- Canon 1373 – A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.
Some notes on terminology:
- “animosities” – This generally refers to riling people’s emotions to such a point that their emotions rule their reasoning capacities. We would normally call this inciting prejudice. However, this wouldn’t be an evil if it were to be directed at someone who, until he absolutely repented, couldn’t be trusted for anything whatsoever, such as Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao. So, the question is as to whether there is that which, in the law itself, helps us to distinguish what kind of animosity it is with which we’re dealing.
- “hatred” – “In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau” (Romans 9:13). God hates the sin and the sinner in such manner that He provides all that is needed for the sinner to repent and stop the sin, stop being a sinner, now being loved. Hatred can be a tool of love. So, the question is as to whether there is that which, in the law itself, helps us to distinguish what kind of hatred it is with which we’re dealing.
Distinguishing factors in the law:
Whenever we find a subordinating conjunction, we must needs pay attention, as it promises to make the necessary distinction for us. We find the legally significant word – “because” – in this law. Thus: “BECAUSE of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them.”
The punishment to be imposed irregardless of the simple fact of inciting animosities or hatred or to also to provoke disobedience in those who are subject to such acts of power or ecclesiastical ministry is, however, subject to the veracity of “some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry” actually being legitimate, that is, lawful, and does not issue from someone acting ultra vires, that is, beyond their powers, beyond their lawful capacities. Did Pope or Prefect or some subsequent bishop anywhere in the world act ultra vires, beyond their powers?
Once it is decided by an ecclesiastical court that no one was acting ultra vires and that the alleged perpetrator is actually guilty of a crime before God and man, then “an interdict or other just penalties” are to be imposed.
As even Wikipedia points out, “an interdict today has the effect of forbidding the person concerned to celebrate or receive any of the sacraments, including the Eucharist, or to celebrate the sacramentals.” That can be tantamount to condemning someone to hell. And I have always said that a “just penalty” would include whatever comes to the imagination of the powers that be, including burning at the stake.
Mind you, for many decades untold numbers of priests have NOT been put under interdict – as that might involve discovery on both sides as appeals are made – but rather priests have simply been marginalized with no due process and with no court at all. And anyway, how do you make an appeal when everyone on up the ladder have already been acting ultra vires on the very point under contention?
So, priests simply trying to do the right thing have been taken out of assignments, their living quarters taken away, having their pay cut, then their insurance cut, and then a request for the priest’s dismissal from the clerical state is made to the Holy See because the cleric is a “liability.” That’s granted, though usually with a fake ultimatum: Either you will spend the rest of your life in a “treatment center” for nothing that needs treatment (fidelity to Christ and the legitimate authority of the Church) or you will be dismissed from the clerical state. Just like that.
Oh, and that picture at the top? That’s the chopping block and axe used for the decapitation of Saint Thomas More in the most civilized of societies, of course. “Most civilized” always refers to the most blood-thirsty.
Anyway, back to any priest thinking about disobedience to Traditionis custodes and to the “legislation” of the answers to the CDW Dubia. I always go back to Aquinas on the law: If a law is unjust, is evil, it is therefore not a law, and is not to be obeyed or disobeyed, but ignored, for it is nothing. Of course, no sycophantic powers that be are going to listen to Aquinas, or Natural Law, or Divine Law, or Canon Law. No, they’re just going to make you feel their power, like Judas demonstrated his “power” over Jesus.
We can pray that bishops invoke Canon 87 in favor of the salvation of souls. One would think that this is what it’s all about, right?
Do I think that Pope Francis and the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) are acting ultra vires with Traditionis custodes and the Dubia responses? Yes. I’ve written on this quite extensively. I think these documents of Traditionis custodes and the Dubia reponses are an insult to Christ Jesus and His Sacrifice of the Mass and that, in this case, the underlying evil is such that it colors any obedience to the unjust law, such that one is complicit in the underlying evil.
By the by, there are other things
- I’m not going to give absolution to someone who has no repentance, having them receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin. That’s called sollicitation to sin, an automatic excommunication for a priest hearing confessions. I’m not going to do it. Any demand that I do such a horrible thing is illegitimate, acting ultra vires. I’m just going to ignore that.
- I’m not going to participate in the Synod on Synodality. I’ll have nothing to do with New Ways Ministries other than to tell them that they must repent. That’s it. They know the doctrine and morality of the Church. They know the Sacred Scriptures. The Holy See gives them a stage to promote their horror. To demand that I participate in this is acting ultra vires. I’m just going to ignore that. — et cetera, almost ad infinitum…
As Thomas More said at the end of the trial by which he was unjustly condemned, it wasn’t because of his not taking any oath that he condemned, but rather, and simply, it was because of the marriage. And in this case, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are dealing with the marriage of Christ and His Immaculate Bride, the Church, with the consecrations being His wedding vows. But the response I’ve heard right through the decades is that we are NOT to use our reason and our faith, but we are instead to have Jesus’ Truth filtered for us by brave theologians. Pfft.
This isn’t rocket science. Insulting Jesus is bad and evil and I’m not going there. No discussion.
What I have done here is to invoke the legitimacy of Galatians 2:11:
- “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.”
Invoking Galatians 2:11 is a supreme act of charity and justice and mercy. Am I to be condemned for that? Jesus will also have something to say about any powers that be acting ultra vires.
I don’t care about unjust penalties in this life, whatever the cost. I want to go to heaven.