by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Often the results of one’s efforts has the result of obtaining the opposite. Never is this more true, when it pertains to a matter after your own death, beyond the time in which you can have any say in the matter.
All the more is this true in the election of Roman Pontiffs.
For anyone who has bothered to read the history of all the popes, one by one — you can do it for free via the online Catholic Encyclopedia — as I did back in 2020, during the lockdown — you can discern a perennial rule of thumb in the choices made by the College of Cardinals: that there is a pendulum like shift from papacy to papacy.
The nature of this shift could be described thus: that on certain matters in which the living pope went to an excess, on those matters the College of Cardinals decide to chose pope with a different approach, sometimes the opposite, sometimes more conciliatory.
Popes who were holy and intransigent, like Pope St. Gregory VII were followed by popes who were more pragmatic and conciliatory.
As a cultural anthropologist (B.A. University of Florida, Gainesville, 1986), I think this is because the very dynamic of self-preservation coupled with the miniscule or tiny temporal power of the Papal States (now the Vatican City State) leads to the common sense conclusion, that the most urgent problems which arise in one pontificate, are the reason and motivation for the majority of the members of the College of Cardinals in their choice of the next Pope.
If we apply this observation to the dynamic of the next Conclave, then I think it can be said without exaggeration that Pope Francis is unwittingly preparing the way for the election of Cardinal Burke to the Supreme Pontificate, or at least someone like him. And let me explain why this is not merely a catchy theme for an editorial.
The most powerful super power on Earth is the United States. The majority of funds arriving in the coffers of the Vatican City State come from Catholics in the United States. The majority of all donations to the Vatican come from conservative Catholics. And the Vatican cannot survive without donations. Indeed, under Jorge Mario Bergoglio its resources have been dwindling and dwindling.
So the Cardinals in the next Conclave are without a doubt going to talk about how to keep their Club House, the Vatican, afloat. And that means, they have to confront the problem of how to turn the current trend in Vatican finances around 180 degrees.
Common sense will tell these men, who are experts in running large institutions, that the election of an Argentinian might have seemed the chic thing to do. But electing a candidate from an impoverished nation has proven not to be the way to increase the donations arriving at the Vatican.
Indeed, in ages past, the only solution to such a problem was to elect someone from the Kingdom or Empire which was the most powerful and richest. A strategy which worked, since a popular cleric from such a nation would naturally have an entire network of supporters who would come to the aid of the Papacy after his election.
If we apply this rule to the conditions of a Vatican City State whose supporters have fled on account of the denials of Catholic Doctrine, attacks on Catholic Tradition, and open insults of Catholics from the most powerful nations, the probity of this thesis of mine becomes even stronger.
Thus, the recent purges of Bishop Strickland and Cardinal Burke, precisely because they are having such a negative effect and will have an even more negative effect at years end, when most Catholic donors of magnitude consider making or not making donations to ecclesiastical institutions, will combine with the above observation to have a devastating effect.
If Pope Francis lives to see the New Year play out, then donations from Catholics will continue to fall dramatically putting the Vatican City state in dire crisis. This will especially be true among the Catholics of the United States of America.
But if Pope Francis is called to the judgement seat of Christ the King, then the Cardinals in the Conclave will surely be thinking the same thing: how they can solve all their financial problems and publicity problems by electing an American, someone like Cardinal Burke, whose reputation is solid, whose scholarship is known, whose stability of character is tested, and who is well traveled and widely respected throughout the world, especially in the United States.
And this future decision of the College is perhaps the reason why, even if the rest of the Cardinals say nothing about the purge of Cardinal Burke, that that silence in no way means that they agree with Pope Francis.
In the end God wins, no matter what decisions men make. But in the mean time God often also drops a victory on account of the decisions His enemies make. What a comedy is life!
And what a blessing that as Catholics we can appreciate it the best.
Editor’s Note: A candid assessment of what is going on at the Vatican, with a photo showing what kind of personnel Pope Francis truly appreciates in the Roman Curia. — Revealing that even the New York Times admits the Pope is acting like an Argentine tyrant. — I get the sense that the Purge of Dissidents has begun and we will soon seen Archbishop Viganò, Bishop Schneider, and Cardinal Mueller out. — And in defense of all the Cardinals and Bishops who have remained silent, it can be said, that they might include those who saw this coming from afar, and understand that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is totally incorrigible, which is why they are awaiting his passing and skip the interviews.
Editor’s Note: This news demonstrates the prudence and reasonableness of those Catholics who presume that the pastors of their parishes are funding the groups they fail to denounce. And thus, it makes initial sense to use greater discretion when deciding to put something in the offering plate, than when deciding where to go for Sunday Mass. And when one matures in his appreciation of things spiritual and divine, to use even greater discretion when deciding where to worship.
Editor’s Note: Roberto de Mattei, founder of the Lepanto Institute at Rome — which strangely has nothing to do with Lepanto, but with defending the Bergoglian papacy — has accused Archbishop Vigano of a new form of sedevacantism. This article presents a good short history of the variant of sedevacantism, the Casicanum Thesis, which asserts that one can de fact lose the authority of the papacy, while materially remaining the pope, if one has the intention of harming the Church.
While I have shown frequently that Roberto de Mattei is often wrong, if not a total liar, there is some substance to this article, because it is true that one cannot simply hold that the pope is not the pope and then go off and start a non-canonical church. This is what he calls, “anarcho-vacantism”. Indeed, de Mattei accuses the Archbishop of having already ordained priests and possibly Bishops!
He does not say it, but I will: the Catholic and human solution must be to confront the problem in a provincial council. There is also a Catholic and divine solution: but only the Lord who determines the hour and place of the death of the Roman Pontiff can enact that.
And until there is a solution, the avoidance of the Catholic and human solution is going to promote schism and apostasy in the Church. And that is why all who truly love God and Holy Mother Church will not hesitate or fear to propose the Sutri Initiative, while praying also for the Divine solution.
Roberto de Mattei lives on the property of a Parish in the Diocese of Rome and in recent years has shown that his desire to keep his housing on earth is more important to him than his desire to merit housing in Heaven. And once you understand this, some of his errors are less shocking than they would be, considering his previous reputation for orthodoxy before 2013.
Editor’s Note: 800 years ago today, Pope Honorius III confirmed the Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, in a ceremony at the Lateran Palace. See text below in Latin, English and Italian. The Translations are my own.
Editor’s Note: Those who love Europe have long claimed that their governments hate them and are actively promoting Jihad against European Christian natives. This report confirms the truth of that claim. The Globalist regime in France is no longer hiding the fact that they have taken sides in the war against Europe: on the side of Jihad. — The Irish Catholics rioted to protest what happened in Dublin. These incidents will not stop until there are truly Christian governments in Europe.
Editor’s Note: Msgr. Biasi, was the auxiliary of Archbishop Aguer, who just yesterday published a scathing criticism of Pope Francis’ governance of the Church, stating that he was openly persecuting good clergy. I guess, therefore, that Pope Francis does not really care about such public criticism, since in response to such criticism, he does exactly what he is faulted for having done. It seems almost as if everyone knows that there is open Civil War in the Church, and that the cuffs and cuff-links which are the niceties of diplomacy and good manners, have, as it were, been rolled back and taken off, as Pope Francis descends to a power fist fight with the Bishops opposing his agenda.
Editor’s Note: While the MSM gushes about Pope Francis’ nasty remarks against Cardinal Burke and his removal of the latter’s privileges as a senior Cardinal, let’s not forget that Pope Francis’ own head of Doctrinal Affairs published the Pope’s heretical responses to the new Dubia presented by Cardinal Burke and 3 other Cardinals in June. This demonstrates the pertinacity of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in his errors, rather than any good will. As I mentioned before, arguably after Oct. 12 Catholics could begin to act as if Pope Francis deposed himself from the papacy for heresy, because of his responses to the Dubia, and that by Dec. 29th, it would even be more legitimate to do so, on account of having not publicly repented of publishing his own errors at the end of September. This means that while it is not a sin to attend masses which name or do not name him as the Pope, it is also not a sin for priests to stop naming him in the Canon on account of this growing scandal. The Synod of Sutri Initiative is the only canonical solution. But Our Lord might call Pope Francis to his eternal remuneration to end this grave scandal all the more quickly.
Editor’s Note: If one has the flu and severe lung inflammation, the last thing one should do is go to the Paul VI Hall, which is cold and drafty, and sit in the presence of hundreds of other persons who may be carrying untold pathogens from 5 other continents. But that is what Pope Francis did today, while omitting speaking, other than a few words, in a very soft voice, saying he was ill. — The Vatican’s explanations of his state of health continue to differ from the personal comportment of the pope, either being seemingly too reassuring or incongruent with his decisions to omit speaking or attending events. — Is Pope Francis committing an act of bravado, to tell the world he is not as sick as he thinks they think he is, like John Paul II did when he refused in his final illness to stay in the hospital but returned to the Vatican with a severe infection of the urinary tract, dying only a short time later due to this imprudence? — Or is it that Pope Francis does not have a flu, but is suffering from some other grave malady?
The Daily Beast, a Marxist publication, allegedly gives us the skinny on Monday Nov. 27th (here below) … that the pope’s health has improved and he will go to Dubai, which might have been true, or may be just was the hope of the International – a report which immediately was contradicted, when the Holy See affirmed yesterday that Pope Francis would not be attending the Climate Summit on Dec. 1st.. Yet it affirmed Pope Francis was receiving antibiotics intravenously, which is done only in serious cases or when one suffers from digestive problems (such as he may, due to his degenerative colitis).
FromRome.info publishes this information to document that the massacre on Oct. 7 was perpetrated in part by Israeli Forces and thus was no justifiable cause of the genocide and ethnic cleaning of Gaza. Let us continue to pray for all the innocent victims of this war, especially the Christians and Catholics of Gaza.
Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
I thought I had seen every sort of subterfuge and folly from the grifter collective (see definition here), but I wake this morning and have to shake my head in disbelief as I read the article above, published at LifeSite News and written by a Matthew McCusker, who must be reckoned to be some sort of theological joker, when you evaluate what he has written.
For he attempts to answer a question which is absurd and contrary to fact, namely, whether a Pope can be validly elected after a long sede-vacante, at the present.
The article seems to be addressing the need of some readers — I know not whom — who believe that the Cardinals will not agree to convene after the death of Pope Francis, or who believe that Pope Benedict XVI was pope until his death, but after his death no pope has been elected, or who believe simultaneously that Pope Benedict XVI did renounce the papacy AND that the election of Bergoglio was always invalid.
LifeSite News has bitterly opposed for 10 years the patent truth that Pope Benedict XVI was the pope until his death because he never renounced that which Canon 332 §2 required him to renounce. Nor has that journal officially taken the stance that Bergoglio is incapable of accepting the papacy and thus of ever being the pope. Though John Henry Westen has dallied with such opinions and that of Archbishop Viganò, regarding the vitium consensus, or the inability of a heretical mind to validly consent to being elected Pope.
But be it as it may, to grift on the malcontent surrounding Pope Francis, which grows daily as he adds name upon name on his list of persons he has or wants to persecute, LifeSite news publishes the scandalously incorrect, inaccurate and just plain wrong article by McClusky.
As I am wont, to defend the Papacy and Holy Mother Church, I often criticize or correct popular errors and articles. And so, to undo the damage of the scandal given by this article, I will list the errors in the article and present the true Catholic position. First I will denounce the error in black bold face, and then I will confess the truth and facts in normal typeface.
First of all, the Church does not elect the pope, regardless of what the title of the article seems to imply.
The Roman Pontiff, as successor of Saint Peter, has always been elected only by the Roman Church, that is the Catholics of the Church of Rome, Italy. While the Church includes the Roman Church, the Roman Church is by no means the entire Church, nor does her specific rights extend to the whole Church; just as in the body, the faculties of the head are not found in the hands, feet, or legs.
Second, it is not true that it is often asserted that the Church could not elect pope after a long sede-vacante for the reason of not having any Cardinals to do it.
It is not often asserted because only a small few, that is, Pius XII sedevacantists, hold to this ludicrous contrary to fact situation. And it is also not true because the Church does not elect the pope, as I stated in the first place.
Third, it is false to say, “For the first thousand years elections were carried out by the clergy of Rome and the bishops of the neighboring sees. During this period elections took various forms, and sometimes also involved the participation of the Roman laity, and even secular rulers such as Roman Emperors, and, later, Holy Roman Emperors.”
It is false, because for the first thousand years, the Roman Pontiffs were always elected by the Clergy and Laity of the Roman Church. The Bishops of neighboring sees never participated, if by “neighboring” you mean “outside of the Roman Church”. Here the author shows absolute ignorance of the distinction between the Church of Rome, considered as the Diocese of Rome, and the Church of Rome, considered as the local Church. This latter is canonically divided into the Diocese of Rome and the Dioceses of the Suburbican Sees, contiguous with the Diocese of Rome. These suburbican sees are canonically dependent and part of the Church of Rome, or Roman Church, and have always participated in the election of a Roman Pontiff precisely because they are parts of the Church of Rome, canonically distinguished and divided but not separated from the Diocese of Rome.
It is also false to say that the laity sometimes participated. For they always participated, at least in the final acclamation. As for the participation of Emperors: the Emperors were considered laity of Rome by reason of their universal jurisdiction whereby juridically speaking they are present in every part of their empire according to the person of their office. That is why they could be given a vote or veto or nominatory role in the election, without creating any precedent that laity outside the Roman Church could participate in any way in the election.
Fourth, it is false to say that Pope Nicholas I in 1059 decreed something regarding papal elections in a Constitution.
For, it was Pope Nicholas II, and the document of 1059 A. D. was a Papal Bull, the papal bull, In Nomine Domini. But according to the doctrine of censorship of the grifter collective, the author could not make that correct citation because only one person in the English speaking world has translated that Bull and published the text, here at FromRome.Info, and he is an unnamable, because he is not part of the collective. Thus, to name him or it, might lead a reader to FromRome.Info and to the truth, and then something would hit the fan, as we say in English.
Fifth, it is silly and inaccurate to quote Bellarmine on the manner of the election of the Roman Pontiff.
Silly, because it is obvious he had no accurate historical information about it; and inaccurate, because what he says has absolutely no theological authority or canonical authority, because of his ignorance of the historical facts.
Sixth, it is simply wrong to say a Council of Bishops can elect the Pope.
It is such, because this is expressly forbidden by Apostolic Tradition, since no Council has ever elected the Pope. I think the author may be confused by a shallow study of the Council of Sutri, which in the presence of the King of the Germans, Henry III, selected Pope Clement II. But Clement was elected the next day at Rome and the Roman Clergy were present at the Council, since it was a provincial council of the ecclesiastical province of Rome and they had the right to attend.
In sum, this above article at LifeSite has so many errors that it would not pass review at even a mediocre theological journal. Before the council it would have been censured by the local bishop in Virginia, from where LifeSite is published. This is why I call it pablum. It i being fed to you to cause to thrive in your mind speculations and opinions which are completely divorced from canon law and Catholic history.
So to close, the Pope cannot be elected validly by Bishops outside the Roman Church, nor in the present circumstances can he be canonically elected except by the Cardinals, but in the case where the Cardinals do not exist or will not act, then by apostolic tradition the right of election returns to the Roman Church, which includes all the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Rome and the adjacent suburbican dioceses. Such an election by apostolic right, is bound by no rules but those of Canon Law and natural law, and thus by this means a Roman Pontiff could be in a valid juridical manner elected even after a long sede vacante. (In fact, it was already done on January 30th of this year. Which is why Pope Francis is prima facie a validly elected Pope).
Finally, if you financially support LifeSite News, I would sanely recommend you send your support to a group which at least does not print bold faced lies about Catholic teaching and papal history.
Editor’s Note: This is very serious. Pope Francis’ climate agenda is at the top of his list of personal religious views, and the Globalists demanded he attend. So to cancel out means that he is in a precarious state. FromRome.Info has been characterizing the news about his health correctly and before all other commentary sites since October. If this trend continues, I think we can officially put Pope Francis on the “death watch” category. — Rome suffers from endemic respiratory problems in late November and December, as the nitric oxide from the automobile smog mixes with the fog of late fall. And under this chemical burden a weak immune system often falls apart.
Editor’s Note: It is the habit of reprobate souls, to lash out in the weeks before their death. King Herod the Great was the most famous biblical figure to evince this behavior. He died from an excruciating illness of unknown cause and even ordered the execution of numerous important mourners at the time of his death, though his brother-in-law, Alexis and his sister did not carry it through. However, weeks before his death he ordered the murder of the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem and its environs.