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The Responsibility of Bishops to Maintain Authentic Church Teaching in His Diocese

Canon 386 - 1. A Diocesan bishop, frequently preaching in person, is bound to propose an explanation to the faithful the truths of the faith, which are to be believed and applied to morals. He is also to take care that the precept of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially on the homily and catechetical instruction is handed on to all.

2. Through more suitable means, he is firmly to protect the integrity and unity of the faith to be believed, while nonetheless acknowledging a just freedom in further investigating its truths.

The Legal Recourse of the Laity in regard to Priests and Bishops that Abuse their Powers

In the past ecclesiastical authorities in the Roman Catholic Church were not restrained in the exercise of discretion. Vatican II changed this in a fundamental way. The old "power pyramid" ecclesiology was replaced by a "hierarchy of service." (Cormac Burke, Authority and Freedom in the Church, page 25) In respect to this point Christfidelis , July 31, 2002, a publication of the Saint Joseph Foundation, states that to translate this ecclesiology into juridical terms (as done in the Apostolic Constitution of Pope John Paul II, Sacrae disciplinae leges), "we must see placed on public ecclesiastical authorities the duty to act in good faith. Since they are now required to act in good faith, the capricious exercise of raw power by them is no longer possible."

The SJF then presented the following from one of its own legal cases:

We see this "new way of thinking" of Vatican II enshrined in the law in several ways. In 1967 Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic constitution, Regimini Ecclesiae Universae, created the second section of the Apostolic Signatura to enforce the rights of Christ's faithful even against public ecclesiastical authorities. The new Code of Canon Law, in striking contrast to the 1917 Code, codifies the rights and duties of Christ's faithful. But perhaps the most important of all is c. 128 of the 1983 Code, which states: "Whoever illegitimately inflict damage upon someone by a juridical act or by any other act placed with malice or negligence is obliged to repair the damage inflicted."

In the sense that it renders efficacious the rights and remedies heretofore created in the post-Vatican era, it is the capstone and palladium of the rights of the faithful. It requires that those who unlawfully harm another by a juridical act repair the loss. Canon 57- 3, moreover, provides that those who make a decree denying a favor prayed for are not relieved of damages created under canon 128. In short, the upshot is that arbitrary and capricious use of discretionary power is no longer acceptable under the 1983 Code. (SJF Case 89-1039.1)

Canon 1389 - 1. A person who abuses an ecclesiastical power or function is to be punished according to the gravity of the act or omission, not excluding the privation of office, unless a law or precept has already established the penalty for this abuse.

2. A person who through culpable negligence illegitimately places or omits an act of ecclesiastical power, ministry, or function with harm to another is to be punished with a just penalty.

After direct attempt at persuasion and argumentation fails, and if there is thought to be any possibility of resolution, non legal abuses of ecclesiastical power should be first addressed in a canonical process called Administrative Recourse. The appeal should be to a competent hierarchal superior. In cases involving allegations of violation of law the process is called a denunciation.

In a case against a Bishop the recourse is to The Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 2008

The Saint Joseph Foundation is a Catholic legal foundation dedicated to defend Catholic Truth and uphold Catholic Rights. They will help with preparing presentations to religious superiors on matters pertaining to faith, morals and abuse.

The Saint Joseph Foundation, 11107 Wurzbach, #601B, San Antonio, Texas 78230-2570 Ph. (210) 697-0717 fax: (210) 699-9439, E-Mail: stjoseph@txdirect.net Internet: http://www.st-joseph- foundation.org

A word from Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. in his new book, From Scandal to Hope: "Talk, write, suggest, implore and if necessary withhold your donations." OTHER CHURCH LAWS THAT ARE BEING VIOLATED AND IGNORED IN THE CLEVELAND DIOCESE 1. 1961 VATICAN DOCUMENT BARRING HOMOSEXUALS FROM ORDINATION AND RELIGIOUS VOWS

"Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders" promulgated by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for Religious, February 2, 1961 distributed to all Bishops in the United States and is found in the Canon Law Digest, Volume V, Bruce Publishing Co, 1963, pages 452-486. Canon Law Digest is a series of books that present "Officially Published Documents Affecting the Code of Canon Law" and states the following of this Vatican document:

Note: Although this Instruction was not published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis or any other public form but was privately circulated, it is nevertheless referred to by the Sacred Congregation of Religious itself as "a matter of public law." (Emphasis in the original).:

The important paragraph regarding homosexuals and the priesthood is on page 471, section D "The Required Chastity."

Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."

[Source of information: The Roman Catholic Faithful, "http://www.rct.org/docs/1961DocFound.html]

See also:
The Responsibility of Bishops & Superiors to Dissenters in the Catholich Church
Oath of Fidelity" to the Faith of the Church Taken by those who Serve in the Catholic Church"