Tag Archives: Pope Benedict’s Renunciation

Cardinal Burke doubts the validity of Benedict XVI’s Renunciation

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo


Tuesday in the Novena of Pentecost, 2021 A. D. —  As the readers of FromRome.Info know, Cardinal Burke has expressed his doubts about the validity of the renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, in 2016, according to the personal testimony of a monsignor of that Diocese, who heretofore has not wanted to come forward about the matter, but who spoke with a reader of FromRome.Info.

But now, I can confirm from my sources here at Rome, that Cardinal Burke does indeed doubt the validity of the renunciation and has done so from February, 2013!

In a matter so grave as the incomplete or dubious resignation of a Roman Pontiff, our duty as Catholics, who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Confirmation, is that we do not conceal such doubts but speak openly of them. Indeed, it is a grave violation of the duty of a man of God, that in a matter which touches upon the salvation of billions of souls, that he be reticent or silent or conceive of a discretion that it be virtuous to do so.

This is particularly true because the very principles of right (ius) teach that one must not presume that the right of another has ceased: de iuris cessione non presumat! This principle is affirmed in Canon 21, which says, “In doubt the revocation of a preexisting law is not presumed” (In dubio revocatio legis praeexistentis non presumat). It is reinforced by Canon 124 §2, which says that juridical acts which are posited in a due manner according to the norms of law are to be presumed valid: wherefore, if there is a prima facie  discrepancy in the text of the act from the norm of the law, it is licit to presume that it is invalid.  This is confirmed again by the Code of 1983, in canons 40 and 41, which concede the right of a subject to doubt the validity of an administrative act which is, respectively, either nullus (which is not an administrative act), or contains some undue circumstance or detail. —  And this is a noteworthy and wide space for discretion. — Thus in the case of the man who is the Pope, in renouncing, if he objectively does not fulfill the terms of Canon 332 § 2, it can licitly and legitimately be doubted that he has renounced. — And this I speculate is the rationale in Burke’s position.

In fact, I can affirm that according to my sources, Cardinal Burke’s doubt is founded upon the fact that Joseph Ratzinger renounced the ministerium and not the munus of the Papal Office. — This makes him among the very first to do so, according to the historical record.

I can further affirm, that according to my sources, Cardinal Burke has spoke to many about his doubt no only in February 2013, but before and after the Conclave of 2013.

For this reason, I can with great probability surmise, now, that the reason the Vatican will not tolerate or enter into any discussion of the invalidity of the Renunciation is precisely because the Mafia of St. Gallen fears that such a discussion or investigation will find that Benedict XVI is the true pope and that the Conclave of 2013 is uncanonical by reason of the incomplete renunciation.

Therefore, out of my love for Christ and His Church, I now call upon all the members of the Sacred Hierarchy, upon all canonists and theologians, and upon all clergy, religious or laity, who know more of these matters to speak openly of what they know and stop with this vain and destructive pretension to discretion.

All the faithful have the grave solemn duty to remain in communion with the true pope, and submit to him, according to the magisterial teaching of Pope Boniface VIII in Unam Sanctam. Accordingly, each and every member of the Catholic Church HAS THE DIVINE RIGHT to know who the true pope is.  Silence or discretion which obstructs that right IS A HIGH CRIME AGAINST THE COMMUNION OF THE SAINTS!

Finally, I wish to publicly apologize to His Eminence, Cardinal Burke, for having publicly and privately spoken in criticism of him for his silence or unwillingness to recognize the invalidity of the renunciation. I was wrong to construe my lack of information about his position, as anything more than that.

For more about the precise canonical argument for the invalidity of the renunciation, see here.

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Here is the official French Translation of the above. Click to read.

How they boldly lie to defend Bergoglio….

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The one golden thread of consistency in every defender of Bergoglio, whether of his blatant heresies, blasphemies or crimes, or whether of his claim to be validly elected or retain his office, is that his defenders are willing to lie, and to lie boldly.

I have had occasion to publicly out them as such many times here at FromRome.Info, and today, I consider it necessary to do so once again.

I speak of Steve O’Reilly, who says he is a convert to the Catholic Faith and lectures Catholics about what to see and not to see, what to think and not to think, on his own authority, about the Declaration of Pope Benedict.  He has attempted some childishly immature and false arguments from November 2018, when he entered into the fray of the debate.  And he has painted his position with redundant misrepresentations, lies and logical frauds ever since.

Now, however, he has proceeded to a new low, that of putting forth his own opinion as the historical narrative.

He makes this claim in his new essay, “Being Wrong: The Ontology of the BiP Argument”, published yesterday at his blog, Roma locuta est, by which he mans, “Steve has spoken, now shut up”!  BiP is a derogatory term for those who hold that Benedict Is the Pope.  It  is crafted to make such persons appear to be blips of ignorance.

His recent sui generis extravagance is this:

I do not believe I ever have heard Dr. Mazza or other BiP-ers adequately explain what Benedict meant when he wrote in the Declaratio he renounces the Petrine ministry ‘in such a way’ that the ‘See of Peter will be vacant.’

The author who crafts an argument from a faulty memory is truly a sophist of the highest quality, so I will only remark that objectively speaking, if Mr. O’Reilley has a perfect memory, then he is a public liar, since I explained the canonical and logical meaning of that statement adequate in my Disputed Question on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI  in December of 2018, some 2 years and 5 months ago – and which he has read in my replies to his ludicrous argumentations. In that question from Dec. 2018, I asked and responded to this problem, he now reposes, in Part II of that Question:

13. Because Pope Benedict said, “I declare that I renounce the ministry which I had received from the hands of the Cardinals, … so that the See of St. Peter be vacant on …”, he clearly indicated that his renunciation was to effect a loss of office (munus), therefore his resignation was in accord with Canon 332 §2, despite not explicitly using the word munus, as that Canon requires for validity. Therefore, the resignation was valid.

Ad obj. 13.: This objection was refuted in the arguments of the First Part, but its complexity deserves a fuller answer for those minds which cannot understand how it is invalid. First, as demonstrated in the First Part of this Disputed Question, a resignation is valid if it includes a resignation of munus; it is not valid if it does not. And according to Canon 17, if there is any doubt as to whether munus is included in canon 332 §2 as a sine non qua condition or according to its signification in a broader sense, one must have recourse to other parts of the Law, the canonical tradition, and to the mind of the Legislator (John Paul II) of the Code. As has been shown elsewhere, there is no basis for an argument from canon 17 that ministerium can mean munus. However, since ministerium is followed by 2 subordinate clauses, the argument that it is invalid, must respond to that condition. For in Latin, some subordinate clauses can alter the signification of the main clause. And it is true that there is a poetical form, in which part of a thing can substitute for the whole, as when at Mass in the Latin Rite we say, “Come under my roof” to mean “come into my soul”. However, as regards the Latin of the text of the renunciation, to say, “which I received from the hands of the Cardinals” imposes no necessity of reference to the Petrine Ministry per se, because Ratzinger also at that time received the Episcopal and Pastoral Ministry for the Diocese of Rome. The second clause, “so that the See of St Peter be vacant”, has been shown in Part I to necessitate no necessity. For those who do not understand Latin grammar, this needs to be explained. Because, in a subordinate clause such as “so that … be vacant”, the clause is a clause of purpose of the kind which begins with the particle “ut”, and thus is a pure clause of purpose which indicates only a goal. If the subordinate clause of purpose had begun with “in the kind of way which” (quomodo) or “in such a way as to” (in tali modo quod) it would have been a purpose clause of characteristic which has the power to alter the manner of signification in the main clause, and allow the use of metynomic signification, that is, when a part refers to the whole. Since Pope Benedict did not say anything of that kind, this way of reading the subordinate clause is not possible. Hence it remains invalid.  However, even if a metonymic signification was had, it remains invalid per canon 332 §2, since it would not be duly manifested. Because just as if one were to pronounce marriage vows by saying, “I take you to be my Viennese strudel” instead of saying “I take you to be my wife”, an interpretation would be necessary to be resorted to, to make the phrase signify taking a wife, so in an act of resignation a metonymic manner of signification renders the act invalid because it publicly does not duly manifest the intention.

And I expanded upon my response, further, writing:

14. In his act of resignation Pope Benedict XVI declared two things. The First regarding his resignation, the second regarding the convocation of a Conclave “that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those whose duty it is”. He would not have said this, if his intention was not to resign the office of the Papacy. Therefore, he did resign the office of the papacy.

Ad obj. 14.: This argument is a conflation of two arguments, one of which has previously been refuted, viz. that one which regards his intention, which was refuted in Ad obj. 2. Here I will respond to the other, that which regards the papal command to convene a Conclave.   That the Pope declared that a conclave be convened to elect a new Roman Pontiff forms the second independent clause of his verb, “I declare”. Thus, it is logically independent and bears no necessity in the alteration of the signification of the first clause, which regards the resignation.  Thus, if the resignation not be duly manifested in accord with Canon 332 §2, that the Pope declares a Conclave be called is a papal declaration which is totally vitiated by the substantial error in his first declaration. Thus canon 188 invalidates the execution of this command. This is especially true, because in the declaration of convocation he does not require the convocation to take place before or after he ceases to be pope, or on a specific date or even during his life time. To see this more clearly, recall the example from the arguments against the validity, wherein a hypothetical pope declares, “I renounce bananas so that on Feb. 28, at 8 PM, Roman Time, the see be vacant” and simply add, “and that a Conclave be convened to elect a new Roman Pontiff”.  As can be seen in this hypothetical, the second declaration does not make the first valid, it just continues the substantial error: a substantial error which also makes the Conclave of 2013 and all the acts of Bergoglio as pope invalid.

I suppose, however, that by “adequately” O’Reilly means, what he always means by his writings in defend of Bergoglio, namely, that “When I say you have no proof or adequate argument, I am setting up myself as the measure of truth and adequacy and hoping that you do not see that I am gaslighting you all along.”.

Indeed, O’Reilly consistently argues as if the English translation published by the Vatican is the true canonical document. And you can see that in how he renders the Latin “ut”.  I know that the State Department does not know Latin, because one of their staff employers purchased my Latin Course for their staff library, many years ago.

And that may be the truth, because as Mr. O’Reilly admits on the About page of his blog, he is a former intelligence officer. He does not say of which agency or nation, however.

I recently was informed by a reader, moreover, that the founders of LifeSite News, which consistently affirm the validity of the Renunciation, are former employees of a Canadian publication founded by a MI5 intelligence asset.  Like Michael Matt of The Remnant, who has gone silent, is a graduate of Christendom College which was founded by a CIA agent.  I hope the picture is becoming clear for you.

For public disclosure, I have  never worked for any intelligence agency.

Valli squirms, backtracks and shares Don Strumia’s Elegant Sophistry

English Language Summary and Commentary by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Aldo Maria Valli last Friday published an essay entitled, “At Rome there is no Pope”. I reported and discussed it there. You can click the image above to read Valli’s new article in Italian.

Now, not even a week later, the famous Vaticanista back tracks, in the above post, entitled, “The Errors of Peter, no matter how grave, do not give us the power to revoke the petrine mandate”.


If that title is making you scratch your head, you are not alone.

Valli excuses himself, he says, for giving scandal, in that he judges his words now to be ill chosen, and likely to make others think he is a sedevacantist, now. His comments were publicly addressed here in Italy, as such, by Don Minutella, who cordially and respectfully called him to dialogue. — To which, to my knowledge, Valli never responded.

I cannot escape surmising that Valli was severely criticized or threatened to retract by his publishers — he sells quite a number of books — on account of the absurd final note to his introduction to Don Strumia’s letter:

Il titolo del mio articolo (“Roma senza papa”) è probabilmente fuorviante. Colpa mia. Forse sarebbe stato meglio intitolarlo “Un Dio compagno non ci serve. Abbiamo bisogno di Dio Padre”. Oppure “Perdonare è un conto, discolpare un altro”. Oppure “La misericordia, quella vera, è mostrare la strada della Verità, non discolpare”. Nel fare il titolo ho ceduto al sensazionalismo, peccato grave per un giornalista.

Which I translate thus:

The title of my article (“Rome without a pope”) is probably off.  My fault.  Perhaps it should have been entitled, “A companion God is not useful.  We need a Father God”.  Or rather, “To forgive is one thing, to excuse fault another”.  Or rather, “Mercy, the true kind, is to show the path to the Truth, not to excuse fault”.  In writing the title I fell into sensationalism, a grave sin for a journalist.

Don Strumia is being ridiculous, I say

Then follows the letter of Don Strumia, which does not even merit to be translated.

His argument is, that if Christ does not take away a Pope’s mandate, then who are we to do such thing. It is not for us to declare who is and who is not pope. We are not qualified. We must shut up and let the experts do such things. Otherwise we are acting like protestants and causing schism in the Church!

After 8 years of pablum of this kind, you have to wretch a little or puke at such an absurdity mixed with presumption, hypocrisy and plain down right lies.

For, for 8 years we have been told that Benedict validly resigned, even though the norm of the law requires him to renounce the munus petrinum not the ministerium petrinum.

But Don Strumia is imagining that it is those who want to say Bergoglio is not the pope who are the sinners risking schism here, not those who without ANY BASIS IN LAW OR FACT OR REASON claim he is the pope.

I do not know where clergy get the diabolical audacity to invent such crafty lies and bold face repeat them in public. In some seminary of demons, no doubt.

But Strumia is playing at another game, because he introduces the term, the Petrine Mandate, which is not the canonical term nor the theological term for the Petrine Office.  The Petrine Office is a munus or charge. The Petrine Mandate — “feed my sheep, feed my lambs” is not the office, but how to fulfill that charge.

So he has purposefully avoided the term MUNUS, around which the entire controversy turns.

And he has avoided it, because that is the elephant in the Sala Clementina* which no one can not see, but whom everyone in the Vatican is pretending is not there.

For Aldo Maria Valli who launched the letter writing career of Archbishop Viganò to publish such screed as part of his retraction, while he may have wanted to save his reputation and repair the public scandal, he has succeeded in doing neither, but only showing that either he does not at all have the competence to understand the problem, or that he is simply being dishonest in a sophisticated sort of way.

For the record, Valli has my email and I have offered to speak with him, interview him and discuss the renunciation. He has never taken up the opportunity.


* The Sala Clementina is the elegant hall used for Consistories of the Cardinals, and where Pope Benedict XVI read his Declaratio of Feb. 13, 2013.

Dr. Roberto De Mattei: Strike! Two!

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I cannot remain silent, despite as much as I am loath to publicly correct someone with a Doctorate in History. I know I did it before, but it seems to have been of no help.

I speak of Dr. Roberto De Mattei, writing over at Correspondenza Romana (See original), here at Rome, in a piece which Rorate Caeli graciously published in English translation. (See Here), entitled, The Real Mess is the co-habitation of Two Popes.

And I quote,

This situation is the consequence of a grave theological error by Cardinal Ratzinger. By keeping the title Pope emeritus, as happens with bishops, he appears to believe that the rise to the Papacy imprints an indelible mark similar to that of the priesthood. In reality, the sacramental grades of the priesthood are three only: the diaconate, the priesthood and the episcopacy. The Papacy belongs to another hierarchy in the Church, the jurisdictional one, or the governmental one, wherein it is the apex. When a Pope is elected, he receives the office of supreme jurisdiction, not a sacrament with an indelible mark.

The priesthood can’t even be lost by death, because it subsists “in aternum” . The papacy, on the other hand, can be lost, not only by death, but also in the case of voluntary renunciation or of manifest, notorious heresy. If he renounces being pontiff, the Pope ceases to be such: he has no right to wear white nor impart the Apostolic Blessing. He, from a canonical point of view, is no longer even a cardinal, but goes back to being a simple bishop.* Unless his renunciation is invalid: but this, in the case of Benedict XVI, should be proven. Effectively, the title of Pope today is being given to both Francis and Benedict, but one is certainly abusive, as only one [man] can be Pope in the Church.  

Emphasis in Red added, Asterisk added

In a piece, entitled, It’s all happening. Rorate Caeli is coming onside. Benedict is Pope, Ann Barnhardt is elated that De Mattei and hence Rorate Caeli by informed consent, has admitted that it is a theological error. And she is correct, that is at least one little baby step in the right direction. But that is all it is.

Because it is reduced to  nothing, by the second thing worthy of note in De Mattei’s piece, that I highlighted in red.

And this regards something I just pointed out to Mr. Verrechio at Louie Verrechio’s AKA Catholic, a fortress of Sedevacantism, on his article entitled, Benedict XVI: Superhero,, Villain or Victim, where Louie fires an entire broadside at me personally. (That is O.K., though, since I have Ironsides)

Namely, as regards the correct legal presumption in acts of Renunciation, as in all legal acts which follow ius testimentarie as in Last Wills and Testiments and successions etc..

Lurking in the Comments, as Romanus sum, I wrote there:


You got the legal presumption wrong.

A renunciation is presumed invalid unless it clearly renounces that which it is supposed to renounce.

Just like a last testament is invalid, unless it clearly says it is leaving something to someone.

For those who know Bellarmine, a doubtful pope is not a pope, it is the application of the same legal concept of interpretation to the opposite circumstances.

All this has to do with the concept of Cessation of power. In law, the cessation of power is not presumed. Thus, the cessation of right is not presumed. Contrariwise, in the election of a man to the papacy, we have the right and the Church is bound by law, not to regard it valid unless it meets all the necessary requirements of validity and or legitimacy.

Thus, a doubtfully resigned pope is still pope.

So, since I have corrected an Italian American in the USA, I guess there is no harm correcting an Italian at Rome, who spent years in Brazil.

So Dr. De Mattei, if I can be so bold — and I will be — though it is contrary to what a Franciscan should so in normal circumstances — but now is not normal. Since the Rule of Saint Francis obliges us to hold fast to Roman Pontiffs canonically elected, I would point out to you by a personal note, that THE INVALIDITY OF THE RENUNCIATION MADE BY POPE BENEDICT







It does not need to be proven, because according to ius testimentarie, that is the genus of right which regards testaments, THE INVALIDLY IS PRESUMED unless it is proven otherwise by a clear and certain statement!

For the Record, Mr. Verrecchio holds that the Renunciation is invalid, as a conclusion. Dr. de Mattei holds that it is valid as a presumption. Each is a different error, and Verrecchio is a better thinker, in my judgement. But until everyone gets the legal principle right, the problem wont be solved.

As I replied again to Louie, in the same post,

Dear Mr. Verrechio,

I did read your comment, you said that you conclude that the resignation is invalid until proven otherwise.

I said, the legal presumption is that a resignation is invalid until proven otherwise.

The point seems to be a fine one, but it is not. A presumption of law is a principle, not a conclusion. It does not exist under certain circumstances and in certain minds or as derived from certain beliefs or not. It exists a priori to all of these on account of the very nature of the legal act.

You do not have to prove it (the invalidity). You do have to accept it (the legal principle), to be a sane rational person…

I could have more easily commented on Dr. de Mattei’s piece by simply saying:



If you would only read sources which are found outside of the clique of approved outlets you read! >>


And you do not need to take me at my word. Ask any attorney-at-law who practices Estate Law or simply peruse my notes from my meetings with 2 top Canon Lawyers at  Rome:


* Just a short note on what happens to a pope who validly resigns. If he was a Cardinal beforehand, he returns to being a Cardinal. This is shown by the statement drawn up by Pope Pius XII in the case of an invasion of the Vatican by Axis forces during World War II. In the case of Pope Celestine V, he returned to being a hermit, because that is what he was before he was the Pope, though he remained a bishop, having been consecrated such after his election (Not all popes were consecrated Bishops). Unless of course, before one resigns, he makes other dispositions, as certainly is within his power to do so. Thus, Pope Benedict, if he really wanted ever to resign validly, could have first established the canonical status he would adopt after resignation, declare his resignation would take place on a certain date, resign on that date, and then assume that status which as Pope he had granted himself as the man who would be soon NOT the pope.

THIS ARTICLE has been published simultaneously in Italian at ChiesaRomna.Info

CREDITS: The featured image is by the author of this article.

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