Category Archives: Ecclesiology

How Cardinal Sodano robbed the Papacy from Pope Benedict!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I have reported before, in February 2013 there was a de facto coup d’etat at the Vatican, the result of which was the imprisonment of Pope Benedict XVI, and the convocation of an illegal, illicit and invalid Conclave, which resulted in the illegal, illicit and invalid election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Now, I invite the entire Church to examine more carefully what happened in the 58 minutes after the Consistory of February 11, 2013, which ended just before noon, Rome time, on that day.

According to Canon Law, it was the grave and solemn duty of the Dean of the College of Cardinals to approach Pope Benedict and ask for a written copy of his act of Renunciation.

Here are the relevant Canons of the Code of 1983 which regulate what should have been done:

Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.

Can. 41 — Exsecutor actus administrativi cui committitur merum exsecutionis ministerium, exsecutionem huius actus denegare non potest, nisi manifesto appareat eundem actum esse nullum aut alia ex gravi causa sustineri non posse aut condiciones in ipso actu administrativo appositas non esse adimpletas; si tamen actus administrativi exsecutio adiunctorum personae aut loci ratione videatur inopportuna, exsecutor exsecutionem intermittat; quibus in casibus statim certiorem faciat auctoritatem quae actum edidit.

Needless to say, I have added some color to the letters of the text to make it clear that, in the very 2 Canons which Cardinal Sodano should have carefully read and acted upon, there is made by the Code itself the distinction between munus and ministerium. And yet for 6 years, and especially during the last 12 months, those who have sustained that the renunciation was valid, dared use the argument that there no distinction between the terms!

It seems so true, that it is almost a law, that whatever one investigates about the Pontificate of Bergoglio, one uncovers nothing but lies and frauds. This is clearly the greatest.

The Laws which governed what Cardinal Sodano should have done

Because in that key moment, before Sodano through Father Lombardi gave the Sig.ra Chirri the go ahead to publish to the world that Benedict had resigned, He will leave the Pontificate on Feb. 28 (B16 è dimesso. Lascia il Pontificato Feb 28), he HAD TO read these 2 canons, or at least recall them.

Let us therefore take a closer look at these 2 canons, which regard what is to be done when someone, with mere Executive authority, receives notice from someone, with the jurisdiction to posit an adminstrative act, that he is to take an action.

My English translation of the Canons:

Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his office (suo munero), before he receives the documents (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) their integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of them has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.

Canon 41: The executor of an administrative act to whom there has been committed the mere ministry (ministerium) of execution, cannot refuse execution of the act, unless the same act appears to be null from (something) manifest [manifesto] or cannot be sustained for any grave cause or the conditions in the administrative act itself do not seem to be able to have been fulfilled: however, if the execution of the administrative act seems inopportune by reason of place or adjoined persons, let the executor omit the execution; in which cases let him immediately bring the matter to the attention of (certiorem faciat) the authority which published the act.

What Cardinal Sodano did

First, as Canon 40 states, Cardinal Sodano’s first duty was to ask Pope Benedict XVI for a written copy of the Act of Renunciation. This is because, as read out-loud, anyone fluent in Latin, as Cardinal Sodano is reputed to be, would have noticed multiple errors in the Latin, most grievous of which was the enunciation of commisum not commiso by the Holy Father. This touched upon the integrity of the act.

Second, in receiving the Act of Renunciation in the authentic Latin Text, and finding that it was as it was intended to be read, he was obliged to examine if the act was in conformity with Canon 332 §2, which reads:

Canon 332 § 2. Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur.

My translation:

Canon 332 §2. If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his office (muneri suo), for validity there is required that the renunciation be done freely and duly manifested, but not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.

And thus, in this examination, the Cardinal had to confront the very Distinction between munus and ministerium that was founded in the Act of Renunciation, which contains the terms munus and ministerium, but renounces only the ministerium!

Clearly anyone reading Canon 40, would see that munus means office or charge! And in reading canon 41 that ministerium means execution of the duties of the office. Clearly he would as Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals realize that it is one thing to have a munus to do something, quite another to put into motion his ministerium to execute it. — He was acting on the very basis of that distinction, because before he acted, he held the munus to act, and in acting he executed the ministerium to act!

For this reason, Cardinal Sodano must be questioned if not publicly accused of having closed his eyes! That is, of having ignored the distinction and his own grave duty and invalidly executed his office, by declaring the act a valid act of renunciation of the papal office!

This is especially true, because Canon 41 forbids (“let him omit the execution“) and Canon 40 invalidates the action of the executor to proceed to any action, not only because the core act of renunciation was invalid, as per canon 188 (for substantial error), to effect the loss of papal office, but also because, being invalid, the Cardinal Dean could NOT recognize that the command to call a conclave was opportune.

There are other anomalies in the Act of Renunciation which also should have caused the Cardinal to stop and refer to Pope Benedict, namely:

  1. The Act of Renunciation is not an act of renunciation, but the declaration of an act of renunciation. As such it lacks the formal quality of a canonical act per se, since it is one thing to announce, another to enact!
  2. The Act of Renunciation contains what appears to be a command to call a conclave. But this command is NOT a command, because it is a declaration not a command, and it is made in the First Person singular, which signifies the man who is the pope, inasmuch as he is the man, NOT the man who is the pope, inasmuch as he is the pope. But the man who is the pope, inasmuch as he is the man, whether he has renounced or not cannot call a Conclave, since he has no authority to do so!
  3. The Act of Renunciation contains no derogation of any terms of canon law which it violates as is required by canon 38.
  4. The errors in the Latin demonstrated clearly that the Holy Father had prepared the Act in secret without the counsel of canon lawyers and Latinists, and that therefore, it may lack formal interior consent or be based on other errors of fact or law or comprehension of Latin.

Thus, for Cardinal Sodano to proceed to act as if the renunciation were valid, violated the general principle of law, that the validity of the renunciation of power or right is NOT to be presumed.

This is a general principle of jurisprudence and is even found in Canon Law, in an applied form, in Canon 21:

Can. 21 — In dubio revocatio legis praeexistentis non praesumitur, sed leges posteriores ad priores trahendae sunt et his, quantum fieri potest, conciliandae.

Canon 21In doubt, the revocation of a pre-existing law is not presumed, but later laws are to be compared with prior ones, as much as can be done, be reconciled to them.

In a word, Cardinal Sodano by acting was claiming a munus to act (Canon 40) and using that authority to exercise a ministry (Canon 41) to deny that the Pope had a munus which had to be renounced (Canon 332 §2)!

Thus the Act of Renunciation appeared to be null from MANY manifest aspects of the terminology and grammatical structure. Canon 41 therefore required that he confer with the Pope to have them corrected! Canon 40 invalidated any action he took prior to recognizing the act as authentic and integral, that is, not canonically invalid, irritus or null. — And in Canon Law, as per canon 17, to recognize something as valid, does NOT mean insisting it is valid, when it is not! That is fraud.

By omitting the honest fulfillment of his duties, he acted with reckless disregard for his own office as Dean. He exploited the canonical defects in the Act to perpetrate a horrible crime of misrepresentation. This was tantamount to robbing the Roman Pontiff of his office by exploiting his authority, so as to declare valid what was invalid to produce a papal resignation!

Thus, according to the terms of Canon 40 and 41, Cardinal Sodano should have acted differently. The act of renunciation was of ministry, not of munus, and therefore was NOT an act of resignation. Therefore the declaration of a resignation, which had to have emanated from Cardinal Sodano’s desk, was a canonical lie and fraud! And since, ignorance of the law in those who should know the law is not presumed, Cardinal Sodano cannot be excused from an abuse of his office (munus).

What Cardinal Sodano should have done!

Upon receiving the document of Renunciation, and noticing that the renunciation of ministerium was not the act specified by Canon 332 §2, he should have spoken with Pope Benedict in the presence of 2 credible witnesses and brought this to his attention, as Canon 41 requires. Then he should have asked whether it was his intention to renounce the Petrine munus or simply to renounce the Petrine Ministerium. In the latter case, he should have (1) asked the Holy Father to issue a Motu Proprio naming someone to be his Vicar extraordinaire who would have the potestas executionis but not the office of the Pope, during the remainder of his life, OR, (2) in the case that he indicated that it was his intention to resign the papal office, he then should have asked him to sign a corrected copy of the act, containing the word muneri instead of ministerio and correcting all the other errors, whether of form, of Latin, or grammatical structure etc.. To have done anything less would be a grave sin of disrespect for the Office of the Successor of St. Peter, to which the Cardinal was bound by solemn vow to protect and defend.

Simple. Easy. Legal, Legit. By failing to do that, he convened an illicit, illegal and invalid Conclave, and made Bergoglio an Antipope, not the Pope!

(Photo Credits: CTV)

Who are in schism from Pope Benedict XVI?

REPRINT OF APRIL 19, 2020

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There is no better day than the 15th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s acceptance of the Petrine Munus, than to address the most important question regarding who is and who is not in schism from him. For on that day, Sunday, April 19, 2020, the whole Church will celebrate the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s XVI election and acceptance of the Office of Saint Peter.

Notice I said “the whole Church”.

You might ask me, “But how can that be, if so few still recognize him as the Pope?”

This question merits an answer, especially on such a solemn day.

First of all, one must understand that this question can be answered in several ways. Because just as every creature is composed of form and matter, so every creature can be considered formally or materially. Here I use “matter”  not in the sense used by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who often restricted matter to the physical particulate in creatures creatures, but in the sense of Saint Bonaventure who holds it to be mere potentiality to be.

So the Catholic Church, obviously, being a creature of God, that is created by Jesus Christ, has a form and matter.  What She is, is Her form. And of what She is, is Her matter.

What is the Catholic Church

The form of the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Assembly of the Faithful, the Communion of the Saints.

In this definition, “Mystical Body of Christ” refers to Her relationship to Jesus Christ, inasmuch as She is inseparable from Him on account of Her members being baptized into Him and living by His grace, His mediation, and His Headship or governance.

However, in this definition, “Assembly of the Faithful” refers to the created persons who comprise or make up the Church. The Church is constituted materially, that is, in Her constitutive members by the baptized believers. This is a double condition.

First you have to believe and then you also have to be baptized with the Sacrament. If you simply believe, but are not baptized yet, you are associated with the Church inasmuch as you pose no obstacle to union with Her and seek Baptism, but otherwise you are not even yet a believer, since true Christian Faith requires union with the Catholic Church and water Baptism.

In addition, to be a believer, you have to assent by a supernatural act of mind to all that Jesus Christ teaches in Scripture, Tradition, and in the infallible magisterium of the Church.  If you assent to 99.999999999% but reject the rest, you are not a believer, though you may be baptized.

Finally, you consciously have to accept that Christ established Saint Peter and His successors as the bond of unity in the Church.

Moreover, in the definition of the Church as the “Communion of Saints”, “Saints” refers strictly to the Saints in Heaven, but generally, to all who are baptized into Christ here on Earth, who believe the whole faith, are united to the Roman Pontiff in ecclesiastical communion and who are in the state of grace. If you are all these things, but are in mortal sin, then you do not share this communion, because you are dead to Christ, to grace and to the Holy Spirit. You need to go to confession and repent to be revived.

Of what is the Church composed

As we can see from the definition of what the Church is, there are Three things which are required for someone to be a member of the Catholic Church: Faith, sacramental Baptism, communion with the Roman Pontiff.  You have to have at some point in your life consciously accepted all three and never rejected them. This applies even to Baptism, if you received baptism as a babe, you have to accept it now and not reject it.

Communion with the Roman Pontiff

It follows, then, that being in communion with the true Pope is a necessity to be reckoned by God as a member of His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.

If you reject the concept of the Papacy, the authority of all the popes, etc., or the whole concept that Christ gave to Saint Peter a special office which passes down to his successors, then you cannot be in communion with the Roman Pontiff, because you do not regard him to be what the Church teaches he is.

However, if you accept the teaching of the Church about the Roman Pontiff and Saint Peter’s Office, then it is sufficient that you accept the Roman Pontiff and obey him in all things just and right, as the Church teaches, to be in communion with the Pope.

Being in communion with the Pope

However, since both God and the Church judge things by truth and according to the whole truth, one can speak of a person being in communion with the pope in several ways: according to faith, according to intention, according to right knowledge, according to action.

According to faith, every Catholic is in communion with the pope by simply accepting the teaching of the Church on the papacy and the papal prerogatives.

According to intention, every Catholic who intends to be in communion with the true pope is in communion with the true pope, because intention does not fail on account of ignorance or error.  A Catholic missionary in the remotest part of the world, who did not know that one pope died and another was elected, but kept offering mass in communion with the dead pope, was never according to intention not in communion with the true pope. He was just ignorant of the news.

Likewise, if someone is fooled into thinking one man is the true pope, who is not the true pope, because of the lies or errors spread by others, then his intention to be in communion with the true pope remains as to its spiritual value in the sight of God and His Church, even if the error will lead him in his actions and ecclesiastically to be outside of communion with the true pope.

One is in communion with the pope by right knowledge, when the one whom he recognizes as the true pope is according to canon law the true pope.

And finally, one is in communion with the pope by action, when one has both intention, right knowledge and performs actions of obedience or service to the true Pope in all that is legitimate and right and just, even if this requires one to correct the pope when he is in error.

Who, then, is in communion with Pope Benedict XVI?

Now we can answer the question, which was first moved above.

If we speak of communion with Pope Benedict XVI in the true sense, according to which one merits grace and according to which God judges the matter, only those are in communion with Pope Benedict XVI, who recognize that he is still the true and only pope according to the norm of law. It does not matter if they do so because they think his renunciation was invalid or ineffective on account of one thing or the other, because whether they do on account of a true argument or evidence or on account of faulty knowledge, the result is the same, they remain in communion with the true pope.

All others are in formal schism with Pope Benedict XVI. But not all others are guilty of the sin or of the canonical crime of schism.

However, in a moral sense, that is, judging by intentions, all those who would be in communion with him if they knew the truth, but who presently do not regard him as the Pope because of accepting the fake news put out in Feb. 2013, remain in communion with him. But since this communion is not formal, only moral, they do not enjoy the full merit of communion with him. But how much merit they do enjoy is known to God alone. Nevertheless, because of their error, they might very well be committing grave mortal sins of disrespect for him or disobedience to him or falling into other grave errors or sins on account of following Bergoglio as the pope, when Bergoglio is in fact, that is, by law, an anti-pope. And for these reasons, even one who is only morally in communion with Pope Benedict — because if he had true knowledge would recognize him as the pope — loses the grace of God and is dragged down to perdition because of such sins and de facto separation.

Obviously, those who reject the evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is the true pope are not in communion with him, though if this rejection is merely light and based on invincible ignorance, they might only demerit a little by it. For them it is not yet a mortal sin.

But when it is based on full knowledge, such as that which the Cardinals must certainly have, especially if they hold doctorates in Canon Law and have examined the evidence, then their rejection is a mortal sin of schism and totally separates them from the Church, and thus in virtue of canon 1364 these are excommunicated ipso facto latae sententiae for the crime of schism. See here for a complete list of other canonical crimes of which they might be guilty.  The first effect of this excommunication is that they lose all office in the Church, including the right to elect the Roman Pontiff and/or govern a diocese or hold any position of authority in the Roman Curia or at the Vatican.

Whether those in schism confect valid sacraments?

The confection of the Sacraments refers to the ability of a validly ordained priest or validly consecrated Bishop to validly confer the Sacraments. When a sacrament is validly conferred it truly did exist and was truly given. Sacramental validity refers to the Sacrament being a true Sacrament. Because when true, the Christ makes it powerful.

The teaching of the Church has always been that Catholic Bishops and Priests, as well as schismatic clergy, can validly confer  all the Sacraments, except the Sacrament of Penance, that is, Confession. This last Sacrament normally requires that the one hearing confessions is in communion with the true Pope, from whom flows the power to forgive sins. This communion has to be formal and conscious.

But if a schismatic priest or Bishop is also a pertinacious heretic in any matter whatsoever, then they might not be able to validly confer a sacrament IF their heresy denies the efficacy of the Sacrament which they are attempting to confer.  Thus if a priest pertinaciously denies that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus, there is grave doubt that the Eucharist which he consecrates becomes Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood. Otherwise, as with all clergy, so long as the priest or Bishop does what the Church prescribes, the Sacrament is valid.

But if the clergy are not formally in communion with the true Pope, then the Sacraments they confer obviously do not restore one to communion with the true pope. Nor are they as efficacious in those who are schismatics, because the sin of schism or their separation from the true pope obstructs the power Christ gave to the Sacrament.

For this reason, we must understand that schism alone, whether the sin or the canonical crime, does not make a Sacrament invalid (excepting Confession), but it does reduce their efficacy in schismatics.  The Mass too, as a prayer of impetration — that is as a prayer and sacrifice which obtains grace and mercy from God — is not as efficacious when offered by Schismatic clergy, because their sin makes their offering of the true Sacrifice displeasing to the Divine Majesty. And in this sense you can say their masses are less efficacious. You could also say they are invalid, but that is improperly said.

According to Saint Alphonsus, however, a Catholic in communion with the true pope can receive the Sacraments from schismatics who are not heretics, under certain conditions: see here for his teaching. This applies to even the Sacrament of Confession, which in virtue of the fact that the penitent is in communion with the true pope and has grave need (i.e. is in mortal sin), can be validly conferred on him if his confession is otherwise capable of validly receiving absolution). (And it is not necessary to admit in confession that Benedict XVI is the true pope).

This is important to understand, because on Sunday, Catholics have the duty to attend Mass. But this duty applies only when there is a Catholic priest or Bishop in communion with the true Pope offering Mass. If he, rather, is a schismatic in fact, or by intention or by desire, his mass cannot be reckoned as Catholic and thus attending it does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. And there is no moral obligation to attend such masses.

However, if he is not a heretic and is simply in error about who is the true Pope, a Catholic who is not in error about who is a true Pope can attend and receive Communion, so long as scandal is not given, that is, so long as by doing so one does not lead others into thinking that communion with the true pope is not important. But again, there is no moral obligation to attend these masses, because they are objectively offered in schism from Pope Benedict XVI.

Finally, if a priest or Bishop refuses communion to Catholics who publicly recognize the true pope as the true pope, one is obliged to presume that such a priest or Bishop is a formal schismatic and guilty of the canonical crime of schism, and one should avoid him as an excommunicate. But if he is willing to give the Sacraments to those who publicly recognize Pope Benedict XVI as the true pope, then he is probably not a formal schismatic and may be signalling that he recognizes that Pope Benedict XVI may indeed be the true pope.

Can a pope be in schism with himself?

A pope cannot be in schism with himself, obviously, because the notion of being in communion with the pope does not apply to the pope, it only applies to everyone else on earth. The Saints and Angels of Heaven, and God, obviously are always in communion with him, even if no one else on earth was, and even if he does not know he is the true pope.

Let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI to return to his duties, and let us work to convince all others to remain or return to communion with him.

For as Pope Boniface VIII taught, rejection of the true Pope merits eternal damnation.

POSTSCRIPT: Here are the names of the Clergy in communion with Pope Benedict XVI. If you know others, please leave their names in the comments below. IF YOU ARE A BISHOP, PRIEST or DEACON WHO IS IN COMMUNION WITH POPE BENEDICT, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS LIST!

Clergy in communion with Pope Benedict XVI

Jesus Christ and all the popes, bishops, priests, deacons, those in minor Orders, in Heaven

All the popes, bishops, priests, deacons and all those in minor orders in Purgatory

Archbishop Jan Paul Lenga, Emeritus of Karaganga, but residing now in Poland
Bishop René Henry Gracida, Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

Several Italian Bishops, who are not yet publicly identified

Father Walter Covens, Martinique, France
Father Francesco d’Erasmo, Tarquinia, Italy
Father Alessandro Minutella, Palermo, Sicily
Father Enrico Roncaglia, Veneto, Italy

Several priests at Rome, not yet publicly identified

Many priests in all the world, who are not yet courageous enough to publicly admit it OR who are not known to us yet.

Catholic organizations in communion with Pope Benedict XVI

Il Piccolo Nazareth: a movement lead by Don Minutella of Palermo
Veri Catholici: an association opposing Kasperite heretics
Ordo Militaris Catholicus: an association dedicated to the defense of Catholics

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Pope Benedict’s Renunciation is invalid for 6 Canonical Reasons

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics begin the effort to make known to the clergy that they were defrauded of their loyalty to Christ’s Vicar on Feb. 28, 2013, it is important to have at hand a short summary of the canonical problems in Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, Non solum propter. (Official text here at Vatican website)

Here is such a short summary.

6 canonical errors in the Act of Renunciation

  1. In the Act, the Roman pontiff renounces “the ministry committed to him through the hands of the Cardinals” on the day he was elected. But canon 332 §2, in the official Latin text of that canon, requires that the renunciation be of the petrine “munus”, that is the Papal Office (cf. canons 331, 333, 334, 749). Therefore, the act is NOT a renunciation of the papacy. Thus, in regard to canon 332 §2, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS. And if it  be said or thought to be an act of renunciation of the papacy, then the assertion or estimation is false by reason of Canon 188, which declares IRRITUS any renunciations of office vitiated by substantial error, that is by an error which touches the substance of the act (which, in this case, is constituted by the essence of the act as an act of renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium).*
  2. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff does not name the office by any proper canonical term, and thus the act is also an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be duly manifested (rite manifestetur), since that which is not named is not manifest.
  3. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff’s liberty regards that which he does, not that which he does not do, which, since he does not do it, whether he be free to do it or not, is not expressed. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be freely executed (libere fiat).
  4. In making a declaration of renunciation, instead of renouncing, the act is also an ACTUS NULLUS, because canon law does not regard declarations to be canonical acts. They are merely announcements. (cf. Penal section on announcements regarding persons who have incurred latae sententiae excommunications ipso iure).
  5. In making what appears to be a renunciation of the papacy, without naming the papal office as required by Canon 332 §2, the man making the declaration, inasmuch as he is the man, who received the office and who is attempting to separate himself from the office, had need to obtain from the man who is the Pope, an express derogation of the terms of canon 332 §2, in virtue of canon 38, and since he did not, since no concession of derogation of that requirement is mentioned in the act, then by reason of canon 38, the act, which is both contrary to the law of Canon 332 §2 and gravely injurious of the right of the faithful to know who is the true pope and when he has canonically resigned, is an ACTUS SINE EFFECTU, that is an act which lacks all effect.
  6. Finally, in renouncing “the ministry”, the Roman Pontiff posits a legal act which is not foreseen in the Code of Canon Law, since no canon therein speaks of a renunciation of ministry. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS according to the norm of law. Therefore, in accord with canon 41 no one with an office in the Church has any duty to recognize it.

__________

* I do not include substantial error as one of the canonical errors in the Act, because the act was never one of a renunciation of the papal office. The argument that substantial error vitiates the act, technically, has more to do with the mis-perceptions or false claims made about the canonical value of the act, than with the act itself. Speaking of substantial error is thus necessary when discussing it with someone who is operating under the false premise that the Pope renounced the papacy, but eventually one must talk about the reality of what the Pope actually said on that day, and distinguish that reality from the misperception which was published to all the world.

POST SCRIPT: Note that in the title of this post I use the word “invalid” in the common sense of an act which does not effect what one thinks it effects, but properly speaking the term should be “vitiated” or “erroneous”, because as you can see from the list of 6 canonical errors, 3 regard nullity, 2 regard invalidity, and 1 regards being without effect.

 

The news that Benedict renounced the Papacy is itself canonically invalid

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I have said before, everything in the Bergoglian Church is founded upon lies and falsehoods. And the more you investigate, the more you find that this is true.

In many posts, here at The From Rome Blog, I have focused on the canonical problems of the Declaratio read aloud by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013, during the Consistory of Cardinals called for the canonization of the Martyrs of Otranto and other saints.

Today I want to share only a short reflection, directed that those who think, that since everyone accepted that Benedict resigned the papacy, upon the news published that day, that we are canonically or morally bound to hold fast with that interpretation until some authority says otherwise.

The truth is, however, exactly the opposite.

And the truth is the opposite, because, once again, Pope John Paul II saved the Church from that kind of false thinking when he promulgated the Code of Canon Law in 1983, specifically including canon 40, which addresses this very issue.

That canon reads as follows in the Latin, official text:

Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.

Here is my English translation:

Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his office (suo munero), before he receives the documents (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) their integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of them has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.

And here is the problem, plain to see. Pope Benedict XVI read his Declaratio on that day between 11:30 and 11:40 A.M. It was so unexpected, that Vatican TV had to turn the cameras on several moments after the reading had begun. — Tell me again, that this was planned for months in advance, as Archbishop Ganswein keeps insisting in recent years!

Then at 11:58, Father Lombardi gives Giovanna Chirri, the ANSA pool reporter, the go ahead to tweet out that Benedict was resigning, he will leave the Pontificate on Feb. 28th.

But from Feb. 11, 2013 to about Feb. 18, 2013, the Vatican Press Office was publishing varying versions of the Renunciation, correcting now this, now that.

Thus, only until the final version was had, could anyone VALIDLY respond to it in canonical form, since Canon 40 requires that those with an office in the Church NOT act until they have the administrative act in hand in its integral form.

This means that the idea that Benedict had resigned the Papacy arose in that period of time in which Pope John Paul II forbid any canonically binding actions. That means that whoever told Lombardi to tell reporters anything, acted invalidly according to Canon Law. Which means that their act binds no one! And can never bind anyone.

It also means that once the final version was published, ALL who held office in the Church were canonically obliged TO RE-EXAMINE the act. — Did they do that?

I suggest the next time anyone says Bergoglio is certainly the Pope, ask them if they did that on Feb. 19, 2013. I bet you will find that the answer is that they did not.

So the next time anyone attempts to gaslight you into thinking that you are wrong to disagree with the “universal acceptance” of Benedict’s renunciation, you might want to ask them if they have ever read Canon 40 and considered that not only was the news Fake News, but its publication lacks ALL CANONICAL AUTHORITY.  This means, that the news never came from the Church of Jesus Christ, as an ontological entity.

As the sheep of Christ, then, we are gravely obliged to stop regarding it as authoritative. Indeed, to continue to do so is to transfer our loyalty, which we should show to the Church, to some other entity. And that is precisely the shell game of the AntiChrist.

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Pope Benedict XVI knew what he was doing, and knows he remains the Vicar of Jesus Christ

This is a reblog of the article which is originally entitled, An answer to why Benedict resigned the ministerium not the munus

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The question has been raised for more than 7 years and numerous scholars have studied it and attempted to answer. The first was Father Stefano Violi, a canonist at the faculty of Lugano. Then, there was Antonio Socci who wrote numerous books on the matter. Then there was Ann Barnhardt who after her famous declaration of June 2016, that Pope Benedict XVI had made a substantial error, in the summer of 2019 published extensive documentation showing Joseph Ratzinger’s participation in discussions about splitting the Petrine Munus from the Petrine Ministerium in a shared papacy.

But the definitive answer on the question why he renounced the ministerium only and not the munus, I think was just given by Dr. Edmund Mazza in his Essay, cited by Edward Pentin yesterday, and republished in full at the suggestion of Dr. Mazza, here at FromRome.Info today and at the Most Rev. Rene Henry Gracida’s blog, Abyssum.org, where Bishop Gracida calls it a “brilliant” exposition.

It is brilliant because its is based only on Pope Benedict’s own words and the norms of Canon law. I will explain why, here, and use the same method.

Dr. Edmund Mazza holds a Ph.D. in Medieval History and was transitory collaborator with me at The Scholasticum, an Italian Non profit for the revival of the study and use of Scholastic method.

The Mind of Pope Benedict

Here I quote the key passage from Dr. Mazza, explaining why ministerium and not munus:

Seewald then observes: “One objection is that the papacy has been secularized by the resignation; that it is no longer a unique office but an office like any other.” Benedict replies:

I had to…consider whether or not functionalism would completely encroach on the papacy … Earlier, bishops were not allowed to resign…a number of bishops…said ‘I am a father and that I’ll stay’, because you can’t simply stop being a father; stopping is a functionalization and secularization, something from the sort of concept of public office that shouldn’t apply to a bishop. To that I must reply: even a father’s role stops. Of course a father does not stop being a father, but he is relieved of concrete responsibility. He remains a father in a deep, inward sense, in a particular relationship which has responsibility, but not with day-to-day tasks as such…If he steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility he took on, but not in the function…one comes to understand that the office [munus] of the Pope has lost none of its greatness…

Benedict again goes to great lengths to contrast the difference between I. “the office of the Pope” and II. the ministry or “function” associated with it. How to “decode” Benedict? By examining the words he has chosen and the ways he has deployed them before. 

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

And Dr. Mazza continues, further below, after citing a key passage from a 1978 discourse by Ratzinger on personal responsibility and the Papacy,

This 1977 speech is, in fact, the key to deciphering, not only Benedict’s 2017 interview, but his 2013 resignation speech.

In 2017 Benedict says: “If he [the pope] steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility” he took on, but not in the “function,” or “day-to-day” tasks.  In 1977 Ratzinger says: “this institution [the papacy] can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility…”  He adds: “He abides in obedience and thus in personal responsibility for Christ; professing the Lord’s death and Resurrection is his whole commission and personal responsibility.” 

For Benedict, “personal responsibility” is the essence of what it means to be pope. To be responsible not as a public official filled with day to day tasks, but metaphysical responsibility for the flock of Christ. In his interview, Benedict says that although he “stepped down,” “HE REMAINS…WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY.” Translation: “He remains Pope!”

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

Far Reaching Implications

Dr. Mazza has ably demonstrated that for Benedict the munus means the personal responsibility which can never be rejected, and the ministerium is the day to take fulfillment of the tasks in  public way.

But he has also demonstrated that for Benedict, the Office of the Papacy is the personal responsibility of a single person. This is clearly seen in a brief quote from the 1977 talk, cited at length by Dr. Mazza in his essay:

The ‘‘we’’ unity of Christians, which God instituted in Christ through the Holy Spirit under the name of Jesus Christ and as a result of his witness, certified by his death and Resurrection, is in turn maintained by personal bearers of responsibility for this unity, and it is once again personified in Peter—in Peter, who receives a new name and is thus lifted up out of what is merely his own, yet precisely in a name, through which demands are made of him as a person with personal responsibility. In his new name, which transcends the historical individual, Peter becomes the institution that goes through history (for the ability to continue and continuance are included in this new appellation), yet in such a way that this institution can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility…

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

Conclusions of Fact and Interpretation

From this we are forced to conclude, the following:

  1. Pope Benedict XVI knew what he was doing.
  2. Pope Benedict XVI never intended to lay down the personal responsibility or munus
  3. Pope Benedict XVI only intended to leave aside the day to day work of the ministerium.
  4. Pope Benedict XVI therefore is still the pope and he thinks he is the pope.
  5. Pope Benedict XVI considers his act of renouncing the ministerium just as valid as his retention of the munus.
  6. Pope Benedict’s concept of Pope Emeritus signifies, thus, the retention of the munus and dignity in the full sense and of the office in a partial sense.

Conclusions of Law and Right

And from this we can conclude the following according to the norm of law:

Canon 188 – A renunciation made through grave fear, unjustly inflicted, deceit or substantial error, or even with simony, is irritus by the law itself.

Irritus, is a canonical term which means not done in such a way as to fulfill the norm of law. According to Wim Decock, Theologians and Contract Law: the Moral transformation of the Ius commune (1500-1650), p. 216, irritus means “automatically void” (Source)

We can see this from the Code of Canon Law itself, in canon 126:

Canon 126 – Actus positus ex ignorantia aut ex errore, qui versetur circa id quod eius substantiam constituit, aut qui recidit in condicionem sine qua non, irritus est; secus valet, nisi aliud iure caveatur, sed actus ex ignorantia aut ex errore initus locum dare potest actioni rescissoriae ad normam iuris.

Which in English is:

Canon 126 – An act posited out of ignorance or out of an error, which revolves around that which constitutes its substance, or which withdraws from a sine qua non condition, is irritus; otherwise it is valid, unless something else be provided for by law, but an act entered into out of ignorance or out of error, can give place to a rescissory action according to the norm of law.

Rescissory means revoking or rescinding. The final clause here means an act done erroneously can be repaired if the law allows for it by a subsequent act. There is no such provision in law for papal renunciations, they have to be clear in themselves or they have to be redone (source). The sine non qua condition here is found in canon 332 §2:

If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus, …..

This is the sine non qua condition. It is a condition because it begins with If, it is sine non qua, because it specifies the form and matter of the juridical act as a renunciation (form) of munus (matter). The form and matter together make the essence of a thing. That essence of a juridical act when posited cause the substance of the thing. Essence is the sine qua non of each thing, because without it a thing is not what it is. An error therefore about the matter to be renounced is thus a substantial error in the resulting act.

And hence, the kind of renunciation posited by Pope Benedict is automatically void, null and of no effect, because it violates the Divine Constitution of the Church, which requires that one and only one person hold both the papal dignity, office and munus. There can be no sharing of the office while there is a retention of the munus and dignity.

This argument is based solely on the words of Pope Benedict XVI and the words of canon law. It has, therefore, the highest authority and probability.

I challenge any Cardinal to refute this argument! — And if they cannot, then if they do not return in allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI, they are ipso facto excommunicated by canon 1364 for the delict of schism from the Roman Pontiff. All of them, each of them. And thus have no right to elect his successor.

I put you all on notice!

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Those who reject Benedict have no Bishop with a canonical argument

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

For 8 years Catholics who have demonstrated and sustained that Pope Benedict XVI is still the true pope have been ridiculed with the assertion that we have no Bishops to support us. I do not know how long Ann Barnhardt and those she led back to the truth on this question have been so ridiculed, but probably much longer.

Now that Archbishop Paul Lenga, a hero of the Soviet Era underground Church, and Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, a hero for moving the Magisterium to define complex questions on the care of the terminally ill, have publicly stated Bergoglio is not the pope and has never been the pope, because the resignation of Pope Benedict is doubtful, and therefore invalid, the enemies of the truth are irked.

So they trotted out Bishop Athanasius, who in the most charitable assessment simply does not understand the controversy, to support them. But he failed badly. So badly that the criticism of his argument has been left in the air, with no response.

So now the tables are turned: those who say Benedict is no longer the pope HAVE NO BISHOP OR CARDINAL WHO CAN MUSTER A CANONICAL ARGUMENT to support their claim. They are actually trying to sustain their position on silence and publicly proven errors, lies, mistatements, falsehoods.

They try to defend Bergoglio at all costs and  they become Bergoglio.  Their supporters in praising them have become like Bergoglians too. Praising a Bishop for falsehoods, denials of Catholic teaching, canon law, facts and for citing fake news reports. They insist his is personally holy and should be the Pope some day, for the merit of what he attempted to do.

But Bishop Schneider is now objectively even more dishonest that Bergoglio. Because Bergoglio has never attempted to canonically justify his own claim to the Papacy. Ardent Bergoglians and all of those in the Vatican have remained likewise silent. They are smart enough minds to know that you do not enter a battle field if you cannot win.

The Truth has won 3 battles

The Renunciation has been shown to have no canonical effect but to remove consent by Pope Benedict to everything they have been doing in the Vatican since Feb. 28, 2013. That is the first battle. The canonical defense of this truth, which has been expressed clearly by Ann Barnhardt in 2016 and by others since then has has no canonical counter-reponse. Those who disagree, remain silent, or hurl unfounded assertions or non pertinent facts, when they are not hurling insults. This is the second Battle.

There is now a collegial act in the same week by two members of the College of Bishops declaring Bergoglio is not the pope and that Benedict is still the pope. This is the the third and Huge victory.

The rest of the war will be a mop up exercise

The number of Bishops and clergy and religious and laity returning to Pope Benedict’s allegiance will grow. If Benedict is in error this will help him see it. If he is not in error but waiting for support this will fulfill his desire.

Bl. Ann Catherine Emmerich foresaw it all 200 years ago. The evil dark pope will flee Rome. The Church of Jesus Christ, whom she saw in vision as a tall Lady, will humble herself by accepting the truth. We shall have victory!

Therefore, let us amass supplies, volunteers and support to bring it about sooner. Please spread the news of the International Inquest. This inquest will provide the information to the Bishops so that they can have sound reasons to move against Bergoglio and depose him as an antipope and heretic. They will then have the moral courage to call Synods and Councils, either locally or internationally to canonical declare their judgements against him.

And this kind of opposition will make Bergoglio’s position unstable. He will flee because he is a coward. Or if he dies first, his invalid illegal and illicit successor as Antipope will flee.

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Why Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori would say Benedict’s Renunciation was invalid

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by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Saints who have been canonized are already in the glory of Paradise, and so, baring an extraordinary grace, do not speak to us anymore. But those Saints who have fully explained their opinions or teaching on any point, can be said to speak to us today. This is especially true of Saints who have taught on questions of law and the principles to be followed in controversies.  Of which kind is Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori, Doctor of the Church on all questions of moral theology, and not a few questions of law.

No one has the right to interpret a Papal Resignation

As I reported in my notes for my meeting with Bishop Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts — who is the top Vatican official for questions of legal interpretation — he emphatically declared, that no one has the right to interpret a Papal Resignation. It must be clear in itself.

This statement by Bishop Arrieta clears up the entire controversy over the renunciation of Pope Benedict. Because, it ends it.  That is, since Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministerium, not anything else. No one has the right to say that he renounced the Papal Office or petrine Munus or even power of governance.  Because to say that something else, requires an interpretation. And no one, not even the man who is the pope, has the right to interpret the act of renunciation.

But the statement of Bishop Arrieta is not of his own making. It is the necessary conclusion of legal principles.  First, that a declaration made by the man who is the pope, inasmuch as he is the man, and not the pope, cannot be judged by anyone except according to the norm of law. And since a declaration by such man when regarding the renunciation of the Office regards the renouncing of the Office, one cannot appeal to the holder of the office to interpret it. Because if it was valid, then the holder is no longer the holder, and thus cannot receive appeals. If it was not valid, then appealing to the holder of the office is tantamount to declaring the renunciation in valid.

Any appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to clarify what he meant means that the Resignation is invalid

This is a very important point, which has been overlooked in this 7 year controversy. Anyone who appeals to anything which Pope Benedict said before or after Feb. 28, 2013, to explain that the Renunciation means the renunciation of the papacy, or of the petrine munus, or of the power of governance IS IMPLICITLY AFFIRMING THAT POPE BENEDICT IS STILL THE POPE AND THAT THE RENUNCIATION WAS INVALID, because they are trying to have recourse to an official interpretation. And if the act needs to be interpreted, then it is doubtful. And if the renunciation is doubtful, then in virtue of canon 332 §2, it is invalid for lack of due manifestation.

What Saint Alphonsus says about the interpretation of a law:

For those who have overdosed on the falsehood of universal acceptance, and quote Saint Alphonsus, let us see what the Saint would say about the games the authors of such sophisms play with the words “munus” and “ministerium,” to make the Resignation say what it does not say.  For this we must have recourse to the teaching of Saint Alphonsus, taken from his great work, Theologia Moralis, Bk. I, tract ii, p. 242, De interpretatio legis. I will first quote the Latin, for those who can read Latin, and then give an English translation:

DE INTERPRETATIO LEGIS

200. Interpretatio alia est Authentica, alia Usualis, alia Doctrinalis. Authentica fieri potest vel ab ipso legislatore, vel ab eius successore, aut a superiore. Usualis est illa, quae ita ab usu est recepta. Doctrinalis autem est declaratio quaedam mentis legislatoris, quase a quocumque doctore fieri potest.

Hic dubitur an delcarationes, quae fiunt a Pontifice, vel a principe alicuius legis, indigeant promulgatione, ut obligent. In hoc distinguere oportet declarationes pure tales ab aliis quae sunt non pure tales, sed potius sunt merae interpretationes. Declarationes pure tales sunt, cum ab illis explicatur aliquis sensus, qui usque ab initio iam erat clare imbibitus in lege: ex. gr. si dubium sit, an sub verbo filii intelligatur solus legitimus aut eitam spurius, et legislator declarat intelligi etiam spurium, tunc verum fit quod sensus in lege erat clare imbibitus. Interpretatio autem, sive declaratio non pure talis est illa, cuius sensus non est clare imbibitus in lege, sed circa ipsum variae sunt opiniones, et tantum deducitur ex argumentis, v. gr. quod sub nomine patris intelligatur eitam avus, aut quod sub nomine moartis intelligatur etiam mors civilis, prout est carcer perpetuus, aut simile, recurrendo ad quamdam impropriam significationem.

His positis, dicimus cum Suarez, Castropal. Vasques, Sals, Salm. Holzaman, La-Croix, Supplet Sporger etc. quod declaratio sensus clare imbibiti in lege non requirit promulagationem, sed etiam obliget eos omnes qui illum noverint, cum talis declaratio non sit nova lex. Interpretatio vero alicuius sensus non clare, sed tantum obscure, sive improprie imbibiti in lege, quae est declaratio non pure talis (ut diximus) haec, quia habetur tanquam nova lex, ut obliget, necessario promulgationem requirit, sicut omnes aliae leges juxta dicta. n. 95 et 96. Hinc infertur cum Suar. de Leg. 1. 6. c. 1. n. 3 et Castrop. tr. 3. eod. tit. d. 5. p. 3. §. 1. n. 5 (qui citat pro se Bon. Salas, et Lorca) quod declaratio, quae fit a legislatore alicuius sensus clare in lege imbibiti (juxta exemplum adductum filii legitimi, et spurii) non requirit promulgatioem, ut obliget. Contra vero declaratio sensus obscure imbibiti (juxta exemplus avi sub nomine patris, vel mortis civilils sub nomine mortis) indiget quidem promulgatione; tunc enim ipsa novam constituit obligationem, quae per se non erat prius clare in lege imbibita. Et idem dicunt Suar. loc. cit. et Castrop. n. 2 de illis declarationibus, quae fiunt non ab eodem legislatore, sed ab eius successore, aut superiore; quia legislatoris mens nequit his esse ita cognita, ut erat ipsi legislatori; unde tunc, ut declaretur sensus (quamvis imbibitus in lege) alicuius obligationis, semper opus est recurrere ad argumenta, et interpretationes, quae novam legam constituunt, reddendo certum quod erat dubium; et ideo promulgatio requiritur, alias declaratio nunquam authentica, sed tantum doctrinalis repubabitur.

My English translation:

On the Interpretation of Law

200. One interpretation is authentic, another customary, another academic.  An authentic (interpretation) can be made either by the legislator himself, and/or by his successor, or by a superior. A customary (interpretation) is that, which has been received thus by custom.  Moreover, an academic (interpretation) is a certain declaration of the mind of the legislator, which can be made by any professor.

Here, there is doubted whether declarations, which are made by the Pontiff, and/or by a prince for any law, are in need of promulgation, to oblige.  In this, it is necessary to distinguish those which are purely such from those which are not purely such, but rather mere interpretations.  Declarations are purely such, when by them there is explicated some sense, which was clearly incorporated in the law already from the beginning: e. g., if there be a doubt, whether under the term, “son” there be understood only a legitimate or even an illegitimate son, and the the legislator declares (the word “son” in the law”) is to be understood even as an illegitimate one, then indeed it becomes that (that) sense in the law was clearly incorporated in the law.  But an interpretation, or declaration which is not purely such, is that, the sense of which is not clearly incorporated in the law, but about which there are various opinions, and as much as is deduced through arguments, e. g., that under the term, “father”, there be understood also a grandfather, or that under the term, “death”, there be also understood a civil death, insofar as is perpetual incarceration, or the like, by recurring to a certain improper signification.

With these things posited, We say with Suarez, Castropal., Vasquez, Sals. Salimancans, Holzman, La-Croix, Supplet Sporget etc.., that the declaration of a sense clearly incorporated in the law does not require promulgation, but that it also obliges all those who know of it, though such a declaration is not a new law.  But an interpretation of some sense not clearly, but obscurely, or improperly incorporated in the law, which is not a declaration purely such (as we have said above), this (kind), because it is held to be a new law, to oblige, requires necessarily a promulgation, just as all other laws spoke of in nn. 95 and 96.  Hence, there is inferred with Suarez de Leg. 1. 6. c. 1. n. 3 and Castrop. tr. 3. eod. tit. d. 5. p. 3. §. 1. n. 5 (qui citat pro se Bon. Salas, et Lorca), that a declaration, which is made by the legislator of any sense clearly incorporated in the law (according to the example given above of the legitimate and illegitimate son) does not require a promulgation, to oblige. However, contrariwise, the declaration of a sense obscurely incorporated (according to the example given of a grandfather under the term of “father”, and/or of a civil death under the term of “death”) do indeed need a promulgation; for then it itself constitutes a new obligation, which per se was not beforehand clearly incorporated in the law. And the same is said by Suarez. loc. cit, and Castrop. n. 2, of those declarations, which are not made by the ssame legislator, but by his successor, or superior; because the mind of the legislator is never so known to other as it was to the legislator himself: on which account, then, to declare the sense (though incorporated in the law) of any obligation, it is always necessary to have recourse to arguments, and interpretations, which constitute a new law, by rendering certain what was doubtful; and for that reason a promulgation is required, otherwise the declaration is never an authentic one, but only is reputed to be a doctrinal one.

Thus, Saint Alphonsus.

What the teaching of Saint Alphonsus on Legal interpretation means in regard to the Renunciation

From this text, we can glean three truths.

  1. When the meaning is clearly incorporated into the law, that meaning is the authentic one, and its sense is binding upon all, as for example, when Benedict says he renounces the ministry, all are obliged to understand that as a renunciation of ministry.
  2. When the word which is subject to a possible interpretation is a noun which includes all possible interpretations according to its essential signification, such as “son” includes natural and legal sons, not just legal sons, then the interpretation is a customary one and is obliging upon all, once the legislator declares that his mind was to include all such possibilities.  But before such a declaration it is not binding.
  3. When the word which is subject to a possible interpretation is a noun, which DOES NOT include the possible wanted interpretation, such as “ministerium” in the text of Pope Benedict’s resignation is wanted to mean “munus” or “officium” which are entirely other words, then the interpretation is NOT AUTHENTIC and is not binding upon anyone, and only can become binding, when promulgated by the legislator or his successors.

And thus one can conclude, from the testimony of Bishop Arrieta and Saint Alphonsus, that the interpretation of the Cardinals and Bishops that Benedict’s renunciation of ministry is equivalent in law, or signification, or intention, to a resignation of the Papal Office or Petrine Munus, is not only an illegitimate interpretation, but is an interpretation which is not binding upon anyone!

Moreover, one can conclude, that even if hypothetically any successor of Pope Benedict XVI were to say that such a reading of the text (where ministerium = munus) is the one Benedict intended, then the act itself posited by Benedict was invalid as per canon 332 §2, since it was not duly manifest in itself, but required another promulgated interpretation to make it valid.

And this means that the very existence of the plot to solve the Pope Emeritus problem is not only evidence that the resignation was invalid from the start, but is DOOMED TO FAILURE since as an interpretation of the act, its very promulgation will publicly testify to and canonically establish the invalidity of the renunciation!

In other words, there is no way to fix the invalidity of the resignation by any subsequent act. And what the Cardinals and Bishops are doing is GRAVELY IMMORAL AND DISHONEST and, moreover, is a grave USURPATION OF RIGHT.

One can also honestly say, therefore, that the usurpation of the Papacy by Bergoglio is a moral consequence of the usurpation of the right of interpretation by the Cardinals, and that Bergoglio’s bizarre moral character and state of mind is the perfect fruit of and punishment for their sin.

The god of the Club

REPRINTED FROM DECEMBER 4, 2019.

With Addendum, added today, at end.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics round the world write their Bishops and priests in regard to the failed renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a crisis much more grave than pedophilia or homosexuality in the Catholic Clergy.

Time after time, Catholics are sharing with me the bizarre and even incoherent responses they are receiving from members of the clergy: arguments which range from sheer infantile petulance at loosing one’s rattle to absolutely diabolic attacks on God.

Underlying them all is a constant theme.  The ecclesiastical club is the arbiter of truth, not God, not Christ, nor Canon Law, not the philosophy of Aquinas or Aristotle, not reason, not facts, not history, and especially not words.

As an Anthropologist, I would sum up the responses as evidences of faith in the god of the club: the concept that one should do everything to keep the club of the clergy afloat (in whatever decisions it makes for itself), no matter what you have to deny or what you have to affirm.

Not being a youngster, I have personal experience with members of the club over 40 years. This mentality is not accidental, it did not infiltrate into the Church. It was cultivated, invited and required. If young men believed in absolute, eternal unchanging divine truth, they simply were either not accepted into the club, or they were progressively harassed and attacked and destroyed or driven out. The club works this way, whether they worship in Latin or the vernacular.

I know priests who were kicked out of their diocese simply because they preached that abortion was evil. I know priests who were kicked out of their Traditional Latin Mass society simply because they hung a curtain in the confessional. I could go on and on about cases of absurdity. To punish priests for absurdly unjust reasons became a hallmark of the post Vatican II era.

Hundreds of new communities and societies were founded. But a vast majority had a single unifying principle: abnormality. I mean ab-norm-ality: that is, a society not founded around the observance of God’s Law (nomos in Greek) but around some other human law: whether the will of the superior, the will of the bishop, the will of the founders: whether or not that will conformed itself to God or to Church teaching or not. Violate the “will” and you are out. Defend the Will of God against the “will” and you are out. It did not matter whether you were expelled for stealing or for kneeling at communion, both were equally grave.

The end result is that well over 60% of the clergy today simply do not worship Jesus Christ in practice. They worship the god of the club.

The problem with this moral error, over and above that it is explicitly demonic and idolatrous, is that when you accept as Head of your club a freemason or satanist, then your club has no problems at all with that.

The silence of the rest of the clergy, is thus, perhaps not so much a sign of disagreement, as many of us hope.

A priest who is silent must be questioned. I think you have the right to eternal salvation, and that you have the right to know which god your local priest worships.

And a discussion about the invalid resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is proving to be the best revealer of which god your priest worships. It is absolutely stunning to see the responses of clergy on this topic. The truth frightens them. Literally.

I myself saw that yesterday, when, after asking to meeting with the Head of an important section of the Roman Curia, I saw the head run down the stairs to avoid being seen by me. I guess having read my scholastic question on the Renunciation, a copy of which I mailed to him a few weeks ago, he chose flight over dialogue.

CREDITS: The Palazzo Roffia is a Masonic Lodge, the image is from wikipedia: Notice how much it looks like a “Catholic chapel”

ADDENDUM:

The events since December 4, 2019, have proven my observation 10,000%. The club really does have another god. They abolished the Sacraments to protect themselves from a winter flu and now insist you blaspheme God to His Face by wearing a mask in Church while celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, our God, from the Dead.

And less than 1% of 1% of all priests have refused to worship the god of the Club.

Nothing can be more clear. This is the religion of the Antichrist. And it required, as a presupposition, that you say that Benedict is not the pope, that renouncing ministry means you lose office.

Yet, they themselves, the members of the club, have renounced their sacred ministries, and nevertheless they still demand FROM YOU an obedience greater than any creature owes to God Himself, because God is owed rational obedience, but they want you to obey them in a GOD-less political make-believe.

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How much more until you admit that we are in the Great Apostasy?

REPRINTED FROM MARCH 31, 2020.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

How many more heresies, blasphemies, sacrileges, idolatries and profanations have to be uttered or committed at the Vatican?

How many more churches have to be shuttered?

How many more Bishops have to order their priests to stop being priests?

How many more Catholics have to be denied the sacraments by State and Church?

How many more absurd excuses do you need to hear from your Bishop or Pastor about how this is all for your good?

How many more Catholics need to tell you a winter flue is worse than going to Hell because you cannot get to Confession?

How many more priests have to totally and utterly spurn you spiritual welfare?

How much more of this, until you admit we are in the Great Apostasy?

The Great Apostasy according to the fathers of the Church is the great falling away which Saint John the Apostle prophesied in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelations, when he saw the dragon with its tail sweep a third of the stars from heaven and cast them down to the earth. The Fathers of the Church say that those stars represent the clergy. And their being swept out of the heavens is the biblical way of saying they will abandon their sacred ministry.

Oh, and for all those Catholics out there, who think Pope Benedict XVI is no longer the pope, because they bought into the Big Lie that a renunciation of ministry is the same thing as a renunciation of office, please tell me now, if you pope and your bishops and your priests have or have not renounced their offices, in renouncing their ministry to you?

I would love to hear the discombobulated reasons to explain that away….

Oh, and since it its the tail OF the dragon who does this, tell me who is the tail and who is the dragon?

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The Dictatus of Pope St. Gregory VII

 

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the present hour of darkness and confusion, it behooves all to turn their gaze back to the sound and eternal judgement of the saintly popes of old, of which one of the greatest was Pope Saint Gregory VIII, in life called Hildebrand, who single-handedly saved the Catholic Church from the filthy and avaricious hands of godless men who usurped the right to name Bishops, Abbots and distribute the benefices of the Church to their friends and political allies.

During his papacy, there was entered into the official register of papal laws, the Dictatus papae, a collection of solemn truths which regard the Catholic Faith on the Papal Primacy and the Roman Church. See here for the Latin text and a copy of one of the most ancient manuscripts containing it.

Due to the relative obscurity of this magisterial text, I share with you now the text in both Latin and my English translation. (The Video above includes the Latin text) I pray that it might be for your enlightenment and for the confirmation of your faith in these troubled times, when true doctrine is being so obscured.

Dictatus Papae

Number Latin English translation
I Quod Romana ecclesia a solo Domino sit fundata. That the Roman Church has been founded by the Lord alone.
II Quod solus Romanus pontifex iure dicatur universalis. That the Roman Pontiff alone is called “universal” by right.
III Quod ille solus possit deponere episcopos vel reconciliare. That He alone can depose and/or reconcile Bishops.
IV Quod legatus eius omnibus episcopis presit in concilio etiam inferioris gradus et adversus eos sententiam depositionis possit dare. That His legate takes precedence in council to all bishops even when he is of inferior grade and can give a sentence of deposition against them.
V Quod absentes papa possit deponere. That the Pope can depose those absent.
VI Quod cum excommunicatis ab illo inter cetera nec in eadem domo debemus manere. That among other things we neither ought to remain in the same house of the one excommunicated by him.
VII Quod illi soli licet pro temporis necessitate novas leges condere, novas plebes congregare, de canonica abatiam facere et e contra, divitem episcopatum dividere et inopes unire. That for him alone is it licit, according to the necessity of time to establish new laws, to welcome new peoples, to make new abbacies of canonical right and, contrariwise, to divide rich bishoprics and unite needy ones.
VIII Quod solus possit uti imperialibus insigniis. That he alone can use the imperial insignia.
IX Quod solius pape pedes omnes principes deosculentur. That all princes are to kiss the feet of the pope alone.
X Quod illius solius nomen in ecclesiis recitetur. That the name of him alone is to be recited in the churches (in the Canon of the Mass).
XI Quod hoc unicum est nomen in mundo. That this (his name as Pope) is the only one in the world.
XII Quod illi liceat imperatores deponere. That for him it is licit to depose emperors.
XIII Quod illi liceat de sede ad sedem necessitate cogente episcopos transmutare. That for him it is licit when driven by necessity to transfer bishops from see to see.
XIV Quod de omni ecclesia quocunque voluerit clericum valeat ordinare. That he validly ordains any cleric from every church wheresoever.
XV Quod ab illo ordinatus alii eclesie preesse potest, sed non militare; et quod ab aliquo episcopo non debet superiorem gradum accipere. That the one ordained by him can take charge of any church, but not serve as a soldier; and that he ought not accept a superior grade from any bishop.
XVI Quod nulla synodus absque precepto eius debet generalis vocari. That no synod without his precept ought to be called “general”.
XVII Quod nullum capitulum nullusque liber canonicus habeatur absque illius auctoritate. That no chapter be held and no canonical book be recognized without his authority.
XVIII Quod sententia illius a nullo debeat retractari et ipse omnium solus retractare possit. That his sentence ought to be retracted by no one and that he alone can retract that of all.
XIX Quod a nemine ipse iudicare debeat. That he himself be judged by no one.
XX Quo nullus audeat condemnare apostolicam sedem apellantem. That no one dare condemn the one appealing to the Apostolic See.
XXI Quod maiores cause cuiscunque ecclesie ad eam referri debeant. That the greater cases of every church whatsoever ought to be referred to Her.
XXII Quod Romana ecclesia nunquam erravit nec imperpetuum scriptura testante errabit. That the Roman Church has never erred nor shall ever err in perpetuity, as Scripture testifies.
XXIII Quod Romanus pontifex, si canonice fuerit ordinatus, meritis beati Petri indubitanter efficitur sanctus testante sancto Ennodio Papiensi episcopo ei multis sanctis patribus faventibus, sicut in decretis beati Symachi pape continetur. That the Roman Pontiff, if he has been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made holy by the merits of Blessed Peter, according to the testimony of Saint Ennodius, Bishop of Pavia, with many holy Fathers favoring him, just as is contained in the decrees of Blessed Pope Symachus.
XXIV Quod illius precepto et licentia subiectis liceat accusare. That by his precept and license it is licit for his subjects to bring accusations.
XXV Quod absque synodali conventu possit episcopus deponere et reconciliare. That he can depose and reconcile bishops without the convening of a synod.
XXVI Quod catholicus non habeatur, qui non concordat Romane ecclesie. That one is not to be held to be Catholic, who is not in agreement with the Roman Church.
XXVII Quod a fidelitate iniquorum subiectos potest absolvere. That he can absolve the subjects of the iniquitous from fealty.

St. Joseph Foundation: The Decision to shut down parishes is contrary to the Gospel & Canon Law

THIS ARTICLE PRESUPPOSES THAT THE PANDEMIC IS REAL, WHICH IT IS NOT

But even if it were, the way the Bishops have closed Churches
is completely contrary to the Gospel:
Anti-Pope, Anti-Church, Anti-Bishops, Anti-Gospel, Anti-Parishes

Pastoral Remedies in Time of the Corona Panic

An excerpt of the Original at Saint Joseph’s Foundation’s website, here in PDF.

By Philip C. L. Gray, JCL

Questions Answered

I turn now to apply the principles noted above and answer some of the questions we have received.

1. Does a diocesan bishop have the authority to cancel “non-essential” activities in a parish, such as Stations of the Cross, CCD, bible studies, etc.?

Generally speaking, no. A pastor is the administrator of his parish. Under jurisprudence, it is the pastor, not the bishop, who can set Mass schedules. I have won and lost cases because of that jurisprudence. That being true, it would be the pastor, not the bishop, who is entrusted with making decisions about what is essential and what is not. He should do so with guidelines from the bishop, but not prohibitions. This is the principle of subsidiarity at work. The pastor should also prudently weigh the circumstances, risks and benefits associated with his decision.

2. What are the canonical issues involved with a bishop shuttering churches and suspending all public Masses?

For a bishop to do this, he must issue a decree that is motivated in fact and specific to the circumstances he is addressing. The decree must be properly promulgated and thereby actionable; that is, open to challenge. More at issue is that the faithful have a Divine Law right to the sacraments. Personally, I do not believe such a directive is legitimate but the circumstances for appeal would be too burdensome and probably not resolved until after the pandemic has passed. For this reason, the Faithful are encouraged to find other, more favorable ways to obtain the sacraments while also petitioning their bishop to provide the sacraments. The Faithful should also use acceptable means to persuade a bishop to allow public Masses with prudent measures implemented.

3. What canonical arguments exist in favor of a pastor continuing to celebrate the sacraments for his people?

See #2 above. The vocation of a pastor is to minister to the spiritual needs of his people out of the Word of God and the Sacraments. Just as a parent’s obligations to children are not suspended when a crisis occurs, neither is a pastor’s. The Faithful have a right to receive the sacraments, and this places an obligation on a priest to provide them. In danger of death, the obligation to provide is extended to those priests who no longer have ordinary faculties.

4. Can a person be required to receive Holy Communion in the hand during the Coronavirus?

No, not legitimately. This will be disputed, and the person refused Holy Communion will likely not see a decision in their case until after the crisis is past. A greater concern is that such refusal will become normative. If a person is refused Holy Communion on the tongue, that person will be faced with a hard decision to appeal or not. The SJF is ready to assist anyone in making that discernment.

5. What is necessary to confect the Eucharist, as opposed to what may be in the rubrics or a part of custom?

As per any sacrament, to confect the Eucharist requires valid matter, form, and intention. For the Eucharist, valid matter is unleavened bread (in the Latin Church and most Eastern Catholic Churches) and pure grape wine. The form is the words, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” said at the appropriate time. The priest must intend to confect the Eucharist. The “breathing” on the species during consecration is a beautiful custom but is not obligatory. Consequently, a priest who wears a mask during the celebration of Mass, or distributes Holy Communion with gloves, or uses other precautions that do not affect the matter, form or intention, do not harm the validity of the Mass. Such precautions should be taken in collaboration with the bishop.

6. Can a priest use soap or hand sanitizer during the purification of his hands during Mass?

The rubrics call for water. Adding lemon juice or even isopropyl alcohol to the water as a disinfectant would not, in my opinion, affect the liceity of the act. Doing so would be far less offensive to the rubrics than wearing gloves to distribute Holy Communion, which itself could be reasonable during this crisis.

7. Can extraordinary ministers be used in lieu of the presiding priest so the priest can remain socially distant and lessen the risk of being exposed to the virus? Can extraordinary ministers self-communicate for the same reasons?

Yes to both. These measures should be taken in collaboration with the bishop, but if such collaboration is not possible, a presiding priest can make those decisions in extraordinary circumstances. None of those examples affect the validity of the Sacrament.

8. Should a priest disobey his bishop if his bishop orders that all public sacraments are to cease?

This is a tricky question for some and easy for others. The answer should not be taken lightly. A priest vows obedience to his bishop, so the question behind the question is, “What is the obedience he vowed?” As a virtue, obedience flows from Justice. It is giving to authority what is due that authority. As Christians, all of us must be obedient to lawful authority. It’s part of what we believe. On the other hand, all authority has limits, and the first limits that must be respected are the limits imposed by Faith and Morals. When that authority acts in a manner contrary to Faith or Morals, we have no obligation to obey. He may have the power to act, but such acts are illegitimate insofar as they violate Divine Law, either Positive or Natural. The right of the Faithful to receive the sacraments is a matter of Divine Law. Whether providing them at a particular time is appropriate or not is something the minister of that sacrament must determine at that time. If a bishop prohibits the public exercise of sacraments during this crisis, and a priest has concerns, the priest should prayerfully consider the circumstances of the prohibition as they relate to him and the people under his care. He must consider the norm of Canon 18 and other applicable laws, what faculties the Church provides, what opportunities for grace exist for the people, and what his options are. He should express his concerns to his bishop, even asking the bishop to reconsider if necessary. If he chooses not to obey the directive, he must be certain in his conscience that he is being obedient to God. Put another way, a priest should always obey a legitimate directive from his bishop.

Pope Benedict XVI knew what he was doing, and knows he remains the Vicar of Jesus Christ

This is a reblog of the article which is originally entitled, An answer to why Benedict resigned the ministerium not the munus

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The question has been raised for more than 7 years and numerous scholars have studied it and attempted to answer. The first was Father Stefano Violi, a canonist at the faculty of Lugano. Then, there was Antonio Socci who wrote numerous books on the matter. Then there was Ann Barnhardt who after her famous declaration of June 2016, that Pope Benedict XVI had made a substantial error, in the summer of 2019 published extensive documentation showing Joseph Ratzinger’s participation in discussions about splitting the Petrine Munus from the Petrine Ministerium in a shared papacy.

But the definitive answer on the question why he renounced the ministerium only and not the munus, I think was just given by Dr. Edmund Mazza in his Essay, cited by Edward Pentin yesterday, and republished in full at the suggestion of Dr. Mazza, here at FromRome.Info today and at the Most Rev. Rene Henry Gracida’s blog, Abyssum.org, where Bishop Gracida calls it a “brilliant” exposition.

It is brilliant because its is based only on Pope Benedict’s own words and the norms of Canon law. I will explain why, here, and use the same method.

Dr. Edmund Mazza holds a Ph.D. in Medieval History and was transitory collaborator with me at The Scholasticum, an Italian Non profit for the revival of the study and use of Scholastic method.

The Mind of Pope Benedict

Here I quote the key passage from Dr. Mazza, explaining why ministerium and not munus:

Seewald then observes: “One objection is that the papacy has been secularized by the resignation; that it is no longer a unique office but an office like any other.” Benedict replies:

I had to…consider whether or not functionalism would completely encroach on the papacy … Earlier, bishops were not allowed to resign…a number of bishops…said ‘I am a father and that I’ll stay’, because you can’t simply stop being a father; stopping is a functionalization and secularization, something from the sort of concept of public office that shouldn’t apply to a bishop. To that I must reply: even a father’s role stops. Of course a father does not stop being a father, but he is relieved of concrete responsibility. He remains a father in a deep, inward sense, in a particular relationship which has responsibility, but not with day-to-day tasks as such…If he steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility he took on, but not in the function…one comes to understand that the office [munus] of the Pope has lost none of its greatness…

Benedict again goes to great lengths to contrast the difference between I. “the office of the Pope” and II. the ministry or “function” associated with it. How to “decode” Benedict? By examining the words he has chosen and the ways he has deployed them before. 

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

And Dr. Mazza continues, further below, after citing a key passage from a 1978 discourse by Ratzinger on personal responsibility and the Papacy,

This 1977 speech is, in fact, the key to deciphering, not only Benedict’s 2017 interview, but his 2013 resignation speech.

In 2017 Benedict says: “If he [the pope] steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility” he took on, but not in the “function,” or “day-to-day” tasks.  In 1977 Ratzinger says: “this institution [the papacy] can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility…”  He adds: “He abides in obedience and thus in personal responsibility for Christ; professing the Lord’s death and Resurrection is his whole commission and personal responsibility.” 

For Benedict, “personal responsibility” is the essence of what it means to be pope. To be responsible not as a public official filled with day to day tasks, but metaphysical responsibility for the flock of Christ. In his interview, Benedict says that although he “stepped down,” “HE REMAINS…WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY.” Translation: “He remains Pope!”

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

Far Reaching Implications

Dr. Mazza has ably demonstrated that for Benedict the munus means the personal responsibility which can never be rejected, and the ministerium is the day to take fulfillment of the tasks in  public way.

But he has also demonstrated that for Benedict, the Office of the Papacy is the personal responsibility of a single person. This is clearly seen in a brief quote from the 1977 talk, cited at length by Dr. Mazza in his essay:

The ‘‘we’’ unity of Christians, which God instituted in Christ through the Holy Spirit under the name of Jesus Christ and as a result of his witness, certified by his death and Resurrection, is in turn maintained by personal bearers of responsibility for this unity, and it is once again personified in Peter—in Peter, who receives a new name and is thus lifted up out of what is merely his own, yet precisely in a name, through which demands are made of him as a person with personal responsibility. In his new name, which transcends the historical individual, Peter becomes the institution that goes through history (for the ability to continue and continuance are included in this new appellation), yet in such a way that this institution can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility…

(Blue coloring added for emphasis)

Conclusions of Fact and Interpretation

From this we are forced to conclude, the following:

  1. Pope Benedict XVI knew what he was doing.
  2. Pope Benedict XVI never intended to lay down the personal responsibility or munus
  3. Pope Benedict XVI only intended to leave aside the day to day work of the ministerium.
  4. Pope Benedict XVI therefore is still the pope and he thinks he is the pope.
  5. Pope Benedict XVI considers his act of renouncing the ministerium just as valid as his retention of the munus.
  6. Pope Benedict’s concept of Pope Emeritus signifies, thus, the retention of the munus and dignity in the full sense and of the office in a partial sense.

Conclusions of Law and Right

And from this we can conclude the following according to the norm of law:

Canon 188 – A renunciation made through grave fear, unjustly inflicted, deceit or substantial error, or even with simony, is irritus by the law itself.

Irritus, is a canonical term which means not done in such a way as to fulfill the norm of law. According to Wim Decock, Theologians and Contract Law: the Moral transformation of the Ius commune (1500-1650), p. 216, irritus means “automatically void” (Source)

We can see this from the Code of Canon Law itself, in canon 126:

Canon 126 – Actus positus ex ignorantia aut ex errore, qui versetur circa id quod eius substantiam constituit, aut qui recidit in condicionem sine qua non, irritus est; secus valet, nisi aliud iure caveatur, sed actus ex ignorantia aut ex errore initus locum dare potest actioni rescissoriae ad normam iuris.

Which in English is:

Canon 126 – An act posited out of ignorance or out of an error, which revolves around that which constitutes its substance, or which withdraws from a sine qua non condition, is irritus; otherwise it is valid, unless something else be provided for by law, but an act entered into out of ignorance or out of error, can give place to a rescissory action according to the norm of law.

Rescissory means revoking or rescinding. The final clause here means an act done erroneously can be repaired if the law allows for it by a subsequent act. There is no such provision in law for papal renunciations, they have to be clear in themselves or they have to be redone (source). The sine non qua condition here is found in canon 332 §2:

If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus, …..

This is the sine non qua condition. It is a condition because it begins with If, it is sine non qua, because it specifies the form and matter of the juridical act as a renunciation (form) of munus (matter). The form and matter together make the essence of a thing. That essence of a juridical act when posited cause the substance of the thing. Essence is the sine qua non of each thing, because without it a thing is not what it is. An error therefore about the matter to be renounced is thus a substantial error in the resulting act.

And hence, the kind of renunciation posited by Pope Benedict is automatically void, null and of no effect, because it violates the Divine Constitution of the Church, which requires that one and only one person hold both the papal dignity, office and munus. There can be no sharing of the office while there is a retention of the munus and dignity.

This argument is based solely on the words of Pope Benedict XVI and the words of canon law. It has, therefore, the highest authority and probability.

I challenge any Cardinal to refute this argument! — And if they cannot, then if they do not return in allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI, they are ipso facto excommunicated by canon 1364 for the delict of schism from the Roman Pontiff. All of them, each of them. And thus have no right to elect his successor.

I put you all on notice!

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Who are in schism from Pope Benedict XVI?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There is no better day than the 15th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s acceptance of the Petrine Munus, than to address the most important question regarding who is and who is not in schism from him. For on that day, Sunday, April 19, 2020, the whole Church will celebrate the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s XVI election and acceptance of the Office of Saint Peter.

Notice I said “the whole Church”.

You might ask me, “But how can that be, if so few still recognize him as the Pope?”

This question merits an answer, especially on such a solemn day.

First of all, one must understand that this question can be answered in several ways. Because just as every creature is composed of form and matter, so every creature can be considered formally or materially. Here I use “matter”  not in the sense used by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who often restricted matter to the physical particulate in creatures creatures, but in the sense of Saint Bonaventure who holds it to be mere potentiality to be.

So the Catholic Church, obviously, being a creature of God, that is created by Jesus Christ, has a form and matter.  What She is, is Her form. And of what She is, is Her matter.

What is the Catholic Church

The form of the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Assembly of the Faithful, the Communion of the Saints.

In this definition, “Mystical Body of Christ” refers to Her relationship to Jesus Christ, inasmuch as She is inseparable from Him on account of Her members being baptized into Him and living by His grace, His mediation, and His Headship or governance.

However, in this definition, “Assembly of the Faithful” refers to the created persons who comprise or make up the Church. The Church is constituted materially, that is, in Her constitutive members by the baptized believers. This is a double condition.

First you have to believe and then you also have to be baptized with the Sacrament. If you simply believe, but are not baptized yet, you are associated with the Church inasmuch as you pose no obstacle to union with Her and seek Baptism, but otherwise you are not even yet a believer, since true Christian Faith requires union with the Catholic Church and water Baptism.

In addition, to be a believer, you have to assent by a supernatural act of mind to all that Jesus Christ teaches in Scripture, Tradition, and in the infallible magisterium of the Church.  If you assent to 99.999999999% but reject the rest, you are not a believer, though you may be baptized.

Finally, you consciously have to accept that Christ established Saint Peter and His successors as the bond of unity in the Church.

Moreover, in the definition of the Church as the “Communion of Saints”, “Saints” refers strictly to the Saints in Heaven, but generally, to all who are baptized into Christ here on Earth, who believe the whole faith, are united to the Roman Pontiff in ecclesiastical communion and who are in the state of grace. If you are all these things, but are in mortal sin, then you do not share this communion, because you are dead to Christ, to grace and to the Holy Spirit. You need to go to confession and repent to be revived.

Of what is the Church composed

As we can see from the definition of what the Church is, there are Three things which are required for someone to be a member of the Catholic Church: Faith, sacramental Baptism, communion with the Roman Pontiff.  You have to have at some point in your life consciously accepted all three and never rejected them. This applies even to Baptism, if you received baptism as a babe, you have to accept it now and not reject it.

Communion with the Roman Pontiff

It follows, then, that being in communion with the true Pope is a necessity to be reckoned by God as a member of His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.

If you reject the concept of the Papacy, the authority of all the popes, etc., or the whole concept that Christ gave to Saint Peter a special office which passes down to his successors, then you cannot be in communion with the Roman Pontiff, because you do not regard him to be what the Church teaches he is.

However, if you accept the teaching of the Church about the Roman Pontiff and Saint Peter’s Office, then it is sufficient that you accept the Roman Pontiff and obey him in all things just and right, as the Church teaches, to be in communion with the Pope.

Being in communion with the Pope

However, since both God and the Church judge things by truth and according to the whole truth, one can speak of a person being in communion with the pope in several ways: according to faith, according to intention, according to right knowledge, according to action.

According to faith, every Catholic is in communion with the pope by simply accepting the teaching of the Church on the papacy and the papal prerogatives.

According to intention, every Catholic who intends to be in communion with the true pope is in communion with the true pope, because intention does not fail on account of ignorance or error.  A Catholic missionary in the remotest part of the world, who did not know that one pope died and another was elected, but kept offering mass in communion with the dead pope, was never according to intention not in communion with the true pope. He was just ignorant of the news.

Likewise, if someone is fooled into thinking one man is the true pope, who is not the true pope, because of the lies or errors spread by others, then his intention to be in communion with the true pope remains as to its spiritual value in the sight of God and His Church, even if the error will lead him in his actions and ecclesiastically to be outside of communion with the true pope.

One is in communion with the pope by right knowledge, when the one whom he recognizes as the true pope is according to canon law the true pope.

And finally, one is in communion with the pope by action, when one has both intention, right knowledge and performs actions of obedience or service to the true Pope in all that is legitimate and right and just, even if this requires one to correct the pope when he is in error.

Who, then, is in communion with Pope Benedict XVI?

Now we can answer the question, which was first moved above.

If we speak of communion with Pope Benedict XVI in the true sense, according to which one merits grace and according to which God judges the matter, only those are in communion with Pope Benedict XVI, who recognize that he is still the true and only pope according to the norm of law. It does not matter if they do so because they think his renunciation was invalid or ineffective on account of one thing or the other, because whether they do on account of a true argument or evidence or on account of faulty knowledge, the result is the same, they remain in communion with the true pope.

All others are in formal schism with Pope Benedict XVI. But not all others are guilty of the sin or of the canonical crime of schism.

However, in a moral sense, that is, judging by intentions, all those who would be in communion with him if they knew the truth, but who presently do not regard him as the Pope because of accepting the fake news put out in Feb. 2013, remain in communion with him. But since this communion is not formal, only moral, they do not enjoy the full merit of communion with him. But how much merit they do enjoy is known to God alone. Nevertheless, because of their error, they might very well be committing grave mortal sins of disrespect for him or disobedience to him or falling into other grave errors or sins on account of following Bergoglio as the pope, when Bergoglio is in fact, that is, by law, an anti-pope. And for these reasons, even one who is only morally in communion with Pope Benedict — because if he had true knowledge would recognize him as the pope — loses the grace of God and is dragged down to perdition because of such sins and de facto separation.

Obviously, those who reject the evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is the true pope are not in communion with him, though if this rejection is merely light and based on invincible ignorance, they might only demerit a little by it. For them it is not yet a mortal sin.

But when it is based on full knowledge, such as that which the Cardinals must certainly have, especially if they hold doctorates in Canon Law and have examined the evidence, then their rejection is a mortal sin of schism and totally separates them from the Church, and thus in virtue of canon 1364 these are excommunicated ipso facto latae sententiae for the crime of schism. See here for a complete list of other canonical crimes of which they might be guilty.  The first effect of this excommunication is that they lose all office in the Church, including the right to elect the Roman Pontiff and/or govern a diocese or hold any position of authority in the Roman Curia or at the Vatican.

Whether those in schism confect valid sacraments?

The confection of the Sacraments refers to the ability of a validly ordained priest or validly consecrated Bishop to validly confer the Sacraments. When a sacrament is validly conferred it truly did exist and was truly given. Sacramental validity refers to the Sacrament being a true Sacrament. Because when true, the Christ makes it powerful.

The teaching of the Church has always been that Catholic Bishops and Priests, as well as schismatic clergy, can validly confer  all the Sacraments, except the Sacrament of Penance, that is, Confession. This last Sacrament normally requires that the one hearing confessions is in communion with the true Pope, from whom flows the power to forgive sins. This communion has to be formal and conscious.

But if a schismatic priest or Bishop is also a pertinacious heretic in any matter whatsoever, then they might not be able to validly confer a sacrament IF their heresy denies the efficacy of the Sacrament which they are attempting to confer.  Thus if a priest pertinaciously denies that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus, there is grave doubt that the Eucharist which he consecrates becomes Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood. Otherwise, as with all clergy, so long as the priest or Bishop does what the Church prescribes, the Sacrament is valid.

But if the clergy are not formally in communion with the true Pope, then the Sacraments they confer obviously do not restore one to communion with the true pope. Nor are they as efficacious in those who are schismatics, because the sin of schism or their separation from the true pope obstructs the power Christ gave to the Sacrament.

For this reason, we must understand that schism alone, whether the sin or the canonical crime, does not make a Sacrament invalid (excepting Confession), but it does reduce their efficacy in schismatics.  The Mass too, as a prayer of impetration — that is as a prayer and sacrifice which obtains grace and mercy from God — is not as efficacious when offered by Schismatic clergy, because their sin makes their offering of the true Sacrifice displeasing to the Divine Majesty. And in this sense you can say their masses are less efficacious. You could also say they are invalid, but that is improperly said.

According to Saint Alphonsus, however, a Catholic in communion with the true pope can receive the Sacraments from schismatics who are not heretics, under certain conditions: see here for his teaching. This applies to even the Sacrament of Confession, which in virtue of the fact that the penitent is in communion with the true pope and has grave need (i.e. is in mortal sin), can be validly conferred on him if his confession is otherwise capable of validly receiving absolution). (And it is not necessary to admit in confession that Benedict XVI is the true pope).

This is important to understand, because on Sunday, Catholics have the duty to attend Mass. But this duty applies only when there is a Catholic priest or Bishop in communion with the true Pope offering Mass. If he, rather, is a schismatic in fact, or by intention or by desire, his mass cannot be reckoned as Catholic and thus attending it does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. And there is no moral obligation to attend such masses.

However, if he is not a heretic and is simply in error about who is the true Pope, a Catholic who is not in error about who is a true Pope can attend and receive Communion, so long as scandal is not given, that is, so long as by doing so one does not lead others into thinking that communion with the true pope is not important. But again, there is no moral obligation to attend these masses, because they are objectively offered in schism from Pope Benedict XVI.

Finally, if a priest or Bishop refuses communion to Catholics who publicly recognize the true pope as the true pope, one is obliged to presume that such a priest or Bishop is a formal schismatic and guilty of the canonical crime of schism, and one should avoid him as an excommunicate. But if he is willing to give the Sacraments to those who publicly recognize Pope Benedict XVI as the true pope, then he is probably not a formal schismatic and may be signalling that he recognizes that Pope Benedict XVI may indeed be the true pope.

Can a pope be in schism with himself?

A pope cannot be in schism with himself, obviously, because the notion of being in communion with the pope does not apply to the pope, it only applies to everyone else on earth. The Saints and Angels of Heaven, and God, obviously are always in communion with him, even if no one else on earth was, and even if he does not know he is the true pope.

Let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI to return to his duties, and let us work to convince all others to remain or return to communion with him.

For as Pope Boniface VIII taught, rejection of the true Pope merits eternal damnation.

POSTSCRIPT: Here are the names of the Clergy in communion with Pope Benedict XVI. If you know others, please leave their names in the comments below. IF YOU ARE A BISHOP, PRIEST or DEACON WHO IS IN COMMUNION WITH POPE BENEDICT, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS LIST!

Clergy in communion with Pope Benedict XVI

Jesus Christ and all the popes, bishops, priests, deacons, those in minor Orders, in Heaven

All the popes, bishops, priests, deacons and all those in minor orders in Purgatory

Archbishop Jan Paul Lenga, Emeritus of Karaganga, but residing now in Poland
Bishop René Henry Gracida, Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

Several Italian Bishops, who are not yet publicly identified

Father Walter Covens, Martinique, France
Father Francesco d’Erasmo, Tarquinia, Italy
Father Alessandro Minutella, Palermo, Sicily
Father Enrico Roncaglia, Veneto, Italy

Several priests at Rome, not yet publicly identified

Many priests in all the world, who are not yet courageous enough to publicly admit it OR who are not known to us yet.

Catholic organizations in communion with Pope Benedict XVI

Il Piccolo Nazareth: a movement lead by Don Minutella of Palermo
Veri Catholici: an association opposing Kasperite heretics
Ordo Militaris Catholicus: an association dedicated to the defense of Catholics

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