by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Here at the From Rome Blog, my posts regard both history and conjectures about why that history came about or what it means.
Having recently viewed a video by someone who follows a man who claims to be Christ in His second coming, because the video referred extensively to posts at the From Rome Blog, I see that not everyone who reads my blog understands how to discern facts from conjecture.
A Blog, it must be said, is a very personal publication. As human beings we naturally seek to know the truth. Some of that we can know directly through the facts of history, and some of that we cannot know directly, so we must resort to interpretations. The weakest kind of interpretation is the conjecture, for a conjecture is an interpretation in which the facts (to prove it) and which are not know, are conjectured to exist.
Conjectures by their very nature tend to follow the sensibility as much as the rationality of those who write them. My conjectures do the same, and some of them might seem sensationalist. But I know how to distinguish my own conjectures from reality.
I write this post because I see that not everyone of my readers understand this.
So for clarity, I make this declaration.
That Pope Benedict XVI is the pope is statement which is not a conjecture, but rather the presumption of the law, because the law of the Church says that a pope resigns when he renounces his munus. And since Pope Benedict XVI has never done that in the way canon 332 §2 requires him to do it (fact), as the man who is the pope, we all must recognize that he is still the pope.
However, why he resigned the ministry and not the munus, and more so, why he even resigned, is something of which not a few Catholics do not see sufficient explanation in what has been reported, said, stated and repeated. This is because there is an inherent irrationality about saying Pope Benedict XVI resigned for this or that reason, and not finding the facts which make that evident (for example, in Non solum propter, he says he is resigning for health reasons, but he is still in rather good health after 6 years).
Since I seek the truth I understand that conjectures to complete the information lacking in what we know are possibly as much correct as incorrect, but at the same time I recognize that historically those who engage in such conjectures are more often wrong, because to make a conjecture which turns out to be verified by future revelations of facts, takes a great deal of familiarity with all the known causes which could have possibly influenced the event about which one is conjecturing. That is why insiders normally are better at conjecturing. And I am not an insider.
So please do not take my conjectures as dogma or history. They are not.
The fact is, that Pope Benedict XVI has never resigned according to the norm of Canon 332 §2.
But why he has or has not, is not certain to us. We would have to ask him, and he has not, to my knowledge, ever been asked why he renounced the ministerium and not the munus. So conjectures go on and on.
However, when it comes to canonical arguments, those arguments are as sound as the canons, principles and reasoning based upon them. Their certitude is thus much higher.
So when reading my blog, please keep this in mind.