How and why Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation is invalid by the law itself

Here we offer a calm reasoned canonical argument for the invalidity of Pope Benedict’s resignation, for any Catholic who wants to know the truth.

Why should any Catholic defend the validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation?

Are we obliged by canon law to do so? —No.

Is it a sin not to do so when there is evidence that it is invalid? — No.

Is there a presumption of law that it is valid? — No.

Is there evidence that it was invalid? — Yes.

Why is Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation invalid?

To understand this, lets us refer to the original texts of the resignation and Canon Law:

Here is the text of the renunciation in the Latin original:

Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare…

What are the requirements for a valid Papal resignation? — These are found in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 332 §2;

§ 2. Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur.

What is the first condition or requirement, then, according to Canon 332 §2 for a valid papal resignation? — That it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus (muneri suo renuntiet).

Does the text of Pope Benedict renounce the munus? — No, it says clearly declaro me ministerio … renuntiare.

If the renunciation does not regard the munus, does canon 332 §2 even apply? — Yes and no.

Yes, because since it does not fulfill the condition of a resignation within the term (in this case, munus) of Canon 332 §2, its not valid.

And no, inasmuch as being a juridic act which is outside the terms of Canon 332 §2 it does not regard a papal resignation, but merely a retirement from active ministry.

Can the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI be construed as valid?

Some say and seem to hold, that a Pope can resign his munus by resigning his ministerium. Is that a valid argument? — It is not, because its not a matter of mere assertion, the Law itself must declare it. Remember, there can be no innovation in Church Law without a positive act of a competent superior.

But is not the act of the resignation a juridic act which establishes a new way of resigning? — No. Juridical acts are not tyrannical acts, they cannot justify themselves, but must be in accord with Church Law. This is because as Vatican I declared, even the Pope has no authority to invent novelties.

But if one were to sustain that ministerium can supposit or be understood as munus, how would he have to prove it? — As canon 17 declares, when there is a doubt as to the signification of the law, one must have recourse to other parts of the law, and if there is no clarity there, then to the mind of the legislator.

Does the Code of Canon Law sanction the supposition of ministerium for munus? — No. In no part of the Code is a ministerium ever said to be a munus, or a munus to be a ministerium. In fact, according to Canon 17, you must accept the definitions of terms contained in the Code itself as the AUTHENTIC expression of the Mind of the Legislator (Pope John Paul II) in promulgating the code of Canon Law. Now in canon 145 §1, the Code defines every ecclesiastical office (officium) as a munus, not a ministerium!

What about canonical tradition, does it require a renunciation of munus for a valid resignation of papal office? — Yes, this is clear. Because in all previous renunciations there is not only a mention of munus (or its synonyms: onus, honor, dignitas, or proper names: papatus or episcopatus) but there is also no mention of ministerium. Nor is there any canonical tradition that one can suppose terms which do not mean munus according to canonical tradition for munus. The pope is not the creator or inventor of language or linguistic forms of signification, otherwise nothing would be certain or objective in the Church. Nay, as canon 38 says, if a Pope acts in any way contrary to the terms of Canon 332 §2, his act is only valid if he expressly mentions his intent to act with a derogation of its terms.

If both the text of the Code of Canon Law and canonical tradition require the mention of munus in a papal resignation, then in virtue of Canon 17, do those who claim Benedict’s renunciation of ministerium is valid, have any ground to stand upon? — No, none at all.

Then, must all Catholics recognize that in virtue of the law itself, the resignation is invalid? — Yes.

Does not the fact that the Cardinals all act as if it were valid, mean anything? — No, because according to canon 332 §2, even if the whole world held it to be valid, if it does not meet the conditions of Canon 332 §2, it is not valid. There is no wiggle room here.

But does not the very fact a Conclave was held in March of 2013 to elect a new pope make the resignation of Benedict XVI valid? Does not his tacit consent to this make it valid? — No on both accounts. First of all, because nothing makes a resignation valid except its conformity to canon 332 §2. Second, because by Divine Institution, the Petrine Munus cannot be shared by more than one individual. Ergo, if Benedict did not renounce it, he retains it. If he retains it, its contrary to divine law to elect another pope so long as he lives. And in his act of renunciation he never ordered a Conclave to be called in his lifetime. That he consented to such a thing may be either because of fear or of substantial error as regards what is necessary to resign his office. If it is fear, it does not make it valid. If he is in substantial error, then in accord with Canon 188, its expressly invalid by the law itself.

Source :…/how-and-why-pop…
Dr Bobus
If BXVI did not resign the papacy, what did he resign?
@Dr Bobus : He announced he resigned because Bank of Italy blocked all the payments at the Vatican from the 1st January 2013 to the day after his resignation. You can see also the articles written about it : He didn't have any other choice and because he'll have to flee Roma as he's surrounded by traitors like Blessed Anne-Catherine Emmerich saw it long time ago.

He …More
@Dr Bobus : He announced he resigned because Bank of Italy blocked all the payments at the Vatican from the 1st January 2013 to the day after his resignation. You can see also the articles written about it : He didn't have any other choice and because he'll have to flee Roma as he's surrounded by traitors like Blessed Anne-Catherine Emmerich saw it long time ago.

He announced it the same day than when the financial agreement with Italy through Mussolini took place in the first decades of the 20th century, as he wanted to recall there is a sequel. The schism like today was already sizzling : and it's just thanks to the Mercy of God that we have more time to understand there is the greatest schism in the History of the Church that is happening.

Pope Benedict XVI defrocked around 400 pedophile priests while Francis reallowed many of them like Vigano proved it. Vigano is a friend of Pope Benedict XVI by the way and all this has been prophesied at La Salette in 1846. Pope Francis has been appointed thanks to the mafia Sankt Gallen and the banks (Italy and Germany)...
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''It often happens that a person is bound according to the civil law, yet it is unjust that he should be condemned"; and Paulus declares: " . . . this pertains to equity, with regard to which pernicious errors are frequently made under the authority of the science of law." This is precisely what Br. Alexis, and others do by absolutely throwing out the notion of Equity in the case of Benedict's …More
''It often happens that a person is bound according to the civil law, yet it is unjust that he should be condemned"; and Paulus declares: " . . . this pertains to equity, with regard to which pernicious errors are frequently made under the authority of the science of law." This is precisely what Br. Alexis, and others do by absolutely throwing out the notion of Equity in the case of Benedict's renunciation. Indeed, the effort to take the BiPbD (Benedict is Pope by Default), i.e., the maintenance of the Petrine Office through "substantial error." only serves to make Benedict out to be a liar, having declared his renunciation of the "exercise" of the Petrine Powers valid, or a deceiver by a gratuitous imputation of "intentionally making a mistake" in order to keep the Petrine Office. This is unconscionable and in no way reflects reality. So, let's see just what has been thrown out through the following explanation of "Epiky":

"EPIKY. We have enumerated certain cases in which this ars boni et aequi (equity) is to be applied. Frequently, however, we speak of equity only in reference to positive laws. A human lawgiver is never able to foresee all the individual cases to which law will be applied. Consequently, a law, though just in general, may, taken literally, lead in some unforeseen cases to results which agree neither with the intent of the lawgiver nor with natural justice, but rather contravene them. In such cases the law must be expounded not according to its wording but according to the intent of the lawgiver and the general principles of natural justice. Law in the strict sense (jus strictum) is, therefore, positive law in its literal interpretation; equity, on the contrary, consists of the principles of natural justice so far as they are used to explain or correct a positive human law if this is not in harmony with the former. Epiky (Gr. 'Επιεικειεα, equity) is therefore defined: The benign application of the law according to what is good and equitable, which decides that the lawgiver does not intend that, because of exceptional circumstances, some particular case be included under his general law. D'Annibale (I, p. 180) states that epieikeia is a species of equity" (from the great treatise on the nature of Canon Law and commentary on the First book of the Old Code by Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, Canon Law).

Without going into a fledged dissertation here, suffice it to say that Canon Law could in no way have foreseen the circumstances in which Holy Mother Church finds herself today!!! And when one denies the possibility to Benedict, as the Supreme visible Lawmaker (under God and as His Vicar), who has the right to the Papacy which no one can take away from him in these unprecedented times, to have recourse to the Virtue of Epikeia/Equity, something even St. Thomas teaches, it is unconscionable. This is indeed the case when, intentionally or not, the Pope who is trying to keep the Petrine Office from the hands of the Enemies of the Church is made to appear a liar or a deceiver. Here is what I was advised by Br. Alexis when I brought up the idea of Epikeia:

"You are correct in observing I do not think one needs to appeal to equity as regards some circumstance non envisioned in the Law. I think the code aptly forestalls any problem if it be just observed. For a better understanding of my position, see ttps://…/."

So, I now present a description of what Benedict actually did through his Renunciation. What follows is a response to a Comment by Mark Docherty which Miss Barnhardt allowed on her Blog as a guest post.

Dear Mark, your article at Miss Barnhardt’s Blog is very interesting, and it also adds another voice to the sticky problem of Benedict’s Renunciation. In that article you correctly assert: “-Whatever his reasons, Pope Benedict did not resign the Munus in his Latin Declaratio. ………” But I do believe the idea of MUNUS needs to be clarified here. That word “Munus” is one of the traditional Latin words along with “Papatus” (Papacy) which refer to the Petrine Office in Canon Law (and not in any way were they equated with "ministry" or "service" or the "exercise of the Office, which ambiguity is found so frequently today), an Office which consists of the three Powers of the Church, but which belong fully to the Vicar of Christ: The Power of Governance, the Power of Teaching and the Power of Order (of Sanctifying, if you will). In these three Powers, necessary for the Preaching, Administration and End for which Christ established HIS Church, the Petrine Office consists. They stem from the threefold Office of Christ as King, Prophet and Priest. And those three Powers, which God confers immediately to a newly elected Pope can neither be separated from each other nor can they be separated from the Office, indeed they cannot be essentially changed into something else.

So when when you say that “-Benedict testified numerous times about his belief in the indelible nature of accepting the papacy, once pope always pope, that he is not fleeing but remaining ‘in a new way’ in the enclosure of St. Peter, to fulfill the “essential spiritual nature” of the papacy as its contemplative participant, while delegating the governance aspect to the active participant,” there seems to be an implicit, gratuitous declaration that Benedict is changing the nature of the Office. Perhaps, this is not what you mean, for you do quote Benedict’s phrasing by saying “that he is not fleeing but remaining ‘in a new way’ in the enclosure of St. Peter, to FULFILL THEESSENTIAL SPIRITUAL NATURE’ of the Papacy….” In other words, Benedict DOES NOT intend to change the essence of anything which belongs to the Nature of the Papacy. But then you go on to assert that Benedict is “delegating the governance aspect to the active participant.” On the other hand, in the official Latin text of Benedict’s Renunciation Announcement, Benedict speaks ONLY about renouncing the “exercise” of the Power of Governance, nothing, however, about handing it over to someone else. If you could point to some authoritative document of quote where Benedict actually does this, it would be greatly appreciated.

What exactly does Dom Gänswein mean when he describes Benedict expanded MINISTRY, which is basically another word for “service?” Notice he does not say Office or Papacy, that is, the faithful Archbishop in no way suggest any kind of essential change to the nature of the Papacy Itself, but only something accidental, a personal, spiritual association made up of two MEMBERS–not two Popes, one active and the other contemplative. Then, what does THIS mean?

Well, since Benedict renounced the exercise of the Powers of the Petrine Office, due to the fact that, and I know this from my own situation, evil, even demonic, forces within the Vatican were preventing Benedict to “exercise” those Powers as Christ intended, but also manipulating him to “exercise” those Powers in an evil or demonic way; and since his intention was, in fact, to keep the Petrine Office from the hands of anyone involved with the demonic, something Christ Christ could NOT ALLOW, for I maintain that a vicar of Satan CANNOT be a Vicar of Christ, Benedict, in response to Our Lady’s command for prayer and penance at Fatima, Benedict actually relating his Renunciation to the Fatima Message within his Renunciation Announcement, being as Christ’s Vicar, and hence the Supreme Law Maker of the Church, had every RIGHT to adjust, in light of Epikeia (Equity), his situation in whatever way necessary and legitimate to accommodate his ultimate purpose, namely to keep the Petrine Office from the hands of the enemy.

Now, in my treatise, I provide two suggestions or arrangements for an association of an active” member and a “contemplative” member. In fact, both arrangements could have been intended. The first that comes to mind is that Benedict is the “contemplative” member and hence is to be primarily concerned with prayer and penance (and I’m not going to quibble over the fact that he did some writing and visiting, for even formally cloistered monks don’t sit or kneel during every waking moment of the day in prayer and penance), while the “active” member is Dom answein, who provides meals, does the shopping, arranges meetings amidst a myriad of other tasks.

The other arrangement that could have been intended, could be that which Pius VII explicitly described while being held in captivity by Napoleon. Having been swept away from Rome and relocated to Savona where he gained firm support from the citizens there to the chagrin of Napoleon, the Emperor, fearing a backlash from the faithful there, decided to provide pomp and ceremony, every sort of royal treatment without granting any freedom to Pius, in order to persuade the Pope to approve Napoleon’s actions. A huge “Gala” Mass was scheduled by the Emperor whereby Pius would be exhibited in all his Princely and Pontifical regalia . The celebration of that Mass would be nothing but a deceitful show of acquiescence to Napoleon, and the saintly Pope refused to participate in it. After being approached by some of the Emperor’s most persuasive delegates, he couldn't take it any longer. He cut short the most enticing personage , “exclaiming with unwonted force and firmness: ‘What is it you are trying to get from me? I have told you I cannot yield and compromise my conscience. I am left with my back to the wall. GOD HIMSELF WILL SEE TO THE SAVING OF HIS CHURCH’ And saying no more, the Pope retired to pray alone.” Pius VII’s treatment would soon become truly that of a criminal (Quotes taken from Robin Anderson, Pius VII, 1800-1823 His Life, Times and Struggle with Napoleon in the Aftermath of theFrench Revolution, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc, Rockford, IL, pp. 87-90).

The point here is that perhaps Benedict had Pius VII in mind which Dom Ganswein spoke described as an “expanded” ministry of prayer and penance. That is, Benedict would be, once again, the “contemplative” member, while God is the “active” member. In either case, there is no substantial change in the nature of the Petrine Office and in fact Benedict has maintained the Petrine Office with it’s three Powers; Benedict’s Renunciation was actually valid, as he had vehemently protested all along. Eventually, the authorities in the Church will have to recognize this, in God’s due time, a true Conclave will have to be called by the Faithful Cardinals to elect a true Pope, should Benedict be martyred before a true Pope is elected, and with those, perhaps few, faithful Bishops remaining, due to the “revolt” or “falling away” of which St. Paul speaks in 2 Tim. 2, the Consecration of Russia will be made. This cannot be called a schism, for schism means receding from a false “pope” and not the gathering around the true Pope, no matter how small the Church will be. Bergoglio’s so called “Papal acts” will also have to be declared “Null and Void” from the very beginning of his so called “Pontificate”. It is my hope that my effort to provide clarity in a most confusing and damaging mess that Bergoglio is creating, causing numerous souls to end up in hell, and which is becoming ever increasingly worse almost by the hour does in fact not only clarify the matter, but simplify them. Nevertheless, those in authority must be able to admit that there was a mistake made; something most difficult to do. Furthermore, although the theory of “substantial error” might be a solution easier to deal with. It is not the reality, and it is only by admitting to reality that a true solution can be embarked upon.

As a final request, it would be appreciate if someone with intellectual honesty could explain to me why a Pope, e.g., Benedict, could not validly place himself, given the nature of the attack on the Church and on him personally, in a situation analogous to a Pope in hiding (Pope Caius), a Pope in exile (Pope Gregory VII) or a Pope in captivity (Pope Pius VII). These latter Popes, it is true, were placed in those situations against their will, but Benedict did what he did precisely because of the demonic attack upon the Papacy itself, an attack which is not one of physical force by outside enemies, but by a quasi spiritual (the demonic influence on human instruments), psychological force within the Church Itself. It would only be charity to show how this cannot be done, rather than dragging me over coals by at will criticism, most of it being ad hominem, sometimes the cold shoulder, and at times even angry allusions to calumnies people have heard about Fr. Belland. This is not to complain, but rather, if we are truly interested in the truth of the matter at hand, namely, the state of Holy Mother Church, then there ought to be an effort to expose that reality and that truth by human, rational discussion. And if what is said is in fact the truth, let’s act like true Soldiers of Christ and convince others of that truth.

As we celebrate that great Feast of Pentecost, may the Holy Ghost infuse his Virtues and Gifts into the souls of the faithful, especially those in authority to recognize the reality of the situation and especially the courage to stand up and fight as a real Soldier of Christ. If the Mystical Body of the Church is undergoing a horrible passion, it’s members cannot flee, even from Martyrdom, if need be. God bless and Our Lady protect us all.