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DUE PROCESS IN DALLAS

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Dec 02, 2003

Michael Rose's CruxNews has just posted an overviiew of Fr Paul Weinberger's plight, which I think you'll find interesting.

On a canon law blogsite recently, a canonist made a very sensible comment in reply to another who had contended that a diocesan bishop, being responsible for worship, could forbid Mass in Latin. I thought his comment rang with not just common sense, but charity as well:

"I note Fr X statement that a Bishop "can rightly tell the priest to celebrate in the vernacular" would conculde this discussion, if he had based the statement in law. This is the precise point of this discussion. Fr X suggests that a bishop might in providing for the good order of the Church, impose a law requiring permission to celebrate publically the Novous Ordo in Latin. It seems to me that a bishop's role in divine and ecclesial law to provide good order is subject to the Church's understanding of good order, not the bishop's personal inclinations. Simply because in some situations the bishop might rightly question a pastoral practice or even move to stop a priest from celebration of the Mass in Latin is not at all the same as suggesting the bishop can legally put a law in place to put forth his own pastoral inclination as law which is contrary to the universal law. This tendancy to look for excuses to allow bishops to justify doing their own will, ignores the reality that bishops, as pastors, stand within the system of laws. Universal law limits the authority of local ordinaries precisely to maintain good order in the Church. All the Chistefidelis need to live within the law. We have seen what happens in a church that makes excuses for people in authority."

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Dec. 03, 2003 12:01 AM ET USA

    Where does the discretion of the Bishop with prohibiting the priests of diocese end with respect to the celebration of the Eucharist which would otherwise be licit and laudable? Require Masses to be offerred only in English, only in Spanish, only after 9AM, only before 9AM, only when 4 female altar servers are present? What aspects of priestly ministry are not subject to an episcopal decree under obedience? Isn't the position of the bishop that what's not prohibited for him is permitted?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2003 10:39 PM ET USA

    I look forward to the time when instead of the Latin Mass being the cause for such consternation by these "pious" Bishops, that the tables are turned and it is the Novus Ordo Mass that is suspect. I look forward to a time when our traditions are sought after and hugged for the beauty of the centuries that occupied the greatest artists and musicians and when we gave our very best to the life of the Church.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2003 6:03 PM ET USA

    Of course. That goes without saying. But the precious Gift of the Liturgy should always be celebrated with great care and reverence according to the mind of the Church. The holy Cure d'Ars once said, "An old cassock goes well with a beautiful chasuble."

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Dec. 02, 2003 5:44 PM ET USA

    Fr. Wilson, first and formost shouldn't all Priest make sure they say the Mass with the highest respect for Jesus Christ's precious gift of the Eurcharist in whatever language he, the Priest, celebrates the Mass and if he, the Priest, doesn't believe this is the precious body and blood of Jesus Christ, he should resign? He has no business being a Priest.

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