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Is Dr. Feser right that "Canon Lawyers like Ed Peters have shown, the arguments claiming to establish that Francis’s Election was invalid are also no good"?

 My response to Boudway's response on canon law and marriage norms –  Catholic World Report

Excommunication! | An interview with canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters | by  Carl E. Olson

"The only sane conclusion is, therefore, that munus and ministerium are distinct terms with different meanings. They cannot substitute for one another in any sentence in which their proper senses are employed. Munus can substitute for officium, when officium means that which regards a title or dignity or ecclesiastical office." - Latin language expert Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Alexis Bugnolo said…

Fred, thank you for republishing this study. It is just a recitation of the facts of the law. I hope that bloggers everywhere republish it and translate it, because EVERY CATHOLIC HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW...
Br. Bugnolo,

In my opinion, your above treatise may be similar to the historical moment when Doctor of the Church St. Bernard of Clairvaux proved by "recitation of the facts of the law" the proclaimed pope (Anancletus) who ruled the Vatican and Rome for eight years by vote and consent of a absolute majority of the cardinals was in fact an antipope. -The Catholic Monitor []
If someone has definite reasons from canon law to doubt the validity of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation can one commit a mortal sin if he doesn't resolve that doubt before claiming Francis is definitely pope?

The important theological book "Rodriguez and the Confession of Doubtful Mortal Sins" in page 225 says:

"If one does not resolve the doubt and deliberately does the action anyhow, it means that he is willing to offend God gravely, and therefore he commits a mortal sin."
(Google: Theological Studies -cdn- 1 PDF by U. Adelman - Cited by 1 Related articles) - The Catholic Monitor []

Yesterday, Dr. Edward Feser said that "arguments claiming to establish the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation are no good.  And as canon lawyers like Ed Peters have shown, the arguments claiming to establish that Francis’s election was invalid are also no good." []

The link to Peters was the only apparent piece of evidence from a canon lawyer in the post so let's see what was actually said by Peters on canon law on that subject:

Two small but persistent arguments attack the very foundation of Francis’ papacy: first, Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid (take your pick as to reasons why, but mostly because of pressure allegedly brought on Benedict, as supposedly evidenced by his resignation wording), so there was no vacant Holy See to fill, and so a conclave could not elect a pope; or, second, various irregularities were committed before or during the conclave itself, so the election of Francis was invalid.

Both sets of arguments are offered in inexcusable ignorance of Canon 10 (which sets a high standard indeed for declaring any kind of ecclesiastical acts invalid, etc.), but the arguments alleging the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation are so vacuous that no time will be spent refuting them here. On the other hand, some (okay, basically one) of the claims that irregularities allegedly committed in the conclave itself resulted in an invalid election do have a modicum of plausibility and deserve at least a brief hearing. So here goes.

These latter arguments seem to fall out along three lines, two of which are patently groundless:

Contrary to Universi Dominici Gregi... []

In this post we will not deal with Universi Dominici Gregi, that is the Francis conclave, but only with Feser's statement the "invalidity of Benedict’s resignation [auguments] are no good."

Also, we will not go over Peters above claim against "Benedict XVI’s resignation was [possibly] invalid... because of pressure allegedly brought on Benedict." It was covered in this post: .   

It appears that Peters in terms of canon law only presents the following evidence in his post:

"Both sets of arguments are offered in inexcusable ignorance of Canon 10 (which sets a high standard indeed for declaring any kind of ecclesiastical acts invalid, etc.), but the arguments alleging the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation are so vacuous that no time will be spent refuting them here." 

The canon lawyer mentions Canon 10, but doesn't explain using that canon why as he said he doesn't have "time [to].. refut[e]" the "vacuous" arguments. Obviously, we would love to know his reasons why the arguments are "vacuous," but none are given.   

It appears that Feser's canon law argument may possibly need a little more evidence than is shown above unless the argument is based on the authority or expertise of Peters calling stuff "vacuous."

Excuse me if I'm wrong in saying that the argument below which includes a statement by Peters on canon law interpretation seems to offers just a little tiny bit more evidence:

Latin language expert Br. Alexis Bugnolo says the only correct way to approach the validity or invalidity of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is an objective reading of what the two words ministerium and munus mean by means of using canon 17's criteria and not a subjective reading of what the two words may possibly have meant in the mind of Benedict:

"Canon 17 requires that Canon 332 S2 be read in accord with the meaning of canon 145 S1  and canon 41... requires that ministerium and munus be understood as referring to two different things."
(From Rome, "Ganswein, Brandmuller & Burke: Please read Canon 17, February 14, 2019)

When I read that I thought it would be extremely helpful if he could go into detail on the above by going into canon 17, canon 332 S2, canon 145 S1 and canon 41. He has done just that.

But, before we get to that it is important to understand that Pope John Paul II promulgated the current canon law which is the supreme law of the Catholic Church.

Moreover, it is important to understand that canon 17 is the key to understanding the supreme law of the Church.

Canon lawyer Edward Peters explains:

"Canon 17... states 'if the meaning remains doubtful and obscure, recourse must be made to parallel places.'"
(CatholicWorld Report, "Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded," September 28, 2017)

Now, finally, we get to Br. Bugnolo who has explained in overwhelming detail in the following treatise using canon law why some people may be wrong in saying ministerium and munus are synonyms that mean the exact same thing or nearly the exact same thing:

Munus and Ministerium: A Textual Study of their Usage
in the Code of Canon Law of 1983

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The study of Canon Law is a recondite field for nearly everyone in the Church except Canon Lawyers. And even for Canon Lawyers, most of whom are prepared to work in the Marriage Tribunals of the Church, most of the Code of Canon Law is not frequently referred to.

However, when it comes to the problems of determining the validity of a canonical act, the expertise among Canon Lawyers becomes even more difficult to find, since the circumstances and problems in a single canonical act touch upon a great number of Canons of the Code of Canon Law, and thus require the profound knowledge and experience of years of problem solving to be readily recognized.

For this reason, though popularly many Catholics are amazed that after 6 years there can still be questions and doubts about the validity of the Act of Renunciation declared by Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, it actually is not so surprising when one knows just a little about the complexity of the problems presented by the document which contains that Act.

First of all, the Latin of the Act, which is the only official and canonical text, is rife with errors of Latin Grammar. All the translations of the Act which have ever been done, save for a few, cover those errors with a good deal of indulgence, because it is clear that whoever wrote the Latin was not so fluent in writing Latin as they thought, a thing only the experts at such an art can detect.

Even myself, who have translated thousands of pages of Latin into English, and whose expertise is more in making Latin intelligible as read, than in writing intelligible Latin according to the rules of Latin grammar can see this. However, we are not talking about literary indulgences when we speak of the canonical value or signification of a text.

For centuries it was a constant principle of interpretation, that if a canonical act in Latin contained errors it was not to be construed as valid, but had to be redone. Unfortunately for the Church, Cardinal Sodano and whatever Cardinals or Canonists examined the text of the Act prior to the public announcement of its signification utterly failed on this point, as will be seen during this conference.

This is because if there are multiple errors or any error, the Cardinal was allowed and even obliged under canons 40 and 41 to ask that the text be corrected.

This evening, however, we are not going to talk about the lack of good Latinity in the text of the Act nor of the other errors which make the text unintelligible to fluent Latinists who think like the Romans of Cicero’s day when they see Latin written, but rather, of the signification of Canon 332 §2, in its fundamental clause of condition, where it says in the Latin, Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, which in good English is, If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounce his munus….

The entire condition for a Papal Renunciation of Office in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II is founded on this first clause of Canon 332 §2.  It behooves us, therefore, when any say that the Renunciation was valid or invalid, to first read this Canon and understand when a renunciation takes place and when it does not take place.

For this purpose, in this first intervention at this Conference, I will speak about the meaning of the two words, Munus and Ministerium, in the Code of Canon Law.  I will speak of both, because, in Canon 332 §2 Pope John Paul II wrote munus and in the Act of Renunciation, Pope Benedict XVI renounced ministerium.

This study is not an idle one, or even only of academic interest. It is required by Canon Law, because in Canon 17, it says, that when there arises a doubt about the signification of a canon, one is to have recourse to the Code of Canon Law, the sources of canonical tradition and the Mind of the Legislator (Pope John Paul II) in determining the authentic meaning.

According to Canon 17 the words of Canoon 332 §2, therefore, are to be understood properly. Therefore, let us examine the Code to see what is the proper meaning of the words munus and ministerium.

Ministerium in the Code of Canon Law

This study is something everyone with the Internet can do. Because there exists an indexed copy of the Latin text of the Code on line at  In the Alphabetic index of which one can find hyperlinked, all the words found in the Code, in their different Latin forms.

For the word Ministerium, there are 6 forms found:  Ministeria, Ministerii, Ministeriis, Ministerio, Ministeriorum, Ministerium.  Respectively they occur 7, 13, 3, 17, 3, 25 times each in the Code.

Let us take a look at each, briefly.


The Nominative and Accusative Plural:  Occurs 7 times. In canons 230, 232, 233,  237, 385, 611 and 1035.  Each of these refer to one or more of the sacred ministries or services exercised during the Divine Liturgy, whether by priests, lectors, acolytes etc..


The Genitive. Occurs 13 times.  In canons 233 twice, 276, 278, 519, 551, 756, 759, 1370, 1373, 1375 1389, 1548.  These refer to the sacred service (canons 233, in canon 271 §2, 1, to the duties of the pastoral ministry (ministerii pastoralis  officia as in canon 276, 278 or 551) which sanctify the priest, and specifically in relation to munus in several canons:

In Canon 519, where it says of the duties of the Pastor of a Parish:
Can. 519 – Parochus est pastor proprius paroeciae sibi commissae, cura pastorali communitatis sibi concreditae fungens sub auctoritate Episcopi dioecesani, cuius in partem ministerii Christi vocatus est, ut pro eadem communitate munera exsequatur docendi, sanctificandi et regendi, cooperantibus etiam aliis presbyteris vel diaconis atque operam conferentibus christifidelibus laicis, ad normam iuris.
Which in English is:
Canon 519:  The parish priest is the pastor of the parish assigned to him, exercising (fungens) the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, in a portion of whose ministry in Christ (in partem ministerii Chirsti) he has been called, so that he might execute (exsequatur) the munera of teaching, sanctifying and ruling for the same community, with the cooperation also of the other priests and/or deacons and faithful laity assisting in the work, according to the norm of law.
Let us note, first of all, that here the Code distinguishes between the munera of teaching, santifying and ruling from the entire ministry of Christ a part of which is shared by the Bishop.

And again in Canon 756, when it speaks of the munus of  announcing the Gospel, it says, after speaking of the duty of the Roman Pontiff in this regard in conjunction with the College of Bishops:
756 § 2.  Quoad Ecclesiam particularem sibi concreditam illud munus exercent singuli Episcopi, qui quidem totius ministerii verbi in eadem sunt moderatores; quandoque vero aliqui Episcopi coniunctim illud explent quoad diversas simul Ecclesias, ad normam iuris.
Which in English is:
756 §2  In regard to the particular Church entrusted to him, every Bishop, who is indeed the moderater of the whole ministry of the word to it, exercises (exercent) this munus; but also when any Bishop fulfills that conjointly in regard to the diverse Churches, according to the norm of law.
Let us note here simply that the Code distinguishes between the exercise of a munus and the ministerium of preaching the word.
Again in canon 759, ministerii is used regarding the preaching of the word. In Canon 1370 it is used in reference to the contempt of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1373, it is spoken of in regard the an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry. In canon 1548 in regard to the exercise of the sacred ministry of the clergy.
In canon 1389, it is spoken of in the context of power, munus and ministry. Let us take a closer look:
Can. 1389 – § 1.  Ecclesiastica potestate vel munere abutens pro actus vel omissionis gravitate puniatur, non exclusa officii privatione, nisi in eum abusum iam poena sit lege vel praecepto constituta.
2. Qui vero, ex culpabili neglegentia, ecclesiasticae potestatis vel ministerii vel muneris actum illegitime cum damno alieno ponit vel omittit, iusta poena puniatur.
Which in English is:
Canon 1389 §1  Let the one abusing Ecclesiastical power and/or munus be punished in proportion to the gravity of the act and/or omission, not excluding privation of office, unless for that abuse there has already been established a punishment by law and/or precept.
2. However, Let him who, out of culpable negligence, illegitimately posits and/or omits an act of ecclesiastical power and/or ministry and/or of munus, with damage to another, be punished with a just punishment.
Let us note here that the Code in a penal precept distinguishes between: potestas, ministerium and munus. This implies that in at least one proper sense of each of these terms, they can be understood to signify something different or distinct from the other.

This finishes the study of the occurences of ministerii.

The ablative and dative plural form. Occurs 3 times.   In canons 274 and 674, where it refers to the sacred ministry of the priesthood and to the ministries exercised in parish life, respectively.

And in Canon 1331 §1, 3, where the one excommunicated is forbidden to exercise all ecclesiastical duties (officiis) and/or ministries and/or munera (muneribus) The Latin is:
Can. 1331 – § 1.  Excommunicatus vetatur:
1 ullam habere participationem ministerialem in celebrandis Eucharistiae Sacrificio vel  quibuslibet aliis cultus caerimoniis;
2 sacramenta vel sacramentalia celebrare et sacramenta recipere;
3 ecclesiasticis officiis vel ministeriis vel muneribus quibuslibet fungi vel actus regiminis ponere.
The English  is:

Canon 1331 §1.  An excommunicate is forbidden:
  1. from having any ministerial participation in the celebrating of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist and/or in any other ceremonies of worship
  2. from celebrating the Sacraments and/or sacramentals and from receiving the Sacraments;
  3. from exercising (fungi) ecclesiastical officia and/or ministeria and/or munera and/or from positing acts of governance.
Let us note again, that the Code distinguishes in this negative precept the terms Officia, Ministeria and Munera. This means, very significantly, that in the Mind of the Legislator, there is a proper sense in which these terms can each be understood as excluding the other. All three are named to make the signification of the negative precept comprehensive of all possible significations.

 The Ablative and Dative singular form. Occurs 17 times. Canons 252, 271, 281, 386 refer to the ministries exercised in the liturgy or apostolate. Canon 545 uses ministerio in reference to the pastoral ministry being proffered, 548 likewise in reference to the pastor of a parish, 559 likewise. Canon 713 refers to the priestly ministry, canons 757, 760 and 836 to the ministry of the word. Canon 899 to the priestly ministry of Christ. Canon 1036 speaks of the need a Bishop has to have knowledge that a candidate for ordination has a willingness to dedicate himself to the life long service which is the duty of orders.
Canon 1722, which has to deal with canonical trials, speaks again of the sacred ministerium, officium and munus exercised (arcere) of the one accused. Distinguishing all three terms to make a comprehensive statement of what can be interdicted by a penalty.

This far for the 17 instances of ministerio.


The genitive plural form. Occurs 3 times. In canon 230 in regard to the conferral of ministries of acolyte and lector upon laymen. In canon 499 in regard to having members of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese include priests with a variety of ministries exercised all over the diocese. And in canon 1050, in regard to those to be ordained, that they have a document showing they have willingly accepted a live long ministry in sacred service.

And finally the Nominative Singular form.


Of which there are 25 occurrences in the Code.

First and most significantly in Canon 41, the very canon that Cardinal Sodano had to act upon when examining the Act of Renunciation by Pope Benedict.
The Latin reads:
Can. 41 — Exsecutor actus administrativi cui committitur merum exsecutionis ministerium, exsecutionem huius actus denegare non potest, nisi manifesto appareat eundem actum esse nullum aut alia ex gravi causa sustineri non posse aut condiciones in ipso actu administrativo appositas non esse adimpletas; si tamen actus administrativi exsecutio adiunctorum personae aut loci ratione videatur inopportuna, exsecutor exsecutionem intermittat; quibus in casibus statim certiorem faciat auctoritatem quae actum edidit.
The English reads:
Canon 41: The executor of an administrative act to whom there has been committed the mere ministry (ministerium) of execution, cannot refuse execution of the act, unless the same act appears to be null from (something) manifest [manifesto] or cannot be sustained for any grave cause or the conditions in the administrative act itself do not seem to be able to have been fulfilled: however, if the execution of the administrative act seems inopportune by reason of place or adjoined persons, let the executor omit the execution; in which cases let him immediately bring the matter to the attention of (certiorem faciat) the authority which published the act.
Then, ministerium occurs again in canon 230, in reference to the ministry of the word, where officia is used in the sense of duties. In canon 245, in regard to the pastoral ministry and teaching missionaries the ministry. In Canon 249 again in regard to the pastoral ministry, in 255 in regard to the ministry of teaching, sanctifying etc.., in 256, 257, 271, 324 in regard to the sacred ministry of priests, in Canon 392 in regard to the ministries of the word. In Canon 509 in regard to the ministry exercised by the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter. In Canon 545 in regard to the parish ministry, in canon 533 in regard to the ministry exercised by a Vicar. In canons 618 and 654 in regard to the power received by religious superiors through the ministry of the Church. In Canon 1025, 1041, and 1051 to the usefulness of a candidate for orders for service (ministerium) to the Church. In Canon 1375 to those who exercise power and/or ecclesiastical ministry.

Ministerium occurs significantly in canon 1384, regard to the penalites a priest can incurr.
Can. 1384 – Qui, praeter casus, de quibus in cann. 1378-1383, sacerdotale munus vel aliud sacrum ministerium illegitime exsequitur, iusta poena puniri potest.
Which in English is:
Canon 1384  Who, besides the cases, concerning which in canons 1378 to 1383 the priestly munus and/or any other sacred ministerium is illegitimately executed, can be punished with a just punishment.
The Code explicitly distinguishes between munus and ministerium as entirely different and or distinct aspects of priestly being and action.

To finish off, the Code mentions Ministerium, again in Canon 1481 in regard to the ministry of lawyers, 1502 and 1634 to the ministry of judges, and in 1740 to ministry of the pastor of a parish.

This completes the entire citation of the Code on the word Ministry in all its Latin Forms, singular and plural.

In summation, we can see already that the Code distinguishes between proper senses of ministerium and munus, habitually throughout its canons and uses ministerium always for a service to be rendered by a layman, priest, Bishop, lawyer, judge or to or by the Church Herself. It never uses ministerium as an office or title or dignity or charge.

Munus in the Code of Canon Law

Munus is a very common term in the Code of Canon Law, occurring a total of 188 times.

The Latin forms which appear in the Code are Munus (77 times), Muneris (26 times), Muneri (2 times), Munere (48 times), Munera (20 times) Munerum (6 times) and Muneribus (9 times).

While the length of this conference does not me to cite them all, I will refer to the most important occurrences.

I will omit citing Canon 331, 333, 334 and 749, where speaking of the Papal Office, the code uses the words Munus. In no other canons does it speak of the Papal office per se, except in Canon 332 §2, which governs Papal renunciations, where it also uses munus.

But as to the proper sense of munus in the Code, let us look at the most significant usages:

First as regards predication, where the Mind of the Legislator indicates when any given proper sense of this term can be said to be a another term.

This occurs only once in canon 145, §1
Can. 145 – § 1. Officium ecclesiasticum est quodlibet munus ordinatione sive divina sive ecclesiastica stabiliter constitutum in finem spiritualem exercendum.
Which in English is:
Canon 145 § 1.  An ecclesiastical office (officium) is any munus constituted by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance as to be exercised for a spiritual end. 
Second, as regards the canons governing the events of Feb. 11, 2013, there is  Canon 40, which Cardinal Sodano and his assistants had to refer to in the moments following the Consistory of Feb 11, 2013:
Can. 40 — Exsecutor alicuius actus administrativi invalide suo munere fungitur, antequam litteras receperit earumque authenticitatem et integritatem recognoverit, nisi praevia earundem notitia ad ipsum auctoritate eundem actum edentis transmissa fuerit.
In English:
Canon 40: The executor of any administrative act invalidly conducts his munus (suo munero), before he receives the document (letteras) and certifies (recognoverit) its integrity and authenticity, unless previous knowledge of it has been transmitted to him by the authority publishing the act itself.
Third, as regards to the distinction of munus and the fulfillment of a duty of office, there is Canon 1484, §1 in regard to the offices of Procurator and Advocate in a Tribunal of Eccleisastical Jurisdiction:
Can. 1484 – § 1.  Procurator et advocatus antequam munus suscipiant, mandatum authenticum apud tribunal deponere debent.
Which in English is:
Canon 1484 §1.  The procurator and advocate ought to deposit a copy of their authentic mandate with the Tribunal, before they undertake their munus.
Note here, significantly, that the Code associates the mandate to exercise an office with the undertaking of the munus (munus). Negatively, therefore, what is implied by this canon is that when one lays down his mandate, there is a renunciation of the munus.

Finally, in regard to possibile synonyms for munus, in the Code we have Canon 1331, §2, n. 4, which is one of the most significant in the entire code, as we shall see: There is forbidden the promotion of those who are excommunicated:
4 nequit valide consequi dignitatem, officium aliudve munus in Ecclesia
Which in English reads:
  1. He cannot validly obtain a dignity, office and/or any munus in the Church.
If there was every any doubt about the Mind of the Legislator of the proper sense of terms in the Code of Canon law regarding what Munus means, this canon answers it by equating dignity, office and munus as things to which one cannot be promoted!

Note well, ministerium is not included in that list!  thus Ministerium does not signify a dignity, office or munus!

This study of Munis and Ministerium in the Code thus concludes, for the lack of time. We have seen that the Code distinguishes clearly between the terms of officium, munus, ministerium, potestas and dignitas. It predicates officium of munus alone, It equates dignitas and munus and officium. It distinguishes between potestas and ministerium.

The only sane conclusion is, therefore, that munus and ministerium are distinct terms with different meanings. They cannot substitute for one another in any sentence in which their proper senses are employed. Munus can substitute for officium, when officium means that which regards a title or dignity or ecclesiastical office.

Thus in Canon 332 §2, where the Canon reads, Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet. The Code is not speaking of ministerium, and if it is speaking of any other terms, it is speaking of a dignitas or officium. But the papal office is a dignitas, officium and a munus.  thus Canon 332 §2 is using munus in its proper sense and referring to the papal office.
(This is a transcript of my first talk at the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI, which took place at Rome on Oct 21, 2019, the full transcript of which is found here)


Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.

Francis Notes:

- Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)

Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."

- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?":

- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?":

- If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the"Roman Rite Communities" like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & "Eminent Canonists and Theologians" by "Resist[ing]" him: 

 -  LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:

The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"

-  On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:

"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."

- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.

Election Notes:  

- Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: "212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted...Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden" []

- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003":

- Tucker Carlson's Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written" according to Rush:
- A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:
What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?: and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: "Anitfa 'Agent Provocateurs'":

Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God's Will and to do it.
Pray an Our Father now for America.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.




Steven O'Reilly said…

Give up on Benepapism, Fred. This nonsense needs to end. It is a complete dead end.

I am still waiting for you to answer the two dubia I challenged you to. They are not hard to answer. Your readers hounded Skojec on it. Fair enough. Yet, you...have failed to answer the questions I put to you a couple weeks or more ago. Silence. You put 5 dubia to me at the time...I answered all 5 of them immediately. Where are you answers to just 2? Quite simple ones. But, be assured...I have more to ask.

Church historian and authority, Dr. Mazza, proposed a thesis on Mr. Coffin's show, core to which were his specific citations of Fr. Ratzinger on 'the papacy is a sacrament'. I rebutted Dr. Mazza's use of Fr. Ratzinger here:

Essentially, one of my Dubia asked you, do you defend Dr. Mazza's interpretation of Fr. Ratzinger's quotes, or not. YES or NO. I am waiting. If you defend him...explain where my interpretation of Ratzinger's quotes are wrong.

My second Dubia, asked you about Pope Benedict XVI's comments just a few hours before his resignation took effect. See here:

My question is, do you agree with BXVI's statement he would "no longer be Supreme Pontiff" as of 8pm. If not...explain his meaning that he would "no longer be Supreme Pontiff". And please...spare me Mr. Cionci's absurd "Ratzinger Code" nonsense. I've answered that already below.

I am waiting...Fred. So are you readers.

As for Feser, he demolished the outrageous ad hominem attacks by Mr. Coffin. This is clear for anyone with common sense to see. And, you've proven by reprinting without hesitation such attacks (as against me by Ms. Acosta), this is a common attribute among many of the leading Benepapists. You know that to be true.

Folks should not follow after the Benepapist leaders, such as Ms. Barnhardt, Br. Bugnolo, Mr. Docherty, Dr. Mazza, Mr. Coffin, Mr. Cionci, or Ms. Acosta. These will unsuspecting sheep into into schism once Benedict or Francis dies. Do not sign any Declaration or petition they put before you.

Their arguments have been addressed here, including the nonsense from Mr. Cionci, and the rest of the Benepapists:


Steven O'Reilly

Fred Martinez said…

Is this your creed?

"I believe in Francis and that it is infallible dogma that he is pope no matter what evidence shows that he violated the Pope John Paul II constitution that governed the validity or invalidity of the 2013 conclave. He suffered under Bishop Rene Gracida who classified the evidence that the constitution was violated and called the cardinals to investigate. He descended into the Vatican gay lobby. He ascended to the papal throne where he sits surrounded by the gay lobby cardinals from where he shall judge the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Ten Commandments and all the infallible Catholic teachings."

"I believe in Amoris Laetitia, the Communion of adulterers, Francis's representation of globalist teachings which embodies the Soros gospel of unlimited mass immigration, climate change, a one-world government and the goddess Mother Earth everlasting."

I wrote this ecumenical creed with the hope that it will help all the Francis conservatives like Steven O'Reilly and his friends who are Francis traditionalists Steve Skojec as well as their collaborators the Francis liberals can unite in their common communion with Francis.

Give up on being on Team Francis, Steve. This nonsense needs to end. It is a complete dead end.

I will at some point, Steve. Sorry. I am just very busy. I actually work for a living. But it will be more than two words probably. However come to think of it that would make it a lot quicker. I may answer in my Fred Martinez Report blog when I have time with two words.




Aqua said…
Our Credal profession of belief is in The Most Holy Trinity, Holy Mother Church, Communion Of Saints and our own resurrection into this Beatific Communion.

Nowhere do we profess allegiance to the reigning Pope. Tradition binds us to him in joint allegiance to God, the Blessed Mother, Holy Church, Her Tradition. That is the narrow road leading to life. The Pope leads us along this road.

If the Pope directs me off the road, through a wide gate, into a ditch toward a cliff and into eternal fire ... no thanks.

I choose the Catholic Creeds, as written, and all that goes with them that is True.
10:08 AM
Fred Martinez said…
10:48 AM
Laramie Hirsch said…
This creed is perfect. I will popularize it and spread it where I can. []
T said…
Heresy is contradicting a defined article of divine and Catholic Faith.

Formal heresy is affirming heresy fully well knowing it is against what the Church has defined,

The pope cannot be a formal heretic.

Assume that Francis is pope. He said that the death penalty is against the gospel. To change the catechism he had to overwrite the part of the catechism where John Paul II mentioned the “traditional teaching”, so a reasonable observer understands he contradicted the traditional teaching knowingly, and is a formal heretic and not the pope. Thus the only safe assumption is that he isn’t the pope, for otherwise we are led to a contradiction.
Fred Martinez said…
Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Debbie said…
It's pretty simple for me; I totally believe every word Our Lord spoke that is recorded in Scripture. Since He gave Peter the power to bind and loose, it's obvious a true Pope could not contradict what Tradition has always taught. Bergoglio does just that...almost daily. He does as Satan does and affirms people in their sins. It's beyond obvious that "Francis" is the one in schism from the true faith, not those who believe the other guy in white in Rome is the true Pope.

Folks should not follow those who insist that a sin-affirming, pachademon worshipping, tradition hating, abortion tainted "vaccine" pushing, coprophilia fixated degenerate is Pope rather than the other guy in Rome. To believe the 'shut-up stupid Francis is pope' crowd is to believe the hirelings who say the wolf is harmless.

Mr. O'Reilly, how do you tell a couple in an adulterous "marriage", who believe Francis is Pope, they have to repent to obtain heaven? They would have a very good argument believing Bergoglio has the power to bind and loose. How would you counter their argument? I've asked this question a few times and have had zero responses.

Steven O'Reilly said…

(Part 1)


That is part of the problem with your analysis of the present situation. Because someone defends the validity of BXVI's resignation does not necessarily mean one thinks Francis is fantastic, etc. It does not mean one cannot wonder about the oddities of the 2013 conclave, or whether there are grounds for invalidity there.

As a matter of logic, even if we were to say Francis is not pope, or that there are significant problems surrounding him or the conclave; that would still NOT mean or prove Benedict still is pope. What don't you understand about that?

Just because Francis is horrible, questions remain about his conclave, etc., does not relieve one from the moral responsibility to critically examine the evidence for any suggested solution -- particularly one that might put one in schism, and those who read them. This goes tenfold for any writer pushing Benepapism on their blogs, podcasts, books, etc. That Francis is truly horrible does not give one a "hall pass" from the truth, or from critical thinking. Indeed, it requires someone to be more serious about it.

When the evidence for Benepapism is examined, it is exceedingly weak, or in many cases, such as Dr. Mazza's claim about certain writings of Fr. Ratzinger -- are NOT all what was said of them (see The leading Benepapists refuse to consider their interpretations of documents like the last audience or Ganswein might be wrong, or that other more natural, less controversial readings are as plausible, and indeed more probable than their own (see and At times, some Benepapists invent "codes" to explain away devastating evidence (see, or other conspiratorial solution (e.g.,;

And the above is just a sampling of what is wrong with Benepapism. It's not what I wanted to find when I began examining the theories back in 2016/2017 -- I was hoping something like Benepapism might offer a solution. Unfortunately, that's not what my investigation uncovered -- I could not in good conscience give credence to the theory, at all. If folks want to learn more, try here:

end of part 1...
Steven O'Reilly said…
(Part 2 to Fred)


Now as to the absurd notion I am on "Team Francis"...

- I do not believe in communion for adulterers, and on that subject I've written much against Stephen Walford, one of Francis' public apologists (see In fact, I wrote a book length rebuttal of Walford's book which defended Amoris Laetitia (see beginning with Part 1, here:, and I else pointed out Francis provided a problematic preface for that book: (see

- I've written against other Francis-apologists (see

- I have looked at, and found, some aspects of the conclave, and the period just before it that I haven't really seen many other sites discuss (see; for example, see my reporting on McCarrick saying "we did it!" (see and on the "October Surprise" (see So, I have continued to be active in trying to research and investigate various aspects of the conclave. Indeed, Bishop Gracida apparently liked a number of my articles sufficiently enough to reprint them, on subjects touching upon the conclave, Bergoglio's Jesuit vows, etc.

- And, many articles on my blog, I've supported the Open Letter regarding Francis, and have supported the calling of an imperfect council (several times) to look into questions of the conclave, and the Open letter, etc., -- I think even some of your old articles mention me to that effect.

And, so on.

The point is, it is absurd to suggest I am on "Team Francis" or a "Francis Traditionalist." It is disingenuous for anyone who is even somewhat familiar with my blog (or with Bishop Gracida who has reprinted a number of my articles) to even *suggest* such a thing as me being on "Team Francis" or of being a "Francis Traditionalist." And, I know you are familiar with my blog -- and with Bishop Gracida's. But, still, you say such things, even knowing the evidence is to the contrary of what you assert. Why is that?


Steve O'Reilly
Fred Martinez said…

Please answer Debbie question:

Debbie said…

Mr. O'Reilly, how do you tell a couple in an adulterous "marriage", who believe Francis is Pope, they have to repent to obtain heaven? They would have a very good argument believing Bergoglio has the power to bind and loose. How would you counter their argument? I've asked this question a few times and have had zero responses.

T said…
Well, if we agree that Francis is not pope, logic would have it that the seat is vacated or the seat is occupied.
Steven O'Reilly said…

That is pretty rich, Fred. You challenge people to answer your dubia. Someone does. Then that someone asks you to answer 2 dubia. It has been weeks without an answer. Then you challenge that someone to answer someone else's question!

Pretty funny, Fred!!

I'll answer Debbie's question for Debbie. But you don't get to ask any follow ups to that...until you answer my first 2 dubia (for starters). I still get to ask you four others until we are actually 'even.'



@Debbie: If asked, I would say the following: With regard to Francis' teaching in AL, even his apologists take opposing views as to what he is saying (e.g., see, for example Walford says communion for adulterers is okay in some cases, where Dr. Fastiggi's view differs from Walford. D. Armstrong seems to follow Fastiggi's view; while the folks at WPI side with Walford see: ( In sum, there is still confusion even among Francis-apologists as to what Francis is saying, whether it is AL itself, or even the import of the AAS on the question. But, no matter what, Francis disclaimed infallibility for AL in AL (3? or 4?); and a rescript and entry in the AAS does not meet the conditions of Pastor Aeturnus. There have been popes who have said erroneous things in public (John XXII), and or favored heresy (Honorius).

Having pointed this out, I'd point out that the clear, perennial teaching of the Church denies communion to manifest, public adulterers. This teaching was repeated by JP II in Familiaris Consortio 84, where he explicitly said that by this practice of denying D&Rs -- living in an objective state of adultery -- communion; the Church *professes* its fidelity to Christ. Thus, implicitly, to do the opposite would be unfaithful to Christ. Further, canon 915, as well as the Catechism, are still explicitly quite clear on the matter.

Also, JP II repeated this teaching multiple times, including thru his CDF which said JPII's teaching in AL was 'presented as binding' and therefore there were no exceptions. Full stop. Also, BXVI in various papal documents likewise taught the same. Thus, the clear teaching is no communion for D&Rs living in an objective state of adultery. So...the sure path to follow is that of the perennial teaching on the question.

As with the question of John XXII's error on the Beatific Vision in his public discourse; or Pope Honorius' favoring of heresy...this matter will most like be resolved by a definitive judgement of the Church at some future date. It took only a couple to a few years to correct John XXII's error; but it took 40+ years for Pope St. Leo II to 'correct' Honorius. So, in the meantime, adulterers should follow the counsel of the perennial teaching; while faithful Catholics should, by virtue of their Faith, have patience as they await a judgment from the Church -- and not follow after those peddling absurd doctrines like Benepapism hoping to explain the current crisis in the Church but ultimately ending up in schism instead.
Steven O'Reilly said…


you begin: "Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation..."

Yes, he said that. But, let's keep things straight. An argument that Francis is a heretic is not in itself a proof that "Benedict is still pope." There are other 'theories' that explain Francis, either what he is or may be, which do not require "Benedict is still pope." It seems like you are arguing against yourself. If you think Benedict is still pope; why are you worried about what Francis de Sales has to say about heretical popes?

I understand people wondering what the heck is going on with Francis. But...some folks need to take a deep breath, and exhale. A few times. If Francis is a formal heretic...this will get resolved. The Lord will not allow anything less. If Francis is a material heretic...this will get resolved. The Lord will not all anything less. If the election was invalid due to actions of Francis/St. Gallen mafia...this will get resolved. The Lord will not all anything less. All will come out.

What folks don't need to do is, jump off the cliff into schism -- as in following those particular Benepapists who ONLY accept the solution they have offered; such as, declaring Benedict is definitely pope, and any future conclave that doesn't meet the conditions they have presumptuously specified would be invalid. You know who they are. That is clearly the way of folly.

Instead, "Pray always...and never give up." (Luke 18:1). God wins.



Steven O'Reilly said…
typos... *allow
Debbie said…
Steve: ".....the clear, perennial teaching of the Church denies communion to manifest, public adulterers." And then you go on to site JPII and BXVI. Indeed

This does exactly nothing to help the confused folks believing Francis is Pope.

Perhaps you can also convince them to ignore pachademon worship at St. Peter's too.

The better option, in my opinion is to tell them there are those who suspect Francis is an antipope. Lead them to the arguments and let them decide for themselves. Not having the clear, perennial teachings from the one you claim is definitely pope seems....stupid to put it bluntly.
Steven O'Reilly said…

I answered your question. Like it or not.

But, if you want to throw Pachamama, etc., into the mix, my response remains substantially the same. My last paragraph addresses the point we've had bad popes even with regard to holding to an error, or favoring heresy. We know what is clear (e.g., the perennial teaching, FC 84, etc)...and thus we (must) leave it to the Church, particularly a future pope to resolves the great confusion caused by Francis. Leaving the Church is not an option; nor is making one's own public, definitive judgments that "Benedict is still pope", etc, as those that have done so, either through their books, or their blogs. Then there is the Declaration and Petition declaring Benedict to be pope, and the petitioners demands they won't recognize a future conclave unless, essentially, it meets their specified conditions.

What they are doing is incredibly rash. Such folks are acting as protestants do. There is no way around it.


Steve O'Reilly

P.S. maybe you can now ask Fred to answer the Dubia I submitted to him. It's been several weeks now. Fair is fair.

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