Where Chris Ferrara goes bonkers

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Frank Walker just published Chris Ferrara’s response to Ann Barnhardt’s claim, that he once told her that he thinks she may be right about substantial error causing the resignation to be invalid. If you do not know who Ferrara is, there is a long Wikipedia article about him, which I presume is mostly accurate, because otherwise Attorney Ferrara would have rectified that.

But what Mr. Ferrara says is such a cartload of natural fertilizer, that I have to respond and put the man in his place. — I admit though, that as regards the man, I am reluctant, because I have been edified by many a thing he has written over the last 3 decades.

Moreover, I will leave aside the argument over the fact of whether he said what she quoted him to say. My experience, inclines me to believe Ann, because she has been a truth teller from the beginging. As for Chris, he is an attorney I think.

In a note to Canon212, Ferrara responds to Ann:

I don’t know who “Chris Ferrera” is, but I, Chris Ferrara, never said anything of the kind.  If I said anything it would be something like “You can certainly make that argument, but we have no competence to judge the matter.”  As I said on Taylor Marshall’s show, a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid, but that is a matter for the Church, not any Tom, Dick or Ann to determine.

Furthermore, the only time I have ever spoken face-to-face with Ann Barnhardt, at least that I can remember, was at Lake Garda, and the entire conversation involved my objection to her claim that the “data set” shows Bergoglio is not the Pope.  We have no competence to assemble “data sets” and declare that the Chair of Peter is vacant.

First, the mention of a typographical error is quite inappropriate, because Mrs. Barnhardt gave her testimony on a Podcast, verbally, here. And, being an Italian, I know that non Italians easily mis-spell or mis-pronounce Italian surnames. You have to get over that in your youth, if you grew up in the United States of America, because it would not be polite to keep harping on it.

So I will respond to what Christ Ferrara does say in his statement to Canon212.com.

If I said anything it would be something like “You can certainly make that argument, but we have no competence to judge the matter.”

Chris may be a fine Attorney of U.S. Law, but he shows here that he has never read Canon 41, or at least, never under stood it. So, he is patently wrong in what he says, here, when he say, we have no competence to judge the matter.

If you listened to Barnhardt’s podcast to understand the context of her testimony, it was in regard to whether there was substantial error in the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI. It did not regard the legitimacy of the event, called a Conclave, in 2013, out of which poped Jorge the wrecker. — So I will presume Chris is an accurate and intelligent man, who went to the source, listened to the podcast, and then responded to the matter: which is the Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013.

And thus, reading Ferrara’s comment, I say he is dead wrong. Because in Canon 41, everyone with a merely executive ministerium in the Church, upon receiving the administrative act of his superior — the Pope is the immediate superior of us all — has the right, not just the competence, to refuse an act which is juridically nullus, and the right to have recourse to the superior before executing the act, if the act appears to be inopportune, that is include matters which if executed would harm the rights of others or disturb the common good or order of the Church.

So Chris, that is strike one. If you are going to publicly disavow something, disavow it, but if you add a legal reasoning, and you have not checked the law first, you make your disavowal look dubious, because as a lawyer you should not speak unless you first read the law. A lot of Catholics, therefore, especially women, who tend by nature to have excellent auditory memories for when men say shocking or insulting things, are going to conclude that Ann has a better memory than you.

Next,

As I said on Taylor Marshall’s show, a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid, but that is a matter for the Church, not any Tom, Dick or Ann to determine.

I am not impressed by the reference to Marshall. Marshal went so far into absurdity that he said that ministerium and munus name the same thing, and that therefore the Renunciation was valid. Marshall pontificated. He did not even read the law, he could not have, because it never says such a thing. He could not have been answering as a Catholic, because Catholics know that you found what you say on the teaching of the Church, not on your own magisterium. So, Ferrara is in bad company.

Ferrara is also way off in left field. Because Barnhardt’s podcast was not about the Conclave. Strike two, for Ferrara getting his facts right.

As a matter of law, Canon 359 says a conclave is invalid if it is called during the lifetime of the reigning pontiff. It should be obvious to anyone who is sane — I exclude gaslighting apologists — that you do not need a Council to determine if the Pope is still alive, or if he is dead. And the Church does not teach in Canon 332 §2, that you need a council to make a determination. As a matter of law, it expressly denies that in its final clause.

That means, you can only know if a Pope has resigned from objective reality, the facts of the statement, witnessed duly. And how do we know if the statement is of the right genus and species so that it be recognized as a papal renunciation?  Once again, because the law declares that, when in the same canon it says, If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus … .

Did Benedict renounce his munus? No. He said, I declare that I renounce the ministry which was confided to me through the hands of the Cardinals…

Oops. That means he did not resign. AND no one has the right to say otherwise, because to say otherwise you have to make what Benedict said mean something other than the words which he said. And you need the authority to do that. And Chris, you do not have that authority! So that means that Canon 359 was violated in March 2013 by the convening of a Conclave in the lifetime of a pope who had not resigned and was still alive — two objective facts of the real world which do not need a Council or any authority to verify, as they are visible to the naked eyes of all, who have eyes to see.

I will call this one as a foul ball, for mercy sake.

Next,

and the entire conversation involved my objection to her claim that the “data set” shows Bergoglio is not the Pope.  We have no competence to assemble “data sets” and declare that the Chair of Peter is vacant.

Here, I, in charity, have to assume that Chris, being Italian, has got himself into a fluster and simply exaggerated. Because obviously, if I have a “data set” — do we really have to gaslight at this point and stop using the words, “facts” or “evidence”? — that tells me the Pope is dead: namely I see his funeral on EWTN broadcast live from the Vatican; then I think I can conclude that the see is vacant, and that I have the right to conclude the see is vacant.

I must presume he exaggerated, or otherwise I might start connecting the dots in his entire statement and conclude that he has a problem with admitting reality as a basis for evidence in a legal proceeding. But he is a lawyer, and a lawyer would never do such a thing!

____________

CREDITS:  The Featured Image is of Lago di Garda, the shores of which are the annual destination of traditional Catholic conferences. This photo is used according to Creative Commons License 3.0, and more information about its author can be found here.

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10 thoughts on “Where Chris Ferrara goes bonkers”

  1. You can look at the problem from two perspectives:

    1. The reasons why you think, Benedict did not resign in a canonically valid way.

    2. The reasons why people like Chris Ferrara think, Benedict’s act was more than a mere delegation of authority.

    In both cases you may happen to use the same arguments. The evaluation of those arguments may differ however. Furthermore the pressure to justify one’s position does not rest on just one side anymore.

    Like

    1. UJ,

      Yet your observation fails on an important point of law. Those who hold that the Declaratio did not constitute a juridical act of renunciation of the papacy, need no reason, because the act does not contain the juridical act specified in Canon 332 §2.

      As for n. 2, I do not know if that is Ferrara’s position. If anyone has such a position, it is not founded upon the law, because a delegation of authority does not have the form of the kind found in the Declaratio.

      Remember, the legal principle here is “the cessation of power or right is never presumed”. Christ and those of his party are presuming, that, a a lot more.

      Like

  2. Would Ferrara also think that Our Lord’s submission to the Sanhedrin and the Temple rulers in the Garden mean Christ gave up His sovereign divine Kingship?

    AND, that no one would have any authority to judge that He didn’t, at least until the Resurrection proved that He hadn’t?

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  3. Early on in the discussions about the Papal resignation, I heard /saw Chris Ferara, in an Italian flutter say, “…if he did not resign the munus, then he did not resign, and Benedict is still the Pope!” This was on the computer and not in person.

    Recently on the Taylor Marshall show I heard Ferara say that there was a theologian in the later 1900’s,( 1970’s, I think) who said the papacy could be shared in times of emergency but that Archbishop Ganswein has never claimed that. From a Catholic website, after Ferara’s early discussion of the Papal resignation ( mentioned above) I read that Gainswein was saying exactly that…that is that Pope Benedict was following a theologian who said that the Papacy could be shared in times of emergency and that there are two Popes.

    Liked by 1 person

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