Tag Archives: Canon 332 §2

Bishop Schneider, your Essay is a porridge of falsehood and presumption!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica hands down the Catholic Tradition on the duties of the Catholic Faithful in matters where the Faith itself is put into public doubt or danger by the actions or statements of prelates, even of one’s own Bishop, when he writes:

To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the Faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectufully. Hence the Apostle, writing to the Colossians (4:17), tells them to admonish their prelate: “Say to Archippus, Fulfill thy ministry!”. It must be observed, however, that if the Faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence, Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the Faith, and, as the gloss on St. Augustine says, on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.” (Summa Theologica, II II, Q. 33, a. 4, ad 2)

Thus, I take up my pen to publicly rebuke Mons. Athanasius Schneider for statements made in his Essay published today at LifeSite News,  entitled, On the question of the true pope in the light of the opinion of the automatic loss of the papal office for heresy and the speculations about the resignation of Benedict XVI.

First, I find remarkable, that the Monsignor has doubled down on his opinion that the canonical crime of heresy publicly posited does not cause one to lose immediately every office in the Church, both theologically and canonically. He has sustained this opinion before, against all the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as has been shown by several other writers. His attempt to do so again, by arguing that a particular passage of Gratian is spurious is simply an absurd recourse to an absurd argument. Gratian was never a magisterial authority, so whether a particular passage is authentic or not, does not change the fact that notable authors, including Pope Innocent III, before and after Gratian held the opinion that heresy causes the loss of office, for anyone whomsoever. — Is he really saying, that Innocent III taught error, because of a faulty gloss? I say that he himself, that Bishop Schneider, is teaching error on the basis of a bad hermeneutic. To claim that the Church can lose Her Faith because She cannot discern that an unauthentic gloss presents false teaching, is to say the Church has no grace of discernment in matters of the Faith, but I, Bishop Schneider, know better than them all. Who do you think you are, your Excellency? Do you think you are greater that Saint Robert Bellarmine, S. J., who is as Doctor of the Church, and who disagrees with you?

Canon 1364 makes no exceptions whatsoever for a pope. The principle of The First See is judged by no one, which is enshrined in canon 1404, regards cases before a tribunal and acts of the Roman Pontiff. It does not regard the man who is the pope, in the case of his personal faith. Because just as a man who is a heretic, is not a member of the Church, a man who is a heretic holds no office. And thus a man considered or judged on account of heresy, is not considered or judged on account of any office. This is why Canon 1364 has no exceptions and imposes an excommunication upon each and everyone who commits a public crime of heresy, schism or apostasy.

Second, as regard the Declaratio of Pope Benedict: Your excellency shows that you either do not understand Canon Law or that you do not understand causality itself. If you had apprised yourself of even some of the documents sent to you by many Catholics round the world, you can see that the Code of Canon Law — an authentic Magisterial Document which you have no right to disregard or misrepresent — itself requires for a valid papal resignation, that the act posited by the man who is the Roman Pontiff, be an act of renunciation of petrine munus. But Pope Benedict XVI never posited such an act. Statements made before or after such an act, regarding intention or signification of the act, have no bearing whatsoever on the nature of the act. If your excellency had done as much due diligence as I have, when you were in Rome, and paid a visit to Mons. Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, you would have understood that an act of papal renunciation has to be clear in itself, it cannot be subject to the interpretation of anyone, not even by the pope. For if it needs interpretation or explanation, then it is not clear, and not valid. And if the man has validly resigned, any interpretation he gives is not authoritative. Nor can a pope resign, by authoritatively interpreting an invalid act as valid, after the fact. Because Canon 332 §2 requires an act of renunciation of petrine munus: and by such it does not permit an act of resignation by means of a post-factum papal interpretation of a not clearly manifest act.

Your opinion runs contrary to Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori, C. Ss.R., a Doctor of the Church, on legal interpretation. Do you think you know better than he, who held 2 doctorates in Law, one in canon law and another in civil law?

Third, all the quotes you cite, though they have no bearing, nevertheless, do not even prove the case you make with them, as I shall show here, by quoting each and commenting:

“Among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience” (Farewell address to the Cardinals, 28 February 2013).

Since, normally speaking, all Popes were former Cardinals, this statement can be said at any time to the College of Cardinals. It means nothing. We all should promise our obedience to all legitimate future popes, and past popes, because our obedience is owed to the office.

“I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity” (Last General Audience, February 27, 2013).

Howsoever, aware one is of an act, does not make an act valid, unless you think you are God or that the one acting is God. Canon 332 §2 by imposing conditions upon a papal resignation and defining it as a papal renunciation of petrine munus, teaches implicitly that Pope John Paul II held invalid a renunciation of ministerium, that John Paul II judged his successor, as the man who was Pope, and that the act itself must be duly manifest, to be valid.  All of which make no provision for full awareness of substantial error or novelty as a cause of validity (cf. canon 188 and 126).

“There is not the slightest doubt about the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry. The only condition of validity is the full freedom of the decision. Speculation about the invalidity of renunciation is simply absurd” (Letter from February 18, 2014, to Andrea Tornielli, published in La Stampa, February 27, 2014).

The controversy over the canonical effect of the Declaratio has nothing to do with the claim that a renunciation of ministerium cannot be valid or is not valid. It has to do with the claim that the renunciation of ministerium effects the same thing as a renunciation of munus, and that it fulfills the requirements of Canon 332 §2, as not being corrupted by substantial error (cf. canon 188).  Moreover, if Pope Benedict XVI thinks that liberty of action alone is the cause of a valid renunciation, then, he shows himself to be in invincible error as regards his own act, because clearly in Canon 332 §2 there are 2 causes of validity of a renunciation of munus: freedom and due manifestation. And if you think you can transpose those 2 causes of validity for an act of renunciation of munus to an act of renunciation of ministerium, to make the renunciation of ministerium a renunciation of munus, then clearly you are in error, grave error! Then your act is invalid either on account of Canons 38 when reading an administrative act in violation of 36 §2, and/or of canon 15 §1 for all such cases of error in juridical acts against canons 188 and 332 §2.

During a conversation with a journalist from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the former Pope Benedict XVI said: “The Pope is one, he is Francis.” These words of Benedict XVI were reported in the written edition of Corriere della Sera, June 28, 2019 and anticipated in the Italian version of Vatican News on June 27, 2019.

This statement by Bishop Schneider is amazing of itself, because it is made regarding a report which was debunked by LifeSite News just days later. I suppose, the Bishop does not read the very electronic journal which publishes his Essay. And I suppose the editors of the same electronic journal omitted fraternal correction to help him save face by repeating such a false claim. But again, maybe I suppose too much.

Fourth, your excellency, why do you quote statements by Pope Benedict regarding his intentions to prove the Act of renunciation of ministry means an act of renunciation of papal munus, and then, in the next section of your essay, tell us not to hold that the actions and statements made by Pope Benedict which clearly show his intention to hold on to the papal dignity and office are not to be interpreted thus?

The Church is a visible society. Therefore, what was essential for the fulfillment of Benedict XVI’s resignation was not his possible internal thought but what he externally declared, for the Church does not judge about internal intentions (de internis non iudicat Ecclesia). Pope Benedict XVI’s ambiguous acts, like wearing a white cassock, keeping his name, imparting the apostolic blessing, etc., do not affect the unequivocal meaning of his act of renunciation. Many of his demonstrable and unequivocal words and actions after his resignation also confirm that he considers Pope Francis, and not himself, to be the pope.

Is evidence only to be interpreted to support your theory, and not objective reality? Do you honestly think that a validly resigned pope, should dress as the Pope, sign as the Pope, give blessings as the Pope? Moreover, do you think a real pope would salute a retired pope, at Panama City, saying to the crowds:  Look, Benedict, the pope!

If you want to close your eyes to facts which disprove your allegations, that is your affair, but asking the rest of the Church to do so is the very consummation of pride.

Finally, I must publicly reprove you for blasphemy against the Saints of Holy Mother Church, when you write:

Declaring Pope Francis to be an invalid pope, either because of his heresies or because of an invalid election (for reasons of alleged violations of the Conclave norms or for the reason that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope because of his invalid renunciation) are desperate and subjectively taken actions aimed at remedying the current unprecedented crisis of the papacy. They are purely human and betray a spiritual myopia. All such endeavors are ultimately a dead end, a cul-de-sac. Such solutions reveal an implicit Pelagian approach to resolving a problem with human means; a problem, indeed, which cannot be resolved by human efforts, but which requires a divine intervention.

Many Councils, not the least of which the Council of Etampes, France, in 1130 A.D., presided over by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and the Synod of Sutri, approved of by St. Peter Damian and Bl. Pope Victor III and Pope St. Gregory VIII, have pronounced men to be invalid popes. To say that all such endeavors are pelagian and a dead end is not only a historical lie by a blasphemy against these holy men.

For all these reasons, I publicly ask you to withdraw the false assertions of your essay, if you want to be regarded any longer by Catholics as a Bishop who is faithful to the teaching and practice of the Church over the last 2000 years. Your desire to sustain the claim of Bergoglio to the papacy is clearly not based on facts, history or canon law, and is causing grave scandal to the faithful.

The true way forward, is the Catholic way, and it was proposed today by Catholics who know their faith and accept the teaching of the Church in its entirety.

_________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is a screen shot of the page at LifeSite News, where Bishop Schneider’s Essay has been published. It and the citations from his essay are used here in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary.

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

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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

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

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

The Adoration of the Eternal Word

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

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

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

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

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

Words are the touchstones of fidelity

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

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

Every temptation is against the Word

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY IS BENEDICT XVI STILL THE POPE?

Canon 332 §2 reads:

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

But Pope Benedict’s Declaratio reads, in part:

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

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

 

Where Chris Ferrara goes bonkers

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Frank Walker just published Chris Ferrara’s response to Ann Barnhardt’s claim, that he once told her that he thinks she may be right about substantial error causing the resignation to be invalid. If you do not know who Ferrara is, there is a long Wikipedia article about him, which I presume is mostly accurate, because otherwise Attorney Ferrara would have rectified that.

But what Mr. Ferrara says is such a cartload of natural fertilizer, that I have to respond and put the man in his place. — I admit though, that as regards the man, I am reluctant, because I have been edified by many a thing he has written over the last 3 decades.

Moreover, I will leave aside the argument over the fact of whether he said what she quoted him to say. My experience, inclines me to believe Ann, because she has been a truth teller from the beginging. As for Chris, he is an attorney I think.

In a note to Canon212, Ferrara responds to Ann:

I don’t know who “Chris Ferrera” is, but I, Chris Ferrara, never said anything of the kind.  If I said anything it would be something like “You can certainly make that argument, but we have no competence to judge the matter.”  As I said on Taylor Marshall’s show, a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid, but that is a matter for the Church, not any Tom, Dick or Ann to determine.

Furthermore, the only time I have ever spoken face-to-face with Ann Barnhardt, at least that I can remember, was at Lake Garda, and the entire conversation involved my objection to her claim that the “data set” shows Bergoglio is not the Pope.  We have no competence to assemble “data sets” and declare that the Chair of Peter is vacant.

First, the mention of a typographical error is quite inappropriate, because Mrs. Barnhardt gave her testimony on a Podcast, verbally, here. And, being an Italian, I know that non Italians easily mis-spell or mis-pronounce Italian surnames. You have to get over that in your youth, if you grew up in the United States of America, because it would not be polite to keep harping on it.

So I will respond to what Christ Ferrara does say in his statement to Canon212.com.

If I said anything it would be something like “You can certainly make that argument, but we have no competence to judge the matter.”

Chris may be a fine Attorney of U.S. Law, but he shows here that he has never read Canon 41, or at least, never under stood it. So, he is patently wrong in what he says, here, when he say, we have no competence to judge the matter.

If you listened to Barnhardt’s podcast to understand the context of her testimony, it was in regard to whether there was substantial error in the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI. It did not regard the legitimacy of the event, called a Conclave, in 2013, out of which poped Jorge the wrecker. — So I will presume Chris is an accurate and intelligent man, who went to the source, listened to the podcast, and then responded to the matter: which is the Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013.

And thus, reading Ferrara’s comment, I say he is dead wrong. Because in Canon 41, everyone with a merely executive ministerium in the Church, upon receiving the administrative act of his superior — the Pope is the immediate superior of us all — has the right, not just the competence, to refuse an act which is juridically nullus, and the right to have recourse to the superior before executing the act, if the act appears to be inopportune, that is include matters which if executed would harm the rights of others or disturb the common good or order of the Church.

So Chris, that is strike one. If you are going to publicly disavow something, disavow it, but if you add a legal reasoning, and you have not checked the law first, you make your disavowal look dubious, because as a lawyer you should not speak unless you first read the law. A lot of Catholics, therefore, especially women, who tend by nature to have excellent auditory memories for when men say shocking or insulting things, are going to conclude that Ann has a better memory than you.

Next,

As I said on Taylor Marshall’s show, a future Pope or Council might determine that the last conclave was invalid, but that is a matter for the Church, not any Tom, Dick or Ann to determine.

I am not impressed by the reference to Marshall. Marshal went so far into absurdity that he said that ministerium and munus name the same thing, and that therefore the Renunciation was valid. Marshall pontificated. He did not even read the law, he could not have, because it never says such a thing. He could not have been answering as a Catholic, because Catholics know that you found what you say on the teaching of the Church, not on your own magisterium. So, Ferrara is in bad company.

Ferrara is also way off in left field. Because Barnhardt’s podcast was not about the Conclave. Strike two, for Ferrara getting his facts right.

As a matter of law, Canon 359 says a conclave is invalid if it is called during the lifetime of the reigning pontiff. It should be obvious to anyone who is sane — I exclude gaslighting apologists — that you do not need a Council to determine if the Pope is still alive, or if he is dead. And the Church does not teach in Canon 332 §2, that you need a council to make a determination. As a matter of law, it expressly denies that in its final clause.

That means, you can only know if a Pope has resigned from objective reality, the facts of the statement, witnessed duly. And how do we know if the statement is of the right genus and species so that it be recognized as a papal renunciation?  Once again, because the law declares that, when in the same canon it says, If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus … .

Did Benedict renounce his munus? No. He said, I declare that I renounce the ministry which was confided to me through the hands of the Cardinals…

Oops. That means he did not resign. AND no one has the right to say otherwise, because to say otherwise you have to make what Benedict said mean something other than the words which he said. And you need the authority to do that. And Chris, you do not have that authority! So that means that Canon 359 was violated in March 2013 by the convening of a Conclave in the lifetime of a pope who had not resigned and was still alive — two objective facts of the real world which do not need a Council or any authority to verify, as they are visible to the naked eyes of all, who have eyes to see.

I will call this one as a foul ball, for mercy sake.

Next,

and the entire conversation involved my objection to her claim that the “data set” shows Bergoglio is not the Pope.  We have no competence to assemble “data sets” and declare that the Chair of Peter is vacant.

Here, I, in charity, have to assume that Chris, being Italian, has got himself into a fluster and simply exaggerated. Because obviously, if I have a “data set” — do we really have to gaslight at this point and stop using the words, “facts” or “evidence”? — that tells me the Pope is dead: namely I see his funeral on EWTN broadcast live from the Vatican; then I think I can conclude that the see is vacant, and that I have the right to conclude the see is vacant.

I must presume he exaggerated, or otherwise I might start connecting the dots in his entire statement and conclude that he has a problem with admitting reality as a basis for evidence in a legal proceeding. But he is a lawyer, and a lawyer would never do such a thing!

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CREDITS:  The Featured Image is of Lago di Garda, the shores of which are the annual destination of traditional Catholic conferences. This photo is used according to Creative Commons License 3.0, and more information about its author can be found here.

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Answering questions from Ryan Grant

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_20200131-134548

 

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

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

Grant rebuts my argument, thus:

Screenshot_20200131-195557

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_20200131-195609

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________

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

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Separated from the True Pope, you won’t remain Catholic for long

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Pubblicato in Italiano a ChiesaRomana.Info

Saint Paul warned us long ago: Beware, he said, for not all men have the Faith! He said this at the end of his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, to whom he revealed so many things about the last days and the Anti-Christ(s) to come. Here is the Douay Rheims English version of 2 Thess. 3, which the Modernists do not preach on any more. But which I want to speak of in this article. The Apostle writes:

For the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the word of God may run, and may be glorified, even as among you; And that we may be delivered from importunate and evil men; for all men have not faith. But God is faithful, who will strengthen and keep you from evil. And we have confidence concerning you in the Lord, that the things which we command, you both do, and will do. And the Lord direct your hearts, in the charity of God, and the patience of Christ. And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us: for we were not disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing, but in labour and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you. Not as if we had not power: but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us. 10 For also when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.

11 For we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly, working not at all, but curiously meddling. 12 Now we charge them that are such, and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ, that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread. 13 But you, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed: 15 Yet do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you everlasting peace in every place. The Lord be with you all. 17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand; which is the sign in every epistle. So I write.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Bad Company makes bad companies

God made us to know the Truth and the Truth will set us free, because God our Creator is the Truth. It follows then, that we exercise our minds and wills in that which is most essentially directed to our own perfection and destiny when we assent to any truth and will to find it and keep it and put it into practice.

But any member of the Clergy, religious or laity — any hermit — who would hide the truth from you, then, is clearly not being honest, is not doing that which the Creator wants. This is especially true if the truth they are hiding is a truth revealed by God or the importance of which depends directly from what God has said.

The enemies of Peter are the enemies of Christ

Christ said to Peter that whatsoever he would bind on Earth would be bound also in Heaven. All true Catholics accept that. All fake catholics ignore it.

The Catholic Church for more than a 1000 years took this doctrine as so central to true Christianity that it was willing to leave a schism with the Greeks in place and not back down on the duty of all Christians to regard the doctrinal and disciplinary decrees of the Roman Pontiff as obligatory, in virtue of these very words of Jesus Christ.

That is why, you cannot be honestly a Christian, if you are not honestly a Catholic who submits to the Roman Pontiff. And that is also why the enemies of Peter are the enemies of Christ, because if you refuse the one you are calling the other a liar or regarding Him as not God.

Peter has told us when Peter is and is not Peter

And lest anyone be confused, it is the Roman Pontiff who has established in Canon Law the terms by which all can objectively and easily know when a man is the Roman Pontiff and when he is not.  To ignore these rules of Canon Law is just as grave as to disobey the Roman Pontiff and go off into schism, because it is an act whereby you say, “Let’s make up our own way of being Christian, apart from submission to the Roman Pontiff.”

This is why we can be 100% absolutely and supernaturally certain that  Christ Jesus does not regard any man His Vicar on Earth, if that man’s claim to be pope is not in accord with the norms of Canon Law and papal law.

The corrollary is that, we can be 100% absolutely and supernaturally certain that Christ Jesus does not regard any Vicar of His on Earth no longer His Vicar, if that man’s renunciation is not in accord with the norms of Canon Law and papal law.

Because this is the Catholic Faith, I have extensively investigated both questions, the first in regard to Bergoglio, the second in regard to Benedict. I did not do this on a whim, I did it out of supernatural faith.

There is no doubt about this principle: A man is or is not pope, or is or is no longer the pope, based on the laws of the Church at the time he begins or ceases to be the pope. This legal principle was recognized in the antipapacy of Anacletus II and his defeat by Pope Innocent II, a defeat which was secured by Saint Bernard of Claivaux, who came to Rome to preach the facts of law about the disputed election of 1130 A.D..

All the books printed in the Catholic Church since 1130 up until Feb. 2013 were in agreement. Pope Innocent II was the valid pope, Anacletus was the antipope, because Pope Innocent was elected in accord with the law of his predecessor, who changed the terms of a papal election in the last weeks of his life. But Anacletus claimed to be elected to the prior norm.

For the Modernist, even if he claims to be a Trad ….

For the Modernist, there is not fixed nor lasting truth. What was true yesterday, may not and probably is not true today. Everything is in change and development. Everything mus be alive, they say, but they really mean, has to die.

All those who changed their concepts on what makes a true Pope, on Feb. 11, 2013, are deceived by Modernism or are modernists, even if they claim to be a Traditional Catholic. This includes all the publication of the so called Traditional Catholic Movement who hold that Benedict is no longer the pope. Because canon 332 §2 has not changed and it says a pope resigns when he resigns suo muneri, not  ministerio. The Vatican knows this and has tried to hide it, and I have proven that indisputably more than 6 months ago. (See the Index to Pope Benedict’s Renunciation)

Stunningly Ann Barnhardt, in her recent podcast, revealed that even Chris Ferrara, the famous attorney, who writes for several Trad publications, admitted to her, that she is probably right on the points of Canon Law regarding the failed renunciation. That was like back in 2016. But Chris still recognizes Bergoglio as the pope. The only honest assessment is that Chris is not being honest either with the public or his own conscience.

From my work here at Rome, I sense the same is true for all the experts. You just mention that Benedict is the Pope and they do not laugh, they attack. They want you to shut up, or to go away. These are signs of deeply conflicted consciences.

If it is not Catholic, it is not Catholic

Men who want to be seen as Catholics but who won’t be responsibly faithful to the duties of the faith, should not be considered faithful Catholics. Those who knowingly deceive the faithful about who is the true pope and who is not the true pope are NOT involved in a little or small controversy. They ARE ACTIVELY SCHISMATIC AND PROMOTING SCHISM.

Saint Paul warned us of such men, and he told us what to do about it.

The true Pope is the mystical Neck of the Church

If you are separated from the true Pope, you won’t remain a Catholic for long. Yes, these men who act like modernists — I do not imagine they are, but they are being constrained by their love of being accepted by errant men and errant men with money and power — have let go of essential truths of the Catholic Faith. But even you, if you follow those who deceive you in such matters, will soon lose your faith. The Church will become something like what the Anglicans have, an all-is-up-for-grabs Christianity, which keeps the names and outward appearances, but has long ago dumped doctrine, morality and faith.

The same thing we see happening with these fake Trads. They are now trying to reinvent the definition of papal infallibility and have totally ignored the teachings of Christ and the saints about papal indefectibility. They are bending doctrine to invent an excuse to remain in communion with an obvious fake and antipope, while refusing communion with the true Pope who defends celibacy. They even attack the true Pope to justify their falsehoods!

This is why all Schismatics lost the true Faith, because they are no longer in union with the mystical neck of the Mystical Body and hence no longer in communion with Christ the Head. Those who fall into such sins cannot be saved, because there is no salvation for those who die separated from Christ.

________

CREDITS: The Featured Image of the Piazza of St Peter’s at the Vatican, is by Br. Bugnolo.

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Dialogue with a Cardinal, who refused dialogue

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Christian charity requires that we not refuse to speak with our superiors or inferiors. The Crisis in the Church now is so grave that we should all be seeking to speak with our superiors about it and about how to remedy it. One thing we must discuss is the canonically erroneous declaration of Feb. 11, 2013 by the man who is Pope Benedict XVI.  Erroneous, manifestly, because no one had the respect for his Office or person to point out that the act needed to be redone, IF it was his intention to posit an act in conformity with Canon 332 §2.

For this reason I have written more than 50 Cardinals, I think — I am not sure I have lost count — to raise the issue. And recently one of them had the Christian charity to respond to me in writing. I cannot divulge the actual text, for the sake of my respect for his person and office, but I can divulge my text in reply, because I think it addresses a problem we all are having when we speak with out superiors about Pope Benedict’s Declaratio.

The Cardinal wrote to me that we must presume that Pope Francis is validly elected and holds the petrine munus, and therefore, he told me that he did not want to speak with me in person about the Renunciation.

Here is my reply to this prince of the Church:

Your Eminence,

If you ask any Doctor of Law, you will see that the reason you give, namely, “We must assume Pope Francis is a validly elected pope, who actually represents the petrine munus”, is a statement which compounds several errors:

1. First, that a man is the pope is not a presumption of fact, but the conclusion of law. For example, he is not the pope, whom the Cardinals say is the pope, rather, he is the pope who was elected according to the norm of Universi Dominici Gregis. To say the first, that is, that he whom the Cardinals says is the pope, is the pope, confuses the means whereby we know a canonical fact with the cause of the legitimacy of a canonical fact. They are two different things.

2. Second, in all law, whether Roman, Napoleonic or Common, the cessation of power is never presumed. This is an ancient principle, the ignoring of which would cause chaos in society. The corollary is that the cessation of right is never presumed. Now a Papal renunciation is the first moment in a petrine succession. And a succession of legal right is judged as a cessation of power. As Mons. Arrieta, of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, affirmed in my presence on Dec 11, 2019, such an act of renunciation must be clear in itself, it cannot be interpreted to be valid, because no one has the right to interpret it. This is because, interpretation of a law is the cause of its being understood other than what it is. And the Code of Canon Law does not grant that right, in papal renunciations, since they must be manifestly a renunciation of petrine munus.

3. Third, your affirmation that Pope Francis must be assumed to be validly elected, is the supposition of a conclusion as the first premise of your thought. In other words, you have taken what you should, in virtue of a series of illations based on facts and law, hold as a conclusion, and make it the first principle whereby your mind refuses to presuppose that from which it is illated. This is the logical error called petitio principii.

4. In truth, if you read Universi Dominici Gregis n. 37, Pope John Paul II required that a sede vacante be verified as a legal one. But Mons Arrieta assured me that no such verification was done in Feb. 2013. In fact, canon 40 invalidates everything done by a subject receiving an administrative act, before he verifies the integrity of the act itself. Yet the Vatican was publishing different versions of the Declaratio for many days, so an integral act was never had prior to the announcement minutes after the Consistory of Feb. 11, that the act meant a renunciation of the papacy. Indeed, as a Latinist who has published both a Grammar and translated over 9000 pages of Scholastic texts, I have found more thn 40 errors in the Latin text. There are moreover at least 6 canonical errors in the central act, which render it invalid, null or irritus. Furthermore, canon 41 gives each of us the duty to refuse an actus nullus and requires that we have recourse to the authority issuing the act. As Mons. Arrieta affirmed again to me, in the case of a papal resignation, if the act is null it must be redone, and if it is unclear the recourse to the superior must be to solicit another valid act, since he himself cannot make it valid by an interpretation. Thus, the mere fact that Pope Benedict said he renounced the ministerium, when Canon 332 §2 requries the renunciation of munus, means that the act is also irritus in virtue of canon 188, for substantial error, and irritus in virtue of canon 38 for not containing a derogation of the requirement to name the munus.

I can understand that as a Cardinal you would be disinclined to broach the issue of the legitimacy of the previous apparent Conclave, in which you never participated, but as Catholics we risk the penalty of eternal damnation, if we allow the Petrine Succession to falter for reasons so grave. Words have meaning, and if we reject that, then we will not find mercy before the terrible seat of Judgement of the Divine Word, who said of Pope John Paul II when he foresaw his Code of Canon Law in 1983: Whatsoever you bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven.

Finally, I have not demanded a meeting with Your Eminence, but I have pointed out the grave reasons why you should act, and at least do the due diligence required of you in Canon 41 and seek a private audience with Pope Benedict, before he loses his mental faculties. I assure you that he will tell you that it was never his intention to renounce the petrine munus, only to renounce the petrine ministerium and office. I say this based on a complete study of everything he said from Feb. 11, 2013 to today. And Antonio Socci agrees with me, as he said in his interview with Aldo Maria Valli just last week.

Sincerely in Saint Francis,

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

_____________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is my own photo of a bas-relief in the Basilica of the Most Holy Savior, here at Rome, showing a Pope kneeling in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Truth Incarnate.

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2 Questions that Gänswein violently does not want to Answer

Or, how it happened that the Archbishop called me on the phone

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The world has seen two of the most outrageous usurpations of office in the history of humanity, and in the short space of six years, from 2007 to 2013. I speak of the unconstitutional election of a self-proclaimed Kenyan citizen to the Presidency of the United States of America, in violation of the natural born citizen clause (Article II, section 1, clause 5) and of the uncanonical election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff on March 13, 2013 in violation of canon 359 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and Pope John Paul II’s law on papal elections, Universi Dominic Gregis, n. 37, which both forbid the election of a Roman Pontiff when a legal sede vacante has not occurred. (A sede vacante occures with the natural death of the Pope, or his resignation of munus in accord with Canon 332 §2). — For all my reports on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict and why that act did not cause him to lose the Papal Office, see my Index to the Renunciation of Pope Benedict.

It was a poignant moment, then, for the triumph of criminality over law, when Barrack Obama came to the Vatican to meet with Cardinal Bergoglio on Marcy 27, 2014. And in the midst was Father George, Gänswein, at Obama’s right hand (Photo care of the White House).

But the plans of men cannot be hidden from God, nor can they be hidden for long from God’s faithful, moved as they are by the Spirit of Truth who reveals hidden secrets.

Inspired by this Spirit many a faithful Catholic has voiced concerns, criticisms, objections and warnings over the strange happenings of February 2013, when Benedict issued a declaration in the Consistory of Feb. 11th, of that year — called to canonize the Martyrs of Otranto, slaughtered en masse by the forces of the Turks in the 16th century — which was publicized as a renunciation of the papacy, though it was nothing of the kind.

Present on that day, was also George Gänswein, now titular Archbishop of Urbs Salvia.

Mons. Gänswein has been seen as the faithful and devoted personal secretary to Joseph Ratzinger for more than 35 years. Ratzinger spotted him taking coffee at the German Collegium in the Vatican back in the 80’s and asked if he would like to be his secretary, since he needed someone fluent in German and Italian.  Mons. Gänswein holds a doctorate in Canon Law.

For these reasons I have long confided in Gänswein to speak the truth, even if, after his talk at the Gregorian University in 2016, when he clearly said that Benedict XVI still occupied the petrine office and still shared the petrine munus and ministry, I shook my head, because it seems a totally insane thing to say, since at the time, I still operated under the fake news put out that day, that Benedict had resigned the papacy.

But in the Last 18 months, with intense research and investigation, I have come to agree with Gänswein on those same points, because the effect of renouncing the petrine ministry alone, is that Benedict retains the petrine munus and office, and hence, in virtue of these, also the petrine ministry and power of governance, whether he thinks he has or not, and whether anyone else thinks he has, or not.

My Two Letters to Archbishop Gänswein

So, in November, filled with this sense of trust and confidence in the Archbishop, whose personal motto is Testimonium perhibere veritati — To bear witness to the truth — I wrote him a personal letter, in Italian, on the 25th, the English translation of which, I will post here:

I am writing you to request a personal meeting with you so as to put to rest a common doubt, which many Catholics have, who love His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

This doubt regards whether He, in saying minstero in his act of Feb. 11, 2013, had the intention to say muneri.

This doubt lingers because, as much as I know, His Holiness has never been asked in public if he had this intention or not.

Many are of the opinion, that in renouncing the ministry, Pope Benedict’s intention was to retain the munus, because He thinks the munus is the grace and the vocation which he received for always.

Others are of the opinion that in renouncing the ministery, His intention was to renounce the papacy, but not having understood that the ministerium is not the munus on account of the error in the German translation of the Code of Canon Law, in canon 145 §1, He made a substantial error in the renunciation (cf. Canons 126 and 188), because Canon 332 §2 constrains the man who is the pope, in renouncing, to renounce the petrine munus.  Since as Pope He did not concede to himself as Ratzinger a derogation by reason of canon 38, the renunciation remains vitiated. This is what they think.

For these reasons, and because I have written extensively on this topic at fromrome.wordpress.com and ChiesaRomana.info, I think a meeting with your Excellency will help all understand better what has happened.

I am not a journalist I am a consecrated person observing the Rule of Saint Francis, which obliges me in its second precept to uphold the Papacy.

Desiring only to know the truth, and dwelling at Rome, only 10 minutes from the Vatican, I am free at any moment to meet you wherever you like,

Sincerely,

Having received no response, I posted another letter to the Archbishop on January 9, at the Vatican Post Office. That letter got a phone response. Here is my English translation of that letter, the original of which was also in Italian:

Your Excellency!

I wish you best wishes on the Seventh Anniversary of your Episcopal Consecration at the hands of Pope Benedict! And I thank you for all that you do for the Holy Father!

I am writing for several reasons:

First, to remind you of my request for a personal meeting with your Excellency to understand better if the Holy Father had intended to renounce the petrine munus or whether he has ever said that he wanted to renounce the petrine munus, as I requested of you in my letter of Nov. 25th.

I make this request for the good of the Church, because I understand that the true pastoral care of the faithful, which save souls, is that which is established on the truth, not on hearsay.

I am also writing you to inform you, that on Dec. 19, I founded The League of Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI.  Catholics all over the world are already signed up, by means of 7 blogs which are spreading the invitation. For an Italian explanation see

For an English version see:

https://fromrome.wordpress.com/2019/12/19/join-the-league-of-prayer-for-pope-benedict-xvi/

Where you can find all the blogs listed who are participating in the English, Italian, Spanish and French speaking worlds.

I founded this League for the reasons described in the announcements and to share with other the grace the Lord gave me the day Pope John Paul II was shot in the Piazza S. Petro years ago, to pray daily for the Holy Father.

Lastly, having had the care of my own mother in her last years of life (she passed away on Nov. 2, 2018, from cortical dementia, her name is Doris) I learned well that the elderly need proper nutrition. I recommend a diet which is rich in protein. In the Bavarian State TV documentary the images of the Holy Father seem to show that he has lost a lot of weight recently, and so I am worried for his health. Also, seeing that my maternal grandfather was a barber, I cannot omit to say that if the Holy Father needs the services of a barber, I am willing to make a donation to pay the barber’s salary.

Sincerely in Saint Francis,

In both letters, at the end, I included contact information. My email and phone number. Little did I think I would ever get a response to my second letter. But I did, and it came by telephone at 10:43 A.M. on the morning of Saturday, January 11, 2020.

Archbishop Gänswein drops me a call

Though I missed the call, the Archbishop was kind enough to leave a message on my voice mail. Since my report here at The From Rome Blog, which is hosted on a website in the USA, is nevertheless readable in the European Union, I cannot share with you the recording of the call, nor give you a transcription of its contents, because that is prevented by privacy laws. However, I can describe in my own words, what I understood by the message left, so that everyone, especially the Cardinals and Bishops, understand how wrong it is to trust in anyone who claims to represent Pope Benedict, and how they need now to go to him in person and ask the most important questions.

I was trained in music as a youth, and so I have a keen ear to musical tones. Everyone’s voice has its own tone, and whether they speak in public or in private, on the phone or before an audience, it is the same tone. For that reason I can say the voice is that of the Archbishop. The voice also identifies itself as such.

My Italian contacts tell me it is clearly the voice of a German, but one which has spoken Italian for quite some time. I think the voice is suffering a little of the influenza that is hitting everyone at Rome right now. So I urge all to pray for the Archbishop’s health of body and soul.

However, sadly, the first thing the voice does is to attempt to gaslight me.

Gaslighting is a trick of mental persuasion usually used by tyrants or manipulators or even pedophiles, whereby the one in the position of power dictates to the one who is a subject how they should view reality. It is usually accompanied by insults or deprecatives which make the person inclined to doubt their own grasp on reality. If the Archbishop knew anything about me, he would know that that trick only works with weak minds who are seeking affirmation from power, which is not me in the least. The comment made also tried to characterize the entirely of my letter in such a light, which is really hard to justify even if you think Benedict is still the pope, because my letter was about much more than that.

To me, the gaslighting was totally uncalled for, and even cruel. I remain shocked that the voice of an Archbishop would be so uncharitable.

The second thing the voice does is to denounce my work of investigating the Renunciation. It says I am wrong and mistaken. This is a remarkable comment, since anyone who viewed the URLs in my letters would know that I am very thorough and back up everything I say with facts. I do not interpret facts, I let them speak for themselves. It then demands that I stop my work investigating the Renunciation.

Since I fear God alone, I can assure you that such a demand will have the opposite effect.

The third thing the voice does, as far as I understand it, is to demand that I and everyone in the League stop praying for Pope Benedict. The voice demands that I pray for Pope Francis. It seems to deny that Benedict is a pope or the pope.

And what is most remarkable, is what is not said by the voice. The voice does not say that it is acting at the bequest of Pope Benedict.

The voice is clearly of a man who is acting out of terror, rashness, imprudence. You can hear the anger and terror. There is even one grammatical mistake in the Italian used. From the logs at my blog, I can safely say that the Archbishop looked at, at least, 5 posts before the phone call came in. He was surfing to my blog using a VPN masking itself as being in the EU not the Vatican. (This is a standard practice at the Vatican now, after the computer raids made by the Vatican Gendarmerie in September). There were no background noises. A slam down of a phone handle can be heard terminating the call.

I could say a thousand things about this phone call. But I will conclude by saying, that in my own judgement, it is a lot easier to answer 2 questions than to threaten someone over the phone. I won’t get into the fact that the voice used a burner phone to make the call, that is, a phone which leaves no trace as to which number was used to make the call. What on earth is an Archbishop doing with such a phone? Such things are used by drug dealers and mafiosi!

In the future, I recommend that if you want to write Pope Benedict, do not send your mail to the Archbishop. I myself now consider that Benedict is clearly imprisoned., and that the Archbishop should be considered a prison warden, more than a personal secretary. The purpose of the imprisonment is this: His captors do not want him to meet with the public or with Cardinals in private, where he is free to express himself, PRECISELY because they do not want him to be asked those 2 questions.

I know why. And I think you can guess too. Others, better than I, have already guessed it too:

And that means, that Benedict is still the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter, because the essential act required by canon 332 §2, is a renunciation of the petrine munus.

Please share this article with all Cardinals and Archbishops and Bishops. I think it presents sufficient evidence that they should be concerned about the integrity of information regarding what he did and what it meant, on Feb. 11, 2013.

I will conclude this report by sharing a Video of the Archbishop, June 14, 2017, in which he says clearly the opposite of what he said on the phone to me: I am here principally to share with everyone the greetings of Pope Benedict XVI. (0:17 in the video, in Italian)

POST SCRIPT: Journalists who are in Rome or who come in person to Rome are welcome to hear the recording of the phone call, in my presence. Just leave your contact information in a comment  below. — I have transmitted a copy of the phone call to my private attorney in the USA, so in case anything happens to me, there is legal evidence of the fact.

____________

* In this Article, I have used the English word, “question”, in the sense of a problem which is asked to be responded to, because, as you can see there are no question marks in my letters to the Archbishop.

____________

THIS POST HAS BEEN PUBLISHED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN ITALIAN at ChiesaRomana.info:

https://www.chiesaromana.info/index.php/2020/01/15/due-domande-alle-quali-mons-ganswein-non-vuole-rispondere/

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My Meeting with the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I write this post to publicly thank Mons. Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, Titular Bishop of Civitate, who was appointed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts.

I met with him this morning at 9:45. The meeting lasted about 75 minutes. I did not record the meeting, but want to share with everyone what I remember of it, because of its great importance to the life of the Catholic Church.

I began by saying that I had come to discuss the interpretation of law (interpretatio iuris) or more specifically the right to interpret canonical acts (ius interpretandi). Bishop Arrieta is an expert on this matter, having served in the capacity of a Professor of Canon Law since 1984 at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, and from 2003 to 2008 at the Preside of the “St Pius X” Institute of Canon Law at Venice, and as Canonist to the Apostolic Penitentiary. Since February of 2007, he has served in the Pontifical Council as its Secretary. This title does not mean he is a secretary, but rather, the Vice President as it were to the Council.

I want to remark on the gentleness and noble demeanor of the Bishop, who never used any hominems, never lost his patience and showed himself willing to discuss the most impolitic issues, from the point of view of canon law, in the Church.

I began my questions with a preface, and with the Bishop’s permission read to him my entire article, entitled, ¡Viva Guadalajara! which was published, here, at the From Rome Blog, this morning.

During the reading, the Bishop could not hide his amusement at the fictitious story, but as I moved to my comments on how this story applies not only to the first moments of a papacy but also to the last, that is, to a Papal renunciation, the amusement on his face disappeared instantly. — Nevertheless, he continued to be polite.

He confirmed for me the following facts:

  1. To his knowledge, there was no meeting of canonists in February of 2013 which discussed the validity of the Act of Renunciation, nor whether a renunciation of ministerium effected a renunciation of munus.
  2. To his knowledge, Pope Benedict XVI never explained himself to any Cardinal or canonists in private as to whether his act effected a renunciation of the petrine munus or office.
  3. To his knowledge, no act of interpretation of the Renunciation was ever promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI.
  4. Bishop Arrieta did admit that he was asked questions regarding the Renunciation, on Feb. 11, 2013, but no question regarded the use of the term ministerium instead of munus.

He also confirmed for me these points of law:

  1. If anyone heard Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013 explain or officially interpret his Act of Renunciation as an act of renouncing the munus, and left a sworn testimony to the fact, this would have no juridical value whatsoever. That is it would not make or alter the signification other than it is.
  2. An act of papal Renunciation is not subject to the interpretation of anyone in the Church. That is, no one has the right to interpret it.
  3. An act of papal Renunciation, therefore, must be certain in itself. If it is not certain, it is invalid.
  4. There is no Canon in the Code of Canon Law which predicates the term ministerium of an ecclesiastical office.
  5. What Ganswein said at the Gregorian University in 2016 A.D. — he admitted he had not read the text of Ganswein in full or in the original — is impossible, since the Papal Office is theologically incapable of being held by more than one man at a time.
  6. It is canonically impossible that two persons hold he Petrine Munus at the same time.
  7. The Roman Curia shares in the Petrine Ministerium, but not the Petrine Munus.
  8. There can only be one pope.
  9. The Pope is subject to Divine Law and cannot split the office.
  10. Canon 1331 §2, n. 4 does allow an excommunicated person to hold a ministry in the Church, but that there is a reform of the Penal Code in the works and that this is something that will be addressed.
  11. Canon 332 §2 requires a verbal renunciation, not a renunciation which is signified by gestures or after the fact statements.
  12. The supreme theological and legal principle for interpretation of canonical acts is the teaching of Jesus Christ, where He said, “Let your yes be Yes, and your no, No, anything else comes from the Devil” (Mt. 5:37)

Now Bishop Arrieta did not agree with me in everything. He made it clear to me that he holds the following positions:

  1. The Renunciation of Pope Benedict was certain and clear.
  2. The Renunciation clearly signified the renunciation of the office of the papacy.
  3. It is morally impossible in the judgement of Bishop Arrieta, based on his knowledge of the man, Ratzinger, that Pope Benedict intended to deceive anyone by pretending to resign one thing instead of the other.
  4. Canon 332 §2, as regards the requirements of liberty and due manifestation, is not talking about a renunciation of the petrine munus.
  5. The necessity in a papal renunciation is a renunciation of the papal office, not of the petrine munus, which is a canonical term which does not adequately reflect the theological reality.
  6. In the Code of Canon Law there is no clear distinction between munus and ministerium.

Regarding this 4th position of the Bishop, I must say I tried to get a word in edgewise to object to such a patently false statement, as if conditions for validity for an act of renunciation of munus only regard the act of renouncing and not the object which is to be renounced. I think the Bishop just said this out of desperation because it is logically absurd on the face of it, as you cannot read part of a sentence which regards conditions for validity and ignore what was said as the fundamental condition for the occurrence or discernment of the occurrence of the act in question!

Regarding the 5th position, I disagree, because Pope John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ, by promulgating the Code imposed upon the whole Church the canonical obligation of understanding it in accord with Canon 17, not as defective in anything. Therefore, an interpretation of canon 332 §2 which implies a defect, cannot be authentic.

I won’t respond here to n. 6, since I have devastatingly refuted it in the recent Academic Conference at Rome, the excerpt of which I published on this very topic, here.

What left me unsatisfied about our conversation is that I asked a lot of questions, but Mons. Arrieta could not give me answers. Here are some of my question, not verbatim, but according to their sense, that the Bishop did not or could not answer:

  1. If it is clear that Pope Benedict resigned his office, can you explain to me canonically how he did that if he never mentioned the office or the Petrine Munus?
  2. If Canon 41 gives to every priest the discretion and right to evaluate the Papal Act of Renunciation before deciding to stop naming Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, as the Pope, why it is canonically wrong if he exercise this discretion, judge the act nullus and continue to name Benedict?
  3. If no one has the right to interpret the Papal Act, how can you explain why nearly everyone in the Hierarchy holds that it effected a renunciation of the Papal Office, if nowhere in the Act did Pope Benedict say I renounce the office or the munus? Is that not an interpretation?
  4. While I am willing to concede out of respect for Pope Benedict that he did not maliciously intend to deceive, is it not possible he was in substantial error when he resigned one thing and not the other?
  5. Does not our loyalty to Jesus Christ, Who bound Himself to observe Canon Law, require us to consider as possible that the Pope be in error in thinking he can resign part of the papal prerogatives and keep the rest? or was wrong in desiring to bifurcate the papacy?
  6. Does not the historical facts that 1) Pope Benedict XVI before his elevation to the Papacy knew of the desires of many German theologians to split the papal office along the lines of the petrine munus and the petrine ministry, and 2) the strange way of renouncing the ministry, but not the munus, coupled with 3) the testimony of Ganswein his personal secretary, who should know the mind of the Holy Father, produce the most sound forensic testimony that the Pope did intend to bifurcate the Papal Office and should be corrected by the Church, even if we personally hold that he had no such intention by way of supposition and respect for his person?

The Bishop closed by remarking that my approach to the reading of the Act of Renunciation was strange to him, that he has never considered this problem before, that he has never read about this controversy, but that I had given him “much to think about”.

CONCLUSION

The sum of what Mons. Arrieta told me leads me to conclude the following:

  1. The Act of Renunciation was presumed from the start to be a renunciation of the Papacy, without any consideration of the discrepancy of renouncing the ministerium instead of the munus, as if the Code of 1917 were operative, and not the Code of 1983.
  2. There has never been any canonical reflection on the canonical value of the Act of Renunciation by anyone known to Bishop Arrieta.
  3. There are no canonical arguments for the validity of the renunciation to effect a loss of the Papal Office, because the interpretation is simply a presumption based on an extrinsic method of reading the act (as I point out in my previous article), which is the most unauthentic and error-prone method of interpretation.
  4. The opinion of No Cardinal or Bishop or Priest on this matter constrains anyone in the Church to accept it, because no one has the right to say that the Papal Act means something other than it expressly says.
  5. Thus, the Renunciation of Pope Benedict DID NOT effect the loss of the Papal Office. He remains the Pope, the Successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Pontiff with all rights and privileges, all prerogatives and powers, graces and carisms, BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT RENOUNCE THE PAPACY BY WORDS, YOU HAVE NOT RENOUNCED THE PAPACY!*

Finally, I do want to thank the Bishop for his patience. Several times in the 75 minutes we spent discussing this most important matter, he remarked he had other duties, but stayed anyhow when what I said was substantial and presented a line of argumentation which he felt necessary to respond to.

____________

* For those not familiar with the technical language, in this controversy, “papacy” here refers not to the Vatican, nor to the Papal State(s) or Territory,  nor to the government of the Vatican, but to the Office of the Roman Pontiff. And I use this term here in the linguistic sense, not in the sense of the thing, but of the thing as named. For example, a husband refers to his wife by either one of her proper names, first, middle, last, or improper names, such as honey, dear, sweetie, or by a pronoun standing alone or followed by a subordinate phrase, such as, “the one who does the dishes”. If he says, I am going to get rid of the dish-washing, the bathroom-cleaning, the meal-preparation and the warm bed, he has not referred logically nor verbally to his wife, because the actions which his wife does or the effects of which she is the cause are not her, they are effects or actions under her power, and by naming them, one does not name necessarily or determinatively the one who is his wife. — So likewise, when Pope Benedict renounced the ministry but not the Papal Office, he did not renounce the Office, because he did not name it, he only referred to that which might be construed as the ministry which flows from it. The intellectual incapacity or inability to recognize this common law of human language and signification is at the heart of the reason why so many think Benedict resigned the papacy, when in reality he did nothing of the kind. However, why he did what he did, is besides the point (praeter rem), because whatever his motives, the act remains invalid, null.

 

¡Viva Guadalajara!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the conclave of 2243, the Cardinals of the Roman Church, in their final votation, elected a Spaniard.

So, according to the rules established by Pope John Paul II, on February 22, 1996, in the document Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 87, the Cardinal Deacon, the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and the Master of Cerimonies for Pontifical Liturgies approach the Spanish Cardinal and ask him in these solemn words if he will accept his election:  Do you accept your canonical election as the Supreme Pontiff?

Silence.

Then the Cardinal Deacon signals with his eyes to the Elected Cardinal, asking for an answer.

The Cardinal Elect, smiles, then extends both hands to each side and forms the V sign. With that he says in a clear voice: ¡Viva Guadalajara!

The Spanish Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, familiar with the jocularity of the Elected Cardinal, giggle. The Cardinal from Barcelona says to himself, “What a joker! But this is not a time for laughs!”

The Secretary of the College gives a stern look at the Cardinal Elect. He is not amused at this kind of levity. So he turns to the Cardinal Deacon, who is perplexed, and whispers: “Let’s ask him again”.

So the aged Cardinal Deacon, turns to the Cardinal Elect, and asks again, this time in Spanish: ¿Acepta su elección canónica como Sumo Pontífice?

Silence.

Then, the Cardinal Elect, answers: raising both his right and left hand as before, and making the V sign with each, he says: ¡Viva Guadalajara! — This time with an even bigger smile on his face.

At this point, the Cardinals break their silence, and mixed mutterings of insouciance and consternation.

The Cardinal Deacon, now impatient, says to the Cardinal Elect: “This is no time to make jokes. Please answer the question with a Yes or a No”. Then recomposing himself, he repeats the canonical question, this time in Italian: Accetti la tua elezione canonica a Sommo Pontefice?

And again, the Cardinal Elect responds in the same manner.

At this point, the Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel break out in small groups of conversation. Everyone is trying to figure out what the Cardinal Elect means to say. The Spanish Cardinals approach the Elect and attempt to reason with him. But he says nothing futher. All he does is keep smiling and raising his right and left hand now and then with the V sign, for victory.

So in accord with the Papal Law on Conclaves, UDG, n. 5, the Cardinal from Paris asks that the College discuss and decide what is to be done, since the Papal Law says nothing about the manner in which the Cardinal Elect is to accept the office, whether it be by a Yes or No or by some other sign.

Two factions arise among the Cardinals. On the one side, a minority hold that the Cardinal Elect, by the words used has not accepted his election and must be considered either in error or mad. On the other side, the position taken is that of the Cardinal of Mexico City, who reasons this way: There is no more certain a manner of indicating that one has accepted the dignity of a prince than to respond in a manner which requires his listeners to acquiesce to his authority. Now by responding in this manner, does not the Cardinal Elect clearly show his intent to act like a prince? And therefore, his intention to accept the election? Is he not just putting our loyalty to the test? I for one will not fail in my loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff in this his first act of office!

This line of reasoning wins over the majority and they vote to regard the manner of speech chosen by the Cardinal Elect as meaning, “Yes, I accept”.

The Cardinal Deacon, then approaches the Cardinal Elect and asks him by which name he wants to be known. He replies, “Ignazio I”.

And years pass. And there is nothing controversial in the pontificate of Ignatius the First. Not in the least.

Except for this one thing.

Every time journalists manage to get an interview with him, and they ask him about the moment of his election as Pope, they ask him what he said, and he says: ¡Viva Guadalajara!

About 6 years into his reign as pope, one journalist, by the name of Marco Tosatti III, wanting to understand this better, asks a very specific question of Pope Ignatius I, during a plan trip.

Tosatti III: I know, your Holiness, has been asked this same question many times. And we are all impressed by your talent for humor and your jocundity, which is so unique among the Popes. But the day of your election, if I may ask again, can you tell just what you said, when the Cardinal Deacon asked you if you would accept your canonical election?

Ignatius I: I said, ¡Viva Guadalajara!

Tosatti III: Is that all you said?

Ignatius I: Yes.

Tosatti III: Did you not say, Yes?

Ignatius I: No, I never said Yes or No. I simply said, ¡Viva Guadalajara!

Marco Tosatti III publishes his interview and it goes round the world. The Pope never said yes.

A few days later, another Italian Vaticanista, by the name of Sandro Magister V, obtains an interview with the aged Cardinal Deacon, who confirms the story: Yes, he never said, yes. In fact there was a controversy in the Conclave, and now that Pope Ignatius I has abolished the pontifical secret on his election, I can reveal that we held a vote in accord with Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 5, and we determined that canonically speaking, this phrase, ¡Viva Guadalajara! would be taken to mean, “yes, I accept”.

Magister V also publishes his interview, which causes even more of an uproar and travels round the world.

About two weeks later, an old lady from the suburb of Madrid, Spain, where Pope Ignatius I grew up, flys to Rome and enters the Piazza of St Peter with a sign, saying, “He is not the Pope!” The Gendarmerie, the Vatican Police, attempt to take the sign from her, there is a scuffle and they end up punching her and she punching them back. Eventually they take both her and the sign away.

But the pilgrims in the piazza photograph and video record the entire travesty and these images go world wide on all social media platforms.

The next day in all the majors newspapers and MSM sites the one topic is why they beat up this poor old women. And the journalists who are allowed to interview her in the Vatican jail all receive the same statement, prepared by her attorney: In my suburb of Madrid, where I grew up with Pope Ignatius I, the phrase, ¡Viva Guadalajara! has always meant, “You got to be kidding. I would no more agree to that than support the team from Guadalajara, by shouting ¡Viva Guadalajara! at a soccer match with our own team!”

At this news, journalists flock to Madrid, Spain and interview all those they can find who knew the Pope as a child or youngster. And they all agree that what this old lady said is the absolute truth.

And these journalists report what they find. And, the next day, Ignatius I gives an interview and says: You see, there is nothing I hate more that arrogance and sycophantry. So when I saw that there were no worthy candidates for the Papacy, I determined to do what I could to delay as much as possible the Conclave, so the most unworthy ones would be taken by the Lord or not be able to vote, having reached the age of 80. So I contrived the deception I used to fool everyone. And it worked. But now that my purpose has achieved its goal, I willing admit that I was never pope, because I never accepted my election as the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, I will now stop pretending to be pope and go back to Madrid and enjoy my final years of life by drinking cerveza and watching the Madrid Soccer team. Good-bye and Adios!

_____________

The Limits of Discretion

So ends the fictional canonical case I have created. As you can see, strange things can happen if the discretion which we Catholics traditionally accord to the Cardinals goes beyond all limits. There are just some things they cannot do even if they want to.

One thing they cannot do, even if they want to, regards the interpretation of verbal texts. As a translator of medieval texts, I understand well that there are 3 ways of determining the meaning of any obscure phrase. The first is intrinsic, the second extrinsic and the third is referential.

Intrinsic methods look to the meaning of the words used and their grammatical structure. Extrinsic methods look to the context in which the phrase is used and impose a theory about what the intent was in the author’s mind in using the obscure phrase. Referential methods look for other occurrences of the same obscure phrase in the writings of the same author, his contemporaries or those authors he read or cited.

And as a translator, I have learned the hard way, that the worse method of interpretation is the extrinsic method. The intrinsic method can be used but it requires great discretion and a good knowledge of the author one is reading. The referential method is the most certain but one has to take into account that every author might use standard phrases slightly differently.

¡Viva Guadalajara!

As can be seen from the fictional case I have constructed, grave error can arise when the ones who should be interpreting the meaning of things said by the Pope use the extrinsic method, by adopting the context of the phrase and some theory of what the intention was of the one saying it, and from these two data points extrapolate the meaning of the phrase.

This has been no idle study. And though you may find this story humorous, that is not my intention. Because though it regards what could happen regarding the very first moment an man becomes the Pope, the same interpretational problem can arise in the very last moment a man is the Pope, that is in an Act of Renunciation.

Because, when a man renounces the papacy, Canon 332 §2 requires that he say something that signifies, In my capacity as Roman Pontiff, I renounce the munus which I received in the Apostolic Succession from Saint Peter, the day I accepted my election as Supreme Pontiff by the College of Cardinals.

The words do not have to be the ones I just wrote, but they have to signify essentially the same thing.

If you say, however, I declare that I renounce the ministry which was entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals, the day I was elected, then you have a problem. Because no where in the Code of Canon Law, nor in Canonical Tradition, nor in the mind of Pope John Paul II do we find any clear equation or predication of munus by ministerium. To hold that Pope Benedict’s renunciation of ministry means a renunciation of munus is an interpretation, unfounded in the law. Moreover, the Cardinals and Bishops and Clergy who hold this interpretation have no authority in the law to interpret the Papal Act in this manner.

We need to be adults and admit this problem of interpretation.

And the ones who committed this error have to grow up and stop insisting that we follow them in it. After all, religious extremism does not consist in refusing an error of interpretation. Religious extremism consists in insisting, like ISIS, that we accept their errors of interpretation or else.

CREDITS: the image of the Cathedral of Madrid is taken from the Wikipedia article on the Facade of the Cathedral of Madrid and is used under the wiki commons license described there.

 

Pope John Paul II admitted that a Papal Renunciation could be invalid

AAC Chair Throne Pope John Paul II

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Don’t let anyone tell you to shut up, when you point out that some are saying the renunciation of Pope Benedict was or could be invalid.

Don’t let them coerce you by telling you that it is absurd to suppose that a Papal act be invalid.

Don’t let them get away with such a claim!

Why?

Because, no less that Pope John Paul II declared that a papal resignation could be invalid!

First, the FACTS of the Laws

And not only declared, but he enshrined the possibility into the Papal Law on Conclaves: Universi dominici gregis, n. 3, where it says in Latin:

3. Praeterea statuimus, ne Cardinalium Collegium de iuribus Sedis Apostolicae Romanaeque Ecclesiae ullo modo disponere valeat, nedum de iis sive directe sive indirecte quidquam detrahat, quamvis agatur de componendis discidiis aut de persequendis factis adversus eadem iura perpetratis, post Pontificis obitum vel validam renuntiationem.(14) Curae autem sit omnibus Cardinalibus haec iura tueri.

Which in good English is:

3. Moreover, We establish, that the College of Cardinals not be able to dispose in any manner of the rights of the Apostolic See and Roman Church, much less to detract anything from them either directly or indirectly, even though it be done concerning the resolution of disputes or the prosecution of deeds perpetrated against the same rights, after the death and/or valid renunciation* of the Pontiff. (14) Moreover, let it belong to the care of all the Cardinals that these rights be watched over.

* The reference to a “valid renunciation” is to Canon 332 §2, which lays down 2 reasons for an invalid renunciation (lack of freedom in renouncing the petrine munus, and lack of due manifestation of the renunciation of the petrine munus).

Some would like to have it that Canon 332 §2 is merely laying down the requisites to be observed in a papal resignation, and that it does not exist to be used by anyone, let alone a layman, to discern or determine when a resignation is valid or not.

The assertion is a perfect form of gas-lighting: You cannot let the masses use the Code of Canon Law, you cannot let them read the Papal Law on Conclaves, but if they do, you must convince them that what they see does not mean what it says or that what they read there is something they cannot use in an argument or apply to any particular case! Thus might be the counsel of any modern day Screwtape to his Trad inc. minions.

This objective is supported by the absurd arguments being used to attack those who are examining the resignation, such as that argument evinced by Mr. Sammons the other day:

Evidently, if we take Mr. Sammons at his word, he must rail against Pope John Paul II, against the Papal Law on Conclaves and against the Code of Canon Law of 1983, all which admit the possibility of an invalid renunciation! — Evidently railing against Popes is o.k., so long as you recognize that they are popes. — This seems to be the new dogma of Trad Inc. Even though Catholic Tradition holds that in nothing can a pope be judged but faith.

Having seen this form of gas-lighting, we must begin to ask ourselves, “Whom we should listen to or obey? A Layman or Pope John Paul II?”

After all, to turn Mr. Sammon’s rhetoric against him: What does it matter what Mr. Sammons wants?

Second, the Implications of the Law

As it has been amply proven that Pope John Paul II held that a papal renunciation could be invalid, we should use the intellects God gave us to use and think about what that means. We should not let the gas-lighting false apostles, out there, stop us from thinking.

First, if a papal renunciation could be invalid. That means that objectively speaking it could be invalid. That means that it can be recognized by men who are capable of knowing objective reality. That means that men should recognize it if it be, and should NOT harken to any propaganda to ignore the problem. Because, obviously, if Pope John Paul II wanted us to listen to propagandists who do not want us to see that a resignation was invalid when it was invalid, he would never have mentioned that there could be an invalid resignation.

Second, that means that the Church has the duty to recognize an invalid resignation is invalid, since the Code of Canon Law binds everyone in the Church. The Papal Law on Conclaves binds the Cardinals, and so they are also obligated to recognize an invalid resignation is invalid.

Third. Now how is anyone to do that? Pope John Paul II shows us how in canons 40 and 41, where everyone in the Church who has an office is obliged to examine the administrative act of his superior to see if it is effective and authentic. Though canon 41 speaks only of acts which are null or inopportune, clearly an invalid resignation is both.

That means it was the duty of all the Cardinals as of 11:45 AM, February 11, 2013, when the Consistory ended (approximately, as I do not know the precise minute of termination) until today to examine the act. If the act was invalid, they were obliged to omit the Conclave, and if they find now that it is invalid, they are obliged to say the conclave was invalid.

CONCLUSION

So you see, now, how wrong Cardinal Burke was, when he condemned a whole category of Catholics as “extremists” if they doubted that Bergoglio was the pope. Because if that doubt arises from an invalid resignation, then they are not only NOT extremists, they are the most faithful Catholics in the Church, and they are doing what all Cardinals should have done and still refuse to do!

No, your Eminence, there are No Extremists here, but there are a lot of Presumptuous Princes!

Now almost no one in the Church is a canon lawyer, but a good number of the Cardinals are. And if you have studied canon law or civil law, then you know a general principle of law which is applicable in this case:

A cessation of power is never to be presumed!

As I mentioned previously, this general principle of law is enshrined in Canon 21 (and implied in many other canons, such as canon 40). It is really a summation of common sense. Because if one presumed the cessation of power, then the rule of law would break down, because presumption has a way of inclining to disorder and chaos, in particular, to the kind of disorder and chaos we have seen in the Church for nearly 7 years.

Now a papal renunciation pertains to a cessation of power, as the learned and eminent Canonist I spoke with recently admitted. Therefore, we cannot presume a pope has validly resigned. The presumption, rather, is that he has not resigned. Presumption here refers to the inclination of our judgement prior to seeing the facts and evidence.

Now Canon 332 §2 says that a pope resigns when he resigns his munus.

But Pope Benedict in his act of Feb. 11, 2013, renounces the ministerium he received.

Therefore, at this point, before any further study, each and every Cardinal had the duty to presume that the renunciation was invalid. He had to presume this, because, the presumption of law requires that he hold that there has been no cessation of power, when a pope renounces ministerium instead of the required munus.

Canon 17 then requires the Cardinals to examine the Code of Canon Law (as I did here) to understand the proper sense of terms, or the canonical tradition (as I did here), or the mind of the Legislator (as was done by Father Walter Covens here).  But all of these conclude the renunciation of ministry does not effect a renunciation of the papacy.

So who is the extremist now? The Catholic who holds, as he should, to what the law presumes? Or the Cardinal who did not do his duty nor his homework but rails at Catholics who have done what he neglected to do? Presuming against the very presumption of the law.

It almost seems as if the Cardinals were already inclined to rid themselves of Pope Benedict, and so, whether he was in error or not, whether he wanted to  bifurcate the papacy or not, whether the renunciation was valid or not, they did not bother one iota to due their due diligence before convening in Conclave. — If there ever was a reason to doubt the validity of the Conclave of 2013, this is the first and prime of them all!

Third, Action Item:

Ask your favorite priest, Bishop or Cardinal, when did he apply canons 40 and 41 to the Papal renunciation?

Because in those 2 canons, all who hold an office in the Church — even the simple priest who is no longer mentioning Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, where the name of the Roman Pontiff is named — all, I say, had the duty to examine the Latin text of the Renunciation and determine whether it fulfilled the requirements of the Latin text of Canon 332 §2. So ask them, “On what day and hour, in what place and with what books and references did you do your duty specified in canons 40 and 41 as regards the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013, called, “Non solum propter”?” — You have every right to ask this question, before listening to anything they say about the renunciation, because obviously, if they never did their duty, they have no moral right to tell you anything about what the Act of Renunciation means, let alone, to regard anyone else as the Pope, other than Benedict.

(For more information about Canons 21, 40 and 41 and what should have been done on Feb. 11, 2013, after Pope Benedict XVI read his Act of renunciation, see here).

______

CREDITS: The image of the Pope is from https://agrellcarving.com, who carved the Throne on which he is sitting and which produces other fine products of furniture (This is not a paid advertisement, but the image is copyright by Agrell Carving).

Pope Benedict’s Renunciation is invalid for 6 Canonical Reasons

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics begin the effort to make known to the clergy that they were defrauded of their loyalty to Christ’s Vicar on Feb. 28, 2013, it is important to have at hand a short summary of the canonical problems in Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, Non solum propter. (Official text here at Vatican website)

Here is such a short summary.

6 canonical errors in the Act of Renunciation

  1. In the Act, the Roman pontiff renounces “the ministry committed to him through the hands of the Cardinals” on the day he was elected. But canon 332 §2, in the official Latin text of that canon, requires that the renunciation be of the petrine “munus”, that is the Papal Office (cf. canons 331, 333, 334, 749). Therefore, the act is NOT a renunciation of the papacy. Thus, in regard to canon 332 §2, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS. And if it  be said or thought to be an act of renunciation of the papacy, then the assertion or estimation is false by reason of Canon 188, which declares IRRITUS any renunciations of office vitiated by substantial error, that is by an error which touches the substance of the act (which, in this case, is constituted by the essence of the act as an act of renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium).*
  2. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff does not name the office by any proper canonical term, and thus the act is also an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be duly manifested (rite manifestetur), since that which is not named is not manifest.
  3. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff’s liberty regards that which he does, not that which he does not do, which, since he does not do it, whether he be free to do it or not, is not expressed. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be freely executed (libere fiat).
  4. In making a declaration of renunciation, instead of renouncing, the act is also an ACTUS NULLUS, because canon law does not regard declarations to be canonical acts. They are merely announcements. (cf. Penal section on announcements regarding persons who have incurred latae sententiae excommunications ipso iure).
  5. In making what appears to be a renunciation of the papacy, without naming the papal office as required by Canon 332 §2, the man making the declaration, inasmuch as he is the man, who received the office and who is attempting to separate himself from the office, had need to obtain from the man who is the Pope, an express derogation of the terms of canon 332 §2, in virtue of canon 38, and since he did not, since no concession of derogation of that requirement is mentioned in the act, then by reason of canon 38, the act, which is both contrary to the law of Canon 332 §2 and gravely injurious of the right of the faithful to know who is the true pope and when he has canonically resigned, is an ACTUS SINE EFFECTU, that is an act which lacks all effect.
  6. Finally, in renouncing “the ministry”, the Roman Pontiff posits a legal act which is not foreseen in the Code of Canon Law, since no canon therein speaks of a renunciation of ministry. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS according to the norm of law. Therefore, in accord with canon 41 no one with an office in the Church has any duty to recognize it.

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* I do not include substantial error as one of the canonical errors in the Act, because the act was never one of a renunciation of the papal office. The argument that substantial error vitiates the act, technically, has more to do with the mis-perceptions or false claims made about the canonical value of the act, than with the act itself. Speaking of substantial error is thus necessary when discussing it with someone who is operating under the false premise that the Pope renounced the papacy, but eventually one must talk about the reality of what the Pope actually said on that day, and distinguish that reality from the misperception which was published to all the world.

POST SCRIPT: Note that in the title of this post I use the word “invalid” in the common sense of an act which does not effect what one thinks it effects, but properly speaking the term should be “vitiated” or “erroneous”, because as you can see from the list of 6 canonical errors, 3 regard nullity, 2 regard invalidity, and 1 regards being without effect.