Yes, you, me and everyone absolutely CAN draw conclusions based upon our observation of reality. Including about the identity of the Pope.
It’s in Canon Law.
Checking your brain at the door and dispensing yourself from your responsibility as a rational intellect to accurately parse reality is NOT virtuous, and CERTAINLY not Catholic. It’s effeminate, cowardly and pathetic.
Canon 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.
Here’s an obvious truth regarding God’s Church which I have observed and embraced: Pope Benedict XVI never validly resigned and thus remained the one and only Vicar of Christ on Earth until his death, and therefore Jorge Bergoglio is an Antipope, and the Petrine See has been vacant for 407 days and counting.
And just as an added bonus, our confirming citations on schism:
F.X. Wernz, P. Vidal: “Finally they cannot be numbered among the schismatics, who refuse to obey the Roman Pontiff because they consider his person to be suspect or doubtfully electedon account of rumours in circulation.” (Ius Canonicum, 7:398, 1943)
Rev Ignatius Szal: “Nor is there any schism if one merely transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state.” (Communication of Catholics with Schismatics, 1948)
De Lugo: “Neither is someone a schismatic for denying his subjection to the Pontiff on the grounds that he has solidly founded [‘probabiliter’] doubts concerning the legitimacy of his election or his power [refers to Sanchez and Palao].” (Disp., De Virt. Fid. Div., disp xxv, sect iii, nn. 35-8)
Pray for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict Ratzinger, for Petrine See in se, and Holy Mother Church, the spotless and indefectible Bride of Christ outside of which there is no salvation.
Also remember to pray for the activation and increase in the gifts of the Sacrament of Confirmation. If you aren’t Confirmed, GET Confirmed.
“Almighty God my heavenly Father, You knew me before the creation of the cosmos and You wanted me to come into existence to bring You glory. Of all the possible universes You could have created, You created this one and You called me into it at exactly the time and place You chose for me so that I could fulfill my part in Your unfathomable plan. You willed that I have the honor to be baptized into the Church You designed and You maintain for our well-being. You willed that I receive the Body and Blood of Your Son and the indwelling of Your Spirit. You willed that I should also be confirmed so that our relationship be even deeper and that I might be an even better instrument of Your will. I now call upon that mighty Sacrament of Confirmation. Through it make me strong to bear whatever burdens I must endure in Your service. Make me wise to recognize accurately and then strong to resist, resolute, whatever is out of harmony with Your will as manifested especially in the beautiful Tradition You have guided in the authoritative, infallible and indefectible Church. Even if that disharmony should come from those whom you have endowed with the grace of Orders and seated even in the highest places of teaching, governing and sanctifying, make me steadfast. With confidence in Your plan for me I ask this for myself and for the brethren through the Holy Spirit’s Gifts and in the Name of Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, ever one God, world without end. Amen.”