Tag Archives: code of canon law

Catholic Bishops Did Not Condemn the Ryan Budget: See Canon Law and John Paul II Letter

There is  a very serious untruth being repeated that the “Ryan Budget” has been condemned as immoral, etc. by the Catholic Bishops aka the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), or even the Catholic Church itself.  It was not.

Where did this supposed condemnation come from?  It came from a USCCB committee that has no authority (see why below) to carry out authentic acts in the Catholic Church and has been exaggerated by entities outside of the USCCB.  This USCCB committee is called the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Why does this committee have no authority?  Because the Catholic Church purposefully denies it authority as stated in the Catholic Code of Canon Law’s chapter on Bishops’ Conferences and especially poignant in Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter issued “motu propio” known as Apostolos Suos (On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Bishops’ Conferences) which clarified and adjusted that law.  See Code of Canon Law 455 §4:

Can. 455  §4: “… neither the Conference nor its president can act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent.”

and see Pope John Paul II’s Apostolos Suos (On… Bishops’ Conferences) paragraph 23:  Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task assigned to them by the Conference.”

That couldn’t be any clearer.

Where is this false condemnation being repeated?

There are many examples. I’ll mention a few for brevity.

Publications like the Huffington Post’s  articles Catholic Bishops Say Ryan Budget Fails Moral Test (click here for story) and Religious Leaders Condemn Ryan-Romney Budget (click here for story)

Letters from academia like the Georgetown Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (click here)

Websites for groups like Faith in Public Life, who publish blog posts like Georgetown Professors to Ryan:  Stop Distorting Catholic Teaching on Budget (click here) and Catholic Bishops Defend Pro-Family Tax Credits in Face of GOP Cuts (click here) and Hudson and Ryan vs. the U.S. Catholic Bishops (click here).  Also, the group known as NETWORK and its “Nuns on the Bus” tour that has published the following graphics:

TV networks like MSNBC.  Former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy (left side of screen) states the false condemnation twice in this interview from August 14, 2012.  Go to minutes 3:00 to 3:10 and 6:40 to 6:50 of the video clip below:

Why is this false condemnation being repeated?  It is being repeated by entities outside of the USCCB (like those listed above) who want to influence Catholics to vote for Barack Obama for president.  If you can make Catholics believe falsely that their Church and their Bishops believe something is immoral, you can fool Catholics into voting contrary to a true Catholic conscience.  That’s why this repeated untruth is so egregious on the part of these entities.  Some repeat this falsehood out of ignorance but, others do it deliberately and they owe it to us to be truthful on this subject as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in section 2469:

CCC 2469     “Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another.”  The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, “as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.”

What are some facts about the Ryan Budget?  The Ryan Budget actually increased the budget 3% and Obama wanted it increased to 4.5%.  The difference is not a cut.  The video below is from EWTN’s The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo.  You’ll notice in this video that even a good knowledgeable Catholic like Raymond Arroyo (surely by accident) repeats the committee statement and attributes it to the U.S. Bishops.

•Paul Ryan explains the 3% vs. 4.5% budget increase.  Go to minutes 1:20 to 1:30 of the video below.

•Raymond Arroyo points out that there are no real cuts.  Go to minutes 6:33 to 7:55 of the video below.

Protect and defend your Bishops.  This is not an easy time for them to shepherd us.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

The USCCB is a Bishops’ Conference, Subordinate to the Catholic Church

Many Catholics and others don’t know what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is or what authority it has within the Catholic Church.
To know what authority and structure the USCCB has you must read the Code of Canon Law 447-459 (click here.)  Better yet, buy a copy of Code of Canon Law Annotated, 1993, “Red Code” (click here) (pictured upper left.)  Further, you must read Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter, Apostolos Suos: On The Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences (click here.) Dated May 21, 1998.

Apostolos Suos made clarifications and adjustments to the canon law relating to Bishops’ Conferences (Episcopal Conferences) and Pope John Paul II stated this fact in its 24th paragraph.

In an effort to help more understand what authority and structure the USCCB has, five questions are posed in this post and then answered below using the Code of Canon Law and Apostolos Suos.

Note:  The Code of Canon Law excerpts used in this article are from the Vatican website.  The Vatican website’s Canon Law translation is slightly different than the translation from the Code of Canon Law Annotated, 1993, “Red Code.”  Additionally, the Vatican website’s Canon Law does not include commentary while the Code of Canon Law Annotated, 1993, “Red Code” does include commentary.  The commentary is very important.

  1. What is the USCCB?  See Code of Canon Law 447:  A conference of bishops, a permanent institution, is a group of bishops of some nation or certain territory who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions… according to the norm of law.”
  2. Who are eligible to be members of the USCCB?  See Code of Canon Law 448 §1:  “As a general rule, a conference of bishops includes those who preside over all the particular churches of the same nation, according to the norm of Can. 450.”  See Code of Canon Law 450 §1:  “To a conference of bishops belong by the law itself all diocesan bishops in the territory, those equivalent to them in law, coadjutor bishops, auxiliary bishops, and other titular bishops…”
  3. Who has authority over the USCCB?  See Code of Canon Law 449 §1:  “It is only for the supreme authority of the Church to erect, suppress, or alter conferences of bishops…”  And See Apostolos Suos paragraph 20: In the Episcopal Conference the Bishops jointly exercise the episcopal ministry for the good of the faithful of the territory of the Conference; but, for that exercise to be legitimate and binding on the individual Bishops, there is needed the intervention of the supreme authority of the Church
  4. Can the USCCB, its officers, committees or staff carry out acts of authentic magisterium?  See Code of Canon Law 455  §4: “… to a conference of bishops, the competence of each diocesan bishop remains intact, nor is a conference or its president able to act in the name of all the bishops unless each and every bishop has given consent.”  And Code of Canon Law 456:  “When a plenary meeting of a conference of bishops has ended, the president is to send a report of the acts of the conference and its decrees to the Apostolic See so that the acts are brought to its notice and it can review the decrees…”  And reiterated in Apostolos Suos paragraph 20:  “…the competence of individual diocesan Bishops remains intact; and neither the Conference nor its president may act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent.”  And see Apostolos Suos paragraph 23:  “…when they exercise it jointly through the Episcopal Conference, this be done in the plenary assembly.  Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task assigned to them by the Conference.”
  5. When can the USCCB issue an act of authentic magisterium?  See Code of Canon Law 455 §1:  A conference of bishops can only issue general decrees in cases where universal law has prescribed it or a special mandate of the Apostolic See has established it either motu proprio or at the request of the conference itself.  §2. The decrees mentioned in §1, in order to be enacted validly in a plenary meeting, must be passed by at least a two thirds vote of the prelates who belong to the conference and possess a deliberative vote. They do not obtain binding force unless they have been legitimately promulgated after having been reviewed by the Apostolic See.”  And clarified in Apostolos Suos paragraph 22:  In dealing with new questions and in acting so that the message of Christ enlightens and guides people’s consciences in resolving new problems arising from changes in society, the Bishops assembled in the Episcopal Conference and jointly exercizing their teaching office are well aware of the limits of their pronouncements. While being official and authentic and in communion with the Apostolic See, these pronouncements do not have the characteristics of a universal magisterium. For this reason the Bishops are to be careful to avoid interfering with the doctrinal work of the Bishops of other territories, bearing in mind the wider, even world-wide, resonance which the means of social communication give to the events of a particular region.  Taking into account that the authentic magisterium of the Bishops, namely what they teach insofar as they are invested with the authority of Christ, must always be in communion with the Head of the College and its members, when the doctrinal declarations of Episcopal Conferences are approved unanimously, they may certainly be issued in the name of the Conferences themselves, and the faithful are obliged to adhere with a sense of religious respect to that authentic magisterium of their own Bishops. However, if this unanimity is lacking, a majority alone of the Bishops of a Conference cannot issue a declaration as authentic teaching of the Conference to which all the faithful of the territory would have to adhere, unless it obtains the recognitio of the Apostolic See, which will not give it if the majority requesting it is not substantial…

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

11 Steps to Remove Socialist Community Organizations from your Parish and Diocese

The following eleven steps were created by the National Association of American Laity, “Lay Catholics” as a way to help faithful Catholics around the United States and internationally to defend against the infringement of community organizing inspired by Saul Alinsky in our churches.

These steps are called the “Oklahoma City Method” because faithful Catholics from Oklahoma City used them to defend their parish churches in the spirit of CCC 907 and Code of Canon Law 212.  In this spirit, these faithful Catholics were able to be a help to their pastors.  The Method worked with 75% success.  Nine of twelve Catholic parishes removed themselves from membership in a local affiliate of the Saul Alinsky founded Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF.)  This affiliate is known as the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee (OSC) in Oklahoma City.  However, the OSC has added one different Catholic parish since that time.  (UPDATE;  Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee (OSC) has now been renamed VOICE.)

It is our hope and prayer that you will find the Oklahoma City Method helpful.

NOTE:  Illegal actions like the HHS mandate are pushed by “socialist community organizations” because they are followers of Saul Alinsky.  Alinsky created the idea for the HHS mandate (Click Here) and President Obama, an Alinsky-trained community organizer, implemented it.  We must remove these false organizations from our parishes now.  They are calling themselves Catholic while performing anti-Catholic actions.

Oklahoma City Method

  1. Check www.LayCatholics.org to see if you have a socialist community organization (SCO) (click here) in your area.  Do further research to find out which parishes they have as members.
  2. Seek out information (video presentation click here) about socialist community organizing by reading Rules for Radicals (for excerpt click here) by Saul Alinsky (the founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation and community organizing) and by researching more information from good and faithful Catholic groups like:  Catholic Media Coalition www.catholicmediacoalition.org and (Oklahoma City’s) Fidelity ‘til Parousia www.johntwo24-25.net (read their “Our Story” page)
  3. Attend one of the SCO’s meetings.
  4. Go speak to the SCO’s lead organizer privately about the organization’s errors.  Ask the organizer to have its group leave the parishes (Matthew 18:15 click here.)
  5. If the organizer does not listen, bring other laity with you as witnesses to meet with the organizer (Matthew 18:16.)
  6. If the organizer still refuses to listen then tell your archbishop/bishop and priests about the socialist community organization in your archdiocese/diocese (Matthew 18:17.)
  7. Speak to your parish priest privately even if the organization is not in your parish.  Inform your priest of its errors and incompatibility with Catholicism.  The SCO is surely trying to gain your parish as a member.
  8. Inform other laity in your entire archdiocese/diocese and ask them to speak to their parish priest.
  9. If necessary, inform your local media.  Especially, a local radio show host.
  10. Contact us for help at peterlhodges@hotmail.com
  11. Defend the Church because you love Her.  These organizers are our Catholic brothers and sisters.  Treat them with kindness.  However, their errors must be met with a constant, courageous defense.  This is not about them.  This is about saving the Church.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.