An Opinion Piece Catholics Should Not Ignore
Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claims he is Pope?
Is it possible for someone to be a antipope even though the majority of cardinals claim he is pope?
The case of Antipope Anacletus II proves that it is possible for a majority of cardinals to claim a man is pope while he, in reality, is a antipope.
In 1130, a majority of cardinals voted for Cardinal Peter Pierleone to be pope. He called himself Anacletus II. He was proclaimed pope and ruled Rome for eight years by vote and consent of a absolute majority of the cardinals despite the fact he was a antipope.
In 1130, just prior to the election of antipope Anacletus, a small minority of cardinals elected the real pope: Pope Innocent II.
How is this possible?
St. Bernard said "the 'sanior pars' (the wiser portion)... declared in favor of Innocent II. By this he probably meant a majority of the cardinal-bishops."
(St. Bernard of Clairvaux by Leon Christiani, Page 72)
Again, how is this possible when the absolute majority of cardinals voted for Anacletus?
Historian Warren Carroll explains:
"[C]anon law does not bind a Pope arranging for his successor... [Papal Chancellor] Haimeric proposed that... a commission of eight cardinals should be selected to choose the next Pope... strong evidence [shows] that the Pope [Honorius] endorsed what Haimeric was doing, including the establishment of the electoral commission [of eight cardinals]."
(The Glory of Christendom, Pages 36-37)
The majority or "sanior pars," five cardinals out of eight of "the electoral commission," elected Pope Innocent II as St. Bernard said and as evidence shows was the will of the previous pope in what we can call a constitution for the election of his successor.
In the same way, is it possible that Francis was not elected pope even though he received a absolute majority of cardinals votes and is now as in the case of Anacletus proclaimed pope by the same absolute majority?
As with the case of Anacletus, it is possible Francis is a antipope if his election contradicted or violated the constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II for electing his successor.
The award-winning Mexican journalist and President of Vida para Nacer Jose Munguia who studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome brings forward evidence that there were "serious irregularities" against John Paul II's constitution that governed the 2013 conclave that could invalidate the conclave which elected Francis:
"Article 79 of the Constitution Universi Domenici Gregis, which establishes the details of how the conclave must be celebrated, says the following: 'Confirming the prescriptions of my predecessors, I likewise forbid anyone, even if he is a cardinal, during the Pope’s lifetime and without having consulted him, to make plans concerning the election of his successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings'."
"And in article 81 it is established that these agreements are punished with excommunication latae sententiae (i.e. automatic, without the need of a declaration by anybody, ipso facto and eo ipsa)."
"The information revealed by Cardinal Daneels days before the Synod, coincides with that published by Austin Ivereigh, in his book “The Great Reformer” in which he reveals how, during the 2013 conclave, four cardinals from the Mafioso Saint Galen group (Kasper, Lehman, Danneels and Murphy O’Connor) came together to illicitly orchestrate a campaign in favour of the election of Bergoglio, after the latter had agreed to be the beneficiary of this scheming."
"... After the election came the two books which revealed the serious irregularities committed within the conclave that elected Bergoglio. The first is the [Spanish language] book by Elisabbeta Piqué (Bergoglio’s authorised biographer from Argentina) entitled 'Francisco, Vida y Revolución' (Francisco, Life and Revolution). Piqué knew, through Francis himself, what happened inside the conclave. The other book is by the famous vaticanologist Antonio Socci 'Non é Francesco' (Francis is not the Pope)."
"The revelations of [Spanish speaking] Piqué [which are almost unknown to the English speaking world] are so well believed as coming from Francis that the Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, published the chapter that deals with how the conclave developed. Vatican Radio and Television did likewise. What happened is that Bergoglio, on being elected Pope, felt that the threat of excommunication – which falls on any cardinal for revealing what happened in the conclave – no longer affected him and related to the journalist the things that happened within the Sistine Chapel."
"The narration: In the conclave, in the evening of the 13th of March, in the fourth vote count of the day, there were 116 votes when there were only 115 cardinals in the hall. One cardinal put in one paper too many. This fourth vote was won by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan (The Italian Episcopal Conference itself released a bulletin congratulating Scola for having been elected Pope). This vote count was improperly annulled. Angelo Scola’s website published that the recently elected Pope had taken the name of John XXIV. Wikipedia also published it. A few minutes later both sites took down this result. What happened is that when the recently elected Pope was on his way to the balcony of Saint Peter’s, a group of cardinals, mostly Germans and Americans, approached him to tell him that he had to return to the Sistine Chapel because the vote count had to be annulled."
"Now, the Apostolic Constitution Universi Domenici Gregis (Art 69) establishes that if two folded papers came from the same cardinal with the same name or if one was blank, they must be counted as a single vote. If, on the other hand, there were two different names, both papers are annulled and none of the two votes is valid. But it clearly establishes: “In none of the two cases must the election be annulled”. In this case there was an extra white paper. The established procedure was not followed but rather the election was annulled, which was expressly prohibited."
"Contravening the dispositions of the Constitution, the fourth vote count was declared null, they forced Cardinal Angelo Scola, recently elected and having taken the name of John XXIV, to resign and return to the Sistine Chapel, and they proceeded with a fifth vote in which Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected."
"This was the second irregularity of the conclave, because the Constitution establishes (Art 63) that there must only be four voting sessions per day, two in the morning and two in the evening."
"The case for saying that the designation of Bergoglio is effectively invalid is clear, according to canon lawyers, who refer us to article 76 which states: 'Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected'."
"This pile of evidence led Cardinal George Pell to declare that Francis could well be the 38th antipope in the history of the church, and not the 266th Pope as the vast majority believe."
"Finally, it is worth pointing out here, that even if all the aforementioned be cast in doubt or discredited, all opposing arguments collapse with Cardinal Danneels’s admission in his biography, that he and a group of cardinals, the “Mafia Club”, plotted to force Benedict XVI to resign. When you have a confession, proof is not necessary."
Bishop Rene Gracida, also, brings forward evidence that the conclave that elected Francis was invalid because there were "serious irregularities" against John Paul II's constitution that governed the 2013 conclave.
However, the popular and respected traditional Catholic commentator Steve Skojec on May 7, 2018 apparently rejected Bishop Gracida's call for the cardinals to judge if Francis's election to the papacy was valid calling the validity question itself a "potentially dangerous rabbit hole."
(Onepeterfive, "Cardinal Eijk References End Times Prophecy in Intercommunion," May 7, 2018)
At the time, Skojec referred back to his September 26, 2017 post where he said:
"JPII has removed the election-nullifying consequences of simony... nowhere else in the following paragraphs is nullity of the election even implied."
(Onepeterfive, "A Brief note on the Question of a Legally Valid Election," September 26, 2017)
Bishop Gracida shows that Skojec is wrong in his Open Letter quoting Pope John Paul II's Universi Dominici Gregis' introductory perambulary and paragraph 76:
- "I further confirm, by my Apostlic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process" [the above which Gracida clearly shows in his Open Letter was not maintained thus making the conclave and Francis's papacy invalid according to the Bishop].
- "Should the election take place in a way other than laid down here not to be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void."
Gracida's Open Letter, moreover, shows that Skojec is wrong above:
"The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave."
On top of all that, Skojec ignores paragraph 5 and contrary to what conservative canon lawyer Edward Peters has said about Universi Dominici Gregis when he suggests canon lawyers have a role in interpreting the John Paul II Constitution, the document says:
"Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect. I [Pope John Paul II] Decree that all power of issuing a judgment of this in this regard to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points."
(Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5)
Later in the paragraph it says "except the act of the election," which can be interpreted in a number of ways.
The point is, as Bishop Gracida says and Universi Dominici Gregis said, only the cardinals can interpret its meaning, not Skojec, not canon lawyers or anyone else.
The Bishop is saying what the document says: only the cardinals can interpret it.
He, also, says put pressure on the cardinals to act and interpret it which both Skojec and Peters appear to prefer to ignore.
Moreover, Bishop Gracida's Open Letter and Pope John Paul II's document make a number of points which neither Skojec, Peters or anyone else to my knowledge have even brought up or offered any counter argument against.
I have great respect for both Skojec and Peters, but unless Gracida's Open Letter is squarely responded to my respect for them will greatly diminish for they will be neglecting their responsibility to God and His Church.
They are both wrong if they ignore this important Open Letter of Bishop Gracida.
If Peters and Skojec as well as the conservative and traditional Catholic media are ignoring Bishop Gracida because he isn't a cardinal and retired, remember that St. Athanasius wasn't a cardinal (that is involved in the selection or election process of the pope of the time) and was retired.
During the Arian heresy crisis, Pope Liberius excommunicated Athanasius. You don't get any more retired than being excommunicated.
Skojec gave blogger Ann Barnhardt's analysis of the papal validity a long article and podcast. The only bishop in the world contesting Francis in a meaningful way deserves as much. Why is he apparently so afraid of Bishop Gracida?
Skojec and Peters need to answer Gracida's theologically clear and precise arguments and either clearly and precisely counter them or put pressure on the cardinals to put into action the needed canonical procedures to remove Francis if he was "never validly elected" the pope or else remove him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy.
Francis is not orthodox so there are only two things he could be:
1. A validly elected pope who is a material heretic until cardinals correct him and then canonically proclaim he is a formal heretic if he doesn't recant thus deposing him (See: "Unambiguously Pope Francis Materially Professes Death Penalty Heresy: Cd. Burke: 'If a Pope would Formally Profess Heresy he would Cease, by that Act, to be the Pope'": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2018/08/unambiguously-pope-francis-materially.html?m=1) or
2. a invalidly elected antipope who is a heretic.
The point is whether you think using all the information available 1. is the objective truth or 2. is the objective truth you must act.
You must as the Bishop says put: "pressure on the cardinals to act" whichever you think.
There are many ways to put pressure such as pray and offer Masses for this intention, send the Gracida link to priests, bishops and cardinals, make signs and pray the rosary in front of their offices as we do in front of abortion clinics. Use your imagination to come up with other ideas.
Gracida is calling the cardinals to "[a]ddress... [the] probable invalidity" before they attempt to depose him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy. But, just as importantly he is calling all faithful Catholics to act and not just bemoan Francis's heresy.
Bishop Gracida in a email to me and through the Catholic Monitor to all faithful Catholics said:
"ONE CAN SAY THAT FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL IS A HERETIC UNTIL ONE DIES BUT IT CHANGES NOTHING. WHAT IS NEEDED IS ACTION... WE MUST PRESSURE THE CARDINALS TO ACT. SEND THAT LINK TO EVERY PRIEST AND BISHOP YOU KNOW":
Remember that many who are calling those like Bishop Gracida, journalist Munguia and others "schismatics" for calling for a cardinal investigation are following in the footsteps of the real schismatics who promoted and followed Antipope Anacletus II.
Renown Catholic historian Carroll explicitly says that what matters in a valid papal election is not how many cardinals claim a person is the pope. What is essential for determining if someone is pope or antipope is the "election procedures... [as] governed by the prescription of the last Pope":
"Papal election procedures are governed by the prescription of the last Pope who provided for them (that is, any Pope can change them, but they remain in effect until they are changed by a duly elected Pope)."
"During the first thousand years of the history of the Papacy the electors were the clergy of Rome (priests and deacons); during the second thousand years we have had the College of Cardinals."
"But each Pope, having unlimited sovereign power as head of the Church, can prescribe any method for the election of his successor(s) that he chooses. These methods must then be followed in the next election after the death of the Pope who prescribed it, and thereafter until they are changed. A Papal claimant not following these methods is also an Antipope."
"Since Antipopes by definition base their claims on defiance of proper Church authority, all have been harmful to the Church, though a few have later reformed after giving up their claims."
The schismatic followers of Antipope Anacletus II didn't want St. Bernard to investigate who was the real pope. It was the followers of the real pontiff Pope Innocent II who asked Bernard to investigate.
Why are so many traditional and conservative Catholics afraid of a cardinal investigation of the apparent "serious irregularities" against John Paul II's constitution that governed the 2013 conclave that could invalidate the conclave which elected Francis?
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church and for Catholics to not just bemoan heresy, but put pressure on the cardinals to act as well as for the grace for a cardinal to stand up and investigate and to be the St. Bernard of our time.
In fact, please offer Masses, fast and pray the rosary for these intentions during Lent and after the Lenten season.
Prophecy of St Francis of Assisi
A short time before the holy Father’s [St. Francis’] death, he called together his children and warned them of the coming troubles:
“Act bravely, my brethren; take courage and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. The devils will have unusual power; the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who obey the true Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity.
“At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
“There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God….
“Those who preserve their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth…
“Some preachers will keep silent about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them, not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”
(Works of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi [London: R. Washbourne, 1882], pp. 248-250) [paragraph breaks added]