Yesterday, Ann Barhnhardt posted her second Magisterial Study of Pope Benedict’s Invalid Resignation and the theological currents behind it. See here. You have to listen to this entire video to understand anything about what is going on in the Vatican today.*
*There is only one small factual error in what Mrs. Barnhardt says in this video, namely, when she says that all the vernacular translations of Benedict’s Act of Renunciation were made from the Italian translation, that is not true, the German is unique, as I have shown previously.
It’s rationally impossible to exclude, after Barnhardt’s marshalling of evidence, that Pope Benedict did not have a vicious and malign intention in renouncing only the Petrine Ministry, and not simply a substantial error of saying ministerium instead of munus.
This being the case, I can now offer a reasonable explanation of Why the Pope did NOT contest ANY of the 39 arguments I sent him?, which argue his resignation of ministerium did not effect a resignation of munus: The surprising answer is that Benedict acknowledges that it was NEVER his intention to resign the petrine munus, and was in fact his intention to resign only the petrine ministerium. — If you recall, in my Scholastic Question, which I sent him, I openly stated that I did not dispute the act effected a renunciation of ministerium.
There are 2 conclusions from this inference, which I say has sound probability on the basis of the 55 year history of Joseph Ratzinger in the speculations regarding transforming the papacy.
The first is that, if asked, Pope Benedict will admit openly and candidly before witnesses that he retains the Petrine Munus. He will however, on account of his error, say he does not hold the Petrine Office or the Papacy. This will seem to be an illogical self-contradiction, since it does not accord with the Latin text of Canon 145 §1: but in the Germanic School of theology to which Ratzinger belongs, the office of the Papacy is conceived as pertaining to the Petrine Ministry, that is, the active exercise of grace and vocation.
The second conclusion is, that every Catholic who accepts the teaching of Vatican I, will see that there are now 2 reasons for the renunciation of Benedict being null and void:* namely, not only substantial error, but malign intention. The malign intention (dolus) being to split the Papal Office. Both causes are causes of the act being null and void in canon 188.*
If these 2 considerations are true, then it will be difficult to understand from speaking with Benedict at any time, for a direct answer which indicates the renunciation was invalid to effect his no longer being the Pope.
The solution of the problem, therefore, must come solely from a canonical analysis, because neither as a private theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, nor as the Pope, does he have any authority to split the Papal Office from the Papal Ministry, nor to ascribe the office of the Papacy to the one who has the Papal Ministry, but not the Papal Munus.
Finally, I wish to praise Mrs. Barnhardt for her correct theological and moral characterization of those who have contested that the renunciation was invalid, arguing instead with a faulty notion of “universal acceptance”, as “demonic”, “satanic” and “free-masonic”.
For the Good of the Church, I will close by calling on all the Cardinals, Bishops, Clergy, Religious and Laity, especially of the Roman Church, to return to the norm of Canon 332 §2 and recognize that
- Pope Benedict is still the Pope, Bergoglio was never the Pope.
- His renunciation of ministry effects nothing in Canon Law.
- He is theologically confused as regards holding that the Papal Office is constituted by the one who exercises the Petrine Ministry, not the One who holds the Petrine Munus.
- His deliberate intention to renounce only the Petrine Ministry was morally reprehensible and should be reprehended.
- Anyone who speaks with Pope Benedict must resort to correcting him, because he not only committed a juridical error, but also a moral error, in renouncing only the Petrine Ministry.
* Barnhardt and myself, as well as nearly all the other commentators on this controversy, have been saying that Benedict’s resignation was invalid. The correct Canonical phrase, however, is that Benedict never renounced the Papal Office. Because, Benedict resigned nothing, in that he never used the verb resign. (The English translation of Canon 332 §2 has “resign” in the place of the Latin “renounce”.) Also, Canon 188 does not declare acts of renunciation invalid, it declares them “irrita“, that is, not properly done, or in other words, never done at all.
Can. 188 — Renuntiatio ex metu gravi, iniuste incusso, dolo vel errore substantiali aut simoniace facta, ipso iure irrita est.
The importance of the distinction in Canon Law regarding juridical acts which are invalid and juridical acts which are irrita is that, if a juridical act of the pope be in question, since one cannot dispute the legitimacy of papal acts, you cannot judge them valid or invalid. But if they were never done, never existed, that is, if they were irriti, then they never happened. And it’s no sin or crime, but true justice to say that they are such.