The Tome of Alexis Bugnolo

December 22, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – Recently, Roma Locuta Est looked at Br. Bugnolo’s norms for a potential Benepapist conclave once the former pope, Benedict XVI, passes away (see Pope Bugnolo I?).  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; it seemed to me a Latin title was more fitting. So, in my last article, I referred to his document as “Regulas Ordinationes.”

Now, over the last couple of weeks, Bugnolo has issued a couple other interesting missives. The  first is, what Roma Locuta Est styles, Br. Bugnolo’s First Epistle to Benedict XVI.  I found this “open letter” to Benedict XIV quite interesting as it amounts to a plea for Benedict XVI to now speak up — to quit speaking in an alleged “Ratzinger Code.”[1] While one branch of Benepapism holds Benedict’s resignation was erroneous and thus invalid (i.e., Barnhardt and company); the other main branch of Benepapism holds  Benedict intentionally submitted a canonically meaningless resignation, thereby creating an “impeded see” by which Benedict retained the papacy (i.e., Bugnolo, Cionci, Coffin, Acosta, Minutella, and company)

Now this second category of Benepapists have been vulnerable to the accusation that such a theory would make Benedict an immoral monster. Consider, the Benedict of this theory left the Lord’s sheep vulnerable to the wolves. From the perspective of this theory, Benedict certainly knew a modernist anti-pope would be elected in his place, but he has done nothing to reject, or condemn his teachings, actions, etc. I’ve made this point in several articles by now, for example, Regarding Benedict’s Declaratio (see Reply to Objection 5), and more recently in my response to Patrick Coffin’s recent video (see No, Patrick Coffin, Benedict is NOT “our pope”; #4).[2]

Such a theory necessarily implies Benedict is guilty of dissembling and lying to the faithful. Despite Benepapist claims Benedict “never deceived a soul” [3], this Benepapist theory does in fact make Benedict a monster because, according to it, he allowed an anti-pope to assume practical control of the Vatican and the entire Catholic Church, thus leaving the vast majority of the Catholic faithful to believe Francis is a valid pope — putting millions in danger of damnation; and also leaving the faithful without a true pope who would actively protect them in word and deed.

Br. Bugnolo, Ms. Acosta, Mr. Cionci, and Mr. Coffin cannot sugar coat this. Quite simply, such a theory means that Benedict has left the flock of the Lord unprotected against ravaging wolves, and against whom Benedict has taken absolutely no corrective action to protect the faithful — even though he supposedly remains true pope.  Such a theory essentially suggests the absurd notion that Benedict thought he could better protect the faithful by pretending not to be pope, than by actually being the pope — and doing what a pope should do to protect the faithful.  Utter and complete nonsense.

Now, although Benepapists outwardly reject the necessary and obvious implications of their theory, it seems in his First Epistle to Benedict, Bugnolo inadvertently concedes the central premise of this criticism of their theory.

“There is now in the Church of God tremendous confusion and hundreds of millions are in danger of damnation on this account. This confusion arises from not knowing who is the man who holds the Petrine Munus, and following a wolf who has entered into the sheepfold and who is with his gang of predators, savaging millions of hearts and minds with his daily blasphemies, heresies, apostasies and idolatries.”

(Source:  First Epistle to Benedict XVI, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 17, 2022)

While Bugnolo effectively admits part of the central premise of the rebuttal, he doesn’t draw the obvious conclusion that the Benedict of his theory therefore shares moral responsibility for this situation over the past 10 years! Rather, Bugnolo forlornly laments “we the faithful are all victims” and that “there are many who are truly confused.” Still, while Bugnolo claims “there are nevertheless many who know the truth,” and by this he means those who believe Benedict is still pope, he cannot quite bring himself to clearly blame the Benedict of his theory.  Yet, even so, Bugnolo evinces some degree of impatience and frustration with Benedict when writes to him (emphasis added):

“While it may be true, and appears from all the evidences available, that you have chosen a very subtle stratagem to unmask the enemies of God, nevertheless, the little lambs of God require for their salvation a different manner of acting now that all masks have been taken off.”

(Source:  First Epistle to Benedict XVI, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 17, 2022)

Ha…ha!!  Pretty funny…in other words, ‘Benedict, we Benepapists now require more than the few bones we think you threw us via your Ratzinger Code messages!‘  While he affirms that Benedict may have adopted a “very subtle strategem” by seeming to have resigned, and remaining silent; Bugnolo reveals a hidden impatience and frustration by saying that it’s time for a “different manner of acting.”  Indeed, he suggests there is no longer any point in Benedict maintaining his supposed current strategem since “all the masks have been taken off.”  Consequently, Bugnolo condescendingly counsels Benedict (emphasis added):

A man of God needs to trust in the providence of God. If there is one lesson that is taught by all the Roman Pontiffs in history, it is this, that those who fulfilled their ministry, as the Apostle Paul exhorts all clergy (2 Timothy 4:5), were the men who trusted that if they acted boldly and remained firm in their profession of faith in the Petrine Munus and what it means in the sight of Jesus Christ to God and to the Church, God would provide every assistance human and divine, to vindicate the Apostolic See and the cause of righteousness pursued by the Successor of St. Peter (cf. Psalm 91:14).

Silence, hiding, fear, doubt, and despair all betray that example.

A Roman Pontiff must trust in Jesus Christ, that if he raise his voice, He will raise an army of supporters and allies to win every battle against the vindication of the Petrine Office and Ministry.”

(Source:  First Epistle to Benedict XVI, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 17, 2022)

Bugnolo appears to implicitly criticize Benedict for “silence, hiding, fear, doubt, and despair.” That appears to be the suggestion, i.e., that Benedict is not behaving as a man who places his trust in God, and who ‘acts boldly’ ought to behave. Indeed, Bugnolo says a Roman Pontiff, which he believes Benedict still is, “must trust in Jesus Christ,” and “raise his voice.”  The obvious implication, Benedict has not done so till now, or at least, must do so now.

Thus, as said earlier, in his First Epistle to Benedict, Bugnolo essentially admits the validity of one of the criticisms of the Plan B/Ratzinger Code theory, which is that Benedict would have to be a monster to have engaged in this charade. Indeed, as one can see in his First Epistle to Benedict, Bugnolo appears to be quite impatient with the Benedict of the Ratzinger Code, and hopes to exhort — even shame — Benedict to now finally speak up, and ‘break cover.’

Of course, as in the case of Bugnolo’s unintentionally comical report of Cionci trying explain away Ganswein’s ‘insults’ of Don Minutella (see Ratzinger Code: “Don’t believe your lying eyes”); the simpler explanation for Benedict’s silence has been staring Bugnolo and the other Arch-Benepapists right in the face. That is, the reason Benedict has not stepped forward to say he is still pope is precisely because Benedict is not still pope.

Bugnolo’s recent ‘Apostolic’ Exhortation: Oportet Audire

Now, in my last article, we reviewed Bugnolo’s ‘motu proprio‘ on proposed norms for a Benepapist conclave, what I called Regulas Ordinationes.  Above, we took a brief look at the signs of frustration, and Bugnolo’s plaintive pleas that Benedict speak out at last. Perhaps sensing his First Epistle to Benedict might have struck too much of a despairing tone, Bugnolo — not wanting to be amiss — recently penned a new article in the form of an exhortation.  Indeed, Bugnolo writes:

“So, after my Christmas Letter to Pope Benedict XVI, I would be amiss if I did not add an exhortation to all who are in communion with Pope Benedict XVI.”

This new ‘Apostolic’ Exhortation from the hand of Bugnolo is titled: “WE NEED TO LISTEN TO POPE BENEDICT XVI, AND FOLLOW HIS LEAD.” As is now the custom at Roma Locuta Est, we will render, with due deference, Bugnolo’s more solemn utterances with a Latin title.  Thus, we will refer to his latest exhortation as Oportet Audire.

As always, I recommend the reader see Bugnolo’s articles for his or her self to appreciate all he is saying — as I can only pick and choose so much. In Oportet Audire, speaking of the College of Cardinals, Bugnolo declares:

“…it is obvious after 10 years of discussion of Benedict XVI’s Declaratio that nearly none of those who recognize Bergoglio have good will. Indeed, more than 99% after seeing the evidence that Benedict XVI is the Pope continue to recognize Bergoglio.

And that is bad will that reeks from hearts corrupted by the love of the world, flesh and the Devil.”

(Source:  Oportet Audire, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 19, 2022)

Bugnolo does not allow that one can examine his evidence, evaluate it, and with common sense, reject it.  You must be in bad will to reject Benepapist “evidence.” Therefore, having reached this conclusion that 99% of Cardinals are rejecting the evidence that Benedict is pope in bad will, Bugnolo is left will the only option left to him.  He declares them ipso facto excommunicated (bold added)!

“And because this bad will consists in refusing to recognize the true Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, there is no question of presumption in saying that they are ipso facto excommunicated and lose all office and jurisdiction in the Church, as per canon 1364, because it is impossible to hold any dignity, office or munus in the Church and at the same time deny the Vicar of Christ (cf. canon 1331, §2, iv.) Thus, they have no authority over us, and every episcopal see in such dioceses must be regarded vacant and occupied by a schismatic.”

(Source:  Oportet Audire, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 19, 2022)

Thus, as you witness, from the exalted Chair of Bugnolo, comes this fulminous declaration of the ipso facto excommunication of the College of Cardinals (or 99% of them).  Having proclaimed this, Bugnolo goes on to authoritatively declare, as claps of thunder reverberate in the dark of night in his one bedroom flat, typing furiously away in his pajamas in front of the flickering screen of his laptop: “they have no authority over us, and every episcopal see in such dioceses must be regarded vacant and occupied by a schismatic.”  Wow!  They are excommunicated and their episcopal sees “must be regarded vacant and occupied by a schismatic.”   So let it be written. So let it be done.  Or so, Bugnolo solemnly declares!

Having declared many members of the hierarchy excommunicated, Bugnolo takes care not to leave the faithful without consolation and aid. No, he remembers the first rule of the Church is the salvation of souls. So, Bugnolo seeks to provide for the Benepapist faithful, saying “we must dedicate ourselves to providing the clergy in communion with Pope Benedict XVI the funds and places necessary for this apostolate for the salvation of souls.”  What does this mean precisely?  Bugnolo immediately gets to the point (emphasis added):

“The Salvation of souls requires that we promote the creation of mass centers, the formation of seminarians, the ordination of priests and, yes, even the consecration of Bishops in communion with Pope Benedict. For, since the Dioceses lack Bishops in communion with the Apostolic See, then, the faithful in each diocese can elect their own bishop, on the grounds that the Holy Father is impeded in doing so (cf. Canons 154 & 155), and for this reason, since there is no other authority in the Roman Church to nominate Bishops but the Roman Pontiff, when he is impeded from doing so, this right falls back to its natural authority, which is the local Church herself.”

(Source:  Oportet Audire, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Given in Rome, Anno Domini, December 19, 2022)

Bugnolo is now advocating a plan in which the Benepapists essentially form their own local ‘parishes,’ form their own seminarians, ordain their own priests, and even elect their own bishops![4]  Having just proposed several schismatic acts, Bugnolo somehow manages to keep a straight face by adding “All of this work, above mentioned, is the necessary step to defeat the Church of Schism” and “Pope Benedict XVI is calling us to be this anti-schismatic movement in the Church.”  So, Bugnolo advocates leading others into schism to defeat schism.

Bugnolo concludes his ‘Apostolic’ Exhortation with the words “That is our duty. And we have to shift gears from a church of lamentation and complaint, to a church of action and zeal for the apostolate.

Now, God bless Brother Bugnolo. I mean no harm, but it is hard to treat these recent missives of his seriously, or to not have some fun with them.  That said, Bugnolo is serious.  For example, in a recent video (December 22, 2022) on his blog, Bugnolo says that “soon there will be priests in communion with Benedict doing missionary work on many continents of the world” (Video 11;25).  Bugnolo says he hopes to publish announcements in the coming months, and is seeking lay volunteers to start “Benedict XVI apostolates” around the world so that “Catholics” will know where to go to mass.  The Benepapist schism is starting.

Final Comments

In my recent article, Pope Bugnolo I?, I jokingly suggested that Br. Bugnolo via Regulas Ordinationes seemed to be throwing a proverbial hat into the ring, i.e., to be considered a papabile for a Benepapist conclave which would elect Benedict’s “immediate” successor.

With regard to Bugnolo’s First Epistle to Benedict, this was a little sadder to read. One can see Bugnolo’s frustration on display, as well as cognitive dissonance at level 11 as he hopes to convince, even shame Benedict into finally speaking up, and to break out of his alleged Ratzinger Code manner of speech.

While it was sad to read through the First Epistle to Benedict, a shaking-my-head smile returned to my face upon reading Oportet Audire, as it shares something of the audacious, over-the-top pretentiousness of Bugnolo’s Regulas Ordinationes. In Oportet Audire, Bugnolo “exhorts” the Benepapist faithful.  First, he audaciously announces the College of Cardinals — and presumably any bishop who rejects Benedict as still being pope(?) — is excommunicated ipso facto, and that they no longer hold any office in Church, and that their sees must be considered vacant!

Thus, the faithful can go so far — per Bugnolo’s ‘decree’ — as to form their own local Churches, train seminarians, ordain priests, and even consecrate their own bishops loyal to Benedict XVI. What’s more in his recent video mentioned above, he speaks of Benepapist priests conducting missionary work, and seeking volunteers for the laity to form “Benedict XVI apostolates” so “Catholics” will know where to go to mass. With such attention to foresight and planning, and in consideration of his lack of awareness of his own pretentiousness in what he suggests; I am beginning to rethink whether I should move my suggestion that Bugnolo was putting himself out there as a papabile from a “joking” suggestion (see Pope Bugnolo I?) to a “half-serious” one.  Hmmm?  I welcome Benepapists and non-Benepapists alike to comment below on whether Bugnolo is papabile.

Though I have treated some of Bugnolo’s recent articles in tongue-in-cheek fashion. In the end analysis, this is no laughing matter.  Folks like Bugnolo and other Arch-Benepapists are leading Catholics into schism.  Certainly those of Bugnolo’s ilk are not waiting for the Church to come to a decision on any Francis-era controversies.  Unfortunately, given his last few articles, Bugnolo — like other Arch-Benepapists — do appear to have moved beyond the natural point of admitting even the possibility he/they may have been wrong about Benepapism all along. At this point, having superglued their credibility to Benepapism, they would have to swallow a large piece of humble pie.

As I previously wrote (see Pope Bugnolo I?), 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 popewho can or cannot vote in a papal election, but also, who is and who is not Catholic.  Now, in Oportet Audire, declares 99% of the College of Cardinal excommunicate, and declares their sees vacant. Presumably, this logic would apply to any bishop who rejects the theory Benedict is still pope.  Bugnolo is the same recent article goes on to suggest Benepapists form their own local ‘parishes’, seminaries, ordain their own priests, elect and consecrate their own bishops. Catholics should not listen to Bugnolo.  They would do well to ignore the rest of the Arch-Benepapists (e.g., Barnhardt, Acosta, Cionci, Coffin) as well.

We at Roma Locuta Esthas have not been ‘fans’ of Pope Francis in the least. We’ve criticized the Francis-apologists, problems we have seen with this pontificate (e.g., Abu Dhabi, Pachamama, etc., etc.), and have even explored the oddities surrounding the conclave in great detail (see The Conclave Chronicles).  Roma Locuta Est first looked into the “Benedict is still pope” theory hoping there might be something to it.  However, it soon became clear the main theories offered by the likes of Bugnolo, Barnhardt, Cionci, Acosta, et al., do not work.  It is clear Benedict XVI withdrew his will from being pope. Whatever the answer or explanation is to the last ten years of this pontificate, the authority to render any answer will come from the Church, and not from Br. Bugnolo, and company.  It will come in God’s time from a future pope and or council.

For those Catholics 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).

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  or (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, TruthSocial, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


[1] Roma Locuta Est has published various articles which offer rebuttals of this Ratzinger Code theory.  These are compiled in the Summa Contra Andrea Cionci, Plan B, and the Ratzinger Code.   In addition, my recently published book addresses this question as well: (see Valid?  The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI).

[2]  See my rebuttals of the “Plan B” theory (Benedict’s Plan “B” from Outer Space and Summa Contra Andrea Cionci, Plan B, and the Ratzinger Code).

[3]  Patrick Coffin said this his most recent video.  I offered a rebuttal to that video here: No, Patrick Coffin, Benedict is NOT “our pope”

[4]  It is not immediately evident who would consecrate these bishops.  There are perhaps 5 or so retired bishops who appear to be Benepapists.  Whether Bugnolo has made arrangements with them, who knows.

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