19 September 2017

Pope vs. Antipope: Dissecting the Poll

What a day.  Another massive hurricane hits Puerto Rico. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits Mexico City. Signs and portents in the sky.  The 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun approaches.

And today, as you will no doubt have read elsewhere, marks one full year since the four faithful Cardinals presented Bergoglio with the Dubia, asking him to confirm nothing less than that he adheres to the constant, timeless, 2000-year teachings of the Church (Christ's own words, no less) on marriage, Eucharist and the nature of truth.

This pontificate has been a disaster for Catholics worse than any natural phenomenon. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt. 10:28). There has been a sulphuric miasma to this papacy, and to the current state of the Church Militant, since the night Francis walked out on that balcony and surveyed the people he would try to destroy. So much about things that don't add up, that are ominous, that just seem...off.  

  • Benedict's sudden, dismaying, mysterious "resignation", mysteriously worded.
  • The whole banking halt and sodomite dossier, both of which disappeared upon the abdication.
  • Benedict's subsequent behavior that belied his public statements.
  • The St. Gallen mafia rumors, confirmed by self-identified participants.
  • The public statements, hints, interviews and documents, issued by Francis or his henchmen, that consistently undermine the faith.
  • The attacks on Catholics and the Catholic faith by the man claiming to be (mostly) Bishop of Rome.
  • Benedict, living on and on in Rome, not hidden, wearing white, the fisherman's ring and keeping other indicia of office.
  • Fatima, the partially revealed Fatima secret, the Bishop in White seemingly brought to light.
  • All of the unusual natural phenomena, starting with the lightning strike on St. Peter's dome the day of the putative abdication. 
  • The support and applause given Francis by anti-Catholics and secular powers.

Against this backdrop, many actual Catholics have been perplexed, and wondering, about what is going on. However, I have always sensed that many good Catholics didn't like to talk about the proposition that things may not be as they are told; that, in fact, as good Catholics it didn't seem right to talk about it. And though there have been opinions propounded on the net, I had not seen any attempt to poll the members of the Body of Christ.

Therefore I put up a poll last week asking readers just to give their opinion: Who do you really think is pope, and why? Even allowing for the undeniable traditionalist (or as others rightly point out, Catholic) bent of the blog, the results surprised me.

I think many are saying, "Hey, I'm either not crazy or else most of us are, but I think Benedict is still pope!"  And of those, most cite the ineffectiveness of the putative abdication or some combination of factors including also allegations of heresy, invalid election, deposition, or mistake of fact.

No, this is definitely not a scientific poll. Votes were limited only by platform, and a person with multiple devices could theoretically vote more than once. Yet there were 674 votes, and a sample of 500 in a scientific poll would yield a +/- of 5%. No, it was not a random sample. Yes, most respondents would be considered traditional Catholics or "conservative" Catholics-- but then again, the poll was intended for Catholics only. I don't consider the editorial board of NCR or America to be Catholic.

But even considering the limitations, the results are, I believe, quite significant:


Francis is Pope                      16%
Benedict is Pope                    72%
Some other person is Pope      1%
No one is Pope                        9%


Benedict's abdication was not effective         38% 
Francis' election was invalid                            5% 
Francis has lost his office due to heresy          4% 
Some combination of the above                     42%
Neither Francis nor Benedict was ever pope    8%

Out of 674 votes, a staggering 490 said that in their opinion, Benedict XVI is still Pope. That's 72% of those who voted. But who cares if it were "only" half? It boggles the mind.

Of those, the plurality focused on the ineffectiveness of the putative abdication. Meaning, either he never intended to resign; he wrote his resignation in a legally ineffective way; he made a mistake in fact by not intending to resign the whole office; or that he was coerced such that it was truly involuntary.

Even allowing for the readership's "style" of Catholicism (for which Francis does not care), even allowing for some multiple votes-- the least that can be said is that hundreds of Catholics who found this poll on this blog have the opinion that Benedict XVI is still Pope and that the guy the world and most of the self-identified Catholics of the world hail as pope is in fact NOT THE POPE. Ann Barnhardt cited this for the notion that such persons should not feel isolated, weird or crazy-- that there are others.  True, but I ask you to consider this: When was the last time in history (not including obvious interregnum periods) that at least 400 Catholics at any one time were not certain who the Pope was? It's unprecedented-- unless the sedes are right. And I don't believe they are.

This uncertainty, in addition to the maladies arising from personnel, policies and persecutions-- this uncertainty by and of itself-- is a chastisement from God. A chastisement that only the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart can alleviate.

There are perhaps practical solutions. Perhaps a true public correction/declaration of deposition would solve the problem of the current occupant. But it would not lift a cloud over the next conclave unless that declaration of deposition leads Benedict to claim the mantle that may still be his, or else prove that he did (or now would) freely and effectively resign, explaining away the coercive indicators from the last such time.

But can I be forgiven for thinking that there is at least one Cardinal who has personal knowledge of the facts of this situation, who is faithful and willing to live up to his vow as a Cardinal to defend the pope and papacy, who maybe has intimate and expert knowledge of Canon Law and the last two living persons to claim to be pope? Anyone?

Please do something before it is truly too late. We need to know what is going on.


Anonymous said...

Just an everyday regular guy with a family who is Catholic and not a well educated Catholic unfortunately. But I can feel something is not right with Francis.

Anonymous said...

Listen to Cardinal Mc Carrick's speech he gave at Villanova University.. it's on YouTube . Ii think it igives a big clue who is the Pope.

Anonymous said...

Not a prudent move -- taking a poll about who is really Pope.
For example, there are probably certain Americans who claim that "Trump is not the real President."
It does the country no good to argue such a point. It does harm to the unity of the Church to argue similarly about who's Pope.

I am no fan of Francis -- but a bad Pope is still the Pope.

Barbara Jensen said...

Bergoglio is systematically trashing the doctrine and moral foundation of the Catholic Church.. No authentic pope, even evil ones in the history to the Church, have been enabled to do this. Bergoglio, being an antipope, is not under the promise of infallibility for true popes given by Jesus. He is a heretic and is purposefully using his ill-gotten power to rampage through the Church. Since no prelates are speaking up about this state of error, he is emboldened the more and keeps going. The true Faith is being morphed into a false one. These are facts unfolding before our eyes. God help us all.

Jeannie Holler said...

Thanks for updating us on the recent poll.
We need to pray daily for the conversion of Francis , yes he is pope BUT truly one who has brought confusion and turmoil to Holy Mother Church...sad to say.
I must keep my eyes on Christ ...HE sent His Mother to warn us ,and to tell us exactly what we must do ...so obey the message of Fatima . Pray the Rosary and wear the Scapular . Obedience is crucial to Christ and His Mother.
The Apostasy that Our Lady told us about is upon us ( my opinion) Stand firm , be faithful to the complete TRUTH ...God Wins in the end !

Anonymous said...

for the person that says this poll does harm to the unity of the Church, I say the Church is already woefully split without the poll. I agree this time we are living in is a spiritual chastisement. When I go to my Catholic Church with seven children and the usher snickers about the size of the family, my husband and I just shake our heads and say to him, but we're Catholic. Sadly, Catholic just means protestant now in large sectors of the Church.

Marie said...

"... at least one Cardinal... who is faithful and willing to live up to his vow... to defend the pope and papacy..."

Perhaps the College is not where we should search; rather in the Religious Order founded with the precise mandate to defend the pope and papacy.

And that Order is (ta-da!)...the Jesuits!

God help us.

thetimman said...

Each of the five comments above say something useful about the situation. In fact, they encapsulate the thing pretty well. In order 1. Something is clearly wrong with our picture; 2. Faithful Catholics who want answers engage in a process of "Hey, check out this or that clue that will let us really know"; 3. Is it even a good idea to ask these questions?, because after all we are dealing with things that touch the Divine, in that the Church has the promise of Christ and where does it stop and all that; 4.Francis is an antipope and therfore he isn't protected by infallibility and all this stuff he pushes is illegitimate and invalid; and 5. Francis is a horrible pope, but he's pope and we need to pray for deliverance.

Yep, that sums it up. I think Barbara and Jeanne present the two most likely scenarios. At this point in time, in my opinion, reasonable Catholics have room for good faith disagreement. Both positions have some uncomfortable facts in the way, but both can be adhered to. Future facts may come to light that makes one or the other untenable.

Yes, I worried about whether to post the poll, but I really was curious about how people felt and there was no such survey out there. I think it is a good thing to let those who in good faith believe Benedict to still reign know that they aren't insane. Things are bad, there is some smoke and might be a fire. To me, these things outweighed the downside of conducting the poll. Regarding a scandal, I think the papacy of Bergoglio has created a huge scandal, and this poll does not add to it. It might alleviate it in some small way.

I'll end my own comments (though I encourage any readers to comment) by restating my personal opinion. I think as a matter of "real life" what-are-the-odds kind of reasoning, I would have to say I think it is more likely than not that Benedict is pope. However, this calculation involves some degree of speculation that no layperson can yet verify completely, and therefore I officially have to acknowledge Francis. It is a close call for me, and I pray God I don't do anything to merit punishment over the matter. I pray for guidance. And we can take comfort from God's providence that the last time such confusion reigned over the identity of the pope during the Great Western Schism, that canonized saints were to be found amond the adherents of different claimants.

I personally think that (in addition to Benedict, who is not in my opinion allowed to speak his mind in public) Cardinal Burke knows the truth. Again, my speculation only. But I think it. I really wish he would speak plainly on this matter because the faithful really need it. One of the reasons I still can't reject the possibility that Francis is pope is that one of the holiest men I know, an expert in canon law with knowledge of the curia and conclave, hasn't weighed in. I beg him to. Unlike some other bloggers, I haven't lost confidence in him. He is not afraid to do the right thing, he may just think differently.

Your Eminence, you may contact me at any time to comment.

God bless you all.

Peggy said...

Do you think a schism is being set in motion with both Benedict and Francis involved? Francis will head the protestant-Catholic entity (characterized by sexual libertinism and liberation theology) and Benedict will lead the "remnant" True Church. And of course, how does the property as well as the history, the legacy, get assigned? Which church claims the "Deposit of Faith"? Would Francis walk away from all the assets of the RC Church? If one believes his calls to poverty and humility, he should leave the Roman Church, physically as well, to Benedict. He told his followers to let go of material things. On the other hand, what would be more like God than for the remnant True Church to start from scratch with little resources? It will be a time of choosing for each parish and each individual Catholic and his family.

Food for thought as is your survey.

Good work with numbers...for a lawyer! (Many lawyers I worked with had an aversion to math.;^D)

CurmudgeonKC said...

Well, yeah, one of your commenters said "I am no fan of Francis -- but a bad Pope is still the Pope." Which of course is a logical fallacy because the presupposition is that he is the Pope, which is of course the question. Very important to think clearly here.

It is inarguable that a bad Pope is still Pope and doesn't cease to be Pope absent death, canonical abdication, or some public ecclesiastical machinations following an canonical crime which haven't been used before and haven't even been clearly defined (but which obviously haven't happened yet). We ask yet again...was Bergolio ever Pope? What the Papal office vacant when he appeared to be elected? Were the violations of Universi Dominici Gregis significant enough to invalidate the election? If so, then the greatest, holiest, best governing dude in a white cassock ever--a clone of Pius X or Leo the Great--won't really be Pope.

That's the difference between the sedevacantist morass and the legitimate question asked here and elsewhere.

But in any case, the best course of action is to ignore Jorge Bergolio, make sure that your time and treasure is supporting the faith, rather than the the false teachers, and adhere to what the Church has always and everywhere taught, and wait for the chastisement to pass.

Thomas said...

The question of if he was validly elected is key. For is he was validly elected, he has the full authority to change discipline. You may not like it, you may think it's stupid, but he has the authority to do that and you must submit. In fact, if he was validly elected, humility requires a Catholic to assume that the pope is right and he is wrong.

On the other hand if he was invalidly elected, we are free to resist. Do we have any solid evidence that he was invalidly elected apart from conspiracy theories and innuendos and people thinking that he is a heretic? None of these are sufficient to establish it.

If he is valid, he is not a heretic, but we are refusing to be corrected and submit to in humility. Only if he was invalidly elected is anyone permitted to resist him; and how can anyone be expected to resist him if this is uncertain?