by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Earlier this month, Michael Matt, the editor of The Remnant and a descendant from what appears to be a Frankist Jew, on his mother’s side, who began the family’s tradition of printing Catholic news information, won international notoriety by squelching the video of Archbishop Viganò at the former’s Catholic Identity Conference, even though he has sold the conference on the promise of an exclusive interview with the famed Vatican monsignor.
FromRome.Info reported on that here.
The substance of the Archbishop’s talk, however, was lost in the news cycle, and therefore, because it is important and impinges on the canonical questions regarding the validity of the papacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a.k.a. Pope Francis, I want to take it up in this essay.
The thesis of the Archbishop touches on the principal of acceptance of a canonical or juridically valid election.
And the Archbishop’s thesis is that a man who intends to destroy the Church or who has a heretical intention in wanting to be the Pope, cannot validly consent to accepting the office. He calls this the vitium consensus, or the vice in the act of consent.
Matt squelched the talk because he insists that those who participated in the conference did not want or deserve to have their reputations smeared with the accusation of sedevacantism.
But this argument of Michael Matt is absurd on the face of it. Sedevacantism is the ideology that there is no pope, no matter what the evidence is; but the argument of the Archbishop is a profound one, namely, that inasmuch as being the pope requires a man to receive the Mandate given St. Peter, it is impossible for a heretic to do this, since he has no relationship with Jesus Christ and thus no intention to do so, even if he says yes.
That “yes” then is a deception.
I have briefly commented on this before, saying, while the argument is a good one theologically or morally, it is canonically a difficult solution. This is because, being a baptised, confirmed Catholic, consecrated a Bishop and lawfully nominated as a Cardinal, in law he must be presumed to have consented validly to be the pope, when asked, and when responding, “Yes”.
As I pointed out in my satirical article about the Cardinal from Guadalajara, Spain, here, presumption has its limits. But presuming yes, when someone says yes, is clearly within the ordinary limits.
So from a juridical point of view, it is impossible to prove the case advanced by the Archbishop against Bergoglio. He could sufficiently remain silent and the presumption of the law would be that he validly consented.
But I think that the thesis of Viganò, however, is not to be lightly cast aside, because it does have its place where juridical right is determined by theological discernment. That is, where rights come into being and are extinguished by the authority Christ gave to the Church, under the guide of the Holy Spirit, to judge all things in the light of God.
And that place is a juridically valid Council of Bishops, whether universal or particular, that is, whether in a General Council of the whole Church, or in a Provincial Council of an ecclesiastical province.
Because there, what a man has done and said can be judged. And this judgement can regard whether these acts constitute heresy, apostasy or schism, whereupon if they be judge there to attain to this, the person who is presumed to consent, can be discerned in a juridically valid manner never to have consented and/or in a juridically valid manner to no longer so consent.
In the case of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, if it can be proven, for example, that he became a member of the Masonic Lodge before 1983 he fell under excommunication in the old Code of 1917 for that, and such a council could judge him to be invalidly nominated a Cardinal and invalidly elected and incapable of validly consenting to be the pope. Likewise if he joined after 1983, when the new Code of Canon Law, without this penalty, was approved, on the grounds that he was incapable of validly consenting inasmuch as he holds heretical views or is an apostate in virtue of the Masonic creed.
And that is why the thesis of the Archbishop must be considered in a Provincial Council of the kind proposed in the Sutri Initiative.
So the Archbishop is far smarter than Michael Matt. He is also more of a gentleman and cares more for the whole Church and the salvation of souls than others do of their own reputations.
Michael Matt is a graduate of Christendom College, an institution founded by 3 CIA agents. That Bergoglio was put into power by the CIA under the auspices of Hilary Clinton can be discerned when reading his homilies, which channel Barack Obama 99% on the same issues, such as globalism, immigration, poverty, discrimination, etc..