“I now believe that only Benedict is pope…and that Bergoglio is an anti-pope. I crossed over that line on June 25th.”

There seems to be something about June, month of the Sacred Heart, that brings truth and clarity. It was in June 2016 that Ann Barnhardt became convinced, by weight of the evidence, that Benedict is still pope. In June of 2017, I came to the same conclusion. Now in June 2020, Dr. Ed Mazza publicly revealed his incredible research at the beginning of the month, and by the end of the month, Laramie Hirsch of the forge-and-anvil.com blog has come out BiP:

I now believe that only Benedict is pope…and that Bergoglio is an anti-pope. I am not dogmatic about this. If Catholics disagree, ok. If other Catholics think Bergoglio is pope, I understand, and I don’t hold it against them. There’ve been saints who swore fealty to anti -popes before. It happens. But as for me, I crossed over that line on June 25th. I’ve toyed with the thought before. (See also HERE). I’ve even occasionally speculated that Bergoglio was the False Prophet. Indeed, much of what I’ve shared about that man has been unflattering. But I finally stepped to the other side of the argument this month. And now I’m in the “Bennyvacantist” camp.

What pushed me to this point? Was it something Bergoglio said or did? Was I just in a bad mood? Am I letting my emotions dictate my position? No.

First thing’s first. I thank Ann Barnhardt for doing yeoman’s work, and laying down the base foundation for this stance. She was one of the very first to boldly and publicly propose the idea that Bergoglio was not pope. She was the first to take the leap, believe in this conviction, and live it through, no matter the consequences to her reputation. As every year passes that we see a man pretending to be Vicar of Christ —a man whose public actions are obviously not directed by the Holy Spirit—Barnhardt becomes more and more vindicated in her position. Her’s has been a long game, in which the fullness of time would prove her right.

But what ultimately convinced me this June was the discussion from Dr. Edmund Mazza on both Taylor Marshall’s and Ann Barnhardt’s shows. Mazza lays down the idea that, basically, Pope Benedict XVI, being the tricky academic that he is, tried to bifurcate the papacy in an unconventional manner, so much so that his own “resignation” was incomplete, imperfect, and unclear. In his own mind, Pope Benedict XVI believes he successfully bifurcated the papacy, as he’s claimed at least a few times. But in reality, Pope Benedict’s little academic word-game trick is a total disaster, and instead, as Dr. Mazza explains, Pope Benedict has ceased being The Restrainer of the systemic Antichrist spirit that has unleashed itself upon the world these past seven years.


He has a lot more to say. Do go read the whole thing HERE.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Our Lady Undoer of Knots, pray for us.


22 thoughts on ““I now believe that only Benedict is pope…and that Bergoglio is an anti-pope. I crossed over that line on June 25th.””

  1. I think advocates of the BiP concept should definitely consider Steven O’Reilly’s substantive argument* on this subject. So far only Fra Alexis (Bugnolo) has responded to Steven’s post demonstrating his helplessness. Ann Barnhardt and your Mark are still missing answers – unless I missed something. One should not overlook such a factual statement about the BiP theory.
    * https://romalocutaest.com/2020/06/11/addendum-normas-nonnullas-explodes-dr-mazzas-bip-theory/

    1. It would be Dr. Mazza’s place to refute this, but it sort of refutes itself. Or should I say, it fails to address several of the findings of the research done in the past month. One point being that Supreme Pontiff does always mean what people think it means.

      1. Mark,

        Yes, I wish Dr. Mazza would reply. I was hoping to hear something in the recent podcast on AB’s site. Nothing. I forwarded my email thru AB. Nothing.

        Please, tell me specifically what my rebuttal didn’t address in terms of “research done in last month?” I’ll be happy to take a look at it.

        In the meantime, I’d welcome a response to the now 4 part rebuttal of Dr. Mazza and BiP. I am particularly interested in all of yours explanation of how Normas Nonnullas fits into your theory.

      2. If I’d venture a guess…

        Mazza argues that Benedict only gave up the office of Bishop of Rome, but retained the Papacy.

        And naturally the motivation for this is to create a situation of deception, seemingly because it might bring the rot to the surface, if I understand the theory.

        If that’s the case, then in the event of #88

        “88 . After his acceptance, the person elected, if he has already received episcopal ordination, is immediately Bishop of the Church of Rome, true Pope and Head of the College of Bishops. He thus acquires and can exercise full and supreme power over the universal Church.”

        It would be necessary to leave this unchanged. Otherwise, Benedict’s entire ‘plan’ would be blatantly exposed.

        However, it is also true that this creates a deliberate contradiction, but being that #88 only operates after-the-fact, it presumes a correct and valid lawful renunciation of the Papal Office in the first place.

        So in Benedict’s mind, it would make sense to leave this intact, because he has already created a contradiction intended to sabotage.

        Keep in mind that these rules are for governing a Papal election in a valid conclave.

        But if Benedict didn’t correctly or actually resign, then there was no valid conclave in the first place. So #88 has no relevance to his supposed intention. His changing the rules was all a ‘going-through-the-motion’ procedure for appearances sake.

        Modifying the rules of a conclave doesn’t indicate that one is desires to resign or drop dead the next day any more than John Paul II did when he made his modifications in Universi Dominici Gregis.

        So the question really is, was Benedict attempting deliberate sabotage by sleight of hand ambiguity? Because if he was, then there would be no purpose to changing #88 which operates under the conditions of a valid Papal election when there is NO Pope and one needs to be elected. So, if he as the Pope still exists, only having the renunciation of the Bishop of Rome specifically, then a valid conclave for #88 to operate in did not exist. So we are dealing with an anti-Pope that has control of the diocese of Rome, while the true Pope is in some state of self-imposed ‘exile.’

        Even assuming on the other hand, Benedict actually believes in bifurcation of the Papacy, wherein there are two shared members, again, it necessitates leaving #88 intact, so that the ‘active’ successor is also ‘Pope’, and that he retains the ‘contemplative’ aspect of the Papacy, by not renouncing the Papacy, but only the portion that is the Bishop of Rome as active administrator that can be filled by someone else, which by virtue of #88, also bestows the full powers of the office.

        Now in the latter, this is of course a nonsensical situation that is contradictory and heretically modernist by attempting a legalese maneuver, that once scrutinized would once again fall back on the issue of not being properly manifested and of an invalid resignation, which again means he retains the Papacy whether he likes it or not, and the conclave that elected Francis was invalid.

        But in either case, depending on what you believe Benedict’s motives were, there would be no need to change #88, because if a deception is at hand, #88 needs to remain valid because it governs a proper legal conclave that can only be possible under certain conditions. Whereas concerning bifurcation of the office into separate ministries, would still require #88 to be left intact in order to create two or more ‘Popes’ exercising power over the Church, in the minds of the modernists who believe this is possible.

        In a sense, you could also argue that Divine Protection granted to the Vicar of Christ, arguably prevented him from changing #88 even if he wanted to.

        All in all, all this speculation does us no good unless we can directly confront Benedict to his face about it all. All of this stupidity could be cured overnight in favour of Francis is Benedict can only come out and directly refute and answer any questions as to his motives and what he specifically meant about every ambiguous statement and action he’s made. He’s obligated to. If he has time to co-author books, he has time to be drilled by a jury about it. There’s no excuses. So the only thing that really makes for a smoking gun is the direct fact that nobody in the Vatican has bothered to do something so simple as hold a press conference whereby respected journalists and academics can have access to Benedict to point by point refute theories about him still remaining the Pope. Nope. Instead even Francis is accommodating this two-Pope nonsense in his own words and behaviour.

        It’s so simple, and takes at most 30 mins of time, and in the grand scheme of things is very inexpensive. You’d think they could spare some of that Peter’s Pence/Bambino Jesu/China Deal money to reserve a room with some cameras and microphones. I’m sure there’s no shortage of reporters who’ll travel there at their own expense simply to solve this question.

  2. Johnno,

    Rube Goldberg explanations and (speculative) mind-reading of Benedict is needed to *try* to
    explain away Normas Nonnullas. But NN is quite straightforward. Issued after the Declaratio and just days before the effective date of Benedict’s renunciation, it reveals his mind on the matter–as it was specifically intended, and readied for the conclave expected in March 2013. My blog goes into a detailed refutation of Dr. Mazza, 4 parts (see http://www.RomaLocutaEst.com), I also have wider compilation of articles arguing against BiP (see “Summa Contra BiP”). Mark referenced some recent research…but I await notice of what that is. My email is on my site, Dr. Mazza is welcome to correspond directly, or to comment in the combox there.

    Briefly, NN was issued specifically to update UDG for the coming conclave in 2013. Thus, if Benedict did not expect the coming conclave to elect a “Supreme Pontiff” who is IMMEDIATELY bishop of Rome, with full jurisdiction over the Universal Church (cf UDG 88)–here was his chance to say so, and change the arrangements, etc. Instead, he made a minor change to UDG 87, but kept the reference to “Supreme Pontiff”, and the linkage to UDG 88.

    Thus, Normas Nonnullas explodes Dr. Mazza’s thesis…because it is clear Benedict expected the conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff who is IMMEDIATELY bishop of Rome, and who has full jurisdiction over the Church (i.e., the Petrine Primacy). The references (see NN and UDG) remain to one man. One “Supreme Pontiff,” one bishop of Rome, one “true pope.” So, NN also has the added benefit of exploding all flavors of BiP as well. There is no separation of the primacy from Rome. There is no attempted bifurcation to be found.



    1. Steven, you really don’t seem to have even a basic understanding of the Mazza thesis. Election of a new supreme pontiff who is immediately Bishop of Rome with full power and jurisdiction for governance is exactly what he is proposing, albeit splitting those things from the Office.

      1. Mark,

        he is arguing that Benedict kept the Petrine primacy, stripping it from the Roman See. However, Normas Nonnullas and UDG together demonstrate the conclave elects a SUPREME PONTIFF who is IMMEDIATELY bishop of Rome, and thus immediately has full jurisdiction over the whole Church, i.e., holds the Petrine Primacy. His theory, fails.

        Thanks for the comment.


        1. Steve, I don’t know why you can’t see it, and this is why I hesitate to engage you. Dr. Mazza has demonstrably proven that the term “supreme pontiff” is NOT synonymous with Vicar of Christ. NN confirming that a new supreme pontiff immediately becomes bishop of Rome is not in any way contradictory to Mazza thesis. Quite the opposite.

    2. That’s precisely the problem Steve. We’re, both of us and Mazza, going off speculation about Benedict’s motives.

      You can of course argue that in retaining #88 wherein the ‘Bishop of Rome’ is also granted the full Office of the Papacy, and that this therefore casts doubt on Mazza’s theory that Benedict wished to separate both offices, by virtue of the fact that NN was made after his renunciation. But the Mazza theory, and other BiP theories also assumes a motive that Benedict is attempting to retain the Papacy via legalistic semantic sleight of hand and therefore never intended for an actual conclave. In that regard, Normas Nonnullas, therefore doesn’t prove anything, other than that Benedict slightly changed some of the rules governing Papal elections, while leaving others intact.

      If he is trying to do this, (separate the Roman Bishopric from the Papacy), and creating a situation of a fake conclave, he couldn’t very well make this obvious by changing #88, and it would make no sense to do so, because he would still consider himself the Pope. So no valid conclave would take place, and #88 has no effect whatsoever. But if Benedict died in the interim before his hypothetical plan was carried out in full, or he simply failed, then the future Pontiff (whether after Francis’ death, if not during his assumed Anti-Papal reign), would be elected according to the conclave rules set by him as the previous Pontiff, and therefore be both Pope and Bishop of Rome. Thus things return back to the status quo by default, and the questions of the validity of Francis left up to the future to decide. The only thing that would screw that up is if Francis then altered the rules later amidst the confusion, creating more confusion, and hence it’d all essentially be a gamble.

      And yes, I do think this is all extremely convoluted. The only way this would ever be a sensible plan is if Benedict’s hypothetical plan at some point sees him inevitably come out and officially declare this is what he did on the record, shocking the world, and then tells Francis to hop off, because he’s taking back the Bishopric of Rome.

      This brings up subsequent questions like – what is Benedict waiting for? George’s death? His death, and then the truth comes out in a post-posthumously published book? I don’t pretend to know, and for such reasons I’m also not on board the Mazza thesis either, although I see no reason not to consider or entertain it, as pretty much all options are on the table absent Benedict himself clarifying the matter explicitly and in detail.

      It’s more probable to me that Benedict was pressured to resign, and therefore just deliberately ‘made a mess’ as much as he could within the limitations of what he could get away with. There was no grand plan on his part. Just a desperate grasp. But undoubtedly there is a plan on the part of Almighty God, which perhaps intends to use both Benedict and Francis for His own ends, and the ambiguity of Benedict’s words and actions, were possibly all inspired from beyond to have Benedict perform.

      It is also possible that Benedict himself subscribes to the heresy of bifurcation, and thus regardless of his resignation, if called before an Inquisition to affirm or deny it, could be found to have departed the faith by holding to heresy and thus lost the Papacy, not by an act of resignation, but by an act of holding obstinately to heresy in doing so, which invalidates the resignation, but validates the possibility that Benedict deposed himself, thus making Francis’ election as Pope valid, and then Francis, by virtue of obvious manifest obstinate heresy, ceased to be a member of the Church altogether, and thus we are in a state of sedevacantism.

      Or, Benedict’s resignation was valid, and all the fluff was him just being poetic and speaking in that theological hoo-hah that passes for learned scholarship, but ultimately doesn’t mean anything. Francis was then validly elected Pope, but is a heretic, and therefore, again, sedevacantism, but naturally not the same long-term sedevacantism that assumes no Pope since Pius XII or whoever else, which is not my position.

      But as you say, all this is Rube Goldberg. Because absolutely no-one has been able to simply access the horse’s mouth, Benedict, to get him to affirm or deny any of these theories, which would be VERY SIMPLE AND EASY to accomplish in simple point form without having to hear second hand from Ganswein, some selective quotations from the Press Office, or any other mouthpieces interpreting Benedict through Francis. This along with other bizarre manifestations of Francis behaving exactly like a non-Pope in word and deed, and Benedict behaving exactly like a Pope in word and deed, and the fact that the Vatican is playing PR photoshop games with Benedict’s own words and letters, means that there is SOMETHING STUPID going on, and we can’t just sit back and let it occur.

      So Benedict needs to talk and he needs to talk fast, before he departs this world, or gets Epstein’d or John Paul One’d or whatever you might believe. The one who should be speaking and who can clear up this whole mess of speculation is Benedict. I don’t care how old or feeble he is, he needs to be dragged out while he still has his wits and be made to talk, before a panel of investigators drilling him in such a way that allows him no room to maneuver into ambiguity. And this will all hopefully serve as a valuable lesson to any other future pontiff who gets the silly idea that resignation is a good thing that will just go smoothly. If future pontiffs grow too old to exercise their duties, then just put the Church under a period of inactivity as far as duties exercising the office of the Papacy is concerned, and enjoy the last years of their life on vacation while doing whatever bare minimum is possible where the Mass, public blessings, prayers or visits are concerned.

      All this beating around the bush stinks of the same games being played by Sodano and co. with regards to Sr. Lucia and the Consecration of Russia and the 3rd Secret of Fatima. The same confusion, the same obfuscation, the same apologists making excuses, when the only clear answer is to have access to the person, which is conveniently denied, always requires middlemen, and a smorgasbord of bizzare activities and contradictions that all stink of a cover-up that forces us to accept logical contradictions and fallacies as acceptable reality, because the ‘authorities’ said so, so shut up and accept it.

      1. Johnno…thanks for the reply.

        However, I must disagree. The BiPers and Mazzas of this world are not in the same boat at all. The straightforward reading is to be preferred to a convoluted reading. But, here, there is no “convoluted” reading of Normas Nonnullas and or UDG. First, BiPers and Mazza have ignored them entirely. If the BiPers do get around eventually to addressing them they must either rely on a conspiracy theory for which there is no evidence, other than a forced or tortured reading of other texts which also allow a natural and noncontroversial reading (e.g., Ganswein, Declaratio, final audience), or ignoring contradictory statements (e.g., Benedict referring to himself as a “former pope” in his letters to Brandmuller) and elsewhere calling such theories ‘absurd.’

        The timing of Normas Nonnullas is clear. It was written after the Declaratio and before the effective date of the renunciation. Thus, it evidently reveals in a LEGAL and ECCLESIASTICAL document Benedict’s mind and intent for what his successor would be as a result of the next conclave in March 2013, and that is the “new Supreme Pontiff” as indicated in the Declaratio, and that this new Supreme Pontiff, per NN 87 and UDG 88 ***is*** the bishop of Rome THUS acquiring full and supreme power and jurisdiction over the UNIVERSAL CHURCH. It is absurd to claim these words signify anything less than the Petrine primacy.

        Yet, to claim that somehow Benedict essentially endorsed these words as part of some complicated and entirely speculative Rube Goldberg plot in which Benedict REALLY remained pope, is to make Benedict either a co-conspirator and enabler of an anti-pope, or a heretic (or both)? And for what? There is no real answer for that. To save the Church? Huh?

        Clearly, Benedict could have best helped the Church, even if by only remaining in the chair of Peter until the end of his life. Thus, simply by the act of remaining the pope without any ambiguity he would have spared us Francis. The Dr. Mazza and BiP theories make zero sense.

        Thanks for the response.



  3. Mark,

    I would add, that in his article on Ann Barnhardt’s site, Dr. Mazza asserts what his thesis holds regarding Benedict:

    “If true, Benedict still retains his Primacy—but is only a former bishop of Rome. Conversely, Pope Francis would now occupy the chair—but would not be the Vicar of Christ (something of which he, himself, is seemingly unashamed to boast).”

    Thus, by Dr. Mazza’s owns words, Benedict RETAINED the primacy. However, Normas Nonnullas and UDG together say NO to that…rather, once a man accepts his election as “Supreme Pontiff”, per UDG 88…”if he has already received episcopal ordination, is immediately Bishop of the Church of Rome, true Pope and Head of the College of Bishops. He thus acquires and can exercise full and supreme power over the universal Church.”

    Per Normas Nonnullas (Benedict’s amendments to UDG) and UDG, the bishop of Rome ACQUIRES AND EXERCISES FULL AND SUPREME POWER OVER THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH. That is, by definition, the Petrine Primacy. So, given Benedict did NOT modify UDG 88 that, but made other changes in anticipation of the conclave (e.g., UDG 87) to elect a “new Supreme pontiff”, it is abundantly clear BENEDICT did NOT believe he still would hold FULL AND SUPREME POWER OVER THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH as Dr. Mazza argued (“Benedict still retains his Primacy”). Thus, Dr. Mazza’s thesis is wrong. QED.



  4. Mark,

    You say:

    ” Steve, I don’t know why you can’t see it, and this is why I hesitate to engage you. Dr. Mazza has demonstrably proven that the term “supreme pontiff” is NOT synonymous with Vicar of Christ. NN confirming that a new supreme pontiff immediately becomes bishop of Rome is not in any way contradictory to Mazza thesis. Quite the opposite.”

    I reply, I did not say the term “Supreme pontiff” is or is not synonymous with “Vicar of Christ.” What I have pointed out without receiving a response, is an acknowledgement that Normas Nonnullas used the term “supreme pontiff”, as does UDG, as the office offered to the one elected by a conclave. Second, UDG 88, which Benedict DID NOT modify, explicitly states two things happen. He is (1) immediately Bishop for Rome, and (2) “He thus acquires and can exercise full and supreme power over the universal Church” (cf UDG 88).

    Clearly, per point 2, the Bishop of Rome has the Petrine Primacy…that is what it means….”FULL AND SUPREME POWER OVER THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH” is the Petrine primacy. But, Dr. Mazza’s denies this…saying Benedict stripped #2 from #1. But, Normas Nonnullas and UDG (cf NN 87, UDG88) this did NOT happen as Dr. Mazza alleges. Therefore, Dr. Mazza is wrong. QED.

    If you wish to argue against this point…you have to demonstrate that when UDG says “FULL AND SUPREME POWER OVER THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH” it does not have reference to the Petrine Primacy. Good luck. I want to see THAT demonstration…because short of it…Dr. Mazza, and you if you defend his thesis, are wrong.



    1. UDG 88 misses a critical distinction, of which I’m sure you’re aware. The cardinals elect the Bishop of Rome, and the man elected becomes such at the hands of the cardinals. The papacy, however, is conferred by Christ alone. This is de fide (Pastor Aeternus) and its crucial importance is stressed in said document.

      As far as full and supreme power, we have posited for some time that this could be in the form of a regency, per Canon 131.1 (a delegation of governance without conferral of Office). It can hardly be argued that Bergoglio is not the one doing the governing right now.

      So I deny that someone with full and supreme power necessarily has the Primacy. Anyone ruling the Church in a time when the true pope was in exile or in a coma would also rule as a regent, not holder of the Office.

      1. Mark,

        To say you “deny that someone with full and supreme power necessarily has the primacy” is nonsensical. It is the definition of the papal primacy! You are simply denying the explicit evidence before your eyes (see Pastor Aeturnus). If a true pope was in a coma or in exile, he could NOT give them Supreme Jurisdiction, he can loan away the Petrine Primacy. But even that is NOT what Dr. Mazza is suggesting. Have you read his theory? He said Benedict RETAINED the Petrine Primacy…but on that score…I have demonstrated via Normas Nonnullas (87) and UDG 88 that this is NOT and cannot be what Benedict intended.

        UDG 88 explicitly declares explicitly the one elected as Supreme Pontiff is (if already a bishop) is immediately bishop of Rome AND has acquired full and supreme power over the universal Church. That is, again…the Petrine primacy (see also, again, Pastor Aeturnus). There is no place there for a “regency”–beside which, the Petrine primacy cannot be delegated or loaned away from a true pope to another. Also, UDG is clear that no one can govern the apostolic see apart from a true pope.

        Dr. Mazza’s theory is erroneous, as is BiP in general…you all are simply denying the timing of and or plain meaning of Normas Nonnullas together with UDG, and Pastor Aeturnus as well.



        1. And by the way, Dr. Mazza has merely demonstrated that the IDEA of separating the Roman See from the Primacy is not heretical. He is searching for the truth by mapping Benedict’s words and actions in light of this idea. What I think we will find, once all the scenarios are fully stated and followed to their rational end, is that all of them will be seen to be in violation of either canons 188 or 332.2.

          1. Mark,

            I know Dr. Mazz’a thesis. I read it. I listened a couple times to his appearance on TM’s show, and I listened to him on AB’s podcast with you.

            In my 4-part rebuttal of his thesis on my blog (www.romalocutaest.com), I granted, arguendo, the truth of his premise because his claim Benedict did separate it the Petrine primacy from the Roman see could be readily disproved by Benedict’s Normas Nonnullas along with JP II’s UDG. I have shown, conclusively, that NN 87 and UDG 88 show the bishop of Rome acquires the Petrine Primacy. It was not a difficult demonstration to make–it’s simply what the text says. There is no other alternative reading.

            Don’t you see Mark that you have painted yourself into a corner. You must now assert to defend your thesis, as you did in your last comment, that JP II’s UDG is in error(!) when the evidently more reasonable alternative is that *you* are in error.



          2. Mark,

            Your statement doesn’t follow from anything I’ve said. What is clear is that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of UDG 88 as I pointed again in my comment still awaiting your moderation.

            I hope Dr. Mazza will comment as to whether he agrees with your analysis of UDG 88 and Pastor Aeturnus, and whether he agrees with you that JP II in UDG 88 is in error.



          3. It’s not necessarily in error, but there is tension, as it omits the critical distinction of Christ conferring the Primacy directly, not through the cardinals, not through the Church. I’m done with this thread. Happy 4th.

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