Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just penalties.Two canons of the 1917 Code are included in or are incorporated in Canon 1373. One of them is canon 2331 §2 on conspiracy against lawful authority and the other is canon 2344 on offenses against significant hierarchical authorities.
It it important to protect the exercise of Church authority; it is essential for the Church and community to function in an healthy atmosphere.
Regarding canon 2331:
Disobedience becomes schism when it implies rejection of the Pope's authority and separation from the center of unity. But without going that far, it may be a sufficiently grave disorder to call for a special sanction. Two forms of it are dealt with in this canon (No. 2331).
#1. Simple disobedience. Obstinate disregard for the legitimate commands or prohibitions of the Sovereign Pontiff or of the Ordinary is to be punished according to the gravity of the offence. The nature of the penalty is not determined, but it is explicitly stated that even censures may be used if the case demands.
There must be obstinacy, which supposes previous warnings; and the orders which have been disobeyed are legitimate. Papal commands are always presumed to be so. Should they seem to hard to comply with or perhaps based on insufficient information, explanations may be offered, but if they are maintained, implicit submission remains the only course to follow.
If the Ordinary's enactments appeared objectionable, appeal or recourse to higher authority would be permitted; but in most matters, obedience would meanwhile be obligatory.
#2. Conspiracy. Disobedience is more criminal, more dangerous to common order, when to it is added conspiracy and several persons encourage one another, support one another, in the insubordination. Then those who conspire against the Roman Pontiff or of his legate or of their Ordinary, who strive to place obstacles to the legitimate exercise of that authority or to spread the spirit of rebellion among the subjects, are to be placed under censures or otherwise punished.
If they are clerics,...
The commentary regarding canon 2344 states:
Attacks on the neighbor's reputation, honor, or character, i.e., personal as distinct from real injuries, are also delinquencies often and severely punished in ancient canons...The Decretals have two distinct titles on the subject (De Maledicis, De Injuriis, v, 26, 36).
Much of this legislation was merely local or had fallen into desuetude with the change of social conditions adapting them to present needs.
#1. The persons to whom this is intended to protect belong to the highest ranks of the hierarchy: the Pope, the Cardinals, Apostolic legates, the Sacred Congregations, the Roman tribunals and their major Official, and the Ordinary of the possible offenders.
#2. The abuses at which the law strikes here consist in injurious attacks, direct or indirect, against the prelates, in the public press or speeches or libels; or in denunciations calculated to excite animosity against their acts, decrees, decisions, or sentences.
#3. The penalties are ferendae sententiae and left to the judgement of the Ordinary. He is to proceed ex officio against the delinquents, when the offended parties do not sue them, and oblige them to make proper reparation, making use even of censures or other punishments and penances, as the gravity of the fault and the scandal may demand.
Source: Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law (Book 5)
by Very Rev. H.A.Ayrinhac, S.S., D.D., D.C.L