|New post on Roma Locuta Est|
|2013 Conclave: Was there a violation of Universi Dominici Gregis 12?by Steven O’ReillyJuly 31, 2019 (Steven O’Reilly) – A few weeks back, I posted a few articles on Roma Locuta Est dealing with the mysterious figure of the “influential Italian gentleman.” This “influential Italian gentleman” visited McCarrick (see video here) in early March before the General Congregations (began March 4) and asked him to ‘talk up Bergoglio.’I had wondered for sometime who he might be, but I hit upon what I believe to be the likely answer when I was updating an article I had written on Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., and issues involving his acceptance of his election to the papacy (see Curiouser and Curiouser: Who Dispensed Jorge Bergoglio SJ from his vows?). In the course of researching that update, I coincidentally hit on other information that led me to develop the theory on the “influential Italian gentleman,” i.e., who he was, and who sent him, and why he was sent to McCarrick. If this theory is correct, then it becomes clearer why Pope Francis & company would not and do not want a deeper investigation into McCarrick, as it might reveal his importance in helping Cardinal Bergoglio win the papacy (again, is all discussed in The “Influential Italian Gentleman”).But, as I began to research and develop a theory on McCarrick’s Italian, I then came upon evidence that strongly suggested — to my admittedly amateur eyes (i.e., not being a canonist) — that one or more cardinals possibly violated Universi Dominici Gregis (UDG), specifically UDG 12 by conveying information related to deliberations regarding the election of the Roman Pontiff to a non-cardinal. The evidence for what appears to me to be a violation of UDG 12 comes from Gerard O’Connell’s book, The Election of Pope Francis. I will lay out the evidence below.The Two Secrecy Oaths of Universi Domenici GregisPer Universi Domenici Gregis (UDG), the Cardinal-electors took an oath of secrecy upon entering the 2013 conclave. This oath in UDG 53 (see Note 1) pertains to secrecy regarding the actual conclave. In addition to the oath of UDG 53, there is yet a separate oath (UDG 12) that both the Cardinal electors and all other Cardinal (i.e., those ineligible to vote in the conclave) took a week before the conclave in March of 2013.This oath, per UDG 12, is to be taken at the outset of the General Congregations, or preparatory meetings for the conclave. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, these preparatory meetings began on the morning of March 4, 2013. This oath was taken by all cardinals present on this day, a full week before the conclave. This first oath is similar to the one taken on entrance into the conclave (i.e., UDG 53). UDG 12 and its oath reads as follows [emphasis added]:12. In the first General Congregations provision is to be made for each Cardinal to have available a copy of this Constitution and at the same time to have an opportunity to raise questions about the meaning and the implementation of its norms. The part of the present Constitution regarding the vacancy of the Apostolic See should also be read aloud. At the same time the Cardinals present are to swear an oath to observe the prescriptions contained herein and to maintain secrecy. This oath, which shall also be taken by Cardinals who arrive late and subsequently take part in these Congregations, is to be read aloud by the Cardinal Dean or by whoever else presides over the College by virtue of No. 9 of this Constitution, in the presence of the other Cardinals and according to the following formula:We, the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, of the Order of Bishops, of Priests and of Deacons, promise, pledge and swear, as a body and individually, to observe exactly and faithfully all the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and to maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy.Next, each Cardinal shall add: And I, N. Cardinal N., so promise, pledge and swear. And, placing his hand on the Gospels, he will add: So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I now touch with my hand.While the oath of UDG 12 taken by all Cardinals is a little different from the one taken by the cardinal-electors only (UDG 53) in some respects, it is explicitly stated each Cardinal from the outset of the General Congregations (March 4, 2013) swore they would (emphasis added): “maintain rigorous secrecy with regard to all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy.”The scope of the oath is quite broad, covering any matter “in any way related” to the election of the Roman Pontiff.St. Gallen and other Cardinals meet on the eve of the conclaveWe know from O’Connell’s book that Cardinals who supported the candidacy of Bergoglio met together on the eve of the conclave (March 11, 2013) at Cardinal Nicora’s apartment in the Vatican to discuss the election.According to O’Connell, there were “around 15 or more cardinals.” The participants included Italian Cardinals (Nicora, Antonelli, Bertello, Coccopalmerio, and Poletto), other European Cardinals (Brady, Kasper, Tauran and Murphy-O’Connor (“the only non-elector” per O’Connell in attendance), also “key figures from Latin America, Africa and Asia,” Cardinals Maradiaga, Turkson and Gracias.One key thing to remember, as it will be important later, Cardinal O’Connell, due to his age, was “the only non-elector” in attendance at this meeting. O’Connell writes, in part, of this gathering (emphasis added):”When they had all given their input, Coccopalmerio, who was keeping a tally of what was being declared, added up the numbers. The result showed that Bergoglio had at least twenty-five votes. They concluded the evening knowing that Bergoglio would enter the conclave with between twenty and thirty votes. “It was crucial that he had the support in the first ballot,” the English cardinal told me later; he understood this after his experience at the 2005 conclave.”A mistaken hypothesis — But only in Part!In a prior article, I had hypothesized that Andrea Tornielli had obtained knowledge of this vote count above either directly from one of the attending cardinals or perhaps from Bergoglio himself. This hypothesis was based on two premises, (1) that Tornielli had had dinner with Bergoglio on the eve of the conclave (March 11), and (2) that Tornielli’s remarkable prescience as to the outcome of the conclave–seemed to suggest (I speculated) he had received such intelligence re the meeting. I previously wrote and also quoted an article by Fr. Mark Drew who first observed the odd fact:But did Andrea Tornielli actually learn this vote tally? I certainly don’t know. Certainly it is a fair and reasonable question to ask. However, there is this curious post-conclave analysis by Fr. Mark Drew of the Catholic Herald entitled “Did the pundits get this year’s conclave spectacularly wrong?” Fr. Drew comments in part (emphasis added):“In fact, some of the best-informed Italian journalists had noticed that his name (NB: Bergoglio’s) was recurring in the talk during the final days of the build-up. Andrea Tornielli, that oracle among vaticanologists, not only mentioned him on the morning the conclave began, but later the same day brazenly offered his own version of the state of the deliberations still under way among the sequestered cardinals.As all know, the participants in a conclave are vowed to the strictest secrecy. Nonetheless, once it is over the details usually come out in dribs and drabs until something like a clear picture can be formed. It is now known that Bergoglio was the only other serious contended to rival Ratzinger in 2005. Tornielli, however, seemed to have inside information even as the voting proceeded. Perhaps this was merely a priori calculation on the basis of information obtained beforehand, but in any case, Tornielli’s analysis proved remarkable prescient. He averred confidently that there was a deadlock in the conclave, but he mentioned Bergoglio, along with Scola and Ouellet, as one of the three front-runners.” (Source: Catholic Herald. “Did the pundits get this year’s conclave spectacularly wrong?” by Fr. Mark Drew, March 25, 2013).Was it prescience or did Tornielli, who met Bergoglio the day he arrived in Rome (February 27), and was with him on the eve of the conclave know something of what was going on? For example, did Tornielli have inside knowledge of the Cardinal Coccopalmerio vote tally from the eve of the conclave?I was mistaken with regard to my first of my two premises. Now having my own copy of O’Connell’s book, and going by his timeline, Cardinal Bergoglio dined alone on March 11, and thus would not have been dining with Tornielli as I had originally supposed (see here). However, while that premise was erroneous, O’Connell’s book does demonstrate that Tornielli’s prescience was in fact based in part on intelligence obtained from the meeting at Cardinal Nicora’s apartment. I shall explain.In his book O’Connell reports that it was he himself who gave the information and his analysis based on it to Tornielli on March 12, the first night of the conclave. Where, pray tell, did O’Connell get this information on March 12 re the meeting in Cardinal Nicora’s apartment that occurred the night before (March 11). O’Connell tells us in his book. He writes (emphasis added):”It was that Tuesday evening, after finishing my analysis of the papal election for CTV, that I happened to meet a source who shared a crucial piece of information with me on condition that I not publish it until long after the papal election. He confided the story I have previously described, that on the previous evening, March 11 the eve of the conclave, Cardinal Attilio Nicora had hosted a meeting in his Vatican apartment attended by more than a dozen cardinals from different countries and four continents, all of whom had declared their intention to support Bergoglio, and had mentioned the names of others they knew were thinking along the same lines.”Who is Mr. O’Connell’s unnamed source? Well, Mr. O’Connell had already reported, as I quoted earlier, that the meeting in Cardinal Nicora’s apartment was attended by cardinals. Thus, obviously, the ultimate source of the information had to have been a cardinal. But, one might wonder, how is this possible? After all, Mr. O’Connell received this information from his source on March 12 when all the cardinal-electors would have been locked away in the conclave.The answer, I think, is pretty clear as to whom O’Connell’s source was in all likelihood. Mr. O’Connell, as I noted earlier, tells us explicitly that at the conclave eve meeting at Nicora’s apartment Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was “the only non-elector” present. As the only non-elector present, obviously, Murphy-O’Connor would not have been locked away in the conclave the following evening, and thus was the only attending cardinal from that meeting available to be the “source.” Therefore, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor who contributed much to O’Connell’s book elsewhere as a named source, is in all probability, if not certainly, the unnamed source about the meeting in Cardinal Nicora’s apartment.Even if, somehow, Murphy-O’Connor is not the source (which is still conceivable), some Cardinal from that meeting provided that information to O’Connell, or to someone known to O’Connell. This raises a number of questions. Again, to be clear, I am in no way a canonist—but it appears to my admittedly amateur eyes, that the information obtained by O’Connell certainly fell within the scope of “all matters in any way related to the election of the Roman Pontiff or those which, by their very nature, during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, call for the same secrecy” (cf UDG 12). (NB: I welcome a canonist to comment on whether such an action, if it occurred, would constitute a violation of UDG 12, and, if so, what implications might follow).Mr. O’Connell’s source seemed to have cognizance of guilt in breaking this oath, as the source per O’Connell “shared a crucial piece of information with me on condition that I not publish it until long after the papal election.” If the source was Murphy-O’Connor, the thing I find very interesting is that while he didn’t care about breaking the oath, he did seem to care enough that no one would know the information “until long after the papal election.” Why would that be?All the above said, even if a cardinal attending the conclave eve meeting at Cardinal Nicora’s apartment violated UDG 12 by talking about it to a non-cardinal before the conclave, it is not clear to me what – if any – canonical/UDG penalties would apply. However, there is something else to consider. If Murphy-O’Connor was the source of O’Connell’s information and if the provision of this information constituted a violation of UDG 12; should it impact our view of Murphy-O’Connor’s credibility when assessing his denials of other potential or supposed violations of UDG involving himself or others in the St. Gallen mafia? For one, Murphy-O’Connor (along with Cardinals Kaspar, Daneels, Lehmann) quickly denied accounts in Austen Ivereigh’s book that the four cardinals “first secured Bergoglio’s assent” for an election campaign. Personally, I find it hard to accept at face value Murphy-O’Connor’s denials of having first secured Bergoglio’s assent or of there not being a Bergoglian campaign (NB: And that was before it seemed to me he was O’Connell’s earliest source for the conclave eve meeting at Nicora’s apartment). I outlined in my article (The “Influential Italian Gentleman”) why I believe it more likely than not there was such a campaign. And, as stated earlier, in that same article I outlined my theory on the “influential Italian gentleman,” that is, who he was, who sent him, and why he was sent to McCarrick.Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former Intelligence Officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical-adventure trilogy, entitled Pia Fidelis, set during the time of the Arian crisis. The first book of the Pia Fidelis trilogy. The Two Kingdoms, should be out later this summer or by early fall 2019 (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions. He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA).NotesNote 1: In the case of the 2013 conclave, the following oath would have been taken by all Cardinal-electors on March 12 per UDG 53 (emphasis added):53. In conformity with the provisions of No. 52, the Cardinal Dean or the Cardinal who has precedence by order and seniority, will read aloud the following formula of the oath:We, the Cardinal electors present in this election of the Supreme Pontiff promise, pledge and swear, as individuals and as a group, to observe faithfully and scrupulously the prescriptions contained in the Apostolic Constitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Universi Dominici Gregis, published on 22 February 1996. We likewise promise, pledge and swear that whichever of us by divine disposition is elected Roman Pontiff will commit himself faithfully to carrying out the munus Petrinum of Pastor of the Universal Church and will not fail to affirm and defend strenuously the spiritual and temporal rights and the liberty of the Holy See. In a particular way, we promise and swear to observe with the greatest fidelity and with all persons, clerical or lay, secrecy regarding everything that in any way relates to the election of the Roman Pontiff and regarding what occurs in the place of the election, directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting; we promise and swear not to break this secret in any way, either during or after the election of the new Pontiff, unless explicit authorization is granted by the same Pontiff; and never to lend support or favour to any interference, opposition or any other form of intervention, whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree or any group of people or individuals might wish to intervene in the election of the Roman Pontiff.Each of the Cardinal electors, according to the order of precedence, will then take the oath according to the following formula:And I, N. Cardinal N., do so promise, pledge and swear. Placing his hand on the Gospels, he will add: So help me God and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.Note 2: In a LifeSiteNews article, by Peter Baklinski (see here), observed that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor had used this line as well with writer Paul Vallely (see here). Vallely in his article wrote: “”Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, and an old friend of Francis, told me.”” Steven O’Reilly | July 31, 2019 at 6:52 am | Categories: andrea tornielli, Influential italian gentleman, McCarrick, Pope Francis, Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p7YMML-5Wp|
TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.
++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE
Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church? This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.
If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals. So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election? His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question. The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.
His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms. For example, Paragraph 76 states: “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.”
From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility. If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.
Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.
What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”). The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words: “. . . knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.” (“. . . scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”) [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.
Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with: (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.
This is so because:1. Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2. Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3. Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.
Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred. Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis. These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.: “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”. While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them: “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]
No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.
Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff. In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding. Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is: “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.” (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.) In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”
His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal.
In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo. No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis. See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “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, 76: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.
Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government. The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ. After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ. It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation. Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”. But, the fact that “The Church . . . will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II. The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake. This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person . . . in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff. Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals. They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave. They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation. Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals. If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals. In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either. (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal. So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors. Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here. May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual. If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election” “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter. May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume
Un ami des Papes