Pope Bugnolo I?

December 17, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – On this date, in 1936, Jorge Bergoglio was born.[1]  He is now 86 years old.  The former pope, Benedict XVI, will turn 95 next April.  With the inevitable march of time, we are nearing the end game for Benepapism. What happens after the death of Benedict XVI?

We have already seen a signed Declaration from some Benepapists declaring they will not recognize the results of any conclave that takes place while Benedict still lives, or one, following his death, which includes Cardinal-electors created by Pope Francis.   Some priests, we are told, do not say Francis’ name in the mass (see No, Patrick Coffin, Benedict is NOT “our pope”) because they believe Benedict is still pope.  Yet, Archbishop Ganswein revealed, per Br. Bugnolo’s reportage, that Benedict uses Francis’ name in the mass (see Benedict names “always and only Pope Francis” in the mass, and Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”). 

Whither Benepapism?

Readers of this blog may recall Br. Bugnolo’s unintentionally hilarious reportage of the Ganswein phone discussion with a follower of Don Minutella (see Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”). There was another recent Bugnolo article that brought a smile to my face and a few chuckles, published back in November.  I almost missed it since I don’t make a habit of visiting Br. Bugnolo’s blog.  But I am glad I found this offering from him.  It was, like the prior article just noted, well worth a read and the laugh.   

Back in November, Br. Alexis Bugnolo outlined how the Benepapists should proceed, following the death of Benedict XVI, to elect his successor. Bugnolo’s article is titled “RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROCEEDURES FOR THE ELECTION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI’S SUCCESSOR.”  Given the audacious pretentiousness of the title, scope, subject matter, and tone of Bugnolo’s article; his article might be more readily considered something of a motu proprio (‘by his own authority’), and thus more deserving to be styled with a Latin title, as befitting a papal document.  So, here, taking the first two words of Bugnolo’s title in Latin, as is done with papal documents, we will retitle Bugnolo’s document “Regulas Ordinationes.”  To do anything less, would not do justice to Bugnolo’s grandiose effort.  

Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes runs through a brief history of papal elections, and then provides a short discussion of papal elections in a section entitled the “The Limitation contained in the current Papal Law on Papal Elections.”  Here, in his ‘motu proprio,’ Bugnolo provides the following interpretation of papal election law (emphasis added): 

“Reading the Papal Law on elections attentively, however, reveals that this Papal Law has a provisional character, since it forbids the Cardinal Electors to elect a Roman Pontiff by any other means other than following all the prescriptions of this law. Thus, since this law requires that they meet in Conclave before the 21st day after the death of the Roman Pontiff, if they fail to do so, they lose all right to elect the Roman Pontiff (Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 37). And if such an event should happen without a force majeur intervening, then the Law would no longer be in force. (2)

What then would the Church of Rome do? Since this Law in its promulgated explicitly annulled all prior laws, such an election would have to be conducted according to Apostolic Tradition, since this is the only rule which cannot be abolished by a Roman Pontiff…” (Regulas Ordinationes, Br. Bugnolo, given in Rome, November 10, 2022 Anno Domini:  HERE)

Above Bugnolo says the law “requires” a conclave meet before the 21st day after the death of a Roman Pontiff.  Failing that, Bugnolo claims, the cardinals ‘lose the right to elect the Roman Pontiff.’  He references John Paul II’s conclave rules, Universi Dominici Gregis (UDG) 37 for this purpose.  But, does UDG 37 actually say what Bugnolo alleges in Regulas Ordinatines?  Here is the actual wording of UDG 37:

37. I furthermore decree that, from the moment when the Apostolic See is lawfully vacant, the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent; the College of Cardinals is also granted the faculty to defer, for serious reasons, the beginning of the election for a few days more. But when a maximum of twenty days have elapsed from the beginning of the vacancy of the See, all the Cardinal electors present are obliged to proceed to the election. (see here)

Leaving aside the Benepapist question for the moment, it can be seen that UDG 37 says nothing about the cardinals “losing the right to elect the Roman Pontiff.”  Bugnolo is reading something into the text that is simply not there.  We have seen problems with Bugnolo’s interpretations of canons before. For example, see Bugnolo’s gross misreading of canon 17 which was outlined in a recent Roma Locuta Est article, Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Faulty Logic, and Faulty Comprehension with Respect to Canon 17.

So, what happens on the 21st day following the death of a Roman Pontiff if the Cardinals have done nothing?  Well, at worst, even if one concedes there is doubt, or a controversy over how to proceed — it still does not yield Bugnolo’s solution. So, what happens?  Well, UDG 5 provides guidance as to how a solution might be found, again without requiring Bugnolo’s drastic solution.  UDG 5 says (emphasis added):

5. Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect, I decree that all power of issuing a judgment in this regard belongs to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points. I also establish that should it be necessary to discuss these or other similar questions, except the act of election, it suffices that the majority of the Cardinals present should concur in the same opinion.

As seen above, “all power” is given to the College of Cardinals to interpret “doubtful” or “controverted points.” Thus, after the 21st day, the right to elect a pope would still belong to the College of Cardinals to decide how to proceed, and not to Bugnolo and his merry band of arch-Benepapists.

Now, of course, the outcome Bugnolo desires is that the Cardinals having failed to act 21 days after the death of Benedict because they don’t believe he was still pope, the right to elect a pope is handed over to those who believe Benedict was still pope at his death. This switch is done because Br. Bugnolo wants to grant himself and his fellow Benapapists the authority to elect their own pope! Accordingly, per Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes, the actual cardinals would not be able to participate in this election by Apostolic Tradition:

“The only way this could be avoided is if at least one Cardinal Elector publicly declares for Pope Benedict XVI and is reconciled to him before his death. Both the public declaration and reconciliation is required, because, on account of their public communion with a heretical anti-pope, they are involved in the public crime of schism, whereby they lose all right to elect a pope, because they lose all right to the dignity of the Cardinalate.” (Regulas Ordinationes, Br. Bugnolo, given in Rome, November 10, 2022 Anno Domini:  HERE)

Given Bugnolo already considers the College of Cardinals to have lost the right to participate in the election of Benedict’s successor due to their “schism,” it is not altogether clear why it was even necessary for Bugnolo to even bother us with his discussion of UDG. Following Bugunolo’s “logic,” he could have gone straight past “go” to a papal election by Apostolic Tradition.

Now, if one worries about who might have the authority to call such a conclave, fear not!  Bugnolo, in Regulas Ordinationes, has an answer for that too!  He writes (emphasis added): 

I believe there is a solid argument to say that the convocation of the Faithful of the Church of Rome must be made by the clergy of Rome, if any are in communion with Pope Benedict XVI — and to my knowledge there are. In fact, I know of two, at least, and there are probably many more than that. 

So, have no fear.  Although there is a “solid argument” to say that members of the Roman clergy must convoke this Benepapist conclave, Bugnolo assures us he knows at least two such clergymen!  Okay, so convoking the council is covered by Regulas Ordinationes.  Bugnolo has at least two priests friends who can do it, possibly ones with whom he shares a morning cappuccino at the coffee bar around the cobble-stoned corner. 

Okay, so that’s covered.  Who participates in this Benepapist conclave?  Well, Bugnolo tells us that the faithful of Rome, of any rank including the laity, get to participate. In his ‘motu proprio’, Bugnolo declares “This number of the Faithful, all of whom are electors, includes all the Catholics who declare that Pope Benedict XVI was the true pope.” But wait, at such a solemn gathering, what about Archbishops and Bishops from other diocese around the world? Well, Bugnolo instructs the faithful in Regulas Ordinationes, such prelates “from other dioceses can attend merely as witnesses, but they cannot speak without permission, nor can they be given a right to vote.”

In fact, Bugnolo instructs the faithful, only “residents” of Rome can vote or speak without the required permission. Okay, so how does one define a “resident of Rome.” Here, again, Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes does not fail to illumine us, and provide an answer.  Bugnolo declares:  “To be a resident, you have to have made your dwelling at Rome or in one of these dioceses at least 1 year before the election and have done so by abandoning your physical residence in all other places, without the intention to return.”

Bugnolo does not provide the reader an exact citation from Apostolic Tradition as to how he determined so precise a definition of a Roman resident, but Benepapists have cause to rejoice! Coincidentally enough, as I understand it, this definition appears to cover Br. Bugnolo’s situation as a resident of Rome!  So, rest assured Benepapists, Br. Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes vouchsafes that Bugnolo will be able to participate and speak at this conclave — without permission, as would be required for Archbishops and Bishops!

Now, if the man elected by this conclave is not yet a bishop, he must obviously receive episcopal consecration. In Regulas Ordinationes, Bugnolo does not say what provisions have been made for this possibility. There are only a handful of retired bishops who have seemingly declared Benedict is definitely still pope.  They could probably be counted on one hand. Yet, will any of them take the step of consecrating a Benepapist pope elected under the norms of Regulas Ordinationes? Has Bugnolo contacted any of them to see if one is even willing to travel to Rome to consecrate this new “pope” if this hypothetical conclave came to pass?  Who knows.  Stay tuned.  Perhaps Bugnolo will issue an authoritative statement on that question.

Setting that aside, what of the man elected by this conclave? What sort of man should he be?  Well, here too, Br. Bugnolo in Regulas Ordinationes does not fail to offer us guidance. Br. Bugnolo in his motu proprio speaks to the ideal qualifications of the future Benepapist successor of Benedict.  Bugnolo opines:

“However, in my judgement, I think he should at least know Latin and have studied theology, for how else can he govern the Church?”

Now, just as the reader might have rejoiced at the news above that Br. Bugnolo is eligible to both participate AND speak without permission(!) at this conclave, the reader can now also rejoice that the criteria for the ideal future pope outlined by Br. Bugnolo in Regulas Ordinationes seems, coincidentally enough, to apply to him as well!  That is, Br. Bugnolo does appear to have studied at least some theology — recall, Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes did not specify any actual degree or licentiates must have been conferred; and he appears to know some Latin (see HERE). He obviously speaks English, and appears conversant in Italian.

Thus, given this convergence of background and experience in the person of Br. Bugnolo, one might wonder…is Regulas Ordinationes Bugnolo’s humble, unassuming, and subtle way of throwing a proverbial hat into the Benepapist, papal-election ring? Who can say? 

What can be said is, there is hardly any eventuality not considered by Regulas Ordinationes.  Consider, Bugnolo’s document essentially excommunicates the College of Cardinals; it essentially declares anyone who does not believe Benedict to still be pope to no longer be Catholic.  Bugnolo has considered who can and who cannot be pope, and what sort of man should be pope. He has even provided for the possibility of how to handle things if the one elected is not present at the conclave: “…if not present, his consent to accept his election needs to be certified by at least 3 witnesses who speak with him by phone or video conference. The convocation would have to deputize the individuals to do this.”  Wow.  Bugnolo has considered it all. Such attention to detail should solidify Bugnolo’s position as a Benepapist papabile.

Whether or not Bugnolo has such bold, papal aspirations for himself or not; I cannot say for sure. However, Br. Bugnolo, as I see it, should be considered by the London oddsmakers a leading papabile among the Benepapists should they ever proceed to the conclave envisioned within the ‘norms’ of Regulas Ordinationes.  After all, Bugnolo has what is required.  He is a “resident of Rome” who can both participate AND speak without permission(!) at the conclave.  He studied some theology — and fortunately, Regulas Ordinationes does not require a degree or a licentiate in theology!  Plus, Bugnolo knows some Latin. Further, if elected, he comes with his own communications platform with his FromRome blog with which to address the world with what we can, undoubtedly, expect to be fulminous declarations — should he be elected “pope.” 

So, if the London oddsmakers ever take money on Benapapist papabili, I am putting such money as I dare place upon the election of Br. Bugnolo! He has an international following.  Heck…Bugnolo’s odds are pretty good, after all, he says he only knows two Benepapist clergymen in Rome — so he, and they, must be the leading papabili residing in Rome.  So…a one out of three chance? Good betting odds for Bugnolo! Further, if the same said oddsmakers take money on what papal name a Benepapist “pope” will take, I think I know what name Br. Bugnolo would take. If Br. Bugnolo’s conclave elected him “pope,” I bet he’d take the name Francis I

Oh, but now, you might laugh at that!  But there are two reasons I think this might be the case. Consider, first, even though Br. Bugnolo is not a Franciscan religious brother, having taken only private vows, he clearly has an affinity for St. Francis. Second, by taking the name Francis I, Br. Bugnolo could drive home his view that Jorge Bergoglio was never a true pope, and thus was never himself Pope “Francis.”  Therefore, should the conclave operating under the norms of Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes elect Br. Bugnolo “pope,” let it be recorded for posterity, I was the first to wager a nickle that Brother Alexis Bugnolo takes the name, Francis I.

Final Thoughts

Well, to date, I have not seen the reaction of the arch-Benepapists to Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes.  The rank and file Benepapists deserve an answer from those leading, arch-Benepapists who have led them to the edge of this precipice.  Estefania Acosta, do you agree with Bugnolo’s conclave norms following the death of Benedict XVI?  Andrea Cionci, do you?  Patrick Coffin, do you?  Don Minutella, do you?  Ann Barnhardt, do you?

In the past, Bugnolo has suggested that Ann Barnhardt hates him with a “diabolic passion” (see here).  I have no idea if that is true. But, if his opinion is even close to the mark, it would be interesting  to see her reaction to Bugnolo’s hypothetical election as a Benepapist “pope”.  Would she submit her intellect and will to his fulminous dictates “from Rome”?  Now, that would be funny.

Now, of course, this article was written in jest. But read the seriousness with which Br. Bugnolo writes his norms found in Regulas Ordinationes, and one can see where Benepapism is heading: the abyss (NB: But please check out Bugnolo’s description of the phone discussion with Ganswein and its fallout; discussed here: Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”). 

As much as Regulas Ordinationes is unintentionally funny, the subject is in the end, not funny at all, as it involves schism. Arch-Benepapists, such as Alexis Bugnolo, Andrea Cionci, Estefania Acosta, Ann Barnhardt, Patrick Coffin, et al, are about to lead those who have placed stock in their theories, supposed powers of interpretation, etc., over a cliff.  Unfortunately, we’re likely to see this come to pass soon after the death of Benedict.

Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes, describes a situation in which 0.0000000001% of worldwide Catholics, i.e., those who are Benepapists, have not only presumptuously arrogated to themselves — via Br. Bugnolo and his ilk — the right to declare who is or is not pope, who can or cannot vote in a papal election, but also, who is and who is not Catholic.  Catholics should not listen to them.  Not one of them.

For those Catholic following the topic of Benepapism, or who have been tempted by it; Roma Locuta Est has various resources which debunk the false and spurious claims of the Benepapists (see Summa Contra the BiP Theory (Why Benedict XVI is NOT the pope), and The Case against those who claim “Benedict is (still) pope”).  Also, my book which rebuts Benepapism was recently published (see Valid?  The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI). 

Clearly, Catholics following current events know these are indeed confusing times in the world, and in the Church. Whatever the ultimate answer to or explanation of this confusion over the last nine to ten years may be, it will not be Benepapism. Catholic should not follow the arch-Benepapists into schism, heresy, and sedevantism.  Catholics should wait for the judgment of the Church on all disputed questions. Reject the false and spurious claims of the supposed leaders of the Benepapist movement.

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta. He has written apologetic articles, and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms; and of Valid? The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI(Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com  or StevenOReilly@ProtonMail.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, TruthSocial, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


[1] On that day, Sister Faustina wrote in her diary:  “I have offered this day for priests. I have suffered more today than ever before, both interiorly and exteriorly. I did not know it was possible to suffer so much in one day. I tried to make a Holy Hour, in the course of which my spirit had a taste of the bitterness of the Garden of Gethsemane. I am fighting alone, supported by His arm, against all the difficulties that face me like unassailable walls. But I trust in the power of His name and I fear nothing.”  (source: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/articles/small-suffering-great-cause

2 thoughts on “Pope Bugnolo I?

  1. I would also advise anyone to not follow a traditionalist blog of Fred Martinez. Ironically, on the day following the public announcement of a Texas bishop defrocking a former priest for blasphemy and disobedience, I came across a post from several months before alluding to an exchange on this subject of canon law but taken out of context. As I posted a comment to set the record straight, not to my surprise was again deleted on the next day without explanation. These nominal catholics are small-minded fanatics mocking the pope and leading others to hell.


    1. Michael,

      thanks for the comment. Fred tends to post sensationalistic headlines…I’ve been featured in a few them. I’ve called him out a time or two because them.

      I have heard that he has deleted comments. To my knowledge, he has not deleted any of mine.

      If you haven’t seen my other post on Br. Bugnolo’s interpretation of canon law (canon 17) as it applies to the Benedict XVI “invalid resignation” claims, see https://romalocutaest.com/2022/11/07/br-alexis-bugnolos-faulty-logic-and-faulty-comprehension-with-respect-to-canon-17/),

      Thanks again for the comments, and reading the article.

      Merry Christmas,



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