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  • 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...
  • Is This the Future of Same-Sex Marriage for Evangelicals?

    03/25/2014 1:59:06 PM PDT · by matthewrobertolson · 36 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 25 March 2014 | Brantly Millegan
    The U.S. branch of the evangelical humanitarian aid organization World Vision announced this week that it will no longer bar its employees from being in same-sex marriages. Employees are still barred from having sex outside of marriage, but “marriage” will now include marriages between people of the same sex. World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns tells Christianity Today the change is “not an endorsement of same-sex marriage,” but it’s hard to read it any other way. It’s certainly a disappointing loss for supporters of traditional marriage, but I’m not surprised, and here’s why. "I think you have to be neutral...
  • 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?...
  • The Divine Office: Christ is our head, and the wise man keeps his eyes upon him

    02/24/2014 6:14:43 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/24/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    A sermon on Ecclesiastes by St Gregory of Nyssa We shall be blessed with clear vision if we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, for he, as Paul teaches, is our head, and there is in him no shadow of evil. Saint Paul himself and all who have reached the same heights of sanctity had their eyes fixed on Christ, and so have all who live and move and have their being in him. As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ....
  • The Divine Office: The Wisdom of God has mixed wine for us and set up a feast

    02/19/2014 6:07:00 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/19/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    The commentary on Proverbs by Procopius of Gaza Wisdom has built herself a house. God the Father’s Power, himself a person, has fashioned as his dwelling-place the whole world, in which he lives by his activity; and has fashioned man also, who was created to resemble God’s own image and likeness and has a nature which is partly seen and partly hidden from our eyes. And she has set up seven pillars. To man, who was made in the image of Christ when the rest of creation was completed, Wisdom gave the seven gifts of the Spirit to enable him...
  • The Divine Office: On the search for wisdom

    02/17/2014 8:36:25 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    the Examiner ^ | 2/17/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot Let us work for the food which does not perish – our salvation. Let us work in the vineyard of the Lord to earn our daily wage in the wisdom which says: Those who work in me will not sin. Christ tells us: The field is the world. Let us work in it and dig up wisdom, its hidden treasure, a treasure we all look for and want to obtain. If you are looking for it, really look. Be converted and come. Converted from what? From your own wilfulness. “But,” you may say,...
  • The Divine Office: The pre-eminence of love

    02/15/2014 8:22:30 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/15/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, abbot Why, my brethren, are we so little concerned with finding opportunities to advance each other’s salvation, responding to greater need with greater help and bearing each other’s burdens? This is what St Paul advised: Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ – or, again, forbearing each other in love. For that is most definitely the law of Christ. When I notice something wrong in my brother that cannot be corrected – either because it is inevitable or because it comes from some weakness of his in body...
  • The Divine Office: Saint Scholastica

    02/10/2014 7:58:05 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 4 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/10/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From the books of Dialogues by Saint Gregory the Great, pope Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate. One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together. Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late....
  • The Divine Office: Abraham's Sacrifice

    02/11/2014 5:48:33 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 3 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/11/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    Origen's homilies on Genesis Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac himself carries the wood for his own holocaust: this is a figure of Christ. For Christ carried the burden of the cross himself, and yet to carry the wood for the holocaust is really the duty of the priest. So Christ is then both victim and priest. This is the meaning of the expression: they set out together. For when Abraham, who was to...
  • The Divine Office: Let Christ take shape within you

    02/13/2014 5:41:02 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 2 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/13/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    St Augustine's Exposition on Galatians St Paul says, Be like me – who, though I was born a Jew, have learnt through spiritual insight to look down on things of the body – as I have become like you – that is, I am a man. Next he very properly reminds them of his love for them, so that they should not think that he is their enemy. My brethren, hear me: you have never done me harm – implying, ‘do not therefore think that I mean to do you any harm’. My children, he adds – so that they...
  • The Divine Office: Without the Creator the creature would disappear.

    02/08/2014 9:20:24 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/8/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    Vatican II, 'Gaudium et Spes' Just as it proceeds from man, so human activity is ordered toward man. For when a man works, he not only alters things and society, he develops himself as well. He learns much, he cultivates his resources, he goes outside himself and beyond himself. Rightly understood, this kind of growth is of greater value than any external riches which can be obtained. A man is more precious for what he is than for what he has. Similarly, all that men do to obtain greater justice, wider brotherhood, a more humane disposition of social relationships has...
  • The Divine Office: You shall be my witnesses

    From an account of the martyrdom of Saint Paul Miki and his companions, by a contemporary writer The crosses were set in place. Father Pasio and Father Rodriguez took turns encouraging the victims. Their steadfast behaviour was wonderful to see. The Father Bursar stood motionless, his eyes turned heavenward. Brother Martin gave thanks to God’s goodness by singing psalms. Again and again he repeated: “Into your hands, Lord, I entrust my life.” Brother Francis Branco also thanked God in a loud voice. Brother Gonsalvo in a very loud voice kept saying the Our Father and Hail Mary. Our brother, Paul...
  • The Divine Office: In Christ are the first-fruits of the Resurrection

    02/04/2014 6:19:09 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/4/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop The Word of God became man, the Son of God became the Son of Man, in order to unite man with himself and make him, by adoption, a son of God. Only by being united to one who is himself immune could we be preserved from corruption and death, and how else could this union have been achieved if he had not first become what we are? How else could what is corruptible and mortal in us have been swallowed up in his incorruptibility and immortality, to enable us to receive...
  • The Divine Office: The hearts and minds of all believers were one

    02/03/2014 7:54:02 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 7 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/3/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a treatise on the psalms by Saint Hilary of Poitiers Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity! It is good and pleasant for brothers to dwell in unity, because when they do so their association creates the assembly of the Church. The term “brothers” describes the bond of affection arising from their singleness of purpose. We read that when the apostles first preached, the chief instruction they gave lay in this saying: The hearts and minds of all believers were one. So it is fitting for the people of God to be brothers...
  • Had The Grammys Gone God

    01/29/2014 1:17:28 PM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 6 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/29/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    It is often pleasant to wish ourselves to a magical world where all is good. It's our "happy place" and I'm sure we all have one. Mine used to include music and I would anticipate "music's biggest night" as a high point in the year. At one time the Grammys was about music. But like MTV, it is not about music anymore, but rather theatrics and agenda. There is a controversy over this year's broadcast about whether it was offensive to Christians. Not that anyone in the Academy of Recording Arts or the industry cares about offending anyone. Christians were...
  • The Divine Office: Love the Lord and walk in his ways

    01/30/2014 7:06:04 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/30/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a sermon by John the Serene, bishop The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? How great was that servant who knew how he was given light, whence it came, and what sort of man he was when he was favoured by that light. The light he saw was not that which fades at dusk, but the light which no eye has seen. Souls brightened by this light do not fall into sin or stumble on vice. Our Lord said: Walk while you have the light in you. What other light did he mean but...
  • The Catholic Battle: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    01/30/2014 1:41:16 PM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 18 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/30/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    “OMG! Call Sam and Dean Winchester!”, was the comment on a YouTube video about the Illuminati and the music business. I thought this was funny! I watch the CW show “Supernatural”, where the Winchester brothers fight evil monsters and demons with the help of sometimes flawed angels. But we all know that demons (and the Illuminati) are not real, don't we? Many news services are beginning to rethink that. A story is circulating through the news outlets about a haunting and possession in Gary Indiana. The report tells of an single mother and two of her children who have been...
  • The Divine Office: Where sin abounded grace has overflowed

    01/29/2014 8:45:07 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner
    The Examiner ^ | 1/29/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a sermon on the Song of Songs by Saint Bernard, abbot Where can the weak find a place of firm security and peace, except in the wounds of the Saviour? Indeed, the more secure is my place there, the more he can do to help me. The world rages, the flesh is heavy, and the devil lays his snares, but I do not fall, for my feet are planted on firm rock. I may have sinned gravely. My conscience would be distressed, but it would not be in turmoil, for I would recall the wounds of the Lord: he...
  • The Divine Office: The Cross exemplifies every virtue

    01/28/2014 7:56:33 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/28/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest Why did the Son of God have to suffer for us? There was a great need, and it can be considered in a twofold way: in the first place, as a remedy for sin, and secondly, as an example of how to act. It is a remedy, for, in the face of all the evils which we incur on account of our sins, we have found relief through the passion of Christ. Yet, it is no less an example, for the passion of Christ completely suffices to fashion our lives. Whoever wishes...
  • 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
  • The Divine Office: Devotion must be practised in different ways

    01/24/2014 8:25:37 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 1 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/24/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    From The Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling. I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by...
  • The Divine Office: Behold, your king is coming to you, the Holy One, the Savior

    11/15/2011 5:36:35 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner
    Examiner.com ^ | 11/15/2011 | Joe Speranzella SFO
    A discourse by St Andrew of Crete Let us say to Christ: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. Let us hold before him like palm branches those final words inscribed above the cross. Let us show him honour, not with olive branches but with the splendour of merciful deeds to one another. Let us spread the thoughts and desires of our hearts under his feet like garments, so that entering us with the whole of his being, he may draw the whole of our being into himself and place the whole...
  • A Spiritual Reflection on the life of Whitney Houston

    02/14/2012 7:08:22 PM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 28 replies · 2+ views
    The Examiner ^ | 2/14/12 | Joseph Speranzella
    Two events will mark this year's Grammy awards, the never thought possible reunion of the Beach Boys and the Two events will mark this years Grammy awards, the never thouhght possible reunion of the Beach Boys and the death of the 80's diva Whitney Houston. One might wonder what would interest a religious writer about this celebrity's life and death. Let's just say it offers a cautionary tale.
  • Heavenly Voices-a child's perspective

    02/13/2012 6:42:59 PM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 9 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/13/12 | Joseph Speranzella
    There are times when children are the most sensitive creatures to spiritual thinking. I'm sure we all have a tale or two about ways in which children express the sacred. I had one such story happen to me in the wee hours of the morning.
  • A meditation from the book of James on our Shadow selves.

    02/16/2012 9:37:41 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 2 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 2/16/2012 | Joseph Speranzella SFO
    Temptation and the Shadow- a meditation James 1:19-25 Remember this, my dear brothers: be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God's righteousness is never served by man's anger; do away with all bad habits that are left in you-accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you to, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. To listen to the word and not obey is like looking at our own features in a mirror and...
  • Today's Office of Readings

    02/17/2012 8:30:02 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner
    The Examiner ^ | 2/17/2012 | Joseph Speranzella
    From the Tractates on the first letter of John by Saint Augustine, bishop We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? Continue reading on Examiner.com The Divine Office: Our hearts long for God - Norfolk Catholic | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/catholic-in-norfolk/the-divine-office-our-hearts-long-for-god#ixzz1melSAROs
  • The Divine Office: Palm Sunday

    03/31/2012 8:06:51 PM PDT · by Catholic Examiner
    Examiner.com ^ | 3/31/2012 | Joe Speranzella SFO
    Reading From a homily by Saint Gregory Nazianzen We are soon going to share in the Passover We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol. Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and...
  • The Divine Office: Agnes' twin martyrdom

    01/21/2014 7:04:30 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner
    The Examiner ^ | January 21, 2014 | Joseph Speranzella
    From a treatise On Virgins by Saint Ambrose, bishop Today is the birthday of a virgin; let us imitate her purity. It is the birthday of a martyr; let us offer ourselves in sacrifice. It is the birthday of Saint Agnes, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. The cruelty that did not spare her youth shows all the more clearly the power of faith in finding one so young to bear it witness. There was little or no room in that small body for a wound. Though she could scarcely receive the blow, she...
  • The Divine Office: The Elect

    01/22/2014 9:56:14 AM PST · by Catholic Examiner · 9 replies
    The Examiner ^ | 1/22/14 | Joseph Speranzella
    By an utterly free and mysterious decree of his own wisdom and goodness, the eternal Father created the whole world. His plan was to dignify men with a participation in his own divine life. When in Adam men had fallen, he did not abandon them, but ceaselessly offered them help to salvation, in anticipation of Christ the Redeemer, ‘who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature’. All the elect, before time began, the Father ‘foreknew and predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he should be the firstborn among many brethren’.
  • 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...
  • 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
    www.canonlawmadeeasy.com ^ | 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 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
  • 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...
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...