An Italian lesson in how to override the Pope

An unhappy story of a Diocese in Italy where, apparently, local authorities believe they have the right to override the Pope’s legislation for the whole Latin Church.
The intrepid Italian Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli reports that in a small town named Vetrego in the Diocese of Treviso, don Pietro Mozzato, the parish priest, is celebrating his 60th jubilee of ordination.  For 1 May the parish was to have Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.  This is in keeping with Summorum Pontificum.  The celebrant was to be a priest visiting from the Fraternity of St. Peter who would come in from Venice.
The priest – let’s call him “don Ficcanaso” – of the next town over, Spinea – perhaps aptly named, I don’t know, griped to the Vicar General, and then the bishop let the old jubilarian know that such a Mass in his honor wasn’t to be celebrated.
I imagine they then played a game of “keep away” with the old priest’s cane.
But wait!  There’s more!
Apparently the Diocesean Curia of Treviso has squashed the rights of the people before when it comes to the older form of the Roman Rite, in a town named Mirano.
WDTPRS is certain that the Diocese of Treviso has plenty of time to eliminate the legitimate use of the Pope Benedict’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum because they have already radicated all liturgical abuses in the diocese and have thoroughly review all parish catechetical programs for doctrinal fidelity.

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40 Responses to An Italian lesson in how to override the Pope

  1. Hence, the SSPX.

    I regard bishops like this as “the fifth bishop of the SSPX.”

    The coming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum will provide clear guidance on how to appeal to the Ecclesia Dei Commission and, if necessary, the Apostolic Signatura. People need to exercise their rights under the motu proprio and suffer white martyrdom in the meantime if necessary.

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    I could name a Diocese in the USA where something similar is happening right now

  3. benedetta says:

    That’s terribly sad.

  4. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Don’t worry, folks. That bishop is “in good standing”! ;-)

    Father, what would you suggest they do? Perhaps celebrate it anyway, and if the bishop attempts retribution, appeal to Ecclesia Dei/CDF? 60th jubilee Masses don’t come along too often.

  5. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Don’t worry, folks. That bishop is “in full communion”! ;-)

    Father, what would you suggest they do? Perhaps celebrate it anyway, and if the bishop attempts retribution, appeal to Ecclesia Dei/CDF? 60th jubilee Masses don’t come along too often.

  6. BaedaBenedictus says:

    (sorry about the double post, Father)

    The strange thing that always occurs to me is why some bishops spend so much energy trying to prevent these things. I can (to a certain extent) understand the suppression of big televised Pontifical Masses at the Shrine in DC—God forbid many people will be exposed to that most “backwards” form of Mass. But what’s so threatening about a simple one-off TLM honoring a priest’s 60 years of priesthood?

    Disproportionate is the word for it, to put it as charitably as possible.

  7. But is the Pope going to do anything about it? If a Lieutenant in the US Navy deliberately disobeys a command from his captain I think that Lt. should not be planning how to spend his retirement pay, ’cause he won’t be in the Navy much longer. But bishops seem to be able to do any number of things that directly contradict what the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, proclaims and they just proceed on their merry way.

  8. Denis says:

    There’s nothing uniquely Italian about this situation, unfortunately. Bishops have chosen to sabotage Summorum Pontificum, and it has become a dead letter. This is just a particularly merciless example of the what most “full communion” bishops are doing. We saw a large-scale version of this in the withdrawal of permission for the Washington DC Mass.

  9. templariidvm says:

    Would not an appeal to the bishop, cc’d to the CDF, be reasonable and appropriate? Would it need to come from the priest, himself, if is is appropriate? It is a shame. If he wanted a rock band, nuns in spandex doing liturgical dance and 8 foot tall puppets, there would not be even a ripple of dissent. Yet this priest with more than a half century of service to the Church and God’s people is denied a very solemn mass because it is the “old way”. If the Church WERE run like a business – as many seem to think it is and should be – certain people would be looking for new places to play with their puppets while those who want a serious liturgy would have much more peace.

  10. Paul says:

    Father Z, please forgive this convert if these are foolish or inappropriate comments, but I have to echo and expand on the thoughts of @katherine collins.

    If one of my employees were to flagrantly contravene my direct orders in a serious matter and then refuse correction, I would simply and without a thought, terminate him. I don’t understand why the Holy Father allows these wolves in shepherds clothing to feast among his flock.

    Better only a fractional remnant of the truly faithful were left. We can always rebuild and re-evangelize, but as it is, we are being devoured from within.

  11. EXCHIEF says:

    Katerine Collins
    Having spent decades in organizations with a military structure I agree with you completely. The problem with the Church, IMO, is a lack of leadership training and a lack of understanding of what authority and obedience to authority means. When the laity think they run the Church, and in many places they do more so than Priests and Bishops, you know there is a problem. Jesus Christ Himself created a hierarchy and it was that hierarchical structure upon which the Church was founded. But somewhere along the line (IMO over that past 40 years in particular) poorly trained “leaders” (not leaders at all in my opinion) began to equate leadership with being popular. And once they embarked on that journey it was all over but the funeral. Leadeship, like parenting, sometimes requires a firm “NO”! and that is something far too few Priests and Bishops are capable of. And since they cannot say NO when they should they rationalize right along with the “faithful” and manufacture reasons why (other than their popularity) “yes” is an OK answer. Until that gets turned around from Rome to the smallest Diocese we as a Church are in serious trouble. I have long argued for a solid course on leadership as being essential to Priestly formation. Having taught the subject at the college and university level and within law enforcement leadership programs I even created a proposed lesson plan and submitted it to the USCCB as a suggestion. You can guessl where that went.

    I thank God for our Pastor whose clerical preparation was in a country other than the USA. It would take pages to express how on target his Easter homily was especially to the majority of Mass attendees who, in his words, go to WalMart far more frequently than Church. Suffice it to say the chancery office will, I’m sure, receive lots of complaints about how unfriendly he is and how he “just doesn’t understand”. And the Bishop, keeping his desire for popularity at the forefront, will not back the Pastor.

  12. BLB Oregon says:

    If the priest has been in his diocese long enough to celebrate his 60th jubilee, then he’s been there long enough to have a history with both the complaining priest and his bishop, a history none of us know. They could have all been around long enough to have issues left over from when the NO first came in, who knows. Not that the Mass in any form ought to ever be a political football, but ordination does not remove the frailties of humankind.

    Also, remember that the parties involved are not employers and fellow employees. They are brothers in Holy Orders. Theirs is a collegiality that goes very deep. I am old enough to know that quarrels among priests tend to have a familial quality that is as difficult to understand from the outside as any family quarrel, including any family quarrel in Italy, where the families are very old.

    I hope they clear this up before the celebration, and that their shared shepherding is not harmed in the process. That is the main thing.

  13. Mitchell NY says:

    When something like this becomes so public allowing it to go unchecked by Rome or the office that is supposed to investigate and help places where celebration of the EF is difficult, it is a dangerous game. Rome has issued Summorum Pontificum, a Clarification letter for its’ implementation is very soon on its’ way, and there are conferences and support all over the world now for the EF. One strong message that is getting through to the Holy Father is that people want the EF Mass and Priests are willing and trying to say it. They are openly being harassed and threatened into not celebrating a Catholic Mass. Whether it EF or OF it is despicable. I will pray someone steps into this from the Vatican. This is a type of psychological terror game that these Bishops are playing with their own Priests and lay people who support them. This must be terribly degrading. I will also continue to pray for a long, healthy Pontificate for the Pope so he can unroot the rot that continues to rear its’ ugly head. Seminary training, mandatory, will be the answer long term for this. One thing always comes to the surface, people love this Mass.

  14. robtbrown says:

    BaedaBenedictus says:

    Father, what would you suggest they do?

    If Tornielli knows, then so do the proper authorities in the Vatican.

  15. Joseph says:

    RE: robtbrown
    as if that ever made much of a difference (here on earth)

  16. robtbrown says:

    Joseph says:

    RE: robtbrown
    as if that ever made much of a difference (here on earth)

    It does in Italy.

  17. Okay, I will be the first to point out that a bishop of a diocese is NOT an employee of the Pope – legally, canonically, or in any other such way. The priest in question has recourse to the Ecclesia Dei office, if he so wishes.

    At the same time, the bishop will say the issue is not the EF mass per se, but with the visiting priest, who is coming from outside the diocese to say Mass. Generally not a problem, true, but the bishop can still tell the priest not to come. If the 60 anniversary priest wants to say the Mass himself, then it would be a different issue.

    Again, I think it is a silly thing to do (preventing the Mass), but as as BLB Oregon says, there is a whole lotta story we don’t know.

  18. Nathan says:

    ExChief and Catherine Collins: I sympathize with you and I pray daily and try to work as well for the restoration of the TLM. I would, however, push the military analogy a bit further, because it might be a useful way of thinking about the situation. I spent 23 years in the Army, but I will try to make the analogy more Navy focused, given the earlier discussion.

    The problem with using a lieutenant following orders is that a the Holy Father and a bishop are flag officer equivalents–like the military, the issue of obedience is somewhat different between a newly ordained priest and his pastor than it is between the Holy Father and a bishop. I see the analogy working better here as one of a Master Chief and his Commanding Officer aboard ship. I would imagine that it has happened more than once that a crusty Master Chief didn’t exactly follow big Navy policies or even the Captain’s on-board policies to the letter (as did this bishop), especially if the Master Chief had built his reputation on working against what the CO had in mind.
    How many Master Chiefs have thought they could wait out the CO until he left command?

    You can even take this analogy higher. How many active duty flag officers might be trying, behind the scenes, to get Congress to overturn the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) and Navy Secretary’s decision to go with the Arleigh Burke Class destroyer instead of the Zumwalt class? Should they be fired summarily? Are they no longer in “good standing” with the Navy? What if they, for good or ill, really believe that the policy is bad that the Navy depends on their political maneuvering? And, since I’m sure that the CNO probably knows exactly who is leading the charge on this, why doesn’t he just fire the admirals?

    My point is that, in spite of the fact that for years I thought the restoration of the TLM would take a pope who would “knock heads and take names,” the reality of the relationship between the Holy Father and bishops is much more complex, just as I learned in the Pentagon that the relationship between senior military officials is complex. I think it’s made more complex for us Americans by the fact that the Church is not a Donald Trump-owned company (Thanks be to God!) or a military organization. Pope Benedict appears to want to lead the Church through setting the rules for liturgical restoration, then using reason to convince those in the heirarchy who will hear and eventual retirement for those who won’t. Perhaps that’s a better way than the one I had in mind when I wished for a pope who, to use the term applied by a professor of mine to Henry VIII, had an “active personnel policy.”

    In Christ,

  19. robtbrown says:

    CharleyCOllins says:
    Okay, I will be the first to point out that a bishop of a diocese is NOT an employee of the Pope – legally, canonically, or in any other such way. The priest in question has recourse to the Ecclesia Dei office, if he so wishes.

    I’m afraid that’s an oversimplification.

    It is true that a diocesan bishop has a certain independence.

    On the other hand, papal authority, which is supreme, full, immediate, and universal, is not mitigated by the presence of a bishop. Papal authority in a diocese is the same whether there is a bishop, an apostolic administrator, or an empty see. And, of course, the pope has the authority to hire and fire.

    Further, authority over the liturgy is reserved to the Apostolic See (SC, 22).

  20. becket1 says:

    From my observations, you can usually tell those clergy who feel they can override the Pope’s decision. They tend to be the Pope John Paul II crowd. Nothing against Pope John Paul II, he was a great Pope, but they spend more time talking about Pope John Paul II, as though he were still here on Earth, than they do about Pope Benedict XVI. They look at him as the “spirit of Vatican 2″ Pope. And care less about the desires of Pope Benedict XVI, in regards to the liturgical changes he hopes to put into motion. So they rarely mention anything about the current Holy Father.

  21. Scott W. says:

    The military analogy doesn’t work for me because when an insubordinate Lieutenant gets discharged, he vanishes off the stage never to be heard from again. He doesn’t usually go pirate, take half the fleet and form the 1st Naval Freewill Congregation. In other words, there are schism issues to consider. Now, many (myself included) have said that hey, these guys are in de facto schism. Why don’t we just drop the charade and make it de jure and start rolling heads? My only thought is be careful what you wish for.

  22. Clinton says:

    The Ordinary of the diocese of Treviso is perfectly within his rights to withhold his permission
    for a priest from outside the diocese to say the Mass for don Pietro Mozzato’s jubilee. But it
    is also true that one of a Cardinal’s privileges is that he needn’t seek permission to celebrate
    a Mass anywhere he may travel. So, if the Holy See wished to both preserve the bella figura
    of the local Bishop and see to it that the worthy Fr. Mozzato’s Mass is said in fine style, perhaps
    a Prince of the Church could be found who was free to make a trip to Vetrego…

  23. Dear RobTBrown,

    Charley Collins was not impugning the authority of the Apostolic See in matters liturgical. The AS does legislate supremely, immediately and fully as far as the establishment of rites, inter alia are concerned. The pertinent part of SC,22, which you cited, is the first section, which leaves wide latitude to the local ordinary. The local ordinary has, appunto, ordinary authority to determine who may say Mass within the confines of his jurisdiction (an implied power under the normae generales CIC 391-392, if memory serves).

    Said simply, Mr. Collins’ point was simply that a bishop may decide who may (not) say Mass within the confines of his diocese.

    Best,
    C.

  24. robtbrown says:

    Chris Altieri,

    The pertinent part of SC,22, which you cited, is the first section, which leaves wide latitude to the local ordinary. The local ordinary has, appunto, ordinary authority to determine who may say Mass within the confines of his jurisdiction (an implied power under the normae generales CIC 391-392, if memory serves).Said simply, Mr. Collins’ point was simply that a bishop may decide who may (not) say Mass within the confines of his diocese.

    First, we’ve done this before. My middle initial is not T. R0bt is an abbreviation for Robert.

    Second, you seem to want to reduce papal authority in this matter to legislative. You are correct in saying that the pope legislates, and an ordinary is obligated to follow such legislation. But, as I noted before, the universal authority of the pope is not mitigated by the presence of a diocesan bishop or apostolic administrator. Further, in so far as the pope is the legislator, he can dispense himself from the law whenever he wants.

    And I never disputed the authority of the ordinary. I did, however, say that his authority can always be trumped by the pope. Always. Thus: A bishop says Fr Joe Schmoe cannot say mass in his diocese, but at any time the pope can override that decision.

    And of course in matters of the 1962 Missal the legislation (SP) favors the priest, not the ordinary.

  25. robtbrown says:

    One other point: This matter is further complicated because the visiting priest is a member of an institute of Pontifical Right (the FSSP) that exists solely for the propagation of the use of the 1962 Missal.

  26. Jerry says:

    @BaedaBenedictus

    Father, what would you suggest they do? Perhaps celebrate it anyway, and if the bishop attempts retribution, appeal to Ecclesia Dei/CDF? 60th jubilee Masses don’t come along too often.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. Even if the bishop is wrong, that is not justification for the priest to disobey. Gracious acceptance of this trial will benefit the priest and his intentions far more than attempting to assert his own will.

  27. James Joseph says:

    We have bishop here that used to say the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according the to 1962 Missale, when he was titular, reportedly from the time he ran a seminary, but ever since he became the Ordinary he high-tails everytime a word at my Cathedral Parish is uttered about anything Latin. Remind me again why I’m singing hymns from the John Calvin’s Prayerbook and Charles Wesley.

  28. Mr. Brown,

    My oversimplication is just the simple truth. The Pope himself and the Holy See make the point over and over again. Bishops are not employees of the Pope. He does not “hire and fire” them. Bishops are elected (the Pope does reserve this election to himself, but that is what is going on), and although a bishop may be asked to resign, the often don’t (look at the case of Dallas, when the bishop refused to resign, and they ended up moving his coadjutor bishop, who was tired of waiting for what was supposed to be a quick transition). Just type in “are bishops employees of the Pope” and you will find ample documentation on this topic.

    You say the Pope can “override” a bishop’s decision on a matter – but, as a rule, Pope’s do not, unless the bishop in question has oversteped his own authority.

    And your referral to the fact that the FSSP is of pontifical rite is a red herring. Just because an institute is of Pontifical Rite does not give them the authority to enter dioceses as they see fit – it means their internal governance cannot be interfered with by local bishops where they are located – but they have to be invited first, and they can be banned (as the Legionaries of Christ – which is of Pontifical Rite – have been in many dioceses).

  29. Robtbrown: I think my response to you haqs gone into the moderation folder.

    C.

  30. I of course, kept writing pontifical rite, when I meant pontifical right. I need to remember to write the right rite.

  31. Trying this again:

    DearRobtbrown,

    Apologies for the typo in your name.

    As for your substantive points: I suppose the Pope could order the local ordinary to allow the priest in question to celebrate Mass. Until he does, though, the ordinary rules apply.

    Remember this: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/02/on-westminster- card-murphy-oconner-and-archbp-burke/ ?

    This is in no wise complicated by the fact that the priest in question belongs to a congregation of pontifical right: “pontifical right” refers to the congregation’s juridical status within the Church – it’s right to exist is traced to the Pope. It has nothing to do with the question whether or where a member of said congregation may say Mass.

  32. ikseret says:

    Pope St. Pius X was a priest of the diocese of Treviso.
    He is even the co-patron of the diocese.
    Sancte Pie, ora pro eis!

  33. robtbrown says:

    CharleyCOllins and Chris Altieri,

    1. I never disputed the idea that a bishop is not an employee of the pope. It is, however, not correct to think that the contrary is true, that a bishop, other than his obligation to legislation, is independent.

    2. Of course, the pope has the authority to hire. What do you think electio means? SOP is the use of the terna, but that is merely a recommendation to the pope. He is free to choose (cf electare) one of the three or someone not on the list. Do you think that a terna came from the US with Justin Rigali’s name on it to fill the St Louis archdiocese? Further, although the terna contains local recommendations (e.g., from the Metropolitan, Prez of the Bishops’ conference, etc.), the nuncio, who is Rome’s man, is to include his own opinion.

    In certain places (e.g., Switzerland) a Concordat lets the Cathedral Chapter elect the new bishop, who is confirmed or not confirmed by the pope. In Switzerland this only pertains to ordinaries and not to auxiliaries. And so the pope is free to name a co-adjutor without consultation of the Chapter. This is how W Haas became bishop of Chur.

    Re firing a bishop: Because the Mediterranean mind is indirect, shying away from confrontation, (read: slick–furba) and because Rome wants to preserve bella figura, bishops are usually not fired, but it has happened.

    This from Wikipedia on Bp Gaillot:

    On 13 January 1995, Jacques Gaillot was summoned to a meeting with Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops at the Vatican City. He was offered the choice of resigning his see and becoming bishop emeritus of Évreux, or being removed from the see. In the latter case, he would be assigned to the titular see of Partenia. Gaillot chose not to resign; instead, he left the Vatican and returned to France to give a press conference, providing one short press release to explain the events:

    Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, summoned me to be in Rome on January 12, 1995 at 9:30 am. The threats that were hanging over me for a while came into effect. I had met the deadline. I was told that I had been removed from my function as bishop and that the See of Évreux would be declared vacant starting tomorrow from noon onwards. I was asked to hand in my resignation, which I thought I had good reasons to refuse.

    – Bishop Jacques Gaillot, Diocese of Partenia

    Further, there is another MO, which I have mentioned before here. The pope can appoint a co-adjutor, giving him all authority in the diocese, the consequence of which is that the diocesan bishop would be only a figurehead, all jurisdiction having been turned over to the co-adjutor. A similar MO was used with Abp Hunthausen.

    And there would be another solution to an intractable bishop. By a simple act of his pen, the pope can make a diocese titular, establish another diocese in exactly the same area, then name a new man to head it. And so Bishop A would remain bishop of the same diocese, but he would have no authority because his diocese would be titular.

    3. Re religious orders and papal authority: Although it is true that a bishop is to invite a religious order, there are alternatives. If Rome firmly wants the order in the diocese, and the bishop does not relent, the aforementioned solutions are possible. There is also the matter of a personal ordinariate, which has been mentioned as a possibility should there be a reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome. Not only would the clerics and religious of SSPX be directly under Rome, so also would the laity attached to the SSPX. This means that a diocesan bishop would have no say in whether there would be an SSPX presence in a diocese (incl property which already exists independently of a bishop’s consent) but also of public liturgy. This is a manifestation of the universal jurisdiction of the pope.

    4. The visiting celebrant is a member of the FSSP is most relevant simply because of the establishment of Ecclesia Dei. It is one thing for a bishop to deny a priest the right to say mass in his diocese, but quite another if the reason contradicts SP.

  34. Robert,

    This will be my post on this matter (I will let you have the last – and probably incorrect – word). The “election” of a bishop is traditionally done by the clergy of the diocese, not the Pope. Which is why the College of Cardinal have titular parishes in Rome, because it symbolizes the “clergy of Rome” electing the Pope. Over time, this election was reserved to the cathedral chapter in most dioceses, often with the interference of the State. The Pope merely reserved this election (that is, by the clergy) to himself in the West (like when a Pope sometimes reserves the election of of a religious superior to himself). This in itself is a recent development, and the Pope was actually quite shocked when President George Washington told him to appoint whatever bishop he wanted – since it happened nowhere else in the world.

    Bishops are “independent” of the Pope, except where the law states. Please read Vatican II and every Papal homily at episcopal ordinations since the beginning of time.

    Yes, the Pope does have universal authority. Yes, he can move a bishop. Yes, he can suppress a diocese. All of these are supposed to be done in consultation with his BROTHER bishops. And the cases you mention did happen, and were considered truly extraordinary, in the proper meaning of the word, when bishops had greatly overstepped their authority and acted in contradiction to the tenets of the Faith.

    For a Pope to act against a bishop for refusing an extern priest permission to say mass in his diocese (which is well within a bishop’s right), would not be a proper use of his universal authority. The fact the priest is a member of the FSSP has no bearing on the matter, because SP gives the right to priests to celebrate the Mass according to the extraordinary form, not the right to travel to any diocese he wants without permission to celebrate the mass, in the ordinary or the extraordinary form. The 60 anniversary priest can himself celebrate the Mass, or invite a brother priest in his own diocese to celebrate in the extraordinary form. He does not have the “right” to invite an extern priest into the diocese.

  35. robtbrown says:

    CharleyCOllins wrote

    This will be my post on this matter (I will let you have the last – and probably incorrect – word).

    Interesting that you insist what I say is incorrect, yet your attempts to refute it fail.

    You remind me of the young Herbert Pocket (cf Great Expectations), who insisted on fighting Mr Pip. After being knocked down repeatedly, Pocket final stopped fighting (read: being pummeled). The he arose and adopted the attitude that he had won.


    The “election” of a bishop is traditionally done by the clergy of the diocese, not the Pope.

    Incorrect. It is likely that the first successors to Peter were chosen by Apostles Peter and Paul. As the Church began to spread through Europe, however, the poor communications of the day became a problem. That meant it was not possible for the pope to actively choose every bishops.

    Also: That Hildebrand himself wrote in the 11th cent of the pope’s authority over bishops is further proof that your use of “traditionally” is uninformed.

    Which is why the College of Cardinal have titular parishes in Rome, because it symbolizes the “clergy of Rome” electing the Pope. Over time, this election was reserved to the cathedral chapter in most dioceses, often with the interference of the State.

    Of course—that’s not exactly news.

    What you don’t realize, however, is that the move to have Cardinals elect the pope was a return to the early way the popes after Peter were chosen—not with presbyters but with bishops (see above: Peter’s successor(s) chosen by Peter and Paul. Although here and there a few Cardinals who were laymen, the Cardinalate was created to involve bishops in choosing the pope.

    The Pope merely reserved this election (that is, by the clergy) to himself in the West (like when a Pope sometimes reserves the election of of a religious superior to himself).

    The pope reserved this election to himself because he had the authority to do it.

    This in itself is a recent development, and the Pope was actually quite shocked when President George Washington told him to appoint whatever bishop he wanted – since it happened nowhere else in the world.

    The pope was shocked that at Washington’s comments because GW was a mason. BTW, if you’re ever in Alexandria, Va, you can visit his lodge.

    Bishops are “independent” of the Pope, except where the law states. Please read Vatican II and every Papal homily at episcopal ordinations since the beginning of time.

    You’ve got it backwards. To state the SC 22 text I noted previously: “Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.” Those laws are promulgated by the pope.

    The concept of bishops that you are endorsing was promoted by Karl Rahner, partly because of the question of the Orthodox and partly because the Jesuits have been inclined toward a too legalistic concept of the relation to the pope. This is a fairly complex problem–I’ll comment on it later.

    Yes, the Pope does have universal authority. Yes, he can move a bishop. Yes, he can suppress a diocese. All of these are supposed to be done in consultation with his BROTHER bishops.

    Where in Vat II or canon law does it say that the pope must consult with bishops?

    And the cases you mention did happen, and were considered truly extraordinary, in the proper meaning of the word, when bishops had greatly overstepped their authority and acted in contradiction to the tenets of the Faith.

    You’re confusing “uncommon” with “extraordinary”.

    In fact, Vat II does not qualify papal authority. LG 22: “The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.”

    For a Pope to act against a bishop for refusing an extern priest permission to say mass in his diocese (which is well within a bishop’s right), would not be a proper use of his universal authority.

    Not according to Vat II.

    You have in fact contradicted the very existence of Ecclesia Dei, whose creation BTW was not done after consultation with bishops.


    The fact the priest is a member of the FSSP has no bearing on the matter, because SP gives the right to priests to celebrate the Mass according to the extraordinary form, not the right to travel to any diocese he wants without permission to celebrate the mass, in the ordinary or the extraordinary form. The 60 anniversary priest can himself celebrate the Mass, or invite a brother priest in his own diocese to celebrate in the extraordinary form. He does not have the “right” to invite an extern priest into the diocese.

    Of course, the right of the priest to invite an extern is subject to the bishop. Similarly, the right of the bishop to deny it is subject to the pope. And if the objection to the visiting priest is that he is a member of the FSSP, then Ecclesia Dei is most relevant.

  36. Robtbrown:

    Charles has said his; let me now say mine, in response to your last.

    You spend a lot of time (assuming way too much along the way, and getting so many things so utterly wrong, that your interlocutor is embarrassed when he looks for a place to engage) in order to get to this:

    Of course, the right of the priest to invite an extern is subject to the bishop. Similarly, the right of the bishop to deny it is subject to the pope. And if the objection to the visiting priest is that he is a member of the FSSP, then Ecclesia Dei is most relevant.

    Now, here’s the thing: the priest of the diocese of Treviso does not have a right to invite an extern. The extern has no right to celebrate Mass (the example of the travelling or pilgrim priest is not pertinent – there are long-standing traditions of hospitality and accomodation, especially when priests are simply fulfilling their obligation and saying Mass sine populo, though the careful priest travels with a copy of his celebret).

    The local ordinary, on the other hand, has the right and duty to regulate the liturgy within his jurisdiction – and this includes saying who may (not) say the Mass.

    In factispecie, the bishop of Treviso decided not to permit the extern to celebrate Mass.

    That’s it – and that’s all of it.

    That the priest in question belongs to a congregation dedicated to the promotion of the EF, is irrelevant: the bishop is not attempting to ban the EF.

    The mere existence of PCED is irrelevant: there is no question of right for the PCED to adjudicate in this case.

    Best,
    Chris

  37. robtbrown says:

    There are two basic concepts of Episcopal Orders.

    The first is that jurisdiction is given by the pope separately from Episcopal Consecration. This is the traditional approach, favored by St Thomas Aquinas. There is strict distinction between potestas ordinis and potestas iurisdictionis. At episcopal consecration the first is received, the second existing as a munus (function) that is activated by the pope granting potestas iurisdictionis. Jurisdiction is an extension of the Petrine power to bind and loose sin. Thus the Sacramental “hook” is the Sacrament of Confession.

    The second is that jurisdiction is intrinsic to Episcopal Orders and is received along with consecration. Generally, the pope’s role is to limit jurisdiction by election to a certain diocese. This approach was popularized by Karl Rahner and embraced by Cardinal Tettamanzi.

    The advantage of the second approach is, as mentioned above, its relevance to the problem of the Orthodox Churches and validity of the Absolution and Marriages. The consequence of a bishop not being in Communion with the pope would at worst be lack of liceity, not validity: Absolution and Matrimony have about the same status as the Eucharist and Orders—valid but illicit. This is considered the case for any bishop, including those of the SSPX.

    Although the first (traditional) approach does not easily lend itself to the Orthodox problem, nevertheless, there are provisions in canon law that militate against the invalidity of the Orthodox Sacraments that require jurisdiction.

    I have two objections to the second approach.

    A. It seems to me incompatible with the Mystical Body concept of the Church. This because it drains jurisdiction of its ontological bond with the pope.

    B. Not only does it weaken the pope, but it also weakens every bishop. At first glace, this would not seem to be the case because it appears to make a bishop more independent. The problem is that it also makes every priest independent of a bishop because the proportion between Episcopal Orders and jurisdiction is similar to that between Presbyteral Orders and the faculties for Confession. And so no priest would need faculties given by a bishop in order for Absolution to be valid.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Chris Altieri says:

    Robtbrown:

    Charles has said his; let me now say mine, in response to your last.

    You spend a lot of time (assuming way too much along the way, and getting so many things so utterly wrong, that your interlocutor is embarrassed when he looks for a place to engage) in order to get to this:

    The aforesaid interlocutor should be embarrassed because he substitutes empty rhetoric for knowledge. Further, he has ignored Fr Z’s comments above, which I’ll reproduce: Apparently the Diocesean Curia of Treviso has squashed the rights of the people before when it comes to the older form of the Roman Rite, in a town named Mirano.

    Now, here’s the thing: the priest of the diocese of Treviso does not have a right to invite an extern. The extern has no right to celebrate Mass (the example of the travelling or pilgrim priest is not pertinent – there are long-standing traditions of hospitality and accomodation, especially when priests are simply fulfilling their obligation and saying Mass sine populo, though the careful priest travels with a copy of his celebret).

    I already acknowledged that

    The local ordinary, on the other hand, has the right and duty to regulate the liturgy within his jurisdiction – and this includes saying who may (not) say the Mass.

    I already cited Vat II to show the deficiencies of your comment. Once again: See SC no 22.

    In factispecie, the bishop of Treviso decided not to permit the extern to celebrate Mass.

    That’s it – and that’s all of it.

    That the priest in question belongs to a congregation dedicated to the promotion of the EF, is irrelevant:

    Not necessarily.

    the bishop is not attempting to ban the EF.

    Do we know that to be the case? Or are you assuming it to be the case? Once again: That the visiting priest is a member of the FSSP is some indication that it is a move by the bishop against the EF. And see above, where Fr Z mentions that this is not the first time in Treviso that there have been moves against the EF.

    The mere existence of PCED is irrelevant: there is no question of right for the PCED to adjudicate in this case.
    Best,
    Chris

    The PCED has a right to adjudicate in any case when permission to use the 1962 Missal has been prohibited locally.

  39. robtbrown says:

    Let me amend one comment:

    Now, here’s the thing: the priest of the diocese of Treviso does not have a right to invite an extern. The extern has no right to celebrate Mass (the example of the travelling or pilgrim priest is not pertinent – there are long-standing traditions of hospitality and accomodation, especially when priests are simply fulfilling their obligation and saying Mass sine populo, though the careful priest travels with a copy of his celebret).

    I already acknowledged that, but the right of the bishop to deny the visiting priest permission is also subject to the authority of the pope, whose jurisdiction is not mitigated when a see is filled.

  40. robtbrown says:

    I forgot to recommend the Nota Praevia of Lumen Gentium, esp no. 4.