Ever since Jorge Bergoglio was chosen as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, there have been serious questions raised as to the validity of his papacy because of the unusual circumstances. Since his election as pope, Francis has raised the ire of many conservative Catholics because of his liberal policies. Some have even gone as far as declaring the Pope a heretic. Recently, traditionalist opponents of Francis have begun to use the existence of Pope Benedict XVI and the question of the validity of Francis' papacy in an attempt to undermine the Pope. Even the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, has been see wearing a T-shirt that says "Benedict is my Pope." The following article from the "Irish Examiner" shows that Francis has many powerful enemies, and they are well organized.
A Pope too many: Does Pope Francis have a mutiny on his hands?
After his resignation in 2013, Pope Benedict chose to live in the Vatican in silence. But his presence, his influence, and a growing campaign is causing problems for Pope Francis and threatens to undermine his papacy, writes TP O’Mahony.
The opulent Roman salon of a wealthy German princess is the location for regular gatherings of a group of ultra-conservative Catholics — including Steve Bannon, former White House strategist once favoured by President Donald Trump — where they plot their campaign to undermine the Papacy of Francis.
She is Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis, famously dubbed Princess TNT by Vanity Fair in 1985 because of her explosive personality, a devout if very traditionalist Catholic.
She hosts meetings attended by a number of senior Cardinals as well as Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the long-time personal secretary to Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.
This group — and this is what is most controversial — is appealing to and seeking to use the legacy of the retired 92-year-old Pope, who is resident in the Vatican, to lend legitimacy to their anti-Francis campaign.
What is not clear at this stage is the extent to which, if at all, Benedict is aware and approving of their efforts. Further light may be thrown on this later in the year when Austin Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, publishes his new book. This is entitled Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Reform the Catholic Church, and is due out in November.