23 April 2018

Urban VI ...

... was the Pope whose personal failings, including an irascible inclination to torture and execute his Cardinals, led to the Great Western Schism.

There were very serious grounds for suspecting that his election, in 1378, was invalid on account of duress; the Cardinal Electors were under the menace of being torn to pieces by the Roman mob. Indeed, the dear little 1958 CTS pamphlet listing the popes, which never leaves my desk, says simply that his election "has been generally deemed valid" ... not a very wholehearted or ringing endorsement.

A few months later, most of the Cardinals repudiated their allegiance and declared the election invalid.

Yet he is always included nowadays in the list of 'genuine' popes, and the prelate, 'Clement VII', whom the Cardinals then elected in his place, is relegated to the list of 'antipopes'.

It was not until 1429, when 'Clement VIII' abdicated, that Christendom at last had only one claimant to the See of Peter.

Half a century of Schism.

Why am I reminding you of this?

Because, in our present crisis, glib people talk easily about getting rid of flawed popes. Urban VI was, surely, in the half-dozen most flawed popes ever, but securing the consent and collaboration to get rid of him was found to be difficult ... nay rather, in view of the fact that he never was successfully disposed of, one might say 'impossible'.

And, during that half-century, there never was an undisputed pope. Indeed, from 1409 until 1415, there were as many as three claimants simultaneously disputing the cathedra Petri.

I feel that this demonstrates the immense dangers of approaching ecclesial crises with simplistic 'remedies'.


Devising fictional solutions to real problems is no answer. Prayer and the bearing of witness are the Catholic remedy.

9 comments:

Sadie Vacantist said...

If Vatican II were a marriage there would be grounds for its annulment. It's quite clear that Italy was an occupied country in 1962. The most active protagonists at the Council were also from the "occupied countries". Why did the Irish bishops say nothing for 4 years as this mess unfolded? The Archbishop of Dublin was, at that very moment, head of an ecclesiastical empire without precedent in 2000 years of Church history yet not a word from him. Rahner simply told McQuaid to go home to Ireland and carry on: “there is nothing to see here so please move along”.

Future canon lawyers (yes, Monsignori) will advise a future Pope to annul the entire lot.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

As Chairman of the ABC (Aporia and Bavardage Coalition) ABS recommends not engaging in rash acts but, rather, staking out a reasonable position that observes Papal Praxis closely in such a way that if Our Pope and Our Cross says or does anything that appears contrary to Tradition, ABC responds by moving up cocktail hour by fifteen minutes.

We at ABC did that very early on in his reign and so we now enjoy the dual benefits of maintaining the Bonds of Unity and very happy breakfasts.

O, and do not forget to thank the Good Lord that He did not burden you with any authority.

Ana Milan said...

People who are striving to remove PF from the Seat of Peter are not being GLIB. They are striving against all the odds to have this Destroyer Pope removed. There is no doubt that he has been promoting heresy from the very beginning of this pontificate & is intent on abolishing the CC. According to Argentines when he was in Buenos Aries he was on the same tack so it is quite reasonable to believe that he was not Catholic upon taking office. This fact was well known to St. Gallen Mafia & their freemasonry members who couldn’t conceal their glee, having ignored the rules put in place by PJPII & successfully electioneered their candidate into the Papal Office. There was also the question of their involvement in the astonishing & sudden abandonment by PBXVI, the true cause of which has never been revealed. ++Burke publicly promised a formal correction & if not wasn’t answered, an informal council that, he said, was in keeping with Tradition. He fell at the first fence. Why?

A Daughter of Mary said...

Well said, Father. We are so reluctant to suffer in this day of 'action' to fix all troubles. We want action (!) no matter what it is.

Our Lady was good enough to warn us that rough times were coming unless mankind turned back to God, and by golly, She was telling us the truth.

What I don't see, much, is a call to pray fervently and persistently for Pope Francis' conversion. If we can't get rid of him, in part because there is no one above him to do the job, likewise there is no one to urge him to convert (filial corrections notwithstanding). Only God can do what we cannot. So let's pray, pray, pray for God's Will to be done.

Aqua said...

I do not personally propose or have a simplistic remedy. I only know that I will not follow any man, be he the Pope himself, who leads me away from Christ and Christ's clear teaching.

And one of those clear dogmatic teachings is that there can only be one Pope at a time; one man named Peter. The clear, visible evidence of substantial error on such a fundamental question as our Holy Father requires personal judgement from every Catholic, low to high. No one gets to avoid personal decision. We all must. Not later. Now.

No Emeritus Peter for me.

RodH said...

Thank you for posting this.

I get no traction from Catholics when I say that we are in a crisis, yes, but that the Church has endured quite a number of crises, and many involved bad Popes. The response is always "This one is MUCH worse!"

Maybe, but we have had some REALLY bad Popes. And as an aside, I really don't buy the current notion that Popes can be as bad morally as they want and still be as orthodox as Pius X. I mean, what sort of orthodox musings do we really think Al the Sixth passed on to his kids as he chatted with them around the breakfast table before heading out for the day's work?

The difference we face today is that Pope Francis not only puts out some dubious stuff officially, but he virtually has a microphone strapped under his chin so everything he mumbles can be, for those who care, is instantaneously known from Tierra del Fuego to Irkutsk.

Cutting to the chase, as you say, we are stuck with him until biology runs its course.

Now, that, I MUST add, should not be an excuse for the Big Shots to avoid a correction. Getting rid of a Pope is one thing. Correcting a Pope is another.

Dr. T.T.Coals said...

I hope you do not consider calling a Council of Cardinals to try Pope Francis on charges of heresy a "simplistic remedy." The process is outlined clearly in "True or False Pope."

Sadie Vacantist said...

I don't buy into this hostility directed towards Francis. He inherited this mess. The idea that the ludicrous "Papal Posse" hosted by Raymond Arroyo should act as doctrinal watchdog complete with its Ronald Reagan quotes and disgusting neo-conservative tone is unacceptable.

RichardT said...

Sadie Vacantist said...
"... Yes, Monsignori ..."

Is that the new sitcom about Curial politics?