Trillanes violates Catholic Canon Law by having a mass celebrated at a venue convenient to him!

“Senator” Antonio Trillanes is, indeed, a serial law violator. His latest palabas involves a PR stunt where he attends (for the cameras) a mass celebrated within the premises of the Philippine Senate building where he is hiding from the law.

However, existing Canon Law states that Catholic masses may only be celebrated in a sacred place of worhip — such as a church. Canon 932 of the Vatican’s Code of Canon Law stipulates…

Can. 932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.

§2. The eucharistic sacrifice must be carried out on a dedicated or blessed altar; outside a sacred place a suitable table can be used, always with a cloth and a corporal.

The Canon Law is evidently open to broad interpretation as it does not explicitly state any exclusions or inclusions in the rather sparse guidelines it spells out above. However, CatholicExchange.com provides some sensible guidelines around this law…

The key to interpreting the rule involves necessity. In all of the permitted examples referenced above, there was a real need to offer Mass outside of a Catholic church. If such a Eucharistic celebration were not permitted, the Mass could not take place.

So it logically follows that if a Catholic church is readily available, under normal circumstances it is difficult at best to justify the celebration of Mass elsewhere. Using a private home, when the residents are fully capable of coming to the parish church, or saying Mass in the parish garden, when the crowd could easily fit inside the church building, would not be in accord with either the code or the norms of the GIRM. If Mass can be said in the church, then it should be said in the church!

It seems the situation Trillanes finds himself in does not justify having the mass come to him. He is able-bodied and perfectly mobile enough to go to a church to hear mass. No excuses.

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