No “exile” for Ratzinger after all…
Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Narrative collapses as Benedict XVI returns to Vatican City
Another post on Benedict XVI’s trip to Germany? Yes, one more. The reason for giving this so much attention is the fact that more and more people who are sick and tired of Francis but don’t want to be sedevacantists are turning to “that fox” (Lk 13:32) Joseph Ratzinger as their alternative. This gives them the happy illusion of having a real Pope who in their minds retains some semblance of orthodoxy, especially compared to the openly apostate Jorge Bergoglio. The leading English-speaking voice among them is Brother Alexis Bugnolo.
Benedict XVI’s visit to Germany is over. He is now back at his Mater Ecclesiae monastery in Vatican City. What at first looked like it could be a lengthy or even permanent stay in Regensburg, where his ailing brother Georg lives, ended up being only a 5-day trip. Resignationists — those who believe Benedict never validly resigned and therefore “remains” Pope — were paying close attention to see what their “Holy Father” would do.
The most active commentator among the Resignationists is surely the Rome-based quasi-Franciscan Br. Alexis Bugnolo. He has been offering plenty of “inside information” on his blog, and we will examine some of it in this post.
Before we get to that, however, let’s first review the latest developments.
On Saturday, June 20, “Abp.” Nikola Eterović, the Vatican’s nuncio to Germany, met with Benedict XVI in Regensburg as a sign of respect and to signal Francis’ approval of Benedict’s visit.
Yesterday it was announced that Benedict would depart Regensburg today, June 22, in order to return to the Vatican, and that is exactly what happened: Fr. Joseph Ratzinger was flown from Munich to Rome by an aircraft of the Aeronautica Militare, the Italian airforce. In Rome he was picked up and driven back to his home in Vatican City. Here is a brief video report on this:
“Bishop” Rudolf Voderholzer, the current Modernist usurper of the episcopal chair of Regensburg, gave an address summarizing his experience of the visit (German transcript here). Markus Söder, minister-president (governor) of Bavaria, was present on the runway to give his official goodbye to Ratzinger (more photos here).
Various news outlets have released reports:
- “Pope emeritus Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican” (Vatican News)
- “Benedict XVI returns to Rome after visiting ill brother in Germany” (Catholic News Agency)
- “Retired pope returns to Vatican after visiting his brother in Germany” (Catholic News Service)
- “Benedict XVI back at Vatican after German visit to brother” (Associated Press)
- “Was his quick trip to Germany Pope Benedict’s last cameo?” (Crux)
- “Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican” (La Croix International)
All in all, the whole thing was not particularly mysterious or extraordinary, given all the circumstances: At a moment’s notice, an old former “Pope” is quickly flown to a country in which his 96-year-old brother is bed-ridden and appears to be close to the end. As the trip is of an eminently private nature and the ex-“Pope” doesn’t want to make a fuss about himself, there is not much official communication — there are no photos, no interviews, and no press statements. A precise return date has not been scheduled for the time being. After spending a few days with his brother and making a stop at his parents’ and sister’s grave and his former house in the area, and after meeting with the Vatican nuncio and praying at the diocesan cathedral, the ex-“Pope” returns back home.
That’s it in a nutshell. Yes, there were some contradictory reports about certain details, and some sources speculated about Benedict possibly staying a lot longer than he did, but this is not unusual for an unofficial trip that was put together quickly with minimial preparation and no official communication, and which is dependent on the unpredictability of two aged men’s physical and psychological conditions.
Br. Alexis Bugnolo, however, was quick to turn the whole matter into a mysterious “exile” of the “true Pope” at the order of Jorge Bergoglio (Francis), something he claimed “multiple sources” had confirmed for him. Thus on June 19 he wrote:
BREAKING: It has been confirmed by multiple sources that Pope Benedict XVI has been driven from the Vatican and placed under conditions which appear to be imprisonment and exile.
Sources in the Vatican say that the presence of the true Pope at the Vatican was considered a spiritual and moral obstacle to the ultimate revolutionary aims of Bergoglio: married clergy, gay marriage, women priests, Satanic worship incorporated into all the Masses in all the Catholic Churches round the world.
(Br. Alexis Bugnolo, “Pope Benedict XVI has been Exiled”, From Rome, June 19, 2020)
Whatever his “multiple sources” were, they obviously weren’t that reliable. Indeed, the claim of an exile was quite odd since Bugnolo had told the world previously that Ratzinger was being held prisoner in the Vatican: “His Holiness Pope Benedict, XVI remains a prisoner in the Vatican…”, Bugnolo told us a year ago. And in January of this year, he reminded the world that “it is clear that Pope Benedict has been imprisoned, in a certain sort of way.”
Instead of concluding that perhaps Benedict is not in fact a prisoner inside the Vatican, seeing that he is obviously allowed to travel at least for an urgent private matter, Bugnolo turned to the “exile” narrative. (Just imagine how Br. Alexis would have reacted had Francis refused to let Benedict travel to see his dying brother. It would have obviously been taken as irrefutable evidence of his imprisonment — and not without cause!)
In addition to arguing that Benedict’s presence in the Vatican had become too great an obstacle for Francis’ über-Modernist agenda — although it is really not clear why, considering that he is confined to a wheelchair and is dependent on other people to help him with many tasks –, Bugnolo claimed to be disclosing a “herculean power struggle” behind Ratzinger’s trip to Regensburg: Bergoglio and his henchmen, the quasi-Franciscan asserted, were trying to steal Benedict’s spiritual testament so as to prevent its publication after his death! See for yourself:
Where was the document being kept? With a close confident? At Rome?
Speculation [in Rome] swirled around 2 possibilities.
First, that the document is hidden in his office, at the Monastery of Mater Ecclesiae at the heart of the Vatican Gardens.
Second, that he had entrusted the document to his brother George Ratzinger.
Now that the Pope has at last be allowed to leave Rome on a trip, his offices are now free to be rifled and searched for the document. The Vatican in the last seven years has been caught falsifying many documents: from the translations of the Act of Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013, which I exposed last year, to personal letters by the Roman Pontiff on diverse topics. Can we really find any difficulty in supposing that the Vatican pushed Benedict out or allowed him to leave, so as to find this document and forge a copy which will praise Bergoglio profusely after the death of Pope Benedict?
Or did Benedict XVI go to Regensburg to recover the document from his brother?
Is the vice Commandant of the Vatican Police at Regensburg for the purposes of uncovering the existence of such a document and reporting its contents to the Vatican?
(Br. Alexis Bugnolo, “The Herculean Power Struggle behind the Pope’s Flight to Germany”, From Rome, June 20, 2020)
Or maybe Benedict’s spiritual testament has nothing to do with his visit to Regensburg at all? That seems to be the one alternative that didn’t cross Br. Alexis’ mind.
In any case, the forced Ratzingerian “exile” came to a quick end: Contrary to initial expectations, Benedict’s trip only lasted a total of five days. So now that Ratzinger is back at the Vatican and the exile story has been exposed as a dud, Bugnolo returns to the prisoner narrative, although not, of course, without some explosive background information:
In another sign that everyone in the Vatican foreign service knows that Pope Benedict XVI is the true pope, the Papal Nuncio in Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic is arriving today in Regensburg, to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.
Eterovic has been “papal nuncio” in Germany since September 21, 2013. In other words, he is the nuncio of the Anti-pope Bergoglio, a.k.a. Pope Francis.
The official explanation for this completely inexplicable action — inexplicable if you think Benedict is not the pope — is that it is to confirm publicly that Bergoglio has given his permission for Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Vatican.
Papal Nuncios are only sent to visit Heads of State.
Retired popes are not heads of State. But real popes excluded form power illegally, are still true Popes and Heads of State.
This is another historical proof of reality. Though many with eyes will now say that they do not see what they see, having eyes but not seeing, and ears, but not hearing. (Jeremiah 5:21, Matthew 13:13).
What is going on here?
I think that Eterovic knows that Benedict is the pope and wants to make sure that when the Church returns to recognizing that he was always the pope, Eterovic will be able to claim that he knew it all along and went to Benedict XVI immediately to show and pledge his allegiance. There is no other explanation. Nuncios arrive immediate [sic] to greet the Pope when he arrives. Pope [sic] emeriti do not exist, and they do not merit to be greeted by Nuncios.
(Br. Alexis Bugnolo, “Papal Nuncio in Germany to Visit Pope Benedict XVI”, From Rome, June 20, 2020; formatting given.)
Brother should be commended for his active imagination. How beneficial it is in this matter, is another question.
What’s crazy about this is not so much the claim that Benedict is Pope but that “everyone in the Vatican foreign service knows” it. There are numerous completely innocent explanations for why Eterovic went to see Benedict, and why he did so after two days. These explanations can easily be gleaned from the information Bugnolo himself gives: Perhaps he went to see him because (1) he is Francis’ nuncio, not Benedict’s, and goes to greet him when Francis tells him to; (2) precisely because Benedict isn’t Pope, there is no need to greet him immediately upon his arrival; (3) his arrival was on extremely short notice anyway, and Eterovic may have had other commitments, or he simply did not see the need to go see him right away since Benedict had not even set a return date yet.
There is nothing “completely inexplicable” about this. Even granting, as we obviously can, that there is no such thing as a Pope Emeritus (a Pope who resigns simply returns to being a cardinal or a bishop), it was Ratzinger himself who created this grotesque figure, and there are no clear international diplomatic protocols (yet) for how to deal with a Pope Emeritus. To take all these actions — some of them quite possibly haphazard, improvised, or inconsistent — as “evidence” that people “know” Ratzinger is “still” Pope, is entirely gratuitous.
In a post of June 21, Bugnolo claims that during his visit with Benedict, Nuncio Eterovic ordered him to return to his “prison” in the Vatican. That is a brazen deed for someone who, as the quasi-Franciscan maintains, recognizes Ratzinger to be the true Pope. Yet the amazing claims don’t end there: “Pope Benedict XVI[‘s] departure from the Vatican had all the marks of an operation done without the approval of Bergoglio”, Bugnolo now writes, contradicting his earlier insistence that “multiple sources [had] confirmed” that Francis had driven him out of the Vatican.
Bugnolo further: “I think we can conclude that the German Nuncio demanded that [‘Abp.’ Georg] Gnswein hall [sic] his prisoner back to the Vatican, or else. There is just too much risk to the Bergoglian house of lies if he should begin to speak freely to the public.” Too bad Francis didn’t think of that when he first decided to “exile” him so he could rummage through his papers!
Not deterred by the mystifying mess he has already created, Br. Alexis doubles down: “The way Pope Benedict XVI is being forced back so quickly demonstrates just one thing. Everyone in the Vatican knows that he is the true pope and Bergoglio is the fake. And Bergoglio has recognized that his own grasp on power demands that he keep the true pope under lock and key where NO ONE can talk to him.”
And thus we go from imprisonment to exile back to imprisonment again, within hours! The fact of the matter is that Bugnolo doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on. Sure, he has rumors, conjectures, and unproven claims, and all these would would be perfectly fine if only he would remain on the level of speculation. But he doesn’t. He presents as facts, evidence, and certain what is in reality only hearsay, speculation, and doubtful.
Realizing the need to address the inconsistency between his imprisonment and exile narratives, Bugnolo today writes:
While Vaticanista at Rome were of the opinion that Benedict XVI had been driven into exile — Nota Bene: Exile in Roman law is a punishment whereby one is imprisoned or put under house arrest in a distant land with guards, not allowed to go free — Pope Benedict XVI appears to have had greater freedom of action that [sic] many suspected, and had arranged the visit on his own, without getting Pope Francis’ approval.
(Br. Alexis Bugnolo, “Pope Benedict XVI Departs at Noon from Munich, for Rome”, From Rome, June 22, 2020)
We’ll leave it to the reader to decide how credible anything is that Bugnolo says at this point. The man seriously believes that if only Benedict XVI could speak freely, if only he could have confidential access to a trustworthy third party or an independent journalist, he would tell the world that he never truly resigned the pontificate and that he’s being held in the Vatican against his will. Riight.
For more story time with Br. Alexis, have a look at this video interview of June 21, 2020:
Bugnolo refers to tweets by former Novus Ordo nun and alleged abuse victim Dr. Doris Reisinger (nee Wagner), who claims that the woman in Benedict XVI’s entourage is Christine Felder. Reisinger says that Felder used to be her “superior, novice master and spiritual adviser” and laments: “I have never suffered so much under any person in my life as under this woman.” Br. Alexis comments: “The implications [sic] of this testimony is that Pope Benedict XVI has been manipulated since 2013….” Apparently no other conclusion is possible, huh?
The day before he left Regensburg, Benedict prayed at the shrine of St. Wolfgang, the diocesan patron. Br. Bugnolo finds all kinds of parallels between the saint and his “Papa Ratzinger”, of course, and he connects everything to Benedict’s alleged devotion to Pope St. Celestine V, who resigned from the Papacy in 1294. He must have forgotten for the moment that he believes Ratzinger didn’t resign the Papacy.
By the way: Another individual who tends to see a confirmation of the idea that Benedict XVI is “still” Pope in whatever happens, is Ann Barnhardt. On June 20, the outspoken blogger excitedly notified the world that the city of Regensburg displays the keys of St. Peter in its coat of arms, and indeed it does. That’s because St. Peter is the patron of the city, as she herself points out. How, then, is this significant? What does it have to do with Benedict XVI going there to see his brother? She does not tell us, she just knows it must be something because… “visibility”! Whatever.
At least Miss Barnhardt has been silent on this since. Alas, that is not the case with Br. Alexis. During the time it took to write this article, Bugnolo posted four more posts on his blog — and now China is part of the story!
The fundamental problem is this: In analyzing the news, Br. Alexis begins with his preconceived position that Benedict is Pope and then interprets — or spins — facts and other information to agree with his dearly-held thesis. And if the facts contradict his views on Benedict being the Pope, then that’s just too bad for the facts. Although that may all be very exciting, it is not conducive to the pursuit of truth.
Enough of Bugnolo’s story time!
Instead of spreading all kinds of half-baked theories and speculation meant to support the idea that Joseph Ratzinger is “still” the Pope, Bugnolo should instead address the hard evidence we have provided that the man never validly became Pope in the first place.
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