Reverend S B Smith is the author of a three volume work, 'Elements of Ecclesiastical Law', which is an excellent resource for pre 1917 Code Canon Law. This work is A REPLY TO THE PAMPHLET "POINTS IN CANON LAW" AND TO THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC QUARTERLY REVIEW OF OCTOBER, 1878. ON page 76 of our Elements of Ecclesiastical Law, we say that the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore is not approved in forma specifica. Against this teaching the Pamphlet advances these arguments: I. If the Baltimore Decrees be not confirmed in forma specijica, (a) "they are no permanent standard of action for our Bishops, and the latter, when ruling according to them, are at sea" 1 ; (b) "they are void at Rome," that is, "have not, even when rightly interpreted, and rightly applied, any binding force whatever" 2 ; (c) "are less convenient, and certainly of no more binding force in case of an appeal, than mere diocesan enactments"3; (d) "the Pope's command that the decrees should be inviolably observed is a mere empty formula presuming nothing." 4 2. If the Baltimore Decrees be not confirmed in forma specijica, it is (as we ourselves hold in our Elements, page 76) allowed to appeal to the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda against them. But decrees against which an appeal may be made" are void at Rome," "are no permanent standard of action," etc. Therefore, etc.
Rev S B Smith, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1499297726, ISBN 13: 9781499297720