ALERT: Newsletter of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland on the important Summorum Pontificum Art. 5

I got a fascinating e-mail from frequent commenter and canonist Tim Ferguson. 

I urge you bloggers in the UK to make this known.

You must read this (with my emphases and comments:

In the mail today was the latest (September 2007) edition of the Newsletter of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Among the many gems in this newsletter are articles addressing the invalidity of marriages celebrated by the SSPX (from a couple authors with a couple different perspectives) and commentary by Msgr. Gordon Read on Summorum Pontificum.
 
I thought your readers would be interested in his commentary on Summorum Pontificum Article 5:
  
This article deals with public Masses in the context of parishes or other churches open to the public such as hospital or cemetery chapels or shrines. The apparently straightforward wording conceals a number of issues. What is meant by ‘stable group’? the Latin reads ‘coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit’. ‘Coetus’ means ‘group’ implying at least three people. [YES! YES!  That is what WDTPRS has been saying!] The word order implies that ‘continenter’ qualifies ‘exsistit’ rather than ‘adhaerentium’.  [YES!] What does it mean? If the author had intended ‘stable’ in the canonical sense he would have used ‘stabilis’. [YES!]  The term does not, then, appear to mean a formal group with established membership. On the other hand it would go beyond the wording to require such a group to have existed continuously since 1970. What it specifies is an identifiable group with some kind of continuing existence, as distinct from a one off request from an ad hoc group.
 
This does not imply that he cannot listen to a request from an ad hoc group, but rather that a continuing group has a right to be listened to - libenter suscipiat. In other words, the parish priest is not simply to rebuff such a request, but to see how their good can be harmonised with the wider good of the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, without the danger of discord. Equally, he is supposed to be responding to a request, rather than simply imposing his own desire unasked on an unwilling community.
[This deserves discussion.]
 
The second and third paragraphs indicate when such Masses may be celebrated. These are permitted not only on weekdays, but also Sundays and holy days. Note that the document says una etiam una tantum. It envisages one Mass on Sundays and holy days, but does not strictly preclude more than one.
[YES!] The wording is concessionary rather than limiting in tone. The parish priest may also permit such celebrations to accompany wedding, funerals, pilgrimmages and other occasions.
 
It is for the parish priest, rather than an assistant priest, to grant permission. There is no suggestion that he is under an obligation to celebrate the Mass  himself. He may be unwilling or feel unable to do so. The celebrant must be free from any impediment, e.g. suspension or excommunication arising from adherence to SSPX, or reception of orders without documentation, etc. He must also be idoneus, or "qualified", i.e. have sufficient understanding of the text and rubrics as to be able to celebrate worthily. Common sense will be needed here.
[YES!]
 
In the case of non-parochial churches, it is for the rector to give permission. If there is no rector, as may well be the case for a hospital chapel, then presumably it devolves to the local parish priest. What is less clear is the case of an advertised Mass in a private chapel or oratory, e.g., that of a stately house. If it is advertised, it does not seem to fall under article 2, but neither is it a parish Mass. It would seem to me that at least as a matter of courtesy, the permission of the parish priest should be asked, in case it becomes a source of division, and in case of difficulty, the matter should be referred to the Ordinary.

This is very good indeed.  What a marked contrast to the dreadful statements we have read from some bishops in the UK.

I am very interested to know what impact this has.

 

I urge you bloggers in the UK to make this known. 

Also, if any of you have the bulletin this comes from, would you be willing to scan and either e-mail or fax it to me? 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to ALERT: Newsletter of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland on the important Summorum Pontificum Art. 5

  1. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    Good for the Isles.
    Now is there anytthing like this for the States?
    God bless you.

  2. Augustinus says:

    Thank dpo for this. Mgr Read is not only canon lawyer, but also celebrates the EF. he is a priest of Brentwood diocese.

  3. Scott says:

    “In other words, the parish priest is not simply to rebuff such a request, but to see how their good can be harmonised with the wider good of the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, without the danger of discord.”

    The issue of discord or divisiveness can be properly managed by the pastor so this would be kept to a minimium. Anything new presented (ie: Spanish Mass, Mission in Haiti, parish building or remodeling plans, new priest)to any group of people always draws lines in the sand!

  4. Beowulf says:

    It is so good to have to have a wise pastor which Mgr Read is, as well a sound canon lawyer commenting on Sum Pont.
    Canon Law is supposed to be common sense, how good to hear it, form him, but it is only what I expect.
    I used to go to confession to him, such a good, humble and wise priest.

  5. Dorothy says:

    Please excuse this long posting, and I am very happy to be corrected, since I am an amateur. I have been reading the Latin version of Article 5, Section 1 of SP, with the help of an elementary Latin dictionary and my Latin lessons of long ago, and comparing it with the unofficial English version. Here’s what I made of it.

    There are some foreign words which we think we can understand, so we don’t look them up. But if we do, we may be quite surprised at their real meaning.

    Latin is a densely-packed language. An idea conveyed in Latin by means of a single word may have to be rendered in a different grammatical form (perhaps a phrase or subordinate clause) in English, or placed in a different part of the sentence, in order to achieve the natural flow of English while preserving the exact meaning of the original.

    The disputed words are “coetus”, “continenter”, “exsistit” and, to a lesser degree, “antecedenti”.

    In the Latin version, “group” (coetus) is not described or qualified by any adjective.

    The adjective “previous” (antecedenti, in the Dative case) refers to “traditioni liturgicae” (also in the Dative), translated correctly as “to the earlier (or preceding) liturgical tradition”. It would be incorrect to transfer the word to “coetus” (which is in the Nominative case), thereby creating the impression that a pre-existing group was a requirement.

    “Continenter” ( translated into the adjective “stable” and applied to “group”) is an adverb, not an adjective. In the Latin version it qualifies the verb “exsistit”. The principal meaning of “continenter” seems to be “continuously”, or “without interruption”. “Stably” does not appear as a translation at all in my dictionary; but a more comprehensive dictionary may contain it as an option. I looked at the related adjective, “continens”, to see if I could find the idea of stability as a possible meaning. The nearest I found was “holding together”, or “cohering”. I think this does give some impression of stability; but in the sense of unbrokenness rather than numbers.

    “Exsistit” can mean simply “is” or “exists”; but I was interested to find that the first translation is “come forth, emerge, appear”. This gets us away from the notion that the MP only applies to groups in existence on 14 September 2007. “Exsistit” certainly seems to include the possibility of movement, development and futurity.

    Now for the phrase “continenter exsistit”. I don’t think the phrase as used in this context can be translated into just two words in English. I think it calls for the option I referred to above: a re-jigging of the English sentence to combine natural flow with accurate meaning.

    Here is my attempt at the disputed sentence; but I’m sure others could make a much better job of it:

    “In parishes, where a group of the faithful exists (or arises), whose members are attached to the earlier liturgical tradition, and the group is likely to continue in existence, the parish priest should willingly accept their requests…”

  6. Bernard says:

    Dorothy: “and the group is likely to continue in existence”.
    Right. This gets to the point which SP is making here, it seems to me.

  7. Malta says:

    The bit about the “invalidity” of SSPX marriages caught my eye. I think that is an interesting point of discussion:

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=48836

    I know Rome has ratified such marriage through Sanatio in Radice, and SSPX claims that Rome itself has approved the Sacraments by SSPX priests:

    http://www.sspx.org/discussions/sspx_update.htm

    I think this is an interesting discussion. I myself was married protestant and had my marriage ratified through Sanatio in Radice by our Archbishop. I’m not a member of SSPX, but I believe they are acting in good faith and believe there is a true emergency in the Church which justifies their actions. If it’s true that Rome has sanctioned their sacraments, including marriages, as Fellay says, and I have no reason to believe he is lying, ipso facto wouldn’t that make the excommunications invalid since an excommunicated priest cannot administer the sacraments? Any Canon lawyers out there?

  8. Malta says:

    Is SSPX just overreacting in saying the Church is in an extreme crisis?

    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/note.jsp?did=1007-notes-sinking

    Oh, I know, us \”prophets of Doom\” as Bl. John XIII said, but sometimes we need to take a cold, hard look at the empirical facts…

  9. Tim Ferguson says:

    Malta, there are some pretty complicated situations here that aren’t easily answered in a brief combox. However, one needs to make a distinction between sacraments that require jurisdiction, and sacraments that do not require jurisdiction. Marriage, confession, ordination all require jurisdiction for the sacraments to be valid. The Church recognizes the sacramental validity of the actions of SSPX priests, however, they do not have jurisdiction over Catholics, and therefore sacraments that require jurisdiction are not validly conferred.

    The fact that Rome has sanated marriages celebrated by the SSPX indicates that Rome does not recognize their validity (if they were recognized as valid, then there would be no need to sanate them).

    Sorry for the brevity of this answer – but I have to get off to class. Again, this is a complicated issue, and you can find many different responses – at length – from many different canonists.

  10. danphunter1 says:

    So if the FSSPX do not have the faculties to perform marriages, then a couple who have been married in an FSSPX chapel are living in a state of fornication?
    What if they do not realize that the FSSPX priests do not have faculties.
    For a year I was occasionally going to confession to an Society priest, until Bishop Rifan told me that they do not have the faculties to hear confession.
    Does this also mean that all those sins that I confessed are not absolved.
    What is going on here?
    God bless the Church

  11. chiara says:

    When the Diocese of Campos in Brazil became regularized with Rome, were all the people who had been to Confession before this time told to ‘re-confess’ those sins as they would not have been forgiven? Did all those who had been married before also have to go and repeat their marriage vows in order to be validly married? What exactly happened in this case? Can anyone enlighten us? It is very important to know.

  12. RBrown says:

    Tim Ferguson,

    Marriage, confession, ordination all require jurisdiction for the sacraments to be valid. The Church recognizes the sacramental validity of the actions of SSPX priests, however, they do not have jurisdiction over Catholics, and therefore sacraments that require jurisdiction are not validly conferred.

    Isn’t the case of SSPX jurisdiction a matter of Ecclesia supplet?

    Can. 144 §1 In common error, whether of fact or of law, and in positive and probable doubt, whether of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and the internal forum (supplet Ecclesia, pro foro tam externo quam interno, potestatem regiminis exsecutivam).

    §2 The same norm applies to the faculties mentioned in can. 883, 966, and 1111 §1.

    Suprema lex salus animarum.

  13. Fr Michael Brown says:

    Mgr Read has another article in the same issue of the Canon Law Society Newsletter in which he addresses the issue of marriages celebrated by the SSPX. he concludes that they are invalid. As regards Campos he says:

    “If one were to ask why, then, no global sanation was applied to the marriages contracted in Brazil before the reconciliation of Bishop Rangel and the establishment of the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney a different answer would apply. when Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Campos was compelled to retire,many of the clergy refused to work with his successor, were ejected from their churches and simply set up new churches down the road, but effectively continued to run the parish as before. In this situation, very different to the St Pius X chapels in the USA and elsewhere, one could argue that common error did supply jurisdiction so that global sanation was thought to be unnecessary or imprudent.”

  14. Different says:

    Dan,

    I would think that your next absolution from a priest with jurisdiction would have absolved the sins from those previous invalid confessions.

    Chiara,

    I had heard once (can’t remember where) that those marriages could have been sanated without the knowledge of those couples.

  15. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Mr. Ferguson,

    Could you site a source for your statement that ordinations require jurisdiction for validity? Or was this just a slip of the keyboard? It is my understanding that ordinations do not require jurisdiction to be valid but only to be licit. Hence the Church clearly recognizes the validity of the ordinations of the SSPX.

  16. RBrown says:

    Could you site a source for your statement that ordinations require jurisdiction for validity? Or was this just a slip of the keyboard? It is my understanding that ordinations do not require jurisdiction to be valid but only to be licit. Hence the Church clearly recognizes the validity of the ordinations of the SSPX.
    Comment by Christopher Sarsfield

    I assume that was a slip of the keyboard, because no one thinks that jurisdiction is required for valid ordination or valid celebration of mass.

  17. Tim Ferguson says:

    Indeed – it was a hasty slip – thanks for catching it, and my apologies. Ordination certainly does not require jurisdiction for validity.

    Regarding the issue of common error, c. 144, and the validity of SSPX marriages, that certainly has been raised and has some partisans among some very solid canonists, yet Msgr. Read in this current issue of the CLSGBI Newsletter provides some very strong arguments against the use of ecclesia supplet to render SSPX marriages valid. Another article in the same newsletter provides strong arguments against the SSPX claim that c. 1116, on the extraordinary form of marriage (please note, this is not referring to marriages celebrated using the 1962 Ritual – extraordinary form has, perhaps, come to have too many meanings…), that is, marriage where the parties do not have access to “a person who is competent to assist at marriage in accord with the norm of law,” renders the marriages they perform valid. The author of that article, Adrienne Connaghan, handily maintains that in the vast majority, if not all, SSPX marriages, the parties would indeed have access to a person competent to assist at marriage and therefore c. 1116 does not apply.

  18. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Most of their commentary is correct. Some of it is not. First of all, as I have demonstrated repeatedly, a cœtus, in Late Latin, can be as few as two persons acting in combination. The minimum number is two, not three. That is a small point, of course.

    What is disappointing here is the incorrect notion that any group need exist at all. If the experts here would consider Article 5 in light of Article 1, last paragraph, they would see that the parish priest may schedule such a Mass even if he receives no request to do so from any group, or even if no such group exists in the parish, provided that this in no way obstructs the legitimate rights of others to have reasonable (e.g. as already established) access to the New Mass. Nowhere in Article 5 does the text say that the parish priest may *only* proceed in response to a request; it only asserts that he must consider a request if it is lodged. If a parish priest has his celebret from the bishop, then, under Article 1 of S.P., he has a general right to celebrate the 1962 Mass. This is NOT restricted to the unscheduled Masses mentioned in Article 2 because, under Canon 837.1, scheduled Masses are the norm because Mass is public by its nature.

    I am disappointed that the Canon Law Society made no attempt to define the term ‘continuing group’. My own experience with Latin–not to mention my dictionary!–suggests that ‘continenter’ is best translated as ‘uninterrupted’, just as Dorothy writes ut supra. But uninterupted for how long? Since no restriction is specified, the minimum number applies, which is two uninterrupted occasions in accordance with a rule (for example, on Sundays: two Sundays in a row). Logically, then, if its minimum number of members have been ‘in the parish’ for two consecutive days as a group, they would qualify. Of course, these terms may be restricted by use, which is something one would expect the Canon Law Society to comment on!

    I am also very disappointed that the Society did not address the meaning of “in parœciis”. Does this imply that the members of the group (at least two faithful) must have domiciles in the parish? Would it be sufficient if they only attended Mass there regularly? Could they count if they were registered members of the parish on account of continuous attendance there?

    At any rate, it means that three or, I argue, even two faithful who are ‘in the parish’ can lodge the request and then, once it is granted, they can bring with them 500 people from outside the parish, since anyone can fulfil his obligation anywhere–even at an Eastern Divine Liturgy. Of course, the greater the number of parishioners, the better, since the parish priest need not, strictly speaking, accede to the request.

    In the case of the private chapel or an oratory, I suggest that the matter is under the jurisdiction of the local ordinary, given Canons 1225 and 1228. Ditto for the case of a chapel directly under diocesan control. These can exist if established as such; otherwise, they are under parishes.

    While I am disappointed by some statements and omissions of the Society, much of what it says is good. It seems to be implying that the priest only need the sort of general understanding and general intent in regard that he would need to confect the Sacrament; he need not be able to translate the texts in an exam. Presumably, the general law requires that he knows at least the purpose of each prayer. Other than that, he need only be able to pronounce the words reasonably well. Yet again, clerics, once ordained as priests have a fundamental right to celebrate in Latin, the lingua sacra of their ritual church (Canon 928). The Bishop can set impossible Latin exams in seminary but, once ordained, the priest is home free to use Latin either for the 1962 Missal or the Missal promulgated in 1970.

    In closing, I must repeat yet again what the Canon Law seems to support as well: that the immediate authority for vetting such requests is the parish priest, not the bishop. In other words, it is the parish priest who can respond to a group by saying, “you are not a group” or “you are not in the parish” or “you have not existed here continuously” or “I don’t have the manpower to help you, given my responsibilities to other faithful”. Some bishops are acting as if it is they who have the jurisdiction to say this to requesting groups. Not!

    On the contrary, the bishop’s role is to assist legitimate requests under these rules when the parish priest is intractable. The bishop can interfere mostly to help the group against the parish priest, not to defend the parish priest against the group. There is one exception to this: under 5.1, the bishop can intervene against the traditionalists to see to it that others in the parish have reasonable access to the New Mass (e.g. the access they had before).

    P.K.T.P.

  19. chiara says:

    I have just been sent the following interview from “Latin Mass News” 2005:

    Presently, Bishop Rifan of Brazil is the only Apostolic Administrator appointed for the Traditional Mass. We would like his authority expanded throughout the world, or an additional PAA be appointed by Benedict XVI for North America.

    Following are some questions addressed to Bishop Rifan that will help you appreciate an PAA.

    Question: What is your relationship with the Novus Ordo bishop of Campos?
    Answer: Excellent, the bishop supports our group and we have had no difficulties with him.

    Question: Has the Vatican put any restrictions on you or your priests insofar as muzzling you from pointing out problems in the Church since Vatican II?
    Answer: No, I have pointed many of these problems in my talks.

    Question: Can you expand your Administration into the USA and can individuals in the USA belong to your Apostolic Administration?
    Answer: Presently my Apostolic Administration is restricted by the Vatican to Campos where I administer to over 30,000 traditional Catholics. Individuals from the USA can participate in the Administration only if they move to Campos. However, some individuals in the USA have attached themselves to the Campos Administration, but they do not reap any benefits because no Campos priests reside in the USA. My jurisdiction is for Campos only.

    Question: Before the Apostolic Administration was established the marriages and onfessions were performed by priests who were not authorized by Rome nor did they have faculties from the local Ordinary. After the Apostolic Administration was established were these accepted as valid.
    Answer: Rome did not question the validity of these Sacraments performed before the Apostolic Administration was established. Nothing was required concerning these marriages or confessions after the Apostolic Administration was established.

    Question: You were consecrated bishop illicitly as are the St. Pius X bishops. Did you have to be re-consecrated after you were appointed Apostolic Administrator of Campos by the Pope.
    Answer: NO.

    Question: Are all the Sacraments administered under the Apostolic Administration performed in the traditional manner.
    Answer Yes

    Question: Do you have your own churches and seminary?
    Answer: Yes

  20. prof.basto says:

    Very stange, Chiara.

    Bishop Rifan wasn’t consacrated a Bishop ilicitlly as the premise of the question
    suggests, and I find it strange that the answer didn’t challenge the premise of the question.

    I wonder if this interview is authentic.

    Bishop Rifan was consacrated a Bishop with pontifical mandate.

    His consacrator was Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. The consacration took place AFTER
    the reconciliation with Rome, when the PAA was already in place. He was appointed
    Coadjutor Apostolic Administrator, and when Bishop Rangel died, he succeeded as
    Apostolic Administrator.

  21. RBrown says:

    Mgr Read has another article in the same issue of the Canon Law Society Newsletter in which he addresses the issue of marriages celebrated by the SSPX. he concludes that they are invalid. As regards Campos he says:

    “If one were to ask why, then, no global sanation was applied to the marriages contracted in Brazil before the reconciliation of Bishop Rangel and the establishment of the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney a different answer would apply. when Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Campos was compelled to retire,many of the clergy refused to work with his successor, were ejected from their churches and simply set up new churches down the road, but effectively continued to run the parish as before. In this situation, very different to the St Pius X chapels in the USA and elsewhere, one could argue that common error did supply jurisdiction so that global sanation was thought to be unnecessary or imprudent.”
    Comment by Fr Michael Brown

    I have two problems with what the good Monsignor writes:

    1. He says that the situation in Campos was “very different” from the St Pius X chapels. But the reason he gives is weak. In fact, in the minds of the laity, the reasons those in Campos followed their pastors were probably not that much different from those who attend SSPX chapels in Europe and North America.

    Most who attend the SSPX chapels do so because they are offended not only by the present state of the liturgy but also by the state of the Church in general.

    2. He says that “global sanation was thought to be unnecessary or imprudent”, which implies there were invalid marriages in need of sanation, but nothing was done. Such action (or non action) makes no sense.

    Re the question of “common error” and “probable doubt”: It seems to me that there is enough confusion in the Church that those two phrases should be generously applied. For almost 40 years the hierarchy has heavily discouraged not only the Roman Rite (cf Paul VI) but also mass in Latin, which acc to John XXIII is a link to Rome. Consequently, we have Rome encouraging an an attitude which ranges from unRoman to anti-Roman. On the other hand, there is a group that in some way or another has split from Rome but uses the Roman Rite and Latin. It’s hard to get more confusing than that.

    Further, BXVI thinks the present state of the liturgy is out of line with Vat II documents, yet easily 95% of the clergy disagree with him–and one of that 95% is presently head of the American Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy.

    I think a strict application of c. 144 is a bit anomalous in light of the present state of affairs. This is not 1955.

  22. RBrown says:

    Indeed – it was a hasty slip – thanks for catching it, and my apologies. Ordination certainly does not require jurisdiction for validity.

    Actually, I was wrong. A few years ago the eminent Fr Richard McBrien wrote that SSPX ordinations were invalid. But he didn’t refer to jurisdiction but rather being “outside the community”, which is lardy language that would include jurisdiction.

    Regarding the issue of common error, c. 144, and the validity of SSPX marriages, that certainly has been raised and has some partisans among some very solid canonists, yet Msgr. Read in this current issue of the CLSGBI Newsletter provides some very strong arguments against the use of ecclesia supplet to render SSPX marriages valid. Another article in the same newsletter provides strong arguments against the SSPX claim that c. 1116, on the extraordinary form of marriage (please note, this is not referring to marriages celebrated using the 1962 Ritual – extraordinary form has, perhaps, come to have too many meanings…), that is, marriage where the parties do not have access to “a person who is competent to assist at marriage in accord with the norm of law,” renders the marriages they perform valid. The author of that article, Adrienne Connaghan, handily maintains that in the vast majority, if not all, SSPX marriages, the parties would indeed have access to a person competent to assist at marriage and therefore c. 1116 does not apply.
    Comment by Tim Ferguson

    Once again, that reasoning assumes that it is 1955.

    NB: I am not arguing in favor of their validity but rather against any argument of their invalidity.

  23. Tim Ferguson says:

    Quoting further from Msgr. Read’s second article, on SSPX and jurisdiction for marriage –

    “The Roman Rota effectively dealt with the argument based on common error in a decision coram Stankiewicz of 15th December 1992, published in Sutdia Canonica 29(1995) 531-538. The case was that of a St. Pius X chapel in the United States. Stankiewicz argues that no title can supply jurisdiction to a priest who is not in heirarchical communion with the local Bishop. there was no question of doubt of law or fact, nor of a fact leading to ‘common error’. Rather it was private error of ignorance on the part of individuals.”

    I went and looked up the case in Studia canonica, and wish to cite Stankiewicz’s penultimate paragraph:

    “A subjective judgment of a certain agent cannot be considered truly positive and probably unless it is in fact founded on an objective reason from outside his mind, because it is not sufficient that he thinks, in good faith or much less in bad faith, that he has the faculty to assist, or in crass and supine ignorance he thinks that in this matter his opinion is probable. It is necessary ‘for his opinion to be truly or objectively probable, that his opinion should not only seem to him that it is subject to the approval of others, but in fact it could be approved by others because of the truly existing objective reason’ (Michiels, De potestate ordinaria et delegata, p. 358).”

    There needs to be a certain objectivity, not merely a subjective sense, on the part of the priest or the parties being married, in determining that common error applies. The fact that the priests of the Society do not, as a rule, request delegation from the local pastors makes the common error spoken of in c. 144 (or c. 209 of the 1917 Code) unapplicable in cases of SSPX mariages.

    With the situation in Campos, common error could be applied because legitimate questions were in play regarding who was the pastor of each particular parish, and delegation was sought, even if, in retrospect, it was found that delegation was sought from a presumptive pastor who was not, in law, the pastor.

  24. Tim Ferguson says:

    The first sentence of my third paragraph above should read “positive and probable”

    need more coffee….

  25. Malta says:

    Sounds like there’s a big question mark Re: validity of SSPX marriages, notwithstanding the negative judgment of the Canon Law Society of UK/Ireland.

  26. Malta says:

    What I find particularly ironic is that some Bishops of our Church, who are de facto schismatics in thought word and deed, are the same ones wagging their fingers at SSPX, decrying their “invalid” sacraments; “leong’s” comment at the end of these comments is percipient to this point. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” in our modernistic Church:

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19978542&postID=4961192171702232516

  27. RBrown says:

    Tim,

    Let me preface my comments by saying that my opinion on this was to a great extent formed by an extended conversation I had with a good friend who was once Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Angelicum.

    Quoting further from Msgr. Read’s second article, on SSPX and jurisdiction for marriage – “The Roman Rota effectively dealt with the argument based on common error in a decision coram Stankiewicz of 15th December 1992, published in Sutdia Canonica 29(1995) 531-538. The case was that of a St. Pius X chapel in the United States. Stankiewicz argues that no title can supply jurisdiction to a priest who is not in heirarchical communion with the local Bishop. there was no question of doubt of law or fact, nor of a fact leading to ‘common error’. Rather it was private error of ignorance on the part of individuals.”

    Sorry for the delay.

    The use of the phrase “hierarchic communion” is unfortunate simply because it includes more than just jurisdiction*. And so if someone argues the SSPX marriages are invalid because of a deficiency of hierarchic communion, it also needs to be applied to doctrinal dissenters (who, it is widely known, are legion, not only among the laity but also the clerics). This dissenters are not in hierarchic communion.

    And then there’s the problem with bishops like Trautman or Roche, who have revealed themselves as not being in hierarchic communion.

    *cf. The SCDF document: Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion.

  28. RBrown says:

    I received a phone call and accidentally hit the submit button.

    Should be: “Thus dissenters are not in hierarchic communion–and the marriages in which they have participated are also of questionable validity.”

    I’ll respond to the rest of your comment later–right now I’m a little occupied.

  29. nick says:

    This nonsense about SSPX marriage being invalid is too much. Rome accepted as valid, all the marriage that had taken place from 1976 to 1988. Cardinal Gagnon did this during the 1987 negotiations. Please stop calling them schismatic and so on. Rome is not even usiong this language and longer.

  30. Malta says:

    Nick, I hear you, but what of those marriages from 1988 on? I tend to think they are valid, but I’m not a Canon Lawyer (though I am a lawyer, and I don’t take the “canon law society of great britain” at face value, for the same reason–I’ve seen too many cracks–individuals and ‘societies’ who say they are experts who turn out to be crocks, to take them at face value).

    So, in light of the Canon society presided by this or that Monsignor, I was hoping for more clarity, since clearly, these folks at the Canon Law Society are venting their post conciliar piece–I like balance, which clearly this article did not provide….