Q: Ann, I keep hearing that Antipapacies can only be determined after the putative Pope in question is dead. So why bother worrying about this now?
A: This contention is what is known at Fordham Law School as “making **** up out of whole cloth”. I believe it is a second year course.
Here is Christopher Ferrara, a vocal proponent of this madness, in the Remnant a while back:
Here, however, we encounter the question whether the Holy Ghost has allowed the Church to be afflicted for a time by a de facto antipope whose election cannot be contested and whose papacy must be presumed valid until such time as a successor Pope or Council declares otherwise. On that vexed issue, in my view, we can have nothing definitive to say, meaning nothing by which the Church as a whole could gain operative certitude and proceed accordingly. What is certain, however, is that this Pope must be opposed in his efforts to undermine the Faith.
Wha? Where in the blue fiery blazes is he getting this garbage?
This contention is so stunning because it is so clearly disproven by even the most glancing, cursory examination of history. We’re talking three minutes scanning Wikipedia articles.
There have been something like FORTY antipopes in the past 2000 years, and every one was contested in real time, and almost all were deposed and ejected whilst squatting upon the See of Peter. One of the reasons that the Antipapacy of Anacletus II is so unusual is precisely because he died naturally “in office” after an eight year usurpation. St. Bernard of Clairvaux was the man who went to Rome WHILE ANACLETUS was still alive, and methodically demonstrated to the clergy and the aristocracy of Rome that Anacletus II was an Antipope, such that after Anacletus II died and his “successor” Antipope Victor IV was “elected”, Antipope Victor IV quickly repented after TWO DAYS as Antipope and presented himself to the true Pope, Innocent II. Bernard of Clairvaux and others worked tirelessly and persistently to correct the situation, remove the Antipope and restore the true Pope to the Chair IN REAL TIME. If one listens to the irrational gibberish being spewed today by these intransigent “Fwanciss is Pope shuddup stoopid schismatic!” partisans, one would have to declare that St. Bernard of Clairvaux committed the MORTAL SIN of SCHISM for even daring to question the legal and ontological truth of the identity of the Vicar of Christ on earth. Even though St. Bernard was 100% correct, according to these people today who, if one didn’t know better might think that they belong to some sort of cult that revolves around the violation of the Law of Non-contradiction as its very creed, are arguing that he was in “mortal sin” for EVEN ASKING THE QUESTION. So, according to the “Fwanciss is Pope shuddup stoopid schismatic” set, St. Bernard of Clairvaux was BOTH an unrepentant mortally sinful schismatic, AND is a SAINT AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Yet another fat, juicy violation of the Law of Non-contradiction. Another attempted denial and upending of Reality itself. Remember folks, ONLY THE REAL COUNTS. ONLY THE REAL MATTERS. Anything that involves any violation of the Law of Non-contradiction is either a LIE or a FANTASY.
The death of Antipope Anacletus II wasn’t required- in fact, it was a tragedy that Antipope Anacletus never repented in this life!! The notion that a man MUST be left in such an enormous state of sin as being a usurper of the Petrine See without correction or remedy before he dies is abject madness. It is irrational, effeminate, and is totally unchristian. The calling out of an Antipapacy is perhaps one of the most profound applications of the Spiritual Work of Mercy of Admonishing the Sinner. Any man who does such an enormous thing MUST be publicly admonished, removed and given every chance to repent before he dies.
Check Petition #3 of the Matthew 17:20 intention – that Antipope Bergoglio repent of what he has done, revert to Catholicism, die in the state of Grace in the fullness of time, and someday achieve the Beatific Vision.
A correspondent sent in the following:
We are told, endlessly, as though it were a bedrock principle of ecclesiology, that “only a future pope or council” can determine whether Bergoglio is an anti-pope.
1) Which pope or council has taught this proposition? (I.e., that the legitimacy of every putative pope is an untouchable topic until he dies.) [Answer: None. This proposition is a pure fabrication.]
2) There have been 30-40 anti-popes. How many cardinals, bishops, theologians, canonists, and saints have clamored and campaigned to remove an anti-pope while the anti-pope was alive? [Countless. Including St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Peter Damian]
3) How many anti-popes have been deposed while still living? [The vast majority of them, thank God.]
Now, I have some more “inside baseball” for everyone that when I had it explained to me put even my jaded jaw on the floor.
One of the main cheerleaders for this “Antipopes can’t be determined until after the man is dead” garbage is Christopher Ferrara, as we have seen. As we have discussed in this space previously, Chris is a civil attorney who has dedicated a large part of his time to the Fatima Center, and was a “spiritual son” of the late Fr. Nicholas Gruner.
Father Nicholas Gruner was a Canon Lawyer, and determined that Pope Benedict’s attempted resignation was Canonically invalid, and was PUBLICLY a “Benedict is Pope” advocate, and Fr. Nicholas Gruner commemorated Pope Benedict at the Te Igitur until his sudden death in ARSH 2015. Fr. Gruner’s close associate in the Fatima Center, Fr. Paul Kramer, was and is likewise convinced that Benedict is Pope. Fr. Gruner specifically asked Fr. Kramer to write a book laying out their position, which Fr. Kramer has done:
On March 17, 2015, I spent the day with Fr. Nicholas Gruner in Slane, Ireland, not knowing it would be the last time we would ever meet on this earth. One of the last things he said to me was to ask me again to systematically present in book form the argumentation and evidence providing that Pope Benedict XVI did not validly resign from the office of the papacy, and demonstrate that he is still the only legitimate Pontiff of the Roman Church. He had been asking me to write on this matter for more than a year, [thus prior to March 2014] but due to other commitments, I had been unable to make any sustained effort to compete the task.
I was contacted and had a long telephone conversation with people who were involved deeply and intimately with the Fatima Center until Fr. Gruner’s death. What they told me was shocking.
Immediately upon Fr. Gruner’s death, a purge of the Fatima Center was executed driving out anyone who was sympathetic to Fr. Gruner and Fr. Kramer’s argument that Benedict is Pope.
At the time of Fr. Gruner’s death, a wealthy family in the upper Midwest was organizing a million dollar donation to the Fatima Center. When Fr. Gruner died, the family was immediately told and pressured to make the donation contingent upon driving out all “sedevacantists” who think Benedict is Pope. Does this tactic of mendaciously painting those who believe that Pope Benedict occupies the See as “sedevacantists” sound familiar? It should.
The family was persuaded, and the million dollar donation went through to the “new” Fatima Center, with with Fr. Kramer and all of the folks who were not willing to throw Fr. Gruner under the bus purged.
Now, here’s the kicker.
Who do you think was the point man who rushed to the upper Midwest to lobby this million dollar donation family in person?
As in the civil lawyer John Salza from “Siscoe and Salza”. The guys who wrote the thoroughly shredded “True or False Pope” and have been the source of all of the Trad Inc. false talking points, such as “this can only be adjudicated after he’s dead” and the mendacious and perverted “Universal Peaceful Acceptance” argument – ignoring the fact that UPA only applies to LEGAL, LEGITIMATE, DULY ELECTED Popes. It doesn’t usurp sitting Popes or sanate non-canonical conclaves. Salza, an “ex” 33rd Degree Freemason, is also clearly a source of the use of Alinsky Rule 13 to “polarize” the opposition with false accusations of sedevacantism. He was doing it over a year before I even realized and went public that Benedict is Pope in June of ARSH 2016.
So, as always, it all goes back to the old axiom, FOLLOW THE MONEY.
Civil lawyer Christopher Ferrara coordinated with civil lawyer John Salza in ARSH 2015 to secure a million dollar donation to Fr. Gruner’s Fatima Center in the immediate aftermath of Father Gruner’s death while simultaneously using the donation to leverage the purging the Fatima Center of anyone who actually listened to and had trust in Fr. Gruner and Fr. Kramer’s discernment of the true identity of the Roman Pontiff.
To think that I ever sat at table with these people makes me throw up in my mouth a little. God forgive me. I should have known based upon who introduced me to them. Bad company flocks together. And it really is all about the damn money with these people.
Pray for Pope Benedict XVI, the Papacy, and Holy Mother Church, in terrifyingly visible eclipse, outside of which there is no salvation.