1 December 2017

An odd address by Cardinal Parolin?

Speaking at an organisation called the Catholic University of America, Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, recently gave a lecture which seemed to me to have some distinctly dubious implications ... to which I hope to return later in the week. Just for today, however, a couple of weeny details.

His Eminence based the mission of Episcopal Conferences in the sacramental origin of the episcopal ministry; "in other words, these conferences are really 'episcopal': they have their raison d'etre not in a sociological principle of collaboration, but in the implementation of the ministry conferred on each bishop with episcopal consecration".

Interestingly, this appears to run contrary to PF's 'ecumenical' practice. PF meets ministers which are called 'bishops' but who belong to sects which do not possess or claim the Apostolic Succession and do not regard episcopal (or any) ordination as a sacrament. And he makes clear that he regards them as truly bishops. "We bishops", PF pointedly says to them in between the hugs. Clearly, Parolin is on a divergence course from PF in this matter. It is remarkable that he has chosen to make his disagreement so public, especially considering the symptoms of paranoia in PF revealed recently in an interview given by Cardinal Mueller (PF: "they tell me you're my enemy").

Secondly: Latin Catholicism has tended to have an immensely juridical style to it. Sacramental 'consecration' is not enough; a man must also have a missio canonica before he (lawfully) goes bishopping. He needs to have been given jurisdiction in a canonical way which may accompany, but is distinct from, his Consecration. This attitude lay behind the insistence that when Pope Ratzinger remitted the excommunications incurred latae sententiae by the SSPX bishops, they still possessed no licit ministry whatsoever in the Church Militant.

Parolin, in so exclusively emphasising the sacramental rather than the canonical or juridical, clearly implies that if his Excellency Bishop Fellay were to knock on the door of the Swiss Episcopal Conference, their excellencies would welcome him warmly. "My dear fellow", una voce they would cry, "do come in and implement together with us the ministry conferred on you in your episcopal consecration".

Furthermore, if Cardinal Mueller is right in his fear that PF might be leading the Church Militant into schism and division, it will, given Cardinal Parolin's ecclesiology, be pretty unproblematic if, a decade or two down the road, some orthodox bishops consecrate more bishops sine mandato Apostolico. So there may come a time when this ... von Schoenborn would call it "this development" ... might come in useful.

Could it be that Cardinal Parolin is be one of these crypto-Lefebvreists whom we are sometimes warned to avoid?


Banshee said...

CUA is a pontifical university, and it's literally right down the street from USCCB headquarters. So yeah, this is pretty pointed stuff.

CUA is weird. They keep trying to get Muslims to attend (and not to convert), and some of the administration and faculty is super-liberal. OTOH, you could probably spend all your time there and take nothing but conservative classes full of real learning.

And it's also right next door to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the Dominican House of Studies, so it's really a microcosm of American Catholicism.

What we do is done well, what we mess up is really messed up, and a lot of people are stuck inbetween.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father, you really must stop being so irritatingly precise and intellectually consistent with your neatly made ad hominen arguments! I fear those you criticise in this way may not grasp the point you are making and just hear you being 'negative' about the Brave New Church they are urgently trying to construct. When you expose some of the unforeseen but logical consequences of their own arguments, which are really only designed to sound theologically deep and clever, you risk annoying them immensely. You may have heard that Jesus told his apostle not to be like the pagan rulers who lord it over their subjects and make their authority felt, but remember, no one was around with a tape recorder at the time, so who knows what he really meant ... and times change, after all.

Nancy said...

Aren't the bishops of the Patriotic Association in China in that situation, being appointed by the Communists and without papal approval. Is he legitimizing them?

I wonder if Cardinal Parolin is laying the groundwork for a deal with the Communists that sells out the underground church