First Anniversary of the election of Pope Francis

JANUARY 30, 2024 A. D.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Traduction française

One year ago, at about 12:30 P.M., at the Rome Mariott Hotel, at Rome, Italy, the Catholics of Rome met and elected a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

I was there, and here I commemorate the event, which was unique in the history of the Church.

For at that Assembly the Faithful used their Apostolic Right to elect their own Bishop to rectify the canonical mess which resulted from the Declaration of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013: a mess which consisted in giving the Church two popes: the one, who was canonically elected in 2005 and who remained such until his death in 2022: Pope Benedict XVI; and the other, an anti-pope, Francis, uncanonically elected on March 13, 2013.

I have spoken about the essence of the problem, the other day, here; but here I want to memorialize the Faithful Catholics who solved the worse juridical problem in the history of the Church by their simple faith.

Who were they?

They were simple faithful who saw the advertisements on television or heard them on radio, announcing the event. Some of them had followed the controversy of the two popes for some time, being well aware of the writings of Andrea Cionci, an opera singer and free-lance time journalist who lives at Rome, and the video lectures of Don Alessandro Minutella, the pastor of the Parish of Don Bosco, at Palermo. Others came to know of the controversy after their friends told them of hearing of this Assembly via television.

I spoke with all of them for sometime.

They were also devout Catholics who lived by the Catholic Faith. It was enough for them to know the facts and want to participate. They were no social media junkies or followers of anyone but Jesus Christ. One was a school teacher, the other a retired office worker, another a day worker, others casilinghi, moms who worked at home.

What did they think of their Apostolic Right?

All accepted the historical facts that the Faithful of Rome had always elected their own bishop. I explained all that I had done to inform the whole Church at Rome and the Cardinals. All said that they had seen my informative videos about these matters before or found them after they had seen the announcements.

I had hired 26 security officers to make sure that only Catholics from the Diocese of Rome or one of the Suburbican Dioceses entered the Hall were the voting took place. Each officer was equipped with a card which explained the nature of ecclesiastical residence required by anyone wanting to vote and how to verify it by documents. All who entered were in possession of the required documents: certificates off Baptism to prove they were Roman Catholics, and IDs issued by the Italian Republic to prove residency in the specified geographical zone. I too met the requirements, having resided at Rome for the last 3 years and 3 months.

We spent an hour in prayer. And we began discussions around 11:15 as to whom to elect. During that time all the faithful expressed dismay that the followers of Cionci and MInutella, who for 2  and 7 years, respectively, had decried that Benedict XVI was still the pope, did not show at all; did not really care whether the Church had a pope or not. — They still do not, as the events of the last year, prove.

Which Candidates did they propose?

One man asked if he could be a candidate. I explained the requirements of Canon Law: namely, that one be a man from birth, baptized and not married, and free from ecclesiastical censure. As he was married he withdrew his interest. I was the only unmarried man present; so someone asked me if I would be a candidate.

Others suggested Andrea Cionci or Don Minutella. As Cionci is a married man and Don Minutella had told me expressly that he did not want to be elected, because he was already managing a number of legal claims against him, I expressed my view that we had to consider others.

I refused immediately, also.

I explained that the Assembly should elect someone who is already a Bishop, so that by their election he should become pope immediately upon accepting his election.

Someone suggested Archbishop Viganò, another one of the Cardinals, and I myself suggested Bishop Henry Gracida, Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas.

We then discussed which was more likely to accept his election. I expressed my confidence of being able to convince Msgr. Gracida. I also said that the other candidates proposed all refused to recognize Pope Benedict XVI as the Pope until his death, so that it would be highly unlikely and very improbably that they would accept.

I pointed out the difficulty of the situation. The Assembly did not yet take a vote but nearly everyone was against electing a Bishop whom they never heard of. And so the candidacy of Gracida was ignored.

At this point some of the faithful present chose not to vote and left the assembly. I asked them at least to remain as witnesses, so that they could affirm in the future, what they saw and how the vote went. They left anyhow.

How did they conduct the Election?

From this point onward, other than about 4 security guards, only those who actually voted were present. No one else can claim to know what happened but them. So everyone who has reported these events in the last year is simply speculating and lying to claim to have some report or information. I never gave an interview about the matter either.

At this point I explained to the Assembly the danger of not electing anyone. It was already a public fact that the Roman Church had this right in the absence of action by the College of Cardinals — I explained this 4 years before in a Scholastic Question — and if we did not exercise this right; anyone could convene another such Assembly and elect whom knows who.

As there were no viable candidates, I pointed out that we had come together to solve 2 problems in the Church. The first was to elect a worthy man, and the second was to give the Church again, a man through whom they could be united to Christ the Shepherd, as His Vicar on Earth, restoring the juridical order.

As we had no worthy candidates, I explained we could at least do the greater of the two goods, by electing Pope Francis as Benedict XVI’s successor. This would give back to 1 billion Catholics the grace of the Holy Spirit which they lacked for 10 years by following the wrong man. It would also allow all Catholics to attend Mass again at all the Masses in the world, which would name the same man as the Roman Pontiff in the canon.

Someone asked if Pope Francis would accept his election. I pointed out that this Assembly was operating under Apostolic Right and was not bound by all the strictures of canon law. In canon law,  an election is considered accepted when the one elected expressly and verbally accepts. If he does not, Canon Law holds he has not accepted. In ecclesiastical elections he has, I believe, 7days to consider it. There must be witnesses to his acceptance.

But as I explained, this Assembly was bound by no stricture, since Saint Peter never established the norms by which the election would be accepted; so we had to follow the Natural Law which holds that acceptance can be expressed and actual, or tacit and habitual. Expressed and actual could by by word or writing or some clear sign. Tacit and habitual could only be from one who already thought he held the office by a prior election and remained publicly and manifestly intent upon holding the office. Thus, if we were to elect Bergoglio, his expressed acceptance of his election in March 2013 was sufficient as tacit and habitual acceptance of our election of him in this Assembly.

The Assembly agreed with my explanation. So we prayed and like the disciples at the Foot of the Cross, when all the world stood against Christ, we trusted in the High Priestly Prayer of Christ that Pope Francis hitherto lacked, would right the barque of Peter, and elected him by a unanimous vote. The time was a little before 12:30 P.M., one year ago today.


I invited all to dine with me for lunch, and only one Catholic who had come from Milan but was not allowed to enter the Hall, accepted my invitation, as best I can remember; because I had a bad cold, and went home thereafter.

If you have the simplicity of a child, you can see and accept what the Catholics of Rome did for each and all of us Catholics world wide. We did what we could, when we could, with what we could and in the only manner we could. We could have done more, but all stood against us. We were like the disciples at Calvary. We were constrained to trust in the Salvific Prayer and Promises of the Crucified One.

All this was made possible by the readers of FromRome.Info who donated 53,000 dollars to pay for the expenses. The remainder, 7 thousand, was donated by my relatives. They share fully in the merit of this work, which was and perhaps shall remain, the greatest work of juridical right ever undertaken by the Catholic Faithful without assistance or support of any Bishop.

For from 12:30 P.M. January 30 of last year, the Church has had and recognized universally a juridically and validly elected Roman Pontiff.

And God the Father and God the Holy Spirit have worked two miracles since to prove the juridical validity of what these Catholics accomplished. Praise God! Amen.

What remains now, is for Catholics to do what they did not do that day: give the Church a worthy man to be Roman Pontiff. This they can do by seeing that Pope Francis is solemnly rebuked and if he refuse rebuke, removed from office, via the Sutri Initiative; or praying the Lord Jesus, that He remove him from office, so that in the next Conclave a true Catholic be elected.

For more information about how this Assembly was conducted and came to be called, see here. For more information about how Pope Benedict XVI remained pope see here. For more information about how Bergoglio was uncanonically elected, see here. — FromRome.Info has uniquely chronicled the events in the history of the Roman Church in our times, just as now we are in regard to the rejection of Fiducia Supplicans. — Please Subscribe to FromRome.Info if you appreciate this (see bottom of this page)


CREDITS: The Featured Image shows the fresco above the dining hall at the Rome Mariott Hotel, which was painted nearly a dozen years before. It depicts a Cross in the Sky above the Piazza of St. Peter, just as was seen at the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI on January 6, 2023. By “just as was seen” I mean to say, that it was seen in the sky pointing in the direction of the Hotel, on the day of the Funeral.

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7 thoughts on “First Anniversary of the election of Pope Francis”

  1. Fantastic summary. God bless you Brother and thank you fixing Mother Church in one of it’s greatest difficulties.

    I thank God for you, and for having given me the opportunity to make a small contribution to this in reparation for my sins.

  2. If it was such a great initiative. Why not hire the same hotel and with the same roman faithful do your sutri initiative and then with all your knights armed take the francis and throw him in the Tiber? At last you will be remembered in history books..

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