The Vatican issued the announcement on Saturday morning: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.” This comes three days after Pope Francis announced that the 95-year-old former pontiff was “very ill.” For the first time in 600 years, there will be no conclave to choose a new bishop of Rome after a pope has died, for in 2013, Benedict became the first pope in six centuries to resign from office rather than serve until his death. But observers both inside and outside the Catholic Church have long noted that Pope Benedict’s relative traditionalism contrasted sharply with Francis’ uncompromising wokeness and trend-chasing, and questions have persisted in the eight years since Francis arrived on the scene as to the validity of Benedict’s resignation. So now who’s the pope?
Catholic author Matthew Hanley noted in October that Italian journalist Andrea Cionci, after “years of intensive investigation,” contended “Benedict XVI remains the sole legitimate Pope and, moreover, that he has been communicating this fact in a particular manner, as circumstances allow,” although Benedict was “limited in his ability to communicate ‘with the outside world from his situation of confinement.’” Cionci, according to Hanley, asserted that “not only is Francis a usurping anti-Pope, but he is one ‘whose objective is to demolish Catholicism.’”
Andrea Cionci was by no means the first to suggest both that Francis was a destructive force and that Benedict was the legitimate pope. Nor was he the last. The famed Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò tweeted as recently as December 18:
The events that led to the resignation of Benedict XVI still need to be clarified, but one of the members of the deep church, the deceased Cardinal Danneels admitted that he was a part of the so-called Saint Gallen Mafia, which essentially worked to bring about the “springtime of the Church” which John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, wrote about in his emails published by Wikileaks. Thus there is a group of conspirators who have worked and still work in the heart of the Church for the interests of the elite. Most of them are identifiable, but the most dangerous are those who do not expose themselves, those whom the newspaper never mentions. They will not hesitate to force Bergoglio to resign also, just like Ratzinger, if he does not obey their orders. They would like to transform the Vatican into a retirement home for popes emeriti, demolishing the papacy and securing power: exactly the same as what happens in the deep state, where, as I have already said, Biden is the equivalent of Bergoglio.
Whatever may be behind what Viganò is saying, there is no doubt that Benedict and Francis were a study in contrasts. Benedict showed a consistent respect for Roman Catholic tradition, and gave wide permission for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass; Francis has repeatedly called into question his own adherence to traditional Catholicism, and sharply restricted celebration of the Latin Mass. Benedict touched off worldwide outrage in 2006 by quoting a fourteenth-century Byzantine emperor criticizing Muhammad; Francis has declared, with a brazen and breathtaking disregard for obvious fact, that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” On April 30, 2019, a group of Catholic clerics and scholars published an open letter accusing Francis of a “comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, on the moral law, and on grace and the forgiveness of sins.” They accused Francis of the “canonical delict of heresy,” which they explained as occurring when someone “knowingly and persistently denies something which he knows that the Church teaches to be revealed by God.”
Is Pope Francis really a heretic? Is he really an antipope, placed on the throne of St. Peter by far-Left forces allied with the American Leftist elites and determined to destroy centuries of Catholic tradition, particularly in the area of sexual morality? If Pope Benedict XVI was the legitimate pope, who is the legitimate pope now? We will likely get no answer to these questions, at least not anytime soon and likely not within any of our lifetimes. The story of the Left’s infiltration into and subversion of the Catholic Church, as well as the Orthodox Church and others, has not been told and may never be told. But the silent last eight years of the life of Benedict XVI bore mute witness to the fact that something is deeply wrong within the Catholic Church. The sinister forces that are accused of engineering his abrupt resignation are very much in power now, and it doesn’t look as if there is any force that can stop them — that is, any earthly force.