Speaking with Patrick Coffin, Cardinal Raymond Burke answered a question about the validity of the election of Pope Francis, and whether the election might be invalid because of Cardinal Lobbying:
“The only grounds that I think could be used for calling into question the validity of the election would be if the election was organized by a campaign beforehand which is strictly forbidden and that would be very difficult to demonstrate.”
Cardinal Burke is a Vatican Judge and the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the ‘Supreme Court’ of the Vatican. A Pope retains his final authority, despite the decisions of Signatura, however, Popes rarely interfere although they have been known to override such decisions, usually for clemency.
Past popes have been invalidated for their elections, especially during the Great Western Schism. A claimant to the Papal Throne, even invalidly elected by the same cardinals who elected the valid pope at the time (Urban VI) Antipope Clement VII knew Urban had not resigned but still claimed the papal throne. Urban was sent into exile.
This led to the Council of Constance (1414–1418). the Council was later confirmed by Pope Martin V. One pope and one antipope tendered their resignation so that Martin V could be elected.
Determination of Validity
So far, many cardinals have affirmed the validity of Francis as Pope. But they have not had sufficient information to provide statements otherwise.
Francis secretly resigned. This would explain an apparent apostasy with the Abu Dhabi Document: “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”
In this document, the pope said that “God willed…the plurality of religions.” This would put the Divine Jesus on the same plane with the non-Divine Muhammad, a logical impossibility (the principle of non-contradiction).
Other Cardinals and bishops have written statements of faith, creeds and issued corrections based on their authority as bishops. Cardinal Mueller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a decree on the Amazon Synod pre-synodal document declaring it Apostasy.
The former Theological Head of The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Fr. Thomas Weinandy said the document required a “formal correction.” This would include a profession of the Catholic Faith (such as is in the Nicene Creed), and a material (literal) statement of denial of the “Human Fraternity” document plurality statement.
Weinandy is a member of the International Theological Commission, appointed in 2014. He has accused Francis of “chronic confusion,” in a 2017 letter.
Pope “Emeritus” Benedict XVI has seemingly contradicted the major teaching movements of Francis, including Amoris Laetitia, in a recent letter. Benedict still has authority as a bishop, and bishops are infallible when they teach dogma, which is Doctrine that has been formally taught or defined.
It is estimated that 80% of bishops were Arians during the times of the Arian Heresy.
During the Schism of King Henry VIII, 95% of bishops defected.
During the Great Western Schism, 66% of the Catholic Faithful believed that Antipope Clement VII was the valid pope.
St. Vincent Ferrier thought Antipope Clement VII was the valid Pope after cardinal electors said he was (it was Urban VI).
St. Catherine of Siena, mystic and infallible private revelation prophetess, knew he was not. She would point out antipopes with one-hundred percent accuracy. There are many records of this. She used Luke 10:5 (the test of peace) in her dealings with others (The Dialogue, Treatise on Discretion: “tastes peace”).