by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
It has been a year and 20 days since Pope Benedict XVI passed to the judgement of Christ Jesus Our Lord. And in that time many have continued to debate the validity or meaning of his Declaration of February 11, 2013.
In fact, this debate has gone more main stream, now that the principal canonical question, who is the real pope, has passed into history with the juridically valid election of Pope Francis on January 30, 2023.
The Catholics of Rome, as they have always done, immediately moved to see that they have a Bishop to succeed Pope Benedict XVI after his death. In fact, just days after his death, trusting that the Church of Rome would remain true to Her Spouse I opined that within a month She would have a new shepherd. — I was immediately mocked by the CIA Agent, Steve O’Reiley in the USA on his attack blog, known as “Roman Locuta Est”, by which he means ‘Stevie has spoken’ for having expressed such confidence in the Church of Rome. — But the Faithful of Rome came through and did not do what the CIA wanted: they met and elected a successor for Pope Benedict XVI, by which the grace and prayer of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, for His Vicar, came to settle for the first time upon that man known as Pope Francis. And the Church has benefited immensely as is visible unto the present day.
Many who entered this debate, however, failed to conduct themselves with integrity and honesty, because as soon as Pope Benedict XVI was dead they spoke against the election of his successor by the Cardinals or the Faithful of Rome — which are the only two legitimately juridical manners possible.
But here I wish to discuss the terms of this debate over the Renunciation, which are well known, to those who have the simplicity to say that they see what they see: a grace which is every more rare in the modern world, as Catholics the world-over plug themselves ever more deeply into the Globalist Narrative Matrix.
For a complete coverage of the history of this debate, see the most authoritative and complete collection of articles here, in our Index to the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI
And these facts are these:
That in Canon 332 §2, a Pope abdicates when he renounces the Petrine Munus, and when he does, it must be considered valid when he does so with freedom and in the proper form.
That on Feb. 11, 2013 A. D., Pope Benedict XVI read aloud the official and only juridically valid version of his Declaratio, in which he renounced the Petrine Ministry, while acknowledging that he held the Petrine Munus.
Logic itself demands, therefore, that all recognize that Pope Benedict XVI never fulfilled canon 332 §2, and that thus, in the eyes of God Himself, he remained the one, only and true Roman Pontiff until the day of his death on Dec. 31, 2022 A. D.. — All those who say otherwise are liars or are insane of mind — Insanis in Latin means, “not healthy”.
Most of these are insane of mind because of a choice that they made: to presume that whatever the MSM says is the truth regardless of facts, history, reality, evidence or logic. Others because they hold this same idolatrous devotion for whatever the Cardinals or Bishops say.
But those who hold fast to the Catholic Faith, wherein God alone is Truth (John 14:16) and the author of all truth (John 18:38), know that we are gravely obliged to recognize that words have meaning, and what is written, has been written (John 19:20-22).
This same Faith requires us therefore to hold that Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministry, but that such a renunication was a resignation not an abdication.
And Pope Benedict XVI?
But there are more difficult questions about which we can only speculate regarding the answers since they are known to God alone and to Pope Benedict XVI.
Thus, though many hold that Pope Benedict XVI lied or erred (in the moral sense), it is clear that such an accusation lacks the foundation in the proof that he intended something other than a resignation of ministry or that he conceived a resignation as an abdication. But all the honest studies, especially that of Andrea Cionci, clearly demonstrate that he never held such errors or intended such deception.
And thus, we must also conclude that the charge that he intended to deceive is also unproven. Because to intend something very refined and not understand that others do not understand is not to deceive others.
But did Pope Benedict XVI not understand that a resignation of ministry does not permit the election of another successor?
On this question, I think the preponderance of evidence argues for an affirmative response.
This differs from the question of moral error. Moral error consisting in doing one thing when one intends to do the other. Here I am speaking of theological error, when one thinks that the doing of something has the same effect as the doing of something similar.
And this error, it seems to me, arose from Pope Benedict XVI’s inexperience with philosophical distinctions of the kind which are found in Scholasticism. For to renounce the branches or fruit of power is not to renounce power. Nor is the renunciation of the power which flows from dignity possible without the renunciation of the dignity from which it flows.
The Cardinals’ error & sin
The Cardinals, I hold, were more responsible before God for their error than Pope Benedict XVI. Because there were 120+ of them, and only 1 of him. And their duty is to NOT proceed into Conclave UNTIL the Apostolic See is legitimately vacant. That means, in this case of a papal renunciation, in a manner conform to canon 332 §2 in which no objective doubt can arise. But to renounce ministerium and be understood as renouncing munus is a doubtful interpretation which the Cardinals had no right to make, and in omitting to have recourse to Pope Benedict XVI to correct the renunciation or remove the doubt, they failed GRAVELY in their only principal ecclesiastical duty.
And because they know that they failed, they have closed in their ranks and conspired never to speak of their sin or admit their fault. So while many Catholics appeal to the Cardinals to end the crisis of the Bergoglian papacy, they fail to recognize that the sin of the Cardinals is the greater of sins.
The effects of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation
Clearly the Church is in a crisis the likes of which She has never seen. With a manifestly heretical pontiff occupying the Throne of St. Peter and the Bishops eager to persecute so as to garner his favors, the Church’s very existence is threatened to Her core.
At the same time the consequences of what Pope Benedict XVI did have utterly destroyed the narrative of Vatican II and have unmasked the enemies of Christ in the Church. — The only thing is that Catholics are shocked to their core to see how great is the percentage of failure among Cardinals, Bishops, Priests etc.. For many of us have confidence because of the good example of others: a thing rarely found in any purity in this debacle of debacles.
The Punishment for Liars is a bitter one
God detests the mendacious man (Prov. 12:22-24), so we can be assured that God hates all those morally responsible for causing in the canonical mess which began on Feb. 11, 2023, when an ANSA pool reporter reported that which never happened, namely that Pope Benedict XVI had abdicated — even though she later recanted her error.
We are still living in the context of this great sin and these lying lips. And the punishment for lying lips is to have a mouth full of lies to reign over you.
God has spoken. And He shall never be put to shame by men.
In the meantime, we need to return to the humility of children, for otherwise we cannot be saved (Matthew 18:2-5).
And let us pray for Pope Francis, that he might repent by the grace of God or the stern rebuke of the Cardinals and Bishops, even if this be necessary in a Provincial Council, or at least that God might remove him from the Papacy or neutralize his bad example, as soon as possible or the Bishops of the Roman province do it in the only way they can.
As for ourselves, the crisis in the Church which began on Feb. 11, 2013 is a problem which requires all the Faithful to sanctify our minds through the right use of our intellects and the right use of words, to study what the word “truth” means, and why our loyalty to Christ the Truth requires that we not let any man suborn us on any question of truth.
CREDITS: The Cardinals gathered for the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI. All right reserved. Used with permission of the photographer.