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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Moment of Schadenfreude

Canon 1370, para. 2: [Qui vim physicam adhibet] in eum qui episcopali charactere pollet, in interdictum latae sententiae et, si sit clericus, etiam in suspensionem latae sententiae incurrit.

Englishly: "[One who uses physical force] against a bishop incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if a cleric, he incurs also a latae sententiae suspension."



Based upon the forgoing, it would seem that some poor soul out there has incurred the penalty of interdict for handing the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles a knuckle sandwich. While I would never encourage the striking of a Cardinal Archbishop (given the canonical penalties that one would incur), there is something poetic about the act that should warm the hearts of sane fathers everywhere. If Dante were alive, one could imagine a modern day Inferno where the former Cardinal Archbishop of Boston and the current Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles (among other bishops) would be put placed in the ring of the deceivers. There they would, for an endless eternity, play out their fate over and over again:

As I walked still lower, I beheld a strange sight;

yet not so strange for the terrestrial world from which I came, a mailbox.

I beheld a figure clad in scarlet, the robes of the Roman clergy.

The face was sullen and the head was swollen.

I said, "O you, there, with your head bent low, if the features of your shade do not deceive me, you are Roger Mahony, I am sure. Deliveries for the next conference of lay ecclesial ministers?"

With that, I was interrupted by a thunderous report.

"Chingado, Chingado!" Shouts of a giant, as if wronged, came upon the cleric like unto harpies swooping hither and thither.

My guide led me to safety in the side of the rock. "Stop and see other mailboxes and other misbegotten souls."

Royal robes now scarlet of another type.

To my guide, sayeth I, "Our eyes have had their fill."



I invite Ed Peters to comment on canon 1370. My heartfelt apologies to Dante--lack of tercets and all that.

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