In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I have a question that may be a canon law question: can a diocesan bishop give a priest in his diocese permission to celebrate Ascension on Thursday (so this year, May 26), if the Province has transferred that celebration to the Seventh Sunday of Easter? My understanding is that this decision regarding the move of Ascension is decided by a vote of the bishops in each province; so I’d assume that this is not something a bishop on his own can change. But I’ve been wrong before. Can you enlighten me?


A: I checked with our local canonist, and he says you are correct. He referred me here:–canon-1246-§2-holy-days-of-obligation .

An individual bishop cannot depart from these norms.

And, really, it’s important for such days on the calendar to be celebrated together in a diocese to express the unity of the Church and our faith.