Tag Archives: canon 145 §1

Why Revolutionaries call their opponents Extremists

Or How one Eminent Canonist at Rome
Just Admitted that Bergoglio is a Usurper

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The salvation of souls is the most important thing. That is why in the time of perfidy and falsehood it is a grave moral obligation to warn the faithful of the imminent danger to their souls, from whatever quarter that threat comes.

I too, personally, cannot comprehend or contemplate the prudence that would keep silent while letting wolves gobble up sheep and ship them off in boat-loads to Hell.

That is why, I think every catholic who is struggling with the question of whether Berogoglio is the Pope or whether Benedict did not really resign, needs to read the report I file here below.

I say this because I have just had the occasion to talk with one of the most eminent and respected canonists in the Church and show him my Disputed Question on the Renunciation. He holds a doctorate in Canon Law and a very important position in the Academic world here at Rome. I met with him this morning, as he graciously granted me an audience despite knowing something about my writing on the subject.  I respect that.

And for that reason, since I am interested in truth, and not in damaging reputations, I won’t mention his name. But since what he said is important and needs to be heard by everyone in the Church, I will summarize as best I can remember. (I did not record the conversation, and what follows is not a transcript.)

I explained my academic background and preparation. Then I mentioned the comment of Mons. Nicola Bux, last year in October, about the possibility that in the Renunciation of Pope Benedict there was a substantial error which made it invalid to cause him to lose the office of the Papacy, then we discussed the problem according to canonical principles.

This eminent canonist in the course of our 20 minute conversation, agreed with me on the following points of law:

  1. A papal resignation falls under the category of legal acts which pertain to the cessation of power.
  2. The cessation of power is never presumed, it must be manifest in the legal act.
  3. The Roman Curia assists the Pope in the exercise of the Petrine Ministry, but no one in the Curia, not even the Secretary of State shares in the Petrine Munus.
  4. During a sedevacante there can be no innovation in the law.
  5. If Ratzinger did validly resign, then from the moment he did, there was a sede vacante.
  6. During a sede vacante the entire Church is obliged to judge who is not pope and who is pope based on the norm of the law, not on the hearsay or claims of anyone, let alone journalists.
  7. Canon 145 §1 does define every ecclesiastic office as a munus.
  8. Canon 332 §2 does require the Church to recognize that a papal renunciation takes place when there is a free and manifest renunciation of the Petrine Munus.
  9. Canon 1331 §2, n. 4, does not forbid an excommunicate to exercise or hold a ministry in the Church, and does not equate ministerium with dignity, office or munus.
  10. Christ’s promise and prayer for the Successor of Saint Peter is infinitely more important of a support for the Pope than all the prayers and good works of the Church for the Pope.
  11. It is necessary that the entire Church take care that a Petrine Succession, that is, the passing of the office of the papacy from one man to another, takes place in the way canon law and the will of Christ intend it.
  12. Our concern for the solution of this problem should be based on the highest charity and justice for both Benedict and Francis.
  13. There is no canon in the Code of Canon Law which says that ministerium = munus.

So much for what we agreed on. It was very substantial, and I much appreciated the occasion to speak with such a brilliant mind on the law.

However, we had fundamental disagreements. Here I will list those which I remember. These are positions which I do not hold, but represent substantially those of the canonist:

  1. Any questioning of the legitimacy of Pope Francis for the purpose of taking from him a legal claim to the Papacy is the greatest evil in the Church.
  2. Any canonical study or investigation which so questions Pope Francis’s claim if it is motivated by such a motive, is to be entirely refused before even being heard.
  3. Scholastic theology is not the mind of the Church and it does not determine reality.
  4. Canon Law does not determine reality.
  5. Munus is contained in ministerium, so he who exercises ministerium holds a munus.
  6. Canon 17, which establishes the legal norm for the interpretation of every canon, is not operative in any discussion of Pope Francis’ legitimacy or Benedict’s resignation.
  7. Catholics investigating either issue should read and accept the scholarly works of only those authors who sustain that Bergoglio’s claim is valid and the Benedict’s resignation is valid.

Discussion

The usurpation of power is an act whereby someone who does not have claim to a right, claims that right. We live in an age of usurpation, as can be seen from the daily news. But when you encounter a canonist who takes the position that the holding of power makes legitimate the claim to power, you are face-to-face with proof that there is no reason or legal obligation to support their revolution.

So, though we did not discuss the opinions of Cardinal Burke, when I consider that Cardinal Burke called all who question the legitimacy of Pope Francis’ claim to the papacy, “extremists”, I wonder what he would say on these same points. Because what is extremism, in the bad sense of the word, anyhow? Is it claiming that 2+2 must = 4, and that those who say it does not are wrong? Or is it saying that anyone who questions a legal claim, because it lacks a foundation in law and right, is nuts?

The most egregious affirmations made by this canonist are contained in nn. 5 and 6.  To reject the norm of canon 17 in the reading of the Code is basically to throw in the dust bin any obligation to hold that the Code means what Pope John Paul II said it meant and what it itself or canonical tradition says it means.

To claim that munus is contained in ministerium is pretty much to reject the entire Incarnation, because that is the doctrine of those Christians who claim that the doing of a ministry gives you authority. It’s the protestant principle of office, as a very eminent historian of the comparison of ecclesiastical office in the Catholic Church and the churches of the Reformation recently affirmed to me in a private chat.

So, basically, if munus is contained in ministerium, then if anyone starts dressing like the Pope and acting like the pope, nominating bishops and consecrating them, THEN HE IS THE POPE! Because, after all the papal office is contained in the papal ministry, do the ministry and you have the office!

Finally, for a canonist to say that Canon Law does not determine reality in a discussion on the question of the canonical validity of the Renunciation is basically to concede that the Renunciation is clearly and manifestly NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE NORM OF CANON 332 §2.

So the next time anyone tells you that you must accept Pope Francis as the pope BECAUSE OTHERWISE you are a sinner or a heretic or a schismatic, maybe you should reply,

“In the Catholic Church only he is pope who has been canonically elected after the death or canonical resignation of the previous man. If one of the most eminent canonists of Rome, who supports Pope Francis, admitted to Br. Bugnolo on Nov. 19, that the Renunciation is not in conformity with the canonical requirements of the law, then I think I have an UNSHAKEABLE RIGHT by baptism to refuse Bergoglio as a usurper, for clearly, Bergoglio’s own supporters after nearly 7 years should have a canonical argument which proves his claim! And if they do not, there is none! And if there is none, why in Heaven or Earth, to I have to accept him without such a claim?”


POSTSCRIPT: It is VERY noteworthy that this eminent Canonist did not use certain arguments. He did Not:

  1. Cite the maxim referenced in Canon 1404, the First See is judged by no one (Prima sedes a nemine iudicatur), because he recognizes that an act of renunciation is of the man who holds the office, in as much as he is the man who accepted the office, not inasmuch as he is the man who holds the office.
  2. Appeal to universal acceptance: a crazed notion invented by some English speaking laymen, who having selectively quoted from John of Saint Thomas, want to apply a reflex principle, developed in an age before there was a Code of Canon Law, for troubled consciences in the time of a valid election, to silence honest inquiries into an invalid election which the principles of the Code of Canon Law clearly put it in doubt.
  3. Employ any ad hominems. That is, he did not insult me or question my motivation.
  4. Appeal to any meeting held in the Vatican after Feb 11, 2013 12 pm, noon, and before Feb. 28, 8 pm, when Benedict left the Vatican, in which there was an official determination or discussion of the canonical validity of the act to determine it was valid. Being an expert canonist at Rome, he would have heard of any, after nearly 7 years.
  5. And most importantly, perhaps, he made NO appeal to anything said by Benedict after Feb. 28, 2013, evidently because as a sane canonist, he recognizes that no testimony after the fact, regarding liberty or intention, has any bearing on the validity of a past act. Both need to be manifest in the act itself at the time of the act.

________

CREDITS: My photograph of the Holy Water fount at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The sculpture beneath it shows a cherub inviting the faithful to bless themselves with the Holy Water, while a demon cringes that anyone do something so extremist.

THANKS TO MY READERS: I wish to take this moment to thank all my Readers at this blog for encouraging me in my work and study to study the Renunciation. I would not have been prepared to debate the Renunciation with this eminent canonist, if I had not already learned a great deal from trying to answer your many questions and concerns during the last year.

 

Veri Catholici: An Open Letter to Cardinals Burke and Sarah

Their Eminences, Cardinals Burke and Sarah

The International Association « Veri Catholici » has published this open Letter to the Cardinals, on their twitter feed at @VeriCatholici. I post it here (in its unrolled format) for the sake of those who do not have a Twitter Account.

Here beings the Introduction, with the first paragraph of the Letter subordinated to it:

The rest of the text of the open Letter continues here:

“It’s also evident that canon 124.1 and canon 188 require that the proper object of canon 332.2 be posited, namely the renunciation of the munus, otherwise, in virtue of canon 188, the substantial error of doing otherwise invalidate the act ipso iure!

“Now if a pope should act in violation of Canon 332.2, since in doing so he would injure the rights of the whole Church to know who is and who is not the true Pope, he would have to apply canon 38 derogating from the discrepancy. But Benedict did not do anything of the kind!

“Therefore, he is still the pope, and canon 359 invalidated the Conclave of 2013. Also, on this account, all the Cardinals and Bishops ARE WRONG to reason from their presumption that Francis is the pope toward any conclusion. As he never was. He is an antipope, a usurper.

“Nor can one argue that the Pope, being above canon law, is above Canon 332.2, because that canon enshrines merely the principles of the Natural Law, which are superior to the Pope and from which he CANNOT dispense!

“One aspect of which is the semiotic law, whereby the being of a thing cannot in a forensic act be rite manifestatur by a term which signifies an accident of it.

“Take this example. A pope has the habit of calling the burden of his work, Bananas. And one day while shaving says, I am renouncing Bananas. Can the Cardinals lawfully proceed to elect another, if the Pope says nothing more? No, because Bananas is not a due term for a legal act.

“Even if he said, I am renouncing bananas, during a solemn Consistory of the Cardinals, they could not proceed to elect another. Not even if he commanded them or allowed them explicitly to do so, because until he says I renounce the Papacy, Christ does not remove the office!

“These Cardinals also need to recognize that the criteria employed to determine validity in contractual law is not the same in beneficiary law. For in contractual law, as is used in Annulments evidence regards whether there was a right intention, this is principal.

“But in beneficiary law, which regards bequests, the intention has no force, what matters is only the verbal signification of the act of bequest. Renunciations fall under beneficiary law, not contractual law. This is the fundamental legal error of the Cardinals and bishops.

“For just as it is impossible for anyone to be the Pope unless he succeeds to the Chair of Peter, the office, so it is impossible for anyone to renounce the Papal Office unless in a forensic act there is an explicit renunciation of that office.

“The case is analogous to property law, wherein no one is the rightful owner of the same single property, until the one who holds the property rights renounces them in a legal act. Renouncing only the usufruct (ministerium) does not grant the title to the successor in law.

Investigating the causes of Pope Benedict’s invalid Abdication

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As is now notorious, Pope Benedict’s act of resignation of February 11, 2013 was invalid on account of not being in conformity with Canon 332 §2. Here at, the From Rome Blog, I have written about this extensively and subjected the text to a Scholastic analysis, demonstrating, I believe, conclusively, that the signification of the text can not be rationally said to conform to the norm of the law.

As a Latin translator of Ecclesiastical texts, I have wondered daily for six months how a mind such as that of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, could fall into such a grievous substantial error of mistaking the very object (cf. 126) of the act of a papal resignation, which is a renunciation of the Petrine Munus, to be rather a renunciation of the Petrine Ministry.

Ann Barnhardt sees malice in this, in an attempt to bifurcate the papacy. Her collaborators in Germany have found much evidence to this effect.  But as a Franciscan, who is obligated by the Rule of Saint Francis to recognize the canonically elected popes and show them respect, I consider it my duty to investigate other causes which involve less or no culpability. I take the position of the international Association, Veri Catholici, that we need not presume malice, ignorance suffices, if ignorance can be demonstrated.

In my recent article, the other day, on the Falsification of the Vernacular translations of the text of Renunciation, I showed conclusively that the Vatican has misrepresented the signification of the Latin Text of the act, which is the only official canonical text.

In that study, however, it was evident that the German translation was anomalous, that is, that it had entirely different errors than the other translations. These anomalies led me to today’s investigation.

Archbishop Gänswein and the German Translation of the Code of Canon Law

In the German translation of the Act of Renunciation, the anomalies are as follows:

  1. The Latin word, munus, is translated as Dienst.
  2. The Latin word, ministerium, is translated  sometimes as Amt, sometimes as Dienst.
  3. The syntactical association of the act of renunciation is followed by the correct translation of ita ut.

Following the forensic principle of Aristotle, that where there are 2 differing consequences there are 2 different causes, but when there is the same consequence, there is a unity among causes, I am led by comparison to conjecture why this may be the case.

Recall, if you may, the speech given by Archbishop Georg Ganswein at the Pontifical University of St Gregory the Great, in 2016, which sparked so much amazement, because in it, he said that Pope Benedict still shared in the Petrine Ministry and held the Papal Office.

Recently, however, Archbishop Gänswein, to both a German journalist and a journalist working for Life Site News, withdrew his assertions, claiming that he had misused the words for office and munus, in his German text.

Now, supposing that the Act of Renunciation, in the German translation, was overseen by Archbishop Gänswein, we might conclude that he has something to do with the anomalies it contains

This consideration alone, however, did not satisfy me, so I examined the causes for the Archbishop’s errors in German. Naturally, therefore, I went back to the Code of Canon Law in the Latin (the official text) and to the Vatican’s German translation (unofficial, but in practice used by German Speakers).

At the Vatican Website, you notice immediately that the German translation of Pope John Paul II’s Code of Canon Law is better linked than the English. In the German, the index contains links from each line of text, but in the English, the index contains links only in the titles to the books. This gives one to think that some German speaker was using the German translation of the Code quite frequently and has the authority to get the Vatican webmaster to add all the referential URLs, to make that edition more facile in its use.

This argues that Archbishop Gänswein, if not Benedict himself, frequently used the German translation.

O.K., that appears to be an obvious assumption, but there is a problem.  THE GERMAN TEXT IS ERRONEOUS. And not in a small way! In a very crucial manner: it gets the translation of Munus  WRONG! And that in a way that anyone using it, as a guide on how to Renounce the Papal Office, would write an invalid formula of resignation!

Let me explain, therefore, Why and How, Perhaps, Pope Benedict got his Act of Renunciation wrong in the Latin, and thus never in fact or before God resigned.

The key Canons which one must consult regarding how to write a valid act of renunciation of the papal office are canon 332 §2 and canon 145 §1. This is because in the former, the conditions for a valid resignation are stated, and in the latter, the nature of every ecclesiastical office are defined.

Let’s look at each in the German:

Can. 332 — 2. Falls der Papst auf sein Amt verzichten sollte, ist zur Gültigkeit verlangt, daß der Verzicht frei geschieht und hinreichend kundgemacht, nicht jedoch, daß er von irgendwem angenommen wird.

The error in this German translation is minor: it renders the Latin, Pontifex Romanus (Roman Pontiff) with the German, Papst, (Pope).  However, it correctly translates the sense of the Latin, munus, as Amt.  Because, in this canon, the Latin, Munus, has the sense of office, which is what the German, Amt, means.

It must be noted, here, that in the German translation of the Act of Renunciation, the author of that text in the crucial act of renunciation uses the correct German word for a VALID renunciation, Amt! — The only problem is, Pope Benedict XVI did NOT resign in German, he resigned in Latin!

But this anomaly of the German translation of the Act of renunciation does reveal, that at least ONE German speaker, the author of the translation, THOUGHT the act was a renunciation of the Papal MUNUS.

Now, let’s look at the other canon:

Can. 145 — § 1. Kirchenamt ist jedweder Dienst, der durch göttliche oder kirchliche Anordnung auf Dauer eingerichtet ist und der Wahrnehmung eines geistlichen Zweckes dient.

The importance of canon 145 §1 in the Code of Canon Law is this, that it DEFINES the nature of an ecclesiastical office (officium) as a munus.  As I have discussed in my commentary on Boniface VIII’s Quoniam, the Latin word, munus, is the perfect word for an ecclesiastical office, since it signifies both that the office is a dignity, a charge or burden, and a gift, which upbuilds the one who receives it with grace. There is no 1 word in any modern language, to my knowledge, which has all the senses of the Latin word, munus.

For this reason, its difficult to translate munus properly, which is why I use the Latin word even in English prose. (The German Translation of the Code, which appears on the Vatican Website, seems to be that by Father Winfried Aymans, JCD, an eminent doctor of Canon Law from the Diocese of Bonn, Germany. Who however, does not seem to be a Latinist per se, though, to his merit, he be a signer of the Correctio Filialis)

So in this German translation, we see the TERRIBLE error:  Every ecclesiastical office (Kirchenamt) is defined as a Dienst!  But Dienst as every German speaker knows, means what we in English mean by service, and what every Latin speaker means by ministerium.  So the German translation of canon 145 says:  Every ecclesiastical office is a ministry! When the Code of Canon Law in Latin actually says: Every ecclesiastical office is a munus!

In fact, in the code of Canon Law, in the Latin, Pope John Paul II never speaks of any ecclesiastical office as a ministry (ministerium), but always as an office (officium) or munus.

This means, that if any German speaker read canon 145 §1 in the German, as found on the Vatican Website, and probably in most German translations of the Code of Canon Law, he would be mislead into thinking that to resign an ecclesiastical office its sufficient to renounce the ministry of that office! — But this is precisely the error in the Papal Resignation!

If we go back to the other vernacular translations of the Act of Renunciation, which I analyzed in my previous post, we see that all of them follow the erroneous German translation of munus in the German Translation of the Code of Canon Law! But, illogically and inconsistently, also follow the erroneous Latin text of Pope Benedict when he says ministerium in the Act of resignation.  Thus the vernacular translations (excepting the German) are reading in some places the Latin original of the renunciation, in other places, the German translation of the Code and Act of resignation!  This is the scientific reason why the vernacular translations are worthless if not maliciously contrived.

The error in canon 145 §1 might also explain why Pope Benedict thought that in writing ministerio in the Latin text of his renunciation, he thought he was writing munus, because the erroneous translation makes it appear that the German for munus is the same as the Latin, ministerium. For the German of Canon 145 §1 says that every Amt is a Dienst (which in Latin is a ministerium, but in canon 145 §1 is the German translation for munus), and the German of Canon 332 §2, says a Pope resigns when he renounces his Amt. So it appears that Benedict was mislead into thinking that in Latin, if he renounced his Amt, he could sufficient signify that by renouncing his ministerium!

I pray to God, therefore, that SOMEONE in the Church, who can speak with Pope Benedict XVI in person, makes this known to him!