LifeSite News wants to elect the Pope by 3 novel means, all uncanonical and juridically invalid

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.

With Globalist Censorship growing daily, No one will ever know about the above article, if you do not share it.

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