UPDATED (see my subsequent post on this topic.)
Yes, he is the current valid Pope. To hold or say otherwise is the grave sin of formal schism, and carries the penalty of automatic excommunication.
A blogger who calls himself “thetimman” and “Saint Louis Catholic” discusses a poll of his readers: Pope vs. Antipope: Dissecting the Poll. The poll asked two questions:
WHICH BEST DESCRIBES YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE CURRENT POPE?
Francis is Pope 16%
Benedict is Pope 72%
Some other person is Pope 1%
No one is Pope 9%
IF YOU CHOSE ANY ANSWER IN POLL ABOVE THAT INDICATES FRANCIS IS NOT POPE, WHY DO YOU THINK SO?
Benedict’s abdication was not effective 38%
Francis’ election was invalid 5%
Francis has lost his office due to heresy 4%
Some combination of the above 42%
Neither Francis nor Benedict was ever pope 8%
So only 16% of his readers think that Pope Francis is the current valid Roman Pontiff. A large percentage think that Benedict is still Pope, despite his resignation and his own obedience to Francis as his valid successor. Some think Francis was never Pope, some think his election was invalid, some think he lost his office via heresy. Many think that Benedict’s resignation was not effective.
Essentially, a large percentage of the readers of that blog are in a state of schism, having utterly rejected the authority of Pope Francis. And 8% think that even Pope Benedict XVI was never a valid Pope.
OK Let’s see what my readers say about these questions:
First Question (Which best describes your opinion about the current pope?)
Second Question (If you chose any answer in poll above that indicates Francis is not pope, why do you think so?)
I will post the results and comment on them in a few days. (see my subsequent post on this topic.)
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