Category Archives: The Pope

Who’s in Charge of the Diocese When There’s No Bishop?

Q: We have a lot of confusion in our parish…. Complicating the equation, our diocesan bishop has retired and the Pope has yet to name his successor.  We have a diocesan administrator, but he is also currently the bishop of … Continue reading

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Sex-Abuse Scandals and Papal Responsibility

Q:  What can we do, as lay faithful, to remove bad clergy from office?  My guess is probably nothing.  It’s hard to believe we are completely powerless under such extreme circumstances.  Theologically, I understand why.  But, doesn’t canon law ever … Continue reading

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Who Decides What Constitutes a Valid Sacrament?

Q:  Canon law makes marriage illicit, not invalid.  In your article “Are SSPX Sacraments Valid,” you quoted Canon 1108.1 that if the marriage isn’t celebrated in front of the bishop, pastor, or his designee, then “the marriage is invalid.” But Canon Law, … Continue reading

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Can the Pope Validly Marry People on an Airplane?

Q: It would seem that [during his trip to Chile] Pope Francis received and blessed a couple who actually celebrated the sacrament of Holy Matrimony on the Pope’s flight. At first glance, according to your previous articles about canonical validity … Continue reading

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Could a Pope Ever Be Excommunicated? (“Excommunication” Defined)

Q: There are certain enumerated acts which trigger automatic, latae sententiae excommunication.  Some of these acts could conceivably be performed by a Pope; for instance, it seems a Pope could help procure an abortion.  Is it, then, theoretically possible for a Pope … Continue reading

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