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#248 Is Benedict XVI Still the Pope Dr. Edmund Mazza & Patrick Coffin

Patrick Coffin:
Welcome to the show, what’s the legal, which is to say the canonical status of the February 11th announcement made by then-Pope Benedict XVI, 2013, in his, what their calling abdication? Is Benedict XVI still the real sitting sovereign Pontiff, the vicar of Christ? That’s what we are going to explore with Professor Edmund Mazza right here on the Patrick Coffin show. This is a very important episode. You will want to share with friends, Catholics or not.

Like about 99.72% of Catholics there seems to be something very strange going on with the papacy of Francis of Rome. The former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergolio. I began to think thoughts around 2016 maybe 17, that maybe Christ our Lord didn’t positively ordain this crazy weaponized ambiguity, this globalist agenda, this posing with communists and left-wing pro- abortion celebrities. Maybe he’s not the real pope and I began to do some reading about anti-popes and I was privileged to come across the work of Professor Edmund Mazza. And that’s why I’m having him here on the show to talk about the abdication text and learn the distinction between the munus and the ministerio, so get your Latin nerd scholar on.

Professor Mazza is a former full professor of history at Azuza Pacific University in Los Angeles.  He is the author of The Scholastics and the Jews Coexistence, Conversion and the Medieval Origins of Tolerance, Published by Angelical press and the current host of the bar of history over at Virginmostpowerful.org. Ed Mazza, so great to talk to you.

Professor Edmund Mazza:
Oh so happy to be with you.

Patrick Coffin:
You’re kind of part of the loose flotila of crazy historians, who dare, who have the temerity to raise the question: Maybe Pope Benedict in leaving the active ministry of the papacy, wanted to expose what he knew would be exposed and so he created a renunciation of part of the papal office, but not the being, the ontology of the papal office. So we’re going to do some digging into the text. I’m not a Latinist although I’m married to a Latina, it doesn’t quite count.

    Maybe let’s press rewind Ed, and I want to ask you if there’s one inciting incident that made your eyebrow raise to the level of, well wait a second, this is almost diametrically opposed to every previous pontiff, what Francis is doing and saying, Is it possible that we have some kind of anti-pope situation? Because like you, I began first thinking about the Saint Gallen Mafia and maybe the electors in the lead up to the March, 2013 conclave were doing things that were canonically illegal. But then the first domino, the first bookend you might say, was the renunciation itself. When did you begin thinking along these lines and investigating the thought of then Joseph Ratzinger, about the papal office, and maybe were looking at a semi-renunciation. Where did it begin for you?

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
  Right Patrick like you said there were certain things that just didn’t seem to my spidey sense to be correct. Of course, Amoris Laetitia, allowing communion for the divorced without proper annulments and then the magesterium kind of accepting that when Franchesco accepted the Argentinian bishops conference interpretation of his Amoris Laetetia. The fact that he never answered the Dubia Fathers after years and years and years and years. As you say, the company they keep, the fact that Jeffrey Sachs and you know; all these George Soros x-files, smoking man-type people…

Patrick Coffin:
Zero population, etc.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
In and out of the Vatican, for conferences and what not. But it was really the enthronement of the South American demon goddess, Pachamama, back in October of 2019, that really said, no, something is off here.

    And you know you and I are not the only people to actually start thinking like this. Six months ago, his eminence, his excellency, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the speaker at your recent conference… He had something very interesting to say.  
    In an interview with radio Spada, he said “From many parts of the Catholic world, especially in the conservative milieu, we hear it said that Benedict XVI is the true Pope and that Bergolio is an anti-pope.” And he says something important. He says this opinion is based on the one hand, on the belief that his renunciation is invalid due to the way it was formulated, due to the pressure exerted by external forces, or the distinction between munus, office and papal ministerium or ministry. And on the other hand, the fact that a group of progressive cardinals is said to have tried to have their own candidate elected at the conclave of 2013, in violation of the norms of the apostolic constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, of John Paul II. And then he finishes by saying beyond the plausibility of these arguments, which is confirmed, could invalidate Bergolio’s election. So his excellency is pointing to the same things that you just did, Patrick.

Patrick Coffin:
 Well, then I’m honored to be in good company.  I wasn’t aware of his ruminations in that regard. By the way, we’re going to get into some technical phrases and concepts here. If you go to patrickcoffin.media, I’m going to put links to the apostolic constitution that Ed just mentioned, Universi Dominici Gregis, 1995. It’s I believe short of a dogmatic definition, it’s the highest form of papal authority. And it governed the rules for future conclaves, correct? The do’s and don’ts.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Correct, and if people read the 1st edition of Austen Ivereigh’s loving biography of Francesco, there’s information in there that really raises the heckles on the back of your neck, with regard to that conclave.  

Patrick Coffin:
If I can cite Charlie Brown and Peanuts, of all the boot lickiest
Biographer sychophants, Austen Ivoreigh is the boot lickiest. When that book, called the great reformer, which came out within a year of his first year as pope. How did he know he was going to be the great reformer at that early stage? There was a chapter in there that discussed and described dinners that his former boss Cardinal Archbishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor of London had with Bergolio,  that they were Schmoozing him, that they were prepping him, that he was going to get enough votes, and would he accept Their plan to kind of conspire to get the sufficient majority to get him elected.
     And the day the book came out I remember seeing this, and I’ll try to find it and put it in patrickcoffin.media. He trundled out a woman press agent just to disavow that chapter. That these things never happened. That really got my attention because I thought, wait a second Austen Ivereigh is Cormac Murphy OConnor’s loyal lieutenant. Why would he make something up like this? Unless he knew that he, the late Cardinal, may he rest in peace, knew that what they were doing was not kosher, that this was a canonically illegal move. These are not unintelligent people, they know where the cloak has to go, next to the dagger. So they want to hide their actions as much as possible. So the fact that Cormac Murphy OConnor wanted that excised told me a lot.  That was like a poker tell.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Yeah, exactly. And then besides ourselves and Archbishop Vigano another prominent clergyman, Monsignor Nicola Bux gave an interview in October of 2018, in which he said, speaking of the troubles and Francesco’s church, he said it would be easier to examine and study more accurately the question concerning the juridical validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation. And you know, he is not a light weight. Monsignor Bux has taught at the theological faculty of Puglia. He was ordained 50 years ago. He is a priest of the archdiocese of Bari. He was a consultant to one of the dicasteries of the Holy See. I think it’s for the causes of the saints.

Patrick Coffin;
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), I think, but I’ll put that in too.


Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 So they’re good people, good people are concerned.


Patrick Coffin:
Another is the Colombian law professor, Estefania Acosta has a book Pope Emeritus? And I think the subtitile in English is, “The always is also a forever.

    So let’s go to the so-called renunciation that was read to the
world. I remember seeing the video footage and it was the strangest bit of footage, I’d ever seen. Here’s Pope Benedict looking, not bored, but kind of blank, robotically reading his text. And I have to think that his hearers in that room knew what was coming, because nobody really reacts…Like, what? Did the pope just resign? What is going on here? Nope, nothing. It was almost like they were checking their watches, “Hey what time is lunch?” It was just so strange. And then Cardinal Sadano gave his reply, which was a prepared text. So let’s talk about the oddness of the way he describes his renunciation and the bifurcation of two elements, as you mentioned, the munus and the ministerium. Has he been thinking along these lines? Because I know you’ve done a lot of research along these lines, into his own thinking about the papal office, dating to the 1960s, if memory serves.   

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Exactly, so if I can put it in a nutshell, he uses the terms munus and ministerium in his Declarazio of Feb 11th, 2013. And then in 2016, his personal assistant, Archbishop Georg Ganswain gave a famous address at the Gregoriam in Rome, in May of 2016, in which he kind of expounded on what Benedict had said in his declarazio. And he also talks about munus and ministerium. And what this did, was it set off certain people, like Ann Barnhardt, the blogger. And she began to wonder about this munus and ministerium thing. And even earlier than her, other people had as well. In the month of February, the very month when Pope Benedict issued his delarazio, there was an Italian Canonist named Stefano Violi, and he concentrated on that as well.

    So reading all of these people encouraged me to go back and see how does Pope Benedict understand munus? How does he understand ministerium? And I’ll try to put it in layman’s terms, but I’ll just preface what I’m about to say by saying that when you talk to other people that think that Pope Benedict might still be pope, they might have a different nuance than myself. Most of the people who think that Benedict resigned invalidly think that it has to do with a very tight distinction between munus and ministerium.

    Myself, I think it has to do with multiple meanings of the word munus. So I don’t want to lose people in the weeds here, but let me give you a little bit from his speech, from his declarazio. And then we’ll try to analyze my own take on that. So this is what he says in the English translation. He says, “My strengths owing to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry”. I am well aware, that this ministry because of its essential spiritual nature must be carried out, not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. Now I won’t read the Latin text, but if you want me to, at some point I can do that.

Patrick Coffin
Why don’t you run it down, cause it’s not long in Latin and we’ll do a contrast and compare.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Perfect. “Vires Meas Ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum.” And I can just tell you briefly, he’s basically saying I’m no longer suited to exercising, administering, the petrine munus. And he says, “Bene conscius hoc non solum agendomunus secundum suam essentiam spiritualum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non munus patiendo et orando. So he’s saying that I’m aware of the fact that this ministry, now he translates the word ministry with munus here. He equates them in this line. I am well aware of the essential spiritual nature of the munus, that it’s not only carried out by words and deeds, but it’s also carried out by prayer and suffering.

    Now, this is important because in Gaswain’s speech from May of 2016, this is what Gaswain says commenting on Benedict’s renunciation of Feb 2013. The key word in that statement is munus petrinum. Translated as happens most of the time with petrine ministry and yet munus in Latin has a multiplicity of meanings.  It can mean service, duty, guide, or gift, even prodigy. Now here’s the money line from Ganswain. “Before and after his resignation Benedict understood and understands his task as participation in such a penetrine ministry i.e., munus. He has left the papal throne and yet with the step made on Feb 11th 2013, he has not at all abandoned this ministry.
Mazza: (Jokingly) what you talking about Willis? No pope who has  ever resigned before still claimed to participate in the petrine munus.

Coffin: (Jokingly) Yea, Richard Nixon’s secretary never issued a statement like that about his 1973, flying away, similarly in a helicopter. Well, he somehow remains in the shadow of the white house, in some participatory way. That’s very strange.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
And the other strange thing about Pope Benedict’s renunciation, if you want to call it that is that he takes the title Pope Emeritus. Now what is that supposed to mean? Well its got something to do with what Ganswain is talking about and its got something to do with what Benedict just said in the line I quoted from his declarazio. That the papacy is not only carried out by words and deeds, it’s carried out by prayer and suffering. So on some ontological level, He’s telling us in his declarazio, that he is still papal in some ontological sense. And so I’d like to go into more…

Patrick Coffin:
 So ontology, so the being-ness of it. The Pope as existing as such. That’s what you mean by the ontological?

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Exactly!

 Patrick Coffin:
Ok so something that’s rooted or grounded transcendentally, not by human acclimation that can be removed?

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Precisely, precisely.  Now is there any other information besides his declarazio that would give us this idea? Well, the fact that he wears white, the fact that his official title is His Holiness, the fact that he actually issues apostolic blessings in his own name. Can you and I go and do that? I mean, no, we’re not the pope. So how can two people in Rome do that?

Patrick Coffin:
No Cardinal can do that.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Exactly.


Patrick Coffin:
If a Cardinal wore a white hat he would be instantly reprimanded, right?

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
And then when he was interviewed about it and they said why did you continue to wear white. He said oh we couldn’t find a black cassock, you know?

Patrick Coffin:
There’s another thing. I couldn’t find…what? So they just didn’t have a black cassock at hand, there were no nearby closets? Doesn’t Rome have 50,000 cassocks within walking distance?


Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 So it’s funny stuff. But I’ll tell what made the light bulb go off over my head, was when I read the… There’s been several book-length interviews between the German journalist Peter Seewald and Pope Benedict. I mean going back to when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, but…

Patrick Coffin:
 You just stole my next quiver question arrow. Yeah, go ahead. Yes

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ, but ok. It was published in 2017 and there’s a chapter, well it’s basically an interview and so Peter Seewald puts this question to Pope Benedict. He says is a slow down in the ability to perform, reason enough to climb down from the chair of Peter? And Instead of saying yes, next question. Benedict responds “One can of course make that accusation, but it would be a functional misunderstanding. The follower of Peter is not merely bound to a function. The office enters into your very being. In this regard fulfilling a function is not the only criterion.” What misunderstanding and what is all this about function? He repeats the word three times. A simple “yes” would do. But Benedict doesn’t give a yes or no answer to a simple question. All the more bizarre, since his answer in fact must be a “yes”. Otherwise he’s contradicting the very reason he gave for stepping down in his official resignation speech, if you follow me. So something is off.

Patrick Coffin:
 Take another pass at that. The stated reason is declining health, doesn’t have the physical energy to exercise and ministry and all the administrative stuff. That’s understandable, which oddly or additionally provides a pretty good reason for John Paul II resigning years before he did, but he didn’t. That’s kind of a side bar. So where’s the contradiction?
 
Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Do you want to rephrase, I missed that last part.

Patrick Coffin:
Benedict stated that reasons of health and declining strength and energy were the rationale for stepping away and then the question is raised, is that enough of a reason?

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Right, and then he says, one can make that accusation. What do you mean “accusation”?

Patrick Coffin:
Yeah.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
It would be a functional misunderstanding. What do you mean “misunderstanding”? You gave us that excuse, for leaving the papacy. So it forces us to figure out what does he mean by “function” And what does he mean when he says that the munus enters into your very being. You see were back to ontology again, if we haven’t lost anybody.

Patrick Coffin:
I wonder if people to properly understand when a priest is laicized; properly laicized, he’s not exercising priestly ministry. Maybe he gets married. He is by virtue of holy orders been configured in his soul to Jesus Christ, the high priest. That can never go away. In heaven or hell, he will always be a priest according to the order of the priest Melchizedek, right? So no one says father emeritus.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
Exactly.
Patrick Coffin:
So… But no one say, “Father Emeritus”.

Dr. Edmund Mazza:
 Exactly, Exactly. So as I understand it, this is my Mazza hypothesis 3.0

PART I OF 4 ENDS

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