Canon 212 in the 1983 Code and the Internet: edgy new Catholic news aggregator page

There is an edgy new Catholic news aggregator page available.  Canon

Canon 212 in the 1983 CIC for the Latin Church is an important canon in the section on the obligations and the rights of the faithful

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige [scientia, competentia et praestantia] which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

That last part is important.

First, not everyone has knowledge, competence or prestige (excellence, preeminence).  There are a lot of people out there in the interwebs who don’t know that they don’t know what they don’t know.

Second, there is a way to “manifest to the sacred pastors” concerns, needs, etc.  When it comes to disagreement with doctrine, there are channels, so as not to create scandal.  When it comes to disagreement with personal opinions or tastes or, simply put, errors, this canon does not exonerate anyone from being charitable and prudent.

So, we have another quick glance source for news.  Let’s hope that it bears good fruit.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Augustine says:

    As a member of the Catholic Church, I say, Card. Sarah is right and Francis is wrong.

  2. benedetta says:

    Hmm. The use of coercive tactics in “ministry” obviously deprives people of the ability to walk together, to reason, to dialogue, and come to a conclusion in freedom without fear, respecting their dignity and freedom of conscience. Even if that person comes to a conclusion that one, or say the catechism, might differ with that priest’s take on things and avowed agenda or attachments.

    This aggregator might be a good place to address the problem of “I’m Father AnonymousAlinsky and I’m here to Help You and show you how wonderful I am”, kind of mockery and threats in lieu of respectfully and pastorally meeting you where you are/have always been which is welcoming and accepting but then your presence becomes politically inconvenient so, abuse and harassment need to happen to escort you away from our special clubhouse kind of a thing happening around. Like when ministry is kind of a sham or front for miscellaneous other things and the moment you start to realize that all hell breaks loose and you become under attack sort of situations.

  3. benedetta says:

    Like power ecclesialilty like just before the reformation I guess. That sort of stuff. You know before we all got enlightened and stopped paying people to advocate our cause to the king and stuff. Now that we’re communist we don’t need all of that. Oh, wait…

  4. lmgilbert says:

    Correct me if I am missing something, but to me seems to be Pewsitter all over again. For my money it fails the “with reverence toward their pastors” test when he the Hilary White article. From her article, among other things,

    “We. are. past. this. point. The uselessness, the utter futility of playing this game, and the fact that this is the only thing being done… I don’t know. What did I expect? Did I think that the cardinals would suddenly get a burst of courage and denounce Francis as a heretic and an antipope? Call a press conference and call him to task?” also links an Ann Barnhardt article titled, “Antipope Bergoglio and His Minions Are Trying Really, Really Hard To Convince Us That He Is, In Fact, The Antichrist.” Linking to Ann Barnhardt at all does not exactly veer toward the irenic or respectful.

    It appears that this entire endeavor has no intention of squaring with Canon 212. In fact, it is the anti-Canon 212, a kind of illustration of how to conduct oneself in diametric opposition to it.

    So here is where one becomes totally frustrated with Canon Law, for where does one file charges? Who will adjudicate these violations and impose penalties? For that matter, what is the name of the ghost in this machine, his address, his status, his bishop? Why, mirabile dictu! he is anonymous. Other than the email address, there is no dangerous contact information in which he assumes responsibility and vulnerability for his choices. Why not just call this aggregator The Anonymous Calumniator and be done with it?

    With you I was hoping for something different, Father, but this is the same old same old.

  5. frjim4321 says:

    It seems like many if not most of those posts succeed in generating much more heat than light.

  6. RAve says:

    It seems like many – no, make that all – of your comments have that feigned air of insouciant superiority so common in the new clericalism that afflicts so many of those who ordained in the 70s and 80s.

  7. RAve says:

    It seems like many – no, make that all – of your comments have that feigned air of insouciant superiority so common in the new clericalism that afflicts so many of those ordained in the 70s and 80s.

  8. Jacob says:

    Ten years ago, an Internet acquaintance of mine suggested going in together on a Catholic Drudge Report. It was a great idea, but we both had other things on our plates at the time. I’m glad to see that someone (or more than one most likely) has been inspired to do the same thing and has had the wherewithal to see it through.

  9. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    It seems like many if not most of those posts succeed in generating much more heat than light.

    If so, it mirrors the post VatII changes in the liturgy. Rather than casting light on the nature of liturgy(1), heat was put on celebrants to Protestantize it.

    (1) As the liturgical movement wanted before it was hijacked.

  10. un-ionized says:

    Benedetta, what you say is very deep and applies to many situations. Power politics was in full force at my former parish, to the extent of people being told to leave on the basis of physical appearance or stories made up by the people jockeying for positions of favor, the ultimate prize being access to the rectory.

  11. Eric says:

    Some of the links on the website seem to be rants. Some, such as the one to the article in the National Catholic Register, are informative.

    As for Canon 212 §3., I guess since I am a lowly factory worker I should keep my concerns with the paragraph tacked on to the end of 2267 of the CCC to myself.

  12. benedetta says:

    Is the point of the Church’s honest engagement with modernism the tacit acceptance of nonreason, might makes right, disinformation, coercion, depriving others of the opportunity of formation of and their own conscience and free will in walking together, with dialogue with the world set up as pretense for disguising and favoring fascist ways of proceeding in our communion, against one another, as well as with respect to all the currents of an unchurched and sometimes prioritizing death and greed “culture”? I think that at this point we need to be clear. If conscience means anything, and I understand that it is paramount to the life of any Catholic, then, we need to understand what this sort of movement within the Church is and is about, its modus operandi, and why it appears to utterly need this in lieu of respectful interaction with others. If in the course of attempting to win conversion of life from others in ministry, coercive tactics are employed, what does that say about the assumptions of the one in power in ministry towards those they purport to “serve” and the nature of the social good or societal change that is asserted as justification for that treatment to innocents and minors in some cases?

  13. benedetta says:

    I personally see this whole question of extending gracious kindness, charity, and open toleration towards those whose liturgical preferences may be in the minority of worshippers as excellent material for a papal document or exhortation or the like in the near future. One of the great strengths of our Holy Father Pope Francis is his goodness, shown in so many ways, even a charism so sorely needed in these times in which many seem to feel very attached to the notion that insulting others in order to divide and attain one’s intellectual points or favored ideological to-do lists. An exhortation drawing on the perhaps always confounding to the world examples of so many in the Church, known and unknown, who “bear and forbear”, who are in the communion in order to outdo one another in showing goodness and kindness and tolerance to others with whom one may outwardly perceive to not agree, or even ones whose very existence seems to present a serious inconvenience to another’s interests and needs and desires, such that one is tempted to regard the other without their dignity, without their humanity, as soulless, as one whom justifiably their right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, of privacy, to be left alone, to be met where one is at, to respect the time and process needed to develop conscience, to say that one is not God and renounce all taint of coercion or control or manipulation or terrorizing of another for one’s own ends, no matter how fabulous or in terms of idea or blind ideology popular or righteous. That indeed sometimes a confounding Gospel of Jesus Christ requires us to stand with the unpopular cast off, the leper, the one perceived as inconvenient to our designs and goals, the one whose existence threatens the immediate realization of an important agenda.

    If ministry, pastoral care is to mean anything at all in these times in which the Church tirelessly engages with modernism on its own terms, validating all that is good and uplifting to the human spirit, and no matter the force with which the bad is asserted still denying to renounce our path to divinization for evil’s sake and gain, then we need to renew the commitment to transparency and accountability within ecclesial communities, intentional and canonical parishes, and affirm that being responsible for others, for one another in the Church, requires that sometimes we renounce the aid of secret or bad actors who may not even be Catholics who nonetheless seek to meddle in the very delicate and vulnerable spiritual and material lives of others, including our children. That participating in our communion means something, when we are a family, and that we seek after the other’s good, even when, especially when, it does not comport with our immediate partisan and material, careering, agendas. That we put aside our personal preferences and do what is good for another, inexplicably to onlookers who exclaim and wonder what sort of love is this that is beyond eros, and beyond immediate needs and interest, disclaims utilitarian designs for one’s own needs on another human being, even children, a love that may even bring about danger or incomprehension, jealousy, resentment, attack, in the eyes of the world.

    We may sing and have beautiful liturgies, even a question as minor as our liturgies may serve as an ample opportunity to show our support for another whom we may not have chosen for our sister or brother but who walks into our church and by canon, vows and just caritas we become responsible for, just like that, again profoundly against even the enlightened modern world’s process of reasoning and survival of the fittest might dictate as the best means, as necessary means, to assert ourselves and interests. Beauty is ordered to the good of another. Beautiful music in liturgy, uplifting liturgies which showcase only one’s self with a dividing line that stops here only adds to the clang and noise of the dehumanizing currents always at work in every epoch.

  14. Mike says:

    It would be helpful to have an aggregator something like New Advent cleansed of neo-Catholicism. From what I’ve seen so far, Canon212 isn’t it.

    A priest gifted with discernment ratted me out in the confessional last week as a news junkie. Thus chastened, I’ve been trying to see (not for the first time) how well I can get along without any news at all save what I accrete from this blog, the Cardinal Newman Society, and a severely groomed Twitter feed. The answer always seems to be, just fine, thank you.

  15. Stephen Matthew says:

    Take care with what you read there, some of it is rather fringe, off the reservation, type stuff. Some of it is also very solid. Rather mixed bag.

  16. gracie says:

    “in as much as they represent Christ . . .”

    Funny, I’ve always read that to mean that we should show Christian obedience to priests *because* they represent Christ. When I read that phrase today however – having no idea that it would be part of the sentence – my brain instinctively interpreted those words to mean *to the extent that they represent Christ*. Perhaps that’s the truer meaning of those words, because I fail to see how we obedience to priests who do not represent Christ.

  17. benedetta says:

    I’ve proceeded on reading, no news, for a time, for a variety of reasons, however, after trying different approaches I think the better way is to scan everything no matter what the perspective to understand what is going on. If what we read distresses or angers us, then, it’s an opportunity to work on that emotional response, which often becomes a distraction and tends to dissipate the exercise of reason. Over time one can build up character, virtue and self control by actually going ahead and reading, without prejudice, without bias, without passions, whatever we may tend to disagree with, particularly in order to understand the situation, as well as the tactics being employed. As the inimitable Jeeves said to Wooster: “It is well to know what tunes the devil is playing.” I don’t think it wise to avoid news and media simply because so much of it distresses or worries. I think really that this is the relativist approach — it’s “all the same” and “nothing matters”. I don’t think it a terrible exercise or waste of time to understand and distinguish that what is Church and what is not. If we regard the Church as our own personal political stomping grounds in which to effectuate a little microcosm of American contemporary political scene, then, hey that’s sad and pathetic. The Church is not exactly a reduction as that. I’m not denying it’s all, everything, on the spot and at work, and I don’t think that a bad thing, but if we approach sisters and brothers in Christ with political designs in mind first and foremost we are really selling ourselves and our faith short. I mean, the election will be over but our souls will exist in eternity. At least I think this election will be…over?

    Anyway one can see as well that the pressure and division Alinsky tactics and methodology has wrought really nothing good as far as the political landscape. Why would we bring that to the Church? Why would we wish, all of that, on the people whose hands we shake at the sign of peace? One would hope that we desire much more and better for one another, much better, than what that establishes. And even if one is a pure machiavellian utilitarian as far as one’s politics go, it’s obvious from what is going on now that the bully/coercion/abuse/harassment/division maneuvers really don’t accomplish the goals it sets out to achieve. Sure, a couple people might get seriously damaged or die, some lives may get ruined, but ultimately the chilling effect of a persecution tends only to drive the reply in fortitude underground and not eliminate as those tactics are designed to accomplish as its ultimate end. People who have in the past gone in for that sort of thing ought to smoke that out of their political movements for fear of serious backlash. One can see why that all “worked” in totalitarian (and still does) countries and corrupt dictatorships. But people in a democracy with certain understandings with respect to free speech, privacy, religion, pluralism, tolerance, reason, don’t really ultimately respond to those types of things. They just don’t. It’s not really workable here for a reason and the people who are trying it were stupid to attempt it. One can only surmise that there is big greed, corruption and cash behind all of that because normal smart people don’t bother unless some corrupt incentive is there for the taking.

  18. kiwiinamerica says:

    We’ve been doing “prudence” since 1965. It’s got us a Church full of modernists and heretics and a priesthood full of sissy boys.

    Enough is enough. Time to take out the trash.

    As always, it will be the laity which preserves the faith so hooo-raaahh for

    And remember everyone, involvement of the laity is soooo Vatican II, right? What… thought “lay involvement” simply meant hordes of female Eucharistic ministers, whackos on the parish Liturgy Committee and ageing hippies running the parish Justice and Peace commission?

    No, no friends….there are two sides to every coin!

  19. Let everyone strive to be, together, “Cooperatores Veritatis… co-workers of the Truth”.

    These are troubling times.

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