La validez de la renuncia de Benedicto debe ser cuestionada, Parte II

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Por el Hno. Alexis Bugnolo

En el artículo anterior titulado La validez de la renuncia de Benedicto debe ser cuestionada, Parte I, recité la historia de la controversia sobre la renuncia del Papa Benedicto XVI sobre el tema del error sustancial en la renuncia y luego procedí a explicar más de 20 argumentos en contra de validez.

Aquí, enumeraré los argumentos para la validez, en la medida en que los encuentre y los entienda. Si usted conoce sobre más argumentos, favor de avisarme en la sección de comentarios a continuación. Después de cada argumento a favor de la Validez, publicaré, para conveniencia del lector, el argumento en contra, que se desvía de esta pequeña manera de la forma escolástica adecuada. No hay un orden particular entre los argumentos, pero los más fuertes están al final.

¿Ya sea que el Papa Benedicto XVI, mediante el acto expresado en su discurso “Non solum propter”, renunció a la oficina del Obispo de Roma?

Ad contrarium:

Y parece que lo hizo:

  1. Porque, el Papa Benedicto XVI como Papa está por encima del Derecho Canónico. Por lo tanto, no necesita renunciar según la forma del Canon 332 §2. Por lo tanto, renunció válidamente.

Ad obj. 1: Argumentar que el Papa está por encima de la Ley Canónica, y por lo tanto la renuncia es válida, es un sofismo, que cuando se examina es equivalente a otras 2 proposiciones erróneas, a saber: “El Papa como Papa está por encima de la ley canónica, ergo etc.” y “El Papa como el hombre que está por encima de la ley, ergo etc.”  A la primera, le diré: En primer caso, es verdad que el Papa está por encima del Derecho Canónico. Sin embargo, el Papa, al renunciar a su cargo, no renuncia como Papa, sino como el hombre que es el Papa. Por lo tanto el argumento es praeter rem. Al segundo, digo: es falso decir que el Papa como el hombre que es papa está por encima de la Ley Canónica, porque la mente del Legislador del Código de Derecho Canónico, el Papa Juan Pablo II, en el canon 332 §2, expresamente declara cuándo una renuncia papal es tal y debe considerarse válida. Por lo tanto, si un Papa renunciara de una manera que fuera válida, pero que los Fieles tuvieran que considerar como inválida según la norma de ese Canon, habría caos en la Iglesia. Sin embargo, al interpretar la mente de un legislador, no se puede suponer ninguna tesis que haga que la ley sea defectuosa. Por lo tanto, el Papa Juan Pablo II tuvo la intención de atar al hombre que es papa, en una resignación papal. Por lo tanto, el segundo es falso también.

  1. Porque está claro que el papa Benedicto quiso renunciar. Por lo tanto, él renunció. Por lo tanto, su renuncia es válida.

Ad obj. 2: Argumentar que el Papa quiso renunciar, por lo tanto renunció, es emplear un sofismo que oculta un término medio no distribuido. Porque si el Papa quería renunciar al ministerio del oficio, entonces renunció al ministerium. Pero tal renuncia no se conforma con el Canon 332 §2, ya que el canon no renuncia al munus. Por lo tanto, no es válida. Del mismo modo, si el Papa quería renunciar al munus, entonces NO renunció al munus si es que dijo ministerium. E incluso aunque él creyó haberlo hecho, es inválido, según el canon 332 §2 de acuerdo con el acto, y de acuerdo con el canon 188 debido a un error sustancial.

  1. Debido a que el Papa Benedicto, después de su renuncia, declaró públicamente que renunció válidamente, entonces renunció válidamente.

Ad obj 3: Argumentar que el Papa renunció válidamente porque después de su renuncia declaró públicamente que renunció válidamente, es emplear un subterfugio. Porque en esa declaración pública declara que renunció válidamente al ministerio petrino. Que renunció válidamente al ministerio petrino, no se disputa. Pero si eso es lo que él renunció, entonces no renunció al munus. Por lo tanto, ese acto no efectuó una renuncia al oficio. Por lo tanto, si se afirma que es una renuncia papal válida, la afirmación es falsa según el canon 332 §2.

  1. Porque, el Papa Benedicto, después de su renuncia, declaró públicamente que renunció libremente, por lo tanto renunció.

Ad obj. 4: Es cierto que la libertad en una renuncia es una de las condiciones necesarias para una renuncia papal según el Canon 332 §2, pero no es cierto que sea la única condición. La primera condición es que sea una renuncia de munus. No era. Por lo tanto, este argumento es praeter rem.

  1. Porque el Cardenal Sodano, como Decano del Colegio de Cardenales, al convocar al Colegio, actuó como si fuera válido, por lo tanto, es válido.

Ad obj. 5: No hay un Canon de la Iglesia o una delegación especial del Romano Pontífice que tome la decisión del Cardenal Diácono de llamar a un cónclave eficaz de la validez de una renuncia inválida, o autoritativamente determinante de la validez de una renuncia. Por lo tanto, que lo haya hecho, no prueba nada. No, el canon 332 §2 lo niega expresamente.

  1. Debido a que el Colegio de Cardenales se reunió para elegir un Sucesor del Papa Benedicto, por lo tanto, mediante ese acto declarado o hecho, la renuncia fue válida.

Ad obj. 6: No existe un Canon de la Iglesia o una delegación especial del Romano Pontífice que tome la decisión del Colegio de Cardenales de conciliar o elegir a un Papa, eficaz de la validez de una renuncia inválida, o autoritativamente determinante de la validez de una renuncia. Por lo tanto, que lo hayan hecho, no prueba nada. No, el canon 332 §2 lo niega expresamente.

  1. Porque todo el Colegio de Cardenales después de la renuncia y después del Cónclave de 2013 actúa y sostiene que Jorge Mario Bergoglio es el verdadero y válido Papa.

Ad obj. 7: Respondo lo mismo que para obj. 7.

  1. Porque todo el mundo acepta que Jorge Mario Bergoglio es el Papa Francisco.

Ad obj. 8: El canon 332 §2 al decir, “y no que sea aceptado o no por nadie” en su frase final, lo niega expresamente. Por lo tanto, es falso.

  1. Porque, un católico debe sostener como papa, a quienquiera que los cardenales, o los obispos, o el clero de Roma, sean el papa.

Ad obj. 9: Respondo lo mismo que para obj. 8.

  1. Porque la elección de un Papa por los Cardenales es un hecho dogmático, que todos los católicos deben aceptar.

Ad obj. 10: Si bien es cierto que la elección válida de un Papa por parte de los Cardenales es un hecho dogmático que todos los católicos deben aceptar, no es cierto si la elección no fue válida. Pero una elección no es válida si el Papa anterior aún vive y aún no ha renunciado válidamente. Por lo tanto, esta objeción no es válida, en la medida en que la renuncia sea inválida. Por lo tanto, de su propio ser es insuficiente para probar el punto argumentado.

  1. Debido a que la renuncia del papa Benedicto XVI es un acto papal, que no puede ser cuestionado, según el anexo: prima sedes a nemini iudicatur.

Ad obj. 11: Si bien es cierto que los actos del Romano Pontífice son actos jurídicos que no pueden ser cuestionados, no es verdad que las declaraciones hechas en primera persona por el hombre que es Papa, que son la materia de tales actos o declaraciones, no pueden ser juzgadas. El canon 332 §2 demuestra que tal acto puede ser juzgado ya que el canon juzga tales actos. Que tal materia del acto papal no es un acto del papa como papa, ya se ha demostrado anteriormente.

  1. Porque, un católico con buena conciencia debe suponer que si la renuncia no era válida debido al uso de la palabra ministerium no munus en la frase clave del acto, los Cardenales, de acuerdo con el canon 17, se demostraron a sí mismos que el Santo Padre, El Papa Benedicto renunció lo suficiente al papado, o que celebraron un consejo privado con el para conocer su sentido y significado, momento en el que significó en privado que había renunciado al papado al renunciar al ministerio del papado.

Ad obj. 12: Si bien es cierto que un católico debe estar dispuesto a presumir tal cosa, tal presunción no hace válida una renuncia inválida. No, de acuerdo con el Canon 332 §2, se debe tener en cuenta que la causa final de una renuncia inválida es que no se manifiesta de acuerdo con la norma de la ley (rite manifestatur). Cuya norma requiere un acto público que es un acto presenciado por lo menos con 2 testigos y hecho verbalmente.  Tal acto nunca ha sido publicado. Entonces, incluso si se hiciera, es un acto secreto y no haría una renuncia inválida, válida.

  1. Debido a que el Papa Benedicto dijo: declaro que renuncio al ministerio, …que me fue confiado por medio de los Cardenales, … , asi que la Sede de San Pedro quedará vacante en”, indicó claramente que su renuncia era para efectuar una perdida al oficio (munus). Por lo tanto, su renuncia estuvo de acuerdo con el Canon 332 §2, a pesar de no usar explícitamente la palabra munus, ya que ese Canon requiere su validez. Por los tanto, la renuncia fue válida.

Ad obj. 13: Esta objeción fue refutada en los argumentos de la Primera Parte, pero su complejidad merece una respuesta más completa para aquellas mentes que no pueden entender cómo es inválida. Primero, como se demuestra en la Primera Parte de este Artículo, una renuncia es válida si incluye una renuncia de munus, no es válida si no lo hace. Y de acuerdo con Canon 17, si hay alguna duda sobre si munus está incluido en el Canon 332 §2 como una condición sine qua non o de acuerdo a su significado en un sentido más amplio, uno debe tener recurso a otras partes de del Derecho, la tradición canónica, y a la mente del Legislador (Juan Pablo II) del Código. Como se ha mostrado en otra parte, no hay base para un argumento del canon 17 de que ministerium puede significar munus. Sin embargo, como ministerium es seguido por 2 cláusulas subordinadas, el argumento de que no es válido, debe responder a esa condición. En latín, algunas cláusulas subordinadas pueden alterar el significado de la cláusula principal. Y es cierto que hay una forma poética, en la que parte de una cosa puede sustituir al todo, como cuando en la Misa en el Rito Latino decimos: “Entres a mi casa” para que signifique “Vengas a mi alma”. Sin embargo, con respecto al latín del texto de la renuncia, decir, “que recibí de las manos de los Cardenales” no impone ninguna necesidad de referencia al Ministerio Petrino per se, porque Ratzinger también en ese momento recibió el ministerio Episcopal y Pastoral de la Diócesis de Roma. La segunda cláusula, “asi que la Sede de San Pedro quedará vacante”, se ha demostrado en la Parte I que no requiere ninguna necesidad. Para aquellos que no entienden la gramática latina, esto necesita ser explicado. Porque, en una cláusula subordinada como “asi que … quedará vacante”, la cláusula es una cláusula de propósito del tipo que comienza con la partícula “ut“, y por lo tanto es una cláusula pura de propósito que indica solo una meta. Si la clausula subordinada de propósito hubiera comenzado “de tal manera que” (quomodo) o “de tal manera como para” (in tali modo quod) hubiera sido una cláusula de propósito de tal característica que tuviera el poder de alterar la manera de significado en la clausula primaria, y permitir el uso de significado metonímico, eso es, cuando una parte refiere al todo. Como el Papa Benedicto no dijo nada de ese tipo, esta forma de leer la cláusula subordinada no es posible. Por lo tanto, sigue siendo inválido. Sin embargo, incluso si se tuviera un significado metonímico, sigue siendo inválido según el Canon 332 §2, ya que no se manifestaría debidamente. Porque como si alguien pronunciara los votos matrimoniales diciendo: “Te tomo como mi empanada vienesa” en lugar de decir “Te tomo como mi esposa”, sería necesario recurrir a una interpretación para hacer que la frase signifique tomar una esposa, por lo que en un acto de renuncia, cualquier forma de significado metonímico rendiría inválido el acto porque públicamente no manifiesta la intención debidamente.

  1. En su acto de renuncia, el Papa Benedicto XVI declaró dos cosas. El primero con respecto a su renuncia, el segundo con respecto a la convocación de un cónclave “que un cónclave para elegir a un nuevo Sumo Pontífice sea convocado por aquellos cuyo deber es”. No habría dicho esto si su intención no fuera renunciar a la oficina del papado. Por lo tanto, renunció a la oficina del papado.

Ad obj. 14: Este argumento es una combinación de dos argumentos, uno de los cuales se ha refutado previamente, a saber, aquel que se refiere a su intención, que fue refutado en Ad obj. 2.  Aquí responderé al otro que se refiere al comando papal de convocar un cónclave. Dado que el Papa declaró que se convocaría un cónclave para elegir a un nuevo Romano Pontífice constituye la segunda cláusula independiente de su verbo, “Yo declaro”. Por lo tanto, es lógicamente independiente y no tiene ninguna necesidad en la alteración del significado de la primera cláusula, que se refiere a la renuncia.  Por lo tanto, si la renuncia no se manifiesta debidamente de acuerdo con el Canon 332 §2, que el Papa declara que se debe llamar cónclave es una declaración papal que está totalmente viciada por el error sustancial en su primera declaración. Así, el canon 188 invalida la ejecución de este mando. Esto es especialmente cierto, ya que en la declaración de convocatoria, no requiere que la convocatoria se realice antes o después de que el Papa deje de ser, ni en una fecha específica o incluso durante su vida. Para ver esto más claramente, recuerde el ejemplo de los argumentos en contra de la validez, en donde un papa hipotético declara: “Renuncio a los plátanos para que el 28 de febrero, a las 8 p. M., Hora romana, La Sede esté vacía” y simplemente agregue “y que se convoque un cónclave para elegir un nuevo pontífice romano”. Como se puede ver en esta hipotética, la segunda declaración no hace válida la primera, simplemente continúa con el error sustancial: un error sustancial que también hace que el Cónclave de 2013 y todos los actos de Bergoglio como Papa sean inválidos.

  1. Canon 332 §2 requiere la renuncia del oficio. Pero ministerium también significa oficio. Por lo tanto, cuando el Papa Benedicto renunció al ministerium, renunció al munus.

Ad obj. 15 : Canon 332 §2 lee de la siguiente manera: “Si el Romano Pontífice renunciase a su munus, se requiere para la validez que la renuncia sea libre y se manifieste rite, pero no que sea aceptada por nadie.” Como se puede ver en este Canon, que es el único que se ocupa de las renuncias papales, la condición fundamental es que el Papa renuncie a su “munus“. Ahora, mientras que algunas traducciones modernas lo traducen como oficina (inglés), otras como cargo (español), otras como función (italiano), está claro en el Código de Derecho Canónico que su significado canónico principal es oficio. Esto se puede ver en su uso en los Encabezados del Nuevo Código para los capítulos sobre las Oficinas eclesiásticas. Esto se confirma mediante una cita directa del canon 145 §1, donde cada oficio eclesiástico es llamado un “munus“, no un “ministerium”. Un examen del Código también revela que un ministerium nunca se llama una “oficio”. Ahora, como el Código de Derecho Canónico requiere en el Canon 17, que el Código mismo se lea de acuerdo con la tradición de los textos canónicos, las fuentes del derecho canónico y la mente de su legislador (el Papa Juan Pablo II), estos hechos deberían ser suficientes pruebas para excluir la posibilidad de que “ministerium” se pueda leer como munus. Esto se confirma mediante la comparación del Canon 332 §2 con el canon correspondiente en el Código de Derecho Canónico promulgado bajo el Papa Benedicto XV, donde se habla de un Papa que renuncia, pero no dice a qué renuncia. Es evidente y significativo que el Papa Juan Pablo II en el código de 1983 agregó la palabra “munus” para especificar a qué se debe renunciar para efectuar una renuncia papal. También es evidente que en ese Código de Derecho Canónico “ministerium” se refiere al ejercicio de una oficio. Además, si uno examina todas las renuncias papales anteriores para las cuales hay evidencia textual de la fórmula de renuncia, siempre se encuentran las palabras que significan oficio: onus, munus. No se encuentra ministerium. Los nombres propios para los oficios se encuentran como epicopatus y papatus. O la dignidad que resulta de la oficina se nombra con las palabras honor o dignitas. Así, de acuerdo con el Canon 17, todas las fuentes de interpretación autorizada concluyen sobre 1 resultado: que un Papa solo renuncia cuando renuncia al munus, al oficio, no a la ejecución del oficio, ministerium.  Por lo tanto, incluso si el Papa Benedicto pretendía, y en privado después afirmó, afirmaba o afirmaría, que pretendía usar “ministerium” para munus, su acto de renuncia no es válido debido a ese error sustancial, en virtud del canon 188, y no puede hacerse válido por ningún acto posterior. Tendría que ser rehecho con la palabra, “munus“. Entonces, el argumento es inválido por un sofismo, de leer “munus” en su mayor según su significado en latín, pero leer “ministerium” en el menor de acuerdo con su uso vernáculo. Por lo tanto, su conclusión se alcanza a través de un término medio no distribuido, y por lo tanto también es inválida.

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Christ regards Benedict alone, as His Vicar on Earth

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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In controversies, we often forget the higher principles and end up disputing only in regard to the minutiae. This is dangerous, because the chief motives, especially in controversies in the Church, should depend upon Eternal and Divine principles.

For this reason, it is important for us to remember that Christ Jesus founded the Catholic Church and is the Author and Grantor of all ecclesiastical offices: offices, which are of supernatural origin and to which He has affixed a gift of grace (munus) which cannot be alienated except by explicit renunciation.

We know this by Divine Revelation. For when He asked Simon bar Johan what men thought of Himself, Peter responded:  Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

To which Our Lord, Messiah and Redeemer responded:  Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Gospel of Saint Matthew, Chapter 16)

We often fail to recognize, that by a Divine Promise God, who cannot be bound and obligated to man, has nevertheless bound and obligated Himself to man in what He has promised.  In regard to the Petrine Office (munus petrinum), Christ has actually bound HIMSELF to the official acts of the Roman Pontiff and to the words thereof. He has thus WILLED as GOD not to act, if the Roman Pontiff does not allow Him to act, and to act when the Roman Pontiff allows Him to act.

While this binding of God to Peter is not universal, it nevertheless does regards Papal Acts, where the man who is Pope acts as pope.  It also regards the man who is pope, inasmuch as he is a man, in the matter of accepting and renouncing the Papal Office (munus petrinum). For when a man accepts his election or acclamation as Pope, Christ bestows on the man the office and gift of grace (munus) which he gave Saint Peter to be passed on to the Bishops of Rome until the end of time.  The Church in Her wisdom has signified this office and gift of grace with the only Latin word which means both office and gift, “munus”.

No other Latin word having such a meaning, Pope John Paul II, as legislator of the New Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1983, added that word to Canon 322 §2, as the fundamental condition to spark, as it were, the recognition of a papal resignation.

While men can ignore that word in canon 332 §2, Christ cannot.

This is no exaggeration, no mere human opinion. Because since it is of Divine Faith that Christ promised to bind and loose according to the word of His Vicar. His vicar in adding that word to the canon regarding papal resignation, did bind Christ Himself not to withdraw the office and gift of grace (munus), if the munus were NOT renounced.

The Sacred Hierarchy, and especially the College of Cardinals, need to recognize this fundamental theological truth of Christology and Ecclesiology, and return to a correct recognition of the facts of the case.  They must ignore what men say about what happened on February 11, 2013 on the basis of what a pool reporter, with little knowledge of Latin thought Benedict signified. They must ignore what all who think what that act signified. They must attend solely to Canon 332 §2 according to what that canon says in its Latin official text. They must read it in accord with canon 17 and the text Non solum propter.

They must recognize, that when the Vicar of Christ does not renounce the office and gift of grace which Christ gave to him alone, Christ cannot transfer it to another, even if the whole Church wants Him to transfer it. He cannot act, until His Vicar acts. And even if His vicar is confused due to old age, He cannot act.

Thus, its indubitably true that Pope Benedict XVI is still the Pope, and that Christ Himself regards Benedict alone as His Vicar on Earth. God Himself can do no other. He cannot break His promise to Peter.

Canon Law itself declares Pope Francis, AntiPope

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The clear, precise, and sound reading of the Code of Canon Law leads to the inescapable conclusion that Pope Francis is an “antipope” in every sense of the word, and that the law itself declares it.

As has been demonstrated in the article, “How and Why Pope Benedict’s resignation is invalid”, there is no other authentic reading of Canon 332 §2 other than that the renunciation of munus is the necessary sine qua non condition of a papal resignation.

This canonical argument is supported by 35 reasons, debated in Scholastic form, in the article, “The Validity of Benedict’s Resignation must be questioned, Parts I and II”, why a renunciation of ministerium, in the form had in the papal declarations of Feb. 11, 2013, cannot signify a renunciation of munus as per Canon 332 §2, Canon 188 etc..

Therefore, Pope Benedict XVI remains the one and only true Pope of the Catholic Church with all the powers and prerogatives of that office.

As I pointed out in my rebuttal of Roberto de Mattei, canon 359 guarantees that the College of Cardinals has no authority to convene to elect a pope, when there has been an invalid papal resignation.

Therefore, the Conclave of 2013 is without any right in Canon Law to elect a successor to Pope Benedict. Therefore, the one it claimed to elect, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has no authority whatsoever conferred upon him by accepting that election. He is in truth a usurper of the papal office, and must be punished in accord with Canon 1381 §1 for that crime (if he knowingly has done this, otherwise upon demonstration of the delict, he must publicly disavow his claim to the office).

Since Bergoglio never had any canonical authority as Pope, all his nominations to the  Roman Curia are null and void. Therefore, all actions taken by the Congregation of Religious against religious communities, or by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith against anyone, or the Secretary of State vis-a-vis treaties with nations, such as China, or appointments of Bishops, etc. etc. are NULL AND VOID.

Since the papal resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is invalid, among other reasons, in virtue of containing a substantial error (canon 188) regarding what words must be expressed to conform to canon 322 §2, that resignation is invalid by the law itself (lege ipso). That invalidation spreads to the Conclave and all acts of Bergoglio as Francis, which are canonical, because they too are founded upon the same substantial error, though compounded.

Therefore, since the invalidity of Bergoglio’s papacy depends upon the law of the Church itself (canon 188), there is no need for a judgement of any ecclesiastical office to intervene to establish that it is so. And thus, Catholics may and indeed are obliged BY DIVINE FAITH and OBEDIENCE to the Apostolic See and to Canon Law to hold Bergoglio to be an Anti-Pope and to insist to Cardinals and Bishops and civil authorities that he be driven from the Vatican as a usurper.

Let all Catholics who love Christ, who are obedient to the Code of Canon Law and who seek the salvation of souls act now and today. Write your Bishop and the Cardinals. Write the Italian Government, which is bound to uphold only the canonically elected governments of the Vatican. Insist with all that the fact of Bergoglio’s invalidity be publicly affirmed and his usurpation denounced.

Its either that, or the end of the Vatican as we know it, as being part of the Catholic Church.

 

Has Cardinal Brandmüller ever read Canon 332 §2?

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Saint Thomas Aquinas says, when the errors of our prelates are public and grave and constitute an imminent danger to the Church, we are obliged to break deferential silence and publicly correct them.

For that reason, I will take this occasion to publicly call upon fellow Catholics to ask Cardinal Brandmüller a simple question:  Have you ever read Canon 332 §2?

I understand, that the general public might consider such a question proposed in public on a blog to be unseemly and insulting, and so let me explain why asking that question is germane for the Cardinal and for every other Cardinal in the Church.

I take occasion here to address a question to Cardinal Brandmüller because of an article he wrote on 2016, of which I just recently came to know of:  Renuntiatio Papae. Alcune riflessioni storico-canonistiche, which appeared in Stato, Chiese e pluralismo confessionale, Rivista telematica (www.statoechiese.it), n. 26/2016, published by the Unviersità degli Studi: Milano.

In that article, the Cardinal discusses principally whether Papal resignations can be done and under what conditions. The article is a fine piece of scholarship, and I do not contest any other point of it, here. Rather, I wish to draw the reader’s attention to 3 glaring omissions in the text, which cause me to ask the Cardinal a public question.

The Cardinal cites Canon 332 §2 no less than 4 times in his Historico-Canonical Study, on pages 6, 7, 10 and 11. In the first case, in reference to a papal resignation being an extraordinary event; in the second, in reference to the conditions for a valid resignation,; in the third, that a papal resignation is morally licit; and in the fourth, again the conditions for a valid resignation.

In both cases, on page 7 and 11, the Cardinal declares that the only conditions for a valid resignation are, libere fiat et rite manifestetur, citing the Latin of the main clause of that canon, which Latin means: “be done freely and manifested according to the norm of law“.

Its not that he does not mention the introductory clause of both Canon 221 in the Code of Canon Law of 1917, and contextual affirms that the same introduction is had in Canon 332 §2. Nay, its rather that he misses the striking difference in the Canon of the New Code in comparison with the canon of the old code.  Namely, that in the New Code, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, during the time (1983) with the future Pope Benedict XVi was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Legislator (Pope John Paul II) added words which is not found in the old canon:  suo muneri.

How, anyone can read a Canon speaking about when a papal resignation occurs and is valid, and miss the key word of the introductory and fundamental conditional clause, is beyond me. But it seems that if a man so learned as this Cardinal can do it, perhaps all the other Cardinals have also done it.  Maybe even Cardinal Burke, too?

And this is why my request that Catholics ask Cardinal Brandmuller a question is not disrespectful nor impertinent. Because has has been demonstrated by many others, and myself, the word munus takes on the condition of a sine non qua, that is, of a requirement for validity which cannot be obviated under any condition.  Thus its manifestly wrong to speak of only 2 conditions for a papal resignation, since in the New Code, papal resignations only occur when the Pope resigns the Petrine Munus.

This is important, because in regard to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the Latin text renounced only the or a ministerium received, NOT the papal munus. This is important, because if Pope Benedict never resigned his office, the conclave of 2013 was uncanonical and Bergoglio is an Anti-Pope in every canonical sense of the word.

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For those who want to understand the correct canonical argument, why Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope and why Bergoglio was never pope, supported by Canon Law and all the evidence, and put in simple terms, see “How and Why Pope Benedict’s Resignation is invalid by the law itself.”  For a scholastic argument demonstrating that the text of the resignation does not effect a resignation of office, see my disputed question, here at From Rome, linked under the words “many others” just above here.

For the text of the resignation, translations, other articles, etc., see the same link under the words, “many others”, where I recite the history of the controversy.

PHOTO Credits:  The New York Times, retrieved via Google Images.

 

Where Robert de Mattei is wrong

This week, Catholic Family News, the traditional private Catholic Newspaper founded by the late John Vennari, publishes an article entitled, “Socci’s Thesis Falls Short: Review of the Secret of Benedict XVI“, an English translation of an article which was published on Jan 8, 2019 online at Cooperatores Veritatis. The translator is a Giuseppe Pelligrino. (Socci’s book details facts and canonical arguments why Pope Benedict XVI is still the Pope, and Bergoglio an Anti-Pope, that is uncanonically elected). I will comment on the English version of the article.

The author, Dr. Roberto de Mattei, I have long admired, and have had the occasion to meet in person. His foundation, the Lepanto Foundation does much good work, and thus I bear him no animus. Nay, if the author of that article was someone unknown or not influential at Rome, I would probably have paid it no attention at all.

Moreover, the purpose of this present article is not to defend Socci’s book.  Rather it is to address the grave errors contained in De Mattei’s article, which on account of his personal reputation are magnified in the minds of many, and thus represent a danger to souls.

Here, then, I will discuss the errors briefly in the order they appear in that English translation by Signor Pellegrino.

The first error of which is that De Mattei sustains that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is valid, because there has been a peaceful and universal acceptance of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

I will put aside the fact that several recent polls (not scientific) have shown that as much as 70% of Catholics reject Bergoglio as pope, because there is a more serious error to address, than disputing whether there is in fact a peaceful and universal acceptance of Bergoglio’s election.

Signor De Mattei is learned enough to own a copy of the Code of Canon Law. So I humbly suggest he read Canon 359 and consider publicly withdrawing his assertion that a peaceful and universal acceptance of an apparent papal election establishes it to be held as valid by Catholics.  For, that canon reads in Latin:

Can. 359 — Sede Apostolica vacante, Cardinalium Collegium ea tantum in Ecclesia gaudet potestate, quae in peculiari lege eidem tribuitur.

When translated into English — here I give my own translation — that canon says:

Canon 359 — When the Apostolic See is vacant, the College of Cardinals only enjoys that power in the Church, which is granted to it in particular law.

This is the reference to the power of the College to elect the Pope.  So, according to Canon 359, when there is no pope, the Cardinals have the authority to elect a pope.

Now, if the resignation of a pope is in doubt, then obviously, there is a doubt whether the Apostolic See is vacant, and therefore the Cardinals have doubtful authority. And when a resignation of a pope has not taken place, or a pope is not dead, the Apostolic See is not vacant, and therefore the Cardinals have NO power to elect another.

So, it should be obvious then, that “the peaceful and universal acceptance of the election of a pope by a College of Cardinals” which HAS NO POWER to elect a pope, because the See is NOT vacant, DOES NOT MAKE THE ELECTION VALID.

Second, De Mattei claims this principal regarding the acceptance of the election of a pope on the basis of commonly held opinion. But if he has studied Canon Law, he should know that Canon 17 does not permit common theological or canonical opinions to be interpretative guides to reading any canon, when the text of the canon expressly forbids an act to take place by denying the body which acts the power to act. For in such a case the mind of the Legislator takes precedence.

Third, what is worse, De Mattei then cites the Vatican translation of Canon 332 §2, where he admits that it denies that a papal resignation is valid on the grounds that anyone accepts it (in its final condition)! How that squares with the theory of peaceful and universal acceptance is impossible to imagine, since it undermines the validity of its application to the case of a disputed resignation. It does so, because obviously a Conclave called during the life of a pope who has not resigned, is called either because that College knows he has not and does intend to elect an Anti-Pope, and then it does not matter who accepts him, his election is invalid; or in the case the College opines that a resignation is valid, and they proceed to act as if there is no pope. But as canon 332 §2 declares, that they think it is valid, does not make it valid. Therefore, even if they think it is valid, when it is not valid, they cannot appeal to Canon 332 §2 to claim the authority in Canon 359 to lawfully elect another. Rather, they must follow Canon 17 and apply it. And so, whether the subsequent election be accepted or not, in the case of elections which follow papal resignations, the principal cited by De Mattei is improperly cited at best because it pertains to another case.

Finally, De Mattei is, in my opinion, intellectually dishonest, when he says that Violi’s canonical study of Pope Benedict’s act of Feb 11, 2013 contributes to the confusion. Because that study, which is cited in the preface of the Disputed Question, published here in November, is a very scholarly well thought out and precise study without any animus or polemic, which gives great clarity to the canonical signification of that papal act. To say that it causes confusion therefore is not based on Violi’s work, but rather seemingly on a desire to advance his own opinion by insulting a scholar who shows greater knowledge of Canon Law than himself.

As for Archbishop Ganswein’s discourse at the Gregorian University, at first glance it does seem to be confusing. But when you research, as Ann Barnhardt has done, what opinions regarding the mutability of the Papacy were being discussed at Tubingen, when Fr. Joseph Ratzinger was a professor of Theology there, then you would rather say its revealing, not confusing at all.

For those who want to understand the correct canonical argument, why Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope and why Bergoglio was never pope, supported by Canon Law and all the evidence, and put in simple terms, see “How and Why Pope Benedict’s Resignation is invalid by the law itself.”

The Validity of Benedict’s Resignation, Part II: Ad Contrarium

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the previous article, entitled, The Validity of Pope Benedict’s Resignation must be Questioned, I recited the history of the controversy over the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on the topic of substantial error in the resignation and then proceeded to explicate 20+ arguments against the validity.

Here, I will list the arguments for the validity, inasmuch as I find and understand them. If you know of more, let me know in the comments section below.  After each argument pro-Validity, I will post, for the reader’s convenience the argument against it — deviating in this small manner from proper Scholastic form. There is no particular order among the arguments, but the strongest ones are at the end.

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

Ad contrarium:

And it seems that he did:

1. Because, Pope Benedict XVI as pope is above Canon Law. Therefore, he does not need to resign according to the form of Canon 332 §2.  Therefore, he resigned validly.

Ad obj. 1: To argue that the Pope is above Canon Law, and therefore the resignation is valid, is a sophism, which when examined is equivalent to 2 other erroneous propositions, namely:  “The Pope as pope is above canon law, ergo etc.”, and “The Pope as the man who is the pope is above the Law, ergo etc.”  To the first, I say: In the first case it is true that the Pope as pope is above canon law. However, the Pope when renouncing his office, does not renounce as Pope, but as the man who is the pope. Therefore the argument is praeter rem.  To the second, I say: It is false to say the Pope as the man who is pope is above Canon Law, because the mind of the Legislator of the Code of Canon law, Pope John Paul II, in canon 332 §2, expressly declares when a papal resignation is such and is to be regarded as valid.  Therefore, if a pope resigned in a way which was valid, but which the Faithful had to regard as invalid according to the norm of that Canon, there would be chaos in the Church. However, in interpreting the mind of a legislator, one cannot presume any thesis which would make the law defective. Therefore, Pope John Paul II did intend to bind the man who is pope, in a papal resignation. Therefore, the second is false also.

2. Because it is clear that Pope Benedict wanted to resign. Therefore, he did resign. Therefore, his resignation is valid.

Ad obj. 2.: To argue that the Pope wanted to resign, therefore he did resign, is to employ a sophism which conceals an undistributed middle term. For if the pope wanted to resign the ministerium of the office, then he did resign the ministerium. But such a resignation is not conform with Canon 332 §2, since it does not resign the munus. Therefore, it is invalid.  Likewise, if the pope wanted to resign the munus, then he did NOT resign the munus if he said ministerium. And then even if he thought he did, its invalid, per canon 332 §2 according to the act, and according to canon 188 on account of substantial error.

3. Because Pope Benedict, after his resignation, publicly declared that he validly resigned. Therefore, he validly resigned.

Ad obj. 3.: To argue that the Pope resigned validly because after his resignation he publicly declared that he resigned validly, is to employ a subterfuge. Because in that public declaration he declares that he resigned the Petrine ministry validly. That he resigned the Petrine ministry validly, is not disputed. But if that is what he resigned, then he did not resign the munus. Therefore, that act did not effect a resignation of the office. Therefore if it be asserted to be a valid papal resignation, the assertion is false according to canon 332 §2.

4. Because, Pope Benedict, after his resignation, publicly declared that he freely resigned, therefore he resigned.

Ad obj. 4.: It is true that liberty in a resignation is one of the necessary conditions of a papal resignation according to Canon 332 §2, but it is not true that it is the only condition. The first condition is that it be a resignation of munus. It was not. Therefore, this argument is praeter rem.

5. Because, Cardinal Sodano, as Dean of the College of Cardinals, in convoking the College, acted as if it were valid, therefore it is valid.

Ad obj. 5: There is no Canon of the Church or special delegation by the Roman Pontiff which makes the decision of the Cardinal Deacon to call a conclave efficacious of the validity of an invalid resignation, or authoritatively determinative of the validity of a resignation. Therefore, that he did so, proves nothing. Nay, canon 332 §2 expressly denies this.

6. Because the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Successor of Pope Benedict, therefore by that act declared or made the resignation valid.

Ad obj. 6.:  There is no Canon of the Church or special delegation by the Roman Pontiff which makes the decision of the College of Cardinals to conclave or elect a Pope, efficacious of the validity of an invalid resignation, or authoritatively determinative of the validity of a resignation. Therefore, that they did so, proves nothing. Nay, canon 332 §2 expressly denies this.

7. Because the whole College of Cardinals after the resignation and after the Conclave of 2013 acts and holds that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the true and valid pope.

Ad obj. 7: I reply the same as for obj. 7.

8. Because the whole world accepts that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is Pope Francis.

Ad obj. 8: Canon 332 §2 in saying, “and not whether it be accepted or not by anyone whomsoever” in its final phrase, expressly denies this. Therefore, it is false.

9. Because, a Catholic must hold as Pope, whomsoever the Cardinals, or the Bishops, or the Clergy of Rome, hold to be the Pope.

Ad obj. 9.: I reply the same, as to obj. 8.

10. Because the election of a Pope by the Cardinals is a dogmatic fact, which all Catholics must accept.

Ad obj. 10.: While it be true that the valid election of a Pope by the Cardinals is a dogmatic fact which all Catholics must accept, it is not true if the election were invalid. But an election is invalid if the previous pope is still living and has not yet validly resigned. Therefore, this objection is invalid, inasmuch as the resignation be invalid. Therefore, of its self it is insufficient to prove the point argued.

11. Because the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a papal act, which cannot be questioned, according to the addage: prima sedes a nemini iudicatur.

Ad obj. 11.: While it is true that the acts of the Roman Pontiff are juridical acts which cannot be questioned, it is not true that declarations made in the first person by the man who is pope, which are the matter of such acts or declarations, cannot be judged. That such an act can be judged is proven by Canon 332 §2 which judges such acts. That such matter of the papal act is not an act of the pope as pope, has already been proven above.

12. Because, a Catholic in good conscience must presume, that if the resignation were not valid on account of the use of the word ministerium not munus in the key phrase of the act, that the Cardinals, in accord with canon 17, either demonstrated to themselves that he sufficiently resigned the papacy, or held private council with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, to know his mind and meaning, at which time he privately signified that he had resigned the papacy in resigning the ministry of the Papacy.

Ad obj. 12.: While it is true that a Catholic should be disposed to presume such, such presumption does not make an invalid resignation valid. Nay, in accord with Canon 332 §2, one must note that the final cause of an invalid resignation is that it not be manifested according to the norm of law (rite manifestastur). Which norm requires a public act, that is, an act witnessed by at least 2 witnesses and made verbally. Such an act has never been published. So even if it were made, its a secret act, and it would not make an invalid resignation, valid.

13. Because Pope Benedict said, “I declare that I renounce the ministry which I had received from the hands of the Cardinals, … so that the See of St. Peter be vacant on …”, he clearly indicated that his renunciation was to effect a loss of office (munus), therefore his resignation was in accord with Canon 332 §2, despite not explicitly using the word munus, as that Canon requires for validity. Therefore, the resignation was valid.

Ad obj. 13.: This objection was refuted in the arguments of the First Part, but its complexity deserves a fuller answer for those minds which cannot understand how it is invalid. First, as demonstrated in the First Part of this Article, a resignation is valid if it includes a resignation of munus; it is not valid if it does not. And according to Canon 17, if there is any doubt as to whether munus is included in canon 332 §2 as a sine non qua condition or according to its signification in a broader sense, one must have recourse to other parts of the Law, the canonical tradition, and to the mind of the Legislator (John Paul II) of the Code. As has been shown elsewhere, there is no basis for an argument from canon 17 that ministerium can mean munus. However, since ministerium is followed by 2 subordinate clauses, the argument that it is invalid, must respond to that condition. For in Latin, some subordinate clauses can alter the signification of the main clause. And it is true that there is a poetical form, in which part of a thing can substitute for the whole, as when at Mass in the Latin Rite we say, “Come under my roof” to mean “come into my soul”. However, as regards the Latin of the text of the renunciation, to say, “which I received from the hands of the Cardinals” imposes no necessity of reference to the Petrine Ministry per se, because Ratzinger also at that time received the Episcopal and Pastoral Ministry for the Diocese of Rome. The second clause, “so that the See of St Peter be vacant”, has been shown in Part I to necessitate no necessity. For those who do not understand Latin grammar, this needs to be explained. Because, in a subordinate clause such as “so that … be vacant”, the clause is a clause of purpose of the kind which begins with the particle “ut”, and thus is a pure clause of purpose which indicates only a goal. If the subordinate clause of purpose had begun with “in the kind of way which” (quomodo) or “in such a way as to” (in tali modo quod) it would have been a purpose clause of characteristic which has the power to alter the manner of signification in the main clause, and allow the use of metynomic signification, that is, when a part refers to the whole. Since Pope Benedict did not say anything of that kind, this way of reading the subordinate clause is not possible. Hence it remains invalid.  However, even if a metonymic signification was had, it remains invalid per canon 332 §2, since it would not be duly manifested. Because just as if one were to pronounce marriage vows by saying, “I take you to be my Viennese strudel” instead of saying “I take you to be my wife”, an interpretation would be necessary to be resorted to, to make the phrase signify taking a wife, so in an act of resignation a metonymic manner of signification renders the act invalid because it publicly does not duly manifest the intention.

14. In his act of resignation Pope Benedict XVI declared two things. The First regarding his resignation, the second regarding the convocation of a Conclave “that a Conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff be convoked by those whose duty it is”. He would not have said this, if his intention was not to resign the office of the Papacy. Therefore, he did resign the office of the papacy.

Ad obj. 14.: This argument is a conflation of two arguments, one of which has previously been refuted, viz. that one which regards his intention, which was refuted in Ad obj. 2. Here I will respond to the other, that which regards the papal command to convene a Conclave.   That the Pope declared that a conclave be convened to elect a new Roman Pontiff forms the second independent clause of his verb, “I declare”. Thus it is logically independent and bears no necessity in the alteration of the signification of the first clause, which regards the resignation.  Thus if the resignation not be duly manifested in accord with Canon 332 §2, that the Pope declares a Conclave be called is a papal declaration which is totally vitiated by the substantial error in his first declaration. Thus canon 188 invalidates the execution of this command. This is especially true, because in the declaration of convocation he does not require the convocation to take place before or after he ceases to be pope, or on a specific date or even during his life time. To see this more clearly, recall the example from the arguments against the validity, wherein a hypothetical pope declares, “I renounce bananas so that on Feb. 28, at 8 PM, Roman Time, the see be vacant” and simply add, “and that a Conclave be convened to elect a new Roman Pontiff”.  As can be seen in this hypothetical, the second declaration does not make the first valid, it just continues the substantial error: a substantial error which also makes the Conclave of 2013 and all the acts of Bergoglio as pope invalid.

15. Canon 332 §2 does require the resignation of office. But ministerium also means office. Therefore, when Pope Benedict renounced the ministerium, he renounced the munus.

Ad obj. 15.: Canon 332 §2 reads as follows:  If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus, there is required for its validity alone that it be freely made and manifested rite, and not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.  As can be seen from this Canon — which is the only one dealing with papal resignations — the fundamental condition is that the Pope resign his “munus”.  Now while some modern translations translate that as office (English), others as charge (Spanish), others as function (Italian), its clear from the Code of Canon Law that its primary canonical meaning is office. This can be seen from its use in the Headings of the New Code for chapters on Ecclesiastical Offices. This is confirmed by a direct citation of canon 145 §1, where every ecclesiastical office is called a “munus”, not a ministerium.  An examination of the Code also reveals that a ministerium is never called an “office”.  Now since the Code of Canon Law requires in Canon 17, that the Code itself be read in accord with the tradition of canonical texts, the sources of canon law and the mind of its legislator (Pope John Paul II), these facts should be sufficient evidence to exclude the possibility that “ministerium” can be read as munus. This is confirmed by the comparison of Canon 332 §2 with the corresponding canon in the Code of Canon Law promulgated under Pope Benedict XV, where it speak of a Pope renouncing, but does not say what he renounces. Its evident and significant that Pope John Paul II in the 1983 code added the word “munus” to specify what must be renounced to effect a papal resignation. Its also evident that in that Code of Canon Law “ministerium” refers to the exercise of an office. Furthermore, if one examines all previous papal resignations for which there is textual evidence of the formula of resignation, the words which signify office are always found: onus, munus. Ministerium is not found. Proper names for the office are found, such as episcopatus or papatus. Or the dignity resulting from the office is named with the words honor or dignitas. Thus, in accord with Canon 17, all the sources of authoritative interpretation conclude upon 1 result: that a Pope only resigns when he resigns the munus, the office, not the execution of the office, ministerium. Therefore, even if Pope Benedict intended, and in private afterwards asserted or asserts or will assert, that he intended to use “ministerium” for munus, his act of renunciation is invalid on account of that substantial error, in virtue of canon 188, and it cannot be made valid by any subsequent act. It would have to be redone with the word, “munus”. So the argument is invalid by a sophistry, of reading “munus” in its major according to its Latin signification, but reading “ministerium” in the minor according to its vernacular usage. Thus, its conclusion is reached through an undistributed middle term, and thus is invalid also.