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Lightning

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly.

So buckle up dear readers because this will be a long one.

Things are moving fast sports fans. Who would have expected that the information flow  (that which we call DATA POINTS on this blog) in the Catholic world would move at this speed?

Oh wait, I know who!

But before I answer that question, CONTEXT.

In yesterday’s post, titled Desperately Seeking Reconciliation, (see here) we listed a series of papal documents that were issued in a very, and I mean VERY short span of time. Please keep in mind that the Catholic Church is going on 1983 years and papal documents such as a moto proprios, apostolic constitutions or other papal rulings DO NOT get promulgated one a daily or even on a monthly basis. Yet this is exactly what we are witness to.

It is as if the “prophecy” of our favorite Francis ghost writer and “third rate theologian”, one Archbishop Victor Manuel  “Tucho”  “Heal me with your kiss” Fernandez, the titular archbishop of Tiburnia, was coming to pass. (see here) For those who do not recall this “prophesy” here is the relevant passage from our post titled The Loose Canon (see here and I highly recommend re-reading this post before you dear reader go on with the post below): (emphasis added)

Q: When Francis says he will have a short pontificate doesn’t this help his adversaries?

AV”HMWYK”F: “The pope must have his reasons, because he knows very well what he’s doing. He must have an objective that we don’t understand yet. You have to realize that he is aiming at a reform that is irreversible. If one day he should intuit that he’s running out of time and he doesn’t have enough time to do what the Spirit is asking him, you can be sure he will speed up.”

So this is the CONTEXT.

Which leads to the following question, what has happend to set off this chain of papal documents in such a short span of time?

Allow me to fill in the blanks.

On the 26th of July 2016, a post appeared authored by Sandro Magister that should provide the answer. The post is titled A “Pontificate of Exception.” The Mystery of Pope Benedict (see here). The most important piece of information (DATA POINT) provided in this post is the key through which we need to read the latest happenings on the “Benedict resignation” front and the information flow in the Benedict-Francis channel of communications.

Allow me to explain. In the post, Magister writes the following:

The biting criticism of the resignation of Benedict XVI formulated a few days ago by cardinal and Church historian Walter Brandmüller has brought out into the open the risks of the “terra incognita” into which the papacy has slid after February 11, 2013, all the more so with the imposition of the unprecedented and enigmatic figure of the “pope emeritus” beside that of the reigning pope.

So we are back to the two-popes dilemma.

But this time, answers are being provided.

Enter Archbishop Georg Gänswein and the famous May 20th speech where the Archbishop claimed that Pope Benedict XVI “has by no means abandoned the office of Peter”. Here is that relevant passage:

Gänswein – with the weight of one who is in the most intimate contact with the “pope emeritus” in that he is his secretary – had said that Joseph Ratzinger “has by no means abandoned the office of Peter,” but on the contrary has made it “an expanded ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member,” in “a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a shared ministry.”

But how could this be since we know that the Office of Peter was created by Our Lord?

For the answer to this dilemma, I reference to Louie Verrecchio’s brilliant explanation in his post Benedict’s resignation: Does it pass the Catholic smell test? (see here) of this phenomenon here. Here is the passage:

We know very well that the constitution of the Church, including the Office of Peter, is not subject to the whims of mankind; it was willed by Christ and it is immutable.

And Louie ends the post with the following statement of OBJECTIVE REALITY:

One can debate (and certainly many will) whether or not Francis, by virtue of Benedict’s novel intentions, validly occupies the Office of Peter. Fine, let the debate ensue. To the extent that men worthy of respect so debate, I will follow with interest.

In the meantime, Francis is, as we have known for some time now, a blasphemous heretic that we must not allow to draw us, or anyone else if we can help it, into error and death.

Given the above, i.e. the mutually exclusive positions of Archbishop Georg Gänswein and Louie Verrecchio, how can we explain this apparent contradiction?

Here’s how.

What we also know is that there are situations that exist in the natural order (Natural Law) that apply to extraordinary circumstances.  One example of just this extraordinary situation is what is termed the “state of necessity”. Your humble blogger has explained this “mechanism” in a post titled State Of Necessity And The Doritos Test (see here). In that post, we pointed out that a STATE OF NECESSITY is a stand-alone “object”, with an immaterial form that exists in nature. In a follow-up post titled Winning, At The Salvation Game (see here), we explained how this understanding of what is a STATE OF NECESSITY, is used by the SSPX to obtain extraordinary supplied jurisdiction, without the need for jurisdiction from the local ordinary or the Roman pontiff for that matter, in order to provide sacraments to the Faithful.

Therefore, having written earlier about the phenomenon of the State of Necessity, it was with no small interest to read the following text in the Magister post:

According to this theory, a “state of exception” is the dramatic hour of history in which the ordinary rules are suspended and the sovereign imposes new rules on his own.

So let us examine this interesting theory to which Magister alludes and see whether this “state of exception” is in fact that which we and the legal profession I must add, designate as the State of Necessity.

Here is the relevant information from the post provided as DATA POINTS:

  • Gänswein – with the weight of one who is in the most intimate contact with the “pope emeritus” in that he is his secretary – had said that Joseph Ratzinger “has by no means abandoned the office of Peter,”
  • The formula, emphasized by Gänswein with the use of the German word, is not accidental. (The German word being “Ausnahmepontifikat” loosely translated into “pontificate of exception”)
  • The formula contains a transparent reference to the “state of exception” theorized by one of the greatest and most talked-about political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt (1888-1985).
  • According to this theory, a “state of exception” is the dramatic hour of history in which the ordinary rules are suspended and the sovereign imposes new rules on his own.

Now I am not a theologian let alone a canonist, yet I find the definition of “state of exception” almost identical, if not more further reaching than the definition of “State of Necessity”. Just to recap, here is the definition of State of Necessity: (see here)

STATE OF NECESSITY

State of necessity, now known as “necessity” and codified by Article 25 of the International Law Commission’s (ILC’s) Articles on State Responsibility (ASR), is a circumstance precluding the wrongfulness of an otherwise internationally wrongful act. It is traditionally defined as a situation in which the sole means by which a state can safeguard an essential interest from a grave and imminent peril is to sacrifice another state’s interest of lesser importance. The plea is unavailable where the rule from which derogation is sought precludes its invocation, where the state invoking necessity has contributed to peril’s onset, or where the act to safeguard the essential interest is contrary to a peremptory norm. As traditionally understood, the essential interests safeguarded in necessity are state interests, but the ILC included as progressive development in Article 25 ASR the possibility for a state—or several states acting together unilaterally—to safeguard in necessity an essential interest of the international community as a whole. The ILC’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations (DARIO), now also provides as progressive development for the possibility of an international organization, acting in necessity, to safeguard an essential interest of the international community as whole, subject to the organization having the role of protecting the interest in question as well as the other conditions traditionally associated with state of necessity, as set out above, being met. Indeed, initially the ILC considered that an international organization cannot invoke necessity to safeguard its own essential interest (see the section on the ILC’s Draft Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations).

Is it just me?

Anyways, back to the story.

It would appear now, according to Magister’s post, that a “brilliant young canonist” by the name of Guido Ferro Canale has begun to focus on exactly just this subject matter. There is much, much more in the Magister post and I recommend a through reading, re-reading and re-re-reading!

Summarizing and for the purposes of this post, I would like to draw your attention to the following aspects of this curious subject matter. And those are as follows:

  • The “staggering” statements of Archbishop Georg Gänswein made on May 20 in the aula magna of the Pontifical Gregorian University, during the presentation of a book by the historian Roberto Regoli on the pontificate of Benedict XVI.
  • The formula (of the “staggering statements” were emphasized by Gänswein with the use of the German word “Ausnahmepontifikat” (pontificate of exception), is not accidental.
  • The formula contains a transparent reference to the “state of exception”
  • the “state of exception” theorized by one of the greatest and most talked-about political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt (1888-1985).
  • a “state of exception” is the dramatic hour of history in which the ordinary rules are suspended and the sovereign imposes new rules on his own.
  • The formula was used in a presentation of the Roberto Regoli book that refers to the “group of St. Gallen” and its role in the conclaves of 2005 and 2013, the reference is to the cardinals who used to gather periodically in the Swiss city of St. Gallen and who first opposed to the election of Ratzinger and then supported the election of Bergoglio.

And… for emphasis!

  • According to this theory, a “state of exception” is the dramatic hour of history in which the ordinary rules are suspended and the sovereign imposes new rules on his own.

And finally the logical conclusion that should emerge from the above facts, is that:

IF the Benedict resignation now needs to be read through the political philosopher of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt (1888-1985),

THEN the highest Catholic Church authority (fully, partially or not is besides the point here since Benedict’s actions de facto put the Catholic Church under a “state of exception”) has de facto declared that the Catholic Church is under a “State of Necessity” with his resignation on the 11 of February 2013.

It would appear that the above is THE OBJECTIVE REALITY!

And did anyone else get this message?

Well, it appears that they did. Here again is the “brilliant young canonist” by the name of Guido Ferro Canale’s explanation:

In Italian, “pontificate of exception” simply sounds like “out of the ordinary.” But the reference to his mother tongue makes it clear that Gänswein has no such banality in mind, but rather the category of “state of exception” (Ausnahmezustand).

A category that any German with an average education immediately associates with the figure and thought of Carl Schmitt (1888-1985).

Speaking of “Germans with an average education” that would immediately associate (Ausnahmezustand) with the figure and thought of Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), wouldn’t some of the Gallen mafia fall into that category?

Folks like Karl Lehmann, Walter Kasper?

Naturally, the above questions need to be answered in the affinitive.

Can the above situation also be A (maybe even “THE”) explanation for the “speeding up” that we are seeing with respect to Francis and his actions towards the Catholic religious communities and ordinaries?

Of course it can!

So here is my HYPOTHESIS:

The German members of the Gallen mafia understood the meaning of the Gänswein speech, the meaning being that Benedict declared a State of Necessity and told Francis to “speed things up”.

On an aside, also notice that the Gänswein speech took place on May 20, or on the same day of the publication of the ruling approved by Pope Francis April 4 and published by the Vatican May 20 where by Diocesan bishops must consult with the Vatican before establishing a diocesan religious order?

Coincidence?

Maybe.

Back to the subject at hand. The question that is left dangling is: why would the German’s of the St. Gallen mafia instruct Francis to “speed things up”.

I will end this post with the earlier mentioned “prophecy” of Archbishop Fernandez who might give us a clue, when he stated:

If one day he should intuit that he’s (Francis) running out of time and he doesn’t have enough time to do what the Spirit is asking him, you can be sure he will speed up.”

And fast forward it is.

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