Meet Giovanna Chirri, mother of the notion that Benedict resigned the papacy

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This is our English translation of the article published by ChiesaRomana.info yesterday.

How did it happen that the entire world
thinks that Pope Benedict XVI
renounced the papacy?

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Behind every great man, there is a woman;
and behind every great act of a man, the insistence of a woman.

Today, nearly the entire world believes that Pope Benedict XVI renounced the papacy on Feb. 11, 2013.

And perhaps, dear readers, you think so too.

But the truth of what really happened that day has been obscured by the psychological presumption induced by the announcement made moments after the renunciation, by Mrs. Chirri. I am not kidding you!

Did you know that? The entire world thinks that way because of a single tweet, from a pool reporter for ANSA, known as Mrs. Giovanna Chirri. and here is that tweet:

In English, that reads:

B16 has resigned. He leaves the pontificate as of February 28.

This tweet is in fact the first announcement of the renunciation. It caused Giovanna Chirri to become immediately the most famous journalist in the world, for that moment. For the sake of posterity she subsequently gave several interviews so that we all might understand better the series of events which took place on that day.  Here is her testimony, given to the magazine, Familiga Cristiana, on the third anniversary of the Renunciation (Italian original here), the English translation of which is our own:

Though the Consistory should have concluded at that moment, the Pope remained seated, and began to read, again in Latin, from a white sheet which he held in his hand.  He said two things first of all: that he had not convoked the Cardinals solely to hear his approval of two decrees for the canonization of saints, but that he had to say something “important for the life of the Church”, and that he was growing old: his precise words were ingravescente aetate.  At these words I felt as if a hand was placed upon my throat and a ball was being inflated in my head: because Ingravescentem aetatem is the document whereby Pope Paul VI took from the Cardinals the right to elect a pope, after they obtained their eightieth year of age: they were words which signified retirement.  Benedict XVI continued to speak in a Latin, which fortunately was much more comprehensible than that of Cardinal Amato; he spoke for some time, saying that he no longer had the strength to govern the Barque of Peter in a world which is increasingly face paced.  He explained that in conscience he had decided to leave, that the Cardinals will have to hold a Conclave to elect a successor and that he was establishing the beginning of the sede vacante at 8 pm on February 28.

I heard what he said but as one who had not heard; I was breathless and my legs trembled as I sat. I could not hold my left hand steady, even when I tried with my right hand.  I began to make telephone calls seeking help and confirmations.  At the Vatican, where obviously, everyone had something else on their mind, no one picked up the phone.  I was prey to a sensation of terror which I had never experienced in my life.  At this point, Pope Ratzinger had finished speaking. Some of the faces of those present grew pale; Monsignor Guido Pozzo, sitting next to him, seem to have turned to stone; different Cardinals had fixed stares and the muscles of their faces were frozen.  In an unreal silence, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, said in Italian: “This news strikes us as a bolt of lighting out of the blue”.

As you continue to read her testimony in Italian, you see immediately that after three years, she has understood in part the error she made that day, for she no longer speaks of a renunciation of the papacy, but expressly now speaks only of a renunciation of ministry.

Hence, if on February 11, 2013, Mrs. Chirri announced to the world one thing, and three years after in 2016, she explains that Benedict had renounced something else, perhaps we can shake off our presumption that what she said first was correct? One thinks so.

Compare what she said in 2014 on the first anniversary of the renunciation, when she was interviewed by Antonio Sanfrancesco, likewise of Famiglia Cristiana, in an article entitled, La Giornalista che diede la notizia, Non rispiravo, ero terrorizato (qui). A title – which in English, means: The Giornalist who broke the story, I could not breath, I was terrorized – which does not give the reader any confidence that she had a clear mind at the moment of her tweet.

This history and the alteration of the narrative is important for all of us because, according to the norm of Canon Law, there is no canon which regards a renunciation of ministry!  This is because in the Code of Canon Law of 1983, ministry is never associated with power or office, but only with action or the execution of a duty.  Moreover, in canon 1331 §2 °4, ministry is not even listed among those things which an excommunicated person is forbidden to acquire.  Hence, in the Code, an excommunicate can exercise a ministry.

Obviously, if the thing, according to its genus, which Pope Benedict renounced on Feb. 11, 2013 is something which someone not in communion with the Church or with the pope, can exercise, how can it be possible that in renouncing it Pope Benedict separated himself from the papal office? That does not make sense. It’s not even rational to contemplate.

Hence, it appears that in changing her story, Mrs. Chirri no longer agrees with what she wrote on that day:

Indeed, let us read that tweet with precision: it contains the words, dimesso, lascia and pontificato, which in English are resigned, leave and pontifcate.  But no where in the Latin text of the renunciation does Pope Benedict use any Latin words which mean these things!

Hence, if we are to speak properly and with precision, her tweet is not a report of news, but an interpretation of the event, an interpretation which arises out of the state of her mind in that moment in which she rushed to get the scoop on the news before any other journalist.

Now, at last, perhaps the time has come for the Church to recognize that none of us is obligated to understand that act of renunciation according to the state of mind of Mrs. Chirri, the Mother of the Papal Resignation. I call her, “the Mother of the Papal Resignation”, because in the understanding of the world, it was she who gave everyone to understand the act as an act of renunciation of the papacy, not merely of the ministry, an understanding and interpretation which all who study Canon Law are forcing themselves to find in the Code of Canon Law, but fail to do so, because it ain’t there.

ORIGINAL CREDITS: Testo di Famiglia Cristiana citato dall’articolo citato qui sopra. L’immagine in evidenza, della Sig.ra Chirri trovato sulla pagina di Famiglia Cristiana nel articolo di 11 Febbraio 2014, citato qui sopra, ma senza attribuzione di proprietà intellettuale. Si presume fair use per tutti due. Il tweet di Chirri è replicata dal suo conto su Twitter che è ancora in rete.

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.

 

Benedict said in every way that He did not resign! — An Examination of His Testimonies

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by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the most common canards used to discount that Pope Benedict XVI is still the pope is that, regardless of all the Canonical Evidence that he did not, He has never publicly affirmed that he did anything other than resign the papacy.

This bold assertion is the kind of propaganda used by intelligence agencies to confuse the Enemy. And if you have not yet considered the evidence, you should take note not to be led astray.

In propaganda of the kind which is used in psychological manipulation, the first characteristic sought is to lie and lie boldly. As Rousseau affirmed, “Lie, Lie and Lie, and something will come of it”, or as Adolf Hitler said, the biggest lie is the most effective:

All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X[1]

The Big Lie: Benedict Resigned

The Big Lie operative in the Church today says that “Benedict resigned”.  As I pointed out in my previous post on the Vatican Coup d’etat of Feb. 11, 2013 (see link here), the Vatican has NEVER affirmed by a canonical document or press release that Pope Benedict resigned or renounced the Papacy. They merely confirmed a TWEET by a pool reporter, who knew some Latin.

This contradicts the expressed obligation of the Papal Law on Elections. Because in Pope John Paul II’s Law, Universi Dominic Gregis, n. 37, the Cardinals are obliged not to act if there has been no lawful vacancy of the apostolic see:

37. I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent; the College of Cardinals is also granted the faculty to defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few days more. But when a maximum of twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election.

And, thus, obviously, to observe that norm, the Cardinals MUST VERIFY whether there is in fact a lawful or canonical sede vacante.

In the present case, therefore, that means that they must verify that the norm of Canon 332 §2 was fulfilled.  But, again, as I have said before, the Vatican has never publicly affirmed that the resignation was canonically in conformity to Canon 332 §2, which is the only canon on papal resignations.

That Pope Benedict never resigned the petrine munus, as Canon 332 §2 requires, is a fact of history. Just read the Latin text of his renunciation and follow the norms of Canon Law on how to read it (see link here, and a discussion here; see an analysis of all the official Vatican translations, all fraudulent, which have attempted to present the Big Lie, here)

But, before we consider the testimonies from our Holy Father, let us first unpack the propaganda, of the Big lie, which is employed by nearly the entire Hierarchy, except Bishop Gracida.

Exposing the Fallacy of Resorting to the Big Lie

Therefore, the canard, that Benedict needs to affirm that he has not resigned the Papacy, before anyone can take seriously the canonical arguments that he did not do so validly are to be accepted — is a complete absurdity! It’s propaganda to support the Big Lie, because it takes as its first premise (though implicit) that the assertion that Benedict did resign has the pride of place, that is, the greater authority.

The international Association of Catholics, which is opposed to the Kasperites,  and called Veri Catholici, recently un-packaged the fallacy of resorting to the Big Lie, thus:

THE INSANITY IS UNENDING! — A supporter of Cardinal Burke told VC HQ that so long as Benedict does not confirm that he meant what he said, there is no evidence that what Cardinal Burke THINKS B16 meant is FALSE. Thus VC will discredit its own organization with truth!

The correct forensic principle, which a canonist SHOULD know, is that what someone says is prima facie what he means, and he who claims that the intention was such as to make it other than prima facie IS REQUIRED TO PROVE HIS INTERPRETATION by a first hand DENIAL of the prima facie.

THUS there is no necessity AT ALL that Benedict confirm that he resigned the ministry not the office, NAY there is the necessity for the Cardinals to obtain from Benedict the statement THAT HE NEVER INTENDED TO RENOUNCE THE MINISTRY BUT RATHER THE OFFICE OF THE PAPACY.
But this is impossible and contra factum, because FOR SIX YEARS BENEDICT HAS DRESSED LIKE THE POPE, SIGNED AS THE POPE, GIVEN BLESSINGS AS THE POPE DOES, AND ACCEPTED THE HONORS AND DIGNITY OF THE POPE! If that aint confirmatin of PPBXVI.org nothing is!
And if anyone should claim that he calls Bergoglio the pope and lets him run the church as a pope, nevertheless, though that could put in doubt the 6 year testimony, IT DOES NOT FORENSICALLY INVALIDATE THE PRIMA FACIE rather it argues for coercion or insanity, not validity!
Because FOR THE VALIDITY OF A PAPAL RESIGNATION there is required nothing but the DUE MANIFESTATION OF THE FORMAL SIGNIFICATION OF AN ACT OF RENUNCIATION OF THE PAPAL OFFICE: intentions not expressed are praeter rem!

though (a corruption of) liberty, (or) freedom (as can arise) from coercion or simony can corrupt a valid formal signification, cf canon 332.2 and 188.

(In this quotation I have corrected some typographic errors and elipsees in Italics)

With this preliminary introduction, let us proceed to the main subject then.

Pope Benedict’s Testimonies that He has not Resigned the Papacy

There are several things Pope Benedict did to signify that he never had the intention to resign and that he never did resign.

1. Normas nonnullas

First of all on Feb 22, 2013, he issued certain modifications of Pope John Paul II’s law on Papal Elections. In that Apostolic Letter, entitled Normas nonnullas (see link here), Pope Benedict did NOT make any changes to suit the occasion of a Papal resignation!

This is significant, because the Papal Law only tangentially refers to a sede vacante arising from a papal resignation, and clearly, if He had resigned the Papacy, he should have addressed that error in the Papal Law modifications which he enacted into law on Feb. 22, 2013! Not only did he NOT do that, but he modified a section of the law regarding PAPAL FUNERALS (n. 49). In this way he was giving a big sign that he was going to hold out as the Pope until death.

2. Final Audience of Wednesday, February  27, 2013: in Saint Peter’s Square

Next, In His Holiness’ final public audience to the Faithful, he confirmed this in extraordinary terms which cannot be reconciled with a papal resignation:

Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005. The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated. I was able to experience, and I experience it even now, that one receives one’s life precisely when one gives it away. Earlier I said that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and feel great affection for him; that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, throughout the world, and that he feels secure in the embrace of your communion; because he no longer belongs to himself, he belongs to all and all belong to him.

The “always” is also a “for ever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God.

(In this quotation I have added color to the text)

The Pope could not be more clear, he had resigned the active ministry of the office, not the office. He was resigning the power of governance, but remaining the pope.

All this refers not to a resignation, but a forced abdication or a voluntary retirement of someone who still retains the Papal dignity and office.

3. Pope Benedict leaves Vatican on Feb 28, 2013, as the Pope, not as Cardinal Ratzinger

The Final and loudest visible message was sent by the Pope on the following day, when he left the Vatican, but did NOT lay aside the symbols of the office of the Pope:

Even the New York Times affirmed that the Pope left the Vatican, not Cardinal Ratzinger.

ABC News shows what happened in this video:

 

 

Notice the facts, which are indisputable:

  1. Benedict is dressed as the Pope.
  2. All continue to treat him as the Pope.
  3. He is given official escort as a Head of State by the Italian Republic
  4. He flies, not to Munich, where his brother lives, but to Castel Gandolfo, the private residence of THE POPE.

Any objective observer must therefore conclude, that he remains the Pope, and is signaling that he remains the Pope. Because he is acting as the Pope, retiring from a Vatican that no longer wants him, but NOT as a Pope who has just resigned the Papacy.

Q.E.D.

 

______________________

NOTA BENE: Someone may say, But Pope Benedict recently said in June, 2019, that “There is only one Pope, and he is Francis”… That report was entirely false, and intentionally so. Here is more about that from Veri Catholici. Click on both links to read the two stories, the false claim by the Catholic Herald, and the debunking of the false claim by Life Site News:

No excuse before God or the Church!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, the true and only Pope of the Catholic Church, still.

The most disappointing reality in the Catholic Church today is not sexual perversion, however gross that is. Because while acts of sexual perversion are morally wrong, if a man retains the truth of the Faith, there is still a possibility of his repentance.

So, the greatest tragedy is, then, the loss of the Faith, the loss of truth.  When a mind comes to love lies, to love to lie, to live in mendacity and to defend and promote mendacity, the soul of the man has descended to infernal regions.

Such a soul has nothing of itself or in itself to dispose it to repent, for it has turned its back on truth.

This is why in the Controversy over Benedict’s resignation, those who say he validly resigned, have no excuse before God or the Church.

Because, as the Vicar of Jesus Christ, John Paul II decrees in Canon 332 §2, the validity of a papal resignation arises from only objective causes, it does not depend on you or me saying its valid or not.

Indeed, as that canon declares in its final clause, NO ONE IN THE CHURCH has the right or authority to say that a resignation which is not in conformity with that Canon is valid.

Canon 332 §2 — If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his MUNUS (office), there is required for validity that the resignation be made freely and duly manifested but not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.

Thus THE SOLE CRITERION for judging the validity of a papal resignation is in the objective facts of the act of resignation:

  1. There is a renunciation of the papal MUNUS.
  2. That renunciation is made freely, without the imposition of unjust force.
  3. That renunciation is manifested duly in accord with the norms of law by a public verbal act.

That means that NO ONE has the right to speculate WHETHER OR NOT a resignation is valid or not: it is only valid if it meets all THREE conditions simultaneously. It is NOT VALID, otherwise, that is if it fails to meet any one of those conditions.

Thus, every Cardinal, Bishop, priest, or talking head on Social Media, every journalist, layman, laywoman or consecrated religious, ARE BOUND BY THE CATHOLIC FAITH to judge the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI INVALID, BECAUSE

  1. POPE BENEDICT NEVER RENOUNCED his MUNUS.

in fact, on Feb. 11, 2013, he said explicitly, I renounce the ministry which I received….

That makes his act of resignation NULL AND VOID, because its not in conformity with the obligation to renounce the papal MUNUS. Indeed, in accord with Canon 38, every juridical act which is NOT in conformity with the norm of law is presumed to be INVALID, unless there is added expressly a clause which derogates from the obligations of the law. — There is no wiggle room here!

Thus, all the arguments in favor of the validity, all the rationalizations, all the speculations about intention to resign the office, ARE POINTLESS.  Those making such intellectual or verbal acts HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK, NO AUTHORITY TO JUDGE THE MATTER.

I therefore plead with all Catholics: do not go the way of Lucifer who rebelled in the beginning of time, because he wanted his own will, not that of God. Do not go the way of Adam and Eve who would not listen to God and would not mortify their minds and heart, but chose to rebel and tell God what was right and wrong.  Do not follow the faithless Jews, who having seen all the miracles of Jesus and His immaculate Holiness and integrity, chose to reject Him for the sake of doing their own will and following the elites of their own day.

I put you on notice. Reject the plain meaning of Canon 332 §2 and try to obviate it by speculations and excuses, and you will be damned, God will deprive you of the Light and every grace.

Because in doing such, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE BEFORE GOD OR THE CHURCH.

________________________

For more on this controversy see:

The History of the Controversy over the Validity of Benedict’s resignation (y en Espanol aqui)

All the major Arguments for the Validity, and their refutations (y en Espanol aqui)

Why Pope Francis is, by the law itself, an Anti-Pope

The will of Jesus Christ is at the core of this Controversy

Common errors of Canonists who are trained in Juridical Positivism, not the Mind of the Church.

My Reply to Archbishop Ganswein, and Cardinals Brandmuller and Burke

My Criticism of Dr. Roberto de Mattei

My Amazement at Cardinal Brandmuller’s lack of Cognizance of Canon 332 §2

 

 

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.

____________

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.

 

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. 6.

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.  —  If you say, that the act of declaration (“I declare”) is a papal act, not the act of the man, therefore it must be held to be valid, since the Pope is the supreme legislator and arbiter of the meaning of canonical acts, it must be responded that the declaration is made in the first person singular, not the first person plural, so the supreme legislator has already explicitly renounced his role in the declaration of the resignation.

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 Disputed Question, 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 speaks 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.

16. There is no petrine ministerium without a petrine office, for the two are inseparable according to right and being [secundum ius et esse].  Therefore, although Canon 332 §2 does require that a Pope renounce his munus to validly resign, nevertheless, a renunciation of ministerium is sufficient to effect this, because though “munus” names the papal office in relation to God’s gift of grace and duty, “ministerium” names the same office according to its relation to the Church. Therefore, to renounce the petrine ministerium, is to renounce the petrine munus.

Ad. obj. 16.:  It must be said, that this argument must be responded to by interemption, for it is false in both its major and minor propositions.  In its minor, it is false in being founded upon an error of interpreting the obligations of Canon 332 §2 according to the general custom of the science of theology, and not according to the norm of law. In its major, or premise, it is furthermore false in asserting that ministerium is not separable from office according to right and being [secundum ius et esse].  — In regard to the first, one must respond thus:  For in the science of theology, words can have differing significations in respect of the same or dissimilar things. But all this is praeter rem in regard to a discussion of the canonical signification of an act of resignation of ecclesiastical office, even more so, in regard to an office established by the Incarnate Word of God. For in such a matter, the argument must turn upon the office according to its being in the Divine Will and Intention, not upon the office as it is understood according to the personal theology of the man who is Roman pontiff. This is also true in regard to the Roman Church, whose Bridegroom is not the Roman Pontiff, but Christ Jesus Himself, now reigning in Glory. For that reason, not only is She bound to give the consent of Her will to the Redeemer, but also the assent of Her mind. Therefore, one would propose a manner of observing canon law which would be tantamount to adultery, if one held that it was licit for the Roman Church to regard the signification of a canonical act after the manner of the world, the flesh, or even private interpretation. Thus, not only is Christ by His promise to Saint Peter bound by canon 332 §2, promulgated by His Vicar, Pope John Paul II, to not withdraw the grace and office [munus] unless it be explicitly renounced, so also the Roman Church, which is His most faithful virgin Bride and virgin Spouse. Therefore, the Church must regard the obligations of canon 332 §2 as requiring a renunciation of munus, inasmuch as canon 17 requires that term to be understood in canon 145 §1. Nowhere in the Code of Canon law is a ministerium regarded as the office itself. So even if it was the intention of the author of Non Solum Propter, inasmuch as he was man, to signify the Papal Office in its relation to the service it renders, it does not by that fact alone become an act which the Church can accept as rite manifestatum, for an interpretation would have to be resorted to, and a reading of the text, outside the rules of signification of the Code of Canon law would have to be employed. And as such, it would not be canonically valid, even if one could sustain that it was theologically sufficient. Nevertheless, even if one were to grant that the words ministerium …. commissum spoke of the munus petrinum in its relation to the Church, since nothing is renounced but what is explicitly renounced, the act would effect nothing more canonically speaking than a renunciation of the office inasmuch as it is in such a relation, not of the office itself. And thus it would not be efficacious to renounce nor sufficient to signify the renunciation of the office in its relation to God and His gift of grace. But since this very relation refers to it according to its principle of being [secundum essendi principium] – for it is a gift immediately from Christ and established by an act of His will – such a renunciation does not effect what is essential to it. The act remains, therefore, vitiated by substantial error in its manner of signification, and thus is invalid ipso iure, by canon 188. — Finally, in regard to the premise of the argument, namely, that ministerium is not separable from office secundum ius et esse, it must be said that this is falsified by liturgical and canonical law. For since the suppression of minor orders, the state of the acolyte and lector are termed “ministries” [Canon 230 §1], yet such ministries confer no right to exercise such service at any time, but only the suitability to do so at the request of the celebrant of a liturgical act. Therefore, ministeria are separable in right and being from munus. — Thus, in conclusion, it appears obvious that the entire argument is false, since a conclusion which is drawn from a false premise and a false minor is entirely falsified.

17. The peaceful and universal acceptance of a Pope is caused by and is the effect of a valid papal election. Therefore, since 6 years have passed, even if the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI were invalid, his de facto silence at the usurpation of the Papal Office by Bergoglio is tantamount to a resignation. Therefore, whether the resignation was invalid or not, it now must be regarded as valid.

Ad obj. 17.:  Though, in common law, possession is nine tenths of right, and thus, usurpation can lead to acquisition of right; and though in Roman Law usucapione can obtain legal right to property after a long time, such a principle is not valid for two reasons. First, it is not valid theologically in regard to an ecclesiastical office which was established by Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, by an immediate personal act. Of which kind is the office of Pope. The theological reason is this: that no one can snatch anything out of the Hand of the Living God (John 10:28). And thus, no usurpation of the papal office can constrain the Godhead, Who is Infinite Justice and Omnipotence Himself, to transfer the grace of the Papal munus to another.  To hold otherwise, would be a theological impossibility and absurdity. — Second, it is not valid canonically, on account of Canon 359, which specifies that the College of Cardinals has authority to elect a Roman Pontiff only during a sede vacante.  Therefore, if the resignation of Pope Benedict XVi was invalid, there was no sede vacante, and therefore the College had no authority to elect a successor.  — As for tacit acquiescence: it is clear from Church History, that against the claims of an Anti-Pope no rightful claimant of the Apostolic See was considered to have relented merely for not prosecuting his right. Moreover, the argument of tacit acquiescence, however, has no application in the case under dispute, because that one acts on substantial error does not constitute tacit acquiescence, since tacit acquiescence requires the capacity of consent, a thing which is impossible through invincible ignorance in the case of substantial error. — Finally, as regards the universal and peaceful acceptance of a papal election: while this principle is certainly a valid reflex principle for troubled consciences in the case of a valid election, there is no possibility of a valid election when the College had no right to act, for it is contrary not only to Canon Law but to Divine Law to elect another Roman Pontiff while the Pope still lives and has not validly resigned. It is also not valid, as regards its implicit minor: namely, that there has been a peaceful and universal acceptance of the Papal resignation. There has not, as the preface to this disputed question demonstrates. Hence, the application of this reflex principle to the present case is at best praeter rem, and worse a subterfuge.

18. Benedict’s renunciation of ministerium validly effects a resignation of office, because, on account of Canon 10, which expressly says only those conditions of invalidity cause an act to be invalid, since canon 332 §2 speaks of invalidity only regard to liberty from coercion and due manifestation, not the naming of the office, since it was Benedict’s intention to name the papal office, as is evident from his accepting the title of Pope Emeritus, the naming of the ministerium instead of munus does not make the act of renunciation invalid. Furthermore, Benedict as pope is the supreme legislator, therefore he officially interprets the law (cf. Canon 16 §1), therefore he is able to resign the Petrine munus by resigning the Petrine miniserium.

Ad obj. 18.: While it is true that canon 332 §2 speaks of invalidity only in regard to the conditions of the act, nevertheless canon 188 speaks expressly of invalidity of resignations which are vitiated by a substantial error. Now, there is no more substantial of an error in resigning an ecclesiastical office, than to resign an accident of it or its second act of being (ministerium) and believe that in doing so one sufficiency signifies the office (munus). Furthermore, Canon 18 requires that the terms of canon 332 §2 be understood strictly, since the latter canon restricts the one who is renouncing. Therefore, the renunciation must explicitly regard the munus of the papal office, which in that canon and in canon 749 §1, like all episcopal offices (cf. Paul VI, Christus Dominus) in the entire Code, is referred to exclusively as a munus, because it is not merely an ecclesiastical office (officium) or service (ministerium) established by custom or the Church, but is a gift of grace and office (munus) established by the Living God by an immediate Personal Act (cf. Matthew 16:18 ff).  That each such office (munus) can exercise one or more ministeria is not only NOT an argument for the validity of Benedict’s resignation, but nay rather an argument against the validity, on account of canon 188, canon 17 and canon 41 (in the Latin), the latter of which expressly associates ministerium with the mere execution of an ecclesiastical office; and this, because the execution of an office or its services can be renounced by the infirm, who still wishes to retain the dignity of the office, as the history of the Church demonstrates. Thus, in virtue of canon 17, which explicitly requires that the texts of each Canon be understood according to the proper meaning of the words they contain as the context of the Code of Canon Law uses them, the argument drawn from canon 10, here, is invalid because it is praeter rem, that is, applicable only to the conditions of invalidity in canon 332 §2, not canon 188. — If you say, yes, Canon 10 applies only to the terms of validity expressed in Canon 332 §2 and thus allows a broad interpretation of the conditional clause which speaks of a resignation of the petrine munus: then it must be responded, that such a reading of canon 10 would nullify the requirements of canon 17, that terms must be understood properly, or at least fails from insufficiency, since the broad meaning of munus in the Code of Canon Law is officium not ministerium; which sense of officium refers to office, not execution of a ministry. — Regarding Canon 16 §1, it must be said, that yes, Pope Benedict as Pope is the supreme legislator and interpreter of canon law. But he is only legislator, when he legislates; whereas Canon 332 §2 was legislated by Pope John Paul II. Furthermore, though any Pope can officially interpret Canon Law, he must do so by a papal act, not by a substantial error. Thus, canon 16 does not apply in such a case. Nay, rather, Canon 38 expressly rules in this case, when it says: An administrative act, even if it be enacted by a rescript given Motu Proprio, lacks effect to the extent that it harms the rights of another or is contrary to the law or proven custom, unless the competent authority expressly has added a derogating clause. — Finally, as regards the Pope’s manifest intention to resign the papal munus, I have responded to this above in the reply to objections 2, 3 and 4.

19. As Dr. Taylor Marshall sustains on his video, “The Resignation of Pope Benedict: an Analysis”, “ministerium” and “munus” name the same thing: the papal office, therefore to renounce the one is to renounce the other. Therefore, the resignation is valid.

Ad obj. 19.: To a gratuitous assertion, no reply need be made, because it is not an argument. However, against this assertion, one must respond, since it attacks the very nature of reality itself.  For words have meaning, otherwise they would not be signs of communication. And different words can have different meaning, or there would be no reason to use them. Thus human language of necessity sustains the assertion that ministerium and munus can have different significations.  Any dictionary of Latin also sustains this, as anyone can demonstrate who has one. But that ministerium and munus in Canon Law mean the same thing, is entirely false, as has been demonstrated above by referring, in accord with the requirements of canon 17, to the Code itself which in canon 41 associates “ministerium” with the mere exercise of office, and canon 145 §1 which defines an ecclesiastical office as a “munus,” not a ministerium.  Thus, the Code of Canon Law itself uses the terms in different senses, and do not equate their significations as referring to an ecclesiastical office, in the sense that “bishopric” or “papacy” refer to an office. — This is a sufficient refutation according to the norm of Canon Law. But since the assertion conceals a grave error of the kind of Nominalism promoted at Tübingen, it merits to be refuted according to the science of philosophy. For just as there are 10 categories of being according to the Philosopher in his Praedicamenta, so words can be said in reference to one or more category of being. Now in canon 145 §1, the Supreme Legislator predicates munus of every ecclesiastical office. But no where in the Code does he predicate ministerium of any ecclesiastical office, only of roles or services rendered by one who holds an office or in his stead.  Therefore it is clear from canon 17 that this represents in the mind of the Legislator that munus signifies the being of something real, namely an office, but ministerium signifies the action or service rendered by one who holds such an office. Therefore, munus is said to be a substance itself, and ministerium is said of a substance in act. But this is the distinction of being and act, of substance and accident, according to the Praedicamenta.  Therefore, there is a real distinction between munus and ministerium, in the senses used in Canon 332 §2, 145 §1 and canon 41, just as there is a real distinction between any agent and the actions of the agent, though the latter inheres in the former. If this be denied, then the walking of Peter, which in Peter is Peter, when imitated perfectly by Paul would be just as much Peter in Paul as Peter in Peter, which is absurd.  Therefore, the walking of Peter in Peter is not a substance but an accident, like the color of Peter’s skin or the accent of his voice, which can be duplicated in other things, without making them Peter.  Likewise, the Petrine ministry, which is the action or service which the one who holds the Petrine Office should and can render, can be perfectly imitated in another, without making that other the Pope. This is the entire basis for the Roman Curia’s collaboration with every true Pope, when He delegates the execution of some part of his Petrine Munus to Cardinals and Bishops and priests at the Vatican or elsewhere. Therefore, to name the Petrine munus it does not suffice to name the Petrine Ministry (even if it be conceded that Benedict did this, which I have shown is not the case in the arguments of the first part), because just as when Peter renounces his walking, he remains Peter, so when the Pope renounces his ministry, he remains the pope. The semiotic rationale or ratio significandi for this is, that just as substance and accident are separable, so their unity is not necessary; therefore, the signification of the one which is the accident in the other signs no necessary or determinative reference to the one which is the substance. Therefore, in accord with canon 332 §2, which requires a manifestation of liberty and intention which is accord with the norm of law, such a manner of signification is invalid, because it requires an interpretation which the Law does not sustain as possible in accord with canon 17.