Bishop of the moon

According to 1917 Roman Catholic canon law, any newly discovered territory fell under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the “port of departure.” So, after the 1969 moon landing, was the Bishop of Orlando also the Bishop of the Moon?

Moon craters
NASA. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve talked about lunar real estate before, but ecclesiastical jurisdiction is another matter entirely. The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of canon law was still active in 1969. Because Apollo 11 departed from Cape Canaveral, the Bishop of Orlando made the claim that this made the Moon part of his bishopric / diocese. I mean, sure, why not? Worth a try, I guess.

There is no evidence that his claim was ever accepted, or even if it was actually ever officially made in the first place. And William Donald Borders, the bishop in question, never actually visited the moon in person. So I suppose he was a bit of an absentee bishop, at best.


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