New York Times Loves Religion

December 30, 2008


From CMR:

You may find it hard to fathom, but this article appears in the New York Times of all places. The article reports on studies that clearly show that religious people regularly exhibit more self control than their non-religious counterparts.

If I’m serious about keeping my New Year’s resolutions in 2009, should I add another one? Should the to-do list include, “Start going to church”? This is an awkward question for a heathen to contemplate, but I felt obliged to raise it with Michael McCullough after reading his report in the upcoming issue of the Psychological Bulletin. He and a fellow psychologist at the University of Miami, Brian Willoughby, have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control.

This sounded to me uncomfortably similar to the conclusion of the nuns who taught me in grade school, but Dr. McCullough has no evangelical motives. He confesses to not being much of a devotee himself. “When it comes to religion,” he said, “professionally, I’m a fan, but personally, I don’t get down on the field much.”

His professional interest arose from a desire to understand why religion evolved and why it seems to help so many people. Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier.

These results have been ascribed to the rules imposed on believers and to the social support they receive from fellow worshipers, but these external factors didn’t account for all the benefits. In the new paper, the Miami psychologists surveyed the literature to test the proposition that religion gives people internal strength.

“We simply asked if there was good evidence that people who are more religious have more self-control,” Dr. McCullough. “For a long time it wasn’t cool for social scientists to study religion, but some researchers were quietly chugging along for decades. When you add it all up, it turns out there are remarkably consistent findings that religiosity correlates with higher self-control.”

The article is interesting, if for nothing more than its appearance at the NYT, but there is one part of the reported study that I find satisfyingly obvious.

You know all those weenie types out their that want lay some claim to religiousity but without any of the demands of actual religion. You know the types. They say absurd things like “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual!” Bovine Merde.

In one personality study, strongly religious people were compared with people who subscribed to more general spiritual notions, like the idea that their lives were “directed by a spiritual force greater than any human being” or that they felt “a spiritual connection to other people.” The religious people scored relatively high in conscientiousness and self-control, whereas the spiritual people tended to score relatively low.

“Thinking about the oneness of humanity and the unity of nature doesn’t seem to be related to self-control,” Dr. McCullough said. “The self-control effect seems to come from being engaged in religious institutions and behaviors.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


America’s Chastisement Is Here – A Harsh But Necessary Christmas Gift For Us All

December 30, 2008

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:  I know it’s considered politically incorrect, even socially inappropriate, to deliver bad news so close to the Christmas holy days, but I’m afraid this cannot wait.

America’s chastisement has come. God sends it to us because of abortion, and failing to protect the sanctity of human life. It began with 9/11/2001, in which we lost in one day the same amount of people abortion takes from America in one day. In one day God took peace away from America, and delivered us into perpetual war, that has continued non-stop for seven years, with no end in sight.

Now exactly seven years (almost to the month) after we were delivered into war, the second phase of God’s chastisement of America has come. In one day all of our economic wealth was gone, with no sign of it returning anytime in the foreseeable future. It’s going to get worse people, much worse…

I know this is difficult (perhaps impossible) for people unfamiliar with God’s moral law to understand. All of this is linked to abortion-on-demand. All of this is linked to our moral bankruptcy. A nation that does not honor human life cannot by morally responsible in any other area either, and that includes money. Nearly 40 years of fiscal irresponsibility by our federal government, compounded by the fiscal irresponsibility of the people in general, has brought this upon us, and it all begins with abortion. Yes, there is a connection. Yes, things will get worse. Yes, one way or another, Americans will learn to respect human life. Even it it means losing EVERYTHING. God has already taken our peace and our wealth. Within another seven years, our very freedom may be next.

Vatican Prefect On Kneeling For Communion

December 30, 2008


From Catholic Knight:

[La Razón:] Nevertheless, Benedict XVI has reiterated in some instances the propriety of receiving communion kneeling and in the mouth. Is it something important, or is it a mere matter of form?

[Cañizares:] – No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So while traditionalist Catholics have been ignored and berated for years, it finally turns out that they’ve been right all along – at least on this issue.

It’s been a long time coming. Once again the Vatican points us back to our historic traditions. We Catholics need to start acting like Catholics again. As the new prefect points out; standing or kneeling for communion is not the same, and it is not just a matter of form. That’s why Protestants don’t do it. You’ll notice that Protestants don’t kneel at the consecration, when they visit a Catholic mass, simply because they don’t believe in the real presence. They know EXACTLY what kneeling means. To kneel is to show adoration. That’s why they don’t do it. Funny how so many Catholics seem to have forgotten this when it comes time to receive the blessed sacrament.

So the question is what to do now. Should Catholics take it upon themselves to begin kneeling and receiving on the tongue during the Ordinary Form liturgy, or should they wait for the USCCB to come out with some kind of statement on the matter. If the latter, we may be waiting for a hundred years. Maybe it’s time to just do what we know is right, and what the Vatican confirms is right. Based on papal liturgies, and now these words from the CDW prefect, the official position of the Vatican is that Catholics should kneel and receive communion on the tongue. While the official position of the USCCB is that Catholics should stand and receive communion on the hand. So which is it? Do we obey the Vatican or the USCCB? After all is said and done, that’s what it comes down to. We must chose between the USCCB, which has no real governing authority, or the Vatican, which is the apostolic See of Peter. What’s it going to be? Peter or the USCCB? I know my position. ‘The Catholic Knight’ will be kneeling and receiving communion on the tongue no matter what mass I’m attending.  The only exception to that would be if kneeling might hold up the line or cause some kind of disturbance.  In which case I will at least receive the sacrament on the tongue while standing, as they do in the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church.

The point is we’ve got to take a stand somewhere – (no pun intended). If we don’t boldly show our reverence for the eucharistic Lord at mass, when shall we do it? Now I’m not talking about making a scene. The mass should never be a place for calling attention to one’s self, but at the same time, it should not be a place for the disciples of modernism to strip our faith of everything we hold dear. Now is as good a time as any to do something about it, and the Vatican has affirmed our right to do it. So let’s do it in a spirit of true reverence for our eucharistic Lord, and with no spite or malice toward anyone. Let’s all agree to boycott the hand for starters. No more communion in the hand. From now on communion on the tongue in all circumstances. Then when the opportunity presents itself, and doing so will not cause a disruption of any kind, we kneel down to receive the Lord. Is there anybody out there with me on this?

Comment from Father Rick Heilman: I am pleased to report that our parishes began this practice by offering the option of kneeling while receiving on the tongue. The priest (me) stands with a kneeler in front of him and the people have the option of coming to receive in this way. Many are taking advantage of this more profound way of expressing adoration before the real presence of our Lord.

LIFETEEN Founder Excommunicated

December 30, 2008


Teenagers Gather Around the Alter During the Consecration. As Was A Common Practice In LIFETEEN Masses Some Time Ago. Only A Few LIFETEEN Parishes Still Continue This Practice.

From Catholic Knight:

(AP) – Phoenix’s Catholic bishop has excommunicated a priest who started a nondenominational ministry after the priest was charged with misdemeanor sexual misconduct.

The action announced Monday against Monsignor Dale Fushek, once the diocese’s second highest-ranking administrator, was a response to his creation of the Praise and Worship Center in Chandler….

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It’s time for Catholic parishes around the nation to rethink what they’re doing. Yes, as Catholics we MUST reach out to the youth in our own congregations, but we need to reconsider how we’re doing it.

For starters let’s look at the English version of the mass itself. We’re currently using a translation of the liturgy that the Vatican has labeled “defective” (read more here), and has revoked our permission to keep using it. That’s why a new English translation has been approved by the Vatican and the USCCB, which will be put into use sometime in 2010.

The pope has also made it clear that we should expect more changes to the Ordinary Form of the mass, that will reintroduce traditions long since forgotten by most Catholics. For example, we can expect to see the use of high alter candle configurations, wherein the priest always faces a crucifix, and sometimes (when appropriate) the use of the ad orientem posture, where the priest faces east. We can expect to see the reintroduction of bells at the consecration, along with the use of more incense. The pope has also suggested the use of Latin at the consecration itself in all masses, no matter what language it’s celebrated in. He is also planning on moving the “sign of peace” closer to the creed so as to create a greater atmosphere of solemnity during the eucharistic prayers. He has already indicated he would like to see greater use of traditional sacred music (such as Gregorian chant) during mass. The list goes on and on.

What’s the message being sent here? It should be obvious. The Catholic Church needs to start being “Catholic” again, embracing our historical traditions, and giving them new life in the modern world. The changes coming out of the Vatican should serve as a guide for the average parish liturgist and choirmaster. We’re heading toward a period of greater solemnity, greater reverence, and more tradition. Parishes that resist this change will only get left behind and ultimately hurt themselves.

But what about the youth? How will they be able to relate? Those who seriously ask such questions are operating on a template that is about 30 years old. The pop culture folk masses (which are epitomized by LIFETEEN) are an antiquated relic of the last generation. Youth may still be seeking out loud contemporary music, but mass is not where they really want to find it. Contemporary Christian music is a huge industry now. There are radio stations around the nation 100% dedicated to playing these songs around the clock. Youth can listen to these songs on their car radios, iPods and MP3 players. In fact, they often do. Over the last 30 years a new phenomenon has developed called the “Christian rock concert,” wherein Christian youth can scream, dance, wave their hands in the air, etc. This didn’t exist in the 1970s and 80s, but it does now, and it’s bigger than ever. The youth hear this music all the time, outside of mass, and in fact, it’s usually a lot better than anything the local parish choir can produce. Yes there is an outlet for Catholic youth in contemporary music, and Catholic parishes SHOULD be promoting it, but not at mass!

The point is the youth of today can get their pop culture music, in Christian variety form, anywhere they want. There is even a “Catholic flavor” of Christian pop music — believe it or not. What, you’ve never heard? Ask any Catholic teenager. Many surveys are now perplexing Church leadership with results finding that the majority of practicing Catholic youths are more “pre-Vatican II” in their mentality. How could that be? and why? For starters, Vatican II has nothing to do with it. What it really has to do with is the sense of solemnity. When Catholic youth visit mass, they’re not looking to hear the same thing they can get on their iPods and MP3 players. They’re looking for something completely different. They’re looking for a sense of the sacred. They want mystery. They want other-worldly. They want to escape the trappings of this earth to meet the Lord in sublime reverence and awe. That’s why so many of them are flocking to the Extraordinary Form of the mass. It has nothing to do with Latin. It has nothing to do with the 1962 Missal. It’s about solemnity, mystery, reverence and transcending everyday reality. That’s something they can’t get on their iPods and MP3 players. That’s something they don’t hear on the car radio, and it’s something they will never experience at a Christian rock concert. It’s something that only the Catholic Church can give them, that is, IF their local parish is willing.

The excommunication of LIFETEEN founder Dale Fushek should be an eye opening watershed to most LIFETEEN parishes, and contemporary Catholic parishes in general. Fushek’s excommunication had nothing to do with LIFETEEN, directly, but it did have a lot to do with the attitude and mindset of the man who created LIFETEEN. It was an attitude and a mindset that got him into trouble with the law, and ultimately led him to create a “nondenominational worship center” outside of the Catholic Church — effectively a schismatic act. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying LIFETEEN is schismatic, but I am saying that it was produced by a schismatic mind, and that in itself should be cause for alarm. When you compound this with the obvious problems associated with the current English mass translation (soon to be retired), and a general loss of historic Catholic traditions, you can begin to see the possible dangers. The tragic and saddening event of Dale Fushek’s excommunication should be a wake-up call to Catholic parishes all around the nation. Perhaps it’s time to look to the pope for new guidance and reconsider the direction of the American Church.

The Truth Unveiled: Head Covering Always Meant to Remain

December 21, 2008

From Saint Louis Catholic:

On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council issued an instruction to all of the world’s Bishops, ordering them to address, from the pulpit, at least once a year, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as appropriate, the subject of women’s modesty.

Over the past few years, a series of articles have been posted on-line, offering the opinion that women are no longer obliged to cover their heads while praying in church. The authors of three important postings on the issue include Rev. John T. Zuhlsdorf, Dr. Edward Peters, and Mr. Jimmy Akin.

In order to ascertain the truth of the matter, I decided to consult an out-of-state canonist on the question in 2007. The following is an excerpt from the opinion he gave me:

“From the point of view of qualifications, it appears that only Dr. Peters is licensed by the Church to give a professional opinion in Canon Law.

The first author, Rev. Zuhlsdorf, summarily dismisses the obligation of head-covering for women in church, stating, “[A]ccording to Church law you are not obliged.” He bases his conclusion on an apparent reductionist equating of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 with any other Church law. For him, because 1262, par. 2 of the Code of 1917 has been abrogated, the matter is fertig,” “finished,” as the Germans would say: no obligation for women to cover their heads in church. In sum: can. 1262, par. 2 CIC 1917 is abrogated, therefore the obligation is non-existent.

The second author, Dr. Edward Peters is in agreement with Fr. Zuhlsdorf. He writes, “Leafing through my sources, it seems that the canonical requirement that women cover their heads in church is almost completely unattested until the appearance of the 1917 Code, specifically, in canon 1262 […] [T]here is no canonical requirement that women cover their heads in church today.” In sum: abrogation of obligation due to abrogation of can. 1262 CIC 1917.

The third author, Jimmy Akin, writes the most on the topic. First, he concludes that because “the revised liturgical documents do not contain it [mention of the obligation], and neither does the 1983 Code […] men no longer need to remove their hats as a matter of law, and women no longer need to wear them.” Second, he excoriates Catholics invoking the obligatory nature of the practice as making a “category mistake […] this matter did not belong to the category of custom prior to its abrogation. It was not a matter of custom but a matter of law. The 1917 Code expressly dealt with the subject, so it was not a custom but a law that women wear head coverings in church. That law was then abrogated.” Finally, he writes that “[O]ne cannot appeal to the fact that, when a law was in force, people observed the law and say that this resulted in a custom that has force of law even after the law dealing with the matter is abrogated.” In sum: no obligation for women to cover their heads in church because: 1) the liturgical texts of the Ordinary Form do not reference the obligation; 2) the legislative texts introducing the Ordinary Form “integrally reordered” the liturgy, thereby abrogating the norm; 3) the head-covering of women was a law, and not a custom, which was abrogated in 1983; and 4) the custom of head-covering of women cannot continue in time for the law mandating it has been abrogated.

After consideration of their opinions, and the conducting of some research, it appears that all three of the above authors are mistaken in holding that women are no longer obligated by canon law to cover their heads while in church – even when attending a celebration of Mass offered according to the liturgical texts of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In conducting a proper analysis of the question, one must retrace the scriptural, patristic, and canonical history of the practice in order to determine properly its value. This brief analysis – by no means exhaustive – attempts to address the canonical issues raised by the three referenced authors.

To begin, in I Cor. XI, 5, St. Paul declares: “[E]very woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.” As it is not known when St. Paul confirmed the Jewish and Roman practice of women wearing a head covering when praying, it qualifies as a true immemorial custom, because the exact date upon which it became binding upon women in the Church is beyond the memory of anyone. As St. Paul declares that his teaching is not his own, the custom could even have been confirmed by Christ the Lord Himself. Cf. 1 Cor. XIV, 37.

St. John Chrysostom (cf. Homilies on First Corinthians, Homily XXVI), St. Ambrose (cf. Concerning Virgins, Book III), St. Augustine (cf. On Holy Virginity, n. 34; Epistola ad Possidium, n. CCXLV), and St. Thomas Aquinas (cf. II-IIae, q.169, a. 2, corp.; Super I Cor., cap.11, vers. 3), are all noteworthy for their elaborate treatments of the custom.

In A.D. 743, Pope St. Zachary I (A.D. 741-752) held a synod in Rome, whose Canon 3 reprises the teaching of St. Paul: “[A] woman praying in church without her head covered brings shame upon her head, according to the word of the Apostle […].” Cf. Mansi XII, 382.

Gratian, the Camaldolese monk-canonist, and often called the “father” of Canon Law, references the above texts in his unofficial collection (cf. C. 3, C.XXI, q.4; c. 19, C. XXXIII, q.5).

Almost two millennia of uninterrupted observance of the immemorial custom passed until the Sacred Congregation of Rites received from the Rev. Caesar Uberti, Master of Ceremonies of the Archbishop of Ravenna, the following dubium: “Whether women assisting at sacred functions […] are obliged to cover the head?”

On July 7, 1876, the Congregation replied: “Affirmative.” Cf. Ravannaten., July 7,1876, n. 3402, in Decreta Authentica Congregationis Sacrorum Rituum ex actis eiusdem collecta ejusque auctoritate promulgate, Romae (1898-1926), Typographia Polyglotta S. C. de Prop. Fide, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis.

To be certain, inasmuch as this decision – comprehensive, formally particular, and equivalently universal in nature — was issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the department of the Holy See possessing the jurisdiction to rule on matters touching upon the Sacraments, it constitutes, without doubt, a liturgical law. Cf. L. Choupin, Valeur des Decisions Doctrinales et Disciplinaires du Saint-Siège, (Beauchesne: Paris, 1913), pp. 96-103.

At this point in time, in 1876, de minimis, we have two existing laws mandating the wearing of head-covering by women when they attend sacred functions in a church. The first is an unwritten law, the immemorial custom, dating from the time of the Apostles. The second is a written law, a decree of the Holy See, requiring the same as the custom.

Understanding the concurrent existence of the two different laws is key to determining whether or not the Code of Canon Law of 1917 abrogated those two pre-existing laws by subsumption, or “elevation” of either the immemorial custom, or the liturgical law, into its canon 1262, when that Code came into effect.

In answer to this question, one must look to Canon 2 of the Code of Canon Law of 1917. This canon states [my rough translation]:

“The Code, for the most part, decrees nothing concerning the rites and ceremonies which the liturgical books, approved by the Church, order to be observed in the sacrosanct Sacrifice of the Mass, in the administration of the Sacraments and Sacramentals and other sacred actions. Wherefore all laws of the liturgy retain their force, unless some are expressly corrected in the Code.”

According to the common doctrine of canonists, there are three kinds of custom, or consuetudine in the Church: custom according to the law (“iuxta legem”), custom apart from the law (“ praeter legem”), and custom against the law (“ contra legem”). Cf. E. Regatillo, S.J., Institutiones Iuris Canonici, Vol. I, (Sal Terrae: Santander, 1951), p. 91, n. 107.

As Canon 1262, par. 2, of the Code of Canon Law of 1917 mandates the wearing of a head-covering on the part of women attending sacred functions when in church, the prior existing immemorial custom cannot at this point in time be said to be either contrary to the law (the new Code of 1917 coming into effect), or apart from the law, because both Code and immemorial custom shared the same exact object in their mandates: that women cover their heads when assisting at sacred functions.

This being the case, nothing in the introductory canons of the Code of 1917 confirm, beyond a reasonable, or even probable doubt, that the prior extant immemorial custom was abrogated upon the enactment of the Code of Canon Law of 1917. Canon 5 only addresses those customs which are reprobated or simply contrary to the new canons of the Code of 1917. Cf. G. Michiels, O.F.M., Normae Generales Juris Canonici, Ed. Altera, Vol. I, (Desclée et Socii: Paris, 1949), pp. 102-110. Canon 6, 1°, only addresses laws contrary to the Code; 6, 2°, only deals with laws which are integrally reordered by the Code, and as canon 2 specifies, liturgical laws are left untouched for the most part; 6, 4°, only confirms the immemorial custom and liturgical law of head-covering in effect up until the advent of the 1917 Code; 6, 6°, is not applicable even by juridical analogy, for the object of the immemorial custom is reprised in can. 1262, par. 2 CIC 1917.

Nothing in the canons of the Code of Canon Law of 1917 regulating custom (cf. cann. 25-30) indicate that the prior immemorial custom had been abrogated or obrogated with the advent of the new Code. To the contrary, can. 28 states that custom is the best interpreter of the law; and can. 30 explicitly states that unless a new law “expressly” makes mention, prior extant centenary or immemorial custom, which is not contrary to the new law, is not abrogated. It continues to remain in effect.

With the promulgation in 1969 of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum by Pope Paul VI of happy memory, the terms of canon 30 are important to recall to mind: nowhere in the text of the Pope is mention made of any intent on the part of the Supreme Pontiff to abrogate the prior extant centenary or immemorial custom iuxta legem of the Roman Rite as celebrated for centuries according to the Missal of Pope St. Pius V.

It is likely for this reason that Pope Benedict XVI was easily able to declare that the ancient form of the Roman Rite, qua custom, has never been abrogated. Cf. Paul VI, Apost. Const. Missale Romanum, AAS 61 (1969). pp. 217-226; Pope Benedict XVI, Litt. Apost. Summorum Pontificum, Art. 1 (b).

The same rationale requiring express mention of the intent to abrogate immemorial custom, and its lack of any promulgation in any controlling liturgical texts concerning the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, militates in favor of the opinion that the immemorial custom of women covering their heads when praying in church was never “integrally reordered” with the promulgation of the new liturgical laws – something which, by necessity, had it happened, could not have permitted the Roman Pontiff to decree that the Extraordinary Form had never been abrogated.

With respect to the new Code of Canon Law of 1983, canons 2 and 5 reprise substantially those of the Codex of 1917: “liturgical laws in force until now retain their force unless one of them is contrary to the norms of the Code.” As there simply is no mention in the new Code of 1983 of the object treated by canon 1262, par. 2, of the Code of 1917, one cannot say that either the ancient liturgical law, or immemorial custom iuxta legem, is contrary to the Code: Aristotle and the Aquinate would have serious fits in hearing of those elementary mistakes in logic.

Regarding canon 6, par. 1, 1-4°° of the new Code, it does not appear that any of the subsections of that canon apply to the present question, account taken of all of the above.

Concerning the argument of how a contrary custom of women not wearing any head-covering when praying in church has arisen since 1969, it does not appear to take into account the non-fulfillment of the conditions stipulated by the Code of Canon Law of 1983 regulating when a contrary custom may lawfully arise in the Church. Specifically, it appears that two essential conditions have not been met. First, in order to introduce a contrary custom, a community must observe the new custom with the intention of being obligated by its object. Cf. can. 25 CIC 1983. Regarding the non-observance on the part of those women who do not wear hats or veils in church, whether assisting in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, it appears that they do not intend to bind themselves to a new obligation of not wearing a hat or veil. In the humble opinion of this author, it does not appear that the vast majority of women have externalized an intention to be bound by their choice of not wearing a veil or hat. Obligatio non est imponenda nisi certo de ea constet. Therefore, one cannot conclude that a contrary custom not to wear any head-covering has arisen.

One last point: an additional argument of authority can be raised. According to UPI, and the Atlanta Journal, on June 21, 1969 – after the new Roman Missal had been promulgated by Pope Paul VI – then Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, the prelate appointed by the Pope to draft the rubrics of the new Missal, issued a statement to the Press specifying that at no time had the requirement of head-covering been abrogated: “[T]he rule has not been changed.”

In response to the arguments raised by the three gentlemen as referenced above, I offer the following.

Regarding the one given by Rev. John Zuhlsdorf and Dr. Edward Peters, namely, that because the present Code is completely silent on the matter of head-covering of women during prayer in church, in comparison to the prior Code of 1917, I would like to recall the opinion of a consultor which was accepted by the Sacred Congregation of the Council, in una Causa Wratislav., dated January 10, 1920: [my rough translation]: “Most absurd should be held the opinion of those who want general customs of which the Code is silent to be abrogated by operation of can. 6, 6° […].” Cf. AAS, XII, 1920, p. 45. This rule applies to custom also praeter legem, according to the mind of the consultor, arguendo the hypothesis that the custom mandating that women are to keep their heads covered when praying in church is praeter legem, and not iuxta legem.

As for Jimmy Akin’s opinions, the following can be submitted. His first argument is strongly indicative of a limited understanding on his part of the liturgical law of the Roman Catholic Church, which body of law in fact encompasses far more than just the texts of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or the Code of Canon Law of 1983. Second, there exists a third category of custom, custom iuxta legem, or, “according to the law,” which is indeed the best interpreter of the law (cf. can. 27 CIC 1983). Regarding his third argument, if an immemorial custom iuxta legem is abrogated by a new written law, it can only be according to the strict conditions of cann. 30 CIC 1917 and 28 CIC 1983, that is, only if express mention is made in the new law that is abrogating even immemorial or centenary custom. As Mr. Akin does not demonstrate which recent liturgical or codical law expressly mentions an intent to abrogate even the instant immemorial custom under consideration, his analysis and conclusion of the question appear to be gravely flawed.

In conclusion, for all of the above reasons, the distinct obligation encapsulated in pre-existing universal liturgical law and immemorial custom iuxta legem that women cover their heads when praying in church remains in effect universally, whenever they attend any sacred function celebrated according to the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in church.”

“Straight No Chaser” Christmas

December 20, 2008