A number of people have asked about Pope Francis’ March 13 letter to the priests of Rome, which was mentioned briefly in “Do Bishops Have the Authority to Cancel Masses Completely?” It appears that this letter has not been published on any English-language website. For that reason, it seems useful to post it here. Continue reading
Q: The pastor of my parish told me that your recent article is wrong. He says that both Cardinal Sarah [Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship] and Pope Francis approved of the bishops’ decision to cancel all Masses. The pastor claims that this is proven by Cardinal Sarah’s decree about how to handle Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.
This doesn’t make any sense to me. What am I missing?… Can you figure out why my pastor thinks that the Pope okayed what the bishops in [my country] have done? –Dean Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Mass, Parish Life, Rights of the Faithful
Tagged bishop, canon law, Catholic, Easter, Easter vigil, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Holy Thursday, holy week, Mass, Palm Sunday, priest
Q1: The Irish Bishops have decided to cancel all public Masses and have told us that we have a dispensation from Sunday Mass obligations as a result of the Coronavirus. Is this permissible? –Eileen
Q2: As a follow up to your most recent question/answer on receiving communion, can a Bishop cancel Masses for an indefinite period of time, essentially prohibit all public worship on an open- ended basis, and dispense EVERYONE generally from Sunday Mass attendance and Holy Days of Obligation? It seems there has to be some limitation on this authority. –Marc
Q3: The Bishop here in Singapore decided to cancel and/or suspend all public Masses indefinitely. Given that under Canon Law the faithful – who are not otherwise under some legal impediment or sanction – have a right to receive the sacraments (Canon 213), including assisting at Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist, and bearing in mind especially that Sunday is the “primordial holy day of obligation” (Canon 1246 §1), it’s not clear to me whether a diocesan bishop even has authority to cancel or suspend public Masses at his own bidding and discretion. Pursuant to which provision in Canon Law may a diocesan bishop suspend or cancel public Masses? –Ian Continue reading
Q: The bishop of my diocese has decreed that because of the Coronavirus outbreak, we Catholics can only receive Communion in the hand, not on the tongue. Can he do that? –Kayla Continue reading
Q: Many churches that I and my friends have gone to refuse to perform infant baptisms during Lent, but we know that Canon Law states that Catholic parents are required to have their children baptized within a few weeks of birth. Can churches refuse to baptize infants during Lent?
When did this become the norm, is it an acceptable rule, and why? –Katie Continue reading