Tag Archives: canon 145 §1

A 7th Anniversary of shame!

March 13, 2020

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Today is the seventh anniversary of a day that will live in infamy.

A day of wickedness and flippancy.

A day wherein the Cardinals of the Catholic Church showed their utter contempt for:

  1. Pope Benedict XVI
  2. The Catholic Faith in the Papacy
  3. The Canons of the Catholic Church
  4. The Papal Law on Conclaves
  5. Common sense

Let me explain why I say this, point by point, in reverse order.

The Cardinals betrayed common sense 7 years ago today

It is obvious by now, that if anyone on the planet ,who had common sense, sat down and talked to Bergoglio for 15 minutes, he would realize that he is not a fit candidate to be Roman Pontiff.

But the College of Cardinals had been housed together with him for two weeks prior to March 13, 2013.

Therefore, the last 7 years proves that God certainly did not approve of their judgement in selecting such a man. Indeed, it was an epic failure of the College of Cardinals, as I wrote, in 2015.

The Cardinals betrayed John Paul II’s law on Conclaves

The Cardinal Electors violated the papal law on conclaves, in several ways.

First of all, they violated the Law, Universi dominici gregis, as regards the requirement in n. 37, of that law, when they held a Conclave without verifying whether there was a legal sede vacante.

A legal sede vacante means that either the previous pope is dead, and they confirm that with a funeral, or the previous pope resigned according to the norm of Canon 332 §2.

I have it from no less than the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, Mons. Arrieta, whose commentary on the Code of Canon Law I keep at by desk, that there never was any meeting of canon law experts to verify if the Declaratio of Pope Benedict, of Feb. 11, 2013 — commonly called Pope Benedict’s Renunciation — was in conformity with the norm of canon 332 §2.

Second, the Cardinals violated n. 81, of the same papal law, by entering into agreements and promises to vote for Bergoglio, as Cardinal Daneels of Beglium admitted in his Biography composed of interviews he gave. But the College has never acted on the self admission, which in Canon Law tradition is an indisputable act of self imputation of a canonical crime. I have covered this issue in an extensive Chronology of Events, which still remains the most authoritative collection of facts on the matter, on the net.

Thrid, the Cardinals rushed to elect Bergoglio by violating the same Papal Law on the number of ballots permitted on each day: four, as is specified in n. 63, of the same papal law, regarding limit on the number of ballots to be taken on the 2nd day of balloting and all subsequent days.  Because, as has been confirmed by several testimonies in the last 7 years, Bergoglio was elected on the 5th ballot. And this has never been denied.

Fourth, while there has been much controversy over whether the Cardinals could proceed to a fifth ballot in the case of a 4th balloting which contained 1 more vote paper than the number of Electors present, there remains 2 legal questions which have never been addressed about this:

  1. The Cardinals could not lawfully proceed to a 5th Ballot unless they paused the election and held a discussion on the interpretation of the papal law, using the right conceded to them in that same law, in n. 5, for this purpose. If they proceeded to a 5th ballot without such a discussion and vote, then even if they interpreted it as valid, that omission made their interpretation illicit, and hence the entire election invalid.
  2. Whether the Auditors of the Papal Conclave, as specified in n. 70 of the same papal law, held any meeting or discussion in accord with the norm, there specified, regarding the auditing of the final vote. Because in the case that there was no meeting in accord with n. 5 of the same papal law, in regard to whether to proceed to a 5th ballot when only 4 ballots were permitted, then likewise if the Auditors did not meet, the election was canonically invalid. And if they did meet, they had to declare in the case of the lack of a vote in accord with n. 5, that the election was invalid.

Since the multiple reports about a 5th balloting are all silent about what should have happened as regards nn. 1 and 2, here above, it can be rightfully doubted the election was valid. Because a doubtful pope is no pope.

The Cardinals Betrayed the Canons of the Catholic Church

Seven years ago today, the Cardinals consummated their betrayal of the Canons of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II, in 1983, in the text known as the Codex iuris canonicis, or the Code of Canon Law.

First, the Cardinals violated canon 40, which required them not to take any decision in regard to Pope Benedict XVI’s Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013, until they had the Latin text in hand in its final corrected version. Since the Vatican Press office in the days following February 11 published at least 3 versions of the text, there is sound canonical evidence that Cardinal Sodano, through Father Lombardi, violated canon 40 in instructing Giovanna Chirri at 11:58 AM, on that morning, to announce to the world that Pope Benedict has announced his resignation from the Pontificate on Feb. 28.  Canon 40 declares invalid any act taken by a subordinate, before he has in hand the integral text of the act of his superior.

Second, the Cardinals violated canon 41, which required them to examine if the legal act contained in the Declaratio was an act specified by the Code of Canon Law and was in all its particulars a command to do something opportune.  But since in the entire Code of Canon Law there is no mention of an act of renunciation of ministerium, the act posited by Pope Benedict XVI was clearly an an actus nullus, and thus canon 41 required them not to act upon it. Also since a renunciation of ministerium does not effect the loss of the papal office, the fact that the Declaratio speaks of calling a Conclave is an inopportune detail or provision. Canon 41 requires that those with mere ministry of execution, in such a case, have recourse to the superior to correct these issues. Once again, according to Mons. Arrieta, nothing of the kind happened.

Third, the Cardinals violated canon 38, which required them not to interpret the Declaratio of Pope Benedict as being in conformity to Canon 332 §2, on the grounds that by naming the ministerium instead of the canonically required munus, the act would gravely injure the rights of the Faithful to know if the pope had validly resigned or not, would cause doubt and risk schism in the Church. For in such a case, Pope Benedict XVI would have had to granted a derogation of canon 332 §2 in his Declaratio, in conformity with canon 38, otherwise the act would have been irritus. He did not, so the act was irritus — a technical canonical term which means having not effect in law, void, on account of having not followed due procedure (ritus).

Fourth, the Cardinals violated canon 36 §1, which requires them to interpret strictly any papal act which violates the norm of any canon, let alone Canon 332 §2. To interpret strictly means that they had to read ministerium as exclusive of any signification of munus, and thus hold that the Declaratio was prima facie incapable of causing Pope Benedict to validly resign the papal munus, the papal office and the papal dignity.

Fifth, the Cardinals violated canons 126 and 188, which require that a juridical act of renunciation of office contain the proper or essential act specified in the law.  As is clear from the Code of Canon Law, which speaks of the Papal Office in canons 331, 332, 332, and 749, the proper term for the papal office is the petrine munus, not the petrine ministerium.  Hence, they were required in accord with canon 188 to judge the renunication irritus on the grounds of substantial error.

Sixth, the Cardinals violated canons 17 and 145 §1, which require respectively that the terms of all canons be understood in their proper sense, that ministerium and munus, when mentioned in any canon be understood thus, and to undertake a study of the entire Code of Canon Law and canonical tradition, in the case of the doubt as to whether ministerium can suppose for munus. They did no such thing in February of 2013, as Mons. Arrieta affirmed to me.

Seventh, the Cardinals violated canon 332 §2, which requires them to recognize a papal renunication only if the Pope renounces his munus, and does so freely and manifests this duly.  But since a good number of the Cardinal Electors were present in the Consistory of Feb. 11, 2013, they heard with their own ears that he made errors in Latin and that he said ministerium not munus, in the crucial core section of the Declaratio. They also heard him say munus twice before that. So they had indisputable canonical evidence that the Pope knew what he was doing, knew how to distinguish munus from ministerium, and did NOT intend to renounce his munus.

The Cardinals violated the Catholic Faith in the Papacy

Seven years ago, today, the College of Cardinals violated the Catholic Faith in the papacy. First, in the strict sense of the Faith, namely, that there can only be one pope. Because, it was clear already by March 3, 2013, that Pope Benedict XVI by his own decision was going to retain the papal dignity by using the title “Pope Emeritus”. There was at least one scholarly refutation of the validity of this published on March 3, 2013 by Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S. J., former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome. So they could not be ignorant of the fact. The same canonical scholar that week affirmed that a heretical pope loses office immediately. So in choosing an obvious heretic as Pope they also violated the Catholic Faith.

The Cardinals showed their utter contempt for Pope Benedict XVI

Seven years ago, today, the Cardinals consummated their utter contempt for Pope Benedict XVI, in that they responded with glee at his renunciation, and not with consternation and respectful attempt to dissuade him from it.

As reported in the press, in February of 2013, only one Cardinal, Cardinal Pell went on record as saying that the resignation should not happen. He said this before Feb. 28, 2013. He was also the first Cardinal the Vatican allowed to be prosecuted after February of 2013. Hmm.

Respect and reverence for the Holy Father, especially when frail and aged, requires first of all that the Cardinals assist him in executing his will, not obstructing it nor allowing it to be executed in an invalid manner.

Yet it also requires, out of gratitude, that they attempt to convince a good man not to resign. If they omit that, they are basically saying he is not a good man or that they despise him.

And they showed their contempt, not only in sentiment, but by positive canonical ommissions, in seemingly in several ways, because in February of 2013 none of them were under a pontifical secret, yet in 7 years they never have confirmed — to my knowledge — in any interview that they did not do the following:

  1. They did not ask Pope Benedict to explain to them why he made his decision or what it meant, to make sure he was resigning freely.
  2. They did not ask Pope Benedict to correct the 40 errors in the Latin text which he read, before it was published, so as to prevent the shame of such a thing staining the last act of his papacy and the Apostolic See.
  3. They did not investigate or question Archbishop Gänswein and those around the pope as to the circumstance of the act to be certain that he was not manipulated or coerced.
  4. They did not ask one another what they knew about the matter. If so, they would have discovered that Pope Benedict did not seek the counsel of others (according to Archbishop Gänswein) or refused the counsel of his better advisers (according to Archbishop Gänswein and Cardinal Brandmuller). If they had done this, they would have been altered to the necessity to examine the act further.
  5. The consummated their disrespect through all these things and for not treating the Holy Father with that due respect for an aged man, in which one presumes frailty and therefore double checks everything to make sure it is done rightly.

Conclusion

For all these reasons, I think it can be said, objectively, that today marks the 7th anniversary of a day which will live in infamy in the history of the Church until the end of time and for all eternity. The Cardinals gravely failed in their duty as Cardinals and as Electors and as Bishops and Catholics. They failed also deliberately and by omission. Their failure also was canonically imputable, since the Code of Canon Law holds as presumptive, the responsibility of men with such high office to know the law and follow it.

Hence, it is objectively and canonically certain, that Bergoglio is not the pope. Because a man whose claim to the papacy is vitiated by so many canonical doubts, is not the pope, according to the ancient maxim of St. Robert Bellarmine, S. J.: a doubtful pope is not the pope.

_________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is a detail of the photograph by Tenan, which is used here in accord with the Creative Commons Atribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported license explained here.

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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

the-book-codex-iuris-canonici-germany-city-of-osterode-28-february-M67D8F

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!