Friday, February 28, 2020


Bishop Athanasius Schneider has published an essay today on the question of who has the right to judge a heretical Pope, and whether Benedict XVI is still the true Pope.

A big theme of this essay is something Bishop Schneider has stated before: that there is no human solution to a crisis like the one we have now under Pope Francis.  He thinks the Bellarmine Option, as it is coming to be known — that the cardinals can declare a heretical Pope to be self-deposed, and then go on to elect a new Pope — is a no-go on several grounds.  To what he says, I will add an opinion of my own.  If the Bellarmine Option were valid, it would probably never happen anyway, because by the time we get a heretical Pope, we’ve already got a largely corrupt and compromised set of cardinals.

Just because there is no human solution to this crisis, that doesn’t mean there is nothing for us to do.  Bishop Schneider:
The Church is ultimately not a human but a divine-human reality. She is the Mystical Body of Christ. Attempts to resolve the current crisis of the papacy which favor the opinion of St. Robert Bellarmine with its concrete solution, or take refuge in the unproven theory of Benedict XVI still being the only true pope, are doomed to fail from the start. The Church is in the hands of God, even in this most dark time. 
We must not be lax in proclaiming Catholic truth and warning and admonishing when papal words and actions clearly harm the faith. But what all true sons and daughters of the Church ought to do now is launch a serious world-wide crusade of prayer and penance to implore a divine intervention. Let us trust in the Lord’s words: “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?” (Luke 18:7).


  1. I read so few "Catholic" blogs anymore. I've stumbled on a few of the Twitter accounts of some of the more popular trad type bloggers in the past few weeks and have been shocked at the things they are saying to and about each other. It reminds me why I morphed away from Catholic blogging.

    I don't give any of the "is Francis really the Pope or is Benedict still the Pope" stuff a nano seconds thought. My place is to just keep my head down and the prayers coming. God will handle the rest.

  2. I don’t think there is anything we can do about the question of whether Francis is Pope, except prayer and penance to beg God to deliver us from this crisis. Scripture says over and over again that if we repent and turn back to God with all our hearts, He will deliver us from our enemies. There is hope even for those of us who create our own stupid problems, as one of my favorite Psalms, 106, proves. I think THIS is what we have to do to address this, because God permits it on account of our sins.