Question Five for the BiP advocates of “Plan B” (he did it on purpose and knows he is still pope): Why did Benedict lie in his final public appearance of 28 Feb 2013?

Last week, I posted Four Questions to those who think “Benedict is Pope” for the reason that the whole non-renunciation was null, but with an added twist. Benedict’s resignation was invalid, or they might say not even attempted, and hence, Bergoglio was never pope, but furthermore that the invalidating act was executed by Pope Benedict on purpose, in order to protect the Church and the papacy from the ascendant anti-church. In a masterstroke of Teutonic brilliance, he pulled off the switcheroo right under everyone’s noses, using code words, subtle phrasing, etc. This all stands opposed to the theory of Substantial Error, by which the resignation was invalid because Benedict thought he could remain in some way papal, retaining some portion of papalocity, enlarged ministry, what have you, for which there are mountains of evidence. Much of the evidence indeed supports both theories, but the two theories are, by definition, in opposition to one another.

You will recall my first Four Questions to the “Plan B” clan, which were either ignored, or else answered with logical fallacies, HERE.

So now we move to Question Five:

When Pope Benedict executed his temporary exfil from the Vatican at 5pm local time on 28 February 2013, he famously got in the helicopter and flew off to Castel Gandolfo. Then at 7:45pm, with the effective time of his (non) resignation imminent, he appeared on the loggia to deliver his final, short address to the faithful gathered there. We have video:

Here are the words:


Central Loggia of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo
Thursday, 28 February 2013

Thank you. Thank you all.
Dear Friends,

I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your kindness, which does me so much good. Thank you for your friendship and your affection. You know that this day is different for me from the preceding ones. I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still, thank you, I would still—with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength—like to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. I feel greatly supported by your kindness. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing.

May Almighty God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!

Which brings us to Question Five for Team Plan B:

Why would Pope Benedict, knowing that he never abdicated, lie to the lay faithful that night? Why did he lie, telling them that he would no longer be Supreme Pontiff, in fifteen minutes time? Furthermore, how is his deceit not also scandal? How is he not in mortal sin? “Non sono più Sommo Pontefice della Chiesa cattolica: fino alle otto di sera lo sarò ancora, poi non più.” WHY DID HE LIE?

As an aside, allow me to comment to those who would assert that this address also undermines the Substantial Error theory, since we have Pope Benedict spelling out that he will no longer will be Supreme Pontiff. It is as simple as this: A pope who thinks he can retire as Supreme Pontiff, yet somehow remain part of the papal household, living at the Vatican, doing the contemplative bits as part of an expanded Petrine ministry, wearing white, demanding to be addressed as “His Holiness,” … such a pope would be in SUBSTANTIAL ERROR, and his resignation would be null by the law itself. Canon 188.

Combox is open, but I suspect this will play itself out on twitter.

Blessed suppressed octave of Pentecost, everyone!

48 thoughts on “Question Five for the BiP advocates of “Plan B” (he did it on purpose and knows he is still pope): Why did Benedict lie in his final public appearance of 28 Feb 2013?”

  1. You ask: “WHY DID HE LIE?”
    I respond, how can you or anyone else possibly answer that question out here in the peanut gallery?
    I ask: Why did he also lie for his entire life, specifically when he became Pope and then also during his Papacy, if he intended from the beginning, even before, to take the Papacy in a traditional Catholic way, in accord with Sacred Tradition, but then divide later it at a time of his choosing? THAT IS ALSO A LIE. He never told anyone about his plans in a public and open way; never told the Cardinals of the Conclave; never told the Faithful. The disparity between what he did and what he planned to do was a galactic-sized lie. WHY?
    Answer: Impossible.
    You can’t answer my question any more than I can answer yours. You can’t know the mind of the Pope. You can see and judge what he did. You can NEVER understand WHY he did it what he did …. unless he chooses to tell you, because his reasons are between himself and God. Everything is speculation. And it is really unhealthy. I just want to know who the Pope is. I have answered that question to my personal satisfaction, in accord with my well informed conscience. Solving meta-problems is beyond me.

    1. Btw, the Miller thesis remains a thesis. It makes sense, more than any other possibility. Yet it has not, can not – absent further facts and personal testimony *from the mind of the Pope himself in explanation*, rise beyond the level of thesis, theory. A good one, no doubt … but still a theory.
      Substantial error is proved by the words themselves. Anyone can see that.

    2. Ah, but Aqua, those in the Plan B clan do claim to know what is in his mind. Their theory in centered on intent, instead of objective evidence. Those who claim to know intent should be able to answer basic questions.

      1. Okay, let’s assume he tried to split the papacy in two. If Francis is a modernist and hence not the pope, how would Benedict himself not be a modernist? He would have tried to introduced novelties into the papacy. What had kept evil popes from doing something similar in the last two thousand years? Why would God suddenly take away the graces of the papacy so they can score an own goal for the enemy?
        It is easier to accept that he is either a liar or that he was using mental reservation than it is to accept he is modernist, yet the pope at the same time.
        Where is my logical fallacy here?

      2. Btw, Those in the “Plan A Clan” claim similar access to the mind of the Pope. He never declared for the Miller thesis. His actions seem to align, but no formal declaration has been made one way or another. Plan A is similarly centered in intent – because you don’t really know. Perhaps he just made a big, big mistake.
        All we really know is that Canon 188 is satisfied.

  2. Lying wouldn’t make one not the pope, just a sinner. I frankly don’t know why he would lie, but I don’t lose any sleep over it. There is a possibility he’s making a mental reservation.
    My question in reverse is, at what point did he realize he failed to split the papacy? Or did he lie when he said “the pope is one” when he really thought the pope is two? Or if we can’t trust the media then, when else can’t we trust the media?

  3. Also my problem with the substantial error thesis is that it makes Pope Benedict the accidental destroyer of the Church. That is, God protects the papal office, but not against the pope scoring an own goal for the devil, which is exactly what Benedict did when he retired for the sake of reinterpreting the papacy. Why do we even need heretical cardinals if the pope himself is a modernist? And if the pope can be a modernist, why can’t Francis theoretically be the pope.

    1. ^^^THAT!^^^ I’ve been basically asking this for about 5 years now (wrote Ann 2ce about it, asked it here once), and no one has given me an answer.

    2. T, I may be wrong on these, so certainly open to correction. Also I apologize in advance if I am out of turn.
      First T, I think people have been choosing their words carefully. “Error” is not the same as “heresy.” So we need to be careful not to conflate these two. (I’ll revisit below)
      If there is a “destroyer of the Church,” then the Gates of Hell have prevailed. So maybe this is misstated, but as Catholics we dont believe that can happen.
      Can the pope score a goal for the devil? Yes. That would be any sin. Our first knew Christ, denied Him, but wasn’t replaced. He received forgiveness.
      Why cant Francis theoretically be pope? Because there is still a living successor! In the past when Popes have erred/sinned, we didnt call a new conclave. We waited in earnest for repentance and return (like Christ with Peter).
      If the pope is a modernist, he is a heretic. Per the saints, he ceases to be pope and no need to resign. (this goes for either Benedict and Francis) I dont want to put words in people’s mouths. But my take is that Mark and Ann are arguing that Benedict is a sinful in need of repentance, not heretical who lost his office.
      – – – –
      Aside… when I read “The Ratzinger Report” years ago, I read a man who lamented his previous positions and wanted the Church to return. When he became pope, he gave us Summorum Pontificum, rescinded any presumed excommunications of the SSPX, went after the pedophilic priests, etc. So to me what we see is ‘a man conflicted,’ not a heretic.

    3. I agree with you T.
      If Pope Benedict publicly declares for the Miller Thesis, and that this was his intent from the beginning, perhaps since long ago, then we have a real problem.
      The Pope, and the Bishop of Rome in union with him (both occupants of the expanded enclosure of St Peter) intended on purpose with full intent and knowledge, malice aforethought as it were, to destroy the Papacy at the cornerstone.
      We still have substantial error.
      We now have heresy, and I would submit apostasy.
      We now have a violation of Divine Protection.
      Which renders Benedict’s Papacy suspect.
      Which calls into question much that was previously assumed to be true.
      Plan B, at least, gives us a valid Pope who is trying to save the Papacy from malign forces. Plan A comes with … baggage.
      I remain agnostic on the question – I’m sticking with facts I know to be true, pending further information. I am personally willing to listen to both A and B proponents – give them space to breathe and make a case.

      1. Does a substantial error such as expanding the Petrine Office necessarily mean malicious intent to destroy the papacy? Given the modernists errors of the council’s embracing of collegiality, religious liberty and ecumenism, it could be as simple as that. Ecumenism at all costs. Summorum Pontificum and lifting the excommunications of the four remaining bishops (my understanding is he did not lift Ab. Lefebvre’s) could also be a deep desire for unity. Again, ecumenism at all costs.

        1. That’s exactly right, ecumenism at all costs. Benedict was obsessed with it. In terms of the notion of an expanded ministry, none of the senior theologian who were openly promoting these ideas, as quoted by +Miller, were ever condemned for it.

      2. Kono,
        Turning the Papacy into a synod, a committe of members, is fatal to the Seat as Christ established it; deadly to the Faith. Yes.
        The Papacy of Christ is Monarchy.
        The Papacy of Freemason Modernists is Bureaucracy.
        One rules in the name of Christ.
        The other administers in the name of Man.

      3. Btw, Kono:
        We were told by our Priest on Pentecost Sunday that salvation is only possible in the Catholic Church, because only the Catholic Church has the Holy Spirit enlivening it as Her living, spiritual breath. The Blessed Mother is almost identical to the Holy Spirit in that she is so closely bound to Him (Full of Grace) that it is almost impossible to separate the two – an intimate union in the fullest sense of that term. AFTER the Blessed Mother come the Pope. The Pope, as Christ’s visible earthly Vicar, Monarch as Type of Him who is to come, connects the Faitnful to God. What then, when that Pope ceases to be Pope as God created? What, when “he” becomes “them”? What, when Monarch becomes “leaders”? What, when Divine inspiration and connection becomes human intelligence and desire?
        We can’t see the invisible drama going on, so it’s hard to imagine the disaster that has taken place. But we see it in the fruits. We see it in the discord and sin so prevalent. We see it in all the deformities and ugliness where there should be beauty and unity. We can’t see it, but when the Papacy is as it currently is … if it is intended to be, perhaps already is, a practical synodal bureaucracy … the unseen reality which enlivens the Church as the most powerful agent of attraction and conversion on the planet withdraws and what is left has the distinct odor of sulphur coming up through the cracks.
        Yeah – the “expanded Petrine Ministry” is fatal to the extent it remains unaddressed, then permanent.

      4. Aqua, I am in no way saying a bifurcation isn’t bad or even fatal as you say. I’m simply offering a possible reason as to why he did it. IF bifurcation was his intention; his desire for unity as evidenced by his visible and well established belief and push for ecumenism could be the catalyst to substantial error. A great desire for unity is in itself a good and holy intention…..
        I get that it’s only speculation, and maybe I shouldn’t speculate, but it does fit with the available evidence we have to date. And is charitable to the Vicar of Christ.

  4. Personally, I’m not getting the point of the nuance. To me, this is all sounding like arguing balls and strikes. “Why didnt he throw a strike? Because the ball was tampered with. Because the pitcher’s finger was sore. Because the catcher gave the pitcher an erroneous target.” At the end of the day, the why is interesting but not necessary. Outside the strike zone is not called a strike.
    Benedict is pope. Both sides agree. What is now being argued is not “if” but “why.” And we seem to be expecting 100% congruence and perfection, that past speech will always match and reinforce future speech. But the reality is that most people change their minds, rethink positions, or speak specific to specific situations and not broadly to future unforeseen ones. And unfortunately the only one who can clarify, remains silent. The objective fact is agreed. Benedict is pope. Why are we arguing the subjective “why” when the only one who can clarify remains silent?

    1. God works on a need to know basis. If we need to know why, He will inform us. It may just be that He wants to test the strength of our Faith. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways.

    2. I like the baseball analogy. I’ll add that there are many possibilities here:
      Both speculations could be completely wrong.
      Only one speculation could be completely wrong and the other partially correct.
      One could be completely correct, and the other partially correct.
      Both could be partially correct.
      I’m sure there are more permutations possible. The point is that these are opinions based on evidence which can validly be interpreted in different ways. Thus, caution in advancing one’s opinion would seem to be advisable.

  5. These questions bother me greatly because discussing them involves the indefectibility of the church. I do not see how the church is preserved if the Benedict is Pope thesis is true. Ultimately, I find it hard to believe that the whole Church praying Una Cum Francisco in the Mass for a period of time, doesn’t make the gates of hell prevail over the church. The church has to know her head.
    I also dont see how the substantial error theory making benedict unable to understand how to abdicate is not the gates of hell prevailing over the see of St Peter either.
    I don’t know how to resolve the Francis situation in the catholic way either. I also don’t know how to resolve altar girls being allowed after explicit condemnation from popes who were saints, and I also don’t know how to resolve communion in the hand being permitted when the way it is done contradicts the whole purpose of the ablutions in every rite I know of in the church. I further do not know how JP2 actions at Assisi can possibly be described as anything less than the golden calf event from exodus.

    1. Paulus,
      Those are all very good points.
      I would simply add that *something* gravely wrong, evil, has happened inside the Church. There is no doubt something is amiss. The most obvious sign to me is that we have two visible Popes for the first time in Church history, the second of whom is unlike anything ever remotely known for two millennia.
      From where I sit, which is in responsibility for my soul and for the souls in my house, I try to find that which is quantifiably true; demonstrably in alignment with Sacred Tradition, in accord with the Deposit of Faith – and I stick to that like glue.
      I will not accept two visible Popes. That’s an easy one.

  6. Pentecost Monday
    6th day of June, 2022 A. D.
    Popes who were saints!?
    Saint John XXIIIrd!? (Insert: Long thunderstruck pause here.)
    This Pope’s chief claim to fame is disregarding a direct command of Our Lady Queen of Heaven. Revealing the Third Secret of Fatima. His other claim to fame is Vatican II. The Un-Saint, as I fondly call him.
    Who canonized him, John Paul, and Paul VI?
    The false pope Bergoglio.
    These are completely suspect canonizations.
    Francis—if he is not pope, which is the one shared base premise for most on this post—has no authority to declare saints. And, I’ll note for the record, if I paid Francis $2 million a year to his Anti-Peter’s Pence, he’d canonize my friend Abdul, owner of the local Sunoco Station. He’d be rather surprised and bemused, especially as it’d be pre-conversion, and pre-death for that matter.
    You needn’t lose any sleep on that score, my friend Paulus.
    First principle of ethics, as understood by Aristotle at least, is that it’s better to know that something is wrong, than why something is wrong.
    Hence to realize Francis is not the pope, whether a false pope, or an antipope, or both, is more important than to understand why this is so. There is a lot of objective evidence supporting the main conclusion. And it’s great to reach the conclusion.
    Still, we should be able to give reasons for our belief. These reasons should be solid. One has to rely on the objective facts. The spoken and written word, for example, of Pope Benedict without filters, be it Gänswein or other Vatican or press mouthpieces, NONE of whom are truthful, objective or reliable.
    Plan A-ers and Plan B-ers, however, are reading tea leaves, by which I mean giving interpretation to Benedict’s intentions. It’s an illegitimate practice in either case. Cionci relies on secret code (intentional errors in the Latin of the Declaratio of Our Lady of Lourdes Day, February 11, 2013 A. D.) as much as Doc/Barnhardt on supposed intent.
    That dawg won’t hunt.

  7. An error is an error, legally. The motive doesn’t matter. So it’s possible B16 thought he could actually expand the papacy by half-resigning, or stay pope by half-resigning. Or avoid the wolves by half-resigning. But in any event he is in error. The motives don’t matter. He is pope.

    1. This is what I hear but maybe my hearing is not the best:
      “Non sono più Pontefice sommo della Chiesa cattolica: fino alle otto di sera lo sarò ancora, poi non più.”

      1. If someone finds a clearer video w/o translator talking over it…
        Would be important to know if he said “Somme Pontifice” or “Ponitice sommo” for the reasons: (a) would be a big mistake to make in a carefully considered “farewell address”, (b) would mean the translation publicly provided was incorrect, (c) would require consideration of BXVI either making an error or trying to say something else entirely. I don’t know Holy Father Benedict XVI to be a “liar” as this article alleges.

  8. I just read Patrick’s responses, and have one followup question. If B16 has been so transparent and not responsible for anyone being lead astray, etc, etc, then why do the majority of priests name Francis in the Te Igitur? (Including mine, who I know would much prefer not to.)

  9. Mark, have you considered that in that speech, Benedict is simply re-stating what he stated in his Declaratio, i.e., the fact that he will not “be” [Italian = essere], meaning “play the role of” or “act like” a Supreme Pontiff. Instead, he says, he will “be” [again, Italian = essere] “simply a pilgrim” and “would still—with [his] heart, with [his] love, with [his] prayers, with [his] reflection, and with all [his] inner strength—like to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity.” What is left unsaid is that he will still possess ontologically, in the eyes of God, the papal charge, i.e., he will still possess the supernatural munus [gift] given to Peter. While at the same time, he will limit his activities to those of a simple pilgrim, i.e., those of prayers for the Church and for humanity. The normal actions of the Supreme Pontiff, i.e., making decisions relating to the day-to-day operations of the Church, he has already renounced in his Declaratio. A speech in Italian to a crowd from a balcony does not retract or modify what he stated formally in Latin a few weeks before. He did not “lie” in either case.

  10. I read Coffin’s response. At first, his strongest statement seems to be that you and Ann prove too much because Benedict himself has a heretical understanding of the papacy. However, on further reflection, and after reading what Fr Hardon says in the link below, I realized the Coffin’s argument is very weak.
    For example, in discussing the “heresy” of Pope Liberius:
    “And finally, even if what Athanasius says is true, that ‘Liberius, being exiled, gave way after two years and, in face of threats of death, subscribed his name,” there was no shadow of intention to proclaim a dogma for acceptance by the universal Church.'”

    1. Sorry to comment on my own comment, but I may have been to quick to write what is above. I think that if Benedict resigned out of substantial error, one COULD make the case that Benedict intended to proclaim a teaching on the divisibility of the papacy–a doctrine that is to be accepted by all. Certainly the validity of his action would depend on the universal Church accepting his understanding of the papacy, so he would not be giving a teaching as a mere private individual who happens to also be pope. This, I think, would mean that Coffin is right to say that Ann proves to much. In other words, you are cutting off the limb that you are standing on. I think this needs to be addressed more thoroughly than I am able.

      1. Do you know how we know that papal infallibility does not extend to papal acts like proffering a resignation? Because Canon 332.2 spells out that a papal resignation can indeed be invalid. If spells out what is essential for validity, and if error or intent fails the test, the act is invalid.

      2. Thanks, I can see why that is important. But think you at least need to say that Benedict is not teaching as pope a new doctrine of the papacy. Because if Benedict does try to impose on the Church Ganswein’s explanation of the collegial papacy (a doctrine as tremendous as the Immaculate Conception) then you are back with a pope whose public magisterial teaching is heresy.

  11. Hi Mark, I wasn’t sure if you were aware of this. Canon law seems to directly contradict Ann Barnhardt’s assumption that a “collegial” papal ministry would be canonically impossible.
    Here is the key quote explaining Barnhardt’s thesis of Substantial Error regarding a collegial ministry (
    “As we have seen from the mountain of data already cited in this space, Pope Benedict’s PRINCIPAL MOTIVE in proffering his invalid attempted partial abdication of only the “Active Petrine Ministry” for “the governance of the Church” seems to have been long-discussed and longed-for by 20th Century Teutonic theologians, as well as Freemasons looking to destroy the Catholic Church by dissolving the Petrine OFFICE – the last remaining monarchy – into a ‘collegial, synodal ministry’.”
    But contradicting Ann’s claim, Canon 333 states:
    “§2. In fulfilling the office of supreme pastor of the Church, the Roman Pontiff is always joined in communion with the other bishops and with the universal Church. He nevertheless has the right, according to the needs of the Church, to determine the manner, whether personal or collegial, of exercising this office.”
    To restate, Barnhardt’s Substantial Error thesis assumes that a Pontiff cannot create a “collegial” exercise (ministry) within the Papacy. Clearly, that assumption is not correct, as Canon 333.2 states that the Roman Pontiff “has the right…to determine the manner, whether personal or collegial, of exercising this office.”
    In the Declaratio, Benedict stated that he would no longer be exercising his papal ministry personally. This is legal as foreseen under Canon 333.2. So for him to do what he did is not an error. Is Barnhardt’s thesis, then, not mistaken based on this erroneous assumption?
    Please confirm. Thanks.

    1. No. Canon 333.2 is referring to a pope exercising his office either personally or in union with the college of bishops, collegially. It’s right there in the beginning of the canon. It doesn’t mean the office itself, as a noun, can be collegial.

      1. Thanks Mark. I agree with you. The office [munus] itself is held only by one man, the Roman Pontiff. That is Benedict XVI, until he validly resigns/abdicates according to Canon 332.2. No doubt at all on that point. However, the “ministries” (what is “done,” not the “office”) can be exercised by others in a “collegial” manner.
        As I look more closely at Canon 333, I think it is actually focused more on the exercise of the papal ministry in the dioceses of other bishops than on the specific ministries of the Roman Pontiff. But, Canon 334 is precisely focused on other bishops, Cardinals, etc. assisting the Roman Pontiff “in exercising his [i.e., the Roman Pontiff’s office.” Here is the full Canon:
        “Can. 334 Bishops assist the Roman Pontiff in exercising his office [munere exercendo]. They are able to render him cooperative assistance in various ways, among which is the synod of bishops. The cardinals also assist him, as do other persons and various institutes according to the needs of the times. In his name and by his authority, all these persons and institutes fulfill the function entrusted to them for the good of all the churches, according to the norms defined by law.”
        In other words, the Roman Pontiff can “by his authority” allow other bishops, Cardinals, other persons and various institutes to assist “in exercising his office” and “fulfill the function entrusted to them.” The Pope can delegate the ministries (actions, functions, exercises) inherent in his Office to others without abdicating/renouncing his Office, according to law. Canon law seems to be very clear about this, no? Aren’t these the “ministries” that Benedict XVI renounced in his Declaratio?
        If so, why would it be “substantial error” for Benedict XVI to renounce his “active ministry” and allow others, authorized by law, to do those things? These delegates of Benedict XVI would not be able to do anything not approved by him or allowed already by canon law. They would not have free reign.

  12. Benedict did what he did, specifically, declare that he would not be exercising the “active ministry” of the Office of the Roman Pontiff. He also left some things unsaid by himself, some blanks to be filled in “by those whose competence it is.” These blanks were filled in by lawless, incompetent, greedy bishops who saw the opportunity to grab power, and they did so. These lawless ones did not take the time to consider what was actually done by Benedict XVI, and the canonical limitations that they were actually under. They were still subject to Benedict canonically, but they acted as if they were not. Benedict did not/has not stopped them in their error. We agree on that much.
    But not stopping the usurping Cardinals from unlawfully grabbing the Papacy is not the same as “lying” or the same as canonical “substantial error.”
    So if we want to talk about why Benedict did not stop the usurpers and if he was justified in not doing that, i think that would be a great conversation. Andrea Cionci has presented his opinion on the matter, i.e., Benedict did it to allow the apostates in the Church to reveal themselves (finally) instead of continuing to hide in the shadows. Benedict himself stated that his “resignation” (of the ministry only) was prompted by a “mystical experience” (
    Regardless of Benedict’s motive for “allowing” the “election,” can we agree, at least, that Benedict did not “lie” in the case laid out in your OP? And can we move on from the “substantial error” thesis based on the idea that a Pope cannot delegate functions/ministries/etc. to others as he is allowed to do under Canon 334? If we can do so, I think we, who believe Benedict is still Pope, make more progress in convincing others who are still on the fence. JMJ

    1. He called for a conclave to be convoked by those with competency to do so. He allowed it to take place and be completed. He calls the person elected, “Pope Francis.” He approves the Cardinals elevated by Bergoglio. He surrendered the pallium and the pellegrina to Bergoglio. He has allowed Francis to be named as supreme pontiff in the canon of every Mass for the past nine years. I could go on.

      1. Agreed on all points. It is a conundrum. No doubt about that. But, to quote St. Paul, “We see now through a glass in a dark manner (1 Cor 13:12).” And Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
        What if it is God’s will that it should happen exactly as it has. We do not know Benedict’s heart. But we both agree that he is the last validly elected Pontiff and that the Roman Pontiff does enjoy supernatural protection and graces because of his unique role. That being said, is it so hard to believe that God is using that Benedict XVI for a Providential purpose beyond our understanding?
        It is very likely that Benedict is the katechon (2 Thess. 2:6). Can we not see that our real enemy is Bergoglio and that we need to unite against him. Benedict’s maneuver nullifies (canonically) everything Bergoglio has done. He is the shepherd, and Bergoglio is the hireling. The sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd, and it is Benedict, as imperfect as he may be. He is the authentic “Peter,” a man of many faults, but, in the end, a loyal servant of God. Peace to your Mark. Thank you for considering my thoughts.

        1. Reply to PNF: Why this writer continues to hold the position that Pope Benedict XVI acted in accordance with the exact intelligence provided to him by the Queen of Heaven in the Third Secret of Fatima…
          “Sr. Lucia’s single-page written formulation of the “Third Secret” covers three main topics. A physical chastisement of the nations, involving catastrophes, man-made or natural, on land, on water and in the atmosphere of the globe. A SPIRITUAL CHASTISEMENT, far more frightening and distressing—especially for Roman Catholics—than physical hardship, since it would consist of the disappearance of religious belief, a period of widespread unfaith in many countries. A central function of Russia in the two preceding series of events. […] Unmistakably, the “Third Secret” was formulated as an ultimatum, an “EITHER-OR” proposition.” – Father Malachi Martin (reader of the Third Secret of Fatima), The Keys of this Blood, 1990
          “The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation [SPIRITUAL CHASTISEMENT] He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness.” – St. John Eudes – The Priest His Dignity And Obligations, CH. 11 – Qualities of a Holy Priest
          Father Malachi Martin (reader of the Third Secret of Fatima) Interview with Bernard Janzen 1992, The Kingdom of Darkness
          Janzen: In our discussion earlier you just touched on the subject of Satan’s assault on the papacy. Perhaps we could have a brief discussion about that.
          Martin: […] what I think is fatally necessary for every Catholic to know, and that is the fate of the papacy and the coming stress and danger that we shall be without the strength of the papacy.
          Bernard: Is it ever possible that the cardinals at a future conclave could elect a heretical pope?
          Martin: [brief pause over the sensitive nature of the question] You know…they have elected men in the past who had heretical ideas. Two or three. They have never elected yet an apostate…an apostate. […] An apostate has rebelled against the very fundamental of faith and rejected God and Christ. We have apostates now who are papabili [men who could be elected pope]. YES, WE COULD HAVE AN APOSTATE. But in that day, then we are into something terrible. We’re into something which, Bernard, is something that, if you think on it, in full knowledge of the meaning of your terms, is nightmarish. It would test the faith of St. Catherine of Sienna. It would test the faith of the greatest saint. It would try the patience of Job.
          May 4, 1998 – “The prophecy of Fatima is not a pleasant document to read – it’s not pleasant news. It implies – it doesn’t make any sense unless we accept that there will be, or that there is in progress – a wholesale apostasy amongst clerics and laity in the Catholic Church, that the institutional organization of the Roman Catholic Church – that is, the organization of parishes, dioceses, archbishops and bishops and cardinals and the Roman bureaucracies and the chanceries throughout the world – UNLESS THAT IS TOTALLY DISRUPTED AND RENDERED NULL AND VOID, THE THIRD SECRET MAKES NO SENSE, and number two, the other salient characteristic about it is that it means intense suffering for believers.” – Father Malachi Martin (reader of the Third Secret of Fatima in February 1960, an advisor to Pope John XXIII and assistant to Cardinal Augustin Bea) declared during an interview on “Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell”
          July 13, 1998 (the very Anniversary of the Third Secret of Fatima)
          Bell: Father, is there any circumstance under which you can imagine, that you would feel free to reveal the secret?
          Martin: I anticipate it as a possibility, Art. I can’t predict, but I anticipate it as a possibility, certainly, YES. I DO. – “Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell”
          In an interview conducted in November 11, 1984, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) confirmed that, with the Pope’s permission, he had read the Secret and that it concerns, in his words, “the dangers threatening the FAITH AND THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN, and therefore the world. And also the importance of the ‘novissimi’ (the last events at the end of time).” – Ecco perche la fede e in crisi in the review, Jesus, p. 79
          Report: Benedict XVI Resigned After ‘Mystical Experience’ ‘GOD TOLD ME’ ‘GOD’S WILL’
          The pope emeritus reportedly disclosed God has planted the ‘absolute desire’ in his heart ‘to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer.’

          Several pages taken from Father Malachi Martin’s geopolitical and geo-religious analysis entitled, The Keys of this Blood:
          From the beginning of their reported conversations with Mary, the three children insisted she had given them three messages. Before their early deaths, Francisco Marto on April 4, 1919, at age eleven; Jacinta Marto on February 20, 1920, at age ten—the two Martos and Lucia dos Santos were questioned extensively about the Fatima happening and their six extended conversations with Mary. They never wavered or changed in their testimony, but they would not reveal the contents of the three messages immediately. They maintained that Mary had also given them precise instructions on this point. Since the death of the Martos, Lucia, now eighty-two and living as a Carmelite nun in Coimbra, Portugal, has been the sole living source of information about those three messages of Mary.
          The first two messages of Fatima became very well known in the years since 1917. The first put the Church and all men on notice that the world as a whole society was following a path of sin along which a multitude of men and women were being led to the eternal punishment of Hell. The second message was a prediction about the outbreak of World War II. In that message, Mary also spoke about Russia and asked that the Pope and all the bishops of the Church consecrate it in an especially solemn manner to her. If this was not done, the children reported Mary as saying, Russia would spread error and evil throughout the world; many human beings would suffer and die as a consequence.
          The third Fatima message still remains officially a secret. Lucia was adamant about its being kept secret. In 1944, under orders from her bishop, she wrote down on one sheet of paper the bare details of that secret, sealed it in an envelope and gave it to him. She told the bishop it was to be opened in 1960, because “by 1960, things will be clearer.” But rumors spread about the contents of that envelope, to the effect that it concerned the USSR and other nations. Geopolitical-minded Vatican authorities began to feel queasy about the “Third Secret,” as the contents of that envelope were now called. Under Vatican order, the envelope was brought to Rome and deposited in a small humidor-type box on a mantelpiece in the Pope’s private apartments in the Apostolic Palace, there to await the man who would be Pope in 1960.
          That Pope was John XXIII. He opened and read the contents of the envelope in the course of 1959-60 and decided those contents had no relevance to his pontificate. The envelope was returned to the box. His successor, Paul VI, read the contents and decided to do nothing about the matter. John Paul I also read Lucia’s document, but he lived only thirty-three days as Pope. One of the first things John Paul II did on becoming Pope was to take out that envelope, read the document and place it back in that box. He, too, like John XXIII and Paul VI, decided it was not directly relevant; there was nothing to be done about the message. That was in late 1978.
          The actual contents of that “Third Secret” remained by and large a secret until the pontificate of John Paul II. By that time, the contents had been revealed to a sufficient number of people on a private basis, and both John Paul himself and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger had spoken with sufficient frankness about the contents so that at least the essentials could be reliably outlined.
          Lucia’s single-page written formulation of the “Third Secret” covers three main topics. A physical chastisement of the nations, involving catastrophes, man-made or natural, on land, on water and in the atmosphere of the globe. A spiritual chastisement, far more frightening and distressing—especially for Roman Catholics—than physical hardship, since it would consist of the disappearance of religious belief, a period of widespread unfaith in many countries. A central function of Russia in the two preceding series of events. In fact, the physical and spiritual chastisements, according to Lucia’s letter, are to be gridded on a fateful timetable in which Russia is the ratchet.
          The chastisements were meant to punish the nations for their ungodliness and abandonment of God’s laws. The whole dire process could be averted—need not happen, in fact—if two requests of Mary were granted. One: that whoever would be Pope in 1960 (actually it was John XXIII) should publish the text of the “Third Secret” for the whole world to read and know. Two: that then the Pope, with all his bishops acting collegially, should consecrate Russia to Mary. Russia, according to the text of the “Third Secret,” was the regulator of the timetable.
          If those two basic requests were satisfied, then the two chastisements —physical and spiritual—would not be inflicted on mankind. Russia would be converted to religious belief, and a period of great peace and prosperity would ensue. If the requests were denied, the chastisements would then follow as surely as night follows day. Russia would spread its errors throughout all nations. Many millions would die. The practice of religion and the profession of true faith would diminish to a shadow of what they were. Widespread corruption would infect the Church’s clergy and laity. The Holy Father would have much to suffer. A little glimmer of hope existed: In the end, after all this dreadful devastation, there would be a restoration of faith and tolerable living conditions.
          Unmistakably, the “Third Secret” was formulated as an ultimatum, an “EITHER-OR” proposition.
          In 1978, shortly after becoming Pope, when John Paul read Lucia’s text of the “Third Secret,” he had drawn the obvious conclusion. The Pope of 1960, John XXIII, had not satisfied those two requests of Mary. “These [predictions],” John had noted for his successors, “do not concern our times.” John had refused to publish the text of the “Third Secret.” He had not organized the collegial consecration of Russia to Mary—although he had a made-to-order opportunity to do so when 2,500 Roman Catholic bishops assembled in the Vatican on October 11, 1962, for the opening of his Second Vatican Council. He did not accept the “either.”
          Therefore, the fateful timetable of spiritual and physical chastisements was locked into place and, in that August of 1981, was running full tilt. The Roman Catholic Church and the society of nations were now r operating under the sign of that dire “or” proffered in the Fatima message. John Paul needed no one to tell him the initial results of Pope John XXIII’s refusal of those two requests of Mary. Already whole sections of the Church in France, Austria, Holland, Germany, Spain, England, Canada, the United States and Latin America had fallen precisely into unfaith. There subsisted only a faithful remnant of practicing Catholics. His own Vatican chancery and the various diocesan chanceries throughout the Church were in the hands of the anti-Church partisans. Heresy and grave error resided in the seminaries. An intricate and self-protective network of actively homosexual priests, nuns, bishops and some cardinals now throttled all attempts to reform morals. Contraception was advocated explicitly or implicitly by a plurality of bishops, and abortion, together with divorce, was connived at. A Swiss bishop went on television with a valise in hand and opened it, cascading thousands of condoms before the eyes of viewers. “This,” he said, “is the answer to overpopulation and AIDS!”
          Most frighteningly for John Paul, he had come up against the irremovable presence of a malign strength in his own Vatican and in certain bishops’ chanceries. It was what knowledgeable Churchmen called the “superforce.” Rumors, always difficult to verify, tied its installation to the beginning of Pope Paul VI’s reign in 1963. Indeed, Paul had alluded somberly to “the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary”—an oblique reference to an enthronement ceremony by Satanists in the Vatican. Besides, the incidence of Satanic pedophilia—rites and practices—was already documented among certain bishops and priests as widely dispersed as Turin, in Italy, and South Carolina, in the United States. The cultic acts of Satanic pedophilia are considered by professionals to be the culmination of the Fallen Archangel’s rites.
          No. John Paul needed no one to tell him the Fatima timetable was running in vigor. Already in 1980, speaking to a group of German Catholics about the “Third Secret,” he had been quite explicit. Yes, he responded to one question. Lucia’s text does speak of such chastisements. No, he said in answer to another question, those chastisements cannot be averted now. The die is cast. But they can be mitigated by praying the Rosary, he asserted.
          Why, one questioner asked, did John XXIII refuse to obey the requests of the “Third Secret”? John Paul’s answer was pregnant with his own pre-1981 reading of the text, “Given the seriousness of its [the “Third Secret’s”] contents,” he explained, “my predecessors in the Petrine Office [John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I] diplomatically preferred to postpone publication [of the text] so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.”
          This attitude toward the “Third Secret” and its demands for papal action was quite consistent with the original Wyszynski-Wojtyla time calculation, according to which they reckoned that the huge geopolitical change in the offing would run a gradual course of many years. John Paul’s answers to the questioners at the 1980 Fulda meeting also threw light on why he has not undertaken any serious, papal-directed and comprehensive effort to reverse the continual and rapid deterioration of his institutional organization. No, he said in response to one question, the Church cannot be reformed at the present moment.
          Manifestly, John Paul had accepted the fait accompli that inevitably followed the decision of John XXIII not to follow the dictates of the “Third Secret.” He accepted the fact that the Church was now in the period of the Fatima “or,” since the “either” had been refused by John XXIII.
          His words also point to a mortal danger facing the capitalist nations, about which Lucia is quite explicit in the text of the “Third Secret.” Understood in its depth and extent, John Paul’s reference can be shocking: “so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.” The Pope and the grizzled men who run the Vatican are not quixotic idealists living in a dream world of superstition and irrational fantasies. In fact, their realism can be numbing. If they or he could come to such a conclusion and make such a statement, it must be accurate and based on objective facts.
          In that “Third Secret,” indeed, Lucia’s words are so explicit and so verifiable —and therefore so authentic—that, were the leaders of the Leninist Party-State to know those words, they would in all probability decide to undertake certain territorial and militaristic moves against which the West could have few if any means of resisting, and the Church would be plunged into further and deeper subjugation to the Party-State. Lucia’s words underline a terrible vulnerability in the capitalist nations. That is the “seriousness” of Lucia’s words. The capitalist West could be entrapped by the USSR. In Vatican parlance, Lucia’s words have a dire geopolitical meaning. They must not be treated as pious and devotional outpourings. Her words from the Fatima happening are primarily related to the fierce politics of nations. Ever since John XXIII opened and read those words, the Vatican has treated them gingerly. Fatima has been politicized. John Paul, from the start, has gone along with that politicization. In Vatican foreign policy since the opening of the envelope, the cardinal principle has been to foment devotion to Mary as Our Lady of Fatima but never to make political decisions very obviously in the light of the “Third Secret.” The “Secret” has to be buried, as Cardinal Ottaviani said in 1957, “in the most hidden, the deepest, the most obscure and inaccessible place on earth.”
          It must also be added, however, that the anti-Church partisans in the Vatican bureaucracy and throughout the Church abhor anything savoring of devotion to Mary, to Fatima and to divine revelation. For they have forsaken the divine faith of Catholicism, of which Mary, the Mother of God, is an integral part. They also know the present Pope is under the special protection of Mary.
          As he convalesced in the Policlinico Gemelli that August, the concrete facts of the situation worked a change of attitude in John Paul. Those facts were: the growing crisis in Poland between Solidarity and the government; the new twist in Moscow’s attitude to Solidarity, as something dangerous and to be crushed; the gap left by Wvszynski’s death, a gap that the new Primate of Poland, Jozef Cardinal Glemp, could not fill; the significance of his own attempted assassination on May 13, feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, and—as he firmly believed—his own deliverance from sudden death by Agca’s bullets through the protection of Mary as Our Lady of Fatima.
          John Paul could not put all those details into a coherent order without coming to the conclusion that the geopolitical timetable was much shorter than he and Cardinal Wyszynski had thought. The (for him) obvious intervention of Mary in preserving his life placed him—in his own eyes—in a direct relationship with Fatima and its “Third Secret.” If there was one dominant element in that “Third Secret,” it was Russia. The provisos of the “Third Secret” made sense only in relation to Russia.
          He had accepted as fact that John XXIII’s decision not to do as the “Third Secret” asked—to publish the actual text, and to undertake a collegial consecration of Russia to Mary—had placed the Church and therefore the world in the “or” situation. He had no difficulty in accepting the predictions of dire physical and spiritual chastisements, and that Russia would spread its errors throughout every nation. But all of that, he had assumed—up to that August of 1981—was gridded on a long-drawn-out timetable. Now he saw that the geopolitical timetable had been inaccurately calculated. The geopolitical change implied by the “Third Secret” was not far off. It was imminent. It was about to take place. Russia was its womb. Russia was its focal point. Russia was to be the main agent of change. Russia was to be the source of a universal blindness and error.
          A certain febrile character entered John Paul’s behavior now’. From his sickroom in the Policlinico, he sent over to the Apostolic Palace for that envelope. He read and reread portions of Lucia’s testimony before diocesan commissions inquiring into the Fatima happening, and he studied some of her other writings. He called in for consultation a certain Sister Mary Ludovica, an expert on Fatima, and after some discussion, he dispatched her posthaste over to Portugal, to speak with the retired and saintly bishop of Leiria-Fatima and with Lucia in her convent at Coimbra. – Father Malachi Martin, The Keys of this Blood 1990 p. 629-635

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