Distinguishing between the de facto and the de jure in Church events.
Lightning struck attesting to the fulfillment of Daniel's prophesy!
This is the 'de facto' statement implied in Benedict's resignation against the conclave that elected him! So, from then on --on Benedict's testimony-- conclaves are invalid which means the cardinals aren't cardinals either --again by Benedict's testimony--, being incompetent to elect a pope!
THIS IS THE LAW, THIS IS THE FAITH.
Let's reason this out:A papal election has always been a major event, not only for Catholics, but for the entire evangelized world. However, never before had circumstances been more revealing. A papal resignation hadn't occurred in seven centuries; but more relevantly, previous resignations had been forced by imposing circumstances which left no alternative to the abdicator but to abdicate. Circumstances like banishment by imperial authorities, exile under persecution, all of them practically equivalent to a sede vacante; and only a previous case in which the incumbent had been forced to accept --by a non conclave in order to break a two year sede vacante impasse-- and thus could not be seriously expected to remain where neither his competence for the post nor his vocation could hold him. In this case, that of Pietro da Morrone in 1294 --to be later canonized as St. Celestine V-- it would mean a short reign of only 161 days.
But Benedict's resignation is an absolute scandal to all those who rightfully feel this has been another destructive maneuver directed towards devastating the papacy; a defacement, an additional desacralization of what many consider necessarily holy and demandingly above reproach.