The most disappointing reality in the Catholic Church today is not sexual perversion, however gross that is. Because while acts of sexual perversion are morally wrong, if a man retains the truth of the Faith, there is still a possibility of his repentance.
So, the greatest tragedy is, then, the loss of the Faith, the loss of truth. When a mind comes to love lies, to love to lie, to live in mendacity and to defend and promote mendacity, the soul of the man has descended to infernal regions.
Such a soul has nothing of itself or in itself to dispose it to repent, for it has turned its back on truth.
This is why in the Controversy over Benedict’s resignation, those who say he validly resigned, have no excuse before God or the Church.
Because, as the Vicar of Jesus Christ, John Paul II decrees in Canon 332 §2, the validity of a papal resignation arises from only objective causes, it does not depend on you or me saying its valid or not.
Indeed, as that canon declares in its final clause, NO ONE IN THE CHURCH has the right or authority to say that a resignation which is not in conformity with that Canon is valid.
Canon 332 §2 — If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his MUNUS (office), there is required for validity that the resignation be made freely and duly manifested but not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.
Thus THE SOLE CRITERION for judging the validity of a papal resignation is in the objective facts of the act of resignation:
There is a renunciation of the papal MUNUS.
That renunciation is made freely, without the imposition of unjust force.
That renunciation is manifested duly in accord with the norms of law by a public verbal act.
That means that NO ONE has the right to speculate WHETHER OR NOT a resignation is valid or not: it is only valid if it meets all THREE conditions simultaneously. It is NOT VALID, otherwise, that is if it fails to meet any one of those conditions.
Thus, every Cardinal, Bishop, priest, or talking head on Social Media, every journalist, layman, laywoman or consecrated religious, ARE BOUND BY THE CATHOLIC FAITH to judge the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI INVALID, BECAUSE
POPE BENEDICT NEVER RENOUNCED his MUNUS.
in fact, on Feb. 11, 2013, he said explicitly, I renounce the ministry which I received….
That makes his act of resignation NULL AND VOID, because its not in conformity with the obligation to renounce the papal MUNUS. Indeed, in accord with Canon 38, every juridical act which is NOT in conformity with the norm of law is presumed to be INVALID, unless there is added expressly a clause which derogates from the obligations of the law. — There is no wiggle room here!
Thus, all the arguments in favor of the validity, all the rationalizations, all the speculations about intention to resign the office, ARE POINTLESS. Those making such intellectual or verbal acts HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK, NO AUTHORITY TO JUDGE THE MATTER.
I therefore plead with all Catholics: do not go the way of Lucifer who rebelled in the beginning of time, because he wanted his own will, not that of God. Do not go the way of Adam and Eve who would not listen to God and would not mortify their minds and heart, but chose to rebel and tell God what was right and wrong. Do not follow the faithless Jews, who having seen all the miracles of Jesus and His immaculate Holiness and integrity, chose to reject Him for the sake of doing their own will and following the elites of their own day.
I put you on notice. Reject the plain meaning of Canon 332 §2 and try to obviate it by speculations and excuses, and you will be damned, God will deprive you of the Light and every grace.
Because in doing such, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE BEFORE GOD OR THE CHURCH.
#PPBXVI Its clear now by 4 polls that the CARDINALS are in SCHISM with the vast majority of the Lay Faithful. For while they unanimously accept B16's resignation as valid, the Laity hold that NO, #Benedictxvi is the true pope by 60 to 95% pic.twitter.com/P9N7pAQm8k
— Veri Catholici: Benedetto 16 il Papa unico rimasto (@VeriCatholici) February 23, 2019
#PPBXVI Our recent poll found that 99% of all those who read the canonical evidence that Pope Benedict's resignation was INVALID are convinced that it was invalid. That argues strongly that all Voices who hold that it is valid, are intentionally lying and/or refuse the evidence. pic.twitter.com/wPe5ZZ8aKV
— Veri Catholici: Benedetto 16 il Papa unico rimasto (@VeriCatholici) February 24, 2019
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Today, if not beforehand, Jorge Mario Bergoglio publicly and manifestly apostatized from the Catholic Faith, when he signed the “Human Fraternity Document,” which professes all religions to be “willed by God in His wisdom.”
According to The National, Bergoglio signed the “Human Fraternity Document” in Abu-dhabi today (see link for more photos).
The Human Fraternity Meeting official website gives the text of the document: the outrageous affirmation is found under the second bullet point, which reads:
Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;
Apostasy is apostasy, whether you apostatize in the bathtub or on the papal throne; whether you do so out of fear of being slain by a Jihadi or whether you do so for a pot of porridge, an invite form George Soros, or a photo op. The reason or cause or motive can be different, but the result is the same: you reject faith in the One True God.
While a man may apostatize by embracing a non-Christian Faith, such as Judaism or Islam, he can apostatize also by affirming that which destroys the entire faith. Thus, its apostasy to say such things as, “God does not exist” or “God is a devil”.
If you were to say God wills that religions be different and many, then you have also apostatized, because you are saying that God is indifferent to religion. But the god who is indifferent to religion is not the Christian God. So by saying such a thing, you have taken as your god, the Father of Lies.
Some of the most fundamental names of God, of which no Christian can feign ignorance, is that God is True, One, Good and exists. To deny any of these is apostasy.
Perhaps a Modernist, who is trained somewhat in canon law, will say that you cannot know with certitude that anyone is an apostate — if you are a Modernists, you do not believe in objective religious truth, so its to be expected that you say such a thing — but as Catholics we know that the certitude of conclusions flows infallibly from the certitude of principles and facts and laws.
In canon 1364 §1, the Pope levels excommunication latae sententiae against all apostates, even if they be the Pope. This is how the Pope in promulgating the Code of Canon Law protects Catholics from future popes who apostatize. Those who have not the faith will say, the Code of Canon law does not bind the pope (though canon 38 contradicts them), or that to deny God is the author of only 1 true religion is not apostasy (they will attempt to pretend that Judaism of old still exists, and that Talmudic Judaism is not another false religion). But Catholics know better.
Finally, they will call Catholics names for saying what I just said. Maybe they will even call me a “sedevacantist” — I am not, because I hold with Canon 332 §2 that Benedict is still the pope —but no Catholic, even those who still think that Benedict’s resignation is valid, are sedevacantists for holding such things, as its simply common sense to say that Bergoglio is an apostate when he publicly signs a document which contains such a statement.
Please put your local priest on notice about what Bergoglio said, and INSIST that his name no longer be mentioned in the Canon. Catholics are right to disrupt the Mass, if need be, to shout down anyone who thinks otherwise. We have this right, because God is a God of Truth, He is no condoner of falsehood of any kind. And our Baptism requires that we hold fast with God in this.
Please put your Favorite Cardinal on notice. Write or call or email him, however you can contact him. Remind him, that if he will not stand up and defend God as the author of One True Religion, he is an apostate too.
Remind the clergy, in particular, that if some sort of division arises among those who say that Bergoglio is by this an apostate and that he is not by this an apostate, that the division is not caused by those who say he is, but by Bergoglio for signing such a document, and by those who refuse to acknowledge the magnitude of that sin. Therefore, if anyone should be quiet and shut up, its the latter 2 groups, not Catholics who agree with what I have written here!
Since, I intend to respond to the charges brought against my position, I recommend that all readers first read both articles, in chronological order. — Since the commentator is anonymous, I will refer to him by the initials of his nome du plume: CC.
The argument marshaled against my position contains a list of ridiculous errors. The first of which is derived from juridical positivism, which holds that nothing is certain in reality unless it be judged by a competent court of law, holding constitutional authority to judge the matter. This is the kind of error no one but a Canonist or Lawyer would fall into, because it reduces the realm of epistemological truth to that of what a court recognizes as facts. Now, its quite understandable that someone exercising the profession of a lawyer or canonist, who must prove everything to the level of certitude had in the courts before whom he appears, to have such a habit of mind, but is quite a grand moral and philosophical error to hold that such a criterion is validly applied to the whole of reality.
On the contrary, the human mind can know truth with certitude. This is a fundamental presupposition of all human endeavor, because if it be denied, then there could be no faith given by one man to another on the basis of human judgements. Now just as the human mind can exist outside the mind of a lawyer before a court, so the human mind can know truth with certitude outside of the court of law. To say otherwise, would be psychotic, that is divorced from reality.
I say this to preface the notion of latae sententiae excommunication as a canonical penalty in the new code of Canon law. Many canonists, proceeding from the mindset of juridical positivism hold that whereas such penalties are published in the Code, they are either never incurred or that they can never with certainty be known to be incurred, until, in both cases, a competent authority declares them.
The fundamental error of this position, is that the very Latin of the penalty contradicts their position: “latae sententiae” in Latin means, without the necessity of a juridical sentence being handed down. This means, that the one who violates the law which bears this penalty for violation, is penalized BEFORE and WITHOUT any public declaration of the penalty being inferred. This being the case, a human mind can know of it with certitude. The certitude I speak of here is the certitude of natural reason which from facts which are in the external forum and known by documented evidence or eye-witness testimony, can be with seen as fulfilling the conditions for the excommunication to be incurred.
What CC attempts in criticizing me is a sophistic error: For first he argues that such excommunications cannot be known with certitude, and then asserts that such certitude can only be had in a court of law, from which he infers that I am wrong in saying that Cardinals are excommunicated. — As an aside, no where in my article do I say that any Cardinal is excommunicated; I merely said that Cardinals and Bishops are subject to the penalty.
While it it true, that in the Catholic Church, the incurring of any ecclesiastical penalty, whether declared or not, should be made known by ecclesiastical authority for the sake of the unity of the Church, it is not true, that all of them are NOT incurred if ecclesiastical authority through corruption, fear, sloth or some other vice, fails to declare that they are incurred. For excommunications latae sententiae are incurred by the law itself. Those who say otherwise are simply ignorant of Latin. To say this idea of excommunication as “automatic” is merely a canard, since as is clear it depends not upon the private individual or merely the act of violation, BUT by the imposition before the fact by the Supreme Legislator, the Pope, of a penalty which applies to all future violations ipso facto.
He extends this error of juridical positivism in the most clericalist manner by denying that a Catholic can know with certitude if a Conclave be valid or not, when a Conclave is called to elect another pope, while the first pope is still alive! — This is pure insanity! That is like saying a layman cannot know the Moon is eclipsing the Sun, just because he saw the Moon blot out the Sun! — You have to be totally psychotic to even say such a thing.
The truth is, the certitude that a Conclave is invalid is had from the certitude of the facts according to which it would not be licit to convene the Conclave. In the case in question, this certitude derives from the certitude that Pope Benedict XVI never resigned the petrine munus. Which certitude is objective, real, verifiable, documented and testified to by 2 things: the document Non solum propter, which only renounces the ministerium, and canon 332 §2 which says a Pope resigns when he resigns the munus. Since every Latinist knows that ministerium and munus are not only different words, but which do not share the same significations in ecclesiastical usage, the certitude that Pope Benedict XVI never resigned the Papal Office is both prima facie and a necessary consequent of the law (especially since canon 38 required that if Benedict wanted to signify munus by ministerium, he would have had to explicitly derogate the obligation of canon 332 §2 in its fundamental conditional clause).
Those who have studied and understood philosophy know that both in logic and in moral and legal affairs, the certitude of principles and causes extends and flows down through to conclusions and effects. A Canonist who is expert in the procedural rules of declared and imposed penalties which are not latae sententiae, might think differently, since he moves in a world of courts, but that is not the whole of reality. Thus to discount canon 359, the canon which forbids Cardinals to convene a conclave when there is no sede vacante, is not only absurd but should make anyone who knows Canon Law doubt whether CC has ever read the law.
Next, in regard to his attempt to fault me for misreading 1382, he seems never to have read the Code of Canon Law of 1983, which specifically obrogates the old code and makes recourse to its terms unauthentic when the new code establishes a greater penalty, which is true in the case of episcopal consecrations. And no, contrary to CC’s assertion, when I said, “ordain” I mean “consecrate” because the consecration of Bishops is a species of the power of ordination, a thing everyone who knows his theology of the Sacraments knows well enough. CC furthermore goes off into the fog, by saying in effect that an AntiPope consecrating Bishops or nominating Bishops is only guilty if he is feigning to have the authority of the Pope to confer jurisdiction. What kind of argument he is trying to make by moving this against the case in question, I do not know, because that is what an Anti-Pope objectively does!!!
The appeal to canon 1405 §1, 2°, namely, that the Pope alone judges the Cardinals, is praeter rem, because in legislating canonical penalties which apply to everyone in the Church, without exception, Pope John Paul II did judge the Cardinals beforehand. Those who have studied Canon Law and understand its nature know this well.
Finally, all CC’s other assertions saying things cannot be known or known with certitude, by anyone but the Canonist or Judge in a court of Canon Law, or by the Pope alone, is merely an extension of juridical positivism, an absurd professional error of snobbery among poorly schooled lawyers. Canonists who know the Faith understand well that Canon Law’s fundamental context is the Catholic Faith and that it must be understood in a manner which does not conflict with objective reality and epistemology. Like the Catholic Faith, it is not a gnostic science in which the truth is only known by the initiates who study at Pontifical Universities.
I invite all those who have not yet done so, to read my original article on the Excommunication of Cardinals and Bishops who participate in the usurpation of the Papal Office more carefully, and they will see how I speak of moral causes and the terms of the law, and how I never said anyone was excommunicated, only that if they know what they did, they merit to have incurred the penalty. This is perfectly Catholic.
As a Postscript, I add, that I am not in the least offended by the publication of CC’s critique. I appreciate the occasion to manifest the truth better through the clash of mental swords. — I would also note that, what really irks Canonists and Bishops about my article is that I have put them on notice that their offices and privileges be derived from a true Pope, not a fake pope; in other words, I am reminding the malicious ones that their entire project is null and void, and that they are risking losing communion with Christ, canonically speaking, if they have not already done so.