The programme provides an opportunity to study the canon law of the churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion, particularly the Church of England, … §2. The study of canon law presupposes a theological foundation. §4. Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed. offering to apply the Mass for their intention contribute to the good of the There are an astonishing number of Catholic clerics out there suggesting, in various ways, that watching Mass on TV or the internet is just as good as attending it in person; and making a spiritual Communion—which of course is a beautiful practice, in and of itself—is as good as actually receiving the Eucharist. When (and How Much) Can a Bishop Tax a Parish. (To confer sacraments legally in a diocese, for instance, the Code requires that a priest obtain faculties from the bishop.) A major concern of the Church is that there be no appearance that Masses are being bought or sold. The priest’s craven refusal to marry the couple causes a chain-reaction of tragic events, negatively affecting the lives of numerous people. 1247, 1248.1) wasn’t invented out of thin air: it is based on the Third Commandment, given to Moses by God, telling us to keep the Sabbath holy. celebrate Mass for the intention of the Christian faithful, especially the Today, that particular period of plague is known as “the Plague of St. Charles,” because the Archbishop pointedly did not flee the city, instead personally attending to the thousands of sick and expending his own money to relieve them. Click here to hide the links to concordance, BOOK IVFUNCTION OF THE CHURCH (Cann. Can. Canon law (from Ancient Greek: κανών, kanon, a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. (John 10:11-15). Rest assured that such declarations are utterly unprecedented! Years later, he was caught, arrested, and condemned to death; but for unclear reasons Father Southworth was set free about 1636, whereupon he promptly began visiting English victims of the plague (! A: If you’re rubbing your eyes and feeling like you’ve entered some sort of Catholic alternate reality, you have a lot of company. In short, the Pope was telling Catholic clergy, “Man up and serve your people, don’t behave like that!”. After being caught and condemned again to death, he was hanged, drawn and quartered in London. Please note: the Law Bod holds very little printed material in canon law on its open shelves. Take a look at this heartbreaking true story, recently recounted on this outstanding Catholic website in Canada: My 84 year old mother-in-law is having surgery this morning. Re-post: Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? intentions of those for whom a single offering, although small, has been given While the Code of Canon Law which John Paul II promulgated doesn’t say anything about bishops prohibiting people from going to Mass and receiving the sacraments, it certainly does give us plenty of information about what bishops are supposed to be doing. The daily celebration of the Holy Mass was the center of his life, as a source of strength and fervor for the faithful. for them to be celebrated elsewhere unless the donors have expressly indicated The human law of the Church (canon law) protects that fundamental right, and at the same time places certain restrictions on how it can be exercised. The definitions of Catholic doctrine contained in the Council of Trent (e.g.,concerning the Mass, the sacraments, grace, original sin and justification) are acts of the solemn, extraordinary Magisterium of the Church. By cancelling all public Masses, the bishops are telling the faithful that they can only stay at home and watch from afar while the clergy celebrate Mass and receive the Eucharist—which is very much like forcing starving people to stand outside, and watch through the window while you eat. 897 - 958), CHAPTER III. Descriptive Title. Can. The people of the parish need you, so when they ask you to minister to them, do it. Bishop Pascal Roland is adamantly insisting that the churches remain open, the patron saint of bishops and cardinals. Then-Pope John Paul II publicly described what he considered to have been Father Pro’s greatest achievements: One reason for joy for the Universal Church and, especially for the Church of Mexico, is the beatification of Father Miguel Agustin Pro, a Jesuit priest whose virtues we today praise and offer to the people of God. Your responsibility to minister to the faithful entrusted to your care, by celebrating Mass for them and administering the sacraments, trumps any illegal order by a superior, or any threats by civil authorities. Presumably they were supposed to do this in order to save their own lives. diseases—and it holds up for worldwide emulation numerous clergy who over the centuries handled these situations a bit differently. a dispensation from the obligation of observing a feast day or a day of penance, or commute the obligation into other pious works. It would be wonderful to be able to open the Code of Canon law to the right page, and tell you that canon xyz says “no member of the Catholic hierarchy has the authority to prevent the entire body of the faithful entrusted to his care from attending Mass and receiving the sacraments.”  But there isn’t any canon xyz to cite. Can. THE OFFERING GIVEN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS. §2. application of Masses without an indication of the number of Masses to be He must transfer the entire offering received unless We see here a group of bishops who have the correct theological understanding of the critical importance of the Mass: when faced with a problem that makes it difficult for people to attend, they are finding a legitimate way around it, so as to ensure that everyone can still come to Mass. –Ian. Damien fought tooth and nail with the bishop who had authority over the Hawaiian Islands at the time—and many of their letters, which are still extant, attest to this fact. Lord, give us many holy priests! To sum up: if priests are being told in your country that “all public Masses must be cancelled, by order of the Bishops’ Conference,” this directive has no legal weight and should be disregarded, period. that they are above suspicion. paragraph 4). needy, even if they have not received an offering. celebrated are to record in a book without delay both the Masses which they God alone knows the number of Catholic priests around the world, who over the centuries have had to struggle to minister to the faithful while risking arrest by a government hostile to the faith. And in an apparent attempt to assuage their own consciences, some of them (like the American archbishop quoted above) insist that they are abandoning the faithful for good motives, which evidently in their minds somehow makes it okay. In accord with the approved practice Canon (Canon Missæ, Canon Actionis) is the name used in the Roman Missal for the fundamental part of the Mass that comes after the Offertory and before the Communion. The Code of Canon Law (#917) stipulates, "A person who has received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only during the celebration of the Eucharist in which the person participates, with due regard for the prescription of Canon 921.2. his statue today stands in the U.S. Capitol, Then-Pope John Paul II publicly described. Today, the relics of Saint John Southworth are honored in Westminster Cathedral—the Catholic cathedral in London, not to be confused with non-Catholic Westminster Abbey—and Catholics praying at his tomb are a common sight. But as we all know, it’s not only diocesan bishops who have responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the Catholic faithful; parish priests do too. That’s not because bishops do indeed have authority to do this; rather, there’s no explicit discussion of this in the code because bishops’ responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the faithful is supposed to be perfectly obvious. A conference of bishops can only issue general decrees in cases where either (a) universal law has prescribed it, or (b) a special mandate of the Apostolic See has established it (c. 455.1). It is recommended earnestly to priests that they . Jacob Jordaens’ “Charles Borromeo Intercedes During the Plague,” 1655. Contrast the actions of these priest-martyrs, if you can bear it, with messages like this one, informing the Catholic faithful that “The Sunday and weekday Masses are cancelled for your protection by order of the Archdiocese” (emphasis added) … and draw your own conclusions. Yet, as was noted, canon law does not absolutely forbid Missae solitariae. John 16: 22). But the Pope spoke directly to the parish clergy, and made pretty obvious reference to the fact that at least some of them are indeed heroically ignoring episcopal orders and threats of arrest by civil authorities, in order to minister to the faithful: I would also like to thank all priests, the creativity of priests. THE OFFERING GIVEN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS Can. In these cases there is no theological or canonical problem at all—and there is really nothing new here. even if the offerings received have been lost through no fault of his own. meeting of the bishops of the province to define by decree for the entire Canon 387 is a good example: it tells us that the diocesan bishop, mindful that he is bound to give an example of holiness, charity, humility and simplicity of life, is to seek in every way to promote the holiness of Christ’s faithful. Because the matter directly affects the Most blessed Sacrament, even the slightest appearance of profit or simony would cause a scandal. This isn’t supposed to be super-complicated. Canon law scholars are also seeking a link with the empirical social sciences (e.g., sociology, anthropology, and other such disciplines), which is required for insight into and control of the application of canon law. What is canon law and why is it important? Before his arrival, those who were diagnosed with leprosy on other islands in the then-Kingdom of Hawaii—which today is part of the United States—were quarantined (again, sound familiar?) In the meantime, we lay Catholics need to pray for our clergy as never before. 1 Tim 1:18), not the kind that brings division but the kind that gathers people together. As the old saying goes, “A crisis does not build character. If you’re in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, your physical inability to attend Mass is in itself quite sufficient to dispense you from observing the law without your actually having to seek a dispensation. (In contrast, if you’re curious, look at canons 522, 788.3, 891, 1031.3, and 1083.2 for a few of the numerous places in the code where Episcopal Conferences are clearly authorized to establish their own laws and policies.) let Christ speak to man. Can We Be Required to Receive Communion in the Hand, Because of the Virus? (Code of Canon Law, Can. societies of apostolic life. But let’s look at two examples of Catholic priests who courageously risked their lives—and lost them—in order to provide for the spiritual needs of the faithful. CHAPTER III. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Canon Law states that the Holy Mass is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. Now if the electrical power is out, many Catholics won’t even hear that the bishop has said that, but in the end it doesn’t really matter: if the weather is genuinely too treacherous to attempt to travel to church for Mass on a particular Sunday, consider yourself dispensed from the obligation. 952 §1. Can. The use of the term “grave” in the Code of Canon Law was discussed in detail in “How Can a Priest Transfer to Another Diocese?” but in general, “grave reason” is serious stuff. –Eileen, Q2:  As a follow up to your most recent question/answer on receiving communion, can a Bishop cancel Masses for an indefinite period of time, essentially prohibit all public worship on an open- ended basis, and dispense EVERYONE generally from Sunday Mass attendance and Holy Days of Obligation? Regarding Mass Stipends, the Canon Law of the Catholic Church states: Canon Law # 945 §1 "In accordance with the approved custom of the Church, any priest who celebrates or concelebrates a Mass may accept an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention. To date, it doesn’t appear that any of them have. Mass for the intention of those who gave an offering is bound by the obligation canonlawmadeeasy@yahoo.com each year either personally or through others. In the face of Father Pro’s excellent example of priestly virtue, I would like to encourage my beloved brothers once again to dedicate themselves fully to Jesus Christ, lived joyfully in celibacy for the kingdom of heaven and in generous service to our brothers, especially the poorest and most abandoned. There is, once again, a good reason why the Catholic Church honors them as saints—and presents them to us as role models to be emulated. It states that a Catholic who has received Holy Communion once, may receive it again on the same day. And when American Catholics heard about this brave priest and his missionary work in Moloka’i, and began sending him financial aid … the bishop criticized Damien for accepting it, as it made him, the bishop, look bad. The most common scenario is perhaps that of the elderly or otherwise infirm person who is homebound. It seems there has to be some limitation on this authority. 834 - 848), TITLE III. 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