On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he resigned as “Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter”. In a brief statement in Latin announcing his resignation, he cited his deteriorating strength and the physical and mental demands of the papacy, but declared that he would continue to serve the church “through a life dedicated to prayer”. In so doing, he became the first pope in 600 years to retire rather than die in office
After two weeks of ceremonial farewells, the Pope left office at the appointed time. A month later, on March 13, 2013, the papal conclave elected an Argentinian cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, to be pope. Meanwhile, in retirement Benedict retained his papal name rather than revert to his birth name, Joseph Ratizinger. And so the Catholic Church found itself in the unprecedented situation of having two popes: Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Ever since his resignation, there are persistent whispers that Benedict’s resignation had been coerced and that he is imprisoned “in a certain sort of way,” with fingers pointing to a shadowy cabal of high-ranking leftist homosexual clerics dubbed the St. Gallen Mafia.
But on the eve of the first anniversary of his resignation, in a letter to a Vatican correspondent of La Stampa newspaper, Benedict denied he had been forced to step down:
“There isn’t the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry. The only condition for the validity is the full freedom of the decision. Speculation about its invalidity is simply absurd.”
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Notwithstanding Benedict’s denial, Catholics unhappy with Pope Francis continue to insist that Benedict XVI had been coerced to resign. Some say that in his statement of resignation, Benedict never said he was resigning from the papacy, but merely that he was resigning from the ministry, that is, the active exercise of being a pope.
Note: But doesn’t the title “Pope Emeritus” mean precisely that? — that Benedict retains the title of “Pope” but is retired and no longer active as pope, thus “Emeritus”. Just as the title “Professor Emeritus” refers to a professor who has retired from his/her university (emeritus), but nevertheless retains the title “professor”.
Increasingly frustrated by Pope Francis’ speech and behavior, some traditional Catholics are becoming unglued, notably the traditional Catholic website From Rome.
On January 18, 2020, From Rome initiated a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking President Trump issue a tweet that he’s “concerned” about Pope Benedict XVI:
“I am concerned for the welfare of all the elderly and that they not be abused or manipulated, including Pope Benedict XVI. I urge all to take effective steps for their care!”
The petition requires 100,000 signatures for the White House to act. A week after the petition was begun, only 579 people have signed.
From Rome‘s latest act of desperation is a poll on whether there should be a military intervention at the Vatican.
On January 19, 2020, a day after the petition to the White House, From Rome published a poll asking its readers if an armed intervention is needed to restore Benedict XVI as pope:
In view of the Massive public interest in the welfare of Pope Benedict, the growing and soon to explode public consensus that He is still the true and only Pope and that Bergoglio is an uncanonical anomaly, From Rome wants to take the pulse of Christendom with a poll asking a very very impolitic question. Please share this on all social media, so we can get the best response:
As of this morning, here are the poll results:
A reader commented:
“Which military does From Rome imagine would ‘intervene’ at the Vatican to oust fake pope Bergoglio? If the Church’s clergy — from cardinals to priests — would do their job, no military intervention would be needed.”
To which From Rome responded defensively and disingenuously:
“We do not imagine anything. We are just taking a poll.”
After which, the website posted this disclaimer:
Disclaimer: The taking of this poll in no way implies any action, support or condoning of private military or armed action against the Vatican City State or anyone in its territories. It is merely a journalistic appeal to know what people are thinking and how strongly they feel it. Whether the USA or an Italian government in the future might take this action or not, is neither foreseen nor solicited by FromRome.info
As an American, I do not want a U.S. military intervention at the Vatican for any reason. And if the U.S. were to intervene and oust Jorge Bergoglio from the papacy, then what? Should the U.S. military occupy Vatican City until Benedict XVI is restored to St. Peter’s? Benedict is 92 years old and frail. Should the U.S. military then force a papal conclave to elect a new pope? And if another Bergoglio is elected, then what?
The Catholic Church’s cardinals created this mess. The Catholic Church, and no one else, should resolve their own problems.
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