Monday, March 11, 2013

Compendium of the 1961 Revision of the Pontificale Romanum - Part 2.11: The Disciplinary Decrees of the Council of Trent (1595)

As noted in parts 2.8 and 2.10, the translation of the relics of the Saints into the church is interrupted by an address of the bishop to the people, by the reading of two of the disciplinary decrees of the council of Trent, and by the address of the bishop to the founder of the church, who then replied to the bishop. The bishop’s exhortation to the people was given in English translation last week in part 2.10; the following are the two Tridentine decrees, one on the usurpation of ecclesiastical goods, another on the paying of tithes. After these are given the bishops address to the founder, and the rubric which follows it. All of these are suppressed in the revision of 1961.

The first decree, from Session XXII, 17 September 1562, On Reformation, Chapter 11 
If covetousness, the root of all evils, should so greatly possess any clerk or layman, preeminent by whatsoever dignity, even that of emperor or king, that he presume to convert unto his own use, and to usurp, by himself or by others, by force or fear excited, or even by means of any supposititious persons (i.e., persons falsely adduced as those properly entitled to the jurisdictions, goods, incomes etc., as stated below), whether lay or clerical, or by any artifice, or under any colorable pretext whatsoever, the jurisdictions, goods, incomes, and rights, even those held in fee or under lease, the fruits, emoluments, or any revenues whatsoever, belonging to any church, or to any benefice, whether secular or regular, mont-de-piété, or to any other pious places, which ought to be employed for the necessities of the ministers and the poor; or [presume] to hinder them from being received by those to whom they by right belong; let him be under an anathema, until he shall have entirely restored to the Church, and to the administrator or beneficiary thereof, the jurisdictions, goods, effects, rights, fruits, and revenues which he has seized upon, or in whatsoever manner they have come to him, even by way of gift from a supposititious person; and, until he shall, furthermore, have obtained absolution from the Roman Pontiff. But if he be the patron of the said church, he shall, besides the aforesaid penalties, be by the very act deprived of the right of patronage. And the clerk, who shall be the author of, or shall consent to, any wicked fraud and usurpation of this kind, shall be subjected to the same penalties; as also he shall be deprived of all benefices whatsoever, and be rendered incapable of any others whatsoever ; and even after entire satisfaction and absolution, he shall be suspended from the exercise of his orders, at the discretion of his ordinary.

The second decree, from Session XXV, 4 December 1563, On Reformation, Chapter 12
Those are not to be borne who, by various artifices, endeavor to withhold the tithes accruing to the churches; nor those who rashly take possession of, and apply to their own purpose, the tithes which ought to be paid by others; since the payment of tithes is due to God; and they who refuse to pay them, or hinder those who give them, usurp the property of others. The holy Synod therefore enjoins upon all, of whatsoever rank and condition they be, to whom the payment of tithes belongs, that they henceforth pay in full the tithes, to which they are bound in law, to the cathedral church, or to whatsoever other churches, or persons, they are lawfully due. And let those who either withhold them, or hinder them [from being paid], be excommunicated; nor be absolved from this crime, until full restitution has been made. [The Synod] further exhorts all and each, that of their Christian charity, and the duty owed to their own pastors, they grudge not, out of the good things bestowed on them by God, bountifully to assist those bishops and parish priests who preside over the poorer churches; to the praise of God, and to maintain the dignity of their own pastors who watch for them.

The bishop’s address to the founder
Know thou, dearly beloved brother, that the laws do not allow the consecration of churches without endowment and ministers. For even as marriage presupposes a dowry, so too are means needed for the support of the ministering clergy. We would therefore know, dearest brother, the number of priests and clerks, and the appointments thou purpose allowing them, and what endowment thou intendest to settle on the church. And that thou may understand what honor and advantages Holy Church confers on thyself and heirs, know that, in token of her gratitude towards founders, it has been decreed by the holy Fathers that, on the solemn anniversary of the day of dedication, the first place in processions is to be given to founders and their heirs; and should it happen that they come to want, the Church gives proof of her grateful remembrance of the founder’s pious liberality.

The rubric concerning the founder’s reply
The founder makes such reply to these questions as to him seems good; and a deed is drawn up, if the number of the clergy, the stipend, and endowment be sufficient. The Founder and the people then promise to fulfill the bishop’s injunctions. The bishop next tells them to pray for him who has built and endowed the church, for him who has petitioned for its consecration, and he assigns them a share in all the good works that shall there be performed.

The monument of Count Giacomo Arcucci, who founded the Charterhouse of St. James on the Italian island of Capri (then part of the Kingdom of Naples) in 1371. Above, his patron saint, the Apostle James the Greater; in the middle, the count holds the monastery church, still seen near the center of the island’s lower city. The inscription below records that the foundation and endowment were given in fulfillment of a vow after the birth of the count’s son, and that he encouraged the Queen of Naples, Joanna I of Anjou, to endow and protect the Carthusian Order. Like most Italian monasteries, it was suppressed, and its properties confiscated, in the Napoleonic era; this monument, originally placed in the Charterhouse in 1612, was transferred to the nearby church of St. Stephen in 1891. Part of the Charterhouse’s cloister is now used as a school, but most of the complex around it is empty and in ruins.

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