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Noted Vatican Theologian Calls for Examination of Validity of Pope Benedict’s XVI’s Resignation

Msgr. Nicola Bux speaks.

In an important interview that was overlooked last month, a Vatican theologian said that unless Pope Francis corrects himself and reaffirms Church teaching on morals, the faith, and the sacraments, "the apostasy will deepen and the de facto schism will widen."

To address the current crisis, he suggested that an examination of the “juridical validity” of Pope Benedict’s XVI’s resignation was in order to “overcome problems that today seem insurmountable to us.” The theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was implying that further study of the situation could reveal that Francis is not and has never been a valid pope, but is, in fact, an antipope who could be removed from the papacy, thus nullifying his "insurmountable" errors.

Msgr. Nicola Bux, a former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Benedict XVI, made the remarkable comments in an in-depth interview with Vatican reporter Aldo Maria Valli, the same reporter who interviewed Archbishop Carlo Viganò before he accused the pope of covering up clerical sexual misconduct in a stunning eleven-page letter back in August.

Writing on his own blog, National Catholic Register reporter Edward Pentin says that Bux warned that the current pope is issuing statements that are generating “heresies, schisms, and controversies of various kinds” and that the pontiff should issue a profession of faith to restore unity in the Church.

In the interview, published Oct. 13 but overlooked due to the Youth Synod taking place in Rome last month, the theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints said “heretical statements” on marriage, the moral life and reception of the sacraments are now “at the center of a vast debate which is becoming more and more passionate by the day.”

Msgr. Bux said the origin of many of these questioned teachings — highlighted in a September 2017 filial correction and at a Rome conference in April on doctrinal confusion in the Church — is the Pope’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, but they have since become “considerably worse and more complicated.”

He said this has led some senior prelates, such as Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four cardinals to sign the dubia in 2016, to reiterate a call for a “profession of faith on the part of the Pope.”

But Msgr. Bux said this would be difficult to achieve given the Pope’s vision of the Church as a federation of ecclesial communities — something Msgr. Bux described as “a bit like the Protestant communities.”

The theologian said that after the last two synods on the family, teaching on faith and morality has become inconsistent on the question of whether to give Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics.

"Not a few bishops and parish priests, therefore, are in great embarrassment, because of an unstable and confused pastoral situation," he said.