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Michael O'Hearn: "The early ecclesiology seems to have held that once elected, a pontiff cannot resign or be deposed except in cases of apostasy"

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Please reflect on the title. What interests me from a legal perspective is how the doctrine of papal resignation develops over time. The early ecclesiology seems to have held that once elected, a pontiff cannot resign or be deposed except in cases of apostasy, but few and far between. This helps to gain proper understanding of what Pope Benedict may have meant by the “munus” as a forever character and gift received at acceptance of the responsibilities of office. 
In this sense which I believe Benedict had in mind, and perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively, all of the subsequent papal resignations did not entail giving up this gift simply because the gift is irrevocable. Benedict took it a step further by stating explicitly the not so obvious fact that he still retains this “munus” (gift) even after his resignation of the ministerium, and so chooses not by necessity to exemplify some of the “nonessential” outward signs of his former ministry. 
To argue that his words were somehow inadequate would in effect be saying that all papal resignations prior to that point were invalid, because in every case the resigning or deposed individual still endowed with the same irrevocable “munus” (gift), i.e. Benedict knew that he could never voluntarily give this up even if he wanted to, which of course he didn’t. [https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2022/12/flashback-might-edward-feser-be-using.html?showComment=1671582462824#c6432340367412390298]

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