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.