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By Marco Tosatti, Church Militant, April 29, 2020
‘Bishops, you are accountable for souls who die without the sacraments’
This interview of Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò by Italian Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti was originally published at Marco Tosatti’s blog.
April 29, 2020
Saint Catherine of Siena
Marco Tosatti: Your Excellency, the latest decree of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has disregarded the hopes of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) and extended the lockdown of Mass throughout all of Italy. Some canonists and experts in concordat law have expressed many reservations about the government’s behavior in this matter. What do you think about this?
Archbishop Viganò: The concordat between the Holy See and the Italian State recognizes that the Church has, as its “native right,” full freedom and autonomy in carrying out her ministry, which is given proper social and public expression in the celebration of Holy Mass and the administration of the sacraments. No authority may interfere in this ministry, not even with the consent of Church authority, which is not the master of the sacraments but rather the administrator of the grace conveyed by them.
Jurisdiction over places of worship belongs in toto and exclusively to the ordinary of the place, who decides with full autonomy, for the good of the souls entrusted to him as pastor, which functions may be celebrated there and by whom they may be celebrated. It is not the prime minister’s role to determine who may have access to churches, nor to legislate about what the faithful or the minister of worship can or cannot do. …