Rorate Caeli

Houston, We Have a Protestant

The good news is there was a large ordination ceremony in the Roman Catholic Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. The bad news is it was conducted by the United Methodist Church.

On 28 May 2013, this occured:
Service of Commissioning & Ordination @ 7pm at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Janice R. Huie preaching

Here are some other photos:

The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the cathedral (with episcopal chair) in the city of Houston, co-equal to the basilica cathedral in the city of Galveston in what is now the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  (The basilica cathedral in Galveston has been closed for repairs since 2009.)  The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the 11th largest diocese in the United States.

On 1 June 2013, the Co-Cathedral hosted the ordination of one Catholic to the priesthood.

The archbishop of Galveston-Houston is Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. The rector of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the Reverend Father Lawrence Jozwiak.

Here is a response from our friends at the Canon Law Centre:

... the legal prescription of canon 755, further specified by the 1993 Directory promulgated by the Holy See, leaves open the possibility of the diocesan bishop granting permission to a non-Catholic group to use a Catholic building in his territory for a non-Catholic religious ceremony. In the absence of any clearly defined criteria as to what ceremonies to allow and which not to allow, the diocesan bishop is afforded a rather wide ranging discretion as to what he will or will not permit in his diocese.  In this regard there is a great disparity existing among individual bishops as to the implementation of this norm.  This is evidenced, inter alia, by the current example of a situation which obviously has given rise to scandal among the faithful, and the recent prohibition of the Bishop of Fribourg in which he refused to grant access to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X to use a parish church within the territory of his diocese.  Interestingly enough, Bishop Morerod also cited no. 137 of the 1993 Directory as supporting his decision.  I leave it to the readership to draw their own conclusions.

Contrast the 1983 Code of Canon Law and 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism with Pope Pius XI's 1928 encyclical on religious unity:

So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.

H/T Ronald L. Conte Jr. for spotting the Houston event.