First Anti-Pope Clement VII
1P5 editor Steve Skojec weighs in on Barnhardt's claim Francis is an anti-pope.
At least he disagrees - to an extent. He declares that Barnhardt -
... is NOT a sedevacantist, as she makes clear. She just thinks we still have the same pope we had in February, 2013. Is she right? Not my call. Does it matter? On an objective level, of course it does. To know the true pope from the false one is better than not to know it. But we can’t know that with the certitude of an ecclesiastical judgment. Not yet. - 1P5Not yet?
The discussion is ludicrous, albeit it fascinating to read how these people seem to have gone from anti-papist to practically judging a validly elected Pope to be an anti-pope. On some level it means they believe Benedict XVI to have been forced into retirement-resignation, and Francis covertly made pope. Even after statements from Benedict refuting these and so many other conspiracy theories. It's as crazy as the impostor pope stories about Paul VI and Sr. Lucia. It fits with the sedevacantist theories about the suppressed election of Cardinal Siri as Gregory XVII in favor of John XXIII. Theories pretty much based on the active imaginations of Euro-trad-monarchists, as well as the dubious revelations of Bl. Anna Katherine Emmerick and the prophecies of a handful of other mystics.
If there is anything worthwhile in Skojec's essay, it is his refutation of Barnhardt's selection of private revelations and prophecy to support her claims. Anyone familiar with the promotion of conspiracy theories on the apparition of Fatima and the so-called third secret will spot the same old fake messages immediately. It's Bayside-Necedah revisited. It is amazing how embedded in Catholic culture these false prophecies have become. I can't help thinking of the extended secrets of LaSalette, repeated so frequently since Vatican II. But I digress.
Skojec helps his readers out by pointing to the errors of the works of prophecy Barnhardt depends upon:
I’m not going to devote the time and research necessary to write a deeply substantive critique of Ann’s theory. Briefly, though, I do want to address some issues I have with her argument.
To begin with, three of the five prophecies she cites are of questionable provenance. The St. Francis of Assisi prophecy is the most significant of these, since to read it one feels as though it is meant for our present time. - Read the rest here.
I don't know, but there is something rather likable about Skojec, he's a good writer, seems like a great guy with a good sense of humor, a good Catholic - why he goes off on this stuff I'm not sure. Like I said, he does a good job sourcing and discrediting - or at least judging unreliable the prophecies Barnhardt sites. In addition to the St. Francis false prophecy, he locates the source of the fake Fatima message, and gives some good background information. However, he seems to leave the door open to the possibility these 'could be' true.
Reading private revelations literally, and forming private opinion about what is related therein, while attempting to configure it with current events, is a sure way to end up with the sedevacantists and schismatics who have alienated themselves from the Church. At least Skojec has the good sense to recognize all of these issues mean nothing without an ecclesiastical judgment, that is, an authoritative judgment from the Church... aka the Pope and the Magisterium - the bishops in communion with him.
Skojec concludes his essay directing readers to seek the clear, authentic teaching of the Church and to disseminate that - and not to worry about who is the true or false pope. Not bad advice - yet he still leaves that Barnhardt foot in the door - Francis might be an anti-pope - we just can't know it yet.
And the Resignationism theory spins on, along with the 'bad council, bad Mass' trope.
The men shall wear white berets and the women shall wear blue.
I want you to wear something borrowed,
like that pretty chapel veil with your blue jumper...
Oh. And tell all the people Paul VI has been replaced with an impostor.