One is Simon, the other is Peter?

From: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/05

One is Simon, the other is Peter? – Gänswein: Papacy was changed in 2013 into an “expanded” Petrine Office with two members. – Does this confirm the Socci-Messori thesis of a papal diarchy?

Double-Headed Church?

Edward Pentin’s latest column on National Catholic Register (Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry) reports on a speech delivered by Archbishop Gänswein at the Pontifical Gregorian University, May 20. The speech, as reported by Pentin, has two topics of capital significance.

From the viewpoint of “current events” perhaps the topic that will attract more attention is his reference to the election of Benedict XVI in 2005 as the outcome of the battle between two factions of Cardinals: the infamous “St. Gallen” group of liberal Cardinals who wanted to prevent Ratzinger from ascending to the papacy and the “Salt of the Earth” group of conservative Cardinals who supported him. Surely our regular readers will remember the furor last year when the machinations of the St. Gallen “mafia” was first revealed in a biography of Cardinal Danneels — see our posts about it (St. Gallen Mafia) as well as the Pentin’s detailed interview about the 2005 conclave with Paul Badde.

From a theological and dogmatic point of view however, more attention is warranted by Gänswein’s comments on the transformation of the very office of the Papacy after February 11, 2013, his claim that the resignation of Benedict XVI was of a different character compared to previous papal resignations, and his assertion that there are “not two popes”, but one yet expanded Petrine Ministry with Francis and Benedict both as members — one active, the other contemplative.

The idea that the papacy itself has now been transformed in its very depths, and that to effect this transformation Benedict XVI’s will and actions in February 2013 were enough, raises extremely sensitive, nay, disturbing questions about the very theology of the Church. Questions and…. implications we dare not discuss here for the moment. As for how two men cannot be both Popes and yet be both members of one Petrine ministry….

It is all too easy to dismiss Gänswein’s comments as merely his personal opinion, if not for the fact that in addition to being a doctor of Canon Law and a former official of the CDF he is, above all, the secretary and daily companion of Benedict XVI himself. Surely we can take his interpretation of Benedict’s resignation as a faithful reflection of the latter’s own thinking.

The thesis that since March 13, 2013 the papacy has become some kind of “diarchy” was first expressed in the writings of Antonio Socci early in 2014, then taken up by Vittorio Messori a few months later on the basis of an article written by the canonist Stefano Violi. Providentially, Rorate had published translations of both Socci’s and Messori’s articles in just one post:




We beseech all of our readers to read the above post, which now assumes tremendous importance.

Coming back to Pentin’s article, here are the relevant passages regarding the conclave of 2005 and the “transformation” of the papacy:

In a speech reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Gänswein has confirmed the existence of a group who fought against Benedict’s election in 2005, but stressed that “Vatileaks” or other issues had “little or nothing” to do with his resignation in 2013.

Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome May 20, Archbishop Gänswein also said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who doubles as the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus and prefect of the Pontifical Household, said Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.”

Gänswein drew attention to “brilliant and illuminating” and “well documented and thorough” passages of the book, written by Roberto Regoli and entitled Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI — “Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI.”

The German prelate especially highlighted Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Conclave between the “so-called ‘Salt of the Earth Party’” (named after the book interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) comprising “Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medina” and their adversaries: “the so-called St. Gallen group” that included “Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor” — a group Cardinal Danneels referred jokingly to as “a kind of mafia-club,” Archbishop Gänswein recalled. (…)

“The election was certainly the outcome of a battle,” Gänswein went on, adding that the “key” to the Conclave was Cardinal Ratzinger’s “dictatorship of relativism” homily that he gave on the first day of the election when he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

 ***

Various reports have suggested that pressure was exerted on Benedict to step down. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”

But in his speech, Gänswein insisted “it was fitting” for Benedict to resign because he “was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“

Instead, he said, “he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

Archbishop Gänswein point out that the motto is not in the singular but in the plural, and taken from the Third Letter of John, in which it is written in verse 8: “We must welcome these people to become co-workers for the truth”.

He therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.”

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

“So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel,  while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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19 Responses to One is Simon, the other is Peter?

  1. toadspittle says:

    “Questions and…. implications we dare not discuss here for the moment.”
    Oh, come on let’s not be cissies – let’s discuss them – and the hell with it.
    Worst thing that can happen to us is that we are all hanged, drawn, and quartered, then roasted.
    And how bad is that?

  2. Robert says:

    Just like Annas and Caiphas.
    He never left and is still there!

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    Like others, I was upset, emotionally and intellectually, by Benedict’s resignation; but this article gives me comfort that he thought through his decision with the greatest of care and love for the Church. There is no doubt in my mind: (a) Vatican vice and corruption and physical weakness made it impossible for him to carry on alone, (b) he would be dead now if he had remained in sole charge, (c) he knew that he still had duties to carry out for the glory of God that could best be fulfilled as an éminence grise; and I also have sufficient remaining confidence in Pope Francis to believe that he respects and consults his illustrious predecessor on issues that raise the risk of schism.

    He (Benedict) is the wisest man of recent generations in my view, although I can think of several others who are in the same league. “MVP” is an apt description of his pontificate I think.

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Did Pope Francis use a ghostwriter for Amoris Laetitia, and if so, what should we think?
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/pope-used-argentinian-ghostwriter-for-controversial-document-on-the-family-claims-vatican-expert/

  5. toadspittle says:

    If the pope uses a ghostwriter – does he or she become a Holyghostwriter?
    Oh, shut up, Toad. Twit.

  6. mmvc says:

    I’m not sure, johnhenry, whether in the past papal documents have been written by ghostwriters or whether PF turned to his chum to write AL. If he did – and Magister seems convincing – I would have thought that apart from anything else, someone with a little more gravitas than “kissing expert” Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, might have been a wiser choice.

    Btw, I’m wondering if you or anyone else found this from the La Croix interview disturbing?

    Pope Francis: …. “It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”

    https://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/pope-francis-interviewed-by-la-croix/

  7. Robert says:

    I find a certain irony here “Papacy was changed in 2013 into an “expanded” Petrine Office with two members” In other words the End of one time (ie when the Petrine Office was one member)

    Lets see from death of John XXIII thats 4 Popes!

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    MMVC: I scanned that interview rather quickly (twice) and could not find that quote. If I missed it and if it is there, well yes, that comment is shocking. I would’ve asked a follow-up question (if I’d been the interviewer) – even if Our Lord did talk about the lake of fire and about people being drowned with millstones around their necks and other such imagery, how can you (Holy Father) compare those words of Jesus to actually holding a sword and personally beheading hundreds of Jews as the “Prophet” Mohammed is said to have done?

  9. mmvc says:

    It’s the third question in the interview, johnhenry. Here it is for context. Your follow up question hits the nail on the head!

    – The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

    Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

    In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, “We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have fifty.”

    Ultimately, co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible. I come from a country where they co-habit on good terms. Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St George. Similarly, they tell me that for the Jubilee Year Muslims in one African country formed a long queue at the cathedral to enter through the holy door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims used to live together and must learn to do so again. Lebanon also shows that this is possible.

  10. toadspittle says:

    “Pope Francis: …. “It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”
    What we are circling lazily around with here – yet entirely failing to consider the moral implications of – is Christ’s unavoidable and inescapable admonition to, “Turn the other cheek,” when attacked in any fashion whatever. Any fashion. Whatever.
    In other words, “Never retaliate to any physical assault.” The early, truly genuine, Christians lived, and gloriously died, faithful to this unequivocal and indisputable edict.
    Quakers still hold to it.
    Real, proper, Christians.
    But, since that admonition is utterly beyond the reach of “normal” people, Christians or not, the rest of us all rightly and entirely ignore it. Otherwise, we would calmly submit to being murdered by Isis – or whatever other gang of maniacs was currently modish
    …Because these devils would be doing us all a favour – by dispatching us, directly and blissfully, to Heaven from This Vale Of Tears. And the idea of a “Christian,” soldier – who, knowingly and willingly, kills other people – would be the obscenity that it philosophically must be.

    Oh, shut up,Toad. Daft old clown. Who cares?

  11. Brother Burrito says:

    Toad,

    Fr Daniel Berrigan SJ was of that very same mindset, Read about him here:

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/05/02/fr-daniel-berrigan-anti-war-and-pro-life-campaigner-dies-aged-94/

  12. toadspittle says:

    Berrigan was a far better man than Toad, for sure.
    He walked the walk.

    “…how can you (Holy Father) compare those words of Jesus to actually holding a sword and personally beheading hundreds of Jews as the “Prophet” Mohammed is said to have done?

    We have to wonder how many Jews have been killed by Christians over the years.
    …And how many Christians have been killed by Christians, come to that.
    I amazed we have the effrontery to point the finger at others. But we do.

    (I’ve never heard before that Mohammed personally killed any Jews. But I know virtually nothing about Islam – except that I don’t like the sound of it. Far too intolerant.)

  13. toadspittle says:

    As we seem to have called it a day on Garabandel, I suggest others might do as I just did, and go back to the beginning on that “thread”and read it all the way through.
    Interesting stuff.

  14. Robert says:

    How little is really known of the
    Popes have actually fought in battles!
    Pope Julius II, the “Warrior Pope”,
    Malachy’s list Fructus Iouis iuuabit. (The fruit of Jupiter will help) A Genoese, his arms were an oak, Jupiter’s tree.
    He personally led troops into battle on at least two occasions.
    Notable for his love of the arts and appointing Michelangelo to paint the sistine chapel.

  15. toadspittle says:

    “He personally led troops into battle on at least two occasions.”
    Cut off the odd head or two? And why not?
    Even a pope should be allowed a bit of fun, from time to time.

  16. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad (06:12) – “I’ve never heard before that Mohammed personally killed any Jews.”

    I don’t recall reading that Heinrich Himmler personally killed any Jews either; but the historical record is persuasive that Mohammad did, viz: the massacre of the Banu Qurayza tribe (Jews) near Medina in 622 A.D:

    “There is some evidence that Muhammad personally engaged in the slaughter. Not only does the earliest narrative bluntly say that the apostle “sent for them” and “made an end of them,” but there is also support for this in the Quran. Verse 33:26 says of the Qurayza, “some you slew, some you took captive.” The Arabic ‘you’: is in the plural, but the Quran is supposed to be Allah’s conversation with Muhammad, so it makes no sense that he would be excluded.

    In any event, there is no denying that Muhammad found pleasure in the slaughter, particularly after acquiring a pretty young Jewish girl (freshly “widowed” and thus available to him for sexual servitude) (Ishaq/Hisham 693).”

    Whatever: even if Mo’s personal participation in the hacking off of Jewish heads is a desert myth, there’s a world of difference between his undisputed ordering of said massacre and the violent imagery Jesus Christ uses to describe the agonies of the damned in the next world.
    ___
    You then drone on: “We have to wonder how many Jews have been killed by Christians over the years.”
    No we don’t. We know and don’t deny our shame. Your reference to Christian barbarity against Jews in history is the same tired clapped-out straw-man argument you’ve used ad nauseam here and elsewhere over the 7 years I’ve known you. It’s not inaccurate, but you can’t pin the wickedness of Christians against Jews on Jesus Christ whereas you can very logically pin the wickedness of Muslims against them on their depraved and evil founder, the so-called “Prophet”.

    You suggest that you’ve never read the Q’ueeran. Neither have I, nor will I (not enough years left to excuse such foolishness) but even Islamic scholars (oxymoron alert) do not deny the violence encouraged in its pages against our elder brothers.

  17. toadspittle says:

    Good grief, JH. Do you think I’m defending Islam? Read it again.

    As to my droning on about naughty deeds Catholics (and Protestants) did in the past – the old, “Yes, we were bad, but they were even worse,” rebuttal seems a bit of a “straw man” itself to me. Although I might be wrong.
    But someone has to keep churning out this clapped out stuff. For a bit of “balance.” Is regular reference to the Catholic Martyrs of the Reformation, “clapped out”? I’d say not. But I might be wrong here, as well.

    “…but you can’t pin the wickedness of Christians against Jews on Jesus Christ .”
    Again, good grief! Get a grip. When did I ever try to do that?
    Nor would I blame said wickedness on the Catholic Church, either. As far as I know the Church has never encouraged it. But I don’t know very far.
    I’d put such antics down to plain, regular folks enjoying a bit of religious fun.

  18. Robert says:

    Our Lady of Fatima told Jacinta, “Certain fashions will be introduced that will gravely offend My Son.” Jacinta also said, “People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same.”
    Obviously it doesn’t mean dressing in biblical robes does it. But are these worldly or of the Church?
    1 The Eighth sacrament (given by Our Lord and not by Man) is the Papacy. It is for Life until death. This sacrament will remain on that soul for Eternity. In Heaven or sadly Hell.
    Christ Vicar and there can only be One holder. That Vicar cannot delegate and He and only He has the Authority of Christ. The Papacy can be give in three ways.
    i) Directly by Christ.
    ii) By the reigning Pope nominating His Successor Peter – Linus – Cleatus etc..
    iii) By Conclave.

    2. The Consecration of Bishops is one of the seven sacraments. With Bishops you can have Emeritus.

    Now the Bishop of Rome is one of the titles given to the Pope.
    In could of course become Emeritus but only as the Bishop.

    The Papacy is the exclusive Sacrament given by Our Lord to ONE Man.
    Christs choice not Man’s

    Unlike the Jewish Church where the High Priest could vary sic as with Annas and Caiphas.

    There is only one Peter you can have as many Simons as you like!
    BUT ONLY ONE PETER

  19. toadspittle says:

    “Our Lady of Fatima told Jacinta, “Certain fashions will be introduced that will gravely offend My Son.” Jacinta also said, “People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same.”
    Obviously it doesn’t mean dressing in biblical robes does it.”

    Toad would have thought that’s exactly what it did mean. Like nuns. Or monks. Always in fashion.
    (But he also thinks the fashion most gravely offensive to Our Lord is men wearing pale pink socks with a three-piece suit.)

    “There is only one Peter you can have as many Simons as you like!
    BUT ONLY ONE PETER”

    Except for Peter Pan, of course..

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