Tag Archives: munus

Pope Benedict XVI’s shell game against the Mafia of St. Gallen

“Ein Leben”: In the second book of Interviews with Pope Benedict XVI, we find another story about His resignation

by Andrea Cionci

Here is an unofficial English translation

A few days ago, we became aware of strange inconsistencies and the possibility of a shocking subtext in the interview book by Peter Seewald – Benedict XVI “Last Conversations” (Garzanti 2016) HERE .

On a deeper reading, the writing seemed to be able to coincide with a scenario now outlined by various theologians, journalists, Latinists and legally explained by the recent volume Benedict XVI: pope emeritus? By the lawyer Estefania Acosta HERE .

According to this thesis, Benedict XVI, now besieged by the internal modernist frond and by external globalist powers, never left the Petrine throne in 2013 : he only announced his resignation from the exercise of his functions, moreover without ever ratifying them. HERE

In this way he would have allowed his enemies to seize power, effectively constituting an anti-papal party . Why all this? It would be a strategic retreat to allow anti-Christ forces to manifest themselves and then be canceled, thanks to the recognition of the only true pope, Benedict, for a redemption-purification of the Church. Over the past eight years, Ratzinger, kept under control by the antipapal power, has thus sent us continuous messages through a subtly logical language to facilitate our awareness.

The question, incredible as it may seem, is serious and there are even priests who are excommunicated for their fidelity to Pope Benedict. The latest is Don Enrico Bernasconi , whose interview we propose HERE .

So we also went to read the second book by Peter Seewald ” Ein Leben – Una vita” of 2020 (Garzanti), of which few and disorganized fragments filtered out in the press.

The voluminous biography contains eight pages with new questions to Ratzinger . Let’s try to read them according to the above perspective and see if the sense can spin.

First of all, Ratzinger declares: “My intention was not simply and primarily to clean up the small world of the Curia, but rather in the Church as a whole” . And then: The real threat to the Church comes from the universal dictatorship of apparently humanistic contradicting ideologies, which entails exclusion from the basic consensus of society. [] Modern society intends to formulate an anti-Christian creed : whoever challenges it is punished with social excommunication. Being afraid of this spiritual power of the Antichrist is all too natural .

And so far we would be there . Benedict immediately after, underlines the differences with one of his illustrious predecessors.

The visit (2009) to the tomb of Pope Celestine V was actually a chance event; in any case I was well aware of the fact that Celestine V’s situation was extremely peculiar and that therefore it could in no way be invoked as (my) precedent .

One could read this as meaning: “Celestine V legally resigned in 1294 because he did not feel like taking on the burden of the papacy, which I absolutely did not do, since I did not resign as pope, but I only declared that I wanted to renounce to the exercise of practical power, for the purposes we know. Celestino and I have nothing in common “.

Then the Holy Father continues:

“It was absolutely not my intention to take an extreme distance from the conditions in which the Church finds itself. If you study the history of the popes, you will soon realize that the Church has always been a net in which good fish and bad fish end up. The Catholic conception of the Church and of the managerial roles within it excludes the adoption of an ideal Church as a parameter and instead foresees that one is ready to live and work in a Church besieged by the forces of evil .

Or rather: “I have not in the least abandoned the role of pope. We know that the history of the Church is full of antipopes and we must be ready to face the siege of the forces of evil”.

Seewald then tackles the key question: according to Church historians there is no “emeritus” pope , since there cannot be two popes . It is true that, since the 1970s, a bishop can resign and become an emeritus, but this – he asks – also applies to the pope?

Ratzinger replies: It is not clear why this juridical figure should not also be applied to the bishop of Rome. The formula manages to account for both aspects: on the one hand no concrete juridical mandate, on the other a spiritual charge that is maintained, even if invisible. Precisely the juridical and spiritual figure of the emeritus allows us to avoid even the idea of the coexistence of two popes, given that a bishopric can have only one holder “.

There is therefore only one pope. But when he says “the juridical and spiritual figure of the emeritus”, to which of the two does he refer, to the pope or to the bishop? The ambiguity does not seem accidental, but the Latinist Fr Alexis Bugnolo , an expert in canon law , explains :

If we mean BISHOP EMERITUS , the argument is invalid from the canonical point of view because a bishop receives an ecclesiastical office and, since his mandate as ordinary bishop has been created by the Church, two persons can be allowed in the dignity of the bishop. If we mean pope emeritus, the argument is still invalid since there is no juridical figure of pope emeritus and since the munus is not shared iure divino (by Divine insitution)”.

Also for the theologian Carlo Maria Pace , who HERE analyzed the invalidity of Ratzinger’s resignations due to their deferral, confirms: “Benedict XVI erroneously stated that a Pope who resigns remains Pope in the same way that bishops who resign remain bishops “.

In essence, the pope emeritus would himself be THE pope. In fact, if A bishop resigning (from the post of human origin) can become A retired bishop, IL Pope, renouncing the ministerium is always THE Pope, although retired, since it keeps the munus which is given directly by God. That’s why Ratzinger continues to say for eight years that the pope is only one and never specify that it is Francis.

Benedict seems to reiterate the concept, a few lines later, with an example: “A father remains so until death (even if he passes the management of the company to his son) and the human and spiritual meaning of being a father is not revocable”.

But what would be the spiritual purpose of these fake resignations?

An explanation is offered by Seewald’s own question:

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben says he is convinced of the fact that the real reason for (Ratzinger’s) resignation was the desire to awaken the eschatological conscience (concerning the ultimate destinies of man). In the divine plan of salvation, the Church would also have the function of being together “the Church of Christ and the Church of the Antichrist” . The resignation would be a foreshadowing of the separation between “Babylon” and “Jerusalem” in the Church. Instead of engaging in the logic of maintaining power, by her resignation from office she would have emphasized his spiritual authority, thereby contributing to its strengthening .”

And here is Pope Benedict’s response:

“St. Augustine said that on the one hand many are part of the Church only in an apparent way, while in reality they live against it, and that, on the contrary, outside the Church there are many who – without knowing it – deeply belong to the Lord and therefore also to his body, the Church. We must always be aware of this mysterious overlap of internal and external, an overlap that the Lord has exposed in several parables. We know that in history there are moments in which the victory of God over the forces of evil is visible in a comforting way and moments in which, instead, the forces of evil obscure everything .

Let’s say, in conclusion, he doesn’t seem to have exactly denied Agamben’s opinion.

How Benedict has defeated “Francis”

Or, Why did Pope Benedict XVI do what he did on Feb. 11, 2013?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Pope Benedict XVI, who has been lauded by many as a brilliant theologian, is in my opinion, a more brilliant chess player, for he has defeated the AntiChurch with the most incredibly subtle and effective manuever which could ever be conceived, and which takes a great deal of study to recognize, if you, like myself, took at face value the hearsay which has been put out for the last six years.

Admittedly, the honor and glory for it belong first of all to God, Who enlightens all men and inspires them at times to do things mere mortals could never conceive of. But also, thanks goes to God for sending Our Lady to Fatima to reveal to Sr. Lucia a secret which has until this day remained hidden, so as to give sound counsel to the true Successor of Saint Peter in the End Times.

How Pope John Paul II strengthened the Bulwark of the Church against the AntiChurch

I believe that with that knowledge, Pope John Paul II did 3 things: first, he chose Joseph Ratzinger to come to Rome and prepared him to succeed him (perhaps because he sensed that Ratzinger had the gift of prophecy); second, in 1983, he added the term munus to canon 332 §2, to constrain all of his successors to the obligation of renouncing the Petrine Munus so as to resign the papacy; and third, in 1996, he promulgated a new law on Papal Elections, which would nullify any attempt of the AntiChurch to usurp the Papacy or elect successors to AntiPopes (by requiring that all valid conclaves meet within 20 days after the death of valid popes).

Pope John Paul II warned the Church of the AntiChurch which was rising. He beatified Ann Catherine Emmerich (on the Vigil of St. Francis of Assisi, in 2004) to give papal approval to her own visions in this regard. It should not be surprising then, that in secret, or I should say, in the bright light of day, in papal acts he prepared the Church against that Evil to come!

By these three acts, Pope John Paul II set the chess board and enabled his chosen successor, Ratzinger to enact a stratagem of deception to defeat the forces of darkness.

The Forces of the AntiChurch struck quickly

No sooner than Pope John Paul II had died that the St Gallen Mafia, which had been meeting in that Swiss town for some years, mobilized to put Bergoglio on the Apostolic Throne in the Conclave of 2005. Bergoglio, as is now known, garnered the most votes after Ratzinger. In his campaign to get elected he promised radical financial reforms in the Vatican, so he could pose as a savior and reformer, though his agenda was that of Cardinal Martini, to make the Church into the Bride of the Anti-Christ.

Recently an Argentine Priest revealed, that Pope Benedict, soon after his election in 2005, had asked Bergoglio to be Secretary of State (see report here). Benedict intended by this offer to diffuse the conflict which arose in the Conclave, and to draw out the real intentions of Bergoglio. Bergoglio’s refusal manifested his deceit, because all the reasons given in the Conclave for his election, which in truth could be done by a Secretary of State, if honest, would have spurred him to accept Benedict’s offer. But without the papal authority, his evil and malign agenda could not be advanced. — By this sign of offering the olive branch of peace, Benedict signaled to his own supporters, that after himself there would come an Anti-pope (cf. Prophecy of St Malachy).

With the threefold knowledge of the future had from the Third Secret, from Pope John Paul II and from his own experience in the CDF, Pope Benedict now knew what he had to do. He knew Bergoglio wanted power and would be blinded by its offer. He took preparations to defend the Church with tradition and as the pressure built from the St Gallen Mafia, he crafted their defeat in secret. At the same time, he openly warned the faithful, that the Message of Fatima was about to be fulfilled (On May 13, 2010, saying “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete…”).

Benedict knew that removing the Lavender Mafia from the Vatican was key to defending the Church. But as court documents revealed, in the WikiLeaks controversy, as that effort led to the destruction of the careers of many sodomites, they moved against Benedict to have him removed. His Pontificate had removed hundreds perverts from the clergy.

As I have written before, there was in my estimation a formal attempt at a Coup d’etat (see report here). And this was actually put in motion, with the intent to effectively imprison Pope Benedict (see Report here). — The Conclave pact in 2005 among the warring factions of Ratzinger (Church) and Bergoglio (Anti-Church) also prepared the way (see report here). But, with their cause lost at that conclave, the St. Gallen Mafia would have to wait for Benedict to resign, because being old, he revealed that he was inclined to resign in a few years, anyhow. As he lingered on, however, their rage and impatience exploded.

The restoration of the Ancient Mass (July 7, 2007) and the expansion of the permissions for its use (April 30, 2011) caused a general outburst among the wicked clerics. I myself know this took place in the Italian Bishop’s Conference in 2011, because a Bishop who attended told me how Cardinals and Bishops stood up, one after another, and said the most vile things against Benedict. I also know personally, from the testimony of a Sicilian Businessman, who was in Shanghai, that the Cardinal of Palermo had warned that Benedict could die within a year from poor health. The St Gallen Controlled Media expanded this and reported it as if the Cardinal has said that Benedict had a year to live or else. That report was published around Feb. 11, 2012! (note the date)

Benedict’s Master Stroke

Pope Benedict XVI then played his master stroke. In the Summer of 2012 he indicated to Cardinal Bertone that he was going to resign. He discussed the matter with no one but his secretary Ganswein and a few others. I believe that he wrote the text of abdication in the Fall of 2012. I also postulate that he intentionally showed the Latin text (the invalid one) and a faulty German translation (which makes it appear the Latin is a valid formula) to members of the St Gallen Mafia, to obtain their consent to it. By that act he sealed their doom.

Because only one who was fluent in Latin and knowledgeable about Canon Law and who accepted the traditional metaphysics of the Church would be able to see that the resignation by that formula would be invalid. Ratzinger further prepared the ground by emphasizing for years before, that his favorite theologian was Saint Bonaventure. This caused scholars, like myself, to start studying St. Bonanveture’s Scholatic method for textual analysis of the signification of expressions, which is unparalleled among all the Doctors of the Church.

On Feb. 11, 2013, he read out-loud in Consistory the text of the invalid formula. On Feb. 28, 2013 he explained that he had resigned the “active ministry”. The St. Gallen Mafia spread the word of a valid resignation. The rest is history.

The only thing is, that Benedict began to give signs of the truth, not only for the sake of the Faithful, but to annoy the St Gallen Mafia. He kept wearing the papal cassock, retained the titles of Your Holiness and signed with PP. Benedictus XVI, and continued to give the papal blessing. He did these things to get faithful Catholics to examine the text of resignation and discover it was invalid. — He did this also, because, I believe, he was obeying Our Lady’s word at Fatima, in which She had revealed that there would come a time in which the Catholic world thought there were 2 popes, but only one of which was the true pope. The one who was the true Pope would continue to wear white, the other would usurp the office; and that the Anti-Church would attack the true Pope and the faithful gathered about him.

By an invalid resignation Pope Benedict has canonically invalidated everything Bergoglio has done, can do, and can ever do! Bergoglio is now an AntiPope because of the clever trick Benedict played on him. And Bergoglio is so entangled by this stratagem of Benedict that he cannot admit its existence, because if he does, he must give up his claim to the papacy.

If Benedict should die, then there will be no valid Successor of Saint Peter unless the pre-Bergoglian Cardinals meet in conclave within 20 days. Otherwise, as Pope John Paul II declares in the promulgation of Universi Dominici Gregis, at the end of the text, any action the Cardinal Electors take will be invalid. If they fail to do this, the Church will not be bereft of a pope, because, as Pope John Paul II taught in UDG’s prologue, the institution of the College is “not necessary for a valid election” of the Roman Pontiff: there is still the ancient Apostolic Law regarding the right of the Roman Church to elect the Pope.*

Benedict has defeated “Francis”!

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Note: I wish to publicly apologize to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for anything I have said in criticism of him, since it was not until today that I understood what he had did and why he had done it, nor that as Pope he was acting for the good of the Church in the best and only way he could see to do, acting on the  basis of the counsels of Our Lady and Pope John Paul II. — Finally, I entertain the possibility that some Cardinals know of this grand stratagem of Benedict and that is why they act so dumb when asked about the question of validity or invalidity of the resignation.

FOOTNOTE:

* The right of election will fall to those Catholics of the Diocese Rome, who recognize that Benedict always was the only true pope, and that Bergoglio was always and is only, and nothing more, an Antipope. See my Disputed Question on Defecting Cardinals, here.

 

 

 

 

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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Der “Verzicht” wurde geschrieben, um die Bank zu sprengen

Von Andrea Cionci

Ursprünglich veröffentlicht in der italienischen Tageszeitung Libero am 11. Juni 2020

In den letzten Tagen gab es im Internet eine Diskussion über die Kritik am Rücktritt Benedikts XVI. durch einen italienisch-amerikanischen Franziskaner-Latinisten, der Experte für scholastische Texte und kanonische Argumentation ist. Bruder Alexis Bugnolo, der über 9.000 Seiten des heiligen Bonaventura aus dem lateinischen Original übersetzt hat und die Sprache der Kirche wie nur wenige andere beherrscht, wurde von Decimo Toro auf YouTube interviewt.

Durch eine aufmerksame Lektüre der Rücktrittserklärung von Benedikt XVI., einem Faden der Logik, dem kanonischen Recht und der Bedeutung des lateinischen Originals folgend, behauptet Bruder Bugnolo, dass Benedikt den Text mit äußerster Geschicklichkeit und Subtilität und mit der Absicht verfasste, dass sie schließlich als ungültig erklärt werden würde. Auf diese Weise erlaubte Ratzinger der „Sankt-Gallen-Mafia“, der freimaurerisch-progressiven kirchlichen Lobby, die ihn zur Abdankung, zur übereilten Machtergreifung seines Nachfolgers und damit zur Enthüllung zwang, sich zu offenbaren. Benedikt trat in der Weise zurück, dass alle Handlungen, Ernennungen und Änderungen der Lehre, die von der „falschen Kirche“ vorgenommen wurden, schließlich auf einen Schlag hinweggefegt werden können, gerade wegen der Ungültigkeit seines Rücktritts vom Papsttum.

Aus diesem Grund, so Bruder Bugnolo, habe der Vatikan die Übersetzungen von Benedikts lateinischer Declaratio absichtlich gefälscht, um seine absichtlichen Fehler im Originaltext zu beheben, was aber in Wirklichkeit eine weitere Bosheit darstellt. Schon vor vierzig Jahren wussten Johannes Paul II. und der damalige Kardinal Ratzinger dank des Dritten Geheimnisses von Fatima, dass die schwul-freimaurerische Lobby des Klerus versuchen würde, die Macht an sich zu reißen, und aus diesem Grund änderten sie rechtzeitig den Codex des Kirchenrechts und richteten ein Notfallsystem ein, um im Falle einer Usurpation „die Bank zu sprengen“. Dies ist im Wesentlichen die These Bugnolos.

Um Anschuldigungen zu verhindern, dass seine Rekonstruktion der Ereignisse eine Verschwörungstheorie ist, zitiert Bruder Alexis nur die Dokumente der Vatikan-Webseite, die wir unten angefügt haben. Sie können alle auf der Website des Vatikans http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/la/speeches/2013/february/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20130211_declaratio.html eingesehen werden.

Es ist ganz klar, dass der Text der Deklaration Benedikts eine Reihe riesiger grammatikalischer Fehler enthält, die bereits 2013 von bedeutenden Klassikern wie Luciano Canfora und Wilfried Stroh festgestellt wurden. Das Fehlen des majestätischen Plurals „nos“, der in offiziellen Dokumenten immer verwendet wird, ist schon überraschend, aber Bruder Bugnolo, der mehr als 9000 Seiten des Heiligen Bonaventura übersetzt hat, hat vierzig weitere sprachliche Unvollkommenheiten festgestellt: Verben, die fälschlicherweise konjugiert werden, „decisionem“ anstelle des korrekten „consilium“, „vobis“ anstelle von „vobiscum“, die irrtümliche Verwendung von „explorata“, um „untersucht“ zu sagen, usw. Die vollständige Liste kann hier https://fromrome.info/2020/06/10/clamorous-errors-in-the-latin-of-the-renunciation-2/ eingesehen werden.

Aber das größte Problem ist die Konstruktion von Ratzingers Text, die den päpstlichen Rücktritt ungültig macht. Seit er 1983 von Johannes Paul II. und Ratzinger reformiert wurde, verlangt der Codex des Kirchenrechts den Rücktritt des „munus petrino“ – des Amtes (einschließlich Abgabe der Verantwortung) des Papsttums, das von Gott und vom heiligen Petrus kommt. (Zuvor musste der Papst nur „renuntio“ sagen – „Ich trete zurück“ – und die Änderung der Forderung von 1983 wurde wahrscheinlich hinzugefügt, um mögliche zukünftige päpstliche Abdankungen zu verstärken.)

In seiner Declaratio schreibt Ratzinger, dass seine Kraft aufgrund des fortschreitenden Alters „nicht mehr geeignet ist, das munus petrino angemessen auszuüben“. Er sagt jedoch keineswegs, dass er darauf verzichtet, sondern vielmehr: „Im Bewußtsein des Ernstes dieses Aktes erkläre ich daher mit voller Freiheit, auf das Amt des Bischofs von Rom…, zu verzichten“ – [declaro me MINISTERIO Episcopi Romae…renuntiare]. So zitiert er am Anfang der Declaratio das munus in allgemeiner Form, aber dann erklärt er formell nur den Verzicht auf das Ministerium, das nach Meinung vieler Experten für die Gültigkeit des Aktes völlig nutzlos ist. Es wäre so, als würde ein abdankender König sagen, er verzichte auf die Ausübung seiner Macht, ohne auf den Thron zu verzichten, den er durch göttliches Recht erlangt hat.

Unter anderem schreibt Ratzinger nicht einmal „renuntio“, sondern vielmehr „declaro renuntiare“, was nicht bedeutet, dass sein Rücktritt aufrichtig ist, so wie „der Liebe erklären“ nicht unbedingt „Liebe“ entspricht. Angenommen, Benedikt wäre unter Druck gesetzt worden – zum Beispiel vor die Wahl gestellt worden, entweder zurückzutreten oder den Vatikan in Konkurs gehen zu lassen (siehe dazu die bekannte Affäre um die Annullierung des vatikanischen SWIFT-Codes und die Sperrung vatikanischer Bankkonten, die in den Wochen vor dem Rücktritt im Jahr 2013 stattfand) – hätte er sich frei entscheiden können, „seinen Rücktritt zu erklären“ – was etwas ganz anderes ist als zu sagen „ich trete aus freien Stücken zurück“.

Eine weitere von Bugnolo aufgeworfene Frage: Warum schrieb Ratzinger, dass der Sitz nach 18 Tagen leer sein würde? Der Rücktrittsakt sollte den Sitz entweder ab dem Zeitpunkt des Todes oder des Rücktritts des Papstes vakant machen.

Der Streit um das Wort „munus“ ist nicht neu, und er ist von Vittorio Messori, Antonio Socci und anderen maßgeblichen Vatikanisten ausführlich behandelt worden. Aber nun hat Bruder Alexis zum ersten Mal enthüllt, dass in allen Übersetzungen der Deklaration (auf der Website des Vatikans) das Wort „munus“ auch mit „Dienst“ übersetzt wird, womit zwei Vorrechte, die das kanonische Recht klar voneinander unterscheidet, in einer Bedeutung zusammengeführt werden. Bruder Bugnolo erklärt: „Wer hat diese Übersetzungen autorisiert? Munus sollte perfekt in alle Sprachen übersetzt werden können. Dies ist der Beweis dafür, dass der Vatikan versucht hat, die grundlegende Unterscheidung aufzuheben, die Papst Benedikt in seinem jüngsten Buchinterview „Ein Leben“ nur neu formuliert hat, indem er erklärte, er behalte das „spirituelle Amt“ (spirituelle Zuordnung) bei, nachdem er auf die konkrete Vollmacht verzichtet habe. Er ist nach wie vor der amtierende Pontifex und trägt weiterhin das weiße Gewand, um den Apostolischen Segen zu erteilen und seinen Namen P.P., Pontifex Pontificum, den Titel, der dem amtierenden Papst zusteht, zu unterzeichnen“. (Es sei daran erinnert, dass die einzige Erklärung, die Ratzinger für die Beibehaltung der weißen päpstlichen Robe abgab, lautete: „Es gab keine schwarzen Roben in seiner Garderobe“.)

2016 antwortete Monsignore Giuseppe Sciacca, Bischof-Sekretär der Apostolischen Signatura, in einem für Laien völlig unverständlichen, äußerst technischen Artikel auf die Auseinandersetzungen um den munus. „Wie ein kluger Anwalt“, sagt Bruder Bugnolo, „sagt Sciacca zu Recht, dass die Macht nicht zwischen zwei Päpsten aufgeteilt werden kann, aber er nimmt die Gültigkeit des Rücktritts als gegeben hin, und dann weicht er der eigentlichen Frage aus. Er sagt dann, dass der Verzicht auf das Ministerium automatisch den Verzicht auf das munus einschließt, aber in Wirklichkeit ist das nicht wahr, denn Benedikt hätte leicht einen Vikar ernennen können, der das Ministerium leitet, und gleichzeitig sein eigenes Amt behalten können, das munus, das auch für theologische und dogmatische Fragen, nicht nur für kanonische, wesentlich ist, da es direkt von Gott kommt“.

Dann gibt es noch andere sehr seltsame Anomalien in den vom Vatikan veröffentlichten Übersetzungen des Lateinischen:” declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet“. Wie Bruder Bugnolo präzisiert, wird das Englische „in such a way, that “ [auf solcher Weise] von Ratzinger im Lateinischen als „ut“ geschrieben, was jedoch mit „so that“ [so daß] übersetzt werden müsste. Im Gegensatz dazu würde “in such a way, that” im Lateinischen korrekterweise als “quomodo” wiedergegeben werden.

Dies sind zwei sehr unterschiedliche Dinge: „in such a way, that“ setzt den absoluten juristischen Automatismus eines Tat-Folge-Verhältnisses voraus. Im Gegensatz dazu kann “so that” auch eine versteckte Absicht oder eine erwünschte Wirkung, die absichtlich erzeugt wird, offenbaren. Es ist der Unterschied zwischen einem äußeren und natürlichen „Weise“ im Vergleich zu einem subjektiven „Zweck“.

Es ist zum Beispiel nicht korrekt zu sagen: „Ich lege den Köder auf solcher Weise in die Falle, dass die Maus gefangen werden kann“, denn es ist nicht selbstverständlich, dass die Maus auf die Täuschung hereinfällt. Vielmehr muss gesagt werden: „Ich lege den Köder so in die Falle, dass die Maus gefangen werden kann“, denn es ist keine Selbstverständlichkeit, dass die Maus auf die Täuschung hereinfällt.

Stellen wir uns einen Moment lang vor, Benedikt wäre tatsächlich zur Abdankung gezwungen: Er schreibt deshalb, dass „er erklärt, von seinem „Dienst“ zurückzutreten“, „SO DASS“ der Stuhl frei werden kann… also vielleicht auch durch die Aktion der Usurpatoren. Hätte er tatsächlich „in such a way, that “ geschrieben, hätte er implizit die Gültigkeit seines Rücktritts zugegeben. Tatsächlich hat er es aber nicht getan.

[Anmerkung des Übersetzers: Im Gegensatz zur englischen Übersetzung, im deutschen Text der Deklaration gilt dieses Argument nicht. Das Wort „ministerium“ im oben zitierten lateinischen Satz wird (wie oben schon erwähnt) fälschlicherweise mit „Amt“ übersetzt, und demzufolge wird es keinen Sinn machen, „ut“ mit „auf solcher Weise“ zu übersetzen, da es bereits (fälschlicherweise) den Anschein hat, dass im Hauptsatz auf das Amt verzichtet wird. Eine Diskussion darüber findet sich im Blog „From Rome“ https://fromrome.info/2019/04/08/the-vatican-has-known-all-along-that-benedicts-renunciation-was-invalid-as-written-and-heres-the-proof/ ]

Hier ist eine weitere Anomalie: Warum schreibt Benedikt, dass das neue Konklave „VON DENEN, DIE KOMPETENT UND ZUSTÄNDIG SIND“, und nicht „von Ihnen Kardinälen“ einberufen werden muss? Das klingt wie eine Delegitimierung, da es offensichtlich die Kardinäle wären, zu denen er spricht, die das Konklave bilden müssten. Es ist, als ob der Senatspräsident, wenn er von einem künftigen Präsidenten der Republik spricht, sagen würde, dass er „von denen gewählt werden muss, in deren Zuständigkeitsbereich er fällt“ und nicht, wie offensichtlich, „von Ihnen Ministern des Parlaments“.

Außerdem gibt Ratzinger nicht das PRÄZISE DATUM des neuen, wahren Konklaves für die Wahl des Papstes an. Er sagt nur, dass dieses Konklave einberufen werden muss, NACHDEM DER SITZ VAKANT WIRD, was in Wirklichkeit der Moment nach seinem Tod ist. Deshalb wäre die gültige Wahl des neuen Pontifex in diesem Fall nur die Zuständigkeit EINIGER KARDINALIEN, die vor dem Kommen des Bergoglio ernannt wurden und die bereit sind, den stattgefundenen „Putsch“ anzuerkennen. In der Tat wären die von Bergoglio ernannten Kardinäle nicht rechtsgültig, weil sie von einem ungültigen Papst stammten, weil der Rücktritt ungültig war. Für den Fall, dass noch viele Jahre vergehen und die von Benedikt oder Johannes Paul II. geschaffenen „rechtmäßigen“ Kardinäle nicht mehr leben oder nicht mehr aktiv sind, müsste der neue Pontifex, wie in der Antike, von der römischen Kirche gewählt werden.

So gesehen müsste ein neues Konklave deshalb „von denjenigen einberufen werden, in deren Zuständigkeit es fällt“ und nicht von den Kardinälen, an die er sich wendet. Die Logik ist tadellos.

Ist dies politische Fiktion? Oder ist es eine Deklaration, die, obwohl sie verpfuscht zu sein scheint,, wenn man sie richtig liest, sich als ein Dokument von unzerbrechlicher „Ratzinger’scher“ Kohärenz entpuppt?

Bruder Bugnolo ist sich sicher: Die Fehler im Lateinischen waren von Ratzinger beabsichtigt, um die Aufmerksamkeit auf die Ungültigkeit des Dokuments zu lenken und damit, wenn es aufmerksam gelesen wird, die Wahrheit zu gegebener Zeit zum Vorschein käme. Dieselbe Meinung vertritt auch der Wiener Rechtsanwalt Arthur H. Lambauer, ein ausgewiesener Völkerrechtler, der bereits 2013 auf die Anomalien hingewiesen hatte: „Ich glaube, dass Benedikt absichtlich Fehler gemacht hat, um seinen Nachfolger ungültig zu machen, so dass er nichts Unwiderrufliches schaffen würde (Homo-Ehe, weiblicher Diakonat, etc.) und damit der Nachfolger, wenn nötig, weggefegt werden könnte“.

Vor allem gibt es eine objektive und unbestreitbare Tatsache: In diesen seltsamen 18 Tagen, die von der „Resignation“ bis zum vakanten Sitz verstrichen sind (die in der Regel von der Resignation ausgehen sollte), war niemand in der Lage oder wollte die von Benedikt so „schlecht“ geschriebene Deklaration korrigieren. Warum? Und doch liegt es in der spezifischen Kompetenz der Kardinäle, den Papst auf fürsorgliche Weise zu korrigieren, wenn er sich im Irrtum befindet. „Dies zeigt“, so Bruder Bugnolo, „dass die Kardinäle illoyal und in ihrer Eile, die Macht zu übernehmen, verblendet waren, während andere Beamte des Apostolischen Sekretariats, die sicherlich nicht versäumt haben konnten, gewisse Fehler zu bemerken, „Komplizen“ Benedikts waren, die sich des Tricks wohl bewusst waren, und sie schwiegen, damit eines Tages „die Bombe hochgehen würde“. In beiden Fällen wird eine Usurpation aufgedeckt.“

Lassen Sie uns einige Einwände betrachten: „Vielleicht kann Ratzinger nicht gut genug Latein oder er war schon zu alt, um es gut zu schreiben“. Es ist schwer zu glauben, dass der deutsche Theologe, der vierzehn Jahre lang das Oberhaupt der Glaubenskongregation war, der Autor herausragender Schriften in Latein ist, nicht wusste, wie er diesen Text schreiben sollte. Außerdem ist der Papst von hervorragenden Lateinern umgeben, die ihm hätten helfen können. Im Februar 2013 war er mental so klar, dass er in der Lage war, eine spontane Rede von 58 Minuten zu halten. „Auf jeden Fall“, antwortet Bruder Alexis, „bliebe die Ungültigkeit bestehen, denn die Resignation erfordert nicht nur volle geistige Klarheit, sondern auch absolute Kenntnis des kanonischen Rechts“.

Ein weiterer möglicher Einwand ist: „Vielleicht hat es ein anderer geschrieben, der nicht gut Latein kann“. Aber wenn Ratzinger dazu gezwungen wurde, das Dokument so zu verfassen oder es gar von einem Fälscher stammt, warum sollten sie es dann so konstruieren, dass es kanonisch ungültig wäre?

Eine letzte mögliche Kritik: „Benedikt XVI. würde niemals jemanden täuschen.“ Tatsächlich hat Papst Benedikt niemanden getäuscht, er schrieb lediglich einen Rücktritt des Ministeriums. Laut Bruder Bugnolo gibt es andere, die sich nicht anschauen wollten, was tatsächlich geschrieben wurde und wie Benedikt sich seit 2013 verhalten hat. So hätten sie sich aus ihrer Machtgier getäuscht.

Bei der ersten Lesung lässt Sie all dies verwirrt zurück: Es erscheint absurd, aber schrecklich kohärent. In diesem Fall macht es keinen Sinn, den üblichen Vorwurf zu erheben, alles als „Verschwörungstheorie“ abzutun, denn hier gibt es Fakten, die eine Erklärung verdienen, die EBENSO logisch und kohärent ist.

In der säkularen Welt kann eine Erbschaft für weitaus weniger rechtlich angefochten werden, und dennoch wurde die Frage der Gültigkeit des Rücktritts eines Papstes vom Thron des Petrus sehr schnell, ja vielleicht sogar zu schnell, für erledigt gehalten. Wie geht es weiter? Die Argumente von Bruder Bugnolo stützen sich auf die Beweise und liefern auch ein Motiv, das sie erklärt. Vielleicht werden sie einfach ignoriert und verspottet, oder aber ihr Autor wird wahrscheinlich eine Reihe von Angriffen ad personam erleben. Wir werden sehen, was passiert.

Übersetzt von Sean Hyland in Zusammenarbeit mit Anna Pellegrino

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Quellenangabe: Das gezeigte Bild ist ein Ausschnitt aus einem Foto, das unter einer Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported-Lizenz verbreitet wurde, Quelle: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benedict_XVI_Blessing-2.jpg

 

The “Renunciation” Was Written to Break the Bank

By Andrea Cionci

Originally published in in the Italian Daily Newspaper Libero onJune 11, 2020

For the past few days there has been discussion on the internet about the critique made of Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papacy by an Italian-American Franciscan Latinist who is an expert in Scholastic texts and in canonical argumentation about the papal resignation. Brother Alexis Bugnolo, who has translated over 9000 pages of Saint Bonaventure from the original Latin and has a mastery of the Church’s language as few others, was interviewed on YouTube by Decimo Toro.

Through an attentive reading of the text of Benedict XVI’s Declaratio of resignation, following a thread of logic, canon law, and the meaning of the original Latin, Brother Bugnolo maintains that the text was written by Benedict, with extreme skill and subtlety, intending that it would eventually be discovered to be invalid. By so doing, Ratzinger permitted the “Saint Gallen Mafia,” the Masonic-progressive ecclesiastical lobby that forced him to abdicate, to take power hastily and so reveal itself. Benedict resigned in such a way that all of the acts, appointments, and changes in doctrine done by the “false church” can eventually be swept away in one fell swoop precisely because of the invalidity of his resignation from the papacy.

For this reason, according to Brother Bugnolo, the Vatican has deliberately falsified the translations of Benedict’s Latin Declaratio, attempting to remedy his intentional flaws in the original text, but in fact thus demonstrating further malice. Forty years ago, John Paul II and then-Cardinal Ratzinger already knew, thanks to the Third Secret of Fatima, that the gay-Masonic lobby of clergy would attempt to seize power, and for this reason they changed the Code of Canon Law in time, setting up an emergency system to “break the bank” in case of usurpation. This, in essence, is Bugnolo’s thesis.

In order to prevent accusations that his reconstruction of events is a conspiracy theory, Brother Alexis cites only the documents from the Vatican website that we have attached below. All of them may be checked at the Vatican website.

It is quite clear that the text of Benedict’s Declaratio contains a number of huge grammatical errors, which were already noted in 2013 by eminent classicists such as Luciano Canfora and Wilfried Stroh. The lack of the majestic plural “nos” which is always used in official documents is already surprising, but Brother Bugnolo, who has translated more than 9000 pages of Saint Bonaventure, has identified forty other linguistic imperfections: verbs that are wrongly declined, “decisionem” being used in place of the correct “consilium,” “vobis” in place of “vobiscum,” the erroneous use of “explorata” to say “investigated,” etc. The complete list may be seen here.

But the biggest problem is the construction of Ratzinger’s text that renders the papal resignation invalid. Since it was reformed by John Paul II and Ratzinger in 1983, the Code of Canon Law requires the resignation of the “munus petrino” – the office, the charge of the papacy that comes from God and from Saint Peter. (Previously, the pope only had to say “renuntio” – “I resign” – and the 1983 modification to the requirement was probably added in order to reinforce possible future papal abdications).

In his Declaratio, Ratzinger writes that his strength, due to advancing age, “is no longer suitable for adequately exercising the munus petrino.” However, he does not say at all that he is renouncing it, but rather, “well aware of the gravity of this act, I declare to renounce the ministry [that is, the exercise] of Bishop of Rome – [declaro me MINISTERIO Episcopi Romae…renuntiare]. Thus at the beginning of the Declaratio he cites the munus in a generic way, but then he formally declares to renounce only the ministerium, which according to many experts is completely useless for the validity of the act. It would be as if a king who was abdicating would say that he is renouncing the exercise of his power without renouncing the throne he obtained by divine right.

Among other things, Ratzinger does not even write “renuntio” but rather “declaro renuntiare,” which does not imply that his resignation is sincere, just as “declaring to love” does not necessarily correspond to “love.” Supposing that Benedict was subjected to pressure – faced with a choice, for example, of either resigning or having the Vatican go bankrupt (on this, refer to the well-known affair of the Vatican SWIFT code being cancelled and the blocking of Vatican bank accounts that occurred in the weeks preceding the resignation in 2013) – he could have freely chosen to “declare to resign” – which is much different than saying “I freely resign.”

Another question raised by Bugnolo: Why did Ratzinger write that the See would be vacant after 18 days? The act of resignation should render the See vacant either from the moment of either the death or the act of resignation of the pope.

The argument over the word “munus” is not new, and it has been amply addressed by Vittorio Messori, Antonio Socci, and other authoritative Vaticanists. But now Brother Alexis, for the first time, has divulged that in all of the translations of the Declaratio (on the Vatican web site), the word munus is also translated as “ministry,” thus bringing together into one meaning two prerogatives that canon law clearly distinguishes. Brother Bugnolo explains: “Who authorized these translations? Munus should be perfectly translatable into all languages. This is the proof that the Vatican has attempted to annul the fundamental distinction that Pope Benedict, in his recent book-interview “Ein Leben,” has only newly restated, declaring that he still retains the “spiritual office” (spirituelle Zuordnung) having renounced the concrete exercise (konkrete Vollmacht). He is still the reigning pontiff and he continues to wear the white robe, to give the Apostolic Blessing and sign his name P.P., Pontifex Pontificum, the title that belongs to the reigning pope.” (It should be recalled that the only explanation given by Ratzinger for having maintained the white papal robe was that “there were no black robes in his wardrobe.”)

In 2016, Msgr. Giuseppe Sciacca, Bishop-Secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, responded to the argments over munus in an extremely technical article that was completely incomprehensible to non-experts. “Like a clever lawyer,” Brother Bugnolo says, “Sciacca says, correctly, that the power cannot be divided between two popes, but he takes the validity of the resignation for granted and then he avoids the real question. He then says that renouncing the ministerium automatically included renouncing the munus, but in fact this is not true, because Benedict could have easily named a Vicar to manage the ministerium while maintaining his own office, the munus, which is also essential for theological and dogmatic questions, not only for canonical ones, inasmuch as it comes directly from God.”

Then there are other very strange anomalies in the translations published by the Vatican: “I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, IN SUCH A WAY, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant.” As Brother Bugnolo specifies, “In such a way” is written by Ratzinger in Latin as “ut” which however ought to be translated as “SO THAT.” In contrast, IN SUCH A WAY would properly be rendered in Latin as “quomodo.”

These are two very different things: “in such a way” presupposes the absolute legal automatism of an act-consequence relationship. In contrast, “so that” can also reveal a hidden intention or a desired effect that is generated on purpose. It is the difference between an external and natural “way” as compared to a subjective “end.”

For example, it is not correct to say: “I put the bait in the trap in such a way that the mouse may be captured,” because it is not a given that the mouse will fall for the deception. Rather, it must be said: “I put the bait in the trap so that the mouse may be captured.”

Let’s imagine for a moment that Benedict was actually forced to abdicate: he writes therefore that “he declares to resign” his “ministry” “SO THAT” the see may be vacant…thus perhaps also through the action of the usurpers. If he had actually written “in such a way” it would have implicitly admitted the validity of his resignation. But in fact, he did not.

Here is another anomaly: Why does Benedict write that the new conclave will have to be convoked “BY THOSE WHOSE COMPETENCE IT IS” and not “by you cardinals”? It sounds like a delegitimization, since it would obviously be the cardinals to whom he was speaking who would have to form the conclave. It is as if the president of the Senate, speaking about a future president of the Republic, would say that he “will have to be elected by those whose competence it is” and not, as is obvious, “by you ministers of parliament.”

Furthermore, Ratzinger does not specify the PRECISE DATE of the new, true conclave for the election of the Pontiff. He says only that it will have to be convoked AFTER THE SEE WILL BE VACANT, which is, really, the moment after his death. This is why the valid election of the new Pontiff would be, in that case, the competence only of SOME CARDINALS, the ones appointed prior to the coming of Bergoglio who are disposed to recognize the “coup” that happened. In fact the cardinals appointed by Bergoglio would not be legally valid, because they came from an invalid pope, because the resignation was invalid. In the event that many more years pass and the “legitimate” cardinals created by Benedict or John Paul II are no longer alive or active, the new Pontiff would have to be chosen by the Roman Church, as in ancient times. Seen in this light, this is why a new conclave would have to be convoked “by those whose competence it is” and not by the cardinals he is addressing. The logic is faultless.

Is this political fiction? Or is it a Declaratio that, while appearing to be botched, reveals itself to be, if read in the right way, a document of unbreakable “Ratzingerian” coherence?

Brother Bugnolo is certain: the errors in the Latin were purposely intended by Ratzinger in order to draw attention to the invalidity of the document and so that, when it was attentively read, the truth would emerge when the time was ripe. The same opinion is held by the Viennese lawyer Arthur H. Lambauer, a noted expert in international law, who had already noted the anomalies in 2013: “I believe that Benedict made mistakes on purpose in order to render his successor invalid, in such a way he would not create anything irrevocable (homosexual marriage, female diaconate, etc.) and so that, if necessary, the successor could be swept away.”

Above all, there is one objective and incontestable fact: in those strange 18 days that passed from the “resignation” to the vacant see (which, as a rule, should start from the resignation) no one was able to or wanted to correct the Declaratio written so “badly” by Benedict. Why? And yet it is the specific competence of the cardinals to correct the pope in a caring and filial way, if he is in error. “This demonstrates,” Brother Bugnolo maintains, “that the cardinals were disloyal and blinded in their haste to take power, while other officials of the Apostolic Secretariat, who certainly could not have failed to notice certain errors, were “accomplices” of Benedict who were well aware of the trick, and they remained silent so that one day “the bomb would go off.” In both cases, a usurpation is revealed.”

Let’s consider some objections: “Perhaps Ratzinger does not know Latin well enough or he was already too old to write it well.” It is difficult to believe that the German theologian, who was for fourteen years the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who is the author of outstanding writings in Latin, would not know how to master this text. Moreover, the pope is surrounded by excellent Latinists who would have been able to assist him. In February 2013 he was lucid enough to be able to give a spontaneous discourse for 58 minutes. “In any case,” Brother Alexis responds, “the invalidity would remain, because resignation requires not only full mental lucidity but also absolute awareness of canon law.”

Another possible objection is: “Perhaps someone else who does not know Latin well wrote it.” But if the document came from a coercer or a counterfeiter, why would they construct it in such a way that it would be canonically invalid?

A final possible criticism: “Benedict XVI would never deceive anyone.” In fact, Pope Benedict did not deceive anyone, he only wrote a resignation of the ministerium. According to Brother Bugnolo, there are others who have not wanted look at what was actually written and at how Benedict has comported himself since 2013. Thus, they deceived themselves out of their greed for power.

At the first reading, all of this leaves you dazed: it seems absurd, but terribly coherent. In this case, there is no point in launching the usual charge of dismissing it all as a “conspiracy theory” because there are facts here that deserve an explanation that is EQUALLY logical and coherent.

In the secular world, an inheritance can be legally challenged for far less, and yet the question of the validity of the resignation of a pope from the throne of Peter was thought to be all wrapped up very quickly, indeed perhaps too quickly. What happens next? Brother Bugnolo’s arguments are based on the evidence and also provide a motive that explains them. Perhaps they will simply be ignored and derided, or else their author will probably begin to undergo a series of attacks ad personam. We will see what happens.

Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino @pellegrino2020

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a detail from a photograph distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, source here.

Steven O’Reilly’s Theory of Meta-Signification

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The recent discussions that Dr. Edward Mazza had with Dr. Taylor Marshall and Ann Barnhardt and Mark Docherty have pricked the “Bergoglio is certainly the Pope” Apologist, Steven O’Reilly, to expound a novel theory of verbal signification.

He propounds this in part II of his rebuttal of Dr. Mazza’s conjecture that Benedict intended to separate the Papal Primacy and the Roman See.

First, let me say that I commend Mr. O’Reilly for actually having the integrity to tell his readers to read the arguments of his opponents on their own websites. And I reciprocate and urge all to read his Reponse to Dr. Mazza.

But as regards, this post of my own, I want to address Mr. O’Reilly’s theory of meta-signification, which he trots out as the last defense against looking at the evidence, of the glaring lack of any reference to a renunication of munus in the Declaratio of Pope Benedict XVI.

Here are the actual words of Mr. O’Reilly:

I will not bother going into the question of whether “ministero” in Latin can be a synonym of “munus” — it is (see Ryan Grant); or whether it is a proper synonym under canon law for “munus.” There is no need to get into the minutiae of that debate to determine the validity of Benedict’s resignation.  There is no need to get into the distinction between ministero and munus, real or imagined.

The problem for the BiP-ers of whatever stripe is that canon 332.2 does not require the word “munus” to appear in a valid papal resignation. The canon only requires that for a valid resignation of the office/munus, it is “required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested.”  To be clear, the canon specifically and clearly states there are only two requirements for a valid resignation:

  1. That it be made freely
  2. That it be properly manifested.

Those are the only requirements despite the attempts of BiP-ers to erroneously attempt to add a third, i.e., that the word “munus” be used in the renunciation.  There is no such requirement for the word “munus” [NB: Indeed, for example, when a man is elected by a conclave, the word “munus” is not used when he is offered the papacy, nor is it used by him when accepting it]. Therefore, assuming the resignation is freely made, the only remaining requirement is that it is properly manifested.

Thus, in terms of actual language used in a resignation, common sense dictates only that it be sufficiently clear to understand that the pope is in fact resigning. It is a rather low bar which is met by Benedict’s Declaratio, in that he communicates the why and the what of the resignation.  He tells us he is resigning due to weakness, i.e., not because he is resigning against his will.  Benedict communicates to us that he is renouncing the “ministry of the Bishop of Rome.”

That Benedict is giving up the “ministry of the Bishop of Rome” appears sufficiently clear to intend the papacy, not some part of it. Remember, the use of the word “munus” is not a requirement of canon 332.2. But even if we concede arguendo that “ministry of the Bishop of Rome” by itself in isolation is not immediately clear, the context of the whole statement makes it sufficiently if not abundantly clear what Benedict is doing. Consider, Benedict tells us he is resigning the “ministry of the Bishop of Rome…so that” (1) “the See of Peter be vacant” and (2) that a conclave is now suitable to elect a “new Supreme Pontiff.”  I addressed points 1 and 2 in the first part of this response (here).

To recapitulate briefly, in telling us the “See of Peter” is vacant, Benedict is clearly manifesting that by his renunciation the Chair of Peter is vacant.  A vacant See of Peter means “no pope.” Next, Benedict tells us a new conclave is required to elect a new Supreme Pontiff, obviously necessitated by his resignation as Supreme Pontiff.  Certainly, all this together “properly manifests,” and can only mean, Benedict’s resignation.  That much is sufficiently clear.

First, let me state that it is a very weak way to open an argument, by saying that you need not examine the meaning of the words munus and ministerium, AND THEN PROCEED to analyze the meaning of every phrase which follows that in that same text!

That is equivalent to opening your argument as Defense Counsel in a Murder trial thus: If we just close our eyes to the fact that John’s knife with his fingerprints is sticking out of the corpse right over the center of the chest where the heart is, it will be easy to see that John cannot be considered a possible perpetrator of the murder!

Second, he trots out the argument, which I refuted already in my 7 part documentary, that a Pope need not use the word “munus” in a papal resignation.  The counter argument to this, is devastating:  While it is true that a pope need not use the word munus, because he can resign in any language or with other words, nevertheless if one were to assert that he does NOT HAVE TO SIGNIFY that which the word “munus” means, then he would be asserting that Canon 332 means nothing at all. A pope might as well renounce bananas, only the verb “renounce” or a synonym is required. The patent absurdity of the position is undeniable. This is a way of continuing your argument in a murder trial, as Defense Counsel by saying: Even though the Penal Code punishes deliberate homicide as murder, it does not require that we presuppose that sticking a knife into the heart of a man in such wise as to cause his death, is a form of homicide or indicates any sort of deliberation in the manner penalized in the Code!

Third, he plays the shell game of all Bergoglian canonists here at Rome, when he says that there are only 2 requirements for a valid resignation, and neither is that the word munus be used.  He fails to say of what kind of resignation he is speaking. In fact, the Canon speaks not of resignation but of renunciation. So by using the word “resignation” when listing the requirements for validity, he is consciously avoiding the word “renunciation”, because if he used that verb, someone might ask, “A renunciation of what?”, and his shell game would be exposed. Because for the validity of a renunciation of munus 2 things are required. Thus he is simply being dishonest with his readers. As I said in my 7 part documentary, you cannot fixate on the conditions for the validity of a renunciation of munus and thereby claim that the renunciation of anything is a renunication of munus. Human language, logic and causality do not work that way, except in the sandbox of a toddler who has never been spanked.

Fourth, then he argues that it is sufficient that it be clear what the pope is doing. That is the whole controversy. He is not resigning, he has not even used the word! He is renouncing, but not what the Code of Canon Law says is a papal renunciation. But Mr. O’Reilly having set forth his doctrine for closing your eyes to munus and ministerium, and reading the Canon as saying resigning and not renouncing, arrives at saying that thus obviously what Benedict XVI did was resign!  This is as if a Defense Counsel in a Murder trial would conclude by saying: Since the Penal Code does not say that sticking a knife in the heart of another person causing his death is a form of deliberate homicide, it is irrelevant that the knife belongs to my client, that the victims blood was found on my clients hands, and that there are numerous witnesses that saw him plunge it into the victims heart, while saying, I am going to kill you! Therefore, I urge you to find my client innocent!

Fifth, it is then on this basis that Mr. O’Reilly trots out the theory that we must understand the nature of what Pope Benedict declared he was doing on the basis of a strict and careful reading of what follows, regardless of whether it is canonically or theologically possible on account of what he did renounce. In his theory, it appears that if the Pope had renounced bananas, papal slippers, wearing a white cassock, or anything else but what the Petrine Munus is or signifies, then the renunciation would be valid if after such a renunciation the Pope say, so that the See of Rome be vacant and a conclave to elect a new supreme pontiff be convened by those who are competent.

This is what I call a theory of meta-signification. It is a theory which determines the meaning of a main clause of a sentence by all the clauses which are subordinated to it. It is really a beautiful theory for a dishonest lawyer, because you can use it to deny the meaning of every sentence on that basis, if you just work at it.  However, such a theory of signification is expressly denied by ALL BOOKS OF GRAMMAR IN LATIN. And since the Pope spoke in Latin and since the Code of Canon Law is written in Latin, his theory is simply a gratuitous assertion to arrive at a predetermined irrational conclusion.

In conclusion, it has been 18 months that Steve O’Reilly has attacked the evidence and law which show conclusively that Benedict XVI is still the pope. He has always trotted out false arguments. At this point I think everyone has the right to either ignore him as intellectually dishonest or ask him his personal reasons for embracing with such lack of personal integrity Bergoglio as his pope.

____________

CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a screen shot of the image of Mr. O’Reilly from the About page of his website, linked above, and is used here according to the fair use standard for editorial commentary. It also shows that Mr. O’Reilly is an educated, civilized, sane and intelligent man with a cheerful character.

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LifeSite news, on the threshold of returning to Pope Benedict XVI

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Following my article yesterday, on May, 6, 2020, which sustained that Peter Seewald’s new Biography of Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated that Benedict XVI is still the pope, because his renunciation was vitiated by substantial error, LifeSite News published a very fine article by Maike Hickson, entitled, “Pope Benedict: I resigned but I kept ‘spiritual dimension’ of papacy”.

Praise is deserved where praise is due. And it has been a long time since LifeSite News or Hickson confronted the problem without any polemics: that is, without any push to interpret the facts one way or another.

Here is the meat of her article:

It is here that Pope Benedict then draws a comparison with the papacy. For, such a retired bishop, he adds, “does not anymore actively have an episcopal seat, but, still finds himself in a special relationship of a former bishop to his seat.” This retired bishop, however, thereby “does not become a second bishop of his diocese,” explains Benedict. Such a bishop had “fully given up his office, yet the spiritual connection with his former seat was now being acknowledged, also as a legal quality.” This “new relationship with a seat” is “given as a reality, but lies outside of the concrete legal substance of the episcopal office.” At the same time, adds the retired Pope, the “spiritual connection” is being regarded as a “reality.”

“Thus,” he continues, “there are not two bishops, but one with a spiritual mandate, whose essence it is to serve his former diocese from within, from the Lord, by being present and available in prayer.”

“It is not conceivable why such a legal concept should not also be applied to the bishop of Rome,” Pope Benedict explicitly states, thus making it clear that according to his own ideas, he fully resigned his papal office while maintaining a “spiritual dimension” of his office.

As can be seen Hickson has laid out the problem. If Pope Benedict still retains the mandate of the papal office in any sense, he has not completely renounced. And if he has not completely renounced, then he is still entirely the only one true pope, because a partial resignation is a doubtful resignation, and a doubtful resignation is an invalid resignation.

At the end of her article she quotes Msgr. Nicola Bux who says that the Petrine Office contains 2 mandates, the spiritual and the visible, and that you cannot renounce just one of them and share that with someone else.

I am not sure what Hickson means by “mandate”, whether she has translated the German, Mandat, or the German, Verantvortung. (Hopefully, someone on Twitter will ask her and post her reply in a comment below.)  Regarding the papal mandate, it might be described in spiritual and visible terms, but it is only one. So Msgr. Bux is partly right and partly wrong.

But the Papal munus is the Verantvortung, or charge, and, as everyone knows, Benedict never renounced that.

It is important to note here, that Verantvortung, is often rendered as responsibility in English. And, in fact, as was shown by Dr. Edmund J. Mazza, here at FromRome.Info, in March, and as I explained the same day, in my commentary on his article, for Pope Benedict XVI it is clear that he never had the intention to renounce the spiritual responsibility of the petrine office, only the active ministry, and that thus, he remains pope.

LifeSite’s decision to turn off the polemics of “Bergoglio is certainly the pope” and “The Renunciation is certainly valid” marks, I hope, a watershed moment for LifeSite News.

All of us who remain or have returned to communion with Pope Benedict XVI want nothing other than that all come to the truth through knowing the facts.

Therefore, Maike Hickson and Lifesite News deserves high praise today. And I gladly give it.

In the future, I think the papal law on elections should require the Cardinals to give the newly elected a catechism lesson on what the papacy is, before asking him to accept it, because it is becoming increasingly likely that the truth is, that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger did not know what he accepted the day he accepted his canonical election — And though that does not touch the validity of his accepting it, nevertheless, it does make it impossible for him to renounce it, because as I said in the documentary I produced recently, on the Renunciation, to renounce a thing, you have to know what you are renouncing, so that you name it.

Finally, perhaps I am being too hopeful for LifeSite News, because they recently changed their position and included sodomy as a Family-related issue, seemingly to placate the LGBT Movement, which is rejoicing over this change. So this article about Pope Benedict XVI might be neutral to a certain extent only to draw traffic to their site.

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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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A 7th Anniversary of shame!

March 13, 2020

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Today is the seventh anniversary of a day that will live in infamy.

A day of wickedness and flippancy.

A day wherein the Cardinals of the Catholic Church showed their utter contempt for:

  1. Pope Benedict XVI
  2. The Catholic Faith in the Papacy
  3. The Canons of the Catholic Church
  4. The Papal Law on Conclaves
  5. Common sense

Let me explain why I say this, point by point, in reverse order.

The Cardinals betrayed common sense 7 years ago today

It is obvious by now, that if anyone on the planet ,who had common sense, sat down and talked to Bergoglio for 15 minutes, he would realize that he is not a fit candidate to be Roman Pontiff.

But the College of Cardinals had been housed together with him for two weeks prior to March 13, 2013.

Therefore, the last 7 years proves that God certainly did not approve of their judgement in selecting such a man. Indeed, it was an epic failure of the College of Cardinals, as I wrote, in 2015.

The Cardinals betrayed John Paul II’s law on Conclaves

The Cardinal Electors violated the papal law on conclaves, in several ways.

First of all, they violated the Law, Universi dominici gregis, as regards the requirement in n. 37, of that law, when they held a Conclave without verifying whether there was a legal sede vacante.

A legal sede vacante means that either the previous pope is dead, and they confirm that with a funeral, or the previous pope resigned according to the norm of Canon 332 §2.

I have it from no less than the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, Mons. Arrieta, whose commentary on the Code of Canon Law I keep at by desk, that there never was any meeting of canon law experts to verify if the Declaratio of Pope Benedict, of Feb. 11, 2013 — commonly called Pope Benedict’s Renunciation — was in conformity with the norm of canon 332 §2.

Second, the Cardinals violated n. 81, of the same papal law, by entering into agreements and promises to vote for Bergoglio, as Cardinal Daneels of Beglium admitted in his Biography composed of interviews he gave. But the College has never acted on the self admission, which in Canon Law tradition is an indisputable act of self imputation of a canonical crime. I have covered this issue in an extensive Chronology of Events, which still remains the most authoritative collection of facts on the matter, on the net.

Thrid, the Cardinals rushed to elect Bergoglio by violating the same Papal Law on the number of ballots permitted on each day: four, as is specified in n. 63, of the same papal law, regarding limit on the number of ballots to be taken on the 2nd day of balloting and all subsequent days.  Because, as has been confirmed by several testimonies in the last 7 years, Bergoglio was elected on the 5th ballot. And this has never been denied.

Fourth, while there has been much controversy over whether the Cardinals could proceed to a fifth ballot in the case of a 4th balloting which contained 1 more vote paper than the number of Electors present, there remains 2 legal questions which have never been addressed about this:

  1. The Cardinals could not lawfully proceed to a 5th Ballot unless they paused the election and held a discussion on the interpretation of the papal law, using the right conceded to them in that same law, in n. 5, for this purpose. If they proceeded to a 5th ballot without such a discussion and vote, then even if they interpreted it as valid, that omission made their interpretation illicit, and hence the entire election invalid.
  2. Whether the Auditors of the Papal Conclave, as specified in n. 70 of the same papal law, held any meeting or discussion in accord with the norm, there specified, regarding the auditing of the final vote. Because in the case that there was no meeting in accord with n. 5 of the same papal law, in regard to whether to proceed to a 5th ballot when only 4 ballots were permitted, then likewise if the Auditors did not meet, the election was canonically invalid. And if they did meet, they had to declare in the case of the lack of a vote in accord with n. 5, that the election was invalid.

Since the multiple reports about a 5th balloting are all silent about what should have happened as regards nn. 1 and 2, here above, it can be rightfully doubted the election was valid. Because a doubtful pope is no pope.

The Cardinals Betrayed the Canons of the Catholic Church

Seven years ago today, the Cardinals consummated their betrayal of the Canons of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II, in 1983, in the text known as the Codex iuris canonicis, or the Code of Canon Law.

First, the Cardinals violated canon 40, which required them not to take any decision in regard to Pope Benedict XVI’s Declaratio of Feb. 11, 2013, until they had the Latin text in hand in its final corrected version. Since the Vatican Press office in the days following February 11 published at least 3 versions of the text, there is sound canonical evidence that Cardinal Sodano, through Father Lombardi, violated canon 40 in instructing Giovanna Chirri at 11:58 AM, on that morning, to announce to the world that Pope Benedict has announced his resignation from the Pontificate on Feb. 28.  Canon 40 declares invalid any act taken by a subordinate, before he has in hand the integral text of the act of his superior.

Second, the Cardinals violated canon 41, which required them to examine if the legal act contained in the Declaratio was an act specified by the Code of Canon Law and was in all its particulars a command to do something opportune.  But since in the entire Code of Canon Law there is no mention of an act of renunciation of ministerium, the act posited by Pope Benedict XVI was clearly an an actus nullus, and thus canon 41 required them not to act upon it. Also since a renunciation of ministerium does not effect the loss of the papal office, the fact that the Declaratio speaks of calling a Conclave is an inopportune detail or provision. Canon 41 requires that those with mere ministry of execution, in such a case, have recourse to the superior to correct these issues. Once again, according to Mons. Arrieta, nothing of the kind happened.

Third, the Cardinals violated canon 38, which required them not to interpret the Declaratio of Pope Benedict as being in conformity to Canon 332 §2, on the grounds that by naming the ministerium instead of the canonically required munus, the act would gravely injure the rights of the Faithful to know if the pope had validly resigned or not, would cause doubt and risk schism in the Church. For in such a case, Pope Benedict XVI would have had to granted a derogation of canon 332 §2 in his Declaratio, in conformity with canon 38, otherwise the act would have been irritus. He did not, so the act was irritus — a technical canonical term which means having not effect in law, void, on account of having not followed due procedure (ritus).

Fourth, the Cardinals violated canon 36 §1, which requires them to interpret strictly any papal act which violates the norm of any canon, let alone Canon 332 §2. To interpret strictly means that they had to read ministerium as exclusive of any signification of munus, and thus hold that the Declaratio was prima facie incapable of causing Pope Benedict to validly resign the papal munus, the papal office and the papal dignity.

Fifth, the Cardinals violated canons 126 and 188, which require that a juridical act of renunciation of office contain the proper or essential act specified in the law.  As is clear from the Code of Canon Law, which speaks of the Papal Office in canons 331, 332, 332, and 749, the proper term for the papal office is the petrine munus, not the petrine ministerium.  Hence, they were required in accord with canon 188 to judge the renunication irritus on the grounds of substantial error.

Sixth, the Cardinals violated canons 17 and 145 §1, which require respectively that the terms of all canons be understood in their proper sense, that ministerium and munus, when mentioned in any canon be understood thus, and to undertake a study of the entire Code of Canon Law and canonical tradition, in the case of the doubt as to whether ministerium can suppose for munus. They did no such thing in February of 2013, as Mons. Arrieta affirmed to me.

Seventh, the Cardinals violated canon 332 §2, which requires them to recognize a papal renunication only if the Pope renounces his munus, and does so freely and manifests this duly.  But since a good number of the Cardinal Electors were present in the Consistory of Feb. 11, 2013, they heard with their own ears that he made errors in Latin and that he said ministerium not munus, in the crucial core section of the Declaratio. They also heard him say munus twice before that. So they had indisputable canonical evidence that the Pope knew what he was doing, knew how to distinguish munus from ministerium, and did NOT intend to renounce his munus.

The Cardinals violated the Catholic Faith in the Papacy

Seven years ago, today, the College of Cardinals violated the Catholic Faith in the papacy. First, in the strict sense of the Faith, namely, that there can only be one pope. Because, it was clear already by March 3, 2013, that Pope Benedict XVI by his own decision was going to retain the papal dignity by using the title “Pope Emeritus”. There was at least one scholarly refutation of the validity of this published on March 3, 2013 by Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S. J., former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome. So they could not be ignorant of the fact. The same canonical scholar that week affirmed that a heretical pope loses office immediately. So in choosing an obvious heretic as Pope they also violated the Catholic Faith.

The Cardinals showed their utter contempt for Pope Benedict XVI

Seven years ago, today, the Cardinals consummated their utter contempt for Pope Benedict XVI, in that they responded with glee at his renunciation, and not with consternation and respectful attempt to dissuade him from it.

As reported in the press, in February of 2013, only one Cardinal, Cardinal Pell went on record as saying that the resignation should not happen. He said this before Feb. 28, 2013. He was also the first Cardinal the Vatican allowed to be prosecuted after February of 2013. Hmm.

Respect and reverence for the Holy Father, especially when frail and aged, requires first of all that the Cardinals assist him in executing his will, not obstructing it nor allowing it to be executed in an invalid manner.

Yet it also requires, out of gratitude, that they attempt to convince a good man not to resign. If they omit that, they are basically saying he is not a good man or that they despise him.

And they showed their contempt, not only in sentiment, but by positive canonical ommissions, in seemingly in several ways, because in February of 2013 none of them were under a pontifical secret, yet in 7 years they never have confirmed — to my knowledge — in any interview that they did not do the following:

  1. They did not ask Pope Benedict to explain to them why he made his decision or what it meant, to make sure he was resigning freely.
  2. They did not ask Pope Benedict to correct the 40 errors in the Latin text which he read, before it was published, so as to prevent the shame of such a thing staining the last act of his papacy and the Apostolic See.
  3. They did not investigate or question Archbishop Gänswein and those around the pope as to the circumstance of the act to be certain that he was not manipulated or coerced.
  4. They did not ask one another what they knew about the matter. If so, they would have discovered that Pope Benedict did not seek the counsel of others (according to Archbishop Gänswein) or refused the counsel of his better advisers (according to Archbishop Gänswein and Cardinal Brandmuller). If they had done this, they would have been altered to the necessity to examine the act further.
  5. The consummated their disrespect through all these things and for not treating the Holy Father with that due respect for an aged man, in which one presumes frailty and therefore double checks everything to make sure it is done rightly.

Conclusion

For all these reasons, I think it can be said, objectively, that today marks the 7th anniversary of a day which will live in infamy in the history of the Church until the end of time and for all eternity. The Cardinals gravely failed in their duty as Cardinals and as Electors and as Bishops and Catholics. They failed also deliberately and by omission. Their failure also was canonically imputable, since the Code of Canon Law holds as presumptive, the responsibility of men with such high office to know the law and follow it.

Hence, it is objectively and canonically certain, that Bergoglio is not the pope. Because a man whose claim to the papacy is vitiated by so many canonical doubts, is not the pope, according to the ancient maxim of St. Robert Bellarmine, S. J.: a doubtful pope is not the pope.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a detail of the photograph by Tenan, which is used here in accord with the Creative Commons Atribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported license explained here.

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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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Resigned to the Papacy: Does Benedict still claim he is Pope?

At the request of the author, who was cited incompletely in Edward Pentin’s report, yesterday, FromRome.Info publishes the full essay with its original title

by Dr. Edmund J. Mazza

Ph.D. Medieval History

It’s a safe bet that even if seventy-three-year-old President Trump’s physical stamina suddenly caved, he would still seek re-election rather than allow his Democrat opponent to seize the oval office and reverse all his gains and policies. It is a curious question then why another incumbent Conservative, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned seven years ago citing the frailty of his eighty-five-year-old frame, certain in the knowledge that his successor would be a Leftist ideologue bent on undoing, not only his own legacy, but two thousand years of Catholic tradition. (Benedict may even have been reasonably sure that it would be Jorge Bergoglio, himself, since the Argentinian cardinal came up just shy of the votes needed to unseat Benedict back in 2005.) As George Neumayr writes in the The American Spectator:

In one of his last speeches before abdicating in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI decried the liberalism that had seeped into the Church after Vatican II. To this liberalism, he traced “so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized.” But he then proceeded to hand the Church to the very liberals responsible for these problems and to a successor set upon liberalizing the Church even more. (1)

The recent release of Netflix’s The Two Popes, the seventh anniversary of Benedict’s abdication and the firestorm over his co-authorship of a book advocating the retention of the celibate priesthood—a seeming slap in the face of Pope Francis—all conspire in calling for a reexamination of the infamous resignation. Indeed, ever since February 11, 2013 speculations have circulated that Benedict’s renunciation may have been invalid, that he—in some way—still retains the papacy. These allegations were fueled in part by Benedict’s own rather bizarre measures after formally stepping down, such keeping his name “Pope Benedict XVI,” his title “His Holiness,” his white cassock, imparting his “Apostolic Blessing,” and lastly—never departing the Vatican.

These claims even received an unexpected boost thanks to a speech by Benedict’s Personal Secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household. At Rome’s Gregorianum in 2016, Gänswein declared “he has not abandoned this ministry at all. Instead, he has complemented the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi-shared ministry.”  Gänswein adds: “He has not abandoned the office of Peter, a thing which would be completely impossible for him following his irrevocable acceptance of the office…” (2)

Then in 2017, Last Testament: In His Own Words, was published in which journalist Peter Seewald conducted a lengthy interview with Benedict. At one point, Seewald pointedly asks His Holiness: “Is a slowdown in the ability to perform, reason enough to climb down from the chair of Peter?” Benedict replies:

One can of course make that accusation, but it would be a functional misunderstanding. The follower [successor] of Peter is not merely bound to a function; the office [munus] (3) enters into your very being. In this regard, fulfilling a function is not the only criterion. (4) (Emphasis mine)

What “misunderstanding”? A simple “yes,” would do.

But Benedict does not give a “yes” or “no” answer to this straightforward question. All the more bizarre since his answer, in fact, must be a “yes,” or otherwise he is contradicting the very reason he gave for stepping down in his official resignation speech:

I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine office [non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum]… strength…has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry [ministerium] entrusted to me. For this reason…I declare that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter

But in his answer to Seewald, Benedict explains that a physical “slow-down” only affects the “functions” or “ministry” of a pope, his day-to-day tasks like any other official. But being Pope, Benedict insists, is not fundamentally about doing this or that, it’s about being. His answer is an ontological one: “the office [munus] enters into your very being,” not the “function” or “ministry,” but the office.

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.

In October 1977, during the symposium “On the Nature and Commission of the Petrine Ministry” marking the 80th birthday of Pope Paul VI, Ratzinger declared:

In keeping with the three Persons in God, the argument went, the Church must also be led by a college of three, and the members of this triumvirate, acting together, would be the pope. There was no lack of ingenious speculations that (alluding, for instance, to Soloviev’s story about the Antichrist) discovered that in this way a Roman Catholic, an Orthodox, and a Protestant together could form the papal troika. Thus it appeared that the ultimate formula for ecumenism had been found, derived immediately from theology (from the concept of God), that they had discovered a way to square the circle, whereby the papacy, the chief stumbling block for non-Catholic Christianity, would have to become the definitive vehicle for bringing about the unity of all Christians.

2. The interior basis for the primacy: Faith as responsible personal witness

Is this, then—the reconciliation of collegiality and primacy—the answer to the question posed by our subject: the primacy of the pope and the unity of the People of God? Although we need not conclude that such reflections are entirely sterile and useless, it is plain that they are a distortion of trinitarian doctrine and an intolerably oversimplified fusion of Creed and Church polity. What is needed is a more profound approach. It seems to me that it is important, first of all, to reestablish a clearer connection between the theology of communion, which had developed from the idea of collegiality, and a theology of personality, which is no less important in interpreting the biblical facts. Not only does the communal character of the history created by God belong to the structure of the Bible, but also and equally personal responsibility. The ‘‘we’’ does not dissolve the ‘‘I’’ and ‘‘you,’’ but rather it confirms and intensifies them so as to make them almost definitive. This is evident already in the importance that a name has in the Old Testament—for God and for men. One could even say that in the Bible ‘‘name’’ takes the place of what philosophical reflection would eventually designate by the word ‘‘person…

Martyrdom as a response to the Cross of Jesus Christ is nothing other than the ultimate confirmation of this principle of uncompromising particularity, of the named individual who is personally responsible

The Petrine theology of the New Testament is found along this line of reasoning, and therein it has its intrinsically necessary character. The ‘‘we’’ of the Church begins with the name of the one who in particular and as a person first uttered the profession of faith in Christ: ‘‘You are . . . the Son of the living God’’ (Mt 16:16)….

Is Peter as a person the foundation of the Church, or is his profession of faith the foundation of the Church? The answer is: The profession of faith exists only as something for which someone is personally responsible, and hence the profession of faith is connected with the person. Conversely, the foundation is not a person regarded in a metaphysically neutral way, so to speak, but rather the person as the bearer of the profession of faith—one without the other would miss the significance of what is meant…

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

The English Cardinal expresses it in the same way in another passage: ‘‘The office of the papacy is a cross, indeed, the greatest of all crosses. For what can be said to pertain more to the cross and anxiety of the soul than the care and responsibility for all the Churches throughout the world?’’ Moreover, he recalls Moses, who groaned under the burden of the whole Israelite people, could no longer bear it, and yet had to bear it.34 To be bound up with the will of God, with the Word of whom he is the messenger, is the experience of being girt and led against his will of which John 21 speaks. Yet this attachment to the Word and will of God because of the Lord is what makes the sedes a cross and thus proves the Vicar to be a representative. 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, in which the common profession of the Church is depicted as personally ‘‘binding’’ through the one who is bound . . . . This personal liability, which forms the heart of the doctrine of papal primacy, is therefore not opposed to the theology of the Cross or contrary to humilitas christiana but rather follows from it and is the point of its utmost concreteness and, at the same time, the public contradiction of the claim that the power of the world is the only power and also the establishment of the power of obedience in opposition to worldly power. Vicarius Christi is a title most profoundly rooted in the theology of the Cross and thus an interpretation of Matthew 16:16–19 and John 21:15–19 that points to the inner unity of these two passages. No doubt, another facet of the bondage that in light of John 21 can be described as a definitive characteristic of the papacy will be the fact that this being bound up with God’s will, which is expressed in God’s Word, means being bound up with the ‘‘we’’ of the whole Church: collegiality and primacy are interdependent. But they do not merge in such a way that the personal responsibility ultimately disappears into anonymous governing bodies. Precisely in their inseparability, personal responsibility serves unity, which it will doubtless bring about the more effectively, the more true it remains to its roots in the theology of the Cross. (5)

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!”

In 1977, Ratzinger says: ‘‘The office of the papacy is a cross, indeed, the greatest of all crosses. For what can be said to pertain more to the cross and anxiety of the soul than the care and [personal] responsibility for all the Churches…attachment to the Word and will of God because of the Lord is what makes the sedes [chair] a cross and thus proves the Vicar [the Pope] to be a representative [of Christ].” At his last General Audience, Benedict says: “I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord.” Translation: “He remains Pope!”

Dr. Ludwig Ott, famous author of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, writes: “In deciding the meaning of a text the Church does not pronounce judgment on the subjective intention of the author, but on the objective sense of the text.” But in the objective text of his renunciation, Benedict does not say “I no longer retain the office [munus],” he says instead, “I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry [ministerium] entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter.”

Now weighty matters like papal renunciations are governed by Canon law. And Canon 322 §2 states: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounces his munus, (6) it is required for validity that the renunciation is made freely and be properly manifested (rite manifestatur, i.e. properly according to the norms of law), but not that it be accepted by anyone at all.” However, Pope Benedict did not follow Canon 322—he did not actually “renounce the munus,” but the ministerium, nor did he “properly manifest,” in the objective sense of his text, his intention to renounce the munus, if such was his intention! (7) Legally, it does not matter if everyone believes Benedict has renounced the office of the papacy (or if only one person does), what matters is whether the act was carried out according to the canonical norm, which it objectively was not. Indeed, in his interview with Seewald, Benedict admits his belief in the ontological impossibility of him leaving the office: “the office [munus] enters into your very being.”

To conclude, can there be any doubt that to Benedict’s mind, he retains the essence of the papacy? Why then does he not speak and act plainly—as THE Pope? Quite frankly, this is a subject for a different article. A case can be made, however, that he has outwitted his ideological opponents in much the same fashion as “Superman” in the conclusion of Mario Puzo’s Superman II [SPOILER ALERT]. By entering the crystal chamber, Superman had seemingly been forced by his enemies to strip himself of his powers, when the reverse was really the case! Perhaps Benedict intentionally resigned the “ministry,” and not the “office” of the papacy so that by appearing to all intents and purposes a defeated man, he might actually strip away the validity of every measure Francis takes which departs from Catholic Orthodoxy, of whom Benedict is the Guardian.(8) Why on earth does Benedict not speak and act as THE Pope? Perhaps in defense of celibacy, he finally has.

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FOOTNOTES

1  In the article, The Prisoner of the Vatican, at https://spectator.org/the-prisoner-of-the-vatican/

2  Address at the Pontifical Gregorian University, cited Diane Montagna’s article at LifeSite News: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/did-benedict-really-resign-gaenswein-burke-and-brandmueller-weigh-in

3  In Canon Law, the papal office is called a munus in Canons 331, 332 §2, 333 and 749. And in Canon 145 §1, ecclesiastical office is referred to as a munus. Cf. Munus and Ministerium: A Textual Study of their usage in the Code of Canon Law of 1983, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, transcript of paper from the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, October 21, 2019, Rome, Italy: at https://fromrome.info/2019/10/31/munus-and-ministerium-a-canonical-study/)

4  Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI, Last Testament: In His Own Words, (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2017).

5  “The Primacy of the Pope and the unity of the People of God,” published as “Der Primat des Papstes und die Einheit des Gottesvolkes” in a book Ratzinger edited, Dienst an der Einheit (Service to Unity); it has also been republished in books by Ignatius Press and in Communio Spring 2014.

6  In the official Latin edition of the Codex Iuris Canonicis, 1983, canon 332 §2 reads here: “muneri suo renuntiet

7  “But there is definite uncertainty about the exact meaning of another phrase of canon 332.2 which asserts that a Pope’s resignation has to be ‘properly manifested.’  …In the end, therefore, it wouldn’t really matter, so long as the Pope’s decision was expressed clearly, i.e., neither ambiguously nor secretly.” https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/01/03/can-a-pope-everresign/

8  Cf. https://fromrome.info/2020/01/12/benedicts-end-game-is-to-save-the-church-from-freemasonry/

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CREDITS:  The text of Dr. Mazza is republished here with his kind permission. The Featured Image is a photo of Pope Benedict XVI reading his Declaratio, on Feb. 11, 2013, in the Sala Clementina. Photo by Vatican Press.

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Munus vs. Ministerium: the case of the Roman Curia

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Three Questions and only Two Answers

The Roman Curia is the entire bureaucratic institution of Cardinals, Bishops, Monsignori, Priests, Experts and other officials, who run those individual organs of Papal government over the whole Church. Most of their offices are on the Via Conciliazione, but some are in the Vatican or scattered throughout the city of Rome.

All of those who are in the Roman Curia agree with me on one point. If you ask them if it is the duty of the Roman Curia to assist the Pope in his Petrine Ministry, they all respond with a resounding, Yes!

If you ask them, if the Pope alone holds the office or munus of the Roman Pontiff, or of Saint Peter, they all respond with a resounding, Yes!

But if you then ask them, How can Pope Benedict no longer be what he is, if all he renounced is what the Roman Curia does?

To that, third, and final question, you get no response.

 

Valli drops the bomb

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Aldo Maria Valli is a noted journalist who works for RAI, the state television network. You may have heard of his name in connection to the letters of Archbishop Viganò or in connection with Dr. Roberto de Mattei, with whom he has done a book conference. He was recently involved in a serious car accident, which killed a close friend, but left him rather unscathed.

Italians, especially Vaticanista, know what they can say and how to say it with a finesse which often escapes Americans who need not fear what they say so much, on account of the culture of openness and sincerely that reigns there. But Italians do it in their own way.

The canonical arguments that Benedict is still the pope are now flooding the email boxes of all the elites of Rome. Valli’s too. He spoke about it in his recent editorial, Passaggiata notturna in piazza San Pietro:

Dopo la passeggiata torno a casa, accendo il computer e trovo la mail con un messaggio dell’amico che da tempo mi invita a riflettere sull’impossibilità di avere un papa emerito. La riassumo in parole povere (canonisti, chiedo scusa): siccome non si riceve una consacrazione a papa, quando un papa rinuncia al pontificato non può diventare papa emerito, perché non è più papa. Non torna a essere neppure cardinale, ma vescovo, e stop. Di conseguenza Benedetto XVI, con la rinuncia al ministerium ma non al munus (sarebbe a dire all’esercizio attivo, ma non al mandato) ha fatto qualcosa che non poteva fare e dunque la sua rinuncia è invalida. Ma se la sua rinuncia è invalida, è invalido anche il conclave che ne è seguito, e pure il papa uscito da quel conclave.

I do not think Valli is on Twitter, so he is immune from the juvenile trolling which will probably be launched against him by those who cannot read Latin or Italian, but do read FromRome.Info. So here is my English translation:

After my walk, I returned home, and turned on my computer and found an email with a message from a friend who for some time has invited me to reflect on the impossibility of having a pope emeritus. I will summarize it in my own poor words (I ask pardon of any canonist who is reading this): just as one does not receive a consecration to be the pope, when a pope renounces the pontificate he cannot become a pope emeritus, because he is no longer a pope. He does not even return to being a Cardinal, but a bishop. Period.  Consequently, Benedict XVI, with his renunciation of ministerium but not of munus (that is, of the active exercise, but not of the mandate) did something which he could not do and hence his renunciation is invalid. But if his renunciation is invalid, the Conclave which followed it is also invalid, and even the pope which came out of that Conclave.

Valli finishes with an elegant Italian double entendre to say that the shocking conclusion of his friend is the literal truth which one observes daily at the Vatican of one who claims to be the pope but shows he is invalid.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is of Castel San Angelo, the ancient Papal Fortress dedicated to Saint Michale the Archangel, but which is now a museum owned by the Italian Republic. The photo was taken by Br. Bugnolo before sunrise on one December morning in 2019.

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