Hypothesis on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
Mr. José Alberto Villasana Munguía is a Mexican journalist who has received the national award for journalism on the “Vulnerability of the Financial System” (2004) and a 2009 exposé on the murder of Pope John Paul I (2009.) Mr. Villasana is academic advisor to the “International Institute for Human Rights” in Mexico and is directing member of the “Journalism Club of Mexico.” In Rome, he studied theology at the Gregorian and philosophy at the Angelicum. Most importantly, Mr. Villasana has functioned as the advisor to the secretary on the external relations between Mexico and the Vatican.
Our below translation to English was completed in April 2019 of Mr. Villasana’s December 2017 talk, “Hypothesis on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.” It maintains some of the colloquialisms of the spoken word, as heard in the YouTube video above in Spanish, but we expedite this information to you based on Mr. Villasana’s credentials above, most especially the fact that he served as the advisor to the secretary on the external relations between Mexico and the Vatican. The underlined headers below are the only words that come from us at TCP. The following is our best translation of Mr. Villasana’s expert-witness Papal Resignation thesis:
Death Threats Against Pope Benedict XVI
For me as a theologian, it is easy to say, due the fact I have knowledge of canon law, as well as having certain direct contacts that I, your servant, have in the Vatican (such as Fr. Paul Kramer, world expert in Fatima who lives in Ireland) the following: Immediately when the [Papal] renunciation and the [next] election happened, I had obtained the precise dates about how [Pope] Benedict XVI had been obliged to renounce [the Chair of Peter.] The first date had been when the VatiLeaks story in Rome appeared through which they had put into jail the butler of Pope Benedict XVI, Paolo Gabriele. This happened because, supposedly, he had taken those stolen documents from the Papal apartments and had published them via this journalist who put them in his book, Su Santità. When Paolo Gabriele was arrested for this accusation, at the same time, it was published in three daily Italian newspapers whereupon an anonymous person said that the butler, Paolo Gabriele, was a scapegoat. This anonymous person claimed, “The conduit of the documents is me” giving himself the nickname, “The Crow.” I, the Crow, in reality forwarded his documents, not Paolo Gabriele.
For all of us who have studied these themes of the Church in the Vatican, “the Crow” is none other than Angelo Cardinal Sodano who is certainly the Dean of all the Cardinals. He has a higher rank and gathers them. Sodano is without a doubt this sinister personage who had forwarded the documents. One of these three documents was a direct death-threat against Pope Benedict XVI coming from a monsignor in Palermo who also made it known in Germany that no one was to interfere with this. It was made known that in no more than one year, we would poison you [the Pope.] Pope Benedict XVI took this threat very seriously and formed a commission of three Cardinals to investigate where this threat had come from and if it was real, that is to say, whether he had to take it seriously. These three cardinals worked throughout six months and delivered on 17 December 2012 the result with over 300 pages which contained the findings of their investigation. And in few words, they tell him, the threat is real. They are going to assassinate you, they are going to poison you, in no more than a year. This was on the 17 December 2012. I had a direct contact [in the Vatican] who confirmed this the next day. [Benedict] called the Vicar of Rome and his brother (who is a priest) and told them: “I’ve just made the decision to resign.” That is to say, before Christmas of 2012, he had already made the decision to resign even though he had not announced it until 11 February. This is more evidence that he had made such decision based on confirmation of a death threat.
Threats of Schism against Pope Benedict XVI
Then came even stronger threats such as a threat of schism. A group of cardinals, most of them German, made it known to him [Benedict XVI] that we have more than two thousand signatures from priests, bishops and lay people, declaring, “If you don’t resign, along with all of your team at the Secretary of State with Cardinal Bertone as the head, that if you do not proceed to act now by removing yourself, we have the signatures to form a new church separated from Rome.” It is evident, for me, that this was the threat that really got to him. I don’t believe that Benedict feared having to give his life since—because that is what the cardinalate means—to be willing to shed blood…What exactly did Benedict say in this? “If I am the object, If I am the center of this blackmail and my person can give rise to a schism, well, better that I withdraw myself and defuse the threat of schism.” It was truly a master move. At least he delayed the schism, something, which had never come about in the history of the Church (sic). And so, we could go on with many other proofs. I have published five or six proofs of a coercion to resign.
Now, in canon law, when an act is flawed with fear, pressure or deception, the human act is in itself invalid, as occurs within marriage. Why does the Church sometimes grant nullity? It is not that it grants a “divorce.” It grants nullity, that is to say, the Church declares that a marriage did not exist. Why? Well, because [for example] the father-in-law put a gun to the man’s head so he would marry his daughter. That is, it was not an act of the free will. Therefore, this marriage never existed. In the same manner, in this case of Benedict XVI, the resignation never existed, although he may have said ‘I freely resign’, in reality, a percentage of that decision, we do not know if a ten, fifty or a ninety percent was flawed by that very coercion.
Much later, that is today, proof is no longer needed. No more proof of this kind is needed. The proof which I had dedicated myself to compile at the time since about eight or nine months ago, well, Belgian cardinal, Godfried Danneels published his biography where he said that he, along with eight cardinals, formed a kind of “club-mafia,” as he called it. This club-mafia which gathered in Sankt Gallen, Switzerland had as its main objective to impede Joseph Ratzinger from reaching the papacy, and that if this came about after they had worked against it, once he would come to be [Pope Benedict XVI], they would see how to force him to resign and to find how to elevate Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy.
In jurisprudence, there is a phrase that says: “When there is a confession, there is a relief of proof of evidence.” That is to say, once having been incriminated, an individual or any person who admits to having committed such [crime], the judge no longer needs further proofs, since there was a confession on their behalf. This is what happened with that fortunate book written by Cardinal Godfried Danneels. We no longer need to go on bringing up whether they were going to threaten him [Benedict XVI], whether they were going to poison him. No! It is true that he was forced to resign.
An Invalid Conclave
Furthermore, there is something even more serious, namely, that in the apostolic constitution Universii Dominicii Gregis (the one which regulates apostolic succession in conclaves), it establishes very clearly that if a Cardinal lobbies in favor of another Cardinal, that Cardinal is excommunicated ex latae sententiae. What does this mean? This means he excommunicates himself without a necessary declaration from anyone. In that very moment in which they commit their act of lobbying, as well as the Cardinal who illegitimately receives such lobbying in his favor, all are excommunicated. This means that even before the conclave was held, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and these cardinals were already excommunicated. They were already outside the Church. So, this is very important to keep in mind because that is precisely where the confusion comes from.
A Papacy Bifurcated is Novel and Invalid
Going back to the master play done by Benedict XVI, let us say that what he did is very important to understand. And to do that, we need to take a look at the farewell speech that was delivered to the Roman curia. It is very important. On 11 February 2013, when he announced to the world that he was going to resign on 28 March, you remember no? Well then, the day before he took a helicopter in which he left for vacation to Castel Gandolfo, he delivered an extremely important speech in which he said farewell to the entire curia. All the cardinals, bishops and priests of the Vatican curia were gathered. In that speech (paragraph nine in the Latin) wherein he thanked God Our Lord for having chosen him in 2005 as Vicar of Christ. Yes?.. It was for having carried upon his shoulders the Munus Petrinus, that is to say the office of Peter, to be a successor of Peter. But in that office, the Munus Petrinus, to be the Vicar of Christ, one cannot resign. It is something that is taken until death. There is no, there cannot be any returning to a life which is private. And, the next paragraph says “I resign the munus administrativus,” that is to say, to the administrative duties of the papacy.
Let us say that what he did for the first time in history, Benedict XVI, created a similar figure (barring obvious differences) to what exists in Spain and England: The figures of a king who carry the sovereignty and the figure of a of the prime minister who is the one that carries the administrative government. That is what he created with the speech. And then, immediately, we hear [essentially]: “[T]hus, because I am still the Vicar of Christ, because I continue to carry the Munus Petrinus, thus, I will continue to call myself Pope, with the name Your Holiness. I will continue to wear white, I continue to carry the keys of Peter on my shield, and I will continue with the papal ring!” …which Bergoglio does not use. He does not carry the papal ring. Benedict continues to carry it…
An AntiPope is the Outcome of an Invalid Election, not of a Private Moral Judgment
And here, I would like to make a point which I also believe is important. When talking about an ‘antipope’, the reaction that many have is immediately negative. Why? Well, perhaps because they relate it to the term ‘antichrist’. No? Well,then an antipope is not necessarily someone who is bad. In the history of the Church, there have been 38 antipopes. Yes? Counting Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Many of those antipopes have done much good for the Church. Even a saintly antipope exists, who was St. Hippolytus of Rome. During the early centuries of the Church when they imprisoned the pope and so this group of bishops said, well, the Church cannot be left without a pope—the pope is imprisoned and elected Hippolytus, the bishop Hippolytus, Hippolytus of Rome. So, Hippolytus accepted the nomination, and finally, he began to govern the Church, suffered martyrdom, etc. and well, the point is that during that time, nobody reasoned that despite the pope having been imprisoned, that they could elect another one because the papacy, the petrine office, like Benedict said in that speech, was Ad Vitam, that is to say, for one’s whole life.
Heresy is being Taught by Cardinal Bergoglio
So, there wasn’t clarity in regard to this question, hence, why we now have an antipope who is also a saint, St. Hippolytus of Rome. Then, what does the word antipope imply? The only thing that the word antipope implies is that there is a canonical irregularity in his election. That’s all. Then comes another aspect, namely, that of heresy which in this situation is piling on. Let us say we have an antipope because he [Jorge Mario Bergoglio] was not canonically-elected given that he was excommunicated before the conclave. Moreover, it turns out that one day after another, he goes on spewing heresy and nonsense such as what he spewed here in Colombia about how through the veins of Christ flowed pagan blood. I mean, with this statement alone, you bring down everything such as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the dogma of the Incarnation by the Holy Spirit. Everything! You bring down Redemption itself. Everything! Everything! You bring down like ten dogmas just because of that little phrase! That.. of course not, how can it [pagan blood] flow? If the Immaculata was preserved from original sin and the Incarnation was a work of the Holy Spirit? The blood of Christ is divine from both of these sides. How can you say that pagan blood flowed from His veins? You bring down all dogmas, but, well since it is the case that the immense majority of Catholics do not read, do not read the Bible, do not read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, [Bergoglio’s] phrases seem somewhat charming no? Very witty. No, no, no…
Ours is a Different Stance than that of Modern Sedevacantists
Well, in this case of the heresy that is spoken by a pope, let us also qualify because there is also an [idea] that says that when a pope pronounces a heresy, in that moment, he ceases to be pope. Here, let us clarify that such a judgment (which today prevails in theology) comes from St. Robert Bellarmine in the sixteenth century and from other followers. Yes, it can happen because many times people will ask: Can a given pope fall into heresy? Yes! He can fall into heresy. In fact, there are several popes that fell into heresy.
The first of them who by the way has some similarity to what is happening in our time was Pope Liberius. And this case is very important because it is repeating itself today! At that time, in fourth century, beginning of the fourth century, the immense majority of bishops had fallen into heresy, in Arianism, including the emperor and the Pope. The only one who sustained himself in the true faith was St. Athanasius and another small group of two or three bishops, but let us say that ninety-eight percent of the bishops, the emperor and the pope were in heresy. The same thing is important for our days! Why? Because a good ninety-eight percent, the immense majority of Catholics consider that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a legitimate pope and that what he is saying and doing is correct. No? The few of us who are questioning are very few in number. We are two percent! Don Rafael, Don Jose, Carlos the engineer, that is, we are just a handful who are beginning to discuss the situation.
Then, also, we have the case of the heresy with Pope Honorius I. Pope Honorius I was condemned as a heretic by two councils, better yet, three general councils. The second.. the third and fourth council of Constantinople and the second council of Nicea. And this is important because they condemned Honorius I forty years after his death. However, the point is that neither of those three councils (that condemned Pope Honorius as a heretic) said that he had lost the papacy, that is, the Munus Petrinus, due to having been a heretic. No! I repeat, during this time period, this subject regarding a Pope ceasing to be a Pope or ceasing to be Catholic when he falls into heresy simply did not exist. The subject matter did not even cross the mind of the councils, that is, to question whether Honorius I ceased to be pope…