Amateur Catholic

We don't write books or do speaking tours.
In fact, we barely do our jobs.
-We're the B-Team of Catholic Bloggers-

This is the home of the Amateur Catholic® bloggers - or as we like to refer to ourselves, the B-team. We don't write books or do speaking tours. In fact, we barely do our jobs. That's not to say we're unambitious though... You see, this coalition is just the second phase our blogoshpere conquest. We suppose you could think of us as amateur crusaders too.

Membership will not bring you any money, perks, notoriety, or prestige - but you will get the privilege of proudly displaying the B-team badge on your blog! Lucky you, huh?

amateurcatholic @

If you are hosting a conference, parish function, or some other event and can not afford the exorbitant fees typically associated with a Professional Catholic®, please contact one of our members. We like to hear ourselves talk just as much as the Professional Catholics® do, we just don't charge you for it. But hey give us a meal, free beer, and a designated driver, and we'll speak about breaking the Da Vinci Code or anything else you might care to hear about.

The B-Team badge is copryright 2006, The B-Team Bloggers®. Of course, we're Amateur Catholics®, so if you use the badge without permission (enrolled membership), we won't hunt you down and make you cough up your hard-earned bucks. Just have fun with it and maybe buy us a beer next time you're in town.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Jerry Wightman: Amateur Catholic

I've just discovered Amateur Catholic and I find your purpose to be rather exciting.

I am interested in joining up with you folks. My situation is a little unique. I am an ordained Roman Catholic Priest. I served in several parishes for five years and then I had some disagreements with my bishop so I took a leave of absence and got married and had two children.

Thus, technically under canon law (#1394), I am suspended. However another canon law (#1335) states that anytime anyone asks for any sacrament for any reason the suspension is itself suspended. So, it just means that I don't have a full time job.

I would put myself somewhat into the amateur category since for the past twenty years since I got married I have not done anything serious as a church minister (I've been working a computer network engineer). People where I have worked always found out that I am a priest and often would talk with me about religious issues. My wife divorced me five years ago. After my kids finish college I may consider going back to full time parish work if my bishop is interested.

Recently I made a comment on someone's blog site answering a confusing Catholic question and from that I was asked to begin a blog and write about various Catholic and religious issues that people wanted me to discuss. My blog is titled, "I Was Asked" and is at:

I would offer to be a chaplain, a confessor, or just another guy to bounce questions off of or to share your thoughts and concerns with.

I congratulate the charter members for getting the amateur effort going. I look forward to reading much from the members. I have already checked out several very interesting links.

- - Jerry, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
(Fr. Jerry Wightman)
On blogs I usually go by the name: jw
Well, you sure sound like an Amateur Catholic to me, Jerry. Welcome to the B-Team. ;)


At 3/10/2006 9:35 PM, Blogger jw said...

Rick, thanks. I look forward to much reading and discussion at member blog sites.

At 3/12/2006 11:25 AM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

That is not quite the whole truth about the Canon. This is the same misintepretation that is used by heterodox groups such as rent a priest or the SSPX to misinform the faithful.

Can. 1335 If a censure prohibits the celebration of sacraments or sacramentals or the placing of an act of governance, the prohibition is suspended whenever it is necessary to care for the faithful in danger of death.

Moreover Redemptionis Sacramentum says:

4. Those Who Have Left the Clerical State

168. “A cleric who loses the clerical state in accordance with the law . . . is prohibited from exercising the power of order.”274 It is therefore not licit for him to celebrate the Sacraments under any pretext whatsoever save in the exceptional case set forth by law,275 nor is it licit for Christ’s faithful to have recourse to him for the celebration, since there is no reason which would permit this according to canon 1335.276 Moreover, these men should neither give the homily277 nor ever undertake any office or duty in the celebration of the sacred Liturgy, lest confusion arise among Christ’s faithful and the truth be obscured.

At 3/16/2006 11:16 PM, Blogger jw said...


When you quoted Canon 1335 you only quoted half of it. The part you quoted gives authorization "in danger of death" but the rest reads: "and if an automatic censure (latae sententiae) is not a declared one, the prohibition is also suspended whenever a member of the faithful requests a sacrament, a sacramental or act of governance; this request can be made for any just cause whatsoever." (CLSA translation, 1983)

Regarding "Redemptionis Sacramentum" ("Instruction on the Eucharist", 2004). Section 168, as you quoted refers to a cleric who "loses the clerical state." Please read canon 290 to see what would cause a cleric to lose the clerical state. Many priests have petitioned the Apostolic See for a dispensation or permission to be released from the promises and responsibilities of their ordination. That granted permission is in the form of a "rescript" which is a document granting the permissions. Canon 290 says that a priest who recieves such a rescript would lose the clerical state.

The official rescript typically contains the words: "a priest who has been dispensed by this process itself loses the rights proper to the clerical state."

In my case, I did not apply for the dispensation because of ethical and moral principals involved in the process of applying for the dispensation (that is a topic for a separate discussion). Therefore, according to canon 290, I have not lost the clerical state. Thus the statements I made in my e-mail that was posted are correct. If I preside at a sacrament, such as Eucharist, it would be valid and licit.


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