The Holy See
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Consilium presbyterale est unus Senatus Episcopi ad normam iuris, quin obstent aliae probatae consociationes sacerdotum in dioecesi exstantes.

January 17, 1979

I have just received this morning a letter (Prot. 159479/1 dated January 17, 1979) from Cardinal Wright, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, regarding the special petition which you submitted on behalf of the Association of Chicago Priests. His Eminence requested that I communicate the following on his behalf.

After a careful examination of the documentation furnished by the Association as well as by the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, the Sacred Congregation by way of conclusion has reasserted the proposition that the sole "coetus seu senatus sacerdotum Presbiterium repraesentantium" recognized by the Holy See is precisely the Council or Presbyteral Senate (cfr. N. 27 -- Decretum: "Christus Dominus" [LE 3332]; n. 7 Decretum: "Presbyterorum Ordinis" [LE 3365]; and n. 15 Motu Proprio: "Ecclesiae Sanctae"[LE 3457]. From the time in 1971 when such a Presbyteral Senate was established in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Holy See deals directly or throught the Ordinary only with the Senate and not with other bodies such as the ACP.

It is regretted certain circumstances have intervened which were responsible for the late reply to you. In spite of this, however, Cardinal Wright expressed the hope that you and your associates of the ACP might take the occasion of the response to re-evaluate your position and seek to renew the bonds with your Pastor and thc local Church of Chicago.

Strongly recommending prudent discretion and trusting in your priestly loyalty. I share the hope of Cardinal Wright that a thorough reflection on the Congregation's decision might be a springboard for greater unity.

* Prot. N. 159479/1, iuxta notificationem a Delegato Apostolico die 29 ian. 1979 consociationi sacerdotum dioecesis Chicagiensis factam: Canon Law Digest v. 9 p. 243-244. - Leges Ecclesiae 4682