The Chair of Peter.


by abyssum


CP&S:   I thought very hard about putting this post, from Bishop Emeritus Gracida  on Catholicism Pure & Simple following the discourse recently. I am not a Canon Lawyer and assume the quoted Canons to be correct. I also do not doubt that this post will produce differences of opinions. However, these contradictions are being talked about  throughout the Catholic world, and many are confused. One thing is certain irrespective of how you feel – the Chair of Peter IS NOT VACANT. 



Pope Benedict XVI did not renounce the divine office that in 2005 made him Vicar of Christ, but only to the ministry of Bishop of Rome and to the administrative offices of the Papacy, by declaring (speech of February 27, 2013) that he would maintain the ” petrino primacy “, for which he showed that he still carries on his shoulders the burden and the vocation of being the Vicar of Christ. That can not be renounced, it is a quality “ad vitam” granted by Christ to Peter and his successors.

Pope Ratzinger pronounced, one day before taking the helicopter to temporarily retire to Castel Gandolfo, a speech that clarifies the situation that keep the two “Popes” who currently live in Rome.

In that speech he referred to the invitation he received from God when he was elected San Pedro’s successor on April 19, 2005. On that occasion he said (paragraph 23) that the vocation he received from Christ is ad vitam (for life) and that, for that reason, he will never be able to renounce it (as all Popes always understood in the history of the Church): “He is always also a forever, there is no more a return to the private”. “My decision to renounce the active exercise of ministry does not revoke this (the Petrine primacy).”

In addition, Benedict established, before the legal organs of the Church, that he would keep the white cassock, keep the name “His Holiness”, keep the keys of Peter on his shield, and continue to be Pope, simply adding the epithet “emeritus”. The latter is very significant because, when Pope Gregory XII resigned, he was again a cardinal, and when Pope Celestine V resigned, he became a monk again. This was not established by Pope Benedict XVI. He established that he would continue to be Pope, a case totally unprecedented in the history of the Church.

That speech clearly expresses the conviction that he would continue to be Vicar of Christ and spiritual head of the Church, and that he was only resigning from the administrative offices of the papacy. In his mind, one thing is the ministry of the bishop of Rome, and another thing is the Petrine primacy, which is ad vitam and can not be renounced. Sic et simpliciter.

The valid renunciation of the papacy requires renunciation of the munus, (office of Peter’s office) as expressed in the Code of Canon Law (CDC canon 332.2), not the ministerium, as Pope Benedict XVI did.

Let’s see the literal tenor of Canon 332.2 CDC:
“If contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur”. (“If the Roman Pontiff renounces his office, it is required, for validity, that the resignation be free and be formally manifested, and that it be accepted by no one.”

Reading the text of the resignation of Benedict XVI it is observed that the Pope did not renounce the Petrine munus but only the ministerium as bishop of Rome: “I declare to me the ministry of Episcopi Romae … commisso renuntiare”.

A person as wise as Benedict XVI understood perfectly that the renunciation of the papacy, to be valid, required to renounce the munus, not only to exercise it (ministerium). It is not possible here to claim ignorance. Not in him, who is one of the most learned and knowledgeable of ecclesiastical matters. Therefore, that difference in the formula used meant something. Something like: “I am still the Vicar of Christ, even if I renounce the executive government of the Church. I can not say it openly, but here I will continue, dressed as a Pope, living in the Vatican and calling me “His Holiness”, for those who want to understand it “.

Benedict XVI is still the Vicar of Christ, because he never resigned to such a position but, for clarity, he explicitly tells us that he only renounced the ministerium.

Remember that the papacy is a charge, as the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium reminds us: “Because the Roman Pontiff has on the Church, by virtue of his office (munus) as Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the whole Church, full, supreme and universal power, which can always exercise freely. ” This was also stated by Vatican Council I in 1870, repeating the previous Magisterium, in particular, that of the Council of Florence of the fifteenth century.

In the papacy, the munus is received with the election in the conclave and lost with death, and the ministerium, which is inseparable to him, is equivalent to the legal practice of the bishopric of Rome, today head of all episcopates. Having separated them, Benedict XVI is sending a very fine and delicate message to the world and to the Church.

The famous words of Monsignor Gänswein, German archbishop, jurist, personal secretary of Benedict XVI and prefect of the Pontifical House of “Francis”, on a “long ministry” (with two members) strongly confirm that same conclusion: Benedict XVI continues maintaining the investiture or munus, then Francisco is not really the Vicar of Christ.

Monsignor Gänswein recalled that Benedict XVI did not renounce either his name or his white talar habit: “He did not retire to an isolated monastery, but continues inside the Vatican, as if he had only stepped aside, to give space to his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy. ”

That is why Benedict XVI is still dressed in white, with his skullcap, the fisherman’s ring, his title of Pope and the name of His Holiness. He did not become Cardinal Ratzinger again, as happened with Gregory XII, who once again became Cardinal Angelo Correr after resigning. Benedict remains in the Vatican and has not returned to his beloved Bavaria or to some distant monastery, and is not Cardinal Ratzinger.

Needless to say that Monsignor Gänswein did not make these very serious statements without the support of Benedict XVI himself. It was only an explanation of the conclusions in his farewell of February 27, 2013.

In fact, Benedict XVI did not use the resignation formula established by Boniface VIII. The norm expresses that regulates the discipline on the papal renunciation is found in the Apostolic Constitution Quoniam aliqui, which was fixed in the Code of Canon Law of 1917, and currently in the aforementioned canon of the CDC of 1983, # 322.2.

Let’s see the text of that Decretal by Boniface VIII:
“Decree of Boniface VIII (in 6 °), 1.1, T.7, chap. 1: De Renunciatione: “resignare valeat Papatui, eiusque oneri, et honori …”. That is to say, it is established that he must explicitly renounce his position and all his honors.

Nor did he use the formula used to resign used by the only pope who did it before him, Celestino V: “cedo Papatui, and expresse resignation loco, et dignitati, oneri, et honori” (“I withdraw from the papacy and, expressly, I resign to the place and its dignities, burdens and honors »).

On the contrary, Benedict XVI uses for the first and only time the explicit and clear formula “Ministry Episcopi Romae … commisso renuntiare” (renounced the ministry of Bishop of Rome).

Conclusion: in the Declaration of renunciation read by Benedict XVI on February 27, 2013, there is no mention of canon 332.2 of the CDC, which seems strange coming from someone so knowledgeable and thorough the theologian. Neither did he use the formula of the Decretal of Boniface VIII (renuntiare Paptui) nor the formula validly used by Celestino V (oneri et onori). Great message for the Church and for the world:



About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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14 Responses to The Chair of Peter.

  1. David O'Neill says:

    It gives great hope to the True Church if Benedict XVI retains the Petrine Ministry but not the Episcopal Ministry of Rome. So much said & done by Francis is worrying & even abhorrent to true Catholics insofar as he seems, without thinking, to put new doctrines in place rather than the doctrines held by the Church ‘in memoriam’.


  2. Mary Salmond says:

    This could be either interpretation of canon law or wishful thinking. Either way I tend to agree. It is evident he is not renouncing the church but simply the administrative part of the church. I believe he is prayerfully guiding and instructing various cardinals in his care. The fact that he is dedicated to the supernaturality of the church is evident, his humility is constant, and his continued physical presence in Gandolfo or the Vatican is most astute.


  3. Margaret Honore says:

    So Francis is only Bishop of Rome while Benedict XVI is Vicar of Christ and Spiritual Head of the Church? Only if the Bishops recognize him as such though, right? Don’t the other Bishops need to recognize Benedict XVI in order for him to exercise such authority? or does the authority devolve from Benedict himself because of a deliberate intention to retain it by not clearly renouncing it at the time of his resignation? This has explosive potential in the current climate, especially if Francis and his minions try to dismantle humanae vitae.


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    To give credit where it may be due – Pope Francis has emphasized his status as Bishop of Rome, thus downplaying his Petrine one, if he has it, which is the question posed here I suppose.


  5. Mary Salmond says:

    Good point, Margaret. Maybe someone has an answer that is credible.


  6. johnservorum says:

    It strikes me that while Benedict XVI may very well continue to possess and maintain his authority as Vicar of Christ he can nevertheless refuse to exercise that authority, leaving Francis to do so as he pleases.
    Of course on the death of Pope Benedict this should a moot point as Francis will then obtain full authority befitting his office.
    So what we then need to be deeply concerned with is what will happen following Benedict’s death when Francis has free rein and full authority to change the Church as he sees fit.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    “…what will happen following Benedict’s death…”

    Another question: what will happen if Francis dies first? Not that I hope…etc, etc…


  8. johnservorum says:

    John Henry
    I thought of that scenario as I was posting my comment but the likelihood is small that Pope Francis will die before Pope emeritus Benedict.
    I don’t wish for the death of either man but I do wonder what may happen to our beloved Church when Benedict is no longer with us.


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    “But God said to him…This night your soul is required of you…” Lk 12:20


  10. John says:

    Probably wishful thinking but if Benedict felt he needed to appear to resign but didn’t want to it raises the question of who was pressuring him to resign.


  11. kathleen says:

    This gallant old Bishop Gracida (95 years old!) has long been calling out both his brother bishops, and the laity, to rise up in protest against these outrageous heresies being proposed by the self-styled “Bishop of Rome” and his patronising progressive minions in the Vatican.
    Here he was interviewed by Michael Voris (last year, I think) visibly worked up by the treachery of these successors of the Apostles, and with a call to action:

    Even were we to ignore Francis’ resolute focus on worldly topics and seeking a Paradise on earth, rather than fulfilling his role as guardian of the Catholic Faith and leading souls to Heaven, the heresies alone that this man promulgates through his convoluted statements and writings should be sufficient to disqualify him from sitting in the Chair of Peter.

    Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind any longer that we are living out the terrible period of the two popes as related by the 19th century visionary, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich?

    Then I saw the connection between the two Popes and the two temples. I am sorry that I have forgotten the numbers, but I was shown how weak the one had been in adherents and human support [Benedict XVI ?], but how strong in courage to overturn so many gods … and to unite so many different forms of worship into one; and, on the contrary, how strong in numbers and yet how irresolute in action was the other [Francis I ?] since, in authorizing the erection of false temples, he had allowed the only true God, the only true religion to be lost among so many false gods and false religions.

    I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city. I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening.”

    She goes on to describe the worsening persecution of the true Church by a “secret sect”! But she also relates witnessing the Blessed Virgin Mary “extending her Mantle” over the Church, and finally a future good Pope working to renew the Church once more.


  12. Mary Salmond says:

    Bishop Gracida with Voris was from 2015.
    But the church will always be persecuted and have its clerics that are heretical.
    Be vigilant and pray.


  13. kathleen says:

    Okay – thanks Mary – so even three years ago Bishop Gracida could see how fast we were going downhill with Francis sitting in the Chair of Peter whilst he allows his Modernist bishops a free rein to promote all number of heresies.

    It is a lot worse than just a few heretical clerics persecuting faithful Catholics; this is n attempted takeover of the Church by the enemies of Christ. In fact It has got so bad now with this latest absolutely scandalous way Francis refuses to reaffirm Church teaching in the dispute over Holy Communion for Protestants, that Bishop Gracida, plus a large portion of the Faithful, are seriously looking at the dubious way he was elected to the Papacy (re the St Gallen mafia’s manipulations of the Conclave), and the apparently un-canonical way Pope Benedict stepped down.


  14. Margaret M. O'Hara says:

    The Pope has the power to bind and to loose, however the Pope does not bind and loose the Moral Law. There is a sexual revolution happening, whereby it is being understood that there is a sex system inside the bodily trunk specifically where venereal pleasure is. Sexual pleasure is not in the brain; emotions are in the brain. Regardless of the various compartments of the brain, Lord God of The Ages, Creator Of Creation Good, The Infinite Good, God determines and calls the person to the Vocations, that is, consecrated and ordained, married, single. Lord God Via Voice Of God between the forehead bones and brains of the First Parents admonished the serpent that the serpent would crawl on its’ belly, that is where the sex system is, and dirt the serpent would eat all the days of its’ life, which is why sex is an ‘unmentionable’. Many persons have a completely inaccurate understanding of Blessed Virgin Mary. Blessed Mother Mary is offended by blasphemy against her Immaculare Heart, blasphemy against her Immaculate Conception, blasphemy against her Perpetual Virginity, blasphemy against her Divine Maternity and Spiritual Motherhood of persons, instillation of indifference, neglect, and/or rejection of her, the Immaculate Mother, in the hearts of the young, and doing away with her statues and images from places of worship, that is, because the statues and images raise the mind, that is, function of the brain in the cranium of the skull of the head. raise the mind and heart to God Whose Kingdom is not of this world. Blasphemy is attributing to Satan the Goodness of God, Creator Of Creation Good, Lord God of The Ages, The Infinite Good, God. Satan is a liar, accuser, worm, that is, demons, that is, false gods that persons acquire. Of the various colors of the rainbow through the glass-like floor of Heaven of the Celestial Sphere and the glass ceiling of Muscovy glass of the illite, the ordinary sound of Blessed Virgin Mary and the Miraculous Medal with the color blue of Advent Reigns.


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