As Francis’ spectacularly successful visit drives reactionaries into shrieks of hysterics beyond the pitch of human hearing, St. Blogs is ringing with disinterred rumors that a Sinister Liberal Conspiracy forced Benedict out and replaced him with the invalidly elected antipope Francis.
This is the latest buzz from the Conspiracy Theorists of St. Blogs and the not-at-all crazy Right Wing Noise Machine. A New Hope is kindled! Francis haters around St. Blogs from One Peter Five to Roarhate Daily are abuzz with excitement and helpfully suggesting that it’s a whole new ball game! Francis may well be an antipope (they hopefully offer without having the stones to come out and say it) and we can ignore him (which they are already trying to do anyway), the Church is saved from him, etc.
Yeah. Here’s the thing: Benedict has already schooled the Conspiracy Theorists on this:
“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Benedict, 86, who now has the title “pope emeritus,” said in a letter to the Italian website Vatican Insider published on Wednesday.
“The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simply absurd,” he wrote in answer to a request by the website for comment on recent Italian media reports.
What’s hilarious is that the Always Obviously Wrong Charism of Discernment of the Reactionaries manages to ignore the plainly truthful Benedict while somehow managing to make the person they themselves declare to be a Deceiver the fount of all truth–and all on the say-so of two guys hawking a book. The spectacular ability of Reactionaries to be wrong about everything, and to believe whatever their itching ears want to hear, is just breathtaking.
Sorry guys. Francis really is the Pope. Deal with it.
UPDATE: Ed Peters, Actual Canon Lawyer, schools people playing canon lawyer on the interwebz:
“Once again, some are questioning the validity of the election of Pope Francis. Once again, it is all nonsense. The latest manifestation of this theory holds that because some figures seem to have agreed in advance of the conclave to push Cdl. Bergoglio’s candidacy, they might have incurred latae sententiae excommunication (Universi 81) and therefore—therefore what?—therefore the election of Francis is invalid? Where does conclave or canon law say THAT? I tell you where: Nowhere.
Such reprehensible agreements are themselves null (as in, they do not bind in conscience those who might have entered into them), they might result in serious criminal sanctions (and if we would ever get rid of automatic censures, we would have actually to face such hard questions, instead of dodging them each time they come up, as we currently do), but any ballots cast in a conclave in accord with such evil pacts are valid. Period. End of discussion.
Francis is pope.”
The moon landings really happened too.