Jimmy Akin believes that Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts should get involved to give us an authentic interpretation of Canon 915. This would certainly help to remove the problem where different interpretations are pitted against each other.
Ed Peters has a post on that ‘discussion’ between Abp Burke and Cdl McCarrick.
Jeff Miller and Jimmy Akin are usually rock solid, but I wonder how you two could be so naive as to think that Rome speaking up would clarify the current situation and reduce the number of differing interpretations.
Rome has spoken numerous times already on this issue and others (such as liturgical abuse) and each time the number of wishy-washy interpretations and implementations proliferates rather than withers.
The clarifying statements from the Vatican have had no effect for the simple reason that confusion is not the problem here. I would suggest that fidelity, not confusion, is the real issue.
The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy
Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering
in Manifest Grave Sin
R. L. BURKE
Abp. Raymond Burke on Canon 915
In re the Eucharist: Cdl. McCarrick vs. Abp. Burke
It seems to me that it is impossible to get away from the fact that what the law says and enforcement of the law are two different things; and that the latter as a matter of Church governance is a prudential judgement. This doesn’t mean that I agree that Bishop X should not enforce 915; but it does (absent something from Rome to the contrary) seem that its enforcement is up to him. Just as any juridical enforcement within his diocese is up to him.
Analogizing to civil law, I think it is a good idea to have laws on the books outlawing sodomy; but I think it is a bad idea to vigorously and proactively enforce such laws.
I just don’t see how “the Bishop has no choice but to enforce canon law the way we think he should” is consistent with Catholic ecclesiology. It may be true even that he should – that our prudential judgement on enforcement is right and his is just flat wrong. But that wouldn’t mean that he is not within his rights as Bishop to enforce it as he sees fit: that he has no choice. And it isn’t clear to me that Rome ought to explicitly overrule his perogative on the matter, which is itself another whole different ball of wax.
I agree with Burnt. Let’s be serious here: confusion is not the problem, not excommunicating is.
Heads need to roll.
Thinking clarification would work is the same lame attitude that the gentle approach will work with said wayward politicians. They clearly will not understand what is at stake until they are denied communion.
And the clerics will not understand what is at stake until they are stripped of their collars.
I’ll concede Zippy’s point that in administering Canon 915, it is the bishop’s final decision as to when and how to enforce this law. I’ll even concede that neither the laity nor Rome has any business beyond respectfully advising bishops as to what course to take.
What confounds me is this curious notion that Just-One-More-Clarifying-Statement from the Vatican will sway the US bishops.
Now if the laity and the Vatican want to play the role of the nagging widow trying to get the unjust local overseer to administer justice, I see this as a laudable strategy. But in this case, we’re talking about thousands more statements, not one.
I agree with Burnt and StubbleSpark. I am reading a fascinating book by Anne Roche Guggeridge called The Desolate City, here is a quote from the book:
“One cannot really separate discipline from doctrine.There is no point, As Paul VI found, in issuing the soundest of instructions to mutinous subordinates”
I only have a High School education and Canons 915-16 seem pretty clear to me, clarification is not needed from Rome, punishment is whats needed.
Correction : that is “Muggeridge”
What we have here is a failure..to..excommunicate!
Rome speak up and actually clarify something instead of leaving it “ambiguous”? For that matter what was wrong with the 1917 code of Canon law as it pertained to marriage instead of the 1983 version which has enough vagueness in it to have created 60,000 annulments a year in the US instead of around 300
I think the church wants things just vague enough these past 40 years to be “inclusive” and yet still try and sell the label of Catholic
For me good old Traditionalism where things are black and white because morality, faith, morals and customs never need modernizing are what my family and friends adhere to