Tag Archives: canon law

Francis G. Morrisey, RIP

The sad news was sent out among the canon lawyers that the “dean” of canonical study, Father Francis G. Morrisey, O.M.I., died this morning at 9:40 a.m. at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, Ottawa.  Father Morrisey had been receiving palliative care for the past several weeks due to a cancer diagnosis. His sister, Joan, was with him at the time of his death.

As one canonist said, “The Church has been enriched by Frank’s selfless outpouring and, through the Church, cultures and societies throughout the world have also been enriched. He remains a gentleman esteemed and admired by a plethora of social innovators, church leaders, and professional colleagues. He has shown himself to be a faithful son of Saint Eugene De Mazenod who envisioned bringing healing and hope to the peripheries of Eugene’s day. Frank has done the same in today’s world.”

Father Morrisey mentored many at Saint Paul University, Ottawa. It was  said that he was a brilliant, humble, caring teacher –a priest and servant of the gospel- a colleague, a gentle soul and a friend. He was a great contributor at the annual CLSA convention and at regional canon law conferences.

While I did not know Father Morrisey personally, I had some communication with him through the years and I have used his canonical thought. We all have been enriched by Father’s presence and his great humanity. He won a lifetime achievement aware in 2019 which you can read/listen here. Thanks be to God.

Eternal rest, grant unto Father Morrisey O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

May Father’s soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Eternal memory.

Conclave date set: for the good of the Universal Church, solum Deum prae oculis habentes.

George Alencherry.jpgThe Cardinals have determined that the Conclave will begin on 12 March 2013. The Votive Mass Pro Eligendo Pontifice (For the Election of the Pontiff) will be offered in the morning at Saint Peter’s Basilica by the Cardinal Dean and later that afternoon the cardinals will process from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine praying the Litany of Saints.

The cardinals will follow rules set down in John Paul IIs 1996 Universi Dominicu Gregis with the amendments of Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Normas Nonnullas; moreover, they will adhere to the norms of the Ordo Rituum Conclavis.
There are 115 cardinals voting, 77 of them need to agree on a single man. Mostly an European group of men with an average age of 72; Cardinal Kasper is the oldest at 80 (his birthday was March 5, after the sede vacnate) and the Cardinal Thottunka, the Syro-Malabar, the youngest at 53.
There are 67 created by the Pope-emeritus and 48 by Blessed John Paul; 19 were professed as religious; the majority are Italian trailed by the USA.
Saint Joseph, universal patron of the Church, pray for us, and the cardinals.
On the Roman liturgical calendar of Blessed John XXIII, March 12 is the feast of Saint Gregory the Great (+604).

Saint Raymond Penyafort

St Raymond of Penyafort, on sea.jpg

O God, who
adorned the Priest Saint Raymond with the virtue of outstanding mercy and
compassion for sinners and for captives, grant us, through his intercession,
that, released from slavery to sin, we may carry out in freedom of spirit what
is pleasing to you.

The wags will say that Saint Raymond is the only certified canon lawyer who is in heaven and that we ought to pray that Saint Raymond to guide other canonists to holiness.

From a letter by Saint Raymond Penyafort

The preacher of
God’s truth has told us that all who want to live righteously in Christ will
suffer persecution. If he spoke the truth and did not lie, the only exception
to this general statement is, I think, the person who either neglects, or does
not know how, to live temperately, justly and righteously in this world.

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Joseph Ratzinger’s “The pastoral approach to marriage should be founded on truth”

From a little known text by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published in 1998

The pastoral approach to marriage should be founded on truth

Concerning some objections to the Church’s teaching on the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful

In 1998 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, introduced the volume entitled “On the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried,” published by the Libreria in the CDF’s series (“Documenti e Studi”, 17). Because of its current interest and breadth of perspective, we reproduce below the third part along with the addition of three notes. The text was published today by L’Osservatore Romano.

The Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of 14 September 1994 concerning the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful was met with a very lively response across wide sections of the Church. Along with many positive reactions, more than a few critical voices were also heard. The fundamental objections against the teaching and practice of the Church are outlined below in simplified form.

Several of the more significant objections – principally, the reference to the supposedly more flexible practice of the Church Fathers which would be the inspiration for the practice of the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, as well as the allusion to the traditional principles of epicheia and of aequitas canonica – were studied in-depth by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Articles by Professors Pelland, Marcuzzi and Rodriguez Luño 2, among others, were developed in the course of this study. The main conclusions of the research, which suggest the direction of an answer to the objections, will be briefly summarized here.

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Formerly ex-communicated saints

Much is made of canonization of Saint Mary MacKillop with her sordid past of being an ex-communicated Catholic.
Whether by ex-communicated we mean official ecclesiastical punishment or a punishment imposed by a religious superior. One’s being cut off from the Christian community sacramentally is strikingly painful but sometimes a needed medicine for the cure of some spiritual sickness typically demonstrated in an act of disobedience to the Church’s authority based on intellectual separation from some dogma or doctrine of the Church. You’ll see this with matters pertaining to abortion and certain healthcare matters. One simple example is that the medicine of excommunication is automatically imposed by the act itself for threatening the life of the pope. For more information see Book VI of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, canons 1364-99 outline
Some good examples of saints who were once excommunicated and then restored to communication in the Church are:
Saint Cyprian
Saint Hippolytus of Rome
Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Gerard Majella – by St Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop – by the bishop in Australia
Saint Theodore Guerin by her bishop

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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