Literal English Translation of Benedict XVI’s Discourse on Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There being few in the Church today who know the Latin tongue well enough to read an analyze a canonical text, I offer here my own translation of the discourse which Pope Benedict gave during the Consistory of Feb. 11, 2013 A. D..  You can find modern translations of this discourse at the Vatican Website, with notable errors and seemingly purposeful misrepresentations.  Compare my own with theirs, if you like, to know which words have been altered in the vernacular versions.

Declaration of Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 11, 2013 A. D.

Not only for the three canonizations have I called you to this Consistory, but also so that I may communicate to you a decision of great moment for the life of the Church. Having explored my conscience again and again before the Lord, I have arrived at certain recognition that with my advancing age my strengths are no longer apt for equitably administering the Petrine Office [munus Petrinum].

I am well aware that this office [munus], according to its spiritual essence, ought to be exercised not only by acting and speaking, but no less than by suffering and praying.  Moreover, in the world of our time, subjected to rapid changes and perturbed by questions of great weight for the life of faith, there is more necessary to steer the Barque of Saint Peter and to announce the Gospel a certain vigor, which in recent months has lessened in me in such a manner, that I should acknowledge my incapacity to administer well the ministry [ministerium] committed to me.  On which account, well aware of the weightiness of this act, I declare in full liberty, that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals on April 19, 2005, so that on February 29, 2013, at 20:00 Roman Time [Sedes Romae], the see of Saint Peter be vacant, and that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those whose duty it is [ab quibus competit].

Dearest brothers, I thank you with my whole heart for every love and work, by which you bore with me the weight of my ministry [ministerii], and I ask pardon for all my failings.  Moreover, now We confide God’s Holy Church to the care of Her Most High Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and We implore His Mother, Mary, to assist with Her maternal goodness the Cardinal fathers in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.  In my own regard, I wish to serve in the future by a life of prayer dedicated to the Holy Church with my whole heart.

[From the halls of the Vatican, Feb. 10, 2013]

 


Translator’s Commentary

As can be seen from Ganswein’s talk at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016, and from the other comments made by Benedict XVI afterwards, this text regards the resignation of ministry, not office. If one were to say it effects the resignation of office, he would be in substantial error, as I have demonstrated elsewhere.

Unlike Archbishop Ganswein, when he spoke at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May of 2016,  I translate munus as office, following not only all the Latin Dictionaries which I have at my disposal, but the Latin text of Canon 145, which defines every office in the Church as a munus. See also, Pope Paul VI’s decree, Christus Dominus, which uses the same term for office.

I translate vacet as the main verb of a subordinate subjunctive clause of purpose, introduced by ita ut, “so that”. Those who opine that such a form of vaco, vacare can be translated as could be vacant know nothing about Latin and how as a Classical tongue it lacks the conditional mood. (Cf. my Ecclesiastical Latin Grammar, for an explanation on how to translate the subjunctive mood in Latin, into English).

Having spoken with one of the most eminent Latinists who has worked at the Vatican, I note that the Sedes Romae refers to the time Zone, and is not an appositive to Sedes Sancti Petri. Note there are 2 things declared:  that I renounce... and that a Conclave be convoked….  Note also, that in the original text the commisso in the phrase, “committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals” was erroneously written and spoken as commissum.  (Cfr. Pope Gregory XIII’s 1582 edition of the Decretales Gregorii IX. Book. I, Tittle III, de Rescriptis, c. XI.)

 

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The Validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation must be questioned

Resignation

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Recently, the noted Vatican theologian, and former member of the Congregation for the Faith, Msgr. Nichola Bux publicly opined that the validity of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI should be studied in regard to the question of what appears to be substantial error in the formula of resignation. (For a correct English translation of the formula, see here).

Msgr. Bux was not the first to raise this issue. In fact, doubts as to the validity of the act of resignation were raised immediately upon the news being made known. Flavien Blanchon, a French journalist working at Rome, writing only 2 days afterwards, cited an eminent Latin scholar who pointed out errors in the text of abdication, and who noted that the presence of any error, according to canonical tradition, was held to be a sign of lack of deliberation, rendering the act null and void.

Then a year later, Antonio Socci openly speculated that the resignation might be invalid on account of the lack of interior will given by Benedict. In the same year, a very noteworthy study published by a Professor in canon law at the Theological Institute of Legano, Switzerland, in 2014 by Fr. Stefano Violi, which discussed canonically the renunciation: The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Between History, Law and Conscience, without, however, raising the question of its invalidity. (Its a must read on account of its rich citation to the canonical history of papal resignations.) However, the study, by identifying the matter of the renunciation to regard the active ministry, not the munus, made it clear that the question of substantial error invalidating the resignation was a real question, founded upon the text of the act itself.

However, on June 19, 2016, Ann Barnhardt raised specifically the question of a doubt arising from canon 188, which cites substantial error as sufficient grounds to establish the grounds for a canonical determination of invalidity in any resignation. She did this following the remarkable comments by Pope Benedict’s personal Secretary on May 20th earlier, in which he claimed that Benedict still occupied the Papal Office (Full Text, English Translation).

Then the blogger, Sarmaticus, discussed the issue raised by Ganswein’s words on August 5, 2016, with a post drawing out the significance of what the Archbishop had said at the Gregorian University, in a post entitled: “Ockham’s Razor Finds: Benedict Still Pope, Francis Is False Pope, Universal Church in State of Necessity since 24 April, 2005.”

Msgr. Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the United States, and a former member of Opus Dei, has also sustained this same doubt and others regarding the validity of the resignation. I understand that the Bishop has written many members of the Sacred Hierarchy and Curia about these matters urging action be taken (He suggests a public declaration by 12 pre-Bergoglian Cardinals).

According to Ann Barnhart, in the following year, Attorney Chris Ferrara and Mrs. Anne Kreitzer also sustained this same doubt. The historian Richard Cowden Guido opined the same on May 11, 2017. And, the famous Italian controversialist, Antonio Socci quoted Violi at length on May 31, 2017 and sustained the same thesis.

In May of this year, at the latest, Fr. Juan Juarez Falcon expounded the canonical reason for the invalidity of the resignation, on the basis of substantial error, in an article entitled, “Dos Graves Razones”.

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI in his private letters to Cardinal Brandmueller, published in the summer of 2018, openly asks for suggestions for a better way to resign, if he did not do it correctly.

There being a number of notable Catholics sustaining this doubt, and since Msgr. Bux called for an investigation of this matter, I will add here in Scholastic Form, some arguments in favor of sustaining it, in course of which will refute all substantial arguments against it. In the course of time, as I find them, or think of new ones, I will add them to this list.

Whether Pope Benedict XVI by means of the act expressed in his address, “Non solum propter”, resigned the office of the Bishop of Rome?

And it seems that he did not:

1. First, because substantial error, in an act of resignation, regards the vis verborum, or signification of the words, as they regard the form and matter of the act.  But the act of renouncing a ministry regards one of the proper accidents of the office by which that ministry can be rightfully exercised.  Therefore, if one renounces a ministry, he does not renounce the office. And if he believes to have renounced the office, by renouncing one of the ministries, he is in substantial error as to the signification of the words he has used. But in the text, Non Solum Propter, Benedict XVI renounces the ministerium which he received as Bishop of Rome, when he was elected.  Therefore, to understand that act as a renunciation of the office is to be in substantial error as to the effect of the act. Therefore as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

2. Saint Peter the Apostle exercised many ministries in many places. But no one is the real successor of Saint Peter except the Bishop of Rome (canon 331). If one renounces a petrine ministry, therefore, he does not renounce the office of Bishopric of Rome (cf. canons 331 & 332), who has other ministries in virtue of his office. Therefore, if one believes he has renounced the Bishopric of Rome by renouncing a petrine ministry, he is in substantial error, and thus as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

3. According to Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 12) there are diverse graces, ministries and offices in the Church, inasmuch as the Church is the Body of Christ. Therefore, since the Bishop of Rome can exercise several of these ministries, it follows that one does not renounce the Bishopric of Rome if one renounces one of these ministries, since no one ministry is coextensive with the Bishopric of Rome. Ergo in such a renunciation, if one believes he has sufficiently signified the renunciation of the Bishopric of Rome, he is in substantial error. Therefore, as per canon 188, the resignation is invalid.

4. According to Seneca (Moral Essays, vol. 3, John W. Basore, Heineman, 1935), one must distinguish between benefices, offices and ministries. Benefices are that which are given by an alien, offices by sons, mothers and others with necessary relationships, and ministries by servants who do what superiors do not do.  The Petrine ministry is a service to the Church. But the office of the Bishop of Rome is a duty to Christ. If one renounces the ministry of a servant, he does not renounce the office of a son. Ergo in such a renunciation etc…

5. The validity of an act of resignation cannot be founded upon the subjective definition of words, or the mere intention of the one renouncing. If that were the case, the interpretation would make the act an act of resignation. The act itself would not declare it. But the Church is a public society founded by the Incarnate Living God. Therefore, the renunciation of offices must be not only intentional but public, to give witness to the fact that the office was established by the Living and Incarnate God. But the office of the Bishop of Rome is such an office. Ergo in such a renunciation etc..

6. As Msgr. Henry Gracida argues on his blog, abyssum.org: If Christ did not accept the resignation of Benedict as valid, because the act itself was not canonically valid per canon 188, then Christ would be obliged in justice to deprive Bergoglio of grace, so that his lack of being pope be MOST EVIDENT to all with Faith, Hope and Charity. But it is MOST EVIDENT to everyone, even non Catholics, that he has NOT the grace of God in him or in his actions. Ergo, either Christ is unjust, or Christ is just. He cannot be unjust. Ergo, Bergoglio is not pope!

7. Likewise, Christ prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail, and so that he could confirm his brethren in the Apostolic College. Now this prayer of Christ must be efficacious, since Christ is God and the Beloved Son of the Eternal Father, and because of the office of Saint Peter is not something merely useful to the Body of Christ, but necessary in matters of faith and unity. Therefore, Christ’s prayer for the Successors of Saint Peter must be efficacious in some manner as regards the faith and unity of the Church. But Bergoglio manifestly attacks both the faith and unity of the Church. Far be it, therefore, to judge that in this one man Christ’s prayer was not intended to be effective. Ergo, Bergoglio is not a valid successor of Saint Peter!

8. From the text of the act of resignation. Pope Benedict admits in the first sentence that he holds the munus petrinum. But further down, he says he renounces the ministerium which he had received as Bishop of Rome. Therefore, he has not renounced the munus. But munus means office and gift of grace (cf. Canon 145 §1 and Paul VI, Christus Dominus). Therefore, he has not stated that he has renounced the office and gift of grace. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

9.From the sense of the Latin tongue, which lacks the definite and indefinite article. When you say: Renuntio ministerio, you do not say whether you have renounced the ministry or a ministry. Therefore, you leave unsaid what ministry you have renounced. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

10.From the papal law Universi Dominici Gregis, on Papal elections:  One is not elected to the Petrine Ministry, but to be the Bishop of Rome.  Therefore, unless one renounce the Bishopric of Rome one has not vacated the See of Saint Peter. But in public statements Pope Benedict XVI after March 2013 says only that he has renounced the ministerium. Therefore, he is in substantial habitual error as regards what is required in an act of resignation of the office of the Bishopric of Rome.  Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

11. From the Code of Canon Law:  Canonical resignations are valid if 3 things are valid: liberty from coercion, right intention, unambiguous signification. This is confirmed in canon 332, § 2 which expressly denies that the acceptance of a resignation affects is validity or non-validity. But Pope Benedict admits in his letters to Cardinal Brandmueller that his intent was to retain something of the Pontifical Dignity. His private secretary also publicly has affirmed that he occupies the  See of Peter but shares the Petrine Ministry still. This is incontrovertible evidence that the act of resignation is ambiguous. For either it means he has renounced the See or has not renounced the See, that he has renounced the ministry, or has not renounced the ministry.  Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

12. From Pneumetology, that is, from the theology of the Holy Spirit. After Feb 2013 the whole Church still recognizes and accepts Pope Benedict with the title of pope and with papal prerogatives. All call him Benedict, not Ratzinger or Joseph. But the whole Church cannot be deceived. Nevertheless, according to Divine Institution, the Papacy cannot be held by more than one person at one time. And he who holds it first, has the valid claim to the office. Therefore, the Church does not understand the act as one which renounces the office. Therefore, in such a resignation etc..

13. From insufficiency of intention:  If a Pope renounces eating bananas, he has not renounced the office of Bishopric of Rome. Therefore, if he says, “I have renounced eating bananas, to vacate the See of Rome”, he is in substantial error as to the effect of his act.  But in his text of renunciation he says he has renounced the ministry so as to vacate the see of Saint Peter [ut sedes Sancti Petri vacet]. But that is a substantial error, since the ministry is only a proper accident of the Bishopric of Rome, for to be the Bishop of Rome is the first act of its being [esse primum], to exercise the ministries of the Bishopric of Rome is the second act of its being [esse secundum]. Therefore, since the second act of being is in potency to the first act, and potency is divided from act as accident to substance, to renounce a or all ministries of an office is an act regarding the accidents not the substance of the office. Therefore, one could just as well renounce any or all of its ministries and retain the office. Therefore, by renouncing a or the ministry he does not renounce the office. Indeed, in public statements, he explicitly affirms only to have renounced the ministry. Therefore, his insufficiency of expressed intention does not save the act from substantial error.  Therefore, in such a renunciation etc..

14. The Pope is not more powerful than God the Son. But God the Son in becoming the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, at the moment of Consecration, renounces all the accidents and action of His Sacred Humanity, yet remains still God and Man.  Hence, even if a Pope were to renounce all his actions and ministries as Pope, he remains the Pope. But Pope Benedict XVI in his declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, renounces only the ministerium of his office, not the office. Therefore, he remains the Pope.

15. If you get up from your chair, but to not give the chair to another, the chair becomes vacant but remains your property.  Now the office of St. Peter’s Successor is to Saint Peter’s Successor as a throne is to the one enthroned. So if a Pope renounces the ministry of his office, but not the office, even if he intends by such a renunciation that the Throne of St. Peter be vacant, he does not cede his right and holding of the office. So when Pope Benedict writes declaro me ministerio … renuntiare ita ut Sedes Petri vacet its clear that while he renounces serving as Pope, he does not renounce the Papacy.

16. If any President, Prime Minister or father of a family renounces fulfilling the duties of his office, he nevertheless has not ceased to be President, Prime Minister or father. Likewise with the Pope, if he textually renounces only the ministry of his office, he has not lost his office.

17. God, who is Being, as the institutor of the Office of Peter, cannot regard as resigned from the office of the Successor of Saint Peter, any Roman Pontiff, validly elected, who only renounces accidents or second acts of the being of that office. But Pope Benedict XVI renounced only the ministerium, or exercise of the office, which he had received, not the munus, which is the office itself. Therefore, since the exercise of office is the second act of the being of the office, God cannot acknowledge such a resignation as valid. And if God does not recognize it as valid, neither can the Church. Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

18. The essence of ‘being the Pope’ is the dignity of the office held. The essence of a ministry is the service rendered. Therefore, just as renunciation of a service does not cause the loss of dignity, so the renunciation of the Petrine Ministry does not cause the loss of Papal office.   Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

19. As the learned canonists Juan Juárez Falcó argues:  Canon 332 which is the only canon regarding Papal renunciations speaks of the renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium. But Benedict XVI speaks only of renouncing the ministerium, not the munus. Ergo per canon 188, the renunciation is invalid to effect a renunciation of munus. But as per canon 145, the munus is the office. Therefore, in such a resignation, etc..

In summation:

As the eminent Canon Lawyer, Fr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, says, commenting on Canon 126:  When the ignorance or error regards the essential object of the act, … then the act must be considered as never having been posited, invalid. (Codice di Diritto Canonico, e Leggi Complementari: Commentato, Coletti a San Pietro, 2004, commentary on canon 126).

Hence, it appears, that if a Pope were to intend to retire from active ministry, but retain the Papal Office in all its fullness, that he could just as well read out loud the statement made by Pope Benedict XVI, Non solum propter, since the vis verborum of that text is that he renounced the ministry of the office of the Bishop of Rome, but not the office. Herein lies the substantial error, and thus that act of Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013 must be judged to be invalid, as per canon 188, if it be asserted to be an act of resignation of the office of Bishop of Rome. However, if one were to assert that it is only the act of renunciation of active ministry, not of office, then yes, it should be said to be a valid act, containing no substantial error.

In Conclusion, Theological Reason

Though there can be many kinds of substantial error in an act of resignation, there is NONE more SUBSTANTIAL than the one which involves confusing the accidents of the office to be resigned as sufficient terms to signify the substance of the office itself. Now, according to canon 188, where substantial error is present in such an act, the act is invalid in its effect “by the law itself”. Therefore, the text of Non solum propter, of Benedict XVI does not effect validly his resignation from the office of the Bishopric of Rome.

In Conclusion, Canonical Reason

This is corroborated by undisputed facts of law, namely that the only Canon in the Code of Canon Law, Canon 322 §2, which speak expressly of a papal resignation, requires that the man who is pope resign the munus and do so rite (i.e. property according to the norms of law). But the text of Benedict’s resignation speaks only of a renunciation of ministerium.  Therefore, since it regards an act wholly outside the meaning of Canon 332 §2, the act is invalid to effect a Papal resignation. It is also thus invalid by the law itself, according to Canon 188, and by canon 126.

On which account, as a baptized Roman Catholic, Italian Citizen and legal resident of the City of Rome, I call upon the Italian Government to invoke its right, as a party to the Lateran Pact and its subsequent agreements, to convene the entire Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, to judge in tribunal, just as they did in A. D. 1046 at Sutri, at the command of the Germany King Henry III, the validity of the claim to office of Popes Benedict and Francis, namely, whether the act of renunciation of Benedict XVI was valid as to a renunciation of office, and if not, to declare the Conclave of 2013 canonically invalid ex radicibus.

 

Yes, a Pope can be canonically deposed

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There is a lot of talk about the Pope resigning, being constrained to resign, or being deposed. So much so, that Reuters (a news agency founded by Jews and allied to Freemasonry) ran a story saying a Pope cannot be deposed.

This of course is a lie.

Let’s consider the question, then, “Can a Pope be deposed?” by first defining our terms.  Here, “pope” means the Bishop of Rome, who ex officio is the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of Saint Peter.

By “deposed” there is meant removal from office.

The first determination we must make is to distinguish the auxiliary verb “can”.  A thing can be done physically, morally and legally.  An enemy of the Church could arrest the Pope, force him under pain of death to sign a decree of abdication. That is a physical deposition.  A moral deposition, is where the Pope is asked to resign and he acquiesces and signs a decree of resignation.  A legal deposition, would be where the Church by trial and in Synod or Council removes him from office.

Clerics can be canonically, that is legally, removed from office by their superiors, generally speaking.  But since the Pope has no superior on earth, being the Vicar of Christ, many think he cannot be canonically removed from office.

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Pope Benedict IX

That argument sounds valid on the face of it, but the Synod of Sutri in 1046 argues against it.  In that Synod, which the Church to this day considers canonically valid, the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, at the invitation of the German King, Henry III, met to decide the fate of Pope Benedict IX and two other anti-popes Gregory VI and Sylvester III.  Gregory VI claimed the papacy on account of having bought it from Benedict IX; Sylvester III claimed it, having been elected after mobs drove Benedict IX from Rome. Neither were canonically elected, nor true popes, regardless of what some historians say, because to be pope you must be canonically elected after the death or resignation of your predecessor.

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.

Thus, The Synod deposed all three claimants to the papacy.*  Gregory VI admitted his claim to the office was “vitiated” by simony. Pope Benedict IX objected,  but the Church has always accepted his deposition as valid. The King of Germany then appointed Clement II as Pope, who promptly crowned the King, Holy Roman Emperor. Benedict IX, after the death of Clement, claimed the papacy again! The Church to this day recognizes Clement II as a true Pope.

That seems to run in the face of the current Code of Canon Law which expressly says a pope’s resignation cannot be forced and must be free.  The relevant Canon is 332, which reads in Latin:

Can. 332 —  2. Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur.

And in the official English translation:

Can. 332 — § 2. If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.

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Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor

But from this canon, its obvious, that there is no definition of the freedom required. Thus, just as a man freely resigns by an act which separates himself from the office, as Pope Benedict XVI intended to do, so a man can freely resign by acting in a manner so contrary to the office and the good of the Church, that he no longer wishes to act according to its duties.

Some argue, that since a thousand years have passed, and since we now have a College of Cardinals who elects the Pope, that a pope cannot be deposed like Benedict IX was.

But such an inference, which is by no means supported by anything but conjecture, assumes that the principles which validated the Synod of Sutri are not valid today. I am talking about canonical and theological principles.

Let’s look at what they were:

  1. The Clergy of the Roman Church acting for the good of the Church
  2. Against a corrupt Pope, who was by all impartial observers, unfit for the office.
  3. With the patronage of Henry II, King of the Germans.

I think all can agree, that though Henry II’s intention was Church reform, that his motives were not pure, since He had come to Italy to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, a thing which only a Pope could grant him, and either Benedict IX would not grant it, or he was of such a degraded morality, that Henry II did not want to receive the crown from him.

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Saint Hildebrand, who attended the Synod of Sutri as secretary to Gregory VI and accepted its decisions, going into exile with Gratian until his death in 1048.

Nevertheless, Henry II proceeded by canonical grounds: He convened the clergy of the Church of Rome, whose good was immediately threatened by Benedict IX. The Synod was called by Gregory VI, but deposed all three Popes. Benedict IX objected, but the Church accepted the results of the Synod, inasmuch as it recognizes as canonical the election of Clement II which followed immediately.

I think anyone who argues that the same could NOT be done today, therefore, has a very tenuous argument. He would have to argue that the form of canon 332 overrides the good of the entire Church, the good of the Diocese of Rome, and that it is more authoritative than the canonical precedent of the Synod of Sutri, which for the last 1000 years the Church has considered just and valid in all which it did. Indeed, the fact that Saint Hildebrand, later the great reforming pope, Gregory VII, attended this Synod and accepted its decisions to depose all three popes, argues strongly for its validity. Saint Peter Damnian, though there is no record that he attended, was in Rome the day after the Synod concluded and accepted its judgement. Pope Blessed Victor III also wrote about the Synod and accepted its judgments.

I for one think any opinion in law which has as its authority 1000 years of Church witness, 2 Canonized Saint Reformers, and 2 holy Popes, is much stronger than any interpretation of a canon which appears intended only for enemies of the Church.  Especially since, Benedict IX does not seem to have accepted his deposition, yet is regarded by the Church and historians to have been validly deposed.

But, for those who love the Church, its obvious who the enemy is here.

NOTA BENE;  For historical sources on the Synod of Sutri, look to the original sources and not to historians who were trying to make it appear, after the Council of Constance, that a Pope can never be deposed by anyone. And hold fast to the testimony of John Gratian (Gregory VI) at the Council of Sutri, who admitted his claim to the papacy was vitiated by the objective crime of simony. That Saint Hildebrand took the name of Gregory VII, to honor his patron John Gratian, proves nothing but his respect for the man and what he was trying to do (remove a bad Pope and begin a Reform), since in that age the numbers after a name did not prove or disprove the validity of the claim to the papacy. Those who attack the validity of the Synod of Sutri will run into crucial problems: if they accept Gregory VI as having a valid claim, they must recognize that he both convened the Synod and declared, therein, that his claim to the Papacy was invalid by reason of Simony; if they accept Benedict IX as having a valid claim, and deny the validity of his deposition, then how do they explain that Clement II is regarded by all subsequent Popes as canonically elected? The legitimacy of the Synod, therefore, must canonically be attributed to this, that it convened the Clergy of Rome to judge the man who was the Pope, not the Pope as Pope, so as to end all controversy as to who was pope and to put out of office all those who were morally unfit for office.

The Best Source we have found so far, besides that of Cardinal Newman, is the Dialogues of Blessed Pope Victor III, Patrologia Latina, vol. 149, columns 1004/5, which give the same history as above.

Finally, note, that in the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983, promulgated by John Paul II, in canon 188, it is explicitly stated that a resignation made by way of simony is invalid. Hence, it appears the Church never recognized as valid the resignation of Benedict IX, when he sold the papacy to Gregory VI. Which bolsters the argument, that Benedict IX’s deposition from the papacy by the Synod of Sutri, meeting at Rome in its second session, was indeed of epochal significance. A Pope can be deposed for immorality: for simony of his own office at least.

Veri Catholici, the international Association for protecting the faith from Kasperite heresies, is advocating calling a Synod like Sutri to depose Bergoglio, if he won’t resign. See vericatholici.wordpress.com for more information about that.)

 

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*  Synods which depose clerics are canonical trials, where the accusers and accused appear and are interrogated by the Tribunal, which includes senior clerics or all the clergy present. There is a libellus of accusations and testimonies are given. For this reason, there is no reason to call for an investigation in the matter of Viganò’s Letter of Accusation. What is needed is that the witnesses and accused appear and give their defense against what is charged. This is the Catholic and Legal way of ending the controversy.

Archbishop Fisichella, full of hate, attempts a shell game on the word, “tradition”

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As a member of the Roman Church, I cannot remain silent at the gross and vile attack on the Catholic Faithful, given in such a hateful spirit, by one of the formerly chief members of the Clergy at the Vatican: Archbishop Fisichella.  His talk can be read in part here and in full here during his interview.

In this talk, the Archbishop cannot be excused for moral perversion, since he so blatantly attacks the immutability of truth. Truth, of the species of which we speak here, refers to the coherence of signification in a verbal phrase with the relation between the mind and the object known by the mind.

For example:  If one finds a white stone, his mind recognizes it as such, and his mouth says: “This stone is a white stone”, or “I found a white stone”.  Its obvious that the truth of this statement is not dynamic, as the Archbishop claims all truth is, but static, since it exist in the static relationship between mind and object known.

If upon examination, one recognizes that the stone is quartz, then the statement, “The white stone which I found is quartz”, represents a deeper truth, but does not alter or deteriorate the truth of what was said.   However, if one says, “The stone which I found was black” or “I did not find a white stone at all”. Its clear that there is a negation of the first truth, a complete alteration of signification.

What the Archbishop in his interview is claiming is that Catholics are not faithful to Tradition because they hold to a notion of fixism in truth, whereas the true notion of truth means that verbal statements can so change as to morph into negations of what was previous affirmed.

Innanzitutto, quando parliamo della verità, dobbiamo sempre averne un concetto dinamico. La verità non è una dimensione fissista.(1)

What the Archbishop is purporting is is pure crap, using “crap” in the metaphorical sense of a discourse full of lies and deceit. And no one can so attack the truth, without having a great and diabolic hatred for it.

All this discourse is an attempt to play a shell game on the word “tradition”. Because in the Catholic Faith, “tradition” is from the Latin for “handing on”. Sacred or Apostolic or Divine Tradition means nothing more than handing on the truth in an unchanged manner, which we have received from God, Christ, or the Apostles, through Scripture or the deeds of the Lord Jesus, the Prophets, and the Apostles. Tradition includes not only truths to believe, but faith in Scripture, the Sacraments and Apostolic Succession. Tradition is living, precisely and only when the truth which is handed down is unaltered in its content.

Its patently obvious that such a malicious attack on truth, to defend Bergoglio’s heretical attempt at altering the Faith of the Church, must be understood as a pertinacious act of heresy against the Catholic Faith. No Catholic in good conscience can regard Fischella as an Archbishop of the Catholic Church, if he refuses to repent.

Let us pray for Fischella, for he has greatly lost his way, and replaced Jesus Christ in his heart and mind, with Modernist nonsense.


(1) “Above all, when we speak of the truth, we should always have in mind a dynamic concept.  The truth is not a fixist dimension.” — My unofficial translation of the original Italian, found in the link above: 25.mo Veritatis Splendor, mons. Fisichella: critiche al Papa non fedeli alla tradizione, Vatican News, August, 2018, Interview with Archbishop Fischella.

An Open Letter to all the Faithful, from a Catholic of the Diocese of Rome

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As a consecrated person of private vows. holding my legal residence in the Diocese of Rome, Italy, I wish to publicly declare my adhesion to the perennial Faith of Christ on all questions, and in particular, on the legitimacy of the imposition of Capital Punishment in due circumstances by justly constituted temporal authorities, holding full jurisdiction.

This Faith is what God has revealed in Genesis 9:6, when He warned the wicked that they would be slain in body for the sin of murder.

This authority is given by God, as Jesus Christ Himself taught during His Passion, in John 19:11, when He confirmed publicly that Pontius Pilate had authority to impose capital punishment.  This is the express teaching of the Apostle Saint Paul in Romans 13:4, where he declares that Almighty God has given the temporal authority the power to wield the sword, that is, impose the ultimate punishment of death, upon malefactors.

This has ever been the Faith of the Fathers of the Church.  The Popes too, like Innocent III in his profession of faith for Waldensian heretics to be received back into the Church, required them to confess that capital punishment can be justly imposed without mortal sin. This Faith was practiced boldly by saints such as Saint Pius V, O.P., who ordered 5000 brigands to be put to death.

Saint Alphonsus dei Liguori, Doctor of the Church on all questions of moral authority, and approved as such by the Holy Office under Bl. Pius IX, also teaches this.  This is the same teaching of the Catechism of the Council of Trent and of the new Catechism published by John Paul II in its form prior during his reign.

Let us not imagine that this is not a DE FIDE DOGMA OF THE FAITH, that must be held by all the faithful forever.

Let us not imagine that the phrase “is inadmissable” according to the “light of the Gospel” means anything else but “immoral” and “illicit” and “unjust”.

Do not be fooled by a heretic who claims his teaching, which contradicts God, is the teaching of the Church or faithful to the Gospel.

And remember precisely, that Vatican I gave the Pope no authority to teach novel doctrines nor to contradict the Faith, in fact, it expressly said he had no such authority.

With all true Catholics at Rome, I hold the proposed alteration of the Catechism to be a public act of pertinacious heresy against the Catholic Faith.  I recognize that all who posit such acts ipso facto without any needed sentence lose all office and authority in the Church. I also recognize that the Cardinals and Bishops should publicly denounce this heresy and alteration.  I expect them to do so.

I warn them, however, if they remain silent, that they must be presumed to adhere to this heresy, and lose all office in the Church.

The Pope needs to repent, be corrected and publicly recant. If he does not, no Catholic should regard him any longer as the Vicar of Christ or Bishop of Rome.