First, Fr. Z’s title of his post:
Buon Onomastico… Happy Name Day… Holy Father Benedict XVI and also another titan of the Church. BONUS: a short excursion of the imagination.
Posted on 19 March 2022 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
“Holy Father” and not an emeritus in sight… 😏
Then, to the fantasy fiction, wherein a theory is given flesh by speculative example. And yes, SATISFYING would be putting it mildly:
… the votes are counted and the results ring in the Sistine Chapel. Stunned, awe-filled silence prevails.
There is a moment of bustling consultation at the main table of the officers of the conclave. Several of the Cardinals and personnel slip out the door to the Gospel side of the main altar.
Time passes. As the Cardinal Electors wait, some being to stir, to gather in small groups, and move about and the sound of voices slowly rises in the great painted barn.
There is a sudden tapping on the microphone to get their attention and everyone returns to his place. The main door of the chapel opens. A momentary swirl of porpora sacra and paonazza.
A small figure dressed in white in a wheel chair is escorted into the nave surrounded by officials of the conclave. As if from the sacral sense in the very marrow of the men whose burden it is to bear the color of martyrs, one by one they remove their birettas and bow to the man in the chair.
In the chair.
In the absence of the Dean of the College, who had been unable to enter the conclave due to age, the Vice Dean approaches the diminutive focus of their collective minds and hearts.
Vice Dean: “Acceptáste electiónem de te canónice factam de Summum Pontificem?” (Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?)
B16: Non accepto. (No.)
Vice Dean: “Quo nómine vis … eehh… non acceptas? Ma.. come… cosa…?” (By what name do you wish … uh… you don’t? But… how… what…?)
B16: Acceptare nuper non possumus quod iam hic abhinc decima septima annos acceptavimus. Apud vos declaramus Nos iam Vicarium Christi esse. Ministerium actuosum Episcopi Sedis Romanae renuntiavimus sed non Christi munus Vicarii. Munus retinuimus illud et retinemus retinebimusque usque ad ultimum cordis saltum Nostrae. Acceptare idcirco hanc electionem modo a vobis factam in Summum Pontificem Nobis non licet. Iamdudum Sumus Pontifex, Christi iam Vicarius.
Ann’s hack Latin translation:
B16: We cannot accept now what we already accepted here seventeen years ago. We declare to you that we are already the Vicar of Christ. We have renounced the active ministry of the Bishop of the Roman See, but not the role of Christ’s Vicar. We have retained that responsibility, and we will retain it and retain it until the last beat of our heart. Therefore it is not lawful for us to accept this election only made by you for the Supreme Pontiff. We have been Supreme Pontiff, Vicar of Christ all along.
[Gasps. All eyes turn back to the man in white.]
Click over to Fr. Z’s post to see the NAME to which Pope Ratzinger selects to change his Papal name in this admittedly delicious piece of speculative fiction. Even if you can’t read Latin, you’ll see it.
Pray for Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the one and only Vicar of Christ these seventeen years, for the Papacy, and for Holy Mother Church, outside of which there is no salvation.
St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church and Terror of Demons, pray for us.
St. Peter, pray for us.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.