"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Benedict XVI Still Pope, Prof. Violi on the "Renunciation" of BXVI not "Resignation"...Part 2

Benedict XVI Still Pope,
Prof. Violi on the "Renunciation" of
BXVI not "Resignation"...Part 2
The Resignation of Benedict XVI
Between History, Law and Conscience
Prof. of Canon Law, Stefano Violi
Theological Faculty of Emilia Romagna – Faculty of Theology (Lugano) 

On the other hand, not considered legitimate are the desire to flee the eminent position connected with the episcopal office, the aspiration of eluding the honor and functions proper to the bishop, the desire to escape from persecution not yet underway but only threatened and the zelum melioris vitae [envy or coveting of a better life].
17St.Thomas, intervening in the debate, required for the legitimacy of the resignation that one can no longer govern the diocese without grave prejudice to the salus animarum of the faithful.
18The interpretative extension of the Liber Extra provided for bishops will be extended to the papal resignation with Pope Celestine V who, in 1294, on the occasion of his renunciation of the pontificate—as reflected in the norm
Quoniam aliqui of his successor Boniface VIII—established that the Roman pontiff could freely resign.The reactions were immediate. Ubertino of Casale called the resignation of Celestine V horrenda novitas [a horrendous novelty]. On the other hand, pronouncing himself in favor of its legitimacy was Godfrey of Fontaines (d. 1306). The theological master at the Sorbonne, applying the Aristotelian-Thomistic principle of causa finalis [final cause or end] held that the resignation, if well founded, is not only licit but even obligatory, with the end of avoiding a grave damage to the Church.
19 Egidio Romano (1243-1316) holds that where the Pope deems himself unable to govern, he performs a meritorious work if the renunciation will do no harm to the public good.
20 According to Giovanni Quidort (d. 1306), the affirmation of the papal primacy takes the form of acura animarum [care of souls] that subordinates potestas [power] to servitium [service]; the papal power is more ministerium
[ministry] than dominium [dominion].
21 Peter of Auvergne (1350-1420) based the legitimacy of the resignation on the same divine command that concerns the accomplishment, according to reason, of all that is clearly necessary for the salus and at the same time prohibits that which is contrary to it.
22 From the normative point of view, the discipline concerning papal resignation found its express codification in the norm Quoniam aliqui, inserted by Boniface VIII in Book I, Chapter VII of the Liber Sextus 23

Footnotes Page 4:
17Cfr. V. Gigliotti, La Re nuntiatio Papae, cit., pp. 334-335.
18 «Sed si salutem aliorum procurare non possit, conveniens est ut suae saluti intendat», Tommaso d’Aquino, Summa Theologicae, II-II, q. 185, art. V, t. 4.
19 Cfr. V. Gigliotti, La Re nuntiatio Papae, cit., p. 359.
20 «Sed si videret se insufficientem ad gubernandam Ecclesiam, et quia nollet, quod bonum publicum sub ipso langueret, si hoc modo cederet, multum mereretur. In potestate quidem sua est cedere, cum vult. Et si cedat, tenebit eius cessio. Sed caveat, quo animo id faciat», Egidio Romano, De renuntiatione papae, VI.
21 Cfr. V. Gigliotti, La Re nuntiatio Papae, cit., p. 362.
22«Racionabile enim est deum precipere quidquid secundum racionem evidenter necessaria ad salutem et prohibere omne contrarium. Hoc eciam ordinatum aut suppositum quod possibile est per dominum Celestinum, quod scilicet summus pontifex cedere possit in casu et ideo hoc simpliciter est tenendum»,
Pietro di Auvergne, Quaestio XV del Quodlibet, I.
23«Quoniam aliqui curiosi disceptantes de his, quae non multum expediunt, et plura sapere, quam opporteat, contra doctrinam Apostoli, temere appetentes, in dubitationem sollicitam, an Romanus Pontifex (maximecum se insufficientem agnoscit ad regendam uniuersalem Ecclesiam, et summi Pontificatus onera supportanda) renunciare ualeat Papatui, eiusque oneri, et honori, deducere minus prouide uidebantur:
Caelestinus Papa quintus praedecessor noster, dum eiusdem ecclesiae regimini praesidebat, uolens super hoc haesitationis cuiuslibet materiam amputare, deliberatione habita cum suis fratribus Ecclesiae Romanae Cardinalibus (de quorum numero tunc eramus) de nostro, et ipsorum omnium concordi consilio et assensu, auctoritate Apostolica statuit, et decreuit: Romanum Pontificem posse libere resignare. Nos igitur nestatutum huiusmodi per temporis cursum obliuioni dari, aut dubitationem eandem in recidiuam disceptationem ulterius deduci contingat: ipsum inter constitutiones alias, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, de fratrum nostrorum consilio duximus redigendum».

The norm will then be codified in Canon 221 of the Pian-Benedictine Code of 1917 (24) and, without substantial changes in can. 332 §2 of CIC 1983, which states thus:
“in the case in which the Roman pontiff resigns his office there is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and duly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.”
25 In comparision with Quoniam Aliqui and can. 221 of 1917, which speak of resignation without further additions, can. 332 §2 specifies muneris [office].
2. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata...
“Dear brothers, I have convoked this consistory not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church after having examined my conscience at length before God...”
26 At the vertex of a bimillenial juridical path, the resignation of Benedict XVI stands also as a sublime affirmation of the unquestionable primacy of conscience, a trait that distinguishes Benedict as a fully European man. In fact, in the original Latin the historic phrase of resignation opens with a solemn call to conscientia [conscience], the ultimate and unchallengeable subject of Benedict’s grave decision:
Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata...
The extraordinary confirmation of the theological and existential path of the last great European theologian of the twentieth century, the call to conscience constitutes the ultimate foundation of his choice. A conscientia formed through years of assiduous study of Socrates, Thomas More, Newman, “guides for the conscience,”
27 according to a definition given by Cardinal Ratzinger in the course of his famous lecture. A conscience to be understood as opening oneself to the voice of truth and its demands.
28 The comment by Ratzinger on the Thomas More affair already preannounced features of the future biography: “for him conscience was not in any way an expression of subjective hardheadedness or stubborn heroism. He placed himself among the number of those anguished martyrs who, only after many hesitations and questions, constrained themselves to obey the conscience: to obey that truth which must stand higher than any social demand or any form of personal preference. There are highlighted two criteria to discern the presence of an authentic voice of conscience: it does not coincide with one’s desires or tastes; it does not identify with what is socially beneficial, with the consent of a group, with the needs of a political or social power.”
29 Precisely this prolonged confrontation with the conscience examined before God, so intense, brought him to the gravest decision to resign.
The reflection on a step so grave was without question stimulated by the long and debilitating illness of John Paul II with consequences in all areas for the concrete
management and governance of the Church. On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph

Page 5 Footnotes:
24 «Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex renuntiet, ad eiusdem renuntiationis validitatem non est necessaria Cardinalium aliorumve acceptatio».
25 «Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et ite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur».
26 Benedetto XVI, Dec laratio, 10 febbraio 2013.
27 J. Ratzinger, Coscienza e verità, in Id.,La Chiesa: una comunità sempre in cammino, Cinisello Balsamo 2008, pp. 139-169, qui 150.
28 Ibid., p. 157.
29 Ibid., p. 154.

Ratzinger, from the collaborator of John Paul II, became his successor. From that moment, the conclusions from the reflection begun during the illness of his predecessor would have involved his own destiny.
3. Affirmation of the Right-Duty to Resign Benedict XVI had already manifested in a way his convictions in the matter of resignation in the book-interview with Peter Seewald, Light of the World, published by the Vatican publishing house Libreria Editrice Vaticana in November 2010. To the question by the journalist, “Have you ever thought of resigning?” Benedict XVI responded: “When the danger is great one cannot flee. That is because this is certainly not the moment to resign. It is precisely in moments like this that it is necessary to resist and overcome the difficult situation. That is my thought. One can resign in a moment of serenity. Or when one simply cannot do it any longer. But one cannot flee precisely in a moment of danger and say, ‘Let another handle it.’” Pressed by the journalist: “Therefore it is conceivable a situation in which you would hold it opportune that the Pope resign?”, he repeated: “When a pope reaches a clear awareness of no longer being able spiritually, mentally or physically to carry out the task entrusted to him, he then has the right and in some circumstances even the duty to resign.”
30 On that occasion Benedict XVI had clearly spoken not of a mere faculty exercisable arbitrarily but inescapable duty of conscience where the Pope has reached a clear awareness that he is no longer able to carry out the task entrusted to him. This duty is founded on the nature of the sacraments of the Church, on its ends and the limits of its exercise. Writing to Pope Eugene III, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux reminded him:
paresis ut prosis [you lead in order to serve], “you are head in order to be useful.” The formula was explained thus: “You preside in order to provide, to be consulted, to assist, to serve. You are the head in order to be useful: you are the head as the wise and faithful servant that the Lord has established for His family.
Why? To provide food at the opportune time (Mt. 24:45). For this, to dispense not to command.” 31

Footnotes Page 6:
30 Benedetto XVI, Luce del mondo. Il Papa, la Chiesa e i segni dei tempi. Una conversazione con Peter Seewald [Light of the World: the Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times: A Conversation with Peter Seewald], Città del Vaticano 2010, pp. 52-53.
31 «Ita et tu praesis ut provideas, ut consulas, ut procures, ut serves. Praesis ut prosis; praesis ut fidelis servus et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. Ad quid? Ut des illis escam in tempore (Matth. XXIV, 45); hoc est, ut dispenses, non imperes», Bernard of Clairvaux, De consideratione III, 1, p.2.
32 The patristic formula, indicating the diaconal nature of power in the Church, is found in innumerable works of the Fathers. As Augustine affirms in City of God,
XIX, 19, p. 19: «Non esse episcopum qui praeesse dilexerit, non proesse curat». San Cesario di Arles dirà nel Sermo 230, 1: «Qui populo Dei non tam praeesse, quam proesse desiserit». In Pastoral Rule II, p. 6, writes Gregorio Magno: «Unde cuncti qui prosunt, non in se potestatem ordinis sed aequalitatem pensare condicionis; nec praesse se hominibus gaudeant, sed proesse». In Sermon XVII, 4, given to the bishops in the Lateran, Gregory rebukes those pastors who behave more as masters than as fathers (pastores qui dominos se potius quam patres exhibent), thus harming those one has instead the duty to help (et quibus proesse debuerant, nocent).

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