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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