Spiritual Warfare Forum: Malachi Martin
Malachi Martin QUESTION from Chris on January 27, 2003 I noticed in an earlier post about Malachi Martin that you suggested : Some say that the Pope Paul VI gave him special permission to say Mass and such, but there is no proof to this and the Pope granting such dispensation has NEVER happened in the history of the Church to my knowledge and I hardly think that a former low-level clerk at the Vatican has such importance to be granted such an unusual and unheard of favor.
My understanding was that Martin was not laicized at all, but threw himself prostrate at the feet of Peter and was allowed to live as a layman while retaining the obligations of the Priesthood viz. celibacy, the office, obedience but was not granted jurisdiction, or allowed to publicly celebrate Mass. Having worked for the NCCB (now USCCB), I personally know two Priests who have gone through the very same process.
This is not an unheard of thing.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 29, 2003 Dear Chris:
You are right, I misspoke about the possibility of special papal persmission, but I did not misspeak about Mr. Martin's status as I understand it.
Mr. Martin was laicized which means he was returned to the lay state and as such has no faculties to perform priestly office or be called Father, to do solemn exorcisms, and is dispensed from the office and obligations of the priesthood, etc.
A laicized priest is STILL required, however, to remain celebate unless a dispensation is given. That is a separate procedure from laicization.
This is a response from Rome:
In 1965, Mr. Martin received a dispensation from all privileges and obligations deriving from his vows as a Jesuit and from priestly ordination. [Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 25 June 1997, Prot. N. 04300/65].
In addition, Mr. Martin said he was laicized on the webpage that he had for a short time. I might add that as far as I know Mr. Martin as not laicized as a penalty for wrongdoing, but rather he petitioned Rome to be voluntarily laicized.
However, I am endeavoring to find out more definitively what Mr. Martin's status actually was.
Regardless of his canonical status, however, the harm the man did to the faithful wsa extensive in the scandal he caused by encouraging disobedience and doubt concerning the Church.
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