Things are heating up on the “Is he or isn’t he?” front, and thus I wanted to briefly state my positions on a few things, in case it matters (which I strongly suspect it doesn’t, but still):

For some time I have been of the opinion that it is, mathematically-speaking, more likely than not that Pope Benedict XVI is still Pope, and that by definition there can be a maximum of one pope at any one time. I don’t know he still is, but I believe it. Feel free to do your own weighing of the question.

I believe the abdication, so-called, was not valid, and not effective. I believe it was likely phrased intentionally the way it was phrased by a lucid and intelligent Benedict, intending not to abdicate, for reasons he knows well and which in time will be made clear. Thus I don’t agree with the “Barnhardt thesis”, that he intended to bifurcate the papacy and thus made an invalidating substantial error. I do agree with her conclusion, however, that he did not resign, and will further state that if her premises were true, her conclusion would be true as well. IF he intended to resign part, he resigned none. In my opinion, he intended to resign none.

However that may be, I credit Miss Barnhardt for the sincerity and courage of her convictions, and for for her public witness. Others, too, the reasoning of whom I don’t necessarily follow in every particular, I also credit for their witness as to the probability that Benedict is still pope, and perhaps held against his will in Rome by the enemies of the Church: Bishop Gracida, Brother Bugnolo, and others.

For what it’s worth, it is highly likely the “abdication” was coerced and invalid for that reason alone, but this involves facts we cannot know. In any event, whatever contra-canonical hijinks were involved with the Sankt-Gallen mafia, we needn’t reach them before concluding the above.

In defense of Cardinal Burke, I don’t think he is a coward at all. Quite the contrary. I think that there is some mysterious reason he has not publicly opined on this.

On the other hand, I agree with many that it is high time to act, for the defense of God’s rights and the faith of the lay members of the Church. I agree that ANY Cardinal elector could put an effective end to this charade by speaking out publicly that there is need for an investigation into the alleged abdication and that the teachings of Bergoglio should be viewed with suspense until it is completed.

That is all. I submit unreservedly to the correction of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to the Pope, welcoming correction by competent authority. I am further happy to issue retractions if I am wrong in any particular. And, again, these are merely my thoughts after my own evaluation of the matter, far from infallible, and intending no offense to anyone who comes to the opposite conclusion in good faith.

Enjoy your evening. Pray for the pope. Pray for the Church. In your charity, pray for me. Just trying to get to Heaven.