English translation by FromRome.Info
by Mirko Ciminiello
The discovery that Pope Ratzinger may not have abdicated, but “only” declared the (Holy) See impeded, would be the journalistic story of the millennium. But the press ignores it… deafening silence,
In grammar, a rhetorical figure such as “deafening silence” is defined as an oxymoron: the juxtaposition of two terms with opposite or strongly antithetical meanings. In the media, this expression is sometimes used to indicate the absence of an action – and more often a reaction – that could have been expected. Like, for example, the mutism of certain feminists in the face of the destruction of rights (especially women’s) perpetrated by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Or that of the so-called “fourth power” in the face of the succession of clues regarding the (non) resignation of Benedict XVI.
Two weeks have passed since our shock discovery that could upset the future (and even the present) of the Catholic Church. A message, found in the folds of the book-interview Ultime conversazioni, which seems to confirm a hypothesis that our colleague Andrea Cionci has been investigating for some time. The hypothesis that the famous Declaratio of Pope Ratzinger was not a declaration of renunciation, but of (Holy) See impedita.
In the first case, authoritative jurists such as lawyer Estefanía Acosta and professor Antonio Sánchez Sáez have demonstrated that it would be legally invalid. And, significantly, they have demonstrated this using the same arguments of “Bergoglian” canonists such as Monsignor Giuseppe Sciacca and Professor Geraldina Boni, simply by highlighting their contradictions.
In extreme synthesis: the Pope is only one (there are not two Popes, nor an “enlarged” Papacy). Since 1983, the papal office is considered to be composed of two entities: the munus (the divine title of Pontiff) and the ministerium (the practical exercise of power). According to Canon 332 §2, a Vicar of Christ who intends to abdicate must renounce the munus. However, in the Declaratio Pope Benedict announced that he was leaving the ministerium.
Facts and clues
These are facts – and not even isolated ones. Suffice it to consider, for example, that Joseph Ratzinger still wears the white robe, lives in the Vatican, signs P.P. (Pater Patrum) and imparts the apostolic blessing. He admits (as per our recent intuition) the possibility of being the last Pope “as we have known him until now”, as he is designated in the prophecy of Malachi. In addition, there is the small detail that the institution of Pope Emeritus does not exist, as the Vatican has noticed only now – so much so that they are now trying to regulate it.
All aspects of which Benedict XVI seems perfectly aware. And about which he seems to have been sending, for eight years, messages to those who have ears to hear. The last one was reported by the blog fromrome.info, which quoted a very precise question by journalist Peter Seewald, also in Last Conversations. “Is diminished physical vigor sufficient reason to step down from the throne of Peter?”
Question to which Pope Ratzinger responded by immediately speaking of a misunderstanding related to the function (i.e. ministerium). But the successor of Peter “is involved in the innermost being”, that is, at the higher level of the munus. And – added His Holiness – if a Pontiff is no longer able to carry out his (practical) office in a complete manner, he must “leave the throne free”. Not, that is, to come down from it (as Seewald ventilated), but to leave it free, unencumbered, unoccupied.
The deafening silence of the media
This, according to some distinguished Latinists, is precisely the original meaning of a verb that stands out in the Declaratio of February 2013. Vacet, which in reference to “the See of St. Peter” has been translated as “will be vacant,” but can legitimately be interpreted as communicating an impeded See.
A status provided for in Canon 412 of the Code of Canon Law, which occurs when the diocesan bishop is prevented from exercising his pastoral office. And this “by reason of imprisonment, confinement, exile or incapacity, not being able to communicate even by letter with his diocesans.”
Just the situation that Joseph Ratzinger found himself living eight years ago. Besieged by internal enemies (the Mafia of St. Gallen), external (the blockade of Vatican ATMs), and with private mail given to the press (the Vatileaks scandal).
Rebus sic stantibus (Things being as they are), it would mean that Benedict XVI is still the only true Pope, with all the (disruptive) consequences of the case. Case that would be by far the journalistic case of the millennium, but which the mainstream media, entrenched behind their deafening silence, they continue incredibly to ignore. One might wonder, Cui prodest (To whose benefit)? But in any case (and in all senses) it’s a real shame.