by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
February 3, 2021 A. D.: On Monday of this week, First Things published a rambling diatribe by Mons. Müller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, against reality itself, and hence against Pope Benedict XVI.
There does not seem to be any reason to it other than that. Because next week is the 8th Anniversary of nothing, and it appears that Bishop Müller is worried that the narrative that something happened needs to be sustained again.
So frightened is the Vatican to sustain their false narrative that they had me arrested last year on Feb. 11, 2020, for the crime of standing in Saint Peter’s square with a cellphone interviewing Catholics who had come there to proclaim the truth of the Gospel, namely, that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope until he renounces the papacy.
That First Things would publish Müller’s rambling essay is another sign of its intellectual decline. But the essay merits a public rebuke from FromRome.Info, seeing that it was published by the German language magazine, here at Rome, which calls itself “Vatican” and sustains not only a non-factual version of reality, but pretends that in the Catholic Church the mere assertion of a narrative makes that narrative true.
Muller’s article is entitled, therein, Why There is only one pope. You can read the article in English translation (though not of the entire article) by clicking the image above.
Readers of FromRome.Info can see the problem with the article from the get go. Müller misidentifies who is the only one Pope. But he has personal and grave motives to do so, because Pope Benedict XVI never made him a Cardinal, and Bergoglio pretended to do so. So you would confess yourself to be a fake Cardinal, if you confessed the truth that Benedict XVI is still the one and only true pope.
First, let me say that Müller’s article is not theology, and it is not an argument. It does not try to demonstrate or prove anything. It is merely a rambling stream of consciousness from a cleric who wants things in reality to be the way that the narrative which serves him demands them to be.
Müller’s appointment to the CDF back in the summer of 2012 A. D. was a scandal. I remember the outcry from Catholics throughout Italy, since I was in Rome at the time, having just finished my first year in theology studies. Müller was considered entirely unfit for the office because he had sustained — and had publicly affirmed that he had not retracted — 2 heresies, one a metaphysical absurdity, another a blasphemy against the Mother of God and God’s own Goodness: namely, (1) that Christ’s entire corporal humanity was not present in the Blessed Sacrament, only his philosophical human nature abstracted from all accidents, and (2) that Our Lady lost her physical virginity when She gave birth to Our Lord Jesus Christ, because His birth was not miraculous but was in every way ordinary.
But I digress.
Müller is such a fine theologian, and it can be seen in how he destroys his entire argument from the opening. He writes,
When Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from the Petrine ministry on February 28, 2013, and Francis was elected pope on March 13 of that year, a totally new situation was created, one not previously known in the history of the papacy and the Church. We still lack dogmatically adequate ways of understanding and expressing it.
This is the kind of screed that would earn you 0 in a first year exam in theology. It is a laughable non sequitur. For if Benedict XVI did resign, then there is only one pope, and there have been numerous papal resignations in the past, wherein a pope succeeded a pope who resigned. — On the other hand, if the situation is entirely new, then the Pope did not resign.
The game that Müller is playing here is attempting to repackage reality into the box, wherein the only thing new is in appearances, namely that Benedict XVI continues to comport himself as a pope, because he is a Pope emeritus.
But you cannot say that, because then the absurdity that Müller is claiming would become more apparent.
Because either you accept the historical fact of what Benedict XVI did and interpret it accordingly, or you insist on an interpretation and you re-read reality to fit that interpretation.
The forensic method which every modern police force in the world uses today follows the former approach. And reasons objectively.
Pope Benedict XVI said he renounced the ministry which he had received through the hands of the Cardinals.
The only law in force, on Feb. 11, 2013, which judged the validity of a papal resignation is Canon 332 §2. In that Canon it clearly states,
If it happen that the Roman pontiff renounces his munus….
That did not happen. Therefore, Joseph Ratzinger is still Pope Benedict XVI.
Even the consequent actions of Pope Benedict XVI manifest that this is the case: he wears the Papal White, he signs as Pastor of Pastors (P. P.), he gives the Apostolic Blessing, he affirms in his most recent biography that he never intended to renounce the spiritual reality of the papal office.
Ergo, Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope.
Müller can ramble all day long, but his essay brings forward no proof for his position to the contrary. And his emotings are not a proof. In the Catholic Church you do not prove something by merely asserting your position over and over again.
The article, as you read it, clearly gives the sense of a propaganda piece that you would expect in a newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party. Full of party speak and lacking entirely in substance.
But in doing so, Mons. Müller has also attacked Pope Benedict XVI. Because charity requires that we not only live in the truth, but that we speak about reality according to the norm of truth. If our superior acts we say he has acted, and we do not say he has done what he himself does not say he has done. We judge events on the basis of truth, and legal acts on the basis of the proper and appropriate laws. And we do not implicitly insult our superior for being unjust — as Müller does when he says, without saying it, that Benedict XVI should not dress in white or bear the papal dignity.
Müller’s article was solicited by Bergoglio, whose health is declining fast. Like Cardinal Pell who last December attacked Pope Benedict XVI publicly for comporting himself as the Pope, Müller has joined the attack. Pell’s missive failed, Benedict XVI still comports himself as the Pope. Müller’s will fail also, because as Christ promises: The gates of Hell shall not prevail against My Church.
The utter baselessness of the position of Müller shows how totally unsubstantiated his position is even after 8 years. The conspirators to dethrone Benedict XVI have not succeed in convincing anyone. Because men are rational and demand rational arguments to be convinced. But as the ancient maxim says, contra facta nullum argumentum est! — Against the facts, there is no argument.