Canon Law: What exactly does Canon 144 convey?
#1
Does it mean that certain Sacraments or dispensations etc. that are given in error enjoy the favor of the law?
I find the wording confusing.

Here is the Canon in case anyone is unfamiliar:

Can. 144 §1. In factual or legal common error and in positive and probable doubt of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and internal forum.

§2. The same norm is applied to the faculties mentioned in cann. 882, 883, 966, and 1111, §1.
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#2
It sounds like illicit sacraments received out of ignorance are acceptable under canon law. But I'm probably wrong.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men that It spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust and consume Itself to prove to them Its love” - Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

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#3
(05-13-2019, 12:02 PM)Augustinian Wrote: It sounds like illicit sacraments received out of ignorance are acceptable under canon law. But I'm probably wrong.

That's the impression I get as well. 
To me, it seems to convey that certain Sacraments taken in good faith can at times be given efficacy despite something lacking.
Obviously there would have to be limits to this, such as someone who's not ordained to the priesthood pretending to Consecrate bread and wine.  I think it would be right to say that those receiving commit no sin (assuming they believe the person to be a priest), but that they do not obtain any grace, as there was no Sacrament received.
However, in other instances, such as a couple exchanging marriage vows before someone who appears to have authority from the Church, but in fact does not, probably WOULD enjoy the favor of "common error", as the couple themselves are the ministers of the Sacraments, and entered exchanged their vows in good faith that the Church was approving of their mutual consent.

Mind you the above is just me thinking out loud.  I don't know if what I'm saying is true or if I'm completely misunderstanding the Canon.
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#4
That sounds like what I was getting from it. Like in the instance where a priest willfully does not consecrate the Host and the faithful receive that communion, they would not sin.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men that It spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust and consume Itself to prove to them Its love” - Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

My blog: https://slavetothesacredhe.art.blog/

Malachi Martin was right.
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#5
(05-13-2019, 11:53 AM)FultonFan Wrote: Does it mean that certain Sacraments or dispensations etc. that are given in error enjoy the favor of the law?
I find the wording confusing.

Here is the Canon in case anyone is unfamiliar:

Can. 144 §1. In factual or legal common error and in positive and probable doubt of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and internal forum.

§2. The same norm is applied to the faculties mentioned in cann. 882, 883, 966, and 1111, §1.

The English is a bit wonky, but it is a common legal principle.

"Factual error" can mean either an error made in assessing particular facts, or a real, or de facto error.

"Legal error" can mean either an error made in assessing particular law, or a virtual, or de jure error. This would be an error which does not actually exist, but the law will presume exists. Often this is called a legal fiction, which is a fact which is assumed or manufactured by a court or law but which may not or does not exist in order to effect some application of a law.

This latter is extremely common. For instance in adoption, a legal fiction is created, by which the child is "made" a legal offspring of people who are not biologically parents, while the biological parents are "made" legal strangers to the child. This latter case also will apply to the "reasonable man" standard, which is often used as a hypothetical to see if there is application or exemption from a law in a particular set of circumstances, to help avoid bias or presumption.

Common error means there is some error which is common to a community—which many judge to be the truth, but which is actually not true.

If their pastor tells them that the local Bishops say that when the Immaculate Conception falls at the beginning of the week, or end of the week, no one is obliged to come to this Mass, only the Sunday Mass, and the faithful by this commonly understand when Dec 8 is a Monday, Tuesday, Friday or Saturday they don'r need, there is both an error in fact (that is not what Father said), but also a de facto common error. The error really exists.

The classic case of legal common error is confessions. A priest needs jurisdiction (the power of governance) to validly absolve, because the Sacrament of Penance is a sacramental tribunal, and a judge needs jurisdiction over a person, and not just the power of office, to make a judgement in a case. It will happen that a priest may not have obtained jurisdiction in a place, but for some reason (justified or not) decides to go into the box and present himself as ready to hear confessions, even though he lacks the jurisdiction for this. This creates a legal common error. It may also create a factual common error. The reasonable man test works here : a reasonable Catholic man would naturally assume that a priest would not present himself as ready to hear confessions if he did not have jurisdiction for those confessions. The faithful are not obliged to investigate these legalities. Even if the faithful know the priest lacks jurisdiction, the reasonable Catholic layman seeing this situation, who does not know or need to know canon law, nor would he know whether or how the priest has obtained jurisdiction, naturally presumes he has some form of jurisdiction, and thus can hear his confession. That creates a legal common error, even if there is no one who is, in fact, deceived. 

This is a classic case given by several canonical manuals, and it was the case appealed to by the SSPX before they received jurisdiction from the Pope for confessions.

The only way to understand all of this, however, is to go through lots of Canon Law manuals and be formed in that Law by coursework and proper study. Canon Law is not meant to be interpreted or scoured over by the faithful. It is not meant to be the subject of impressions or interpretations by the faithful, and doing this can make a huge mess in one's conscience. 

It is like moral theology. It is one thing to understand basic principles. It is quite another to decide to pick up a moral theology manual and start trying to teach moral theology or even analyze one's own morality by it when there has been no proper training or foundation for it. These kinds of things tend to end two ways : One becomes an intolerable armchair theologian spouting off his latest theories, or one fosters horrific scruples in one's soul.

If there is some reason to be looking at the Canon Law, then read commentary by those who know what they're talking about. That's the safer thing to do.
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