Faith/Spirituality Forum: Re: consent of the Holy See to leave the Latin Church

Re: consent of the Holy See to leave the Latin Church QUESTION from A. Basto on January 29, 2003 Some months ago the question about the requirements imposed by canon law for someone to leave the Latin Church and join another branch sui iuris of the Catholic Church arose in this Forum.
As you have correctly stated such a change of ritual Church cannot take place except when the consent of the Apostolic See is obtained, or in the other special cases mentioned in canon law (such as being married to a Eastern rite catholic and changing to the spouse's rite).
Thus, apart from the some special cases where canon law itself grants the authorization, the only authority in the Church which could give consent for a person to leave the Latin Church and join an Eastern Rite Church is the Holy Apostolic See.
I today found out on Google, during a research on another subject, the text of a rescript of the Sovereign Pontiff, issued viva vocis oraculo (by verbal command of the Pope) during the Audientia Santissimi (audience granted by the Pope) to His Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The rescript was put in writting by the Secretary of State on November, 26th, 1992, and was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS 85 (1993)81).
According to the rescript, His Holiness the Pope Jonh Paul II, acting by advice of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative texts, establishes that the authorization of the Holy See can be presumed whenever a faithful wishes to leave the Latin Church to join a sui iuris Church that has an eparchy in the same territory, and both Diocesan Bishops give their assent in writing.
The rescript can be found at
The text of the rescript can be found converted to HTML format by Google at Google HTML format
I hope that this information may be hepful to you and to those seeking gidance about the Eastern Rites. I would like to know more about them myself.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on February 7, 2003 Dear Mr. Basto:
Thanks for the information. As I have mentioned, Canon Law is clear on this issue and what we must go by EXCEPTING that the authority may delegate or dispense from the prescripts of the Canon Law.
In this case, from the information you gathered, the Pope has decided to declare His permission as implied as long as both bishops agree.
That is exactly what we need to know officially. Thanks for the reference. We can never presume something that appears contrary to Canon Law on anecdotal testimony or opinion. Documentation is always required.
BUT... I will have to trust you on what this document says since it is not in English.
God Bless.
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