#248: Is Benedict XVI Still the Pope?—Dr. Edmund Mazza

#248: Is Benedict XVI Still the Pope?—Dr. Edmund Mazza

It’s the question few Catholics, orthodox or heretical, want to raise. It sounds crazy at first. Granted.

But if true, it has world-rocking implications for the Catholic Church: Was the abdication announcement read by then-Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, canonically valid? Were there fatal flaws in the text that would invalidate it, making Benedict the actual Vicar of Christ, and Francis an anti-pope?

Joining me on The Patrick Coffin Show to tackle this—to say the least—controversial proposition is historian and author Professor Edmund Mazza.

In this Episode You Will Learn

  • The facts behind the inquiry into whether the 2013 resignation is valid
  • The grave signs that Francis’ many scandalous and heretical teachings that prompted the investigation into the resignation
  • The key distinction between munus and ministerium, which Ratzinger made in renouncing the latter but not the former
  • A brief history of Ratzinger’s innovative treatment of the papal office and ministry
  • How Archbishop Georg Ganswein (the former secretary of Benedict XVI) has indicated that the renunciation was not total but partial
  • The lame and strange justifications made to rationalize the disturbing state of affairs
  • Other thinkers who are actively researching the topic to force an answer to the question of invalidity of the February 2013 quitting
  • Why none of this has to do with sedevacantism (the false belief that the Chair of Peter is empty)

Resources Mentioned

  • Follow Ed Mazza on his website and course details
  • 2013 Video of Pope Benedict XVI reading his resignation
  • 2016 Video of Pope Emeritus telling Francis he feels “protected” by the new pope.
  • Link to Canon 322.2
  • Text in Latin of the renunciation


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  1. Bottom line is: Ratzinger *believes* the papacy is a sacrament, which is heresy according to Trent. If the pope looses office over heresy, both Popes have lost office. But if the papacy is a sacrament, both are still Popes and are in sacrilege… Man! Let’s just stay with this: Benedict resigned office and Francis was elect without protest of any cardinal. Until the pope resigns office or dies, he remains Pope. Let’s wait and pray for another year or so.

  2. Was Pope Benedict XVI drugged and removed? I would not put it past the current papacy and the lavender mafia.

  3. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said “Among you there is also the future pope to whom I promise my unconditional obedience and reverence,” How is that anything but a full resignation?

  4. I have an idea as to why Benedict XVI still wears the white clothes of a pope.
    I think he was pressured to resign and he did so begrudgingly.
    By wearing the same white clothing that he did while Pope Benedict XVI,
    he acts as a thorn in the side of those who pushed him out.
    He is, in essence, giving them the finger.
    I also think that is why he chose the title “Pope Emeritus” and allows himself to be called “Your Holiness”.
    His name is a constant reminder that he has not completely bowed to his detractors.
    He has not resigned in his heart or mind – only from the position of pope.

  5. So according to Benedict, there are eight sacraments, one of which is pretty damned exclusive!

    Popes over the last 60 years could have taken a lesson from the Queen of England: button it.

    You both seemed to use the words ‘renounce/renunciation ‘ and ‘resign/resignation ‘ interchangeably therefore we near synonyms. Is it possible to resign without uttering the words ‘I resign’. I see that a king wishing to abdicate might say, “I renounce my claim to the throne”, but I wonder what the nuance of the original Latin is.

    So Ben16 made a speech only on the 11th, not the 28th? Was it a post-dated cheque? To me, fascinating as the putative distinction is between munio? and the other ‘m’- word, I just wonder about the illocutionary validity of his wording: can the Queen name a ship without saying, “I name this ship…” ; can a priest absolve without saying, “I absolve…” , can you forgive without saying the word? The validity of a promise may be in doubt:
    ‘ Promise never to do it again. ” –“OK” — “No, say ‘I promise’. — ‘I promise never to do it again.’

    I’m not sure that I heard Benedict say, “I resign.”

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