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Friday, June 15, 2012

Canon law on Personal Prelatures

Code of Canon Law - IntraText

Can. 294 After the conferences of bishops involved have been heard, the Apostolic See can erect personal prelatures, which consist of presbyters and deacons of the secular clergy, to promote a suitable distribution of presbyters or to accomplish particular pastoral or missionary works for various regions or for different social groups.

Can. 295 §1. The statutes established by the Apostolic See govern a personal prelature, and a prelate presides offer it as the proper ordinary; he has the right to erect a national or international seminary and even to incardinate students and promote them to orders under title of service to the prelature.

§2. The prelate must see to both the spiritual formation and decent support of those whom he has promoted under the above-mentioned title.

Can. 296 Lay persons can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of a personal prelature by agreements entered into with the prelature. The statutes, however, are to determine suitably the manner of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connected to it.

Can. 297 The statutes likewise are to define the relations of the personal prelature with the local ordinaries in whose particular churches the prelature itself exercises or desires to exercise its pastoral or missionary works, with the previous consent of the diocesan bishop.

Cathcon- it is this last canon that has raised the concern of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais- it potentially raise all sorts of difficulties in France where there is an SSPX presence in every diocese, if the Conference of Bishops wished to give battle in an organised manner. No wonder the Bishop thinks he is in perpetual war given his previous experience in France.  More than anything else French ecclesiastical politics were responsible for the breakdown on the 1988 deal.
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