Posts Tagged canon law

Francis decentralizes most authority for liturgical translations to local bishops / National Catholic Reporter

“A comparison of the Italian text of the prior and new versions of the canon makes the change clear. Where the Italian says the Vatican was tasked before with ‘authorizing’ all liturgical translations, it is now asked simply to ‘review”‘ translations made by the bishops’ conferences. (National Catholic Reporter)

Pope Francis has decentralized authority over how the texts used in the Catholic Church’s liturgies are translated from Latin into local languages, moving most responsibility for the matter from the Vatican to national bishops’ conferences.

“In a motu proprio issued Sept. 9, the pontiff says he is making a change to the church’s Code of Canon Law so that the Second Vatican Council’s call to make the liturgy more understandable to people is “more clearly reaffirmed and put into practice.”

“The motu proprio, given the title Magnum Principium, modifies two clauses of Canon 838. The rewritten clauses say simply that the Vatican is to ‘recognize’ adaptations of Latin liturgical texts approved by national bishops’ conferences.

“A comparison of the Italian text of the prior and new versions of the canon makes the change clear. Where the Italian says the Vatican was tasked before with ‘authorizing’ all liturgical translations, it is now asked simply to ‘review’ translations made by the bishops’ conferences.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Vatican canon law official explains provisions of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ / Catholic News Service

The provisions of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ allow people in irregular marriage situations access to the sacraments only if they recognize their situation is sinful and desire to change it, according to the cardinal who heads the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

“The fact that such a couple also believes changing the situation immediately by splitting up would cause more harm and forgoing sexual relations would threaten their current relationship does not rule out the possibility of receiving sacramental absolution and Communion, said Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the pontifical council that is charged with interpreting canon law.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service — Read more …

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Catholic Church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says / The Guardian

The Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.

“he royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday (Feb. 9) began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.”

By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also of interest, “Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy,’ royal commission hears,” By Rhian Deutrom, The Australian

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How will future change occur in the Church?

As recent guidelines show, ‘Amoris’ argument is far from over

The fact that guidelines from bishops for the pastoral application of chapter 8 of Pope Francis’s ‘Amoris Laetitia’ present opposite interpretations on the issue of access to the sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics confirms one truth: the argument is not yet settled.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Following up on this theme: ‘Amoris’ a murky document on wonderful and messy experiences, By Fr. Michael J. Rogers, S.J., Cruxnow.com; ‘Amoris Laetitia’: Are we seeing change by stealth, By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Cruxnow.com

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Letter to Pope Francis Urging Lay Preaching

Catholic faithful of the dioceses of Rochester, New York, have posted an open letter to Pope Francis on their website, “God’s Word, Many Voices,” urging the pontiff to expand lay preaching. The letter advocates for well informed and inspired lay preaching at Mass, which the authors believe can be encouraged in a manner consistent with canon law. You may click here to read the letter and add your signature, and you may read the letter in full below:

November 28, 2016

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Your Holiness:

We, the undersigned, understand and believe that you have the authority to offer your interpretations of the 1983 Code of Canon Law to the universal Church.  Specifically, we are requesting that you urge the bishops to take a pastoral and expansive view on lay preaching during the Eucharist.

We make this request for the following reasons.

(1) People come to church hungering for a word of inspiration that will get them through the week.

(2) Lay preaching is rooted in Scripture and Tradition.  Jesus, in his encounters with people, often empowered them to proclaim the Good News.  Take the Samaritan Woman at the Well and Mary of Magdala, for example.  Leaders of house churches in the first century, men and women alike, preached the Good News during their Eucharistic gatherings.  Hildegard of Bingen – outstanding twelfth century abbess, poet, prophet, and more – was invited on preaching tours by Rhineland bishops.  The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy found the presence of Christ in the worshiping community, as well as in Scripture, priest, and Eucharist; indeed, “all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations” to which all the baptized “have a right and obligation” (paragraph 14).  Furthermore, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church assures us that “the holy People of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office” (paragraph 12).

(3) Preaching is a sacred responsibility, one to which lay people are called and for which they are gifted.  Indeed, lay preaching has mushroomed over the last 40 years, and a number of U.S. dioceses have schools to prepare people for this ministry.

(4) The 1983 Code of Canon Law confirms that “lay people, like all Christ’s faithful, are deputed to the apostolate by baptism and confirmation” so that God’s salvation might be made known (#225.1).  “They can also be called upon to cooperate with Bishops and priests in the exercise of the ministry of the word” (#759).  Importantly, lay preaching is possible in circumstances of “necessity” or where “advantageous” (#766), as long as the homily – a unique form of preaching – remains with the ordained (#767.1).

So it is that we advocate for informed lay preaching in today’s Church.  We believe

(1) that the experience of a gifted and well prepared lay person can often more readily connect with the folks sitting in the pews,

(2) that many of our priests are stretched because of fewer numbers, and they no longer have adequate time to prepare a thoughtful homily,

(3) and that a priest from another country can be difficult to understand.

But this remains: everyone needs to hear a word of inspiration.

So, then, how might we envision a pastoral and expansive approach to canon law?  The local bishop could commission a gifted and well prepared lay person to preach.  In such a case, the ordained person could deliver a brief homily before calling upon the lay person to thoughtfully fill out the thrust of the homily.  Thus, there would be a continued reflection, but not at exactly the same time as the homily.  The ultimate purpose of the homily would be respected and enhanced, all the while calling upon the Spirit-filled gifts of the lay person.

With prayers for your continued good health and courageous leadership,

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Focus on preaching the kingdom is key to ending clericalism / National Catholic Reporter

What we need in today’s Roman Catholic church is a redistribution of power and authority. Pope Francis’ openness to the possibility of having women deacons is not nearly enough to achieve this essential organizational revolution …

“Francis should change canon law so one does not have to be a priest to be the ‘pastor’ of a parish. Give qualified lay men and women and male and female deacons real power and authority to lead some of our faith communities. This change would have two important consequences. It would disconnect the roles of priest and pastor and significantly change the culture of clericalism that Francis rightly deplores …

“Francis is to be applauded for his critique of clericalism and careerism and his emphasis on the Gospel call to bring peace and justice into everyone’s life, especially that of the poor. But if he and others do not make significant changes in the Catholic church’s current power structure and help us return to an emphasis on its mission to call people to discipleship by preaching peace and justice, I believe his efforts will fall far short of what we and the world need from us and our church today.

“We need some big changes in our church and the time is now.”

By Jim Purcell, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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Voice of the Faithful confident Pope Francis’ new rules will increase chances for bishop accountability

Pope Francis has issued new rules for bishop accountability that give the Voice of the Faithful Church reform movement hope that accountability for cover-ups may at last be applied.

With his motu proprio (apostolic letter) “Like a Loving Mother,” issued June 4, Pope Francis has refined the definition of harm that could be the basis for removing a bishop. In the letter’s preamble, he writes: “The Canon law already provides for the possibility of removal from office ecclesiastical ‘for serious reasons’ … In this letter I intend to point out that among those “grave reasons” includes the negligence of the bishops in the exercise of their office, in particular in relation to cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults …”

Click here to read the rest of this statement …

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