Great news! On 5 October 2019, there will still be exactly ZERO laywoman active lesbian Cardinals. None! I mean, the Cardinaliate is not a clerical state. Sure, the current discipline is that only ordained men can wear red, but that’s only since the 1917 code. There is no reason we can’t revert to laymen, and in this day and age, laywomen. Give it time. Give it time. Keep bowing down to the Heretic in Chief and Argentinian usurper.
Or, check your false base premise at the door, and keep your faith.
- Benedict’s renunciation was a null act, per canons 332.2 and 188
- When a juridical act is null, the situation reverts to the status quo
- If you hold that Benedict has delegated the Governance, he stills hold the office, per canon 131.1
- Since the See was never vacant, the conclave was ipso facto invalid, per canon 359
The following re-post lays out the foundation of why we are where we are. It’s three months old, but it got some unexpected traction on twitter yesterday, and some people got excited. It’s coherent and linear. Happy Sunday.
Words matter, in law and in actions: Canon 131.1 and the retention of Office
“I don’t have a degree in canon law, nor any advanced degrees of any kind. I have a diploma from a public high school and a B.S. in Food Marketing (from a Jesuit institution, no less… AMDG, y’all). But I can tell you this: Words have meaning; in the law, and in actions. That words are to be taken at face value, both in the law and in specific acts, is actually part of canon law (more to come on this). Everything presented here is done so according to the plain meaning of words, and you don’t need to be a genius to decipher it. Otherwise, it would be Gnosticism.” HERE
Well, this here essay is the “more to come” referenced there. Let’s start with Canon 17:
Can. 17. Ecclesiastical laws must be understood in accord with the proper meaning of the words considered in their text and context. If the meaning remains doubtful and obscure, recourse must be made to parallel places, if there are such, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the mind of the legislator.
When it comes to the law, words matter; the plain and proper meaning of the words. This idea is so important, they wrote this canon specifically to address it.
In addition to the importance of words in the law itself, there is also the importance of words in any individual act, as found in Canons 36 and 38. These appear in the section of the code called:
TITLE IV. SINGULAR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTS (Cann. 35 – 93)
Can. 36 §1. An administrative act must be understood according to the proper meaning of the words and the common manner of speaking. In a case of doubt, those which refer to litigation, pertain to threatening or inflicting penalties, restrict the rights of a person, injure the acquired rights of others, or are contrary to a law which benefits private persons are subject to a strict interpretation; all others are subject to a broad interpretation.
As we saw in Canon 17, the phrase “the proper meaning of the words” is used, but this time it’s about administrative acts. It then goes on to explain, more or less, that in juridical matters pertaining to persons, those words are subject to a strict interpretation, whereas in other matters they are subject to a broad interpretation.
Can. 38. An administrative act, even if it is a rescript given motu proprio, lacks effectinsofar as it injures the acquired right of another or is contrary to a law or approved custom, unless the competent authority has expressly added a derogating clause.
Canon 38 seems to be stating the obvious… an act which is contrary to law lacks effect. But the kicker is the last clause, which stipulates that if the competent authority expressly adds a derogating clause, the act DOES take effect, despite it being contrary to the letter of the law. This means an administrator, facilitating an act which he knows goes against some portion of the law, is able to validate the act by specifically (“expressly”) calling out the conflict, and exempting (“derogating”) his specific act from that aspect of the law, provided that the administrator has the “competent authority” to do so.
Now you may have heard it said that the pope is above the law; that canon law does not apply to him, because he is the supreme administrator. That notion is false. The law is of divine origin, it does apply to him, and we know this because we have canons that specifically apply to popes and no one else. However, as supreme administrator, the pope does have the “competent authority” to derogate whatever he wants, as we just saw from Canon 38. The thing is, he has to actually do the derogation.
Let’s take a look at two very specific canons related to Pope Benedict’s failed partial attempted resignation, and apply what we just learned to the proper words of Benedict’s act and the proper words of the law. Example #1:
Can. 332.2 If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.
We’ve beaten this one to death, right? He did not resign the Munus, he “resigned” the ministerio, so the resignation did not take effect. The combined force of Canons 17, 36, 38 tells us that his proper words did not properly manifest resigning the Office according to the proper words of the law, nor did he derogate any portion of the law in the Declaratio. The effect of his act was, as eye can plainly see, a mere delegation of the power of governance. Which conveniently bring us to Example #2:
Can. 131 §1. The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself; delegated, that which is granted to a person but not by means of an office.
Canon 131.1 appears in the section of the code called,
TITLE VIII. THE POWER OF GOVERNANCE (Cann. 129 – 144)
This canon is very interesting in light of all the uncovered theological discourse about a “demythologized” synodal papacy, or a scenario where the ruling monarch might “delegate” part or all of his proper power of governance to a surrogate(s), in an arrangement akin to a Regency. In fact, I seem to recall that this notion was so widespread among contemporary theologians of the 1950s and 60s that someone actually wrote their doctoral dissertation on it, and then, the Gregorianum thought so highly of it, they published it as a book, which now can be yours for the low low price of USD$4.87.
Free preview (pg. 197, parenthetical mine):
“When contemporary theologians (i.e. Kung/Rahner/Kasper/Ratzinger/Dulles/Neumann) apply ius divinum to Roman primacy they do not thereby imply that there can be no changes in the way papal authority will be exercised in the future.”
“In theory, the Petrine function could be performed either by a single individual presiding over the whole Church, or by some kind of committee, board, synod or parliament – possibly with a ‘division of powers’ into judicial, legislative, administrative, and the like” – Cardinal Dulles, 64 years ago
Let’s get back to Canon 131.1. Since we are talking about separating the governance of an office from the actual office itself, we better check the Latin to see if this really says what we think it says. It’s the only way to be sure.
Can. 131 — § 1. Potestas regiminis ordinaria ea est, quae ipso iure alicui officio adnectitur; delegata, quae ipsi personae non mediante officio conceditur.
Look. At. The. WORDS.
The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself. Now in the case of the Petrine Office, we are obviously talking about the active governance of the whole Church. So…. what if the power of governance for the Petrine Office was “delegated” from the monarch to a regent? What does Canon 131.1 say happens in such a case? Look at the words.
It says that in such a case of delegation, the power of governance is transferred to the person of the regent, but not by means of an office. The monarch fully 100% retains the office and fully 100% retains his monarchy. Remember, Benedict could have chosen to derogate this clause (delegata, quae ipsi personae non mediante officio conceditur), in accord with Canon 38 as explained above, when he attempted to “resign”/delegate the active governance of the Church, but he did not. And since he did not, the force of the law remains in effect: Benedict is the sole occupant of the Office, even though he is no longer exercising the power of the office for the governance of the Church. Here, let him explain it:
“The “always” is also a “forever”…My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life…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.” – Pope Benedict, Last General Audience (so far), 27 February 2013
21 thoughts on “I have great news about the newly announced Consistory!”
What does all this mean in terms of Pope Francis legitimacy and the validity of the decisions he has made?
1. Bergoglio is not ‘Pope Francis’
2. Since there is no ‘Pope Francis’ his wreckovations aren’t valid.
Yes, I agree with that and have. But this is merely my (our) personal opinion at the moment. My so-called “official position” on the papacy of Bergoglio is that it is ‘uncertain’ and therefore his direction and actions are ‘uncertain’. From a practical point of view the seat of Peter is now vacant.
Question: Where does Mark Docherty stand on this?
Michael, you’re a regular here. Surely you understand my position. I’m not interested in “practical” reality, I’m interested in ontological reality. As in, Benedict is the one and only living pope, and has been since 19 April 2005.
Thanks Mark. I’m more interested practical reality. I will treat Pope Francis papacy as uncertain.
While I understand Michael Dowd’s comment, and appreciate where he is coming from, it appears to me he is falling victim to the trap that has been sprung by the Modernists.
To wit: the practical reality is, and will be for the rest of our lives (more likely than not) an illegitimate Modernist heretic and his chosen illegitimate successors on St. Peter’s Throne implementing Modernist heresy throughout the Church Body. The Ontological reality (what he misses is that is the only reality that truly matters …. not what we see, but what God sees) is that the True Pope is hidden, forgotten and praying every day in a Vatican monastery cell, and that the person who “practically” occupies the Chair is chosen by Satan in fulfillment of Pope St. Leo XIII’s vision.
*Hopefully*, ideally, practical and ontological realities align. But when their is space between them, ontological always rules the day.
Thanks for the re-run of this post. I consider it to be one of the best explanations of what happened and why we can confidently know certain things that appear hidden. I PDF’d it for reference. Anyone who looks at this evidence, and remains unpersuaded has some explaining to do one day.
Michael Dowd: I was searching my mind for an example of practical reality vs ontological reality and the two examples I came up with were both from fiction: The Prince and the Pauper and The Man in the Iron Mask. Both of those fictional cases required practical belief in a fraud (which was eventually exposed), is that the situation in which you are interested, Mr Dowd? The choice to believe in an uncertain fraud? To be clear, are you willing to choose the practical reality that Bergoglio’s papacy is uncertain until an examination takes place? At the same time are you prepared to acknowledge that such an examination may likely be unsatisfactory much like the one that Cdls Bertone and Sodano headed up in 2000 regarding the “official Vatican” interpretation of the Third Secret of Fatima (these two Cardinals, I will add, were called out by name in Abp Vigano’s original statement from a year ago)?
Elsewhere, Aqua and others have pointed out that the ONLY visible unifier that Catholics have is the person of the Pope. Therefore, I hope you would see that the noble desire to “UNITE the clans” is an impossible practical reality until that upon which they unite is the person of Peter.
It strikes me that as in the case of Faith, regarding the one and only focus of visible unity for Catholicism at this unprecedented time, we each must strike out in trusting hope and somewhat blindly CHOOSE. I suspect that none of us can have the certainty that you and so many others seem to be expecting and craving, Mr Dowd. However, I submit that the most solid satisfaction that one can have at this time comes from relying on the rock of Canon Law where, as Mark has shown, words mean something or they mean nothing. Might you consider that the reality of Canon Law is both practical AND ontological?
Thanks Mark. What is the difference between practical and ontological?
My position on the status of Pope Francis is simply that given all questions surrounded the legitimacy of his papacy it must be declared ‘uncertain’ until this is cleared up. Perhaps it will never be cleared up, in which case it will forever remain uncertain. The fact that we effectively do not have a Pope should make no difference to anyone. For me, I choose to follow the pre-Vatican II magisterium.
The current canon law (1983?) is also questionable and uncertain along with all the Vatican II documents and all Church documents issued thereafter. Further I have faith that all of this will be cleared up eventually. I place my faith in God and His pre-Vatican II Church.
Ontology refers to the nature of a thing. Reality. The clear and convincing evidence I see is that Vatican II is a failed council, conduct with malice from the beginning, not just in its implementation. Furthermore, the evidence abounds with regard to the failed partial abdication of Pope Benedict.
“I see is that Vatican II is a failed council, conduct with malice from the beginning, not just in its implementation. Furthermore, the evidence abounds with regard to the failed partial abdication of Pope Benedict.”
Mr. Dowd: You say, “The fact that we effectively do not have a Pope should make no difference to anyone.” I think this statement shows a disturbing lack of acknowledgement that the Pope is the one visible unifier of the Catholic Church. To toss off Peter is what sede vacantists do with somewhat arbitrary and Protestant-like justifications.
It is good that you place your faith in God since that means that you also place your faith in the promises that He made to His Bride and to us: indefectibility, immutability, and infallibility. Ask yourself, “Which choice–FiP, BiP, or sede–brings those promises to the finish line?”
Unfortunately Pope Francis is a divisive figure driving many away and others into a quiet schism.
An unfaithful Pope is no Pope at all.
Thank you for your observation, Mr. Dowd. Like my husband and others you lose focus on and neglect ground ZERO. This focal point was publicly identified and came weeks before the divisiveness of Bergoglio: The non-abdication of Pope Benedict XVI is ground zero.
Keep in mind that even had the Cardinals’ meeting of March 2013 given us Cdl Sarah as Pope, he would be just as much an anti-pope as Bergoglio is because, as Prof Radaelli and others made public well before the end of February 2013, the resignation was not an abdication and therefore any man chosen in a ‘conclave’ would be an anti-pope. Bergoglio’s unfaithfulness gets a lot of attention but it is not the reason for his anti-popeness.
Rather the divisiveness of Bergoglio is a symptom NOT the root cause of our debacle. The root cause is evidenced in Canon 332.2 and the concomitant Laws noted in Mark’s article and at ppxvi.org. This evidence is what needs to be hi-lighted and pointed to through the smoke of distraction that is Bergoglio and his reign of terror.
Try not to be distracted from what you and many perceive as the “practical reality”; it leads to ineffective use of our resources.
The world acts as if Christ is not God. This is the practical reality.
Christ is God. This is the ontological reality.
The world acts as if Bergoglio is Pope. This is the practical reality.
Who is the Pope? This is the ontological reality.
Uriel: that is outstanding. Simple, clear, concise – as all true things are.
September 3, 2019 at 12:00 pm
“Uriel: that is outstanding. Simple, clear, concise – as all true things are.”
And also wrong. There can be no difference between realities. As a practical matter we should not consider Pope Francis papacy valid.
But you missed the point which aligns with your question: The world acts, the Church acts, *practically speaking* as if Bergoglio is Pope. And that has *practical consequences* in your specific family and life.
When you or your wife go to confession struggling with adultery; perhaps your child (or another’s child) struggling with their “sexuality”, any number of *practical* sins, the Sacramental advice given to you, to them, in Confession is “practically” different than what is ontologically true. The Truth is unchanged. What you receive, and are required to do is different.
That has always been my gravest concern: what are these Priests telling me and my family in matters of Sacramental obedience. The “Pope” demands obedience in very “practical” ways. Wife leaves you for another man. Son comes out as homosexual. Both wish to remain in the Church and receive communion. Your loved ones go into the Box with this consequential question. Priest is now required (in *practical* obedience to the “Pope” and Church) to encourage them in their choice, continue on in their no longer *practically speaking* sinful choice and receive communion in “mercy”. Any FSSP (SSPX etc) Priest who says otherwise is disobeying the clear directives of the “Pope”. Any Penitent who is counseled contra has grounds to turn the Priest in for *practical* correction and discipline.
The *practical* reality in your Parish and mine is that there is a mis-alignment between current Church Praxis and God’s Law. Whether the Priest chooses to obey or disobey this *practical reality* does not change the *practical* fact: The “Pope” demands obedience; *practical* obedience.
Aqua: very well said. Also very true.
In these dark days, who are we supposed to trust? Are we now supposed to be protestants, and place our faith and obedience in Christ alone and no earthly power?
We have to place our faith in what has been handed down to us from the apostles, and not the innovations that have poisoned our liturgy, faith, and morals.
Practical reality: “The King is most certainly wearing clothes – full, Royal regal regalia. We all agree he is clothed. His privy Council has so declared. Any who disagree are insane, insulting, illegal”.
Ontological reality: “The King is truly naked. I can see his privates and his buttocks. The privy Council is wrong. Do with me what you will”.
Aqua, might I add to your example of practical reality that the King is clothed by stressing that he is clothed only and specifically because we agree that he is clothed. Whether he really is clothed or not bears no weight on the true reality because we have agreed to the reality of his “Royal, regal, regalia”. Ayn Rand seems pertinent here: “You can ignore reality, but you can not ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”