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Ominous Power Grabs – Part II

Vatican Places Roadblock
in Path of New Traditional Diocesan Orders

by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 10, 2016

In my last column on this subject I discussed the new apostolic letter whose language is broad enough to warrant the immediate removal of any bishop deemed “divisive” — i.e., too conservative — by the Vatican.  In support of my suspicion in this regard I cited the string of conservative bishops whose removal Francis has ordered since March of 2014, while liberal prelates around the world are left alone and even honored and promoted (e.g., the infamous appointment of Cardinal Danneels to the disastrous “Synod on the Family”).

Another Vatican measure, which went into effect on June 1, has the same potential for assisting the process of converting the Church into a banana republic whose climate is favorable to the likes of Cardinal Kasper, “the Pope’s theologian,” and other friends of Francis, but toxic to conservative dissenters from the program of “the God of surprises” and “the Spirit.”  

I am referring to a rescript from the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which purports to “clarify” Canon 579 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. In fact, the rescript alters the Canon radically by providing that on account of the supposed need to “avoid that new Institutes be erected in the diocesan level without the sufficient discernment that will confirm the originality of the charism,” no bishop may erect a society of consecrated life in his diocese without “prior consultation of the Holy See,” and that this consultation shall be understood as necessary ad validitatem [for the very validity] for the erection of a Diocesan Institute of Consecrated Life, under pain of nullity of the Decree of Erection of the Institute itself.”

Translation: no bishop can erect any diocesan society of consecrated life according to the power he possesses unless the Vatican bureaucracy says so. The prior “consultation,” which was required under the original canon, has now effectively been converted into a prior permission by the imposition of nullity in the absence of the consultation.  The Vatican need only withhold a reply to the request for consultation in order to veto the erection of any diocesan society of consecrated life the Vatican bureaucracy, infested with Modernist friends of Francis, does not like. 

Note the tipoff: under the rescript, the Vatican must be sure of “the originality of the charism” — meaning that the new society is sufficiently novel rather than boringly traditional.  For novelty is what the regime of novelty has demanded since Vatican II.

I quite agree with the assessment at Rorate Caeli:

If this had been the case in the past, many of the Traditional Catholic institutes and congregations first established as Diocesan foundations might never have seen the light of day... It is the centralization (and bureaucratization) of a very important part of Diocesan Life, a grievous wound on the autonomy of Particular Churches in ascertaining the needs of their own spiritual lives. The Vatican affirmed that it is not a “permission”, but a mere “consultation”... This may convince the gullible, but any individual who has ever had contact with a stifling bureaucratic apparatus knows that the intent here is to promote centralization in an area that has always been under the great autonomy of each individual Ordinary, who has himself “divinely conferred authority.”

Francis talks the talk of collegiality and decentralization in the Church, as in Evangellii Gaudium, where he calls for “the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”. But he walks the walk of a dictator in the process of consolidating his control over every aspect of the life of the Church in an effort to remake it according to his personal vision, set forth in the same document: “I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”

Yes, we have a Pope who thinks there is an opposition between evangelization and the Church’s self-preservation.  And every move he makes tends to demonstrate that he is little concerned with preserving the integrity of faith and morals as opposed to doing whatever he pleases according to his “dream” of what the Church should be.

May God rescue His Holy Church from the rising tempest of this pontificate.  Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!