When discussing the Bergoglian Antipapacy, one of the arguments one hears frequently from the Bergoglian apologists and the #FrancisIsDefinitelyPope contingent in an effort to quash the discussion itself is, “What difference does it make?” This is generally followed by accusations of “insanity”.
Well, who is and who is not the Pope is of gargantuan importance because unity with the Pope is the defining standard of Schism. Here is Canon 751:
“CANON 751: Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”
Note that the horizontal unity with others is defined in terms of the Pope as well – “members of the Church subject to HIM.”
The Petrine See is THE STANDARD of unity/schism with Jesus Christ and His One Holy Church. Therefore, it is clearly LOGICALLY NECESSARY that the Petrine See be specially and uniquely supernaturally attached – let’s use the imagery of welding here – to the Church Triumphant, and thus to the Triune Godhead Himself.
The Holy Ghost “welds” the Petrine Office to Himself, and the filler metal used in the weld is nothing less than the Word of Our Lord in the Petrine Promise: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.”
“So shall my Word be, which shall go forth from My mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55: 11.
So, the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, by the Word of the Son, attaches and binds the Petrine Office to Himself such that unity with Peter is the standard of unity with the Triune Godhead Himself in the Church Militant. Whether a human being alive on earth is “in” or “out” is a function NOT of horizontal unity with other people in and of themselves, but of unity with Peter and his See, which is the VISIBLE head of the Church Militant.
Let’s build an image of this using our welding metaphor so that we can better understand what schism is. God is infinitely “big”, so there is nothing in the universe that can be an adequate metaphorical representation of Him, but the device that pops into my mind is a monolith – a rectangular prism. Let’s envision God for the purposes of this exercise as a solid metal monolith whose width is equal to that of our galaxy, and whose height is double that. So… big. 600,000,000,000,000,000 (six hundred quadrillion) miles wide, and 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 (one point two quintillion) miles tall.
Now let’s build an image of us – human beings. Let’s say that each human being, including the Pope, is represented by a single atom of iron. 1.3 billion atoms of iron together would form a particle so small as to be invisible to the human eye. Consider that each cell in your body, visible only under a microscope, contains approximately 100 trillion atoms. We’re talking only 1.3 billion atoms.
Now, let’s consider the single atom that is the Pope. Let’s envision that one atom being “welded” by God Himself onto Himself – the Monolith whose dimensions are 2 Milky Way galaxies tall by 1 Milky Way galaxy wide. The other 1.3 billion atoms all gather around the one atom that has been welded to the Monolith, but the 1.3 billion atoms are NOT welded to the monolith and are free to drift away. Only the Pope atom is welded to the Monolith by the Petrine Promise.
You now have an allegorical image of the Church Militant (the 1.3 billion atoms), the Papacy (the Pope atom welded to the Monolith by the Petrine Promise), and the Triune Godhead (the Monolith). In order for the 1.3 billion atoms to be in unity with the Monolith, and KNOW that they are in unity with the Monolith, which is so big relative to them that they can’t directly perceive it, they have to be in unity with the one Pope atom, which is visibly perceptible to them, which they know in turn is welded to the Monolith.
Now, what if the Pope atom is threatened, and/or despairs, and mistakenly declares that he is going to partially quit, and that there will now be other atoms welded to the Monolith at the same time?
Does the Monolith break the weld? No.
Does the Monolith weld another atom to itself so that there are now TWO atoms welded? No.
But among the 1.3 billion atoms, almost all mistakenly declare themselves in unity with one atom who is NOT welded to the Monolith, and thus start drifting out into space, farther and farther from the Monolith. All of the 1.3 billion atoms, save a few hundred, drift away from the Monolith following and declaring themselves in union with the unwelded atom.
Canon Law, and specifically in this case Canon 188, is part of the weld. To carry on our imperfect analogy, and if you know anything about welding, you might think of Canon Law as being like the Flux, that PROTECTS the weld. Canon 188 protects the Pope and the Church Militant by making coercion impossible (because the very act of trying to coerce a Pope to resign renders any attempted resignation invalid), makes it impossible for the Pope’s own substantial error (such as declaring that he only partially resigned and that he fundamentally transformed the Papacy into a collegial, synodal office) to break the weld, and even makes it impossible for a Pope to lose his office by accepting a bribe (simony) thus making it impossible to bribe a Pope out of office.
These protections of the “weld” of the Pope to the Petrine Office and thus the Monolith are derivative of the Natural and Divine Law, and thus even the Pope, the Supreme Lawgiver amongst the Church Militant, is subject to them.
Now here is the question: Who is in schism? Are the few hundred atoms still huddled around the inactive yet still-welded-to-the-Monolith Pope atom in schism? Or are the 1.3 billion atoms trailing off en masse after some demon-worshipping sodo-mason Antipope in a white polyester cassock in schism?
Obviously the 1.3 billion atoms are in schism, EVEN THOUGH TO THEIR PERCEPTION THEY HAVE CREATED THEIR OWN MONOLITH. The standard of schism is NOT unity with the majority or mob. The standard of schism is unity with the Monolith through unity with the Pope atom that is welded to the Monolith, by the Monolith. So even though there are only a few hundred atoms left huddled around the Pope atom, who has quit the active ministry but remains welded to the Monolith whether he likes it or not, and despite the fact that 1.3 billion other atoms have drifted away and huddled around an atom who claims to be a Pope atom, and are accusing the few hundred atoms still huddled around the silent Pope atom, still welded to the Monolith, the 1.3 billion atoms are in schism from the few hundred. NOT the other way around.
“You are in schism with us! We are 1.3 billion! We have the numbers! What do you have, you pathetic few hundred fools!”
”We have the Monolith.”
”Shut up! You’re INSANE!”
I have gone through this metaphorical exercise because I get the strong sense that MANY people out there are thinking about schism in terms of human numbers, or even in terms of control of real estate, and not in terms of Truth, which is to say GOD. I think that the default assumption is that the smaller numbered group is, by definition, in schism from the bigger numbered group. This is false. It is using the wrong standard. The standard is TRUTH. Numbers are irrelevant, because TRUTH is an INFINITE BEING. For a culture that has revolved around and defined itself by democracy (cough, Americanism, cough) as the post-Christian west has, the notion of there being anything above the will of the majority is “abhorrent”.
This is why the TRUTH of who the Pope is and is not is so incredibly important, and can’t be blown off with cries of “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
In the big video presentation I went through a list of interesting manifestations by Bergoglio that imply that he is not the Pope, including:
-Referring to himself as “the Bishop of Rome”
-Refusing to wear the Mozzetta and other Papal garb
-Refusing to live in the Apostolic Palace or use Castel Gandolfo
-Waving, not blessing
-Retaining his Argentine citizenship and passport, even though the Pope is the Sovereign Monarch of the Vatican City State
–Refusing to answer the Dubia
To this we should add this quote from Antipope Bergoglio in ARSH 2016:
“It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”
This is another example of the Divine Providence working such that even the wicked and the malefactors STILL can’t help but proclaim the truth.
I think it is absolutely true that Antipope Bergoglio will go down in history as the man who schismed The Church. But here is what we have to remember:
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A VALID POPE TO SCHISM THE CHURCH, BECAUSE THE POPE IS HIMSELF THE STANDARD OF SCHISM.
The Pope is welded to the Church by the Holy Ghost by the words of the Petrine Promise. A valid Pope cannot cause schism, because he can’t schism from himself. As Sister Lucia put it, “Where Peter is, there is The Church… he who is not with the Pope is not with God, and who desires to be with God must be with the Pope.”
So, for Bergoglio to say that he could go down in history as the man who schismed the Church is an unwitting admission on his part that he is NOT the visible standard of unity, and that he is ontologically capable of doing that which is impossible for any real, valid Pope to do – schism the Church.
Therefore, who the Pope is, is of the highest, gravest importance and CANNOT be ignored, swept under the rug, or effeminately kicked down the road “for future generations to figure out.”
Further, appeals to the “numerical strength” of factions is laughable when one fully understands and acknowledges that God is infinite, and only He is the standard of Truth.
Metaphysics is not a democracy. Logic is not a democracy.
The Monolith laughs at the self-referential atoms as they chant to themselves, “Le Monolithe, c’est nous!”
I hope this helps.
St. Athanasius, pray for us.
St. Eusebius, pray for us.
And since we have been talking about monoliths, here is the Monolith Theme Song, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Strauss.