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Detroit archdiocese has clear authority on 'RealCatholic' label , canonist notes

Catholic World News - January 04, 2012

Catholics may differ on the wisdom of a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit, saying that RealCatholicTV is not authorized to identify itself as a "Catholic" institution. But there is no doubt that the archdiocese has the authority under canon law to control the use of the term "Catholic" by organizations within its jurisdiction, notes canonist Edward Peters.

Peters cites Canon 216: "Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name 'Catholic' without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority."

Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV has argued that the Detroit archdiocese does not have canonical jurisdiction in this case, since RealCatholicTV is governed by a corporation based in Indiana. But Voris heads a corporation with the same name, incorporated in Ferndale, Michigan (within the geographic confines of the Detroit archdiocese) which furnishes programming for the internet apostolate.

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  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Jan. 05, 2012 5:50 PM ET USA

    Truly a sad example of the dented and dinged authority of the Church. How many catholics in the public square refuse to be Catholic with a Capital C. And the AofD goes after the one guy they can find who deserves to keep his baptismal certificate?

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 05, 2012 9:00 AM ET USA

    Leaving aside the Voris matter until the diocese provides information to support the alleged Voris offense, the action raises much broader issues. If Canon Law states, “... no undertaking is to claim the name ‘Catholic’ without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority”, then why are the bishops unwilling to forbid elected officials from using the term "Catholic" in their resumes because of public stands contrary to Church teaching? Just asking.

  • Posted by: phineas - Jan. 04, 2012 10:03 PM ET USA

    Perhaps. Voris can then elect to move, to change the name, or to simply defy, as the National "Cathoilc" Reporter has done. The more profound question is: Why has the AoD called him on this? I believe he has asked to meet with them, but without response. Wouldn't we all like to hear the AoD reasons? Just Voris? Anyone else? Is there something in particular he said? Aren't we all entitled to their reasons? Starting a blog, using Catholic in the name, is immediately within reach of all. Why him?

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