Wednesday, September 27


Is there a canonist in the room?

I don't get it.

Milingo, erstwhile a bishop of the Catholic Church, as we all know, unfortunately ordained four married men into the episcopate.

Unless, that is, if you ask the Vatican. The Vatican's Press Office is referring to the ordinands as "supposed bishops," questioning the VALIDITY of the consecration. Now, obviously, the ceremony was ILLICIT. But, surely it was "valid" insofar as "matter, form, intent" is concerned.

Canon Law, however, is even more pondersome. It says that a man is inhibited from recieving orders by schism. What does this mean? We don't absolutely believe that, because we recognize the orders of the schismatic Eastern Churches, and we recognize the orders of the SSPX.

So, what gives?

The relevant text of canon law:

Can. 1040 Those affected by any impediment, whether perpetual, which is called an irregularity, or simple, are prevented from receiving orders. The only impediments incurred, however, are those contained in the following canons.

Can. 1041 The following are irregular for receiving orders:

1/ a person who labors under some form of amentia or other psychic illness due to which, after experts have been consulted, he is judged unqualified to fulfill the ministry properly;

2/ a person who has committed the delict of apostasy, heresy, or schism;

3/ a person who has attempted marriage, even only civilly, while either impeded personally from entering marriage by a matrimonial bond, sacred orders, or a public perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman bound by a valid marriage or restricted by the same type of vow;


Can. 1042 The following are simply impeded from receiving orders:

1/ a man who has a wife, unless he is legitimately destined to the permanent diaconate;

2/ a person who exercises an office or administration forbidden to clerics according to the norm of cann. ⇒ 285 and ⇒ 286 for which he must render an account, until he becomes free by having relinquished the office or administration and rendered the account;

3/ a neophyte unless he has been proven sufficiently in the judgment of the ordinary.

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