If Vatican II, Canon Law & Papal Bulls like Boniface VIII's Bull aren't Infallible is it possible that Dr. Mazza is right: Benedict couldn't Resign in the first place due to the Teachings of Pope Innocent III
-The infallibility or non-infallibility of Vatican II has NOTHING to do with my argument!! It could be just a non=infallible document like canon 17 in the code of canon law. - Steven O'Reilly, who is a former intelligence officer [https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2022/11/the-catholic-monitor-asked-steven.html]
- Is Catholic canon law infallible?
- And this brings us to the most important teachings of the man many consider the most important pope of the High Middle Ages, Innocent III. In a sermon on the anniversary of his election to the papacy, Innocent taught:
The sacrament between the Roman pontiff and the Roman church perseveres so firm and unshakable that they cannot be separated from one another ever, except by death. The Apostle says that after her husband dies, a wife “is released from the rule of her husband.” A husband joined to his wife, does not seek a release, does not leave her, and cannot be dismissed, for “it is according to his Lord that he either stands or falls—and it is the Lord who judges.’ (emphasis mine)
It could not be clearer. Innocent teaches that the papacy is a “sacrament,” a spiritual marriage: “until death do us part.” A pope (husband) is not allowed to resign (“seek a release”), he “does not leave her,” his bride, the Church: “It is the Lord who judges.”
My discovery of this teaching was somewhat “distressing” to this author since a century later Pope Boniface VIII completely contradicted Innocent III, asserting that popes may resign. Though in his case the conclusion was self-serving, for as we shall see, he himself would otherwise be an antipope.
The question, of course, is who should we believe? The recent remarks of Bishop Athanasius Schneider take on increased significance:
Traditional and constant doctrinal statements of the Magisterium during a centuries-old period have precedence and constitute a criterion of verification regarding the exactness of posterior magisterial statements. New statements of the Magisterium must, in principle, be more exact and clearer, but should never be ambiguous and apparently contrast with previous magisterial statements. (emphasis mine) - The Catholic Monitor [https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2022/10/pope-boniface-viii-completely.html]
It appears that Church history professor Dr. Edmund Mazza told LifeSite News in the "What happens if a pope is a heretic?" YouTube video that his research shows that it is possible that Pope Benedict XVI may still be pope because the great medieval Pope Innocent III taught that popes can't resign.
Innocent's traditional "doctrinal statement... of Magisterium" had greater weight than Pope Boniface VIII's new fangled teaching which was never taught before that time which claimed Pope Celestine V could validly resign from the papacy. If this is true then Boniface was an antipope until Celetine died; upon the death of Celestine then he became pope. If I follow the new Mazza thesis correctly then Francis may be an antipope not just because of the substantial error in Benedict's resignation, but also because Benedict couldn't resign in the first place because of the teachings of Innocent III.
The reforming Pope Innocent III, who is best known for promoting the restoration of the Church through St. Francis and St. Dominic, seemingly thought that popes like Celestine V and Benedict XVI couldn't resign. Innocent apparently taught the papacy is like the sacrament of marriage between the the pope and the Church:
If Innocent III and Benedict are right that the papacy is like the sacrament of marriage of the pope to the Church, does that mean that Francis's second papal non-sacramental marriage could be adulterous & invalid?
Some sources say Celestine's decision to resign was his alone, while others say Cardinal Benedetto Gaetani, the future Boniface VIII, goaded and tricked him into resigning. All agree that Boniface drafted the papal constitution authorizing a pope's resignation. Boniface was elected pope immediately afterward, in December 1294. Celestine tried to return to a hermit's life, but he died as Boniface's prisoner in 1296...