People are wondering why Chris Ferrara of the Fatima Center and long-time columnist for the Remnant Newspaper would admit to privately suspecting that Pope Benedict’s resignation was invalid, and yet at the same time be so publicly strident that “Francis” is Pope. And, yes, I stand ONE THOUSAND PERCENT behind what I said on Episode #101 of the Barnhardt Podcast at about the 23:00 mark. On the evening of 28 June, ARSH 2016, Chris Ferrara said TO MY FACE with Mike Matt of the Remnant standing there, “We all think you’re probably right.” That was a pretty amazing thing for Chris to have said, and I will never forget it. Also, contrary to Chris’ words HERE I had met, spoken, and eaten meals with Chris several times previous to that in ARSH 2013 and ARSH 2014, most notably at the restaurant “da Roberto” on the Borgo Pio in Rome immediately after Bergoglio’s “faux-election” on the evening of 13 March, ARSH 2013. I had a piece of lasagna. So, his memory is a little spotty, it seems.
Here’s the context that explains why Chris might be caught between the two positions: Chris Ferrara’s spiritual father, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, the founder of the Fatima Center, was TOTALLY BiP (BiP stands for “Benedict is Pope”) very early on in the Bergoglian Antipapacy. Fr. Nicholas Gruner was a canonist who honed in on Canon 332.2 and the MUNUS-MINISTERIUM distinction. Sadly, Fr. Gruner died suddenly of a heart attack in ARSH 2015, over a year before +Georg Gänswein gave his watershed speech at the Gregorian in Rome which was the main impetus for my “BiPping” in June of ARSH 2016. And, yes, Fr. Nicholas Gruner commemorated Pope Benedict at the Te Igitur when he offered the Holy Sacrifice.
Do I have proof of this? Yes, I absolutely do. Here is a video that was originally posted on the Fatima Center’s YouTube channel, but was PULLED by the Fatima Center leadership. Somehow, Louie Verrecchio managed to get his hands on a version of it and posted this excerpt to his Vimeo Channel for posterity. This is Fr. Gruner on 14 November, ARSH 2014. Fr. Gruner explicitly discusses the canonical invalidity of Pope Benedict’s attempted resignation at the 5:00 mark. He mis-speaks at one point when he says “2012” instead of “2013” as the date of Pope Benedict’s attempted resignation.
So, I think this makes it VERY clear why Chris Ferrara might be “torn” on the question of Pope Benedict’s resignation. His own beloved spiritual father and founder of the Fatima Center, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, a canonist, was 100% BiP, while on the other hand Chris Ferrara’s colleagues and associates in the “professional Trad Catholic” world are strident “shut-up-stupid-Fwanciss-is-Pope!” partisans.
Let me conclude with one of Fr. Gruner’s favorite quotes from Pope St. Gregory the Great: