Category Archives: Canon Law

Br. Bugnolo: The sacking of Strickland is an act of Schism with the Catholic Church

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


Even a pope is automatically excommunciated if he commits the crime of ecclesiastical schism, which consists in refusing communion with members of the Church.

This crime is even greater, when a pope refuses communion with a legitimate and Catholic member of the hierarchy.

But sacking a Bishop without cause and for no crime other than being a Catholic is the worst crime of refusing communion.

Therefore, the act whereby Pope Francis attempted to sack Bishop Strickland of Texas is an act of schism, which has ipso facto merited Pope Francis the penalty of excommunication leveled in Canon 1364.

This means that Catholics in good conscience can refuse all commands and orders of Pope Francis and priests can refuse to mention his name in the Canon.

However, only a provincial or general Council of the Church can declare that Pope Francis has lost his office or is no longer a member of the Church.

Therefore, it becomes the grave duty of all who recognize this as an act of schism, to join the Sutri Initiative and insist on a Provincial Council to judge the crime.

CREDITS: A Photo of Br. Bugnolo visiting the Castle of Tolfa, in the Suburbican Diocese of Porto Santa Rufina, outside Rome, this October.

It’s now Open Civil War in the Catholic Church



The movement is called the Sutri Movement. You can read more about it here.

It consists in a letter writing campaign to the Catholic Bishops in Lazio, Italy, who have the canonical right to depose a claimant to the papacy if he be found to be a heretic, schismatic, apostate or invalidly elected.

Other efforts will include lobbying them to heed the letters received. Catholics have begun this letter writing campaign back on Oct. 20, 2023. If we can get thousands of letters via email or surface mail sent to each bishop, they will see how important it is for them to act.

If you would like to contribute to the Sutri Fund, to lobby the Bishops of the Catholic Church to depose Bergoglio, donate below. For more about the Sutri Initiative, see here.

This fund will be administered by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, author of the initiative. See his other writings about this here. These funds are being collected by the Massachusetts non-profit, Save Old St. Mary’s inc., which sponsors brother’s apostolic works for the Church.


The above video can also be seen and shared from Youtube:

UPDATE: Canon Peters says Pope Francis has no canonical authority to remove Bishop Strickland without cause:

UPDATE: Cardinal Mueller: the sacking of Strickland is an abuse of divine right:

Impediments to Marriage: Feminism

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There are various facts and problems which can prevent the Sacrament of Matrimony from taking effect and thus rendering it null and void, illicit, or fruitless in the order of grace.

But the Sacrament of Matrimony is the most important for maintaining the Christian social order, since the Family is the fundamental unit of human and christian society.

For this reason, when considering marriage a Catholic man or woman, or any near relation to the couple, should take care to assess the real viability of a future marriage.

In the English speaking world, among Catholics, the proper term for Christian marriage is “Matrimony”. This term should be used instead of “marriage” so as to distinguish the sacramental bond from the civil or natural bond, which is known as “marriage” or in Latin, “connubium”.

Before, I discuss the problems which can be caused by Femisim, in Matrimony, let’s first review what the Sacrament of Matrimony is, and how it can come about that it be invalid or illicit because of some defect in the spouses.

Matrimony according to Church teaching is the union in a stable promise of indissolubility of one man and one women, both of whom are baptized before receiving the Sacrament.

The Sacrament can be conferred upon a Catholic and his or her spouse who has promised solemnly to be baptized in the future. In this case, the ritual of Matrimony effects the connubium or marriage, but the Sacramental reality only comes into being at the Baptism of the other spouse. The Church has the authority to confer the Sacrament in such rare cases, when She judges that the one promising to be baptized needs to know the Catechism better before receiving that Sacrament, and yet, so as to avoid sin, judges also that the couple should be joined in marriage as soon as possible.

But without such a promise on the part of the unbaptised spouse, such a marriage is not Matrimony and no Sacramental bond is effected by the marriage in the Church.

The Sacrament of Matrimony has Christ as its author, and the matrimonial bond cannot be dissolved by any authority on Earth. Marriage, as a natural bond, also has God our Creator as author, but God has in past times give His earthly representatives power to dissolve is, such as Moses decreed in cases of divorce.

For this reason, Catholics should never speak of “divorce” in cases of the Matrimonial Bond, because such is a contradiction in terms. Christian Matrimony is something entirely different in its nature of permanence than any form of marriage in the Old Testament.

Matrimony is monogamous, by the Divine Will. But Marriage as is clear in the Old Testament was compatible with polygamy. This must be kept in mind to avoid arguments and excuses drawn from the Old Testament against the indissolubility of Matrimony.

The Sacrament of Marriage comes into being, or is confected, when one Catholic man promises publicly to one Catholic women to live with her in Christian matrimony for life, according to the teaching of the Church. The traditional formulae for the vows of matrimony signified this. Altering them in any manner can make the Sacrament invalid, and thus should never be done.

All unmarried Catholics, who are not prohibited by the law or by vows, can validly and licitly receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.

In the Code of Canon Law of 1983, there was a fundamental change of allowing the Sacrament to be conferred in cases wherein one spouse was a Christian but not a Catholic. Before this, such marriages were considered in valid. This new disposition of the law however presumes that the Christian non-Catholic accept the Catholic notion of matrimony. Otherwise the matrimony would be invalid.

This is true also of a matrimony among two Catholics. Both must honestly and sincerely accept the Catholic notion of marriage and promise such to the other person. If any one of them fail in this, the Sacrament is not confected and the ceremony effects no sacramental bond. Marriage is not a one way street. And when objective evidence as discerned by the Church shows that one party never had the right intention, the other party should not allow scruples, such as, “I promised” to lead them to think the Matrimony was valid.

The Sacrament is presumed valid, before the consideration of any doubt, according to the juridical principles that the cessation of right is never presumed. For the same reason that Pope Benedict XVI is presumed to have remained the pope after his resignation, by reason of the fact that he never renounced the petrine munus, that is, because the cessation of right is never presumed.

There are two kinds of problems which can make a Matrimony invalid, even if the civil marriage is valid.

These are called diriment impediments, which is derived from the Latin for “destructive impeding things”.

Such impediments are as follows:

  1. If the man be younger than 16 years of age, or the woman younger than 14 years of age (local Bishops can require higher ages, according to local customs).
  2. Incapacity on the part of any one or both of the spouses to engage in the physical act of reproduction. (Not to be confused with biological sterility).
  3. If any one of the spouses was previously joined in the Sacrament of Matrimony to another, even if that marriage was not consummated.
  4. If one or the other spouses has not been baptized in any Christian Church.
  5. The man has received the Sacred Order of the Episcopacy, Priesthood or Diaconate.
  6. Any one of the spouses has made a public vow of chastity in a religious institute.
  7. If they woman was kidnapped with the scope of forcing a marriage.
  8. If one spouse has murdered the previous spouse of the other.
  9. If one spouse is the brother/sister, niece/nephew, uncle/aunt, parent of the other; or if one spouse is related within the 4th degree to the other.
  10. If one spouse is or was ever the guardian or adopter or godparent of the other.

Matrimony can be invalid also due to lack of proper consent, or intentions:

  1. If one or both of the spouses lack the capacity or maturity to make a promise or receive a promise.
  2. If one or both of the spouses is psychologically incapable of the responsibility of marriage.
  3. If one or both of the spouses do not accept that the Sacrament of Matrimony is indissoluble, that is, is for life and can never be dissolved by a divorce effected for any reason by any human authority.
  4. If one spouse presents himself or herself under fraudulent claims as to name, social status, wealth, or physical capacity, such as claiming one is not sterile, when one knows oneself to be sterile.

It is for these last reasons, that we can see that if one or both of the spouses accept the erroneous ideology of Feminism, that the Sacrament would be invalid, because by such an ideology, they would reject the proper role and responsibility of a woman, wife and mother in the marriage, and thus be psychologically incapable by bad will of the responsibility of marriage.

Such a rejection of the Sacrament can seem very innocuous. It can present itself under the false pretext of the “right” of the woman to pursue a career, and thus postpone or forego motherhood — a thing which cannot be obtained without tacit consent to contraception or grossly perverse forms of copulation. Or the “right” of the woman that the man in the house share the roles of motherhood or housekeeping etc., which results in the perverse social psychological formation of the children, resulting in lesbianism or homosexuality among the children. Or the “right” of the woman to refuse her husbands advances, in private, when they are in accord with nature, which would deprive both of them of the abundance of Children which God has willed from all eternity to give them in Matrimony and to promote the bond of marriage.

For these reasons, a Catholic man should not ignore any manifestation of feminism in a future spouse and the parents of both spouses should be sincere about this matter with both parties, and do what they can to correct the problem or counsel against the marriage beforehand.

The teaching of Scripture is clear and definitive: God created women to be helpers of men. A Catholic woman considering Matrimony should accept that just as the man exists to serve God and neighbor, so she exists to serve her man and her family. If she rejects this notion of womanhood, it is better for everyone that she not enter into a marriage.

Why Archbishop Viganò is smarter than Michael Matt

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

French Translation

Earlier this month, Michael Matt, the editor of The Remnant and a descendant from what appears to be a Frankist Jew, on his mother’s side, who began the family’s tradition of printing Catholic news information, won international notoriety by squelching the video of Archbishop Viganò at the former’s Catholic Identity Conference, even though he has sold the conference on the promise of an exclusive interview with the famed Vatican monsignor.

FromRome.Info reported on that here.

The substance of the Archbishop’s talk, however, was lost in the news cycle, and therefore, because it is important and impinges on the canonical questions regarding the validity of the papacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a.k.a. Pope Francis, I want to take it up in this essay.

The thesis of the Archbishop touches on the principal of acceptance of a canonical or juridically valid election.

And the Archbishop’s thesis is that a man who intends to destroy the Church or who has a heretical intention in wanting to be the Pope, cannot validly consent to accepting the office. He calls this the vitium consensus, or the vice in the act of consent.

Matt squelched the talk because he insists that those who participated in the conference did not want or deserve to have their reputations smeared with the accusation of sedevacantism.

But this argument of Michael Matt is absurd on the face of it. Sedevacantism is the ideology that there is no pope, no matter what the evidence is; but the argument of the Archbishop is a profound one, namely, that inasmuch as being the pope requires a man to receive the Mandate given St. Peter, it is impossible for a heretic to do this, since he has no relationship with Jesus Christ and thus no intention to do so, even if he says yes.

That “yes” then is a deception.

I have briefly commented on this before, saying, while the argument is a good one theologically or morally, it is canonically a difficult solution. This is because, being a baptised, confirmed Catholic, consecrated a Bishop and lawfully nominated as a Cardinal, in law he must be presumed to have consented validly to be the pope, when asked, and when responding, “Yes”.

As I pointed out in my satirical article about the Cardinal from Guadalajara, Spain, here, presumption has its limits. But presuming yes, when someone says yes, is clearly within the ordinary limits.

So from a juridical point of view, it is impossible to prove the case advanced by the Archbishop against Bergoglio. He could sufficiently remain silent and the presumption of the law would be that he validly consented.

But I think that the thesis of Viganò, however, is not to be lightly cast aside, because it does have its place where juridical right is determined by theological discernment. That is, where rights come into being and are extinguished by the authority Christ gave to the Church, under the guide of the Holy Spirit, to judge all things in the light of God.

And that place is a juridically valid Council of Bishops, whether universal or particular, that is, whether in a General Council of the whole Church, or in a Provincial Council of an ecclesiastical province.

Because there, what a man has done and said can be judged. And this judgement can regard whether these acts constitute heresy, apostasy or schism, whereupon if they be judge there to attain to this, the person who is presumed to consent, can be discerned in a juridically valid manner never to have consented and/or in a juridically valid manner to no longer so consent.

In the case of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, if it can be proven, for example, that he became a member of the Masonic Lodge before 1983 he fell under excommunication in the old Code of 1917 for that, and such a council could judge him to be invalidly nominated a Cardinal and invalidly elected and incapable of validly consenting to be the pope. Likewise if he joined after 1983, when the new Code of Canon Law, without this penalty, was approved, on the grounds that he was incapable of validly consenting inasmuch as he holds heretical views or is an apostate in virtue of the Masonic creed.

And that is why the thesis of the Archbishop must be considered in a Provincial Council of the kind proposed in the Sutri Initiative.

So the Archbishop is far smarter than Michael Matt. He is also more of a gentleman and cares more for the whole Church and the salvation of souls than others do of their own reputations.

Michael Matt is a graduate of Christendom College, an institution founded by 3 CIA agents. That Bergoglio was put into power by the CIA under the auspices of Hilary Clinton can be discerned when reading his homilies, which channel Barack Obama 99% on the same issues, such as globalism, immigration, poverty, discrimination, etc..

The Sutri Initiative: to put an end to the Heresies, Blasphemies, Scandals perpetrated by Pope Francis


By Br. Alexis Bugnolo


Yesterday, I explained from Sutri, Italy, (here) how the First Provincial Council or Synod of Sutri put an end to the horrible chaos of the Roman Church in 1046, when 3 different men claimed the office of the Pope: one a predatory sodomite, another an outright usurper, and still another a flagrant simoniac.

Today, I ask all the faithful in the whole world to please listen to a voice of sanity: to do what the Faithful of the 11th century did and call for a Provincial Council to be held once again, to put an end to the years of scandals, blasphemies, heresies and schism, not to mention persecutions, perpetrated and promoted by Jorge Mario Bergoglio who claims to hold the office of the Roman Pontiff.

The Stutri Initiative is the only juridical and real solution to put an end to the crisis in the Roman Church since it addresses the problem directly and in a canonical valid and facile manner.

But to achieve the convocation of such a Council, we the faithful must make our voices heard, and petition the Bishops of the Roman Province to convoke it.

These Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops belong to the following 20 juridictions. By clicking on the links below you can find the addresses of the Bishop or Auxiliary Bishops. I urge you to write them all, individually, a personal letter.

Roma {Rome}: Albano (Suburbicarian See), Anagni-Alatri, Civita Castellana, Civitavecchia-Tarquinia, Frascati (Suburbicarian See), Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, Gaeta (Archdiocese), Latina-Terracina-Sezze-Priverno, Montecassino (Territorial Abbey), Ostia (Suburbicarian See), Palestrina (Suburbicarian See), Porto-Santa Rufina (Suburbicarian See), Rieti (-S. Salvatore Maggiore), Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (Suburbicarian See), Subiaco (Territorial Abbey), Tivoli, Velletri-Segni (Suburbicarian See), Viterbo

Proposed Letter

We can do this by writing letters or speaking in person. But in this we can act in two different ways: one by listing all the errors, heresies, blasphemies and persecutions perpetrated by Jorge Mario Bergoglio during the years he has claimed the Papacy; or we can enlighten the Bishops as to the correct canonical way of proceeding, most of whom perhaps have no clear idea.

This second aspect of the problem is the most crucial since it is the one which is less patent.

And thus, in the Sutri Initiative, I urge you that to make your letter effective, you should see to it, that it contain the correct canonical justification and argumentation.

I present a proposed text, which you can address to each bishop and sign with your full name and address. You can write in Italian, French or English, or if you write in another language, please include a translation of your letter in one of these 3 languages.

Proposed text:

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you in accord with my rights in Canon 212, §2, to demand an end be put to the scandals, heresies, blasphemies and doctrinal and moral confusion being promoted by Pope Francis and those appointed by him in the Roman Curia, on the grounds that this is causing the loss of tens of millions of souls who are thus put in the gravest spiritual danger, confusion and disorientation by the constant affirmation of things which are contrary to Divine Revelation, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition, Catholic Doctrine and the defined dogmas of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I.

Thus, in accord with canon 1752, which affirms that the salvation of souls is the greatest good and highest end of all juridical ordinance in the Church of Jesus Christ, I beg you to recognize that by the continuous grave scandals perpetrated by Jorge Mario Bergoglio the Apostolic See has been put into a state of impediment, since millions of Catholics cannot reconcile his pertinacious errors and heresies as compatible with being a member of the Catholic Church, without which quality he cannot be a legitimate holder of the Petrine Munus or claimant to the Apostolic Dignity

Therefore, since according to Canon 440 ff., the Provincial Council in the Ecclesiastical Province of Rome is empowered to judge and discern all questions which regard the common good of the Church, and since the positive doubt as to the Catholicity of a claimant to the Apostolic See makes it impossible for the Church in good conscience to remain in communication with a doubtful claimant, because a papa dubius papa nullius est, it becomes your grave duty before the Living God and the entire Church, to urge the convening of such a Provincial Council according to the right expressed in canon 440 §1.

Such a Council can be legitimately convoked according to the norm of canon 442 §2, because a positive doubt regarding the claim of a man to the office of the Roman Pontiff creates such a conflict of interests that he cannot legitimately forestall its convocation nor has he a right to so long as he persists in grave moral and doctrinal errors, as this man done for years in the judgement of millions of souls. The state of impediment exists as a fact on account of his failure to recant his public errors, the list of which grows weekly.

I therefore demand that for the salvation of souls, the removal of all scandal, and to obtain the possible grace of the conversion of the man, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, from his errant ways, that such a Council be convoked according to the norm of canons 443 and 444, and that it exercise its plenary authority in accord with canon 445, by pronouncing whether the man who claims the office of the Papacy rejects the Catholic Faith, has broken from communion with the Church, or is an apostate and idolater. Let the man accused be summoned to explain himself. Let the Council Fathers question him on matters of Catholic Faith and Morals; let his public scandals be listed for him to hear. Let him be recalled to the Catholic Faith, right morals and a sane pastoral care of the faithful. Let it be demanded that he recant his errors and if he does, let him be begged and counseled to withdraw his ruinous decrees. If he refuse rebuke, let him be pronounced as being guilty of one or more of the crimes punished with latae sententiae excommunication in  Canon 1364 and let the Council declare that the See of Peter be legitimately vacant.

The Provincial Council of Rome rebuked Pope Marcellinus for his act of public idolatry of the Roman god, Mars and the Provincial Council held at Sutri in 1046 deposed three unworthy claimants to the Apostolic Throne, for their gross immorality and unlawful claim: Benedict IX, Sylvester III and Gregory VI.

It is your duty before the living God to see to the salvation of souls. The Provincial Council in the Ecclesiastical Province of Rome has the authority in law and by precedent to act in this way. More than a billion souls hang in the balance.

Have fear of the Living God for what will be your judgment if you do not heed such a reasonable, juridically valid and honest solution to the greatest crisis in the history of the Papacy. And trust like Saint Paul the Apostle trusted, when he went to Antioch to rebuke St Peter to his face, for not holding to the decrees of the First Council of Jerusalem.

For if you believe the man to be Peter still, you must trust the Holy Spirit will lead him back to a Catholic state of mind; and if you do not believe him to be Peter still, you have the solemn duty to take action to declare the Apostolic See legitimately vacant.



CREDITS: Br. Bugnolo pauses a moment in the Upper Garden of the Farnese Palace, at Caprarola (VT), as he ponders how to save Holy Mother Church.

The Provincial Council of Sutri, Dec. 20-23, 1046 A.D., and It’s importance for the Church of Today (Video)

Editor’s Note: Tomorrow I will launch the Sutri Initiative. But as a preparation, here is my first video made at Sutri, Italy, recounting the remarkable and historic events which took place here in 1046, and its importance for resolving the crisis in which the Church of Rome finds Herself now.

This video is also available on YouTube here: gives permission to all to translate, transcribe and publish other language versions of this video.

Br. Bugnolo’s other articles on Sutri and Provincial Councils can be found here and here.

VATICAN: Pope Francis issues Motu Proprio to curb Opus Dei’s influence in Dioceses

Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Pope Francis has made a strong and forceful move against the entire work of Opus Dei, by quitely issuing a Motu Proprio on Wednesday of this week, and declaring it to go into effect immediately.

The news is being glossed over across the web, so it is important the I speak to that directly.

Click the image to the right to find out Zenit News has spun the story.

It has long been wondered who controls Zenit. Now you know.

Now look how Catholic News Service has spun the same story, below:

There is an old saying, “Thou doest protest too much!”, which based on the line from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Act III, spoken by Queen Gertrude: where one vociferously affirms something excessively so as not to be believed by the cogent observer. — Can we expect Pope Francis to encounter stronger opposition from Opus Dei? — Methinks so.

Pope Francis by his apostolic authority just changed the Code of Canon Law. This means his decision will have lasting effect for decades. And we should all pay attention.

Note, that this Motu Proprio is the first canonical act of Pope Francis’ papacy to modify the Code of Canon Law, as far as I know.* The text is already available in Italian, here:

Commentary on the Alterations of Canons 295 and 296

On account of the historic nature of this act, I will provide a commentary.

First, this is not the first juridical act of Pope Francis’ authentic Papacy, since his juridically valid election on January 30 of this year. He has issued a number (9) of Motu Poprios on various juridical themes, especially on the reform of the Penal Code.

So, Wednesday’s Motu Proprio is minor in comparison, but it will impact directly Opus Dei since it regards the canons on Personal Prelatures.

The Motu Proprio is textually a very dry document, evidently written by canonists, as it contains no theological explanation or reason for its promulgation.


The first canon which it alters is canon 295 §1. Here is the text of the new and old canons, and my English translation of each:

OLD CANON 295 §1:

Prelatura personalis regitur statuis ab Apostolica Sede conditis, eique praeficitur Prelatus ut Ordinarius proprius, cui ius st nationale vel internationale seminarium erigere necnon alumnos incardinare, eosque titolo serviti praelaturae ad ordines promovere.

NEW CANON 295 §1 — With Changes in Bold Face

Praelatura personalis, quae consociationibus publicis clericalibus iuris pontificii cum facultate incardinandi clericos assimilatur, regitur statutis ab Apostolica Sede probatis vel emanatis eique praeficitur Praelatus veluti Moderator, facultatibus Ordinarii praeditus, cui ius est nationale vel internationale seminarium erigere necnon alumnos incardinare, eosque titulo servitii praelaturae ad ordines promovere.


OLD CANON 295 §1

A personal prelature is ruled by statutes established by the Apostolic See, and is presided over by a Prelate as its own Ordinary, whose right it is to erect a national and-or international seminary and also to incardinate its students, and promote them to orders by a title of service to the prelature.

NEW CANON 295 §1

A personal prelature, which is likened to public clerical co-associations of pontifical right, having the faculty to incardinate clerics, is ruled by statutes approved and/or emanating from the Apostolic See and is presided over by a Prelate as if its Moderator, endowed with the faculties of an Ordinary, whose right it is to erect a national and/or international seminary and also to incardinate its students, and promote them to orders by a title of service to the prelature.

As regards Canon 295 §2,


Praelatus prospicere debet sive spirituali institutioni illorum, quos titulo praedicto promoverit, sive eorundem decorae sustentationi.


Utpote Moderator facultatibus Ordinarii praeditus, Praelatus prospicere debet sive spirituali institutioni illorum, quos titulo praedicto promoverit, sive eorundem decorae sustentationi.


Inasmuch as a Moderator endowed with the faculties of an Ordinary, the Prelate ought to look after both the spiritual instruction and the due support, of those whom he has promoted by the aforesaid title.

My Remarks on changes to Canon 295 §1 §2

Pope Francis has made a major change in the legal status of all personal prelatures by defining what they are and making clear that they are only the likenesses of other canonically erected priestly associations, which have the right to erect their own seminaries and incardinate their members.

This is a big blow to Opus Dei, since it has put them on a juridical plane which will or would be inferior to the Society of St. Pius X, if they are reconciled eventually to the Church, since they will apply as a priestly fraternity.

The emphasis Pope Francis has placed with the words, “likened” and “as if”,  and “inasmuch as” shows clearly that he considers personal prelatures transitory juridical entities which must be subordinated to all other groups in the Church, from Dioceses to the smallest kind of public associations.

He has also explicitly denied that they have an Ordinary in the proper sense, by conceded that their Moderator has the faculties of a Bishop, but not episcopal dignity per se.

From the changes to this one Canon, I forsee that the next moderator of Opus Dei will not be allowed to be a Bishop.

I will also remark that the text of the Motu Proprio seems to have been redacted by an English speaker, who has imposed upon the Latin text a style of capitalization not found either in the Code nor in Latin.



Conventionibus cum praelatura initis, laici operibus apostolicis praeflaturae personalis sese dedicare possunt; modus vero huius organicae coopeationis atque praecipua officia et iura cum illa coniuncta in statutis apte determinentur.


Servatis can. 107 praescriptis, conventionibus cum praelatura initis, laici operibus apostolicis praelaturae personalis sese dedicare possunt; modus vero huius organicae cooperationis atque praecipua officia et iura cum illa coniuncta in statutis apte determinentur.


Having observed the prescriptions of canon 107, according to those conventions initiated with the prelature, laymen can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of the prelature; however, the manner of this organic cooperation as well as its chief offices and the rights conjoined to them, are to be aptly determined in their statutes.

My remarks on changes to Canon 296

By the reference to Canon 107, which specifies that all laypeople are subject to the pastor of the local parish and to the bishop of the local diocese or apostolic administration, Pope Francis has struck a mortal blow to the independence of apostolic activities of all Opus Dei lay members throughout the world.

They now must have the consent and approval of their local pastors, whether the pastor of the parish in which they reside or have a permanent or temporary domicile, as well as the Ordinaries of the dioceses in those places.


It appears that decades of complaints by local Bishops against the abusive intrusion of Opus Dei have at last been heard. Opus Dei has been demoted from an entity superior to every other, to the least of all of those in the Church, and their lay members have been placed under the spiritual care and authority of the local pastors of the Church, constituted in accord with Apostolic Tradition.

Finally, reflecting on these changes, it seems to me that the recent remarks of Pope Francis against clergy and seminarians who go into the parishes to teach ideology, may have been directed directly at Opus Dei, and not at their rivals, the Traditionalists, against whom nearly all news sources framed that interview. Indeed, by issuing a Motu Proprio which goes into effect immediately, he has apparently acted in such a way as to prevent a counter wave of lobbying against this move.

And this might shock my readers, but I can at last say, that I totally agree with at least one juridical act of Pope Francis. He has done the right thing and in a way which is both charitable and decisive. He has applied the proper cure, without rehashing all the dirty laundry. — I nevertheless pray that all who have been injured by Opus Dei in any way bring their complaints even more forcefully to the public pervue, so that the entire Church might see how right this move was.

** The reform of the Penal Section of the Code in April of this year, was ideated throughout his antipapacy. It’s promulgation during his authentic pontificate had little or no effect on its composition, so there is a strong argument that its promulgation lacked due consent of the office holder.

The anti-Church is an alternate Church with an alternate canonical reality

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


For more than 10 years we have been fed with an alternate reality from a group of Catholics who want an alternate Church. And it has been very difficulty for many Catholics, who discern truth, not on the basis of objective criteria, but on the basis of the majority of bits of information they receive, to discern who is right and who is wrong.

It’s like a classroom in a public school run by radical cultural marxists, where, in the class on Mathematics, when the teacher writes 2+3 = ?, she does not tell the class the answer, or ask them to calculate the correct answer, but instead says, “Let’s take a poll: who thinks the answer is 4, and who thinks the answer is 6?” To determine the truth of the question.

The only problem is, in such a chaotic classroom, the true answer is not allowed to be uttered. Everyone must live in the alternate reality and follow the alternate mathematics.

This is the ultimate phase of the dictatorship of relativism condemned by Pope Benedict XVI. And you cannot claim to be a true Catholic if you refuse to avoid this error.

But to avoid the dictatorship of relativism, you have to do something truly radical, rational, and traditional: you have to return to the ancient definition of truth, “which is the conformity of the mind with reality,” not with what others want that reality to appear to be.

This is why social media, and indeed all electronic media, are very unreliable sources of information to make true decisions, simply because there is too great a capacity granted to those who control the media and the content to claim that the reality is other than it is. And this is social media’s most potent power to control you: disinformation.

A case example of the Alternate Church with its Alternate Canonical reality

To help one understand this better, let’s take a look at a real case: the claim being made by Cardinal Roche, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, regarding the canonical value of his personal agenda of talking points, which he is now claiming is a rescript.

Here, I will cite for your the editorial on this topic by Michael Sean Winters, in the National Catholic Reporter, one of the most left-wing publications in the United States, which voices neither national opinions, not Catholic beliefs, nor presents reporting, other than planned propagandistic talking points of Freemasonry.

What is most striking about his editorial is that on the principle points of the facts he claims exist, he is in perfect agreement with all the Traditionalist social media influencers.

How can that be?

Well apart from objective facts, that is, the claims made by Cardinal Roche, they are both reading from the same alternate Canon Law, and thus are in agreement with the notions of the alternate Church.

Let’s examine these one by one, to see on what basis this alternate Church is claimed to exist and what are its fundamental doctrines, so that we can understand why on earth it is, that Traditionalist social media influencers are on-board, when they should be doing the exact opposite.

The Pope is not whom Canon Law says is pope, but rather is he whom the MSM says is pope

We have seen this already for 10 years. It has to do with the Declaratio of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013. According to the norm of Canon Law, it was an administrative decision based on the authority granted the person who is the pope in Canon 333 §2, whereby he is free to exercise the Petrine Ministry in any way he thinks best. But it was announced to the world, rather, as an act of Canon 332 §2, whereby the man who is the pope renounces the Papacy and abdicates.

This is where the true Church of Christ separates from the alternate Church. Here at FromRome.Info, we have by study, analysis and investigation shown how this error was propagated and just what it means (here and here).

As regards the present claims of Cardinal Roche, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Congregation for Divine Worship, the true canonical reality has immediate effects. The first of which is that he was not the head of the Congregation of Divine Worship from Feb. 28, 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI renounces his ministry and effectively suspended all canonical functions of the entire Roman Curia, until January 30, 2023, when the faithful of the Church of Rome elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope.  Thus, Cardinal Roche has no authority to make any reference to any meeting he had with Pope Francis prior to Jan. 30th. And since his “rescript” claims that, it is ipso facto invalid in virtue of canon 63 §2, which declares all rescripts to have no force of law if they contain a falsehood.

The same results by Cardinal Roche’s reference to Traditionis Custodes, which is a non existent document.  I say, “non-existent” in the canonical sense, since Jorge Mario Bergoglio had no authority to issue it since at that time he did not hold the petrine munus, which Pope Benedict XVI never renounced in life.

The Church must conform Herself to the Masonic Agenda, not to Tradition

Returning to the article in the NCR, it is patently absurd that the Cardinal claims that two world wars necessitated Church reform, especially of the liturgy.  This is some sort of Masonic dribble, because the Church has had the same liturgy throughout 2000 years of wars and the most tremendous cultural and economic changes, world wide. What the Cardinal seems to be saying, rather, is that the stunning success of the Pilgrim Society to destroy Christendom in Europe must now be followed up by the total eradication of the traditions of Catholic worship in the Church.

This is an alternate view of reality for an alternate Church.

Obedience must be shown to non-existent documents made more restrictive by non-existent rescripts

And thus, Winters in his editorial accuses the Bishops in the United States of arrogating the right to ignore the non-existent document of a non-pope.  Here we find ourselves in the analogous position of a mental asylum arguing with a patient who claims to be Napoleon Bonaparte, and who insists that the Napoleonic Code is not being observed by the janitor in the cleaning of the toilets with the brush in the right hand rather than in the left, as he himself decreed just last week!

I have already mentioned, here, that it is not even a question of understanding the rescript as invalid in virtue of canon 63, as I stated above, since a rescript by its very nature is a favor granted by a superior, not a juridical act whereby a non-existent law is made more restrictive by an inferior who claims his superior approved his self-signed crib-notes for the meeting.

We are in full-blow alternate reality here.

Juridical acts of the Roman Pontiff are issued only by the Roman Pontiff, in written form, signed by 2 bishop witnesses. No mere curial official can take away the canonical rights of anyone, not even by whim or fraud.

Yet the traditionalist social media influences don’t even suspect the alternate reality as alternate. For them, as well as the leftist NCR, their alternate is the only reality. And. Don’t. You. Dare. Claim. Otherwise.

They are like the other patient at the asylum, who claims to be Josephine, the wife of Napoleon, and who barks in unison with him, in all his madness.

Christ, however, by His High Priestly prayer for Pope Francis, has protected the rights of all Catholics who recognize the traditional Roman Rite as the only one inspired by God, by preventing Pope Francis as pope, from affirming in any way either the non-existent Traditionis Custodes, or the demands of Cardinal Roche, dismissing him with the embarrassing situation of having to make claims on his own authority, and sending a strong message to all true Catholics, who live in the true Church with the true Canon Law, that the Traditional Rites remain forever free and accessible to all.


Here Mr.  Lamb appears to have read FromRome.Info from the other side of the fence.

Quo Primum — St. Pius V’s 1570 Bull on the Roman Missal — Latin and English Text

Editor’s Note by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Since the persecution of the Catholic Faithful who continue to use the ancient missale is even more in the news lately, I present here the original text of the Bull of Pope Saint Pius V which forever declared the Ancient Roman Rite the liturgical norm of the Roman Church. And to better aid comprehension to all my readers, I have included after the original text, which I have extracted from the Benzinger edition of the 1962 Missale Romanum, my own English translation of the Latin original of the Papal Bull, which I prepared this afternoon.

Saint Pius V, was the greatest Dominican to sit on the throne of St. Peter. He organized the Holy League which defeated the entire navy of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, Oct. 7, 1571, and in the year before defended the Roman LIturgy with this monumental declaration of Quo Primum. He is also known to have authorized the official text of the Hail Mary (Ave Maria), which the Catholic world prays today.

In all the debates over the rights of Catholics to continue praying the same prayers that their ancestors have used from the distant ages of the past, there is continual reference to the Bull Quo Primum, which follows below. — St. Pius V did not invent this liturgy. His Missale Romanum of 1570 was nearly identical to the Curial Missal published a century beforehand, which was in turn nearly an exact copy of the Missal compiled by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor in the 13th century, when for a more useful single compilation of the liturgical books of the ancient Roman Rite, which Pope Innocent III granted to St. Francis of Assisi as the liturgy proper to his new Order, he ordered them recompiled into a single volume with permission of the Apostolic See.

Here follows the text of the 1570 A. D. bull.




QUO PRIMUM tempore ad Apostolatus apicem assumpti fuimus, ad ea libenter animum, viresque Nostras intendimus, et cogitationes omnes direximus, quae ad Ecclesiasticum purum retinendum cultum pertinerent, eaque parare, et, Deo ipso adiuvante, omni adhibito studio efficere contendimus. Cumque inter alia sacri Tridentini Concilii decreta, Nobis statuendum esset de sacris libris, Catechismo, Missali et Breviario edendis atque emendandis: edito iam, Deo ipso annuente, ad populi eruditionem Catechismo, et ad debitas Deo persolvendas laudes Breviario castigato, omnino, ut Breviario Missale responderet, ut congruum est et conveniens (cum unum in Ecclesia Dei psallendi modum, unum Missse celebrandae ritum esse maxime deceat), necesse iam videbatur, ut, quod reliquum in hac parte esset, de ipso nempe Missali edendo, quam primum cogitaremus.

First, from moment We were raised up to the summit of the Apostolate, We willingly turned Our spirit and strengths, and directed all Our thoughts, to those things, which pertained to retaining the cult of the Church pure, and We do now, also, with God Himself helping, strive to effect their preparation, having employed every effort. And when among other things there was established by Us, among the other decrees of the Sacred Council of Trent, concerning the publication and emendation of the sacred books, the Catechism, the Missal and Breviary: with the Catechism already published, with God Himself approving, and the Breviary corrected to render to God due praises, it seemed then entirely necessary that the Missal respond to the Breviary, as is fitting and convenient (since in the Church of God it is most decorous that there be one manner of singing Psalms, one manner of celebrating the ritual of the Mass), that, what remained in this matter, namely, in publishing the said Missal, We might consider first of all.

Quare eruditis delectis viris onus hoc demandandum duximus: qui quidem, diligenter collatis omnibus cum vetustis Nostrae Vaticanae Bibliothecae, aliisque undique conquisitis, emendatis, atque incorruptis codicibus; necnon veterum consultis ac probatorum auctorum scriptis, qui de sacro eorundem rituum instituto monumenta Nobis reliquerunt, ad pristinam Missale ipsum sanctorum Patrum normam ac ritum restituerunt. Quod recognitum iam et castigatum, matura adhibita consideratione, ut ex hoc instituto, coeptoque labore, fructus omnes percipiant,

Wherefore, We directed that this burden be committed to chosen expert men: who indeed, having diligently gathered together all the ancient, emended and incorrupt codices from Our Vatican Library, and others searched out from all places,; and not without having consulted the writings of ancient and approved authors, who left to Us their testimonies concerning the institution of the same rituals, and restored the same Missal to the pristine norm of the holy Fathers. Which having already been recognized and corrected, having employed mature consideration, so that all might perceive the fruit of this instituted and undertaken labor,

Romae quam primum imprimi, atque impressum edi mandavimus: nempe ut sacerdotes intellegant, quibus precibus uti, quos ritus, quasve caeremonias in Missarum celebratione retinere posthac debeant. Ut autem a sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia, ceterarum Ecclesiarum matre et magistra, tradita ubique amplectantur omnes et observent, ne in posterum perpetuis futuris temporibus in omnibus Christiani orbis Provinciarum Patriarchalibus, Cathedralibus, Collegiatis et Parochialibus, saecularibus, et quorumvis Ordinum, monasteriorum, tam virorum, quam mulierum, etiam militiarum regularibus, ac sine cura Ecclesiis vel Capellis,

We ordered that it be first printed at Rome and published in printed form: namely, so that priests might understand, which prayers to use, which rituals, or which ceremonies they ought hereafter to retain in the celebration of Masses.  Moreover, so that all the things handed down by the sacrosanct Roman Church, the Mother of all other Churches, be embraced everywhere and observed, lest unto posterity in unending future generations in all the Patriarchates, Cathedrals, Collegiate, Parish and secular Churches, and those of any Order or monastery whatsoever, both of men, as of women, even of regular soldiers, or Churches and/or Chapels without the care of souls,

in quibus Missa Conventualis alta voce cum Choro, aut demissa, celebrari iuxta Romanae Ecclesiae ritum consuevit vel debet, alias quam iuxta Missalis a Nobis editi formulam decantetur, aut recitetur, etiamsi eaedem Ecclesiae quovis modo exemptae, Apostolicae Sedis indulto, consuetudine, privilegio, etiam iuramento, confirmatione Apostolica, vel aliis quibusvis facultatibus munitae sint; nisi ab ipsa prima institutione a Sede Apostolica approbata, vel consuetudine, quae, vel ipsa institutio super ducentos annos Missarum celebrandarum in eisdem Ecclesiis assidue observata sit: a quibus, ut praefatam celebrandi constitutionem, vel consuetudinem nequaquam auferimus;

in which Conventual Mass is accustomed or ought to be celebrated out loud with a Choir, or in low voice, according to the rite of the Roman Church, there be sung anything other than according to the formula of the Missal published by Us, even if the same Churches have been exempted in any manner by an indult of the Apostolic See, custom, privilege, even under oath, by Apostolic confirmation, and/or any other faculty; lest having been approved by the Apostolic See from their first institution, whether by a custom, which, has been observed and/or by its own institution more than two-hundred years of being assiduously celebrated in those same Churches: from which, We in no way take away the aforesaid constitution, and/or custom of celebrating;

sic si Missale hoc, quod nunc in lucem edi curavimus, iisdem magis placeret, de Episcopi, vel Praelati, Capitulique universi consensu, ut, quibusvis non obstantibus, iuxta illud Missas celebrare possint, permittimus; ex aliis vero omnibus Ecclesiis praefatis eorundem Missalium usum tollendo, illaque penitus et omnino reiiciendo, ac huic Missali Nostro nuper edito, nihil unquam addendum, detrahendum, aut immutandum esse decernendo, sub indignationis Nostrae poena, hac Nostra perpetuo valitura constitutione statuimus et ordinamus. Mandantes ac districte omnibus et singulis Ecclesiarum praedictarum Patriarchis, Administratoribus, aliisque personis quacumque Ecclesiastica dignitate fulgentibus, etiamsi S. R. E. Cardinales, aut cuiusvis alterius gradus et praeeminentiae fuerint,

thus, if this Missal, which We now have taken care to publish, pleases the same more, by consent of the Bishop, and/or Prelate, or entire Chapter, We permit that they can celebrate Masses according to it, with nothing whatsoever withstanding: however, We establish and ordain, under the punishment of Our indignation, by this our perpetually valid Constitution, that with the publication of this our said Missal, nothing is ever to be added, detracted, or changed by taking it from the use of those same Missals of any of the aforesaid Churches, and by rejecting those things thoroughly or entirely. We, commanding also strictly each and every Patriarch, Administrator of the aforesaid Churches, and other persons enjoying whatsoever ecclesiastical dignity, even if they be Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church or anyone of another grade or preeminence,

illis in virtute sanctae obedientiae praecipientes, ut ceteris omnibus rationibus et ritibus ex aliis Missalibus quantumvis vetustis hactenus observari consuetis, in posterum penitus omissis, ac plane reiectis, Missam iuxta ritum, modum, ac normam, quae per Missale hoc a Nobis nunc traditur, decantent ac legant; neque in Missae celebratione alias caeremonias, vel preces, quam quae hoc Missali continentur, addere vel recitare praesumant.

precepting these in virtue of holy obedience, so that with all those reckonings and rituals, from other customary Missals howsoever ancient hitherto observed, hereafter entirely omitted, and plainly rejected, they may sing and read the Mass according to the rite, manner, and norm, which is handed down now by Us through this Missal nor let them presume in the celebration of the Mass to add and/or recite other ceremonies and/or prayers, than those which are contained in this Missal.

Atque ut hoc ipsum Missale in Missa decantanda, aut recitanda in quibusvis Ecclesiis absque ullo conscientiae scrupulo, aut aliquarum poenarum, sententiarum et censurarum incursu, posthac omnino sequantur, eoque libere et licite uti possint et valeant, auctoritate Apostolica, tenore praesentium, etiam perpetuo concedimus et indulgemus. Neve Praesules, Administratores, Canonici, Capellani et alii quocumque nomine nuncupati Presbyteri saeculares, aut cuiusvis Ordinis regulares, ad Missam aliter, quam a Nobis statutum est, celebrandam teneantur:

And also, by Our Apostolic authority, and the tenor of the present letters, We also concede perpetually and indulge, that they may entirely hereafter follow this Missal in a sung, or recited, Mass in whatever Churches without any scruple of conscience or incursion of any punishments, sentences and censures, and use this freely and licitly and validly. Or lest Praefects, Administrators, Canons, Chaplains and other secular Priests named by whatever name, or regulars of any Order, be bound to celebrate Mass otherwise, than is established by Us:

neque ad Missale hoc immutandum a quolibet cogi et compelli, praesentesve litterae ullo unquam tempore revocari, aut moderari possint, sed firmae semper et validae in suo exsistant robore, similiter statuimus et declaramus. Non obstantibus praemissis, ac constitutionibus, et ordinationibus Apostolicis, ac in Provincialibus et Synodalibus Conciliis editis generalibus, vel specialibus constitutionibus, et ordinationibus, nec non Ecclesiarum praedictarum usu, longissima et immemorabili praescriptione, non tamen supra ducentos annos, roborato, statutis et consuetudinibus contrariis quibuscumque.

We similarly establish and declare that they also cannot be coerced and compelled by anyone to change this MIssal, nor can the present letters be at any time ever revoked or constrained, but that they stand forth always firm and valid in their strength. With no Apostolic constitutions, and ordinations, and/or special constitutions and ordinations published in Provincial and Synodal general Councils, nor use of the aforesaid Churches, strengthened by the longest and immemorial prescription, not more than two-hundred years, or statutes and customs whatsoever contrary, withstanding the aforesaid.

Volumus autem et eadem auctoritate decernimus, ut post huius Nostrae constitutionis, ac Missalis editionem, qui in Romana adsunt Curia Presbyteri, post mensem; qui vero intra montes, post tres; et qui ultra montes incolunt, post sex menses, aut cum primum illis Missale hoc venale propositum fuerit, iuxta illud Missam decantare, vel legere teneantur. Quod ut ubique terrarum incorruptum, ac mendis et erroribus purgatum praeservetur, omnibus in Nostro et S. R. E. dominio mediate, vel immediate subiecto commorantibus impressoribus, sub amissionis librorum, ac centum ducatorum auri Camerae Apostolicae ipso facto applicandorum:

Moreover, We will and decree by the same authority, so that after the publication of this Our Constitution, and Missale, which shall be displayed at the Roman Curia, for the Priests, after a month: but who dwells on this side of the Alps, after three months; and where beyond the Alps, after six months, or when this Missal has been offered to them for sale, that they be bound to sing and/or read the Mass according to it.  Wherefore, so that it be preserved incorrupt in all lands, and purged from emendations and errors, to all printers resident in Our immediate and/or mediately subjected Domain and that of the Holy Roman Church, under the loss of the books, and 100 ducats of gold to be applid ipso facto to the Apostolic Camera:

aliis vero in quacumque orbis parte consistentibus, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae, et aliis arbitrii Nostri poenis, ne sine Nostra vel speciali ad id Apostolici Commissarii in eisdem partibus a Nobis constituendi, licentia, ac nisi per eunden Commissarium eidem impressori Missalis exemplum, ex quo aliorum imprimendorum ab ipso impressore erit accipienda norma, cum Missali in Urbe secundum magnam impressionem impresso collatum fuisse, et concordare, nec in ullo penitus discrepare prius plena fides facta fuerit, imprimere, vel proponere, vel recipere ullo modo audeant, vel praesumant, auctoritate Apostolica et tenore praesentium similibus inhibemus.

but to others consisting in whatever part of the globe, under the punishments of latae sententiae excommunciation and others at Our will, We prohibit by Apostolic Authority and the tenor of the present letters, that, they dare in any manner to receive, and/or presume, to publish or offer for sale, without Our permission and/or special license, according to that of the one to be constituted in those same parts by Us as Apostolic Commissioner, the exemplary copy, from which there is to be accepted the norm of other printings by the printer himself, before full faith has been first given to the printer himself by the same Commisioner for the Missal to be published in great quantity in the City of Rome and that it not be discrepant in anything at all.

Verum, quia difficile esset praesentes Iitteras ad quaeque Christiani orbis loca deferri, ac primo quoque tempore in omnium notitiam perferri, illas ad Basilicae Principis Apostolorum, ac Cancellariae Apostolicae, et in acie Campi Florae de more; publicari et affigi, ac earundem litterarum exemplis etiam impressis, ac manu alicuius publici tabellionis;  subscriptis, nec non sigillo personae in dignitate ecclesiastica constitutae munitis, eandem prorsus indubitatam fidem ubique gentium et locorum, haberi , praecipimus, quae praesentibus haberetur, si ostenderentur vel exhiberentur.

Truly, because it might be difficult for the present letters to be borne to all places of the Christian globe and to proffer unto the notice of all at first notice, We precept, that these be published and affixed to the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, and to the Apostolic Chancery, and in the piazza of the Campus Flori as is customary; and that there be had printed also copies of the same letters, and in the hand of any public notary;  and to those underwritten, and not without the seal of a person constituted in ecclesiastical dignity, that they be regarded the same undoubted faith in whatever nations and places, as the present letters are held, when they are displayed and/or exhibited.

Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam Nostrae permissionis, statuti, ordinationis, mandati, praecepti, concessionis, indulti, declarationis, voluntatis, decreti et inhibitionis infringere, vel ei ausu temerario contraire. Si quis autem hoc attentare praesumpserit, indignationem omnipotentis Dei, ac beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum eius se noverit incursurum. Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, anno Incarnationis Dominicae millesimo quingentesimo septuagesimo, pridie Idus Iulii, Pontificatus Nostri anno quinto.

Therefore, to no one among men let it be licit to infringe this page of Our permission, statute, ordinance, mandate, precept, concession, indult, declaration, will, decree and prohibition, and/or with darying temerity to contradict it. if, however, anyone will have presumed to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indigation of the Omnipotent God and of His blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul. Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, 1570, on the first day of the ides of July, in the fifth year of Our Pontificate.



Anno a Nativitate Domini 1570, Indict. 13, die vero 19 mensis Iulii, Pontificatus sanctissimi in Christo Patris et D. N. Pii divina providentia Papae V anno eius quinto, retroscriptae litterae publicatae et affixae fuerunt ad valvas Basilicae Principis Apostolorum, ac Cancellariae Apostolicae, et in acie Campi Florae, ut moris est, per nos loannem Andream Rogerium et Philibertum Cappuis Cursores.

In the year of the Nativity of the Lord, 1570, in the 13th indiction, but on the 19th day of the month of July, in the fifth year of the Pontificate of our most holy Father in Christ and our lord, Pius V, Pope by the divine providence, these letters transcribed were published and affixed to the folding-doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, and to the Apostolic Chancery, and in the piazza of the Campus Florae, as is the custom, by us Footmen, John Andrew Roger and Philibert Cappue .

SCIPIO DE OCTAVIANIS, Magister Cursorum.

Canonical Questions regarding the election of an antipope to the Papacy

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


As I am getting priests and laity and religious from the world over asking me the same questions, I will now answer the more common questions in one article, so that all might have the answers.

The case here regards when an antipope, like Leo VIII or Bergoglio, who reigns for a time and posits various acts, magisterial and juridical, is elected the true pope, by the Faithful of Rome, in an assembly by apostolic right.

Q. Can a not yet condemned heretic or schismatic be elected to the Papacy?

A. Yes, because in canon law, no one who has NOT yet been deprived of his rights by the public sentence of Church authority, loses his rights. Even canon 1364 which imposes immediately the penalty of excommunication does not take away the rights to be elected by or to participate in a Conclave, as the Papal Law, Universi Domini Gregis states in n. 35.

Cardinals specifically can only be judged by the Roman Pontiff alone (canon 1405 §1, n. 2).

And since no one can arrogate to himself the right to judge anyone in the Church in such a way as to deprive him of his canonical rights (cf. Discernment vs. the Arrogation of Right), such a man can be elected pope.

Q. Does an antipope have to accept his election as true Pope?

A. Canon 331 requires a pope accept his election. But in natural law, when a man is already claiming the office, his consent to his election is presumed, for it is actual and habitual and manifest that he wants the office. Thus passive or tacit acceptance of his election, that is, without publicly renouncing it, suffices for him. And since the Canon does not require active verbal expression of acceptance, this suffices in elections by apostolic right where, in the absence of rules of acceptance, the natural law prevails. But it would not suffice in a Conclave, because there the Papal Law UDG requires active, verbal expression of acceptance.

Here many are confused, because they understand “accept his election” to mean, “accept the manner of his election”, or accept being the true pope, when it only means “accept being elected the pope”. Obviously, an antipope accepts being chosen the pope. To hold otherwise is madness.

Q. Do we have to accept all the previous acts of such a Pope while he was antipope, if we accept his new election as valid?

A. No, certainly not.

Q. Are the Cardinals he appointed before when he was antipope, valid cardinals now that he is elected as the true pope?

A. Yes. Because the only thing lacking for their validity was the will of one who held the petrine munus. That deficiency is now remedied. And so they are valid cardinals and can validly elect his successor.

Q. Are all the appointments of Bishops etc., which he made as antipope valid now?

A. Yes, for the same reason.

Q. Are all the magisterial acts which he did as antipope valid now?

A. No, none of them are valid. For he had no magisterium to exercise and thus they never were acts of the Apostolic See, nor can consent after the fact make them such, because they are in the past and juridically non existent. This differs from Cardinals and Bishops etc., because they are living beings and in the present.

Q. How about all the juridical penalties which were imposed by himself or the Roman Curia, while he was antipope: are they now valid now?

A. They must be all presumed to be invalid, for reasons of the fact that they are acts in the past which had no authority to be leveled.

Q. Should we continue to oppose the errors of the man when he was antipope? And if so, how, without incurring the penalty of attacking the Pope?

A. We should continue to oppose all the errors, sins, and scandal of the antipope, but when doing so we should distinguish them from the acts he now makes as pope. This is respectful and will help spread the knowledge that he was never from the beginning the true pope, but only after his election by apostolic right.

Q. What can we expect in him now that he has been validly elected and at last has the Petrine Munus?

A. We can expect that he will not teach error in matters of faith in morals, even though his politics may remain the same. We can expect that when asked or pressured  to undo what he has done as antipope that he will concede to the pressure and to the requests. We can expect him not to condone his past errors which are contrary to the faith.

Q. Does his valid election absolve him of his past sins?

A. No, rather, it makes him more responsible before God to repent of them and to do so publicly. Without that he cannot be saved.

Q. How do we now show true loyalty to Pope Francis?

A. By continuing to denounce what he did as antipope, but praying for him as pope, trusting in the prayer of Jesus, “That his faith may not fail”.

Q. How should our position differ from Bergoglians, Recognize & Resist, Anti-Roncallian Sedevacantists and Anti-Bergoglian Sedevacantists?

A. We should not like Bergoglians approve of any of his errors, sins, scandals or crimes as antipope. We should resist his past errors but not attribute them to the Vicar of Christ, but only to his person, and thus act differently from the Recognize and Resist crowd who defame the Papacy. We should recognize him as the true Pope and refrain from arrogating the right to judge him as the Sedevacantists of old and of the new kind do.

Q. Who has the authority to sort all this out?

A. The present valid pope or any future valid successor.

Discernment vs. the Arrogation of Juridical right

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


In the Catholic Church, the authority to judge comes from God alone. Catholics cannot maintain their status as Catholic for long, so long as they do not accept that principle.

Thus, by the Faith which comes from God we can, if we understand it well, discern who is teaching wrongly or not. And we can then discern whether a man be teaching contrary or apart from Christ, His Apostles or Prophets.

And this personal discernment is an ability, but not all have the capacity. Since though we all receive faith in Baptism, not all have faith, and not all understand the Faith.  Faith is the virtue, the Faith is the sum of the doctrines of our holy religion. Both come from God. But having the knowledge of one does NOT guarantee the other.

Now in the Church, since the authority to judge for the community comes from God, God has given it to Bishops alone, and to the Bishop of Rome in its highest grade here on earth. These alone can take away the canonical rights of an individual or community.

The recognition of this is what separates and distinguishes Catholics from protestants and orthodox schismatics. These latter two refuse to accept the Pope as supreme judge in matters of faith and discipline. And protestants refuse also to accept bishops as judges in matters of discipline in their own dioceses.

And here is the pitfall of all those Catholics who take the first step on the road of Sedevacantism: they refuse to admit that while they have the ability by faith to discern who is a heretic, they have no juridical authority to declare anyone such, as to deny that accused of his canonical rights.

This is affirmed in the very important passage in Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 35. This rule echoes the long standing debate among canonists, which Pope Paul IV in 1559 spoke, of what is to be done with a Cardinal who deviated publicly from the faith prior to his election to the Pontificate. Paul IV wanted in his Constitution, Cum ex apostolatu officio, that his election be declared null and void. His constitution however was annulled by his successor. And the precedent of his opinion was refuted in the above manner in every subsequent Papal Law on elections.

The reason for this, is, if an undeclared person could be refused the canonical right to vote (active voice) or be elected (passive voice), then it would introduce into the election a doubt which could possibly render many or most elections doubtful and hence invalid.

And the theological justification for removing this doubt, is the Faith of the Church in the promise of Jesus Christ and His always efficacious power of impetration, when He declared, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to sift you all as wheat, but I have prayed for YOU, that your faith may not fail, and when you are converted, confirm your brethren.”

Note, our Lord says, “when” not “if”, because His is always efficacious in His prayer to the Father and obtains all that He asks for.

And since the man elected pope becomes the target of Christ’s prayer, thus promised, it matters not if he had deviated from the faith beforehand, so long as he was not declared by the Church to have done so.  For if he was declared by the Church, then the word, of Christ would apply: “He who hears you hears Me.”

Those who become Sedevacantists do not avert to these words of Jesus Christ, and once they start on that path, out of pride they refuse to accept them, so as to justify the path already undertaken. And so they fall into heresy and schism, and go to perdition, because if you do not believe in every word of Jesus Christ, you cannot be saved.

And now, this is the temptation of those who refuse the juridically valid election of Bergoglio on Monday, and who are attempting to argue thus: that election cannot be valid, because it elected a man whom I consider a heretic.

To these I say: YOU are not the Church. YOU do not have the juridical authority to declare someone a heretic. Yes, you have by faith the ability to discern heresy, if you know your faith. But that is not the same thing. To presume that your judgement of heresy is equivalent to a juridical pronouncement is to arrogate to yourself a right which God has not given you. Even Cardinals in the Conclave do not have this right. How much more a bishop, priest, or layman anywhere else at any time, when the person to be judged is not even under their jurisdiction.

Perhaps, the ignorant confound the possibility that some tribunal or future pope might agree with their judgement as sufficient authorization, but they are confusing the ability to discern from the authority to issue a judgement binding on the community.

Have a little humility.

Have faith in Christ.

Only those who have both, can be saved.


Only in certain cases, where the Church herself or the very nature of the act prescind from the necessity of a public judgement, can Catholics act on the basis of personal discernment.  Such is the case of papal renunciations, which must be manifest in themselves, and when doubtful, can be considered invalid by all Catholics who thus discern them to be. This is because a renunciation of papal office cannot be judged or interpreted by anyone, since there is no one who can judge it. For if it was invalid, the pope would remain the pope yet hold it valid. And if it was valid, the man who was the pope could not longer judge it. This is why in such cases Catholics do not arrogate to themselves a right which belongs to others, as Sedevacantists do who refuse the validity of this or that papal election.

That the Right to Elect the Roman Pontiff belongs to the Roman Church

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


Contra factum non est argumentum, as the Latin adage goes: that is, “Against a fact, there is no argument”.

If there is any Catholic who doubts that the Catholics of Rome have the right to elect their own bishop, they need not believe anything I say, they need only to open up any book about the election of the Popes, or in this case, even see the List of Popes over at Wikipedia, to confirm this.

Deny this, and you deny the Apostolic Succession in the See of Rome, and make every pope after Peter a fake. But if you do that, you are anathematized by Vatican I, which declared infallibly that there will always be successors of St. Peter at Rome, until the coming of the Lord.

So, to those who are are reading this or that section of the Papal Law, Universi Dominici Gregis, and understanding none of it, I make this reply.

Yes, there is a stricture in that law, that states that for the election of the Pope in a Conclave only Cardinal Electors can vote (n. 33). That stricture applies only to the manner of election in that Apostolic Constitution, for otherwise the Apostolic Succession would be in jeopardy. Indeed, in the final sentence of the preface, Pope John Paul states explicitly his intention, that the norms of the special law are to bind the Cardinals. He does not impose them on the whole Church.

Those who do not think so, are pretending that John Paul II or the scholars of jurisprudence who worked for more than 10 years on the new Code of Canon Law did not know about what happened in the Church for the previous 19 centuries, or how the Apostle Peter left this right to the whole Church.

For they pretend that John Paul II wants in all times and places, even outside of a conclave, that only Cardinal electors vote.

But if that were the case, then the enemies of God would only have to kill 120 men, to end the Apostolic Succession forever. — But, that would make the Gates of Hell prevail. Which is absurd.

So obviously neither the Pope nor his experts intended that.

Which means, that their argument is false.

And these experts show that this argument is false, because this stricture of n. 33 is placed in the special law UDG and not in canons 349 and 359, which regard the privileges of the College of Cardinals. By placing this in a special law, it removes the stricture from general application. And this is confirmed by canons 5 §1 and 5 §2, which affirms apostolic rights remain in force in special circumstances not provided for in law.

And this was necessary, because Canon Law depends upon Apostolic Right for its authority, not the other way around. Thus, no Pope can abolish anything in Apostolic Tradition, not even the right of the Roman Church to elect his successor.

And to the further argument, that in canon 349, it says the contrary, it is clear that that argument would be wrong, since the Latin says, that the election pertains to the College of Cardinals as to provide for it (provideat) according to norm (ad normam) of the special law on elections.  It does not say they enjoy this right per se or semper nor does it use a verb which signifies or connotes that they can obstruct the election by violating the norms of that special law. Indeed, someone who has the right to provide for something which is needed, does not have the right to deny that something when needed, because the right to provide is the right of a servant not of a lord. Otherwise, a mother who has the right to provide for her children’s supper could rightfully starve them to death by not providing for it, and a father who attempted to do so, when she was starving them, could not rightfully act. Which is horribly absurd.

So there are a lot of laymen out there who cannot read Latin or who have not studied law or history, who are saying foolish things. That they do not pause to think what will happen to the Church before they speak, is incredible, after the 10 years of savage attacks on the Faith and the Mass.

And for those who argue against n. 76, I have already replied in a footnote to my article, How John Paul II determined the election of Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.

How John Paul II determined the election of Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo



When a law fails, one has recourse to the principles of right which are derived by greater authority. This is a general principle of jurisprudence, which alas, many moderns no longer understand.

This is because in modern times, we are afflicted with a theory of right which is called juridical positivism. This error was condemned by Pope Benedict XVI in his speech to the German Parliament in September 22, 2011 (News report here, full text here). The error of positivism consists in holding that there is no authority until authority acts, and that there is no authority among men, unless men put laws into writing. And that subsequently they can change moral principles and rights by making written or verbal declarations.

Juridical positivism is, as you can see, the atheist’s notion of jurisprudence.

But the Catholic notion of jurisprudence holds that there is a God, and that He is the supreme authority in all matters of jurisprudence not only in virtue of His teaching or pronouncements, recorded in Scripture, but also inasmuch as He is and acts, and in particular, in His act of creating and forming this world.

Thus in the Catholic Church law is not derived from Popes or Bishops first of all, but from Christ Jesus, the Living God, to whom all authority in Heaven and Earth has been given by the Eternal Father. Secondarily from the ordinances of the Apostles. And only after that from Popes and Bishops, individually or in Councils and Synods.

Now as regards the laws of the Roman Church, the Popes individually and often in Synods and even Councils have determined and legislated various things.

One of these regards the election of the Roman Pontiff.

Who holds the right to elect the Roman Pontiff?

But while the Popes have authority to determine this election by special or general laws, they are NOT the source of the right. That right comes to the Pope via Saint Peter whom the Pope succeeds. But the ability of the Pope by legislation to determine the exercise of that right, is limited by the ordinance of Peter to leave this right to the Roman Church.

In fact, the Pope himself does not have the right to elect his successor. Only the Church of Rome has that right. This is undisputed in the Catholic Church. And anyone who says otherwise, is simply totally ignorant of Church history and the jurisprudence of the Roman Church. Nor can the Pope make someone who is not a member of the Roman Church an elector for the Pope. This is why he incardinates all Cardinals, who are not Romans, into the Roman Church and gives them a parish to be their titular church. These parishes are found in the Dioceses of Roma, Ostia, Albano, Velletri-Seigni, Palestrina, Frascati, Sabina – Poggio Mirteto, and Porto Santa Rufina, because in St. Peter’s day the Church of Rome comprised all these territories, and these 7 Suburbican Dioceses were never detached from the Roman Church, as their name indicates (Suburbican = suburban, round about, near by).

Throughout 20 centuries the Roman Church has vindicated this right in various ways, but always in every election. At times this was done by all the Faithful of the Roman Church, such as it was in the first 7 centuries. At times, this was done under certain modalities, of having the clergy first discuss candidates and then in assembly with the faithful deciding.

By Roman Church, here, I mean all the faithful in these dioceses, whether clergy, religious, or lay, whether men or women, married or not, saints or sinners or mediocre, nobility and plebs, rich and poor. All these have the right to vote in a papal election by apostolic right.

Papal Laws for Papal Elections

However, with the passing of time, by certain papal laws, the Electorate was restricted.

That the Pope can restrict the electorate is undisputed. Because, though he is not the source of this right, he can determine its exercise, and part of that determination is delimiting who can vote. This does not damage the validity of the election, so long as who can vote is a member of the Roman Church.

The first such papal law was promulgated by Pope Stephen II in the Roman Synod of 769, when candidates for election were restricted to those men who were Cardinal priests and deacons, and when the electorate was restricted to “cunctis sacerdotibus atque proceribus Ecclesiae et cuncto clero”, that is, “to all the priests and mighty ones of the Church and the entire clergy”, that is, to the Bishops, priests, deacons, and those in minor orders.

Then, the next major Papal law came on April 13, 1059 A. D., with Pope Nicolas II’s In Nomine Domini, the Latin and English translation of which I have published here (2021 edition, 2020 edition here), which restricted the electorate to only the Bishops of the Roman Church.

In addition, those these previous laws did not contain them, in later centuries such papa laws contained specifications as to when the law went into effect and when those who exercise the rights it determines can exercise them.

The Strictures of John Paul II’s Papal Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis

The current Papal Law, Universi Dominici Gregis, was promulgated by Pope John Paul II, in 1996 on Feb. 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. — Only the Latin version is binding. (Translations should be used with caution therefore, only as an aid to understanding roughly what is being said).

That law specifies that it regards what is to be done after the death of a Roman Pontiff, or his valid renunciation, that is, when the Apostolic See is juridically vacant of a legitimate claimant to the supreme office.

The Cardinals are forbidden in n. 1 of exercising any power of the Roman Pontiff, when he is alive, and after his death, of doing anything not authorized by this law.

And here, in n. 1, the law expressly declares NULL AND VOID the exercise of any power not specified in this Constitution.

Thus if the Cardinals fail to observe its terms, they HAVE NO RIGHT to do otherwise.

And this is why, when the Cardinals fail to meet by the 20th day, as is specified in n. 37, or when they change the modality of the preparation of the Conclave in any matter, John Paul II in nn. 76 and 77 declares ANY ELECTION WHATSOEVER that they undertake to be NULL AND VOID. Here is the Vatican English translation of those passages, for your better information:

37. I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent; the College of Cardinals is also granted the faculty to defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few days more. But when a maximum of twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election.

76. Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.

77. I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.***

As of the hour of the death of Pope Benedict XVI, this morning, January 21, 2023 A. D., the Cardinal Deacon has not convened a conclave, the Cardinals have not begun a conclave, and no Cardinal anywhere in the world has announced that he is proceeding to elect the successor of Pope Benedict XVI.

Regarding the Claim that the Cardinals still can elect a Pope in Conclave, after January 21, 2023

Therefore, anyone who claims that the Cardinals can still proceed to validly elect the Roman Pontiff are simply uttering a massive falsehood, because there is no rational way to infer, that from a College which has DONE NOTHING, but is obliged TO DO EVERYTHING according to the law, that they retain any right to elect a Pope in a Conclave according to the terms of the law.

They have violated it completely.

Hence, they cannot claim to interpret it in any manner by which they could convene at a later time in conclave to elect the Pope.


Obviously their argument will be that Benedict XVI validly abdicated in accord with Canon 332 §2, and that with Bergoglio being elected, the papal law for electing Benedict XVI’s successor went into effect, in March 2013.

But as numerous studies have shown, Benedict XVI never abdicated in accord with Canon 332 §2. The text itself is only conform with a declaration of a decision to apply Canon 333 §2, by withdrawing into a life of prayer for the Church and laying down the active ministry.

Thus, Catholics rightly regard the death of Pope Benedict XVI as triggering the observance of the Papal Law Universi Domini Gregis. And since Canon Law in canon 15 affirms that laws which declare some act invalid, make these acts invalid, even in the case in which those acting are ignorant of facts or laws, the Cardinals cannot claim to have anymore, the right to elect a Roman Pontiff in Conclave.


This means that the Papal Law can no longer be observed. And since in Canon Law they do not have a habitual right to elect the Pope per se, but only those rights specified in special law (cf. canons 349 & 359), and since there is no other special law but the above cited Papal Law, Universi Dominic Gregis, at the promulgation of which Pope John Paul II expressly abrogated all customs and laws previously in force, as he states in its final promulgation, at the end of the Constitution:

As determined above, I hereby declare abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time I declare completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.

Then, IF there were no other source of right, then the Catholic Church would never again have a legitimate Roman Pontiff, who holds the petrine munus via a legitimate and juridically valid election, in a Conclave.

That there must be another way to elect the Pope

But as Vatican I infallibly teaches, the Roman Church shall have in perpetuity, successors of Saint Peter as her bishops, (Fourth Session, Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 2, n. 5),

Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the Lord Himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.

there must be another perpetual source of right by which there can be a juridically valid election of Benedict XVI’s successor. And since Pope John Paul II, in his prefatory letter in the Papal Law, above mentioned, says expressly that a Conclave is not necessary for the valid election of the Pope:

It has been my wish to give particular attention to the age-old institution of the Conclave, the rules and procedures of which have been established and defined by the solemn ordinances of a number of my Predecessors. A careful historical examination confirms both the appropriateness of this institution, given the circumstances in which it originated and gradually took definitive shape, and its continued usefulness for the orderly, expeditious and proper functioning of the election itself, especially in times of tension and upheaval.

Precisely for this reason, while recognizing that theologians and canonists of all times agree that this institution is not of its nature necessary for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff, I confirm by this Constitution that the Conclave is to continue in its essential structure; at the same time, I have made some modifications in order to adapt its procedures to present-day circumstances.

Then, there must be another valid way to elect him.

But there is none, but that established by the Apostolic Ordinance, by which Saint Peter gave this right to the entire Church, meeting in public assembly. And this alters the electorate from the small group with the exclusive right which can only be used in a specific time, to the entire group, without any restriction.

Confirmation of this by general principles of jurisprudence

And this is confirmed by the general principle of law, that when a specific law, which applies to specific circumstances only, can not be put into effect, because those conditions have been violated, or no longer exist, and it declares no action taken in accord with the special law can anymore be valid, then one has recourse to the general or higher source of right, which has not been abrogated by the human legislator, since one cannot assume that the human legislator no longer wants a juridically valid act to be posited.

Thus, one must conclude that John Paul II intended to forbid the Cardinals from electing the Pope in a Conclave, if they failed to elect one in a Conclave in the specified time, knowing, as he stated in his prefatory letter, that electing a pope outside of a Conclave has never been per se an invalid method.

This conclusion is especially true since the failure here is not in the text of the law, but in those to whom the law has granted special rights. Thus the law is not defective, but rightly punishes the Cardinals for not acting, with a deprivation of their exclusive right.

And this can be seen from an example. If you have rights to do something within a specified time, then if you do not do that within that specified time, you cannot claim that the one who wrote the law, would want you to have those rights still.

And thus, the only sane conclusion is that the legislator, knows that someone else has those rights in an undisputed manner, outside of that specified time, if the thing to be done MUST BE DONE. But the election of a new pope, must be done. Ergo, someone else has those rights and the Legislator knows it. And when those rights belong by Apostolic Ordinance to all the faithful in assembly — a fact attested to by the first 1000 years of the Papacy — then there the election must be had. And this is clear, that the exclusive rights of the Cardinals of the Roman Church, are only a specification of the rights of the entire Roman Church for a purpose, they do not deny the rights of the Church.

But only those with a thoroughly Catholic mind can see this, because they alone know AND accept the history of Papal Elections, and at the same time reject the concept of juridical positivism, and they too alone BELIEVE that there is a living God, that Jesus Christ is HIM, and that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail over His Church.

So let lawyers, nuns, and engineers, whether in Colombia, Brazil or Italy, who have never studied theology nor canon law, nor the philosophy of law, rail in the night. We Catholics of Rome know our rights and we will now use them to save the Papacy and the Church.

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI incited the entire Church to think about these things on Feb. 11, 2013, when he declared that his successor should be elected by those who are competent. To be competent in Latin means, in this context, to be capable of exercising a right.

ADDENDUM: the events of 964 A. D., at Rome prove the above interpretation of right

There is an historical example of the juridical principles I have explained above, in the election of Pope Benedict V in 964. In 963, the German Emperor deposed the true pope in an uncanonical action, and named Leo VIII as antipope. The emperor regarded Leo as the pope, because the Popes had granted him the right to nominate the candidate to be the pope. His election by the assembly of the Clergy would follow after that.

But as the deposition of pope John XII  was uncanonical, the Roman Faithful regarded Pope John XII as the true pope until his death on May 14, 964.  So on May 22, the Roman Faithful came together and elected Benedict V. They did this because clearly the German Emperor had no intention of getting Leo VIII re-elected, because by that act he would admit to having supported a usurper. That means there was no legal way to elect the Pope anymore, since you cannot elect a pope after the death of an antipope, only after the death of a true pope. — That is why the Pope is called the successor of St. Peter, because he succeeds in a juridically valid manner the previous successor who held that right. — So the Roman Faithful had recourse to the Apostolic Ordinance, and by apostolic right elected Benedict V, whom the Church has always recognized as the true pope.*

There are other cases in which the Apostolic Right of the Faithful was revived, as can be seen in the election of Pope John V, July 23, 685, as even Wikipedia admits:

John V was the first Pope of the Byzantine Papacy consecrated without the direct imperial approval. Emperor Constantine IV had done away with the requirement during the pontificate of Benedict II, John V’s predecessor, providing that “the one elected to the Apostolic See may be ordained pontiff from that moment and without delay”.[7] In a return to the “ancient practice“, John V was elected in July 685 “by the general population” of Rome.[7][8]

A case to compare, as a proof in reverse, occurred in 1058, where an papal enthronement took place without a free election by the Faithful. That enthronement created the antipope Benedict X, who was immediately opposed by St. Peter Damian and St. Hildebrand. Later that year Pope Nicholas II was elected, and he restricted the electorate to the Cardinals, by a papal law, In Nomine Domini, which however was abolished by subsequent popes, such as John Paul II, when they promulgated their own laws.


The Cardinals have not lost their right to vote, they have only lost their exclusive right to vote in a Conclave. They can also vote by apostolic right, but they have no more vote than any other Catholic in the Roman Church. Finally, the College of Cardinals can meet in conclave in the future and confirm the election of the man whom the Roman Faithful elect. That conclave would not be canonical, nor legal, nor legitimate, nor confer any right, but it would be a public and sane way to bring themselves and entire Church back into agreement as to who is the pope.


** The end of Pope Benedict V was a tragic one, because the German Emperor in vengeance sent an army to Rome, captured the pope and demanded his renunciation on the condition that he would not put him to death. After Benedict V renounced, out of human weakness, the German Emperor had Leo VIII affirmed as pope by the Roman people, and with Benedict’s agreement. Benedict was then taken prisoner to Germany and starved to death on bread and water. His remains have been lost to history. Leo VIII in his second election is considered to be a true pope by the Church, since there was no pope at the time still reigning, Benedict V having validly abdicated by agreement.

*** The universal prohibition of n. 76 applies even to n. 37 and 77, as can be seen from the clause, “in a way other than this Constitution prescribes”. Those who say otherwise, read “Chapter” in place of “Constitution” and in addition do this in an exclusive way. This simply violates the rules of grammar and syntax in addition to imposing an illicit interpretation the text reserved to the Legislator alone. “Celebrata fuerit” also is a verb referring to an entire event, not any one action. Even the Latin “electio” does not mean only casting  a ballot, but refers to the intention to select one rather than a multitude, and as such has a broad signification. Those who allege that a strict reading applies, but then want a strict reading to read the text in an inauthentic manner of referring only to balloting, are really saying, that everything in the Constitution could be violated, except chapter 5, and the election still would be valid. — I say, try that and see what happens in the Church. — Moreover, even if for the sake of argument, it was held that n. 76 does not make any other violations of UDG cause the election to be invalid, other than those in the chapter in which n. 76 is found, nevertheless, since Pope John Paul II has clearly in many other places commanded the Cardinals to do this or that, (e.g. in nns. 1 and 35 and 77) the election would be illicit, and hence illegal, if they violated any other part of the papal law during the Conclave. And hence the election would be without effect, because an illegal action is never held to have a canonical effect in law (canon 38). And to argue otherwise, is simply absurd, because it would be equivalent to saying that even without force majeur, the Cardinals could intentionally violate everything else in the law, and thus, that the law was no law at all. — Finally, since the Legislator never intended that the College obstruct the Apostolic Succession, by electing antipopes and refusing to elect legitimate popes, the same conclusion as I present here returns by referring to higher principles, because the Cardinals have failed entirely to elect a successor to the true Pope. And the law does not allow them to elect successors to false popes. In fact, never in the history of the Church, has the Apostolic See regarded the successor of an antipope to be the true pope. All true popes succeed immediately another true pope. That insurmountable fact of history makes their reading impossible, as it would imply the Legislator himself intended a notion of succession which was both a-historical and implicitly heretical.

The Canonical Tradition requires the renunciation of Munus not Ministerium

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In preparation for the juridically valid election of the Roman Pontiff by apostolic right, I have been reading some scholarly works on the renunciation of offices. And I have found confirmation for everything we Catholics, who recognize that Benedict XVI never abdicated, hold.

This is important, because there is advanced by many facetious authors, who have no training whatsoever in Canon Law, arguments about what munus and ministerium mean, which are wholly irrelevant and rarely valid.

Moreover, it is also important, because what true scholars say unmasks the advocates and defenders of the usurpation of the Apostolic Throne during the last 10 years.

Here I will share some significant citations taken from Valerio Gigliotti’s, La Tiara Deposta, (Leo S. Olsckhi Editore, Firenze, 2013).  Gigliotti is a professor of the History of European Law, at the University of Turin, Italy. And his book is an encyclopedic jurisprudential review of the concept of papal abdication through the 20 centuries of Church History. A truly monumental work and treatment.

In Gigliotti’s final chapter 8, entitled, “The Mystical Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI” he sound loudly out for the fact that the renunciation had no juridical value, but was a spiritual decision to withdraw into a life of prayer for the good of the people of God.

And here it is that on p. 401, he cites weighty experts in Canon Law.

There is no abdication without renunciation of dignity

The first is Wernz-Vidal, Ius Canonicum, II, De personis,  Rome 1928, §452, p. 436, who writes:

Quare sicut Romanus Pontifex per acceptationem liberam electionis primatum iurisdictionis actu consecutus est, ita per liberam et publice declaratam dimissionem dignitatis suae iurisdictionem papalem amittit.

Which in English would be:

Wherefore, just as the Roman Pontiff through a free acceptance of election acquires the primacy of jurisdiction in an act, so through a free and publicly declared laying-down of his own dignity does he lose the papal jurisdiction.

This is the first cruise missile against those who claim the renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI effected an abdication. Because it is clear to everyone, that neither in the text of his Declaratio of 2013, nor in his comportment after that through 10 years, nor even at his funeral, did he lack, forsake or was recognized by the Catholic world to have lost the Papal Dignity.  Hence, he never lost the papal jurisdiction. This is a conclusion of law, which is derived from the truth which has nothing to do with intentions or opinions, but facts of history.

But as ecclesiastical dignity is a consequence of holding a title, office, or munus, let us proceed to the next authority

The renunciation of munus is the very essence of an act of renunciation of office

The next authority cited, is G. Chelodi, Ius de personis iuxta Codicem Iuris Canonici, praemisso tractatu De principiis et fontibus, Tridenti, 1922, §155, p. 256.

For the liceity of a renunciation of the papacy, there is required:

Romanum Pontificem se munere abdicari posse, valide etiam sine causa, certum est, licite tamen nonnise ex causa gravissima.

Which in English would be:

That the Roman Pontiff can by himself abdicate (his) munus, validly, even without a cause, is certain, however, licitly not but on account of the most gravest cause.

This is the second cruise missile totally destroying the claim of Bergoglian advocates, that the renunciation of Benedict XVI was effective of or equivalent to an abdication. Not because there is doubt about the gravest of causes, but because by definition an abdication requires the renunciation of his munus.

Both these sources were written in the Pontificate of Pope Pius IX, nearly 90 years before the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI. So it is impossible to impugn their objectivity and authority as regards the canonical tradition.

I have previously definitively demonstrated that the Code of Canon Law of 1983, read according to canon 17 therein, does not permit anyone to read munus as ministerium, here. My academic paper given in a public conference here at Rome in October of 2019 has been published on the internet for 3 years and has never been refuted in any of its assertions or claims. Canon 17 requires that canon 332 be read first in the light of the Code itself, then in that of canonical tradition. By this present article, which you have just read, I believe there is sufficiently demonstrated that both sources of authority are in total agreement.

Finally, for those who wish to dispute about words, here is my note on Munus and Ministerium in the Latin Language. My analysis of the Latin text of the Declaratio, can be found here. My Canonical Critique of it here. And My Scholastic Disputed question dealing with its interpretation here. And the weighty reasons, drawn from the treatise of St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, on the interpretation of law, why no one can interpret the Declaratio in any other way, here.

CREDITS: The featured image is from Gigliotti’s book, which can be ordered online here.


L’Ammonimento solenne al Collegio dei Cardinali — Perché è stato necessario?

Per carità, diffonderlo con tutti i tuoi conoscenti, parenti ed amici nelle Diocesi di Roma, Albano, Osta, Velletri-Segni, Palestrina, Frascati, Sabina Poggio Mireto, e Porta Santa Rufina.

Summary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In this video, I explain in Italian, why it was juridically wise and useful for Roman Catholics at Rome to give the College of Cardinals a solemn public rebuke for not yet taking any move convening in Conclave. For just as in every legal dispute, one first notifies the transgressing party, that one’s rights are being transgressed, to warn them of impending legal action if they fail to cease in the transgression, so in this dispute, the College of Cardinals cannot simply omit their duty in silence, but must give a juridical explanation of why they are deciding to act or not to act. This is especially true, because since March 13, 2013 A. D., when they pretended to elect Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff, they have never responded as a body, nor even as individuals, with a canonical explanation of their position now that all the evidence for their fault has been published to all the world for 10 years, and especially here in Italy during the last 2 years.

Thus, the Solemn Admonishment (Text here in Italian and English translation) had to be given, just as in a disagreement among knights, one throws one’s glove down in front of the opponent to challenge him to a fight, to prove which party is in the right, so now, the College of Cardinals has been put on notice. They must respond verbally and they must take action. If they fail at both, then they have juridically conceded, that the Roman Catholic Faithful of the Church of Rome, that is, of the Dioceses of Roma, Albano, Osta, Velletri-Segni, Palestrina, Frascati, Sabina Poggio Mireto, and Porta Santa Rufina do in fact have the rights claimed in the Solemn Admonishment. Cardinal Re, Dean of the College, now has in hand 3 copies of the text.

The ball is now in his court.

He has been presented to a juridical fait accompli, as it were, he is now checkmated and failing to act, he loses the most important battle, and will concede the juridical legitimacy to us who are Catholics in communion with Pope Benedict XVI till the end.

APPENDIX:  True Devotion to Saints Peter and Paul

Canonical Norms which touch upon the validity of the Election of the Roman Pontiff by Apostolic Right

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As the Catholic Faithful of the Church of Rome consider the election of the Roman Pontiff by Apostolic Right, there are some canonical norms which should be kept in mind to avoid that any doubt arise to the validity of the election. (Cf. previous articles on this matter, here, here and here)

While an election conducted by Apostolic Right, could be argued to be free from the requirement to observe all canonical norms per se, yet the better opinion is that since a papa dubius is a papal nullius, that those norms which pertain to natural law must be observed, and that those norms which pertain to ecclesiastical law should be taken into account.

Let’s review, then the norms of Canon Law regarding elections, and gather together the principles which should be observed for the election of the Roman Pontiff, in the extraordinary circumstance in which no Cardinal Elector enters into conclave to elect the Roman Pontiff, after the death of a validly elected, legitimate Roman Pontiff, that is, one who is elected to receive the petrine munus and who did in fact receive it.

First, it must be noted that no one can receive the petrine munus, if there is someone already holding it. And no one can cease holding it unless he dies or has in a juridical act expressly renounced it. Also, no one can be elected to receive it, while someone holds it, and after his death or renunciation of it, claim is prior election is sufficient to obtain it. Elections must be posterior in time to the conditions adapt for the validity of an election. Thus Jorge Mario Bergoglio has never held the petrine munus and by his 10 year pretense has no claim to it.

Second, the election of the Roman Pontiff in such extraordinary circumstances, requires that the electors be convoked to a specific place and time by the president of the college of electors, when that president is physically present in the place of convocation (cf. canon 166). This Pope Benedict XVI already did in his Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013, when he declared an election of his successor it to take place by those who are competent.

Third, all the electors must be summoned to a public place.  The election would be invalid, unless there is at least an attempt to do that. Thus, if some electors, without informing others, would meet together, in secret or public, the election will be invalid. Nor can they exclude any others by reason of any argument, since by the norms of law, no one is presumed to be ineligible unless they are so by failure to meet some canonical norm. Thus, any cleric incardinated in any diocese of the Roman Church (Rome or any of its suburbican dioceses), any religious of an institute of diocesan rite founded by any of these bishops in any of these dioceses and residing within them, and any layman. And this without regard as to any previous opinion they may have held, because, it is sufficient that in the present assembly they declare that Benedict XVI was the one and only Roman Pontiff until his death, because we all have been victims in some way or another of the false narrative, and there are very few among us, who from Feb. 11, 2013 were not fooled.

Fourth, the election will not be valid, if a non elector is allowed to vote (canon 169). Thus in the present case being considered, no one outside of the Church of Rome can be admitted to the assembly (those who are not members of the Church of Rome by at least 1 year of residency within the territory of the Diocese of Rome or a suburbican Diocese). But reasonably, since the gathering will be a large one, this restriction has to do with those who speak during the assembly and those who vote, since it would be neigh impossible humanly speaking to assure that no one in the assembly is a non-elector. But due diligence should be undertaken to exclude them, even though, no sane person would discount the election by a multitude on account of a small number of invalid votes.

Fifth, those assembling in the place of convocation cannot be under any coercion (canon 170), otherwise the election would be invalid. Among the causes invalidating the election are those which effectively impede their deliberation of action, that is, in my opinion, also inclusive of any psychological control of persons outside of the Church of Rome.*

Sixth, according to canon 171, the following cannot vote:

  1. Those who are incapable of a human act (that is, without the use of reason), by reason of age or infirmity.
  2. Those who are not electors.
  3. Those who have been excommunicated by reason of a judicial, decretal sentences, that is one which is inflicted or announced.
  4. Those who have notoriously separated themselves from the Catholic Church (by joining a group which refuses communion in principle with the Church or Her members)

The election of any particular candidate would be invalid, if as canon 171 states, the electors were induced beforehand, by fear or guile, directly or indirectly applied, to vote for a particular candidate, though natural law does not require the vote to be secret, by two thirds majority. I do believe the vote should be counted, and the manner of voting be determinate, that is, by personal votes being tallied.

Canon 173, thus, states that the first act of the electorate should be to designate the counters of the vote and the modality for presenting a vote, that is, where the voters are to present themselves, to declare their vote. I think that it would be best that each voter present himself before the counters and declare his candidate. Votes should not exceed electors, and thus, I think it would be necessary to only allow those who can vote,, withing a certain barrier, to prevent at the time of voting, extraneous persons from entering.

Canon 174, allows by natural law, that electors appoint one of their number to vote in their stead during the assembly. But this is problematic, because how could that be judicially verified without written documentation, which could be forged? For that reason, it would cause a doubt to arise and make the election invalid.

Canon 177 requires the one elected to be notified within 8 days of the election. If he does not accept, the assembly must meet again.

Canon 178, the one elected, who accepts, receives immediately the petrine munus. He must accept by means of words which naturally, clearly and customarily are used, such as, by saying, “I accept my election to the office of Roman Pontiff” etc..

Finally, the candidate to be elected, must be a man, a Catholic, and of at least the age of reason, having received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. He must be celibate, that is, not currently bound by sacramental or civil marriage to any other person. He must have the free use of reason. Doubt about this, such as would occur from a person who has allowed nano-tech to be injected into his body, should exclude such candidates.


** That is moral coercion of the kind by which one would be told whom to vote for by someone who cannot vote, under threats of spiritual damnation. This would be the worst kind of spiritual abuse. Electors, that is those who can vote, are completely free and should not exercise their vote under constraint. If the cannot freely make a choice on their own, they are not eligible to vote, as per canon 171.

My Letter to Cardinal Re


By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In January, it was announced by the Vatican, that Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re was named Dean of the College of Cardinals. Since it it the duty of the Dean to convoke the College, I wrote him a Letter in Latin to express my concerns, in accord with Canon 212, regarding the canonical status of Pope Benedict XVI, in the assumption that he may not be aware of them.

Here is the text of my letter, which he received more than 2 weeks ago:

Sua Eminentia,

Vobis scribo ex iure mihi concesso ab papa Ioanne Paolo II in canone 212, ad Vobis manifestandas inconvenientias graves in declaratione quae emissa est ab papa Benedicto XVI in Festo B. V. M. Lapurdensis anno Domini 2013.

In primis, ministerii eius renuntiatio non est conformans normae canonis 332 §2 qui renuntiationem muneris petrini requirit et hinc est actus nullus qui secundum canonem 41 neminem constringat.

Secundo, nemini licet ut interpres sit actus renuntiationis papalis, et hinc omnis interpretatio actus istius invalida ac illicita esto qui munus legat ubi ministerium scribatur.

Tertio, in dicendo ministerium et non munus vir qui est papa Benedictus XVI actum validum non ponere potest sine concessione derogationis secundum canonem 38 et hinc quia aliquid tale non fecit ut Romanus Pontifex actum irritum posuit ut vir qui est Pontifex.

Quarto, in ministerii renuntiatione et non muneris actus apparens papalis renuntiationis irritus est secundum canonem 188 per errorem substantialem quoniam essentia actus necessaria penes canonem 332 §2 est renuntiatio muneris non ministerii.

Quinto, non est libertas ad muneri renuntiandum quo renuntiatio ministerii fiat et hinc actus talis deficit ex debito canonis 332 §2 ad libere faciendum actum renuntiationis muneris et hinc invalidus est.

Sexto, non est ritualis manifestatio ubi non est manifestatio actus debiti, et quia impossibile est quod actus ministerii renuntiationis manifestet renuntiationem muneris, hinc est invalidus secundum canonem 332 §2.

Septimo, quoniam aliquot diebus post declarationis enuntiationem actus integer non habebatur, impossibile est quod actus Cardinalis Decani precedentis validus fuit ad renuntiationem papalis annuntiandam secundum normam canonis 40 et postea ad conclavem convocandam.

Octavo, omnes actiones papae Benedicti XVI per septem annos demonstrant quod Is apprehendat munus ut vocationem et gratiam nunquam abiiciendam et non ut ministerium seu officium ecclesiasticum rentuntiatum, et evidens est quod verum sit, quapropter ille nomen et indumentum et dignitatem papalem adhunc portat ut possessionem personalem, qui demonstratio est clare quod intentionem renuntiationis muneris non haberet et non habeat.

Ex totis rationibus ego supplex Vos precor Ecclesiae Sanctae Dei ut convocatio Cardinalium in praesentiae papae Benedicti XVI faciatis in tempore opportuno ad verum quaerendum in materia ista ita ut omne dubium de successione petrina tollatis pro Ecclesia Christi salute. Partibus omnibus in ista controversia eliminatio dubii istius ius et debitum est et nulli vulnera.

Gratias Vobis do pro tempore lectionis litterarum mearum,

In Sancto Francisco servus humilis papatus,

Fra’ Alexis Bugnolo

Here is my English translation of the Letter, for the benefit of the readers of FromRome.Info

Your Eminence,

I am writing you on account of the right granted me by Pope John Paul II in canon 212, to make known to you the grave problems in the Declaratio which was pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the year of Our Lord 2013.

First of all, His renunciation of ministry is not in conformity with the norm of Canon 332 §2 which requires the renuntiation of the Petrine Munus, and hence it is an actus nullus which according to canon 41 constrains no one.

Second, it is not licit for anyone to be the interpretor of a papal renunciation, and hence every interpretation of that act of His, which reads “munus” where “ministerium” is written, is invalid and illicit.

Third, in saying “ministerium” and not “munus” the man who is Pope Benedict XVI cannot posit a valid act without the concession of a derogation, according to canon 38, and hence because he never did any such thing, as the Roman Pontiff, he posited, as the man who is the Pontiff, an actus irritus.

Fourth, in renouncing ministry and not munus, the apparent act of papal renunciation is irritus according to canon 188 by means of a substantial error, since the essence of the act necessary under the terms of Canon 332 §2 is a renunciation of munus, not of ministerium.

Fifth, there is no liberty to renounce munus where a renunication of ministerium is made and hence such an act fails from what is due in Canon 332 §2 regarding a free act of renuncaition of munus, and hence is invalid.

Sixth, there is no due manifestation where there is no manifestation of the due act, and because it is impossible that an act of renunciation of ministerium manifest an act of renunciation of munus, hence it is invalid according to Canon 332 §2.

Seventh, since for some days after the pronouncement of the declaration the integral act was not had, it is impossible that the act of the previous Cardinal Dean was valid to announce a papal renunciation, according to the norm of Canon 40 and afterwards to convoke a conclave.

Eighth, all the actions of Pope Benedict XVI throughout the last 7 years demonstrate that he understands munus as a vocation and grace never to be rejected and not as a renounced ministerium or ecclesiastical office, and it is evident that this is true, because He bears still that Name and clothing and dignity of a pope as a personal possession, which is clearly a demonstration that he did not have nor has the intention of renouncing the munus.

For all these reasons, I humbly beg you for the sake of the Holy Church of God to call a convocation of the Cardinals in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, at an opportune time, to seek the truth in this matter so as to bear away all doubt concerning the petrine succession for the sake of the salvation of Christ’s Church. The elimination of this doubt is the right and due to all the parties in this controversy and harms none of them.

Thank you for the time you have taken reading my letter,

In Saint Francis, a humble servant of the Papacy,

– – –

I have published this letter to encourage all of you to write to your own Cardinals and Bishops in your part of the world an urge them to the same thing. You have my permission to copy and paste the test of my Latin or English version of my letter.

As you can see, the reasons for holding that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope are the most profound and grave and are drawn entirely from Canon Law and historical facts. They are not based on unfounded opinion, misquoted texts or insults, as those of Trad Inc..

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If the Anti-Pope is not named during a Mass in Suffrage of Pope Benedict….

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Since Saturday things have changed in the Catholic Church. Now priests can and should say the Mass in suffrage of the Roman Pontiff, during which, instead of naming the Pope, one names the deceased Roman Pontiff.

At such masses, regardless of which priests offer, if they do not name Pope Francis, Catholics can licitly receive the Sacrament, because the priest has withdrawn from public schism.

And according to the rubrics, they should not name Francis, at such masses.

The priest may personally still think Francis is the Pope, but by omitting his name in the Canon, he publicly asserts the contrary. And that is sufficient in the sight of God to exculpate any Catholic from attending his mass.

I say this regarding priests who are not heretics, idolators and in regard to those who have publicly criticized the Antipope for these things.

Those priests who wanted to stop naming Francis in the canon, but were afraid to do that, can now use this present circumstance to do that. In fact, they can continue to do so for the rest of the illegitimate pontificate of Bergoglio.

If however, there are priests in your region who named Pope Benedict XVI as pope in recent days, weeks, years, continue to attend their masses, because it would be a scandal to do otherwise, and because in the next 21 days, we should gather together even more in prayer for Pope Benedict XVI with the best of clergy and laity, since their prayers are more effective in the sight of God.

Within a Month, the Catholic Church will have a new Roman Pontiff

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Traduction Française — Versione Italiana

The passing of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the Successor of Saint Peter, has started the clock which countdowns the time set by the Papal Law Universi dominici gregis, for the election of a new Roman Pontiff.

This process is an unavoidable and necessary legal requirement for the College of Cardinals, who are given no special authority in the Church to elect the Roman Pontiff apart from this law.

In accord with n. 37 of that law, modified by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 22, 2013 A. D., the Cardinals must convene to elect a new pope of the Catholic Church within 21 days, for a valid election. This validity is granted by the Papal Law only under the most stringent and exclusive condition, of n. 77 of that law:

77. I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the renunciation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

(Please note that the official English translation, has “resignation” in place of “renunciation” in the passage above, where as the only binding text, the Latin original reads, “renunciation”.)

Thus, since Pope Benedict XVI never in fact renounced the petrine munus, which he was elected to receive in accord with express obligation of the Cardinals, in a conclave, specified in n. 53 of that same papal law,*  the College must convene.

In this regard, there is now an attempt by some to impose an entirely false narrative upon the present circumstances, not only as regards the completely non-factual assertions that Pope Benedict XVI has abdicated, or the attempt to signify that with the word “resignation” which does not exist in the Church’s juridical norms currently in force, but also to insist that this Papal Law be interpreted according to English common law, where the mere holding of power gives one a right.

Contrariwise, in Church Law, which is based on Roman Law, the merely holding of power confers no right. Thus, the Cardinal electors, by the mere fact that they are the electors, have no right to alter the observance of the Law or chose not to fulfill it.

If they do, they would lose all right to elect the Roman Pontiff, and the Church would enter into an exception juridical situation, as regards the current norms, and the Apostolic Right of the faithful of the Church of Rome (Dioceses of Rome and the Suburbican Dioceses bordering it) revives, since as the prefatory letter of Pope John Paul II, affixed to the Papal Law, expressly affirms that the institution of the Conclave “is not necessary for the valid election of the Roman Pontiff.”

Immediately following the burial of Pope Benedict XVI we should not be surprised if we see the Dean of the College invoke a Conclave. This is because, by the very nature of the requirement in n. 37, the Cardinals must convene within 21 days of the death of the Roman Pontiff:

No. 37. “I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, fifteen full days must elapse before the Conclave begins, in order to await those who are absent; nonetheless, the College of Cardinals is granted the faculty to move forward the start of the Conclave if it is clear that all the Cardinal electors are present; they can also defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few days more. But when a maximum of twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election.”

(This is the modified version of n. 37, as changed by Pope Benedict XVI).

They can meet earlier if they are all assembled, but they cannot defer more than 21 days.

Also, though they have discretion to interpret vague obligations of this law, as per n. 5 of this law, they cannot interpret 21 to be any other number.

In addition, they cannot exercise the discretion of n. 5, unless they hold a meeting and vote upon it, since votes of a juridical nature specified in the Code of Canon Law, must be in person.

The dominant narrative is attempting, however, to pre-program the expectation that the Cardinals will not convene in Conclave. Though it is impossible to know the future, one can however outline how imprudent that would be for the rights and privileges of the College.

First, because the Cardinals have no exclusive right and only have a right to elect a pope, according to this law, if they exercise their rights, the situation is not like English Common Law where they have the discretionary right not to exercise their statutory duty.

Second, because the Cardinals cannot decide to do anything except by vote, that vote not to enter into Conclave would have to be unanimous, for it it were not, then the Cardinals dissenting against the decision could publish pronounce the others in schism, and convene on their own a Conclave, after having elected their own Dean and vice Dean etc.. And thus the minority could proceed to a legal and valid election. And since the risk that a minority chose the Pope would most certainly be against the pleasure of the majority, the only prudent thing would be for the entire College to enter into Conclave.

Nor is there any real risk to the College to enter into Conclave, because whether they want Bergoglio to be the Pope or not, they could always elect him a second time, so that henceforth he hold the Petrine Munus and there be no doubt anymore to his legitimacy.

So any failure to convene, would set up the situation I have already written about here.

Thus, it is absolutely certain that within the next 30 days will be will have a new legitimate Roman Pontiff, for even if Bergoglio would be elected again, his first pontificate was never legitimate, and he was never a Pope.


* 53. In conformity with the provisions of No. 52, the Cardinal Dean or the Cardinal who has precedence by order and seniority, will read aloud the following formula of the oath:

We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favour to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.