Do We Have Two Popes?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    If we do, what does this mean? Theologically? Practically?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,907
    No problem. We don't have two Popes. We have a Pope and a Pope Emeritus.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,394
    The Pope, most basically, is the Bishop of Rome, or to use another term for the same office, the Roman Pontiff. Everything else in his ministry, his practical and ecclesial significance flows from that office. And it is an office which he can voluntarily and freely renounce.

    Since Pope Benedict XVI renounced the office of Roman Pontiff in 2013, he became no longer Pope. The new Pope has given him the title of Pope Emeritus, but this is a new form of words. It's clearer if we think of him as Emeritus Bishop of Rome; and since he never renounced the title of Cardinal, he holds that title too.
  • I'm not entirely sure he is a cardinal. I'm not even sure whether that is a settled issue.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    Apparently serious questions are being asked because the 'newly' formed title still retains the title 'pope', and b16 did not revert to his past way of life. Also, there is a swirl of controversy that Francis presented himself lacking pontifical vestments, did not include the pallium (now the symbol of pontifical coronation replacing the papal tiara) in his coat of arms, and only presented himself "bishop of rome" from the balcony. Has anyone else heard and read about any of this?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    Just because Francis doesn't always wear pontificals doesn't make him not the pope.
  • donr
    Posts: 934
    He was elected Pope and accepted the office which is all it is, an office.
    He is Pope and is free from making error in regard to morals and the faith when he speaks excathradra (from the chair of Peter) . He is not free from making errors in other matters such as basketball scores or ?
    Pope emeratis Benedict is not the Pope, just like President Bush is not the President, becuase he doesn't hold that office any longer and can not make statements free of error (or at least that we can trust as free from error) any longer (I don't believe he pronounced any, anyway).
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  • If a conclave were to choose the wrong Pope, God could deal with it in a heartbeat, literally, He hasn't. Ergo, Francis is the Pope God wants. YMMV whether that's for edification or chastisement, but "he da man" regardless.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    What I am wondering is if we actually have TWO popes. It would not be the first time we did.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,394
    "Pope" is an informal title. The legal term is "Roman Pontiff", meaning the bishop of Rome. There's only one at a time. There have been times when there were multiple claimants.

    [This leaves aside the use of "Pope" outside the context of the Catholic Church: e.g., the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria.]
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,463
    Just because the Holy Spirit guides at the conclaves, doesn't mean the cardinals are incapable of ignoring Him and doing as they please. I am not saying they did, but it could happen, and probably has if you look back at some who have held the office. I suspect that if the European and especially, the Italian cardinals hadn't been so busy feuding among themselves, the outcome this time could have been different.
  • Not to conplicate things but we also have a "black pope", ie the Jesuit general superior. That's what I've been told.

    The Bishop of Rome is a Bishop of a diocese. If he resigns will that be similar to a Bishop of another diocese retiring?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,500
    No. We have one pope, and a pope emeritus (who is, btw, no longer a member of the college of cardinals, based on medieval precedent for papal renunciation). It has no theological significance. As a practical matter, we have the problem of journalists and the courtiers they cultivated under the prior pontificate(s) having their insider status shifted under their feet, as it were, and trying to pretend it hasn't shifted (or complaining when that pretense is not as credible).
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    We have one POPE, and a POPE emeritus


    one and one =two

    I see two titles of pope here.
  • Well, a diocese can have a bishop and a bishop emeritus, but only one current ordinary.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,394
    Francis, in this context, "emeritus" means "former".

    There is confusion about this topic because well-meaning people in Rome coined a new term which does not exist in Catholic church law; and because people here are using English substitutes instead of proper Latin words to discuss what is essentially a matter of canon law: a profession which maintains a lively use of Latin for the sake of clarity.

    Still, on the day when we celebrate the papacy, I can understand the temptation to celebrate it more by wishing we had two popes at once. :-)
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    I am not wishing there were two popes, but I sense something odd is occurring right under the world's nose, and only a very few people are smelling it.
  • I'm sorry, but what do you sense is occurring?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    Ok, since we're going to be specific, we may have two "popes" (in the broad sense of the word), but there is only one ordinary of the Diocese of Rome, only one Supreme Pontiff.

    There. Happy?
  • SMR
    Posts: 13
    If one wants to buy into those conspiracy theories, then one has to assume Pope Benedict was lying when he said "I renounce the office of the papacy." When he said that, he clearly communicated he was abdicating. Thus, he ceased to be Pope, and a conclave elected a new Pope -- who has, by the way, referred to himself as the pope. Also, the pallium in the coat of arms was an innovation. Francis has worn the palium many times.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,500
    Francis

    Your sense is off.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,298
    Well, a diocese can have a bishop and a bishop emeritus, but only one current ordinary.

    Rather, a diocese can have only one current "diocesan bishop." A diocese may have several "ordinaries" at the same time. "Ordinarius" is a canonical term misunderstood by many folks. See Can. 134, §1.
    "By the title of ordinary in the law are understood, in addition to the Roman Pontiff, diocesan bishops and others who, even if only on an interim basis, have been placed over a particular church or over a community which is equivalent to it according to the norm of can. 368, as well as those who possess ordinary general executive power in said churches and communities, namely vicars general and episcopal vicars; and likewise for their own members the major superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and of clerical societies of apostolic life of pontifical right, who possess at least ordinary executive power." (1983 CLSA translation)

    In a large diocese such as Chicago there could be one diocesan bishop, two vicars general, 5 auxiliary bishops who have been appointed episcopal vicars over various territorial sections of the diocese, two additional episcopal vicars in charge of ministry to Polish and Hispanic Cathollics, respectively; plus provincials of Dominicans, Jesuits, Viatorians, Franciscans, etc., and a Benedictine abbot or two. All are ordinaries.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    Most of you are missing what I am saying. I am not speaking about the 'office' of the Pope, or the title of 'emeritus'. We can all read the dictionary and the code of canon law. I am speaking about what is presently occurring in another realm. I am not speaking about conspiracy theories either. Let us wait, watch and pray. God have mercy on us all.

    If one wants to buy into those conspiracy theories, then one has to assume Pope Benedict was lying when he said "I renounce the office of the papacy." When he said that, he clearly communicated he was abdicating. Thus, he ceased to be Pope, and a conclave elected a new Pope -- who has, by the way, referred to himself as the pope. Also, the pallium in the coat of arms was an innovation. Francis has worn the palium many times.


    And I guess the papal tiara was an innovation too. At some point, everything that the church developed over the past 2000 years was also an innovation. Be careful how you distinguish what is innovation and what is a true symbol of the Church. This is why relativism is the severe issue of the day that Benedict warned us about at the funeral of JPII.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,394
    The point of contention, if I understand you, Francis, is that you seem to treat "pope" as a special category of persons, as though there were an ontological and sacramental character to the papacy -- something that would last when the man renounces the office. Am I understanding you right?
  • No I think he is getting at something much darker than that.

    And no, I don't agree.
  • Thanks, Father Krisman. I did not realize that.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,394
    Well, a friend with long experience of the traditionalist movement tells me there is a new variant on the fringe, of people who think that the dear Benedict XVI is still pope, or that he was, but nobody is now. These ideas have been dubbed "bene-vacantism" (for those who think there is no pope now) or "sedebenedictplenism" (for those who think Benedict XVI is still pope).

    Obviously the objections to such ideas are clear enough that even we, who are mostly non-canonists (Fr K is the exception) can recite them offhand.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    No, not sacramental or ontological. During difficult times in the history of the Church, the papacy has sometimes wandered into confusion and other "dark scenarios" as Paix points out. I am wondering if we are seeing signs of something odd occurring. That is all. Why is B16 still very much present, consulting with Francis? Why is he still wearing the Popes garb? Even in his meeting in December with Francis. Just my nose itching.

    Please define bene-vacantism.
  • Something odd?
    Such as...???
    You seem consciously to be hinting at something dark.
    This is not wise.

    A pope retiring is odd enough, but certainly not implicity alarming of ill wind.
    There are all kinds of emeriti in our academic worlds, and there is no confusion over whether or not they still retain their pre-emeritus authority, ontological or otherwise. They don't!, though some of them may unwisely and meanly continue to 'meddle'.
  • When (and only when) America's television anchorpersons stop addressing Jimmy Carter as "Mr. President" and Newt Gingrich as "Mr. Speaker", then (and only then) will I start pacing the floor at night about the number of popes we possess. In the meantime I have a living to earn.
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  • What happened when the previous pope to resign resigned some hundreds of years ago? Nothing? Were there problems contingent upon his and his successor's
    relationships, intriques or meddlesomenesses? No! Any doubt as to who was pope, or as to whether the ex-pope retained any authority, etc.? No.

    We, of course, have had two popes before in situations not at all resembling those of the present time. These were due to rival claimants, rival clans, rival factions and rival crowned heads. These represent shameful episodes in the history of 'Holy Church', and have no relationship to the current state of affairs.

    Um, is 'groundless ecclesiastical alarmism syndrome' (GEAS) a clinical category??? Does anyone know?

    It may be of interest to note that Roman Imperators were considered (religiously, legally, and practically), to have lost their authority, their particular divine GENIUS and godness, and other extraordinary attributes when they RESIGNED (a few did), when they were on the losing side of a coup, or were captured in battle, and, of course, when they were murdered, & cet., or just plain overthrown.
  • Wearing a white cassock is not by itself papal garb. The Premonstratensians do so, and in former times prelates from other orders such as Carthusians, Dominicans, Carmelites, Cistericians etc. did also. Also the white zucchetto is not restricted to the pope, Cistercian and Premonstratensian abbots also wear it.

    As far as I can see he doesn't wear any special papal garb such as the gold-fringed fascia, the special cloth of silver simplex mitre, let alone the fanon, red velveteen mozzetta and cappa magna, the tiara, the mantum or the subcinctorium. So he isn't "still wearing papal garb". One could argue whether the white coat he is wearing could be counted as papal, but that doesn't really count IMHO.
  • True. Don't even some bishops in Africa wear it (the white cassock) because it's cooler in the sun?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    image

    OH MY GOD HOW MANY PRESIDENTS DOES THE UNITED STATES HAVE?!?!?!?!!!!!!111!!!11oneone!!1!!!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
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    HOLY COW, DO WE HAVE THREE POPES??!?!??!!!!!1!!1!!
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    image

    WHO'S REALLY THE HOST OF THE TONIGHT SHOW???!?!!!?!!!
  • In all fairness, certainly not that guy. The host of the tonight show must be funny. He, therefore, was an imposter all along.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    Well then, it is plain to see that all of you understand and are privvy to the state of affairs. I was simply asking questions that others have been voicing.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,113
    What questions? Pope Francis is the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict is not. Benedict is the past pope, who is still living. There is nothing wrong with more than two people in all of creation wearing white.

    I haven't seen any actual questions, it just seems more like a conspiracy theory...
  • I don't at all apprehend what dark developments you believe are upon us. You are quite vague in merely suggesting 'something dark'. Could you be more specific about what you believe the problem or danger is.

    Too, I am not, as you suggest, 'privy to the state of affairs', whatever these affairs might be; I simply see nothing inherently untoward in having a pope who is pope and a priest (cardinal?) who is the pope emeritus.

    You need to come out and be specific.
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  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I don't see a need to pile on francis, people. Even prior to B16's resignation there was an upsurge of speculation about medieval prophecy regarding the "Last Pope." So cut him some slack.
    francis, I for one, believe that you focus your ocular pupils on the ball, Our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom we must presume that His vicar faithfully serves.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,955
    Melo

    Thanks for being a ref. The pile and the weight was incredible. You are right about St Malachy. That could be one small 'hint' as to what is unfolding.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,555
    I wear white suits often.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
  • What would truly be interesting is if Pope Benedict continued to live in stable health and Pope Francis had some diagnosis or situation come upon him forcing his resignation. We would then have 2 former living popes and a new one.

    I'm not even sure I want to live through that with all the conspiracy theories it would bring.
  • G
    Posts: 1,381
    I wear white suits often.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
    I dunno.... some secret about fried chicken recipes?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Mattieux,
    It means you are called to stand near Walmart entrances asking for donations.
    Join the revolution!
  • WHO'S REALLY THE HOST OF THE TONIGHT SHOW???!?!!!?!!!


    These days I am leaning more and more toward adopting the hacnoctevacantist thesis.

    I wear white suits often.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN?


    Are you Tom Wolfe?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,463
    I wear white suits often.


    Sounds definitely Saturday Night Feverish. It's a sign of impending doom.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,463
    BTW, my Byzantine metropolitan archbishop wears white vestments, as do other eastern metropolitans. No conspiracy there.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,463
    Prophecies and conspiracies abound these days. At mass a few weeks ago, a gentleman pressed into my hands two copies of a magazine titled, "Signs and Wonders for our Times." It discussed a pope chosen by Mary who would go to Jerusalem and die there. This would be followed by a period of peace and the headquarters of the Catholic Church would move from Rome to Jerusalem. It also had prophecies from someone in Scranton - never heard of any approved apparitions there.

    Also mentioned was "Blood Moons." Apparently, we may have some in the future and they don't portend good. I doubt the ancients understood partial lunar eclipses and light shining through the earth's atmosphere on the moon giving it a red color. John Hagee, the portly evangelist from Texas is responsible for much of the "prophecy" concerning blood moons, or so it seems. Of course, it appears the only divine revelation given to Hagee is where God hid the Twinkies. Looks can be deceiving, but I think he found them.

    This stuff goes in illogical circles and can easily give one a headache.

    Thanked by 2R J Stove expeditus1
  • Conspiracy theories are difficult to scotch because their adherents see conspiracy in everything.

    I think francis needs to cut to the chase instead of issuing vague statements about 'something dark' about to occur. The current Pope is not called Peter and he is not Roman. And he is not about to vacate the premises for someone who is.

    Best wishes,
    Padster
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