28 July 2014

Is there a canonist out there?

It appears that the former Bishop David Moyer has been told that he cannot enter the presbyterate of the American Ordinariate because the local Roman Catholic territorial bishop will not give him a positive votum.

I wonder if anyone can explain how this fits in with the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus?

8 comments:

Hughie said...

David W. Virtue (www.virtueonline.org) on February 21, 2012, ran a piece after the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Bishop David Moyer had been denied ordination into the Roman Catholic Church by Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Citing a number of unresolved issues, he informed Moyer of his decision when he addressed the congregation of the Blessed John Henry Newman parish of Bishop Moyer last Sunday.
Virtue noted that Msgr Steenson had told him “The issues we have been dealing with only pertain to the question of ordination.”
Virtue then explained: “Moyer received a nulla osta (no impediment) from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in early November 2011. However, the local Catholic bishop has to give a votum for someone who resides in his diocese. Archbishop Charles Chaput declined to give Moyer his votum to proceed toward ordination in the Catholic Church.”
Later he explains: “Moyer has had years of litigation and authority issues that have cast a long pall over his priesthood. Moyer was inhibited for not allowing the apostate Bennison to preach and administer the sacraments at Good Shepherd. Bennison rejected this. He insisted on ministering to the parish. In 2005 Moyer was ordained a bishop in the Traditional Anglican Communion.
“Moyer moved variously through Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan to Anglican Archbishop Bernard Malango of Central Africa, finally settling under TAC Archbishop John Hepworth of Australia… Moyer still faces a lawsuit from his former friend and attorney, John H. Lewis, for fraud following a failed malpractice lawsuit brought by Moyer and several laymen at Good Shepherd. The Church of the Good Shepherd is also undergoing an audit of its books.”I would assume that when tes legal matters are resolved, Archbishop Chaput will give his votum.

Conchúr said...

As far as I'm aware this boils down to the fact that Moyer had been involved in litigation with TEC/ECUSA for several years (during which he subpoenaed the newly appointed Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson, as a witness) and had sued his own lawyer for malpractice. Even before that he had had many run-ins with the then Episcopal bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles Bennison If I recall correctly Msgr. Steenson affirmed Archbishop Chaput's denial of a votum and personally informed Moyer that he could only be received as a layman. This was in early 2012.

As to the canonical issue, this would come within the ambit of Art.5 of AC and Art.3 of the Complimentary Norms. The Ordinary is not a bishop, thus reliant on the diocesan bishop of the relevant diocese to ordain for him. If the diocesan feels he cannot give a votum, the Ordinary can't simply get another bishop to do it (though I suppose he could technically petition the Pope as his immediate superior).

Dan Shakal said...

I'm not an expert in these matters, and no nothing about this man, but I don't see how it fits at all. See here, article 6: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20091104_norme-anglicanorum-coetibus_en.html

Greco said...

I am a canon lawyer and can find nothing in Anglicanorum coetibus or its complementary norms that specifically require the votum of the local bishop for admission to ordination to Catholic priesthood. It is for the Ordinary (Msgr. Steenson), with the consent of the Governing Council, to decide this. I see from what is written online that there is something of a history to this case. Bishop David Moyer can always make appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to which each Ordinariate is subject.

Juan Todd Duhzuhldorf said...

Perhaps the Local Ordinary, like myself, thinks there are already enough former Anglicans within the Barque of Peter who moved Heaven and Earth to obtain their boarding pass only to complain about the accommodations and the present Captain.

AllEarthsVanities said...

Well I am not really a canonist, but I don't see any real canonists weighing in with comments. So...
1. Hasn't the approval of the territorial ordinary always been required, as well as that of the Ordinariate leadership?
2. Moreover, the Ordinariates in each country typically have no clerical members who are regarded as capable of performing ordinations. So some other bishop outside the Ordinariate has the job - and isn't it unreasonable to expect that other bishop (the territorial ordinary) to ordain a man whom he believes not to be qualified?

Simon said...

I am not a canonist, but it would seem to me that while canons 1029 and 1030 might afford a veto to the "proper bishop," provisions to which Anglicanorum coetibus art. i § 1 tips its hat, it would seem to me that the proper bishop would be (under the same section of AC) the ordinary of the particular ordinariate, not the territorial bishop. Perhaps it is more a question of deference than authority, similar to the Senate's "blue slip" custom?

William Tighe said...

The lawsuits have all been settled; the existence of these was the original reason for withholding the votum.

Although obtaining a votum from the local Latin Catholic ordinary is not in any sense canonically required, it appears to have become in practice a sine qua non "courtesy."