IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MAN TO BE ELECTED POPE WHILE HE IS IN THE STATE OF BEING AN EXCOMMUNICANT? THIS IS MORE THAN A HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION.

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Election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis

My people have been a lost flock: their shepherds have caused them to go astray and have made them wander in the mountains.  They have gone from the mountain to the hill: they have forgotten their resting place.”  (Douay-Rheims translation, Old Testament, Jeremiah 50:6)

 

According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [i.e., Christian Faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”  (1983 CIC 212 §3)

 

By John J. Aréchiga

 

27 March 2017

 

The March 13, 2013, papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is arguably a high point in an ongoing MODERNIST conspiracy and this commentary will establish that Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis) papal election is invalid.   

 

On March 12, 2013, the Papal conclave of 2013 convened to elect a pope to succeed Benedict XVI – following the resignation of Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013.

 

On March 13, 2013, the College of Cardinals elected Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ, an Argentine cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires as pontiff.  He selected the name of Francis. 

 

Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) celebrated his inauguration on March 19, 2013, and installed as Bishop of Rome on April 7, 2013. 

 

The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, Canon 160, makes clear that only an apostolic constitution governs the election of the Roman Pontiff. 

 

“The election of the Roman Pontiff is guided SOLELY (emphasis supplied) by the constitution of [Pope] Pius X Vacante Sede Apostolica of December 1904; in other ecclesiastical elections, the prescriptions of the canons that follow are to be observed [as well as] those special ones, if there are any, that are established for individual offices.”

 

In this regard, The 1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law, Canon 349, is consistent with the  1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law.  In pertinent part:  

 

“The cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a special college which provides for the election of the Roman Pontiff according to the norm of special [not canonical] law [Apostolic constitution].”

 

On February 22, 1996, His Holiness John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff, published Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution, On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.  Pope John Paul II declared abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time declared completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to Universi Dominici Gregis.   

 

The election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was therefore pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution, On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff, Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on February 22, 1996, by His Holiness John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff.   

 

That being said, it is very important to note that this author is NOT a canon lawyer.  The author used English translations of both the  1983 Johanno-Pauline Code of Canon Law and the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law to develop this commentary. 

 

In moving forward one must first understand the relevance of Universi Dominici Gregis before discussing relevant allegations and arguments. 

Promulgation of Universi Dominici Gregis

In promulgating Universi Dominici Gregis His Holiness Pope John Paul II wrote:

 

“Wherefore, after mature reflection and following the example of my Predecessors, I lay down and prescribe these norms and I order that no one shall presume to contest the present Constitution and anything contained herein for any reason whatsoever (emphasis supplied).  This Constitution is to be completely observed by all, notwithstanding any disposition to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention.  It is to be fully and integrally implemented and is to serve as a guide for all to whom it refers.  As determined above, I hereby declare abrogated all Constitutions and Orders issued in this regard by the Roman Pontiffs, and at the same time I declare completely null and void anything done by any person, whatever his authority, knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution (emphasis supplied).  Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle, in the year 1996, the eighteenth of my Pontificate.  [Universi Dominici Gregis, Promulgation].” 

 

An Apostolic Constitution, absent specific reference to a specific canon, takes precedence over canon law.  Therefore, Canon Law did not have any bearing on the papal conclave election. 

 

Interjecting canon law into the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) only serves to distract, confuse, and obfuscate relevant criteria:  Universi Dominici Gregis. 

Powers of the College of Cardinals during the Vacancy of the Apostolic See

In promulgating Universi Dominici Gregis His Holiness Pope John Paul II made clear the powers of the College of Cardinals during the vacancy of the Holy See, and the election of the Roman Pontiff.  Paragraphs 4-6 state: 

 

“During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, laws issued by the Roman Pontiffs can in no way be corrected or modified, nor can anything be added or subtracted, nor a dispensation be given even from a part of them, especially with regard to the procedures governing the election of the Supreme Pontiff.  Indeed, should anything be done or even attempted against this prescription, by my supreme authority I declare it null and void (emphasis supplied).”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 4] 

 

“Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points.  I also establish that should it be necessary to discuss these or other similar questions, except the act of election, it suffices that the majority of the Cardinals present should concur in the same opinion.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5]

 

“In the same way, should there be a problem which, in the view of the majority of the assembled Cardinals, cannot be postponed until another time, the College of Cardinals may act according to the majority opinion.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 6] 

 

Arguably, Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5, also rendered Normas Nonnullas superfluous, unnecessary, and moot. 

Determining Validity of the Papal Election

A valid papal election depended on the compliance with Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.  

 

Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76]  

 

I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full (emphasis supplied), even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 77]  

 

Universi Dominici Gregis paragraph 76 essentially references the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by paragraphs 78-86; paragraph 77 emphasizes that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff.  

 

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, states: 

 

“The [Papal] election is for this very reason null and void”  

 

As written, “for this very reason” refers to “election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed.”

 

As written, “the [Papal] election” infers there was an election – and that the Church moved on. 

 

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, also states: 

 

“Without any need for a declaration on the matter;”

 

As written, there is no need for adjudication by anyone.  This includes the Magisterium and the College of Cardinals.  This is both a logical and critical concept.  It would be illogical to take the evidence of an invalid papal election to the invalidly elected pope or his appointees.  It would also be a conflict of interest to take the evidence of an invalid papal election to the invalidly elected pope or his appointees. 

 

The inference is that all that is required is for one or more responsible parties step forward with evidence that the papal election took place in a way other than that prescribed in Universi Dominici Gregis.  This includes members of the laity.

 

In pertinent part Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, also states: 

 

“Consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”

 

As written, paragraph 76 infers that an invalidly elected pope does not speak infallibly on matters of Church faith and doctrine; cannot convene Church councils, synods, etc.;  cannot lawfully reassign, appoint, or consecrate bishops, archbishops, or cardinals; cannot lawfully reorganize or restructure the Roman Rota; etc. 

 

As written, paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in a way other than that prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis.

 

As written, paragraph 76 infers it may be days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in violation of the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 78-86. 

 

Given the preceding discussion of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 76 and 77, it is very important to note that paragraphs 76 and 77 were not addressed by Pope Benedict XVI’s February 22, 2013, Apostolic Letter, in the form of a Motu Proprio, that addressed specific issues concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff.  

 

Given the preceding discussion of Universi Dominici Gregis, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, it is also very important to note that paragraphs 78-86 were not addressed by Pope Benedict XVI’s February 22, 2013, Apostolic Letter, in the form of a Motu Proprio, that addressed specific issues concerning the election of the Roman Pontiff.  

 

It bears repeating:  A valid papal election depended on the compliance with Universi Dominici Gregis, Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.  

 

“Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76]  

 

“I decree that the dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself must be observed in full, even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff, in accordance with the provisions of Canon 333 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law and Canon 44 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 77]  

 

Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff

The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff are enumerated in Universi Dominici Gregis, Part II, The Election of the Roman Pontiff, Chapter VI, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86.  These are the “conditions laid down” referenced by paragraph 76:

 

“Confirming the prescriptions of my Predecessors, I likewise forbid anyone, even if he is a Cardinal, during the Pope’s lifetime and without having consulted him, to make plans concerning the election of his successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79]  Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor. 

 

“In the same way, I wish to confirm the provisions made by my Predecessors for the purpose of excluding any external interference in the election of the Supreme Pontiff…. I intend this prohibition to include all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope (emphasis supplied).”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80]  Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor. 

 

In pertinent part:  “The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons.  If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it….  It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81]  Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor. 

 

“I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate.  These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82]  Arguably, this is a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor. 

 

In pertinent part:  “With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity (emphasis supplied).”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 83] 

 

Arguably, these “matters to be observed or avoided in the election of the Roman Pontiff” are a polite way of saying “thou shalt not conspire with others” concerning the election of a pope’s successor:   

 

Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, and to the extent there is credible evidence, “should the conditions laid down here [paragraphs 78-86] not be observed, the [papal] election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” 

Relevant Allegations and Arguments

In recent days, weeks, and months allegations have surfaced that the papal  election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, Part II, The Election of the Roman Pontiff, Chapter VI, Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86.  For example: 

 

  1. October 1, 2015, Kindle eBook published Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography; and published the hardcover edition in Dutch on September 22, 2015.  

The authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels is documentary evidence.  Pertinent parts of the authorized biography focus on the matters to be observed or avoided in the election of the Roman pontiff, (paragraphs 78-86).

 

  1. In a September 23, 2015, article Karim Schelkens, co-author of Cardinal Danneels authorized biography, reportedly said: “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt….”   

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79.  

 

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on members of the College of Cardinals regarding the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80.    

 

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment (i.e., conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.   

  1. On September 24, 2015, the National Catholic Register published an article about Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography that suggested the violation of “Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff”– and [arguably] compromised the election of Pope Francis.      

 

  1. On September 24, 2015 Father John (“Z”) Zuhlsdorf commented on the National Catholic Register’s article about the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels.  Father Zuhlsdorf essentially confirmed that Cardinal Danneels acknowledges the existence of a “mafia” club that bore the name of St. Gallen; that the group wanted a drastic reform of the Church (“to make it “much more modern”); and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it [the Church].

 

  1. On September 25, 2015, Life Site News published an article (Cardinal Danneels admits being part of clerical ‘Mafia’ that plotted Francis’ election) about the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels.    

 

Reportedly, Cardinal Godfried Danneels publicly and good-humoredly admitted he was a regular member of a secret pressure group of Churchmen that met in the Swiss town of Sankt-Gallen.   

 

Reportedly, Cardinal Godfried Danneels said that [the official report discreetly labeled “the Sankt-Gallen group” by its members as “the Mafia” and that they aimed to counter the growing influence of Cardinal Ratzinger under the pontificate of Saint John Paul II.    

 

Reportedly, “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt.  And the main lines of the program the Pope [Francis] is carrying out remain those that [Cardinal] Danneels and Co [Company] discussed more than ten years ago.”                                                         

 

Reportedly, “They wanted Church reform, they wanted to bring the Church closer to the hearts of people; they moved forward by stages,” commented Mettepenningen.  “At the beginning of the year 2000, when John Paul II’s end was becoming more foreseeable, they thought more strategically about what was going to happen to the Church after John Paul II.  When Cardinal Silvestrini joined the group it took on a more tactical and strategic character.”  

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation   Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79.   

 

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80. 

 

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind (conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.  

Arguably, in private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, over a period of ten years, entered into stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82. 

 

  1. A September 23, 2015, short online video, in Flemish, featuring Cardinal Godfried Danneels, appears to corroborate both the September 24, 2015, National Catholic Register article and the September 25, 2015, Life Site News article.    

A literal English translation of the text immediately below the video reads:  “A new official biography gives more insight into the life of Cardinal Danneels.  Tells the Cardinal that he was in a secret club of cardinals which opposed Joseph Ratzinger.  He calls it a mafia club and bore the name of St. Gallen.  It wanted a drastic reform of the Church, much more modern and current Pope Francis to the head.  That is ultimately successful.”  

  1. On September 26, 2015, Father John Zuhlsdorf (“Father Z”) inquired about the validity Pope Francis’ election.   

 

  1. On September 29, 2015, Life Site News published an article that further substantiates the existence of the “shadow council” referenced in Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography.  Swiss bishops essentially confirmed the existence of Cardinal Danneels’ ‘mafia’ against Benedict XVI.   

 

  1. On September 29, 2015, Life Site News published a second article that further substantiates the existence of the “shadow council” referenced in Cardinal Godfried Danneels authorized biography.  The article references the release of a new book, by German bishops, about the controversial ‘Shadow Council’ in Rome.     

In this context it is important to understand that Canon law, albeit inapplicable to papal elections, provides for and defines an extrajudicial confession:  “A confession, whether in writing or orally, that is made outside the trial to the adversary himself or to others is called extrajudicial:  it is for the judge having admitted to the trial and weighing the circumstances of all things, to decide what is to be made of it.”  [1917 CIC 1753]  [See also 1983 CIC 1537] 

 

Why is it important to understand that Canon law, albeit inapplicable to papal elections, defines and provides for an extrajudicial confession?  Arguably, the authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels and the September 23, 2015, short online video, in Flemish, featuring Cardinal Godfried Danneels, are extrajudicial confessions. 

 

Are these extrajudicial confessions credible?  Yes.  Recent reports (May 25, 2015) of a recent private (“shadow council”) meeting are consistent with the extrajudicial confessions.  Recall that on May 25, 2015, a private meeting, reportedly held at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit University under the Holy See, convened by the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French bishops’ conferences, in anticipation of the Synod on the Family slated for October. Reportedly, the meeting’s objective was to push for modernist changes in “pastoral practice” as regards Communion for the divorced and “remarried,” as well as the welcoming of Catholics living in “stable” same-sex unions.   

 

Arguably, given the above referenced extrajudicial confessions, articles, interviews, and videos, there is cause to conclude that the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was in violation of Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraphs 78-86.  Arguably: 

 

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, during Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime and without having consulted him, made plans (conspired) concerning the election of his successor, in violation   [Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 79] 

 

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, conspired, individually and as a group, to exercise influence on the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 80.    

 

In private gatherings the Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, formed a pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind (conspired) which obliged them to give their vote to Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81.   

 

The Sankt-Gallen Group, and others, in private gatherings before the election, probably entered into stipulations; committing to a common accord and certain course of action should Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) be elevated to the Pontificate – in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 82.  Many of the previously enumerated allegations relevant to Canon Law evidence this.   

 

Arguably, the Sankt-Gallen Group- and others- allowed their mutual friendships, aversions, personal relationships, pressure groups, interference of persons in authority, suggestions by the mass media, force, fear, and/or popularity- to choose Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) in violation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 83.

Many of the previously enumerated allegations relevant to Canon Law also evidence this.   

 

There are undertones of braggadocio arrogance throughout the allegations; it is as if there is no fear of repercussion. 

 

That being said, and to the extent there is credible evidence of these allegations, the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, therefore INVALID.  

Counterarguments

Laity Have No Standing On Issue Of Papal Election – At the risk of being redundant:  Some might incorrectly argue that the Christian Faithful (i.e., laity) have no standing with regard to whether the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was valid. Their argument fails to take into consideration relevant canon law:  

 

“According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [i.e., Christian Faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”  [1983 CIC 212 §3]  

 

Issues We Must Avoid – Some, out of fear of failure, might incorrectly argue that the chaos produced by invalidation of a papal election would bring more spiritual harm than good; that we must avoid certain issues at all costs: Excommunication, Sedevacantism, Schism, and the Indefectibility of the Church.  Fear of failure is often associated with a mindset:  Playing not to lose.  This brings to mind a familiar saying:  “Winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing.”  That being said, the stakes are high.  We are playing for eternal life.  Winners go to heaven and losers go to hell.  

 

Have faith!  We have nothing to fear but fear itself.  It is Christ’s Church – and the powers of death shall not prevail against it (Douay-Rheims Bible, Matthew 16:18).  

 

A Matter of Priorities – Some will incorrectly argue we have a pope. That is not the issue.  The primary issue is whether a valid election occurred.  The relevance of secondary and collateral issues – Dubia, fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18), Excommunication, Sedevacantism, Schism, Indefectibility of the Church, etc., is predicated on whether we have a validly elected pope.  

 

We Must Be Patient – Some might incorrectly argue that we must give the recent Dubia and fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18) time to resolve the many recent doctrinal and moral conflicts.  History tells us this course of action may take years and years – and even then we still may not have an answer.  In the interim we will lose many souls to Lucifer.  Time is therefore of the essence.  We must put ALL the issues on the table – including the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – or we must also assume responsibility for the delay and responsibility for the many souls we will lose to Lucifer.  

 

The underlying issue is scandal – especially scandal of the weak.  We remain just as responsible as the person(s) causing scandal if we do not pursue fraternal correction consistent with our knowledge and abilities.  Our souls depend on whether we are part of the problem or part of the solution.  

 

Argument Lacks Foundation – Some will incorrectly counter by asserting that the argument (invalid papal election) lacks the deeper vision that the Church is a divine institution.  They might incorrectly argue, for example, that:  

 

“Your thesis (invalid papal election) cannot be convincingly sustained, because it lacks the foundation. Your approach is too human and lacks the deeper vision of the fact, that the Church is ultimately a Divine institution, of course she is also a human, a juridical reality with the importance of Canon or positive law. In the discussed theme of the alleged invalid election of Pope Francis, the positive, human law (Universi Dominici Gregis) becomes the absolute criterion.”  

 

The preceding does not take into consideration that the Roman Catholic Church is Christ’s Church (Matthew 16:18) and that Christ set the example for us.  It was so bad during Christ’s public life that Christ found it necessary to drive the money-changers out of the temple: 

 

“And they came to Jerusalem. And when he was entered into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the chairs of them that sold doves.  And he suffered not that any man should carry a vessel through the temple; And he taught, saying to them: Is it not written, My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves. Which when the chief priests and the scribes had heard, they sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because the whole multitude was in admiration at his doctrine. And when evening was come, he went forth out of the city.”  [Douay Rheims, Mark 11:15-19; see also Matthew 21:10-14, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-16]  

 

The argument (invalid election) has a vision that focuses on the example that Christ set for us.  

 

Straw Man Argument – Some will incorrectly counter with a straw man argument.  They might incorrectly argue, for example, that:  

 

“Let us imagine the following hypothetical and maybe exceptional scenario: before a conclave there is a real danger that a completely liberal candidate would be elected as pope even though under scrupulous observance of the electoral law and this candidate would bring an immense damage to the Church, but a group of good cardinals in order to save the Church from such a catastrophe, would undertake some steps, which would be formally contrary to the human papal law of the election (and therefore with invalidating character), in order to elect a notorious holy, strong and orthodox candidate, and in deed that candidate will be elected pope. This new Pope (juridical maybe elected invalidly) would save the Church from a real disaster, and he will issue then strong doctrinal statements, restore the dignity of the liturgy, restore the doctrinal chaos, appoint new saintly and orthodox bishops and cardinals. Would you start a campaign and discussion in order declare such a Pope an invalid Pope, even though he will renew the Church with his holy life and with his strong and wise government, rescuing thereby the Church from the domination of liberal bishops and cardinals, who were appointed by his former validly elected predecessor?”  

 

A “straw man” is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.  One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man”.  The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e. “stand up a straw man”) and the subsequent refutation of that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the opponent’s proposition.  

This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged emotional issues where a fiery “battle” and the defeat of an “enemy” may be more valued than critical thinking or understanding both sides of the issue.  [Essentially Verbatim:  Wikipedia, online article about Straw man]  

 

The above cited straw man argument does not refute or defeat the proposition that the March 13, 2013, papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was invalid.  

Sedevacantism – Some will incorrectly argue that questioning the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is an act of sedevacantism.  Sedevacantism is the position, held by a minority of traditionalist Catholics that the alleged present occupant of the Holy See is not truly pope due to the mainstream church’s espousal of the heresy of modernism and that, for lack of a valid pope, the Holy See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.  Questioning the validity of a specific papal election of Bergoglio (Pope Francis) has nothing to do with whether the Holy See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.  There was an actual vacancy of the Holy See (i.e., resignation of Pope Benedict XVI) at the time of the papal election.  The issue is not Sedevacantism, but whether or not the College of Cardinals followed or violated Universi Dominici Gregis.  Clearly, the evidence and corroborated facts indicate that a significant number of cardinals violated the norms listed in Universi Dominici Gregis.  

 

Normas Nonnullas – Some will incorrectly argue that Pope Benedict XVI’s Normas Nonnullas, On Certain Modifications to the Norms Governing the Election of the Roman Pontiff, was a factor in the election of his (Benedict XVI’s) successor.  

Normas Nonnullas is of no value.  Pope Benedict XVI promulgated it on February 22, 2013, only six days before his resignation on February 28, 2013, and in anticipation of his resignation.  When Pope Benedict XVI published Normas Nonnullas (February 22, 2013) the Apostolic See was, (for all intents and purposes), vacant pending the official resignation of Pope Benedict XVI six days later (February 28, 2013).  Recall that, while the Apostolic See was vacant, anything done “with regard to the procedures governing the election of the Supreme Pontiff” no value pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 4.  

 

Normas Nonnullas is also a moot point.  Normas Nonnullas may have referenced quite a few paragraphs in Universi Dominici Gregis – but it did not abrogate or otherwise reference the Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs critical to determining the validity of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis); it did not abrogate or otherwise reference Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs 76-77 or paragraphs 78-86. 

 

Finally, one can also argue that Pope Benedict XVI published Normas Nonnullas (six days before his resignation) so that he might influence the selection of his replacement.  This issue is outside the scope of this commentary.  

 

Relevance of Universi Dominici Gregis Paragraphs 76 and 77Some will incorrectly argue that Universi Dominici Gregis paragraphs 76-77 do not apply to paragraphs 78-86 (The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff).  Simply stated, there would be no need for paragraphs 78-86 if it were not for paragraphs 76-77 – and vice versa.  The Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff (paragraphs 78-86) are central to determining whether the papal election is null and void without any need for a declaration on the matter (paragraph 76).  

 

The conditions laid down referenced by paragraph 76 are the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff pursuant to paragraphs 78-86.  

 

The dispositions concerning everything that precedes the election of the Roman Pontiff and the carrying out of the election itself referenced by paragraph 77 are also the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff pursuant to paragraphs 78-86.  

 

Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – Some say that “behind the scenes” coercion came into play with Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation.  This issue is outside the scope of this commentary.  The focus of this commentary is whether the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was valid.  

 

Conclusion

To the extent there is credible evidence of the above referenced allegations, the 2013 papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is INVALID pursuant to paragraph 76 of Universi Dominici Gregis.  

 

Recall that paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in a way other than that prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis;

 

Also recall that paragraph 76 infers it may be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, even decades, before it is discovered “the election” took place in violation of the Matters to be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff as prescribed by Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraphs 78-86. 

 

To whom do we look for resolution?  The College of Cardinals.  Recall that in Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, in pertinent part, wrote:  “Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution (emphasis supplied), or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points.”  

 

Clearly, the issue is not sedevacantism, schism, or the indefectibility of the Church.  The primary issue is fraternal correction (Matthew 18:15-18) of scandalous Catholic Modernists – prodigal sons – that elected Pope Francis.  To what end fraternal correction?  Preferably return of the prodigal sons – else excommunication. 

 

Therefore, the proper ecclesiastical authorities must expeditiously investigate and adjudicate the allegations subject to Canon Law before the College of Cardinals takes up the issue of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis). 

 

Why?  Expeditious canonical investigation and adjudication will root out and identify those Cardinals – prodigal sons – that must recuse themselves when the College of Cardinals takes up the issue of the papal election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis). 

 

Parting Thought

It is written in the Old Testament prophecy of Isaias: 

 

“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:  Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?  And I said:  Lo, here am I.  Send me.”  (Douay-Rheims, Old Testament, Isaias 6:8)  

 

Today we must ask who will go forward, who will also raise the issue of the election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis.  Who of you will say:  

 

Lo, here am I.  Send me.”

 

Speak now or forever hold your peace! 

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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