Has Ecclesiastic Rule of Law Turned into Dictatorship?

Has Ecclesiastic Rule of Law Turned into Dictatorship?


Kurt Martens, professor of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America asks whether we are at the end of the rule of law in the Church.

Writing on Twitter (December 12), he mentions a case before the Church’s Supreme Court Apostolic Signatura regarding a decree of the Congregation for the Clergy.

The prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, feared his [unjust] decree could be overturned on appeal and therefore convinced Pope Francis to turn it into a papal decree that cannot be judged nor appealed.

Twitter-User Matthew Roth comments, “With respect, the term ‘dictator pope’ is applicable here.”

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One comment on “Has Ecclesiastic Rule of Law Turned into Dictatorship?

  1. Plenipotential rulers, including every pope since St. Peter, DO exercise their command powers by actually, well, commanding.
    The papacy is by definition, and in full accord with its essence, an imperial power.
    So far, no problem inasmuch as MOST popes throughout history did at least a fair-to-middlin’ job and in only the rarest cases were ever withstood on grave doctrinal matters; St. Peter’s correction by St. Paul being particularly noteworthy, as well as John XXII’s whoopsy-daisy moment in re. whether souls must await the Beatific Vision until the end of the world ( which doctrinal booboo ‘ J22 did recant just in the nick of time – phew! ).
    Recent outcries over words and tactics erupting since the magma began oozing from the Basilica balcony in March, 2013 do speak, however, of an unprecedented tonality and orientation which IS, well ( again ), problematic, to put it delicately, as the canonist, featured above, has done.
    Since the several papal losers in all Church history, my least favorite being Benedict IX, did not compel the faithful to accept spiritual toxins, regardless of their own individual ineptness and/or gravely inadmissible personal moral behavior, the laws of faith and morals were never touched or repealed by a papal diktat. Life went on and the Church’s duty to uphold and defend doctrinal purity was fulfilled, impairing not one innocent believer. But now?

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