by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
At Rome the dam is breaking for Pope Benedict XVI.
Whereas 9 months ago clergy in the city would refuse the Sacraments to any Catholic who said they believed or held Bergoglio to be an antipope or usurper, and that Benedict was the true pope, FromRome.Info has received multiple reports this past week, that that has changed.
Clergy are now giving the Sacraments to such Catholics without so much as a correction or reproof. They now consider it a legitimate opinion, at the very least.
These reports are limited, but it marks a sea change, as we say in English — a fundamental shift in perspective.
Note, this does not regard those Catholics who conceal their opinions, but regards those who state them openly before receiving the Sacraments. This also marks a major change among the laity. The fear is gone and they have become apostles of the truth.
This is monumental!
This will shake some sense back into the entire Church.
A Note about Schism: When there is a contention over the papacy, schism results among those who knowingly and willingly follow the antipope, the claimant to the office who has no canonical valid pretext for his claim. Catholics who are mislead, confused, lied to, and especially those who are ignorant or too lazy to question, or investigate, are often led astray by these schismatics, and fall into de facto formal schism. But they are not culpable canonically of schism, since they never intended such. Morally they are more or less culpable on account of their levels of knowledge or responsibility, but repentance is always possible and the events of the day can lead them easily back to reconsider their decisions. For that reason, such clergy are not canonically in schism and may quickly return to communion with Pope Benedict XVI not only spiritually or theologically, but also publicly.
I use the example of all the brave clergy who hold now that Benedict XVI is the pope. Were they ever schismatics? I do not think so. Those who thought Bergoglio was the pope for a time, merely were mislead. As far as I know only 1 Catholic Bishop, 1 priest and a few lay people, I know of, never held Bergoglio to be the Pope. — Though I admittedly know very few Catholics — It was a very rare grace, but now the Holy Spirit is spreading it around to those who seek the truth.
So if a member of the clergy is willing to offer the Sacraments to a Catholic who holds that Benedict XVI is the pope and who publicly confesses such a position, it is clear that he is not a schismatic, even if he still may be sinning gravely by naming Bergoglio in the Canon of the Mass. Cowardice does not make one a schismatic, it must be noted, but it can cause one to become one. So we should not belittle such a vice.
Note on the Validity of the Sacraments: Finally, the constant teaching of the Church is that the Sacraments confected by schismatic clergy are valid. Only schismatics when receiving the Sacrament of Confession receive no Sacrament, on account of their impenitence in the sin of schism. When they receive the other sacraments, the are valid, but received sacrilegiously, since they are received with the sin. But for those who were fooled into schism, this is not the case.
So, can you receive sacraments from a priest who names Bergoglio in the canon of the Mass? I say no.
But you can resolve the problem another way. Ask him if he will let you receive the sacraments, even though you hold that Bergoglio is an antipope and that Benedict XVI is the true pope and express the position that he is committing mortal sin by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while naming Bergoglio as the Pope. If he says he will still give you the Sacraments, then he is confessing himself to be a coward, not a schismatic, and then so long as you do not serve his mass in any capacity as acolyte, lector, sub deacon or deacon, etc., (one cannot immediately assist a priest who is saying mass sacrilegiously) nor invite him to say Mass, but attend only when he does so for others, then you can do so without mortal sin, so long as you make your position known to everyone and make sure they do not believe that you are condoning such a false position as thinking Bergoglio is the pope. And to not forget to say OUTLOUD when the priest says “Pope Francis,” .. “”Pope BENEDICT XVI”!