Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Monday, October 23, 2006
Rod "Crunchy Con" Dreher has become Russian Orthodox. He gave us a chance, but we're just not up to his standards, which apparently include moral perfection in the hierarchy, and laypeople's right to "look forward" to Sunday liturgy. (Re the latter: for one whose bestselling book is in part a critique of American materialism, he sure has a comfort-seeking approach to life in the Church.)

Anyway, canonist Ed Peters, as is his wont, brings some clarity:
1. By all accounts Dreher has committed a formal act of schism; according to 1983 CIC 1364, he is liable to latae sententiae excommunication....

2. ...the "sincerity" of a parental decision to deprive a Catholic child of his or her religious heritage does not rehabilitate that decision. 1983 CIC 1366 authorizes "a censure or other just penalty" against parents who "hand over their children to be... educated in a non-Catholic religion."

3. Apparently most Orthodox Churches receive Roman Catholics into their communion by the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation or chrismation. The Catholic Church, in contrast, presumes the validity of Orthodox chrismation and does not re-confirm those coming into full communion with us (instead, Orthodox converts to Catholicism make a profession of faith). Assuming the 40-year-old Dreher was already confirmed in the Catholic Church, if he underwent this Orthodox rite (I cannot verify either point in his case), his "second" confirmation would be invalid and objectively sacrilegious as an attempt to re-confer a seal sacrament (1983 CIC 845, 1379).