Sunday, 2 December 2012

Another Motu Proprio To Make Hearts Rejoice...

It's strange. Before Summorum Pontificum, I'd never heard of Motu Proprios, though I now know they existed. I'm pretty sure that the Holy Father has actually issued a few more, but, in my heart, Summorum Pontificum was THE Motu Proprio.

As of yesterday, this is no longer the case. Pope Benedict has delivered another Motu Proprio to warm the cockles of faithful Catholic hearts...

The title, Intima Ecclesiae Natura, is rather more wordy, but don't let that put you off. This MP is on charity, and particularly on Catholic charitable organisations. Yes, important, but surely nothing to get excited about? Actually, here in the UK, it constitutes a tolling bell for organisations such as CAFOD, which will now be required to toe the line on Catholic teaching on contraceptives or else change its name to AFOD.

I believe that the US also has one or two institutions which will be similarly affected.

The bit that got me all excited was the realisation that this will apply to all Catholic institutions which claim charitable status... for example, The Bitter Pill. True, The Tablet doesn't actually use the word "Catholic" in the title... but it does have the phrase "The International Catholic News Weekly" under the title on the website. And, if it isn't Catholic, why should it be distributed and sold in churches across the country?

There are some real grenades just about to be lobbed at organisations which claim to be Catholic, but in reality sneer at the teachings of the Church and at the Holy Father. In particular (and the emphases are all mine):

Article 4. - § 3. It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that in the activities and management of these agencies the norms of the Church’s universal and particular law are respected...

Article 7. - § 1. The agencies referred to in Article 1 § 1 are required to select their personnel from among persons who share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity of these works.

Article 7. - § 2. To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church’s charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity.

Article 9. - § 3. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.

And another salvo is found lurking:

Article 10. - § 3. In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching.

This really is a Motu Proprio about which to celebrate! What a wonderful present for Advent from the Holy Father! How many hearts will rejoice at the news...? I think we'll probably be having more champers and chocolate cake at Blackfen...

Now, all we need to do is wait for the Bishops of England & Wales to follow the instructions... (Please be charitable in the comments box!)

9 comments:

voxinrama said...

CAFOD will in fact have to become FOD, as both the C and A come from the word 'Catholic', iirc #nerd

Mac McLernon said...

I was under the impression that it stood for Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, but I'm happy to be corrected...

Ben Trovato said...

I was about to make the same pedantic point. FOD is right: CAtholic Fund for Overseas Devt.

Ben Trovato said...

The other key point, as Ttony (of the Muniment Room) pointed out to me, is that it places responsibility firmly on the shoulders of individual bishops - not conferences, committees, etc.

EFpastor emeritus said...

It should be interesting to see how the M. Proprio will have repercussions on those Children's Societies which "separated" themselves from the various Dioceses because of "gay" adoptions, and which by a legal fiction of name change continue to be given large sums of monies collected in Catholic Churches and through Crib offerings.

Mac McLernon said...

Ben & Vox in Rama - maybe they had a name change, but it's definitely Catholic Agency now...

http://www.cafod.org.uk/Legal-information/FAQs

Ben Trovato said...

According to Wikipedia (and my memory) they have indeed changed their name, so ViR and I were not totally deluded - just dated...

Patricius said...

CAFOD most certainly used to be the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development. Not the only Catholic agency in this country to have quietly changed its name. How long before it changes again and the "Catholic" bit disappears, I wonder!

Matthew Roth said...

Mac, at least then was available in English from Day 1.
Now only if the translating department could get around to Summorum Pontificum.
But yes, the results will be interesting.

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