Monday, February 20, 2012

* excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI's 1/21/12 Address to the Roman Rota

"Christian maturity leads one to love the law ever more and want to understand it and to apply it faithfully....

"These reflections acquire a special relevance in the area of laws regarding the constitutive act of Matrimony and its consummation, and the reception of Holy Orders, and of those [laws] pertaining to the respective Processes. Here syntony with the true meaning of the law of the Church becomes a question of broad and profound practical impact on the lives of persons and communities, and it requires special attention. In particular, also to be applied are all juridically binding means which tend to ensure that unity in the interpretation and in the application of laws which is asked for by Justice: the Pontifical Magisterium specifically concerning this area, contained above all within the Allocutions to the Roman Rota; the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota, upon which relevance I have already had the opportunity to speak to you7; the Norms and the Declarations issued by other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia. Such hermeneutical unity in that which is essential does not diminish in importance in any way the functions of local tribunals, the first ones called to address complex real situations that are found in every cultural context. Each one of these, in fact, is obliged to proceed with a sense of true reverence in the presence of the truth regarding the Law, striving to practice in an exemplary manner, in the application of judicial and administrative institutes, communion in discipline, the essential aspect of the unity of the Church.

"Bringing myself to the conclusion of this moment of encounter and reflection, I would like to recall the recent innovation — which Monsignor Stankiewicz referred to — by virtue of which were transferred to an Office located at this Apostolic Tribunal the competencies for procedures of dispensation from ratified and non-consummated Matrimony and cases concerning the nullity of Sacred Ordination.8 I am certain that there will be a generous response to this new ecclesial effort."

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