Pope Benedict’s Renunciation is invalid for 6 Canonical Reasons

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics begin the effort to make known to the clergy that they were defrauded of their loyalty to Christ’s Vicar on Feb. 28, 2013, it is important to have at hand a short summary of the canonical problems in Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, Non solum propter. (Official text here at Vatican website)

Here is such a short summary.

6 canonical errors in the Act of Renunciation

  1. In the Act, the Roman pontiff renounces “the ministry committed to him through the hands of the Cardinals” on the day he was elected. But canon 332 §2, in the official Latin text of that canon, requires that the renunciation be of the petrine “munus”, that is the Papal Office (cf. canons 331, 333, 334, 749). Therefore, the act is NOT a renunciation of the papacy. Thus, in regard to canon 332 §2, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS. And if it  be said or thought to be an act of renunciation of the papacy, then the assertion or estimation is false by reason of Canon 188, which declares IRRITUS any renunciations of office vitiated by substantial error, that is by an error which touches the substance of the act (which, in this case, is constituted by the essence of the act as an act of renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium).*
  2. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff does not name the office by any proper canonical term, and thus the act is also an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be duly manifested (rite manifestetur), since that which is not named is not manifest.
  3. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff’s liberty regards that which he does, not that which he does not do, which, since he does not do it, whether he be free to do it or not, is not expressed. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be freely executed (libere fiat).
  4. In making a declaration of renunciation, instead of renouncing, the act is also an ACTUS NULLUS, because canon law does not regard declarations to be canonical acts. They are merely announcements. (cf. Penal section on announcements regarding persons who have incurred latae sententiae excommunications ipso iure).
  5. In making what appears to be a renunciation of the papacy, without naming the papal office as required by Canon 332 §2, the man making the declaration, inasmuch as he is the man, who received the office and who is attempting to separate himself from the office, had need to obtain from the man who is the Pope, an express derogation of the terms of canon 332 §2, in virtue of canon 38, and since he did not, since no concession of derogation of that requirement is mentioned in the act, then by reason of canon 38, the act, which is both contrary to the law of Canon 332 §2 and gravely injurious of the right of the faithful to know who is the true pope and when he has canonically resigned, is an ACTUS SINE EFFECTU, that is an act which lacks all effect.
  6. Finally, in renouncing “the ministry”, the Roman Pontiff posits a legal act which is not foreseen in the Code of Canon Law, since no canon therein speaks of a renunciation of ministry. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS according to the norm of law. Therefore, in accord with canon 41 no one with an office in the Church has any duty to recognize it.

__________

* I do not include substantial error as one of the canonical errors in the Act, because the act was never one of a renunciation of the papal office. The argument that substantial error vitiates the act, technically, has more to do with the mis-perceptions or false claims made about the canonical value of the act, than with the act itself. Speaking of substantial error is thus necessary when discussing it with someone who is operating under the false premise that the Pope renounced the papacy, but eventually one must talk about the reality of what the Pope actually said on that day, and distinguish that reality from the misperception which was published to all the world.

POST SCRIPT: Note that in the title of this post I use the word “invalid” in the common sense of an act which does not effect what one thinks it effects, but properly speaking the term should be “vitiated” or “erroneous”, because as you can see from the list of 6 canonical errors, 3 regard nullity, 2 regard invalidity, and 1 regards being without effect.

 

Munus and Ministerium, a Canonical Study

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Munus and Ministerium: A Textual Study of their Usage
in the Code of Canon Law of 1983

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The study of Canon Law is a recondite field for nearly everyone in the Church except Canon Lawyers. And even for Canon Lawyers, most of whom are prepared to work in the Marriage Tribunals of the Church, most of the Code of Canon Law is not frequently referred to.

However, when it comes to the problems of determining the validity of a canonical act, the expertise among Canon Lawyers becomes even more difficult to find, since the circumstances and problems in a single canonical act touch upon a great number of Canons of the Code of Canon Law, and thus require the profound knowledge and experience of years of problem solving to be readily recognized.

For this reason, though popularly many Catholics are amazed that after 6 years there can still be questions and doubts about the validity of the Act of Renunciation declared by Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, it actually is not so surprising when one knows just a little about the complexity of the problems presented by the document which contains that Act.

First of all, the Latin of the Act, which is the only official and canonical text, is rife with errors of Latin Grammar. All the translations of the Act which have ever been done, save for a few, cover those errors with a good deal of indulgence, because it is clear that whoever wrote the Latin was not so fluent in writing Latin as they thought, a thing only the experts at such an art can detect.

Even myself, who have translated thousands of pages of Latin into English, and whose expertise is more in making Latin intelligible as read, than in writing intelligible Latin according to the rules of Latin grammar can see this. However, we are not talking about literary indulgences when we speak of the canonical value or signification of a text.

For centuries it was a constant principle of interpretation, that if a canonical act in Latin contained errors it was not to be construed as valid, but had to be redone. Unfortunately for the Church, Cardinal Sodano and whatever Cardinals or Canonists examined the text of the Act prior to the public announcement of its signification utterly failed on this point, as will be seen during this conference.

This is because if there are multiple errors or any error, the Cardinal was allowed and even obliged under canons 40 and 41 to ask that the text be corrected.

This evening, however, we are not going to talk about the lack of good Latinity in the text of the Act nor of the other errors which make the text unintelligible to fluent Latinists who think like the Romans of Cicero’s day when they see Latin written, but rather, of the signification of Canon 332 §2, in its fundamental clause of condition, where it says in the Latin, Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, which in good English is, If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus….

The entire condition for a Papal Renunciation of Office in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II is founded on this first clause of Canon 332 §2.  It behooves us, therefore, when any say that the Renunciation was valid or invalid, to first read this Canon and understand when a renunciation takes place and when it does not take place.

For this purpose, in this first intervention at this Conference, I will speak about the meaning of the two words, Munus and Ministerium, in the Code of Canon Law.  I will speak of both, because, in Canon 332 §2 Pope John Paul II wrote munus and in the Act of Renunciation, Pope Benedict XVI renounced ministerium.

This study is not an idle one, or even only of academic interest. It is required by Canon Law, because in Canon 17, it says, that when there arises a doubt about the signification of a canon, one is to have recourse to the Code of Canon Law, the sources of canonical tradition and the Mind of the Legislator (Pope John Paul II) in determining the authentic meaning.

According to Canon 17 the words of Canoon 332 §2, therefore, are to be understood properly. Therefore, let us examine the Code to see what is the proper meaning of the words munus and ministerium.

Ministerium in the Code of Canon Law

This study is something everyone with the Internet can do. Because there exists an indexed copy of the Latin text of the Code on line at Intratext.com.  In the Alphabetic index of which one can find hyperlinked, all the words found in the Code, in their different Latin forms.

For the word Ministerium, there are 6 forms found:  Ministeria, Ministerii, Ministeriis, Ministerio, Ministeriorum, Ministerium.  Respectively they occur 7, 13, 3, 17, 3, 25 times each in the Code.

Let us take a look at each, briefly.

Ministeria:

The Nominative and Accusative Plural:  Occurs 7 times. In canons 230, 232, 233,  237, 385, 611 and 1035.  Each of these refer to one or more of the sacred ministries or services exercised during the Divine Liturgy, whether by priests, lectors, acolytes etc..

Ministerii:

The Genitive. Occurs 13 times.  In canons 233 twice, 276, 278, 519, 551, 756, 759, 1370, 1373, 1375 1389, 1548.  These refer to the sacred service (canons 233, in canon 271 §2, 1, to the duties of the pastoral ministry (ministerii pastoralis  officia as in canon 276, 278 or 551) which sanctify the priest, and specifically in relation to munus in several canons:

In Canon 519, where it says of the duties of the Pastor of a Parish:

Can. 519 – Parochus est pastor proprius paroeciae sibi commissae, cura pastorali communitatis sibi concreditae fungens sub auctoritate Episcopi dioecesani, cuius in partem ministerii Christi vocatus est, ut pro eadem communitate munera exsequatur docendi, sanctificandi et regendi, cooperantibus etiam aliis presbyteris vel diaconis atque operam conferentibus christifidelibus laicis, ad normam iuris.

Which in English is:

Canon 519:  The parish priest is the pastor of the parish assigned to him, exercising (fungens) the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, in a portion of whose ministry in Christ (in partem ministerii Chirsti) he has been called, so that he might execute (exsequatur) the munera of teaching, sanctifying and ruling for the same community, with the cooperation also of the other priests and/or deacons and faithful laity assisting in the work, according to the norm of law.

Let us note, first of all, that here the Code distinguishes between the munera of teaching, santifying and ruling from the entire ministry of Christ a part of which is shared by the Bishop.

And again in Canon 756, when it speaks of the munus of  announcing the Gospel, it says, after speaking of the duty of the Roman Pontiff in this regard in conjunction with the College of Bishops:

756 § 2.  Quoad Ecclesiam particularem sibi concreditam illud munus exercent singuli Episcopi, qui quidem totius ministerii verbi in eadem sunt moderatores; quandoque vero aliqui Episcopi coniunctim illud explent quoad diversas simul Ecclesias, ad normam iuris.

Which in English is:

756 §2  In regard to the particular Church entrusted to him, every Bishop, who is indeed the moderater of the whole ministry of the word to it, exercises (exercent) this munus; but also when any Bishop fulfills that conjointly in regard to the diverse Churches, according to the norm of law.

Let us note here simply that the Code distinguishes between the exercise of a munus and the ministerium of preaching the word.

Again in canon 759, ministerii is used regarding the preaching of the word. In Canon 1370 it is used in reference to the contempt of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1373, it is spoken of in regard the an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1548 in regard to the exercise of the sacred ministry of the clergy.

In canon 1389, it is spoken of in the context of power, munus and ministry. Let us take a closer look:

Can. 1389 – § 1.  Ecclesiastica potestate vel munere abutens pro actus vel omissionis gravitate puniatur, non exclusa officii privatione, nisi in eum abusum iam poena sit lege vel praecepto constituta.

2. Qui vero, ex culpabili neglegentia, ecclesiasticae potestatis vel ministerii vel muneris actum illegitime cum damno alieno ponit vel omittit, iusta poena puniatur.

Which in English is:

Canon 1389 §1  Let the one abusing Ecclesiastical power and/or munus be punished in proportion to the gravity of the act and/or omission, not excluding privation of office, unless for that abuse there has already been established a punishment by law and/or precept.

2. However, Let him who, out of culpable negligence, illegitimately posits and/or omits an act of ecclesiastical power and/or ministry and/or of munus, with damage to another, be punished with a just punishment.

Let us note here that the Code in a penal precept distinguishes between: potestas, ministerium and munus. This implies that in at least one proper sense of each of these terms, they can be understood to signify something different or distinct from the other.

This finishes the study of the occurences of ministerii.

Ministeriis

The ablative and dative plural form. Occurs 3 times.   In canons 274 and 674, where it refers to the sacred ministry of the priesthood and to the ministries exercised in parish life, respectively.

And in Canon 1331 §1, 3, where the one excommunicated is forbidden to exercise all ecclesiastical duties (officiis) and/or ministries and/or munera (muneribus) The Latin is:

Can. 1331 – § 1.  Excommunicatus vetatur:

1 ullam habere participationem ministerialem in celebrandis Eucharistiae Sacrificio vel  quibuslibet aliis cultus caerimoniis;

2 sacramenta vel sacramentalia celebrare et sacramenta recipere;

3 ecclesiasticis officiis vel ministeriis vel muneribus quibuslibet fungi vel actus regiminis ponere.

The English  is:

Canon 1331 §1.  An excommunicate is forbidden:

  1. from having any ministerial participation in the celebrating of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist and/or in any other ceremonies of worship
  2. from celebrating the Sacraments and/or sacramentals and from receiving the Sacraments;
  3. from exercising (fungi) ecclesiastical officia and/or ministeria and/or munera and/or from positing acts of governance.

Let us note again, that the Code distinguishes in this negative precept the terms Officia, Ministeria and Munera. This means, very significantly, that in the Mind of the Legislator, there is a proper sense in which these terms can each be understood as excluding the other. All three are named to make the signification of the negative precept comprehensive of all possible significations.

Ministerio

 The Ablative and Dative singular form. Occurs 17 times. Canons 252, 271, 281, 386 refer to the ministries exercised in the liturgy or apostolate. Canon 545 uses ministerio in reference to the pastoral ministry being proffered, 548 likewise in reference to the pastor of a parish, 559 likewise. Canon 713 refers to the priestly ministry, canons 757, 760 and 836 to the ministry of the word. Canon 899 to the priestly ministry of Christ. Canon 1036 speaks of the need a Bishop has to have knowledge that a candidate for ordination has a willingness to dedicate himself to the life long service which is the duty of orders.

Canon 1722, which has to deal with canonical trials, speaks again of the sacred ministerium, officium and munus exercised (arcere) of the one accused. Distinguishing all three terms to make a comprehensive statement of what can be interdicted by a penalty.

This far for the 17 instances of ministerio.

Ministeriorum

The genitive plural form. Occurs 3 times. In canon 230 in regard to the conferral of ministries of acolyte and lector upon laymen. In canon 499 in regard to having members of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese include priests with a variety of ministries exercised all over the diocese. And in canon 1050, in regard to those to be ordained, that they have a document showing they have willingly accepted a live long ministry in sacred service.

And finally the Nominative Singular form.

MINISTERIUM

Of which there are 25 occurrences in the Code.

First and most significantly in Canon 41, the very canon that Cardinal Sodano had to act upon when examining the Act of Renunciation by Pope Benedict.

The Latin reads:

Can. 41 — Exsecutor actus administrativi cui committitur merum exsecutionis ministerium, exsecutionem huius actus denegare non potest, nisi manifesto appareat eundem actum esse nullum aut alia ex gravi causa sustineri non posse aut condiciones in ipso actu administrativo appositas non esse adimpletas; si tamen actus administrativi exsecutio adiunctorum personae aut loci ratione videatur inopportuna, exsecutor exsecutionem intermittat; quibus in casibus statim certiorem faciat auctoritatem quae actum edidit.

The English reads:

Canon 41: The executor of an administrative act to whom there has been committed the mere ministry (ministerium) of execution, cannot refuse execution of the act, unless the same act appears to be null from (something) manifest [manifesto] or cannot be sustained for any grave cause or the conditions in the administrative act itself do not seem to be able to have been fulfilled: however, if the execution of the administrative act seems inopportune by reason of place or adjoined persons, let the executor omit the execution; in which cases let him immediately bring the matter to the attention of (certiorem faciat) the authority which published the act.

Then, ministerium occurs again in canon 230, in reference to the ministry of the word, where officia is used in the sense of duties. In canon 245, in regard to the pastoral ministry and teaching missionaries the ministry. In Canon 249 again in regard to the pastoral ministry, in 255 in regard to the ministry of teaching, sanctifying etc.., in 256, 257, 271, 324 in regard to the sacred ministry of priests, in Canon 392 in regard to the ministries of the word. In Canon 509 in regard to the ministry exercised by the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter. In Canon 545 in regard to the parish ministry, in canon 533 in regard to the ministry exercised by a Vicar. In canons 618 and 654 in regard to the power received by religious superiors through the ministry of the Church. In Canon 1025, 1041, and 1051 to the usefulness of a candidate for orders for service (ministerium) to the Church. In Canon 1375 to those who exercise power and/or ecclesiastical ministry.

Ministerium occurs significantly in canon 1384, regard to the penalites a priest can incurr.

Can. 1384 – Qui, praeter casus, de quibus in cann. 1378-1383, sacerdotale munus vel aliud sacrum ministerium illegitime exsequitur, iusta poena puniri potest.

Which in English is:

Canon 1384  Who, besides the cases, concerning which in canons 1378 to 1383 the priestly munus and/or any other sacred ministerium is illegitimately executed, can be punished with a just punishment.

The Code explicitly distinguishes between munus and ministerium as entirely different and or distinct aspects of priestly being and action.

To finish off, the Code mentions Ministerium, again in Canon 1481 in regard to the ministry of lawyers, 1502 and 1634 to the ministry of judges, and in 1740 to ministry of the pastor of a parish.

This completes the entire citation of the Code on the word Ministry in all its Latin Forms, singular and plural.

In summation, we can see already that the Code distinguishes between proper senses of ministerium and munus, habitually throughout its canons and uses ministerium always for a service to be rendered by a layman, priest, Bishop, lawyer, judge or to or by the Church Herself. It never uses ministerium as an office or title or dignity or charge.

Munus in the Code of Canon Law

Munus is a very common term in the Code of Canon Law, occurring a total of 188 times.

The Latin forms which appear in the Code are Munus (77 times), Muneris (26 times), Muneri (2 times), Munere (48 times), Munera (20 times) Munerum (6 times) and Muneribus (9 times).

While the length of this conference does not me to cite them all, I will refer to the most important occurrences.

I will omit citing Canon 331, 333, 334 and 749, where speaking of the Papal Office, the code uses the words Munus. In no other canons does it speak of the Papal office per se, except in Canon 332 §2, which governs Papal renunciations, where it also uses munus.

But as to the proper sense of munus in the Code, let us look at the most significant usages:

First as regards predication, where the Mind of the Legislator indicates when any given proper sense of this term can be said to be a another term.

This occurs only once in canon 145, §1

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 (officium) is any munus constituted by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance as to be exercised for a spiritual end.

Second, as regards the canons governing the events of Feb. 11, 2013, there is  Canon 40, which Cardinal Sodano and his assistants had to refer to in the moments following the Consistory of Feb 11, 2013:

Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.

In English:

Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his munus (suo munero), before he receives the document (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) its integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of it has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.

Third, as regards to the distinction of munus and the fulfillment of a duty of office, there is Canon 1484, §1 in regard to the offices of Procurator and Advocate in a Tribunal of Eccleisastical Jurisdiction:

Can. 1484 – § 1.  Procurator et advocatus antequam munus suscipiant, mandatum authenticum apud tribunal deponere debent.

Which in English is:

Canon 1484 §1.  The procurator and advocate ought to deposit a copy of their authentic mandate with the Tribunal, before they undertake their munus.

Note here, significantly, that the Code associates the mandate to exercise an office with the undertaking of the munus (munus). Negatively, therefore, what is implied by this canon is that when one lays down his mandate, there is a renunciation of the munus.

Finally, in regard to possibile synonyms for munus, in the Code we have Canon 1331, §2, n. 4, which is one of the most significant in the entire code, as we shall see: There is forbidden the promotion of those who are excommunicated:

4 nequit valide consequi dignitatem, officium aliudve munus in Ecclesia

Which in English reads:

  1. He cannot validly obtain a dignity, office and/or any munus in the Church.

If there was every any doubt about the Mind of the Legislator of the proper sense of terms in the Code of Canon law regarding what Munus means, this canon answers it by equating dignity, office and munus as things to which one cannot be promoted!

Note well, ministerium is not included in that list!  thus Ministerium does not signify a dignity, office or munus!

This study of Munis and Ministerium in the Code thus concludes, for the lack of time. We have seen that the Code distinguishes clearly between the terms of officium, munus, ministerium, potestas and dignitas. It predicates officium of munus alone, It equates dignitas and munus and officium. It distinguishes between potestas and ministerium.

The only sane conclusion is, therefore, that munus and ministerium are distinct terms with different meanings. They cannot substitute for one another in any sentence in which their proper senses are employed. Munus can substitute for officium, when officium means that which regards a title or dignity or ecclesiastical office.

Thus in Canon 332 §2, where the Canon reads, Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet. The Code is not speaking of ministerium, and if it is speaking of any other terms, it is speaking of a dignitas or officium. But the papal office is a dignitas, officium and a munus.  thus Canon 332 §2 is using munus in its proper sense and referring to the papal office.

——

(This is a transcript of my first talk at the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI, which took place at Rome on Oct 21, 2019, the full transcript of which is found here)

La rinuncia di Papa Benedetto è valida, o è viziata da un errore sostanziale?

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Se Papa Bendetto XVI mediante l’atto espresso nella sua dichiarazione, « Non solum propter », ha rinunciato o meno all’ufficio del Vescovo di Roma?

UNA QUESTIONE DISPUTATA

di Frà Alexis Bugnolo

Lo Stato Attuale della Questione

L’eminente teologo vaticano ed ex membro della Congregazione per la Fede, Monsignor Nicola Bux, ha pubblicamente affermato che la questione della validità delle dimissioni di Papa Benedetto XVI andrebbe studiata, e precisamente per ciò che sembra essere un errore sostanziale, contenuto nell formula di rinuncia usata da Papa Benedetto XVI l’ 11 Febbraio 2013.

Il Mons. Bux non è stato l’unico a sollevare questo problema. In effetti, i dubbi sulla validità dell’atto di dimissioni sono stati evidenziati immediatamente dopo la notizia. Flavien Blanchon, un giornalista francese che lavora a Roma, ne scriveva appena 2 giorni dopo, citando un eminente studioso latino che aveva notato la presenza di errori contenuti nel testo della rinuncia, osservando che la presenza di qualsiasi errore, secondo la tradizione canonica, fosse da considerarsi causa di mancata deliberazione, con conseguente nullità dell’atto.

Un anno dopo Antonio Socci ha posto apertamente la questione. Le dimissioni potrebbero non essere valide, per mancanza di voglia, cioè della volontà interiore della quale poteva disporre Benedetto. Nello stesso anno abbiamo il notevole studio di Padre Stefano Violi, Professore di diritto canonico presso l’Istituto teologico di Lugano, in Svizzera: ”La rinuncia di Papa Benedetto XVI tra storia , legge e consapevolezza” , 2014, un esame approfondito dell’argomento dal punto di vista del diritto canonico. Leggere questo contributo è obbligatorio per la ricca citazione tratta dalla storia canonica delle dimissioni papali e tuttavia, pur senza sollevare il problema dell’invalidità canonica dell’atto. Ma, questo studio di Padre Violi, nell’inquadrare la questione delle dimissioni sotto il profilo del ministero attivo, e non riguardo al munus, ha chiarito che la questione dell’Errore Sostanziale è un problema vero, presente nel testo, che riguarda dunque l’atto stesso.

Tuttavia 19 giugno 2016 Ann Barnhardt, dagli Stati Uniti, ha sollevato specificamente la questione del dubbio derivante dal canone 188 , che sottolinea come l’errore sostanziale, in qualsiasi caso, sia base idonea e sufficiente a sostanziare i motivi per una determinazione canonica nel senso dell’invalidità dell’atto. Intervento, questo, successivo ai notevoli commenti del segretario personale di Papa Benedetto, del 20 maggio, ove si affermava che Benedetto occupasse ancora l’ufficio papale. Ancora: Il blogger Sarmaticus, in Inghilterra, ha discusso la questione sollevata dalle parole di Ganswein il 5 agosto 2016, sottolineando il significato di ciò che l’arcivescovo aveva detto all’ Università Gregoriana, in un post intitolato: Il rasoio di Occam trovare : Benedetto ancora papa , Francisco è un papa falso , la Chiesa universale versa in un stato di necessità sin dal 24 aprile 2005.

Anche il Vescovo emerito del Corpus Domini, in Texas, negli Stati Uniti, ed ex membro dell’Opus Dei, Monsignore René Enri Gracida ha sollevato lo stesso dubbio, ed anche altri, sulla validità delle dimissioni. Sono a conoscenza che il Vescovo abbia scritto a molti membri della Sacra Gerarchia e della Curia su queste questioni per sollecitare l’azione da intraprendere. (cf. abyssum.org : Suggerisci una dichiarazione pubblica di 12 cardinali prima di Bergoglio).

Secondo quanto riferito da Ann Barnhart, l’anno successivo, anche l’avvocato Chris Ferrara e la signora Anne Kreitzer nutrivano lo stesso dubbio. Lo storico Richard Cowden Guido ha detto la stessa cosa l’11 maggio 2017. Il famoso scrittore italiano Antonio Socci , ha citato attentamente il Violi il 31 maggio 2017, ed anche lui ha condiviso e sostenuto la stessa tesi. 11 agosto 2017, in Sud America: lo spettacolo televisivo cattolico Café con Galat in un’edizione in lingua inglese ha discusso i motivi per i quali Papa Benedetto XVI rimane il vero papa. E’ stata sottolineata tanto la mancanza di libertà nell’atto quanto la questione relativa alla mancanza di conformità ex Canone 332 §2 in combinato disposto con Canone 188.

Un po’ prima del marzo 2018 padre Paul Kramer negli Stati Uniti ha ugualmente sostenuto la nullità delle dimissioni ex canone 188, per mancanza di conformità ex al canone 332 §2 , ove viene detto ministerium invece di munus. Ancora: nel Maggio dell’anno scorso al più tardi, il Padre Juan Juárez Falcón in Spagna ha presentato la motivazione canonica dell’invalidità delle dimissioni sulla base dell’errore stanziale, in un articolo intitolato ” Due motivi gravi “. In coincidenza temporale anche Il Dr. José Alberto Villasana Munguía ha svolto le stesse considerazioni il 27 giugno, dal Messico.

Ed infine abbiamo Papa Benedetto XVI che ci offre un indici offre un indizio di interpretazione autentica, anzi zio di interpretazione autentica, anzi qualcosa di più, nelle sue lettere private al cardinale tedesco Brandmüller, pubblicate nell’estate del qualcosa di più, nelle sue lettere private al cardinale tedesco Brandmüller, pubblicate nell’estate del 2018, ove chiede 2018, ove chiede apertamenteapertamente suggerimenti riguardo alla maniera migliore di dimettersi, nel caso suggerimenti riguardo alla maniera migliore di dimettersi, nel caso ciò non fosse giciò non fosse già avvenuto nella maniera corretta.à avvenuto nella maniera corretta.

Dunque sono tanti i cattolici di spicco a sostenere questo dubbio, e poiché il teologo Nicola Bux ha richiesto un’indagine su questo argomento, aggiungerò qui in forma scolastica qualche ragione in favore della nullità, in corso dei quali rifiuterò tutti gli argomenti sostanziali contrari ad esso.

Tutti gli argomenti pro e contro devono intedersi nel constesto di canoni,

124 §1, che legge: “Per la validità di un atto giuridio si richiede che sia postao da una persona abilpersona abile, e che in esso ci sia ciò che costituisce essenzialmente l’atto stesso, come pure le formalità e i requisiti imposti dal diritto per la validità dell’atto.

188,  che legge: La rinuncia fatta per timore grave, ingiustamente indotto, per dolo o per errore errore sostanziale, oppure con simonia, è irritus per il diritto stesso.

332 §2, che legge: Se capita che il Romano Pontefici rincunci al suo munus si richiede per la validità che la rinuncia sia fatta liberamente e che venga debitamente manifestata e al contrario non si richiede che qualcuno la accetti.

È importante anche notare, per le persone di madre lingua tedesca che il Codice di Diritto fornisce una traduzione erronea per munus, come Dienst, in canone 145 §1, dove se la parola latina venisse tradotta si dovrebbe renderla come Verantwortung che è la traduzione del sinonimo giusto per munus in latino, come in latino, come onus (onere).

Per il resto, scaricare il documento intero in PDF.

————–

(See the English original for the footnotes)

Historic Conference on Pope Benedict’s Renunciation: October 21, Rome

All the readers of this Blog are cordially invited to attend, this historic conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, entitled, “Is Pope Benedict XVI still the Successor of Saint Peter?”

Note the term: Successor of Saint Peter. — The reason for this conference is that there is nearly universal confusion over the canonical value of the act posited by Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, when the Main Stream Media announced that he had resigned the papacy, or at least, acted as if that is what they announced.

What happened in the 58 minutes prior to the public announcement by Mrs. Chirri of ANSA press agency?

Did Pope Benedict resign the papal office?

Is he still the Pope? possessing all the powers and privileges of the Office of Saint Peter?

Is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, consequently, not the pope, and never was the pope?

These questions and more answered simply and matter of factly from the Code of Canon Law, without any private interpretations.

What did Pope John Paul II mean and intend by Canon 332 §2?

TO KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, please attend the conference at

THE HOTEL MASSIMO D’AZEGLIO

Via Cavour 18

On Monday, October 21, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Free and open to the public. — There will be private security on duty. — Seating is limited, so arrive by 6 PM or you may not get a seat!

Here is the official Italian announcement:

How to remove Bergoglio

Anthony Hopkins stars as a priest, performing an exorcism, in a scene from the 2010 movie “The Rite.” (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

What follows here are the canonical steps by which Bergoglio can be peacefully, easily and lawfully removed from his position of power.

First, any Catholic Bishop or Cardinal, whether holding jurisdiction or not, whether of the Latin Rite or not, in his capacity as a member of the College of Bishops needs to make this public declaration, or its equivalent:

As member of the College of Bishops, whose unity with the Successor of Saint Peter is essential to its proper function in the Church for the accomplishment of the will of Christ, to continue His Salvific Mission on Earth, I hereby declare that I have examined the official Latin text of Pope Benedict XVI’s act of renunciation of February 11, 2013 A.,D., which begins with the words Non solum propter, and I have found that it is not in conformity with the requirement of Canon 332 §2, that states explicitly that a papal resignation only occurs when the Supreme Pontiff renounces the Petrine Munus.  Seeing that Pope Benedict renounced only the ministerium which he received from the hands of the Cardinals, and seeing that he did not invoke Canon 38 to derogate from the obligation to name of the office in a matter which violates the rights of all the Faithful of Christ, and even more so, of the members of the College of Bishops, to know who is and who is not the Successor of Saint Peter, and when and when not he has validly renounced his office, I declare out of the fullness of my apostolic duty and mission, which binds me to consider first of all the salvation of souls and the unity of the Church, that Pope Benedict XVI by the act expressed in Non Solum Propter never renounced the Papal Office and therefore has continued until this very day to be the one and sole and true and only Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of Saint Peter.  I therefore charge the College of Cardinals with gross negligence in the performance of their duties as expressed in Canon 359 and n. 37 of Universi Domini Gregis by proceeding in February and March of 2013 to the convocation and convening of a Conclave to elect Pope Benedict’s successor when there had not yet been consummated a legal sede vacante. And thus I do declare the Conclave of 2013 was uncanonically convoked, convened and consummated and that the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergogio as Successor of Saint Peter is null and void and irritus by the laws themselves of Holy Mother Church, as established by Pope John Paul II.

Second, Catholic Bishops and Cardinals and indeed all the Faithful should personally examine the text of February 11, 2013 according to the norms of Canons 332 §2, canon 17, canon 38, canon 145 §1, canon 41, canon 126, and in particular canon 188. (see ppbxvi.org for more information.)

Third, the Cardinals and Bishops should hold spontaneous regional or universal Synods to confirm the same and publicly affirm the same.

Fourth, the Bishops and Cardinals should call on the Swiss Guard and Vatican Police to arrest Cardinal Bergoglio and detain him and obtain from him public affirmation of the same.

Fifth, the Cardinals should approach Pope Benedict XVI and ask if it is now his intention to resign the Petrine Munus or not. If not, they should convey him to Saint John Lateran’s and acclaim him with one voice as Pope and ask his forgiveness publicly for having defected from him and elected an antipope. If so, they should ask him to redo the renunciation, this time renouncing the Petrine Munus; and then they should convene a Conclave to elect Benedict’s legitimate successor.

 

Veri Catholici: An Open Letter to Cardinals Burke and Sarah

Their Eminences, Cardinals Burke and Sarah

The International Association « Veri Catholici » has published this open Letter to the Cardinals, on their twitter feed at @VeriCatholici. I post it here (in its unrolled format) for the sake of those who do not have a Twitter Account.

Here beings the Introduction, with the first paragraph of the Letter subordinated to it:

The rest of the text of the open Letter continues here:

“It’s also evident that canon 124.1 and canon 188 require that the proper object of canon 332.2 be posited, namely the renunciation of the munus, otherwise, in virtue of canon 188, the substantial error of doing otherwise invalidate the act ipso iure!

“Now if a pope should act in violation of Canon 332.2, since in doing so he would injure the rights of the whole Church to know who is and who is not the true Pope, he would have to apply canon 38 derogating from the discrepancy. But Benedict did not do anything of the kind!

“Therefore, he is still the pope, and canon 359 invalidated the Conclave of 2013. Also, on this account, all the Cardinals and Bishops ARE WRONG to reason from their presumption that Francis is the pope toward any conclusion. As he never was. He is an antipope, a usurper.

“Nor can one argue that the Pope, being above canon law, is above Canon 332.2, because that canon enshrines merely the principles of the Natural Law, which are superior to the Pope and from which he CANNOT dispense!

“One aspect of which is the semiotic law, whereby the being of a thing cannot in a forensic act be rite manifestatur by a term which signifies an accident of it.

“Take this example. A pope has the habit of calling the burden of his work, Bananas. And one day while shaving says, I am renouncing Bananas. Can the Cardinals lawfully proceed to elect another, if the Pope says nothing more? No, because Bananas is not a due term for a legal act.

“Even if he said, I am renouncing bananas, during a solemn Consistory of the Cardinals, they could not proceed to elect another. Not even if he commanded them or allowed them explicitly to do so, because until he says I renounce the Papacy, Christ does not remove the office!

“These Cardinals also need to recognize that the criteria employed to determine validity in contractual law is not the same in beneficiary law. For in contractual law, as is used in Annulments evidence regards whether there was a right intention, this is principal.

“But in beneficiary law, which regards bequests, the intention has no force, what matters is only the verbal signification of the act of bequest. Renunciations fall under beneficiary law, not contractual law. This is the fundamental legal error of the Cardinals and bishops.

“For just as it is impossible for anyone to be the Pope unless he succeeds to the Chair of Peter, the office, so it is impossible for anyone to renounce the Papal Office unless in a forensic act there is an explicit renunciation of that office.

“The case is analogous to property law, wherein no one is the rightful owner of the same single property, until the one who holds the property rights renounces them in a legal act. Renouncing only the usufruct (ministerium) does not grant the title to the successor in law.

Investigating the causes of Pope Benedict’s invalid Abdication

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By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As is now notorious, Pope Benedict’s act of resignation of February 11, 2013 was invalid on account of not being in conformity with Canon 332 §2. Here at, the From Rome Blog, I have written about this extensively and subjected the text to a Scholastic analysis, demonstrating, I believe, conclusively, that the signification of the text can not be rationally said to conform to the norm of the law.

As a Latin translator of Ecclesiastical texts, I have wondered daily for six months how a mind such as that of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, could fall into such a grievous substantial error of mistaking the very object (cf. 126) of the act of a papal resignation, which is a renunciation of the Petrine Munus, to be rather a renunciation of the Petrine Ministry.

Ann Barnhardt sees malice in this, in an attempt to bifurcate the papacy. Her collaborators in Germany have found much evidence to this effect.  But as a Franciscan, who is obligated by the Rule of Saint Francis to recognize the canonically elected popes and show them respect, I consider it my duty to investigate other causes which involve less or no culpability. I take the position of the international Association, Veri Catholici, that we need not presume malice, ignorance suffices, if ignorance can be demonstrated.

In my recent article, the other day, on the Falsification of the Vernacular translations of the text of Renunciation, I showed conclusively that the Vatican has misrepresented the signification of the Latin Text of the act, which is the only official canonical text.

In that study, however, it was evident that the German translation was anomalous, that is, that it had entirely different errors than the other translations. These anomalies led me to today’s investigation.

Archbishop Gänswein and the German Translation of the Code of Canon Law

In the German translation of the Act of Renunciation, the anomalies are as follows:

  1. The Latin word, munus, is translated as Dienst.
  2. The Latin word, ministerium, is translated  sometimes as Amt, sometimes as Dienst.
  3. The syntactical association of the act of renunciation is followed by the correct translation of ita ut.

Following the forensic principle of Aristotle, that where there are 2 differing consequences there are 2 different causes, but when there is the same consequence, there is a unity among causes, I am led by comparison to conjecture why this may be the case.

Recall, if you may, the speech given by Archbishop Georg Ganswein at the Pontifical University of St Gregory the Great, in 2016, which sparked so much amazement, because in it, he said that Pope Benedict still shared in the Petrine Ministry and held the Papal Office.

Recently, however, Archbishop Gänswein, to both a German journalist and a journalist working for Life Site News, withdrew his assertions, claiming that he had misused the words for office and munus, in his German text.

Now, supposing that the Act of Renunciation, in the German translation, was overseen by Archbishop Gänswein, we might conclude that he has something to do with the anomalies it contains

This consideration alone, however, did not satisfy me, so I examined the causes for the Archbishop’s errors in German. Naturally, therefore, I went back to the Code of Canon Law in the Latin (the official text) and to the Vatican’s German translation (unofficial, but in practice used by German Speakers).

At the Vatican Website, you notice immediately that the German translation of Pope John Paul II’s Code of Canon Law is better linked than the English. In the German, the index contains links from each line of text, but in the English, the index contains links only in the titles to the books. This gives one to think that some German speaker was using the German translation of the Code quite frequently and has the authority to get the Vatican webmaster to add all the referential URLs, to make that edition more facile in its use.

This argues that Archbishop Gänswein, if not Benedict himself, frequently used the German translation.

O.K., that appears to be an obvious assumption, but there is a problem.  THE GERMAN TEXT IS ERRONEOUS. And not in a small way! In a very crucial manner: it gets the translation of Munus  WRONG! And that in a way that anyone using it, as a guide on how to Renounce the Papal Office, would write an invalid formula of resignation!

Let me explain, therefore, Why and How, Perhaps, Pope Benedict got his Act of Renunciation wrong in the Latin, and thus never in fact or before God resigned.

The key Canons which one must consult regarding how to write a valid act of renunciation of the papal office are canon 332 §2 and canon 145 §1. This is because in the former, the conditions for a valid resignation are stated, and in the latter, the nature of every ecclesiastical office are defined.

Let’s look at each in the German:

Can. 332 — 2. Falls der Papst auf sein Amt verzichten sollte, ist zur Gültigkeit verlangt, daß der Verzicht frei geschieht und hinreichend kundgemacht, nicht jedoch, daß er von irgendwem angenommen wird.

The error in this German translation is minor: it renders the Latin, Pontifex Romanus (Roman Pontiff) with the German, Papst, (Pope).  However, it correctly translates the sense of the Latin, munus, as Amt.  Because, in this canon, the Latin, Munus, has the sense of office, which is what the German, Amt, means.

It must be noted, here, that in the German translation of the Act of Renunciation, the author of that text in the crucial act of renunciation uses the correct German word for a VALID renunciation, Amt! — The only problem is, Pope Benedict XVI did NOT resign in German, he resigned in Latin!

But this anomaly of the German translation of the Act of renunciation does reveal, that at least ONE German speaker, the author of the translation, THOUGHT the act was a renunciation of the Papal MUNUS.

Now, let’s look at the other canon:

Can. 145 — § 1. Kirchenamt ist jedweder Dienst, der durch göttliche oder kirchliche Anordnung auf Dauer eingerichtet ist und der Wahrnehmung eines geistlichen Zweckes dient.

The importance of canon 145 §1 in the Code of Canon Law is this, that it DEFINES the nature of an ecclesiastical office (officium) as a munus.  As I have discussed in my commentary on Boniface VIII’s Quoniam, the Latin word, munus, is the perfect word for an ecclesiastical office, since it signifies both that the office is a dignity, a charge or burden, and a gift, which upbuilds the one who receives it with grace. There is no 1 word in any modern language, to my knowledge, which has all the senses of the Latin word, munus.

For this reason, its difficult to translate munus properly, which is why I use the Latin word even in English prose. (The German Translation of the Code, which appears on the Vatican Website, seems to be that by Father Winfried Aymans, JCD, an eminent doctor of Canon Law from the Diocese of Bonn, Germany. Who however, does not seem to be a Latinist per se, though, to his merit, he be a signer of the Correctio Filialis)

So in this German translation, we see the TERRIBLE error:  Every ecclesiastical office (Kirchenamt) is defined as a Dienst!  But Dienst as every German speaker knows, means what we in English mean by service, and what every Latin speaker means by ministerium.  So the German translation of canon 145 says:  Every ecclesiastical office is a ministry! When the Code of Canon Law in Latin actually says: Every ecclesiastical office is a munus!

In fact, in the code of Canon Law, in the Latin, Pope John Paul II never speaks of any ecclesiastical office as a ministry (ministerium), but always as an office (officium) or munus.

This means, that if any German speaker read canon 145 §1 in the German, as found on the Vatican Website, and probably in most German translations of the Code of Canon Law, he would be mislead into thinking that to resign an ecclesiastical office its sufficient to renounce the ministry of that office! — But this is precisely the error in the Papal Resignation!

If we go back to the other vernacular translations of the Act of Renunciation, which I analyzed in my previous post, we see that all of them follow the erroneous German translation of munus in the German Translation of the Code of Canon Law! But, illogically and inconsistently, also follow the erroneous Latin text of Pope Benedict when he says ministerium in the Act of resignation.  Thus the vernacular translations (excepting the German) are reading in some places the Latin original of the renunciation, in other places, the German translation of the Code and Act of resignation!  This is the scientific reason why the vernacular translations are worthless if not maliciously contrived.

The error in canon 145 §1 might also explain why Pope Benedict thought that in writing ministerio in the Latin text of his renunciation, he thought he was writing munus, because the erroneous translation makes it appear that the German for munus is the same as the Latin, ministerium. For the German of Canon 145 §1 says that every Amt is a Dienst (which in Latin is a ministerium, but in canon 145 §1 is the German translation for munus), and the German of Canon 332 §2, says a Pope resigns when he renounces his Amt. So it appears that Benedict was mislead into thinking that in Latin, if he renounced his Amt, he could sufficient signify that by renouncing his ministerium!

I pray to God, therefore, that SOMEONE in the Church, who can speak with Pope Benedict XVI in person, makes this known to him!