A Nonsensical Act: What the Latin of the Renunciation really says

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Let us read Non solum propter
according to the rules of Latin grammar

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In my previous article, Pope Benedict’s Forced Abdication, I spoke of the evidence which seems to indicate that Pope Benedict’s resignation was demanded and that the text of Renunciation was hurriedly prepared, which left it full of errors: at the end of which, I promised to examine the text and expose these errors. I did this yesterday in my article entitled, Clamourous Errors in the Latin of the Renunciation, wherein I detailed and identified more than 40 grammatical and canonical errors in the text.

Now, I will fulfill the promise I made yesterday to give an English translation of what the Latin really does say, rather than what most translators (including myself here) attempt to make it say, to make it intelligible. So, I warn my readers, what follows is a discourse, written by someone with scarce knowledge of Latin, and thus, that the English translation will appear to be a poor translation, when it is in fact an exact rendering of the sloppy and erroneous Latin.

Since I am a published translator, however, I will try to give the document the best possible English syntax within the rules of Latin grammar, without however altering the Latin signification.

The Translation

Not solely for the sake of three acts of canonization, have I convoked you towards this Consistory, but also to communicate on behalf of the life of the Church your act of decision-making of great importance. Having scouted out my conscience again and again before God, I have arrived at certain cognition — my strengths by my worsening age are no longer apt — to administer the Munus petrinum equitably. I am well conscious that this Munus according to his spiritual essence ought to be pursued not only by doing and speaking, but no less by suffering and by praying. Yet, however, in the world of our season, subjected to hasty acts of change, and perturbed by questions of great value on behalf of the life of faith, a certain vigor of body and soul is necessary to steer the Barque of Saint Peter and the Gospel to announce, which (strength) in me in these furthest months is lessening in such a manner, that to well administer the ministry committed to me, I ought to acknowledge my incapacity. On which account, well conscious of the weight of this act I declare in full liberty, that I renounce the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Saint Peter, committed to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th of April, 2005, to vacate from the 28th of February, at 20:00 hours, Rome time, the See of Saint Peter, and that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those who are competent.

Dearest Brothers: from my whole heart you I thank for all your physical love and the work, by which you bore with me the weight of my ministry and I ask pardon for all my failings. Moreover, now We completely trust the Holy Church of God to the care of the Most High Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and We implore His holy Mother, Mary, to assist with Her maternal goodness, the Cardinal fathers in electing a new supreme pontiff. As far as regards myself, may I also wish to serve with my whole heart in a future by a life dedicated to prayer for Holy Mother Church.

DISCUSSION

The Act is confused by switching between the first person singular and plural. It is signed with the name of the We, the Pope, but most of it is said by the I, who is Ratzinger. It contains the glaring errors which render the act canonically nullus (null), namely, it is a declaration of the man, Ratzinger, that he is going to renounce on Feb 28. But he never did renounce on that day.

It is also canonically, invalid, because it refers to a renunciation, never made, of the ministry received from the Cardinals. But what is that. That is canonically nothing, since a ministry flows from an office, or if it does not flow from an office, it is like being a lector or acolyte. Neither of which is the Papal Office.

It is also canonically, irritus, that is improperly manifested, because what on earth does it say and mean and why is the man who is the Pope saying that which has no effect in Canon Law?

It is also a nonsensical act of declaration by the man, Ratzinger, that a Conclave must be called. And that he is going to renounce to make the chair of Peter vacant or go on vacation (the Latin is ambiguous). Why add the consequences or intent of the act of renunciation, which is going to be made, but which was never made, UNLESS there is some doubt that the act you are making will cause the Chair of Peter to be vacant and necessitate a Conclave?

The Latin text obviously was NEVER shown to a Latinist who had the authority and opportunity to correct it. The Latin text was also obviously never shown to a canonist, who had the authority and opportunity to correct it.

I think it is safe to presume, therefore, that the text was never shown to anyone to be recognized according to the norm of Canon 40 nor acted upon according to the norm of Canon 41. For Canon 40 requires that all subordinates determine whether the written administrative act of their superior is authentic and complete. And this act is so rife with errors one can doubt a Pope wrote it, seeing that he has dozens of experts to help him write his acts. On that basis, one should have asked if he was handed this act and forced to sign and read it! Also, on account of Canon 41, since it is an actus nullus, one has no obligation to put it into effect, and if he does put it into effect he is guilty of the usurpation of power; likewise, by the same Canon, every subordinate is obliged to omit its execution until he confers with the superior who posited it regarding the inopportune commands contained in it, such as seeming to call for a Conclave when you have not yet renounced the Papal office.

Finally, if the act meant something, it meant that on Feb 28, 2013, the Pope was going to renounce the Petrine Ministry. Since the Pope never did that at that hour, it does not even effect a renunciation of ministry!

Thus, Pope Benedict XV remains the only true Pope with all his rights an privileges as before Feb 11, 2013. This act will go down in history as an embarrassment to the papacy. That the Cardinals pretend nothing was or is wrong with it, either means that they certainly are not competent to elect a Roman Pontiff, or that they were complicit in forcing his resignation. Both may explain the ‘what’ they have not been doing since Feb. 11, 2013.

 

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio was a supreme failure of the College of Cardinals

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)

Rome, March 13, 2015:  Two years ago, this afternoon, the College of Cardinals elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff.

A Failure in Law

I will omit, here, a long repetition of that which I have blogged about for 3 1/2 months, namely, that there are very grave and probative reasons and facts regarding the validity of that election, and this for 3 reasons:

  1. Cardinal Bergoglio was elected on the 5th ballot in the afternoon, in violation of the Papal Law, Universi Dominici Gregis, which allows only 4 ballots per day.  The facts were the subject of Antontio Socci’s bestselling book, Non è Francesco, and the crucial arguments were discussed here.  The facts have never been denied, the reasonings in law for the validity, require a rewriting of 2 sections of the papal law; the reasonings against the validity require no change in the law. That makes the argument against the validity more probable both in law and in testimony.
  2. Cardinal Bergoglio’s candidacy was promoted by a violation of UGD 81, which forbids any and all agreements among Cardinal electors as to whom they are going to vote for, such as any campaigning or promises of votes which is consequent upon canvassing for votes.  The facts were presented by various sources, but summarized and brought to clear relief by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, specifically in chapter 9 of the same, where he names the conspirators, “Team Bergoglio”.  The blog you are reading, From Rome, has made it the point to cover this story from the beginning; you can read all about it in our Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”.  The consequences of the violation are the invalidation of the election, and this in virtue of the Code of Canon law.  See the discussion here. Note that today Vatican Radio reports that Pope has himself confirmed that he was elected by a 2/3 majority (here), which puts validity in gravest doubt.
  3. Cardinal Bergoglio before his nomination to Cardinal, and after, was notorious for giving communion to those in public sin and for instructing others to do the same.  The allegations are confirmed by Sandro Magister. The consequence is that in virtue of the Papal Law, Cum ex apostolatus officio, of Pope Paul IV, he could not validly be elected Roman Pontiff.  This argument is explained in the petition to the College of Cardinals. The validity in law of the Papal Law of Paul IV, has been discussed here and here.

A Failure in Prudence

But, moreso, the election of Cardinal Bergoglio by the College was a supreme failure of human prudence.  Because, it is not prudent to elect quickly and without reflection someone who merely claims to be in favor of solving problems.  One must look to his life and deeds, and that requires reflection.  It is obvious to everyone in the Church, that if you spoke with Jorge Mario Bergoglio for 15 minutes, you could easily detect that he is not suitable for the office — that is, if you have any supernatural prudence at all, a prudence founded on an immaculate faith and resolute virtue.

I pity the man whom the Church’s Cardinals and Bishops regard as the Pope: it was a horrible sin against fraternal charity to promote to the office of Pope, a man whose entire career, from all accounts, has been obsessed with having and holding on to power.  If any of the Cardinals had any question, in conclave, they could have certainly spoken to Cardinal Sandri, who was well acquainted with Cardinal Bergoglio’s failings.

I really do not see how the College of Cardinals was so possessed to elect such a man.  But I feared that they had lost all sense, when during the general congregations for the Conclave, on March 7, the Cardinal Dean read out a message of condolence for the death of the dictator of Venezuela.*

It seems, from the continued silence of the College to so many scandals which have occurred on account of their choice, that that sense, after March 13, 2013, has not yet returned.

________________________

* Disturbing, too, was the fact that the first twitter user to recognize the newly elected Cardinal by face, that afternoon, was a male-prostitute.

Canon 171 can invalidate a Papal Election

So Says noted Canonist, Jesús Miñambres

Rome — January 5, 2015:  In previous reports made by the From Rome blog, we have speculated (here & here) that the actions alleged by Dr. Austen Ivereigh as done by the group of Cardinals who promoted the candidacy of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave might well fall under those penalized by the papal law on elections, Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81 (hereafter UDG 81, cf. canon 1329 which expands its penalties for accomplices), and thus render the election invalid on account of the stipulations of canon 171 §1 & §2.

Now, we can report that the noted canonist, Fr. Jesús Miñambres, JCD — currently an Professor in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, in Rome; and consultor for the Congregation for the Clergy — in his published commentary on the papal law, entitled, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica Universi dominici gregis”, supports this canonical possibility.  We cite his commentary as cited in the Italian text of Geraldina Boni, herself a canonist, presented by Sandro Magister at Espresso Online:

«N. 68 La prescrizione di questo numero è più esigente della norma generale applicabile ad ogni elezione canonica (cf. can. 173 § 3 CIC e can. 955 § 3 CCEO), per quanto il numero delle schede potrebbe non corrispondere a quello degli elettori sia per eccesso che per difetto. Pare escludersi in questo modo la possibilità dell’astensione […]. La norma del numero seguente prevede, però, un caso nel quale, dopo un primo conteggio che sembra regolare, il ritrovamento di una quantità maggiore di schede riguardo a quella degli elettori al momento dello spoglio non annulla la votazione.

«N. 69. La nullità di uno o più voti non rende invalida l’elezione, giacché al momento dello spoglio non è più in gioco la validità della votazione ma soltanto quella dei singoli voti; il caso delle due schede piegate in modo strano non è che un’esemplificazione. Infatti, in mancanza di regolamentazione più precisa è applicabile anche all’elezione del romano pontefice il principio generale per le elezioni canoniche stabilito dal CIC: i requisiti di validità del voto vengono elencati nel can. 172 CIC, mentre quelli riguardanti la validità dell’elezione sono ripresi nei cann. 166 § 3, 169 e 170. Il can. 171 § 2 stabilisce l’unica fattispecie in cui la nullità di un voto fa invalidare l’elezione, quando uno dei votanti fosse inabile a norma del § 1 dello stesso canone e, tolto quel voto, l’eletto non avesse riportato il numero di preferenze richiesto» (7).

Our unofficial English translation of which is as follows:

N. 68.  The prescription of UDG 68 is more exacting than the general norm applicable to every canonical election (cf. canon 173 § 3 of the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983 and canon 955 § 3 of the Codex for the Oriental Churches), inasmuch as the number of ballots might not correspond to that of the electors whether by excess or deficiency.  In this manner, it seems to exclude the possibility that an elector might abstain from voting … The norm of this number provides, however, for the case in which after a first count which appears regular, that the finding of a greater quantity of ballots than the number of electors, at the moment of the emptying of the box, does not invalidate the votation.

N. 69.  The nullity of one or more vote-ballots does not render the election invalid, since at the moment of the emptying of the ballot box the validity of the election is not put in question, but only that of the individual votes; the case of two vote-ballots folded in a strange manner is not an exception.  In fact, in absence of a more precise regulation there is applicable even to the election of the Roman Pontiff the general principle for canonical elections established by the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983:  the requirements for validity for a vote are listed in canon 172, while those regarding the validity of the election are cited in canons 166 §3, 169 and 170.  Canon 171 §2 establishes the unique fatispecie under which the nullity of a vote causes the invalidity of the election, when one of the voters might be incapable according to the norm of §1 of the same canon, and with his vote removed, the elected would not have obtained the number required for election (7).

The footnote (7) in Geraldina Boni’s text reads as follows:

(7) Jesús Miñambres, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica ‘Universi dominici gregis'”, in Legislazione sull’organizzazione centrale della Chiesa, a cura di Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Javier Canosa, Jesús Miñambres, Giuffrè, Milano, 1997, pp. 79-81; nello stesso senso Mario Francesco Pompedda, “Commento alla ‘Constitutio Apostolica'”, cit., p. 354.

It is precisely this possibility which the From Rome blog has averred to from the start, which establishes the validity of our analysis from the beginning.

The “Team Bergoglio” Scandal

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, venerated for centuries at Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

The From Rome blog wishes A blessed and Holy Christmas to all its readers!

Christmas remains the Primordial Feast which established the Catholic Church
as a holy and just family:
For this reason, there is no greater sacrilege to the Church than a scandal which touches Her unity
and adhesion to the visible point of Her unity, the Roman Papacy.
Hence, the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” is something every Catholic in the world, this day,
should learn more about, and demand answers from the Hierarchy.

Rome — Dec. 25, 2014: Since the scandal regarding Team Bergoglio broke, the From Rome blog has assiduously followed the news and studied what the consequences have been.  On that account more than 25,000 visitors from more than 120 countries have visited this blog to find the news that was not being summarized or published elsewhere.

“Team Bergoglio” is the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman to His Eminence, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ex-Archbishop of Westminster, England, to the group of Cardinals who campaigned for Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave.

The Scandalous consequences of the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, can be summed up thus: Dr. Ivereigh has written a book alleging as many as 30 cardinals did that which is apparently a violation of the papal law on conclaves, on which account they would be ipso facto excommunicated, Cardinal Bergoglio included, and the election of the latter by 2013 Conclave be null and void and of no effect. — As of this date, no substantial denial has been made by anyone of the accused, and Dr. Ivereigh has not substantially withdrawn, changed, or altered what he wrote.

To continue to assist Catholics and journalists world-wide who wish to know more about this scandal, we present here a summary and links through which readers can grasp the basic and detailed facts of the case which has arisen.

First, our article, The Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”, contains the master-list of all the news reports of note and blog posts, videos, audios, tweets, etc. which regard crucial information or analysis of the story: this list is in Chronological order according to the date the information was published or presented.

But since the Chronology has already grown to 8 pages in length, for those wishing to grasp the facts, we suggest the following articles:

  1. The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of Radical Pope, which explains just what Dr. Austen Ivereigh has written in his new book, of the same title, about who did what before and during the Conclave of 2013.
  2. The Improbity of the denials by “Team Bergoglio”, which explains just what some of the Cardinals, alleged by Ivereigh to have engaged in vote-canvassing, have and have not denied. An analysis which shows the probability that Cardinal Bergoglio consented to and/or organized the effort.
  3. The Monstrosity of Allegations against “Team Bergoglio” = Cardinal Bergoglio is not the pope, which explains the canonical consequences of the violation of the Papal law on conclaves, which Ivereigh’s text apparently convicts Cardinal Bergoglio of.
  4. 4 Ways the “Team Bergoglio” revelations undo Francis’ Papacy, which is an editorial explaining the grave implications for the Church stemming from the scandal, be it true or not.
  5. No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!, which rebuts the gross indifference of 1 Cardinal of the Roman Church to the scandal and pointedly indicates the grave Crisis into which the Catholic Church has been placed by the undenied allegations.

The other articles which reports facts of lesser interest, though important of themselves, can be found in the Chronology article link above.

Antonio Socci speaks on “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Antonio Socci

Antonio Socci

Rome — Dec. 21, 2014:  Antonio Socci, noted Italian journalist and author of the book, Non è Francesco (a best-seller in Italy, which details the events and facts which he believes invalidate the renunciation made by Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio), spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in an editorial published today in the Italian newspaper, Libero (republished on his FaceBook page; reprinted on his blog, Lo Straniero, i. e. The Outsider).

Here is our unofficial English translation of the first part of that blog-post, entitled, Abbattere tutti i muri? Va bene, Papa Bergoglio, cominciamo a spazzar via il “Muro di Silenzio” della Sistina, facendo emergere la verità sul Conclave….  A full translation in the German Language is available from Kirche & Realitat!

_ _ _

Tearing down walls? Ok, Pope Bergoglio: let’s begin to do away with the “Wall of Silence” in the Sistine Chapel, to reveal the truth of the Conclave

Dec. 21:  It was Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, thirty years ago, who proposed the abolition of the secrecy of the Conclave, by which the Cardinal-princes are obliged under oath regarding the election which takes place in the Sistine Chapel.  He proposed this because that norm — far from standing guard over the sacred — risked (and risks) becoming a cover for profane things (the Cardinal adjoined, then, in the ’80’s, that one should pray very much for the Conclaves of the future so that no external influence of any sect might intervene therein).

It is paradoxical that a proposal so innovative and democratic would be advanced by a prelate who was considered to be the leader of the “Conservatives”.  And that in the 30 years since no prelate, considered to be “progressive”, has taken it up and made it his own.

TRANSPARENCY

Today, if Pope Bergoglio were to take it up, that is, abolish the secrecy, he’d have the ability to demonstrate with deeds how much he is truly desirous of transparency and openness in the life of the Church, by liberating Her from obsolete prohibitions.

Will the Pope who has come to be hailed as “revolutionary”, be less an innovator than a “conservative” Cardinal? Will he wish to bolster the “wall of the Sistine Chapel”, after having asked the entire world to tear down all walls (in Cuba and elsewhere)?

Besides, Pope Bergoglio is sounding out every day against those modern “scribes and pharisees” who want to mummify all the old rules and old laws and prohibitions, by opposing change, transparency and openness to the world.

Let’s see if his words are followed with deeds, at least in regard to these norms which are entirely capable of modification, because they are ecclesiastical laws (while not even a Pope could modify the matters discussed in the recent Synod, because they pertain to the Word of God; though they were put into discussion by the Modernist faction).

One feels particularly the necessity of knocking down this “Sistine wall” — and this with urgency — above all in regard to the Conclave of 2013, concerning which rumors and questions grow daily instead of passing away.

THE MYSTERY OF 2013

As the case, which has broken out in England, shows — and from there it has leaped to America and Italy — in regard to the revelations of Austen Ivereigh in his book, “The Great Reformer”.

The book, a biography about Bergoglio, in an entirely positive light as regards the Argentine pope, contains some lines which skin him alive.  One has to remember that Ivereigh is not the last man to arrive at the party, he was the spokesman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and has held positions of trust in Catholic Media in England.

He, thus, speaks of the existence of a “Team Bergoglio”, made up, precisely, of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Kasper, Danneels and Lehmann to promote the Argentine prelate to the papacy.  The work, which is to have begun after the renunciation of Benedict XVI, would have had the consent of Bergoglio himself.  A canonical case arises from this, because there are those who have sustained that all of this might put into doubt the validity of the election on March 13th.  There have followed polemics, precisions and denials which have co-involved even Fr. Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman.

In my opinion, the facts cited in the book by the Englishman do not put into discussion, per se, the legitimacy of the election.

Nevertheless, they cause to be revealed that there is something of a battle which was engaged in behind the 5 ballots in the 2013 Conclave (from the renunciation of Benedict to the election of Bergoglio) and who were the protagonists of that.

But it makes one recall a similar controversy which broke out.  Perhaps this is only the tip of an iceberg? Are there any other secrets? Among the various rumors and speculations, for example, remains the as-of-yet unexplained delay of Pope Bergoglio’s salute from the Loggia of St. Peter’s.

———————–

In the other half of the essay (not translated here), Socci speaks of other anomalies in the 2013 Conclave and the non-reaction to his book.

Socci’s entire piece was republished by Libero’s blog, on Dec. 22, 2014.

For a complete Chronology of reports and videos regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see click here. That the allegations of Ivereigh are substantial and have grave canonical consequences has been explained here, here and here and here.

No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!

peter

And She has not been such, since that December in Bethlehem!

AN EDITORIAL ON THE TEAM BERGOGLIO SCANDAL

I had the unique privilege and honor, today, to exchange some tweets with a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.  Our “conversation” arose in regard to the scandalous allegations and incomplete denials of the account given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former personal secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope.

His eminence is taking the news of the scandal very lightly, indeed.  He appears to be of the opinion that the problem is not so much in what Dr. Ivereigh has alleged, but in the way simple Catholics the world-over are reacting to those allegations and their very impartial denials.

I tried my best, to appeal to the simple logic and delicate reason of my interlocutor, thus:

If Mr. Q is accused of doing X, Y and Z; and in response, he says, “I want no misunderstandings to arise: I did not do Z”, that he has admitted, thereby, that he has done X and Y.

In response, his Eminence replied:

Have the feeling we won’t agree on this one…what you need to do is to support the Pope in carrying his heavy burden.

As you may know (if you don’t, then click the 2 previous links in this article), Dr. Ivereigh has alleged that as many as 30 Cardinals in the days before the Conclave of 2013, conspired to fix the election procedure by making the first vote in the Conclave give precedence to the candidacy of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

In response, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, have not denied the substance or extent of the allegations only 2 minor details.

The resulting agreement of the 4 Cardinals and Dr. Ivereigh regarding all the other details is giving rise in the minds of many Catholics to a valid doubt regarding the legitimacy of Cardinal Bergoglio’s claim to the papacy.

Thus, I confess myself, not a little shocked at the Cardinal’s reply regarding Mr. Q.  And thus, wish to publicly state, for the record, my own opinion regarding the affair, and say:

No, your Eminence: the Church is not a tyranny!

The unity of the Church, being founded by Christ in the person of St. Peter and His successors, cannot NOT be injured greatly by the allegations of a violation of paragraph 81 of the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, regarding Papal elections.

This is because, the Sacred College of Cardinals, in its right by positive and customary law to elect the Roman Pontiff, is the crucial link binding the person elected as Pope with the entire Church, in Her duty to recognize the validity of his election.  And, that Sacred College, as stated in the papal law, must elect the Roman Pontiff in according within the terms of that law.  Moreover Canon Law itself, which the papal Law does not abrogate, specifies that excommunicated persons cannot validly vote (canon 171 §1)  or be elected to any office (canon 1331).  Thus, if the Sacred College gives the impression that the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh and their implicit confirmation by 4 Cardinals, are of no import, they will err very gravely and put the Church in a serious crisis.

This is because the Church Herself is not required to accept whomsoever the Sacred College chooses.  And this is confirmed by the papal law itself, which states that the election, if it proceed in any manner which violates the terms established, is null and void.  Furthermore, the Church is not required to hold communion with those who have merited excommunication (canon 1331, §2), nor with a candidate who was promoted to victory by means of illegal vote-canvassing (cf. UDG 81 & canon 171 §2).

This fundamental right of the Church is derived from the liberty of the sons of God, given to each member of the Church in Baptism, which constitutes the Church as a holy and perfect society of laws, not a tyranny of ipso facto acts.

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, venerated for centuries at Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

To bring an end to this kind of tyranny of sin, Our Lord was born from the Virgin Mary, at Bethlehem, 2014 years ago! Let us not forget His lovingly gentle call to dispossess ourselves of the idols of mendacity and greed and power, so as to do the will of Our Father, Who is in Heaven.

For this reason, just as the Church which would accept the unlawful election of a successor to St. Peter, would Herself lose the credibility necessary to preach the Gospel, and just as the Church’s essential mission is to preach the Gospel of Bethlehem, which is also the Gospel of the Holy Family; it would result that such a tacit acceptance of a doubtful Pope would contravene the authentic conscience of the Church Herself, and dissolve Her obligation of allegiance to such a candidate.

This is not a novel thesis, but one affirmed by notable theologians regarding the doubts had by Catholics during the Great Schism of the 14th-15th centuries. It is taught by no less than a Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, who said, “A doubtful pope is no pope”; hence, it follows that the Sacred College, in justice now, on account of the incomplete denials by the 4 Cardinals and the absence of all denial by the other 25+ accused Cardinals, address this controversy in Consistory and publicly resolve it for the sake of the unity of the Church.

Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations were made public on Nov. 23, 2014.  The special Consistory called by Pope Francis will meet on February 14-15, 2015.

The silence of the College to such grave accusations, therefore, after that date would be tantamount to the assertion of a tyranny: that the Sacred College was above the papal law, above Canon law, above all law: a tyranny the Catholic Church and the Bishops of the Catholic Church are not obliged to accept.

In all this, the fault is not that of simple Catholics who are stupefied by the scandalous accusations regarding “Team Bergoglio”, the fault is that of a very grave omission of the duty of our sacred Pastors to defend the good name of the Church.  Besides, if the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh are false, there is nothing lost, but only gain to be had by putting the scandal to rest. On the other hand, if they are true, then the Church will be greatly strengthened in Her reputation for transparency and justice in Her own most internal affairs, if Cardinal Bergoglio renounces his claim to the papacy and the Sacred College proceeds to a canonical election.

______________________

For a Chronology of Reports concerning the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, click here.