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name "pious foundations, ," it declares, 'are understood temporal goods given in any way whatever to any moral person in the Church, with a perpetual obligation or one for a very long time, out of the annual revenues of celebrating some Masses, or of discharging other specified ecclesiastical functions, or of performing some works of piety and charity."

To remove a misconception under which our correspondent seems to be labouring, we must remark that, when a corporate body enters into a contract of this kind the obligation incurred rests primarily on the institution itself. Moral persons, however, must usually discharge their obligations through the instrumentality of physical persons, and hence the latter become bound when they are employed for this purpose by the former. Only when understood in this way is it true to say that a 'moral body can enter into a contract with its first benefactor in such a way as to impose afterwards upon future generations a serious obligation in justice.'

In regard to the present case it is quite clear, therefore, that the diocesan seminary, which is recognised as a moral person in the Church, may have undertaken a perpetual obligation in justice of celebrating certain Masses on account of donations made to it by pious benefactors. Whether such a contract has been entered into is a matter of fact upon which sufficient data have not been supplied to enable us to give an answer. The fact that Masses are actually celebrated for benefactors is certainly not sufficient proof that it has been. It may be that the benefactors merely expressed a wish, without imposing any strict obligation, to have Masses offered for them, or it may be that the Masses are celebrated as a sign of gratitude towards the benefactors, without even a wish having been expressed by them to that effect. The real facts of the case can be established only by an examination of old records, foundation tablets, etc.

In regard to the professors' obligation, again the data supplied are quite insufficient to determine its nature. It is quite possible that it is one of strict justice, arising from a contract entered into between the professors and the Seminary through the latter's representative, in which case portion of their salary would take the place of honoraria. There is a presumption that this is really the state of affairs, if the Masses celebrated by the professors are intended to satisfy obligations in justice imposed by benefactors. Again, it is possible that the obligation arises merely from an episcopal law, in which case it would be one obedience and religion rather than of strict justice. It is also quite possible that there is no strict obligation at all, and that the professors are merely fulfilling a wish of the donors or of the Bishop-the representative of the seminary-in celebrating these Masses. What is the real position of things can be determined only by reference to documents, or to oral tradition amongst the College staff, if any such exists. Looking at the matter, however, from a priori standpoint, one is inclined to think, in view of the very moderate salary which professors receive, that there is no strict obligation in the case.

1 Canon 1544, § 1.


REV. DEAR SIR,-In reference to your reply to the first question of 'Presbyter Liverpolitanus' in I. E. RECORD of December:

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A question was sent up to Rome by Birmingham on the subject, and on August 2, 1919, the reply was given by the Consistorial Congregation that until the new Provinces hold a new Council the Provincial Councils of Westminster hold good, etc., cum subsistant, perdurant in illa forma et extensione quas a principio habuerunt,'' Quapropter in exemplo allato, sacerdos unius provinciae qui contra praescriptum 1mi Concil. Prov. West. theatro in alia intersit, subiicitur ut antea poenae suspensionis, etc.' This notification was sent to all the Parochi of the Archdiocese.

Since you are on this subject of theatres, do operas come under the term spectaculis scenis' of scenic performances? I have an idea that I saw in some Irish synod that priests were forbidden to go to scenic performances and operas; the insertion and operas' gives one the impression that in Canon Law there is a distinction between scenic performances and operas. Westminster forbids only scenic performances.


We are very grateful to our correspondent for acquainting us with this reply of the Consistorial Congregation. The views which we expressed on this matter in our answer to 'Liverpolitanus' are in complete agreement with it. Of course, it is possible that the reply is an extensive interpretation, and consequently, that it does not offer any confirmation of our position. The form of the reply, however, as well as the reasons which we put forward, afford the strongest presumption to the contrary. Anyhow, it settles the question practically.

In our opinion operas are included under 'spectaculis scenicis.' Our reason is the fundamental one of all interpretation, viz., the ordinary sig nification of the two terms. Most probably our correspondent has in mind the last Synod of Maynooth. He is under a misapprehension, however, as to the form of the statute on attendance at scenic performances made by this body. We shall, therefore, quote its exact words; 'A theatrorum quorumcumque publicorum spectaculis, etiam illuis generis quae nomine opera designantur, necnon a spectaculis illis quibus vulgo nomen Circus tribui solet, prorsas abstineant' (clerici). Clearly, then, this Irish law affords no justification for the impression that in Canon Law there is a distinction between scenic performances and operas. The statute does not employ the term scenicis spectaculis' at all, instead it has 'theatrorum spectaculis' and includes operas under it. In fact, this inclusion of operas under theatrical performances is rather a confirmation of the opposite view.



REV. DEAR SIR,-Would you kindly let me have, at your convenience, your opinion on the following points in the matter of alienation of ecclesiastical property.

1o. May the valuation in writing (required by Can. 1530. par. 1. 1°.) be made by only one prolus peritus. The use of the plural seems to require at least two.

2o. Is not this valuation, and not the sale price, the guide as to the competency of the Superior, to give permission to alienate? So that if a property were returned in this valuation as worth £1150, but at sale realized £1300, would it not be quite safe to accept such price without fitting permission from the Holy See?

8°. Should the Chapter have this valuation before them when asked to give their consent to alienation?

In this last question I am not necessarily contending that without the valuation the consent would be invalid, but it seems to me that the proceedure would be irregular for the following reasons:

1o. The Code, in laying down the conditions, puts the valuation first. 2o. I take it that the consent required of the Chapter is not a nude assent, but a reasoned consent: exercising their judgment as to whether the position of the Church would be made better by the alienation (utilitas Ecclesiae). Their knowledge of what would probably be got for the property (the valuation) would often be an element in enabling them to judge say, the Church was receiving a rent, and it was proposed to sell the property.

3. What seems to me the strongest reason is that if the Chapter had not the valuation there would be danger in some cases of their giving consent to the alienation of property which may be worth over £1,200, and would they not have to plead ignorance in order not to incur papal excommunication (scienter). Can. 2209 par. 3, Si delictum sine eorem opera commissum non fuisset.'

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I. We think with our correspondent, and for the reason given by him, that the valuation must be made by at least two experts.

II. In our opinion it is the valuation of the experts, not the sale price, that must be taken into consideration in determining what Superior is competent to grant permission to alienate. According to the Code the value of the property to be alienated is the determining factor, and the estimation of it by experts is much more likely to represent the true value than the price actually realized. The inconveniences which would arise from making the sale price the criterion of value are so apparent that it is needless to discuss them; they are so serious that only the very clearest evidence would justify us in admitting that such a criterion had actually been set up.

III. For the first and second reasons given by our correspondent, we think it would be the more appropriate procedure that the Chapter should have the valuation before them when they gave their consent. The difficulty suggested in the third reason would be surmounted, if the Chapter gave their consent subject to the condition that the property did not exceed £1,200 in value. By giving a conditional assent of this kind they could in no way be held responsible, if property of greater value were alienated. Another reason that might be suggested for requiring that the valuation should be made first is that, in case it exceeds £1,200, it would be unnecessary to submit the matter to the Chapter at all.




REV. DEAR SIR,-I am sending you some rubrical points which have arisen for discussion between my fellow-curates and myself, being interested in liturgy. I hope they are sensible, or at least practical. Perhaps some, or even all of them, have been settled in previous issues, but I have had no chance of seeing these, as I opened my subscription towards the I. E. RECORD Only some months ago, and since then I find myself a ' would-beliturgist. . . . Kindly accept our thanks in anticipation.

I. We heard some time ago that there is a new rubric stating that the Crucifix need not be removed from the throne during Benediction, when the Monstrance is placed on a thronette on the' mensa.' Is this so?

II. In many churches, when violet vestments are used on Sundays, ordinary linen albs are always worn instead of the lace ones which appear on all other Sundays. Is this a rubric, or a custom, or neither ?

III. If there be a side altar having a Tabernacle, is it correct to have a veil of the colour of the day on it during Mass said there, or can this only be done in the case of the Tabernacle containing the Blessed Sacrament?

IV. The earliest hour for the celebration of private Masses is an hour before dawn. Is there any special time laid down, or will the hour_vary in accordance with the season? In other words, does it mean that I can say Mass in summer at about 3 a.m., and that in winter I must wait till about 6 a.m. ?

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V. The question most disputed among us is the position of the veil of the chalice when carrying to and from the altar. Father O'Callaghan's Sacred Ceremonies of Low Mass says distinctly the front part of the veil will be turned up over the burse' (Part ii. Ch. I. No. 3)—while Adrian Fortescue's Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, on the other hand, says, quite as distinctly, that the veil is to be left hanging down in front. Now, which of these is the correct method, or is there a full option? The former way seems more convenient, but the latter neater and (may I say ?) more usual.

VI. When a stole is used for preaching, the colour of the day's Office is to be worn. But is it lawful to use a stole of a colour appropriate to the subject of the sermon on special occasions? For instance, would it be allowable to use a red one for a special sermon on the Sacred Passion or at a meeting of a Sodality of the Precious Blood in which all the devotions are appropriate?

B. Mc.

The queries in this letter are all more or less practical and lend themselves to discussion, but the issues involved in some of them are hardly of

such importance as to call for extended categoric replies. In courtesy, however, to our correspondent and his colleagues, who are so laudably interested in liturgical studies, we shall briefly offer an opinion on each of the points submitted.

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I. The wording of this query is somewhat ambiguous and suggests the prevalence of a custom which is distinctly unrubrical. We are not sure whether our correspondent means by throne,' the fixed throne of Exposition erected over the Tabernacle for the reception of the Monstrance, or merely the roof of the Tabernacle, which sometimes serves as the base of the throne; and again we are in doubt as to the significance of the term thronette.' Does he mean by thronette' a movable throne in the full sense of the term, which, in accordance with the rubrics, is sometimes placed on the' mensa '; or the little raised platform or Thabor which has no rubrical sanction, but is sometimes used to elevate the Monstrance on the table of the altar? If the ordinary place of the Crucifix is upon the throne which has been erected for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament so that alternately the Crucifix and the Monstrance occupy precisely the same position, the practice is unrubrical 1; and, on the other hand, if a real throne exists over the Tabernacle, it seems hardly less unrubrical to place the Monstrance during Benediction on an elevation on the 'mensa ' The raison d'être of the throne is for the reception of the Monstrance; if the structure becomes the ordinary receptacle for the Crucifix it ceases to be a throne and must no longer be regarded as such. The following response 2 of the Congregation of Rites is definite on the point: Quum difficile sit habere Thronum Expositionis inamovibilem nisi Crux ponatur in eo; quaeritur. Utrum liceat super Tabernaculum erigere Thronum, seu parvum ciborium fixum pro Expositione Sanctissimi Sacramenti; an debeat erigi Thronus tantummodo propter Expositionem et amoveri post Expositionem? Resp. Negative ad primam partem; affirmative ad secundum.'

But apart from the ambiguity of the terms and the suggestion of an unrubrical practice which they convey, we have no doubt as to the purport of our correspondent's query. Is there a 'new rubric' stating that the Crucifix of the altar need not be removed during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament? We have not heard of it, nor, in fact, have we been able to find any rubric regulating the particular point in question. Most of the rubrical books we have consulted prescribe the removal of the Crucifix preparatory to the Benediction Service, and some go so far as to assign. a positive reason for the direction-'ubi enim Prototypus adoratur supervacanea saltem adjudicari debet imaginis exhibitio—but as far as we know, there is no authoritative ruling to that effect by the Sacred Congregation. A question was once disputed amongst rubricists as to whether the cross which had been removed for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament should, in accordance with the rubrics of the Mass, be restored when the Holy Sacrifice was offered on the altar, and the Sacred Congregation

1 Decr. 3576.

• Decr. dated May 27th, 1911.

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