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They frequently tried to stop him; and in response, he frequently ignored them, doing whatever it took to provide what he knew his people needed, for both body and soul. Can You be Refused Holy Communion If You Kneel? Sure, if you’re ill or otherwise homebound, watching Mass live-streamed on your laptop is certainly better than nothing. Open wide the doors to Christ…. to be excluded entirely from the offering for Masses. Canon 1245 of the Code of Canon Law states: “Without prejudice to the right of diocesan bishops mentioned in Canon 87, for a just cause and according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, a pastor can grant in individual cases . Then-Pope John Paul II publicly described what he considered to have been Father Pro’s greatest achievements: One reason for joy for the Universal Church and, especially for the Church of Mexico, is the beatification of Father Miguel Agustin Pro, a Jesuit priest whose virtues we today praise and offer to the people of God. But Catholics can be reasonably excused for asking, “Save them for what? None of the content of this website may be reproduced, either in whole or in part, without the advance written permission of the author. Which Mass Fulfills My Sunday Obligation? As of this writing, the Italian Province of Lombardy, where Milan and its Catholic archdiocese are located, remains the region of Italy which is far and away the most severely affected by the virus. As the old saying goes, “A crisis does not build character. When (and How Much) Can a Bishop Tax a Parish. In other words, stating that you don’t need to receive the sacraments is heresy. every single Christmas, until the authorities finally granted permission for the construction of a church there. a contrary intention. Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro (1891-1927) was a Mexican Jesuit priest who lived during the regime of Mexican President Calles, who brutally persecuted the Catholic Church and unapologetically sought to stamp it out altogether, executing thousands of priests in the process. Commentary on Mass Facing the Altar (Ad Oreintem) Description. canonlawmadeeasy@yahoo.com permitted to accept for the application of a Mass a voluntary offering which is Contrasted with the imperial or Caesarian law (jus caesareum), canon law is sometimes styled pontifical law (jus pontificium), often also it is termed sacred law (jus sacrum), and sometimes even Divine law (jus divinum: c. 2, De privil. Re-post: Confession and General Absolution. One of many examples is Saint John Southworth (1592-1654), who was ordained abroad and then returned to England to minister secretly, and illegally, to the Catholic faithful. Can. . province the offering to be given for the celebration and application of Mass, offerings. He expressed this love in particular in the Eucharist. 1247, 1248.1) wasn’t invented out of thin air: it is based on the Third Commandment, given to Moses by God, telling us to keep the Sabbath holy. To sum up: if priests are being told in your country that “all public Masses must be cancelled, by order of the Bishops’ Conference,” this directive has no legal weight and should be disregarded, period. on Moloka’i, which basically meant that they were unceremoniously dumped there and left to die, unable ever to receive visitors or return home again. He was executed by firing squad, and at his last moment of life he famously extended his arms in the form of a cross and cried out,  ¡Viva Cristo Rey! THE OFFERING GIVEN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS. In short, there is no better way for a Catholic to worship God than to devoutly attend Mass. The programme provides an opportunity to study the canon law of the churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly the Church of England, … Strictly speaking, he could have been charged by the police for violating the terms of the national lockdown, because he and his assistant were on the streets for what was technically an “unauthorized” purpose; yet as you can see they were unmolested—perhaps because God Himself was with them. Abbondio is a parish priest in a tiny Italian village, and has already arranged to celebrate the wedding of two young peasants—but when the wealthy lord of the manor decides he wants to sleep with the bride-to-be himself, he orders the priest to cancel the wedding. Can. Can. Can. offering to apply the Mass for their intention contribute to the good of the St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was the Archbishop of Milan during the plague of 1575-1576. In fact, the deepest root of his dedication to others was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to empathize with Him, even in his death. Rest assured that such declarations are utterly unprecedented! Since, as we’ve already seen above, a bishop is required to do exactly the opposite, we undeniably have here an example of an unjust law. And when American Catholics heard about this brave priest and his missionary work in Moloka’i, and began sending him financial aid … the bishop criticized Damien for accepting it, as it made him, the bishop, look bad. A person who intends to entrust to John Paul II’s 1983 Apostolic Constitution Divinus Perfectionis Magister, esp. Can. Prepared under the auspices of the Canon Law Society of America Canon Law Society of America Washington, DC 20064 Codex Iuris Canonici larger or even smaller than the one defined. In accord with the approved practice of the Church, any priest celebrating or concelebrating is permitted to receive an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention. begins on the day the priest who is to celebrate them received them unless it 948 Separate Masses are to be applied for the For their heroism, these men have been beatified and canonized, respectively, by the Catholic Church—which did so in order to encourage the faithful to pattern our lives after theirs. For those who do not possess an advanced degree in theology or who have had no previous training in philosophy, 24 graduate credits in theology (8 courses or two semesters) are required, covering (in general) dogmatic theology, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and moral theology. He invites us to open our eyes to the forms of leprosy that disfigure the humanity of our brethren and still today call for the charity of our presence as servants, beyond that of our generosity. Oct, 2010 Clergy. (Long live Christ the King!). Damien fought tooth and nail with the bishop who had authority over the Hawaiian Islands at the time—and many of their letters, which are still extant, attest to this fact. received and those which they transferred to others, as well as their Canon law scholars are also seeking a link with the empirical social sciences (e.g., sociology, anthropology, and other such disciplines), which is required for insight into and control of the application of canon law. Being a spineless coward, Don Abbondio does exactly that, because (as the text makes clear) his primary concern is his own safety and comfort, not the good of the people of his parish. If you’re Italian, you understand perfectly the Pope’s reference to “Don Abbondio,” a fictional character in Alessandro Manzoni’s classic Italian novel I Promessi Sposi (often translated as The Betrothed). For a person of faith, does it make sense to fear that God will reward our trust in Him, by letting parishioners who confidently come to Mass catch the virus there? . received. 1 Tim 1:18), not the kind that brings division but the kind that gathers people together. In short, John Paul II practiced what he preached, and he undoubtedly took it for granted that other bishops should do the same. it is certain that the excess over the sum fixed in the diocese was given for The period of time allowed before a new law after its official promulgation goes into force is known in the terminology of Canon Law as the vacatio legis. THE OFFERING GIVEN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS. It is recommended earnestly to priests that they The Code of Canon Law (#917) stipulates, "A person who has received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only during the celebration of the Eucharist in which the person participates, with due regard for the prescription of Canon 921.2. A: If you’re rubbing your eyes and feeling like you’ve entered some sort of Catholic alternate reality, you have a lot of company. Before the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the single eucharistic prayer used universally in the Latin Mass was called the Roman Canon. Your responsibility to minister to the faithful entrusted to your care, by celebrating Mass for them and administering the sacraments, trumps any illegal order by a superior, or any threats by civil authorities. The Catholic Church has considered Sunday to be the Sabbath day from time immemorial; it is presumed that the Apostles established this because Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday. Can. 951 §1. observe the same decree or local custom mentioned in §§1 and 2. offerings for Masses to be applied by himself than he can satisfy within a 955 §1. Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us! Can. –Marc, Q3: The Bishop here in Singapore decided to cancel and/or suspend all public Masses indefinitely. societies of apostolic life. Here is another fine example of a bishop who is clearly mindful of his responsibility for the spiritual wellbeing of those who are entrusted to his care. As was discussed at length in “How Can You Get a Permanent Dispensation From Attending Sunday Mass?” the requirement to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation (cc. Similarly, a Catholic who lives in a region where there is no Catholic priest for hundreds of miles, or finds himself stuck indefinitely in an active war zone surrounded by land mines, or is working for many months on the International Space Station orbiting the earth, obviously can’t get to Mass! Damien’s religious superiors were no less unsupportive: his vice-provincial openly described Damien as, …[A] good priest, excessively devoted to the lepers. Neither his suffering of severe illness, nor his untiring ministerial activity carried out frequently in painful and risky circumstances, succeeded in stifling the radiant and communicative joy that arose from his love for Christ, and which no one could take away from him (cf. §3. 958 §1. He must transfer the entire offering received unless I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. force in the diocese is to be observed. It is a doctrine of Catholic Faith that such acts are infallible and irreformable, that is We were told that all of the priests in the diocese here were ordered by the bishop to self quarantine…, Wait, what? Why is Google hiding the posts on this website in its search results? Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?). If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. All rights reserved. It only reveals it.”. He felt at home with them. As Our Lord Himself said, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matt. The study of the history of canon law calls not only for juridical and historical training but also for insight into contemporary theological concepts and social relationships. offering for only one Mass and transfer the others to the purposes prescribed 949 A person obliged to celebrate and apply is otherwise evident. How did/do these clergy react to the possibility of getting jail-time for their priestly ministry? It would be wonderful to be able to open the Code of Canon law to the right page, and tell you that canon xyz says “no member of the Catholic hierarchy has the authority to prevent the entire body of the faithful entrusted to his care from attending Mass and receiving the sacraments.”  But there isn’t any canon xyz to cite. 945 §1 In accordance with the approved custom of the Church, any priest who celebrates or concelebrates a Mass may accept an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention. But why should the alternative for everyone be “nothing”? (Nobody should have to explain to Catholic bishops that ordering their priests not to celebrate Mass for the faithful, or to give them the sacraments, doesn’t fit the bill.) works. Yet, as was noted, canon law does not absolutely forbid Missae solitariae. It’s time for our parish clergy to think outside the box! Our Lord Himself made much the same statement about character, in His well known description of the Good Shepherd: I am the good shepherd. THE OFFERING GIVEN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF Every priest must note accurately the Masses A conference of bishops can only issue general decrees in cases where either (a) universal law has prescribed it, or (b) a special mandate of the Apostolic See has established it (c. 455.1). But as we all know, it’s not only diocesan bishops who have responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the Catholic faithful; parish priests do too. clerics or laity, are to hand over to their ordinaries according to the method Some may be available in other Bodleian Reading Rooms - but a considerable proportion will be available for readers to request to their choice of Bodleian Reading Room from Closed Stacks. (John 10:11-15). And be sure to check out the pictures!) an Episcopal Conference, is.) You could say that obedience wasn’t exactly a hallmark of Damien’s ministry. With all that being said, there is one other, very significant complicating factor in all of this: in some parts of the world (such as right here in the Diocese of Rome), civil authorities have declared it illegal for priests to celebrate Mass for the faithful. §2. and accepted. Archbishop. ), to administer the sacraments—thereby risking not only re-arrest, but possible contagion as well. This isn’t supposed to be super-complicated. In order to follow Christ, Father Damien not only left his homeland but also risked his health: therefore as the word of Jesus proclaimed to us in today’s Gospel says he received eternal life (cf. Sometimes this offering is called a stipend. Of course this is probably just a coincidence.). The Papal Bull decreed that the new book of law was to go into effect on Whitsunday, May the nineteenth, 1918. Canon law - Sources or individual titles. 834 - 848), TITLE III. 20. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Canon Law states that the Holy Mass is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. In short, the Pope was telling Catholic clergy, “Man up and serve your people, don’t behave like that!”. CHAPTER III. For this reason, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Our LLM in Canon Law is the first degree of its type at a British University since the Reformation. even if the offerings received have been lost through no fault of his own. celebrated are to record in a book without delay both the Masses which they Similarly, the Church has always equated “keeping the Sabbath holy” with “Mass attendance,” since it holds that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life (c. 897, which is based on Lumen Gentium 11). Today, that particular period of plague is known as “the Plague of St. Charles,” because the Archbishop pointedly did not flee the city, instead personally attending to the thousands of sick and expending his own money to relieve them. There is no wiggle-room here. In many weather-related emergencies that happen to occur on a Sunday, a diocesan bishop will often declare publicly that the obligation of the Christian faithful of the diocese to attend Mass is hereby lifted. It’s worth noting, by the way, that St. Charles himself survived, despite his extensive contact with those who were infected. Make no mistake: obeying an unjust and illegal order is not virtuous! 959 - 997) CHAPTER I. In these places, priests who are caught saying Mass with a congregation—no matter how sparse—face arrest and imprisonment. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life. 947 Any appearance of traYcking or trading is How could you in good conscience follow this unethical directive … and think that you can later claim to have done the right thing, despite the spiritual harm done to countless Catholics who asked you in vain for the sacraments which you deliberately withheld from them—because you “had to obey the bishop”? On March 15, Pope Francis gave his regular Sunday Angelus address via livestream from inside the Vatican. which he accepted to celebrate and those which he has satisfied. MASS. These sorts of emergencies are normally temporary and so once they cease, the person simply resumes Sunday Mass attendance again. We’ll first have a look at what the law says about diocesan bishops’ responsibilities and the extent of their authority; and then we’ll turn to the responsibilities of our parish clergy. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. But far, far different are the shockingly high number of announcements that all public Masses are cancelled, and the faithful are not allowed to come to Mass or receive the sacraments. There is a huge difference between a bishop dispensing the faithful from attending Mass (i.e., telling them that they don’t have to come), and a bishop cancelling all public Masses (i.e., telling the faithful that they can’t come). The Canon of the Mass ( Latin: Canon Missæ ), also known as the Canon of the Roman Mass and in the Mass of Paul VI as the Roman Canon or Eucharistic Prayer I, is the oldest anaphora used in the Roman Rite of Mass. Is this permissible? Compare this scandalously selfish, cowardly mentality with the heroism evidenced in Catholic saints and blesseds throughout the centuries, who died of diseases which they had contracted while ministering to and caring for others. And here’s a lovely story about an elderly lady being entertained (safely) by her next-door neighbor children, who get points for creativity. others the celebration of Masses to be applied is to entrust their celebration The canon of Sacred Scripture is the list of books recognized by the church as inspired by the Holy Spirit. In response, the bishop—safely ensconced far away from any lepers—continuously objected that Damien’s work on the island was irritating the civil bureaucrats who governed it, because his success inadvertently highlighted their own failures. Develop your knowledge of Ecclesiastical Law on the first postgraduate programme of its kind in the UK. Can. “Because I said so” does not constitute justification for violating the law and the rights of the faithful. In such cases, the law is clear: the Bishops’ Conference had absolutely no authority to make such a decree, and according to canon 455 it is invalid. To date, it doesn’t appear that any of them have. There are an astonishing number of Catholic clerics out there suggesting, in various ways, that watching Mass on TV or the internet is just as good as attending it in person; and making a spiritual Communion—which of course is a beautiful practice, in and of itself—is as good as actually receiving the Eucharist. vigilance that Mass obligations are fulfilled belong to the local ordinary in churches If you know that you’ll instantly be carted away in handcuffs, it makes no sense to throw open the church doors and inform the whole world that you’re about to say Mass (although some clergy have defiantly done just that! But before even attempting to address this surreal question, we first have to make a critical distinction. Today, of course, he is not only a saint, but the Church also established him as the patron saint of bishops and cardinals. Can. There is, once again, a good reason why the Catholic Church honors them as saints—and presents them to us as role models to be emulated. Today Saint Damien is the patron of Hawaii, and  his statue today stands in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. The servant of the Word consequently became a suffering servant, a leper with the lepers, for the last four years of his life. THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE (Cann. Because the matter directly affects the Most blessed Sacrament, even the slightest appearance of profit or simony would cause a scandal. defined by the latter the Mass obligations which have not been satisfied within If you’re at particular risk for contracting the virus (i.e., elderly and/or already sickly), and medics in your region have urged people like you to stay home, then you shouldn’t feel any sort of guilt about not attending Sunday Mass! Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed. To which provision in canon law on its open shelves himself than he can satisfy within a year to. 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