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Patrick Coffin: "So [Benedict] he’s already bifurcated the two in his thinking, dating back 60 years... Dr. Edmund Mazza: Precisely, I’m willing to debate this to try to get to the truth of the matter with whoever wants to debate me on this""

https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/10/part-3-of-exclusive-transcription-is.html

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Not lawless like the old West, but lawless in the sense of something beyond the normal situation. In other words, the chief executive, when he invokes something like this, he’s destroying the constitution to save the constitution. It’s one of those things where you cannot in advance stipulate something. It’s a situation in place that the state, in order to continue existing, you’ve got to do something that on the face of it, seems to go against the constitution. I don’t know. I don’t know what to make of it.

 

In my early research on the subject, this phrase and other things led me to believe that perhaps Benedict had separated Vicar of Christ from Bishop of Rome, and maybe that’s why he still wears white and still gives apostolic blessings.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Feeling himself to be the former, but not the latter.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Exactly, now what I looked up in my research is that if you look at, for example before Vatican II, between Vatican I and Vatican II If you look at dogmatic manuals of theology. I looked at about three or four of them that are solid, they all say that the majority of theologians believe Christ or Peter constructed Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome in such a way that they’re inseparable. But a minority of theologians believe, and have believed that it is possible for a Pope to separate Vicar of Christ from the Diocese of Rome and so I began to think, “Well, maybe that explains what Ganswein is talking about with the Immaculate Conception and what a tremendous thing Benedict did and why Benedict still wears white and why he still gives apostolic blessings.

 

But the thing is this, let’s just assume that the majority of the Church’s theologians throughout history had been correct and you cannot separate the Vicar of Christ, the successor of Peter from the Diocese of Rome, that they’re tied together you can never lose them.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Then his stipulating that he’s only gonna resign to become Bishop Emeritus or Bishop of Rome Emeritus or Pope Emeritus, would mean what? If a man becomes Bishop of Rome, what does he automatically become? Vicar of Christ. So if a man becomes Bishop of Rome Emeritus, what does he automatically become? Vicar Emeritus of Christ. Does that logically follow? And if that’s true, then not only would Benedict be claiming, the way he does claim publicly in writing, that he still has an ontological connection to the Diocese of Rome that can never be severed as Bishop Emeritus, but he would also have to claim a spiritual share of Vicarship of Christ only as the Emeritus Vicar of Christ. 

 

Patrick Coffin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

But actually this is formal error because in the 17th century during the height of the Jansenist heresy, a pope came out and said there’s only one vicar of Christ and he doesn’t share power because the Jansenists were trying to say that Paul was just as much the leader of the church as Peter was because they were both in Rome. Long story short, the church is on record as saying that you cannot share Vicar of Christ, but I would argue from my research so far to claim to be Bishop of Rome Emeritus or Pope Emeritus is to simultaneously claim to be Vicar of Christ Emeritus, and that’s a complete fiction. That’s a unicorn. It doesn’t exist. Again that would be substantial error because I argue he only resigned because he thought he was still going to be papal, he was still going to share in the shadow of Peter, so to speak.

 

Patrick Coffin:

And providentially, he foreshadowed all of this in his writings from the 1960’s and 70’s. We can look back and see revealed the foundation of this thinking, this minority version of identity.           

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Exactly.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Okay.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

What I hope my own contribution to this as a PhD and somebody who’s taught college for 20 years and I wrote a book on St. Raymond of Penafort, who actually codified Canon law back in 1235, and it stood until 1917. I hope my patron St. Raymond is looking out for me, but what I hope my contribution to this discussion is we’re not simply quibbling over munus versus ministerium. That is how this discussion started, but we’re way past that now. Anybody who does a deep dive into Benedict’s thinking will see here that we’re way past that. Like you said, we can go back to Vatican II and see that his ecclesiology is most likely erroneous, and if his ecclesiology is erroneous, it means that he probably committed substantial error, which means that his renunciation is probably invalid.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Okay, now I have a problem because I have 14 different possible follow-ups to what you just said. Micah Hikeson over at Life Site News in commenting on, I believe it was the 2020 biography, where Pete Seewald says that that it’s kind of a myth that Ratzinger was sort of progressive at Vatican II, he was part of the German Rhine River Nouveau theology, the new theologians. I’ll put a link to what that means in the show notes. Congar, von Balthasar, let’s see Karl Rahner, Schillebeeckx.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Patrick Coffin:

Anything new or neo gets my attention and not in a good way.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Not in a Matrix way.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Right, that’s right. Ganswein’s saying, loading up all of these extraordinary and new and innovative and profound and apocalyptic. Whatever the phrases he used to show how radical this new understanding, there’s that word again, new. The idea of Ratzinger from the sixties and seventies, as progressive, then he was appointed by Paul VI  as the Archbishop of Munich and that began his churchman career as a sitting Bishop. Then of course, he was brought to Rome by John Paul II as the prefect for the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. Then he became sort of traditionalist and fervently conservative. Seewald, if memory serves, says that’s not really true. He never really stopped being a progressive. In fact, he opposed the anti-modernist oath that was instituted. Am I misremembering? Have you heard this before?

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

I have heard this before so I don’t think you’re misremembering.

 

Patrick Coffin:

I’m going to put the link, just go to patrickcoffin.media. This occurred to me as you were talking.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Again to show his new Nouvelle Theologie street credit, listen to what he has to say about the teaching of Vatican II, specifically on this issue of munus and ministerium He says that the teaching of Vatican II, “Breaches the wall that separated the Middle Ages from the early church, and hence the Latin West from the Churches of the East.” Other words, Benedict by being fixated on the fact that to teach to sanctify and to govern is given at that sacred consecration or ordination, and that’s enough really, that’s the important thing, not the grant of jurisdiction that you might get.

 

Patrick Coffin:

Mm-hmm (Affirmative).

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

He’s trying to get back at the early church. That’s the claim of the Nouvelle Theologians. They want to get back to the early church, and this is what he says. He says, “We see the reason why future references to Peter Lombard, Albert the Great, St. Bonaventure, and St. Thomas Aquinas will no longer be meaningful in this issue.” What you talking about Willis? He’s chucking Peter Lombard, who wrote the Sentences, Albert the Great, St. Bonaventure, and St. Thomas Aquinas out the window on this issue? Again, this just shows how far left of center he was.

 

He says, This passage, the passage from Vatican II that he’s talking about is the one I brought up before, Lumen Gentium 22, where he says, “This inconspicuous little statement that membership in the College of Bishops is attained through sacramental ordination and communion with the head and members of the College. This statement gives Episcopal Collegiality a double basis, but in such a way that these two routes are inseparably connected. The rigid, there’s that word again, rigid. The rigid juxtaposition of sacrament and jurisdiction of consecrating power and power of governance, that had existed since the Middle Ages and was one of the symptoms marking the Western separation of the churches from the East, has finally been eliminated. Our century’s liturgical and theological renewal has removed the basis for this division. We have no more right to speak of a ruling power neatly separated from the sacramental ministry than we have a right to speak of a separation between the mystical and Eucharistic body of Christ.” I rest my case.

 

Patrick Coffin:

So he’s already bifurcated the two in his thinking, dating back 60 years.

 

Dr. Edmund Mazza:

Precisely, I’m willing to debate this to try to get to the truth of the matter with whoever wants to debate me on this, but I think there’s a very strong case, that you could even read it in his decaratio. Let me go back to his actual English translation and the actual wording of… Did I lose it? I think I might have lost it. Oh, here I have it here.

 

He’s very careful in his declartio of February 11th, 2013 to never specifically renounce the munus itself. In other words, in that Latin quote that we began the show with, he says, “I’m no longer strong enough to wield the munus, practically speaking,” But he actually never renounces the munus itself. What he eventually says is, “Well aware of the seriousness of this act and with full freedom, I declare that I renounced the ministry of Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.” Now let’s look at the Latin. Bene conscious ponderis huius actus plena libertate declare me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri. Now, he used munus throughout his declartio, but at the very end in the Latin, he drops munus and inserts ministerio. Why? I think it’s plain as day. He does want to reject the active words and deeds, he’s no longer capable of that, but ontologically, he’s not rejecting the munus. As he says in his interview with Seewald and as Ganswein says in his speech, before and after his resignation, he understood and understands his current ministry as a participation in the Petrine munus. It’s why he wears white, it’s why he gives apostolic blessings, and it’s why Francesco Bergolio is now seriously thinking, rumor has it of coming out with a modal proprio, trying to either eliminate Pope Emeritus or talk about it in some legal sense, but that’s why I think this topic is especially germane to talk about right now. [https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/10/part-3-of-exclusive-transcription-is.html]

 

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