Vatican recognizes Benedict as the Pope

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The image comes from Ann Barnhardt’s website, where she says she has confirmed its authenticity.  Father Paolo Borgia, is, according to Wikipedia, an assessor in the Vatican Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has the duty to respond to official correspondence received from the pope.

These affirmations coupled with Bergoglio’s public invitation to the crowds gathered at the 2019 Youth Day in Panama, “Wave your hands at Pope Benedict”, give all Catholics pause to think:

Because, suppose it be true that Bergoglio is Pope Francis, that is, is the true Pope. Therefore, it follows that when he invites us to call Benedict, Pope, he affirms publicly that Benedict is pope. But the Catholic Faith says there can only be one pope at a time. This is defined dogma, as per Vatican I.  Therefore, since the first one to hold the title of pope is the true pope, since no one can claim the title until the title be renounced, then it follows that Bergoglio in inviting all to call Ratzinger the pope, is in fact saying that he is not the Pope and has no valid claim on the papacy.

Thus all Catholics now, must call Benedict the Pope and stop calling Bergoglio pope.

But if you reject this argument, saying, that when Benedict resigned, we should ignore that he renounced the ministerium, though Canon 332 §2 requires the renunciation of munus, and that when Francis speaks we should ignore that he called Benedict, “el papa”, then, should you NOT ask YOURSELF if you have just put yourself above the Pope, whomsoever he be, and made YOURSELF THE INFALLIBLE INTERPRETER OF THE POPE.

Hence, those who hold that Bergoglio is the Pope, now, must have 3 popes: Bergoglio, Ratzinger and themselves.

Those who hold that Benedict made a small mistake in his act of renunciation, however, are the Catholics, with only one Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, just as the Church teaches there should be only 1 pope.

So ask yourself, which is more Catholic?

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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

 

 

Bergoglio concedes that Benedict is still the Pope

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We republish the words of Bergoglio, without comment, as their meaning is obvious:

Whether, with all Cardinal electors defecting, the Roman Church has the right to elect the Pope?

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By Alexis Bugnolo

In High Scholasticism, the Catholic Theologians, Saints and Doctors of the Church often considered many questions which were speculative, either in regard to what was true but unknowable by man (being hid in the mystery of God) or what could be in a special circumstance which may or may not ever come to be. As founder of The Scholasticum, an Italian non profit dedicated to the revival of the Scholastic Method, I believe that the Scholastic Method can greatly assist the Church even in Her most pressing needs and extraordinary crises. For that reason, I present here a Disputed Question, the import of which may arise, if His Holiness Benedict XVI pass to the Lord before Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and then only if, at such a time, the Cardinals holding fast to the faulty notion that Benedict’s resignation was valid, fail to convene within 20 days to elect his successor. For in accord with the current law on Papal Elections, Universi Dominici Gregis, n.37  Cardinals who do not attend a Conclave with that period no longer have their votes counted. (All references are to the new Code of Canon Law, Latin text; and the papal law on electing the Pope, Latin test.)

Whether, with all Cardinal electors defecting, the Roman Church has the right to elect the Pope?

And it seems that she does not:

1. For only the Cardinals of the Roman Church have the right to elect the Roman Pontiff, according to what is stated in Canon 349, where it says cui competit ut electioni Romani Pontificis provideat ad normam iuris peculiaris.  Therefore, since the Roman Church includes those Cardinals, Bishops and Clergy who are not Cardinal Electors, they have no such right. Therefore, the Church of Rome has no right to elect a Pope, even if all the Cardinal Electors fail to elect one.

2. Likewise, since the College of Cardinals has no authority during a Sede Vacante to act other than what is provided for in special law, namely, in the Law for Papal Elections, Universi Dominici Gregis, and this according to Canon 359, which reads: Sede Apostolica vacante, Cardinalium Collegium ea tantum in Ecclesia gaudet potestate, quae in peculiari lege eidem tribuitur; It follows that neither does the Roman Church, because what is denied a superior, is denied also to the inferior. But the College of Cardinals is denied license to act in any other way that what is proscribed in law, therefore also the entire Church of Rome which is inferior to the College.

3. Likewise, since the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, n.4, expressly forbids any variation or alteration in law during a Sede Vacante, when it says: Sede Apostolica vacante, leges a Romanis Pontificibus latas non licet ullo modo corrigi vel immutari, neque quidquam detrahi iis sive addi vel dispensari circa partes earum, maxime eas, quae ad ordinandum negotium electionis Summi Pontificis pertinent. Si quid contra hoc praescriptum fieri vel attentari contigerit, id suprema Nostra auctoritate nullum et irritum declaramus; there is nothing which the Roman Church can do, even if all the Cardinals defect, since there is no provision in Canon Law for such action.

4. Likewise, the ancient right of the Roman Church to elect the Roman Pontiff was abrogated when that right was restricted to the Roman Clergy, and again, when that right was further restricted to the Cardinals of the Roman Church. Therefore, no such right exists.

5. Likewise, the ancient right of the Roman Church to elect the Pope was no more than a custom of the Roman Church. But laws of custom have no force if they have not been observed for 1300 years (cf. Canon 26). Therefore, the Roman Church has no such right.

ON THE CONTRARY:

It seems that she does:

1. By Apostolic Institution of the Apostle Saint Peter, the Roman Church undubitably enjoyed the right to elect the Roman Pontiff.  This right was restricted by special degree in the 7th century to the Roman Clergy, and in 11th century to the Cardinals of the Roman Church. Yet such a restriction which was prudential and a benefice cannot extinguish the apostolic right, in accord with the principle of law, which states that general prescriptions take precedence to special benefices: Generale praescriptum beneficio speciali anteferendum est (Theodosian Code: DEM AAA. VICTORIO P(RO)C(ONSULI) ASIAE). Therefore, in the case that there are no Cardinal Electors, whether in fact or by defection to an Anti-Pope, or to a Heretical or Schismatic Church, the apostolic right of the Roman Church revives. Therefore, the Roman Church has such a right in their absence.

2. Likewise, by the Code of Canon Law, which declares that all rights which have never been revoked remain in force, according to canon 4, which reads: Iura quaesita, itemque privilegia quae, ab Apostolica Sede ad haec usque tempora personis sive physicis sive iuridicis concessa, in usu sunt nec revocata, integra manent, nisi huius Codicis canonibus expresse revocentur; but the right to elect the Roman Pontiff was indubitably granted by the Apostle Saint Peter to the Roman Church, and that right has never been revoked. Nay, it is the very justification and inherent principle maintained when the Roman Synod in the 7th century restricted the exercise of that right to the Clergy, and when the Pope in the 11th century restricted it further to the College of Cardinals. This is confirmed by canon 6 §4, which restricts the abrogation of previous laws and rights to those things which are integrally expressed in the New Code. But such case, of having no Cardinal Electors, is not provided for. Therefore, it is not integrally included. Therefore, the rights to be referred to in such a case are NOT obrogated. Therefore, that right remains in force always to be revived.

3. Likewise, the ancient right of the Roman Church to elect the Roman Pontiff was ever held to have the force of law. This is self evident from history. But as canon 25, teaches: Nulla consuetudo vim legis obtinet, nisi a communitate legis saltem recipiendae capaci cum animo iuris inducendi servata fuerit. But, such is the case with the ancient right of the Roman Church, especially since when this right was restricted, the ancient reason for it was never denied or explicitly abrogated. This is proven by the fact that the Cardinals are still called Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Therefore, in the absence of all Cardinals, whether by bad will or substantial error, the right returns to the Roman Church.

4. Likewise, custom is the best interpreter of law (Canon 27). But, when Pope John Paul II was near death, the Cardinals and Bishops in his presence presumed his consent to use his signet ring to appoint Bishops which he had already considered for nomination. And no one in the Church objected to this. Therefore, it is right to presume the consent of a lawgiver, in cases in which he never foresaw. But such is the case of a substantial error in a papal resignation, when all the Cardinals fail to notice that substantial error and are consequently led not to convene in Conclave to elect a successor, but cleave instead to an Anti-Pope which they elected uncanonically during the lifetime of the Pope. Therefore, in such an unforseen and extraordinary case, the Roman Church has a right to have recourse to the ancient law.

5. Likewise, from the principle of subsidiarity, that, namely, when a higher or more dignified part of the body politic fail, the right to act passes to the subordinate authority. This is based on the teaching of Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them. But, with all the Cardinals failing, it would be wrong to deny what the lesser and subordinate organization, the Roman Church, can do. Therefore, if all the Cardinal Electors fail to act on account of an obstruction which they themselves cannot or fail to remove, the Roman Church, as the entity to which they belong by incardination, receives license to resort to the Apostolic right which it has ever enjoyed, in part or whole, of electing the Roman Pontiff.

6. Likewise, from the Code of Canon Law itself, in canon 28: nisi expressam de iis mentionem faciat, lex non revocat consuetudines centenarias aut immemorabiles; hence, since the apostolic right of the Roman Church is of time immemorial, and since that right is not expressly revoked in the present Code, it remains in force, in due circumstances. But the absence of all Cardinals Electors is not only a due circumstance, but one which puts the very constitution of the Church in the gravest danger, since the Office of Saint Peter is not only useful but necessary for the salvation of souls. Therefore, such a right cannot be considered abrogated by the new Code nor by the papal law on the Election of the Roman Pontiff, even if it seems to be expressly abrogated. Therefore, the Roman Church has such a right, in such circumstances.

RESPONDEO:

I RESPOND:  It must be said, that whether by good will or bad, the act of electing a Roman Pontiff during the life time of a validly elected Roman Pontiff is both a crime against God and against the unity of the Church. It is a crime against God, since Christ has ordained only one man to be pope at any given time. Its a crime against the unity of the Church, since it causes a de facto schism between those who adhere to the true Pope and those who adhere to usurper and false pretender.  Now, even if the Cardinals who do this, do so without malice, but operate under substantial error, nevertheless before the law they must be held to be guilty of the sin and crime of schism, whereby they lose every office and privilege in the Church.

Now the Roman Church, which has ever held the right by apostolic privilege of electing the Roman Pontiff, enjoys in a special way the promise and right granted by Our Lord when He declares that “the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against My Church.” But the Gates of Hell would prevail against the Roman Church if she were deprived of a validly elected Pope and forced to submit to a pertinacious public heretic, apostate or Freemason.  Therefore, the Church of Rome has the right to elect the Roman Pontiff, in the special case wherein all the Cardinal Electors fail to exercise their right to do so. But in accord with the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, this right must be exercised within 20 days after the death of the Roman Pontiff.

Therefore, if Pope Benedict XVI dies before Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and after 20 days no Cardinal Elector convenes in Conclave to elect his successor, the Roman Church, composed of all the Cardinals, Bishops and Clergy, incardinated in the Diocese of Rome, excluding those who adhere to the de facto schism, have the right to elect the Roman Pontiff.

For this reason, the arguments to the contrary are to be accepted, which sufficiently refute the arguments which contradict them.

 

 

 

 

Christ regards Benedict alone, as His Vicar on Earth

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

Where Robert de Mattei is wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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