29.11.2022
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CMRI "Una Cum" issues, Matrimonial Decisions, Jurisdiction

CMRI: "Una Cum" issues, Matrimonial "Moral Decisions", Jurisdiction

Here I will comment on some statements by Bp. Mark Pivarunas he made in his articles "My thoughts in regard to the "una cum" issue" and "Response to Stephen Heiner’s article:CMRI Part II Corrections and Answers"

Also, I will comment on some parts of the article "What Serious Catholics Should Know About the CMRI" by Stephen Heiner.

So, I offer my comments on the following three sections:

1. The "una cum" issue.
2. Mr. Heiner’s criticism of CMRI deals with matrimonial cases.
3. The jurisdiction of Bishop Mark Pivarunas.

I would just like to clarify that by commenting, I do not blame anyone. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but not everyone has the right to judge others. When commenting, I use the first right, but not the second, because, like many of you, I have the first, and not the second.

However, in my opinion, they are condemned in all three positions not by me, but by Divine Law, because they act not of faith, and you will see it if you have patience to read my comments to the end.

1. The "una cum" issue

From "My thoughts in regard to the "una cum" issue" by Bp. Mark Pivarunas:

"The other reference used by Fr. Cekada is from Rev. Maurice De La Taille in his book Mysterium Fidei. There are two points to be noted in this reference. The first point is: "Hence were anyone to mention by name an infidel, a heretic, a shismatic, or an excommunicated person...he would certainly violate the law of the Church." Nevertheless, he added in his footnote, "Though there are not a few teachers who think otherwise." There are certainly different opinions among theologians about this matter. And also, this reference pertains to the priest himself and not the faithful."

But, that's not true that "this reference pertains to the priest himself and not the faithful."

During the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy a Catholic priest or deacon mentions in an audible voice the name of the Pope and the Bishop three times.

In a non-Catholic Divine Liturgy a priest mentions in the same way his Patriarch and a Bishop. Therefore, it is very easy for all attendants to figure out which Liturgy they attend, the Catholic or non-Catholic.

It is a completely different matter in the the Roman Liturgy, where the priest once, "in absolute silence", mentions the Pope and the Bishop, and it is not easy for anyone in attendance to understand - if he does not know it beforehand - whether the Mass is una cum Pope or una cum someone else, i.e., is the Mass Catholic or non-Catholic.

Rev. F. X. Lasance explains:

"Silence now reigns at the altar. In the Old Law the high priest entered alone into the Holy of holies. Like Moses, he spoke alone with God, and the Lord answered him. (Cf. Ex. 19, 10.) Thus, too, the priest recites in silence the wonderful prayers of the Canon, and renews the mysterious sacrifice of Christ’s infinite love. The ceremony proceeds in absolute silence."
The New Roman Missal, by Rev. F. X. Lasance, p. 86.
In the Roman Mass, after Lavabo, a priest prays Suscipe sancta Trinitas... etc. Then he turns to the people, and facing them says in an audible voice "Oráte, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum sacrifícium acceptábile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipoténtem" "Pray, brethren: that my and your sacrifice may be acceptable to God the Father Almighty".

Also, when at the words una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. a priest adds the name of the reigning Pope, and at the words et antistite nostro N. he adds the name of the Ordinary of the place where he says Mass, the faithful are uniting in spirit with the priest. In other words, the faithful agree with a priest when he mentions the Pope and the Bishop, and they agree with a priest when he mentions a public heretic, or a schismatic.

By mentioning the Pope by name, the priest manifests unity with him, as the visible head of the Catholic Church upon earth. By mentioning a heretic, instead of the Pope, the priest manifests unity with a heretic as the head of the Catholic Church. Laity in attendance manifest the same unity either with a Pope or a heretic.

The Church's Teaching is very clear, that during the Holy Mass the faithful are uniting themselves in spirit to the priest both in the offering of the sacrifice and in liturgical prayers, and here are some excerpts:

THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED: 5. Not the priest alone, but all the faithful who are present at Mass, may offer the holy sacrifice for a special intention.
The people who are present when Mass is celebrated offer it with the officiating priest. The priest offers the sacrifice in his own person, the people offer it by his hands. Hence St. Peter speaks of Christians as a kingly priesthood (1 Pet. ii. 9), and the Jews of old were called a priestly kingdom (Exod. xix. 6). In the prayers of the Mass the priest includes the people with himself as those who offer the oblation (Orate Fratres); in fact the priest must of necessity have some one to offer it with him, for on no account is it permitted to say Mass without a server, who represents the people. And as those who assist at Mass are fellow-sacrificers with the priest, it follows that their prayers have the same power as his. The faithful ought therefore, whenever they hear Mass, to offer it for some definite intention. This may be done either at the commencement of the Mass, or at the offertory, or immediately after the consecration. Take heed, O Christian, that in the Mass you frequently offer up the divine Victim to His heavenly Father; the more often you do this, the more abundantly will you be enriched. Those who neglect thus to offer the holy Mass in word or in thought, lose much that they might gain. The due blessing of Mass does not consist in merely being present at it, but in uniting one's self in spirit to the priest who offers it.
THE CATECHISM EXPLAINED, FROM THE ORIGINAL, OF Rev. FRANCIS SPIRAGO, professor of Theology. EDITED BY Rev. RICHARD F. CLARKE, S.J. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: BENZIGER BROTHERS, Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 1899, Nihil Obstat, Thos. L. Kinkead, Censor Librorum, Imprimatur, +MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York, New York, August 8, 1899, p. 549.

THE CEREMONIES of the ROMAN RITE DESCRIBED:

"The offertory act now follows...
...As soon as he begins to wash his hands he says silently the verses of the psalm Lavabo inter innocentes and continues while drying them. He stands at that end of the altar while saying these verses; if necessary he may read them from the altar-card. He bows towards the cross as he says the verse Gloria Patri. Then he comes to the middle with joined hands, while saying Sicut erat, etc. At the middle he looks up and then lowers the eyes. Laying the hands joined on the altar before him, and bowing slightly, he says silently the prayer Suscipe sancta Trinitas. Then, laying the hands palm downwards on either side, outside the corporal, he kisses the altar. Joining the hands he turns by his right side to the people. Facing them he stretches out the hands and joins them again, as at the Dominus vobiscum. Meanwhile he says Orate fratres in an audible voice. He turns back to the altar, by his right side (completing the circle), while he continues, ut meum et vestrum sacrificium, etc., in a low voice."
THE CEREMONIES of the ROMAN RITE DESCRIBED BY ADRIAN FORTESCUE WITH A PREFACE BY HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL BOURNE ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER BURNS OATES AND WASHBOURNE LTD LONDON. MCMXX NIHIL OBSTAT F. Thomas Bergh, O.S.B., Censor Depvtatvs. IMPRIMATVR Edm. Canon. Svrmont, Vicarivs Generalis. Westmonasterii, die 6 Septembris, 1917. p. 49, 50

THE MASS A STUDY OF THE ROMAN LITURGY:

"THE CANON.
I. The Preface.
THOUGH the title "Canon Missae" now stands after the Sanctus, it is important to remember that the Preface is really part of the Canon. Originally it was counted as such. In the Gelasian Sacramentary the rubric: "Incipit canon actionis" stands before "Sursum corda". The reason of this is plain. The Canon is one long prayer, the Eucharistic prayer (Prayer of Consecration). In accordance with the fact that our Lord at the Last Supper took bread and wine and gave thanks, in all rites this prayer is in the form of a thanksgiving. In all the celebrant begins by inviting the faithful to thank God, and then prays in this form, thanking God for his benefits, especially for the coming of the Son of God on earth; so he remembers our Lord's life and in it what our Lord did the night before he died"
THE MASS A STUDY OF THE ROMAN LITURGY BY ADRIAN FORTESCUE LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK, BOMBAY AND CALCUTTA 1914 Nihil Obstat: F. THOS. BERGH, O.S.B., Censor deputatus. Imprimatur: EDM. CAN. SURMONT, Vic. gen. Westmonasterii, die 28 Martii, 1912. p. 315

So, that is very clear that the faithful who actively participate in Holy Mass offer it with the priest. The priest offers the sacrifice in his own person, the faithful offer it by his hands.

Therefore, when SSPX or other priests, offer the sacrifice "una cum fámulo tuo Papa nostro Francesco", as the visible head of the Catholic Church upon earth, the laity of the CMRI - actively participating in those Masses - offer the sacrifice "una cum fámulo tuo Papa nostro Francesco", as the visible head of the Catholic Church upon earth as well.

Some say that by mentioning the Pope in the Canon, the priest does not offer sacrifice of the Mass una cum (together with) the Pope, but he only prays for the Pope, and that it has completely different meaning for the laity when they participate in Holy Mass.

Let us see, whether there is a matter if una cum is translated as "together with thy servant N. our Pope" (which is literal translation) as it is in THE ROMAN MISSAL IN ENGLISH FOR THE USE OF THE LAITY, or "for thy servant N. our Pope" as it is translated by Rev. F. X. Lasance or ADRIAN FORTESCUE.

THE ROMAN MISSAL, TRANSLATED INTO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE FOR THE USE OF THE LAITY:

"WE therefore, humbly pray and beseech thee most merciful Father, thro' Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to accept and bless these gifts, these presents, these holy unspotted sacrifices, which in the first place we offer thee for thy holy Catholic Church, to which vouchsafe to grant peace; as also to preserve, unite, and govern it throughout the world: together with thy servant N. our pope N. our Bishop, as also all ortnodox believers and professors of the catholic and apostolic Faith."
THE ROMAN MISSAL, TRANSLATED INTO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE FOR THE USE OF THE LAITY. PUBLISHED WITH THE APPBOBATION OF THE RIGHT REV. THE BISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA, FIRST REVISED EDITION. PHILADELPHIA. PUBLISHED BY EUGENE CUMMISKEY, 1037 CHESTNUT STREET. 1865, duly approved of, and recommended by me to the faithful. Frederick James, Bishop of Philadelphia, p. xxxiii.

The New Roman Missal by Rev. F. X. Lasance:

"THEREFORE, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, to receive and to bless these + gifts, these + presents, these + holy unspotted sacrifices, which we offer up to Thee, in the first place, for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to guard, unite, and guide her, throughout the world; as also for Thy servant N., our Pope, and W., our Bishop, and for all who are orthodox in belief and who profess the Catholic and apostolic faith."
The New Roman Missal, by Rev. F. X. Lasance, p. 777

THE MASS A STUDY OF THE ROMAN LITURGY:

"The Intercession (from "in primis"), now spread throughout the Canon, begins by praying for the Church, Pope, bishop and the faithful." THE MASS A STUDY OF THE ROMAN LITURGY BY ADRIAN FORTESCUE, LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, NEW YORK, BOMBAY AND CALCUTTA 1914, Nihil obstat: F. THOS. BERGH, O.S.B., Censor dcputatus. Imprimatur: Edm. Can. Surmont, Vic. gen. Westmonasterii, die 28 Martii, 1912, p. 329.

No matter how una cum is translated "with our Pope", or "for our Pope", from it is clear that the emphasis in the prayer of the Canon is on the offering the sacrifice by the priest and the faithful for the holy Catholic Church in unity with Pope as the visible head of the Catholic Church upon earth. By mentioning the Pope by name the priest manifests his unity with the Pope, and the faithful attending the Mass manifest their unity with the Pope as well.

On the other hand, if the priest mentions a heretic or a schismatic instead of the Pope, he thus manifests unity with a heretic or a schismatic, and the laity do the same through the priest.

Here is an explanation by Rev. JOHN O'BRIEN that in the prayer of the Canon, the priest mentions the reigning Pope as the visible head of the Catholic Church upon earth, the Supreme Pontiff and the Vicar of Christ:

A HISTORY OF THE MASS AND ITS CEREMONIES IN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN CHURCH:

"In the first prayer of the Canon the priest prays for the Universal Church at large, and for its visible head upon earth, the Supreme Pontiff, by name; then for the bishop of the diocese in which he is celebrating; and, finally, for all the orthodox upholders of the Catholic Faith. In mentioning the reigning Pope he gives him the first part of his official title, without adding anything else to particularize him - thus, "Pius," ''Gregory," ''Leo," or whatever else the name be - and makes a slight bow to the missal as he pronounces it, out of reverence for the name of the Vicar of Christ. The bishop of the diocese is mentioned in the same way, but without any bow of the head. In case the diocese should be ruled by a bishop administrator or coadjutor while the real bishop, through some indisposition, is unable to attend to it, the name of the indisposed bishop must, nevertheless, be inserted, and not that of the administrator or coadjutor. When a bishop himself says Mass, instead of saying, "and our bishop, N.," he says, "and I, thy unworthy servant," without expressing his name. When the Holy Father celebrates he says, "I, thy unworthy servant, whom thou hast wislied should preside over thy flock." If the Mass be celebrated at Rome no bishop's name is mentioned after the Pope's, for there is no other bishop of Rome but, the Holy Father himself. What has been said here of bishops, of course, applies also to archbishops, patriarchs, and cardinals, no matter of what grade. The members of religious orders are not permitted to insert here the name of their superior, but must, like secular priests, add that of the bishop of the diocese.

"Pro omnibus orthodoxis" - "For all the orthodox."

Since there are two expressions in the latter part of this first prayer which mean one and the same thing, many writers have supposed that by the word orthodox are here meant all those who are outside the visible unity of the Church by schism only; according to which the present Greek Church with its offshoot, that of the Russian Empire, would be included. The reader need hardly be told that any given Church may be schismatic without being heretical at the same time. The one neither means nor necessarily implies the other. The one may, theologically speaking, be sound in tlie faith; the other never can be. A heretic, from the very derivation of the word (αιρεω), is one who constitutes himself a judge and chooses his faith upon the strength of his own private authority. A schismatic, strictly speaking, is one who separates or cuts himself off (σχιζω) from the outward unity of the Church by refusing assent to some point of discipline, or autliority to the chief pastor. Now, although the so-called Greek Church has been schismatic since the ninth century, with little exception, still it has never by any formal act been declared heretical by the Holy See; and until the Holy See passes judgment upon it and pronounces it heretical no private authority has a right to do so. Some think, therefore, that it is no distortion of the meaning of this prayer to suppose that it refers to, or at least includes, schismatics when it speaks of the orthodox, for, as the say, a person may be orthodox - that is, sound in the faith - and still be outside the visible unity of the Church. The principal objection to this interpretation is, that the Church is not accustomed to share the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with those who are wilfully out of her Communion.
A HISTORY OF THE MASS AND ITS CEREMONIES IN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN CHURCH, BY Rev. JOHN O'BRIEN, A.M., PROFESSOR OF SACRED LITURGY IN MOUNT ST. MARY'S COLLEGE, EMMITTSBURG, MARYLAND, NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO. BENZIGER BROTHERS, Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, Imprimatur: John Card. MacCloskey, Archbishop of New York, New York, March 25, 1879, JAMES, Archbishop of Baltimore, Baltimore, Feast of St. Benedict, 1879, pp. 302-304.

So, it is clear that in the prayer of the Canon, the SSPX priests mention "our Pope Francis" as the Vicar of Christ, showing their spiritual unity with him. By actively attending such Masses, the CMRI laity shows the same unity with "our Pope Francis".

From "My thoughts in regard to the "una cum" issue" by Bp. Mark Pivarunas:

"6) The mind of the Church is that the Sacraments were instituted by Christ for man's salvation. Canon 2261 reflects the mind of the Church: "Except as provided in number 3, the faithful can for any just cause ask for sacraments or sacramentals of one who is excommunicated, especially if there is no one else to give them; and in such cases the excommunicated person so asked may administer them, and is not obliged to ask the reason for the request."

7) Fr. Oswald Baker, a well-known 89 year old traditional priest from England, held this position:

"Given the extreme abnormality of a situation in which Lohn Paul II is all but universally accepted as Pope, the faithful who would otherwise be depraived of the life-giving sacraments are in my view entitled to ignore Lefebvre's professed allegiance and attend the Masses of his priests."

Let us see whether they are telling the truth or not.

A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW,
By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE:

"These two canons are closely related to each other, because both treat of the same subject, viz.: the Sacraments and Sacramentals. Can. 2260 determines the reception or passive use of the Sacraments, whilst can. 2261 treats of the minister or active administration of these means of grace." "Can. 2261,1 prohibits excommunicated persons from administering the Sacraments and sacramentals, and priests from saying Mass." "However, there are exceptions stated in our canon, and consequently the penalty and irregularity just mentioned do not affect those administering the Sacraments under such circumstances. The exceptions are:
I. Provided the minister is not a vitandus or under a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, the faithful may, for any just reason, ask him to administer the Sacraments and Sacramentals to them. This is more especially true if no other minister is available, in which case the excommunicated minister thus asked may administer the Sacraments and sacramentals without as much as inquiring for the reason why the petitioner wishes to receive them."
A COMMENTARY ON THE NEW CODE OF CANON LAW, By THE REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE, O.S.B., D.D., Professor of Canon Law, VOLUME VIII, Book V, Penal Code (Can. 2195-2414) with complete index, W. E. BLAKE & SON, LIMITED CATHOLIC CHURCH SUPPLIES 123 CHURCH ST. TORONTO, CANADA, 1922, Cum Permissu Superiorum, NIHIL OBSTAT Sti. Ludovici, die 25. Aug. 1922. F. G. Holweck, Censor Librorum, IMPRIMATUR Sti. Ludovici, die 25. Aug. 1922. +Joannes J. Glennon, Archiepiscopus, Sti. Ludovici, pp. 180-182

REV. P. CHAS. AUGUSTINE explains that Canon 2261 says about the receiving by the faithful Sacraments and Sacramentals from excommunicated ministers, and administering the Sacraments and Sacramentals by excommunicated ministers to the faithful outside the Mass. This Canon does not say that excommunicated ministers can offer Masses by request of the faithful. The faithful may, under certain circumstances, ask them only to administer the Sacraments and Sacramentals to them.

However, some refer to Rev. Eric MacKenzie's Dissertation (see PS) "THE DELICT OF HERESY" who says that an excommunicated but not sentenced priest, being asked to administer a Sacrament, may go to the Church and celebrate Mass:

"2. When the priest or other cleric is excommunicated, but has not received either a declaratory or condemnatory sentence, the faithful are permitted to ask and receive from him any Sacrament or Sacramental, especially if other ministers are absent. In these circumstances the said minister is free to administer to the faithful, and does not thereby violate the censure of which he is conscious. The faithful are required to have a just cause for their request, but canonists do not require that it be a serious (gravis) cause; the earlier conferring of Baptism, the dispelling of doubt concerning the gravity of a sin and the state of conscience, the desire for greater purity of soul when approaching the Holy Table, or the wish to communicate more frequently, have been recognized as just causes for requesting Sacraments even from priests known to be under simple censure. Meanwhile the minister is not required to investigate the reasons impelling the faithful to approach him, nor to verify the justiceof their reasons. On being asked to administer a Sacrament, he is immediately free (ratione censurae) to do so. Even more, canonists do not require him to wait for an explicit request. Any implicit or reasonably presumed petition will be sufficient. Hence, when no other minister is available, a priest who is consciously guilty of a delict of heresy may go to the Church, and show himself as ready to hear Confessions at the regular hours, to distribute Communion and celebrate Mass when the faithful gather for these purposes."
THE DELICT OF HERESY, Rev. Eric MacKenzie, The Catholic University of America Washinqton, D. C. MCMXXXII, Nihil Obstat: PATRICK J. WATERS, Ph.D. Censor Deputatus, Imptimatur: WILLIAM CARDINAL O'CONNELL, Archbishop of Boston, Boston, June 3, 1932, p. 79.

Well, that is a good commentary for those who believe that the successor of St. Peter is now reigning, and SSPX priests being guilty of the delict of heresy and excommunicated (but have not received either a declaratory or condemnatory sentence), offer Holy Masses and mention him in the Canon of Mass as the Vicar of Christ and the visible head of the Church.

But, Canon 2261 is not an excuse for those who believe that the Throne of St. Peter is vacant and that it is OK for non-excommunicated SSPX priests to pray for a non-pope, in the Canon of the Mass, as the visible head of the Church and the Vicar of Christ.

Therefore, actively participating in such Masses, CMRI laity are condemned by Divine Law, because they act contrary to Canon Law and their own faith, because "all that is not of faith is sin".

"But he that discerneth, if he eat, is condemned; because not of faith. For all that is not of faith is sin." TO THE ROMANS 14:23

Therefore, it is clear that by misusing Canon 2261, Bp. Pivarunas leads his laity into grave error.

2. Mr. Heiner’s criticism of CMRI deals with matrimonial cases

From "Response to Stephen Heiner’s article: CMRI Part II Corrections and Answers By Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI":

"The second matter of Mr. Heiner’s criticism of CMRI deals with matrimonial cases. In his “CMRI Part II,” he conveniently omits my direct response to his first article, which was sent by me through Dan Davis. This is my response to Mr. Heiner, which he conveniently ignored:

“Your claim that CMRI recognizes Novus Ordo annulments is absolutely false.

“And secondly, the moral decisions the CMRI have made are very rare and were based on objective evidence and concrete facts, which according to the principles set down by Pope Pius XII establishes moral certainty in these cases.

“When Bp McKenna assisted CMRI in such moral decisions, he never claimed to possess ordinary jurisdiction as does a diocesan bishop which would be an annulment in the true sense of the word. Nevertheless, Bp McKenna, following the theological position of Bp Gerard de Laurier, held that the traditional bishops despite their lack of ordinary jurisdiction, carry on the “missio” of the Catholic Church. The “missio” is the mission of the Catholic Church for the salvation of souls.

“Based on that position, Bp McKenna assisted the CMRI in those marriage decisions."

From "CMRI Part 2: Corrections and Answers to Objections BY STEPHEN HEINER - FEBRUARY 14, 2022":

"As to the second issue, Fr. Carlos Borja issued an “answer” by Twitter (not really an appropriate venue to answer such serious charges, because of length constraints) elliptically confirming that the CMRI do indeed get involved in marriage issues, calling them “moral decisions” and implying that this was something done in the distant past as opposed to something being done in the present. Unfortunately, this contradicts statements by Fr. Gabriel Lavery and Fr. Francisco Radecki, who when asked point-blank on these issues on the occasion of Fr. Cekada’s funeral in late 2020 replied in the affirmative, that the CMRI do indeed deal with annulments hic et nunc, not in some hazy traditionalist past. Furthermore Fr. Gabriel Lavery affirmed that he tells his faithful that if he is not available to offer Mass to them that they can, indeed, go to una cum Masses, like those offered by the SSPX. I don’t believe that Fr. Radecki or Fr. Gabriel will deny having made these statements, so it now falls onto the CMRI apologists to square their strident accusations against me with the realities of these remarks."

"Canon 1960 states that “Matrimonial cases between baptized persons by proper and exclusive right pertain to an ecclesiastical judge” (emphasis mine) and Canon 1572 says that a tribunal must be constituted by the bishop of the diocese. As said in the original article epikeia does not allow for these cases to be adjudicated by anyone other than the authorities listed, much less the CMRI, and calling the process “moral decisions” instead of what they are, effectively “annulments,” is again, problematic, to say the least."

From "CMRI Part 3: Clergy Respond and Final Thoughts BY STEPHEN HEINER · MARCH 26, 2022":

"That CMRI adjudicate marriage cases that they have no right to in Church law.
The CMRI have made up a term, “moral judgments,” to categorize their judgments on marriage cases. The CMRI have tried to say that these “moral judgments” happened in the past, not really in the present but we have learned that in multiple CMRI parishes, people with Novus Ordo annulments have been “given permission” by CMRI clergy via these “moral judgments” to contract Catholic marriages (hence making those “moral judgments” effectively annulments) and that in some cases, children from previous marriages even show up at the chapel, confusing and scandalizing faithful. Whether this is to be denied is irrelevant, as these examples exist and continue to exist."

If that is true that CMRI clergy - not having the right to do that - practice "moral decisions" on matrimonial cases, and "in some cases, children from previous marriages even show up at the chapel, confusing and scandalizing faithful," then it seems that actually they encourage the laity to practice divorces and remarriages. Of course such a practice is far from the Catholic faith.

In making such "moral decisions", the CMRI clergy are responsible for every broken family, for every abandoned child, for every act of adultery, and for every grave sin committed by people to whom they have given permission to contract new marriages. They are responsible for the moral ruin of these people and their children.

Although the practice of such "moral decisions" by the CMRI cannot be called Catholic because this practice is obviously contrary to Canon Law, there is an explanation, because it turned out that Bp. Pivarunas claims ordinary "jurisdiction".

3. The jurisdiction of Bishop Mark Pivarunas

Perhaps many of you will be surprised to learn that Bp. Pivarunas quite seriously claims that he enjoys jurisdiction in Russia and the former USSR. If you visit this site cmri.eu you can see the following statement:

The jurisdiction of His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI in Russia

CATHOLIC MISSION IN RUSSIA AND FORMER USSR

Bp-Pivarunas_Jurisdiction

I hope everyone who reads this article knows that in the Catholic Church, Bishops obtain jurisdiction from the Pope. And since Bp. Pivarunas claims to be a Catholic bishop, but one question remains unanswered: From which Pope did he obtain "jurisdiction"? The question can also be phrased differently: Who granted "jurisdiction" to him?

Thus, one can say that the practices of the CMRI on the three positions that I commented on, are in serious contradiction to the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, and are condemned by Divine Law, because they are not of faith. As St. Paul says "For all that is not of faith is sin."

And once again I would like to repeat that by commenting I have no intention of blaming anyone. I'm just presenting my point of view.

Fr. Valerii

PS. Canon 2261 does not mention excommunication for the delict of heresy, and it is not clear why Rev. Eric MacKenzie speaks of the delict of heresy in his commentary to this Canon.

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