Rorate Caeli

"Synodal" Pope Changes Canon Law to Prevent Bishops from Establishing New Traditional Priestly or Religious Communities in Their Dioceses

Again: motus in fine velocior.

According to a document released today (June 15) in the Bolletino, Pope Francis in an audience on February 7 with Braz de Aviz and José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., the Cardinal Prefect and Secretary Archbishop of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, approved a provision that effectively changes Canon Law concerning the diocesan bishop's right to erect a Public Association of the Faithful that wishes eventually to become an institute of consecrated life or a society of apostolic life (i.e., in colloquial terms, a religious community or an order of priests).

Prior to today, the rule was given in Can. 312: "§1. The authority competent to erect public associations is: 1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations; 2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those which from their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation; 3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesan associations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has been reserved to others by apostolic privilege." And: 

Can. 313. "Through the same decree by which the competent ecclesiastical authority according to the norm of can. 312 erects it, a public association and even a confederation of public associations is constituted a juridic person and, to the extent it is required, receives a mission for the purposes which it proposes to pursue in the name of the Church."

The new language specifically approved by the pope is as follows:

"The diocesan bishop, before erecting — by decree — a public association of the faithful with a view to becoming an Institute of Consecrated Life or a Society of Apostolic life of diocesan right, must obtain the written permission of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life."

This rescript is primarily aimed against the formation of new traditional communities and orders, which are springing up all over the place. That, as we know from the pope's obsessive comments, is what keeps him and his collaborators wide awake at night in fear — fear that the spirit of Vatican II is threatened by the "restorers."

Given that this Dicastery is currently run by two progressivist thugs, the chances of receiving permission for such Public Associations if they have even a remotely Catholic sensibility are worse than null. 

Patience. Time is on our side. Even if for some aspiring communities this will mean the catacombs, the underground, the Mass rock, our time will come. Meanwhile let us remain faithful to life-giving tradition, with or without the dignity of official recognition.

ADDENDUM: Gregory DiPippo pointed out the following passage from Lumen Gentium (n. 27): “The pastoral office, or the habitual and daily care of their sheep, is entrusted to [the local bishops] completely, nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them.... In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.”

How the ironies multiply...

Read more at Fr. Z
Good take at The Pillar.