Commentary on the above, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Once again, the Society of St. Pius X rushes to defend the legitimacy of the claimed pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and this time it is a epic disaster in the form of a podcast/video interview of Father Tranquillo, SSPX. (It has been confirmed to FromRome.Info, that the priest is indeed Don Mauro Tranquillo, an Italian member of the Society.)
I refrain from criticizing priests as much as I can, but when it regards the salvation of souls I cannot be silent, and so here is a list of the errors in this video, which is a chain of errors, lies, falsehoods, misdirection, misinterpretation, mistranslation, all with a nice smile.
“Can a Pope abdicate?”
Here the question is itself wrong. No where in Church documents is the word, “abdication”, ever applied to the Pope or a Bishop. In Church law the term is “renunciation”, in common parlance one speaks of a Papal “resignation”, or “retirement”. In intelligent discussions, if you cannot even get the basic terminology right, you might as well not turn on the camera.
Father Tranquillo responds by declaring that, that a Pope can possibly abdicate, is a dogma of the Church. There are two errors here. A dogma regards a truth which is contained in the deposit of the Faith and could be defined as such. Doctrine regards all other teachings which are derived from one or more revealed truths understood in conjunction with truths which are not revealed. The former are true with a certitude known on the testimony of God, the author of Scripture, or of the Church when testifying to Tradition. The others can also be known with certitude though, inasmuch as some truth which is not reveal may be more or less certain, the conclusion likewise may be more or less certain.
So, when Pope Boniface VIII — not St. Celestine V — published the rescript, “Quoniam” (see text and translation here), he magisterially taught, but since this regards something which is not revealed in Scripture, it is not a dogma, nor is it infallible teaching, because it regards merely the right of renouncing an office, which is a natural right. He did not cite any Bull by Celestine V.
Therefore, we are not talking about a teaching which is defined nor has been revealed by God.
Moreover, Boniface VIII said nothing about “abdication”, nor about “renunciation”, he merely affirmed that a Pope can “resign”. So materially and factually and formally, Father Tranquillo is wrong on every point!
He is also wrong when he says, that the Church has “canonized” “popes” who “have abdicated”. Actually She has only canonized one pope, Celestine V, but not as pope, as a hermit saint. The other popes who are reckoned saints lived before the time of canonizations.
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I will pass on the insults before and after this question, which call those loyal to Pope Benedict XVI and canon law, “types of sedevacantists” or those who doubt the validity of the renunciation, “based on ignorance”, the truth of which is exactly the opposite. I will also pass on the absurdity uttered by the layman, interviewing, who says, if you can refuse the election as pope, then logically you can abdicate. He is wrong to make this comparison, because the man who has not yet accepted has nothing to do with the Papal Office. The real rationale for the ability to resign the papal office, is that he who accepts can licitly reject what he accepts, since what is in one’s power to accept is in one’s power to reject (so long as the thing being accepted is not by its very nature of the Divine will for the person who so accepts, to be accepted: such as a vocation, or a child).
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“To have a good, real abdication, it is enough to have a voluntary act, a free act”, says Father Tranquillo
False. Canon 332 section two says for a pope to cease being pope he must
- the Petrine Munus
- And express manifestly such a renunciation of munus duly.
“The Pope who abdicates is not subject to any positive law”
False and misleading. The one who renounces is the man who accepted, and thus he is subject to the law. For as Canon 12 §1 says, all who for whom there is a canon are subject to the law. And there is a canon regarding papal renunciations (canon 332 §2), therefore the man who is pope is subject to it.
“Even in that case (of being constrained by the shut down of Banking around the time of the resignation), its not valid” — voluntary acts are only invalid in the case of threats which are declared invalidating by positive law
Both totally False. This is a direct attack on right reason and reality itself. If any threat is brought upon a person who is supposed to posit a free act, to constrain him to do that which without such a threat, he would not do, the act is NOT voluntary, but forced. And as a juridical act it is invalid and can be impugned. To say that written law must specify the cases in which threats make voluntary acts invalid, would make it possible to always be able to find some threat to make a subject posit an act, and escape justice and steal right. What this priest says is the logic of a lawyer for the Mafia, not for any sane sense of human society or contract law. — This priest, also, has the morals of a pedophile, because if the sexual act of a minor is done by him under a threat, and this be reckoned as free and consensual despite the threat, every kind of abomination would follow.
“He just has to make IT clear to everyone”
Father Tranquillo is one slippery speaker. He never says that a Pope must manifest a renunciation. He calls what he must do an IT, but never says what that is. He only emphasizes that he must do IT freely. And thus he skirts the entire Canon 332 §2. Whereas, if you manifest something other than a renunciation of the papal munus, you clearly have not made it clear what you have done or what you have renounced. He is also wrong in saying that any behavior before and after must be observed to know what the act meant.
“It is enough that you understand the sense of the words. That is what the law says.”
False. I would really like to know where in Canon Law such a big loop hole for interpreting the acts of superiors are, because I am sure we would all like to put it to good use. But as it stands, Canon Law never says such a thing, because otherwise there would be chaos in the Church, with everyone doing what he thinks his superior wants him to do, without any obligation to actually communicate to subjects unequivocally what is to be done. On the contrary, Canon 41 says the subject has the right to omit any response to a superior’s command or act, if there is anything unclear about it. And Canon 40 says that if the act seems incomplete or containing integral imperfections, it cannot be acted upon.
“And the translations which came out afterwards are correct”
What can I say about that, but this priest is either totally ignorant or the biggest fibber this side of Texas. Here is my study of all the vernacular translations to highlight only a few of the major errors in all of them.
“The distinction between these two words (munus and ministerium) is nonsense!”
This is a bold faced ignorant lie. Munus and ministerium have had parallel existences fore more than 2500 years, and in Canon Law are never used to signify the same thing. Even Pope Benedict XVI uses them distinctly. We who are loyal to Canon Law did not make up this distinction and canon 17 requires all to recognize that they mean distinct things, since canon Law uses them in this manner, as I have proven in my academic paper which has never been refuted by anyone in nearly 2 years. (see here)
“John Paul II says the ‘exercise of the ministry of St. Peter.’ If ministery always had the meaning of “exercise” then why say, the “exercise of the ministry”?”
I can answer this question. If one says, “I like the exercise of baseball, therefore baseball is an exercise”, he argues badly, because, under the aspect of physical movement, the playing of the sport of baseball involves exercise and can be called such materially. But formally, baseball is a game of sport, which involves and requires physical movement, but it is not exercise, such as one does at a gym. In the same way, the word “ministerium”, does not always mean the acts done by one who has the power and authority of an office, but it also means the collectivity of the service rendered by the office. Thus we say the priestly ministry, but we also say the ministry of preaching. So I can say that i am giving up the ministry of preaching without meaning that I am giving up the priesthood. I can also say I am giving up the exercise of baseball, but that does not mean that for other reasons other than exercise I am refusing baseball. If you leaned how to use genetives in highschool you know that there are many kinds of genetives, not only one.
But the real etymological reason that ministerium is not munus, is that the one with the petrine munus holds the magisterium, and you cannot give up the magisterium by renouncing the ministerium, any more than that you can give up being the owner of a palace because you give up managing the cleaning schedules of the butlers.
“In such a way that”
Pope Benedict never said, quomodo. He said ita ut. So Father by using the wrong translation prepared by the Vatican is uttering a falsehood.
“The See of St. Peter be vacant”
Actually Pope Benedict XVI said, that the see of St. Peter vacet, which does not mean vacant, but unused or free. A sede vacante exists when a pope dies or renounces the munus. You can renounce anything else in the world, as pope, but the see will not be vacant. Thus it is dishonest to translate vacet as vacant, when a renunciation of munus does not precede. Because if you do so, then you are using a false translation which is contrary to fact, to sustain a false conclusion which is contrary to law. That kind of works in Hell, but not in the Church which is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (St. Paul the Apostle).
“And a new pontiff must be elected”
Once again, Pope Benedict XVI never said anything of the kind. In Latin, “must” is signified by “oportet” or “debet”, and the Holy Father use neither. He used the future passive periphrastic, convocandum esse, which is simply required in a subordinate clause wherein you wish to signify the future. Additionally, since the Pope specified that this Conclave was to be called by those who were competent, you clearly cannot argue that the Cardinals sitting in front of him were those men, since it is properly an insult to omit the words, “you my Brother Cardinals”, in such a solemn moment if you were actually convening a Conclave. Moreover, the phrase about convoking a conclave does not follow ita ut which Father translates erroneously as “in such a way that”, but depends upon “I declare”, and thus has no structural function in interpreting what the renunciation of ministerium effects. Furthermore, if the renunciation is valid, there is no reason to call an Conclave, because neither the man who is pope nor the pope as pope has the power to call a Conclave. A Conclave only takes place when there is no pope and is convened by the papal law for sede vacantes.
I LEAVE TO MY READERS TO DETAIL ALL THE OTHER ERRORS of Father Tranquillo. Father says, about midway through this video, that one should not use the things which are not clear to interpret the things which are clear. And I agree. So I ask why he uses false claims and erroneous translations to impose a meaning on the actual text, which he conveniently hides and misinterprets for his audience?
Moreover, if you did not know the identity of this priest, and had to guess from his arguments alone whether he was a Jesuit from Argentina, a member of Opus Dei from Spain, or a Priest of the Society of Saint Pius X, what would you guess? And if the responses of this SSPX priest are no better or even worse that what those would give, is their motivation for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Ancient Rite profiting them any grace and wisdom?
By the way, in 2016, Pope Benedict XVI did in fact deny that what he did was anything like the abdication of Pope Celestine V. But I do not think those shown in this podcast, organized with such care to mislead and misinform, care for such historical facts.
For those wanting a sound explanation of the Renunciation based entirely on Church teaching, Canon Law and the rules of grammar and logic, they can watch this video series: