So way out in the far reaches of the Catholic Reactionary subculture

So way out in the far reaches of the Catholic Reactionary subculture July 11, 2014

…there is apparently a new theory being floated that the sane Traditionalist Pete Vere has dubbed (if memory serves) something like “sedeBenedictineplenevacantism” (or something like that).  It is the theory that Benedict didn’t, or couldn’t, really resign as Pope (or that he only gave up certain powers as pope) so every time Francis says or does something Reactionaries don’t like (such as speaking, teaching, clearing his throat, or existing) it’s not really the pope doing it or it’s only being done by a half-pope and it doesn’t count–or something.

Anyway, all that is to say that though this Sunday’s Germany vs. Argentina match might be seen by some as a Sign from God, the reality is: it’s just a game.  We are not of Germany, Argentina,  Benedict or Francis.  We are of Christ.

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  • Julian Barkin

    Hi Mark. Normally I’d be immediately marching into battle with you against such Trad Behaving Badly stupidity, but the arguments for this one are a little more grounded versus their usual CDS (calumny, detraction, slander). The argument for the giving up of certain powers is that because of how he said it in Latin, he gave up only the administrative/sedilia and authoritative parts to Francis, but he still retains the spiritual parts. Can you “apologize” against that one?

    • chezami

      The arguments are fine-grained crazy talk. Benedict resigned. Francis is pope. End of story.

      • Julian Barkin

        Mark ok I definitely believe you. Please lower the death rays of doom here! I was just looking for a good apologetic argument like Voldemort’s wife above you (ha ha ha, couldn’t resist)

    • Torquemada Tequila

      This is a desperate gambit of the Fatima Industry eager to avoid the charge of sedevacantism.

    • She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

      As Mark said, it’s crazy talk. If you really want to make an argument against it, you could say that he couldn’t give up the spiritual parts of his former office because they are the same as any other Christian’s spiritual responsibilities – to love God with all our hearts and our neighbours as ourselves. Further more, you could argue that since his primary vocation is the priesthood and because the Sacrament of Holy Orders leaves an indelible mark on a man’s soul, that he couldn’t give up that part of himself even if he so desired.

      Ultimately though, it’s just a bunch of ridiculousness and really isn’t worth the time or breath it would take to refute such insanity.

    • capaxdei

      “How he said it in Latin” isn’t the ground for *all* Trad Behaving Badly stupidity?

      Though if by “a little more grounded” you mean the argument in this case is relatively straightforward and at least based on a document that has immediate and obvious relevance to Pope Benedict’s resignation, then I’d agree. Of course, that also makes it easier to comprehend and categorically reject the argument — well, *intellectually* easier. Less easy emotionally, for some.

      • Julian Barkin

        What I mean Capa, is usually the TBBs make Protestant arguments for what they do and do one or more of calumny, detraction, or slander. The argument for this “dual-papacy” is that based on the word choice and the tenses/declensions of how he said his resignation in Latin, he didn’t entirely give up us position. Documents? There should be some recording of the speech he have last February where he did that, maybe on the Vatican site or

  • cececole

    Mark, can you please call Pope Francis (cos you 2 are so close and all) and let him know that B16 messed it and have him resign the right way!

    • chezami

      No need. Francis calls me on a regular basis.

  • Torquemada Tequila

    I think it is spelt “Sedebenedictplenism”. At least that is how I usually see it spelt.

    Now there have been numerous periods throughout the Church’s history when there was pope and anti-pope as rival papal claimants. However, the biggest argument against this…er…theory is that it creates a situation in which, for the first time in the Church’s history, we would have a situation in which the alleged anti-pope’s biggest and most public supporter is the true pope. In other words, the alleged rival.

    Pope Benedict was Supreme Pontiff. He made his intention to resign clear and followed through accordingly. Subsequently, Pope Francis was elected Roman Pontiff, and Pope Benedict has acknowledged Pope Francis publicly several times as currently reigning Roman Pontiff.

    • IRVCath

      It’s like a reprise of the Siri Thesis, no?

      • Torquemada Tequila

        LOL! I thought the same thing the first time I came across someone pitching the theory.

        • IRVCath

          And with just as much foundation in reality.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Please forgive me for my ignorance, but what is the “Siri Thesis”?

        • It’s so foolish it isn’t worth the time it takes to tell about it . . . so naturally, it has a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it.

          • Torquemada Tequila

            Sedebenedictplenism even shares the biggest weakness of the Siri Thesis, which is that it is denied by the individual who the theory proclaims the true Roman Pontiff.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Thank you. I have read it, and it explained a lot of things to me. I had been taken aback by some of those other blogs that claimed that Pius XII was the last legitimate Pope. It was something I had never been exposed to in my corner of Canada. But now I have a better idea of where those people are coming from.

  • captcrisis

    Well if you take it that the Holy Spirit picks Popes, then it follows that only an act of God (i.e., death) can “un-pick” a Pope. Of course, if you believe that, then you’d have to explain the many bad men who got picked to be Pope. Did the Holy Spirit pick Benedict IX? Stephen VI? Sergius III?

    • D.T. McCameron

      many bad men who got picked to be Pope.

      Curiously, some bad men can be…somewhat decent popes. …Not that the one’s you mentioned did much of anything to defend the faith.

    • Eve Fisher

      You left out the worst: Alexander VI. Bribery works.

      • Bill

        Actually, I think Benedict IX was worse than the Borgia Pope, all things being equal.

        • Eve Fisher

          Could be. It would be hard to say which was the most immoral… I don’t have a lot of use for Boniface VIII, either, if nothing else for imprisoning his predecessor after talking him into resigning. Of course, what really bothered Dante about him was the simony.

          • Torquemada Tequila

            The most immoral pope, bar none, was the Apostle Peter. He spent three years ministering under Our Lord, witnessing most of His public miracles and being personally groomed by Him to take over the Church. This is good.

            Nevertheless, Peter still denied Our Lord three times, allowing the innocent blood of Our God to be shed in the most horrific and painful mode of execution existent in the ancient world.

            Of course Christ forgave Peter and today we venerate him as the first pope.

            • Eve Fisher

              It helps that Peter repented.

              • Torquemada Tequila

                Immensely. Which is why Peter is among the saints who I venerate regularly.

                Nevertheless, minus the repentance, Peter’s betrayal of Our Lord was on par with that of Judas Iscariot. Worse, in fact, because Peter was prince of the apostles.

                That being said, I take great joy in the fact Peter not only repented, but today is venerated by the Church as one of its greatest saints. This means there is hope for all the rest of us.

                • Eve Fisher

                  I totally agree: a long time ago I was in a Bible study group in which everyone was asked about their favorite apostle, and everyone except me said John. I said Peter, because I NEED Peter – I need someone who sinned spectacularly, gratuitously, terribly… and repented, was forgiven, and sent out anew.

    • Rosemarie


      I don’t think the Holy Spirit always picks the pope. However, if the cardinals eliminate outside influences (like bribery) as much as possible and seek God prayerfully during the conclave, I’m sure the Holy Spirit could “nudge” them in the direction of voting for the best possible candidate. It’s not automatic guidance but it can be sought, IMHO.

  • orual’s kindred

    It is the theory that Benedict didn’t, or couldn’t, really resign as Pope

    If so, then what’s he doing now, and why is he allowing “that other guy” to go on acting like he’s…well, the Pope?

    • capaxdei

      You’re not trying hard enough. Get away from the NWO’s radio waves for a minute and *think*:

      Living at the Vatican, wearing white, accepting the honorific “Your Holiness”: these are things a pope does. If Benedict *really* meant what people say he meant, if he really *could* mean that, then why did he say he should be referred to as Pope Emeritus? Why not Bishop of Rome Emeritus? Or Cardinal Ratzinger, which is how he surely would have preferred to finish out his life after St. John Paul’s death?

      • Alma Peregrina

        Benedict didn’t resign. He was forced to do it by an eeeeeevil lizard man with a ray-gun behind the curtains, but in his thoughts, Benedict was saying “E pur, si muove”. That’s why he resigned with an erroneous latin formula… since the heretics (being unfaithful) don’t know latin, but the true worshippers allways do. That was like an SOS in a bottle.

        Now, Benedicts is being held hostage in a dungeon somewhere in communist Cuba and that guy you see nodding in favor of communist usurper antipope Francis is… in fact… a robot, built in the image of His Holiness!

        But someday, Benedict will rise again on a magical white horse and smite the evil ones with a flaming sword. The treachorous Francis will be hanged by the obedient servants of the Mercifull One. And then we will live happily ever after… except those evil heretics that followed the Pope, and who know no latin, that is.

        • You know, I like your version better than the one that’s actually being circulated by some traditionalists. It’s got pizazz!

          • Alma Peregrina

            Why thank you. I’ll be here all week. Please, try the veal… BUT DON’T YOU DARE ENJOY IT!!!

            • Benjamin2.0

              Yeah, you definitely get the high five today.

              • Alma Peregrina

                High five accepted. And stop calling me Definitely!

            • Applause! Applause!

      • chezami

        Of course! Why didn’t I see it before?

        • Torquemada Tequila

          Because it’s part of the joint Jewish-Hesychast conspiracy to bring down the Church through Carmelite spirituality, heliocentrism and gum disease.

      • orual’s kindred

        *looks up ‘NWO radio’ *

        LOL! Well, what can I say? I’m brainwashed 🙂