Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Church's Deepest Nature


Just today the pope released a new motu proprio (document written on his own initiative--something he saw was needed). It is titled Intima Ecclesiae Natura (The Church's Deepest Nature): De Caritate Ministrada (On the Service of Charity).

Photo Credit: Whispers in the Loggia
It basically explains the bishop as the head of all Catholic charitable activity in his diocese.

Of note, I thought four particular sections stood out:
Art. 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.
Basically, it's the bishop's job to make sure that "Catholic" charities don't propose anti-Catholic teachings. (By anti-Catholic, I mean anything that goes against the Church's teachings.) An elephant in the room here is Catholics for a Free Choice who promote abortion, yet claim to be Catholic.
Art. 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.
Again, it's the bishop's job to make sure that anti-Catholic groups aren't funding Catholic charities. Another elephant in the room here is the group Faith in Public Life, which is supported by George Soros, who has links to many anti-Catholic agendas.

It is also the bishop's job to make sure that Catholic charities don't accept money for anti-Catholic uses.
Art. 2§2: A charitable agency may use the name "Catholic" only with the written consent of the competent authority, as laid down by canon 300 CIC.' 
Art. 11: The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name "Catholic" and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge.
The first one is mostly a reminder of Canon Law 300. The second one is implied but now makes explicit that the bishop should inform his flock when a "Catholic" charity doesn't follow Catholic principles, and to strip them of their Catholic name--something many bishops have failed to do for quite a while with certain "Catholic" groups.

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