by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
I am continually amazed how some people can wade through hundreds of pages of text to attack a person, but refuse to read 1 word to his defense, all the while claiming to be honest and devout Catholics.
The latest egregious case of this is the position take by Archbishop Viganò and the Italian Vaticanista Magister, condoned after the fact by Marco Tosatti with his publication of his anonymous editorial signed by Msgr. X.
And, yes lately, it does seem that Tosatti’s website has become a newspaper devoted to promoting the Archbishop, as many have noticed. In fact, Viganò and Tosatti are in direct communication and Tosatti publishes everything Viganò wants to publish as part of his own personal publicity campaign which appears more and more, each week, to be a campaign to be the next pope, since it pronounces itself on a variety of key issues in the life of the Church, through the publication of sometimes even personal letters with others. All this, even though Archbishop Viganò holds no munus in the Church to do anything of the kind.
But on to the matter at hand.
Viganò in recent days had Tosatti publish a long letter of criticism of Vatican II (see here). But why criticize Vatican II now? It is not like the current man in control of the Vatican is a shining exemplar and paragon of every virtue who does not know what Vatican II is about. We have 7 years of scandal that could be talked about — and Viganò has talked about that in part — but Viganò no longer names Bergoglio, and his demand that Bergoglio resign has been left in the air, with no action.
But here in Italy, the question of Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation has become the hot issue. And one of the chief hermeneutical arguments for the invalidity of the Renunciation is the magisterial teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, on February 14, 2013, during his meeting with the clergy of Rome. In that meeting he did not speak to the clergy as a man who was resigning the Papacy, he spoke instead about how the Council was misinterpreted by the press and misrepresented to the world, and that the clergy of Rome need to return to the texts and read the Council for itself, without the presuppositions of what the press wanted you to think it meant.
I wrote about this speech by Pope Benedict XVI, showing how it conclusively affirms the way he wants his Declaratio interpreted. The Holy Father is, in substance, saying nothing strange or novel, he is merely saying in his own way, that Canon 17 should be observed, namely, that the Declaratio should be read in accord with the norm of Canon Law which requires that words in the Code be understood in their proper meaning, and when there is a doubt, read according to their sense in parallel passages of the Code of Canon Law.
This speech by Pope Benedict XVI was discussed by Don Alessandro Minutella and myself in a hour long program recently (here specifically, and if you want to know about the Mafia of St. Gallen, see part II here). In that program, we laid down a challenge to the Sacred Hierarchy and clergy of Italy to respond to the evidence. Viganò’s letter on Vatican II is clearly that response. Those who deny that Pope Benedict XVI is the pope, and all now insist that the Declaratio does not mean what the rules of Latin grammar says it must mean, have to attack the truth of that. And if not a direct attack on that truth, an indirect attack on the rules by which you are lead back to it.
So the speech of Pope Benedict XVI had to be attacked.
At the same time, Sandro Magister, who makes efforts to defend Bergoglio whenever he can, rose to the challenge of Viganò, who had attacked the god of Vatican II, using as he did the clever trick of blaming Viganò openly for being unfaithful to Pope Benedict XVI in his discourse on Vatican II. Magister’s article can be read here. Massimo Borghesi commented on it here. Magister accuses Viganò of being on the rim of schism. A good narrative trick to trigger all Viganò fans and those deluded by putting hope in a man who affirms Bergoglio, an archheretic and schismatic, is the pope. And Magister is clever enough to cite a speech from 2005, lest he draw attention to the speech of 2013.
Finally, Marco Tosatti publishes an anonymous essay which attacks Pope Benedict XVI while arguing against Magister’s charge of schism, with the outrageous accusation that Pope Benedict XVI resigned validly to prepare the way intentionally for Bergoglio. The title of the article leaves no room for doubt about that against which it was launched: BXVI’s never clarified Renunciation gives Viganò reason.
The title alone is a subterfuge. Only those who refuse to read the Declaration in the Latin cannot find the clarity in it they seek.
But the villainy of such an accusation is not exceeded by the villainy that would publish it. It is clearly a direct attack on the person of the Holy Father to discredit him in the eyes of Catholics who uphold the laws of the Church. And this during the time he is mourning the sickness and death of his brother, having been deprived of the opportunity to remain with him until the end and celebrate his funeral personally.
But it appears rather that what we are seeing is a very cleverly designed narrative control, to both anoint an Archbishop who holds no munus in the Church, while attacking the one who holds still the Petrine Munus. It allows the forces which hate Pope Benedict XVI to have Viganò play the good cop, and Magister and Msgr. X play the bad cop. But the result is the same as what Bergoglio has always sustained: Benedict resigned so that I can be the Pope, accept that and shut up!
As regards the speech of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and to discuss it on its merits: it is clear that the Holy Father explained a very sound forensic and catholic principle of textual interpretation, which Vatican II merits to have applied to it, regardless of all other considerations. Having read some of the conciliar texts in the Latin, I know that they are much more Catholic than the vernacular translations make them appear, and did enact a reform which was never put into action. What we got instead was the Aggiornamento of Paul VI. But, neither was free of errors, and the Council clearly never intended to give us texts which were infallible.
But forensic techniques are the nemeses of all Mafia. And that is why they are being ignored by the Sacred Hierarchy today, and many a layman who hangs on their tail coats.
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