Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pope's Surprise Motu Proprio

Pope Benedict XVI released a unexpected motu proprio on Saturday addressing the topic of the Church's exercise of the ministry of charity. The Holy Father addresses many things, including establishment and oversight of organizations working with the poor. What is unusual about this motu proprio is that the Holy Father addresses this area by forming additional articles in the Code of Canon Law, which makes it unquestionably binding upon all of the faithful beginning December 10th of this year.

What caught my attention most were the strong directives that Catholic charitable institutions may never act in a way, or support another organization or initiative, which is contrary to Catholic teaching. I could not help but read this through the glasses of our own struggle here in the States with the looming HHS mandate. I had to wonder if the Holy Father, knowing that the U.S. Bishops are strongly fighting the HHS mandate but that Catholic charitable agencies may be a little more loose on their adherence to particular doctrinal points, was making it abundantly clear that the Church "can not, and will not, comply"  with such actions (see Cardinal Dolan and numerous other bishops on the HHS Mandate).

Additionally, there is a strong section on Catholic charitable services not working in cooperation with organizations which have agendas contrary to Catholic teaching. Again, I can't help but to think of the blast of emails that we receive every November in regard to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. A great amount of work has gone into cleaning up this organization's work and where they direct their assistance, but some still say there is more work to be done before they feel they can donate their own money in good conscious. I think the jury is still out on this.

As always, I recommend that you read the actual text. When copied and pasted into MS Word, the entire thing is only seven pages long.

Read the Text for Yourself.

2 comments:

Tom said...

It's about time! I've always considered it scandalous that Catholic charitable organizations were in bed with very anti-Catholic NGO's throughout the world. Hopefully this will put an end to that.

Tom said...

It's about time! I've always considered it scandalous that Catholic charitable organizations were in bed with very anti-Catholic NGO's throughout the world. Hopefully this will put an end to that.