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NOTA BENE:  The interview has now been debunked as a complete fraud as regards its principle claim:

Hence, Benedict’s tacit consent remains standing. He is has refused to admit that his resignation was valid. I say, “refused”, because the object of the interview was to make him say that, but there is no quote to that effect, other than in the Vatican News Article yesterday about the interview. Therefore, one can reasonably conclude that Benedict refused to make such a reply and what reply he did make they refused to publish.

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Why it’s dogmatically impossible that Bergoglio be the Successor of Saint Peter

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

When we think or talk about the Papacy, as Catholics, we often use several words interchangeably: the Pope, the Papacy, the Bishop of Rome, the Roman Pontiff and the Successor of Saint Peter.

And in the controversies over Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation, we see all these terms used. For example, in the Act of Renunciation, Benedict signs the document, Pope Benedict. He says, therein (according to my English translation of the Latin original) that:

I declare in full liberty, that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, committed to me …

In the Catholic Church, these terms have a specific meaning:

The Bishop of Rome:  The one who holds jurisdiction as Bishop over the Diocese of Rome.

Successor of Saint Peter:  The one who succeeds to the Primacy of Saint Peter.

The Roman Pontiff: The Bishop of Rome.

The Pope: All of the above, in one sense or another, generally, but more correctly formally in regard to the Successor of Saint Peter.

Because, theoretically, the Pope could establish his primatial see in another place and assign someone to rule the Diocese of Rome with proper not delegated authority. — Indeed, the Cardinal Vicar of Rome already has this authority in the Italian Territory of the Diocese, that is, a delegated authority to act as the Bishop, though some voices at Rome insist that its a proper not a delegated authority, inasmuch as it does not require recourse to the Roman Pontiff for normal affairs.

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The reason why I write, however, is more pointed than discussing these terms for the Pope. While I have proven that Pope Benedict did not renounce the petrine munus — and while His Holiness has not chosen to contest the 39 arguments I marshaled to prove that — there are still some who think, that since the Pope is Christ’s Vicar, he has the authority to renounce the Papal Office in the Ministry and thus that Bergoglio is truly the Pope, Roman Pontiff, the Successor of Saint Peter, not just a Bishop of Rome.

This, however, is not just canonically impossible, it’s dogmatically impossible, since it violates the very Will of Christ, as the Church defines that Will to regard the Papal office.  And here is the proof:

There is more to the Papal Office than a Ministry!

Pope Benedict XVI still lives and when he did renounce on Feb. 11, 2013, he renounced only the “ministry which I received from the hands of the Cardinals.”

Therefore, since the office of the Papacy includes the grace not to fail in the Faith and the vocation to love and follow Christ, and the duty or charge from Christ to Saint Peter confirm his brethren and feed His sheep, there is a lot more to the Papal Office than merely the ministry which the pope elect receives from the hands of the Cardinals.

The problem is that the Pope does not receive His office from the Cardinals! — Yes, canonically, they have the authority to elect him, inasmuch as they are the chief clergy of the Church of Rome, but they do not confer that office upon him.  For as Vatican I infallible teaches:

Docemus itaque et declaramus, iuxta Evangelii testimonia primatum iurisdictionis in universam Dei Ecclesiam immediate ct directe beato Petro Apostolo promissum atque collatum a Christo Domino fuisse. (Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, c. 1, 1)

Which in English is:

And thus We teach and We do declare, in accord with the testimonies of the Gospel, that a primacy of jurisdiction over all the Church of God was immediately and directly promised and conferred by Christ, the Lord, upon Blessed Peter, the Apostle. (my translation)

And further on, in Chapter II, the same Vatican I teaches:

Unde quicumque in hac Cathedra Petro succedit, is secundum Christi ipsius institutionem primatum Petri in universam Ecclesiam obtinet. (Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, ch. 2, 3)

Which in English is

Wherefore, whosoever succeeds Peter in this Cathedra, he obtains according to the institution of Christ Himself the primacy of Peter over all the Church.

The import of these 2 infallible teachings of Vatican I, is that the man who is elected as the Pope, receives his office immediately and directly from Christ inasmuch as he succeeds to the Cathedra, or Teaching Office, of Saint Peter.

Succession in the Cathedra vs. Delegation of Office

Herein is the problem with Bergoglio’s claim to power and authority. Yes, he was elected by the Cardinals, but no, Benedict had not yet renounced the Petrine Munus, at the time of his election.

Now according to canon 145 §1, the munus is the ecclesiastical office:

Can. 145 — § 1. Officium ecclesiasticum est quodlibet munus ordinatione sive divina sive ecclesiastica stabiliter constitutum in finem spiritualem exercendum.

Which in English, is:

Canon 145 — §1. An ecclesiastical office is any munus constituted stably either by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance, to be exercised for a spiritual end.

And according to the Code of Canon Law of Pope John Paul II, which we have quoted, the Papal Office is likewise a munus; this is established in law by Three canons:

Canon 331  Ecclesiae Romanae Episcopus, in quo permanet munus a Domino singulariter Petro, primo Apostolorum, concessum et successoribus eius transmittendum, Collegii Episcoporum est caput, Vicarius Christi atque universae Ecclesiae his in terris Pastor; qui ideo vi muneris sui suprema, plena, immediata et universali in Ecclesia gaudet ordinaria potestate, quam semper libere exercere valet.

Canon 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.

Can. 749 — § 1. Infallibiitate in magisterio, vi muneris sui gaudet Summus Pontifex quando ut supremus omnium christifidelium Pastor et Doctor, cuius est fratres suos in fide confirmare, doctrinam de fide vel de moribus tenendam definitivo actus proclamat.

Hence it is, that if a Pope does NOT renounce his munus, he retains it. And if he retains it, anyone who follows him as “pope” or “Bishop of Rome” while he still lives, cannot succeed to the Petrine Munus, the Papal Office, and hence only has a delegated authority.

It is delegated, because it is NOT received directly and immediately from Christ, but rather indirectly and through the intermediary of the Pope, who has not resigned his Petrine Munus.

Therefore, since as Vatican I teaches, the Roman Pontiff or Pope receives his office immediately and directly in Peter, inasmuch as he is the successor of Saint Peter’s Cathedra, or teaching office, Bergoglio cannot be the successor of Saint Peter, since someone else — namely Benedict — not only still occupies the Chair but stands in authority between Christ and Bergoglio as the grantor of his office, whatever it be.

Pope Benedict further indicates this by calling the one to be elected by the Conclave to be convened the new Supreme Pontiff, and not the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, or the Successor of Saint Peter! — Note the precision of terminology!  (For the complete text of the Renunciation see here.)

Hence, it’s now clear, that not only did Pope Benedict not resign the Papal Office and the Petrine Munus, but that it is dogmatically impossible that Bergoglio

  1. succeeded to the Office of Saint Peter’s Cathedra,
  2. became by his election the Successor to Saint Peter,
  3. is the Supreme Pontiff in the Catholic and traditional sense of that term, because Benedict remains such;
  4. enjoys the grace of infallibility and the vocation to follow and love the Lord,which are attached to the Office of St. Peter;
  5. exercises a proper office — not one at the good pleasure of Benedict — which is a charge or duty to feed Christ’s sheep and confirm his brethren — in a conceded Petrine Ministry, which he cannot possibly execute or fulfill without the other aspects of the Papal Office which Benedict by his faulty act and intention never relinquished.

These conclusions are confirmed by the teaching of Timothy Zaplena, De Ecclesia Christi, 1: Pars Apologetica, Gregorian University, 4th ed., p. 256, where he writes, commenting on the teaching of Vatican I on the Papal Primacy:

Ut vero aliquis sit successor Petri in primatu, non requiritur ut hic potestatem iurisdictionis accipiat ab ipso Petro, sed sufficit ut eidem succedat ex voluntate Christi in omnia iura primatialia.

Which in English is:

However, that any man be the successor of Saint Peter in the primacy, there is not required that he accept this power from Peter himself, but it suffices that he succeed the same (Peter) out of the Will of Christ in all primatial rights.

Hence, since Pope Benedict did not renounce all the primatial rights (i.e. the munus, the dignitas, the onus, the papacy, the grace and the vocation etc.), it follows that it is impossible dogmatically that Bergoglio be the Successor to Saint Peter, in the way Christ willed that succession to take place!

As an addendum, since the Pope is named in the Canon of the Mass because he is the Successor of Saint Peter, not because he exercises the Petrine Ministry or is the Bishop Rome — because the Office of Peter is the touchstone of unity and orthodoxy in the Church — it follows that it is not only canonically but dogmatically illicit to name Pope Francis in the Canon of the Mass, where the name of the pope is customarily enunciated.

 

Barnhardt’s 2nd Video and the other Meaning of Benedict’s Tacit Consent

Yesterday, Ann Barhnhardt posted her second Magisterial Study of Pope Benedict’s Invalid Resignation and the theological currents behind it. See here. You have to listen to this entire video to understand anything about what is going on in the Vatican today.*

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*There is only one small factual error in what Mrs. Barnhardt says in this video, namely, when she says that all the vernacular translations of Benedict’s Act of Renunciation were made from the Italian translation, that is not true, the German is unique, as I have shown previously.

Considerations

It’s rationally impossible to exclude, after Barnhardt’s marshalling of evidence, that Pope Benedict did not have a vicious and malign intention in renouncing only the Petrine Ministry, and not simply a substantial error of saying ministerium instead of munus.

This being the case, I can now offer a reasonable explanation of Why the Pope did NOT contest ANY of the 39 arguments I sent him?, which argue his resignation of ministerium did not effect a resignation of munus:  The surprising answer is that Benedict acknowledges that it was NEVER his intention to resign the petrine munus, and was in fact his intention to resign only the petrine ministerium.  — If you recall, in my Scholastic Question, which I sent him, I openly stated that I did not dispute the act effected a renunciation of ministerium.

There are 2 conclusions from this inference, which I say has sound probability on the basis of the 55 year history of Joseph Ratzinger in the speculations regarding transforming the papacy.

The first is that, if asked, Pope Benedict will admit openly and candidly before witnesses that he retains the Petrine Munus.  He will however, on account of his error, say he does not hold the Petrine Office or the Papacy.  This will seem to be an illogical self-contradiction, since it does not accord with the Latin text of Canon 145 §1: but in the Germanic School of theology to which Ratzinger belongs, the office of the Papacy is conceived as pertaining to the Petrine Ministry, that is, the active exercise of grace and vocation.

The second conclusion is, that every Catholic who accepts the teaching of Vatican I, will see that there are now 2 reasons for the renunciation of Benedict being null and void:*  namely, not only substantial error, but malign intention.  The malign intention (dolus) being to split the Papal Office.  Both causes are causes of  the act being null and void in canon 188.*

If these 2 considerations are true, then it will be difficult to understand from speaking with Benedict at any time, for a direct answer which indicates the renunciation was invalid to effect his no longer being the Pope.

The solution of the problem, therefore, must come solely from a canonical analysis, because neither as a private theologian, Joseph Ratzinger, nor as the Pope, does he have any authority to split the Papal Office from the Papal Ministry, nor to ascribe the office of the Papacy to the one who has the Papal Ministry, but not the Papal Munus.

Finally, I wish to praise Mrs. Barnhardt for her correct theological and moral characterization of those who have contested that the renunciation was invalid, arguing instead with a faulty notion of “universal acceptance”, as “demonic”, “satanic” and “free-masonic”.

For the Good of the Church, I will close by calling on all the Cardinals, Bishops, Clergy, Religious and Laity, especially of the Roman Church, to return to the norm of Canon 332 §2 and recognize that

  1. Pope Benedict is still the Pope, Bergoglio was never the Pope.
  2. His renunciation of ministry effects nothing in Canon Law.
  3. He is theologically confused as regards holding that the Papal Office is constituted by the one who exercises the Petrine Ministry, not the One who holds the Petrine Munus.
  4. His deliberate intention to renounce only the Petrine Ministry was morally reprehensible and should be reprehended.
  5. Anyone who speaks with Pope Benedict must resort to correcting him, because he not only committed a juridical error, but also a moral error, in renouncing only the Petrine Ministry.

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* Barnhardt and myself, as well as nearly all the other commentators on this controversy, have been saying that Benedict’s resignation was invalid. The correct Canonical phrase, however, is that Benedict never renounced the Papal Office. Because, Benedict resigned nothing, in that he never used the verb resign.  (The English translation of Canon 332 §2 has “resign” in the place of the Latin “renounce”.)  Also, Canon 188 does not declare acts of renunciation invalid, it declares them “irrita“, that is, not properly done, or in other words, never done at all.

Can. 188Renuntiatio ex metu gravi, iniuste incusso, dolo vel errore substantiali aut simoniace facta, ipso iure irrita est.

The importance of the distinction in Canon Law regarding juridical acts which are invalid and juridical acts which are irrita is that, if a juridical act of the pope be in question, since one cannot dispute the legitimacy of papal acts, you cannot judge them valid or invalid. But if they were never done, never existed, that is, if they were irriti, then they never happened. And it’s no sin or crime, but true justice to say that they are such.

 

 

Pope Benedict has tacitly accepted that his resignation was canonically invalid

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On January 30, 2019, Pope Benedict received at the Vatican, through the hands of Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the canonical brief I sent him demonstrating conclusively that the act contained in the declaration, Non Solum Propter, of Feb. 11, 2013 was not in conformity with the term of Canon 332 §2, which requires the renunciation of munus for a valid Papal resignation, and that therefore he remains the sole valid Roman Pontiff.

In my letter to the Archbishop, I indicated how the Holy Father could contact me in response to the brief. One Hundred and Sixty Days have passed without any objection to the arguments presented.

According to the norms of the Vatican itself, if no objection is made to a canonical assertion after 90 days, tacit consent is indicated.

Here is the proof of delivery, via FedEx: Shipping Slip

Here is the text which I sent: in PDF*

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* The PDF contains the same canonical arguments, only slight differences in its introduction. Also, in April of this year, I sent to the Holy Father, by regular mail, the same brief, but containing the Ad Obj. 16-19, which I added after January of 2019.