Skip to comments.After decades of disinterest, suddenly two Canon 1405 cases?
Posted on 04/24/2008 10:11:49 AM PDT by NYer
is that anything like getting fired for being dumb?
It comes closer to getting fired for hanging the boss in effigy on the town square.
So what does “expelling from the clerical state” mean? If he’s removed from office, he’s no longer a bishop but he’s still a priest and can perform priestly duties, but if he’s “expelled,” he’s a layperson? Is this like a double secret excommunication?
"Expelled from the clerical state" means that, while he retains the charism of Holy Orders (which cannot be removed), he can't licitly exercise any clerical ministry in ordinary circumstances.
("in ordinary circumstances" -- even an ex-priest or ex-bishop "expelled from the clerical state" could hear the confession of a person in danger of death and validly absolve them. That would be an extraordinary circumstance.)
So Abp. Milingo (the Moonie) was excommunicated but not expelled from the clerical state?
OK, that makes sense. So how does excommunication fit in there—that’s a complete expulsion from the Catholic Church, right? Can’t take Communion, go to confession, anything?
(Sorry for all the questions...I’m Presbyterian but this is very interesting to me.)
"Formally repents" means that stops committing the crime and makes his repentance known to a cleric competent to remove the excommunication. (May be a priest, bishop, or the Pope, depending on the offense.)
I would think that a cleric who is excommunicated is de facto "removed from the clerical state" but would be automatically reinstated if he repented. Someone formally removed from the clerical state, though, would not be automatically reinstated, nor usually reinstated at all.
“I would think that a cleric who is excommunicated is de facto ‘removed from the clerical state’ but would be automatically reinstated if he repented.”
I don't think that's exactly the case. Archbishop Lefebvre was excommunicated, but remained a cleric, albeit unable to legitimately exercise any actions tied to his clerical state. He was still an archbishop, still a member of the hierarchy of the Church, even though he couldn't exercise any of the authority thereof.
On the other hand, someone dismissed from the clerical state is no longer part of the hierarchy of the Church.
The net effect, while excommunicated, seems the same, and the distinction may be without a difference. But I think that the distinction remains.
And when the Trinitarians taught me, they DID call me “the Little Jesuit.” ;-)
That’s basically what I was trying to say. Thanks for adding some clarity.
The crux of the matter is whether it is possible to reduce a bishop to the lay state. Most authorities believe it is not.
The only thing the Pope can do in this situation is remove the bishop from his diocese and his activity, because nobody, including a bishop, can licitly continue this without the ultimate permission of Rome.
However, in terms of the sacrament, he still remains a bishop, just as you and I still remain baptized Christians (with the mark on the soul) no matter what we do, even if we wish to renounce it. Renouncing it is simply not possible, because it has effected an ontological change. There have been leftist idiots in Spain who have sued the Church (and won!) to get the parish to remove their baptismal record. But the bad news is that, record or no, it still happened, and things will not go well for them on Judgment Day.
Therein lies the problem.
I don't know why a bishop couldn't be reduced to the lay state.
The ontological mark on the soul of a deacon or priest is just as permanent as that on the soul of a bishop. Reduction to the lay state has nothing to do with this ontological reality.
To be reduced to the lay state is merely to be dismissed from the hierarchy of the Church.
The bishop receives the fullness of the priesthood, and that’s why he can ordain priests and other priests cannot.
This may be something that the Church can control - for example, when I was a kid, only bishops could confirm, but then it was announced that priests could confirm. So I’m not sure how far the delegation goes.
But a bishop and a priest are on two different levels. Being made an “un-cardinal,” if such could be done, would be dismissal from the heirarchy, because “cardinal” is essentially a title and can be removed. But being a bishop is something entirely different, and this is the problem in trying to get rid of them.
Why do you think there are questions over Anglican orders? If somebody - some dissident follower of Henry VIII - wanted to ordain somebody, he could and probably did. So in that case, the question is about the licitness. However, Rome has already decided that Anglican orders are not valid, so perhaps this gives us an idea of what might happen.
Basically, I think the Pope’s fear is that bishops will leave and start ordaining priests and consecrating other bishops.
As I said, the charism of Holy Orders cannot be removed from the soul. However, that is as true of the priesthood or diaconate as it is of the episcopacy.
Expulsion from the clerical state merely means that the person cannot licitly function as a cleric in any capacity.
“The bishop receives the fullness of the priesthood, and thats why he can ordain priests and other priests cannot.”
I understand that.
“But a bishop and a priest are on two different levels.”
“Being made an ‘un-cardinal,’ if such could be done, would be dismissal from the heirarchy, because ‘cardinal’ is essentially a title and can be removed.”
That's true, too.
“But being a bishop is something entirely different, and this is the problem in trying to get rid of them.”
But this is similar to the problem with priests. Each is changed ontologically with the reception of orders, whether only priestly, or episcopal.
Whether one is laicizing a priest or a bishop, the ontological nature of Holy Orders remains. The priest remains a priest and the bishop remains a bishop.
The clerical state, however, is merely the fact of being part of the hierarchy of the Church. A priest is part of the hierarchy, as is a bishop. A priest can be removed from the hierarchy. No effect on the nature of the mark on his soul as a result of being ordained, but by being removed from the clerical state, he is no longer part of the hierarchy. Why not a bishop?
There may be some other argument to be made, but I don't think it's because of the ontological change made by the reception of Holy Orders, as all three, deacon, priest, and bishop all are changed ontologically, and that change is permanent and eternal.
“Why do you think there are questions over Anglican orders?”
There aren't really any questions concerning Anglican orders, generally. They're invalid.
And that's because under the protestantizers, the Anglicans no longer intended to do what the Church does, which is to ordain men who in part can offer the sacrifice of the Mass and sacramentally hear confessions and grant absolution.
“If somebody - some dissident follower of Henry VIII - wanted to ordain somebody, he could and probably did. So in that case, the question is about the licitness.”
No, the Church teaches that Anglican orders were not a matter of licitness but of validity.
“Basically, I think the Popes fear is that bishops will leave and start ordaining priests and consecrating other bishops.”
Yes, but that's a prudential question. It's not a question of whether or not a bishop CAN be laicized, only a question of whether it's a good idea, or not.
And not laicizing Archbishop Lefebvre certainly didn't stop HIM from illicitly consecrating bishops.
I'd like to see a better reason put forth why bishops can't be laicized than what's been presented so far.
Frankly, I'm not sure it's ever been done. Do you know of any cases where a bishop has been laicized? This alone would be enough to stop the Pope from doing anything to them.
However, he could remove them from their sees, and I sure wish he would. But there is always the question of whether they would then set up their own church, which wouldn't surprise me in the least; and in that case, their heresy would be perpetuated.
Here is an article at Catholic Encyclopedia that, towards the end, discusses degradation from the clerical state:
Here's the money quote:
“LOSS OF CLERICAL PRIVILEGES
“Although the sacramental character received in Sacred orders may not be obliterated, yet even the higher orders of clergy may be degraded from their dignity and reduced to what is technically called lay communion.”
I wouldn't say that this is dispositive, but I offer it as additional support to the concept that bishops may be degraded to the lay state.
A priest has functions delegated by his bishop (and this is Apostolic in its foundations) and they can be withdrawn. The question is whether a bishop, once he has the “fullness of the priesthood,” can ever have his functions withdrawn.
It was a problem among the Orthodox, notoriously prone to splintering, because then bishops would set out on their own, find a kindred spirit, and consecrate other bishops (it took two or possibly even 3 in the Orthodox churches) and then suddenly you’d have another church. Bad priests are a problem, but they’re not as much of a problem as bad bishops, and I think the Pope is trying to work this out.
BTW, if we were serious about the “pedophilia problem,” we’d look at the dioceses that had the biggest problems ....and then look at their bishops. Because that’s where the rot came from.
“Frankly, I'm not sure it's ever been done. Do you know of any cases where a bishop has been laicized?”
I really don't know.
I'm merely following the path of speculation as to whether or not it can be done.
A little googling comes up with this article:
Here's the money quote:
“However, after the Decian persecution, many clergy were seeking readmittance, including some born and/or ordained in schism.(2) Given their numbers, geographic spread and leadership positions, the old methods were inadequate and the practices of the Novatianists, ‘no reentry’ or ‘reentry by rebaptism’, were being marginalized. The common answer for the laity was admission after a protracted penance.(3) In general, readmitted clergy were reduced to the lay state.(4)
“The problem was not the readmission of clergy per se, but the anomalous state of the bishop during and after penance. There are two ways to understand this situation. One is a focus on form and the other on function. In terms of form, the member of the clergy had already received a ritual gesture of the presence of the Spirit in ordination. Would the repetition of the gesture in penance give the lie to the first administration and somehow retroactively proclaim it invalid?(5) With regard to function, the bishop was supposed to be the minister of reconciliation. However, as a penitent, he was himself in a liminal state, and therefore unable to minister to others. In fact, a bishop who was doing penance would have been able to exercise very few episcopal duties, certainly not liturgical ones.(6) An occasional alternative was the exclusion of the bishop from penance, leaving his judgment to God, but the usual practice was degradation. The degraded cleric would not do penance; degradation was considered penance enough.(7)”
According to this article, during the whole Donatist mess, bishops were sometimes degraded to the lay state.
Don't ask me to vouch for this assertion. ;-)
As well, I have bouncing around in the very recesses of the back of my mind snippets of quotations from degradation ceremonies that once were used, and I do vaguely recall degradation rites that specifically applied to bishops.
But that's dependent on my feeble memory.
Just as a sideline, in Spain until the early 20th century, when they degraded a cleric, they would slash his fingerpads. After the "Cura Merino" (Merino the Priest) attempted to assassinate Isabel II of Spain in the mid-19th century, he was laicized and before he was put to death, the fingers that he used to hold the consecrated species were slashed and his fingerpads removed. Now that would dissuade a few people here, I do believe!
...”here” meaning in the US, not on FR!
That's consonant with what is described generally in the Catholic Encyclopedia for degradation to the lay state.
Richard Sipe is one of the good guys, isn’t he? A reformer of seminaries to weed out those who can’t bear the burden of celibacy?
Incidentally, I’ve met McCarrick. Struck me as queer as a three-dollar bill, printed in the new “lavender” color five-dollar-bill ink. But the allegations around him also involve other archbishops!
“Richard Sipe is one of the good guys, isnt he?”
I'm not sure what you'll think after you read some of his writing:
“Richard Sipe is one of the good guys, isnt he? A reformer of seminaries to weed out those who cant bear the burden of celibacy?”
Sipe is a man of questionable allegiances. However, that detracts nothing from the letter he wrote which appears to be spot on to me. It could just as well have been written about the English seminaries.
They have all tried to brush the homosexual infiltration under the carpet, but this may get the dirt out into the light of day again.
Isn’t another possibility to not laicize a priest, but bar him completely from practicing the sacraments? There is a two-word phrase for this in Latin I don’t recall, but I don’t know if it applies to bishops in the same way as to priests.
At first glance I thought you’d posted an article called “Sipes on Jesuit’s sexuality.” My next thought was, this is could lead to a heck of alot more than just two Canon Law cases.
That’s suspension “a divinis.” They seem to have figured out what to do with priests, actually, but the case of bishops is a little more complicated. And I imagine that the case of archbishops will be even more complicated, not because they are any different from bishops in terms of their sacramental powers, but simply because they’re more powerful and influential on a secular level.
If some of these allegations are correct, even some of our archbishops are part of the lavender mafia. IMO, this is why the situation of homosexuality among the priests has been so difficult to solve: it’s become part of the structure of many dioceses, from the top to the bottom. One of the problems with cliques of homosexual males is that they tend to promote and give preference to each other, which is precisely one of the reasons that efforts have always been made to keep them out of the military. In the American Church, we’re seeing their effect on an institution that they have largely taken over, and it ain’t pretty.
There was an interesting article I read by an Eastern Rite Catholic, who was schooled in Thomism, with respect to the ordinations done by Abp Milingo, the African Bishop was involved with the charismatic movement and ultimately married one of the Moonies. When Milingo performed those ordinations, Rome immediately said they were invalid. This Priest, who blogs at “Priestly Puglist” (I think) was shocked. From the Thomistic theological view (St. Thomas Aquinas for our non-Catholic friends), as long as the rite was followed and proper matter used (oil used) and man was being ordained, the ordinations were “valid” but “illicit”. So, he asked some friends of his in Rome and again they stated, no the ordinations were invalid.
Pope Benedict, who is fundamentally an Augustinian in his theologial world view, and thus as this writer puts it, he is an Augustinian in conversation with Aquinas, used what was called the “Bound Power Doctrine”, which is found in ST. Augustine’s writings on eccesiology. From this point of view, a Bishop is ordained for a purpose, and that purpose is for the good of the Church to build up the body of CHrist. Under this view, a Bishop can’t ordain someone against the “doctrine of Rome”, since there has never been a definition of what being raised the level of Bishop means. I was shocked when I read this, but as this Eastern Rite Catholic Priest points out, the Council of Trent states that a Bishop is consecrated. Vatican II used the term “a Bishop if ordained”. However, neither Council defined what those terms mean, and thus since a COuncil can’t directly contradict what a previous COuncil stated, exactly what being “consecrated as Bishop” and “ordained a Bishop” means has “never been fully defined by ROme”
So where does this leave us. A Bishop is consecrated and ordained for the purpose of ministry to the Church and service to the Body of Christ. It is not and ends to itself. Thus, nothing “ontologically” changes when a priest is ordained a Bishop. He is still a priest who has been given authority by the Church to use the fullness of the “priestly ministry that Christ gave him at his ordination”. So, there is nothing new added as the sacrament was conferred at priestly ordination, no new sacrament was conferred at a Bishop consecration/ordination.
In summary, what does this all mean. Well, I think it means 1) A Bishop, when ordained, is not “ontologically” different from when he was ordained a priest, 2) A Bishop who acts in direct opposition to Catholic Doctrine, even if he follows the Rite, may not be even by validly ordaining (e.g., the case of Milingo). In closing, it appears that a Bishop’s authority to ordain priests and confirm can in fact be taken away by the Church and even if that Bishop were to go into schism, the sacraments of priestly ordination, thus Eucharistic celebrations from said priests would “not be valid”. Of course, Baptisms would still since that, along with Holy Matrimony/Marriage are the 2 Sacraments that the Catholic Church sees as being valid among the Proestant confessions not in full Communion with Rome.
I encourage others to read this Eastern Catholic Priest’s blog at “Priestly Puglist” and let me know what you think. I found the entire discussion fascinating.
“Under this view, a Bishop cant ordain someone against the ‘doctrine of Rome’,...”
This isn't as strange as it sounds, not even to Scholastic ears.
Archbishop Milingo, in accepting the authority of the Rev. Moon, became an apostate, as he more or less abandoned the communion of the Church for a non-Christian, pagan religion.
Were he to try to ordain priests or to consecrate bishops, he would no longer be intending to do what the Church does, which is to ordain priests who, in part, will offer the sacrifice of the Mass, and provide absolution to penitent sinners. Once you move over to something like the Unification Church, the very doctrines of the Mass and absolution of sin lose all meaning.
Thus, it isn't that he no longer has the intrinsic capacity to ordain priests or consecrate bishops, but rather that he can no longer intend what the Church does in the sacrament of Holy Orders, because the sacraments are meaningless in his new religious beliefs.
At least, that's how it looks to me.
***he would no longer be intending to do what the Church does***
This is consistent with the reasoning behind the declaration that Anglican orders are invalid - that those ordaining and being ordained did NOT intend to do what the Church does. “Doing what the Church does” implies that the one doing believes all that the Church teaches and intends to be obedient, which in the case of Anglican orders they did not believe all that the Church teaches, and in the case of Archbishop Milingo he was totally disobedient.
“’Doing what the Church does’ implies that the one doing believes all that the Church teaches and intends to be obedient,...”
I don't think that's quite so. I don't think that obedience is wrapped up in that, otherwise, merely disobedient and schismatic prelates (Archbishop Lefebvre, again, as an example), would be unable to ordain priests or consecrate bishops. Neither does it require believing all that the Church teaches.
Rather, it's merely about intending to do as the Church does, given the particular sacrament. Ordaining a man into a sacrificial priesthood has no meaning if one is a follower of Rev. Moon.
But a bishop would not "believe all that the Church teaches" if he didn't believe the doctrine of papal infallibility, or that Mary was conceived without sin. Yet, he could still validly ordain men to the sacrificial priesthood, as he might still intend to ordain men to just that.
That’s very interesting and it certainly does sound like a solution. It would certainly support the invalidity of Anglican orders, for example.
Another interesting aspect is that even in the case of sacraments (baptism and marriage) that can validly be performed by lay people and Protestants, it is necessary to intend to do what the Church does. Thus, for example, Mormon baptisms are invalid because they have an entirely different belief system, they are not Trinitarian Christians, and they do not intend to do what the Church does.
I’m going off to read the Priestly Pugilist now...thanks!
Thanks. You are correct, some bishops and archbishops are part of the “lavender mafia,” certainly not all, but much more than just a few. These people do all stick together and do promote, hire or cover for one another.
This is true in two areas, each which needs to be addressed a little differently by the Church from the highest levels. One is the topic here, basically diocesan priests and bishops. The other area is certain religious orders, or firmly entrenched groups within those orders, which have become almost like secret homosexual societies.
Given that these orders, the Jesuits for example, are even more “closed societies” than the Church hierarchy, with very little accountability, it will be difficult to reform them without aggressive action.
Interestingly, reform in the Church often comes not from the top, but from the laity. What’s happening is that healthy, normal young men are less and less attracted to the orders that have been perverted, and more men are becoming priests in the newer orders, or more orthodox orders. So the hope is that the aging fags controlling certain orders will gradually (were talking decades here) die, while their orders die along with them.
Another thing happening is there are “undercover” groups in some “bad”orders of faithful, orthodox men who don’t reveal their firm faith (hide those rosary beads) until they are ordained. Their intention is to reform their orders from within, it’s a deliberate and loosely organized plan in some areas, but very difficult to carry out where the insistence on defiance and deviance is pretty heavy-handed.
If this sounds like a weird conspiracy theory, all I can say in this forum is most people have no idea of the corruption, I would not except for family connections. But the sort of priests and people we see on EWTN are countering this evil and we must support them, good priests and bishops, with our prayers and more if we can. And we must refrain from supporting any “Catholic” organization without deeply looking into it to see if it’s still Catholic.
I should have posed I was taught by Dominican Sisters and was raised in a Dominican parish and thus have a strong respect fot Thomism and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Good thread all the way around.
Go Dominicans! While some of them went a little overboard in the dread 70s and 80s, the order actually expelled some flakes from their midst (such as the infamous Fr. Fox, Gaia worshipper...) and has managed to hang onto enough good people and sanity that I think some of the Dominican groups have a good chance of coming back. Aside from the Nashville Dominicans, of course, who don’t have to come back because they never went anywhere. The only thing they need to do is find more money to build a larger convent, since they’re bursting at the seams with smart young women!
Years ago, when I first read Malachi Martin's Windswept House, I was was inclined to dismiss it as paranoid fantasy. But the more I observed over subsequent decades, the less inclined I was to dismiss it.
I think we'll be many more decades in cleaning up this mess, and yes, it will be the laypeople who take the lead or who give support to the good priests and bishops in driving this evil out of the Church.
Nice analysis you provided their as you are correct, the fact that he was ordaining priests for the Moonies is defacto not what his consecration as Bishop was for, which is to shepherd a Catholic Diocese in Communion with the Bishop of Rome and ordain men for Holy Orders to administer the sacraments and preach the gospel to the Catholic faithful intrusted into his care.
Still, this “Bound Theory” proposed by St. Augustine has som interesting implications for any situation where a Bishop is about to go into schism and ordain priests for the schimatic group, while at the same time maintaining all other essentials of the Catholic Faith. The Church can remove the Bishop from his Episcopal Consecration for as the article states, nothing as changed, in terms of the Grace given to the man being ordained into the priesthood which gives in the power to act “in persona Christi” , once that same Priest is later made a Bishop. In other words, a priest has all the Grace and power from Christ to administer all the sacraments when he is ordained a priest, no new Grace is given when made a Bishop.
You mean Matthew Fox? I had forgotten he was a Dominican, but if I recall it took quite a bit of pressure from the Vatican for the order to finally take action against his heretical practices.
I met Fr. Fox before his excommunication, I was studying at the same college where he had his “Creation-Centered Spirituality” program. This is also the college where one of the 9/11 terrorists was registered for an English language program and never showed up for classes. Weird place for a seemingly innocuous, small, private Catholic college run by nuns.
The campus had a uniquely strange feeling because of the co-existence of these three programs, with many of these people living in close proximity in the dorms: (1) regular college kids, (2) middle-aged hippies in the Fox program (whom the college kids laughed at), (3) Mostly Saudis (who came to class in limousines) and Germans with a smattering of Latin Americans in the ESL program.
That was also my first up close and personal experience with Saudis, they were the slimiest, rudest, most arrogant people I ever met, and assumed they were entitled to sleep with any American girl.
Well, I’m digressing quite a bit from the topic here.....
What a bizarre place that campus must have been!
I knew people who taught Saudis in other colleges in California, btw, and their observation was that Saudis just assumed that cheating was the normal way of passing a test. They paid other people to take their tests, they bought tests, you name it. Fortunately, they were so stupid (and probably arrogant, as well) that they often paid people who didn’t look even remotely like them, even to the densest proctor, or copied the mistakes off the tests they had bought. Busted!
As for Matthew Fox, I do recall that getting rid of him was quite a drawn-out process.
I’ve heard that same type of description of Saudis and Egyptians, from people who worked with them. Not only that they are completely bereft of morals as we would define them, but pretty stupid. Not sure why this keeps coming up with these two groups and not other Arab nationalities.
One more thing made life on that college campus even stranger. We were not far from U.C. Berkeley, which had an urgent shortage of student housing. Our dorms had extra space, so it was rented to a group of Berkeley kids. Of course, we being a small, private Catholic college, they considered themselves superior to us in every way, you could almost hear them thinking we were clinging to our guns and religion....