Keyword: canonlaw

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  • Lent, 2016 - Fasting on ALL Fridays and Lent

    03/11/2016 6:00:03 PM PST · by Salvation · 16 replies
    Fasting on ALL Fridays and Lent There is some question raised about my strong words (later in this article) regarding one who knowingly and willingly rejects Canon 1251. Some Catholics have attempted to convince me that not observing some sort of fast from some sort of food on all Fridays of the year does not constitute a sin. One has stated it is not a major precept, so "breaking" it is not sinful. This confuses and concerns me. How can any Catholic knowingly and willingly reject ANY precept laid out in Canon Law and not have it be a...
  • Sad. Former SSPX Bp. Williamson consecrates a bishop. Both now excommunicated (Catholic)

    03/20/2015 2:38:10 PM PDT · by NYer · 52 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | March 19, 2015 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    Former SSPX Bp. Williamson consecrated another bishop. They both have incurred the late sententiae excommunication foreseen in Canon Law.The SSPX issued an official statement HERE: On March 19, 2015, Bishop Richard Williamson performed the episcopal consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure at the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Brazil.Bishop Williamson and Fr. Faure have not been members of the Society of St. Pius X since 2012 and 2014, respectively, [NB] because of their violent criticisms of any relations with the Roman authorities. According to them, such contacts were incompatible with the apostolic work of Archbishop Lefebvre. [I suspect...
  • Tithing and Excommunication

    09/19/2014 3:24:30 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 4 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | September 18, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I am a graduate theology student, and in class we covered the reforms of the Council of Trent. I came across this passage from Chapter 12 of the Decree on Reformation of Session 25: “The holy synod therefore enjoins on all, of what rank and condition soever they be, to whom the payment of tithes belongs, that they henceforth pay in full the tithes, to which they are bound in law, to the cathedral church, or to what other churches… they are lawfully due. And they who either withhold them, or hinder them [from being paid], shall be excommunicated…”...
  • What Does It Mean To Have Your Marriage Blessed? (Part 3)

    07/18/2014 3:13:41 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 3 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | July 17, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: Please help me with a matter weighing on my conscience. My husband and I married in our parish church 16 years ago, but I agreed to get married there only because that’s what my parents wanted. Unlike my husband, I wasn’t really practicing my faith, I just went through the motions… gradually I had a reawakening of faith, and now am fully committed to the Catholic Church. But I’m afraid our marriage isn’t valid because I didn’t embrace concepts like indissolubility at the time of our wedding, nor did I want children, although I later changed my mind…. What...
  • What Does it Mean to Have Your Marriage Blessed? Part II

    07/04/2014 4:20:41 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 2 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | July 3, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My family is doing genealogical research, and we’ve discovered discrepancies in the birth-dates of a couple of our great-grandparents…. They married very young, and depending on which birth-dates are correct, we’re thinking it’s possible they may really have been too young to marry validly in the Church. If a marriage is invalid due to the age of the spouses, does it automatically become valid when they’re old enough? Or do they need to have another wedding ceremony once they’ve reached the minimum age? –Frank
  • Catholic Caucus: Bishop backs church that barred openly gay man from serving

    06/20/2014 9:26:13 PM PDT · by topher · 15 replies ^ | Thu Jun 19, 2014 - 9:30 am EST | Dustin Siggins
    MARQUETTE, MI -- Marquette’s Catholic bishop, John Doerfler, is standing behind St. Michael’s Catholic Church after it disallowed an openly homosexual man to serve at liturgies and exercise a leadership role. "One of the qualifications for the public ministry within the Catholic Church is willingness to give witness to the Gospel and the Church's teachings." Last Saturday, Bob Brown participated in a "commitment ceremony" with his partner of 31 years. The next day, he was told that he would not be allowed to serve at the Mass in any of several roles he had previously fulfilled, nor could he sit...
  • What Does it Mean to Have Your Marriage Blessed?

    06/20/2014 6:23:47 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 282 replies
    Q: My daughter stopped practicing her faith and was married to a protestant in his church. Now she has come back, and her protestant husband is preparing to become a Catholic too, next Easter. They understand that their marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church, but the parish priest told them he can just “bless their marriage” and it will be all right. Can that possibly be true? –Eamon
  • When Are The Laity Permitted To Preach?

    05/09/2014 1:21:13 PM PDT · by Weiss White · 6 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | May 8, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I have a question about preaching: what happens in times and places where there is no priest or deacon available to hold Mass, and a communion service or another form of liturgical prayer is held? –Mark A: While the scenario that Mark describes is not the norm, there’s no denying that in some parts of the world it’s unfortunately becoming increasingly common. Let’s see first what the code says about preaching in general, and then look at what the Church has to say about preaching in those particular situations where, due to a shortage of clergy, no priest or...
  • Cardinal Burke: Stick to canon law when closing churches

    05/09/2014 8:53:56 AM PDT · by Welchie25 · 3 replies
    Catholic Review ^ | 5/9/14 | George P. Matysek Jr.
    When considering the suppression of parishes or the closing of church buildings, bishops should hew closely to canon law not simply because it’s a legal requirement of the church, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said, but because it helps foster unity. In a May 7 interview with the Catholic Review, the prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican’s highest court, said following proper procedures helps ensure legitimate decisions. “When we don’t follow the requirements of the law, then people rightly claim that they’ve been aggrieved by this,” said Cardinal Burke, who was a featured speaker at the...
  • Fertility and Marriage Validity

    04/25/2014 10:53:51 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 31 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | April 24, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: If God established marriage for the procreation of children, does it affect the validity of a marriage if one spouse is infertile? What if you know for sure that you can’t have children, can you get married in the Church anyway? How does that work? –Donna A: As we’ve seen before in this space, the Church holds that marriage is, by its very nature, ordered to the well-being of the spouses and the procreation and upbringing of children (c. 1055.1). As Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World stated nearly 50 years ago, “By its very...
  • Catholic Priests Who Become Non-Catholic Ministers

    04/04/2014 3:49:02 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 40 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | April 3, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: Recently, a Catholic priest in our area left to become “pastor” of an Episcopal church. If we assume for a moment that the Episcopal liturgy contains the valid words of Institution, and if we assume that valid matter was used, does he confect the Eucharist? –Patrick A: Sad to say, the case cited by Patrick is far from unique. In certain countries with a sizeable Episcopal community, one far too frequently encounters priests who have left the Catholic Church to join the Church of England—often in order to get married while still remaining in some sort of ministry—and who...
  • Canon Law and Fraudulent Marriages

    03/21/2014 3:58:59 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 10 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | March 20, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My fiancée and I attended a marriage-prep class in our diocese, and one of the speakers said something we didn’t fully understand. First he urged us to be open and honest with each other about our past lives, not hiding anything from one another, which made basic sense to us. But then he mentioned that we need to do this because otherwise our marriage could be null. We’ve known each other since childhood anyway, so it’s a moot point for us. Later on, though, we were wondering if telling your future spouse every single little thing about you is...
  • Can We Have a Priest and a Non-Catholic Minister at Our Wedding?

    03/07/2014 2:59:34 AM PST · by Weiss White · 20 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | March 6, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q1: I’m Catholic and my fiancé is from a devout Lutheran family. They weren’t too pleased when I told them our wedding has to take place in a Catholic church…. Is it permissible for us under canon law to have a wedding ceremony in my parish church, and have his Lutheran minister “co-marry” us there, alongside the Catholic priest? I asked my pastor and he said no, but I couldn’t tell if he refused because that’s actually the law, or if he just didn’t like the idea. –Christina Q2: My Jewish girlfriend and I want to get married, and both...
  • Can a Catholic Ever Elope?

    02/21/2014 6:25:32 AM PST · by Weiss White · 45 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | February 20, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: What does canon law say about Catholics eloping? I understand the issue from the perspective of the sacramental theology of the Church, but was wondering if canon law had anything to say about it. –David A: When we speak of “elopement” today, we usually envision a young couple running away in the middle of the night to be married in secret, and without the consent of their parents—usually by a justice of the peace in a civil wedding ceremony. Is it ever possible for a Catholic couple (or a couple including only one Catholic) to marry under such circumstances?...
  • Could Women Ever be Ordained Deaconesses?

    02/06/2014 11:52:23 AM PST · by Weiss White · 9 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | February 6, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: A coworker was talking loudly at work about an article she’d read, endorsing the ordination of women as deacons, and she was all for it. It didn’t sound right to me, though, but I couldn’t put my finger on why not. Would it be possible for the Church to ordain female deacons? If not, what’s the argument against it? –Katie
  • Am I Permanently Barred from Ordination to the Priesthood?

    01/24/2014 8:50:53 AM PST · by Weiss White · 14 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | January 24, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I have been discerning my vocation, trying to determine whether or not I am called to be a priest. I happened to find a commentary on canon law in my school library… it says that a person is barred from being a priest, permanently, if they have ever been a heretic, apostate, or schismatic. I was baptized outside the Church (Lutheran), and professed agnosticism for a time before converting to Catholicism around the time I was 17. Does that make me incur the irregularity? –Alex
  • Canon Law and Non-Infant Baptism

    01/09/2014 11:27:51 AM PST · by Weiss White · 40 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | January 9, 2014 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My neighbors are Catholics who didn’t practice the faith for years, but now they are returning to the Church. Their children were never baptized, so they went to the parish priest to arrange for their baptism. But he refused, because he said the children are too old! He claims the children are mature enough to decide for themselves if they want to be Catholic or not…. The whole thing sounds bizarre. The parents truly want to raise their children as Catholics. Is it possible the priest doubts their sincerity? What can they do? –Rachel A: It’s impossible to be...
  • Canon Law and Consummating a Marriage

    12/20/2013 5:09:00 AM PST · by Weiss White · 12 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | December 19, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: Could you please explain what "ratum sed non consummatum" means with respect to marriage? I always thought that this was an antiquated term that no longer had any relevance, but recently I encountered it [in a current context]… Why would it matter to the Church whether a marriage has been consummated or not? –Fiona A: The Latin phrase ratum sed non consummatum is translated literally as “ratified but not consummated,” and it has been used by theologians and canonists in regard to matrimony for many centuries. These four Latin words actually contain a wealth of information about the way...
  • Contraception and Marriage Validity

    11/23/2013 5:20:34 AM PST · by Weiss White · 8 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | November 21, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: A friend is going to marry a man whose previous marriage was annulled… he says he was able to get an annulment because his wife was against having children and took contraceptives. Does that mean every Catholic marriage is invalid if the couple is contracepting? –Marisa A: No. It’s impossible to determine the exact grounds for the annulment of the marriage which Marisa describes, based solely on the information provided here. Nevertheless, we can examine the reasons why contraception might have been a pivotal factor in proving the nullity of this marriage.
  • Stipends and Sacraments

    11/07/2013 2:31:36 PM PST · by Weiss White · 10 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | November 7, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q1: I’m going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding… she and her fiancé met with the pastor to discuss the wedding preparations, and he insisted they have to pay the parish a hefty sum in order to get married there. They were horrified, because it feels like the priest is blackmailing them, if they don’t pay it, they can’t get married! Can a priest actually charge fees for marrying people? –Caitlin Q2: My elderly mother mailed a check to [some missionary priests] and asked them to celebrate a Mass for my late father. They returned the check and...
  • Is Every Catholic Church a Parish?

    10/25/2013 4:31:44 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 6 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | October 24, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My wife, preschool son and I regularly attend Sunday Mass at the Shrine of –. My wife and I also go to confession there regularly. Our son will be starting school next year… we discovered that there is no CCD of any kind being provided. The priest told my wife that instead, we have to take our son to St. – Church for Sunday School and First Confession/Communion preparation. We were flabbergasted! There aren’t many children who regularly attend Mass at the Shrine, it’s true. But aren’t they still required to provide religious instruction for the ones who do,...
  • Why is a Catholic Permitted to Marry in an Orthodox Ceremony?

    10/10/2013 1:46:59 PM PDT · by Weiss White · 13 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | October 10, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My sister stopped practicing her faith, and married a Greek Orthodox man in his church in Greece. Now their marriage has ended, and she has returned to the Church. She might want to remarry…. We both assumed that she could easily get an annulment, because she wasn’t married in a Catholic ceremony, and so her first marriage wasn’t valid. But her parish priest is insisting that it was! He says if she wants an annulment, she has to “find other grounds.” What is the best way to resolve this, should she join a different parish, or try to reach...
  • What Can (and Can't) a Deacon Do?

    09/26/2013 4:07:36 PM PDT · by Weiss White · 12 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | September 26, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: We have a permanent deacon at our parish. Some of us are wondering if the pastor sometimes allows him to do things that he’s not supposed to do… for example, occasionally the deacon preaches a homily at Sunday Mass instead of the priest. Is that permissible? What are the limits of what a deacon can do? —Jay A: It’s a good question! Lay Catholics generally understand that because a deacon is not a priest, there are some sacramental/liturgical actions which he cannot perform. But occasionally the laity are taken aback when they see a deacon engaged in some sort...
  • Yemen: Court terminates 8-year-old girl's marriage

    04/15/2008 7:16:55 PM PDT · by Stoat · 32 replies · 851+ views
    Reuters ^ | April 15, 2008 | Mohamed Sudam,Enai Ersan
    Court terminates 8-year-old girl's marriage Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:21pm EDT   SANAA (Reuters) - A Yemeni court ordered the marriage of an eight-year-old girl terminated on Tuesday because she had not reached puberty.The court also ordered the child's family to pay about $250 in compensation to the 30-year-old ex-husband.The girl's lawyer and human rights activist Shatha Nasser said the minor had filed a suit in April asking for divorce and told the court that her husband had been physically abusing her and forcing her to have "sex with him after hitting her."One of the people attending the trial...
  • Did Texas go too far in polygamy case?

    04/26/2008 9:19:01 PM PDT · by Howdy there · 424 replies · 157+ views
    AMERICAN-STATESMAN ^ | 04 27 08 | Chuck Lindell, Corrie MacLaggan
    <p>After a long night interviewing children inside a polygamist ranch near Eldorado, Child Protective Services caseworkers made a crucial decision as the police-backed raid entered its second day.</p> <p>They took 18 girls, from 6 months to 17 years old, into emergency custody on April 4, a Friday, because they felt their living conditions were unsafe — initiating a sequence of events that led to the removal of all 462 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch and headlines around the globe.</p>
  • Why is Philomena No Longer Considered a Saint?

    09/12/2013 7:30:16 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 22 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | September 12, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: How is it that the martyr Philomena used to be a saint, but isn’t any more? I don’t understand how the Church can canonize a saint and then change its mind… –Mary A: Philomena is not, and has never been a saint. Many Catholics erroneously believe that Philomena used to be a saint, and was somehow “decanonized” by Pope John XXIII in 1961. In fact, the action taken that year by the Congregation of Rites—which back then had jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the canonization of saints—actually clarified and made more consistent the canonical status of the person commonly...
  • How do I File a Canon Lawsuit?

    08/29/2013 8:03:27 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 17 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | August 29, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: A group of us in my parish would like to hire a canon lawyer. Specifically, we want to sue the bishop of the diocese for abuse of power, after he unjustly removed our parish priest without cause…. How do we go about filing a canon lawsuit? –Katrina
  • Are SSPX Sacraments Valid? Part II

    08/15/2013 7:06:25 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 3 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | August 15, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    As we saw in Part I, SSPX priests are able to celebrate validly the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist (because they can celebrate a valid Mass), and Anointing of the Sick. Additionally, SSPX bishops can validly administer Confirmation and Holy Orders. Again, without authorization from church superiors, they shouldn’t be doing any of these things; but the fact remains that they do indeed have the power to do them. These sacraments are valid, but illicit. But there are two other sacraments which haven’t been addressed yet. Unlike the five mentioned above, celebrating the sacraments of Penance and Matrimony requires more...
  • Are SSPX Sacraments Valid?

    08/01/2013 11:28:46 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 16 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | August 1, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: What’s the canonical status of priests ordained by SSPX bishops, and what’s the canonical status of the sacraments they administer? –John A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church. Sadly, however, this is not the case! While Pope Benedict was clearly hoping to reconcile the SSPX to the Church during his papacy, the fact is that this important item on...
  • How Many Miracles are Required to Canonize a Saint?

    07/18/2013 8:29:53 PM PDT · by Weiss White · 32 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | July 18, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: How many miracles are required before somebody can be canonized a saint? I thought that you needed three. But now the Pope has announced that John Paul II will be canonized after only two miracles, and John XXIII with (I believe) even less than that. Did the rules get changed at some point? Is this even a canon-law question? –Sylvie A: Sylvie is of course referring to the Vatican’s July 5 announcement that a miracle has been attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, clearing the way for his canonization. The same decree also indicates that Pope...
  • Why is the Marriage Tribunal Insisting I First Need a Divorce?

    06/29/2013 6:03:58 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 71 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | June 27, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: My sister wants an annulment so she can remarry in the Church. But when she began asking questions about how to go about it, she was immediately told that she can’t get an annulment unless she is divorced first. Can that possibly be true, or is her diocese doing something heretical? The Church is opposed to divorce, but then it pressures Catholics to get divorced… why is she being told she must get a divorce? –Denise
  • Women's Ordination and the Case of Roy Bourgeois

    06/13/2013 11:02:01 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 12 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | June 13, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I’m trying to figure out what is really going on in the case of Fr. Bourgeois, who was kicked out of the Maryknolls last year. The stories I read suggested that he was excommunicated and is no longer a priest, right? If that’s true, then why is he now saying publicly that he’s going to appeal to Pope Francis to reinstate him as a Maryknoll priest again? Can the new Pope even do that? —Ryan
  • Is Nepotism Still an Issue in the Church?

    05/30/2013 10:56:08 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 4 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | May 30, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: In the medieval and renaissance periods, the Church had many problems with nepotism. We hear nothing about this issue any more, but I’m wondering whether this is still a potential problem, at least in theory. Are there canons which prevent ecclesiastical officials from legally giving powerful church positions to their relatives? Or do bishops and cardinals avoid this unilaterally, without the need for actual laws? —Thierry
  • Canon Law and False Abuse Allegations, Part II

    05/16/2013 7:35:09 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 4 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | May 16, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    As we all know, in far too many cases in years past, priests were accused of sexual abuse by genuine victims—and these crimes were simply swept under the rug, by church officials who eschewed their God-given responsibility to take appropriate action. This is an established, ugly fact that is not up for debate! It’s true that there’s often more than one legitimate way for an ecclesiastical superior to deal with these problems; but doing nothing, preferring to ignore the issue in the hope that it will simply go away, never has been or will be an option, ever. Note that...
  • Canon Law and False Abuse Allegations

    05/02/2013 5:58:45 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 2 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | May 2, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: There are so many stories of priest-abusers shielded in past years by their superiors, who allowed it to continue. But not all the accusations are true, right? Do you know of any cases of priests accused of sexual abuse, who are really innocent? –Susan A: It would probably be difficult to find a canon lawyer who doesn’t! One might say that the response of the Catholic hierarchy to allegations of sexual abuse today, as opposed to several decades ago, has undergone a pendulum-shift.
  • Vatican may prohibit female alter (sic) service [Catholic Caucus]

    04/29/2013 7:50:03 PM PDT · by Salvation · 88 replies ^ | October 14, 2003/Updated September 2012 | Amanda Michaels
    Vatican may prohibit female alter (sic) service By Michaels, Amanda Published: Tuesday, October 14, 2003Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:09   Only nine years after the Vatican gave women permission to serve beside their male counterparts at the altar, a new proposal threatens to force them back into the crowd. On Sept. 23, the Italian Catholic monthly, "Jesus," released advanced text of an article featuring excerpts from a draft document, or directive, written by the Vatican congregations for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and for the Doctrine of the Faith. Distributed on June 5, the document was an expansion on the papal...
  • Will Australian Priests be Forced to Violate the Seal of Confession?

    04/18/2013 7:20:30 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 28 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | April 18, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I know that priests aren’t allowed to reveal what people tell them in confession. But what happens in places where reporting sexual abuse of children is mandated by law? They’re talking about making it a legal requirement now in Australia, just like they did in Ireland. Will priests really have to go to jail, rather than reveal the identity of a penitent to the police? –Lauren A: Readers from “down under” are no doubt keenly aware that last fall, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the formation of a federal Royal Commission to investigate child sexual abuse. One stated...
  • What is the Pauline Privilege?

    04/04/2013 9:19:20 AM PDT · by Weiss White
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | April 4, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Dr. Prager provides a brief summary of his longer article: “The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity. This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women."
  • Canon Law and Two Popes

    03/21/2013 7:23:43 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 2 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | March 21, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q1: Could you please outline the canonical problems inherent in the fact that now we have two living Popes? –Rhonda Q2: Considering that all priests and bishops must belong to a diocese or religious order, my question would be this: now that Benedict has renounced the Chair of Peter but will be living on the Vatican grounds, as a Bishop, what diocese must he belong to? –Michael A: Now that we Catholics are gradually getting used to the notion that we have a Pope from Argentina named Francis, it’s only natural that many are also starting to wonder what it’s...
  • Why is Cardinal Mahony Voting in the Conclave?

    03/11/2013 7:00:00 AM PDT · by Weiss White · 28 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | March 11, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: Could you please comment on the assertions by Cardinal Mahony [of Los Angeles, California] that he is required to participate in the upcoming conclave? Many Catholics are grouping to protest his participation. –Douglas A: Douglas is referring to the highly publicized case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, Roger Cardinal Mahony, who is currently in Rome to participate in the conclave, now scheduled to begin on March 12. Unlike the other cardinal-electors, Cardinal Mahony’s presence here has unleashed a storm of criticism from Catholics around the world, who have been insisting that he should recuse himself from voting...
  • When Will the Conclave Start? Pope Benedict's Final Legislative Act

    03/05/2013 6:08:29 AM PST · by Weiss White · 4 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | March 5, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I read the article “Canon Law and the Upcoming Conclave” and it was really helpful, but I have another question now. The 15-day rule has now been revised by Pope Benedict, correct? If so, has he given a specific time/number of days before a conclave can begin, or no? –Samantha A: Samantha’s right. Several days before Pope Benedict’s resignation took effect, he issued a moto proprio document that amended a number of elements of the already existing law on conclave procedure.
  • Canon Law and the Upcoming Conclave

    02/21/2013 2:46:36 PM PST · by Weiss White · 3 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | February 21, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q1: Can you please explain for us how the papal conclave will work? And are there any major aspects of it that will be different this time, because Pope Benedict is still living? –Leah Q2: Who can, and cannot, be elected Pope? –Joseph The Catholic world is still reeling from Pope Benedict’s astounding announcement last week, but the secular media has already been busily declaiming about the possible reasons for the decision, Pope Benedict’s legacy, possible contenders for the job, etc. etc. ad infinitum. In the process, the amount of misinformation that is being disseminated is staggering!
  • Can a Baby be Baptized Against the Parents' Wishes?

    02/14/2013 12:14:09 PM PST · by Weiss White · 95 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | February 14, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: Some Jewish people in my city complained to the local Catholic hospital, saying they were afraid to bring their sick children to the emergency room, because the hospital staff might baptize them. The hospital staff publicly agreed never to do this. I had always assumed that you can’t baptize a baby without at least one parent’s consent, so I thought the hospital would simply say, “Don’t worry, we’re not allowed to do that anyway!” But the wording of the hospital administrators’ response seemed to suggest that they really could baptize a sick baby if they wanted to. Can a...
  • Can a Pope be Removed from Office?

    01/31/2013 5:35:16 AM PST · by Weiss White · 43 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | January 31, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: In a recent piece you explained that the Pope can resign if he chooses. To me that raises another question: What would happen if a Pope became so mentally debilitated that he didn’t know what he was doing? It seems to me that he wouldn’t be able to resign under those circumstances. Is there some legal mechanism that would allow the Church to remove him, and call for a conclave to elect a new Pope? Or is there at least a way for the cardinals to take charge of running the Church until that Pope passes away? –Paul
  • If a Catholic Marries a Non-Christian, How is it a Sacrament?

    01/18/2013 3:57:43 AM PST · by Weiss White · 54 replies ^ | January 17, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: An unbaptized person can’t receive any of the other sacraments unless he gets baptized first, right? So how is it possible for a Catholic to marry a non-Christian in a Catholic ceremony? I don’t see how the non-Christian spouse can be receiving the sacrament of matrimony, if he’s never received the sacrament of baptism! Is the marriage a sacrament for the Catholic but not for the non-Christian? How does this work? –Ashley A: It’s a very astute observation! By thinking it through logically, Ashley has spotted a genuine theological/canonical quandary.
  • Can a Pope Ever Resign?

    01/11/2013 11:33:05 AM PST · by Weiss White · 10 replies
    Canon Law Made Easy ^ | January 3, 2013 | Cathy Caridi, J.C.L.
    Q: I read in a news article that Pope Benedict said he would resign, if he reached the point where he couldn’t physically handle being Pope any longer. Is that even possible? Can a Pope ever resign? —Scott A: It’s true that in the nearly eight years of Pope Benedict’s reign, more than one news article has been written on this subject. It’s of particularly keen interest to those opposed to his teachings, who would gladly see him leave the Throne of Peter as soon as possible—but it’s of interest to many of the rest of us as well, if...
  • Last Straw: Georgetown alum and ‘Exorcist’ author canonically sues U. after Sebelius row

    05/18/2012 8:36:55 PM PDT · by topher · 20 replies ^ | May 18, 2012 | Kathleen Gilbert
    WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 ( - William Peter Blatty knows a thing or two about what happens when a hostile presence infiltrates Catholic bodies. Blatty, author of both novel and film versions of the horror classic “The Exorcist,” is getting ready to launch a canonical suit against alma mater Georgetown University, calling U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ appearance as commencement speaker “the last straw” in the school’s relinquishing of Catholic identity. A frame from the movie "The Exorcist" with a slight adjustment. “The scandals that Georgetown has given to the faithful are too many to count and...
  • Abortion and Excommunication

    05/11/2012 4:10:01 PM PDT · by Salvation · 26 replies ^ | May 20, 2004 | Ronald L. Conte Jr.
    Abortion and ExcommunicationMay 20, 2004 Any Catholic who obstinately denies that abortion is always gravely immoral, commits the sin of heresy and incurs an automatic sentence of excommunication. Canon Law and Church Teaching Canon 1398: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.” Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members...
  • An Open Letter on the Sins of Simony

    02/01/2012 1:19:25 PM PST · by Bpscholarios · 4 replies
    Œcumenical Canonical Orthodox Church Worldwide ^ | January 31, 2012 | Scholarios-Gennadius
    Official Declaration of the ŒCOCW Office of Morals, Doctrine and Spirituality January 30, 2012 The Concerned Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Bishops Coalition Dear Brothers in Christ: It is with mixed anguish and heartfelt affection that we, The Concerned Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Bishops Coalition, have convened an ad hoc coalition with the express intention to offer fraternal counsel regarding reported wayward behavior in some of your jurisdictions. It is to such as have committed simony (giving or receiving money for that which is holy and cannot be purchased) that we address this open letter. It has been bought to our...
  • A note on proposals to require priests to violate the seal of confession

    07/22/2011 12:56:04 PM PDT · by sayuncledave
    In The Light Of The Law ^ | July 22, 2011 | Dr. Edward Peters
    Concerning recent Irish and Australian proposals to require priests who, through their ministry in sacramental confession, learn the identity of child sexual abusers (or of any other malefactors, for that matter), to disclose such information to civil authorities, I have little to say because, well, because there is little to say, canonically, at any rate. Such proposals, even if they become law, will have absolutely no effect on a priest’s obligation to preserve the seal of confession. Absolutely none. The seal of confession is a not creature of civil law, rather, it rests on divine law and is articulated by...