Tag Archives: Benedict’s Renunciation

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: https://fromrome.info/2019/10/31/munus-and-ministerium-a-canonical-study/).  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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The god of the Club

REPRINTED FROM DECEMBER 4, 2019.

With Addendum, added today, at end.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics round the world write their Bishops and priests in regard to the failed renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a crisis much more grave than pedophilia or homosexuality in the Catholic Clergy.

Time after time, Catholics are sharing with me the bizarre and even incoherent responses they are receiving from members of the clergy: arguments which range from sheer infantile petulance at loosing one’s rattle to absolutely diabolic attacks on God.

Underlying them all is a constant theme.  The ecclesiastical club is the arbiter of truth, not God, not Christ, nor Canon Law, not the philosophy of Aquinas or Aristotle, not reason, not facts, not history, and especially not words.

As an Anthropologist, I would sum up the responses as evidences of faith in the god of the club: the concept that one should do everything to keep the club of the clergy afloat (in whatever decisions it makes for itself), no matter what you have to deny or what you have to affirm.

Not being a youngster, I have personal experience with members of the club over 40 years. This mentality is not accidental, it did not infiltrate into the Church. It was cultivated, invited and required. If young men believed in absolute, eternal unchanging divine truth, they simply were either not accepted into the club, or they were progressively harassed and attacked and destroyed or driven out. The club works this way, whether they worship in Latin or the vernacular.

I know priests who were kicked out of their diocese simply because they preached that abortion was evil. I know priests who were kicked out of their Traditional Latin Mass society simply because they hung a curtain in the confessional. I could go on and on about cases of absurdity. To punish priests for absurdly unjust reasons became a hallmark of the post Vatican II era.

Hundreds of new communities and societies were founded. But a vast majority had a single unifying principle: abnormality. I mean ab-norm-ality: that is, a society not founded around the observance of God’s Law (nomos in Greek) but around some other human law: whether the will of the superior, the will of the bishop, the will of the founders: whether or not that will conformed itself to God or to Church teaching or not. Violate the “will” and you are out. Defend the Will of God against the “will” and you are out. It did not matter whether you were expelled for stealing or for kneeling at communion, both were equally grave.

The end result is that well over 60% of the clergy today simply do not worship Jesus Christ in practice. They worship the god of the club.

The problem with this moral error, over and above that it is explicitly demonic and idolatrous, is that when you accept as Head of your club a freemason or satanist, then your club has no problems at all with that.

The silence of the rest of the clergy, is thus, perhaps not so much a sign of disagreement, as many of us hope.

A priest who is silent must be questioned. I think you have the right to eternal salvation, and that you have the right to know which god your local priest worships.

And a discussion about the invalid resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is proving to be the best revealer of which god your priest worships. It is absolutely stunning to see the responses of clergy on this topic. The truth frightens them. Literally.

I myself saw that yesterday, when, after asking to meeting with the Head of an important section of the Roman Curia, I saw the head run down the stairs to avoid being seen by me. I guess having read my scholastic question on the Renunciation, a copy of which I mailed to him a few weeks ago, he chose flight over dialogue.

CREDITS: The Palazzo Roffia is a Masonic Lodge, the image is from wikipedia: Notice how much it looks like a “Catholic chapel”

ADDENDUM:

The events since December 4, 2019, have proven my observation 10,000%. The club really does have another god. They abolished the Sacraments to protect themselves from a winter flu and now insist you blaspheme God to His Face by wearing a mask in Church while celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, our God, from the Dead.

And less than 1% of 1% of all priests have refused to worship the god of the Club.

Nothing can be more clear. This is the religion of the Antichrist. And it required, as a presupposition, that you say that Benedict is not the pope, that renouncing ministry means you lose office.

Yet, they themselves, the members of the club, have renounced their sacred ministries, and nevertheless they still demand FROM YOU an obedience greater than any creature owes to God Himself, because God is owed rational obedience, but they want you to obey them in a GOD-less political make-believe.

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Seewald’s new book on Pope Benedict XVI confirms his renunciation was invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Having read many reports regarding Peter Seewald’s new biography on Pope Benedict XVI, it is clear that it provides no new light on what happened on Feb. 11, 2013. While the entire Book needs to be read to make a certain determination on this, let us review the major reports about the book to show that this is most likely a correct assessment of its contents.

The German Press ignores the Renunication

DomRadio.De in its report of May, 4, 2020, entitled, Peter Seewald legt neue Biografie von Benedikt XVI. vor 1.184 Seiten über den früheren Papst (Peter Seewald publishes a new Biography on Benedict XVI: 1184 pages about the former Pope) does not even speak of what happened using the correct terms, but does reveal that the Pedophilia Crisis was the cause of the decision:

Resignation from the papal office

Or for the reform process of the “Würzburg Synod”, which he left without saying a word in 1974 when he realized that he could not influence him in his understanding. And also for the surprising step with which he has secured a place in church history for all time: the resignation from the papal office (Papstamt) and the entry into the office (Amt) of an emeritus pope, which he invented.

Seewald describes the departure in the life of the 93-year-old with empathy, he usually protects him against criticism. He always provides really new insights when he draws from personal conversations with the old pope (or with his secretary).

Such a very last, mostly written interview in autumn 2018 is the final chapter of the book. In it Benedict XVI. with old and new arguments, why he decided to resign in 2012 and how he understands and exercises the spiritual office of “Papa emeritus” (Amt de Papa emeritus). With a bit of bitterness, he also rejects the sharp criticism of his public statements.

One of the strongest chapters of the book with 1,150 pages of text and a detailed picture section includes the description of the abuse crisis and other scandals in the late phase of the Benedictine pontificate, which then led to the decision to resign – without having triggered this step, however, like Seewald and to insure his protagonist. The description of the meticulous preparation of the world-shattering event is exciting to read. Now you know who was informed when and how they managed to keep the sensational plan secret for months.

This report is uninformed, because Benedict XVI never renounced the Papal Office (PapstAmt) he only renounced the Petrine Ministry (PapstDeinst), as anyone who can real Latin can see. Evidently the author of this article cannot read Latin, but followed the German translation available on the Vatican Website, which I have shown to be falsified, and which our German correspondent showed was most likely subsequently manipulated by an English speaker.

Br.de suggests that no other information will be found in the Biography, which was written to defend Ratzinger and which contains interviews with more than 100 individuals:

Defense of a pontificate: a biography for Benedict fans

A book about Benedict XVI. for fans of Benedict XVI: The new Pope biography by Peter Seewald is told in an exciting way, but in an obvious effort to defend Benedict. There is only criticism of the pontiff in small doses.

In 1993 Peter Seewald metCardinal Ratzinger for the first time. Peter Seewald was supposed to write a portrait for the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine about this man, who was perceived in Germany primarily as a “tank cardinal”: Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, must have liked the encounter and the resulting article.

Because Seewald accompanies Ratzinger even after the papal election. He was the only journalist who managed to have a detailed discussion with the Pope and to publish it.

The Featured Image above is a screen shot of the Br.de article.

The English speaking press, however seems more eager to frame the Biography as proof that Benedict did resign validly

For example, NCRonline.org in its report of May, 4, 2020, “Former Pope Benedict XVI sees Church threatened by pseudo-humanism” which is a reprint of an article by Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur, the emphasis, first of all, as can be seen from the title of the article, is on Former:

He also explained the reasons for his resignation as pope in 2013. He denied that it was because of corruption in the Vatican or the “Vatileaks” scandal. Instead, he said it had become increasingly clear to him that in addition to possible dementia, “other forms of insufficient ability to hold office properly are also possible.”

In this context Benedict XVI revealed that he, like Paul VI and John Paul II, had signed a conditional declaration of resignation “in the event of illness which rendered the proper performance of duties impossible.” He had already done this “relatively early” in his pontificate, Benedict said.

He commented at length on criticism of his resignation. The office of a “papa emeritus” that he had created should be compared to that of a bishop who had retired for age reasons. This legal status could also be applied to the Bishop of Rome. It prevented “any notion of a coexistence of two popes: a diocese can have only ONE incumbent. At the same time, it expresses a spiritual bond that can never be taken away.”

The former pope also likened his situation to that of an old farmer in Bavaria who has passed his farm to his son, lives in a small house next to it and has ceded his fatherly and commanding rights.

I find it curious that the Pope might have used the very analogy I used to show his resignation was invalid, in my article about the Grandfather on his Farm. I am not a prophet, but Pope Benedict XVI might read FromRome.Info.

If Seewald can be believed, and if the words he attributes to Pope Benedict XVI reflect his own mind, then it is clear that Pope Benedict XVI still is operating under the grave error of thinking that you can renounce the Papal Munus by giving up the power and governance but retaining a spiritual bond with the Papal dignity. Such an error is substantial, and in accord with Canon 188 would make the Renunciation irritus, that is, something which must be recognized by the whole Church has having never happened.

In Conclusion

Other reports cite statements which are incompatible with the truth that Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation. But their incompatibility only demonstrates that Benedict XVI does not understand what he did or does not want to say openly what he did, and is simply muddying the waters. As Pope Benedict XVI warned us at the beginning of his pontificate, we must avoid the Dictatorship of Relativism, which determines truth not according to facts and reality, but according to opinions and claims. That a man is or is not pope is not demonstrated according to opinion or claims, by himself or by others. It is established by his acceptance of his canonical election OR his renunciation in accord with canon 332. In the former case, Pope Benedict XVI is the pope no matter what others or he himself thinks. In the latter case, Pope Benedict XVI, since he did not renounce in accord with canon 332, is still the pope, no matter what others or he himself thinks or says — until he says, before 2 witnesses:  “I renounce the munus which I received when I accepted my canonical election,” or something logically equivalent to that.

As far as the evidentiary value of Seewald’s book, it has to be regarded as hearsay evidence, unless he can provide voice recordings of the statements made by Pope Benedict XVI, and demonstrate that the Pope made them without the presence of others who would monitor, report or coerce him for what he said.

As for the Italian press, Antonio Socci says nothing much about the controversy, but concludes that only God knows the role that Benedict has in the present crisis. He is surely exaggerating, because everyone knows what role the Pope has. They might not understand the kind of confusion into which a person can fall on account of error or what they might to out of fear, but that is because they have failed to really look at the matter with Christian Faith, which being based on the Incarnation, knows it must confront both the omnipotence of immutable truth and the vagaries of human flesh.

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Father Lombardi is shaking in his boots

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Father Lombardi, who was the spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013, is shaking in his boots. You can see this in the fact that, after 7 years he is still trying to control the narrative about what happened in that fateful month.

He did so in an interview with La Stampa, a leading daily newspaper, yesterday on the 93rd Birthday of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

Here is a brief list of the lies, Father Lombardi repeatedly uttered during the interview:

  • He calls the renunciation, a renunciation of the papacy, when the whole world knows that it was a renunciation of the ministry committed to Pope Benedict XVI by the Cardinals!
  • He claims that on Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict said he did not have the strength to make decisions, when Pope Benedict said nothing of the kind!
  • He contradicts himself, saying on the one hand that Pope Benedict XVI does not have the strength to make decisions, and on the other, that he has a brilliant mind which has not weakened with age!

And you can see what Pope Benedict XVI thinks of La Stampa by refusing an interview on the occasion of his birthday. — Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the newspaper has Batman, the gay icon, flying all over their pages? — When a newspaper has to dig up someone from 7 years ago to pretend to say something informed today about what is going on in the Vatican, you know that they have found a lot of doors shut in their face. And that is significant, but not surprising, on account of the questions that remain and are being asked.

But here is the really juicy part of the interview (my English translation), in the sense of the narrative that Lombardi is urgent to propose for credence, but which has lost all credibility:

From what was born this clamorous renunciation of the papacy?

From a responsible liberty which knows how to look at one’s own duties and to one’s own responsibility before God and the Church. That of the renunciation was an act characteristic of his own conscience.  He always showed himself to be fully aware of a vocation received from God and exercised in the call to serve others. It was a gesture totally alien to constrictions.

There is talk of external conditioning…

I have always held as unfounded and unjustified the attempts to interpret the renunciation of Benedict XVI as the consequence of pressures, discomfort or disappointment.  Significantly, the renunciation of the Pope to be valid must have one characteristic: it must be free.  And the decision of Joseph Ratzinger is attributed exclusively to his capacity to see with great clarity and a profound sense of responsibility the growing disproportion between his own strength and the duties implied by the task of the Pontiff.  A choice for liberty and responsibility of which he has never repented

As they say in Italian, you can only be sure something is true, when it is denied in public, especially when it is denied repeatedly for 7 years in public.

If rather what Lombardi said were true, why would he feel the need to constantly repeat himself? Especially, why are you so insistent to repeat the word “responsible” or “responsibility” so many times?

It sounds as if, psychologically, Lombardi is shouting: IT’S NOT MY FAULT! I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

Perhaps he is being repetitious, because, since it is not true, Father Lombardi, is destined to go to a very dark, dark place, for having been instrumental in robbing the loyalty of 1 Billion Catholics from the true Pope, by giving Giovanna Chirri the go-ahead to tell the world a big, fat lie.

As I have demonstrated in my recent documentary, where I speak expressly about Father Lombardi’s key role in deceiving the world on Feb. 11, 2013 (see Episode 5).

And you can see what La Stampa and Father Lombardi are really worried about in the title of the article: I 93 anni di Benedetto XVI. Padre Lombardi: “Troppo debole fisicamente per fare il Papa”.  Which in English means:  The 93 years of Benedict XVI. Father Lombardi: “Too weak physically to act as the Pope”.

Notice they still call him by his Papal name? So they recognize that he still holds the papal dignity, which is impossible if he renounced the petrine munus, as Lombardi is attempting to say. Also, the phrase attributed to Father Lombardi (“Too weak physically to act as the Pope”) is not in the past tense, it is in an infinitive construction, applicable to past and present. But why attempt to deny he is took weak to be “the Pope” today, unless you fear his return as the one true Pope?

That says it all. This interview is an excellent piece of misinformation, disinformation and narrative control. It’s sole purpose is to deceive.

But it also reveals great fear on the part of La Stampa, Lombardi and the Vatican authorities which permitted it. A fear directed entirely against the truth of what really happened and the growing awareness of that truth by the faithful.

And some news agencies are aware of that, like the Premium Times and the Daily Post of Nigeria, which have Gänswein say in English, that Pope Benedict is under “house arrest”, as if to tease their readership.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a screen shot of the page of La Stampa, online, from whence the citation of the interview was taken, and is used here in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary.

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Archbishop Negri: Obama was behind the forced resignation of Pope Benedict

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On thing that is not well reported in the English speaking world is that the doubts about the validity of Pope Benedict’s resignation did not emanate from conspiracy theorists working in their mothers’ basements, but were pronounced publicly by some of the highest members of the Catholic Hierarchy.

Having just republished our report on Archbishop Lenga, in which he expresses the same doubts — doubts which I did not take seriously in 2015 because I assumed the men in the Vatican could not be psychopathic liars — I want to feature here in English some of the things said by Archbishopi Negi, of Ferrara, Italy — now retired — on Benedict’s act of Feb. 11, 2013, from what has been reported in the Italian Press.

I also do this to let the Vatican Secretary of State know, that if you are going to ruff up Br. Bugnolo in the Piazza San Pietro, thinking you are going to discourage him, that he wants you to know that you have succeeded only in making him more of lion who will ever be on your heels.

Mons. Negri’s stunning admissions

His stunning comments were published in Rimini 2.0, an online Italian News Journal, on March 6, 2017, nearly 3 years ago.

In that interview, after being asked about his close friendship with Pope Benedict, the Franco Fregni asks him this question — which I here present first in the original Italian and then in my own English translation:

Visto questo rapporto, si è fatto un’opinione sul perché Benedetto abbia rinunciato al papato, un gesto clamoroso nella millenaria storia della Chiesa?

“Si è trattato di un gesto inaudito. Negli ultimi incontri l’ho visto infragilito fisicamente, ma lucidissimo nel pensiero. Ho poca conoscenza – per fortuna – dei fatti della Curia romana, ma sono certo che un giorno emergeranno gravi responsabilità dentro e fuori il Vaticano. Benedetto XVI ha subito pressioni enormi. Non è un caso che in America, anche sulla base di ciò che è stato pubblicato da Wikileaks, alcuni gruppi di cattolici abbiano chiesto al presidente Trump di aprire una commissione d’inchiesta per indagare se l’amministrazione di Barack Obama abbia esercitato pressioni su Benedetto. Resta per ora un mistero gravissimo, ma sono certo che le responsabilità verranno fuori. Si avvicina la mia personale “fine del mondo” e la prima domanda che rivolgerò a San Pietro sarà proprio su questa vicenda”.

My English translation:

In view of this friendship, have you formed an opinion on why Benedict renounced the papacy, a clamorous gesture in the millennial history of the Church?

Yes, it certainly was an unheard of gesture. In my last meetings with him, I saw him physically enfeebled, but most lucid in his thoughts.  I have little knowledge — thankfully — of the inner workings of the Roman Curia, but I am certain that one day grave faults will emerge both inside and outside the Vatican.  Benedict XVI suffered enormous pressures. It is not by chance that in America, even on the basis of what was published in Wikileaks, some groups of Catholics asked President Trump to open a commission of inquest to investigate if Barrack Obama’s administration exercised pressure on Benedict.  For now, it remains a most grave mystery, but I am certain that those responsible will be exposed.  My own “end of the world” is approaching and the first question that I will ask of Saint Peter will be precisely on this affair.

And Pope Benedict’s Mysterious Reply

To refute the testimony of the Archbishop, La Stampa, one of the major Marxist newspapers of Italy, quoted words attributed to Pope Benedict by the German Journalist, Peter Seewald, which make Benedict appear to be someone who was never manipulated by anyone and who was always in perfect control of the Curia prior to Feb. 2013. — Words which now have been discredited by multiple sources, including by Archbishop Viganò. But one phrase of Seewald’s words, attributed to Benedict does not settle so well on the side of those who claimed he resigned:

Se avessero provato a farlo non me ne sarei andato perché non bisogna lasciare quando si è sotto pressione

My English translation, according to the context of the whole passage:

If anyone had tried to (force me to resign), I would NOT have gone, because there is no need to leave, when one is under pressure.

Pope Benedict is a brilliant man. He knows how to spill the beans while convincing his enemies he is not doing anything of the kind.

Just like when, on Feb. 14, 2013, when speaking to the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, he gave them the principles to see his renunciation was invalid, while appearing to praise Vatican II for an hour, for no purpose.

I won’t point out here, that by resigning ministry, and not munus, as Canon 332 §2 requires for a valid papal resignation, Benedict did in fact remain, against all apparent pressures. QED.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a screen shot of the report from Rimini 2.0, used here in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary.

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The news that Benedict renounced the Papacy is itself canonically invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I have said before, everything in the Bergoglian Church is founded upon lies and falsehoods. And the more you investigate, the more you find that this is true.

In many posts, here at The From Rome Blog, I have focused on the canonical problems of the Declaratio read aloud by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013, during the Consistory of Cardinals called for the canonization of the Martyrs of Otranto and other saints.

Today I want to share only a short reflection, directed that those who think, that since everyone accepted that Benedict resigned the papacy, upon the news published that day, that we are canonically or morally bound to hold fast with that interpretation until some authority says otherwise.

The truth is, however, exactly the opposite.

And the truth is the opposite, because, once again, Pope John Paul II saved the Church from that kind of false thinking when he promulgated the Code of Canon Law in 1983, specifically including canon 40, which addresses this very issue.

That canon reads as follows in the Latin, official text:

Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.

Here is my English translation:

Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his office (suo munero), before he receives the documents (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) their integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of them has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.

And here is the problem, plain to see. Pope Benedict XVI read his Declaratio on that day between 11:30 and 11:40 A.M. It was so unexpected, that Vatican TV had to turn the cameras on several moments after the reading had begun. — Tell me again, that this was planned for months in advance, as Archbishop Ganswein keeps insisting in recent years!

Then at 11:58, Father Lombardi gives Giovanna Chirri, the ANSA pool reporter, the go ahead to tweet out that Benedict was resigning, he will leave the Pontificate on Feb. 28th.

But from Feb. 11, 2013 to about Feb. 18, 2013, the Vatican Press Office was publishing varying versions of the Renunciation, correcting now this, now that.

Thus, only until the final version was had, could anyone VALIDLY respond to it in canonical form, since Canon 40 requires that those with an office in the Church NOT act until they have the administrative act in hand in its integral form.

This means that the idea that Benedict had resigned the Papacy arose in that period of time in which Pope John Paul II forbid any canonically binding actions. That means that whoever told Lombardi to tell reporters anything, acted invalidly according to Canon Law. Which means that their act binds no one! And can never bind anyone.

It also means that once the final version was published, ALL who held office in the Church were canonically obliged TO RE-EXAMINE the act. — Did they do that?

I suggest the next time anyone says Bergoglio is certainly the Pope, ask them if they did that on Feb. 19, 2013. I bet you will find that the answer is that they did not.

So the next time anyone attempts to gaslight you into thinking that you are wrong to disagree with the “universal acceptance” of Benedict’s renunciation, you might want to ask them if they have ever read Canon 40 and considered that not only was the news Fake News, but its publication lacks ALL CANONICAL AUTHORITY.  This means, that the news never came from the Church of Jesus Christ, as an ontological entity.

As the sheep of Christ, then, we are gravely obliged to stop regarding it as authoritative. Indeed, to continue to do so is to transfer our loyalty, which we should show to the Church, to some other entity. And that is precisely the shell game of the AntiChrist.

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Why Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori would say the Renunciation was invalid

59df1d354eaef6243f7823c2_version_719

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Saints who have been canonized are already in the glory of Paradise, and so, baring an extraordinary grace, do not speak to us anymore. But those Saints who have fully explained their opinions or teaching on any point, can be said to speak to us today. This is especially true of Saints who have taught on questions of law and the principles to be followed in controversies.  Of which kind is Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori, Doctor of the Church on all questions of moral theology, and not a few questions of law.

No one has the right to interpret a Papal Resignation

As I reported in my notes for my meeting with Bishop Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts — who is the top Vatican official for questions of legal interpretation — he emphatically declared, that no one has the right to interpret a Papal Resignation. It must be clear in itself.

This statement by Bishop Arrieta clears up the entire controversy over the renunciation of Pope Benedict. Because, it ends it.  That is, since Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministerium, not anything else. No one has the right to say that he renounced the Papal Office or petrine Munus or even power of governance.  Because to say that something else, requires an interpretation. And no one, not even the man who is the pope, has the right to interpret the act of renunciation.

But the statement of Bishop Arrieta is not of his own making. It is the necessary conclusion of legal principles.  First, that a declaration made by the man who is the pope, inasmuch as he is the man, and not the pope, cannot be judged by anyone except according to the norm of law. And since a declaration by such man when regarding the renunciation of the Office regards the renouncing of the Office, one cannot appeal to the holder of the office to interpret it. Because if it was valid, then the holder is no longer the holder, and thus cannot receive appeals. If it was not valid, then appealing to the holder of the office is tantamount to declaring the renunciation in valid.

Any appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to clarify what he meant means that the Resignation is invalid

This is a very important point, which has been overlooked in this 7 year controversy. Anyone who appeals to anything which Pope Benedict said before or after Feb. 28, 2013, to explain that the Renunciation means the renunciation of the papacy, or of the petrine munus, or of the power of governance IS IMPLICITLY AFFIRMING THAT POPE BENEDICT IS STILL THE POPE AND THAT THE RENUNCIATION WAS INVALID, because they are trying to have recourse to an official interpretation. And if the act needs to be interpreted, then it is doubtful. And if the renunciation is doubtful, then in virtue of canon 332 §2, it is invalid for lack of due manifestation.

What Saint Alphonsus says about the interpretation of a law:

For those who have overdosed on the falsehood of universal acceptance, and quote Saint Alphonsus, let us see what the Saint would say about the games the authors of such sophisms play with the words “munus” and “ministerium,” to make the Resignation say what it does not say.  For this we must have recourse to the teaching of Saint Alphonsus, taken from his great work, Theologia Moralis, Bk. I, tract ii, p. 242, De interpretatio legis. I will first quote the Latin, for those who can read Latin, and then give an English translation:

DE INTERPRETATIO LEGIS

200. Interpretatio alia est Authentica, alia Usualis, alia Doctrinalis. Authentica fieri potest vel ab ipso legislatore, vel ab eius successore, aut a superiore. Usualis est illa, quae ita ab usu est recepta. Doctrinalis autem est declaratio quaedam mentis legislatoris, quase a quocumque doctore fieri potest.

Hic dubitur an delcarationes, quae fiunt a Pontifice, vel a principe alicuius legis, indigeant promulgatione, ut obligent. In hoc distinguere oportet declarationes pure tales ab aliis quae sunt non pure tales, sed potius sunt merae interpretationes. Declarationes pure tales sunt, cum ab illis explicatur aliquis sensus, qui usque ab initio iam erat clare imbibitus in lege: ex. gr. si dubium sit, an sub verbo filii intelligatur solus legitimus aut eitam spurius, et legislator declarat intelligi etiam spurium, tunc verum fit quod sensus in lege erat clare imbibitus. Interpretatio autem, sive declaratio non pure talis est illa, cuius sensus non est clare imbibitus in lege, sed circa ipsum variae sunt opiniones, et tantum deducitur ex argumentis, v. gr. quod sub nomine patris intelligatur eitam avus, aut quod sub nomine moartis intelligatur etiam mors civilis, prout est carcer perpetuus, aut simile, recurrendo ad quamdam impropriam significationem.

His positis, dicimus cum Suarez, Castropal. Vasques, Sals, Salm. Holzaman, La-Croix, Supplet Sporger etc. quod declaratio sensus clare imbibiti in lege non requirit promulagationem, sed etiam obliget eos omnes qui illum noverint, cum talis declaratio non sit nova lex. Interpretatio vero alicuius sensus non clare, sed tantum obscure, sive improprie imbibiti in lege, quae est declaratio non pure talis (ut diximus) haec, quia habetur tanquam nova lex, ut obliget, necessario promulgationem requirit, sicut omnes aliae leges juxta dicta. n. 95 et 96. Hinc infertur cum Suar. de Leg. 1. 6. c. 1. n. 3 et Castrop. tr. 3. eod. tit. d. 5. p. 3. §. 1. n. 5 (qui citat pro se Bon. Salas, et Lorca) quod declaratio, quae fit a legislatore alicuius sensus clare in lege imbibiti (juxta exemplum adductum filii legitimi, et spurii) non requirit promulgatioem, ut obliget. Contra vero declaratio sensus obscure imbibiti (juxta exemplus avi sub nomine patris, vel mortis civilils sub nomine mortis) indiget quidem promulgatione; tunc enim ipsa novam constituit obligationem, quae per se non erat prius clare in lege imbibita. Et idem dicunt Suar. loc. cit. et Castrop. n. 2 de illis declarationibus, quae fiunt non ab eodem legislatore, sed ab eius successore, aut superiore; quia legislatoris mens nequit his esse ita cognita, ut erat ipsi legislatori; unde tunc, ut declaretur sensus (quamvis imbibitus in lege) alicuius obligationis, semper opus est recurrere ad argumenta, et interpretationes, quae novam legam constituunt, reddendo certum quod erat dubium; et ideo promulgatio requiritur, alias declaratio nunquam authentica, sed tantum doctrinalis repubabitur.

My English translation:

On the Interpretation of Law

200. One interpretation is authentic, another customary, another academic.  An authentic (interpretation) can be made either by the legislator himself, and/or by his successor, or by a superior. A customary (interpretation) is that, which has been received thus by custom.  Moreover, an academic (interpretation) is a certain declaration of the mind of the legislator, which can be made by any professor.

Here, there is doubted whether declarations, which are made by the Pontiff, and/or by a prince for any law, are in need of promulgation, to oblige.  In this, it is necessary to distinguish those which are purely such from those which are not purely such, but rather mere interpretations.  Declarations are purely such, when by them there is explicated some sense, which was clearly incorporated in the law already from the beginning: e. g., if there be a doubt, whether under the term, “son” there be understood only a legitimate or even an illegitimate son, and the the legislator declares (the word “son” in the law”) is to be understood even as an illegitimate one, then indeed it becomes that (that) sense in the law was clearly incorporated in the law.  But an interpretation, or declaration which is not purely such, is that, the sense of which is not clearly incorporated in the law, but about which there are various opinions, and as much as is deduced through arguments, e. g., that under the term, “father”, there be understood also a grandfather, or that under the term, “death”, there be also understood a civil death, insofar as is perpetual incarceration, or the like, by recurring to a certain improper signification.

With these things posited, We say with Suarez, Castropal., Vasquez, Sals. Salimancans, Holzman, La-Croix, Supplet Sporget etc.., that the declaration of a sense clearly incorporated in the law does not require promulgation, but that it also obliges all those who know of it, though such a declaration is not a new law.  But an interpretation of some sense not clearly, but obscurely, or improperly incorporated in the law, which is not a declaration purely such (as we have said above), this (kind), because it is held to be a new law, to oblige, requires necessarily a promulgation, just as all other laws spoke of in nn. 95 and 96.  Hence, there is inferred with Suarez de Leg. 1. 6. c. 1. n. 3 and Castrop. tr. 3. eod. tit. d. 5. p. 3. §. 1. n. 5 (qui citat pro se Bon. Salas, et Lorca), that a declaration, which is made by the legislator of any sense clearly incorporated in the law (according to the example given above of the legitimate and illegitimate son) does not require a promulgation, to oblige. However, contrariwise, the declaration of a sense obscurely incorporated (according to the example given of a grandfather under the term of “father”, and/or of a civil death under the term of “death”) do indeed need a promulgation; for then it itself constitutes a new obligation, which per se was not beforehand clearly incorporated in the law. And the same is said by Suarez. loc. cit, and Castrop. n. 2, of those declarations, which are not made by the ssame legislator, but by his successor, or superior; because the mind of the legislator is never so known to other as it was to the legislator himself: on which account, then, to declare the sense (though incorporated in the law) of any obligation, it is always necessary to have recourse to arguments, and interpretations, which constitute a new law, by rendering certain what was doubtful; and for that reason a promulgation is required, otherwise the declaration is never an authentic one, but only is reputed to be a doctrinal one.

Thus, Saint Alphonsus.

What the teaching of Saint Alphonsus on Legal interpretation means in regard to the Renunciation

From this text, we can glean three truths.

  1. When the meaning is clearly incorporated into the law, that meaning is the authentic one, and its sense is binding upon all, as for example, when Benedict says he renounces the ministry, all are obliged to understand that as a renunciation of ministry.
  2. When the word which is subject to a possible interpretation is a noun which includes all possible interpretations according to its essential signification, such as “son” includes natural and legal sons, not just legal sons, then the interpretation is a customary one and is obliging upon all, once the legislator declares that his mind was to include all such possibilities.  But before such a declaration it is not binding.
  3. When the word which is subject to a possible interpretation is a noun, which DOES NOT include the possible wanted interpretation, such as “ministerium” in the text of Pope Benedict’s resignation is wanted to mean “munus” or “officium” which are entirely other words, then the interpretation is NOT AUTHENTIC and is not binding upon anyone, and only can become binding, when promulgated by the legislator or his successors.

And thus one can conclude, from the testimony of Bishop Arrieta and Saint Alphonsus, that the interpretation of the Cardinals and Bishops that Benedict’s renunciation of ministry is equivalent in law, or signification, or intention, to a resignation of the Papal Office or Petrine Munus, is not only an illegitimate interpretation, but is an interpretation which is not binding upon anyone!

Moreover, one can conclude, that even if hypothetically any successor of Pope Benedict XVI were to say that such a reading of the text (where ministerium = munus) is the one Benedict intended, then the act itself posited by Benedict was invalid as per canon 332 §2, since it was not duly manifest in itself, but required another promulgated interpretation to make it valid.

And this means that the very existence of the plot to solve the Pope Emeritus problem is not only evidence that the resignation was invalid from the start, but is DOOMED TO FAILURE since as an interpretation of the act, its very promulgation will publicly testify to and canonically establish the invalidity of the renunciation!

In other words, there is no way to fix the invalidity of the resignation by any subsequent act. And what the Cardinals and Bishops are doing is GRAVELY IMMORAL AND DISHONEST and, moreover, is a grave USURPATION OF RIGHT.

One can also honestly say, therefore, that the usurpation of the Papacy by Bergoglio is a moral consequence of the usurpation of the right of interpretation by the Cardinals, and that Bergoglio’s bizarre moral character and state of mind is the perfect fruit of and punishment for their sin.

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

Book of Proverbs: Chapter 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________

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

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

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

The god of the Club

The “chapel” of the Palazzo Roffia, Florence, set up for a Masonic Ritual

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics round the world write their Bishops and priests in regard to the failed renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a crisis much more grave than pedophilia or homosexuality in the Catholic Clergy.

Time after time, Catholics are sharing with me the bizzare and even incoherent responses they are receiving from members of the clergy: arguments which range from sheer infantile petulance at loosing one’s rattle to absolutely diabolic attacks on God.

Underlying them all is a constant theme.  The ecclesiastical club is the arbiter of truth, not God, not Christ, nor Canon Law, not the philosophy of Aquinas or Aristotle, not reason, not facts, not history, and especially not words.

As an Anthropologist, I would sum up the responses as evidences of faith in the god of the club: the concept that one should do everything to keep the club of the clergy afloat (in whatever decisions it makes for itself), no matter what you have to deny or what you have to affirm.

Not being a youngster, I have personal experience with members of the club over 40 years. This mentality is not accidental, it did not infiltrate into the Church. It was cultivated, invited and required. If young men believed in absolute, eternal unchanging divine truth, they simply were either not accepted into the club, or they were progressively harassed and attacked and destroyed or driven out. The club works this way, whether they worship in Latin or the vernacular.

I know priests who were kicked out of their diocese simply because they preached that abortion was evil. I know priests who were kicked out of their Traditional Latin Mass society simply because they hung a curtain in the confessional. I could go on and on about cases of absurdity. To punish priests for absurdly unjust reasons became a hallmark of the post Vatican II era.

Hundreds of new communities and societies were founded. But a vast majority had a single unifying principle: abnormality. I mean ab-norm-ality: that is, a society not founded around the observance of God’s Law (nomos in Greek) but around some other human law: whether the will of the superior, the will of the bishop, the will of the founders: whether or not that will conformed itself to God or to Church teaching or not. Violate the “will” and you are out. Defend the Will of God against the “will” and you are out. It did not matter whether you were expelled for stealing or for kneeling at communion, both were equally grave.

The end result is that well over 60% of the clergy today simply do not worship Jesus Christ in practice. They worship the god of the club.

The problem with this moral error, over and above that it is explicitly demonic and idolatrous, is that when you accept as Head of your club a freemason or satanist, then your club has no problems at all with that.

The silence of the rest of the clergy, is thus, perhaps not so much a sign of disagreement, as many of us hope.

A priest who is silent must be questioned. I think you have the right to eternal salvation, and that you have the right to know which god your local priest worships.

And a discussion about the invalid resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is proving to be the best revealer of which god your priest worships. It is absolutely stunning to see the responses of clergy on this topic. The truth frightens them. Literally.

I myself saw that yesterday, when, after asking to meeting with the Head of an important section of the Roman Curia, I saw the head run down the stairs to avoid being seen by me. I guess having read my scholastic question on the Renunciation, a copy of which I mailed to him a few weeks ago, he chose flight over dialogue.

(Credits: The Palazzo Roffia is a Masonic Lodge, the image is from wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palazzo_Roffia,_galleria_00.JPG: Notice how much it looks like a “Catholic chapel”)

 

Siscoe’s Triple shell game

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Recently at One Peter Five, a website which is subtitled, “Rebuilding Catholic Culture. Restoring Catholic Tradition”, Robert Siscoe has published an article to quell the raging doubts Catholics have about the legitimacy of Bergoglio’s claim to the papacy: the first part of which is entitled: “Dogmatic Fact, the One Doctrine which proves Francis is Pope“, and the second part of which is entitled, “For Each Objection, an answer why Francis is Pope“.

There is nothing much to be said for his article other than it’s a lawyer-esque attempt to convince his audience using 3 different shell games.  As you may know, a shell game is where you put a ball under one shell and then quickly shuffle the shells on a table top so that the onlooker loses track of which of the shells contains the ball, and then you ask the onlooker to guess under which shell the ball is.  In American popular discourse, a shell game, therefore, is a trick whereby you pretend that something is one thing at one time, when it really is not.

Here are Siscoe’s 3 Shell games:

The Church

In Siscoe’s mouth the verbal expression “The Church” has two distinct meanings: the Church founded by Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, AND the mass of those who uncritically accept that the resignation of Benedict XVI is valid because they never examined its conformity to Canon 332 §2.

The Shell Game that Siscoe plays with these 2 senses can be reduced to a simple Sophistic argument (i.e. invalid syllogism), thus:

Major: The Chuch (founded by Jesus Christ) cannot be deceived about who is the Pope.

Minor: The Church (of all those who have not examined the resignation of Benedict) accept Bergoglio as Pope Francis.

Conclusion: Therefore, The Church (founded by Jesus Christ) accepts Bergoglio as Pope Francis.

This kind of argumentation is a false illation, because the term “The Church” has not the same signification in both the major and minor premises of the syllogism.  Aristotle calls this the Sophism of the undistributed middle term, or the equivocation.

Fallible Private Opinion

In Siscoe’s mouth, the phrase “Fallible Private Opinion” has two senses:  in one sense its a judgement about something wherein the judgement may or may not be correct, because its not based on objective reality but on an interpretation of reality.  In the other sense, its any fact of objective reality which he wants to ignore for the sake of his argument.

The Shell Game that Siscoe plays with these 2 senses can be reduced to a simple Sophistic argument (i.e. invalid syllogism), thus:

Major: No merely infallible private opinion about dogmatic facts can assert itself as more authoritative than the judgement of the majority of men and women in the Church, since the Church’s sensus fidelium and Her indefectibility protects Her from error.

Minor: That Benedict’s act of renunciation regards the ministerium and not the munus, is a fallible private opinion.

Conclusion: Therefore, no one has the right to sustain that Benedict’s resignation is invalid against the vast majority of the members of the Church.

The error of this illation is found chiefly in the Minor. Because, that Benedict said ministerio not muneri in his act of renunciation is NOT a private opinion, but a fact of history.

Siscoe may not know it, but the Science of Logic teaches that the verity of premises flows down to their conclusions in valid illations.  Thus:

Major: That Benedict renounced his ministerium, is a fact of history.

Minor: That canon 332 §2 requires the renunciation of munus, is not a fallible private opinion, but a fact of law, being the very text of the Law.

Conclusion: That Benedict’s act of resignation is not in conformity with canon 332 is a fact of history.

Siscoe might want to ignore canon 38, which says that any Motu Proprio which runs counter to the terms of the law, EVEN IN THE CASE IN WHICH the one positing the act is IGNORANT of the law, is invalid UNLESS there is an express derogation from the law by the competent authority (in this case by the Pope), but Canon 38 is there and Catholics cannot ignore to apply it to this case.  Thus the conclusion infallibly follows, since the act of resignation contained no derogation from canon 38 or 332, that:

Benedict did not validly resign.

Peaceful and Universal Acceptance

These words mean two things in the mouth of Siscoe: in one sense they mean universal and peaceful and CANONICAL acceptance by the Church (see last quotation in part II). In the other sense they mean peaceful and universal acceptance CANONICAL OR NOT by the Church (see the citation of Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori).

So Siscoe’s usage of both terms can be reduced to this syllogism:

Major: The acceptance (Canonical) by the Church of of a man as Pope requires that all accept him as validly elected.

Minor: Bergoglio has been accepted (even if it be unCanonically).

Conclusion: Bergoglio must be accepted by all the Church as validly elected.

Siscoe’s illation is false because he is using 2 different senses of accepted. If he used the ancient reflex principle in its proper context, as he cites it in the final citation of that article, and did so AT THE BEGINNING of his article it would be obvious that he is beating against the air, because since the controversy regards whether Benedict canonically resigned, the key quality to be examined in the resignation is its conformity to canon law.

In Conclusion

Siscoe misunderstands the notion of infallibility.  Infallibility as a quality is the natural property of God alone as Infinite Truth. Infallibility as a charism of grace is vouchsafed to only a validly elected successor of Saint Peter. But infallibility is a quality of every true proposition, on account of truth being per se infallible, even if the thing asserted be asserted by a non infallible created person without any gift of grace.

Siscoe also seems to not know the distinction between an opinion and a fact. One can have an opinion about whether there is life on Mars, because we yet do not know if there is or is not. But one cannot have an opinion of whether there is life on Earth, since that is a fact.  An opinion can be had when both sides, pro and con, are possibles. But when there can be no truth on one side of the judgement, an opinion is impossible.

NOTE WELL: In this controversy, there is a fallible private opinion which is being asserted by some as superior to truth, reality and law, and it is this: that the renunciation of ministerium effects a renunciation of munus. Those who hold this opinion have yet to prove it, and the only valid proof must be in accord with the norm of Canon 17.