by Andrea Cionci
Dear Miss Barnhardt,
A few days ago, I published an open letter, also translated into English, and a captioned video-interview addressed to you and Prof. Edmund Mazza, to discuss matters of enormous importance that transcend all ego-centric issues and personal ideological territory. I acknowledge your great, even historical, merits for identifying the invalidity of Declaratio as renunciation and Bergoglio’s antipapacy. However, I have submitted to you incontrovertible documents and reasoning of normal logic to take a step forward in understanding the Magna Quaestio.
I expected that You might either welcome with joy and a spirit of cooperation what has been presented, or rebut it with serene rational arguments, to defend Your thesis, as the gravity of the matter and the stature of the debate certainly deserve. Instead I am informed that You in Your latest podcast indirectly respond in these terms, “There is a group of people who absolutely want to make Pope Benedict out to be a superhero, for some reason, who is playing 15-dimensional underwater chess. And, oh, no! He didn’t make a substantial mistake, it’s all the result of his enormous Bavarian intellect, he fooled everybody and so on….”
Response to my first Open Letter to Ann Barnhardt?
It has been said that Pope Benedict would be a liar for consenting to all this and would be responsible for all the souls who died as a result of Bergoglio’s horrible heresies (since they believed he was the Pope). I’m also told that your co-blogger, blogging at Non Veni Pacem, has asked, “How is Ratzinger not in mortal sin according to the argument that this is a big maneuver on his part for the past 9 years?” He also alludes to the fact that the Ratzinger Code would be a kind of “gnosticism.” (I don’t understand why since it is based on syntax and logical analysis of language).
We Italians are a bit xenophilic and tend to think that outside our national borders, that “the grass is always greener”.
I expected that we could go beyond mockery and avoidance of the subject matter.
I expected that in a confrontation with American intellectuals we could go beyond the mockery and avoidance of the subject matter, unlike what is already happening in Italy with the demeaning conduct of several intellectuals who categorically refuse to examine writings of the Holy Father Benedict reviewed by several specialists even of university rank HERE (link missing in original).
Now, certainly what I have uncovered is wonderfully disconcerting: we so agree; but it is no more disconcerting than the claim that Joseph Ratzinger, one of the greatest Catholic intellectuals of the 1900s, with an ecclesiastical career of some 60 years, might have had a “mistaken” view of the papacy. Kind of like saying that Elizabeth II today would still not have a clear understanding of what the role of a queen is. Doesn’t that seem a bit bold of a claim?
Now, allow me, here to say that concerning substantial error there is only one here: that of continuing with blinders on to see Declaratio as an “invalid renunciation” of the papacy. — I have shown in detail and with the help of authoritative Latinists that this document is not a lame and invalid renunciation at all, but is a candid and very consistent declaration by which Pope Benedict simply “stopped working,” relinquishing the exercise of power because he was unable to continue.
An impeded See
So, in fact, he has retired to an impeded See, a canonical situation that makes him remain pope and that, again in fact, makes Bergoglio an antipope. — Imagine a professor with a class of little students. Those are so anarchic and rowdy that he cannot continue teaching, so at some point he simply leaves the classroom and crosses his arms. He doesn’t quit his teaching position and remains a professor. If some random guy walks into the classroom and starts teaching instead of him, do you think he could be automatically hired by the school in place of the other professor? This could only happen in the jungle, not in a civilized institution!
I have also shown, through analysis, which I term “the Ratzinger Code,” which is recounted in a book of mine due out next week, that Benedict managed to never lie, despite the fact that imprisonment might have authorized it, using subtly logical language. — For example, when he says “I have validly renounced my ministry,” since munus and ministry are regularly translated by many as “ministry,” you do not know which of the two entities he is referring to. Or rather, He knows, because in Declaratio, He renounced the ministry-ministerium. So He is not a liar at all. But a genius who managed to always tell the truth, in its essence, even in the face of his enemies.
This is just one of a thousand examples. I have shown that on every occasion, even in the very difficult 65th priesthood speech, the one about the word “Eucharistomen,” Benedict managed to subtly speak the truth in the presence of his persecutor. But one must descend into the transparent and pure meaning of words and references. Only in silence and pure rational thought can this reality be understood.
Why did Benedict not first legally arrange for emeritus?
Moreover, if Benedict had wanted, because of his strange conception of the papacy, to split the office into two, one active and the other contemplative, why did he not first legally arrange the status of an emeritus? Last year Bergoglio put his canonists to work to patch up a jurisprudence on the emeritus papacy, a clear sign that it does not exist. What does Benedict do, things by halves? The pope emeritus is impossible, he and the canonists, who have so far spoken on the matter, know it well. So “emeritus” must be understood in its original meaning: the one who deserves, who has the right to be pope.
More importantly, what would have been the point of creating this confusion with a true active pope and a true contemplative pope? Just to panic a billion 285 million faithful? Do you think Joseph Ratzinger is such a spiteful, vain, nostalgic man for the trappings of papal dignity?
But even if when he had this whimsical idea of the papacy, in nine years, given the bewilderment left in the faithful, Benedict should have constantly reiterated, according to his misconception, “Look there are two popes, one active and one contemplative, I am also pope, but I am retired.” But no: he repeats, tapping his wrist on the armrest, “There are not two popes, only one is the pope,” and he does not explain which one. Bishop Gaenswein also confirms, “There is only one legitimate pope. But two living successors of St. Peter” (ergo one is legitimate and the other is illegitimate) and “there is one contemplative member (the legitimate pope, Benedict) and one active member” (the usurper Bergoglio). Too difficult? I don’t think so, for your intelligence.
There is then a theological discourse to be made. If you are Catholic you must believe that the pope is assisted by the Holy Spirit, not only ex cathedra, but also in ordinary activity (Article 892 of the Catechism). According to the substantial error theory, would the Holy Spirit have abandoned the true pope at such a dramatically crucial moment in the history of the Church, legitimately handing it over to a total heretic as you describe Bergoglio? — Forgive me, but this I think is a horrible offense against the Trinitarian Third Person. Exactly like those Bergoglio legitimists who think it is plausible how the Holy Spirit assists one who enthrones Pachamama and is “personally” in favor of civil unions, i.e., the legalization of the practice that according to Catholicism is one of the Four Sins that cry out for vengeance to heaven. Perhaps the Holy Spirit has become modernist and heretical and we have not noticed?
As for the usual objection many people make, about Benedict XVI allegedly abandoning souls to Bergoglio:
1) the pope is not the baby sitter of humanity. Every war has its price to pay, and the Church certainly is suffering damage. But the doctrine of Supplet ecclesiae affirms that God provides, supplants in cases of people’s good faith and unawareness. So the sincere souls of the little ones and the unaware are saved anyway and the sacraments are legitimate for them (but only for them).
2) Benedict, moreover, continues to speak and teach true Catholics not only with his books but also with the language of Jesus in the face of his enemies. Those with ears perfectly understand the Ratzinger Code. Truly sincere sheep smell exactly who the shepherd is. On social media I often read simple people who write, “My pope is Benedict.” In reality he is for everyone, but they, poor souls, intuitively sense it. Those who are in trouble are the intellectuals, those who have lost this simplicity in recognizing the true and then, degrading themselves, mock their opponents about the last name. What was it like? “If you don’t come back as children….”
3) To say that Benedict sinned because he abandoned the faithful would be like complaining about a father kidnapped by bandits by saying he is guilty because he “abandoned his family.” He could do nothing else because he was the victim of a deadly mutiny.
4) Without this ingenious self-impediment, if he had heroically had himself killed, or if he had really abdicated, You would have Bergoglio as legitimate pope today.
5) Benedict XVI is neither stupid nor ignorant. On the contrary, you yourself admits that he is a genius, but now you reject the hypothesis that he could have prepared a genius plan to defend the Church from those whom She most detests. In short, make up your mind!
So I really appreciated the work that you have done up to now. And the conclusions you came to also had a certain logic to them: “If the renunciation is invalid, Benedict necessarily had to have a very strange conception of the papacy.” But I am telling you that it was not a renunciation. And that Benedict, by a subtle, but perfectly consistent statement, self-exiled himself to an impeded See (canon 412) and thus allowed his enemies to march into schism.
You personally now have four possibilities:
1) You lock yourself in “no comment” as so many do, certifying your intellectual surrender.
2) Prove me wrong by disputing point by point the arguments and documents I submitted to you in the above article and interview. If you succeed in doing so, on a logical and documentary basis, I will declare myself defeated.
3) You may continue to mock me and several priest-martyrs who have had themselves excommunicated to defend the truth. You may continue to avoid direct confrontation and evade the merits of the issues. In this case, however, you would be taking a very serious responsibility, which would undo all your excellent work done so far. Out of a matter of punctiliousness and haughtiness you would discredit yourself, producing enormous damage. In fact, the substantial error thesis gives room to those traditionalists who see Ratzinger as a “modernist.” And therefore they refuse to understand Bergoglio’s illegitimacy by emotionally and masochistically wallowing in hopeless tragedy.
This road of yours will lead to the end of the visible Church, Bergoglio’s victory and anti-papal succession. I will tell you how. The sedevacantists will retreat, depressed and sneering, to their Aventine: “No pope has been valid since 1958 anyway.” And they will let a new fake conclave unfold with 70 invalid Bergoglian cardinals. The one cum (Bergoglio’s legitimist conservatives) will agree to endorse the fake conclave hoping for a diplomatic deal: they will be gutted. Do they feel up to “getting back on the merry-go-round” with an antipope Zuppi, Maradiaga or Tagle who will assume the name John XXIV as Bergoglio anticipates (unheard of)? But they would still end up with another antipope even if, by the most unlikely chance, a traditionalist and holy man “gets elected”.
4) Possibility No. 4 is that you, after studying very carefully what I have submitted to you, become aware of self-exile in the impeded See. And show that you can do the most difficult thing in the world, with the courage that is yours. Abandon your thesis of substantial error, burning it on the altar of Logic (which you demonstrated very well) as an “outdated model” and to work together to win back the Church to true Catholics. I cordially extend my hand to offer alliance or, at the same time, throw down my glove inviting you to a duel (though traditionally one does not do that, with a lady). It is up to you.
However, please don’t be like those little quoted intellectuals who tease me about my surname, or bring up the “Da Vinci Code” or “A beautiful mind.” This matter is extremely – extremely – serious and transcends our little personal peeves. History will judge us, and for those who believe, so will Someone more important.
Looking forward to your reply, I cordially greet you,