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NOTES AND QUERIES
QUASI-DOMICILE AND MARRIAGE REV. DEAR SIR,—Would you please solve the following case in the next issue of the I. E. RECORD :-A girl had been in service with a relative in this parish (A) for many years. She was married to a man who lived near her place of service in same parish (A). They are both now living in parish A. She had the intention before marriage of residing in parish A, but not in place of service. Before marriage she went to her parental domicile in parish B for eight or ten days. They had given the marriage fee to the parish priest of A. Having obtained dispensation in Banns, the parish priest of A gave leave to the parish priest of parish C to perform the ceremony, as the parties had arranged to have the marriage celebrated there. The girl spent some of the eight or ten days, mentioned above, there, before marriage. Did she retain her quasi-domicile in parish A, or did she lose it by going home for eight or ten days previous to marriage ?
An agreement had been come to between the parish priest of A and the bridegroom, when the latter was paying the marriage fee, that, shculd the parish priest of parish B have a claim to marriage fee, the ordinary fee for certificate would be deducted from marriage fee and retained by priests of A. Was this agreement proper ?
Whether the girl lost her quasi-domicile when she left the parish depends on her intention. She may have meant :
1°. To return to parish A, whether the marriage took place or not. If so, she retained her quasi-domicile : an absence of eight or ten days would not affect the matter.
2°. To return to parish A, if the marriage took place. In that case she lost her quasi-domicile The Statute Ea quae, to which we have referred more than once already, 1 makes that intention negligible,
The first supposition would seem to be correct : for she had the intention before marriage of residing in parish A, but not in place of service.' So, we should say, the quasi-domicile was retained.
The parish priest of C gets, in Ireland, a “reasonable' fee. Whatever remains goes to 'the parish priest of the bride.' When there are two, as in this case, there is no definite provision made regarding the division.
1 I. E. RECORD, January, 1915, Fifth Series, vol. v. pp. 65-7, etc.
Apart from special arrangement, we think equity suggests that each get half. But, in this case, there was a special arrangement.
We see nothing wrong in the agreement-provided no injury be done to the parish priest of c.
REVIVAL OF A CONTEMPORARY
We have just been favoured with a copy of the current issue of the Vouvelle Revue Théologique—the first that has appeared since the war began. It recalls the first days of the great calamity. Preparations had just been completed for the publication of the August (1914) issue when, with very little warning, the works were shattered by the shells, the type commandeered and carried off, the printing staff scattered and disorganized. When the worst of the trouble was over and the armistice signed, the management tried to get matters in hands again; but the destructive forces of four years were not to be counteracted in a moment. Difficulties were encountered at every step. The ordinary monthly publication cannot be resumed till January next. In the meantime one copy is supplied free to previous subscribers. It covers the period from September, 1914, till October, 1919—surely a record number in the history of the Review. To compare great things with small, it reminds us of the early days in May, 1916, when, after a short experience of war at their doors, the Dublin newspapers reappeared with six or seven consecutive dates printed on their title-pages. The editor refers to the increased expense that presses with such a heavy hand on the printing trade': we all know of it: without friendly and generous support from its subscribers, no magazine can now hope to appear in its former style or with anything approaching its previous prospects of financial stability. He modestly adds that he 'has had assurances from various quarters that the work was useful.' May we add our own assurance to the number ? We certainly found it more than useful : it threw light on almost every new movement of ecclesiastical interest. We are glad to have this opportunity of expressing our appreciation, of congratulating the directors on its re-appearance, and of wishing them all the success that marked their labours in the past.
SOME ROMAN REPLIES In the present number of the Review just mentioned we find one section (pp. 550-62) devoted to the decisions of the Commission for interpreting the Code. Eighteen of the replies are quoted. Ten of these have been published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and noticed already in the I. E. RECORD. The remaining eight have been sent to individual Ordinaries. According to Canon 17, as the editor takes care to remind his readers, these eight are not to be taken as having the same force as the law itself, except in so far as they declare the meaning of 'words in themselves certain': but, all the same, they furnish a safe and authorized rule in practice. They have been borrowed by the Review from various
1 See I. E. RECORD, December, 1914, Fifth Series, vol, iv, pp. 628, 629.
sources; and we think we may presume on the editor's permission to continue the borrowing process.
Children and the Paschal Precept.-The Bishop of Valleyfield inquired whether ' children, who, though they have not yet reached their seventh year, have, because of attaining the age of discretion or use of reason, been already admitted to first Communion, are bound by the twofold precept of yearly Confession and Paschal Communion.' The answer (dated 3rd January, 1918) is 'Yes.' We will give it in full in Cardinal Gasparri's own words :
Affirmative. Et ratio in aperto est. Nam quamvis can. 12 statuat : 'Legibus mere ecclesiasticis non tenentur ... qui, licet rationis usum assecuti, septimum aetatis annum nondum expleverunt,' subdit tamen
nisi aliud in iure expresse taveatur.' Iam vero in can. 859, § 1, et 906 expresse cavetur: ‘Omnis utriusque sexus fidelis postquam ad annos discretionis, idest ad usum rationis, pervenerit, etc..'
The Bishop, we may take it, proposed the query because it involved a nice point in theoretical interpretation-probably raised at some Conference or other. For, from the practical standpoint, it is really of very little importance. A child, whose spiritual development and devotion a re abnormal enough to justify his admission to Communion at (say) the age of five, is not likely to fail very often in fulfilling an annual precept within the next two years.
Fast and Abstinence. The same Bishop inquired whether Canon 1252 has universal binding force, notwithstanding particular laws. On the same date he was assured it had. [In that connexion our readers will remember the difference between 'laws' on the one hand, and indults,' vows,' and Religious rules and constitutions' on the other (Can. 1253).]
On the 24th April, 1918, the Bishop of Havana asked whether an indult granted to Cuba on 1st January, 1910, for ten years still remained in force. As we might expect from Canon 1253 (just cited), he was told that it did, and that no attention was to be paid to 'obligations' (mentioned in it but) abrogated by general law in virtue of Canon 1252– 'sublatis obligationibus quae iure communi cessarunt vi canonis 1252.' [This clause may, perhaps, be quoted as an additional justification for views already expressed on certain Irish practices. 1]
Funerals.-In Southern Italy there has been a fairly widespread custom of dispensing with funeral rites in church, and of allowing the burial to take place after some short ceremonies at the home of the deceased. If the Bishop refused permission, the people and clergy felt themselves aggrieved-he showed, they thought, no consideration for their position and dignity. So the Bishop of Sessa was prompted to ask whether ‘resentment or discontent on the part of the faithful and clergy was a 'grave cause'-as understood in Canon 1215—sufficient to excuse from transferring the remains from the place where they are found to the church where the funeral rites may be performed. The reply (24th
1 I. E. RECORD, November, 1917, Fifth Series, vol. x. pp. 359-63.
November, 1918) was, 'No: and the custom, as described by the Ordinary of Sessa, is to be reprobated."' [Which means that the custom
is to be abolished as a corruption of law, even if it be immemorial, and is not to be allowed to revive in future' (Can. 5).]
At first sight this might seem to have a close bearing on our circumstances in Ireland. In the case of many of our funerals the remains are not brought to the church. But,
1°. In the majority of such cases the distance is a morally insurmountable obstacle. It is a much more serious thing than the 'resentment' of the Southern Italians, and constitutes a 'grave cause of the kind provided for in Canon 1215 itself.
2°. The “reprobation' of the reply falls only on the custom as described by the Ordinary. Our own description, given above, is based on a communication sent by the same Ordinary to the Monitore Ecclesiastico 2 ; but whether it gives the full facts, as disclosed to the Commission, we cannot say. One thing, however, is clear. The Commission formulates no general principle; the case was special and abnormal ; and extension of the condemnation--even in spirit-to other instances would be quite unwarranted.
3°. In the case of milder, but long-standing, customs like our own, even though they are opposed to Canon 1215, we must not forget another section of Canon 5—' other (non-reprobated) customs that are centennial and immemorial may be tolerated, if the Ordinaries, in view of the circumstances of places and persons, think they cannot be prudently abolished.'
At the same time it is well to remember that, when there is no grave excusing cause, 3 and no custom that deserves specially reverent treatment, the practice of not bringing the remains to the church may, any day and in any country, fall under the same 'reprobation'as overtook the custom of the Southern Italians.
Mass in Private Houses.-The following query and reply are borrowed from the Monitore Ecclesiastico 4 :
Utrum facultas celebrandi missam in domo privata sit ab Ordinario, ad normam canonis 822, $ 4, interpretanda restrictive.
Some time ago we expressed a hope that the protracted development on the question of saying Mass in private houses has reached a definite conclusion in the re-enactment [by the Code] of the Decree of 1912.'' Apparently some people are thinking of it still. So far as the general law is concerned, the tendency for a considerable time past has been in the direction of greater liberty; and the obvious purpose of the query just quoted was to discover whether the law as it now stands (822) is to be interpreted in a generous sense (in accordance with the tendency) or strictly (as a curb on undue development). The answer shows that the liberal tendency has reached its limit. There may be, as the editor of the Revue suggests, a reference to the points of difference between the Decree of 1912 and the Code. But really the difference is so slight that it scarcely deserves mention. Of the five restrictions imposed on the Ordinary's power by the Code, 1 four are found in the Decree ? ; the fifth-that the case be outside the normal' (in aliquo extraordinario casu)-can be reasonably interpreted as adding very little to the other four.
1 ' Negative, et consuetudinem prout exponitur ab Ordinario Suessano esse reprobandam.'
2 June, 1919, p. 176.
3 It will be felt by many that there is often in this country a grave special reason in favour of the law-the advantage of lessening the abuses liable to attend unduly protracted wakes (cf. Maynooth Statutes, nn. 513-14).
4 Ibid. p. 175.
As for the Irish law, the vague suggestion of rigour conveyed by the reply is more than counterbalanced by other considerations,
Dismissal of Religious Professed before the Code came into Operation.Canon 5 informs us that ' rights already acquired' are unaffected by the Code, unless expressly revoked. Now every new law affects the status of the particular persons for whom it is intended. And status is largely a matter of' rights.' Are we to hold, then, that, since rights are unaffected, the status remains practically as before; in other words, that the individuals for whom the law was principally intended are to have the benefit of special exemption ? Manifestly an absurdity. Not all ‘rights' can hope to escape the influence of an unfriendly law. But which ? From documents recently published, a principle emerges. It is : Rights that depend exclusively on law are annulled by a new law to the contrary ; those that depend rather on a definite fact in the past are unaffected.' A boy, for instance, fifteen years old on the 18th May, 1918, might validly get married on that date: a week later, he would require a dispensation (1067): what the law gave the law took away. A deacon, on the other hand, appointed to a parish on the same date, might remain in possession a week later—in spite of the new disqualifying law (453, § 1): his rights depended on the fact of his appointment, and remained untouched by the new legislation. The principle gives definite results in most cases, but not in all. That was felt, evidently, by the Ordinary who, on the 24th November, 1918 (as recorded in the Monitore 5), submitted the following query-'Whether Religious vows, taken before the promulgation of the Code, are to be governed, as regards dismissal of Religious and effects of such dismissal, by the old law in force before the Code?'
The answer is 'Yes.' Which means, in general, that the status of the professed members depends not so much on law as on the fact of their profession; and, in particular, that Canons 646-672 affect these members only in so far as they embody laws previously in existence.
1 See the terms of Canon 822, § 4. 2 For the text see I E. RECORD, Feb., 1913, Fifth Series, vol. i. p. 204. 3 See I. E. RECORD, Feb., 1918, Fifth Series, vol. xi. pp. 109-111.
4 The more important sections, with short commentary, will be found in the I. T. Quarterly, Octobor, 1919, 'Roman Documents.'
6 June, 1919, p. 175.