Today I was reading about the Great Schism. I happened today as well to receive an article about people who say Benedict XVI was pressured to step down. My question is, is there any way to know whether there was a conspiracy to force Benedict to step down? Is there any other cases in history of a Pope being forced to do something? I am just trying to get general information on this question
I don’t think there’s a real way to know. It’s probably just like 9/11 conspiracy theories, or space-reptillians-taking-over theories, or Jesuit theories. Somebody will tie this in with the Jesuits, and, ironically, Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.
The Atlantic has an article on some theories: theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/Pope-Benedict-XVI-resignation-forced-conspiracy-theory/385462/
The Huffington Post seems to dismiss those theories: huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/11/why-pope-resign_n_2661167.html
Without a doubt, various popes in the Middle Ages have been especially pressured by temporal powers. The popes at Avignon were pressured to politicize and secularize the Church (they did so a little bit, but there were many controversies thereafter).
Also, the early Christians were pressured to sacrifice to the gods, the pope included. Pope Fabian was beheaded for his refusal, so were some other popes, bishops, and we have had many martyrs.
There were also mass cases of simony at various times, etc. We can go on, but nowadays the pope is pretty solid as opposed to the Middle Ages where we see certain popes who don’t always look out for the good of his people.
The atlantic article says “‘Church law says a pope’s resignation is valid only if he takes the decision in full freedom and without pressure from others,’ Reuters noted last year.”
Is this accurate? Popes are under pressure from the moment they are Pope. I don’t think this makes any of their acts invalid.
Well, we ought to figure that The Atlantic tends to be a more liberal, secular source so they wouldn’t understand canon law as much as a Catholic source. But I selected it for its theories, not for its viability in canon law.
Well you are a protestant it says. So you don’t have an authority that tells you what ancient books are scripture, you accept it on faith. Do you think we catholics are in the same boat when it comes to this pope issue?
What, that you have to accept the pope on faith? Well, faith is a part of what makes Christianity a religion, a set of beliefs that we accept. Without faith, we are nothing but some practices and titles in our churches. That’s a culture, not a religion.
As for “in the same boat,” there can be disagreements among Catholics on the pope, just not on what is clearly stated in ecumenical councils like papal infalliblity (or else it might be heresy or even schism).
If this is just another conspiracy theory without any merit, you can still accept the theory, even if it seems bogus or if it actually is. It might just not be reasonable.
Well some of my family thinks that Cardinal Ratzinger is still Pope but is being forced to be silent. I never realized before how Catholicism takes faith just like Protestantism
Do they have any evidence for this claim?
This is nonsense.
The premise is ludicrous.
He stepped down. No one is forced to be Pope. The easily verifiable fact that Pope Francis meets with him nearly daily would point to the fact that he is not abused or suppressed. Hogwash.
The article is designed to have people question their faith and the authority of the church.
Pity that it appears it is working.
Pope Benedict has recently said that the reason that he abdicated was because of his health.
Actually that was the reason given from the very beginning.
God bless him. He has always had the good of the ministry in the forefront of his mind.
I was not aware of that. I just saw article this week where he apparently repeated this for people like me who missed it the first time!
Well said and to the point.
Sadly, one thing the hierarchical establishment is great at is keeping secrets. If such a plot exists, no average sinner will ever hear of it.
Best put it from your mind and devote your strength to penance.
Well, this idea that Pope Francis, isn’t the “real Pope” or “flirting with heresy” or some of the more outrageous attacks on him, reminds me of the sedevacantist notion that none of the modern Popes were “real Popes”.
It’s certainly not just the liberal Catholics who find it hard to accept the concept of the Church having a hierarchy that deserves obedience. I find such “more Catholic than the Pope” types to be just as “disobedient” as the “liberal” ones who support female priests, gay marriage, etc.
ETA: This is not to say Catholics have to accept everything that comes out of a Pope’s mouth but the “he’s not the real Pope” idea seems pretty extreme.