The return of Resignationism…

Antonio Socci rocks Vatican with New Book:
“The Secret of Benedict XVI: Why he is still Pope”

After over five-and-a-half years of the antics of Jorge Bergoglio as “Pope Francis”, many Novus Ordos and semi-traditionalists simply cannot take it anymore and are starting to look for ways to rid themselves of Francis, yet while still trying to avoid the Sedevacantist conclusion. Thus we are witnessing once again the “anything but Sedevacantism” dogma being put into practice.

A few years ago we had already seen a few people embrace the phenomenon we have nicknamed “Resignationism” (see all our posts on the topic here) — the idea that Benedict XVI’s resignation in 2013 was invalid and he is therefore “still” Pope — but it was not accepted by most. Among the first high-profile people to embrace it were semi-trad “Fr.” Paul Kramer in late 2013, then an associate of the Canadian Fatima Center, and Novus Ordo Antonio Socci in early 2014, a famous Italian journalist and author.

About half a year later, “Fr.” Kramer came out with a new twist on the whole story, namely, that before Bergoglio was elected in the 2013 conclave, the majority of the votes went to “Cardinal” Angelo Scola anyway. The idea that Scola was the true successor to Benedict, however, caught on even less than the Resignationist theory did, although the latter was eventually embraced by “Bp.” Henry Gracida — the only Novus Ordo bishop to do so publicly — and blogger Ann Barnhardt.

Now we are coming to the end of 2018, and the manifest absurdity of the “Bergoglio papacy” is threatening to the tear the Vatican II Sect apart. As the pressure on every thinking man who recognizes Francis as a valid Pope and considers himself a Catholic is becoming more unbearable by the day, Resignationism is now presenting itself once again in the minds of people as a tenable alternative to fall back on.

The Franciscan Novus Ordo blogger Bro. Alexis Bugnolo has recently come out in favor of this idea, and on Oct. 13 of this year, “Mgr.” Nicola Bux, a Vatican theological consultant, stated in an interview conducted by Aldo Maria Valli that rather than possibly convicting Francis of heresy, perhaps “it would be easier to examine and study more accurately the question concerning the juridical validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation, i.e., whether it was full or partial (‘halfway,’ as some have said) or doubtful…” (translation by Robert Moynihan, in “The Bux Interview”, Inside the Vatican, Nov. 18, 2018). The interview is so explosive that the usual Novus Ordo news agencies have declined to cover it, and journalist Edward Pentin had to publish a report on it on his private blog.

Since 2016, the independent blogger Ann Barnhardt has also held the Resignationist theory, and she just recently published a lengthy video presentation in which she makes her case. We will have some comments on the Barnhardt presentation in a separate post to be published on this blog shortly. [UPDATE 29-NOV-2018: Our rejoinder to Ann Barnhardt has now been published and can be found here.] For now we will return to Antonio Socci.

In September of 2014, Socci had released a 282-page book that rocked the Vatican: Non È Francesco: La Chiesa Nella Grande Tempesta (“He’s Not Francis: The Church in a Great Tempest”). In this book the author explains why he believes neither Benedict’s (putative) abdication of, nor Francis’ ascendancy to, the Petrine office was valid. Although he later retracted his belief that Francis is not a valid Pope, the book was never withdrawn — which turned out to be a smart move, because now Socci has doubled down.

This coming Tuesday, Nov. 27, a new book by Socci is hitting the shelves in Italy. The title reveals that the author has reverted once again to his belief that Francis is an impostor and that Benedict XVI is still Pope: Il segreto di Benedetto XVI: Perché è ancora Papa — “The Secret of Benedict XVI: Why he is still Pope.” The book is published by Rizzoli and available through Amazon Italy both in paperback and electronic format. Unfortunately, for the time being it will only be available in Italian. At the time of this writing, the paperback edition of the book, as yet unpublished but available for pre-order, is already in the Italian Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers (no. 86) and has reached no. 1 in the categories “Roman Catholic Church”, “Christian institutions and organizations”, and “Christian theology.”

On Nov. 20, Socci advertised his new book on his blog, and two days later the blog Non Veni Pacem provided a computerized but readable translation of the book description from

The Church goes through the most serious crisis in its history, according to many observers. More questions are asked about what really happened in 2013 with the surprising “renunciation” of Benedict XVI, his decision to remain “pope emeritus” and the coexistence of two popes. Why had Benedict XVI become a sign of contradiction? What was happening on a geopolitical level? Who advocated a “revolution” within the Catholic Church? And has the pope really resigned? These are the questions Antonio Socci tries to answer through the facts, gestures and words of Benedict XVI in ​​these six years, discovering, as in an exciting thriller, that he actually remained pope, with consequences still unexplored. In this compelling and documented investigation we try to understand what is happening in the Vatican, but above all it investigates the mysterious mission to which Benedict XVI has been called, for the Church and for the world. The author hypothesizes that there may also be supernatural events at the origin of his choice. Then there is to decipher an ancient prophecy concerning [Benedict XVI] and there is finally a new revelation that comes from Fatima, that not only affects the Church, but the whole world.


On the same day, the semi-trad apologist Christopher Ferrara wrote about the new Socci book in his Fatima Perspectives column, translating the promo text released by the publisher as follows:

The author conjectures that that there could be supernatural events at the origin of his [Benedict’s] decision. Then there is the deciphering of an ancient prophecy concerning Benedict XVI and finally a new revelation which arrives from Fatima. That regards not only the Church, but the whole world.


This should keep Ferrara & Co. going for a while — nothing like a good story involving “supernatural events”, “an ancient prophecy” and, of course, Fatima! There is nothing more exciting for Ferrara and other semi-trads at the Fatima Center and The Remnant than to be able to express speculations and hypotheses which allow for plenty of commentary and endless regurgitation of the worn-out recognize-and-resist propaganda, while ultimately requiring no committment to making any definite claim and allowing the status quo to continue. This makes for easy writing and provides temporary relief from all the stress Francis puts everyone through.

Whether it is conducive to the cause of truth and the salvation of souls, however, is another matter.

We must reiterate here that the (real or apparent) mystery surrounding Benedict’s resignation may very well be a final diabolical masterstroke, one to keep attached to the Modernist Sect those who would otherwise be running away from it kicking and screaming by now. What should really make people think is that this apparent “Benedict as the real Pope” alternative is being offered on a silver platter, as it were. Benedict’s resignation has been accompanied by so many obvious oddities and silly claims that one can easily infer that people are supposed to believe he is the “real Pope in hiding.” But why? What would it accomplish? It would accomplish two things: (1) It would allow Francis to continue his antics at full force while people are distracted worrying about the other Chief Modernist in Vatican City; and (2) it would keep attached to the Vatican II Church souls who might otherwise be questioning the whole thing, eying Sedevacantism as the correct position to take in the face of the Modernist apostasy coming from Rome. So, for the Vatican II Modernists, this thing is a win-win!

Think about it: What has been the Francis Effect for those who seek to be traditional, conservative, orthodox Catholics? Has it not been to cement their allegiance to Francis’ Modernist predecessors — especially Benedict XVI and John Paul II — whom his open apostasy makes look like ultra-orthodox heroes by comparison? It is quite possible that the ultimate purpose of Francis has been all along to give greater credibility to his five predecessors and their conciliar Modernist revolution.

Beware, ladies and gentlemen, of trickery that will be so great “as to deceive (if possible) even the elect” (Mt 24:24). No one is more deceived than he who falsely believes himself to have escaped a great deception.

A dispassionate review of the facts about Joseph Ratzinger should suffice to jettison even the slightest hint of the idea that this man could be, at any point, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

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