Obedience and Canon 1752

Q: Could you elaborate on Canon 1752, and whether it can legitimately be used to argue that “what is illicit in ordinary times, can in a time of crisis be a good and holy act”?  I ask because of what is going on in the Archdiocese of San Antonio [Texas, USA] with the Mission of Divine Mercy.  Members of the Mission are claiming to receive locutions from Our Lord and Our Lady.  Although the Archbishop has forbidden them from sharing these messages, they began to publish them…

In response, the Archbishop … removed the Mission’s status as a Catholic apostolate of the Archdiocese.  Despite this, the Mission remains open … the Mission’s response to the question of obedience to the Archbishop is to claim that Canon 1752 permits their illicit Mass, and the faithful should rest assured that because of the crisis of the times, attending mass at the Mission can be a “good and holy act.”

… The Mission is causing confusion, I have family members who have been ensnared by the confusion and I am looking for ways to pull them out of it. –Cathryn Continue reading

Posted in Other Canonical Questions, Rights of the Faithful | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Obedience and Canon 1752

Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? Part II

Q1: Could you please explain if according to the Canon Law, a Latin Catholic living in a region where there is a Mass in his rite let’s say once a month only, is obliged to attend the Mass every Sunday in another Catholic rite, if there is such possibility every Sunday?  —Michal

Q2:  I have a question regarding your article on the Sunday obligation.  My Ruthenian Catholic pastor in the U.S. tells people that one does not have an obligation to attend any Liturgy in any rite in any location that doesn’t have a church of one’s rite (not positive he meant rite or church sui iuris).
I confronted him about this, and he stated that Eastern Canon Law does not state that you have an obligation to attend Liturgy if there are no Liturgies of your Rite there.  He said: “You find me an Eastern canon lawyer” to tell him he’s wrong. –Daniel Continue reading

Posted in Holy Mass, Parish Life | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? Part II

Who Decides Whether a Catholic Has Been Excommunicated?

Q: My (big mouthed!) spiritual director directly broke the seal of confession (names and sins) privately to me not once but twice (same conversation)….  When it happened, I called him out on it and told him he had just excommunicated himself and was under latae sententiae penalty and needed to rectify the situation immediately.

… Is that all that needed to be done?  Was I supposed to notify the bishop?  Was he supposed to notify the bishop? –Nicole Continue reading

Posted in Clergy Issues, Confession, Crimes and Sanctions, Sacraments | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Who Decides Whether a Catholic Has Been Excommunicated?

Excommunication and the Seal of Confession (Sanctions, Part VI)

Q: My question relates to the seal of the confessional because I am wondering if I broke it.  I know I acted imprudently, but whether or not I broke it is somewhat unclear to me….

I was hearing confessions and a person whose confession I had heard before made a confession.  I have also once or twice previously helped this person with spiritual things outside of the confessional.  They made their confession and then immediately after they finished their confession they asked me a question about something related to their spiritual life.  In the course of our conversation I started a sentence with “If you remember from a previous confession…..”  Obviously, that was deeply imprudent.

I then related some information that I had given them before within confession. The information that I related was not their sin itself so much as something directly related to the sin….  Part of what I said was something that they had revealed to me outside of a confession, but part of it was also known within the confessional only.  So does that constitute a violation of the seal? —Father C Continue reading

Posted in Confession, Crimes and Sanctions, Sacraments | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Excommunication and the Seal of Confession (Sanctions, Part VI)

Limiting Diocesan Bishops’ Authority: Recent Decrees From Pope Francis

Q:  I would like to ask a question about diocesan bishops and episcopal authority, but I don’t know how to formulate it.  I hope you’ll bear patiently with me, there’s a confused jumble of ideas in my head!

These ideas mostly center around the many decrees (if that’s the right word) of Pope Francis regarding what bishops can and can’t do.  For example, they can’t allow the Old Mass in their dioceses without permission now; they can’t allow the establishment of new religious orders in their dioceses without permission now; they can object to Fiducia Supplicans, according to Cardinal Fernandez’s explanation, except that in another sentence he says they can’t because Pope Francis said so.  I am not a theologian … [but] to me this all seems random and inconsistent.  Excessively restrictive too, as if bishops are nothing but papal minions.

… Another idea I have floating in my brain concerns subsidiarity, and the 20th-century emphasis on allowing local parishes and dioceses to make many decisions for themselves, instead of mutely waiting for Rome to tell them how to do every single thing and even how to think….  For years we heard that centralized power in the Church was bad, in fact Pope John XXIII wanted to let the bishops at Vatican II tell him their opinions and what they wanted to do.  If “the spirit of the Council” is our Catholic “guiding light,” why does so much of what the Pope says and commands seem to restrict what bishops may want to do?

If I am confusing multiple separate issues in the asking of this “question” I would greatly appreciate your help in clarifying them….—Tamara Continue reading

Posted in Clergy Issues, The Pope | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Limiting Diocesan Bishops’ Authority: Recent Decrees From Pope Francis