Yesterday Damian Thompson reported:
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has invoked Canon Law to justify banning Archbishop Raymond Burke, a senior Vatican prelate, from saying the traditional Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral in June.
Yesterday Damian also noted on Twitter that this is the same Cathedral where the 99 names of Allah were said set to music.
Today Father Z gives a nicely balanced perspective on this. Surely the Cardinal was well within his rights to do this, but prudentially this was a mistake to say the least.
Today Damian Thompson tweeted.
Cardinal Cormac tells God that Second Coming has not been cleared with his office. Invokes Canon Law.
That’s outrageous. What a slap in the face to Burke and the Holy Father.
The cardinal wants to play canon lawyer, fine. The pope could make Burke a cardinal tomorrow and then he can say Mass anywhere in the world without permission.
Ha! Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor did NOT just try to use Canon Law against the highest judge in the Church after the Holy Father, did he? This is what could prudentially be called a “blunder”.
Cardinal Cormac is leaving his post shortly, so I don’t think he’s terribly worried about “blunders” of this sort.
Am not a canon lawyer, although I once considered it. And I have not looked deeply into Canon Law concerning this, but a Bishop I had the honor of knowing many years ago told me that a bishop in good standing may say Mass or conduct other sacred rites anywhere in the world at any time, but a sort of “professional courtesy” is that he inform the local ordinary of his presence and intentions.
It’s not just professional courtesy. The bishop/archbishop is the head teacher and governor of his see. His cathedral is especially his responsibility and under his rule. For any priest or bishop to go over or around him and celebrate without his prior invitation and permission is seriously wrong. The same thing goes for pastors of parish churches; people can’t just walk in and start celebrating Mass for events without being invited by the pastor.
That said, very few people have been taught about the powers of a bishop or a pastor. It’s a bit hard to expect people to know all about it. But the LMS folks are exactly the kind of people who should know all about it, because they’ve studied the long traditions and rules of the Church.
While the way the Mass was planned may have not followed proper protocol, I suspect this is really another temper tantrum on the part of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor because the Vatican hasn’t named his replacement yet.