Ratzinger v. Bergoglio: Foot race to a funeral


The above statement was attached to a photo of Benedict XVI posted on Facebook by a conservative Novus Ordo priest in March of 2013. In the ensuing nine years, numerous other predictions have been made concerning the allegedly imminent death of the so-called “Pope Emeritus.” 

As an aside, I for one look with deep suspicion upon any person or group that calls itself “traditionalist” and yet freely uses the title “Pope Emeritus” as if such a thing actually exists.

For example, on Feb 1, 2022, the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales posted the above photo of BXVI on Facebook with the caption: “Pope Benedict taken in the Vatican Gardens yesterday. The Pope Emeritus is 94 years old.”

Make believe titles aside, it doesn’t take a gifted prognosticator to know that Josef Ratzinger, whose appearance is growing ever more skeletal, is not long for this earth. 

In recent weeks, rumors have been circulating anew that Bergoglio is also nearing death’s doorstep.

On January 19, Rorate Caeli reported that its “most trustworthy sources” have informed them that “Francis is very sick with cancer, including the Pancreas.”

Even if these reports are untrue, one thing remains absolutely certain; both of these men-in-white are well on their way to the finish line. The only question that remains concerns which one will arrive there first.  

God alone knows for sure, but my sincere hope is that Bergoglio will win this foot race to a funeral, but with an additional stipulation: I’d very much like for Jorge to be laid to rest a solid month or more before Benedict breathes his last.


So that the Board of Directors of the Church-of-Man will have time to appoint a new CEO (let’s imagine that he will call himself Paul VII) – a man that I fully expect to be cut from Bergoglian cloth – while BXVI is still alive. 

So, why does the chronology of events matter?

It matters for the sake of clarity with respect to the Church’s indefectibility vis-a-vis the papacy.

You see, there are any number of sincere persons – most being of a conservative stripe – who genuinely believe that BXVI is the reigning Holy Roman Pontiff and Vicar of Christ (so-called Benevacantists). The resignation of February 2013, they claim citing experts in canon law, is canonically invalid. 

Whether or not one agrees with this assessment, there can be no doubt that the details of the resignation just don’t add up. Benedict’s own words and deeds strongly suggest that all is not what it seems. It’s almost as if he has been attempting to make that much plain for those with ears to hear.

There are numerous posts here on akaCatholic delving into the various inconsistencies and outright absurdities attached to the official abdication narrative for those interested. 

Our topic today, however, concerns the fate of the Benevacantists upon the Bavarian’s death, in particular those among them who bristle at the mere suggestion that the sedevacantist theory (and that’s all it is) just might serve to explain the nearly sixty-year-old post-conciliar ecclesial crisis.  

One of the more frequently made anti-sede arguments is that a Church without a true pope for an extended period of time will have defected, therefore, that theory just isn’t plausible. 

Even apart from a willingness, or ability, to articulate as much, persons who make this claim have taken it upon themselves set some arbitrary limit on the length of time that Our Lord is allowed to let His Church go without a valid pope – as if we are able to impose such restrictions on Him!

But exactly how long is too long for the Church to go without a pope and still be the Church?

Given that it took the college of cardinals 2 years and 10 months to elect a successor to Pope Clement IV (the interregnum lasting from 1268 to 1271), we know for certain that nearly three years isn’t too long. As for how much longer a sedevacante period can endure, the Sacred Magisterium has never spoken. 

In any case, whether it happens before or after Bergoglio is succeeded, the instant BXVI dies, the Benevacantists will immediately become sedevacantists. Even a disinterested observer cannot help but appreciate the irony! 

The situation will be much more intriguing, however, if BXVI lives long enough to see the rise of a Paul VII, a man who presumably will have more longevity than Bergoglio presently enjoys. 

From that point forward, the longer this man known to Benevacantists as “Antipope Paul VII” endures, the more uncomfortable they will necessarily grow. 

One wonders, is there going to come a point after year three – or maybe year ten, or fifteen, or perhaps twenty-five, etc. – when these newly minted sedes will declare that the time limit for an empty chair has been reached, and the Church has thus defected?

Some may, but I doubt that many will.

Far more likely is that they will move beyond the tribe mentality that presently renders them incapable of assessing the present situation with sensus Catholicus

In other words, assuming that this PVII carries on conciliar business as usual, the former Benevacantists will be forced by circumstances to acknowledge that even though a fake pope is leading a counterfeit church, sowing the seeds of error and division as he suppresses the true faith, all the while advancing the cause of the global elite, the Holy Roman Catholic Church will still continue to exist, and visibly so, albeit as a mere remnant.  

In other words, the honest ones will look back on today and admit that, right or wrong, the sede theory has always been at least plausible.

To put a slightly more positive spin on this speculative exercise… 

Is it within the realm of possibility that Bergoglio’s successor just might be a Catholic, and not only that, an intrepid and holy man who will abolish the Novus Ordo, nullify the sinister synod that gave birth to it, and swiftly arrange for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary? 

Sure, it is.

What then for the Benevacantists if Ratzinger lives to see that day? Will pride force them to declare that the saintly pontiff for whom we’ve been longing is really an antipope?

What a turn of events that would be!

In conclusion, no matter how you slice it, once the winner of the Ratzinger-Bergoglio race to the finish is decided, the aftermath is going to be very interesting.