Newly-ordained priest Father Eric Kunz celebrated Solemn High Mass and Benediction, and Fr. Houser and a seminarian and clergy contingent from the Archdiocese were there to assist. Fr. Lenhardt was Fr. Kunz’ Assistant for the Mass. Several Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus were there, too– an order that mostly assists at the Ordinary Form but who have their own monthly Mass in the Extraordinary Form and who will host Solemn High Mass on June 6 at 9 am. The Church was also pretty full considering it was a weeknight Mass on a non-holy day of obligation.
At the end of a long and tiring day, I was able to enjoy a good chuckle while reading the so-called “romancatholicwomenpriests” press release in response to the decree from the Congregation for the Faith declaring that those who try to be, or make, “womenpriests” incur excommunication latae sententiae.
Vatican says will excommunicate women priests
Thu May 29, 2008 3:49pm EDT
By Phil Stewart
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests on Thursday, punishing them and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication.
The decree was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, giving it immediate effect.
A Vatican spokesman said the decree made the Church’s existing ban on women priests more explicit by clarifying that excommunication would follow all such ordinations.
Excommunication forbids those affected from receiving the sacraments or sharing in acts of public worship.
The Church says it cannot change the rules banning women from the priesthood because Christ chose only men as his apostles. Church law states that only a baptized male can be made a priest.
Proponents of women’s ordination say Christ was only acting according to the social norms of his time.
Attempts to ordain women priests are highly unusual. But the archbishop of St. Louis earlier this year declared three women excommunicated after an ordination ceremony in his diocese.
Excommunication is usually “ferendae sententiae”, imposed as punishment.
But some offences, including heresy, schism, and laying violent hands on the Pope, are considered so disruptive of ecclesiastical life that they trigger automatic excommunication, or “latae sententiae”.
The decree says that women priests and the bishops who ordain them would be excommunicated “latae sententiae”.
This was the same excommunication invoked against a renegade African archbishop who also broke Vatican rules when he ordained four married men bishops in 2006.
The archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo, made world headlines in 2001 for getting married himself in Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church at a mass wedding in a New York hotel. His union was never recognized by the Catholic Church.
(Writing by Phil Stewart, editing by Tim Pearce)
The Latin 🙂 text is below; the first paragraph deals with the Code of Canon Law relevant to the Latin Rite, and the second paragraph is identical in effect, dealing with the Eastern Churches. Signed by Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the CDF. It states that both the women attempting to receive ordination and anyone trying to confect ordination on them incur excommunication, latae sententiae, reserved to the Apostolic See.
This ends all doubt as to the correctness of the Archbishop’s recent actions, but I doubt it will cause a wholesale change of heart. It is something to pray for, though.
Congregatio Pro Doctrina Fidei
de delicto attentatae sacrae ordinationis mulieris
Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, ad naturam et validitatem sacramenti sacri ordinis tuendam, vigore specialis facultatis sibi a suprema Ecclesiae auctoritate in casu tributae (cfr can. 30 Codicis Iuris Canonici), in Congregatione Ordinaria diei 19 Decembris 2007, decrevit: Firmo praescripto can. 1378 Codicis Iuris Canonici, tum quicumque sacrum ordinem mulieri conferre, tum mulier quae sacrum ordinem recipere attentaverit, in excommunicationem latae sententiae Sedi Apostolicae reservatam incurrit.
Si vero qui mulieri sacrum ordinem conferre vel mulier quae sacrum ordinem recipere attentaverit, christifidelis fuerit Codici Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium subiectus, firmo praescripto can. 1443 eiusdem Codicis, excommunicatione maiore puniatur, cuius remissio etiam reservatur Sedi Apostolicae (cfr can. 1423 Codicis Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium).
Hoc decretum cum in L’Osservatore Romano evulgabitur, statim vigere incipiet.
Gulielmus Cardinalis Levada
Angelus Amato, s.d.b.
Archiep. titularis Silensis
More than 2, less than 10. I suppose he means “fewer” than 10, but no matter.
And who is Milingo? Here is how Tim Townsend describes him in today’s STLToday article:
Milingo is a former Zambian archbishop who was excommunicated in 2006 after consecrating married priests as bishops. In 2002, Milingo married a Korean acupuncturist, chosen for him by Moon, in a mass wedding run by Moon’s Unification Church.
I have to admit, if Bozek believes that affiliating with a Moonie excommunicate with severe mental issues will give him credibility, that says something about Bozek, doesn’t it?
Bozek said he also has talked to retired diocesan bishops in good standing with the church, and to bishops in several so-called Old Catholic churches including the Polish National Catholic Church, the American Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Catholic Church.
“I intend to lead St. Stanislaus and continue to be the pastor of this parish even if I’m laicized by the Roman Catholic church,” Bozek said.
Continue to lead them to hell– come hell or high water.
And finally, the Profiles in Courage Award this week goes to Bozek’s lackey Chairman of the Board, William Bialczak, who had this to say:
William Bialczak, chairman of the St. Stanislaus board, said Wednesday that he believed “the majority” of St. Stanislaus parishioners would remain at the church even if Bozek placed them under the authority of a bishop like Milingo.”That would be OK for most of us,” he said. “There’s only one God we all pray to.”
The CNA story on St. Stan’s is up and can be found here.
I love the headline– it is concise, accurate and devastating.
Schismatic St. Louis parish loses appeal to Vatican
I have posted the Archbishop’s statement in my most recent post. However, contained therein is the news that the CDF has found that Fr. Bozek has committed the canonical delict of communatio in sacris. The CDF has asked His Grace to inform Bozek to cease and desist within thirty days or else the CDF will ask the Holy Father to dismiss the excommunicated priest from the clerical state.
The following is the text of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke’s weekly column in the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This column will be published in the May 30 edition of the newspaper.