Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Father John D. Cornelius

January 27th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

Snapshot 1 (1-27-2013 12-33 PM2

Deacon John Cornelius is now Father John Cornelius, ordained yesterday by Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone in beautiful Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville, New York.

HERE is a brief (2 minutes) clip of scenes from the ordination.

Father’s first Mass will be celebrated to at 3 P.M. at the (old) Church of the Good Shepherd in Henrietta. SEE DETAILS HERE.

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30 Responses to “Father John D. Cornelius”

  1. Scott W. says:

    One very interesting note: He and his wife are going to observe continence. See Ed Peter’s comments here:

  2. y2kscotty says:

    I am troubled by this in 2 ways; (1) Why Fr. Cornelius and his wife would make an announcement regarding something so close to the heart of married life, and (2) the canon lawyer’s praising such a thing. There are two sacraments here: Matrimony and Holy Orders. In my not so humble opinion, both should be lived and witnessed fully. What Father and Mrs. Cornelius do is their business, of course. I simply think that it sends the wrong message regarding Matrimony and Holy Orders.

  3. Hopefull says:

    What do we need to know in advance before attending an Anglican Ordinariate Mass? Do they receive on the tongue? In the hand? Under both species? Do we still say Amen when receiving? What else? Thanks to anyone who will supply this information.

  4. Bernie says:

    Hopefull: Not to worry. You will recognize nearly everything especially if you have been to a traditional Latin Mass. Receive kneeling and on the tongue. Out of habit, I responded “Amen” when I received yesterday but I’m not sure if that is in the Anglican tradition. Look for a post with video excepts of Father’s first Mass in a few hours, right here on CF. They have good baked goods for the coffee hours. NOTE: NO MASS NEXT WEEKEND!!! Father Cornelius will be away. Anglican use Mass will return again the week after that and every Sunday thereafter. Always check the Fellowship’s website for current announcements.

  5. Bernie says:

    Website for Fellowship of Saint Alban

  6. Bernie says:

    Yes, you receive both the Body and Blood. I assume that you may decline to take the chalice. Just stand and return to your seat after receiving the Lord’s Body. I telling you all this but I’m not really sure. Someone from the Fellowship will probably instruct us right here on CF. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Scott W. says:

    I am troubled by this in 2 ways

    Then it is a good thing we don’t worship y2kscotty.

  8. BigE says:

    That vow of continence is certainly easier to make at the age of 64 than it would have been at the age of 31.


  9. Andrew N. Jordan says:

    To reply to Hopeful:

    What Bernie says is correct. The Anglican Use is a Use of the Roman Rite. Consequently, most things will be familiar to you with some variations. It is our custom to receive communion kneeling under both species, but it is not required. We encourage receiving on the tongue, but it is also not required (as it is in the practice of Roman rite parishes). One would usually say “Amen” after the priest says “The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven” before one receives communion. The best way to know is simply to come and see. We encourage all of our fellow Catholics to visit!

  10. Richard Thomas says:


    Speak for yourself. I am 63 and am as challenged to remain pure as I was at a younger age.

  11. annonymouse says:

    It would seem prudent to take anything Canon Lawyer Peters has to say on the matter of clerical celibacy/continence with more than a grain of salt.

    He was proven to be mistaken in his canonical judgment on continence for married deacons, yet he continues to defy the legitimate authority of Rome:

    As Dr. Peters sees fit to (continue to) deny Rome, perhaps folks here may wish to be careful about referencing him as an authority.

  12. Dr. K says:

    annonymouse –
    Isn’t Dr. Peters a Signaturae Apostolicae Referendarius, appointed in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI himself?

  13. annonymouse says:

    Doctor – I do not know.

    What I do know is that he persists in defying the legitimate canonical authority in Rome by his insistence that he is right and Rome is wrong. And this has occurred (and continues), after 2010.

  14. Ben Anderson says:


    from Peters’ site

    In 2010, he was appointed a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura by Pope Benedict XVI.

    also, if you scroll down to the comments section of the link you provided, you’ll see that the one and only comment is from Dr. Ed Peters. Also, you might want to see his full response here:

    This is not a case of simply defying “Rome”.

  15. annonymouse says:

    Here is the letter from Rome, with which Dr. Peters obstinately continues in his disagreement. This is a definitive interpretation of canon law from the Vatican. Dr. Peters proof-texts c. 277 without regard to c. 1031, and he shows a disturbing misunderstanding of the Church’s moral teaching on marriage and sexuality. In this regard, he’s as obstinate as anyone with whom we take umbrage in the DoR!

    On a related matter, Fr. Cornelius and his wife are free to choose to forsake marital relations, but they are under no obligation (under law) to do so, nor did his ordination (nor her canonical consent) require it.

  16. annonymouse says:

    Also, Ben – the response of Dr. Peters you’ve linked predates the “official” response of Cardinal Coccopalmerio. It appears that the Cardinal (then Cardinal designate) had originally provided Dr. Peters a brief response which disagreed with Dr. Peters’ take, to which Dr. Peters responds in the link you’ve provided. To which Cardinal Coccopalmerio responded officially to Cardinal Dolan in his capacity as Chair of the USCCB, asserting the official interpretation: “the current canonical discipline does not require married permanent deacons, as long as their marriage lasts, to observe the obligation of perfect and perpetual continence established by can. 277, ยง 1 CIC for clerics in general.”

    While that should settle the matter, Dr. Peters stubbornly persists, as a recent reading of his blog indicates.

    And with respect to Fr. Cornelius, for all of the reasons Cardinal Coccopalmerio cites in his letter, it is reasonable and rational to believe that perfect and perpetual continence is not required of a married priest, either (although it should be noted that the Cardinal’s response only addressed the question in relation to married permanent deacons).

  17. Ben Anderson says:

    I’ll admit my confusion regarding which letter predates which. I’d have to spend some more time with it to fully understand it. The most recent link you provided does seem to settle it.

  18. Ben A, you might find this link useful in your reading. Cordially, edp.

  19. y2kscotty says:

    I read Dr Peters link. Where in Canon 277, is the term for “married”? I didn’t see it. And, in the case of the Eastern Churches, or in Orthodoxy, is perpetual continence required?
    I’d like to know what other Canon Lawyers say about this. (That is, this list deserves some other opinions.)
    To anonymouse – I want to hear more from you on this matter.

  20. Ben Anderson says:

    Thank you kindly, Dr. Peters. I’m sure I will find that link to be useful.

    Total sidebar question for you that I actually encountered while writing software today at work. If someone were to refer to your blog, would you prefer an extra “s” at the end?

    ie – “Dr. Peters’ blog” or “Dr. Peters’s blog?”

    I read that it can go either way, but I’m wondering what people with names ending in an “s” actually prefer. Yeah, I know it’s completely random, but if you’d be willing to share your opinion then I could sleep better tonight.

  21. LOL. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. I never add the “s”, come to think of it, ergo, “Dr. Peters’ blog is the best canon law blog in the world.”… Best, edp.

  22. annonymouse says:

    It is clear that Dr. Peters chooses not to humbly accept the word of the Vatican Cardinal, who taught Canon Law for 30 years and who is supported in his interpretation (authentic or not) by the CDF. The Cardinal has informed the Chair of the USCCB that Dr. Peters’ interpretation is incorrect – that c. 277 cannot be read in isolation – it must be read in conjunction with c. 1031, which admits married men to Orders. As the Cardinal has said, if the Legislator (i.e. the Holy Father) had meant that married deacons (and I presume, by the same logic, married priests) and their wives to submit to perpetual and perfect continence, he would have required these men to so vow. He did not.

    Further, Dr. Peters ignores the (immutable) moral teaching of the Church that sexual intimacy is an intrinsic good of marriage, in favor of his (own) quite narrow reading of a single canon (canon law being changeable at the whim of the Pope). What he fails to grasp is that allowing there to be married deacons (and priests) and simultaneously requiring a vow of continence from these men (and their wives) would be essentially oxymoronic.

    Finally, I would humbly submit that Dr. Peters’ obstinance is really no different than, say, BigE’s enduring obstinance on this site on the moral teaching regarding artificial contraception – a refusal to submit to the legitimate authority in favor of one’s own private interpretation.

  23. Dr. K says:

    It is clear that Dr. Peters chooses not to humbly accept the word of the Vatican Cardinal, who taught Canon Law for 30 years and who is supported in his interpretation (authentic or not) by the CDF.

    We’re not talking about Ordinatio Sacerdotalis where the Holy Father ended discussion on the matter of women’s ordination. Discussion can continue on this subject, and Dr. Peters is within his rights to continue the discussion. Additionally, Dr. Peters accurately points out that the Cardinal was responding to the issue as it relates to married deacons, not married priests.

    “canon law being changeable at the whim of the Pope”

    Does this render Canon Law irrelevant??

  24. BigE says:

    1) You continue to conflate and confuse “discussing an issue” with “submission to church authority”.
    2) As far as I can tell, Dr. Peters has in no way failed to submit to the legitimate authority of the Church.
    3) And since Dr. Peters is questioning a discipline of the church, not a moral teaching, his obstinance is indeed different than mine.

  25. annonymouse says:

    Dr. K – with all due respect, Cardinal Dolan, in his capacity as President of the USCCB, requested a clarification of this matter due to the confusion brought about by “journals and internet blogs” – no doubt referring to Dr. Peters’ extensive writings on the topic. Cardinal Coccopalmerio responds, in his capacity as President of the Pontifical Council on Legal Texts (and co-signed by Bishop Arrieta as Secretary). So this is much more than one man’s “observations” as your post noted (before it appears you edited it). This is the definitive word from the Vatican as to how c. 277 should be read and it is a settled matter.

    You are correct that the Cardinal was responding to the issue as it pertains to married deacons. Dr. Peters continues to disagree with that conclusion. And if you’ll read the Cardinal’s response, you’ll note that all of the Cardinal’s reasons for his conclusion will also pertain to married priests (one example – there is no vow of continence for married priests and their wives, which if intended by the Legislator, would have been required).

    Dr. Peters can continue to discuss it all he wants. What he is saying, in effect, is that the Pontifical Council which has the authority to decide these things, is wrong. Can this website support one man’s canonical interpretation over and above that of the Vatican? I never thought I’d see the day THAT happened!

    And E:

    3. I agree, your obstinance is different than Dr. Peters’. Yours is in defiance of an infallible teaching of the ordinary, universal magisterium. Dr. Peters is quarrelling over canon law, which is not irrelevant, but which is a matter of the discipline of the Church, not the natural moral law.

    Where you’re both the same, however, is your willingness to (pridefully) advance your personal interpretation over and above that which has been decided by those whose job it is to decide such things.

    2. Dr. Peters won’t stop arguing an issue that has been decided. IMO, that is failing to submit to the Church’s legitimate authority.

    1. You fail to see how continuing to “discuss an issue” that has been settled fractures the communion of the Church. Dr. Peters has a vision of a continent married diaconate that he continues to advance, despite word from on high that his interpretation is flawed, potentially harming the Order of Deacon, possibly harming recruitment for the deaconate, and in general, stirring the pot. All because, despite authoring the “world’s best canon law blog,” he refuses to admit when he might be mistaken.

  26. annonymouse says:

    One other thing to quarrel with – I disagree with Dr. Peters that Fr. Cornelius’ and his wife’s decision to voluntarily live a life of continence is laudable. It is, to be sure, their choice, but sexual intimacy is an intrinsic good of the married state, and Fr. Cornelius and his wife were married long before he became a Roman Catholic priest. I fail to see how it is somehow laudable to choose to permanently abstain from the act that is intrinsically joined to, and in fact, essential to the married state.

  27. Ben Anderson says:

    I fail to see how it is somehow laudable to choose to permanently abstain from the act that is intrinsically joined to, and in fact, essential to the married state.

    wouldn’t that logic do away with any mortifications? Eating is essential to living and yet our tradition teaches us that fasting is good.

    Also, I personally will need to time to grapple with the reasoning you’ve presented and the link provided with Dr. Peters. I have no comments at this time, but I appreciate your responses. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the fact that you piped up and differentiated our previous discussions with this one.

    The discussions on this blog continue to amaze me and I pray that we are iron sharpening each other. As we continue to challenge each other let us pray that God ultimately leads us closer to Himself and that we use what we learn to connect more intimately with Him. I know I’ve learned and grown quite a bit from being challenged here. May God bless you all.

  28. Bernie says:

    I hesitate to get involved in this because I really don’t want to prolong this thread which I think has strayed from the spirit of the post but it might be worth the effort to go to the Fellowship’s website and click on the video clips of news interviews with Father Cornelius. We might gain some insight into his and his wife’s decision, an insight that at least satisfies our need to know without belaboring the issue further.

  29. annonymouse says:

    Ben – yes, fasting is good. And St. Paul writes that refraining from marital relations for a time for prayer is laudable. But there is a difference between fasting and starving, would you not agree?

    That said, I agree with Bernie that this post, originally meant to praise (rightfully so!) Father Cornelius, has strayed far, and for that, I apologize.

    Let us celebrate and praise God for the gift to the Church that is the Anglican Ordinariate, and let us celebrate and affirm Father Cornelius’ dedication and commitment to serving as a priest of Jesus Christ! May God be praised!

  30. Bernie says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ no need to apologize. It’s in the nature of the blog to point and counter point. Just my personal opinion that, perhaps, this has run its course. ๐Ÿ™‚

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