Remember "the spirit of Vatican II" -- you know, the penumbra emanating from those conciliar decrees that the Holy Spirit meant to get the council fathers to write, but forgot?
Well, boys and girls, now we have a new arrival calling itself "the spirit of Church law."
"It's against the whole spirit of Church law," said Monsignor Kenneth Lasch, a retired canon lawyer in Morristown, N.J.
Monsignor Ken is referring to Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's excommunication of those who belong to heretical, schismatic, and anti-Catholic organizations, including Call to Action, Masons, Lefebvrists, Planned Parenthood, and Catholics for a Free Choice.
"It's against the whole spirit of Church law!" By an interesting coincidence, the spirit of canon law contradicts the letter of law in the same way that the spirit of the Council negates what the constitutions actually say. Of course lawyers and fathers of ecumenical councils are notoriously obsessive about precision of the language in those decrees they intend to be directive. So you won't find "the spirit" in the text, no matter how hard you strain to read between the lines. It's a mystagogical, Mithraic cult kind of thing -- for initiates only -- the kind of thing revealed to one in a sauna with Paul Marcoux and a quart of Cutty Sark.
To read Britney Spears's groundbreaking juridical analysis of Bruskewitz's implementation of Canon 752, go here. If the link fails to deliver, don't over-react. It was composed in accordance with the spirit of HTML code.
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Posted by: Vincit omnia amor -
Mar. 08, 2005 3:30 PM ET USA
rob, you are right, the code ends: "the highest law is the salvation of souls." But, you see, excommunication is meant to be medicinal...exercised in the hope that the person(s) effected would realize the error of their ways & repent. The good of the salvation of souls can be served by excommunication in that it warns others of the dangers of certain groups and beliefs that could endanger their souls. So, Bp. Bruskewitz's writ could well be fully in keeping with the "highest law.".
Posted by: rob924 -
Mar. 08, 2005 10:30 AM ET USA
i think you take his comments out of context. he was merely saying that the law errs on the side of the person's salvation (read the last canon). the code purposely makes it difficult to excommunicate someone because it's so serious. you don't need to look far to find it. read that section in the code and all the conditions that are required and even then, it may not even happen. i think that's all msgr. was pointing out. it is unwise to excommunicate groups when a person's salvation is at risk.
Posted by: Abraham Tolemahcs -
Mar. 08, 2005 8:59 AM ET USA
Actually this would be the 3rd inquisition would it not? Although we do need an inquisition to root out the Modernist heresy among others there is anything but an inquisition ocurring in the Church today. If there actually were, Card. Mahoney would be unemployed right now as would almost all of the other bishops in this country and for good cause. They serve only themselves and their self-indulgent vices. God Bless Bishop Bruskewitz, a man of "true" courage.
Posted by: -
Mar. 07, 2005 6:22 PM ET USA
How exciting it is to live in the age of the second Inquisition!
Posted by: parochus -
Mar. 07, 2005 6:01 AM ET USA
I imagine there there are several "Call to Action" card-carrying bishops who might want to avoid Lincoln when they're making vacation plans ...
Posted by: -
Mar. 06, 2005 1:28 PM ET USA
Sounds like the good Monsignor is a great candidate for our Supreme Court. They use "The spirit of the law" and look at their results. Over forty million dead babies.
Posted by: Vincit omnia amor -
Mar. 05, 2005 11:09 PM ET USA
Just what is "the WHOLE spirit of Church Law?"
Posted by: AveMaria580 -
Mar. 05, 2005 3:12 PM ET USA
What it goes against is the spirit of modern subjective liberalism. What we need is more about the discernment of spirits. I have found one small book on the subject. "Test the spirits, to see if they be from God." One test is the "fruit". What is produced by the beliefs and behavior? Is it increasing sanctity or increasing disorder. Does it lead to life (both physical & spritual) or death? A good book about inclusivism is Cdl. Ratzinger's TRUTH AND TOLERANCE. Not all beliefs are equal.