Category Archives: Ecclesiology

Munus vs. Ministerium: the case of the Roman Curia

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Three Questions and only Two Answers

The Roman Curia is the entire bureaucratic institution of Cardinals, Bishops, Monsignori, Priests, Experts and other officials, who run those individual organs of Papal government over the whole Church. Most of their offices are on the Via Conciliazione, but some are in the Vatican or scattered throughout the city of Rome.

All of those who are in the Roman Curia agree with me on one point. If you ask them if it is the duty of the Roman Curia to assist the Pope in his Petrine Ministry, they all respond with a resounding, Yes!

If you ask them, if the Pope alone holds the office or munus of the Roman Pontiff, or of Saint Peter, they all respond with a resounding, Yes!

But if you then ask them, How can Pope Benedict no longer be what he is, if all he renounced is what the Roman Curia does?

To that, third, and final question, you get no response.

 

The Rock

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Luther, a corrupt Augustinian Monk, led half of Germany and all of Scandanavia into apostasy, from which they never recovered. Calvin, the son of a simoniacal priest, led half Switzerland at the Netherlands into Apostasy from which they never have recovered Henry VIII who ably defended against the heresies of Luther, when he fell, he dragged all of England and Wales into Apostasy from which they never have recovered.

There is ample evidence. No part of the Catholic Church is immune from apostasy and damnation. It has happened before. Men with less universal acclaim achieved it.

But no part of the Church has even fallen into a Apostasy when it remained united to the true Pope.

That is because the true Pope is the Rock.

Today is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, established to thank God for the wonderful gift of the Papal office and munus.

Without the Successor of Saint Peter, no matter how learned, or how holy, or how ancient is the faith of your land, you can be led into Apostasy.

This is why now 99.99% of the Catholic Church is being led into Apostasy. Because they are no longer united in reality with the true Pope, though many are still fooled about this.

And this is why Bergoglio has such power. Because the first sin, which gives him power over you, is in holding that Pope Benedict XVI resigned the papacy, when 5 minutes of examination of Canon Law and the Papal Declaration can prove that he never resigned.

All those who refuse to do that much study to save their soul deserve to be damned, because they value their soul worth less that $1 of work.

And those who do this can run their mouths on Social Media until Hell freezes over, but it will never be a sufficient excuse.

The Power of the Rock

However, those who remain in communion with the true Pope have built their house on rock. That is the meaning of the parable of Jesus.

I saw a palpable example of that, last night, at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Since Feb. 15th, Catholic men have been joining in the prayers Against the Church of Darkness. All of them hold that Pope Benedict XVI is the true Pope. I never met them before and I do not know how they heard of it.

Last night, a couple from Croatia were walking by and joined in the prayers. By the time they ended at 12:24 A.M., the husband wanted to confess his sins.

I have never seen such a thing in my life. My only sadness is that there was no priest with us to hear his confession.

Just as power went forth from Jesus to heal and cure, so power went forth from Saint Peter to heal and cure and cause repentance. So also with Pope Benedict.

If priests want to be truly effective, you need to return to communion with the Vicar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI. Bergoglio will never have that effect, because he is the Vicar of nobody, but the vain imaginations of giddy Cardinals who were, as Pope Benedict XVI implied on Feb. 11, 2013, not competent to elect his Successor.

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In the Catholic Church, there is no enfoeffment of obedience

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

When the world was Catholic and sane, there were no democracies, only monarchies and a few mercantile republics, where only the landed or established could vote. Power was decentralized, and a monarch was not an absolutionist, he had to hearken to the most powerful noble families of his realm and rule out of consensus.

Each noble family held a series of titles which comprises their power base and property. Though estates were owned individually and could be scattered, on account inheritance throughout the realm and beyond.

But the nobles were few, and they could only make their land produce and protect them by entrusting them under contract to local strongmen, noblemen, or ecclesiastical institutions.

This process of entrustment by contract was known as enfeoffment. On a certain day, the one with the temporal jurisdiction over the property, or fief, would hold court and the one who was to receive care of it, or his representative, presented himself. Then placing his hands, palm against palm, within the hands of the lord, he pledged him fealty and service, loyalty and collaboration. The Lord in turn conceded control and all temporal jurisdiction to him by way of a habitual delegation, which lasted until death and in many cases was renewed from generation to generation. Being that many noble families died out, those receiving these lands, or fiefs often became in turn their rightful owners.

This system was called the Feudal System, and in it the loyalty you owed your highest Lord, the Monarch or Prince, was mediated by the loyalty to owed your immediate lord or baron. There was never a question of a conflict, because you obeyed your immediate lord or else. Recourse to the prince was unthinkable, it would be an act of treachery to your own lord, and was countenanced only in the most grave matters when one’s immediate lord was involved in treason.

The Catholic Church, however, is not a feudal society. Our obedience can never be parceled out to other superiors. Our obedience is owned wholly and entirely, totally and continually, perfectly and fully, supremely and utmostly by God alone, in the Person of the Eternal Son, Jesus Christ.

There is thus never a question of betraying a lower superior, such as the pope, the bishop or the local pastor, or religious superior (if you happen to be a monk, nun, etc.). There is never a question because you do not in the absolute sense owe them obedience. You owe them relative obedience, that is, inasmuch as they hold an office from God, confirmed by the Church and rule in accord with the will of God, Canon Law, the Faith, and the common good.

Evil men in the Church do not, however, conceive power and authority in this fashion. They believe that if they have the claim to the office you must obey them more than God Himself. Bergoglio is the perfect example of this kind of tyrant. Bishops and clergy who obey him show that they do not hold the correct notion of obedience either.

This is why they cannot even open the Code of Canon Law and read canon 332 §2 and even begin to see the problem with the Declaratio of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013.

We must obey God, not men! — Said Saint Peter the Apostle to the High Priests of the Temple shortly after Pentecost. These words have been cited by many sacred authors for millenia. But they are also prophetic for our own day and show us the way which is truly progressive and forward, to God and in the truth.

However, contrary to most moderns, these words do not men that you have a right to private judgement, rather, they mean that we are always obliged to obey God as Christ taught us to and never are obliged to put the claim to obedience from any authority, even one constituted by God, in way of that.

So the next time one of your legitimate superiors in the Church demands you ignore Christ Jesus as your superior and cede to him some kind of feudal obedience, remind him that in Christ’s Kingdom there is no such thing as enfeoffment.

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CREDITS: Count Ramón Berenguer IV receives grants a fief to his vassal the Señor de Perelada (1132).

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A Host of Canons declares the Renunciation invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Ann Barnhardt is right when she says you do not need to be a canon law expert to read the Code of Canon Law: the very nature of what a Code of Law is intended to be, is to be a public instrument which all can access and understand. Understanding it, therefore, is not a gnostic art for the elite few initiates.

Over at Catholic Monitor, Fred Martinez calls me a Canon law expert. I do not hold a degree in Canon Law, so I dispute the attribution. But he does this, because I simply read the law and say what it says, how it says it. I do not have any vested interest in saying it means something else, because I am not a priest and I am not the member of a religious order in communion with Bergoglio. I am a hermit, and that means I have no superior but my Bishop, who is Pope Benedict XVI. I also did not sell my soul for $1,000,000 to stab anyone’s memory in the back who held that Pope Benedict XVI is the pope.

This is why in this controversy, it is those who have no vested interest who are the truth tellers. Mark Docherty is one of them. I have never met him personally, but I know he is a truth teller because he simple lays out exactly what the Code of Canon Law says.

He blogs at Non Veni Pacem.

In his latest postThe Retention of Office even when all powers have been delegated, according to Canon 131.1, he shows that there are a number of Canons which all concur that the Renunciation is invalid. You often hear Ann Barnhardt talk about canon 188. She breached the defenses of the Big Lie about the Renunciation using that Canon (no pun intended, but it is a nice pun!).* And you will often hear me talk about canon 17. Canon 332 §2 is the key canon, of course.

But Mark Docherty shows how canons 36 §1, 38, and 131 §1 also come into play.

I highly recommend reading Marks post. As one who has actually studied Canon Law at at a Pontifical University here at Rome, I can say that it merits a 10 out of 10, and you would not find its like in any Doctoral Thesis in the entire Eternal City, after Feb. 11, 2013, because they would boot you out of the program — because IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

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POSTSCRIPT: I hope all my readers get on board with the February 28, 2020 Initiative. It’s not about me, its about saving the Church. I do not propose it so as to go forward. I see it as a way of handing the baton on to my betters, so that they do their part. So please try to get everyone to join in the effort.

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FOOTNOTE:  If anyone of my readers is a talented graphic artist, I would suggest you do a graphic showing a walled city with Bergoglio on top, Benedict imprisoned, and Ann outside with a Big Canon, labeled 188, the wall of the city named the Big Lie: a Valid Renunciation. And defenders of the Big Lie, on the top of the wall with Bergoglio on his left and right, some with money bags in their hands. It would immortalize the current crisis for posterity, and be remembered until the end of time.

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Why St. Robert Bellarmine would hold the Renunciation was invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Saints are a sure guide in every difficulty. We have only to find the Saints who encountered the same difficulty and examine their example or doctrine to find sound counsel for how we should respond.

For this reason, I have written previously or had published here a series of articles on the Saints who would be patrons in discerning what to do in the present Crisis in the Church:

  1. Saint Vincent Ferrer: who was lied to by a Cardinal for 38 years, into supporting an Antipope.
  2. Bless Pope Urban II: who fought and defeated an Antipope by his courage and generosity.
  3. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux: who fought against an Antipope on the principles of law.
  4. Bl. Ann Catherine Emmerich: who described in vision the crisis of Two Popes.
  5. Saint Ivo of Kermartin: who make sacrifices so that the poor would not be exploited by the powerful
  6. Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori: who wrote a tract on Legal Interpretation which gives sound principles for the reading of Pope Benedict’s Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013

To these six, I wish to add a seventh, Saint Robert Bellarmine.

First, we probably have heard the principle, A doubtful pope is no pope. Which Saint Robert advances to resolve the question of whether the man elected in a Conclave which does not follow all the rules is therefore  a valid pope or not. He holds that he is not valid and should resign.

“Hence the saying of Bellarmine: a doubtful pope is no pope. ‘Therefore,’ continues the Cardinal, ‘if a papal election is really doubtful for any reason, the elected should resign, so that a new election may be held. But if he refuses to resign, it becomes the duty of the bishops to adjust the matter, for although the bishops without the pope cannot define dogma nor make laws for the universal Church, they can and ought to decide, when occasion demands, who is the legitimate pope; and if the matter be doubtful, they should provide for the Church by having a legitimate and undoubted pastor elected. That is what the Council of Constance rightly did.’” 8

(The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise, By Rev. E. Sylvester Berry, Page 229, Note 8: Bellarmine, “De Concilio, ii, 19)

(Source: here)

Now, in logic, any affirmation can be transformed into other true statements by a conversion. Let’s apply those principles to the maxim:

A doubtful pope is not the pope.

This is said in the context of a papal election, so let us add that condition to each side of the predication:

A doubtfully elected pope is not an elected pope.

Now let us transform the affirmation by changing the condition, from an election to a resignation:

A doubtfully resigned pope is not a resigned pope.

Now let us simplify the statement, with the logical equivalent of “not a resigned”

A doubtfully resigned pope is still the pope.

NOTE WELL, in the same passage from St. Robert, you see the affirmation of the Apostolic Right of the College of Bishops to intervene when there is an impeded see. I wrote about this in my article, Divine and Apostolic Right takes precedence in a State of Emergency.

But, more a propos to the present consideration: the Saint admits that God concurs with Canon Law in all such questions, there where the Saintly Cardinal in this passage from De Romano Pontifice lib. ii cap. xxx, says:

«Nam iurisdictio datur quidem Pontifici a Deo, sed hominum opera concurrente, ut patet; quia ab hominibus habet iste homo, qui ante non erat Papa, ut incipiat esse Papa; igitur non aufertur a Deo nisi per hominem, at hæreticus occultus non potest ab homine iudicari; nec ipse sponte eam potestatem vult relinquere.»

Which I render thus, in English:

For jurisdiction is indeed given to the Pontiff by God, but as One concurring with the works of men, as is clear: because from men this man, who before was not the Pope, has it, that he begins to be the Pope: therefore, it is not taken away (from him) by God, except through men, but an occult heretic cannot be judged by man; nor does the same want to relinquish that power willingly.

The key words here are: as One concurring with the works of men. This ablative phrase is not an absolute, it modifies God, and follows the classical Latin tradition of speaking of God under a certain restriction or condition. Here it speaks of God inasmuch as He agrees with men.

Saint Robert then explains: that a man who is elected has his office as pope  on account of the election made by men. The context here is a valid or legitimate papal election. And the presupposition is that the law is observed.

Now God concurs with the works of men in three ways, as it clear: by approving them, by disapproving them and by tolerating them. By approving them, when they are in accord with His Divine will for men — I use here will, in the sense of a thing willed, not the faculty of the Divine Nature.  By disapproving them, when they are not in accord with His divine will and hence in consequence He sends a punishment or sign of His disapproval. And by tolerating them, that is, when whether they be more or less perfect, they either do not transgress His will for men or they are the matter out of which He will bring a greater good.

For any one work of man God might be said to be approving, disapproving and tolerating each in a different respect. Approving of what is good, disapproving of what is morally disordered, and tolerating inasmuch He allows them to happen.

And since the ways of God are not always things which lay open to the discernment of men, it is not with great certitude that we can know God’s mind on any particular matter, unless we have certain knowledge of the Divine Mind. A thing which is only possible by Divine Revelation.

But of all the works of men, therefore, that God concurs with, we can say of one, that what God’s will for men is, because we have certain knowledge of the Divine Mind through the testimony of the Son of God as recorded in the Gospel of Saint Matthew and handed down in the Church as worthy of utmost faith:

And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Matthew 16:17-19

And it follows, since, because John Paul II was the valid and legitimate successor of Saint Peter, that Peter lived in him, when he promulgated the Code of Canon Law of 1983. And thus, these words of Our Blessed Lord and Lawgiver Supreme: whatsoever though shalt bind upon earth, are engaged in upholding that Code of Canon Law.

Therefore, God concurring above all, expressly with the works of Peter, we are obliged by divine faith to hold that God concurred approvingly with the work of Pope John Paul II, who laid down in Canon 332, that a pope resigns when a pope renounces his munus. Not at any other time or occasion.

But Pope Benedict XVI did not renounce his munus. He renounced the ministry he had been confided through the hands of the Cardinals.

Therefore, God could not have concurred approvingly with that act, because if He did, He would have made Jesus Christ out to be a liar, or the Gospel of Saint Matthew out to be a fraud, or the Church which proposes both to be believed without any doubt, a trickster. But in such a case, there would be no reason to even care who is the pope and who is not! The Catholic Faith would be a fraud and not worthy of any attention!

But that is an impossibility. Therefore, so is the first premise, namely, that God concurred approvingly with that act.

Therefore, God did not concur approvingly with the Declaratio as an act of papal resignation.

Therefore, Saint Robert Bellarmine would hold that he is still the pope.

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ABC in 2013: Benedict planned never to leave the Vatican

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

A lot of information about what happened in 2013 merits to be look at again, with an impartial eye. Here is just one report, filed by ABC News on Feb. 12, 2013, the day after Pope Benedict read his Declaratio:

There is something stunning in this report, namely, that Pope Benedict had the Monastery Mater Ecclesiae restructured for months prior to his Act on Feb. 11, 2013, with the intent never to leave the Vatican. His brother is also interviewed as saying that the Pope was prepared months in advance and well thought out his act.

As a side matter, it says that Pope Benedict XVI had a pace maker installed in his heart, in the Fall of 2012.

The problem with the testimony of this report and that of his brother, is, How on earth can you prepare to resign for months in advance and still end up reading a Latin text with more than 40 errors in the Latin and at least 10 canonical errors in the formula of resignation?

We must return to the highly authoritative testimony of his brother: It was well thought out and no one forced him to do it.

The only conclusion possible is, then, that Pope Benedict XVI never intended to renounce according to the norm of Canon 332 §2 and leave the Vatican as Cardinal or Bishop Joseph Ratzinger. He fully and deliberately intended to remain the Pope.

For more on this, see the articles on How Benedict has defeated “Francis”, Benedict’s End Game is to defend the Church from Freemasonry, and The Imprisonment of Pope Benedict XVI.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a screen shot from the Video embedded in this article, both of which are used in accord with 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.

WHY IS BENEDICT XVI STILL THE POPE?

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..

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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.

 

The Door to Sutri II is unlocking

In an article entitled, Waiting for Gregorian reforms 2.0, published by Polonia Christiana on Sept. 7, 2018 (and reprinted by ChurchMilitant.com, Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk lays out the historical and legal context of the current crisis of criminality in the Church which may lead to another Synod of Sutri.

The Synod of Sutri in 1046 A. D., was one of the most extraordinary canonical events in the history of the Church. It deposed 3 popes and paved the way for the election of Pope Clement II. Our knowledge of the event is confirmed by men of indisputable honestly: Bl. Pope Victor III in his annales, Saint Peter Damian who praised the proceedings and attended the coronation of Pope Clement, and Pope St. Gregory VII, who as an acolyte of Gregory VI was present at the Synod and saw his patron deposed from the papacy.

Later historians, after the Council of Constance, who wanted to defend against the implication that the Pope could be judged by a Council, have fiercely attacked the Synod of Sutri as an aberration, an uncanonical proceeding, an illegitimate act to be discarded to the history of the Seculum Obscurum of the Church, a long period in which the Papacy was ruled by despots appointed by Roman Nobility, without regard to the norms of law.

But the Synod of Sutri was a legitimate canonical proceeding accepted by all parties, save that of Pope Benedict IX, after whose death there were no supporters of his own to continue his opposition. Holy Mother Church by canonizing 2 witnesses and beatifying the third, gives the most certain refutation of this wrong headed papal maximalists, who erred out of excessive zeal in judging the precise nature of the canonical proceedings.

Three popes were deposed. But in truth no pope was deposed. Both statements are true, because both statements do not use the word, “pope”, in the same sense.  In the first, one speaks according to the appearances of their claims. In the second, one speaks according to the truth of canon law.

Popes Sylvester III and Gregory VI were never valid popes. The former usurped the office of the Papacy after an angry mob had driven Pope Benedict IX from the city. The latter, Gregory VI, had purchased the office of the papacy from Benedict IX who wanted to resign and marry, and needed the money.  Pope Benedict IX by the fall of 1046, had publicly resigned the papacy but wanted it back since his girlfriend had rejected his proposals to marriage.

So according to the norms of law, 3 pretenders to the papacy were deposed, not three popes.

The confusion about Sutri lies in the obscurity of history, since it is not known under what kind of precise wording Benedict IX resigned and sold the papacy to John Gratian, who took the name Gregory VI. And for that reason, some have said that Benedict was still the pope, assuming that the resignation and sale were one contract, and others have said that Benedict was no longer pope, assuming the two acts were separate. The sale of an ecclesiastical office and its reception by the buyer were always considered invalid legal acts from the time Saint Peter condemned Simon Magus for wanting to do such a thing (cf. Acts 8:9-24). Whence the name for such a crime: simony.

In my previous article on this, I spoke according to the first assumption, and riled the Sedevacantists. — I publicly admit that my assumption about he contract, there, might have been wrong.

But what Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk says in his article is true. The Synod of Sutri was the consequence of temporal power which required the resolution of a disputed papacy at Rome for its own purposes. Just so, the ongoing massive legal actions by several nations against the criminally corrupt clergy will inevitably lead back to Rome. And then the power that be will find it necessary to clean up the Vatican.

I will add my own observation, here. Namely, that the recent decision of the pro-Bergoglian government here in Italy — which enjoys now less than 15% support in the national polls — to put the most popular politician, Matteo Salvini, on trial for delaying the disembarkation of illegal immigrants in the port of Catania for 3 days, though with the consent of key members of the current government — Salvini will be charged with kidnapping! — will have its consequences. It will produce the certainty that the day the people of Italy again have a government which supports their views on immigration, that that new government will be implacably anti-Bergoglian and disposed to use their rights, under the Lateran Pact, to resolve the problem of a Vatican out of control and operating against the canons of the Church.

In this way, the doors to the Second Synod of Sutri are being unlocked: Christ the King will have His justice executed even in this world!

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It’s like divorce, but it isn’t

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I love a good debate, but it’s disappointing to see one side with no arguments. It’s even sadder to see grown men attempt to craft an argument from an assertion which does not fit the case. It’s like someone claiming the world is flat, because ships disappear partially and totally as they head off the horizon!

Anyone with the slightest conception of three dimension geometry knows that that argument proves the world is not flat!

Just so the latest refuge of the “Bergoglio is definitely the pope” crowd. And such it merits a refutation, although I hate knock outs, there is nothing dramatic in them.

It’s like divorce, but it isn’t

Their argument goes like this:

Just as a married man must presume his marriage is valid,
until an annulment tribunal decrees otherwise,
so Catholics must presume the Renunciation is valid,
until the Church decrees otherwise.

Except that is not an argument. That is an analogy or comparison.

An argument, for anyone who knows logic, has a major premise and a minor premise and a conclusion. When you put your thoughts into arguments, then you can see immediately whether they are valid or not, because the human mind has a natural capacity — when not being forced by bad will — to see the truth.

So let’s do the homework of the opposition, and put their analogy into logical form:

Major premise: Every juridical act must be presumed to be valid unless judged otherwise by a legitimate court of law.

Minor premise: Marriage vows are a juridical act.

Conclusion: Marriage vows are to be presumed valid unless judged otherwise by a legitimate court of law.

So let us imagine that Johnnie is doing his homework and shows this to Mommy, who happens to have a Ph.D. in Logic and a J.C.D. in Canon law. (My hypothetical is obviously contrary to fact).

MOMMY: Johnnie that is wonderful. But you are not finished yet. Your conclusion has to be about Papal renunciations, not marriage vows.  Perhaps use another syllogism which combined with the first, will arrive at the right conclusion!

And Johnny goes to work.

Major premise: Every juridical act must be presumed to be valid unless judged otherwise by a legitimate court of law.

Minor premise: A Papal renunciation is a juridical act.

Conclusion: Every papal renunciation must be presumed to be valid unless judged otherwise by a legitimate court of law.

And Johnny shows his work to Mommy.

MOMMY: Johnny, now you have the correct conclusion, but the weakness in your minor premise.

JOHNNY: How is that Mommie?

MOMMY:  Because in accord with Canon 332 §2, a papal renunciation is only a juridical act if it is a certain kind of act. Otherwise it is an actus nullus, invalidus or irritus.

JOHNNY: Which kind?

MOMMY: The kind which is a renunciation of munus.

JOHNNY: But that is what the whole controversy is about.

MOMMY: Are you trying to resolve the controversy or just trying to make it look like you won! Remember what I told you about growing up. You have to stop with the juvenile — I am right, shut up! — behavior which got you that bloody nose last year in elementary school.

JOHNNY: This home work is too hard!

MOMMY: I want to encourage you, Johnny, but the major has a problem too.

JOHNNY: What is that!

MOMMY: Your argument does not say why a juridical act is presumed valid, or why an act of matrimony and renunciation are the same species of act.

JOHNNY: Mommy, can’t you just tell me?

MOMMY: Well, Johnny, I cannot do your homework for you! — But I will help by asking questions, ok?

JOHNNY. O.K.

MOMMY: When you presume something is valid, you presume first of all what?

JOHNNY: That something is pre-existing.

MOMMY: What is pre-existing between a married man and his wife?

JOHNNY: The marriage vows.

MOMMY: What is pre-existing in a Papal Renunciation?

JOHNNY: The papal vows, that is, the agreement by the man who is the pope, to be the pope.

MOMMY: That’s right! So if you are to presume marriage vows are valid, until proven otherwise, then you are to presume WHAT is valid until proven otherwise?

JOHNNY: The pope’s decision to be and remain the pope, of course!

MOMMY: That is right!

JOHNNY: But, Mommy, that is not the conclusion I want to present in class, because I hate Annie and Alexie and Marky, who are all supporting that side of the argument!

MOMMY: Johnny, what did I tell you about being juvenile?

A Real Case that is not a Real Case

Screenshot_20200215-152043_Chrome

The problem with the argument used in the Tweet shown to the Left, is the same.

The more fundamental legal principle which is the Major Premise of all arguments in this matter is that the cessation of power or of right is not presumed. Therefore, it has to be proven and juridically established. Otherwise, you are saying that a man who is certain in his own opinion that the marriage he entered into before Church witnesses can presume his marriage invalid, when he is thus certain, without first obtaining an annulment, if he is even eligible.

Likewise, in regard to the Renunciation, you would be saying as Grant seems to be saying, that a man who is certain in his own opinion that the Renunciation ended the holding of the papal office, can presume the man is no longer the valid pope, when he is thus certain, without first obtaining a judgement of the Church. But that contradicts the principle ‘the cessation of power and right is not presumed’.

We do not presume a marriage made is invalid. And we do not presume a pope made is un-poped. We must have certain and juridical proof.

Canon 332 §2 is the only authority and tribunal of that certitude. Grant wants it that it be the Cardinals or Bishops, or the agreement of everyone alive or of his friends, like Steve Skojec. But that is expressly denied in the final clause of Canon 332 §2.

But there is a deeper problem with Grant’s approach. And it is this: matrimony is a Sacrament not simply a contract ad libitum, voluntarily separable as much as enterable. As a Sacrament it can never be broken. Those who enter into it have the power to enter, but no one has the power to end the contract, except Sister Death. But the Papacy is not a contract, but it is severable. A man accepts his election according to the norm of law, and can be separated from what he accepted according to the norm of law.

But it has to be according to the norm of law. Otherwise, a pope might accidentally un-pope himself after drinking too much wine, during a fever, while being threatened with death, or after being convinced his health is so bad, by those around him, he cannot go on for another seven years. — And it must be according to the norm of law, not according to the opinion of men. Otherwise, you would have anti-popes elected when popes still lived, simply because Cardinals wanted it so. And nearly all anti-popes in the last 1000 years were caused by wanton Cardinals.

Something sounds familiar about that…if you have eyes to see.

_________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo of a bas-relief at the Lateran Basilica, taken by Br. Bugnolo

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Antonio Socci: Pope Benedict’s understanding of the End Times

“The Two Parts of the Church”

By Antonio Socci

Excerpted from Il Dio Mercato, La Chiesa, e L’Anticristo
Rizzoli, 2019

Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino
@pellegrino2020

And Reprinted with permission from his FB page

In September 2013 – only seven months after the resignation of Benedict XVI – Giorgio Agamben published a book with an eloquent title: Il Mistero del male. Benedetto XVI e la fine dei tempi [The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End Times] (Laterza, 2013).

This philosopher’s interpretation of the event of the “resignation” made in the heat of the moment is surprising. It refers back to the question of the Antichrist and the kathécon.[1] (We shall later see that other thinkers such as Mario Tronti and Massimo Cacciari have interpreted the “resignation” of Benedict XVI in this apocalyptic key; however they are coming from a Marxist point of view.)

But let’s begin with Agamben. He focuses on an old essay written by the young theologian Joseph Ratzinger on the 4th-century theologian Tychonius who, commenting on the Book of Revelation, does not place Jerusalem and Babylon in opposition to one another (as Augustine would do, subsequent to Tychonius, in his famous work The City of God), but rather proposes that Jerusalem includes Babylon within itself.[2]

Ratzinger wrote: “It thus follows that the Antichrist is a part of the Church, it grows in her and with her up until the great discessio, which introduces the definitive revelatio,” that is, the return of Christ and the universal judgment.[3]

Ratzinger observed that “his doctrine [that of Tychonius] is objectively completely Catholic” and he demonstrated that it was instead Augustine who distinguished two cities, Jerusalem and Babylon, the “city of God” and the “earthly city” (that of the devil).[4]

The young theologian Ratzinger added: “Augustine objected against Tychonius’ concept of the Church, saying that the separation [discessio] between Christ and the Antichrist will not occur only in the end times, but is already fundamentally present now.”[5]

After recalling this old essay written by the future pope, Agamben notes that “during the General Audience on April 22, 2009, […] before placing his pallium on the tomb of Celestine V, Benedict XVI made a new reference to the figure of Tychonius regarding the way in which we ought to understand ‘the mystery of the Church’ today.”[6]

On that occasion, Pope Benedict XVI explained Tychonius’ thought in these words:

In his commentary he sees the Apocalypse above all as a reflection of the mystery of the Church. Tychonius had reached the conviction that the Church was a bipartite body: on the one hand, he says, she belongs to Christ, but there is another part of the Church that belongs to the devil.

Agamben writes:

The fact that Tychonius’ thesis now receives the sanction of the bishop of Rome, who calls him a “great theologian,” is certainly not a matter of indifference. What is in question is not only the thesis of the two-part body of the Church; what is also in question is above all the ecclesiological implications of this teaching, that is, the “great discessio,” the great separation between evildoers and the faithful – between the Church as the body of the Antichrist and the Church as the body of Christ – which much take place in the end times. Seen from this perspective, the abdication [of Benedict XVI] cannot fail to evoke something like a discessio, a separation of the beautiful Church [Ecclesia decora] from the “dark Church [Ecclesia fusca],” and yet Benedict XVI knows that this can and must happen only on the eve of the second coming of Christ.[7]

Then Agamben adds:

The [contemporary] Church has long since closed its eschatological office; but the decision of Benedict XVI [to resign] shows that the problem of the last things continues to act underground in the history of the Church. […] What interests the Apostle Paul [in 2 Thessalonians] is not the last day, not the end of time, but rather the end times [the times immediately preceding the end]. […] And one of the theses of Tychonius’ Commentary on the Book of Revelation, which Benedict XVI knew well, was that the prophecies of the Book of Revelation do not refer to end of time but rather to the condition of the Church in the interval between the first and second coming of Christ, that is, in the historical period which we are still living now. […] If we situate this understanding of Benedict XVI in the context of the situation he personally faced as pope, the “great refusal” of Benedict XVI is far from a reference to a future eschatological schism: his “refusal” recalls, on the contrary, that it is not possible for the Church to survive if it passively defers the solution of the conflict that tears apart the “two-part body” to the end of time.[8]

And thus we arrive at the “resignation” of Benedict XVI.

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ORIGINAL FOOTNOTES BY SOCCI

[1] From 2 Thess 2:6-7: “But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene.” The kathécon is the “one who restrains” the anomos, the “lawless one” before the Second Coming of Christ.
[2] This essay was republished as the first chapter of Il nuovo popolo di Dio [The New People of God] (Queriniana, Brescia 1992). Tychonius (alternatively Ticonius) was an African Donatist writer of the late 4th century whose thought is incorporated into the writings of Augustine and also the Venerable Bede. His best-known work is “Seven Rules of Interpretation [of the Bible]” which are quoted and explained by Augustine in De doctrina Christiana III, 30-37. Tychonius’ Commentary on the Apocalypse is now lost (it is quoted by Bede in his Explanatio apocalypsis, PL XCIII, 130-134). It is believed that Augustine’s Commentary (PL XXXV, 2415-52) is a modified version of Tychonius. The late 5th-century writer Gennadius says of Tychonius, “He flourished at the same time as Rufinus; in the reign of Theodosius and his son,” thus dating his writing to somewhere between 379 and 423.
[3] Ibid., p. 20. The Latin word discessio means a separation or division, meaning a great cleavage or cutting in two. It also has the sense of withdrawal.
[4] Ibid., p. 24.
[5] Ibid. p. 23.
[6] From Benedict XVI’s General Audience of April 22, 2009 (the rich depth of the teaching of Benedict’s general audiences on the Fathers of the Church is astonishing when compared to the content and style of the Bergoglian magisterium):
“Ambrose Autpert’s most important work is without a doubt his commentary on the Apocalypse [Expositio in Apocalypsim] in 10 volumes: this constitutes, centuries later, the first broad commentary in the Latin world on the last book of Sacred Scripture. This work was the fruit of many years’ work, carried out in two phases between 758 and 767, hence prior to his election as abbot. In the premise he is careful to indicate his sources, something that was not usual in the Middle Ages. Through what was perhaps his most significant source, the commentary of Bishop Primasius of Hadrumetum, written in about the middle of the sixth century, Autpert came into contact with the interpretation of the Apocalypse bequeathed to us by Tychonius, an African who lived a generation before St Augustine. He was not a Catholic; he belonged to the schismatic Donatist Church, yet he was a great theologian. In his commentary he sees the Apocalypse above all as a reflection of the mystery of the Church. Tychonius had reached the conviction that the Church was a bipartite body: on the one hand, he says, she belongs to Christ, but there is another part of the Church that belongs to the devil. Augustine read this commentary and profited from it but strongly emphasized that the Church is in Christ’s hands, that she remains his Body, forming one with him, sharing in the mediation of grace. He therefore stresses that the Church can never be separated from Jesus Christ. In his interpretation of the Apocalypse, similar to that of Tychonius, Autpert is not so much concerned with the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time as rather with the consequences that derive for the Church of the present from his First Coming, his Incarnation in the womb of the Virgin Mary. And he speaks very important words to us: in reality Christ “must be born, die and be raised daily in us, who are his Body” (In Apoc., III: CCCM, 27, p. 205). In the context of the mystic dimension that invests every Christian he looks to Mary as a model of the Church, a model for all of us because Christ must also be born in and among us. Under the guidance of the Fathers, who saw the “woman clothed with the sun” of Rv 12: 1 as an image of the Church, Autpert argues: “the Blessed and devout Virgin… daily gives birth to new peoples from which the general Body of the Mediator is formed. It is therefore not surprising if she, in whose blessed womb the Church herself deserved to be united with her Head, represents the type of the Church”. In this sense Autpert considers the Virgin Mary’s role decisive in the work of the Redemption (cf. also his homilies In purificatione S. Mariae and In adsumptione S. Mariae). His great veneration and profound love for the Mother of God sometimes inspired in him formulations that in a certain way anticipated those of St Bernard and of Franciscan mysticism, yet without ever deviating to disputable forms of sentimentalism because he never separates Mary from the mystery of the Church. Therefore, with good reason, Ambrose Autpert is considered the first great Mariologist in the West. He considers that the profound study of the sacred sciences, especially meditation on the Sacred Scriptures, which he describes as “the ineffable sky, the unfathomable abyss” should be combined with the devotion that he believed must free the soul from attachment to earthly and transient pleasures (In Apoc. IX). In the beautiful prayer with which his commentary on the Apocalypse ends, underlining the priority that must be given to love in all theological research, he addresses God with these words: “When you are intellectually examined by us, you are not revealed as you truly are: when you are loved, you are attained”.
[7]Giorgio Agamben, Il mistero del male. Benedetto XVI e la fine dei tempi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2013, Kindle position 163, 170.
[8]Ibid., Kindle position 170-177, 184, 192.

The Canonical Duty of Every Priest to name Benedict in the Canon of the Mass

 

Most priests do not know that they have a canonical right to stop naming Bergoglio in the Canon of the Mass. They think wrongly that to do so would either be outside of their authority or would involve an act of schism. That it is not schism nor a sin, is proven thus:

Here is the canonical argument

First, a validly elected Pope must be named in the Canon of the Mass as a sign of communion. This is by tradition and liturgical law.

Second: Pope Benedict XVI was validly elected Roman Pontiff on April 19, 2005 A. D., just three days after his 78th birthday.

This is a dogmatic fact, which cannot be denied.

No validly elected pope’s name must be omitted from the Canon of the Mass during his lifetime, or before he validly resigns.

Third: Pope Benedict XVI did not resign on Feb. 11, 2013, he merely retired from the active ministry, as he himself said on Feb. 28, 2013 in his final Allocution (see other evidence here). For extensive canonical information about this see ppbxvi.org.

Fourth: That Pope Benedict XVI did validly resign was the falsehood which emanated from the Desk of Cardinal Sodano. (See explanation here)

Now just as Cardinal Sodano should have acted, is how all priest should act. Namely,

In accord with Canon 40, Priests who are to say mass hold a munus which is merely executory, in regard to whom to name at Mass in the Canon as Pope. This is because they do not decide on their own authority who is the pope and who is not the pope. They follow the command of a superior. That superior is above all the Pope.

If a pope therefore does not renounce his office in accord with canon 332 §2, because he renounces his ministerium instead, that renunciation has no canonical effect, because there is no canon in the Church’s laws which regard the renunciation of ministries.

Therefore, in accord with canon 40 and 41 A PRIEST IS FORBIDDEN to alter the name of the Pope in the Canon of the Mass. He cannot act on the basis of the declaration of Non Solum Propter in the same illegal manner Cardinal Sodano did. To do so would be to collaborate in his grave crime, deceive the faithful and enter into de facto schism with Pope Benedict. (see that article for a greater explanation of the crime and moral offence)

Therefore, a priest must continue to name Benedict in the Canon of the Mass.

Therefore, a priest must cease and desist naming Francis as soon as he recognizes the validity of this canonical argument.

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(This argument is not that of the Editor of FromRome.Info, who has merely expanded it for a fuller explanation — There are already a great number of priests who do not name Francis, but name Benedict instead, some openly, some secretly, some by saying for the Holy Father, without a specific name. God bless and strengthen and multiply these priests!)

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo taken by Br. Bugnolo of the Papal Altar at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, here at Rome.

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Cherry-Picking Canon Law is a mortal sin

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One day, while I lingered at the Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi, at Bagnoregio, in the spring of 2016, one of the Franciscan Fathers invited me to come with him to a Cherry orchard owned by a benefactor of the Convent. The owner said we could pick all the cherries we wanted. And the Conventual Father just loved cherries. I had never picked cherries and wanted to do some work to repay the Friars for their hospitality to me, so I eagerly went along.

In a Cherry Orchard

Cherries, in the province of Viterbo, Italy, grow in masses on the branches of trees which are nearly 20 feet high. So many cherries sprout from each branch that without supports the branches usually break.  But unlike many fruits, picking cherries is difficult, because they are so small and each one ripens at its own pace. So each cherry has to be picked on the basis of a decision to pick it or not. And this has to be accurate, because an unripe cherry can cause great gastric distress after you eat it.

We picked so many cherries, the old Friar was nearly taken to heaven. He was so happy, it reminded him of his youth. Alas, after letting them age a day in the refrigerator, they were found to be not very sweet and too watery. I found them fine and ended up eating too many of them. But Italians are very particular about food quality, and the old priest ate no more than a handful, which was a great disappointment to him.

The Expression, to Cherry-pick…

And thus the colloquial expression, in English, to cherry-pick.  To cherry-pick means to chose what you want and leave the rest. The expression is used to show the mendacity or malignancy in choosing what you want from something which is intended to be taken as a whole.

For example, Protestants cherry-pick scripture to propose to their congregations a Christianity without Bishops, priests and Sacraments. This is because they decide to believe and observe and thus recognize only certain passages from Scripture, not all of them.

Cherry-picking Scripture is a mortal sin, because it presupposes that you are a rebel against the obligation of faith to believe in all of Sacred Scripture as inerrant and equally inspired by God.

Canon Law

Imagine a Church where you only had to observe certain Canon Laws and not others. I can imagine that if I went to any medium or high security prison in the world, and proposed a society where you could chose which laws to keep and which you did not have to keep, that my proposal would win the wild cheers of all the inmates, for obvious reasons.

To cherry-pick a code of law is obviously wrong. But perhaps not so obviously more immoral and evil than breaking the law. Because the one who chooses to break a law does not necessary decide or judge that the law should not be observed, only that what he wants at that moment is more important. But someone who cherry-picks a Code of Law is setting himself up as an authority over the authority of the law itself and rejects in principle that the entire Code and the authority which issued it is his superior, which he must obey.

To cherry-pick Canon Law therefore is a very serious mortal sin of rebellion against the Pope and against Jesus Christ, from Whom the papal munus comes. It is thus diabolic, without any exaggeration.

True or False Pope?

I am continually amazed how many commentators stop by and say, What is wrong with obeying a false pope? Is not obedience what matters? People do not obey Francis because of Francis, but out of obedience to the papacy, no?

If we think we can cherry-pick Canon Law, then it does not matter, because then the Catholic Religion is up for the grab of everyone, everyone can make it into what he wants, and we have a New Gnosticism, where everyone has his own inner guiding secret principles for salvation: while the external visible Church is merely the living space for the wantonness of each. Pope, Antipope, Jesus or the Antichrist, it would all be equally good.

This is why it is absolutely essential to the salvation of each of us and of all of us to get Canon 332 §2 right. Whether you are the Pope or a Cardinal, or a Bishop or a priest, or just a layman, it makes a difference. We cannot pick and chose canons, we have to obey all the Canons of the Church.

What does it matter that Canon Law says we must obey the pope, if we refuse to obey the pope by rejecting Canon 332 § 2, and listen to the Cardinals instead who want to have an authority which Canon Law does not give them, to demand universal acceptance of their unfounded uncanonical opinion?  Is that obedience to the Pope? Does Unam Sanctam no longer matter to Trad Inc.? and if we do not have to submit to Canon Law, why do we have to submit to Pope Francis? — Will someone in Trad inc explain that to me?

And where on earth or in Hell comes the idea that the Holy Spirit does not care about our decisions in this matter, or that He won’t back up the Cardinals and Bishops to do the right thing, if we ask them to in Synod or Council?

This is the spirit which motivated me to write my recent letter to Giovanni Cardinal Battista Re, whom Bergoglio announced as his new Dean of the College of Cardinals. I showed 8 sound canonical reasons why the Declaration of Pope Benedict, which he made 7 years ago, tomorrow, at 11:30 AM Rome time, did not separate him from the Papal Munus, and that therefore Canon Law — which judges everyone and everything — says he is still the pope.

It’s been 7 years, and still those who say Benedict is not the pope anymore do NOT have a canonical argument. They can cite no canon as it reads, and at most grab for a canon and try to make it say the opposite of what it says, as those whom Diane Montanga interviewed last year tried to do.  I am still waiting for Life Site to print a retraction for their lies and misrepresentations. I am still waiting for Trad Inc to denounce Life Site for an article of propaganda and misinformation. I am still waiting for 750 Cardinals and Bishops and priests and 500 students of theology and canon law to get back to me with JUST ONE sound canonical argument that demonstrates Benedict is no longer the pope.

Still waiting…

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CREDITS:  The Featured Image is a collage of images created by Google Image search, under the rubric of “Canon Law”, used here according to a fair use standard for editorial commentary.

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