11 years ago today, Pope Benedict attempted to create an Expanded Petrine Ministry, failed to do so out of Substantial Error, and thus remained Pope until his death

The thing Benedict attempted to do in a series of events 11-28 February 2013 was fully explained by his priest-Secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, in a speech delivered at the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome on 20 May 2016. Note that +Ganswein speaks as if Benedict actually pulled it off, which he did not. Because altering the intrinsic nature of the papacy, an office which was Divinely Instituted, is impossible. Thus, this Substantial Error wholly invalidated his resignation per Canon 188, and he remained pope until his death 31 December 2022. Spread the word.

“There are not therefore two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up either his name, or the white cassock. This is why the correct name by which to address him even today is “Your Holiness”; and this is also why he has not retired to a secluded monastery, but within the Vatican — as if he had only taken a step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy which he, by that step, enriched with the “power station” of his prayer and his compassion located in the Vatican Gardens… he has not abandoned the Office of Peter — something which would have been entirely impossible for him after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005. By an act of extraordinary courage, he has instead renewed this office (even against the opinion of well-meaning and undoubtedly competent advisers), and with a final effort he has strengthened it (as I hope). Of course only history will prove this. But in the history of the Church it shall remain true that, in the year 2013, the famous theologian on the throne of Peter became history’s first “pope emeritus.” Since then, his role — allow me to repeat it once again — is entirely different from that, for example, of the holy Pope Celestine V, who after his resignation in 1294 would have liked to return to being a hermit, becoming instead a prisoner of his successor, Boniface VIII (to whom today in the Church we owe the establishment of jubilee years). To date, in fact, there has never been a step like that taken by Benedict XVI. So it is not surprising that it has been seen by some as revolutionary, or to the contrary as entirely consistent with the Gospel; while still others see the papacy in this way secularized as never before, and thus more collegial and functional or even simply more human and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

Readers of this space will know that last term. There are 300 pages of the +Miller Dissertation from 1980 explaining the decades of efforts among German theologians to pull off just such a thing in the 60s and 70s. It was sort of a big deal.

You can read the unabridged English translation of the speech from Diane Montagna HERE. The original reportage from Ed Pentin is HERE.

Today is also he traditional feast day of that time the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed, or rather confirmed, the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, not to Cardinals or bishops, but to a destitute, illiterate 14 year old girl. The townspeople tried to have her declared insane and put away. Take heart.

22 thoughts on “11 years ago today, Pope Benedict attempted to create an Expanded Petrine Ministry, failed to do so out of Substantial Error, and thus remained Pope until his death”

  1. One big question for me is: Why would a valid Pope with the grace of the Holy Ghost protecting him from making a grave error, then proceed in an attempt to bifurcate the papacy?

    1. It was Josef Ratzinger’s personal theological error and/or poor judgment. Here we must distinguish office from office holder. The latter has the free will, permitted by God, to make such errors.

      Also, I think Mark and Ann made a good point in the recent podcast regarding how Pope Benedict’s error allowed the complete unveiling of the sodomite hierarchy for the whole world to see. With Bergoglio, we see the modern hierarchy for what is, as a distinctly separate entity (antichurch) from God’s true Holy Catholic Church.

      1. Or Ratzinger could’ve been a man and unveiled it himself for the world to see as pope without dragging the world through hell.

        Think about it. Had the pretend German genius not been a coward, there would be no Pachamama consecration and likely the Agenda 2030/Great Reset would’ve been thwarted. There would’ve have been no “pandemic” nor a bioweapon deployed on the world.

        He could’ve have even consecrated Russia to Mary, which would’ve had some salvific effect. Course any pope since 1917 should’ve done that.

        Ratzinger as B16 got us to see the rot in the Church by abandoning us to it, not by doing anything of merit. He was the shepherd who fled the wolves and left his sheep up for grabs.

        We did the suffering.

      2. I agree Chris entirely.The False Heretical Church had been exposed for all to see.Pray for a Holy Pope and the demise of Bergoglio.

    2. Paul, that has been the big question for me as well. Pope Benedict would not be able to commit such an error, according to Holy Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the documents of Vatican I.

      Three major problems with the theory that Pope Benedict attempted to bifurcate the papacy:

      1) Because a pope is protected from teaching error in faith and morals, he could not attempt to change the theological teachings of the papacy by such actions.
      2) This theory that Pope Benedict wanted to “dymythologize the papacy” is based solely upon what his jailer, the person holding him hostage, is saying that he intended. In Florida, Ganswein would have likely been prosecuted for elder abuse: Not allowing the elder freedom of movement, controlling his finances and monitoring his communications, not allowing access to the elder, etc.
      3) It makes the victim, Pope Benedict, into the villain.

      We all know that Antipope Bergoglio is not the pope and that the Holy Spirit would never allow him to be. It is because he is not Catholic and is a manifest apostate and heretic, who wants to destroy the Church. He was installed in a globalist-orchestrated coup. Look what happened to Cardinal Pell. You cannot force a pope to resign or pressure him to resign. Those are the reasons Antipope Bergoglio is not the pope and that the conclave was invalid.

  2. Seems Bp. Williamson is resisting harder. From his ‘Eleison Comments” email:


    February 10, 2024

    God gave us the wise old Saint He knew we need –
    How could a youngster think that he could lead?

    Less than one month ago, on January 24, the Brazilian Prior of the Traditional Benedictine Monastery of Santa Cruz, nestling in high hills of Brazil behind Rio de Janeiro, Bishop Thomas Aquinas, published a severe denunciation of a prominent leader who is active worldwide in the Traditional Catholic movement. But surely Traditionalists have enough problems from outside of Tradition without having to fight among themselves as well? Normally that is Catholic common sense, but not if the very basis of Catholicism, the Catholic Faith, is at stake. Now in the struggle between Rome and the Society of St Pius X, never has it not been at stake. Let readers judge for themselves if, as a shepherd of Our Lord’s flock, Bishop Thomas has done anything other than his bounden duty by denouncing this wolf in sheep’s
    clothing –

    The reason for the existence of the Resistance is none other than Dom Fellay, with his words and actions. His words minimized the gravity of the crisis and of the Council. His actions exposed Tradition to suffer the same fate as the Ecclesia Dei communities.

    Dom Fellay did not speak like Dom Lefebvre. Dom Lefebvre strongly denounced the Council’s mistakes, as well as the churchmen who were the cause of those mistakes. He warned virtually all the popes about their responsibilities. He told John Paul II that if he continued on the path of ecumenism he would no longer be the good shepherd, and in the drawing about Assisi he said, with images and words, that John Paul II would go to hell if he continued to be an ecumenist. He told Cardinal Ratzinger that he, Ratzinger, was against the Christianization of society. The Archbishop denounced the apostasy of Vatican II. ( . . . ) He defended priests and faithful from modernist contagion. He exposed himself to an invalid but
    degrading excommunication. In defence of France he did not back down in the face of the Muslim danger. He protected us against Dom Gérard’s Roman temptation. He was, in short, like bishops of old: the defender of Christianity and of its basis, which is the faith. He was the man of theological virtues, who sustained our faith and all virtues.

    And Dom Fellay? Did he continue Dom Lefebvre’s actions? No. Both in word and in deed, Dom Fellay distanced himself from Dom Lefebvre. Regarding the heresy of Religious Freedom, he minimized the seriousness of what the Council had said. He did not react to the mistakes like Dom Lefebvre. He did not talk about the two churches, as did Dom Lefebvre. He did not clearly distinguish the official Church from the Catholic Church, but spoke of a “Concrete Church,” confusing the faithful and even priests. What specific church is this? Do we have to be in this church? We are in the Catholic Church. We recognize the Pope, but not the Conciliar
    Church that Cardinal Benelli spoke of. We recognize the Pope, but not his doctrine or his actions contrary to Tradition. These acts are not Catholic, but anti-Catholic.

    It was under the influence of Dom Fellay that the 2012 Chapter modified the principle enunciated by the 2006 Chapter: there can be no practical agreement without doctrinal agreement. This did not please Dom Fellay, and it was changed. Under certain conditions, the Fraternity can now reach a practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement. It is a legal loophole, opening the way to lead the Fraternity down the path of the Ecclesia Dei communities. He did not go that far, but he lowered his guard, and Rome took advantage of that. Opposition from within the Fraternity Dom Fellay repressed by expelling Dom Williamson and other priests; then he punished others, such as the seven deans who rightly protested against Rome’s marriage document. Dom Fellay disorganized Tradition, walked away from Dom Lefebvre’s line, and
    made others also depart from it. To resist this departure was the reason for the “Resistance” coming into existence.

    We want to follow Dom Lefebvre in everything, in doctrine and also in practical solutions, because, as Aristotle and St.Thomas teach, the examples of the ancients serve as principles of action. We follow Dom Lefebvre in doctrine and action, especially in relation to modernist Rome, and we do this to be faithful to Eternal Rome, teacher of truth and holiness.

    Kyrie eleison

    1. Lefebrvre violated Canon law, decided to start his own movement. In practical effect he’s the same as Martin Luther.

          1. Mike, I’m sure you said all of the above with the straightest face you can muster, but you’ve forgotten some very important context….

            If Lefebrvre was right, then canon law is on his side, and he’d be obligated to do what he did.

            That’s really the question, isn’t it?

            Now I notice something very strange… Lefebrvists and Sedes are more than happy to discuss the details about what went down.

            But… the Novus Ordoists, and people on your side of the pool, are VERY unwilling to ever take this to an actual trial. Very curious! And I’m neither a Lefebrvist or a classical 1960’s or prior Sede.

            Why is that?

            And don’t tell me that the NO/VII peeps held their own inquiry and found themselves innocent. That’d be like the Jan 6th Committee absolving itself and insisting there was never ever any election fraud, so Lefebrvre was obviously an insurrectionist!

            Also, your hyperbole of “He led more people out of the Church than to it” is the typical sign of a N.O. cultist. Or simply the sort of new arrivee to these Catholic controversies that holds Catholic Answers dot com and other ConserveCaths as their only inerrant source where the typical attitude is “Shut up, trust us bro, and look into the details no further!”

          2. Johno,

            I don’t believe he was right. And since you use the word “if”, it’s still an open question, isn’t it?

            It actually doesn’t matter.

            He could’ve been a man and fought what he perceived as heretical from within, as could any of the pretend Catholics that call themselves “sedes”.

            There is ONE Church that Jesus started. Do you know what you’re doing when you start a club outside of that Church in protest of the Church? I think you do. You’re protesting. You’re a….protestant.

            I mean, if we are going to praise Benedict for exposing the rot in the Church, but He didn’t leave the Church, why couldn’t the sedes do the same?

            Sedevacantism is in this way Satanic. The goal is to divorce you from Jesus.

            Have a great day.

          3. I know at least one error he believed that most trads take as a given and never really question. This leads people into doubting the dogma of indefectibilty, because after all, they are convinced Vatican II taught heresy rather than developed doctrine from before Vatican II. If I had to choose who to follow, Lefebvre or Pope Pius IX I choose the pope. I remain convinced that if there was chaos in the Church it was not because of what VII taught but because of what was done in the name of VII by masons in the Church.

  3. Yes Mike. It IS an open question. And just like Benny’s resignation validity, and Franky’s obvious heresies, I’m wondering when the people “in charge” are ever going to bother addressing any of it. Another decade, maybe? And, YES, all of it DOES MATTER! Else you wouldn’t be here complaining about people “leaving the Church” now, would you?

    Here’s the main difficulty people like you always run into. You assume that Lefevbre “left” rather than stay “within.” But Lefevbre didn’t at all believe he was “leaving.” He believed he was still “within” the Church and it was the Councilliar crowd that was “leaving.”

    Likewise, the Sedes believe the same. The Church, Mike, is not constrained to the pieces of architecture headquartered in Earthly Rome. It is eternal and borderless. It is the faith, not the buildings.

    Schism, has a proper definition. Doubting the identity of the true Pope, or the faith of the Cardinals running things, is NOT schism, Mike. Even if the doubt is wrong.

    Protestantism, also has a definition. A part of that is to recognize a true Pope, and yet resist his authoritative teachings. Ironically, that’s what the SSPX, and many Trad and NO Catholics do today. And in fact what you ironically continue to do by ignoring Benedict’s judgment of the society as not being in schism, even it it’s founders supposedly were at the time. So who’s acting the more “Protestant” here?

    1. Johno,

      Sedes doubt the validity of the Church post Vatican 2. They have divorced themselves from the institution. Granted the institution is sick, but you don’t abandoned the patient.

      I question Bergoglio as pope. I question Vatican 2. I’m still part of the Church. The sedes intentionally divorced themselves from the Church and make an absurd claim that there hasn’t been a pope since 1958.

      Now they could even say that as an opinion and fight against the Church from within the Church. In the past that’s how problems got solved.

      But Sedes are a cult, outside the Church, and that’s the difference. I’ll be Catholic, you can be whatever.

      1. I am not a classical sede.

        But the sede’s have valid questions and doubts that should be investigated and answered.

        But instead we get a whole lot of,”Shut up! Submit! Sign on the dotted line and don’t ask any rational questions, or else!”

        Now which side is the one saying God positively wills all religions, sodomy, women deacons, keeps Hell empty, remarried divorcees, allow the commie Chinese to pick apostate Cardinals that are automatically rubber stamped, allow contraceptive medical coverage, allow immoral indoctrination of children in schools, allow charities to facilitate human smuggling, etc.?

        The SSPX? The Sedes?

        Where is it all coming from, Mike? And why haven’t all the guys on our side, supposedly, the actual Church, done anything about it? Why are things so predictably getting worse, to the point where some are throwing in the towel like,”Welp! There’s nothing we can do! Just ignore, pray and watch the Super Bowl and keep voting Republican. Trump and Putin will save us! And hey, maybe it was Vatican I that was wrong, not us?! Remember, stay within ‘the Church’, whatever that means… Just don’t be a sedevantist! You know, one of those possibilities that might be a possibility within reason… But we might lose money, access and prestige…”

        So instead of judging a tree by its fruits, you are content to attack those who had nothing to do with it. This is like when Democrats double down and attack conservative commentators and social media criticism for their backfiring policies. And even when the Conservatives adopt their false narratives without question, because America might look bad and people would lose faith in democracy! Anything but that! You must remain the greatest country, even if it means Satanism has religious rights to display the Baphomet in public facilities and access abortion for ritualistic purposes.

        I believe the reason the Americanists, like the anti-Lefevbrists do so is because deep down you are all very afraid of the possibility that they on the long standing critics might be right. To admit this possibility is alarming and depressing. It means you are now obligated to weigh complicated matters that involve risking your soul, when we all would just prefer the safe comfort of normalism. Nobody wants to face hard trials. But God’s providence put us here, meaning that the Truth can be known. We just have to care enough to fight for it.

        Francis is not the source of these problems, he is their present logical culmination. Error compounds error. Little wonder the Eastern schismatics feel more confirmed watching Rome turn into a Modernist whore. They have finally declared “dialogue” to be over because even they recognize the departure. Francis is now cozying up more to the Anglicans; you know, the ones with all those women priests, the majority of whom don’t believe in the Resurrection. The ones now advising Francis on what to do next.

        We are all finding ourselves in Lefevbre’s shoes now. So what are we going to do? Put our heads in the ground, least someone slander us as “schismatics”? Oh! Scarey! Next we’ll be called “bigots” and “hate” criminals!

        1. Johno,

          You are painting the Sedes as one side and the Other side as the Church.

          Of course that is asinine. Barnhardt, as much as I can’t stand her, is not a sede. Millions of Catholics feel just like the sedes, but they did not leave the Church. And The TLM is not a Sede mass, it is the Mass of The Church.

          This will shock you, but the spirit of evil now reigning in the Church has always been there. The popes that that Sedes say are illegitimate were brought up in the pre Vatican 2 Church. Strange, yes?

          What the Sedes did was needlessly throw a tantrum instead of fighting. They abandoned the Church and Jesus and in my opinion should HAVE no opinion on the Church.

          They claim to love Jesus but left Him and His Church and because of people like Lefebvre, even if things “went back to normal” according to them it is doubtful they’d actually come back to the Church. And this is because of self righteousness.

          There is no excuse in being a Sede.

          1. “You are painting the Sedes as one side and the Other side as the Church.”

            No, Mike, I’m only highlighting your absurdity when I said, “our side, supposedly, the actual Church” i.e. according to you – is the one pushing all manner of heresy and blasphemy and sacrilege.

            Do you deny this?

            And Barnhardt is not a classical sede, but she, NonVeniMark, and I as well, are now Sede’s by virtue of the fact that we believe Benedict XVI was the last legitimate Pope, that his resignation was invalid, and that therefore Francis’s election was invalid and that combined with his public formal obstinate heretical statements and actions, he is an apostate and an Anti-Pope.

            Mike, once again, you are missing the point, and this is where the importance of the definitions and meanings of words MATTER. Please be humble and learn them.

            Sedevacantism – IS NOT SCHISM. It is a statement of fact, or it isn’t.

            Lefevbre’s actions were not schismatic actions. Lefevbre didn’t go about electing a new Pope.

            Some other folks back in the past, did set up their own “pope.” But those men would be anti-popes. Something Lefevbre did not do, but he was accused of usurping the right function of the Pope to appoint new bishops – though this was also legal grey area, because under certain emergency conditions, another bishop can appoint successors to ensure that Catholics under his charge have continuity. Ex: A bishop in a country, where Catholics are persecuted and lines of communication with the Vatican are cut off, which could last hundreds of years, or the Pope is dead and a new one is still unelected, may in danger of death, or where necessity arises, appoint a successor or appoint new bishops so that the faithful will have a continual line of succession so that the priesthood and sacraments do not end.

            Why do you think the Eastern Orthodox priesthood and sacraments are still valid, Mike? You ever think about that? Is the Pope appointing the Eastern Orthodox bishops, Mike? Heck, the current guy is letting Xi JiPing appoint them! After all, these appointments can be ratified by the Pope afterwards! Lefevbre panicked and believed he was doing just that; assuming that once the clergy got their acts together to resolve VII, his appointments would either be validated after-the-fact, or judged illicit, but by then, Lefevbre would’ve happily submitted himself for being in the wrong to a legitimate Pontiff and college. Which is what he was FIGHTING FOR ALL ALONG, while other sat back and ASSUMED everything was normal and judged him the same way the Arians judged Athanasius.

            But that’s after all, really the question, isn’t it?

            The Eastern orthodox are in Schism – because they refuse to acknowledge the office of the Papacy as having primacy over them. But have a valid sacramental priesthood.

            The Protestants and Anglicans are in Schism because they deny the Papal Office altogether, and are heretics without any priesthood.

            And all of them were around long before Vatican II, and only had the Traditional Mass! So… what exactly is you point? That anyone raised in pre-VII times can’t be heretics? Are you now throwing darts at the wall to see what will stick?

            Let’s examine your emotional assertions:

            “What the Sedes did was needlessly throw a tantrum instead of fighting. They abandoned the Church and Jesus and in my opinion should HAVE no opinion on the Church.”

            Factually incorrect. They first tried to get the leadership to sort things out, and when the leadership was clearly not bothering to do that , and only make excuses for it and cover it up, much like they are obviously continuing to do so now. Apparently it’s okay to bless sodomites and give communion to public unrepentant adulterers! Heck, women deacons are likely coming next! It’s the same old song and dance. Then people like you panic and strain the gnat and swallow the camel, and lash out at those with eyes to see. As you are presently doing.

            “They claim to love Jesus but left Him and His Church and because of people like Lefebvre, even if things “went back to normal” according to them it is doubtful they’d actually come back to the Church. And this is because of self righteousness.”

            Watch out everyone, we’ve got a prophet and precognitive judge over here! Bias-confirmation, much?

            Again, Mike, they NEVER left the Church. For the same reason people on all sides of every previous Anti-Papal debates, with as many as three, in the past were NEVER schismatics. And presently, the jury’s still out here, as you agreed, yes?

            This is not a team sport where you need to score goals to win the world cup, Mike. Be rational and charitably listen to the other side for once.

            We are living in a dilemma. It needs to be solved. You are free to pick a side and present your arguments. And it needs to be solved rationally, point by point, argument by argument. Not emotional drivel.

  4. Consider:
    Someday- hopefully very soon- we are all going to need to work together to restore the Church
    as laypersons.
    If we can all accept that Francis is an anti-pope, regardless of where we fall on the Benedict/Francis
    bell curve, and stop alienating each other over the details, we will have less fence mending to do later.

    For example: I was, at first, a subscriber to Benedict is Pope. It was a lovely clean explanation.
    But, as time went on, and more evidence was proposed, cracks developed. There were items that BiP didn’t examine that undermined the premise, there were things that I thought were given more weight than they warranted and there was more mind-reading than I was comfortable with.
    So, I moved to the Benedict Validly Resigned point, which has its own complications- like how long have we been in an interregnum? And all the other questions about the anti-Papism.
    But I didn’t do this because I am obdurate or venal or any of the other accusations thrown around. BiP just didn’t work anymore, just as Anglo-Catholicism didn’t work anymore, when I converted.

    So, we can differ about why Francis is not Pope and examine our positions and still support and encourage each other in the current crisis.

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