A Meditation on Proverbs 16 is the cure for the failed Renunciation

Book of Proverbs: Chapter 16

(Latin text is the Clementine Vulgate. The English translation of each paragraph by Br. Bugnolo)

[1] Hominis est animam praeparare, et Domini gubernare linguam. [2] Omnes viae hominis patent oculis ejus; spirituum ponderator est Dominus. [3] Revela Domino opera tua, et dirigentur cogitationes tuae. [4] Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus; impium quoque ad diem malum. [5] Abominatio Domini est omnis arrogans; etiamsi manus ad manum fuerit, non est innocens. Initium viae bonae facere justitiam; accepta est autem apud Deum magis quam immolare hostias.

1. It belongs to man to prepare the soul, and to God to govern the tongue. 2. All the ways of a man lie open to His eyes; a weigher of spirits is the Lord. 3. Reveal to the Lord thy works, and thy thoughts will be set aright. 4. Each and every thing has the Lord wrought for Himself; the impious, too, for the evil day. 5. An abomination to the Lord is every arrogant (man); even if it be done hand in hand with others, he is not innocent. The beginning of the good way is to work justice; it is, moreover, more accepted before God than the sacrifice of holocausts.

[6] Misericordia et veritate redimitur iniquitas, et in timore Domini declinatur a malo. [7] Cum placuerint Domino viae hominis, inimicos quoque ejus convertet ad pacem. [8] Melius est parum cum justitia, quam multi fructus cum iniquitate. [9] Cor hominis disponit viam suam, sed Domini est dirigere gressus ejus. [10] Divinatio in labiis regis; in judicio non errabit os ejus.

6. By mercy and truth is iniquity redeemed, and in the fear of the Lord does one turn away from evil. 7. When the ways of a man are pleasing to the Lord, He also converts his enemies to peace. 8. Better is a little with justice, than the enjoyment of much with iniquity. 9. The heart of a man arranges his own way, but it belongs to the Lord to direct his steps. 10. Divination is on the lips of the king; in judgement there shall not err his mouth.

[11] Pondus et statera judicia Domini sunt, et opera ejus omnes lapides sacculi. [12] Abominabiles regi qui agunt impie, quoniam justitia firmatur solium. [13] Voluntas regum labia justa; qui recta loquitur diligetur. [14] Indignatio regis nuntii mortis, et vir sapiens placabit eam. [15] In hilaritate vultus regis vita, et clementia ejus quasi imber serotinus.

11. Weight and balance are the judgements of the Lord, and His works all the weights for the measure. 12. Abominable the kings who act impiously, since the throne is made firm by justice. 13. The will of kings, just lips; he who speaks upright words shall be loved. 14. The indignation of the king, the messengers of death, and the wise man shall placate his wrath. 15. In hilarity, the face of the king, life, and his clemency as an evening downpour.

[16] Posside sapientiam, quia auro melior est, et acquire prudentiam, quia pretiosior est argento. [17] Semita justorum declinat mala; custos animae suae servat viam suam. [18] Contritionem praecedit superbia, et ante ruinam exaltatur spiritus. [19] Melius est humiliari cum mitibus, quam dividere spolia cum superbis. [20] Eruditus in verbo reperiet bona, et qui sperat in Domino beatus est.

16. Take hold of wisdom, because she is better than gold, and acquire prudence, because she is more precious than silver. 17. The paths of the just turn aside evils; the guardian of one’s own soul keeps his own way. 18. Pride precedes destruction, and before a ruin the spirit is exalted. 19. Better is it to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud. 20. The learned in word shall find good things, and he who hopes in the Lord is blessed.

[21] Qui sapiens est corde appellabitur prudens, et qui dulcis eloquio majora percipiet. [22] Fons vitae eruditio possidentis; doctrina stultorum fatuitas. [23] Cor sapientis erudiet os ejus, et labiis ejus addet gratiam. [24] Favus mellis composita verba; dulcedo animae sanitas ossium. [25] Est via quae videtur homini recta, et novissima ejus ducunt ad mortem.

21. He who is wise in heart shall be called “prudent”, and the one sweet in speech shall perceive greater things. 22. A fountain of life, the erudition of the one possessing her: the doctrine of fools is fatuousness. 23. The heart of the wise man shall teach his mouth, and shall add grace to his lips. 24. A comb of honey, well ordered words; the sweetness of the soul, the health of one’s bones. 25. There is a way which seems right to a man, and his last steps on it lead to death.

[26] Anima laborantis laborat sibi, quia compulit eum os suum. [27] Vir impius fodit malum, et in labiis ejus ignis ardescit. [28] Homo perversus suscitat lites, et verbosus separat principes. [29] Vir iniquus lactat amicum suum, et ducit eum per viam non bonam. [30] Qui attonitis oculis cogitat prava, mordens labia sua perficit malum.

26. The soul of the one laboring labors for itself, because his own mouth compels him. 27. The impious man digs up evil, and on his lips a fire burns. 28. A perverse man incites arguments, and the verbose sows division among princes. 29. The iniquitous man milks his own friend, and leads him through a way which is not good. 30. He who with stunned eyes thinks of depraved things, as one biting his own lips perfects evil.

[31] Corona dignitatis senectus, quae in viis justitiae reperietur. [32] Melior est patiens viro forti; et qui dominatur animo suo, expugnatore urbium. [33] Sortes mittuntur in sinum, sed a Domino temperantur.

31. A crown of dignity the old age, which is found upon the ways of justice. 32. Better is the patient one to the strong man; and he who dominates his own spirit, than the victorious besieger of cities. 33. Lots are cast into the lap, but they are sorted out by the Lord.

______________

There is more than ample doctrine here to put in proper perspective how evil it would be to presume to dispose of the Petrine Munus in a divided or bifurcated papacy, and how such an act of pride would bring destruction upon everyone in the Church. Also, how humility does NOT consist in being patient with the evils one has brought upon the Church, but rather in undoing the evil done and returning to the example of all previous popes, who served until death, or resigned the whole papal office and ministry, keeping nothing for themselves.

For more information about what I speak, see Ann Barnhardt’s post on Ganswein’s talk at the Gregorian University.

CREDITS: Latin text, from the Clementine Vulgate, online. Photo from https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/monastic-views-lectio-divina-2162 an article on Lectio Divina, showing a Benedictine monk of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Silver City, NM.

10 thoughts on “A Meditation on Proverbs 16 is the cure for the failed Renunciation”

  1. Br Bugnolo,

    I do not understand. Why should we have any reason to believe Benedict intentionally tried to split the office? Or that if he did try, that it was out of pride? Or that he does not believe that the best solution is to endure the libel and insults of the faithful who call him a coward, a quitter, an enabler of Bergoglio, while the evil is brought to the surface?

    God bless,
    Lucy

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  2. “There is more than ample doctrine here to put in proper perspective how evil it would be to presume to dispose of the Petrine Munus in a divided or bifurcated papacy, and how such an act of pride would bring destruction upon everyone in the Church.”

    The upside of this seeming catastrophe is that it is bringing to light all of the corruption that has existed for a long time in the Church, particularly since Vatican II. This, I think, is the way we should positively interpret our current situation. God, indeed, operates in mysterious ways.

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  3. Dear Lucy,

    When one speaks of reasons to believe that another person had the intention to do something, the doing of which he has never personally explained, then one enters the territory of speculation about the interior state of another person’s mind, which is known with certitude only by God Himself.

    But in the science of forensics, which is used in courts and criminal investigations, there is given great weight to what those who live and speak with the person, say was his intention. Archbishop Ganswein at the Gregorian University in 2016 gave his explanation and then a week later commented on it. I have included Ann Barnhardt’s excellent post on this. It is a very strong forensic testimony, because how can anyone deny that Pope Benedict XVI has not concealed from his personal secretary the motives for his acting. But from that testimony of the Archbishop, it appears that something is very very very wrong. Because you cannot separate the petrine munus, grace or vocation from the office of the pope, the power of jurisdiction and the charism of infallibility, and keep the former and concede the latter to your successor.

    The Petrine Succession requires that all the power, honor, dignity, grace, charism, privileges and authority of the Successor of St Peter pass to the next pope. If so much as anything is retained, the succession does not take place and the one who follows does not become the Pope.

    However, if the Archbishop does explain authentically what Pope Benedict XVI wanted and intended to do, then it certainly makes the renunciation invalid to effect the loss of the papal office and of any of its perogatives, charisms, graces, dignities or authority.

    What the Archibishop says, however, is perfectly in accord with what the text of Non Solum Propter appears to say, even when it says it badly in Latin.

    These are the reasons to suppose that it might be, but might not be. Until His Holiness explains himself directly, we will never know. But I included this meditation on Proverbs 16, because therein one finds the principles for humility, honesty and justice in speech and humility in following the examples of our forefathers rather than striking out on one’s own new path, which have been ignored in this controversy by those who hold the resignation is valid, and perhaps by the Pope himself.

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  4. Michael, yes, God often draws a straight line to His Will using many crooked lines of our sinful acts. And I do not doubt that God has permitted this catastrophe for just the reason you say, because this way of permitting reflects what He Himself taught: How I wish you were hot or cold, but as you are neither, I vomit you out of my mouth. The error of Benedict in renouncing only the ministerium, which has caused the puss in the Church to show itself, is wrapped up in that Mystery of God’s intolerance of corruption among His priests.

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  5. Beautiful passage, yet, His Holiness, Benedict XVI, most certainly, carefully, selected the words that he did in his Renunciation. He was very sincere in choosing to not resign the munus because he was coerced to do so by threat of schism (as wel learned during the Vati-leaks scandal). The reason we know that Benedict meant what he did in his Renunciation is that he simply will not act.

    What justifies Benedict XVI from being deceitful or intentionally deceiving, is that he was coerced to resign the munus, thereby, he preferred to grant the appearance of a valid resignation with the result of maintaining the office since he could not force himself to freely resign the munus. This would be insane!

    Saint Paul explains in 2nd Thessalonians 2, 11 when speaking of the removal of the restrainer (which is the Petrine Office) that God would send a force of deception (delusion) during the time of apostasy, for the peril of those who did not love Truth to begin with. Bergoglio’s false church is a perfect example of a great delusion in which he (the false pope) governs a false church that appears to be the only true church, but only for those who do not love Canon Law and the Magisterium. Those who do, know and accept that Benedict XVI is still pope!

    Benedict XVI is withholding the Truth from his enemies by remaining silent and in doing so, he is not intending to lie which means he is not actually lying, similar to how a jew would withhold his true identity from a Nazi soldier who stops the jewish man at a checkpoint and ask if he is a jew. The jewish man would say “no” (even though he is a jew), but only because an honest answer would result in a greater evil which is the termination of his life.

    Benedict XVI is not intending to lie to the Church or to the world. He is using a very wise approach by not resigning the munus since he was coerced to step down due to the threat of schism (of which we learned of during the Vati-leaks scandal). If Ratzinger’s person can prevent an enormous schism, then he will resign, but he won’t resign the munus because even if he did, he would not have resigned it freely, thereby, according to Canon 332.2, would still be invalid per the first condition.

    Other examples of when and how it is permissible to deceive others can also be found in the following passages of scripture.

    1. Pharaoh’s demand that the Hebrew midwives kill all newborn male babies (Exod. 1:17–21).

    When asked by Pharaoh why they didn’t obey his command, the midwives tell him it’s because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can arrive. God appears to issue his verdict on their behavior: he “dealt well with the midwives” and “gave them families” (vv. 20–21).

    The midwives deliberately deceived Pharaoh—and God appears to reward them for it.

    2. Rahab the prostitute, who tells a falsehood to protect the Israelite spies (Josh. 2:1–7; cf. Heb. 11:31).

    James 2:25 appeals to Rahab as an illustration of how good works flow from genuine, saving faith: “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” Rahab communicated a falsehood to protect the spies—and is apparently applauded for it. And note that Joshua sent spies into the land, whose purpose was to deceive and undermine the enemy in order to gather information the enemy hopes to conceal. God had spies working for him in the Old Testament.

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  6. Dear Br. Bugnolo,

    I see what you are saying but it seems to me there is something which doesn’t fit. Firstly, Benedict never in his writings even in the crazed days of the 70s never supported such a model of the papacy. On the contrary, he wrote specifically agains the Soloviev “triumviirate model” in 1978 where he wrote

    “The ‘‘we’’ unity of Christians, which God instituted in Christ through the Holy Spirit under the name of Jesus Christ and as a result of his witness, certified by his death and Resurrection, is in turn maintained by personal bearers of responsibility for this unity, and it is once again personified in Peter—in Peter, who receives a new name and is thus lifted up out of what is merely his
    own, yet precisely in a name, through which demands are made of him as a person with personal responsibility. In his new name, which transcends the historical individual, Peter becomes the institution that goes through history (for the ability to continue and continuance are included in this new appellation), yet in such a way that this institution can exist only as a person and in particular
    and personal responsibility.” (www.communio-icr.com/files/ratzinger41-1.pdf)

    The question then is: why does he do a sudden 180 degree about turn to embrace the lunatic ideas of a spilt papacy? It doesn’t add up.

    Unless he is sending a hidden message..?

    Which brings me to the second point. I have read +Gänsweins speech twenty times at least. Something has always bothered me but I coudl not put my finger in it until the other day. +Gänswein spoke of an “Ausnahmepontifikat”, translated by Maile Hickson as “exceptional pontificate”.

    The German word “Ausnahme” means exception, not covered by the rules. The English translation “exceptional pontificate” does not mean “exceptionally good” nor does it simply mean “remarkable”.
    Rather it means a pontificate which is an exception, one which is somehow outside the normal rules.

    However…..the word Ausnahme in German when used in combination is, 99 times out of 100, used in the term Ausnahmezustand, which is a state of emergency declared by the state. So a pitch invasion at a football match can not be properly called an “Ausnahmezustand” but the flooding of part of a country could be.

    Or an atempted coup.

    Now we have +Gänsweins invented word “Ausnahmepontificate”. Why would construct such a word instead of calling Benedict’s pontificate “sehr besondere” (very special) or something similar. Instead he constructs a word which has connotations, in the mind of the common man, of emergency. Is he referring then to an emergency pontificate outside the normal rules, and declared by ruling authority?

    (There is a second meaning of the word Ausnahme and specifically in the term “in die Ausnamhe gehen” which refers to a farmer handing over the farm to his successor but keeping a piece of the homestead to himself. But since the phrase itself was not used by Gänswein it is not applicable.)

    God bless

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  7. Em S,

    You are correct in saying that we do not have to explain our intentions or meaning to those who would do evil with the knowledge thereof, but that is called a mental reservation, it is not deception, even if the misunderstanding on the part of the listener is that by which he deceives himself.

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  8. Thank you Lucy, for your insight into the subtleties of the German language. The thing that bothers me about Ganswein’s comments is that he says, both, “There are not two popes, one legal and one illegal” and “There are two popes”. The conclusion I draw is that he is saying, “Yes, there are two popes, both legal” Here we have to distinguish between the title pope which is not canonical, and the title Successor of St Peter which is theological. There can only be one of the latter and that one alone has the universal power of jurisdiction and authority and infallibility. Pope just means patriarch, and there is one already in Istanbul, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Moscow, Antioch etc.. But in Canon law the power, dignity and office all reside in the munus, not the ministerium. You cannot keep the munus and the dignity, and cede the power and the ministry and title of Supreme Pontiff or pope. That is what it seems Ganswein is saying that Benedict intended. And that makes the act invalid. But as the Church has never defined the unity of the papal office, though the concept that it can be bifurcated is clearly against Divine Revelation, it is not the canonical crime of heresy, which regards defined truths. This may explain why all the Cardinals and Bishops went along, because they have an exaggerated idea of papal authority as being unrestrained, care mostly for their career not the salvation of souls, and are in favor of the revolution. I do agree with you, it makes no sense that after fighting the St Gallen Mafia his entire pontificate, that he would surrender to them. But any way you cut the cake, it appears that in some sense he did surrender, and that he is confused, because whether he intended to bifurcate the papacy or not, it is gravely sinful to sit by and watch the Church be destroyed and hundreds of millions fall into habitual mortal sins of impurity and invalid marriages, and the clergy into formal approbation of sacrilege upon sacrilege, and all kinds of sexual impurity and vice.

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  9. Around four years ago I asked the Parish Priest why this catastrophe was happening, and he answered me that after a storm in a garden the remaining flowers are healthier, the plants cleaned of weak branches and withered leaves, the garden reinvigorated by the pruning.

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