Indult for the Transfer of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Issued 6 August 1999
U.S. National Conference of Catholic Bishops


On November 16, 1998, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the provisions of canon 1246 §2, approved a procedure whereby the bishops of each ecclesiastical province would determine whether the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord would be transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter in their ecclesiastical province. The decision was submitted to the Congregation for Bishops for confirmation. Having received a decree from His Eminence, Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, O.P., Prefect of that same Congregation, as approved by Pope John Paul II, allowing that "the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter," Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following decree.
 
 

NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

DECREE OF PROMULGATION

In accord with the provision of canon 1246§2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: "... the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See," the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States decrees that the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday of Easter according to the following procedure.

The decision of each Ecclesiastical Province to transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension is to be made by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the bishops of the respective Ecclesiastical Province. The decision of the Ecclesiastical Province should be communicated to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and to the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This decree was approved by His Holiness Pope John Paul II by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and dated July 5, 1999.

As President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby declare that the effective date of this decree for all the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America will be September 8, 1999, Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary.

Given at the offices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, August 6, 1999, Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.


Additionally, the following information was provided in the March addition of the BCL Newsletter of the Committee of the Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
 

Implementation of the Indult for the Transfer of the Solemnity of the Ascension

On November 16, 1998, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the provisions of canon 1246 §2, approved a procedure whereby the bishops of each ecclesiastical province would determine whether the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord would be transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter in their ecclesiastical province. The decision, confirmed by the Holy See in 1999, has now been acted upon by all ecclesiastical provinces in the United States. The ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Nebraska have retained the celebration of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord on the proper Thursday, while all other provinces have transferred this celebration to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.