Monday, November 26, 2007

Bishop Conry: MP 'an opinion'

Briefing: presumably the responsible authorities in Rome already know about this, or soon will, and it is for them to act.

Comment: Damian Thompson is calling for Bishop Kieran Conry to resign, for writing to a member of his flock as follows:

“I would stand by all that I said, but I would reject the suggestion that [my comments] imply in any way a rejection of the Holy Father’s Petrine role and authority. But the matter is not one of doctrine or morals, and the Holy Father has expressed an opinion about the appropriateness of the so-called ‘Tridentine Rite’, in contrast, it must be pointed out, to the opinion of his predecessors, with whom, presumably, he disagrees. He has the same right.”

The implication of his letter is that, while he accepts the teaching of the Church on Faith and Morals, he rejects the authority of the Law of the Church: the Motu Proprio is a legal act, as he well knows, not a prudential opinion. Coming from a bishop, this is pretty amazing. On the other hand, in refusing to accept the new legal realities created by the MP, Bishop Conry is in good company: if he should resign, so should Bishop Roche, Archbishop Conti and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. This is not going to happen. The next move in this game will be the promised explanatory document from Rome, and at some point soon the resolution by Rome of complaints: let's see what happens then.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen