Pope Benedict XVI never abdicated and he told us as much

Or How Uguccione di Pisa explains what Munus and Ministerium mean in Ecclesiastical Law

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Traduction française

Pope Benedict XVI never abdicated, and I have demonstrated and proven that by a myriad of articles and investigations already, as can be seen in my Index to the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Some of these demonstrations have been extrinsic and some have been intrinsic. That is, some have argued from facts and laws not cited by the Declaratio Pope Benedict XVI read and published on Feb. 11, 2013, and others have been argued from the very words and grammatical structure of the text itself.

But as of yet, I have not made mention of one of the strongest arguments yet, which is intrinsic.

So, now I will, for the sake of posterity and for all those who want to know the truth.

First, I will remind everyone, that since Pope Benedict XVI is the one who published the Declaratio, no one but he could interpret it. Canon 16 in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 makes it clear that it was the intention of Pope John Paul II that this principle be respected, namely that the intention of the legislator must be given by the legislator himself. As I showed in my article on Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori, it is not licit for subordinates to interpret the decrees of their superior. Moreover, a most weighty testimony was given me in person, by Monsignor Arrieta, the Secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts, when I visited his offices in 2019, as I reported here, namely that for Pope Benedict XVI to interpret his Declaratio, he must do so by written, published decree, a thing which he never did.

Hence it is, that without any authentic or official interpretation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Declaration, one must presume in any controversy over what it effected, that it did NOT effect the loss of the papal office nor of the right to claim to hold the papal office, according to the juridical principle which is valid in all codes of law: the cessation of right is never presumed. This principle was affirmed to me by no one less than the present Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S. J., who graciously agreed to grant me an audience in November of 2019, while he was still a humble professor of jurisprudence at the Gregorian University, as I reported here.

This is the fundamental error of presuming the cessation of right, which is committed by the Cardinals and all the Bishops, clergy, religious and laity who claim that in renouncing the “ministry which I received through the hands of the Cardinals”, Pope Benedict XVI intended to renounce the papal office or Petrine munus. For they read “munus” in the key phrase where Pope Benedict XVI said and wrote “ministerium”.

One way in which they attempt their illicit interpretation is, however, to appeal to all kinds of sources for the Latin language in which someone used the word “munus” or “ministerium” or both in similar senses.

While I have refuted even that recourse, by citing canon 17, which forbids reading the terms of Canon Law in other ways than the Code makes clear it uses them, that has not stopped them inventing all kinds of unlawful arguments. And I have showed in a definitive manner nearly 5 years ago, that the Code of Canon Law of 1983 never equates munus with ministerium, which demonstration given in an academic conference at Rome has never been refuted by any author or speaker.

So, I will here shatter, not only their appeal to other sources, but drawing on Canon 17, I will cite a most authoritative Latin source for Latin as used in ecclesiastical law to show them that Pope Benedict XVI never intended to fulfill Canon 332 §2, which is the only canon which speaks of Papal resignations, when it speaks of a Roman Pontiff renouncing his “munus”.

Uguccione di Pisa explains what Munus and Ministerium mean in Ecclesiastical Law

The source I will cite is the Magnae Derivationes of Uguccione di Pisa (died in 1210 A. D — see biography, here in Italian — see a biography here in English), who was not only a professor of Ecclesiastical Law at the University of Bologna, and Bishop of Ferrara (1190-1210 A. D.), Italy, but also the professor who taught one of the greatest canonists of the middle ages to become a Pope, Pope Innocent III, Lothar of Segni (Pope from 1198-1216 A.D.), who was born at Gavignano, Italy, where I have resided the last two years I was in Italy.

The Magnae Derivationes was a Lexicon of Latin terms with their definitions in Latin. On account of the authority of Uguccione as a Canon Lawyer and teacher of Pope Innocent III, he is a weighty authority in the meaning of Latin terms in texts regarding Ecclesiastical Law.

So let’s see what the Magnae Derivationes says about the key word, “munus”. I quote from here, since the Dante Medieval Archives currently has a copy of this work online, and since under the rubric “munus”, Uguccione refers you to his entry for “donum”, where he distinguishes the two.

He does this, because both words can be translated as “gift”, so it is important to understand the difference of their significations.

If you look for his definition of donum, it is quite extensive, but the key phrase I want to cite is this one:

Item donum dantis est, a dando vel donando, munus accipientis, a manibus vel muniendo vel monendo.

Here is my English translation.

Likewise, the gift {donum} belongs to the one giving, by giving and/or donating, the munus belongs to the one accepting, by being munerated and/or being warned by hand.

The implications of this explanation are astounding.

What Uguccione is saying is that a thing is called a gift (donum) when one is speaking about the giver giving it. But it is called a “munus” when one is speaking about the one receiving it.

But Pope Benedict XVI speaks of renouncing the “ministerium” which he received through the hands of the Cardinals. He does not say the “munus” which he received through their hands. If he was talking about the Papal Office, he could have used donum or munus, to refer either to the Cardinals giving it to him or him receiving it from them. But he did not. He spoke of the ministerium.

This means that he intentionally avoided the equation of “munus” and “ministerium” as the total object of his renunciation, by not naming the Papal Office as the thing he received from the Cardinals. By saying, instead, the “ministerium which I received” he was removing the Petrine Munus from any context in which it could be understood to be that which he was renouncing.

in other words, by connecting the ministry with the concept of being received, he syntactically removed the petrine munus from the equation, since by its very definition the word “munus” refers to the gift received and accepted, and if he intended to renounce it he would had used it in the phrase regarding receiving.

This means, that Pope Benedict XVI DID NOT intend to signify the Papal Office or “munus”, which he understood to have received AS A GIFT from Someone Else, namely Jesus Christ, when he spoke of the “ministerium” he was renouncing.

This he never rejected nor renounced the Petrine Munus. And this is consonant with Pope Benedict XVI’s insistance that he never renounced his verantwortung, which is the correct and precise German translation of “munus”.

Therefore he remained pope until death.

This citation from Uguccione adds to the rationale whereby the Declaratio cannot be authentically interpreted by anyone as signifying a Papal Abdication.

This is fortified by what Uguccione says about “ministerium”, as cited here:

Minor componitur cum sterion, quod est statio, et dicitur hic minister, quasi minor in statione; vel minister dicitur quia offìcium debitum manibus exequatur; [11] et hinc hec ministra et minister -a -um et ministerculus -a -um diminutivum, et ministralis -le et hoc ministerium, servitium, offìcium ministri; [12] unde hic et hec ministerialis -le et per sincoparti hoc misterium, vel potius derivabitur postea a mistis. [13] Item a minister ministro -as, et componitur administro -as, comministro, subministro: a ministrante obsequium redditur, a subministrante subsidium prerogatur; et est activum cum omnibus suis compositis.

Which in English is:

Minor is composed with -sterion, which is station, and here one says minister, as if one lesser in station; or minister and ministerculus the diminutive, and ministral and this is a ministry, service and office of a minister; whence this and that ministerial and through syncopation this is mysterium, and/or rather will be derived afterwards from “a priest of the mysteries” (mystes). LIkewise from “to minister” minister, and this is compounded as “to administer”, “to co-minister”, “to sub-minister”: by the one ministering there is rendered a due-service, from the one subministering, there is granted a subsidy; and it is an active verb with all its compounds.

From this definition of “ministerium”, it is therefore clear that the ministry refers to what is the service rendered as a duty of the office, not the office itself. Thus by renouncing the “ministry which I received from the hands of the Cardinals”, Pope Benedict XVI literally and explicitly resigned from active service, while not renouncing the gift he had received from Christ.

All of this responds to the shock and consternation of thousands of Catholics in February 2013, when they came to know that Pope Benedict XVI had “renounced the ministry which I received through the hands of the Cardinals”, since every Catholic knows that the Papal Office is received from Jesus Christ, not from the Cardinals. Their consternation and shock was founded on their being deceived into thinking that Pope Benedict had abdicated, when he clearly only went into retirement. For retirement means keeping the dignity of an office while laying aside its duties. But since the dignity of an office remains only with the office, that he retained the dignity of the Papal office means simply and plainly that he never resigned it. Also, that the Church recognized that he retained it till death is the universal acceptance that he never abdicated, regardless of how many gaslighting liars want you to believe otherwise.

These laws and facts are pertinent even unto today, because they mean that the Dicastery which excommunicated Viganò has no authority to judge him, because it was not created by a man holding the Petrine Munus, since Pope Francis received nothing on March 13, 2013, but was a usurper and anti-pope right up to the final moments of Pope Benedict XVI’s mortal life. It also means that the canons cited in the trial and sentence against Viganò are non existent, because they were never promulgated by John Paul II nor Benedict XVI.

Finally, all this confirms that the Catholic  Church is founded upon the Eternal Word, and can only be saved in the present age by attending to His Words and the words of His true Vicars on earth, in Declarations and Canon Law. Everyone doing something else is an enemy of the Eternal and temporal words by which the Church must always be governed.

In conclusion, let us pray for all the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of the Catholic Church, because we are living in an age where there is widespread and profound incompetence among the Sacred Hierarchy, not only as regards morality or academics, but even the laws of Holy Mother Church, and until the light of humility convinces them of their own incompetence in these matters, they will never come to know the truth by which alone the Church can be saved from all present crises and troubles.

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10 thoughts on “Pope Benedict XVI never abdicated and he told us as much”

  1. Accipicchia,Frà Alexis. Insuperabile.Sei la prova umana vivente che quando Fede e Ragione si compenetrano profondamente, quasi a divenire una sola cosa, la Verità sboccia da sola…puff! Grazie, Frà.

  2. Solid scholarship and presentation. I have been blessed to have learned much from you.

    I was unable to find an email address at which I might send you a private letter. If I might prevail on you to contact me at the email address registered with this comment, I would be very grateful.

    George

  3. The profundity of your writing on this most important of all topics is a gift from the Lord.

    If we all hold fast to your words, the narrow road leading to eternal life is there before us. One step at a time.

    You remain in my daily prayers.
    Mille grazie, Br. Alexis!!

  4. Thankyou Brother Alexis for this precise, scholarly and sublime explanation which is the perfect antidote for, and response to, all those corrupt & devious “gaslighting liars” in the Church’s hierarchy & priesthood, and the equally detestable hordes of lay-led ‘catholic’ apostolates who have continually lied & deceived their readers/viewers over the past 11 years either deliberately or ignorantly.

    I was humbled & privilged to be able to contribute financially towards the huge expenses that you incurred in arranging for the valid election of Pope Francis on 30th January 2023. Initially, it did seem that his actions & utterances were in line with Catholic teaching & tradition but, after a few short months, the absurdities, errors & heresies ‘kicked in’ again……
    I would be very surprised if PF’s increasingly frail health permits him to survive much longer…at which point his immortal soul will pass into Eternity in the place which GOD has decided is most appropriate……

    Christus vincit;
    Christus regnat;
    Christus imperat.

  5. If “the munus belongs to the one accepting”, as you stated above, I have this question: did Bergoglio actually accept the ‘donum’ assigned to him by the Assembly of the Faithful of Rome? My understanding is this: if he did (and he was an eligible recipient) he got the munus, otherwise the ‘donum’ just slipped away from him without turning into a ‘munus’. Right?

    1. In the election of a Roman Pontiff by Apostolic Right, since St. Peter never established the rules for the election by the Church of Rome nor the criteria for acceptance, natural law prevails, whereby tacit consent, that is, wanting to be the pope, was sufficient. That is why the Assembly never informed him, because he was already acting as the pope. So in March 2013 he had not the munus, but as of January 30th 2023 he had it. But that does not mean he cannot lose it out of apostasy or personal heresy or schism; however unless he renounces it or his election or the Church judges he has lost his munus, we can only say, if he acts like an apostate, heretic or schismatic, that he should be asked to resign, or judged by a provincial council to have lost the office and that until such is done the Apostolic See would be impeded.

      I have explained this many many times. If you are asking, its only because you have never read FromRome’s many articles about this. So I wont explain it more.

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