English Language Summary and Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Aldo Maria Valli last Friday published an essay entitled, “At Rome there is no Pope”. I reported and discussed it there. You can click the image above to read Valli’s new article in Italian.
Now, not even a week later, the famous Vaticanista back tracks, in the above post, entitled, “The Errors of Peter, no matter how grave, do not give us the power to revoke the petrine mandate”.
If that title is making you scratch your head, you are not alone.
Valli excuses himself, he says, for giving scandal, in that he judges his words now to be ill chosen, and likely to make others think he is a sedevacantist, now. His comments were publicly addressed here in Italy, as such, by Don Minutella, who cordially and respectfully called him to dialogue. — To which, to my knowledge, Valli never responded.
I cannot escape surmising that Valli was severely criticized or threatened to retract by his publishers — he sells quite a number of books — on account of the absurd final note to his introduction to Don Strumia’s letter:
Il titolo del mio articolo (“Roma senza papa”) è probabilmente fuorviante. Colpa mia. Forse sarebbe stato meglio intitolarlo “Un Dio compagno non ci serve. Abbiamo bisogno di Dio Padre”. Oppure “Perdonare è un conto, discolpare un altro”. Oppure “La misericordia, quella vera, è mostrare la strada della Verità, non discolpare”. Nel fare il titolo ho ceduto al sensazionalismo, peccato grave per un giornalista.
Which I translate thus:
The title of my article (“Rome without a pope”) is probably off. My fault. Perhaps it should have been entitled, “A companion God is not useful. We need a Father God”. Or rather, “To forgive is one thing, to excuse fault another”. Or rather, “Mercy, the true kind, is to show the path to the Truth, not to excuse fault”. In writing the title I fell into sensationalism, a grave sin for a journalist.
Don Strumia is being ridiculous, I say
Then follows the letter of Don Strumia, which does not even merit to be translated.
His argument is, that if Christ does not take away a Pope’s mandate, then who are we to do such thing. It is not for us to declare who is and who is not pope. We are not qualified. We must shut up and let the experts do such things. Otherwise we are acting like protestants and causing schism in the Church!
After 8 years of pablum of this kind, you have to wretch a little or puke at such an absurdity mixed with presumption, hypocrisy and plain down right lies.
For, for 8 years we have been told that Benedict validly resigned, even though the norm of the law requires him to renounce the munus petrinum not the ministerium petrinum.
But Don Strumia is imagining that it is those who want to say Bergoglio is not the pope who are the sinners risking schism here, not those who without ANY BASIS IN LAW OR FACT OR REASON claim he is the pope.
I do not know where clergy get the diabolical audacity to invent such crafty lies and bold face repeat them in public. In some seminary of demons, no doubt.
But Strumia is playing at another game, because he introduces the term, the Petrine Mandate, which is not the canonical term nor the theological term for the Petrine Office. The Petrine Office is a munus or charge. The Petrine Mandate — “feed my sheep, feed my lambs” is not the office, but how to fulfill that charge.
So he has purposefully avoided the term MUNUS, around which the entire controversy turns.
And he has avoided it, because that is the elephant in the Sala Clementina* which no one can not see, but whom everyone in the Vatican is pretending is not there.
For Aldo Maria Valli who launched the letter writing career of Archbishop Viganò to publish such screed as part of his retraction, while he may have wanted to save his reputation and repair the public scandal, he has succeeded in doing neither, but only showing that either he does not at all have the competence to understand the problem, or that he is simply being dishonest in a sophisticated sort of way.
For the record, Valli has my email and I have offered to speak with him, interview him and discuss the renunciation. He has never taken up the opportunity.
* The Sala Clementina is the elegant hall used for Consistories of the Cardinals, and where Pope Benedict XVI read his Declaratio of Feb. 13, 2013.