by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
It was 11 years ago, on February 11, 2013 A. D., at shortly after 11:30 A. M., that his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI read his now famous declaration, “Non solum propter”. — Above, if you click the image, you can access FromRome.Info’s complete Index to the history, debate and controversy over the events of that day and the meaning or effect of that declaration.
By that act he clearly and manifestly intended to retain the petrine munus and renounce only the petrine ministry, so that by retiring but not abdicating he could retain the Papal Dignity and Mandate, while conceding to his opponents the other powers of governance. While there are many, many opinions about the morality, intention, cause, motives and purpose of such an act, the juridical value of it was NOT and abdication.
But, for today’s anniversary, I want to offer a reflection on the moral errors committed in the Vatican before and during that controversy, which might help explain why even to this day, notable clergy incardinated at the Vatican, such as Cardinals Burke and Mueller, Brandmuller and Sarah, and even Archbishop Viganò seemingly find it impossible to admit their error in thinking he declared that he would abdicate from the Pontificate on that day.
As I have shown in my Index to Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation, there are more than 53 errors in the Latin text Pope Benedict XVI read on that day. And why it has been admitted by experts at the Vatican, that Pope Benedict XVI wrote the text without any consultation with Canon Lawyers or Latinists, even Archbishop Gänswein admits there are errors in the text — though he has not yet had the charity to the Catholic world to admit which ones he recognizes.
Thus, the national Catholic newspaper in Italy, Avvenire, which is run by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference there, though they called me an “idiot” for claiming there are errors in the text, now has to eat crow. And yes, I still await an apology for their calumny, for the sake of removing the scandal they have placed before millions of souls.
But that they resorted to the services of a defrocked priest to gaslight the Catholic world about the deficiencies in the text, showed how desperate they were to keep the narrative of an abdication going, and how they knew all in their hearts, at least by 2021 that Benedict XVI never abdicated.
This collective sin and guilt and complicity is the principal embarrassment of the Catholic Hierarchy, not only in Italy but round the world. These men are pragmatic, and they realize that their moral authority over the faithful will be utterly destroyed when it comes to be known that they collectively were incapable of understanding how Canon 332 §2 worked and what was necessary for an abdication — a thing which should be a basic concept taught in a general Canon Law class on juridical acts.
So individuals who have doctorates in Canon Law such as Archbishop Gänswein really have no excuse. And there are 1000s like him, who were all silent. Though the worst sin was of those who should have known and attempted to defend the indefensible, namely, that a renunciation of ministerium in Latin signified a renunciation of munus.
But it was not I, but Cardinal Burke himself who immediately recognized that the declaration did not contain what it should contain to effect a valid abdication. He himself spoke to friends and acquaintances from Rome to Arizona about this. But he otherwise hid this opinion of his from the press. And I surmise that if he attempted to speak with Pope Benedict XVI before February 28, 2013, he failed in his request, because Pope Benedict XVI was not wont to speak with him about “canonical details”. The other Cardinals and clergy at the Vatican also failed, either out of human respect, or complicity in the plot by Hilary Clinton to push Pope Benedict XVI from power and have a new “spring time” in the Catholic Church.
I will guess too, without any evidence, that if there were a group of Cardinals and Bishops who realized the errors in the text in February 2013, they became conflicted in their private counsels, because they considered it somehow wrong to request that Pope Benedict XVI make a proper and correct renunciation on Feb. 28, 2013, to correct the errors of his Feb. 11th text. Indeed, for men like Cardinal Burke, it was his grave duty to make his way to Castle Gandolfo on Feb. 28th, with the proper text written on paper and carried in hand, to obtain an audience and insist Pope Benedict XVI sign the document in the presence of two other Bishops or Archbishops. Perhaps he was too unfit to climb to the balcony by rope ladder or thrown himself on the ground in front of the main door, to make a spectacle, to obtain this juridical rectification. We cannot judge the man on his personal sentiments, but all who knew of the defect should have had such a zeal.
Contrariwise, if anyone knew that the act of Pope Benedict XVI did not validly cause an abdication, or that Pope Benedict XVI knew, understood or did not understand this they had a grave solemn duty to announce this to the world as soon as they knew of it. Cardinal Burke did not do this. Why? Did the Cardinals discuss this in the canonically invalid Conclave of 2013 ? We may never know. But shortly after they came out of that “Conclave” we know that they had formed a silent eternal pact to never speak of this fraud perpetrated upon the Catholic World, because immediately the Vatican began publishing falsified translations in all major languages of the world, to conceal this from 1+ Billion Catholics. And this is the greatest crime against the rights of the Faithful in the entire history of the Church!
However, the official canonical and juridical declaration that ‘Pope Benedict XVI remained pope until his death’ is a question about which the Catholic Bishops of the Roman Province are competent to judge in a Provincial Council. Anyone can request them to do it. And all honesty requires that they, who know of it, make such a request. Moreover, if they fail to rectify the historical and juridical record, those who know of it, who could be influential to obtain this, will go to their graves to encounter a most Terrible and unforgiving Judge, Whose Immaculate Bride has been raped and sullied by such a great injustice.
And yet, all those who insist that Bergoglio has never been the pope, fail to avail themselves of the most important confirmation of the invalidity of the Conclave of 2013, which they could obtain by the convocation of such a Council. Why is this? Those who insist he has always been the pope, also fail to seek this solution. Why?
So as we commemorate and remember that fateful day 11 years ago, we should make a renewed effort to admit the truth, connect the dots and study the sources, if we have not yet understood what really happened on that day and who is at fault for it.
And I encourage all the Catholics who have had the grace of the Holy Spirit to do this and complete this necessary task, to pray for all those who live within the ideological limits imposed upon by the boy’s clubs and magic circles in which they move, who out of human respect have preferred not to ask the question or worse to denigrate the messengers of truth, whom God has sent to His Church in the last 11 years.
Many have urged me to write a book about Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation, but I make all the articles and videos available for free, because as a Franciscan Brother I realize that my vocation is to give freely, when one has received freely, and to work for the repair of Christ’s Church. — Of everything I have written and mentioned, here, you can find reference and articles in the above index. Just click the top image in this post.
FromRome.info is an electronic journal chronicling the events of the Church without keeping silent about the duty of Catholics to respond with faith-filled action, rather than as mere spectators. This article is one of more than 10,000 published since September 2013 A. D.. For more information about our journal, see our About Page.