Action Alert!

always and everywhere... except Gaylord

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 13, 2007

Father Rob Johansen blogged the story first, and Father Z picked up on it quickly, but your poor Uncle Di spent the weekend in a slack-jawed stupor, unable to respond.

Bishop Patrick Cooney of Gaylord, Michigan, has forbidden the use of Latin in the Roman Catholic liturgy. Seriously.

This policy, the bishop tells his clergy, will be in effect "[u]ntil other law is promulgated." But other law already had been promulgated. And I don't mean the recent papal motu proprio, which had not yet appeared when Bishop Cooney issued this astonishing directive (although the bishop surely knew it was coming).

"Priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin," reads the 2004 Vatican directive Redemptionis Sacramentum, citing both the Code of Canon Law and the Second Vatican Council.

"Any variation from this policy must be requested on an individual basis from the Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord," this astonishing directive continues. He is referring to his policy-- the one that forbids priests from doing what they are "always and everywhere permitted" to do.

Confused? Let me explain what's happening here. In canonical terms, Bishop Cooney has just stapled a small neon sign to his forehead, reading: "Sue me."

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