by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
There is an urban myth going about in Catholic Church about Jesuits not being allowed to become Bishops, Cardinals or priests. This myth is being promoted by laymen like the produce of the above video. Since this myth is founded upon complete ignorance of Canon Law, and for that reason I am going to fact check it and show its utterly bunk.
So let’s read the actual Code of Canon Law promulgated by Christ’s Vicar on Earth, of whom He declared: “Whatsoever you bind upon earth, shall be bound in Heaven”:
Canon 705: Religiosus ad episcopatum evectus instituti sui sodalis remanet, sed vi voti oboedientiae uni Romano Pontifici obnoxius est, et obligationibus non adstringitur, quas ipse prudenter iudicet cum sua condicione componi non posse.
My English translation:
Canon 705: The religious raised to the episcopacy remains a member of his institute, but in force of his vow of obedience he is liable to the one Roman Pontiff, and is not bound to the obligations, which the former prudently judges not to be compatible with his own condition.
COMMENTARY on the Canon
Here the Code speaks of a Catholic man who is a member of an institute of consecrated life, who is bound by vows to keep the Rule and/or Constitutions of a particular order, society, congregation etc., but who is raised to the dignity of a Bishop by his superiors (Roman Pontiff, or Patriarch, or Patriarchal Synod etc..).
The question being, since the obligations of this religious vows may or may not conflict with his new duties (ministerium not munus) as a Bishop, is he still obliged to keep his vows?
This canon lays down two things: the first is a strict determination, whereby he is no longer bound, in virtue of his vow of obedience, to the superiors of his former institute, but is bound to only one man, the Roman Pontiff.
The second is conditional and regards any obligations of his vows which are not able to be fulfilled while exercising his episcopal ministry. In this matter, the canon grants wide discretion to the man become bishop to determine with his own prudence, which obligations to keep observing.
APPLICATION TO JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO
Pope John Paul II nominated Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S. J., to the Episcopacy on May 20, 1992. That was the very year in which the Mafia of St. Gallen came in to being, though I do not have any evidence which ties Bergoglio to that group in that year.
But from the moment of his episcopal consecration, on June 27, 1992, as Titular Bishop of Auca, and Auxiliary of Buenas Aires, Argentina, he was no longer bound to his vows in the Society of Jesus, where they conflicted with being a bishop. So he was no longer bound to poverty and could now own things in his own name. He was no longer bound to obedience to the Superior General of the Jesuits at Rome, or to his Provincial in Argentina.
He as also granted discretion to decide whether to keep his vow never to accept higher honors, such as Cardinal or the Papacy.
Hence, when and if he would so accept them, he would not only not be sinning against right, he would not be violating canon law or creating a condition which would invalidate his elevation to higher office.
I find it to be pharisaical of so many Catholics, especially traddies or socialists, like the producer above, who strain gnats and ignore camels. Canon 332 §2, clearly states that a papal renunciation occurs when a Roman Pontiff renounces his munus, not his ministerium, and hence Benedict XVI, since he never did that, remains the Pope. The above speaker is zealous to keep calling Bergoglio, “the Pope”, even while he considers in minute detail whether this urban myth is true or not. And that is pharisaical in the extreme.