Tag Archives: Lifesite News

The Canon 15 §2 Strawman trotted out by LifeSite’s anonymous Canon Lawyer

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Just as every criminal, for the sake of public safety, should receive a response from the police, so every error merits a refutation by those who love the truth. This is even more true in proportion to the danger posed by the criminal, or by the error.

Backstory

Nearly a year ago, on February 14, 2019, in an attempt to quell the growing realization among many Catholics that Benedict is still the Pope, LifeSite News, a pro-life website founded by a Canandian Political action committee and a converted Atheist, published an article containing a whole string of falsifications of legal principles and straw men arguments, entitled, “Did Benedict really resign? Gänswein, Burke and Brandmüller weigh in.”  The article was authored by Diana Montagna, and it was one of the first to actually mention the controversy over Benedict’s resignation.

I refuted the major points of her article, in my response, published on the same day, entitled, Gänswein, Brandmüller & Burke: Please read Canon 17!

As I look back today at that article, it does not surprise me that it was published at LifeSite News. My experience in apologetics — the one on one discussions with non Catholics to convince them the Catholic Faith is the true Faith or to answer their questions in that regard — for over 24 years has given me plenty of opportunities to speak with atheists of all kinds, and the one difficulty they all have is the inability to believe that words have meaning, and that meaning can carry us to the infinite or eternal. This is one of the great doubts in modern time which is propagated by the secular media and culture, and it is one of the most fundamental attacks Lucifer uses against souls. And as most of us cradle Catholics, who never doubted or left the faith have also experienced, just because a Convert has converted, does not yet mean he has left behind all his faults, errors or phobias.

I say this, because I cannot imagine why any good Catholic would publish an article such as Montagna’s which is so full of lies, and trash the reputation of his 15 year apostolate so profoundly in a single act. Pro-abortionists love to deny the meaning of words, because that is the only way you can kill children in the womb or as they come out of it. Denying Canon Law and legal principles kills souls, and that is a worse crime and sin in the sight of God and faithful Christians.

The Canon 15 §2 Strawman

First, let me thank Fred Martinez over at Catholic Monitor Blog, for drawing my attention again, a year later, to Montagna’s article. Mr. Martinez is doing a superb job at finding and pointing out the logical or textual self-contradictions of the “Bergoglio is certainly the Pope” crowd, and many of his articles show where he catches them saying the exact opposite after 2016 what they said before 2016. — My profound gratitude also to the Most Rev. Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, for reposting his and many of my articles, at his own blog, abyssum.org, to help the wider audience of the faithful know of the pertinent issues in the present Church crisis.

In Montagna’s article, see here, there is trotted out the argument from Canon 15 §2. She quotes the anonymous theologian, thus:

The theologian acknowledged that it is possible that Pope Benedict thought there might be a real distinction between munus and ministerium but was unsure. In that case, he said, Benedict’s abdication would be invalid only if he had in his mind the thought: “I only want to resign the ministerium if it is in fact distinct from the munus.”

But he said it would be equally possible that, being unsure whether there was a distinction, Benedict could have had in mind the thought: “I want to resign the ministerium whether or not it is distinct from the munus.” In that case, the theologian said he believes the resignation would have been valid.

“In any case,” he said, “I don’t think there is convincing evidence that Benedict thought there was a real distinction between the two things.”

“Again,” the theologian continued, “since according to Canon 15.2, error is not presumed about a law, the presumption must be that he validly renounced the papacy.”

Let’s take a look at the actual Canon and see if the anonymous theologian — who appears not to have a degree in Canon Law, because if he did, he should be termed a canonist — actually quoted the Canon correctly and/or represented its authentic meaning:

Canon 15 §2, in the Intratext edition:

Can. 15 – § 1. Ignorantia vel error circa leges irritantes vel inhabilitantes earundem effectum non impediunt, nisi aliud expresse statuatur.

§ 2. Ignorantia vel error circa legem aut poenam aut circa factum proprium aut circa factum alienum notorium non praesumitur; circa factum alienum non notorium praesumitur, donec contrarium probetur.

Which in good English, means:

Canon 15. – § 1. Ignorance and/or error about irritating and/or inabilitating laws* does not impede their effect, unless something else has been expressly established.

§ 2. Ignorance and/or error about a law or punishment or about one’s own deed or about the notorious deed of another is not presumed; it is presumed about the non-notorious fact of another, until the contrary is proven.

But the theologian said Canon 15 §2 says “error is not presumed about a law, the presumption must be that he validly renounced the papacy.” — It is not clear, what the theologian is intending to speak about, because he is quoted to have introduced his statement with, “Again”, which implies reference to a second matter or the use of another kind of argument, or a double reason for the same argument. In charity, I assume he is referring to his straw man argument about the interior state of mind of Pope Benedict.

But it is certain what the canon says regards a person’s ignorance or error regarding a law. That can be seen from the entire context of the Canon, which speaks about a person’s apprehension of facts and of law. But it is proven by the Latin word, circa, which does not mean in, but regarding the matter of.

Thus, if we read the theologian as referring to Benedict’s knowledge of Canon 332 §2, which is the context of Montagna’s article, read in the best possible light, then we can see that the theologian is doing a bate-and-switch, because if we are not to presume that Benedict was ignorant or in error regarding Canon 332 §2, when we must presume that when he renounced ministerium, he did NOT intend to renounce the munus. Because if you think he intended to renounce the munus, then you have presumed he erred in saying ministerium.

As you can see, the anonymous theologian made a gross misrepresentation of the law. If he were a Canonist, I would have to presume in accord with Canon 15 §2 that he was a liar and intentionally misrepresented the canon. But since he is only an anonymous theologian, who  may have never studied Canon Law or may not know how to read Latin, in charity we should presume that he is simply ignorant or incompetent to give his opinion on it. — But, as I demonstrated in my rebuttal 51 weeks ago, everyone quoted in the article shows serious deficiencies in the knowledge of Canon Law or legal principles, except Cardinal Burke who seems to simply mistake the kind of legal matter he is dealing with, just as the great Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori did on the occasion of his conversion to his vocation.

The interpretative principle used by the anonymous theologian seems more adapted to the psycho-analysis of sociopaths, in that a clinical psychologist presumes the context of his patient’s statements in the best possible light but without reference to any objective custom or law of verbal expression, because, after all, he is a patient with problems.

The theologian, therefore, is adopting a presumption and a very uncharitable one toward the reigning Pontiff and towards a man who has read thousands of books. Not to mention, a presumption contrary to fact, because in the previous sentences of the Declaratio, Pope Benedict XVI uses the Latin word “munus” twice!

The correct reading of Canon 15, is that in accord with Canon 15 §1, even if Benedict were ignorant, Canons 38 and 188 and 332 would still nullify his act. So if he did not realize that by renouncing the ministry rather than the munus, he would transgress the essential obligations of Canon 332 §2 in his renunciation as regards the specific act required, the liberty required and the manifestation required, his act would nevertheless BE INVALID!

So Canon 15 destroys entirely the argument of everyone cited in Montagna’s article, because on the one hand if Pope Benedict was ignorant that would not save the act from being nullified by the Law, and if on the other hand we are to presume he was not ignorant, we must understand his act as a renunciation of ministerium, not of munus, and therefore it is also invalid by the same Canons 38, 188 and 332.

Words have meaning: this terrifies atheists and sociopaths, because it demands of each of us that we conform our verbal expression to an objective standard and admit that meaning transcends the categories of human speech, points us towards objective and eternal rules of behavior and implies that there is a God who is Sovereign of this Universe and Who will judge us eternally for what we do and say. — That words have meaning, is also the nemesis of every criminal, because it is through words that he is caught, prosecuted and sentenced.

Thus, we cannot be faithful or upright Catholics if we listen to men or women who attempt to undermine the truth that words have meaning, and if we do not admit that it is not within our power to change their meaning, neither in themselves nor in them when others use them. Those who do such things are practicing the same method of persuasion used by the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, and we all know who that was and what it led to.

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FOOTNOTES

* An irritating law is a law which declares a juridical act to have no value in law on account of not having followed the due requirement of the law for the said act. An inabilitating law is a law which deprives the act of the ability to have an effect.  Canon 38 is an inabilitating law, Canon 188 is an irritating law, and Canon 332 § 2 is an invalidating law. Canon 332 §2, is the matter for the application of Canons 38 and 188 in regard to error in a papal renunciation, because as regards the error of a reigning pontiff, the Code takes the position that the administrative act be presumed valid per se but not have the effect others thinks it has or which the pontiff thinks it may have, and thus in canons 38 and 188 and 332, it declares that it has the effect which the sacred canons say it has, and not any other effect. — This is why it is essential, and not simply an optional method of intepretation, that Canon Law be read and used carefully to understand the canonical effect, if any, in an administrative act of the Roman Pontiff.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a screen shot of the page of LifeSite News featuring the article reference herein. It is used here, along with the citation of the same, in accord with fair use standards for editorial commentary.

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Beware of Laymen posing as the Church

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I have always had the Catholic sense that the Church was founded by a Priest and was handed down to us through the Twelve Priests and through them and priests throughout the generations to ourselves and to our own time. I have always found that laymen do not have the moral, intellectual or even common sense abilities of priests. And I have never heard a prophetic word which touched my heart which came from the mouth of anyone but a priest.

The priesthood is part of the Catholic Religion. Believing in the power and dignity of the priesthood is part of the Catholic Faith. I would say it is de fide.

For that reason, I cannot contain my shock and consternation what what LifeSite News just did through publishing a report by Maike Hickson, entitled, Catholic Laity protest Cardinal Marx …..

Because, as LifeSite News knows, and as Mrs. Hickson knows, Archbishop Viganò was present. And that means it was not the “Catholic Laity” who protested, it was the Catholic Faithful, because it was not just laymen, and not just laymen make up the Church or count. — GOODNESS, the very top photo in the article is of Archbishop Viganò who is not a layman!

But this mistake was no error. It was lapsus linguae which, in my judgement, revealed the true spirit behind the political PAC which backs LifeSite News and the true spirit behind Trad Inc, which is run entirely by laymen and laywomen (with minor exceptions).

Namely, they have accepted the Protestant error that the Church is composed first of the non-ordained and that the non-ordained have the pride of place in the Church.

That error is called laicism. It is the contrary error of clericalism.

And we all know how FreeMasons love to play with contrary errors to lead everyone astray.

Here at FromRome.Info you will never see that error made, because the rule of all our journalism is the Catholic Faith the way it has always been.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image above is our own screen shot of the page linked to and is used as a free unsolicited advertisement of the publication in question, according to fair use.

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Support FromRome.Info

Help us take on the established Catholic Media who are controlled opposition. They are promoting schism from Pope Benedict, and remain silent at the heresies and schisms of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. We cannot let the St. Gallen Mafia win the information war, which they are presently doing through controlled media. — TO FIGHT THIS WAR we need your generous financial support. — Funds go to Ordo Militaris Inc., and are capital gifts for this Apostolate.

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Gänswein, Brandmüller & Burke: Please read Canon 17!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

 

kardinal-burke-brandmueller-1030x438

February 14, 2019 A. D. — Today Diane Montagna’s article, entitled, “Did Benedict really resign? Gänswein, Burke and Brandmüller weigh in,” was published at Life Site News.

First, let me say a big thank you to Diane Montagna for bringing the controversy to the greater attention of the general public. In this way, all Catholics, who have a right to know of its existence, can at last be informed.

However, I do not praise the article’s author for the article itself, which in all frankness, I must say is full of sophistic arguments:  that is false manners of argumentation, and even false assertions, all marshaled in an attempt to demonstrate that Pope Benedict XVI did validly resign, and that everything His Holiness and his private secretary have said about this, is to be ignored!

I find it shocking that two Cardinals, to defend the validity of the resignation, have resorted to telling the whole world not to pay attention to what the Pope has said about the meaning and effect of his own act!  This is tantamount to rebellion against the papacy, in my mind!

I also wish to contradict the attempt by the article to smear Catholics who hold that the resignation is invalid as persons who are NOT knowledgeable about Church Law, the text of the papal resignation, or who are excessively scandalized by Bergoglio. As I pointed out in my previous article on How Usurpation of the Papacy leads to Excommunication, all those involved in asserting an invalid resignation is valid are risking excommunication for schism and positing acts which only a pope can do.  So they have a lot of reasons to ignore a serious and just consideration of the facts, especially if they just went along to get along.

But enough of preamble. let’s examine the sophisms in Montagna’s Article, in order of their appearance.

  1. Archbishop Gänswein dismisses the argument as making no sense.  So since he confesses not to understand it, there is really nothing proved by quoting him. I will observe that in German, which is the Bishop’s ancestral tongue, there is no equivalent of ministerium, munus and officium except by one word. So its easy for a German thinker to miss the problem of saying ministerium instead of munus. What the Archbishop says previously contradicts what he says now, so he probably was thinking in German then or is now. But surely he can understand the controversy, seeing that I sent him last month, with proof of delivery, a printed copy of my entire Disputed Question on the topic. But then again, maybe he cannot read English?
  2. Later on in the article, after quoting Archbishop Gänswein as saying openly that Benedict did NOT resign the PAPAL OFFICE, Montagna quotes an anonymous theologian as sustaining,

    supporters of this opinion need to show that Pope Benedict understood the munus and the ministerium as referring to two different realities.

    Ugh, what can one respond to such ignorance? Other than that Canon 17 requires that Canon 332 §2 be read in accord with the meaning of canon 145 §1 and canon 41, which reading amply demonstrates that the Supreme Legislator Himself, Pope John Paul II, in promulgating the new Code of Canon Law requires that ministerium and munus be understood as referring to two different things. — Those who are faithful Catholics, therefore, already know they refer to two different things, because the Pope orders us to do so!

  3. Then the same anonymous theologian quotes canon 15 §1 (actually he quotes §2, but I think that is an error), as saying that the resignation must be presumed valid. But that canon says that a law, which expressly invalidates an act, invalidates even if the one positing the act is ignorant of the law. Thus this canon argues against the validity of the resignation, not for it!
  4. Then the same anonymous theologian confuses the annulment process with this controversy, saying that Catholics who think the resignation is or may be invalid, must wait for the judgement of the Church!  Actually, canon 188 says that resignations made in substantial error are invalid by the law itself. That means, they are invalid before any sentence of any court determines the facts: they are null, void and never had any legal effect.
  5. Then, the article quotes Dr. Roberto de Mattei, who cites Canon 124 §2. — As an aside, I would ask that Dr. de Mattei respond to my criticism of his previous error of attempting to raise an opinion of late scholasticism to the level of an interpretative principle of canon law, in contradiction to the obligation of canon 17 — But that canon also contradicts Dr. de Mattei, because it regards only acts which are manifestly conform to the obligations of the law, when in the present controversy one deals with a prima facie non conformity! That is, with the fact that at first glance at the Latin of Non solum propter (Text of apparent resignation) and canon 332 §2, they are not speaking of the same things! For the former renounces the ministerium, but the latter refers to resignations of munus.
  6. Then Dr. de Mattei attempts again to flip a canon. This time its canon 1526 §1, the burden of proof is upon him who asserts.  Seeing that it is the Cardinals and Dr. de Mattei who long ago asserted first of all that the resignation is valid, the burden of proof is rather on them! That is why, the mere fact that the Cardinals and the entire Vatican have never published a canonical affirmation of the validity is a strong argument they have NEVER examined if it was. But in the case of a resignation, a Cardinal Elector is gravely bound to personally verify that the resignation is valid, because otherwise he will participate in an illicit Conclave and elect and Anti-Pope!
  7. Then, Cardinal Brandmuller attempts to flip two sound dicta: de internis non iudicat praetor (a praetor does not judge of things internal) and quod non est in actis, non est in mundo (what is not in the act does not exist in the world). I say this, because he cites these to argue that those who doubt the validity of the resignation are in error. However, since those who doubt the validity, as I do, do not base our arguments on interior intentions, nor on suppositions, but on the text of the act of renunciation itself, we are acting in perfect harmony with those dicta. Nay, rather, its Cardinal Brandmuller and Burke and Gänswein who violate these, because they say the Pope intended to resign the munus, therefore he did resign the munus, and that ministerium means the munus which is not renounced in the text, because the Pope intended to resign the munus, they judge the Pope’s intention not the act itself!
  8. Then, Cardinal Burke is quoted as saying: “I believe it would be difficult to say it’s not valid.” This, I will admit — for those who have not read the Code of Canon Law and studied this question of substantial error on account of not saying munus nor referring to the office — might be difficult to prove, because many are ignorant of the Canon Law and its obligations. But for those who do, or should know it, it is not!  — Just see my disputed question on it. You can find it in Spanish translation here. In that Question, I carefully examine and refute the 19 reasons alleged for the validity and marshal 39 arguments, drawn from Canon Law, Theology, Philosophy, etc. against the validity.
  9. Finally, Cardinal Burke is quoted as saying: “It seems clear to me that Benedict had his full mind and that he intended to resign the Petrine office.” — Having given no argument but his speculation about the intention of what Pope Benedict XVI intended to say, other than to deny what he expressly has said on other occasions, the opinion of this eminent Canonist must be disregarded as any gratuitous unproven declaration which runs counter to the facts is disregarded.

In conclusion, I would ask these three eminent prelates to read Canon 17. Therein, Pope John Paul II obliges all Catholics to understand canon 332 §2 in a specific manner. In that manner, it can be seen that there is no question at all that the renunciation of Benedict is invalid by reason of substantial error (canon 188) in thinking that a renunciation of ministerium effects a renunciation of the papacy.

I believe that the Cardinals in particular, perhaps out of their familiarity with the Annulment process which focuses on the intention as the formal principle of the validity of the bond of Matrimony, are missing the point of the teaching of Pope Boniface VIII (Decree of Boniface VIII (6th vol), 1.1, T.7, Chap. 1: De Renunciatione:) that papal renunciations deal formally with the verbal signification of the act, not on the intention of the one renouncing. Also, they differ significantly in this, that the power to tie the bond of marriage consists in the ones who take marriage vows. But the power to remove the munus of the papacy is held exclusively by Christ the Lord in glory, who has promised Peter to uphold the letter of Canon Law promulgated by his successor, Pope John Paul II, in canon 332 §2, and Who cannot act unless the renunciation expressly conform itself to that canon.

 

Swiss bishops confirm existence of St. Gallen ‘mafia’

Cardinal Bergoglio takes the oath of conclave, March 11, 2015, with Cardinal Daneels standing behind him.
Cardinal Bergoglio takes the oath of conclave, March 11, 2015, with Cardinal Daneels standing behind him.

The From Rome blog has covered the “Team Bergoglio” voting scandal during the 2013 Conclave from the beginning.  In this, one of our last and culminating reports which verifies all the facti species, the Swiss Bishop’s Conference confirms the existence of the 20 yr conspiracy, not only operative in the Conclave of 2005, but also in 2013. For the entire timeline of reports, see here.

Reblogged in part from Litesite news (original here)

September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — While correcting local media reports, the Swiss bishops today confirmed the existence of the so-called “mafia” of bishops that aimed to counter the influence of Cardinal Ratzinger during the pontificate of John Paul II.

The confirmation came amid intense discussion in Switzerland about the question of the now well-known group of cardinals, called the “St. Gallen Group,” about which Cardinal Godfried Danneels recently made some disturbing, even embarrassing revelations.

This morning, the local radio station FM1 Today in Sankt Gallen, Switerland, reported on the alleged secret meetings of this “St. Gallen Group” that supposedly worked both on making Pope Benedict XVI resign and on getting Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio then elected for the Papal office. As sources for their claims, the radio station cited a new biography about Bishop Danneels, as well as a candid public statement that the cardinal himself made.  Summing up their claims about this seeming conspiracy, the radio station said:

(See original for full text)

The culminating substance of this final report from Life Site News, is that all the evidence points to this, that a homosexual-heretical cabal violated the Papal law against vote-promising and put into power Jorge Mario Bergoglio with express purpose of overthrowing the Catholic Faith on sexual morals and establishing a new false religion, posing as the Catholic Church.

What should you do about this? — Demand that the Catholic Cardinals act and denounce this cabal, for the sake of their own immortal souls and the good of the whole Church, and investigate and determine the validity of the election of 2013.