First, the results. I’m not surprised that Pope Benedict won the poll. I am surprised by how much. I knew that we were making significant headway, but this is REALLY encouraging:
My thanks to news aggregator extraordinaire Frank Walker at Canon212.com and his webmistress for doing the poll. This poll was done purely to gather information as to the situation on the ground in terms of what Traditional Catholics in the English-speaking world, i.e. the demographic of the Canon212.com audience, are thinking. As Mark Docherty pointed out, and cannot be pointed out enough, the identity of the Vicar of Christ on Earth is an objective reality. It is NOT in any way a matter of “popular opinion”. Christ Jesus bestows the Papacy DIRECTLY upon the man who is legally elected AND assents to the office with ZERO mediation from either the College of Cardinals or even the Church. This was made clear in no uncertain terms in Pastor Aeternus at Vatican I. It is also Christ Jesus who WITHDRAWS the Papacy from a man who LEGALLY AND VALIDLY resigns. The arbiter of this validity is Canon Law, which is backstopped by Christ Himself. When Christ said to Peter, “What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” what that means is that Christ Himself is the guarantor and backstop of “Peter’s Codex”, which today is the 1983 Code. Peter’s successor promulgated the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and therefore Christ imbues and vivifies it with His own authority. Canon Law judges the validity of a Papal Resignation. We merely point to the results and state them. My meat thermometer judges the temperature of my meatloaf. I merely state the thermometer’s determination as to the state of said meatloaf and act accordingly.
We must NEVER forget Canon 748.1 or allow ourselves to be scandalized by others into thinking that the Truth about the Holy Catholic Church is “none of our business”, or even worse that it is some sort of sin to sincerely seek the identity of the Vicar of Christ on Earth; which would be nothing less than a direct denial of Our Lord’s words in the Good Shepherd Discourse AND a denial of the Second Great Commandment to love our neighbors because God loved them first.
Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.
BUT ANN! BUT ANN! Don’t you think that the fact that you linked to the poll skewed the results?
Actually, I don’t think my link skewed it too badly, because my audience and Canon212.com’s audience have a HUGE overlap. Most people who read this space also check Canon212, so I didn’t drive many people to Canon212 that wouldn’t have seen it themselves anyway.
BUT, just for giggles, tellya what I’m gonna do. Let’s give the Holy Father Pope Benedict a little haircut shall we? Just for fun. How about… oh, I dunno… FIFTY PERCENT. Yes. Let’s take fully HALF of Pope Benedict’s votes away and see where that leaves us.
Hmmm. So Bergoglio would still have 1219 votes, and Pope Benedict would have 1550 votes. Where I’m from in Kansas, we’d say that Pope Benedict STILL goes all Cassius Clay on him. “DOWN! GOES! FRA…NCIS!! DOWN! GOES! FRA…NCIS!!”
So. Yeah. I think it is very, very clear that a strong majority of Traditional Catholics today have come to the conclusion per Canon 748 that Bergoglio is an Antipope and Pope Benedict is the one and only living Vicar of Christ on Earth.
Two other cohorts to mention. Novus Ordo Watch (1958 sedevacantists) linked and publicized the poll, so most of the “Neither” votes came from that. Not all, but most.
Fr. Z posted and linked the poll, and there was a sharp uptick in “Francis” votes as a result of that. Fr. Z’s audience is a mix or Trad, semi-Trad and Novus Ordo. Several things stood out in the comment thread on Fr. Z’s post. First was the significant percentage of people who said that they didn’t care, it was none of their concern, etc. who the Vicar of Christ is. I hope Fr. Z avails himself of this chance to explain to his readers that indifference to other human beings being scandalized unto eternal damnation by an Antipope isn’t something we are permitted to shrug off. Second Great Commandment. Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary – the Visitation. Fruit of the Mystery? FRATERNAL CHARITY, LOVE OF NEIGHBOR.
Several commenters on Fr. Z’s thread said they voted “Francis” only because no prelate has spoken out on the question. GOODNESS, SOMEONE SHOULD TELL Cardinal Burke THAT EVERYONE IS DEFERRING TO HIM AND HIS AUTHORITY, AND THAT HE HAS THE POWER TO “TURN LOOSE THE LION OF TRUTH” AT ANY TIME. “Significant canonical irregularities have been identified with regards to the resignation proffered by Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013. Pending further investigation….” Because maybe he doesn’t realize how much power he wields as not only a Cardinal Prince of the Church, but also the top-ranking Canon Lawyer in the Church. Still. And perhaps even more so now than ever.
The next was a comment by a lady named “Anita”. She repeated the oft-heard mantra, “BUT THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN DOOOOOO!”
Anita, my dear, SPEAK. FOR. YOURSELF.
Next, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge two men who have done essentially all of the work in demonstrating that Pope Benedict never validly resigned and that Jorge Bergoglio is an Antipope. Those two men are, of course…
Pope Benedict Ratzinger and Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Visibility, visibility, visibility….
And finally, now that we know that among Catholics who hold the actual Catholic faith, who don’t think that sodomites can marry, nor that women can be ordained, nor that the Mass is a symbolic community meal, nor that God wills religious plurality and deems proselytism a sin, and nor that there is no hell, only soul annihilation – among people who are ACTUALLY CATHOLIC, the SENSUS FIDELIUM is that Pope Benedict is the Pope. Exactly as one would expect given the words of Our Blessed Lord and Savior, God Incarnate, in John 10:
Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers (vocem alienorum).