Category Archives: Debates

A Reply to Father Brian Harrison’s, Is Benedict Still the Pope?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the Summer Issue of the Latin Mass Magazine, 2020,  there has appeared an article by Father Brian Harrison, on pp. 12-19, with 21 footnotes, entitled, “Is Benedict Still the Pope”.

Since I was named in the article and insulted, I will reply to the entire argument. I was not notified of the publication by either the editor of the magazine or the author of the article. A reader informed me.

For a summary of my reply, see the end of this article. I have decided to make no preliminary comments, because I want you to use your reason, not my opinions, to evaluate my criticism of what Father Harrison says.

First, I will thank Father Harrison for attempting to defend his position with words. He holds that Benedict is certainly no longer the pope. By expressing his thoughts in words the entire Church is given the opportunity to assess the value of his argument. This is so unlike 100% of the College of Cardinals and 99.99% of the Bishops and 99.999% of the priests.

I invite you to obtain a copy of the magazine and read his article so you can avail yourself of this rare opportunity to, as it were, look into the mind of a priest who names Pope Francis daily in the Canon of the Mass.

I will only outline the argument and comment, here, as my reply.

Second, I thank the editor of the Latin Mass Magazine for admitting the controversy exists. This controversy became heated in November 2018. So to discuss it in his magazine nearly 20 months later, is the very least a sign that the controversy has not gone away. This is so unlike 99% of all Catholic publications, which have neither the courage nor integrity to confront the issue.

However, since those who say Benedict XVI is no longer the pope have had 20 months to put their arguments together, every reader of Father Harrison’s article should expect the best of all arguments.

So here is my running commentary on the argument presented in his article.

Resignationists, p. 12

At the beginning of his article, Father Harrison explains that he will slur all his opponents with a name: resignationists.  This is really not necessary, and quite uncharitable. For as Aristotle says, when a man fails to have a rational argument for his position he begins with insults (ad hominem arguments). And to do that at the beginning of your article sends the wrong message.

But in his haste to insult his opponents, he has made a logical error. Because it is he who holds that Benedict has resigned, and his opponents who hold that he has not resigned. This oversight, at the very beginning, makes us wonder whether Father Harrison wrote this article in a calm thoughtful state of mind, without excessive anger or passion.

Frame the Discussion, p. 12

The first honest way to enter a debate is not to open by saying that those who disagree with you are psychologically of doubtful sanity or suffer from psychosis (inability to accept reality). But that is what Father Harrison does, by saying that the thesis of his opponents hold an opinion which disagrees with 5000 less 2 Bishops and 100% of the Cardinals. Therefore, he argues you should dismiss it on grounds that the world considers it improbable.

This is not the proper way to argue. Since truth is not determined by a vote, the truth can be that which the majority might disagree with. But also, Father is arguing ex silentio. Because clearly 99% of the Church has never examined the evidence for or against the validity of the Papal resignation. So that they hold any opinion is not evidence of anything other than that the hearsay is that the Pope has resigned and that the vast majority did not think to question the hearsay. That proves nothing about the truth, it only makes an observation about the power of the mass media and political networks to convince the masses that something is true, whether it be true or not. I think we can all admit that the Media has this power, as we have just come out of a lock down for a winter flu!

Moreover, just as we would not build a sound argument as to whether the world is flat or a globe, based on the opinion of 99% of the population, because in one age, that was thought to be the truth, which in another age was thought to be false, so in all other things, we do not judge what is true based on opinions of those who do not know, but guess.

Father Harrison by opening his article with such an argument is saying that those who have never investigated and who cannot know the facts, because of their failure to investigate, should be taken, before we investigate, as the presumptive possessors of the truth.  That is simply absurd, as it is the principle of thought in highly ignorant and primitive pre-scientific societies.

If Father really believes in such a principle, it is a wonder what he believes about many other affairs in which 99% have not the expertise to know the facts, laws or scientific principles which regard it.

When one argues, one should begin with the strongest of arguments. And so we must assume that Father Harrison has done exactly that, and move on to his other arguments.

But Benedict is not ignorant, pp. 12-13

Next Father Harrison argues, that since Benedict is not ignorant, then what he intended or did is what I think he intended or did, because otherwise what he intended or did would be stupid or erroneous.

That is a good argument to use while you are shaving in the bathroom all alone, but I assure you it does not convince anyone outside your bathroom.

What is necessary for a pope to renounce his office (munus)?, p. 13

Next Father Harrison opens by framing the question thus. And he shows that he does not even know Latin, by calling the office by the Latin word munus. I admit that if one has been reading the Code of Canon Law according to the English translation widely found on the internet, this can happen. I committed the same blunder in my Scholastic Question. But munus does not mean office, as any dictionary of the Latin language will tell you.  And though in Canon 145 §1 it says that every officium is a munus, according to the rules of logic, that does not mean that the word munus translates as office. Just as if you said, that “Every dog is a living animal”, it does not mean that in the sentence, “Homo est animal vivens” you can replace animal vivens with dog. (For those who do not read Latin, that Latin sentence says, “A man is a living animal”).

But rather than discuss here what the word munus means, he launches into the second half of Canon 332 §2 and puts off the crucial argument to the end. Which is a really bad way to argue, since your first arguments will have no foundation in fact or law if you have not yet admitted what you hold about the nature of the act which the canon requires. Even Our Lord told us what will happen with those who build on sand, so I do not have to repeat His teaching.

Did Pope Benedict XVI resign freely?, p. 13

The first argument should be whether Pope Benedict resigned, and then having proven that, whether he did so freely and with due manifestation. That would be to argue logically and according to the order of words in Canon 332 §2.

But Father Harrison does not do that. He begins with the debate over liberty. His argument is basically, that those who say the renunciation was not free are presuming, as there is no conclusive evidence. I am surprised at this point that Father Harrison wants to look at evidence, since he told us at the beginning of his article that we must presume that that what 99% of everyone who have not investigated hold a thing to be, is what we should presume a thing to be. Why should we investigate whether the act is free or not? if we are to begin with such presumptions? He does not say.

As for what criterion must be met to establish a canonical act to be free, Father Harrison does not cite any canonical principal. He also does not distinguish between the freedom to do one thing and the freedom to do another. That Pope Benedict XVI says in his Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013 that he freely declares does not mean that he was free to do that which I think he meant, when I close my eyes to what words he actually said. That would be to transfer his claim of liberty in what he said, to my claim of what he meant by what he said. And that is simply incorrect. Nor does it mean that if he freely declares, that which he declared he did freely, just as if a man says, “I freely declare that I will vote for Trump,” does not mean that he will vote for Trump or has voted for Trump.

I would like to see a canonical reference to what constitutes liberty in a canonical act. I think as of yet this is one of the great weaknesses in the discussion.

For transparency, I admit that I presume an act to be free, unless its author says otherwise at any time. But I only hold to be free the act which he specified, not any acts which I believe he may have or might have wanted to posit.  I think in the presence of a lack of further information this is the only sound position.

Father Harrison closes this section by appealing to the principle that those who assert the act was not free are the ones who need to prove their assertion.  This is a good principle of argumentation, and I recommend that Father Harrison think to apply it to his own argument. Because, as it is he who says that Benedict is not the pope, when he in fact agrees with the whole Catholic world that Benedict was validly elected as the Pope, it is the duty of Father Harrison TO PROVE CONCLUSIVELY that Benedict XVI is NO LONGER the pope, before we accept anything he says. He has not done this, so you can judge the solidity of his arguments on that forensic basis.

Did Pope Benedict XVI duly manifest what he did?, pp. 13-14.

Father Harrison also holds that the act was duly manifested. He seems to not know what the canonical term, rite, means, as he makes no reference to the law. But in substance he argues as if it means what it does mean, namely, that the Pope make his act known in the presence of at least two Bishops, and does so most properly before the body which elected him, the Cardinals. I agree that this was done, but it is immaterial if you do not address WHAT the pope did, because, if a pope rite manifests that he declares the Moon made of cheese, you cannot rightly judge the canonical value of his act without considering whether the Moon is really made of cheese or not, and whether the Pope has the authority to make such a declaration or not. This is obvious. A child can see it.

Did Pope Benedict XVI renounce that which he had to renounce?, p. 14

Father Harrison frames the core question within the context of a due manifestation. This is not precise, but adequate for purposes of debate.

He opens his argument by saying that munus and ministerium mean basically the same thing, as all dictionaries of Ecclesiastical Latin show. I do not know which dictionaries he uses, so I cannot judge his statement. I know how to use Latin Dictionaries, as I have translated more than 9000 pages of medieval Latin. In my opinion his appeal to dictionaries is a bad argument, even if dictionaries were uniform — which they are not — since dictionaries are uniformly inaccurate and full of errors. Only one who really uses many dictionaries and who has precisely studied the Latin of one epoch knows how to avoid such errors and how many errors there are. Moreover, even if a dictionary has among the many meanings of a word, the same meaning as those meanings which are found under the heading of another Latin word, THAT DOES NOT MEAN that in any given sentence or writing, in which both words appear, that the author intended to use them in the same sense. This should be obvious. Otherwise, every author talking about how his dog got upset and bit the surface of a tree, would not be able to be understood as to what he was referring with the word, “bark”.  If Father Harrison really wants us to believe and accept his principle for verbal interpretations, I think he is joking with us.

But more importantly, Father Harrison seems to be entirely ignorant of Canon 17, which is discussed frequently in this debate. Because in Canon 17 it does not cite dictionaries as a source to be used to understand the meaning of any term in Canon Law. Father Harrison must know of canon 17, as everything I write refers to it frequently. As he will next directly name me in his article, he cannot  be ignorant of it. Therefore his omission of reference to this Canon should be understood as a BIG SIGN that he knows his argumentation would fail if he opened that can of worms, as we say.

It was Benedict’s indisputable intention, p. 14

After accusing Catholics of presuming that Benedict did not have the intention to resign, without evidence, Father Harrison opens his argument about munus and ministerium by asserting as a principle, that Benedict indisputably intended to use both words synonymously. But though he asserts this and repeats it, he gives no proof.

As a translator, I know that is the wrong way to approach any text. First, you see how the words are used, and second you argue from what is clear. But you certainly never say that when an author uses different words, that it is certain he intended to mean the same thing. Such a principle is not even rational, and it is certainly not one which comes from a mind which seeks to precisely know the causes of every variation in a text. What more can I say, than that it is a weak argument, because once again, Father Harrison wants us to take him as the authority on what Benedict intended, even though he has argued well that those who make assertions must prove them, and as we will see in the following, he never proves this assertion, he just keeps referring to it. Thus, he argues as if the rule of proof does not apply to himself, only to his opponents. And that is a very bad way to argue, because it makes you appear intellectually conceited.

Furthermore, his argument is bad forensics. For it is like the argument, “If you keep your eyes closed you will see that there is no evidence in this room of a murder”. For, Father Harrison first wants to convince us not to look at the evidence by running at us with an argument which takes him as the authority that there is no evidence to see.

The Pope meant munus when he said ministerium because…, pp. 14-15.

Beside repeating that self-referential principle, Father Harrison advances an old argument, which I summarize thus: Since what Pope Benedict XVI says in his Declaratio, contains words which follow the renunciation of ministerium, which only would in fact have effect IF he renounced munus, then we must read ministerium as if it were munus.

This is one of the strongest arguments that can be mustered for the validity of the renunciation. I say, strongest, because it seems strong to those who do not think about it. It was the very hermenutic that I held for 5 years, when I did not think about it.

But if we use comparisons, we can see that it is not an argument at all. And this is the proper way to begin to think about it.

Here are some examples of what humans can say and whether this principle of interpreting words which are prior in a sentence by words which follow in a sentence is a valid way of reading a sentence. Take these 3 examples:

I went to the mechanic to fetch my car after its repairs, so that my wife would not invite me to play bridge with her friends.

I went to do my weekly shopping at the supermarket, so that I would not miss out on my haircut.

I am going to renounce eating bananas, so that the see of Peter becomes vacant.

In the first sentence, we see that what follows in the second half of the sentence refers to a condition which the speaker wanted to avoid, but it does not explain why his car needed repairs, only his cause for doing a necessary thing at that moment. If one argued that the game of bridge caused the meaning of the first half of the sentence, and not merely indicated an occasion which the speaker wanted to evade, you would end up concluding that the car needing repairs had something more to do with the game of cards, which is patently absurd.

In the second sentence, we see that there is something which the speaker leaves unexplained. And we the readers are left to conjecture as to why the speaker has put both thoughts together. We might postulate that the barbershop is near the supermarket or along the way to or from it, but that would be pure supposition. We are left not knowing the intention of the speaker and it would be clear that we could not really know it without asking him. If we assume anything, it is clear that we are adding data which is not contained in the statement, and by doing so might end up with a totally unfounded conclusion, based on our erroneous supposition and interpretation.

In the third sentence, we are confronted with something which is inexplicable, because we recognize that there is no rational cause why renouncing bananas has to do with vacating the Apostolic See. If we assume that which follows in the second half of the sentence requires that the word, bananas, means the papal office, then we are clearly being irrational and unjust in our interpretation. And if anyone tried this, he surely would be laughed at.

But Father Harrison commits this same blunder. If his key argument that what Benedict intended to do requires us to read ministerium as munus, then he must be honest to admit that that is his interpretation, and that if there be no rational reason why a renouncing of service leads to a renunciation of office, then his argument is unjust and irrational itself, and thus should be laughed at.

Father Harrison does not address the relationship between ministerium and munus, where he admits such words might mean two different things. But if he needs help, he only needs to examine the facts of history throughout the whole world in recent months.

For the Bishops of the world renounced their priestly ministry to the faithful during the lockdown.  Thus if a renunciation of ministry leads causally and necessarily to the renunciation of munus, then the Bishops are no longer our superiors.  Does Father Harrison actually believe that? And if he does NOT, why does he think such an argument is valid to kick Benedict out, but not kick out his own Bishop?

Footnote 10, p. 14

But as Father Harrison cites my Scholastic Question in footnote 10, of this his argument, I will respond to his objection there. He says that since Benedict uses ita ut, not simply ut, my objection regarding ut, does not apply. He seems to think that ita ut and ut are two different phrases in Latin, generically different, that is, of two different genera. He has evidently never studied Latin grammar, since ut is a conjunction and ita is an adverb, and thus, the phrase ita ut is a species of an ut clause.  What I have said, that an ut phrase indicates a goal but does not necessarily achieve that goal is in no way undone by Father Harrison’s gratuitous assertion that ita ut does introduce a clause which alters the meaning of the main sentence, because if you do that which Father Harrison is fond of — use a Latin dictionary — you will see that “ita” when used as an adverbial particle means “so much”. So Father is saying that in the sentence,

I declare that I renounce bananas so much that (ita ut) the see of St. Peter will be vacant.

the use of ita ut produces the vacancy of the See. If that is his argument, I think all humanity would disagree.

Actually, however, having read 9000 pages of Latin and written a Latin Grammar, I can tell you that ita ut can only be translated as “so much that,” when that which precedes is capable of quantification.

Such as in the sentence:

I walked so much that I began to feel very tired.

And since no amount of renouncing service causes the loss of an office, since these two things are not quantitative measures of one another — service being exercise, and office being that which is exercised — you cannot read ita ut as “so much that,”  if you still want us to consider you a rational being, arguing in good faith.

But Father Harrison ignores this glaring inconsistency, and moves on and says…

A Certain Br. Alexis  Bugnolo, p. 15

Well, I thank Father Harrison for naming me, even if he does so as if I were a certain species to be on guard against. In English it is a denigration to put “certain” in front of a persons name. But since he also prefaces this by calling me a resignationist, I will suppose that 2 insults to introduce me is a psychological way to warn those readers who want to be mind controlled by Father Harrison, that I am a dangerous individual and that all should accept what Father Harrison says of me, and not consider or investigate further!

I am reminded of certain thought control institutions of the Soviet Union — but I digress.

Here are Father’s actual words:

The resignationist who insists most emphatically, and in the most detail, that regardless of the Pope’s own intentions, formally renouncing the ministerium, but not the munus, will not leave Peter’s See vacant, is a certain Brother Alexis Bugnolo. So what is his proof that ministerium can never be used canonically as a synonym for munus? He tells us: “This can be seen from its use in the Headings of the New Code for canon 145 §1, where every ecclesiastical office is called a munus, not a ministerium.”11 Well, that is true of c. 145, but throughout the subsequent 51 canons in this section,12 “every ecclesiastical office” is called an officium not a munus.

Here, I have to laugh. Because Father Harrison counters my assertion which regards the predication of officium with munus, with the assertion that the English translation has office for the Latin word munus. Does he think that is an argument?

I am talking about the Latin text, and he is talking about the relationship between the English and Latin texts. That does not disprove what I say. To disprove what I say, you would have to find in those next 51 canons a Latin sentence which connects the noun ministerium with officium, or vice versa, with the Latin verb esse, to be.  Because that is what predication is, the connection of two nouns with the verb to be. And since every definition is founded upon a predication, if you cannot find such a sentence, your argument that the two words mean the same thing HAS ABSOLUTELY NO FOUNDATION IN THE TEXT NOR IN LOGIC.

But perhaps Father really does not understand things of this kind. I wonder if he has ever read a treatise on Logic or on Grammar. He does cite my Scholastic Question, so he has read something about both.

Next after making several sweeping assertions without any proof, he accuses me of his own sin, saying that I make a sweeping assertion regarding the whole of Canon Law on the meaning of munus and ministerium. While it is true I make such an assertion in my Scholastic Question, that the assertion is global, and affirmative does not make it unfounded, since I had already studied the Code before making it, and since at the academic conference in October 2019, here at Rome, I demonstrated it textually and conclusively.  But perhaps Father Harrison did not know that. (see here:  I therefore make a quite founded assertion. And if anyone reads that study he will see that ministerium never means munus in the Code of Canon law of 1983, and that canon 17 requires us to accept that as the teaching of the Magisterium on this debate.

Father Harrison attempts to refute that conclusion by saying that Canon Law does exactly what I say it never does. He quotes Book III, title 2 of the Code, but cites no canon. As I can find no canon there which says a ministerium is a munus, I do not know how to respond to Father Harrison’s implicit assertion that I am ignorant or a liar. His accusation is grave, and he should have cited his proof. What Father Harrison is arguing, is that since this section begins with the Title, De divini verbi ministerio, that all the occurrences of munus in this section are to be read as ministerium.

As I said before, a definition is founded upon a predication, which is a sentence in which two nouns are conjoined by the verb, to be, in one of its forms, in the present tense.

What Father Harrison has done is created a new unheard of definition of a definition. According to him, if a noun appears in a title of any text, any word in that text which he says means the same thing as the noun, means the same thing as that noun. This means, in the world of Father Harrison, everyone who has ever written a dictionary, will now have to appeal to his infallible authority to determine which nouns mean the same thing as the nouns in the titles of every text. Father has a a lot of work a head of him, and I wish him a long life to fulfill it.  But as for the reason of us who know that his argument is grasping for straw, we can see that such a rule of interpretation is simply a gratuitous assertion posing as infallible principle, to do that which no human has ever done in history.

The common sense way to read a text defies Father Harrison. Because, titles tell us the general topic of the text which follows, and in that text there can be many names and nouns for things related to the topic, not all of them are or have to be the definitions of the nouns in the title. To prove this, pick up any book and read the Title and then open it.

Father follows up this argument, by saying that the ministries of lector an acolyte are offices. I think he is thinking of the Code of 1917, in which both are minor orders. The offices of acolyte and lector were abolished in the new Code. They are now only ministries, which is why a woman can fulfill the duties of each, under certain circumstances. So his argument that the fulfillment of their duty is called ministeria in the Code does not mean that the Code holds them to be munera by definition. Father is also ignoring the meaning of words — he has been doing this the entire time —  since every munus has a ministerium, we should expect that when the Code speaks of the ministry of the clergy to preach, that it will first refer to their munus of teaching. So his argument proves nothing at all. Nay, since as I said, that every office is a munus, does not prove that every munus is an office. So even if there are liturgical munera which are exercises as ministeria, that does not prove they are the same thing, because the title to authority which is an office is not the work done to fulfill the duty of that office, as every sane person can see. As I explained in my 7 part documentary (see here), munus is used to describe liturgical duties in the presence of a priest because the priest has a munus sanctificandi and he coopts minor orders to assist him in this duty at Mass; therefore, the munera being exercised are not theirs, but his. That is why they exercise a ministry properly speaking and can even do so stably, but properly speaking have no munus. This is not difficult to understand.

His clear and correctly expressed intention, p. 15

Father Harrison then moves on to a discussion of substantial error in the act of resignation. His  basic argument is that the Pope is not stupid, and I hold that he was stupid if he did anything other than validly resign the papal office, therefore he did validly resign. — This is another of those arguments that might come to you while shaving, but I recommend you leave it in the bathroom.

But more importantly, Father has misrepresented Canon 332, which in no part of it speaks of the necessity of having the proper intention as a condition of validity or as the definition of the essence of the act. This is because Canon Law regards things in the external forum. What the pope intended cannot be a source of the validity of the act, because, since what he intended is secret and known to God alone, no act of resignation could ever be certain if right intention was required as a cause of its validity. Also, intentions when judged by others are often misjudged. Thus Father Harrison is taking a criterion upon which he asserts his infallible authority to judge to close off consideration of the fact that a juridical act must be judged by external evidence alone, or else no certitude can be had about what it does or does not mean.

Here we arrive at a fundamental point: that a papal resignation is invalid does not mean any grave fault upon anyone, per se. It can simply be an error in the Latin. However, the Code of Canon Law which Pope John Paul II published and which remains the law of the Church which alone judges the act of the man who is the pope, requires that the man who is the pope objectively signify that which the code requires him to signify in a papal renunciation. Lacking munus or any other word which canonically necessarily means munus, means the act is defective. What is the problem with such an approach? You would only argue against that if you benefit in some way from the error.

In the next 2 and one half pages, Father Harrison rails against those who argue that Benedict has acted for 7 years as one who has retained something of the papal authority. His position is that since there can be Bishops emeriti, there can be Popes emeriti. But as there is nothing in Canon law about a pope emeritus, here again, we must have recourse to Father Harrison’s infallible ability to interpret everything and conclude that he is completely unquestionable in his argument (I am being sarcastic). The most eminent canonists of Rome have argued from the first week of March, 2013, that there is no such status as a pope emeritus and that Benedict must stop wearing white, calling himself, the Pope, signing with his Papal Name, and the P.P., and giving Papal blessings. So evidently there are some who think differently than Father Harrison on this point.

In Summary

Father Brian Harrison has presented us with the argument of a priest, who names Pope Francis in the canon of the Mass, and who has developed a long litany of excuses for his own behavior. The principles of his argument are self contradictory, illogical, irrational, and in many cases involve principles of interpretation which he has invented for this argument. He has employed every tactic of the nominalist to prove his case, resorting to the most sordid forms of argumentation and logic. In such wise, he has given everyone who does not want to find the truth reasons not to think.

But, thankfully, in doing so, he has give all rational men a strong motive to doubt that anyone at all who holds that Pope Francis is the Pope, after investigating the evidence of history and the requirements of the law, is truly honest or rational.

Contrariwise, he has negatively proven that LOGIC, REASON, GRAMMAR, AND LAW ALL TESTIFY THAT BENEDICT IS THE POPE! Since to argue his case, he chose to attack all four of these. All Catholics therefore who understand that our Faith requires us to accept logic, reason, grammar and Church Law, thus can conclude that Father Harrison’s argument comes from the ancient serpent who wishes us to destroy our minds, our speech and live lawlessly. And that is the spirit of the man of Sin, whose time is rapidly approaching.

I therefore conclude, that Benedict XVI is the pope, since he remains such unless it can be proven he is no longer such. That is my duty as a Catholic. And I invite you to be dutiful Catholics.

Viva Papa Benedetto!

Watch my 7 part documentary proving that Benedict XVI is still the pope, which I published at Easter this year, at >

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Cionci replica all’Avvenire

di Andrea Cionci

Egregio  Direttore Tarquinio,noto  con dispiacere che, di fronte al mio recente articolo su Libero, pur argomentato e circostanziato, circa la rinuncia di papa Benedetto ( in cui esponevo da un lato degli incontestabili dati di fatto, dall’altro le interessanti e coraggiose posizioni del latinista Frà Alexis Bugnolo, il Vostro collega Gianni Gennari mi ha oggi sostanzialmente – e cristianamente – dato dell’imbecille, guardandosi bene dal cercare di capire la questione e dimostrandosi incapace di ribattere con argomentazioni a tono. Un boomerang, direi, per Avvenire e, purtroppo, di riflesso, anche per l’Istituzione che rappresenta. Un errore comunicativo da matita blu, se mi permetti: i Vostri lettori potrebbero, infatti, incuriosirsi. Magari vanno a leggere Libero, vedono che quanto riportato è esposto in un chiaro italiano, con fatti oggettivi e argomentazioni – che si possono discutere, ma che hanno una loro coerenza – e poi tornano a leggere i “sorrisi di sufficienza” del Vostro collega.Vista così, sembra la conferma della solita strategia difensiva di chi non ha argomenti, né reale e sincero interesse per la verità: delegittimazione dell’interlocutore, derisione “snob” e insulto personale, accuratamente evitando di affrontare il merito del discorso. Un modo di fare “vecchio” e ormai riconoscibilissimo che, temo, non porterà a risultati produttivi.Da parte mia, piena disponibilità a collaborare con Voi, per discutere insieme argomentazioni logiche alternative a quelle di frà Bugnolo, il quale è ben disposto, da parte sua, a pubblicare una replica sul Vostro giornale, nell’interesse esclusivo dei lettori e della ricerca della verità. Saremmo tutti rassicurati se la realtà fosse diversa da quella, agghiacciante, prospettata da frà Bugnolo.Saluti cordiali, anche al collega Gennari.

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The Church of Rome was founded by the Lord Alone

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Catholic Faith does not come from laymen talking about opinions on YouTube. It comes from Jesus Christ, through the Apostles in Apostolic Tradition down throught the ages.

Recently a discussion has begun in the English speaking world as to whether a Roman Pontiff, in his capacity as Successor of Saint Peter, can separate the Office of Peter from the Church of Rome, such that the Bishop of Rome not be the Sucessor of Saint Peter.

The core of the argument is that the Petrine Office is distinct from the Church of Rome, the two being two distinct and separate realities which are only connected by history.

Dr. Taylor Marshal has listed the historical positions, which I think he has divided badly. So here I will divide them according to all possibilitites:

  1. That the two are united by Divine right, that is by the will of God.
  2. That the two are united by Apostolic Tradition.
  3. That the two are united by merely eccleiastical tradition.
  4. That the two are united by merely human tradition.

However, if you stop and think befor jumping into this debate, you will ask yourself the more important questions:

  1. What is the Petrine Office?
  2. What is the Roman Church?

The Petrine Office is by Divine Right, that is, it has its cause in an act of the Divine Will. This is de fide, and is taught at Vatican I. This office is a title to power, authority and jurisdiction which flows from Christ’s Mandate to Simon Bar John, saying: Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I shall build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail over Her.

But if you are a carefuly listener to Jesus Christ, then you just saw the answer to the second question:  What is the Roman Church?

Saint Gregory VII in his Dictatus Papae explicates what Christ said, as I reported the other day the very first thesis:

I. Quod Romana ecclesia a solo Domino sit fundata. I. That the Roman Church has been founded by the Lord alone.

For according to the words of Jesus Christ, HIS CHURCH is the entity founded upon Peter. From this it follows that when the Church was founded on Pentecost Day, the Church which was one and encompassed the entire world by Divine right and jurisdiction, was placed under the care of the Primacy of Saint Peter.

Following Pentecost Day in diverse places by the decision of St. Peter and the Apostles there was detatched from that one jurisdiction of the Church over which Peter ruled diverse local Churches, such as Jerusalem and Antioch which hold local circumscribed and limited jurisdictions.

What does this mean then for the Church of Rome?

Since, the Church of Rome was NEVER detached from the jurisdiction of Saint Peter, and therefore represents the original Church it all Her fullness, grace, authority and power, it follows that the Church of Rome was founded by Jesus Christ alone, as St. Gregory VII teaches. This is confirmed by the unbroken tradition whereby the Church of Rome claims to be founded by St. Peter and to have never had anyone but Saint Peter as its Bishop as its first Bishop.

Therefore, when we approach the question of whether the Petrine Primacy can be separated from the Church of Rome, we must affirm that it cannot be separated for three reasons:

  1. It is by Divine Right that the Office of St. Peter is joined to the Catholic Church, which Church is the Roman Church by nature.
  2. It is by Divine Ordinance that the Office of St. Peter is joined to the Roman Church, inasmuch as the Lord Jesus gave Saint Peter the authority to join his Office to any particular local Church.
  3. It is by Apostolic Right tha the Office of St Peter is joined to the Roman Church, inasmuch as the Apostle Peter freely decided to join his Office to the Roman Church by chosing to die there.

Therefore, it one says that the Office of St. Peter be said to be able to be separated from the Church of Rome he would be denying 3 divinely revealed truths:

  1. That the office of St. Peter was established by Jesus Christ as inseparable from the Catholic Church.
  2. That Jesus Christ gave the Apostles the authority to establish local Churches anywhere in the world.
  3. That Jesus Christ established the Apostles in such authority that their decisions would be upheld by Him forever.

As I showed in my previous post on this, it can be clearly demonstrated from the teaching of Vatican I that it is heretical to say that they can be seperated. The assertion of any theologian to the contray is simply the expression of the error of historicism. Because the infallible teaching of an Ecumenical Council means what it means, even if theologians during or after hold that it means something else.

Historically, it is also a great error to say that an opinion about this matter before Vatican I is licit, when the teaching of Vatican I now demonstrate that it cannot be held. If we used the same error, we could deny the Immaculate Conception defined in 1854 just becuase Saint Thomas Aquinas c. 1265 A. D., disagreed with it.

Therefore, as I said before, it is clearly heretical — that is in its implications — to say that the Church of Rome or the Office of the Bishop of Rome can be separated from the Office of St.. Peter.

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That it is heresy to say that the Papal Primacy can be separated from the Bishopric of Rome

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Heresy is a denial of revealed truth.

So, the title of this article, since it runs contrary to opinions cited by Dr. Mazza in his recent discussions with Dr. Taylor Marshall and Anne Barnhardt/Mark Docherty, I will lay it out in simple form, without a discussion, to allow you to look directly at the argument in strict logical form.

  1. Heresy is a denial of revealed truth.
  2. Revealed truth contains Scripture and Tradition. (Cf. Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2, cited here below)
  3. Tradition contains Divine and Apostolic Tradition. (cf. Vatican I, profession of Faith, n. 2, cited here below)
  4. Apostolic Tradition contains both the teaching and the judgements of the Apostles, written and unwritten (Cf. Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2, cited here below. Cf. also Mt. 19:28, where the judgements of the Apostles are declared by God Himself to be authoritative over the whole Church. This declaration is a divine ordinance.)
  5. The Roman Pontiff is servant of the Deposit of the Faith, not its lord. (Cf. Vatican I, Session 4, chapter 4, n. 6, here below)
    1. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.
    2. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to Divine or Apostolic Tradition.
    3. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to Apostolic Tradition.
  6. Therefore, the Roman Pontiff cannot legitimately act or teach contrary to the judgements of the Apostles.
  7. It was a judgement of Saint Peter to die at Rome and entrust his office to the Church of Rome. (Cf. here below, Vatican I, Session 4, in chapter 3, n. 2, where the unity of the Primacy and the Church of Rome is called by divine ordinance, which is a technical term for the Divine Approval of the judgements of the Apostles, who were chosen by the Lord and appointed to their offices and empowered to found the Church)
  8. Therefore, the Successors of Saint Peter cannot legitimately separate the Papal Primacy from the Roman See.
  9. Therefore, those who say that the Successor of Saint Peter can legitimately separate the Papal Primacy from the Roman See speak heresy.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

See my responses to questions posed, in the comment section here below.

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I cite Vatican I, from this source:

Vatican I, Profession of Faith, sworn by all the Council Fathers:

Apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all other observances and constitutions of that same church I most firmly accept and embrace.

This true catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, is what I shall steadfastly maintain and confess, by the help of God, in all its completeness and purity until my dying breath, and I shall do my best to ensure [2] that all others do the same. This is what I, the same Pius, promise, vow and swear. So help me God and these holy gospels of God.

Vatican I, Session 3, held on April 24, 1870, Dei Filius, in chapter 2:

n. 5 Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal church, as declared by the sacred council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the Apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the Apostles by the dictation of the holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us [16].

Vatican I, Session 4, held on July 18, 1870, in Chapter 2 teaches infallibly:

n. 5 Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the Lord Himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.

Session 4, chapter 3,

n. 2 Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

n. 3 In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd [50] .

n. 4 This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

Session 4, chapter 4,

n. 6 For the holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Saviour to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren [60]

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Mark Millward: Linkedin Conference on the truth about Covid-19, Day 6.

Are we being gaslighted?

by Mark Millward

Managing Director of Millward Associates Ltd
a UK based retail & consumer research consultancy.


Day 1. Psychopaths, Sociopaths & How to Spot Them

Day 2. TED Talk – how to spot a liar & Duper’s delight: The Philanthropist

Day 3. Reliable expert source of Covid19 facts: Swiss Propaganda Research & Dr Vernon Coleman

Day 4. Spiro Kouras interviews Dr Andrew Kaufman & creepy surveillance: Robot surveillance or Contract Tracing

Day 5. Tattoo you. Alter your DNA: MIT News – Quantum Dot Tattoo & Profusa – Hydrogel Biosensor

Global Gaslighting 6. Cui Bono (who benefits?)

A circular system in which those heading national and international health advisory bodies are also invested in the bigPharma companies that stand to profit from the development of drugs and vaccines. That would be profoundly wrong wouldn’t it? It would involve an intolerable conflict of interest surely? Yes it would, but watch here, its endemic, involves US and UK government advisors and explains why we are where we are. We cannot afford to take this lying down:

Global Health Mafia Protection Racket

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Mark Millward: Linkedin Conference on the truth about Covid-19

Are we being gaslighted?

by Mark Millward

Managing Director of Millward Associates Ltd
a UK based retail & consumer research consultancy.


Global Gaslighting 3. These numbers don’t add up.

Day 1 we established that high functioning psychopaths are in high concentrations amongst the political, corporate and financial elite. Because the levers of power are attractive to unscrupulous narcissists who trample on everyone to gain wealth & power. See here if you missed it: Global Gaslighting 1. Psychopath or Sociopath?

Day 2, I presented evidence that narcissists are pathological liars who, when confronted with their lies double down – exactly the opposite of what normal people do. We normies are too easily blown off track because “we don’t operate like that” so struggle to understand that there really are people with power who do evil & lie shamelessly to achieve wealth & power. See my post here: Global Gaslighting 2. Duper’s Delight

Today I want to introduce information, collated from around the world from experts in virology (study & treatment of viruses), pulmonology (study & treatment of respiratory tract disease) and epidemiology (the science of how disease is communicated).

Swiss Propaganda Research collates reliable time-series information on all reported medical facts concerning Covid19. With links to the original sources, including medical journals and interviews with the experts.

Numerous eminent virologists, pulmonologists and epidemiologists have said that nothing outside of the ordinary is happening this year in terms of disease transmission and death. And yet, the mainstream media is amplifying the #FEARPORN narrative at screaming pitch.

A little English GP colour for those who like a reassuring bedside manner: Dr Vernon Coleman

Do we want this as a model for government?

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Sound Off: Do you think the Clergy have the Faith?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The last 60 years, and especially the last 2 months are making one question more relevant every day: Is the fact that the Catholic Clergy have the Catholic Faith become an article of faith?

I mean to say, since there is less and less evidence daily that the clergy believe the Catholic Faith, because they do not show it by their actions, has confidence that they are Catholic become an article of belief, something we must trust is true even without visible evidence?

This is the Question.

Share your own opinions in the comments here below.

A Refutation of Bishop Schneider’s Demagoguery

By Alexis Bugnolo

A lot of Catholics have asked me to refute Bishop Athanasius’ Schneider in detail. I have written a partial refutation, but his position is so absurd I have refrained, but here is a sound refutation on the more principal points:

However, I will point out that there is in the Church no such thing as the Byzantine Catholic Patriarch. The group which produced this has a checkered history, canonically, but at least doctrinally, in this refutation of Mons. Schneider, they take a Catholic position. Synods must be called in every nation to condemn Bergoglio.

The only errors I see in this video are:

First, that the authors of this video hold that if canon law is used to support heresy and apostasy, canon law is invalid. The correct Catholic position is, rather, that when canon law is used to support heresy and apostasy, it is the use which is to be condemned and the interpretation which is to be corrected by canon 17.

Second that they assert that the worship of an idol is a heresy or manifestation of heresy. But it is rather a sin of apostasy, is not directly a sin of heresy, because heresy is the denial of a truth which is revealed by God, but the adoration of an idol is the denial of the entire Deposit of the Faith. Adoration of an idol might include heresy, but it is much more than heresy.

Third, they avoid entirely that Pope Benedict XVI is the true pope. They do this because in certain matters they themselves have usurped ecclesiastical offices and powers, such as, for example, establishing a Byzantine Patriarchate, without any authority from God or Pope Benedict XVI.

Finally,  I would like to point out, for the sake of public record, that back in 2015 I was greatly inspired by the sound and heroic statements of Bishop Schneider against the errors being promoted by Bergoglio. It truly saddens me that he has abandoned the Catholic Faith and Canon Law to insist that Bergoglio is still the pope, despite all his public sins, his pertinacious heresy, his apostasy and his schism mongering. In this he has done a very wicked thing, and I think if he persists in his false position, that he must be reckoned by all Catholics a heretic himself, for denying the constant teaching of the Church that heretics and apostates and schismatics lose office immediately, as canon 1364 states.


Russo to Schneider: We must believe Benedict, when he says he is still the pope



Authorized English translation by FromRome.Info

Due Papi, Due Domande Impellenti, Una Risposta urgente.

by Marco Tosatti

Dear Friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae: a friend of our community, Sergio Russo, author of the book about which about which we spoke some time ago, Sei tu quello o dobbiamo aspettarne un altro? (Are you the one or should we expect another?), has sent us a reflection which seems to us particularly interesting and stimulating on the strange situation in which we we are living, and about which we have spoken in recent days.  Have a good read!

§ § §

Two Impelling Questions
which necessitate an urgent answer

by Sergio Russo

The first is: “Is Pope Francis a pope in every way, or not?”

The second, which is consequent upon the first, is: “Is Pope Benedict XVI still the pope, or not?”

I offer my personal contribution to the present debate, taking occasion also from the recent intervention by the Mons. Athanasius Schneider (dated Feb. 28, 2020) published originally in English at the site LIfeSite News, and also in French translation on the blog, Le Blog de Jeanne Smits.

Therefore, I will list here simply a series of facts, and not of argumentations, leaving it to the Reader to form his own opinion on the matter, knowing well, however, that contra factum non valet argumentum (against a fact no argument is valid).

  • Both academics and experts of things theological, as well as simple faithful, have noted how, from the date of March 13, 2013, even unto today, there has been created an unheard of situation, never before happening in the two thousand year history of the Church: the co-existence and co-habitation in the Vatican of two popes.
  • All of these, however, know well that the expression, “pope emeritus”, plays on the congruence/assonance of “Bishop Emeritus” and “Cardinal Emeritus”, and that, besides, it is not ordained by any canon of ecclesiastical law, neither past nor present …
    Moreover, it is to be noted – and here it basically returns to the same univocity which occurs in effect in the principle — just as there is, thus, no “priest emeritus”, so also, both the academic and the faithful have always known (but perhaps today the way to understand things has changed?) that there absolutely is no other kind of pope, neither Emeritus nor Presiding, and more so, and this by “una contraddizione, che nol consente … (a contradiction which does not consent to it)”, as Dante would say, since — and all believing Catholics have always held this as valid — the pope is the symbol and guarantor of unity in the Catholic Church, and She is one Body (though Mystical, but a true body), which cannot have but one sole Head!
    Therefore, not a two-headed Body, which would be a monstrosity, and neither a headless body, which would instead be a deficiency: as a matter of fact, one alone is the Christ, one alone is the Church, one alone the Faith, one alone the Vicar of Christ and one alone the Head of the Church …. and this is what the two-thousand year Magisterium of the Church has always affirmed, without the least hesitation!
  • Pope Francis, on the one hand would be the pope in every way, since he was licitly elected by all the Cardinals, united in a lawful Conclave (and which consequently is indubitable)
  • On the other hand, we are given to know that the election of Pope Francis (and this is also indubitable) might not be equally valid, since according to a declaration — never denied — of the now late Belgian Cardinal Godfried Dannels, present in his book-biography, which reports the admissions of the prelate made to the journalists, J. Mettepenningen and K. Schelkens, the said Cardinal revealed to them that a group of Cardinals and Bishops (to which he also belonged) worked for years to prepare for the election of J. M. Bergoglio, seeing that all of these porporati were opponents of Joseph Ratzinger: it was, in fact, a group which was kept secret, which the same Cardinal Danneels defined as “a mafia club, which bore the name of St. Gall”.
    And this type of agreement, according to the Apostolic Constitution of Saint John Paul II, Universi Dominic Gregis, which regulates the “vacancy of the Apostolic See and the election of the Roman Pontiff”, falls under a latae sententiae excommunication, as is clearly affirmed in nn. 77, 81, and 82:

    « Confirming also the prescriptions of our Predecessors, I prohibit anyone, even if he is marked with the dignity of the Cardinalate, to make agreements, while the Pope is alive and without having consulted him, about the election of His Successor, or promise votes, or take decisions in this regard in private meetings » (n.79);
    « The Cardinal Electors are to abstain, moreover, from every form of vote-canvassing, agreements, promises or other pledges of any kind, which can constrain them to give or deny their vote to one or another.  If such in reality would happen, even if under the obligation of a vow, I decree that such a pledge be null and invalid and that no one is bound to observe it; and from this moment I impose the excommunication latae sententiae upon the transgressors of this prohibition.» (n.81);
    « Equally, I forbid to the Cardinals to make, before an election, formal agreements, whether to receive pledges of common agreement, obliging themselves to put them into effect in the case that one of them be elevated to the Pontificate.  Even these promises, as much as they might be made, even under the obligation of an oath, I declare null and invalid » (n.82).

  • It is good to repeat that the “Renunciation” of Benedict XVI (according to his own admission) was truly made in full awareness and without any constraint … and yet that such a “renunciation” cannot be held to be truly such, since (and this is the seventh one which has occurred in the course of the two thousand years of Church history) all those who did renounce the papacy afterwards returned to their prior status as before thier election: and hence he who was a Bishop or Cardinal, returned to being a Bishop or Cardinal … he who was before a hermit, returned to be a hermit … (if one remembers the events of Pope Celestine V and Pietro da Morrone!), and hence none remained pope (not even an “emeritus”, or any other kind), by continuing to wear the white cassock, by maintaining the papal coat of arms, by signing wtih the name of the Pontiff, etc..
  • Hence, just as, if one must believe that Benedict XVI posited his “renunciation” in total autonomy and independence … so and equally, one must believe in what He himself declared:  “… When, on April 19 nearly 8 years ago I accepted to assume the petrine ministry … from that moment on I was engaged always and for always by the Lord …  The “always” is also a “for always”, there is no longer a return to the private: My decision to renounce the active exerciste of the ministry, does not revoke this ” (Benedict XVI, Wednesday General Audience of Feb. 27, 2013, Piazza S. Petro).
    And hence, through his own same admission, Benedict XVI is always and still pope, whether others say so or not.
    Therefore, in this case more than ever, there is required by all a firm intellectual coherence: if we ought to believe and hold as true the words of the Holy Father about His own renunciation, we ought, on the other hand and equally, believe and hold as true the just mentioned words pronounced by Benedict XVI, which affirm that he remains still and always pope!
  • In conclusion, how can one explain, then, such an apparent and present unresolved situation in the Church … what, in substance, ought we hold to have clear ideas and not to let ourselves be overwhelmed, even us, by such a contemporary “confusion”?

The solution is supplied us both by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, but as something requiring of us the highest attention and correct discernment ….

It is Our Lady Herself, in fact, who asks us to pay attention to Her words, left in our own days at Fatima, in which She speaks, both of the Holy Father, and of a Bishop dressed in white.

The Divine Providence has also arranged, also in our own days, that Pope John Paul II elevated to the honors of the altar the Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich, making in this way known to all believers her singular visions, especailly those in which she saw “the Church of the two popes”, the Church of always, faithful to the Magisterium, at whose head is the Holy Father, and another “new” church: big, strange and extravagant … (and, moreover, that the warnings, in part from the Mother of God are truly very many: the Miraculous Medal, La Salette, Fatima, Garabandal, the Marian Movement of Priests and many, many others …).

And, at last, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (in nn. 675-677), in which it informs, that, in our own days, all the faithful will be called to confront a “final test”, capable of shocking the faith of many believers, since in it there will be revealed the “mystery of iniquity”, able to provide an apparent solution to contemporary men, under the form of a religious impostiture, and it will be then that we will have to decide on which side to stand: whether with the Anti-Christ (the Anti-Church and the Anti-Gospel, as even John Paul II was wont to say), though this at the cost of apostasy from the Truth, in joining in such a manner the “new church”, great and lauded by the world, as ecological and ecumenical, which concerns itself primarily with the poor … or if we would remain with the Church of always, even if it is today seen in a bad light by the world, which reputs Her as integralist and fundamentalist, to remain with the holy Magisterium, held even today as antiquated, and faithful to the Gospel of Christ, the one and true God, our Savior and Redeemer: “Whom we hold most dear!”

This is an authorized translation of the original at



Barnhardt has more sense than Burke

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I am continually amazed at how many of the same arguments used to promote despair among us who are faithful to the Church and Canon Law are the same over many blogs. It is almost as if there is some campaign or pysop targeting us. Unfortunately for whomsoever is behind it, they err greatly by attempting to tangle with Ann Barnhardt.

Barnhardt has an excellent post entitled, Q & A: Ann, even if Pope Benedict were to re-submit a valid resignation, he will never publicly act as pope again, so isn’t this all an exercise in futility?

In her reply she exercises a prudence of a Cardinal, far beyond that of even Cardinal Burke because:

  1. She recognizes the problem
  2. She recognizes how deep the problem is
  3. She recognizes how to solve the problem radically
  4. She has the integrity and moral courage to say what it is in public
  5. She has the honesty to advocate it be done

I agree 100% with Ann Barnhardt’s analysis and solution and I undersign her proposal. But I want to add that one of the biggest problems in the 7 year Crisis in the Church has been the vain hopes we have all put in the Cardinals to act like men, to act like men of God, and to act like apostles of Jesus Christ. None of them has shown the capacity or competence to do this. At most, like Cardinal Burke, they limit themselves to commenting on the problem, as if, like Barnhardt and myself, who are not members of the clergy, he could do nothing about it.


But here I would point out, something which Ann does not, that her questioner has proposed a question which is quintessentially characteristic of the psysop, of the individual trained to control your mind and manipulate your emotions. So let me unpack that question, in an critique which I will call “psyoptic analysis”, that is how to see pysops for what they are.

  • Ann, even if Pope Benedict were to re-submit a valid resignation

First, the questioner poses a question using Barnhardt’s first name: make it familiar, insinuate friendship.

Second, propose a possibility within the context of the affirmation of an impossibility, use “even if”.

Third, insinuate that Benedict already submitted a valid resignation by saying “resubmit”.

  • he will never publicly act as pope again

Fourth, affirm that which your want to come about as if it were a divine certitude: he will  never.

Fifth, deny that the Pope will every be allowed access to the public again:  publicly act.

Sixth, deny that the Pope, even if he is the pope, will ever be allowed to use his power again: as pope again.

  • so isn’t this all an exercise in futility?

Seventh, imply despair by affirming no solution.

I get comments like this from a operative in Minnesota/Wisconsin using a polish name. He leaves positive comments, but when it counts he leaves statements like this question above. Statements like this might be repeated by simple catholics who see them in comment boxes and do not think about them. But in themselves they are excellent examples of now nefarious a pysop can include so many lies and falsehoods and deceits and present them in a psychologically appealing way.

There is a lot of evil behind Bergoglio’s claim to be pope and behind the denial of all of those who say Benedict is not the pope. A lot more evil that we can imagine.

Beware, then of the pysop, and learn to crush it as Our Lady crushes the head of the serpent with a cogent response like that given by Ann Barnhardt in the post cited above.


CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a screenshot of the webpage of Ann Barnhardt cited in this article, used here according to fair use standards for editorial commentary.

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Adoration of the Eternal Word requires the recognition of Benedict XVI as the Pope

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Alas we live in an age of disbelief, of denial, of every sort of ideology invented to pretend that disbelief and denial are not godless excuses against the Lord and Creator. How right Our Lord was when He pronounced the parable of the Owner of the Vineyard who after many attempts to obtain due reverence and respect from his tenant vine-dressers, send his only son thinking that would convince them.

Our Lord and Creator has entrusted to us a beautiful and fruitful vineyard in His Creation, in this planet, Earth, in the human nature with which each of us is wonderfully made and gifted into existence. In gratitude we are obliged to render back to Him His due.

The First and Greatest Commandment is the adoration of God with the entirety of the being which He gave us: in truth, in love, in faith, in hope, in service which above all begins with worship.

The Adoration of the Eternal Word

There are three Divine Persons in the Most Holy Trinity, and the middle one, Who became Man for our salvation is called rightly by Saint John the Apostle: the Word of God. Of Himself, He said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

If we believe, then, in Jesus Christ — not just with our lips or our public actions — but in our minds and hearts, we must therefore adore the Eternal Word. Not just as Incarnate, but as coming forth from the Mouth of God from all eternity and containing in Himself all Truth, all Wisdom, all Light, all Knowledge: saving Truth, redeeming Wisdom, clarifying Light and illuminating Knowledge.

It follows then, since by Faith we know that all that is good in this world is a reflection, distant though it may be, of the goodness of God, that every word by which truth can be signified is a reflection or distant similitude to the Word of God.

This, more than anything else, is the great reason behind the Catholic Religion’s fidelity to words, to writings, to documents: to their preservation, to their faithful translation, to their assiduous study and to their printing and publication.

All this is the consequence of the adoration of the Eternal Word which lies at the center of the Catholic Faith: in the hearts of every Catholic, in every liturgy of the Church, and in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar: Jesus Christ present really, truly and substantially: a Presence proclaimed and defended throughout the ages with words.

Words are the touchstones of fidelity

If there is one constant in all of Catholic history it is this: every Saint, Doctor or Father of the Church and every Catholic hero has been faithful to words: to their meaning, to their intent, to their purpose. They all have been men and women of their word. They all have been men and women who believed the words of those who came before them, whether as Apostles or Evangelists, Fathers of the Church, Popes speaking as popes.

This is why, if we want to know the truth, we have the simple and quick solution: believe the words the Church gives us, hold fast to them, perceive their meaning and put that into practice, make it the rule of your life and the itinerary of your journey. Trust in them and never look back.

Every temptation is against the Word

Contrariwise, every temptation which can be brought, has been brought or will ever be brought against the Will of God for any creature will be manifest in an attack on words, on their meaning and signification, on their intent or purpose. When you see this in action you can be certain that the spirit behind the speaker, the voice in his throat and hand in his mind is from the netherworld: the world where there is no meaning, no light, no wisdom, no knowledge of the good and above all no truth, or similitudes of It.

This can be clearly seen in the controversy over the Declaration made by Pope Benedict XVI. It all turns upon words, with one party saying they do not mean what they say, and the other party saying they mean exactly what they say. One party wants them to mean more than what they say, because they already have — here I use a metaphor — their hand in the cookie-jar, and they do not want to stop shoving the cookies in their mouth. Their mindset is of the juvenile who never grew up, of the egomaniac who sees no meaning but in what returns to himself, of the sociopath who denies any moral law which has authority to govern his passions, and of the psychopath who denies there is anything to defend what is right or wrong.

The other party is truly faithful to the Eternal Word. It does not presume that words mean other than what they say. It does not presume that the Code of Canon Law is not operative and does not mean what it says. It does not presume John Paul II was ignorant in promulgating it, nor does it presume that Pope Benedict XVI intended something other than what he did.

This other party has nothing to gain by their position, because not only are they universally reviled for it, but they never intended to get anything personal out of it. That is why they do not see the controversy as a personal fight. They have nothing personal to defend in it.

I have written this short reflection to help those who are confused by the liars and tricksters and those with personal skin in the game, as they say: the ones who want you to pay them to tell you to shut up, stop thinking, buckle under, go along with apostasy, because they who deny and attack words, know what is best for you!

For us who are Catholics, we know that we shall be judged on every idle word we say, because God the Word considers words important. That is why He founded His Church upon words and through words transmits salvation to all who receive them, faithfully and humbly.


Canon 332 §2 reads:

If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus, for validity there is required that the renunciation be made freely and manifested duly, but not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.

But Pope Benedict’s Declaratio reads, in part:

… I declare, that I renounce the ministerium entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals..


CREDITS:  The Featured Image is of the Tabernacle in the Basilica of Saints Boniface and Alexis at Rome, on the Aventine. Photo by Br. Bugnolo.


Answering questions from Ryan Grant

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I appreciate a good debate, because I want everyone to know the truth and that requires exposing falsehood and bad arguments. Many know this, and so often the Catholic faithful who accept the teaching of the Church write to me and ask what I think about arguments used by others to support the Apostasy which is ongoing in the Church.

One such argumentor is Ryan Grant, and he bravely makes his argument on YouTube in the comment section of some video — where I do not know — but I have been sent screen shots of it, and will use them to make a further reply.

Ryan Grant is the translator of some of the writings of Saint Alphonsus. I do not think he has studied Canon Law, but then I do not know anything more about him.

So here we go… The context of his comments is the contents of the banner site for the Movement for Pope Benedict XVI, which does not have a comment section, . . ..



Here is my reply, which I was solicited for by Grant’s interlocutor, who is a frequent commentator here at FromRome.Info:

While it is true that the Supreme Legislator is the Roman Pontiff and that he has the right and capacity to authoritatively interpret his own acts, Mons. Arrieta, Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, affirmed on Dec. 11, 2019, that the act of a papal renunciation is not subject to the interpretation of anyone, because it must be clear in and of itself, and no on has the right to interpret it, not even the one who makes it. And as Saint Alphonsus, who held a doctorate in both civil and canon law, says in his tract on Legal Interpretation, to interpret a word to mean that which it does not in normal parlance or legal tradition mean is an act of interpretation which can only be done by the legislator in a second and subsequent act. Therefore, though you are correct to say that the Roman Pontiff can normally interpret his acts, this is one act of which even an interpretation issued in forma specifica cannot correct via an interpretation. Indeed, as Mons Arrieta affirmed there never was a papal interpretation made of the act before Feb 29, 2013. So your objection is unfounded as to the matter and erroneous as to the form of your claim. This is how canon law really works, if you knew anything real about it.

Grant rebuts my argument, thus:


Grant makes the common fallacy of thinking that the one who resigns the papal office is the Pope. Nope! An act of papal resignation, as affirmed by Dr. Ghirlanda, S.J., professor of Canon Law here at Rome, in an article he published in March of 2013, affirms correctly that an act of renunciation of office is an act whereby one separates himself from the office he holds. — But the office cannot separate itself from itself.  — While it is true Canon 332 §2 speaks of that man as the Roman Pontiff, that is simply because prior to the act of renunciation the substance of the one acting bears that exalted dignity.

So Grant misapplies the principle, The First See is judged by no one, because he failed to notice that the one who resigns is not the See nor the Pontiff, but the man who holds the latter and occupies the former. Otherwise, if we are NOT talking about a papal resignation, then the principle applies to the Pope at all times. So Grant’s argument begins with a fallacy of fact and proceeds to a fallacy praeter rem. Thus it is invalid on two grounds.

Having been defeated on the point of legal interpretation, by my first reply, Grant, next, attempts to argue that the behavior of Pope Benedict XVI after Feb. 28, 2013 manifests his intention and his mind, and thus serves as an interpretation of the act. This is an argument which no canonist would ever make, since behavior is not a juridical act. But even common sense can see that since the Canon requires a Renunciation, and as all good Latinists know, a renutiare is an act which is verbal, not one made by gestures or actions, his argument is also praeter rem, and presupposes a fallacy of not reading the Canon in its precise terms. For the canon says, “If a Roman Pontiff renounce,” not, “If a Roman Pontiff separate himself from his office.”

His next argument is drawn from my published notes on my meeting with Bishop Arrieta. You can read my notes for yourself here. — This means that Grant does read FromRome.Info, even if he is ashamed to admit it. — Well, then, Grant is confused. Because you cannot admit principles and then try to undermine them by personal testimony. Bishop Arrieta and I agreed on many principles, and in my notes I pointed out that my questions regarding where we disagreed were never answered. So Grant is saying that since Bishop Arrieta does not agree with me but refused to give me a reason for his disagreement, which is in accord with any principle of law, that that means that I am wrong and Arrieta is correct. I do not think sane people argue this way, but that is not a valid argument, because it cites no reason.


Next, Grant admits that no one can interpret the Act of renunciation, and then argues that since Barnhardt and I say it means what it says, but Arrieta says it means something else, that clearly Barnhardt and I are wrong. This is the same kind of mental argumentation I see often by those who say Benedict is not the pope. It is called gaslighting, because Grant is insisting on something contrary to the basic laws of language, namely when you explain anything using different words you are interpreting the statement which you are explaining. Ann and I do not do that. Grant and Arrieta do. So they are condemned by the very principles they admit, even if they insist that others view reality in their own distorted manner. This is so like the Left!

Finally, Grant gets into big ontological problems with his assertion that ministry and power flow from the munus and thus to renounce them is to renounce the munus. I guess he cannot understand my Scholastic Question, which was all about the distinction found in all the Scholastics like Saint Thomas Aquinas, that the substance holds all the potentia of the being of a thing, and thus to renounce anything which flows from the substance is not and cannot be a renunciation of the substance, just like when you renounce staying awake and thus fall asleep, you still have the power and being to wake again in the morning. Once again, then, Grant argues against reality itself. What can I say? I do not have to refute him, reality itself does that more eloquently.

As for his assertion that canonists all agree with him, that is gratuitous. I do not know of any canonist in the entire Church who has marshaled an argument for Grant’s position. Not even Bishop Arrieta. All you get in reply is assertions without arguments. And in logic, that means you have conceded that your position is irrational, and thus untrue, unless of course you are an idiot who cannot think or reason, which none of these men are.

There is another error in Grant’s argument, and Mons. Arrieta made the same error: they both hold that the Canon says, “If a Roman Pontiff renounce his office.” But that is not what it says; it says, “If a Roman Pontiff renounce his munus.” Canon 1331 in section 2, n. 4, shows that the Code of Canon Law distinguishes between munus and office. That means that the specific act essential to a papal renunciation does require the renunciation of munus, and that means, that both the liberty and due manifestation required, also regard the renunciation of the munus. This is a very important point, and is the key argument to use against all of Pope Benedict’s opponents. They have to use this fallacious reading, because they can see that the text of the Declaratio is not in conformity with the Canon.

Now I understand why Grant does not want to argue with me directly. I have challenged everyone to a debate, even 3 Pontifical Faculties of Canon Law, no one takes my offer, because they do not want to expose that their position is irrational and not sustained by the principles of law. — However, I grant this to Ryan, he has had the integrity to argue it in public. I respect him for that.

POSTSCRIPT: I have be subsequently informed that these comments by Mr. Grant are found in the comment section of this video.


CREDITS:  The Featured Image is a photo taken by Br. Bugnolo of one of the bas relief in the Basilica of Saint John, here at Rome. The screen shots of Grant’s comments taken from a public forum on Youtube are in the public domain and used according to fair use practice for editorial commentary.

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