Tag Archives: Declaratio

Why St. Robert Bellarmine would hold the Renunciation was invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: here)

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

A doubtful pope is not the pope.

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

A doubtfully elected pope is not an elected pope.

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

A doubtfully resigned pope is not a resigned pope.

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

A doubtfully resigned pope is still the pope.

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

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

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

Which I render thus, in English:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 16:17-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Benedict’s End Game is to save the Church from Freemasonry

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Or, what Sherlock Holmes would say about the case of the Incongruous Renunciation

I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, the fictional private detective in late Victorian England, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to popularize the new method of forensic investigation among the public police forces of his day.

As Sir Arthur writes in his Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes: “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important”.

This maxim is actually something the great Scholastic Theologians of the Catholic Church would readily agree too, because they held that every individual effect is marked by its causes.  Thus, every small detail about everything, says something about the causes of that detail. We have only to study the details to find the clues.

Here at the From Rome blog I have applied this method to the controversies over the vote rigging at the Conclave of 2013, which I have extensively examined. (You can see all the articles at The Chronology of Reports about “Team Bergoglio”), and to those about Benedict’s Renunciation (See the topical Index to Benedict’s Renunciation).

In this post, I want to share a lingering doubt I have about Benedict’s renunciation which I cannot shake, because it is seemingly confirmed by a host of details which have been overlooked by everyone, but which all point to the same conclusion, namely Benedict’s disgust with the College of Cardinals, not just as men, but as an institution.

Anomalies, Anomalies

As as translator of not a few Papal Bulls and Latin texts, when I examined the Latin of the Declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, the first thing which struck me was the the phrase ab his quibus competit. This phrase stuck me, because in Latin, which is a Language which is eminently laconic, it is a lot easier to write ab Cardinalibus electoribus. Why say, that the new supreme pontiff is to be elected by those who are competent to do so, and not by the Cardinal electors?

This question grows with a sense of significance, when you realize that Pope Benedict, according to the testimony of Archbishop Gänswein, wrote the text himself. And even more so, when you consider he wrote this text to be read out in the presence of the Cardinals themselves! In the refined halls of power, such a statement is much more than a faux paux, it is a positive insult and reproof. It is as if he is saying that the Cardinal Electors are not competent to elect a supreme pontiff. It is even more like saying, that his successor will not be elected by Cardinals at all!

This one small detail is something over which Sherlock Holmes would have had a panic attack of brain storming, because it is so incongruous of a statement to make in such a situation as a papal resignation, that it has to have causes which are not yet so obvious but which are crucial to understanding what happened and why it happened and what it all means.

I get a lot of guff and criticism for my speculations at this blog, mostly from those who do not appreciate the forensic method or the power of observation. As a trained anthropologist I understand why they do not understand and I understand why they are wrong in being oblivious to small facts. I know from the history of Archeology that entire theories of explanation of ancient, long lost cultures, were over turned by the finding of a single artifact, or a common artifact in a bizarre position or location. So I know professionally, that the methodology of Sherlock Holmes is not a fictional fantasy, but a real life powerful method of investigation and discovery.

If you find one anomaly, look for others

A single anomaly is hard to interpret, because as the Scholastics say, the individual which is the sole member of its species cannot be understood in itself. This means that when you find one anomaly, you need to look for more evidence and try to seek its causes. Other anomalies are the most important things to find, because then they establish a network of causes which can reveal the true meaning behind each anomaly. This is because it is harder to hide something in everything, than in a single thing.

The second anomaly which I noticed as translator of the Declaratio is that the Vatican had falsified all the vernacular translations. I reported this in the Article, The Vatican has known all along that Benedict’s Renunciation was invalid as written, and here is the proof. A brief summary translation of which, can be found in Italian at ChiesaRomana.info.

The obvious inference is that those who came into power after Benedict’s renunciation were trying to hide the evidence. But the less obvious inference is that Benedict wrote a renunciation which was obviously invalid and they were trying to hide the obviousness of it. And from that we can safely infer that there was a conflict between Benedict and whom he knew or suspected would come into power after his resignation. This final inference supports an understanding of the first anomaly, that Benedict was calling the Cardinal electors incompetent to elect a supreme pontiff.

This leads to an understanding which like a key can be used to decode the Declaratio.  Now it is clear why Benedict calls himself the Successor of Saint Peter, but calls the one to be elected the new Supreme Pontiff. “Supreme” smacks of dictatorship and thus points to a Peronist. We can be certain that Benedict knew that Bergoglio was going to be elected because Bergoglio was the leading candidate in the previous conclave, and because Benedict was elected in opposition to Bergoglio. That opposition having crumbled in the College of Cardinals, it was obvious who would prevail. Benedict also as Pope had the resources of the Vatican spy network so he probably always knew what Bergoglio was up to prior to the conclave to suborn others and expand his power networks.  The recent history of the European Bishops’ Conference, written by the the Bishop of St Gallen, shows that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger knew well of the existence of the St Gallen Group even before 1992. So we can be sure that Ratzinger maintained a dossier on them and kept his eye on them.  We know now, that as Pope, most of his Pontificate was in preaching against the very errors, heresies and deviations which Bergoglio is now promoting. We know this by comparing what he was teaching with what Bergoglio is teaching, and it is a direct contradiction of it.

From all this, then, we can say decisively and with great certitude that the Declaratio was written to oppose the St Gallen Mafia and to lay down a maneuver against them. It was not a surrender, but it was made to look like a surrender. I explained my theory about this in the Article entitled, How Benedict has defeated “Francis”.

And because this was its primary motivation, for it to be successful Benedict had to decide from the beginning to be extremely discrete and divulge his intention with no one, not even Gänswein. I have long thought that this inference was improbable, but I recently obtained proof that Pope Benedict does not tell his private secretary everything, in the video prepared by Bavarian State TV, entitled, Ein Besuch bei Papst Benedikt XVI. em. Klein Bayern im Vatikan, which aired on January 3 in Germany. For in that video, Benedict reveals that there are things in his office of which he never told the Archbishop. And the Archbishop expresses both surprise and dismay.

The Crown of all Anomalies

It was only, however, when I took it upon myself to examine the Latin text with the eye of a Latin teacher correcting the homework of a student, that I found the crown of all anomalies. Yes, I found more than 40 grammatical, syntactical and stylistic errors. So many that it seemed to me impossible a pope could write such a thing. Either he was handed it to be signed, or he wrote it in haste, or he intentionally made it sloppy Latin to conceal something from obvious view.  For, if you have ever watched British TV, and were a fan of Doctor Who, then you know, that the best place to hide a key is on a wall designed to hang dozens of keys, for there you can not only hide it in plain view, but hide it in such a way that it cannot be found or stolen.

And thus I was led to infer that Benedict was hiding something in the text, something more than just an invalid resignation of ministerium instead of munus. So I re-read the text and looked for anomalies, and now I wish to speak openly of what I found, of which I did not speak openly before in my Articles entitled, Clamorous Errors in the Latin Text of the Renunciation and A Nonsensical Act: What the Latin of the Renunciation really says.

And Benedict hid this anomaly right up front, in the place you would least expect to hide anything. I refer to the very first sentence of the Declaratio:

Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem.

As I said before, I have always thought it significant that Pope Benedict was promoting the study of Saint Bonaventure’s Scholastic Theology more and more during the later years of his Pontificate. That Doctor of the Church is an expert on the interpretation of textual statements. But that Doctor of the Church has his own way of using Latin. So being the translator of his Commentarii in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum, I just happened to have a great familiarity with the Latin of Bonaventure. And that made me see something of which I think no other has taken notice.

It is the word decisionem.

Latinists were focusing on the word immediately prior to this, vobis, because the Latin verb communicem takes an object with the preposition cum and thus requires vobiscum not vobis.

They then proceeded to simply fault Benedict for his poor choice of words, in writing decisionem instead of consilium. And in my critique I reported their opinions of this matter.

But what I did not report is my shock at the seeing the word decisionem, because in the writings of Bonaventure this word always means a “cutting off”, and has the sense of an amputation or pruning, as is done to a vine. Recall that in Scripture, Our Lord Himself says that He has to occasionally prune His people to take away dead branches and promote regrowth and fruitfulness. If you know anything about Joseph Ratzinger, then you know that as a theologian he likes to weave discourses around the meanings of Biblical images and words. Thus, one is led to the conclusion that he chose decisionem for reasons more significant than apparent.

If you combine that meaning with vobis and ignore the presumption that the latter was intended as vobiscum, the entire meaning of the sentence changes to something so radically unexpected, that only one having unraveled the chain of inferences and made a study of the anomalies in the text could possibly be prepared to accept that Benedict might indeed have meant that which the Latin actually says. Which is as follows:

Not only for the sake of three acts of canonizations, have I called you to this Consistory, but also for the sake of the life of the Church to communicate something of great importance: your being cut off.

As I just said, this reading seems incredible, but it explains all the anomalies which I have heretofore found in the text and in the history of the Renunciation. The purpose of the Declaratio was NOT to renounce the papal office, it was to Uproot the College of Cardinals as an institution from the Church, so as to save the Catholic Church from the complete Masonic infiltration of that institution.

We know now, seven years on, that the College of Cardinals has shown perfect compliance with the Freemasonic regime of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and even its most conservative Cardinals have pledged unswerving loyalty to that regime. We also know that it has been a century long project of Freemasonry to infiltrate the College so as to take over the Catholic Church from the top down. We also know that Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI were well informed by Saints and private revelations of the coming battle with the Anti-Church and False Prophet. Finally, we know that both collaborated decisively to renew the canonical penalties of excommunication against Freemasons in the Church (Declaration on Masonic Associations, Nov. 26 1983.) in forma specifica, that is, in the most solemn and authoritative manner of an express Papal approbation of a notice given the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

It makes sense, then, if you know a key fort containing the greatest treasure of your kingdom is going to fall to the enemy, because of a complete treachery and rebellion of the military commanders holding it for you, the wisest council is to allow it to fall, without advising those commanders, while secretly removing the treasure, so that they are deceived in thinking they have triumphed and so that your removal of the treasure can be conducted in safety and during the confusion of their gleeful and exuberant seizing of the fort.

And this is what it seems Benedict did and intended to do. It also explains why Benedict acts the way he does and refuses to clarify his situation. Why he does not even take the Archbishop into his confidence. It also explains a lot of other things, which did not seem entirely anomalous before. For example, in his final year of pontificate, he made both Muller and Ganswein Archbishops, but not Cardinals, as if for his closest of friends he somehow did not want them to be members of that College.

If all these observations and inferences are correct, then one can with great probity conclude that it is the intention of Pope Benedict that after his earthly demise, that the Church of Rome, and not the College of Cardinals, who are held fast in a solidarity of dissent with Bergoglio, elect his successor: a thing about which I speculated about in my Article, Whether with all the Cardinal electors defecting, the Roman Church has the right to elect the Pope? And a thing of which even Pope John Paul II alludes in a most cryptic manner in the papal law on conclaves in his introduction, where he says, that it is a well established fact that a conclave of Cardinals is not necessary for a valid election of a Roman Pontiff (Universi Dominici Gregis, Introduction, paragraph 9).

Indeed, a study of the history of papal renunciations and the canons of the Church shows, that it was Pope John Paul II, in 1983, who by adding munus as the canonically required object of the verb “renounce” in canon 332 §2, actually created the canonical possibility of an invalid renunciation in the case of a pope who renounced something other than the petrine munus! A very small alteration, but one which not only prevented the office from being shared, according to the loony and heretical speculations of German theologians, but allowed a Roman Pontiff to give the appearance of a valid resignation, so as to deceive the forces of Freemasonry in the Church.

Now all this seems absurdly immoral, but in truth it is neither illegal nor illicit. For since the man who is the pope has the canonical right to renounce the petrine munus, it follows ex maiore that he has the moral right to renounce anything less than the munus. In cases of grave threat, he also has the moral right to dissimulate. Thus by renouncing the ministerium, not the munus, Pope Benedict posited an act which power hungry men without respect for the law or for the truth or for the person of the pope, would overlook during their rush to convene an invalid conclave. And thus their own fault and sin and haste would result in their canonical separation from the Church through an act of schism and usurpation. Yet, by renouncing the ministerium and not the munus, as required by Canon Law, Pope Benedict left sufficient evidence for all the Catholic faithful in the world to discover the truth, a thing of which he was confident they could do, because the quasi soul of the true Church is the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Inspirer of all truth, Who guides His faithful always to and in the truth.

In this way, both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have acted with great foresight and angelic prudence over the last 4 decades to enable that the Office of Saint Peter pass, not through the hands of men who have betrayed Christ en masse, but through the hands of the faithful of the Church of Rome, who precisely on account of their fidelity to the Roman Pontiff according to the norm of law, recognize what he has done and why he has done it.

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Literal English Translation of Benedict XVI’s Discourse on Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

07-Ratzinger-ciao-OR

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There being few in the Church today who know the Latin tongue well enough to read and analyze a canonical text, I offer here my own translation of the discourse which Pope Benedict gave during the Consistory of Feb. 11, 2013 A. D..  You can find modern translations of this discourse at the Vatican Website, with notable errors and seemingly purposeful misrepresentations.  Compare my own with theirs, if you like, to know which words have been altered in the vernacular versions.

– – – –

Declaration of Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

Not only for the three canonizations have I called you to this Consistory, but also so that I may communicate to you a decision of great moment for the life of the Church. Having explored my conscience again and again before the Lord, I have arrived at certain recognition that with my advancing age my strengths are no longer apt for equitably administering the Petrine Office [munus Petrinum].

I am well aware that this office [munus], according to its spiritual essence, ought to be exercised not only by acting and speaking, but no less than by suffering and praying.  Moreover, in the world of our time, subjected to rapid changes and perturbed by questions of great weight for the life of faith, there is more necessary to steer the Barque of Saint Peter and to announce the Gospel a certain vigor, which in recent months has lessened in me in such a manner, that I should acknowledge my incapacity to administer well the ministry [ministerium] committed to me.  On which account, well aware of the weightiness of this act, I declare in full liberty, that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals on April 19, 2005, so that on February 28, 2013, at 20:00 Roman Time [Sedes Romae], the see of Saint Peter be vacant, and that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those whose duty it is [ab quibus competit].

Dearest brothers, I thank you with my whole heart for every love and work, by which you bore with me the weight of my ministry [ministerii], and I ask pardon for all my failings.  Moreover, now We confide God’s Holy Church to the care of Her Most High Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and We implore His Mother, Mary, to assist with Her maternal goodness the Cardinal fathers in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.  In my own regard, I wish to serve in the future by a life of prayer dedicated to the Holy Church with my whole heart.

[From the halls of the Vatican, Feb. 10, 2013]

 


Translator’s Commentary

As can be seen from Ganswein’s talk at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016, and from the other comments made by Benedict XVI afterwards, this text regards the resignation of ministry, not office. If one were to say it effects the resignation of office, he would be in substantial error, as I have demonstrated elsewhere.

Unlike Archbishop Ganswein, when he spoke at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016,  I translate munus as office, following not only all the Latin Dictionaries which I have at my disposal, but the Latin text of Canon 145, which defines every office in the Church as a munus. See also, Pope Paul VI’s decree, Christus Dominus, which uses the same term for office.

I translate vacet as the main verb of a subordinate subjunctive clause of purpose, introduced by ita ut, “so that”. Those who opine that such a form of vaco, vacare can be translated as could be vacant know nothing about Latin and how as a Classical tongue it lacks the conditional mood. (Cf. my Ecclesiastical Latin Grammar, for an explanation on how to translate the subjunctive mood in Latin, into English).

Having spoken with one of the most eminent Latinists who has worked at the Vatican, I note that the Sedes Romae refers to the time Zone, and is not an appositive to Sedes Sancti Petri. Note there are 2 things declared:  that I renounce... and that a Conclave be convoked….  Note also, that in the original text the commisso in the phrase, “committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals” was erroneously written and spoken as commissum.  (Cfr. Pope Gregory XIII’s 1582 edition of the Decretales Gregorii IX. Book. I, Tittle III, de Rescriptis, c. XI.)

Finally, if you find any typographical errors, let me know. as I understand there are some out there who hate the truth so much, that if they find one, they believe the rest of a text by a translator is of no value.