Friday, May 30, 2008

Dr Edward Peters looks at Excommunication for female 'ordination'

As I pointed out some time ago (scroll to 6 July 2005), the 1983 Code does not levy excommunication on those who simulate the conferral and reception of holy orders on women. Canon 1378 excommunicates non-priests who simulate Eucharist and confession, and Canon 1379 imposes "a just penalty" on those who simulate the other sacraments (such as holy Orders), but neither canon directly excommunicates those who simulate holy Orders. The excommunications that have been applied in some cases of female 'ordination' have been imposed in virtue of a combination of other canons (e.g., Abp. Burke's model action in March 2008), which works fine of course, but it seems somewhat cumbersome to those who do not know canon law well.

As of today, though, all of that has changed: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has just decreed that those who attempt to confer holy Orders on women are excommunicated, as are the women who attempt to receive holy Orders. Latin-Italian text here, Latin-English text here. The decree goes into effect immediately....

To read more about it, click here

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