Flashback: Canon Law Expert Br. Bugnolo responding to Fr. Belland agreeds that Pope Benedict's Resignation was Invalid
Latin language expert Br. Alexis Bugnolo and Fr. D. Belland had an
informative exchange on the From Rome website comment section in which
Br. Bugnolo responding to Fr. Belland apparently agreeds that Pope
Benedict XVI's resignation was invalid:
Who will do the sorting and by what means are the Bishops in union with Rome going to be determined under your proposal?
Two items must be addressed: first is that while you seemed to agree with the application of Virtue of Equity in my essay just sent you, saying you didn’t initially understand how it fit into the picture, which Equity is a means of correcting a law or laws (which would do harm regarding a situation unforeseen by the Law Giver). In this case those Laws demanding a resignation from the MUNUS, which as they stood, if observed would prevent the Pontiff, operating under the most difficult circumstances–diabolical, from maintaining the Papacy from the enemies of the Church; furthermore, if he had been murdered or actually resigned it would have been a success for Satan, who had infiltrated the Church–there was probably no third choice without Equity other than full resignation or being murdered.
Secondly, if Fr. Belland is able to read correctly what Benedict said in his Renunciation Declaration (and I ask any capable Latinist to show where the explanation of my translation is wrong)–that document being one brilliant piece of Latin for the good of the Church, but the Cardinals, for whatever reason, did not understand what he did, the onus falls on them–not on Benedict. But Benedict knew what he was doing; he even stated publicly that his resignation was in fact VALID (*”There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry,*” the retired pope wrote in a letter to Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican correspondent for the newspaper La Stampa and the website Vatican Insider.). Benedict is implicitely being called a liar when his words are interpreted to mean something other than what he says, i.e., telling him he’s wrong. The onus, Brother, is on you to prove that Benedict was lying or to ask him how his renunciation was valid instead of lecturing to him about his invalid resignation:
The correct forensic principle, which a canonist SHOULD know, is that what some/one/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. (From your own blog, Brother: Benedict said in every way that He did not resign! — An Examination of His Testimonies).
I ask you, Brother, to address precisely HOW Equity cannot be used in Benedict’s case; certainly no Law Maker, in his right mind, is going to issue a law which forbids the use of Equity, truly an institution in Canon Law from the beginning. Please show me where Amleto Giovanni Cicognani is wrong in his text book: /Canon Law–/I believe I sent you a copy of the whole section on Equity from his book/, /and also where St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa is wrong about the Virtue of Equity.
God bless and Our Lady protect you always, Father Belland
Br. Bugnolo responding to Fr. Belland:
Dear Father, the problem you address is one of semantics. Because if one looks at Non Solum Propter as a Papal resignation, then one says that as such it is invalid per canon 188 on account of lacking the proper object of the act. However, as I said in my disputed question’s Respondeo, IF one says that it is a renunciation of ministerium, to prepare for a retirement while retaining the office, then it is not invalid, but valid. Nevertheless, it does not have the effect of the loss of office. — As much as I understand the concept of equity, the Pope, since he can validly renounce the papal office, can thus validly renounce any part of the papal prerogatives and keep the rest WHEN there is grave cause and a circumstance not foreseen by the law. In this case, as I explained in my article, How Benedict has defeated “Francis”, a few days ago, the threat to assassinate him if he did not resign and his realization of how evil his enemies were, put him in seemingly a situation from which he could not escape: die and let them take the office, or live and renounce the office and let them take the office. Acting, as I believe, for the good of the Church and to PROTECT the papal office, and KNOWING from his doctors or perhaps by special revelation, that he would outlive Bergoglio, he posited an act of retirement but packaged it with the box and ribbons of a resignation of office, so as to deceive the St Gallen Mafia. I previously considered this possibility but discounted it as gravely immoral, even until recently. It was not until I read the article about Benedict offering the Secretary of State to Bergoglio in 2005 that I began to unravel the politics behind the decade old struggle of Church and AntiChurch of which Pope John Paul II spoke.
However, you are correct in saying that it is not an act of resignation, and that therefore, speaking in the proper sense, it is a valid act of renunciation of ministry, which does not effect the loss of office. I have habitually called it an act of resignation which is invalid, in an improper sense, because I was responding to the Big Lie which has gripped the Church, more principally, than examining the act per se.
Br. Bugnolo says the only correct way to approach the validity or invalidity of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation of the papacy is an objective reading of what the two words ministerium and munus mean by means of using canon 17's criteria and not a subjective reading of what the two words may possibly have meant in the mind of Benedict:
"Canon 17 requires that Canon 332 S2 be read in accord with the meaning of canon 145 S1 and canon 41... requires that ministerium and munus be understood as referring to two different things."
(From Rome, "Ganswein, Brandmuller & Burke: Please read Canon 17, February 14, 2019)
He has explained in overwhelming detail in the following treatise using canon law why canonists are wrong in saying ministerium and munus are synonyms that mean the exact same thing or nearly the exact same thing:
Munus and Ministerium: A Textual Study of their Usage
in the Code of Canon Law of 1983
Ministerium in the Code of Canon Law
Can. 519 – Parochus est pastor proprius paroeciae sibi commissae, cura pastorali communitatis sibi concreditae fungens sub auctoritate Episcopi dioecesani, cuius in partem ministerii Christi vocatus est, ut pro eadem communitate munera exsequatur docendi, sanctificandi et regendi, cooperantibus etiam aliis presbyteris vel diaconis atque operam conferentibus christifidelibus laicis, ad normam iuris.
Canon 519: The parish priest is the pastor of the parish assigned to him, exercising (fungens) the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, in a portion of whose ministry in Christ (in partem ministerii Chirsti) he has been called, so that he might execute (exsequatur) the munera of teaching, sanctifying and ruling for the same community, with the cooperation also of the other priests and/or deacons and faithful laity assisting in the work, according to the norm of law.
756 § 2. Quoad Ecclesiam particularem sibi concreditam illud munus exercent singuli Episcopi, qui quidem totius ministerii verbi in eadem sunt moderatores; quandoque vero aliqui Episcopi coniunctim illud explent quoad diversas simul Ecclesias, ad normam iuris.
756 §2 In regard to the particular Church entrusted to him, every Bishop, who is indeed the moderater of the whole ministry of the word to it, exercises (exercent) this munus; but also when any Bishop fulfills that conjointly in regard to the diverse Churches, according to the norm of law.
Again in canon 759, ministerii is used regarding the preaching of the word. In Canon 1370 it is used in reference to the contempt of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1373, it is spoken of in regard the an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1548 in regard to the exercise of the sacred ministry of the clergy.
Can. 1389 – § 1. Ecclesiastica potestate vel munere abutens pro actus vel omissionis gravitate puniatur, non exclusa officii privatione, nisi in eum abusum iam poena sit lege vel praecepto constituta.
2. Qui vero, ex culpabili neglegentia, ecclesiasticae potestatis vel ministerii vel muneris actum illegitime cum damno alieno ponit vel omittit, iusta poena puniatur.
Canon 1389 §1 Let the one abusing Ecclesiastical power and/or munus be punished in proportion to the gravity of the act and/or omission, not excluding privation of office, unless for that abuse there has already been established a punishment by law and/or precept.
2. However, Let him who, out of culpable negligence, illegitimately posits and/or omits an act of ecclesiastical power and/or ministry and/or of munus, with damage to another, be punished with a just punishment.
Can. 1331 – § 1. Excommunicatus vetatur:
1 ullam habere participationem ministerialem in celebrandis Eucharistiae Sacrificio vel quibuslibet aliis cultus caerimoniis;
2 sacramenta vel sacramentalia celebrare et sacramenta recipere;
3 ecclesiasticis officiis vel ministeriis vel muneribus quibuslibet fungi vel actus regiminis ponere.
- from having any ministerial participation in the celebrating of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist and/or in any other ceremonies of worship
- from celebrating the Sacraments and/or sacramentals and from receiving the Sacraments;
- from exercising (fungi) ecclesiastical officia and/or ministeria and/or munera and/or from positing acts of governance.
Can. 41 — Exsecutor actus administrativi cui committitur merum exsecutionis ministerium, exsecutionem huius actus denegare non potest, nisi manifesto appareat eundem actum esse nullum aut alia ex gravi causa sustineri non posse aut condiciones in ipso actu administrativo appositas non esse adimpletas; si tamen actus administrativi exsecutio adiunctorum personae aut loci ratione videatur inopportuna, exsecutor exsecutionem intermittat; quibus in casibus statim certiorem faciat auctoritatem quae actum edidit.
Canon 41: The executor of an administrative act to whom there has been committed the mere ministry (ministerium) of execution, cannot refuse execution of the act, unless the same act appears to be null from (something) manifest [manifesto] or cannot be sustained for any grave cause or the conditions in the administrative act itself do not seem to be able to have been fulfilled: however, if the execution of the administrative act seems inopportune by reason of place or adjoined persons, let the executor omit the execution; in which cases let him immediately bring the matter to the attention of (certiorem faciat) the authority which published the act.
Can. 1384 – Qui, praeter casus, de quibus in cann. 1378-1383, sacerdotale munus vel aliud sacrum ministerium illegitime exsequitur, iusta poena puniri potest.
Canon 1384 Who, besides the cases, concerning which in canons 1378 to 1383 the priestly munus and/or any other sacred ministerium is illegitimately executed, can be punished with a just punishment.
Munus in the Code of Canon Law
Can. 145 – § 1. Officium ecclesiasticum est quodlibet munus ordinatione sive divina sive ecclesiastica stabiliter constitutum in finem spiritualem exercendum.
Canon 145 § 1. An ecclesiastical office (officium) is any munus constituted by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance as to be exercised for a spiritual end.
Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.
Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his munus (suo munero), before he receives the document (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) its integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of it has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.
Can. 1484 – § 1. Procurator et advocatus antequam munus suscipiant, mandatum authenticum apud tribunal deponere debent.
Canon 1484 §1. The procurator and advocate ought to deposit a copy of their authentic mandate with the Tribunal, before they undertake their munus.
4 nequit valide consequi dignitatem, officium aliudve munus in Ecclesia
- He cannot validly obtain a dignity, office and/or any munus in the Church.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [ ]