Redemptionis Sacramentum 176-180

Let’s consider the role of the bishop in dealing with liturgical problems:

[176.] The diocesan Bishop, “since he is the principal dispenser of the mysteries of God, is to strive constantly so that Christ’s faithful entrusted to his care may grow in grace through the celebration of the sacraments, and that they may know and live the Paschal Mystery”. [Code of Canon Law 387] Itis his responsibility, “within the limits of his competence, to issue norms on liturgical matters by which all are bound”. [Code of Canon Law 838 § 4]

Bishops are responsible, ultimately.

[177.] “Since he must safeguard the unity of the universal Church, the Bishop is bound to promote the discipline common to the entire Church and therefore to insist upon the observance of all ecclesiastical laws. He is to be watchful lest abuses encroach upon ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the Word, the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the veneration of the Saints”.[Code of  Canon Law 392]

The conflicts tend to circle around matters of uniformity, not unity. Uniformity is the lazy’s person’s standard of unity.

[178.] Hence whenever a local Ordinary or the Ordinary of a religious Institute or of a Society of apostolic life receives at least a plausible notice of a delict or abuse concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, let him carefully investigate, either personally or by means of another worthy cleric, concerning the facts and the circumstances as well as the imputability.

If the bishop delegates an investigator, it must be a priest or deacon, according to this.

[179.] Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which “examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law”.[Cf. Pastor Bonus 52]

If Pastor Bonus is to be rewritten under Pope Francis, we will see if this prescription remains. I don’t see why the local bishop wouldn’t or couldn’t be responsible for the application of penalties, as needed.

[180.] Otherwise the Ordinary should proceed according the norms of the sacred canons, imposing canonical penalties if necessary, and bearing in mind in particular that which is laid down by canon 1326. If the matter is serious, let him inform the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Comments? We’re getting very close to the end now–only six more sections to go.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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