Interdict

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In Catholic canon law, an interdict /ˈɪntərdɪkt/ is an ecclesiastical censure, or ban that prohibits persons, certain active Church individuals or groups from participating in certain rites, or that the rites and services of the church are banished from having validity in certain territories for a limited or extended time. [1]

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Distinctions in canon law

Before 1983, interdicts were either personal, if applied directly to a person, wherever he was, or local, if applied directly to a locality and only indirectly to the people in that place whether permanently or only on a visit. [2] Only the Holy See was empowered to impose a general interdict on a diocese or state or a personal interdict on the people of a diocese or country, but bishops too could impose a general interdict on a parish or on the people of a parish or a particular interdict on a place (such as a church or oratory, an altar or a cemetery) or a person. [3]

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, a person is a subject of certain legal rights and obligations. Persons may be distinguished between physical and juridic persons. Juridic persons may be distinguished as collegial or non-collegial, and public or private juridic persons. The Holy See and the Catholic Church as such are not juridic persons, since juridic persons are created by ecclesiastical law. Rather, they are moral persons by divine law.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome, and the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholics around the world. As a sovereign entity of international law representing papal jurisdiction, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is sovereign. It is organized into polities of the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

Diocese Christian district or see under the supervision of a bishop

The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.

Effects under pre-1983 canon law

A local interdict forbade in general the public celebration of sacred rites. Exceptions were made for the dying, and local interdicts were almost entirely suspended on five feasts of the year: Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and the feast of the Assumption of Mary. [4] Besides, in the case of a general local interdict, it remained permissible to celebrate in the cathedral or the only church in a town, but without any solemnity such as the ringing of bells and the playing of music, Mass, baptism, confession, and marriage.

Pentecost Christian holy day commemorating the New Testament account of Holy Spirits descent upon the Apostles

The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

Corpus Christi (feast) Catholic feast day, public holiday in some countries

The Feast of Corpus Christi also known in Liturgical Latin as Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi is a Christian liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ's washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the priesthood and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Assumption of Mary the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

Those who were under personal interdict were forbidden to be present at any religious rite except the preaching of the word of God. While mere attendance ("passive assistance," with "assistance" being an obsolete translation of Latin adsistere/assistere ["be present"; cf. the modern Italian equivalent and its Spanish cognate asistir]) by them did not require that they be expelled, if they were well known to be under interdict they were to be prevented from taking an active part. [5]

1983 Code of Canon Law

An interdict today has the effect of forbidding the person concerned to celebrate or receive any of the sacraments, including the Eucharist, or to celebrate the sacramentals. One who is under interdict is also forbidden to take any ministerial part (e.g., as a reader if a layperson or as a deacon or priest if a clergyman) in the celebration of the Eucharist or of any other ceremony of public worship. [6]

Sacraments of the Catholic Church seven visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of Gods presence, consisting of those of initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and of service (holy orders, matrimony)

There are seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of reconciliation and anointing of the sick; and the sacraments of service: holy orders and matrimony.

Eucharist Christian rite

The Eucharist is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during the Passover meal, Jesus commanded his followers to "do this in memory of me" while referring to the bread as "my body" and the cup of wine as "the new covenant in my blood". Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper.

These are the only effects for those who have incurred a latae sententiae interdict, namely, one incurred automatically at the moment of committing the offence for which canon law imposes that penalty. For instance, a priest may not refuse Communion publicly to those who are under merely automatic interdict, even if he knows that they have incurred this kind of interdict [7] - unless the cause for the interdict is known to the priest not only privately but publicly, and is persistent, in which case (though not technically by reason of the interdict) people are to be withheld Communion by force of can. 915.

Latae sententiae is a Latin phrase, meaning "sentence (already) passed", used in the canon law of the Catholic Church. A latae sententiae penalty is one that follows ipso facto or automatically, by force of the law itself, when a law is contravened.

However, in the case of a ferendae sententiae interdict, one incurred only when imposed by a legitimate superior or declared as the sentence of an ecclesiastical court, [8] those affected are not to be admitted to Holy Communion [9] (see canon 915), and if they violate the prohibition against taking a ministerial part in celebrating the Eucharist or some other ceremony of public worship, they are to be expelled or the sacred rite suspended, unless there is a grave reason to the contrary. [6] In the same circumstances, local ordinaries and parish priests lose their right to assist validly at marriages. [10]

Automatic (latae sententiae) interdict is incurred by anyone using physical violence against a bishop, [11] as also by a person who, not being an ordained priest, attempts to celebrate Mass, or who, though unable to give valid sacramental absolution, attempts to do so, or hears a sacramental confession. [12] Automatic interdict is also incurred by anyone falsely accusing a priest of soliciting sexual favours in connection with confession [13] or attempting to marry while having a perpetual vow of chastity. [14]

An interdict is also the censure that canon law says should be imposed on someone who, because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry publicly incites to hatred against the Holy See or the Ordinary, or who promotes or takes up office in an association that plots against the Church, [15] or who commits the crime of simony. [16]

Notable local canonical interdicts

Norway

England

Scotland

Italy

Malta

Interdiction featured in 20th century Maltese politics. Between 1930 and 1933, those who voted for the progressive Compact parties (Constitutional Party, Labour Party) were interdicted and refused burial in sacred grounds. [22]

Once again, between 1961 and 1969, the National Executive of the Malta Labour Party was interdicted and voting Labour became a mortal sin. [23] [24] Among other sanctions, Labour voters were refused absolution, last rites and burial in sacred grounds. During this period, most Labour rallies were disturbed by members of Catholic organisations (that formed the "Diocesan Junta") and the ringing of church bells. A large number of labourites left the Maltese Islands during this period, partly due to the fact that at the time a reference letter from the local parish priest was commonly requested by employers. The 1969 Peace Agreement between the Labour Party and the local Catholic authorities stipulates that the interdiction should not be imposed in the future.

France

United States

Notable personal canonical interdicts

In Malta between 8 April 1961 and 4 April 1969 the leadership of the Malta Labour Party, readers, advertisers and distributors of Party papers as well as its voters were interdicted by the local bishop. [26] Previously, between 1930 and 1933 interdiction was imposed on the Constitutional Party and Labour. In both cases, the Nationalist Party won elections while its opponents were interdicted. [27]

Bishop René Henry Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas interdicted a Roman Catholic politician in the late 20th century for supporting legal abortion; the unnamed individual died while under interdict. [28]

Anglican canon law

In Anglican canon law, bishops in the Anglican Communion may still in theory possess the power of interdict, but seem not to have exercised it since the English Reformation.

Scots civil law

In Scots law, "an interdict is a civil court order that tells a person not to do something or to stay away from you, your children or a specific place, such as your house. If a person doesn't stick to an interdict, the police might be able to arrest them if the interdict gives them the power to do so" [29] similar to an injunction.

See also

Related Research Articles

Eastern Catholic Churches Autonomous, self-governing particular Churches in full communion with the Pope

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio, thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.3 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the loss of the clerical state is the removal of a bishop, priest or deacon from the status of being a member of the clergy.

The Catholic Church first prohibited Catholics from membership in Masonic organizations and other secret societies in 1738. Since then, at least eleven popes have made pronouncements about the incompatibility of Catholic doctrines and Freemasonry. From 1738 until 1983, Catholics who publicly associated with, or publicly supported, Masonic organizations were censured with automatic excommunication. Since 1983, the prohibition on membership exists in a different form. Although there was some confusion about membership following the 1965 Second Vatican Council, the Church continues to prohibit membership in Freemasonry because it concluded that Masonic principles and rituals are irreconcilable with Catholic doctrines. The current norm, the 1983 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's (CDF) Declaration on Masonic associations, states that "faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion" and membership in Masonic associations is prohibited. The most recent CDF document about the "incompatibility of Freemasonry with the Catholic faith" was issued in 1985.

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church organization of the Catholic Church

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.

Valid but illicit and valid but illegal are descriptions applied in Catholic Church to an unauthorized celebration of a sacrament or an improperly placed juridic act that nevertheless has effect. Validity is presumed whenever an act is placed "by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act".

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, in which the faithful obtain absolution for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church. By this sacrament Catholics believe they are freed from all sins committed after baptism. The sacrament of Penance is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sin.

In persona Christi is a Latin phrase meaning “in the person of Christ”, an important concept in Roman Catholicism and, in varying degrees, to other Christian traditions. A priest is In persona Christi, because he acts as Christ and as God. An extended term, In persona Christi capitis, “in the person of Christ the head,” was introduced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Holy orders in the Catholic Church Sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church

The sacrament of holy orders in the Catholic Church includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. In the phrase "holy orders", the word "holy" simply means "set apart for some purpose." The word "order" designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an order. In context, therefore, a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church.

The Écône consecrations were a set of episcopal consecrations that took place in Écône, Switzerland, on 30 June 1988. They were performed by Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Meyer, and the priests raised to the episcopacy were four members of Lefebvre's Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). The consecrations, performed against the explicit orders of Pope John Paul II, represented a milestone in the troubled relationship of Lefebvre and the SSPX with the Church leadership. The Holy See's Congregation for Bishops issued a decree signed by its Prefect Cardinal Bernardin Gantin declaring that Lefebvre had incurred automatic excommunication by consecrating the bishops without papal consent.

Canon 915, one of the canons in the current Code of Canon Law of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, forbids the administration of Holy Communion to those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared or who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin:

Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

The canonical situation of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a group founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, is unresolved. It has been described as "both complex and fluid."

Glossary of the Catholic Church

This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, excommunication, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense.

Catholic particular churches and liturgical rites An ecclesiastical community of the Catholic Church

A particular church is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop, as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the bishop. In this context "particular church" thus refers to the institution, and "liturgical rite" to its practices.

In the Catholic Church the term minister enjoys a variety of usages. It most commonly refers to the person, whether lay or ordained, who is commissioned to perform some act on behalf of the Church. It is not a particular office or rank of clergy, as is the case in some other churches, but minister may be used as a collective term for vocational or professional pastoral leaders including clergy and non-clergy. It is also used in reference to the canonical and liturgical administration of sacraments, as part of some offices, and with reference to the exercise of the lay apostolate.

Canon 844 is a Catholic Church canon law contained within the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which defines the licit administration and reception of certain sacraments of the Catholic Church in normative and in particular exceptional circumstances, known in canonical theory as communicatio in sacris.

A censure, in the canon law of the Catholic Church, is a medicinal and spiritual punishment imposed by the church on a baptized, delinquent, and contumacious person, by which he is deprived, either wholly of in part, of the use of certain spiritual goods, until he recover from his contumacy.

References

  1. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 2268 §1
  2. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canons 2268 §2 and 2269 §2
  3. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canons 2269 §1 and 2272
  4. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 2270
  5. 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 2275
  6. 1 2 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1332
  7. Edward McNamara, "Denying Communion to Someone"
  8. "Code of Canon Law, canon 1314". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  9. 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 915
  10. Code of Canon Law, canon 1109
  11. 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1370 §2
  12. 1083 Code of Canon Law. canon 1378 §2
  13. 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1390 §1
  14. 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1394 §2
  15. Code of Canon Law, canons 1373-1374
  16. 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 1380
  17. The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and ..., Volume 5 By Thomas Spencer Baynes
  18. Scotland in the Hundred Years' War
  19. David Chambers, Brian Pullan, Jennifer Fletcher (editors), Venice: A Documentary History, 1450-1630 (University of Toronto Press 2001 ISBN   978-0-8020-8424-8), pp. 219-220
  20. Seattle Catholic - The Venetian Interdict of 1606-1607
  21. CNS STORY: Holding public figures accountable to church: centuries of precedent
  22. Sciberras, S. (2010). "Maltese History : Church - State Relations" (PDF). stbenedictcollege.org. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  23. Grech, Herman; Sansone, Kurt (10 April 2011). "Bricked by interdiction". Times of Malta . Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  24. "Interdict for Church Critics". Catholic Herald. 1961. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  25. R. Bentley Anderson, Black, White, and Catholic (Vanderbilt University Press 2005 ISBN   978-0-8265-1483-7), p. 146
  26. "The Unholy War" (PDF). Malta Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 7, 2006. Retrieved March 13, 2005.
  27. Church and State in Malta, Jon P. Mitchell
  28. Catholic World News : US bishop imposed interdict on pro-abortion politician
  29. Interdicts for antisocial behaviour