Vatican II actors

The Real Benedict option in these desperate NOChurch times

The term "Benedict option" is normarlly used to refer to a course of action which leads people away from the midst of a messy society and into seclusion, from where they can regroup and re-introduce sanity into the society. It refers to St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, who did just that and whose monastic communities would go on to save the cultural inheritance of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

There was a book published not too long ago titled "The Benedict Option" in which an apostate - to Orthodoxy and who is said to be a self-promoter so I'll not mention his name or link to his articles- argues for much the same thing. The fact that St. Benedict strove to secure and promote the Catholic faith does not seem to faze the author, and some reviewers of the book have noted that without the authority of the Church, we would still end up with the same situation since a secluded society, even of moralists, would soon run into disputes about what was moral and what was not. Some would counter that by pointing to the fact that the Catholic Church - at least its earthly hierarchy - has been largely responsible for the destruction of morality in much of the world, a charge I do not dispute. Of course, NOChurch does by no means share the soul of the Catholic Church, but that's a topic for another day.

The biggest fallacy of the author seems to be the presupposition that a secluded society which insists on moral grounds would be left alone by the decadent world around it. There seems to be little grounds for that presupposition given that the modern state does not recognise any sphere in human affairs in which it is not entitled to not only interfere but actually dictate. In the future though, after this particularly self-destructive phase of Western civilisation (or what's left of it anyway) has crumbled, out of the ashes we might well end up having a Benedict option similar to the origial one, which rebuilds what's left of former Christendom.

However, I would like to argue that there does exist in these dark times of the Bergoglian papacy a real Benedict option which we cannot simply dismiss. It requires a re-definition of what is commonly known as the "Benedict option" and it refers rather to a pope, and not a monk, not withstanding the fact that this particular pope told us he would like the life of a monk, though he only manages to make a half-decent impression of one.

The pope in question, of course, is Pope Benedict XVI, and the real "Benedict option" is the notion that Bergoglio is not really the pope, but that Pope Benedict XVI is still the rightful pope.

This notion was popularised by Ann Barnhardt, who pursued it with the "tenacity of of a psychopath", to quote a very good moving which uses the those words to describe  a detective who pursues a very far-fetched theory in attempting to solve a murder of one of his colleagues, and manages to find the murderer in doing so,

As Bergoglio's manners have deteriorated towards total open depravity, more and more have bought into the notion that he is not pope. After all, isn't a Pope supposed to be Catholic? How can a Catholic poke fun at the Holy Trinity? How can a Catholic  insult the mother of God  - multiple times? How can a Catholic insult those who attempt to convert others to the one true faith, while praising some of the most immoral apostates in history in the process? How can a decent priest surround himself with sodomites and paedophile-enablers? How can a pope attack the sacred institution of marriage? How can a pope promote sodomy? How can an even half-decent Catholic shower praise at mass murderers and mass abortionists? How can an even moderately sub-intelligent human being advance the notion that youth unemployment is root cause of evil in the world today? How can a pope state that communists are the real Christians? I could go on and on and on, and on...

The simple answer to that is that Bergoglio is not Catholic, and more or less the only people who believe that Bergoglio is Catholic are the neo-Catholics of the see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-or-pretend-it-is-good-if-the-pope-does-it Novus Ordite variety. Most traditionalists, I would argue, have realised that Bergoglio is not pope, and most non-Catholics who follow the man realise that he also is not Catholic, which is why it is popular among modernists and leftists to openly state that Bergoglio is attempting to completely revamp the Church but is being held back by conservatives and resisters (i.e., that he is not Catholic). In fact, Bergoglio has used much the same words, as have a few of his closest collaborators.

In claiming that Bergoglio is not Catholic, I am naturally counting as Catholic someone who actually believes in the Catholic faith, in Holy Mother Church as the Church divinely instituted by Christ, and one who desires to further her divinely-commissioned purpose: the salvation of souls. Strictly speaking, of course, a Catholic is anybody baptised into the Catholic Church by either baptism or blood. That allows us to use a more theological than cultural definition, while also allowing us to rule out as Catholics such as Martin Luther, Adolf Hitler, Arius and the like, who in a strict application of the term are simply bad Catholics and not non-Catholics.

The basic premise is this: The Church is a communion of faith, and those who deviate or reject even a portion of the faith find themselves outside this communion. Our heretic-in-chief has rejected a large chunk of the faith. Truth be told, it would be difficult to point to any aspect of the Catholic faith that he actually accepts. The only thing he seems to embrace papal authority, albeit with a totally faulty conception of it and its duties, because he really only seems to...

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