When it comes to canonical arguments, those arguments are as sound as the canons, principles and reasoning based upon them. Their certitude is thus much higher. Canon Law deals with facts, not conjecture.

Facts vs. conjecture

Nov25by The Editor

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Here at the From Rome Blog, my posts regard both history and conjectures about why that history came about or what it means.

Having recently viewed a video by someone who follows a man who claims to be Christ in His second coming, because the video referred extensively to posts at the From Rome Blog, I see that not everyone who reads my blog understands how to discern facts from conjecture.

A Blog, it must be said, is a very personal publication. As human beings we naturally seek to know the truth. Some of that we can know  directly through the facts of history, and some of that we cannot know directly, so we must resort to interpretations. The weakest kind of interpretation is the conjecture, for a conjecture is an interpretation in which the facts (to prove it) and which are not know, are conjectured to exist.

Conjectures by their very nature tend to follow the sensibility as much as the rationality of those who write them. My conjectures do the same, and some of them might seem sensationalist. But I know how to distinguish my own conjectures from reality.

I write this post because I see that not everyone of my readers understand this.

So for clarity, I make this declaration.

That Pope Benedict XVI is the pope is statement which is not a conjecture, but rather the presumption of the law, because the law of the Church says that a pope resigns when he renounces his munus. And since Pope Benedict XVI has never done that in the way canon 332 §2 requires him to do it (fact), as the man who is the pope, we all must recognize that he is still the pope.

However, why he resigned the ministry and not the munus, and more so, why he even resigned, is something of which not a few Catholics do not see sufficient explanation in what has been reported, said, stated and repeated. This is because there is an inherent irrationality about saying Pope Benedict XVI resigned for this or that reason, and not finding the facts which make that evident (for example, in Non solum propter, he says he is resigning for health reasons, but he is still in rather good health after 6 years).

Since I seek the truth I understand that conjectures to complete the information lacking in what we know are possibly as much correct as incorrect, but at the same time I recognize that historically those who engage in such conjectures are more often wrong, because to make a conjecture which turns out to be verified by future revelations of facts, takes a great deal of familiarity with all the known causes which could have possibly influenced the event about which one is conjecturing. That is why insiders normally are better at conjecturing. And I am not an insider.

So please do not take my conjectures as dogma or history. They are not.

The fact is, that Pope Benedict XVI has never resigned according to the norm of Canon 332 §2.

But why he has or has not, is not certain to us. We would have to ask him, and he has not, to my knowledge, ever been asked why he renounced the ministerium and not the munus. So conjectures go on and on.

However, when it comes to canonical arguments, those arguments are as sound as the canons, principles and reasoning based upon them. Their certitude is thus much higher.

So when reading my blog, please keep this in mind.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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1 Response to When it comes to canonical arguments, those arguments are as sound as the canons, principles and reasoning based upon them. Their certitude is thus much higher. Canon Law deals with facts, not conjecture.

  1. The Fox in the Henhouse
    Brother Alexis, you have focused all your attention on the Canon Law, and although it seems to be extremely precise, it is not the letter of the law that animates the organism which is the Church, but the Holy Ghost. Look at the mass readings of Thursday, February 28, 2013, the last day of Pope Benedict XVI at the Holy See. Writing hurriedly his Latin Act of the Renunciation on February 10, he hardly had time to check what the mass readings would be on the last day of his office, after which ‘sede vacante’ was to begin (February 28, 2013, 8 pm CET) – they are completely devastating for him.
    The First Reading, Jeremiah 17: 5-10; already the initial verse [5] reveals a significant flaw, which is not fitting for the person of the vicar of Jesus Christ:
    “This said the Lord:
    «Cursed man who puts hope in man
    and who sees his strength in the body,
    and turns his heart away from the Lord.”
    Didn’t Benedict XVI justify his epochal decision by “the strength of body”, did he not? His act of Renunciation is, in fact, the realization of God’s judgment on Rome (and his pope), which was passed earlier [Jer 17, 3-4]:
    „Sacrificing in the field: I will give thy strength, and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin in all thy borders. And thou shalt be left stripped of thy inheritance, which I gave thee: and I will make thee serve thy enemies in a land which thou knowest not: because thou hast kindled a fire in my wrath, it shall burn for ever.”
    After 28 February 2013, wasn’t the Roman Catholic church – ‘the Mountain on the plain’, the Vatican Hill in particular – handed over to her enemies? Over time, this has become evident to all who have seeing eyes, hearing ears and feeling hearts (and care about the fate of the Church).
    An extra verse [Jer 17, 11] revealing the significant omission of Pope Benedict XVI:
    „As the partridge hath hatched eggs which she did not lay: so is he that hath gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and in his latter end he shall be a fool.”
    Jorge the Apostate received the episcopal ordination and cardinal purple by decision of Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Bergoglio was the main rival of Cardinal Ratzinger at the AD2005 conclave. Why, being already Pope, Benedict XVI did not watch with the greatest attention this egg tossed from the end of the world, from Argentina?! Instead of throwing them out of the nest, as befits a vigilant host, he brooded the egg for years. The hen have sat out an egg for herself: the company of the sly fox, spiritual monster, the devourer of immortal souls! And when the hellish “chicken” hatched (March 13, 2013), instead of raising a scream at this sight, this hen (after all, not a rooster) made friends with this fox, which allowed her to take refuge in an abandoned henhouse (monastery) in the same garden on the Vatican Hill.

    The Responsorial Psalm [PS 1, 1-2. 3.4 and 6]; as a comment I quote the omitted verse 5:
    “Therefore the wicked shall not rise again in judgment: nor sinners in the council of the just.”
    What a judgment is this about? [John 16, 8-11]:
    „And when he is come, he [the Paraclete] will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer. And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged.” Yes, the Lord Jesus leaving Rome in the person of his last vicar, the Pope Benedict XVI, made free space for the Paraclete, the other Comforter.

    The Gospel [Luke 16, 19-31] of February 28, 2013 leaves no doubt that this is not just about Rome, but about the whole Church of Christ, whose visible head was Pope Benedict XVI. The verses 27-28 speak of it: ” And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. ” These five brothers are five traditional patriarchates: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople. The last Pope personally gave Rome in the hands of his successor, the terminator from Buenos Aires!
    November 25, 2019 on the feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
    I really like your brilliant legal arguments, Brother Alexis, but Sancta Ecclesia is not the work of a canonist but of the Holy Spirit.

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