by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Recently, I had the opportunity to have as a guest a fellow Franciscan hermit. And in the course of our discussions, we came to the topic of who is the Pope. He gave me his reasons, mostly drawn from a canonist whom he respects.
Since our discussion would be helpful if it be known by the entire Catholic world, I share it here:
That canonist replied to me in this vein — this is not a direct quote: If Br. Alexis Bugnolo is correct about the meaning of the term, “munus” then Benedict is still the Pope. But until the Church comes to an agreement about this, we should not risk schism by breaking from Bergoglio. We must be very careful not to presume to say one word means this or that, especially when by error in this matter we could separate ourselves form the true Church.
Having received this reply, I explained to my guest, how wrong this answer is, and this for several reasons:
- This argument is guilty of a petitio principii, that is, of presuming that that which it attempts to prove is true and arguing back to that truth, without ever putting it into question. For it presumes that Bergoglio is the vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff, and then argues that since he is, we would be risking our eternal salvation by breaking from him on our own judgement of whether munus means or does not mean the papal office. And it concludes by saying we should stick with Bergoglio unless the Church decides otherwise.
- This argument pretends that what “munus” means is merely a question of opinions, and that since there is no authority which has declared it, we should refrain from making a judgement and follow the consensus of our ecclesiastical superiors.
- This argument also errs in ignoring the proper canonical procedure in resolving the doubt of a juridical question.
- This argument should conclude with the call for a Council to declare one way or another who is the Pope, but by resting in indecision shows that it pretends to honesty while, rather resting in dishonest indecision, which is in fact a form of intellectual and moral sloth, and this, in a matter which touches upon the salvation of the entire Church and of billions of souls now and in the future.
Here is my response to the comment by the canonist:
It is not a matter of opinion as to the meaning of munus, as if it were possible to sustain both that meaning by which munus means the papal office in a formal or substantive sense and that meaning by which munus can be named through the term ministerium.
Nay, rather, since no one has the right to interpret a papal act, and since Monsignor Ignacio Arrieta, President of the Pontifical Council on Legal Texts says, that no one has the right to interpret a renunciation — since if it is to be interpreted it is dubious and not manifest — the only way to understand the meaning of an act of renunciation is to have recourse to the obligation of the Code of Law, canon 17, which obliges us to understand the words of a juridical act as the Code of Law uses them. For in understanding a papal renunciation according to the obligation of law, we remove our method from every opinion of men and submit our own personal judgement to the declared authority of the Church:
- Given that in canon 145 every ecclesiastical office is a munus
- Given that in canons 331, 332, 333, 334, the only word for the office of the Roman Pontiff is munus
- Given that in canon 1331, n. 2, iv, an excommunicated person cannot attain any dignity, office or munus but can obtain a ministerium
- Given that the members of the Roman Curia assist the Roman Pontiff in the execution of his office, that is, his ministerium, but do not share in his office, that is, his munus,
- And given that in renouncing X one separates himself from X, whereas, if X be that which can be had by one who is not the pope or not in communion with the Church, then its renunciation by the Pope cannot have the consequence of causing him to lose that which he shares with no other man, namely, that which makes him the pope,
- That Canon 12 declares that ALL are bound by the canons of the Church, when a canon has been promulgated for them, and thus in renouncing the man who is the pope is not above Canon Law
- Canon 332 §2 declares, that a pope renounces when he renounces his munus as pope, not his ministerium
- That to fulfill canon 332 §2, the man who is pope is obliged by canon 124 §1, which requires him to make an act of renunciation which regards the same essence of act specified in canon 332 §2, and that if he does NOT, then canon 124 §2 says that there is no presumption as to its validity, nay rather, in accord with canon 188, if the act contains a substantial error, it is irritus by the law itself (ipso iure), that is, it must be considered to have never been posited.
- If the act of renunciation of ministerium is not a juridical but only an administrative act, it must be understood in accord with canon 36, which reaffirms the same principles as canon 17.
Hence it results that in renouncing the ministerium and not the munus, the man who is Roman Pontiff cannot be understood to have meant to have renounced the munus without imposing an interpretation upon his words.
And therefore we must assume that the Renunciation made by Pope Benedict as Ratzinger on 11 Feb. 2013 does not mean a renunciation of the papacy, the office, nor the dignity or munus of the Roman Pontiff.
And therefore it does not appear that such renunciation produces a sede vacante.
Hence, We are obliged to hold that such renunciation is dubious and therefore invalid to produce the effect of the loss of office
Therefore by virtue of the words declared by the lips of the Living Incarnate God, Jesus Christ, Head of the Church, and sole Teacher of all, given to Simon Peter: “What you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven,” which directly refer to the Code of Canon Law, we must ALL hold that Jesus did not transfer the grace and office to another, since He Himself has bound Himself to the Code of Canon Law promulgated by His Vicar, John Paul II.
And that therefore, Benedict XVI remains the pope.
End of the canonical argument.
By the way, IF YOU HAVE NOT NOTICED, Pope Benedict XVI still
- Wears the white of a pope
- Signs with his papal name
- Adds the abbreviation, P. P, to his name, which only a pope can do.
- Gives the Papal Blessing, which only a pope can do.
- Lives in the Vatican.
Which is all consistent with the above canonical argument. Hence, it is not even credible to counter argue, by saying, “But until Benedict says otherwise, we must presume Bergoglio is the pope.”
Hence it is entirely without any foundation in reality, that those, who say Bergoglio is the pope, continue to do such. They have been hoodwinked, if they are innocent and without bad will. But God is counting the years and soon His Wrath will fall upon all the slothful and bad-willed, for as it is says in the Book of the Apocalypse, the first to be cast into the eternal pit of Hell are the slothful: those who know there is a problem or something that needs to be done for the salvation of themselves or others, but dismiss taking any action on it.
The correct response from all honest Catholics would simply be to call a council and have all the Cardinals and Bishops of the World expert in theology, philosophy, and canon law to discuss the matter. To fail in that, is to risk the damnation of most of the faithful and the destruction of the Church. And that is the treachery of Judas Iscariot.
AUTHORIZED ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Why cardinals and bishops are up to “operation truth” on Ratzinger’s resignation
A verification, or will divert all suspicions from Francis, or will foil a coup
of the original Italian article (linked above in the image)
In the array of orthodox Catholics opposed to Bergoglio, various positions coexist: many believe that Pope Ratzinger never resigned, according to some because he does not know canon law, others say that he organized everything on purpose, and still others that the election of Francis was favored by the same modernist Ratzinger after a slow and obscure process in place since 1962.
On Things of the Other World, we offered a hypothesis about Benedict XVI’s possible “Plan B” that would involve his specific willingness to create a “plan with false target and fake retreat.” HERE
The reconstruction, based on texts by theologians, Latinists, jurists, and evidence of indisputable weight, has so far not been refuted by solid arguments.
However, all this talk about the motivations that allegedly prompted Benedict XVI to resign, including ours about “Plan B,” COUNTS for NOTHING in regard to the validity of Ratzinger’s resignation.
In fact, any legal act may or may not be valid, completely independent of the intentions of those who produced it.
For example: if your dear uncle left you a will that was hard to accept. It does not matter if he did it on purpose to punish you, out of forgetfulness towards you, out of pity towards an unfortunate cousin… BUT if the original signature is missing at the bottom of the will (for example) the will is ALWAYS invalid. The rest are ancillary lucubrations. — Even if you should discover important indications that your uncle would have purposely made the deed invalid, that should give you further encouragement to challenge the will, but it changes little for the purposes of the technical legal question.
Therefore, it matters not one wit whether Benedict was forced, whether he did it willingly, whether he was distracted or had a headache that day. Nor does it matter whether Bergoglio is a holy pope, or the False Prophet of the Apocalypse.
If Ratzinger’s resignation is invalid, it is invalid, period. Full stop.
In this case, the “Pope Francis” and everything he has done in eight years would never have legally existed: it would be a dream, beautiful for some, a nightmare for others.
If Ratzinger did not resign, we need to turn the hands of the juridical clock back to February 28, 2013, and figure out today what the Holy Father Benedict wants to do. The options for him would be three.
1. If, as per the 2013 Declaratio, he confirms that he intends to renounce the ministerium, then he must appoint a cardinal or vicar bishop to exercise practical power for him. But he still remains the pope-holder of the munus. We will thus have a hermit pope – and not emeritus – because that title does not exist. Cardinal Whoever, his vicar, will go around the world proclaiming the Gospel and exercising administrative functions.
2. Benedict decides to return as pope in full operation and factually take back the exercise of ministerium, practical power. This is a somewhat difficult hypothesis, given his age and strength, but we must not forget that John Paul II remained on the throne until the very end, with munus and ministerium.
3. Or, Benedict this time REALLY resigns, ratifies a renunciation of the munus petrinum, and returns a cardinal, losing all papal prerogatives, as Cardinal Pell has rightly pointed out. Gone is the pontifical name, gone is the abbreviation P.P. (Pontifex Pontificum), no apostolic blessings! no residence in the Vatican, no white robe. Card. Ratzinger returns in a black cassock edged in red.
If Benedict chooses the third option, obviously it is not that Bergoglio can stay, but a NEW VALID CONCLAVE must be called with a college of cardinal electors obviously appointed before 2013, i.e. appointed only by Pope Ratzinger or John Paul II.
Who knows, maybe a new conclave will reappoint Card. Bergoglio, who will then reconfirm all his acts and appointments.
However, the matter cannot be passed over, to the cry of “so much by now…”. No. In the Church there is no such thing as usucaption, it does not work like that. Otherwise, the antipope Anacletus II, who governed the Church for eight years (1130-1138), would never have been deposed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. At that time there were not even the stringent rules that there are today for the validity of a conclave and a renunciation.
What needs to be clarified imperatively is the question of Ratzinger’s resignation, otherwise there will never be any pope after Bergoglio who will be free from the suspicion of being invalid.
Even from a spiritual point of view, if Ratzinger had not resigned, not even in the next conclave would the Holy Spirit intervene and even if a holy, super-traditionalist and orthodox cardinal were elected, he would still not be the true pope because he would be elected by 80 invalid cardinals appointed by an invalid pope (Francis). All the popes in Bergoglio’s line of succession, even when holy, would be invalid.
So the verification of the resignation is also crucial for Francis, since this suspicion embarrassingly delegitimizes him. He himself should be the one to set up a commission of inquiry to shed light on Benedict’s resignation, prove that everything is in order and that he is pope for all intents and purposes.
Instead, he ignores the issue and, indeed, in his homilies he disapproves of “clerical legalisms”, as if they were Pharisaical trifles of no account: an attitude certainly not useful in dispelling suspicions.
And it is here that many object: Just imagine, it is absurd that Ratzinger’s resignation can be questioned by cardinals and bishops, it would be like sawing off the branch on which they are sitting. This is, however, distrust: in any case, apart from the fact that one day they might have to explain to God why they allowed a coup d’état that would be fatal for the Church in order to keep a chair, but even if they were pro-Bergoglio cardinals, the operation-truth would be an ACT OF FAITH TO FRANCIS aimed at clarifying the legitimacy of his pontificate, to wipe out any suspicion and silence the traditionalists forever, at least on the aspect of the election.
All cardinals and bishops, pro-Bergoglio or pro-Ratzinger, must have the Truth as their only guide, and this will protect them as an infallible shield.
If, in fact, the canonical verification shows that Bergoglio is the true pope, the cardinals and bishops promoting the verification would have the merit of having saved FRANCIS from all suspicions and insinuations: the Holy Spirit is with him, period. Praise be to them.
If, on the other hand, it turns out that Ratzinger is still the pope, it is true that the cardinals and bishops appointed by Bergoglio would automatically lose the purple, but only temporarily, because they would surely be reappointed – or even promoted – for their courage and for having saved the true pope. The reappointment and/or promotion would come from Benedict XVI himself, reinstated in the ministerium, or from his legitimate successor.
Indeed, the promoter of the operation-truth would have all the qualifications to aspire to the role of the next pope. Both in case Francis remains (he has legitimized him in full) and in case Benedict returns (he has saved him from the coup).
In short, the courage for the truth of these cardinals would be rewarded IN EVERY CASE, whether by a legitimate Pope Francis, a legitimate Pope Ratzinger or their legitimate successors because “Veritas summa charitas est”. These clerics would be extremely deserving because they would have put their interest in the Church and Truth before their personal gain.
There is nothing to fear: in fact, if today one of them were to take the initiative to shed objective light on the resignation, in a pure spirit of truth and without necessarily having a prejudicial position, with what face could Francis excommunicate or punish him? IT WOULD BE A DIRECT ADMISSION OF GUILT. If Bergoglio has nothing to hide, he should BLESS a commission of inquiry that would free him from any distressing suspicion.
Vice versa, the silence of the cardinals damages them a lot in terms of image.
But BEWARE: if Bergoglio, in fact, is not the real pope, at this point, the only exit strategy for him would be to resign immediately (as he has often ventilated) before the question of Ratzinger’s resignation is examined, making it “pass by acclamatio”.
In this way, one of his cardinals would be elected from an invalid conclave and his design, whatever it is, would continue in “his” successors. He could say that he is resigning for the good of the Church, to avoid divisions etc. In that case the Catholic Church would be equally done away with.
In short: the only way forward is that of truth, for everyone, for Ratzinger, for Bergoglio, for their future successors and for all the cardinals pre and post 2013.
Otherwise, with what authority will the Church of the future be able to say that it announces the Truth to the world?
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The faithful of Rome and Italy are flocking to Our Lady at Her ancient Basilica at Rome in record numbers.
Last night 20 came to implore Her in the nightly Perpetual Supplica to Our Lady Salvation of the Roman People.
This nighlty devotion is the only public act of the Church at Rome in communion with Pope Benedict. Catholics have come from as far as the USA, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Lebanon, Poland and Eritrea to pray to Our Lady in this supplica or perpetual novena. Even Othodox from Russia and Romania have joined in.
I encourage all the faithful wheresoever you be to join us every night at midnight Rome time, praying for the collapse of the church of darkness, led by Bergoglio.
CREDITS: The featured image used with permission.
Summary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
In a stunning slap to the government of Mario Draghi, Rothschilds agent and unelected Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, the Italian Agency charged with protecting the privacy of each citizen, has blocked the implementation of the Vaccine Passport which he recently decreed by an executive order.
In the unsigned article by the Libero Quotidiano, there is reported:
First of all, the Guarantor noted that the new decree “does not guarantee a suitable regulatory basis for the introduction and use of green certificates on a national scale” and is also “seriously incomplete” with regard to data protection, being “devoid of an assessment of possible large-scale risks to personal rights and freedoms.” In addition, the decree is “contrary to the provisions of the European Regulation” because it “does not precisely define the purposes for the processing of data on the health of Italians”, leaving room for “multiple and unpredictable future uses”.
In addition, the Guarantor contests the fact that the rule provides for an “excessive” use of data on certificates to be produced in case of control, “in violation of the principle of minimization”. Finally, it is pointed out that the serious criticalities detected “could have been resolved in advance and in a very short time if the subjects involved in the definition of the decree-law had started the necessary dialogue with the Authority”. Which, however, is now available to collaborate with the government.
CREDITS: The featured image is a screenshot of the article linked to in this report.