Saturday, May 31, 2008
Text of Vatican congregation's decree on attempts to ordain women
Here is the English text of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's general decree on the attempted ordination of a woman, signed by Cardinal William J. Levada, congregation prefect, and Archbishop Angelo Amata, secretary. It was released by the Vatican May 30.
In order to protect the nature and validity of the sacrament of order, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in virtue of the special faculty given by the supreme authority of the church (cf. Canon 30, Code of Canon Law), in the ordinary session of Dec. 19, 2007, has decreed:
Without prejudice to the prescript of Canon 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication "latae sententiae" reserved to the Apostolic See.
If, in fact, the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, or the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, is one of Christ's faithful subject to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, that person, without prejudice to the prescript of Canon 1443 of the same code, is to be punished with a major excommunication, the remission of which is also reserved to the Apostolic See (cf. Canon 1423, Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).
This decree, once published in L'Osservatore Romano, comes into force immediately.
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