Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Announcing the New Congregation for Monitoring Church Bulletins

As we all know, in recent days and months, the sacred dicasteries have taken some important steps to preserve the legacy of the Second Vatican Council. For explanation of how this is so, you can hardly do better than this article from The Pillar ( It elucidates how, in the spirit of collegiality, the CDW has pretended to arrogate to itself all kinds of prerogatives that would normally belong to the local bishop, in fulfillment of Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium; specifically, of its statements that “The pastoral office, or the habitual and daily care of their sheep, is entrusted to [the local bishops] completely, nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them. ... In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.” (LG 27)

One of the most notable ways in which the new responsa fulfill this is that they take away from the bishops jurisdiction over what may be printed in local church bulletins. (As a wise young priest noted, “At some point we went from ‘We have to modernize the liturgy so that young people will show up.’ to ‘If we don’t publish Latin Mass times, we will keep young people from showing up.’ ”) However, this presents an obvious logistic problem: how to monitor the world’s church bulletins to make sure no one is advertising a Mass that young people want to go to.

In response to this pressing pastoral need, a new Congregation has been swiftly established, the Congregation for the Bulletins of the World. (Congregatio pro Bulletin Mundi. Sadly, Latin standards are still falling; that should really be ‘Bulletinis’ or ‘Bulletinibus’.) As of yet, there is no official website, but that hardly matters. In keeping with Inter Mirifica, Vatican II’s Decree on the Media of Social Communication, all of the new Congregation’s business is being done solely via Twitter. ( And mirabile dictu! we already have some wonderful examples of the efficiency of this new way of exercising the Church’s pastoral charity. Within less than 24 hours from the appearance of the responsa, people were already eagerly delating parishes to the new Congregation for failing to update their bulletins accordingly. So, if you know of any parish that has yet to begin the important work of driving the young faithful away from the Mass, just tweet it out, and include the user-name @BulletinMundi. As noted in the pinned tweet at top, you can also delate people to the authorities for mocking their work. Although this has not yet been formalized, a curial insider informs me that the new Congregation’s official motto will be taken from St Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, 5, 14: “the charity of Christ compels us.”

(You may scoff that Inter Mirifica can hardly have supposed any such thing, given that Twitter only came into existence 43 years after it was issued. Woe to thee, o scoffer! It was issued on the very same day as Sacrosanctum Concilium, which certainly did not suppose any such thing as the reform which came after it, so all is well.)

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: