In a previous discussion, Br. Bugnolo claimed that Francis election was not universally accepted, because Bishop Gracida and 12 other people he just found out about, never accepted it. I responded by saying:
“The universal acceptance only requires a moral unanimity, not a mathematical unanimity. There’s over a billion Catholics in the world and you know of 13 who rejected him in secret. That doesn’t suffice. The universal acceptance occurs when the news of the election spread throughout the Church, provided it is not at once contested. John of St. Thomas explains: “The acceptance of the Church is realized both negatively, by the fact that the Church does not contradict the news of the election wherever it becomes known, and positively, by the gradual acceptance of the prelates of the Church, beginning with the place of the election, and spreading throughout the rest of the world. As soon as men see or hear that a pope has been elected, AND THAT THE ELECTION IS NOT CONTESTED, they are obliged to believe that that man is the pope, and to accept him.”
In his recent blog post, Br. Bugnolo only quoted the first sentence of my reply, and then commented as follows:
“Does he think that Mons. Gracida and those 12 persons are holding that Benedict is the Pope or that the renunciation is dubious in secret? If it was in secret, how do I know about it? [7 years later] Siscoe has just implied I have the grace to read minds! That being the case, Mr. Siscoe, I will use that gift and say you are not being honest. Because no honest man replies to facts that way.”
The one who's not being honest here is Br. Bugnolo, and if he had included my entire reply it would have been evident. The universal acceptance happens “as soon as” the election reaches the entire Church, provide it is not at once contested. No one publicly contested or raised any objections to Francis election until at least a year later, which was a year too late.
As soon as universal acceptance takes place, his legitimacy is an infallible dogmatic fact, and no future doubts can be raised against it. In the words of Cardinal Billot: “From the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever [e.g., a vacant munus] necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.” (De Ecclesia Christi, I, Editio quinta, apud aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Romae, 1927, p. 623)
If anyone rejected Francis’ election immediately, it was done in secret at the time. That’s what I was referring to in my previous reply, as the context and the quotation from John of St. Thomas made clear. But Br. Bugnolo conveniently eliminated that part, not only so he could spin what I wrote, but also so he can continue to pervert meaning of UPA (just like hehas done with dogmatic facts), by implying that the ‘universal acceptance’ is not a one-time event that removes all future doubt, but a factor that must continue uninterruptedly into the future.
Br. Bugnolo’s antics only show why the legitimacy of an election is determined by the Church’s act of acceptance - the public judgement of the magisterium – not the subjective opinions and private judgment of individuals.