Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lauda Laude: a simple song -Bernstein-

If you want to see and listen

Even better, if you want to listen only.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wedding ceremony in a mixed marriage (Catholic and baptised non-Catholic) and the baptism of children

This is my best assessment for your situation regarding to the marriage place and form, and the baptism of children of a man and a woman that are both baptised but only one is Catholic. 

Assuming you are not in danger of death and not in a place without access to priests for a more than a month, then for the marriage to be valid (this is, for the church to say that you have actually married) you would need a special permission from the Bishop (called dispensation). This is because Catholics are not expected prima face to marry non-Catholics. 

Normally you would not need to talk to the Bishop, usually the priest has a form that once filled it means that that permission is granted. For the Bishop to grant permission at least three requirements are needed

A)  the Catholic party has to a) declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and b) make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church. (CIC 1125.1)

B) The non-catholic party does not need to promise anything regarding the upbringing of the children (as it had to do in the past), but has to declare that he or she is aware of the promise that the Catholic party is making. (CIC 1125.2) 

C) Finally all the parties have to be aware of the nature of marriage as a covenant of a man and a women for the purpose to establish a partnership for the whole life, with the purpose of the wellbeing of the partner and the procreation and upbringing of children. None of these can be excluded from each of the marrying parties. 

If A+B+C are fulfilled, normally by signing on a form at the parish days before the marriage, then the permission almost certainly granted to marry *under the same conditions of the rest of the Catholics (ex, you cannot marry a person who is already married). 

Now, the conditions that in normal circumstances two Catholics need to abide for a valid marriage include the place and the type of ceremony of the marriage, called a canonical form. The place should be a Catholic parish and the form a Nuptial Mass (with communion) or wedding service. Since the non-Catholic party cannot take communion in the Catholic Church usually the wedding is done without a mass in a wedding service inside the church. In this case, the assistant of the wedding (the person who ask for the consent of the parties and receives it in the name of the Church) needs to be a Catholic priest or a  deacon, two witnesses are required who don't need to be Catholic, and during the ceremony a non-Catholic person can speak to the parties and bless them.  

Now, if you want another form for the marriage, say a) a different place than a Catholic church, or a different kind of of ceremony (say Orthodox or Lutheran format) you would need to ask another permission (dispensation of the canonical form) from the Bishop. In most or maybe all dioceses this is not commonly granted and you would possible need to write the Bishop through the local priest to ask for a dispensation for pastoral reasons (maybe family tensions). It is possible that the place could be changed, and maybe even some sort of ceremony style, but it is far less likely and a very very rare exception (but still possible)  that someone not Catholic would be allowed to assist (ask for the vows). If you want to go to the latter line I would recommend to ask help from a pastoral advisor and a cannon lawyer, as well as to your local the priest, as these are complicated matters. 

Now, you have to know also that the Church forbids to have two wedding ceremonies or a ceremony with two wedding rituals. Since the Catholic party is not required to promise not to have another ceremony, you would still be in a valid marriage if you were to keep secret plans to marry afterwards in another denomination, and do it after your Catholic marriage. The marriage would be valid if the A+B+C conditions are fulfilled, yet at the same time the Catholic party could possibly be forfeiting the good standing with the Catholic Church by formally and publicly acting against her rules.

Now, about the baptism. For a baptism to be valid (this is, recognised by the Church, who would not do another one) the only conditions are a) that water is used b) that the trinitarian words "I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" are used c) 
that the baptism is made with the intention to baptise (as opposed to theatre etc). This conditions are fulfilled by almost all protestant denominations and this is why the Catholic Church does not re-baptise converts from the Luteran Church or Anglican Church for instance. 

Now for baptism to be licit (this is according to the rules) then more conditions have to be fulfilled. For infants, it is required that there is a Catholic sponsor, that at least one parent or people (or legal equivalent) intends the child to be brought up as Catholic. Baptisms are also to be performed in the Church, by a priest or deacon. Now, again, except in the case of near death when rules don't matter, one can ask the Bishop, through a priest, for a dispensation of the these rules. I know that inter-denominational families in England had managed to get the baptisms that are as being in accordance with Catholic and Church of England denominations. In this way the child gets registered in both churches documents. If, without asking for a dispensation, the rules are not followed, but the conditions a)+b)+c) are still fulfilled then the child does not get registered in the documents of the Catholic parish, but the Catholic church recognises that the child has been baptised and will not re-baptise it again. To get the first communion or confirmation in the Catholic Church, since it is required to be a Catholic, some sort of small ceremony would be needed. Usually this would consist in a welcome-into-our-parish announcement by the priest in a particular mass where the child is to be present. 

All in all. For the marriage, the easiest way to go is to get a marriage in the Catholic parish with a Catholic priest asking for the consent, but allowing (by negotiating in advance) for the speech and blessing to be done by someone from the other denomination. As for the Baptism, the easiest thing is to get the child baptised as all other catholics but there are two other options. The firs option is to ask the Bishop's permission for the baptism to be done somewhere else or by a non-catholic person. Some Bishops agree to this (I think) when they see a strong commitment that the child even if baptised somewhere else would be brought up Catholic. Notice that the catholic party in the marriage has promised to to all in his or her power to rise the children Catholic, but since God doesn't ask the impossible if the marriage is in danger this obligation is suppressed. There are reluctant bishops known to have changed their minds once the child kept being un-baptised for months because of family tensions, and agree better give a dispensation and get it baptised. The third would route to disregard church rules and baptise the child anyway, in which case if a)+b)+c) are followed the baptism is ilicit but still valid. I don't see a need for this. Usually one can convince the bishop, and if the family tensions are great, one can keep talking to the bishop until he agrees. 

Well, good luck. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Human Live and Moral Consequences




a human


looks like


the different stages

of their development.

Now, you can think about the moral consequences of the continuity of the human person.

With thanks to The Crescat blog
credits: next to last picture courtesy of

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cannon Law vs Common Law

Sometimes layers trained in Common Law do not gasp the differences between Common Law and Cannon Law. The main difference between the two systems is well explained by Edward Peters in his essay "Least Amateurs Argue about Cannon Law: a reply to Patric Gordon brief agains Bp Thomas Daily"
I have encountered this attitude among common lawyers [ "cannon law is riddled with exceptions"] before but, being trained in the common law system myself, I think I understand what leads some of them so wrongly to his conclusion. Canonical legislation does not read like common law legislation for some very important reasons and common lawyers who would venture into canonical waters need to understand this before setting out. It is certainly not my intention to defend the felicity of every expression used in the Code of Canon Law but, if one aspect of the difference between canon law and common law needs {128} to be clearly understood, it is this: Common law is a system of judicial supremacy; canon law is a system of legislative supremacy.Grasp that, and one has the essence of the thing. [Emphasis in the original]

The key point is thus the following

Common law is a system of judicial supremacy; canon law is a system of legislative supremacy

This answers the following question: who has the authority to interpret what is the meaning of a given law? 

In the Common Law this power of interpreting the meaning of the written law resides in the courts. As a consequence a) the legislator, when writing the law, tries to put as much details as possible, to prevent and interpretation contrary to its goals; and b) the lawyers, when preparing for a case, would consult a vast literature of pervious court ruling in that matter. 

In the Cannon Law the power of interpreting the meaning of the written law resides with the legislative power. This is stated as follows in the 1983 CIC 16 § 1 “The legislator authentically interprets laws as does the one to whom the same legislator has entrusted the power of authentically interpreting.” And the proof that the courts have not the power to generically interpret the law is also states in the 1983 CIC 16 § 3 as follows: “An interpretation [of law] in the form of a judicial sentence or of an administrative act in a particular matter, however, does not have the force of law and only binds the persons whom and affects the matters for which it was given.” As a consequence of the supremacy of the legislator in interpreting matters of law, the cannon law articles tend to be shorter than the common law as they don't seek to deal extensively with all imaginable cases, and the few cases that may not be clear can be left to be decided by the ordinary Bishop or other authority. Another consequence of the supremacy of the legislative power is that cannon lawyers, when dealing with a disputable issue of which they want to assess the outcome,  they turn on to cannon law commentaries, and more recently also to the study of development of the cannons. For cannon lawyers therefore Cannon Law commentaries and the study of its development play a similar role than the books of court rulings plays for a common law lawyer. 

You can go to Peters' essay if you need more clarifications.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A beautiful present for my birthday: St John's Bible fine print

As a present for my birthday I bought a small reproduction of the St John's Bible. Well, my budget didn't go all the way to buy the whole Bible, not even if in small format. I managed however to get the New Testament in two books. I have been waiting for it for a few months and I am quite happy that the day had come and I have the actual books home. Reading the gospels or the letters in my bed it became now a more complicated experienced, specially due to the size and weight, but still a rather enjoyable one. :-) See below for an explanation of St John's Bible.

Friday, May 3, 2013

7 Quick Takes on Friday (not on theology) 3 / May / 2013

                        Today 7 quick takes not on theology

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Online color challenge: Do you know how to distinguish different hues? Have a test here

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Diagrams! Diagrams! Here the Amazing 

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From Unequally yoked, quoting a Koninsburg book for children. Interesting discussion on Language. 
“Why did you bother bringing [a compass]? You’re carrying enough weight around already.” “You need a compass to find your way in the woods. Out of the woods, too. Everyone uses a compass for that.” “What woods?” Claudia asked. “The woods we’ll be hiding out in,” Jaime answered. “Hiding out in? What kind of language is that?” “English language. That’s what kind.” “Who ever told you that we were going to hide out in the woods?” Claudia demanded. “There! You said it. You said it!” Jaime shrieked. “Said what? “Said what? I never said we’re going to hide out in the woods.” Now Claudia was yelling, too. “No! You said hide out in.” “I did not!” Jamie exploded. “You did, too. You said, ‘Who ever told you that we’re going to hide out in the woods?’ You said that.” “O.K. O.K.” Claudia replied. She was trying hard to remain calm, for she knew that a group leader must never lose control of herself, even if the group she leads consists of only herself and one brother brat. “O.K.,” she repeated. “I may have said hide out in, but I didn’t say the woods.” “Yes sir. You said, “Who ever told you that…” Claudia didn’t give him a chance to finish. “I know. I know. Now, let’s begin by my saying that we are going to hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.” Jamie said, “See! See! You said it again.” “I did not! I said, ‘The Metropolitan Museum of Art.’” “You said hide out in again.” “All right. Let’s forget the English language lessons. We are going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.” For the first time, the meaning instead of the grammar of what Claudia had said penetrated. “The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Boloney!” he exclaimed. “What kind of crazy idea is that?” [...] “Of all the sissy ways to run away and of all the sissy places to run away to…” Jaime mumbled. He didn’t mumble quite softly enough. Claudia turned on him. ”Run away to? How can you run away and to? What kind of language is that?” Claudia asked. “The American language,” Jamie answered. “American James Kincaidian language.”
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Oh My God. This is a generic solution to any maze. It should be compulsory reading. Translated from “Le jeu des labyrinthes”,E. Lucas, Récréations mathématiques, vol. I (2nd edn, Paris, 1882), ch. 3, pp. 41–55.


Among the various solutions to this curious problem in the geometry of situation, the statement of which we have just given, we will choose, as the simplest and most elegant, the one that was kindly communicated to us by M. Trémaux, a former student of the École Polytechnique, now a telegraph engineer; but we have slightly modified the proof.
FIRST RULE. – On leaving the initial junction, follow any path, until you arrive at a dead end or a new junction: (1) if the path you have followed leads to a dead end, retrace your steps, after which you may consider the path just taken as removed, since it has been traversed twice; (2) if the path leads to a junction, take {48} any path,* at random, being careful to mark a cross-stroke on the entrance path in the direction of the arrow f, and on the exit path in the direction of the arrow g (fig. 9). In this figure and the three following, we have distinguished old marks from the new ones by adding to the latter a small cross.
Trémaux’s algorithm: first and second diagrams
Keep applying the first rule, each time you arrive at an unexplored junction; after a time you will necessarily arrive at a junction that has already been explored; but this situation can arise in two different ways, according as the path into that junction has been followed once before or is still unmarked. Then you apply one of the following two rules:
SECOND RULE. – On arriving at an already explored junction by a new path, you must turn back, adding two cross-strokes to mark your arrival at the junction and your departure, as shown in fig. 10.
THIRD RULE. – When you arrive at an already explored junction by a path that has already been followed, take as your first choice {49} a path that has not already been traversed, if there is one; failing that, a path which has been traversed only once; these two cases are shown in fig. 11 and 12.
Trémaux’s algorithm: third and fourth diagrams
PROOF. – By a strict application of the above rules, you will necessarily traverse twice all the lines of the network. First let us make the following remarks:
I. On leaving the junction A, only one initial mark is introduced there.
II. Passing through a junction, by using one of the three rules, adds two marks to the lines which end at that junction.
III. At any time during the exploration of the labyrinth, before arrival at a junction or after departure from a junction, the initial junction contains an odd number of marks, and any other junction contains an even number.
IV. At any time during the exploration, before or after passing through a junction, the initial junction can have {50} only one path with a single mark; any other explored junction can have only two paths with a single mark.
V. When the exploration is finished, all the junctions must be covered with two marks on each path; this is the condition imposed by the statement of the problem.
After these remarks, it is easy to see that, when the traveller arrives at a junction M different from the initial junction A, he cannot be stopped in his tracks by the difficulties of the problem. For this junction M can be reached only by a new path, or a path that has been traversed only once before. In the first case, one applies the first or the second rule; in the second case, arrival at the junction produces an oddnumber of marks; thus, in view of Remark III, there remains, in the absence of a new path, a line which has been traversed only once.
Thus, the only place where you can be stopped is on return to the initial junction A. Let ZA be the path that leads to a forced halt, coming from junction Z; this path has necessarily been traversed once already, since otherwise one could continue the journey. Since the path ZA has already been traversed, there is no path in the junction Z that has never been traversed at all, since otherwise you would have forgotten to apply the first case of the third rule; moreover, there was apart from ZA one path, and only one, YZ, traversed only once, in view of Remark IV. Consequently, at the time of the halt at A, all the paths of junction Z have been traversed twice; it can be shown, in the same way, that all paths of the preceding junction Y have been traversed twice, and so on for the other junctions. This is what had to be proved.
{51} REMARK. – One can replace the second rule by the following, when it is not a question of a closed junction. If you arrive, by a new path, at an already explored junction, you can take a new path, provided you label the two cross-strokes, that mark your passage through the junction, with matching indices a and a; then, if you return to the junction by one of these two paths, one you must take the other. This amounts, so to speak, to placing a bridge aa over the junction. This rule was pointed out to us by M. Maurice, former student of the École Polytechnique.

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The New Yorker Talks about the Piraha tribe and their language.
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Catalan Music
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Four Versions? Have som fun. 
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