Rorate Caeli

Doctrine, Liturgy, Law: Little-known activities inside the Vatican in 2011

From the latest article on Chiesa: Vatican Diary / Everything we didn't know before and do now. on the activities of the Holy See in 2011. Emphases by Rorate:

– that among the activities of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith must also be included the republication in the November 30, 2011 issue of "L'Osservatore Romano" of the text by then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published in 1998 in a volume "On the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried." This republication – it is explained – was intended to "draw the attention of pastors" to that volume, "unfortunately little known," which reiterates the traditional Catholic position on the argument and in which, among other things, it is confirmed that the practice of the Orthodox Churches of admitting under certain conditions a second and third marriage after the failure of the first remains "unacceptable for doctrinal reasons."

– that last year, the disciplinary office of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith opened 599 new procedures, 440 of them concerning "delicta graviora," and that the most numerous of these, 404 to be exact, are cases of abuse perpetrated by clergy against minors. With regard to this, the volume points out that "in the year 2011, with respect to the year 2010, the disciplinary office received fewer notifications," but that nonetheless "with respect to previous years (for example, the period of 2005–2009) the number of cases has risen considerably." Also in this area, moreover, the congregation for the doctrine of the faith submitted to the pope a request for the removal "ex officio" from the clerical state of 125 subjects, and for another 135 a request for dispensation from priestly obligations.

– that during the same period, the congregation for the clergy – for reasons other than "delicta graviora" – issued 540 certifications of dispensation from priestly obligations for 49 diocesan deacons, 26 religious deacons, 280 secular priests, and 185 religious

– that the congregation for divine worship, in addition to its ordinary administration, declares that "it is closely following the proposal of 'thematic homilies' in conjunction with the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and the congregation for the clergy," evidently with the intention of improving the content of preaching at Masses.

– that the work of the pontifical council for legislative texts continues for the revision of some portions of the code of canon law, concerning questions of penal law, procedural law, matrimonial law, and patrimonial law, and relations between the code of the Latin Church and that of the Eastern Churches. The process for the reform of penal law turns out to be particularly advanced. 

– that while the examination is underway by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith into the Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, through an international commission of inquiry that met four times in 2011, the pontifical academy of the Immaculate, for which "the problem of the lack of academics is becoming even more acute," received many requests from prayer groups that "born from Medjugorje, have no point of reference in order to channel the grace of conversion obtained in that blessed place."


  1. Interesting. Seems like nothing but crisis management and damage control. Sadly.

    I didn't understand that prayer groups part, "born from Medjugorje, have no point of reference in order to channel the grace of conversion obtained in that blessed place."

    I supoose without the full context of its reference, who knows.

  2. And this interesting bit of information:

    – that the Roman Rota, whose jurisprudence is the model for all the ecclesiastical tribunals of the world, in the judicial year of 2011 issued 179 definitive sentences concerning cases of matrimonial nullity, the majority of them (94) not in favor of but against the recognition of nullity (in 2010 the contrary happened, out of 175 definitive sentences 93 were in favor of nullity and 82 against).

  3. I found a link that I think sheds light on the Medjugorje reference:

    It could mean that Monsignor Giacomo Martinelli, a pro Medjugorje priest close to the Holy Father and head of the "Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate", which apparently has very few academics, collected many messages from Medjugorje devotees presumably describing graces of conversion, that he passed on to the Medj Commission.


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