Pope Benedict has overhauled the leadership of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, receiving the retirement of Cardinal Julian Herranz and appointing a new president, vice-president, and secretary. This is an unusual move, changing all the top leadership positions at once, as is elevating the vice-president from bishop to archbishop even as the president is an archbishop.
I wonder if this will have any effect on this previous ruling regarding Canon 915 (“Those who are excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”):
The discernment of cases in which the faithful who find themselves in the described condition are to be excluded from Eucharistic Communion is the responsibility of the Priest who is responsible for the community. They are to give precise instructions to the deacon or to any extraordinary minister regarding the mode of acting in concrete situations.
4. Bearing in mind the nature of the above-cited norm (cfr. n. 1), no ecclesiastical authority may dispense the minister of Holy Communion from this obligation in any case, nor may he emanate directives that contradict it.
In other words, it is the responsibility of each pastor, not that of the bishop or anyone else, so if you’re a pastor and you have someone in your parish for whom Canon 915 might apply, you should be aware of your responsibility. Anyway, I wonder if the new heads of the council will be issuing any new guidance on this, considering the many and varied ways the US bishops have interpreted their own responsibilities under Canon 915.
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