I have seen comments from people, here and elsewhere, that Bishop D’Arcy of Fort Wayne and South Bend should hammer the Univ. of Notre Dame, suspend right and left, lay waste on all sides.
Why is it that people think that bishops are (or should be) Medieval prince bishops or some modern day Bp. Hatto.
Of course they only want them to be that way when convenient for their own favored cause…. but I digress.
The distinquished canonist Ed Peters of In the Light of the Law, has an interesting comment regarding Bp. D’Arcy and Notre Dame. My emphases and comments.
1. The local bishop cannot put Notre Dame under a local interdict, even for a brief period, if for no other reason (and there would be other reasons) than that local interdict is not a penal option under the 1983 Code. [sad but true] While local interdict (and community interdict, its cousin) were possible under the Pio-Benedictine Code (see 1917 CIC 2268-2277), today, interdict is a purely personal penalty, meaning that only specific individuals, convicted of a canonical crime, can be interdicted (1983 CIC 1332). [dura lex ... er um... absens, sed... er um... non lex.]
2. The local bishop cannot forbid the celebration of Mass in campus oratories and chapels by a precept under 1983 CIC 1225. While the argument here rests more on scholarly opinion than does that above, I think the weight of that opinion would not support a bishop’s using a precept to forbid Mass on campus during graduation weekend.
Mind, nothing in Bp. D’Arcy’s statement today suggested that he was considering either option, but my advice to folks who have been considering suggesting them would be to save your time: neither action would be supportable under 1983 Code.
Salvo sapientiorum iudicio.
It seems to me that the best approach is not through the negative but rather the postive. Would it not be better were the bishop to concede something positive, such as an indulgence, for an alternative event, such as a prayer service?