5 February 2014

New Good News

Splendid! Our Holy Father has made clear that First Communion should come after Confirmation.

And Cardinal Nichols will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in Birmingham Cathedral, upon becoming "Cardinal for England and Wales". I've never understood the position of the Archbishop of Westminster. In the front of my Breviary, there is the usual licentia imprimendi  by Cardinal Griffin: and his coat of arms includes a Primatial Cross, but the text does not describe him as [Totius] Angliae Primas ... simply as Coetus episcopalis totius Angliae et Cambriae Praeses Perpetuus. But Cardinal Heenan signed Lumen gentium  as Primas Angliae, even though he was not Archbishop of York.

Subsequently, the Primatial Cross was removed from the arms of the See of Westminster. One wonders what led to this and whether the excision was by the Holy See. One wonders why it was put there in the first place, making the arms look in monochrome just like those of Canterbury, when the Holy See granted the arms.

Does Vincent Nichols have any primacy over the four other Metropolitan Archbishoprics in England and Wales? Will a Primatial Cross be carried in front of him? I thought the term and concept of 'Primate'was obsolete except in European countries where it has survived as an archaic and titular anomaly. Has it been de facto replaced by 'Cardinal'?

9 comments:

Figulus said...

Dear Father,

According to the old Catholic Encyclopedia article written by A. Van Hove, the hierarchy of jurisdiction descends from the pope (who is also primate of Italy), to the cardinals, who have their own internal hierarchy based on order and, I believe, seniority, to the patriarchs, who in the west have only a rank of honor over other metropolitans, and then to the primates, who, like the patriarchs, hold only an honorary superiority.

There is a formal title called primate, but sometimes, perhaps more often, the title is used informally, as in the United States, where the archbishop of Baltimore is commonly called a primate, since his see was the earliest in the nation.

One could imagine, in principle, that there could be certain instances in formal occasions where it might be important to know whether a certain metropolitan were formally a primate or not. But in any country with a cardinal, the primacy of jurisdiction in that country will fall to the cardinal rather than to the primate, if the two be distinct. In a country with multiple cardinals, the primacy of honor will be determined by the internal hierarchy of the college of cardinals.

At least that is what I deduce given the data in the above mentioned article. There is no distinction mentioned in the article between cardinal electors and cardinals over eighty, or between bishops and bishops emeriti, and so on, all of which will complicate matters further, I’m sure. In the US, the archbishop of Baltimore is not a cardinal, but his predecessor, the archbishop emeritus, still is.

Matthew Roth said...

On the Holy Father: where were these remarks made?

The Rad Trad said...

Let us hope this indicates a full restoration of the proper orders for reception of the Sacraments is to come.

GOR said...

Someone more informed than me can speak to the ‘powers’ of a Metropolitan, which I believe are pretty limited – more nominal than juridical, I think - each bishop being sovereign in his own diocese.

In Ireland we have a unique situation in this regard. While the Archbishop of Dublin (usually not a Cardinal – Cullen and MacCabe being 19th century exceptions and Connell more recently…) is termed the Primate of Ireland, the Archbishop of Armagh (usually a Cardinal) is called Primate of ALL Ireland. But this may have more to do with civil than ecclesiastical issues.

I’m not sure who takes precedence in episcopal assemblies – probably Armagh.

However in times past when Archbishop John Charles McQuaid was feliciter regnans in Dublin for more than three decades, there was little doubt as to who wielded more ecclesiastical authority in all of Ireland – successive Cardinals in Armagh notwithstanding…

Don Camillo SSC said...

Does a Cardinal, qua Cardinal have jurisdiction? What does Figulus mean by "primacy of jurisdiction"?

Alan Robinson said...

Funnily, in a happy bit of unintended ecumenism, the situation of the two Primates is the same in the Church Of Ireland.
I thought that the Abp of Westminster was given the title Praeses perpetua (please forgive ignorance of the correct latin formulae)but not of course Primate.

Figulus said...

I mean by "primacy of jurisdiction" whatever A. van Hove meant by it. I wonder what he meant by it?

Peregrinus Toronto said...

In Canada, the cardinal archbishop of Quebec City is the Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada. Though not nearly the largest diocese e.g.. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and others are larger, the Quebec prelate in always "Primate". There is some similar designation for Baltimore in the USA. Both cities are the first established Catholic sees in their respective countries.

Catholic Left-winger said...

In my home diocese of Salford, the Scaraments have been in the correct order for over twenty years, with Confirmation more correctly tied to Baptism and no longer being the 'sacrament of farewell' it appears to have become for many teenagers. We are now in the position where the second generation of youngsters now receive the sacraments in the correct order.
Some people don't like it, I think it is true to the theology of the sacraments of Initiation.