BATAS SIMBAHAN

Straight to point!

Who has the right to lodge a complaint when there is a liturgical abuse? To whom it should be addressed and how it should be dealt with?

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Should the laity be involved with helping to correct liturgical abuses, or should they simply leave this up to professional liturgists and pastors?

In order that a remedy may be applied to such abuses, “there is a pressing need for the biblical and liturgical formation of the people of God, both pastors and faithful,” so that the Church’s faith and discipline concerning the sacred liturgy may be accurately presented and understood. Where abuses persist, however, proceedings should be undertaken for safeguarding the spiritual patrimony and rights of the Church in accordance with the law, employing all legitimate means (RS 170; cf. VQA 15).

Who has the primary responsibility on the local level for dealing with liturgical abuses?

Since he must safeguard the unity of the universal Church, the bishop is bound to promote the discipline common to the entire Church and therefore to insist upon the observance of all ecclesiastical laws. He is to be watchful lest abuses encroach upon ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God, and the veneration of the saints (RS 392).

What should happen when the local ordinary is notified that a significant liturgical abuse is taking place?

Whenever a local ordinary or the ordinary of a religious institute or of a society of apostolic life receives at least a plausible notice of a delict [“offense”] or abuse concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, let him carefully investigate, either personally or by means of another worthy cleric, concerning the facts and the circumstances as well as the imputability.

Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta [“more grave offenses”] committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which “examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law.”

Otherwise the ordinary should proceed according the norms of the sacred canons, imposing canonical penalties if necessary, and bearing in mind in particular that which is laid down by canon 1326.2 If the matter is serious [Latin, “grave”], let him inform the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (RS 178–80; cf. PB 52).

What happens when Rome is notified of a liturgical abuse that is taking place?

Whenever the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments receives at least a plausible notice of a delict or an abuse concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, it informs the ordinary so that he may investigate the matter. When the matter turns out to be serious [Latin, “grave”], the ordinary should send to the same dicastery as quickly as possible a copy of the acts of the inquiry that has been undertaken, and where necessary, the penalty imposed (RS 181).

Do the faithful have the right to lodge complaints regarding liturgical abuses, and to whom should such complaints be addressed?

Any Catholic, whether priest or deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan bishop or the competent ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity (RS 184).

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