21 June 2016

Prelatical unemployment??

You won't catch me agreeing with all those dreadful traddies on blogs like Rorate in criticising our Holy Father's splendidly crisp new system for getting rid of "bishops" he doesn't like.

Since the Roman Pontiff is in the strict sense the only true Bishop in the Church, it follows that other "bishops" are Romani Pontificis vicarii tantum et legati. Since the Spirit, who is always waiting to surprise the Church with new truth, reveals His New Things through the Pope, and since all "bishops" are under an obligation to follow this "Spirit who speaks through Francis" [Mgr Pinto], it follows that the Pope must have the inalienable right to mould and fashion the universal "Episcopate" so that, both corporately and individually, it expresses precisely the style and policy and culture which, guided by the Spirit, he wishes all the "bishops" to have.*

Having listened to ones "Bishop", one ought to be able confidently and joyously to proclaim [ex. gr.] Verba Vincentii, Vox Francisci!

Pope Francis' new motu proprio about getting rid of unsuitable "bishops", the title of which might be loosely but happily englished as Mummy loves you, truly and most admirably fills a gap in the Church's Law. Don't listen to Rorate; this legislation is to be warmly welcomed.

This also is the moment, I feel, to plug yet another lacuna in the Church's canonical armoury: the lack of a section in Canon Law headed De Pontifice Romano semovendo [Provisions for the Removal of the Roman Pontiff].

As we all know, reputable authors have for centuries been in disagreement as to whether
(1) a heretic pope ipso facto loses his Office -  but then needs the Church authoritatively to declare that this has happened; or whether
(2) a heretic pope needs to be removed actu Ecclesiae before the Apostolic See is vacant.

This detail can easily be sorted out, and Bergoglio is just the man to do it.

I suggest that when a Pope is accused of doctrinal error or Narcissism or other grave misbehaviour, he should be tried by a Jury of 201 of his Venerable Brethren in the "Episcopate": fifty nominated by the Pope himself; fifty nominated by his accusers; and 101 selected (as in Ancient Athens) purely by lot. That's fair, surely?

In the text of a motu proprio which I have already carefully drafted laying out the appropriate procedures, my final section reads like this:
Qualora ritenga opportuna la rimozione del Papa, la Giuria stabilira, in base alle circonstanze del caso, se:
(1) dare, nel piu breve tempo possibile, il decreto di rimozione;
(2) esortare fraternamente il Papa a presentare la sua rinuncia in un termine di 2 giorni. Se il Papa non da la sua risposta nel termine previsto, la Giuria potra emettere il decreto di rimozione.

Anybody see any flaws in that? Italian grammar OK? Rather nicely drafted and crafted, don't'ya think? Or is potra a bit weak? Isn't fraternamente a lovely adverb? And esortare a beautiful verb?

*POST SCRIPTUM To avoid scandal, I ought to make clear that every single statement in my second paragraph is completely contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. I think I must have just been carried away by a Whimsical Spirit of Irony.

15 comments:

Gregory DiPippo said...

Optime Pater,

The future tenses need accent marks - stabilirà, potrà.

Also “più” has an accent to distinguish it from “piu”, the southern pronunciation of “pio”, and the verb form “dà” has an accent to distinguish it from the preposition “da - from.”

Liam Ronan said...

Two days strikes me as generous to a fault, Father. What might such a pope do on the third day after his papacy is declared dead, especially if he invokes the god of suprises?

mark wauck said...

Not precisely on topic, but ... since we're talking about unemployed prelates, the question arises: what to do with them? And, what about the unique case of the former prelate of the Roman Church?

Sandro Magister today quotes JP2 from an English language interview in 2002 by the Canadian journalist Conrad Black. Sorry, no link. However Magister provides a direct quotation, the exact words of the then pope: "A pope emeritus is impossible".

Interviews aren't dispositive of doctrinal questions, or at least they didn't use to be, so I'll just say that I agree with Papa Wojtyła on this one.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Thank you, Gregory. Sadly, my technological inadequacies compel me to omit accents in any langage; and, indeed, to present Greek and Hebrew transliterated!

Deacon Augustine said...

Why a jury of 201 of his venerable brethren? Have I missed a significance in this number?

Might not 401 be more in line with a relevant Canon?

mark wauck said...

@ Fr Hunwicke

"my technological inadequacies compel me to omit accents in any langage"

Heh. It's actually easy and -- fun! Check out my very cool "barred l" (ł as in Wojtyła). Total piece of cake to simply switch keyboard layouts with a click of the mouse.

GOR said...

Bravo, Father! However I would institute a preliminary step (un passo preliminare) of a Pauline nature. First, someone needs to “withstand him to the face” about the error of his ways. Being the Year of Mercy, I think this would demonstrate appropriate compassion.

My choice would be Cardinal Burke who - being short of stature - may require a small rostrum to ensure face-to-face withstanding. Or it could be Cardinal Pell, in which case a kneeler might just do the trick.

Alan said...

Possible quibbles, though my Italian is a bit rusty. "Se" normally takes a subjunctive in theclause's verb, especially in formal usage, and so I suspect "da" should be "dia". I'm not sure whether, as in your numbered clauses, "se" can be followed by an infinitive.

Rose Marie said...

Let l'Osservatore Romano supply the accents. I think it is splendid. Andiamo!

John F H H said...

For accents use alt+ (means holding down alt key whilst successively pressing the appropriate number keys).
A full list is here http://symbolcodes.tlt.psu.edu/accents/codealt.html
some examples
Alt + 0233 é
Alt + 0249 ù
Alt + 0224 à

John F H H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose Marie said...

Optime Pater, I just read Mummy loves you and I am laughing even more. Sauce for the gander, eh?

mark wauck said...

@ John F H H

I use the KDE desktop with Linux. Choosing various keyboard layouts is literally just a mouse click or two. Then Alt+the-desired-letter yields whatever you want. So Alt+L = Ł. Simple. I had the cap lock on, but Alt+Shift yields the same. If not, I get the lower case letter. Or, for example, ę or ą for the nasalized letters in Polish--or Ę Ą. Keyboard layouts are available for almost anything you could want, including Greek (Ancient, Modern, other variations) and Hebrew. I usually leave my keyboard layout as Polish because it never interferes with English unless I press the Alt key. If I want Greek or something else, then I switch--by clicking on an icon on my Toolbar.

William said...

Father, John F H H is assuming that you use Windows. In the event that you are so enlightened as to use a Mac, it would be my honour and privilege to demonstrate how to avail yourself of accents (and polytonic Greek; and pointed Hebrew.) It doesn't involve typing random numbers while holding down Alt!

Melinda said...

The language of "esortare fraternament" etc keeps reminding me of the quote from the film-version of tomorrow's saint: "And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?"