Rorate Caeli

It is nothing new, really...

Present norms of incardination and excardination should be so revised that, while this ancient institution still remains intact, they will better correspond to today's pastoral needs. Where a real apostolic spirit requires it, not only should a better distribution of priests be brought about but there should also be favored such particular pastoral works as are necessary in any region or nation anywhere on earth.

To accomplish this purpose there should be set up
[1.] international seminaries,
[2.] special personal dioceses or
[3.] prelatures (vicariates),
[4.] and so forth [et alia, i.e. "and other things"],
by means of which, according to their particular statutes and always saving the right of bishops, priests may be trained and incardinated for the good of the whole Church.


  1. Nothing new, of course... and Archbishop Lefebvre often recalled this paragraph of Presbyterorum Ordinis. It is important to remember this because the Pope is often being accused of "innovating" or altering Church structure unilaterally. Though he certainly would be able to act unilaterally if he wanted to, he is, as a matter of fact, not making anything up; he is merely implementing measures already predicted by the Council Fathers.


  2. John McFarland3:07 AM

    New Catholic,

    "[S]aving the right of bishops", eh?

  3. Yes, of bishops generally, not only of territorial bishops (since the word is not specified). And, of course, the whole structure of a personal diocese makes sense only if the rights of bishops, including the personal bishop himself, are upheld.

    No extended legal-canonical discussion is intended by this post.


  4. Anonymous5:29 AM

    Personal dioceses are the senior version of personal apostolic administrations and are covered under Canon 372.2. There could also be personal archdioceses, for that matter. They would be exempt rather than metropolitan in nature.

    Any of these will do: a personal (i.e. ritual) archdiocese, a personal (i.e. ritual) diocese, a personal (i.e. ritual) apostolic administation, a personal ordinariate.

    Anything will do except a personal prelature. Personal prelatures are evil and will not do because they are NOT equivalent in law to dioceses and can not have lay subjects, even for nuns and friars and monks. They are also not entirely indepedent of local dioceses.


  5. John McFarland4:24 PM

    I'm still having trouble here, but maybe I'm starting to get it.

    PKTP, is your point that in all the personals (yay!) except the personal prelature (boo! hiss!) the local ordinary and other hierarchs can't monkey with the liturgy?

    Let's assume for the moment that that's right. (If it isn't, please advise.)

    My next question is: are there any of the personals that can set up shop in, say, Morrisville, Vermont, without getting the approval of the local ordinary?

    I note with interest that PKTP doesn't seem to care at all about this issue, which tells me two things.

    One is that the answer is probably no.

    The other is something I already knew: despite PKTP's considerable knowledge of the doctrinal situation, he is ultimately of the "all we want is the Mass" persuasion. To be sure, he's of the aggressive wing of that grouping: his belief (or at least his hope) is that if the Mass is made canonically respectable, it will sweep all before it.

    As I've tried every way I can think of to make clear, this view couldn't be more wrong-headed.

    The Mass is being traduced because the Faith is being traduced; and unless and until the Faith is no longer traduced, canonical speculation and agitation is vanity and a chase after wind.

    This is clearly the case if the bottom line is still nil sine episcopo. Then every traditionalist activity is at the mercy of the episcopacy.

    If I am told that one or more of the personals can get round the episcopacy, I'll follow up with my thoughts on that.

    NC seems to be saying that it's still nil sine episcopo, as they say in Opus Dei -- although on the Work's account, they could set up shop in any diocese without permission if they wanted to.

    PKTP seems to be saying that in a personal (yay!) as opposed to a


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