Tag Archives: Synod of Sutri

The Provincial Council of Sutri, Dec. 20-23, 1046 A.D., and It’s importance for the Church of Today (Video)

Traduzione Italiana in fondo

Editor’s Note: Tomorrow I will launch the Sutri Initiative. But as a preparation, here is my first video made at Sutri, Italy, recounting the remarkable and historic events which took place here in 1046, and its importance for resolving the crisis in which the Church of Rome finds Herself now.

This video is also available on YouTube here:

FromRome.info gives permission to all to translate, transcribe and publish other language versions of this video. — Br. Bugnolo’s other articles on Sutri and Provincial Councils can be found here and here.

ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO — which corrects some minor errors in the video

Traduzione Italiana in fondo

Welcome to FromRome.Info Video. My name is Br. Alexis Bugnolo. I am the publisher and editor of FromRome.info an electronic journal for news, information and commentary about the Catholic Church, the Vatican, Rome and Italy.

Today I find myself in Sutri, in the province of Viterbo, to discuss the Council of Sutri and its implications for the Church of Today.

Here in Sutri, there occurred in 1046 A. D. one of the most curious, interesting and unique events in the entire history of the Church. One so obscure that, even at Sutri, it is forgotten.

Sutri has a long history. As you see here, this is the modern gateway to the old part of town. Behind me is the Cathedral in the old part of two. But in 1046 the town only extended this far.

Sutri was the first town given to the Roman Pontiff in the Roman countryside, by the Lombard King Luitiprand. It has always had an intimate relationship with the Apostolic See. And here in the old town, the Church of St. Sylvester was aggregated to the Basilica of Saint Peter.

The Synod of Sutri, or more exactly the Council of Sutri was an even that solved one of the knotting questions of its age. It’s an extraordinary example of how medievals addressed problems directly and solved them and did not spend their time lamenting and tweeting about them for years.

A little background on the Synod of Sutri

In 1032, nearly a 1000 years ago, there was elected to the Apostle See Theophylactus of Tusculum. He was one of the youngest men ever to be elected pope. He came from a power family of land holders in Lazio. He was only however 20 years old, and was perhaps chosen by the members of his family because he was the only male member who was yet unmarried, and thus, who could hold ecclesiastic office.

But very soon, things went wrong, in a most extraordinary way, because Theophylactus of Tusculum, who took the papal name, Benedict IX, was, according to historians, one of the most immoral men ever to sit on the Chair of Saint Peter. No less than Saint Peter Damnian says he was a flagrant sodomite. Other writers said he committed moral depravities so obscene they could not describe them. The scandals grews. He hosted orgies, he engaged in bestiality, he raped other men, maybe even boys, and all Italy was disgusted by the man.

But as he was a member of a very powerful family, by force of arms he held the Apostolic See.

Until the disgust grew so big, that his rivals drove him from the city of Rome. And here is where the Catholic faction who wanted an honest man on the throne of Saint Peter erred, because they took a bishop from Sabina and elected him the pope. He took the name Sylvester III. Since Benedict IX was still alive, Sylvester is recognized by all ecclesiastic historians as an antipope, even though he lived an upright and honorable life and ruled the Church of Rome with satisfaction of the people.

Now, if you are not a Catholic you might find this very scandalous.

How can someone who is completely immoral be the true pope and an upright man be an antipope? Well, holding an office in the Catholic Church is not based on your personal morality but upon whether you were legitimately elected to the office. As in modern times, it does not matter how popular a candidate is or how upright, only if he has been legally elected, he can hold the office.

Benedict IX, being from a powerful family, eventually drove Sylvester III from Rome. But the scandals continued and Benedict returned to his immoral life. Eventually he decided, however, to marry one of his cousins and obtain her wealth by dowry. But since as Pope one was forbidden to marry, he sought counsel with his godfather, John Gratian who was a very learned and wealthy priest of Rome. And so they agreed that Benedict IX would resign and that John Gratian would purchase the papacy from him, so that Theophylatcus could obtain the money he needed for his wedding

Well, when word of this became public, Catholics of Italy were scandalized, because you should not purchase or sell an ecclesiastical office. That is one of the greatest sins in the Church and it much scandalized the faithful of the 11th century, because of the commercialization of an intangible spiritual gift which should be freely given.

So the Bishops of Italy wrote the German King, Henry III. This was the year 1045 A. D. Now, Henry III wanted to be crowned Emperor of the Romans, a thing which could only be done by the Pope in Rome. But Henry III did not want any one of these three men to lay the crown upon his head, lest his reputation be stained by them; so he announced that he would put the Church of Rome in order and resolve the dispute among these three popes: Benedict XI, Sylvester III and Gregory VI. John Gratian had taken this last name.

Gregory VI being a very proper man, after purchasing the papacy had the clergy of Rome elect him Pontiff and then wrote to the German King for approval of his election. Because from about 950 to 1050, the Kings of Germany had the right to approve or confirm papal elections.

Upon receiving his letters, the German King gave no immediate response

.. but descended into Italy and asked Gregory VI to convene a provincial council here at Sutri.

And this is why I have come here today to tell you the story no one else will tell.

Sutri was a small medieval borgo. It probably had no more than 5000 souls living in its environs. And this council of Sutri took place, most likely, in this tiny Church of St. Sylvester, behind me.

The year was 1046 Anno Domini. The date was December 20th. And the Germany King with his bodyguard of soldiers, calvary and noblemen, along with all the Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Rome and the principal members of the clergy of Rome came to this little church, and perhaps filled this tiny piazza – which perhaps was larger back then, since Italians have the habit of encroaching upon public spaces and attended this Council of Sutri, a most unique event, because at this Council 3 pope were deposed.

And this historic event is one of the most controverted in the post Tridentine era of the Church. This is because at the Council of Basel in 1432, the Bishops during the sessions which were not approved by the Roman Pontiff, after the Pope left, taught that a universal council of all the Bishops of the Catholic Church was superior to the Pope. And this began three centuries of conflict in the West where many Bishops and theologians promoted the error of Conciliarism, which taught this error. So many writers of that epoch tried to portray the Council of Sutri as proof of the truth of conciliarism. But conciliarism was later condemned as a grave error and heresy, I believe, by Pope Pius VII, because the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ and no one can judge him.

So how is it, then, that at this Council of Sutri in 1046, 3 popes were deposed?

To understand this we have to make a very fine distinction: the distinction between the man who is the pope, and the man as the pope.

So, before you are elected pope, you are just a man, and when you are elected you are asked to accept your election; and it is the man who says yes. But once you say yes, you hold the office of the pope and then the two realities, the office and the man, walk together, as it were. But its the man who eats eggs at breakfast and toasts wine in the evening, not the Roman Pontiff. It’s the Roman Pontiff who says mass, teaches, promulgates documents and laws. So the two realities, while they go together, are distinct. And the man who holds the office of Roman Pontiff holds it as the man. That is why when a pope resigns, its the man who resigns, not the pope. Though in canon law, if you don’t  understand this distinction you won’t see that, because in canon 332, section 2, it talks about the Roman Pontiff renouncing.

So here at the council of Sutri, they did not judge the Roman Pontiff. They judged the three men who claimed to be the Roman Pontiff. And this claim is a natural fact, a historical fact, a juridical fact, and to judge it’s validity is the duty of a Provincial Council, because in canons 440-443, even in the Code of Canon Law of 1983, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, a provincial council can establish disciplinary measured which bind all the Churches in the province.

So the mere fact that provincial councils operate in the same manner as they did back then shows the perenniality of the Catholic Church and how important the juridical character of the Council of Sutri in 1046 was, that the Catholic Church thereafter never changed the rules for provincial councils, because of its outcome.

And so on December 20-23, 1046 A. D. 3 Popes were deposed

Of course, the outcome of the Council of Sutri here in this little Church probably had a lot to do with the will of the German King, Henry III, on account of his military forces surrounding the place, but it was also something wanted by the clergy of Rome and the Bishops of central Italy, because it was simply an intolerable situation to have 3 popes: one who was a predatory sodomite, and that was Benedict IX; one who was a usurper, and that was Sylvester III; and one who was a simoniac, and that was Gregory VI. – The crime of simony consists in the sale and purchase of ecclesiastical offices.

So they met here on Dec 20, 1046, from the 20th to the 23rd. And Gregory VI and the German King summoned all three popes to the council. Benedict IX refused to come.

Sylvester III came. He was judged to have usurped the papacy and never legally held the office of Pope. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in a monastery, even though he was otherwise an upright man. – You can commit a crime evne with good intentions. – That is why you won’t find his name among the popes.

The next on trial was Gregory VI. The German King and council asked him to relate how he became pope. And they were aghast to learn that it was a contract of sale on the condition of resignation and exchange of money. – We do not know to this day what kind of contract it was. Did Benedict resign because Gregory paid him money to convince him? – If that happened then he resignation of Benedict X would be invalid. But if Benedict resigned and took the money to support the claim of Gregory to be the pope, then the resignation would be valid.

And the Church holds that the resignation of Benedict IX was valid.

But the entire council was scandalized by the relation of the events. And John Gratian knew that purchasing an ecclesiastical office was wrong. And Henry III was not going to accept the imperial crown from a simoniac. So Gregory was asked to resign. The imperial register says that Henry III deposed him. But Bl. Victor III, abbot of Monte Cassino, and future pope, who was present, says that Gregory VI out of humility resigned freely. And both stories might be true.

So that left Benedict IX. What he pope or not? The Council summoned him, but he refused to appear. So the Council judged him contumacious for refusing the summons, and he was excommunicated for selling the papacy. Whether he had representatives here to plead his case, we do not know.

So that was the Council of Sutri, in 1046. Afterwards, the German King and Clergy of Rome nominated the chaplain of the Germany Kind, the Bishop of Bamberg, as Clement II and the next day at the Vatican, on Dec. 24, he was duly elected. And on Christmas Day the Germany King was given the imperial crown by Clement II.

And this is the Council of Sutri, a council not to be forgotten.

The value of the example of Sutri for the Church of today

This is my first video about the Counci of Sutri. And it shows us today the way forward out of the present problems of the Church. Because if some claimant of the papacy appears to many learned and rational Catholic clergy to be one who does not hold to the Catholic Faith or who has no intention of even being a Christian, it is clear that the Church as a problem. Should catholics listen to such a man or should they not listen to him. In the Catholic Church we have a canon 1364, which says that heretics, schismatics and apostates are automatically excommunicated. I believe canon 192 says, however, that in such cases a judgment must be made.

So in a question of the Apostolic See it is only a provincial council in the ecclesiastical province of Rome which can judge the case, and this is why the Synod of Sutri in 1046 is so important for our present age. Already Catholics from around the world are writing the bishops of the Roman ecclesiastical province asking them to call a Council; because in canon law, if the Apostolic See is impeded, they can convene a council on their own authority and summon a claimant to the apostolis see to determine if his claim is valid or not. This is very important because there are proposals now, here in the air at Rome, to grant permission to Catholic priests or clergy, to bless unions which are not of one man and one woman in Christian matrimony. And which are contrary even to the natural law. And there is a big debate about that. But to do that would be clearly and act of apostasy because in the Catholic Church, according to the Christian religion, from the day Christ opened His mouth, you have to believe and repent, repent and believe; you cannot just claim to believe what you want to and practice whatever sin you want. That is not Christianity. So from the moment that something like that would be approved, the clergy who approved of it would become public apostates. And we are pretty much on the verge of that. The Synod on Synodality is in session at Rome, it concludes Oct. 28th. I am making this video on October 19. So the Synod concludes in 9 days. We will soon know what kind of decisions will be made and we will soon know if Pope Francis is going to un-pope himself as Cardinal Mueller implied, when he said, that to approve such a thing contrary to the Deposit of the Faith, would cause pope Francis to lose his moral authority. – That is a diplomatic way of saying lose his office.

But whatever Pope Francis decides to teach, and whatever Catholics think of it or not, or whether millions of Catholics follow or do not follow him in this, only a provincial council can make a decision which binds on the whole Church.

So this is the video on the Council of Sutri, Dec. 20-23th, 1046. It is not even mentioned on the historical bulletin board over there. But it is the most remarkable council in the history of the Church; and it was here in this moment of history, 980 years ago, that all these controversies of canon law, juridical principles and theological questions and rights of the Pope, the supremacy of the pope, the validity of papal elections, all came together and changed history.

It was after this council that Clement II was elected pope and it was his successor, who was also a German, in 1054 who excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople and begame the Great East-West Schism, a thing an Italian pope probably would not have done.

So there were big consequences of this council. And so important was its decisions to its contemporaries that 15 years later the clergy of Rome came here to the Church of St. Sylvestr, for the Second Council of Sutri, to decide rules for the reform of the clergy of the City.

This council was approved of by some of the great Saints of its day. In these days, there was present in council Saint Hildebrand, who was the acolyte of Gregory VI and would himself go one to be elected some 20 years later, as Gregory VII. At Rome, when the Council concluded, there was Saint Peter Damian, who praised its decisions. And though he was not present in person, Bl. Victor III, who years later would become Abbot of Monte Cassino, and be elected Pope 40 years later, speaks highly of it in his histories of this age. So there were 2 Saints and 1 Blessed who approved of this council, and the Church to our day recognizes that Gregory VI was deposed here.

Unfortunately many do not know of this council and confuse its issues with many controversies which arose centuries later. A provincial council that rebukes a pope or which questions his claim to his title is nothing more than what Saint Paul the Apostle did at Antioch when he reproved Peter the Apostle for not holding to the decisions of the Council of Jerusalem.

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Benvenuti in questo video di FromRome.Info. Sono Fr. Alessio Bugnolo. Sono colui che pubblica e fa l’editing di FromRome.info, un giornale elettronico di notizie, informazioni e commenti sulla Chiesa cattolica, il Vaticano, Roma e l’Italia.

Oggi mi trovo a Sutri, in provincia di Viterbo, per discutere del Concilio di Sutri e delle sue implicazioni per la Chiesa di oggi.

Qui a Sutri si verificò nel 1046 d.C. uno degli eventi più curiosi, interessanti e unici dell’intera storia della Chiesa. Uno così oscuro che, anche a Sutri, è dimenticato.

Sutri ha una lunga storia. Come vedete qui, questa è la porta moderna verso la parte vecchia della città. Dietro di me c’è la Cattedrale nella parte vecchia. Ma nel 1046 la città si estendeva solo fin qui.

Sutri fu il primo centro donato al Romano Pontefice nel contado romano, dal re longobardo Liutprando. Ha sempre avuto un rapporto intimo con la Sede Apostolica. E qui, nel centro storico, la Chiesa di San Silvestro è stata aggregata alla Basilica di San Pietro.

Il Sinodo di Sutri, o più esattamente il Concilio di Sutri, fu un evento che risolse una delle questioni intricate della sua epoca. È un esempio straordinario di come i medievali affrontassero i problemi direttamente e li risolvessero senza passare il tempo a lamentarsi e a twittare al riguardo per anni.

Un po’ di storia del Sinodo di Sutri.

Nel 1032, quasi mille anni fa, fu eletto apostolo Teofilatto di Tuscolo. Fu uno degli uomini più giovani mai eletti papa. Proveniva da una potente famiglia di proprietari terrieri del Lazio. Aveva però solo 20 anni e fu forse scelto dai membri della sua famiglia perché era l’unico maschio ancora celibe e quindi in grado di ricoprire incarichi ecclesiastici.

Ma ben presto le cose andarono storte, in un modo davvero straordinario, perché Teofilatto di Tuscolo, che prese il nome papale, Benedetto IX, fu, secondo gli storici, uno degli uomini più immorali che si siano mai seduti presso l’ufficio ecclesiastico. Addirittura, San Pier Damiani afferma che fu un flagrante sodomita. Altri scrittori dissero che era coinvolto in depravazioni morali così oscene da non poterle descrivere. Gli scandali crebbero. Fece orge, praticò bestialità, violentò altri uomini, forse anche ragazzi, e tutta l’Italia era disgustata da quell’uomo.

Ma poiché apparteneva a una famiglia molto potente, con la forza delle armi tenne la Sede Apostolica.

Finché il disgusto non diventò così grande, che i suoi rivali lo cacciarono dalla città di Roma. Ed è qui che la fazione cattolica che voleva un uomo onesto sul trono di San Pietro ha sbagliato, perché presero un vescovo della Sabina e lo elessero papa. Prese il nome di Silvestro III. Poiché Benedetto IX era ancora in vita, Silvestro è riconosciuto da tutti gli storici ecclesiastici come un antipapa, anche se visse una vita retta e onorevole e governò la Chiesa di Roma con soddisfazione del popolo.

​Ora, se non siete cattolici, potreste trovare questo molto scandaloso. Come può qualcuno che è completamente immorale essere il vero papa e un uomo retto essere un antipapa? Ebbene, ricoprire una carica nella Chiesa cattolica non si basa sulla tua moralità personale, ma sul fatto che tu sia stato legittimamente eletto alla carica. Come nei tempi moderni, non importa quanto un candidato sia popolare o quanto sia onesto, solo se è stato eletto legalmente può ricoprire la carica.

Benedetto IX, proveniente da una famiglia potente, alla fine cacciò Silvestro III da Roma. Ma gli scandali continuarono e Benedetto ritornò alla sua vita immorale. Alla fine, decise, però, di sposare una delle sue cugine e di ottenere la sua ricchezza tramite dote. Ma poiché come Papa era proibito sposarsi, cercò consiglio presso il suo padrino, Giovanni Graziano, che era un prete di Roma molto dotto e ricco. E così concordarono che Benedetto IX si dimettesse e che Giovanni Graziano acquistasse da lui il pontificato, affinché Teofilatto potesse ottenere il denaro di cui aveva bisogno per le sue nozze.

Ebbene, quando la notizia divenne pubblica, i cattolici d’Italia si scandalizzarono, perché non si deve comprare né vendere un ufficio ecclesiastico. Questo è uno dei peccati più grandi della Chiesa e scandalizzò molto i fedeli dell’XI secolo, a causa della commercializzazione di un dono spirituale intangibile che dovrebbe essere donato gratuitamente.
Così scrivevano i Vescovi d’Italia al re tedesco Enrico III. Era l’anno 1045 d.C. Ora, Enrico III voleva essere incoronato imperatore dei romani, cosa che poteva essere fatta solo dal Papa a Roma. Ma Enrico III non volle che nessuno di questi tre uomini gli mettesse la corona sul capo, affinché la sua reputazione non ne fosse macchiata; annunciò così che avrebbe messo ordine nella Chiesa di Roma e risolto la disputa tra questi tre papi: Benedetto XI, Silvestro III e Gregorio VI. Giovanni Graziano aveva preso tale nome.

Gregorio VI, essendo un uomo molto perbene, dopo aver acquistato il papato si fece eleggere pontefice dal clero di Roma e poi scrisse al re tedesco per l’approvazione della sua elezione. Perché dal 950 al 1050 circa i re di Germania avevano il diritto di approvare o confermare le elezioni papali.

Ricevute le sue lettere, il re tedesco non diede immediata risposta ma scese in Italia e chiese a Gregorio VI di convocare qui a Sutri un concilio provinciale.

Ed è per questo che sono venuto qui oggi per raccontarvi la storia che nessun altro racconterà.

Sutri era un piccolo borgo medievale. Probabilmente non contava più di 5000 anime nei suoi dintorni. E questo concilio di Sutri si è svolto, molto probabilmente, in questa minuscola Chiesa di San Silvestro, alle mie spalle.

L’anno era il 1046. La data era il 20 dicembre. E il Re di Germania, con la sua guardia del corpo di soldati, cavalleria e nobili, insieme a tutti i Vescovi della provincia ecclesiastica di Roma e i principali membri del clero di Roma, vennero a questa chiesetta, e riempirono forse questa minuscola piazza – che forse era più grande allora, dal momento che gli italiani hanno l’abitudine di invadere gli spazi pubblici, e hanno partecipato a questo Concilio di Sutri, un evento davvero unico, perché in questo Concilio furono deposti 3 papi.

​E questo evento storico è uno dei più controversi dell’epoca post tridentina della Chiesa. Questo perché nel Concilio di Basilea del 1432, i Vescovi, durante le sessioni non approvate dal Romano Pontefice, dopo la partenza del Papa, insegnarono che un concilio universale di tutti i Vescovi della Chiesa cattolica era superiore al Papa. E questo ha dato inizio a tre secoli di conflitto in Occidente dove molti Vescovi e teologi hanno promosso l’errore del Conciliarismo, che ha insegnato questo errore. Tanti scrittori dell’epoca tentarono di dipingere il Concilio di Sutri come una prova della verità del conciliarismo. Ma il conciliarismo è stato poi condannato come errore grave ed eresia, credo, da Papa Pio VII, perché il Romano Pontefice è il Vicario di Cristo e nessuno può giudicarlo.

Allora come mai in questo Concilio di Sutri del 1046 furono deposti 3 papi? Per capirlo dobbiamo fare una distinzione molto sottile: la distinzione tra l’uomo che è papa e l’uomo in quanto papa.

Quindi, prima di essere eletto papa, sei semplicemente un uomo, e quando sei eletto ti viene chiesto di accettare la tua elezione; ed è l’uomo che dice di sì. Ma una volta che dici sì, ricopri la carica di papa e allora le due realtà, la carica e l’uomo, camminano, per così dire, insieme. Ma è l’uomo che mangia le uova a colazione e brinda col vino la sera, non il Romano Pontefice. È il Romano Pontefice che dice messa, insegna, promulga documenti e leggi. Quindi le due realtà, pur andando insieme, sono distinte. E l’uomo che ricopre l’ufficio di Romano Pontefice lo ricopre come uomo. Ecco perché quando un papa si dimette, è l’uomo che si dimette, non il papa. Tuttavia, nel diritto canonico, se non capisci questa distinzione non la vedrai, perché nel canone 332, sezione 2, si parla della rinuncia del Romano Pontefice.

Quindi qui al concilio di Sutri non hanno giudicato il Romano Pontefice. Giudicarono i tre uomini che affermavano di essere il Romano Pontefice. E questa affermazione è un fatto naturale, un fatto storico, un fatto giuridico, e giudicarne la validità è compito di un Consiglio provinciale, perché nei can. 440-443, anche nel Codice di Diritto Canonico del 1983, promulgato da Papa Giovanni Paolo II, un consiglio provinciale può stabilire provvedimenti disciplinari che vincolano tutte le Chiese della provincia.

Quindi il solo fatto che i concili provinciali funzionino nello stesso modo di allora dimostra la perennità della Chiesa cattolica e quanto importante fosse il carattere giuridico del Concilio di Sutri del 1046, che da allora in poi la Chiesa cattolica non ha mai cambiato le regole dei concili provinciali, a causa del suo esito.

Certo, l’esito del Concilio di Sutri qui, in questa chiesetta, probabilmente ha molto a che fare con la volontà del re tedesco Enrico III, a causa delle sue forze militari che circondavano il luogo, ma è stato anche qualcosa di voluto dal clero di Roma e dei Vescovi dell’Italia centrale, perché era semplicemente una situazione intollerabile avere 3 papi: uno sodomita predatore, e quello era Benedetto IX; uno che era un usurpatore, e quello era Silvestro III; e uno che era simoniaco, e cioè Gregorio VI. Il delitto di simonia consiste nella compravendita di uffici ecclesiastici.

​Quindi si incontrarono qui il 20 dicembre 1046, dal 20 al 23. E Gregorio VI e il re tedesco convocarono al concilio tutti e tre i papi. Benedetto IX si rifiutò di venire.

Arrivò Silvestro III. Si ritiene che abbia usurpato il papato e non abbia mai ricoperto legalmente la carica di papa. Fu arrestato e condannato all’ergastolo in un monastero, anche se per il resto era un uomo retto. Puoi commettere un crimine anche con buone intenzioni. Ecco perché non troverai il suo nome tra i papi.

Il successivo processato fu Gregorio VI. Il re tedesco e il consiglio gli chiesero di raccontare come divenne papa. E rimasero inorriditi nell’apprendere che si trattava di un contratto di vendita con condizione di dimissioni e scambio di denaro. Ad oggi non sappiamo che tipo di contratto fosse. Benedetto si dimise perché Gregorio gli pagò dei soldi per convincerlo? Se successe questo allora le dimissioni di Benedetto X non sarebbero valide. Ma se Benedetto si dimise e prese i soldi per sostenere la pretesa di Gregorio di diventare papa, allora le dimissioni sarebbero valide.

E la Chiesa ritiene valide le dimissioni di Benedetto IX.

Ma l’intero Concilio rimase scandalizzato dalla narrazione degli avvenimenti. E Giovanni Graziano sapeva che acquistare un ufficio ecclesiastico era sbagliato. E Enrico III non avrebbe accettato la corona imperiale da un simoniaco. Quindi a Gregorio è stato chiesto di dimettersi. Il registro imperiale dice che Enrico III lo depose. Ma il beato Vittore III, abate di Montecassino e futuro papa, che era presente, dice che Gregorio VI per umiltà si dimise liberamente. Ed entrambe le storie potrebbero essere vere.

Quindi restava Benedetto IX. Papa o no? Il Consiglio lo convocò, ma egli rifiutò di comparire. Perciò il Concilio lo giudicò contumace per aver rifiutato la citazione, e fu scomunicato per aver venduto il papato. Non sappiamo se avesse rappresentanti qui per perorare la sua causa.

Così fu il Concilio di Sutri, nel 1046. Successivamente, il re tedesco e il clero di Roma nominarono Clemente II, il cappellano della gente di Germania, vescovo di Bamberga, e il giorno dopo in Vaticano, il 24 dicembre, egli è stato regolarmente eletto. E il giorno di Natale il re di Germania ricevette la corona imperiale da Clemente II.
E questo è il Concilio di Sutri, un concilio da non dimenticare.

Questo è il mio primo video sui Conci di Sutri. E ci indica oggi la via d’uscita dagli attuali problemi della Chiesa. Perché, se qualche pretendente al papato sembra a molti sacerdoti cattolici colti e razionali come qualcuno che non sostiene la fede cattolica o che non ha nemmeno intenzione di essere cristiano, è chiaro che la Chiesa ha un problema. I cattolici dovrebbero ascoltare un uomo simile o non dovrebbero ascoltarlo? Nella Chiesa cattolica abbiamo il canone 1364, che dice che gli eretici, gli scismatici e gli apostati vengono automaticamente scomunicati. Credo che il canone 192 dica, tuttavia, che in tali casi si deve emettere un giudizio.

Quindi in una questione della Sede Apostolica è solo un concilio provinciale della provincia ecclesiastica di Roma che può giudicare il caso, ed è per questo che il Sinodo di Sutri del 1046 è così importante per la nostra epoca attuale. Già cattolici di tutto il mondo scrivono ai vescovi della provincia ecclesiastica romana chiedendo loro di indire un Concilio; perché nel diritto canonico, se la Sede Apostolica è impedita, possono convocare di propria autorità un concilio e citare un pretendente alla Sede Apostolica per determinare se la sua pretesa è valida o meno. Questo è molto importante perché ci sono proposte ora, qui nell’aria a Roma, di concedere il permesso ai preti o al clero cattolico, di benedire le unioni che non sono di un uomo e una donna nel matrimonio cristiano. E che sono contrari anche alla legge naturale.

E c’è un grande dibattito a riguardo.

Ma farlo sarebbe chiaramente un atto di apostasia perché nella Chiesa cattolica, secondo la religione cristiana, dal giorno in cui Cristo aprì la bocca, devi credere e pentirti, pentirti e credere; non puoi semplicemente affermare di credere in ciò che vuoi e praticare qualunque peccato tu voglia. Questo non è cristianesimo. Quindi, dal momento in cui qualcosa del genere venisse approvato, il clero che lo approvasse diventerebbe un pubblico apostata. E siamo praticamente sull’orlo di questo. È in corso a Roma il Sinodo sulla sinodalità che si concluderà il 28 ottobre. Questo video lo farò il 19 ottobre. Quindi il Sinodo si conclude tra 9 giorni. Presto sapremo che tipo di decisioni verranno prese e presto sapremo se Papa Francesco rinuncerà, come ha lasciato intendere il cardinale Mueller, quando ha detto che approvare una cosa del genere, contraria al Deposito della Fede, sarebbe far perdere a papa Francesco la sua autorità morale. Questo è un modo diplomatico per dire che perderà la sua carica.

Ma qualunque cosa Papa Francesco decida di insegnare, e qualunque cosa i cattolici ne pensino o no, o se milioni di cattolici lo seguono o non lo seguono in questo, solo un concilio provinciale può prendere una decisione che vincola tutta la Chiesa.

Quindi questo è il video sul Concilio di Sutri, 20-23 dicembre 1046. Non è nemmeno menzionato nella bacheca storica laggiù. Ma è il concilio più notevole della storia della Chiesa; ed è stato qui in questo momento storico, 980 anni fa, che tutte queste controversie sul diritto canonico, sui principi giuridici e sulle questioni teologiche e sui diritti del Papa, sulla supremazia del papa, sulla validità delle elezioni papali, si sono riunite e hanno cambiato storia.

Fu dopo questo concilio che Clemente II fu eletto papa e fu il suo successore, anch’egli tedesco, nel 1054, a scomunicare il patriarca di Costantinopoli e a dare inizio al Grande Scisma Est-Ovest, cosa che un papa italiano probabilmente non avrebbe fatto.

Quindi ci furono grandi conseguenze da questo concilio. E le sue decisioni furono così importanti per i contemporanei che 15 anni dopo il clero di Roma venne qui nella chiesa di San Silvestro, per il Secondo Concilio di Sutri, per decidere le norme per la riforma del clero della Città.

Questo consiglio fu approvato da alcuni dei grandi santi del suo tempo. In questi giorni era presente al concilio sant’Ildebrando, che era l’accolita di Gregorio VI e che sarebbe andato lui stesso al papato una ventina di anni dopo, come Gregorio VII. A Roma, concluso il Concilio, c’era san Pier Damiani, che ne lodò le decisioni. E sebbene non fosse presente di persona, il beato Vittore III, che anni dopo sarebbe diventato abate di Montecassino e sarebbe stato eletto papa 40 anni dopo, ne parla molto bene nelle sue storie di quest’epoca. Quindi furono 2 Santi e 1 Beato che approvarono questo concilio, e la Chiesa fino ai nostri giorni riconosce che qui fu deposto Gregorio VI.

Purtroppo, molti non conoscono questo Concilio e ne confondono le questioni con le tante controversie sorte secoli dopo. Un concilio provinciale che rimprovera un papa o che mette in dubbio la sua pretesa al titolo non è altro che ciò che fece san Paolo apostolo ad Antiochia quando rimproverò Pietro apostolo di non essersi attenuto alle decisioni del Concilio di Gerusalemme.

Se ti è piaciuto questo video lascia un like e condividilo. Grazie.

The Church of Rome must now return to Sutri!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Traduction Française

In the days before Christmas in the year of Our Lord One Thousand and Forty-Six, the King of the Germans, Henry III came to Sutri, Italy, in the environs of Viterbo to put in order the Roman Church.

As he descended with his armed knights into Italy, he sent emissaries to Pope Gregory VI to summon a provincial council there, to settle once and for all who was the real pope.

For in the year 1046, there were 3 claimants to the Papacy. One whom had been juridically elected, but sold the papacy and resigned, but then returned to claim it again. This was Pope Benedict IX, a teenager known for debauching himself with both sexes. Then, there was an errant Bishop who came to Rome and paid the clergy to acclaim him, so that they would have a decent man rather than this young perp. That was Pope Sylvester III. And then there was the Cardinal John Gratian, a wealthy man, who disgusted at the immoral depravity of the teenager Pope, offered to buy the papacy from him, so that he could be free to run off and marry his girlfriend. He accepted. This third claimant was Pope Gregory VI.

I have spoken about the facts before here, in my article The Doors to Sutri are opening, back in 2020, where I cited the Polish ecclesiastical historian, Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, who pointed out the historical importance of Sutri for the Church of today. See all my articles on the Synod of Sutri, here.

Actually there were two Synods of Sutri, one in 1046, which I have just described, and another in 1061, for the reformation of the discipline of the clergy of the Roman Church. So obscure is this history, that even at Sutri, the first Council has been forgotten. It just runs contrary to too many theologians ideals of an exaggerated papal authority: the thought that the Church can depose Popes.

Sutri today is still in the ecclesiastical province of Rome. But it belongs to the Diocese of Civita Castellana. Sutri is also important in the story of the Papal States, on account of the fact that it was the first city put under the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff in 728 A. D., by the King of the Lombards, Luitprand, in the Donation of Sutri.

Because of the important historical value of this Synod, held 977 years ago, I made a long pilgrimage to Sutri this evening to attend mass in the Church of Saint Sylvester, where in 1046 3 popes were deposed in the presence of the the German King, Henry, at whose consent only one was canonically elected.

Sanctuary of the Cathedral of Sutri, Italy, as seen at 5:40 PM, Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The Synod was not held in the Cathedral of the City (shown in the feature image above and here to the right), whose large dimensions inspired the imagination to conceive of rows and rows of nobles, knights, Cardinals, Bishops, clergy, monks, faithful, all gathered in the most solemn array, to witness the most unique event in all Church history, the deposition of 3 popes on the same day.

No, it was held in the Church of Saint Sylvester, which is no bigger than a chapel in a Seminary. (This was probably done so that the combined body warmth of all those attending would heat the building on those cold December days of 1046.) And in that room from December 23-24, there stood not only Henry III, who would be crowned Emperor of the Romans on Christmas Day at Rome, but also Saint Hildebrand (the future great Pope Gregory VII, savior of the medieval Papacy), who was at that time still the acolyte of Pope Gregory VI, and Bl. Daufer, who would ascend the Apostolic Throne as Pope Victor III only twenty years later.

The events of 1046 show us that despite the scandals and tribulations of history, Our Lord remains in charge of His Church. After Mass He showed this by inspiring the priest to expose Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament at the center of the Altar, to receive the praise, love and above all adoration of the Faithful.

In the image above, Saint Anne teaches Our Lady to read from Sacred Scripture, while Saint Peter prays for Pope Saint Sylvester, Martyr. Our Lord remains with us, and His Saints are at His back! This is where we should be: upholding His unchanging will for Holy Mother Church.

And this is why we must all now insist, as I have recently urged, that a provincial council be called. Read that article to see what can do, to make it happen!

Why true Catholics are gravely obliged to militate for a Council to rebuke Bergoglio

Back in April of 2021, Br. Bugnolo made the above video about “judging the signs of the times”, and the expectations of Our Lord that we Catholics use our intellects. The video included an impassioned demonstration about what constitutes the honest response of Catholics who hold that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a heretic.

In this video, Br. Bugnolo explained the difference between a private judgment, that a man whom I think is the Pope be a heretic, and the public duty of a Catholic who is honestly convinced of that, to call for a Council to declare the matter.

No one listened to Br. Bugnolo in these last 27 months. Which shows you the level of honesty out there.

So FromRome.Info is republishing that video.

But since that time a good number of those dishonest persons have attempted to characterize Br. Bugnolo as inconsistent or self-contradictory, because of the events subsequent to the death of Pope Benedict XVI, wherein he was involved in the Assembly of Catholics of the Roman Church,* in the election of Pope Benedict XVI’s successor by apostolic right, even though Brother able refuted these critics in a number of articles in English (here) and several videos in Italian (here, here, and here), FromRome.Info NOW publishes a new video by Br. Bugnolo responding to the public declarations of Fr. Altman and others, that Bergoglio is a heretic.

These individuals remained silent when Br. Bugnolo began to say the same things back in 2014, and remained silent to just recently. Since. Br. Bugnolo is way ahead of them on the details of what this means, it behooves anyone who is honest in his estimation that Bergoglio be a heretic, to hear him out, even if it is only to avoid appearing in public like someone who is totally uninformed or ignorant of the issues at hand.

The Duty of Catholics to urge a Council to rebuke an errant Pope*

The above video was recorded on Sept. 13, 2023, in English: however, due to a lack of space on Brother’s cellphone the video ends abruptly. Nevertheless, providentially it ends on a high note, so Br. Bugnolo has decided to publish as is.

For Brother’s articles on the Synod of Sutri and on how to call a Provincial Council See here below. Please note, that while they speak of these topics, they do not address directly and specifically a movement, now, to depose Pope Francis. They serve to inform the public how it would be done, and the canonical principles and historical precedents.




For the addresses, fax numbers and telephone numbers of each of the Bishops of the Roman Province:



In every part of the world, it will be useful to begin writing the bishops of every diocese. Start with your own diocese.

Here is an example of the kind of letter, and respectful tone, that could be sent:

Your Excellency,

for more than 10 years I and many other Catholics have been gravely scandalized by the behavior, comportment, statements, documents and teachings of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It is clear to me that it is theologically both possible and highly probable that this man does not hold the Catholic Faith. Many have rebuked him publicly already, in letters, books, interviews etc.. Even Cardinals of the Roman Church weekly are now rebuking and warning him against his errors and the morally depraved cabal he is recruiting around himself. Why even the other day he appointed as undersecretary to the Dicastery on Catholic Education a man who wrote an editorial, in August, declaring that Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, was a bigot and racist.

Things have gone way beyond what can be tolerated. It is clear that the time has come for the Church in Council to rebuke and remonstrate with the man, and if he refuse correction, to pronounce him a manifest pertinacious heretic, deposed in virtue of canon 1364.

I write to urge you to insist on the convocation of such a council. Even a provincial council in our ecclesiastical province can issue a solemn declaration of rebuke, which would be of great value.

Finally, I honestly urge you to take my letter into serious consideration, because if you think the situation is different than I have described, then I respectfully suggest that your spiritual life is in shambles.



*  In this assembly the Catholics of Rome elected Bergoglio as the pope, because not being yet condemned by Church authority as a heretic, he was eligible, and because no other candidate presented himself; nor did any other candidate have supporters at the Assembly, even though notice of it was made effectively to 2 million Catholics at Rome. This assembly was opposed before it took place, by all those who said Pope Benedict XVI was the pope (excepting the readers of FromRome.info, who raised all the monies for the assembly). The Catholics at the assembly chose to elect the man everyone thought was the pope, so that the Church would return back into juridical and spiritual communion with Christ Her Head, for that was all it could do at that moment.

** (Note that on at least 3 occasions in this video, Br. Bugnolo says “Pope” when he intended to say “heretic”, because he had not yet had his morning cup of coffee.)

A Canonical Justification for the Second Synod of Sutri

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

It has been reported that Cardinal Burke has recently remarked that canonists, seeking a solution to the current problem of a patently heretical pope or a dubious papal resignation, have found no canonical way forward in the present juridical system of the Church.

To this alleged assertion, I intend to response with this brief essay, as it becomes all the more clear to a majority of the faithful and bishops who have been paying attention, that Bergoglio was never canonically elected and Benedict never canonically resigned.

First of all, it must be said, that in truth no canonical solution is required, if by “solution” one means putting into practice a special juridical tribunal or making a special appeal to some particular body. This is because, the real and simple solution would be to PUBLICLY simply ask Pope Benedict XVI what he did and intended to do and accept that. — Or as Ann Barnhardt proposes, in the case of Benedict truly thinking by error that the papal dignity can be shared, to rebuke him for his error as St. Paul did St. Peter, and publicly call on him to recognize that — and, as I would add, to renounce the papacy wholly if he no longer wants to be the pope. (Though this must be after some decision is made regarding to the invalidly nominated Cardinals and Bishops, and the invalidly appointed members of the Roman Curia and Vatican government)

But if one means by a ‘canonical’ solution a special event or action to rid the Church of Bergoglio or put an end to the controversies on these matters, then there needs to be a canonical justification for such an action. And that is what I intend to expound, herein.

In the Middle Ages, when the Church was faced with apparently insolvable doubts about discipline, and in particular, about who was the real pope, She convened councils and synods. This is how the Church sought to end the Great Western Schism which began in 1378 when the college of cardinals claimed to have elected in separate conclaves two different men as the Pope. The general council of Constance (1414-1418) was called to end that conflict, and obtained the resignation of the two rivals, and paved the way for the election, by compromise and unanimity of all the real and alleged Cardinals, of Pope Martin V.

Before that at the Synod of Sutri in 1046, the clergy of Rome, to whom there pertained the right of electing the Roman Pontiff, were convened at the request of Henry III, King of Germany, to sort out which if any of the three claimants to the papacy: Silvester III, Benedict IX or Gregory VI were the pope.  That Synod deposed all three, and paved the way for the election of Pope Clement II on the vigil of Christmas of that year.

The Church has always accepted as canonical, valid and legitimate, the actions of both of these synods. And that establishes the precedent upon which an argument for a future synod, after the manner of that of Sutri in 1046 can be made.

The first problem, however, is that in the present Code of Canon Law, synods and councils are called and convoked by the Pope.  It expressly says in canon 344, that “A Synod of bishops is directly beneath the authority of the Roman Pontiff, to whom it belongs, n. 1, to convoke the synod, howsoever often it seems to be opportune, and to designate the place where its meetings are to be held”. Indeed, both at Constance and Sutri both or at least one of the rival claimants to the papacy convoked the meetings.

Since it is unlikely that Bergoglio would ever convene such a synod, and while it remains unlikely that Benedict would be allowed to publicly call for such a convocation, there remains to consider other arguments to justify such an assembly.

These can be classified into two categories: arguments from divine right or ex iure divino; arguments from necessity or by natural right.  Both categories have supreme authority, inasmuch as the divine and natural laws are both promulgated by God, the former in the Gospels and the latter in creation.

I will begin with a consideration of natural right, which is the weaker of the argument, inasmuch as it is more indirect.

The necessity of the Church requires that it have a government which is united. The existence of two popes makes that unity impossible.  Since the subjects of every society have the right to know the identity of their government, the Church has a corresponding duty to Her members to not delay to identify Her own earthly head in a public declaratory manner.

As for divine right, there are several arguments which could be advanced.  the first is that the highest law of the Church is the promotion of the salvation of souls. And since no one can be saved who is not subject to the Roman Pontiff, as Pope Boniface VIII magisterially taught in his bull, Unam Sanctam, it is a practical necessity of all the faithful to be subject to the true pope. And hence the Church is gravely obligated, in all her members, to put to rest such a doubt with an authoritative declaration.  This is the argument of natural right raised to the level of the supernatural.

The second argument from divine right is that the unity of the Church requires the unity of the clergy. And since there can be no unity unless the clergy recognize the same man as the Roman Pontiff, it is of divine right that the clergy have the right to know who is the true pope and thus of the Church to given them a public authoritative declaration of the fact.

The third argument from divine right is that the Bishops of the Church, inasmuch as they are successors of the Apostles, while they each have a duty towards their own flocks, nevertheless all share in the duty of being responsible for the government of the whole Church universally, and that in the case of an Apostolic See impeded by doubt about who is and who is not the real pope, they have the right to make a public declaration of the matter.

In fact, as regards this latter argument, many Synods were called by bishops locally, during past schisms which resulted from more than one claimant to the papacy.  In such cases, these Synods were called at the request of Kings and Princes, by under the authority of the primate of the Kingdom and other Archbishops of those territories. And indeed, in such cases, there were occasions in which the Synod of this kingdom rendered a decision differing or concordant with the decision of synod of another kingdom.  This happened often in the Great Western Schism (1378-1415).  Even during the schism under Bl. Urban II or the antipope Anacletus II, several councils were held in France to repeat the decision in favor of the true pope.  So that there be only one Synod rather than more is not even a necessity.

Now the strongest argument against calling such a council or synod is that it would never be legitimate canonically unless it be called by Pope Benedict XVI or by Bergoglio, depending upon which you think is the true pope.

But the stronger argument is this: Since every Bishop has the right and duty to remain in communion with the true pope.  This is implied formally in canon 392 §1, which says:

Since he is obliged to defend the unity of the Church universal, the Bishop (of each diocese) is bound to promote the common discipline of the whole Church and hence to urge the observance of all ecclesiastical laws.

Thus, if a Bishop is obliged he has a right to act, and if he be bound to promote the common discipline, he is even more bound to uphold the terms of Canon 332 §2 on papal renunciations and canon 1364 regarding heretics, apostates and schismatics, even if they intrude upon the Apostolic See.

As for the convocation of such a Synod, this too is a duty of the Bishops in virtue of their specific obligation of communion with and visits to the Roman Pontiff (cf. canon 399) every 5 years, because a Synod held in the presence of the Pope is nothing more than a public audience of the Pope held in the presence of the bishops to hear from his own mouth his instructions and councils and explanations and to hear from their own mouths, their needs and questions.

Another avenue is the Provincial Council, which can be convened by the Metropolitan Archbishop (canon 442) when the majority of bishops in that ecclesiastical province agree (canon 440), and though this can only be done with the approval of the Apostolic See (cf. canon 339), it would be sufficient that one of the claimants to the papacy remain silent, to grant the tacit permission to convene the Synod. In a provincial council, the Metropolitan determines the place, procedures, questions, time of opening and can transfer, prorogue or dissolve the assembly of bishops (canon 442 §1 n. 3). In the case of there being no valid Metropolitan, this can be done by a  validly nominated suffragan Bishop elected by other valid suffragan bishops (canon 442 §2). Canons 443-446 specify how to conduct a Provincial Council.  And it is noteworthy to note, that the Synod of Sutri in 1046 was most likely a Provincial council.

Perhaps the most risky of all solutions, however, would be to await the death of one or the other claimants and allow the Cardinals who recognize Benedict XVI as the true Pope, to meet and make a public declaration for Pope Benedict (when Bergoglio passes away or resigns) or to proceed to elect his successor in a new conclave, depending on the case in question. Though I think that a public declaration by the Cardinals would still require a public confirmation by Pope Benedict XVI or a Synod).

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CREDITS: The Featured image is that of the doors of the Cathedral of Sutri. All rights reserved by FromRome.Info.

The Door to Sutri II is unlocking

In an article entitled, Waiting for Gregorian reforms 2.0, published by Polonia Christiana on Sept. 7, 2018 (and reprinted by ChurchMilitant.com, Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk lays out the historical and legal context of the current crisis of criminality in the Church which may lead to another Synod of Sutri.

The Synod of Sutri in 1046 A. D., was one of the most extraordinary canonical events in the history of the Church. It deposed 3 popes and paved the way for the election of Pope Clement II. Our knowledge of the event is confirmed by men of indisputable honestly: Bl. Pope Victor III in his annales, Saint Peter Damian who praised the proceedings and attended the coronation of Pope Clement, and Pope St. Gregory VII, who as an acolyte of Gregory VI was present at the Synod and saw his patron deposed from the papacy.

Later historians, after the Council of Constance, who wanted to defend against the implication that the Pope could be judged by a Council, have fiercely attacked the Synod of Sutri as an aberration, an uncanonical proceeding, an illegitimate act to be discarded to the history of the Seculum Obscurum of the Church, a long period in which the Papacy was ruled by despots appointed by Roman Nobility, without regard to the norms of law.

But the Synod of Sutri was a legitimate canonical proceeding accepted by all parties, save that of Pope Benedict IX, after whose death there were no supporters of his own to continue his opposition. Holy Mother Church by canonizing 2 witnesses and beatifying the third, gives the most certain refutation of this wrong headed papal maximalists, who erred out of excessive zeal in judging the precise nature of the canonical proceedings.

Three popes were deposed. But in truth no pope was deposed. Both statements are true, because both statements do not use the word, “pope”, in the same sense.  In the first, one speaks according to the appearances of their claims. In the second, one speaks according to the truth of canon law.

Popes Sylvester III and Gregory VI were never valid popes. The former usurped the office of the Papacy after an angry mob had driven Pope Benedict IX from the city. The latter, Gregory VI, had purchased the office of the papacy from Benedict IX who wanted to resign and marry, and needed the money.  Pope Benedict IX by the fall of 1046, had publicly resigned the papacy but wanted it back since his girlfriend had rejected his proposals to marriage.

So according to the norms of law, 3 pretenders to the papacy were deposed, not three popes.

The confusion about Sutri lies in the obscurity of history, since it is not known under what kind of precise wording Benedict IX resigned and sold the papacy to John Gratian, who took the name Gregory VI. And for that reason, some have said that Benedict was still the pope, assuming that the resignation and sale were one contract, and others have said that Benedict was no longer pope, assuming the two acts were separate. The sale of an ecclesiastical office and its reception by the buyer were always considered invalid legal acts from the time Saint Peter condemned Simon Magus for wanting to do such a thing (cf. Acts 8:9-24). Whence the name for such a crime: simony.

In my previous article on this, I spoke according to the first assumption, and riled the Sedevacantists. — I publicly admit that my assumption about he contract, there, might have been wrong.

But what Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk says in his article is true. The Synod of Sutri was the consequence of temporal power which required the resolution of a disputed papacy at Rome for its own purposes. Just so, the ongoing massive legal actions by several nations against the criminally corrupt clergy will inevitably lead back to Rome. And then the power that be will find it necessary to clean up the Vatican.

I will add my own observation, here. Namely, that the recent decision of the pro-Bergoglian government here in Italy — which enjoys now less than 15% support in the national polls — to put the most popular politician, Matteo Salvini, on trial for delaying the disembarkation of illegal immigrants in the port of Catania for 3 days, though with the consent of key members of the current government — Salvini will be charged with kidnapping! — will have its consequences. It will produce the certainty that the day the people of Italy again have a government which supports their views on immigration, that that new government will be implacably anti-Bergoglian and disposed to use their rights, under the Lateran Pact, to resolve the problem of a Vatican out of control and operating against the canons of the Church.

In this way, the doors to the Second Synod of Sutri are being unlocked: Christ the King will have His justice executed even in this world!

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Bishop Schneider gets his Papal History wrong

Henry III (1017-1056). Called the Black. Holy Roman Emperor. 3 Popes Deposed at the Synod of Sutri (1046). Engraving by A. Closs. Colored. (Photo by: PHAS/UIG via Getty Images)

In his recent article at Rorate Caeli, Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider writes a long article to quell the raging doubts Catholics now have regarding Bergoglio’s claim to the papacy.

But in that Article the learned Bishop gets his history lesson wrong, when he writes:

Popes were deposed several times by secular powers or by criminal clans. This occurred especially during the so-called dark ages (10th and 11th centuries), when the German Emperors deposed several unworthy popes, not because of their heresy, but because of their scandalous immoral life and their abuse of power. However, they were never deposed according to a canonical procedure, since that is impossible because of the Divine structure of the Church. The pope gets his authority directly from God and not from the Church; therefore, the Church cannot depose him, for any reason whatsoever.

(Emphasis added)

As I recited in my article, Yes a Pope can be canonically deposed, the history of the Papacy contradicts the Bishop’s assertion, for the Church does recognize as legitimate a Synod which canonically deposed 3 claimants to the papacy, one of which had to be the legitimate pope.

I quote my own article:

The events are summarized by John Cardinal Newman, and summarized in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes the events:

The proceedings of the Synod of Sutri, 20 December, are well summarized by Cardinal Newman in his “Essays Critical and Historical” (II, 262 sqq.). Of the three papal claimants, Benedict refused to appear; he was again summoned and afterwards pronounced deposed at Rome. Sylvester was “stripped of his sacerdotal rank and shut up in a monastery”. Gregory showed himself to be, if not an idiota, at least a man miræ simplicitatis, by explaining in straightforward speech his compact with Benedict, and he made no other defence than his good intentions, and deposed himself (Watterich, Vitæ Rom. Pont., I, 76); an act by some interpreted as a voluntary resignation, by others (Hefele), in keeping with the contemporary annals, as a deposition by the synod. The Synod of Sutri adjourned to meet again in Rome 23 and 24 December. Benedict, failing to appear, was condemned and deposed in contumaciam, and the papal chair was declared vacant. As King Henry was not yet crowned emperor, he had no canonical right to take part in the new election; but the Romans had no candidate to propose and begged the monarch to suggest a worthy subject.

Now, its not heresy to say that something happened, even if nutty Sedevacantists fell off their toilets when I wrote my article in September, accusing me of heresy. If the Church did depose a Pope canonically, its clearly not heresy to say that they did, or that the Church holds in practice that the Church can. Why since 2 of the deposed popes are depicted on the frieze of the Lateran (constructed in the 19th century), you could even argue the Vatican endorses both their papacies and their deposition, since Pope Clement II is also depicted there, who replaced all three.

Whether the Divine Constitution of the Church opposes such a notion or not, I think, is a concept of the constitution of the Church which excludes her history. Because if the Divine Constitution of the Church does make that impossible, then it’s also illicit, and thus immoral. But the Church has recognized the validity of the Synod of Sutri for 10 centuries, and the validity of the election of Pope Clement II for 10 centuries. So if anyone can quote a theologian or canonist after Sutri who said otherwise, quote him. But can we rely on his authority and not that of the Church by Her tacit acceptance? If we rely on such an opinion, are we not constrained to say the Church was in error for 10 centuries? And if we say that, are we not heretics?

As I said before, if Benedict IX did sell the papacy to Gregory VI, then the sale effected nothing, since you cannot validly sell an ecclesiastical office. That means that Benedict IX was the true Pope, because even if he did resign after the sale thinking he did sell the office, he was in substantial error and therefore his resignation was invalid. I suppose one could argue the Synod was in substantial error thinking it could depose Benedict or anyone for that matter, and that therefore Clement II’s election was invalid on account of substantial error, but the Church has never said that. The Frieze above the interior columns of the Lateran sill show Clement II as the one true valid Pope during the years of his reign.

I think its more probable, that whereas the Pope cannot be deposed as pope or for being pope, the man who is pope, who sins against the office by Simony or Heresy, can be deposed. But I admit that is my private fallible opinion. The Church’s Magisterium has not addressed such a specific case, to my knowledge, to handle the Synod of Sutri. The probability which causes me to hold such an opinion is that such an opinion avoids contradicting defined dogma and canons, by admitting an exceptional case in which the Law Maker Himself would not want otherwise unbending laws to prevail.