. As Mark is correct to point out that unlike so many Never-BiPpers, Mr. O’Reilly has always been patient, generous, and respectful in his interactions with me.
      One of the questions that I recently asked him to consider and to which I’m pretty sure he didn’t reply was if he had ever been in a position of authority in which the majority if not all of his subordinates were either actual mutineers or at least complicit in the mutiny through their inaction and even had malice for him and his position. I believe that this is indeed the circumstances in which our Holy Father is placed. He is surrounded by mutineers of either commission or omission. Evidence that demonstrates this fact includes his letter making obligatory the refusal of Holy Communion to obstinate public pro-death persons when head of the CDF in 2004 was to be read in full at the June USCCB meeting but became a “nuanced” interpretation by none other than Mr. McCarrick (not to worry though because the same letter had been delivered to the president of the USCCB then Bishop Wilton Gregory. BTW, ++Gregory said zilch about McCarrick’s “nuanced” remarks completely missing the instruction); Pope Benedict’s directives right out of the chute in 2005 that included an instruction to strictly forbid ordaining untreated homosexuals. This instruction was preceded by a letter from the Holy See to bishops around the world that ordered that priests with homosexual tendencies be immediately removed from any educational function at seminaries; a letter in 2008 from the Congregation for Catholic Education which prohibited homosexuals admission to seminaries unless they had been permanently healed; in 2010 as a response to an article in an Italian journal (which together with videos posted on the internet shows the lasciviousness and cynicism of homo-priests working in the Vatican), a Note from the Vicariate of Rome for the Successor of Saint Peter was published as a standard for the entire Church for dealing with homosexual clergy; Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland also in 2010 on serious sins against defenseless children. (This information in part is taken form Fr. Dariusz Oko’s work from April 8, 2012 <With the Pope Against the Homoheresy pg 12-13 and end notes on pg 34 while the details about the 2004 letter from the CDF to the USCCB can be found here:
      It seems clear and very clear that few and even fewer in the hierarchy from around the world had/have Pope Benedict’s back. We can rest assured, however, that God has our Holy Father’s back. We too can have his back. We can request an examination into his renunciation even if, for some like Mr. O’Reilly, BiP doesn’t make any sense.

      1. I am sure there are multitudes of further examples. These you highlite are quite instructive. I think the Vatileaks affair, whatever diabolical info was contained in these papers leaked by his butler, were the final straw. He resigned a few days later if memory serves.
        Easy for us to say he should just rule like a boss. Pretty tough to rule when the wolves are within and are actively looking for a chance to kill.

        1. Weren’t the ATMs inside Vatican City mysteriously “turned off” the day before he fake resigned and then turned on again straight away afterward? I am struck by the commentary of the Latinists in the hours after this happened, who said it was obvious them that the text of the Declaratio was written in haste.

  3. Amen, I-is-I and Scoot. And nice job on the Pod, Doc.
    Benedict may have pulled off the faux-resignation like he apparently has precisely to unmask the Homosexual Network Strangling the Church, in the immortal words of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.
    Flush them out by letting them take control of the material wealth and mechanism of power of the Church.
    Our Lord doesn’t need money to run His Church, as St Francis of Assisi realized preeminently among men.
    I allude once again to something you all know—the very last report Benedict received prior to announcing his resignation of the active ministry: the 300-page Dossier on the ‘Gay Mafia’ inside the Church hierarchy. Although we’ve never seen it we all know where it is: it’s now on Bergoglio’s desk in La Casa Santa Marta as Bergoglio’s “Promotion List.”
    And Benedict’s Gambit worked, at least in one way. It’s flushed out the faggots from Vienna to San Diego, from Tegucigalpa to the Beltway.
    The HNSC promptly elected one of their own to lead. Thus the massive incompetence, pride, pettiness, corruption, criminality and abject stupidity of Antipope ‘Francis’ is fully on display for the past six years.
    No Hell/No immortal soul; Stang Manifestation; “God made you sodomite;” The Rainforest will teach you all truth little Grasshopper; destroy the Sacraments; gut marriage, Confession and the priesthood; promote and defend even convicted clerical sodomite predators—aptly dubbed ‘Friends of Francis!’ Make ‘em cardinals!
    That’s the Bergoglian Legacy for you. But it has simultaneously revealed what a vast majority of our fag bishops and Fem bishops actually think and believe.
    Therefore, my hats off to the Antipope.
    Come on! Open your eyes! Sheep Everywhere Arise!
    Francis is—however despicable and precisely because he is so repulsive, psychotic and outright demonic—revealing who he is and setting the World on fire against him. For anyone with eyes to see.
    That includes our friend Mr. Reilly.
    Mr. Reilly is coming closer to seeing who Benedict truly is in virtue of seeing Antipope ‘Francis’ for who he is. Same with Fr. Hunwicke over at interview. And Mueller. They’re all talking heresy and Apostasy and even Antipapacy.
    An Antipope is necessarily defined in terms of a true pope. Who could that be if not Benedict!!
    Thus the force of the logic of his own position will drive even Mr. Reilly to soon have to recognize exactly who our wily Bavarian really is, and has always been.
    Viva il Papa!
    Viva Benedetto!
    Immaculate Heart, pray for us!
    P. S. You all are all praying for Archbishop Viganò—you’ll enjoy his Interview on the Lam with R. Moynihan, which came out yesterday: Jonah’s letters 43 & 44.

  4. Agree as ever w Aqua too.
    And yes the SWIFT banking system iced out the Vatican in Feb 2013 with the stranglehold being released the day of the ‘resignation’ announcement.
    St Ignatius of Loyola, strike down your apostate modern brethren.
    Immaculate Heart , Triumph!

  5. I agree with you comments re Steven O’Reilly. I’ve had a couple of exchanges with him on twitter and he’s a really geniune guy. A gentleman in fact. Please God he will draw the inevitable conclusion re Benedict.

  6. So disappointed that the com box at akaCatholic has become inaccessible for any slightly non-sede observation or any observation that isn’t in someway sede-ish. Louie’s satire on Billy Joel’s For the Longest Time was what finally moved me to, as BrotherBeowolf instructs, “Open your eyes! Sheep everywhere, arise!” When I watched Louie, I couldn’t open my eyes because I was laughing so hard for the sheer joy of relief. Thank you, Mr. Verrecchio!

      1. Mark and all, I think it is imprudent for anyone to assume that the Latinists (and many BiPpers) are correct when they conclude that the mistakes in Pope Benedict’s Declaratio were errors due to negligence born of urgency (or malice) in its writing. Rather I think we would do well to consider that they are part of the pattern of neon-light-like ‘breadcrumbs’ of evidence given by Our Holy Father on several occasions. To that end, I put forth for consideration this interpretation of the ‘signals/breadcrumbs’: that from the beginning in cooperation with Divine Will BXVI has purposefully indicated the possibility of his “resignation” both for those who had eyes and ears after the fact and for those who were demanding it before the fact.
        As has been pointed out by others, it is likely that the signals began with his plea, “Pray for me that I not flee for fear of the Wolves”. Then four years later in April of 2009 he visited St. Celestine’s tomb and left his own pallium with the fully and munus-ly resigned former occupant of Peter’s Chair.
        While I agree with others who have noted that Pope Benedict most likely left these ‘signals’ for the Modernists, homo-heretic, Freemasons who plotted/plot and knew/know what was/is going on behind the scenes of our Holy Father’s papacy, I put forth for consideration that these ‘signals’ were actually part of a Divine trap for the mutineers as well as ‘breadcrumbs’ for the faithful to find after the fact.
        For clarity I will re-state: We who are on the periphery and are primarily informed by grace find the same premeditated, non-urgent ‘breadcrumbs’ that led up to his “difficult yet triumphant” decision BUT we find them as clues of his intent after the fact of his “resignation” and not as ONLY ‘signals’ of cooperation with the plotters leading up to their behind-the-scenes demand for his complete and total resignation of the munus.
        Granted, this is mine and others’ alternate interpretation of the evidence at hand BUT perhaps “BiP-by-errorists” might try to see that this interpretation is not only more charitable than “error, Error, ERROR” but more grace-filled and thus more CATHOLIC because it is in line with not only Benedict’s constant and sure-footed intelligence and expressed but admittedly impotent activity to right the Barque of Peter, but it is in line with Divinity’s mysteriously creative, out-of-the-box precedents that we witness at the parting of the Red Sea, David’s defeat of Goliath, the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, the Breaking of the Bread, and even the Immaculate Conception where “God saw that it was reasonable, He could do it and He did”.
        I put forward that Pope Benedict, and he alone of all men knowing and living ALL that he has, Pope Benedict “saw that it was reasonable, he (and he alone) could do it and so he did”. Pope Benedict freely, intentionally, and heroically is sacrificially safeguarding the monarchical structure of the Papal Office by Divinely misleading NOT the FAITHFUL CHURCH but the bifurcating-Modernist-anti-church mutineers who saw what they wanted to see, believe what they want to believe, and act in accord with their belief that they have done the impossible–they unbelievably believe that they have won the Chair of Peter!
        We know what will follow from their perfidy and what I bring for your
        serious consideration is echoed in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ when at the rending of the Temple curtain, Lucifer screams in recognition of his defeat–he was misled by his own narcissistic belief in his own lies as have the mutineers been misled by theirs.
        Please consider that Christ is keeping His promises BECAUSE Pope Benedict did NOT err; he is and has been freely cooperating with grace for Christ’s end to be obtained–the salvation of souls through the indefectible, immutable, and infallible teachings and sacraments of Holy Mother the Church.

        1. Islam, I didn’t say that I agreed with the Latinists, I merely stated that a number of them protested the many errors, with some even saying the errors rendered the resignation invalid, and all this within hours of it being made. Maybe the errors were not errors, but put there on purpose. Maybe everything you wrote in this comment is true. I tend to think BXVI spent countless days working on it, and everything in there is there because he wanted it there. Every word.

          1. Mark, thank you for the clarification of your own position. I am mainly asking other BiPper-with-errorists (especially those who have international platforms eg Miss B and Br Bugnolo) to seriously consider an alternative interpretation of the evidence. I think that an examination into BiP will gain more traction from un-sede traditionalists and others when approached with this interpretation than with the “bad, bad, bad, Benedict” interpretation.
            I agree totally with your thoughts regarding the studious and long-suffering approach that Pope Benedict took in rendering his “renouncement” speech. I think the mistakes were intentionally placed neon lights that likely DID get the attention of non-mutineers.
            As with Mr. O’Reilly’s blog, I appreciate the openness of how you run your own com box.

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