Today a news story of moderate importance broke. The Vatican Information Service indicated obliquely that Rome was acknowledging a decision the Ukrainian Catholic Church made some months ago: to move its major see from Lviv to Kyiv, and move Cardinal Husar, the major archbishop who presides over that Eastern church, along with it. The VIS announcement simply mentioned that Cdl. Husar had transferred an auxiliary bishop to fill the see at Lviv.
Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Archbishop Major of Kyiv-Halyc, with the consent of the Synod of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church and after having informed the Apostolic See, transferred Bishop Ihor Vozniak, C.SS.R., from Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Lviv of the Ukrainians to residential Archbishop of the same see.
Gotta do your homework
Now, this is pretty arcane stuff, and normally the Internet’s Vatican watchers would jump over themselves to explain the minutiae. Alas, the most vigorous self-promoter among them, the religion blogger Rocco Palmo, stumbled over the story, posting two misleading entries on this one news item.
The Vatican Press Office reported that Rome had been informed about the change, and no assent by the Pope was required or requested, but Rocco mistook this for a sign of a change in the self-governance of the Ukrainian Church. The able “New Catholic” over at Rorate Caeli clarified the details nicely in his post, complete with citations from canons 85, 152, and 182 of the Eastern code: there was nothing new here, in regard to the relation of Rome and the Eastern churches.
A second post from Rocco backed off the mistake part-way, but added a new gaffe, claiming that Cdl. Husar would only have power to transfer a bishop without Roman consent “for a grave reason”, under canon 85. However, this is not so: the proviso “for a grave reason” (para. 1) doesn’t apply to the powers Cdl. Husar used (para. 2, 4).
So what we can establish beyond a reasonable doubt is that the noisiest would-be vaticanista on the net either hasn’t read or cannot understand what he’s writing about today. (Perhaps, for shame, he doesn’t even own a copy of the CCEO.) Considering the amount of time and space he spends boasting about his expert abilities and fantasizing that conservative writers envy him, it’s a pity he hasn’t learned to read.