by Andrea Cionci
Authorized English Translation
Click the image above for the original Italian text which contains the hyperlinks.
Sometimes, in order to understand something from an intricate situation, it is necessary to change the point of view. The bullseye of Pope Ratzinger’s resignation remained standing for eight years: it took us two years to investigate it thoroughly. Here us out for a few minutes, it’s worth it. We will try to be very clear and you will find all the insights in the links. The key that explains everything lies in the Latin word “vacet”, up to now arbitrarily translated as “vacant seat”.
Since 2013, we have been used to speaking of Pope Benedict XVI’s Declaratio “of renunciation” which, as was definitively illustrated by the jurists Estefania Acosta and Antonio Sànchez HERE, is however legally invalid. Since we wrote, in March, Acosta’s book was published with these contents, HERE nobody has denied it and we are thus forced to accept the fact. The proof is that even the “pope emeritus” never existed, as the major canonists said, so much so that now the Vatican is trying to give jurisprudence to this institute HERE.
The hypothesis of Plan B, which we have reconstructed HERE and never denied by Vatican circles, is that Pope Ratzinger has written a SPECIALLY INVALID resignation to trick his enemies, giving them time to reveal themselves as heretics, only to be canceled suddenly in the their offices and in their acts, to the discovery of the invalidity of his resignation.
The game – saving the Church from modernist heresy – was worth the risk, as we explained on Aldo Maria Valli’s blog HERE, but for many Catholics it was a bit hard to accept that the highly cultured and adamantine pope-theologian had declared a pure “nonsense”.
Instead, the meaning was there, and very coherent. Eventually, the last piece of the puzzle also fell into place in order to unravel a whole series of knots, starting with this one. As we will see, Pope Benedict, who, at the beginning of his pontificate, asked the faithful to pray so that he “would not flee from the wolves”, was most sincere, candidly obeying the precept of Christ: “Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be prudent as serpents, and simple as doves.
Meanwhile: WHO HAS DECIDED THAT THE DECLARATIO WAS A RENUNCIATION OF THE POPE? The document is simply called “Declaratio” HERE and not “Renuntiatio” as required, among other things, by the apostolic constitution Universi dominici gregis where the conclave can be convened “post Pontifici obitum vel validam RENUNTIATIONEM” – after the death of the pontiff or valid renunciation “.
In fact, card. Sodano, reading the explanation prepared immediately after Benedict’s speech HERE does not speak of renunciation, nor of the end of the pontificate, but of the end of the pontifical SERVICE. He stresses several times that Benedict will remain pope until the 28th and specifies, at the end, moreover: “His mission, Holy Father, will continue: She has said that she will always be close to us with her testimony and with his prayers. Of course, the stars in the sky always continue to shine and so the star of his pontificate will always shine among us ”. Benedict himself will then say: “The” always “is also a” forever “- there is no longer a return to private life. My decision to renounce the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this “and again:” I no longer carry the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of St. Peter “HERE.
Therefore, we must finally enter into the perspective according to which “OTHERS” decided that it had to be an abdication, while Ratzinger had declared quite the opposite.
In the face of the last interview with Prof. Sànchez QUI and following input from the Latinist Gianluca Arca who, on the basis of what was already intuited in 2019 by friar Alexis Bugnolo QUI, reads a completely different coherence in the text, a light bulb came on: the presumed and invalid Declaratio “di renunciation”, in reality, was a coherent DECLARATION OF “IMPEDITED SEE”, expressed in non-juridical language.
What is it about? According to Canon 412, “the episcopal see is understood to be” impeded “if the diocesan Bishop is totally prevented from exercising the pastoral office in the diocese due to imprisonment, confinement, exile or incapacity, not being able to communicate even by letter with its diocesans ”.
Two notes to understand the context: that Pope Ratzinger had the whole world against was excellently described by Paolo Flores d’Arcais HERE.
That there were many internal enemies of him, such as the lobby of modernist cardinals called the “Mafia of St. Gallen”, is confirmed by the never denied autobiography (2015) of card. Godfried Danneels HERE, and from the Vatileaks scandal (2012), where there was also talk of a project to kill the pope. That Benedict had enormous problems in exercising his authority is demonstrated by the immediate dismissal of the president of the IOR, his trusty Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, a provision made without him,the pope (!), knew nothing about it HERE.
Ratzinger himself alludes to this situation of impotence in “Ein Leben” (2020): “Towards the end of my pontificate I realized that the lack of adequate capacities for a correct performance of one’s office can manifest itself in various forms”.
They simply NO LONGER EDOBEY HIM. Therefore, that at a certain point, Benedict, cornered and unable to impose himself on him, freely decided to renounce DE FACTO (and not juridically) his practical power and become a “hermit” by exiling himself in the Vatican, is completely realistic.
Everything depends, in fact, ON HOW YOU READ THE LATIN TEXT TRANSLATED IN ITALIAN. We submitted the Declaratio to the scrutiny of SIX LATINISTS: three university professors, two high school teachers, a translator from medieval Latin (see note 1).
The university professors agreed that the Italian translation of the Vatican is substantially correct, but there is a verb, “VACET” which – according to all six – can in fact be translated very well in its literal, original sense of ” STAY FREE ”, and does not necessarily have to be translated with that“ vacant seat ”that we have been used to reading for eight years.
“… ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri VACET et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse”.
In fact, Prof. Arca quotes Cicero: “Ego filosophiae semper vaco” – “I always have free time for philosophy”.
And so, we have that Benedict XVI expresses the following key concepts in his Declaratio, (which we report at the bottom, in full):
– since I no longer have the strength to exercise practical power (ministerium) I declare to renounce it,
– so that the seat of San Pietro remains FREE (not “vacant” in the legal sense) starting from 20.00 on February 28, 2013.
-And I declare that the next new Pontiff must be elected by a conclave convened “by those who are competent”.
Why does he say “BY THOSE WHO ARE COMPETENT”, and not simply, “by the cardinals”? EVERYTHING RETURNS: we saw HERE that he, in order to abdicate, could not separate the munus from the ministerium. So Ratzinger, by separating them, DID NOT ABDICATE, but wanted to renounce to exercise his power of the former (since he was no longer able) leaving the seat of San Pietro FREE. In fact, precisely on February 28, 2013, Benedict leaves the Vatican headquarters EMPTY, flying away by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo (a choice certainly not justified by the summer holidays). Thus, at the stroke of 20.00, he does not sign anything, he does not confirm the renunciation of the ministerium, as the theologian Carlo Maria Pace explains HERE because it would obviously have been an invalid juridical act.
Thus, from February 28, 2013, the IMPEDED OFFICE situation announced on the 11th starts. From this point on, his enemies can do whatever they want with the see of St. Peter.
However, foreseeing the USURPATION of his throne through an illegitimate conclave (called to a living pope and not an abdicator), Ratzinger in the Declaratio specifies only one thing, but very clear and eloquent which we summarize as follows: the next true pope must be elected only by a conclave formed “by those who are competent”, or by those who have the right, that is, by the true cardinal electors, those appointed by me, Benedict XVI and, at most, by John Paul II.
And in fact, explains Prof. Sànchez HERE, given that Benedict did not abdicate and remained the only true pope, Francis is an anti-pope and has appointed 80 invalid cardinals who, mixed with the valid ones, would elect another in an upcoming invalid conclave. antipope. Consequently, the next true pope can ONLY be elected by a conclave made up of SOME cardinal electors, the real ones, “for which it belongs”, appointed before 2013, and not by other pseudo-cardinals.
Benedict, in fact, concludes the Declaratio with somewhat heartfelt accents: “Now, we entrust the Holy Church to the care of its Supreme Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ”, since he had to abandon the see of Peter, now impeded, as a pope overwhelmed by anti-papal forces. Shortly after, he recommended the true “Cardinal Fathers” to the assistance of Our Lady because one day, it is not known how far – after his death, or after his regular abdication – they will be able to elect a next true pope.
He had left the true cardinals a good 17 days (11-28 February 2013) to check on the code of canon law how a legitimate resignation was to be carried out, under Article 332. § 2. Two weeks to think, to ask for clarifications and / or corrections to the legally invalid renunciation of the ministerium, but none of them had grasped. Just as no one has ever bothered to ask him for a sanatio (legal correction) of the alleged renunciation, when in 2014 Antonio Socci was the first to publicly highlight the invalidity of the renunciation HERE. However, Benedict never granted any sanatio HERE.
But now comes what is beautiful. We have seen above that, understood as renunciation, the Declaratio is “implosive” and therefore must be discarded. On the other hand, the situation of “See impeded” is also confirmed by a whole series of VERY HEAVY CLAIMS – if not completely PROBATIVE – in the subsequent behavior of Benedict XVI and in the interview books written with Peter Seewald. In “Last Conversations”, of 2016, Ratzinger replies in this way regarding his resignation: “No pope resigned for a thousand years and even in the first millennium he was an exception”. HERE Given that 6 popes abdicated in the first millennium and 4 in the second, he necessarily makes a precise historical reference to the “exception” of the medieval pope Benedict VIII who, in the first millennium, was expelled from Rome by an anti-pope and who then, coincidentally, his seat was prevented: his ancient predecessor had to renounce the exercise of his practical power due to a forced “exile”, as reported today in canon 412.
Ratzinger writes again in “Ein Leben” (2020): “Celestine V’s situation was extremely peculiar and cannot in any way be invoked as a precedent (at my resignation)”. In fact, he did not abdicate – as legally did by Celestine V – but voluntarily went “into self-exile” in the Vatican, effectively resigning from the ministerium and therefore remaining – as it was for Benedict VIII – the only true pope.
This also explains why Ratzinger keeps the white robe and the other papal prerogatives HERE, the papal coat of arms with the dicussed keys HERE and above all why for eight years he has been repeating that “THE POPE IS ONE” without NEVER specifying which of the two, what just confirmed by Archbishop Ganswein HERE
That only pope is himself, but HE CANNOT SAY IT OPENLY BECAUSE HIS HEAD OFFICE IS IMPEDED and “he cannot communicate (freely editor’s note) even by letter” (Can. 412).
This is why he was morally justified in shielding himself behind the NON-EXISTING INSTITUTE OF “POPE EMERITUS”: legitimate defense to remain the pope in the Vatican.
Clarified why Ratzinger, in 2016, in Corriere claims to have written the Declaratio in Latin precisely “so as not to make mistakes”, despite the fact that he had included some, and serious, syntax: being now “prevented” from communicating, he had to use a subtle language, and it prompted us (successfully) to investigate the Latin translation thoroughly to find the most correct and revealing one. HERE
This explains why the Holy Father Benedict XVI has maintained for eight years his continuous and perfect ambiguity HERE and the subtle language that we also find in his last interview HERE
Many, in fact, impatiently ask themselves: “But why don’t you speak clearly?”. We repeat: HE CANNOT DO IT, BECAUSE HIS HEADQUARTERS WAS OVERRUN, HE IS NOT FREE TO EXERCISE HIS POWER!
In conclusion, check the original of the Declaratio in Italian. In capital letters, the only word translated in a lawfully different way from the Vatican version HERE and, in bold type, the significant expressions, with the original meanings of the word “ministry”, with which both munus and ministerium have been translated into Italian.
I have summoned you to this Consistory not only for the three canonizations, to communicate to you a decision (notes 2,3) of great importance for the life of the Church.
After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strength, due to advanced age, is no longer suitable for exercising the Petrine munus adequately. I am well aware that this munus, by its spiritual essence, must be accomplished not only with deeds and words, but no less by suffering and praying. However, in today’s world, subject to rapid changes and agitated by issues of great importance for the life of faith, in order to steer the boat of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, vigor of both body and soul is also necessary, vigor which, in recent months, has diminished in me in such a way that I have to recognize my inability to administer well the ministerium entrusted to me. For this reason, well aware of the gravity of this act, with full freedom, I declare that I renounce the ministerium of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on April 19, 2005, so that, from February 28, 2013 , at 20.00, the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter, REMAINS FREE and the Conclave for the election of the new Supreme Pontiff must be convened by those in charge.
Dear Brothers, I sincerely thank you for all the love and work with which you have carried the weight of my ministry with me, and I ask forgiveness for all my faults. Now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of her Supreme Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we implore her holy Mother Mary, so that she will assist the Cardinals with her maternal goodness in electing the new Supreme Pontiff. As for me, even in the future, I will want to serve wholeheartedly, with a dedicated life to prayer, the Holy Church of God ”.
Why choose this version of “vacet”, with all the annexes and legal connections? This Declaratio, in addition to being supported by TENS OF VERY CLEAR INDICATIVE ELEMENTS, has a subtle but coherent and literal meaning, the other one does NOT, since the See of St. Peter, for canon law (can. 332 § 2) DOES NOT CAN REMAIN VACANT with the renunciation of the ministerium alone, the practical exercise: the renunciation of the munus is required. Therefore, the Declaratio of 2013 was ABUSIVELY proposed as a “renunciation of the papacy” only BY THOSE WHO WANTED TO INTERPRET IT THIS, either out of naivety, or to grab the seat now vacated.
The alleged renunciation, given that it is a legal oxymoron, was first badly arranged in the translations, with the shameless abolition of the fundamental legal dichotomy munus / ministerium (note 4) and, subsequently, covered by heavy media propaganda operations, as when Vatican News illegally attributed to Ratzinger the phrase “The pope is one and he is Francis” HERE
Only with a Declaratio intended as an announcement of an impeded See do all the accounts come back: logical, canonical, theological, circumstantial and testimonial.
Let’s say that “Plan B” has been updated and corrected in “Plan V”, by “Vacet” and, above all, by “Truth”.
1) These are the professors of Latin language and literature Alberto Canobbio, (Univ. Of Pavia), Giorgio Piras and Francesco Ursini (Univ. “La Sapienza” of Rome), Gianluca Arca (Liceo Ginnasio Statale “SA De Castro” in Oristano ), Matteo Corrias (Technological High School of Oristano) and the Franciscan friar Alexis Bugnolo. The university professors interviewed were unaware of the legal question.
2) Prof. Arca recalls that the word decisio, like the corradical verb “to decide”, implies the idea of cutting, splitting and settling disputes and diverging views through the acceptance on both sides of the renunciation of something (cites a in this regard Cic. Pro Roscio, 40: cum de tota re decidisset cum Roscio), therefore it can be translated with the value of “compromise” and perhaps the compromise to which Benedict XVI bends is that of the separation between munus and ministerium. Note that, even in Italian, a meaning of “decisione” can be that of separation of a part from the whole HERE.
3) For the Latinist Frà Alexis Bugnolo, translator of medieval Latin, the reference of decisionem is even more precise, that is “I communicate a separation (of the Petrine ministerium) from you” that is, from the cardinals, with a particular use of the dative “vobis” found in San Bonaventura (well known by Joseph Ratzinger) and which would be consistent with the illustrated contents. Furthermore, for Frà Bugnolo, vacet translates even better with “remains unused”.
4) Prof. Corrias, barely able on decision as “separation”, fully confirms that munus and ministerium had to be absolutely left in the original Latin.