Rome, January 30, 2015: Two days following the presentation by the From Rome blog of the apparent canonical crimes committed by “Team Bergoglio” — the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to the group of 8 Cardinals who lobbied for Cardinal Bergoglio’s election before and during the Conclave of 2013 — Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the papal spokesman, announced that Pope Francis had called a special consistory of Cardinals, on Feb. 14-15, to name 20 new Cardinals, in the attempt to alter forever the character of the College, from one whose majority was appointed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to one whose majority is comprised of those named by Pope Francis or who were involved in vote-canvassing for his election.*
The probity of the case against “Team Bergoglio” was demonstrated amply in our article, on January 6, 2015: From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal. And the canonical basis for raising the question of the invalidity of the papal election, during Consistory in February, was explained in our January 17th article, Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal.
But what if the College of Cardinals fails?
It is obvious, that if the 20 new nominations by Pope Francis are added to the College of Cardinals, that there will be, de facto, no capacity for that body to investigate the allegations against the validity of Pope Francis’ election, which arise either from Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative of events or Antonio Socci’s investigation in to the irregularities of the proceedure during conclave, as expressed in his book, Non è Francesco, which is a best-seller in Italy. Both doubts arise from statements made, not by Cardinal Bergoglio’s opponents, but by his supporters who claim to have spoken to Cardinal-Electors (in Ivereigh’s case) or Cardinal Bergoglio himself (in Socci’s case). Testimonies of great probity, therefore.
For a complete Chronology of reports about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see our Chronology.
Moreover, as of today, 354 Catholics from around the world have petitioned the College of Cardinals to investigate the charges of Cardinal Bergoglio’s heterodoxy and heterodox practice in his personal behavior before and after his papal “election”, on which grounds they believe he should be judged as invalidly elected and deposed as a heretic. How many of the Cardinals know of this petition is unknown. Though some public response is certainly warranted, even on that.
Catholics the world-over, then, might ask, after Feb. 15th, if the new Cardinals are installed, what will become of the Church?
Cardinal Bergoglio, since the time of the Conclave in 2013, has shown in the clearest and most consistent fashion, for all who have eyes, to see, that he does not hold the Catholic Faith — even though, after speaking spontaneously against it, when it is pointed out, he excuses himself, with the suggestion that he did not mean to deny anything — his consistent expressions of personal belief and consistent impenitence and artificiality in the attempts to mop up after the scandals he provokes, shows that he is merely protecting his claim to the office, so as to further his professed and malign design to overthrow the Church’s adhesion and loyalty to the Magisterium of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.
Even his followers, such as Cardinal Baldissieri or Cardinal Rodiguez Maradiaga, affirm that he was behind every scandalous action at the recent Extraordinary Synod for the Family and that his intention is to irremediably and irrevokably alter the very nature of the Church.
Anyone who reads the news, knows all of this by now. Even the Cardinals of the Sacred College.
If they do not act, then, it is clear that they are complicit as a body in the work and intention of Cardinal Bergoglio to overthrow the Catholic Church. They, then, become, not just suspect of heresy, but most of all of pertinacity in collusion with Cardinal Bergoglio. They thus lose all right to represent the clergy of Rome, in virtue of canon 194, which reads in Latin as follows:
Can. 194 — § 1. Ipso iure ab ecclesiastico amovetur:
1° qui statum clericalem amiserit;
2° qui a fide catholica aut a communione Ecclesiae publice defecerit;
3° clericus qui matrimonium etiam civile tantum attentaverit.
§ 2. Amotio, de qua in nn. 2 et 3, urgeri tantum potest, si de eadem auctoritatis competentis declaratione constet.
Which, in our unofficial, but literal English translation reads as follows:
Canon 194 — § 1. By the law itself there is removed from the ecclesiastical state:
- He who has lost the clerical state;
- He who has publicly failed from the Catholic Faith or from the Church’s communion;
- A cleric who will have attempted marriage, even only civilly.
§ 2. The removal, concerning which there is mention in nn. 2 & 3, can be prosecuted, only if it be established by the declaration of a competent authority concerning the same.
For it is obvious, that he who conspires to reject the teaching of Christ Jesus, is a heretic and enemy of the Catholic Church. He can no more be considered in communion with Her, than a deadly virus can be considered part of the body which it infects.° Paragraph § 2, explains that, first, the competent authority judges the facts, and only then it is licit to remove the individual(s) from their offices.
The Divine & Natural Right of the Clergy of Rome
That the competent authority in such a grave matter is the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, is, without question, their divine and natural right. Divine, by the fact that the clergy of every diocese, in questions of the heresy of their own bishop and his collaborators, have the right to expel them from the communion of the Church; natural, since there is no authority in any society to expel except those who retain the nature and form of that society faithfully.
This twofold right of the Clergy of Rome is affirmed by the Catholic Encyclopedia published more than 100 years ago, in its article on the Election of Popes, where it says:
The supreme headship of the Church is, we have seen, annexed to the office of Roman bishop. The pope becomes chief pastor because he is Bishop of Rome: he does not become Bishop of Rome because he has been chosen to be head of the universal Church. Thus, an election to the papacy is, properly speaking, primarily an election to the local bishopric. The right to elect their bishop has ever belonged to the members of the Roman Church. They possess the prerogative of giving to the universal Church her chief pastor; they do not receive their bishop in virtue of his election by the universal Church. This is not to say that the election should be by popular vote of the Romans. In ecclesiastical affairs it is always for the hierarchy to guide the decisions of the flock. The choice of a bishop belongs to the clergy: it may be confined to the leading members of the clergy. It is so in the Roman Church at present. The electoral college of cardinals exercise their office because they are the chief of the Roman clergy. Should the college of cardinals ever become extinct, the duty of choosing a supreme pastor would fall, not on the bishops assembled in council, but upon the remaining Roman clergy. At the time of the Council of Trent Pius IV, thinking it possible that in the event of his death the council might lay some claim to the right, insisted on this point in a consistorial allocution.
In all things, let there be propriety, discretion and conscientiousness
Thus, if the Sacred College fails to repudiate the malign intentions and resolve the doubts as to the validity of the election, the clergy of the Diocese of Rome have the right to adjudicate the matter. This would include the right to interrogate the parties, whether Cardinal Bergoglio and the other members or co-conspirators in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, or whoever can give testimony to the lack of Catholic Faith among himself or his supporters.
They need only to judge the cases at hand, each of which is sufficient to arrive at a declaration, either in virtue of the papal law UDG 4, that the conclave of 2015 did not conduct a canonically valid election, or that Pope Francis by his personal heresy, manifest in his malign intentions to break from fidelity to Christ regarding any matter whatsoever. In such interrogations, the Cardinals cannot plead that they are bound by the vow of the Conclave, because in judicial proceedings, testimony given in no way violates a vow of secrecy, since the good of the Church is superior to all vows in such matters.
The clergy of the Diocese of Rome includes not only the priests and deacons incardinated, but also the Auxiliary Bishops and all the Archbishops and Bishops and priests and monsignors who are incardinated in the Vatican, which though a separate country in civil law, remain a part of the Diocese of Rome in canon law. In such a trial, Cardinals who are of such an age as not to have participated in the Conclave of 2013 or Consistory of 2015, such as the Pope Emeritus, “Father Benedict” as he now asks to be called, would have a right to participate as judges, as well as all the retired auxiliary bishops and priests and deacons of the Diocese of Rome who are still incardinated in the Diocese.
Thus, it is God who will have the last laugh, because by merely naming new Cardinal-electors an uncanonically elected man can never obtain a fait accompli over the Church of Rome.
* 115 Cardinals participated in the 2013 Conclave. Dr. Ivereigh says that “Team Bergoglio” was comprised of 8 Cardinals (7 who actively participated, 1 who tallied votes promises) and 2 possible co-conspirators, who sought 25 promised votes for the first ballot. One can assume with a high degree of probability, that if they succeeded in this for the first round of voting, as Dr. Ivereigh says, that they continued this practice after the first round, and that therefore, some of the 53 votes garnered later were also promised. All of those Cardinals who vote canvassed or vote promised would have been ipso facto ex-communicated; the seriousness of which charge was recently demonstrated on January 6, 2015, when Cardinal Danneels through is spokesman, explicitly denied vote-canvassing for Cardinal Bergoglio. Hence, the 120+ Cardinal electors to be after Feb. 15th, will be a majority of pro-Bergoglio men, unwilling in all probability of hearing any case regarding the invalidity of his election or judging justly about it.
° Here, one must rightly distinguish and recognize that it is one thing to have sufficient probity to act as if the Roman Pontiff is a heretic or uncanonically elected so as to urge a trial or investigation, quite another to hold that he is such; since the latter requires certitude of evidence in regard to private judgements, and also a forensic act of judgement by a competent authority, in regard to public judgements. This is why it is a very grave and necessary thing to have a resolution of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal by public judgement, because the Church risks not only the deprivation of the rights of all the faithful to having a legitimate successor to St. Peter, but also a schism between adherents of an apparently false candidate and those who insist upon a legitimate one.