16 March 2014

VIVA Kasper!

It is nice to know that Important People in Rome read my blog so carefully and take it so seriously. Cardinal Walter Kasper, I gather, has just fallen into line with my observation of February 28: it is an abuse to thrust episcopacy upon curial bureaucrats as a sort of 'honour'. He points out that even the great and admirable Cardinal Ottaviani, that hugely wonderful apotheosis of doctrinal rigour combined with Traditional peasant Catholicism, was not a bishop until B John XXIII, in accordance with his deplorable new policy, forced him to become one. Indeed, back even in the days of 'Renaissance Prince' prelacy, this was not thought necessary. Why can't the present Holy Father see the logic of my and Kasper's point? To thrust the charism of a Successor of the Apostles upon someone who is not going to be using that sacramental status in Ecclesia is an abuse of the Sacraments*. (I suppose we can't exactly call them episcopi vagantes ... how about episcopi stylipulsores?) Using the Sacraments themselves merely to augment a bureaucrat's dignity, vanity, and wardrobe**, while letting ones admirers say that one is 'humble' because one lets beautiful vestments lie unused in the Vatican Sacristies ... something about camels and gnats springs to mind.

Let Cardinal Presbyters remain Cardinal Presbyters! (And wear, daily, a galero, if they want to!)

er .... yes ... I know ... you'll point out to me that Ottaviani  was a Cardinal Deacon ...  er ... do you have to? Why do you have to be like that?
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*Metropolitan John Zizioulas made that point ... before he was elevated to the titular See of Pergamum.
**And how about the Holy Father's really weird decision that Vatican workers will continue to be made Monsignori as soon as they start to shave .... could it be that Signor Gamarelli has some sort of hold over Papa Bergoglio?

9 comments:

Stephen said...

It'd be interesting to know any historical correlations to an increase in bishops who are not ordinaries. Was it connected in any way with the development of ultramontanism? Or, did it come about as a means to gloss over a diminution of power?

Pastor in Valle said...

Dear Father, this has been my opinion for a long time. If one wants abuses to reform, let us start here.

David Murphy said...

Perhaps it is worth noting, Father John, that the Pope has already abandoned the practice of promoting clerics to Monsignori and called on the new Cardinals to celebrate their elevation less profusely than was the wont.

mainbain said...

Curial bishops are bureaucrats yes, but of a very special kind, so it is not helpful to view their ecclesial service in purely functional terms. They participate in an intimate way in the exercise of the Pope's triple munera. In order to assist him in teaching, sanctifying and ruling the Church they surely need the graces that flow from episcopal ordination, do they not? And curial bishops certainly do exercise their episcopal powers in the matter of ordaining bishops. Card. Ottaviani did not, but - to take one example - his co-consecrator (Card. Masella) participated in the episcopal ordination of numerous bishops while serving as Prefect of one or other dicasteries.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

That is precisely how B John XXIII explained his innovation. It is strange that something so obvious ... if it is ... never occurred to any previous Pontiff.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

... and, David, I rather thought that Francis had explicitly left in place the provision that curial monsignori got the tuft automatically at 35. Are you sure you've got your facts straight? Or is there a more recent enactment which I have missed?

GOR said...

Father I don’t think it is automatic that curial staff become monsignori upon reaching age 35. If memory serves the statement was that they could receive the honor at age 35, whereas other clergy could only receive it after age 60 or 65.

But I could be wrong. As I recall from my few dealings with low-level curial officials many years ago, you would be hard put to find one who did not sport a little color over basic black…

David Murphy said...

My information is that no Monsignor title will be given to "secular priests" under 65, and that the only rank of Monsignor which will be conferred above 65 is that of "Chaplain to His Holiness", the lowest of the three.

I do not know whether curial secular priests are included, and wonder what would happen if a new Ordinary were to be appointed for one of the Ordinariates. Would he not be made "Protonotary Apostolic"?

Whatever, the thrust is clear, I think.

Anagnostis said...

I remember Fr Stephen Freeman mentioning in passing the manner in which his bishop conferred some presbyteral dignity or other on him: "Here. Have a hat. It's completely worthless".