BENIN: Opus Dei priest threatened with canonically invalid expulsion by superiors

Editor’s Note: The facts of the case are these: the Reverend Père Janvier Gbéno has been summoned to the adjacent nation of Ivory Coast, to be subjected to a extra-judicial proceeding by his regional superior in the prelature of Opus Dei in accord with canon 1720.  Here, “extra-judicial” does not mean illegal, but rather a hearing which is not before an Ecclesiastical court invested with jurisdiction, since Opus Dei is a prelacy which holds jurisdiction over no territory. Thus, Father Gbéno is to be tried before his regional superior in Opus Dei.  The charges are violations of decrees issued during the anti-papacy of Pope Francis or by entities erected during that time, and thus are void of all legal merit and juridical validity. For this reason, any decision whatsoever his superiors make against him will be null and void by reason of the legal error. — Furthermore, if one considers the charges on their merits, namely that Father Gbéno scandalizes the faithful for publicly denouncing Pope Francis as a pertinacious manifest and formal heretic, what Father Gbéno is doing is not a crime, but honesty. The “extra-judicial” trial, therefore, is nothing more than a Soviet style “show trial” where the decision and the sentence have already been decided, and where the purpose of the same is to show the regime that the one’s handing down the judgment are loyal lackeys thereof.

While I disagree with Father Gbéno‘s assertion that Pope Francis is not and has never been the true pope, I hold that it is unreasonable given the facts and the great confusion among Catholics, to hold that it is a canonical crime for him to say so. until the Church Herself in Council hands down a decision clarifying the matter of the validity or invalidity of the renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI and thus of the election of Pope Francis.

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