Recent commentaries by blogger Steve Skojec (A Brief Note on The Question of a Legally Valid Papal Election) and canon lawyer Edward Peters (Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded.) are very misleading regarding their interpretation of Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76.  Skojec does not acknowledge or reference Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5 in his commentary, while Peters casually references paragraph 5 but goes on to makes it sound like canon lawyers have a role in the interpretation of Universi Dominici Gregis.


Neither canon lawyers, nor bishops, nor priests, nor laity have standing with regard to the official interpretation of Universi Dominici Gregis


“Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I (Pope John Paul II) 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] 


That being said, neither paragraph 5, nor anything else in Universi Dominici Gregis limits or espouses interpretation before, during, or after the papal conclave – and we do not know what the cardinals may or may not have discussed inside the conclave. 


John Arechiga’s commentary on the Election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis clearly addresses and quotes paragraph 5 in his section on the Powers of the College of Cardinals during the Vacancy of the Apostolic See


His interpretation of Universi Dominici Gregis is a personal opinion – to which he is   entitled.  Universi Dominici Gregis is essentially the Church’s “regulation”  that governs the election of the Roman Pontiff.  More importantly, his personal opinion is predicated on more than 30 years of federal service – auditing and investigating compliance with federal civilian and military “regulations”. 


It is my personal opinion that Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 76, established the criteria (“…or should the conditions laid down here not be observed “) for determining whether the papal election is or was valid; that “laid down here” refers to Universi Dominici Gregis in its entirety; that Chapter 5 (Matters To Be Observed or Avoided in the Election of the Roman Pontiff), paragraphs 78-86, are part of the referenced (“laid down here”) conditions to be observed; and that paragraphs 78-86 include additional penalties for failure to observe or avoid the enunciated conditions. 


Skojec and Peters have a myopic personal interpretation of paragraph 76 – consistent with what one would expect of a defense attorney floundering for a defense. 


Peters’ commentary (Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded.) again reminds John Arechiga of the time he called an old lawyer friend and asked what he was doing. He replied that he was working on “Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel under a constrained environment.” John was impressed. However, upon further inquiry, John learned that his friend was washing dishes with hot water – under his wife’s supervision. 


It is essential that my commentary (Election of Pope Francis Pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis) be widely disseminated.  Why?  Neither fraternal (i.e., Dubia) nor filial correction will dismantle the modernist infrastructure put in place by Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) – but a finding that the election of Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was invalid will invalidate his selection of modernist bishops and cardinals.  Compared to fraternal/filial correction, all concerned Catholics need to understand the significance of my argument – reference modernist infrastructure – that the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was not valid. 



About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. abyssum says:

    Veri Catholics,

    Thank you for your comment. The nexus of the Code and UDG is important but those who assert that the Code governs any analysis of the election of Francis are wrong in implying, or worse still asserting, that the Code governs any interpretation of UDG. The resolving of any question about the conclave that elected Francis must be done by by College of Cardinals. The action by Francis in making the new appointments to the Signatura, including the appointment of Cardinal Burke, alarms me for it seems to me that he will try to have any and all questions regarding his election decided by a Signatura dominated by his sycophants and Burke’s vote will be kept secret thus making it appear that he has validated Francis’ election.

  2. Your excellency,there is a discussion of UDG in many articles at the From Rome blog, which take substantially your view, though focuses on the nexus of the Code and UDG regarding the tallying of invalid votes. Argues that the facti species are sufficient to move an investigation of the validity of the election.

  3. abyssum says:

    It should be obvious that while the post is mine, the contents of the post are a commentary on the analysis of John Arechiga.

  4. correction: but only if I can name the author

  5. Dear Bishop Emeritus, is it you who is the author of this post? If not, then who?
    I would like to print it and send it to my bishop – but only I can name the author.

    Thank you,

  6. dunderberg says:

    Bergoglio’s selection of modernist bishops, unfortunately, would not be invalidated, though I presume that his selection of cardinals would be invalidated.

    Any bishop can validly, though not licitly, ordain another bishop. Archbishop Lefebvre did so on one famous occasion – four of them. Although the Vatican’s response was ferocious, no one claimed that the new bishops were not in fact bishops. The fact that they were was the problem for the Vatican.

    So we are stuck with the modernist bishops whether Bergoglio is a valid pope or not, since he is certainly a valid bishop. The best that could be done with them would be to set them all to doing filing in the Vatican Library. Nobody says they get to keep their dioceses.

    The good thing about this is that the priests the bishops ordain are valid priests, and the faithful do not have to worry about whether they are receiving valid sacraments. Since most seminarians these days are orthodox, that is a good thing.

    I know of nothing that says a cardinal can create another cardinal, so his cardinals would still be bishops, not cardinals. If someone knows more about this point, please comment.

  7. Your Excellency, whom do you refer to in the una cum?

  8. Mary Anne says:

    I will pray that it works in some way to pry him out. Hope is diminishing and things are falling apart. We know Who will win but it isn’t easy for us now. God Bless!

  9. Mary Ann Parks says:

    Thank you. Finally someone read the thing! What is wrong with people?

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