Vatican decree excommunicates Reds' clerical collaborators
trary to the provisions ADECREE issued last week by the Sacred Congregation of the Council—which watches over the discipline of the clergy and laity— excommunicates all those who plot against the ecclesiastical authorities and those who accept ecclesiastical offices conof Canon Law.
is obviously to prevent schism under Red control.
The decree, approved by the Holy Father, is signed by Car
dinal Bruno, Prefect of the Congregation, and the Secretary, Mgr. 1-rancesco Roberti. After recalling the peinciples of Canon Law, it quotes from two decrees published by the Council of Trent at the time of the Reformation in the second half of the 16th century. The first says: " Those who have been named and instituted solely by the people or by the secular power, and who practise these ministries, and those who with temerity assume such appointments, must be regarded as thieves and robbers who did not enter by the done." The quotation from the second Tridentine decree is cast in the tra
ditional " anathema " form : If anyone maintains that those not lawfully ordained and appointed by ecclesiastical authority are legitimate ministers of the Gospel, let him be anathema."
The new decree states that in order that these sacred principles should be better known and kept—and to prevent abuses in a matter of such great importance—the Holy Father has laid down the following:
Excommunication reserved in a special manner to the Holy See is incurred ipso facto by 1. Those who plat against the legitimate ecclesiastical authorities or try in any way to subvert their power; 2. Those who occupy any office. benefice or ecclesiastical honour, or allow themselves to be inducted in the same, without canonical institution as prescribed in the Sacred Canons; 3. Those who participate directly or indirectly in the crimes mentioned in (1) and (2)." The third category of persons affected by the decree indicates the determination of the Holy See to stand firmly against the legalised trumperies of Communist Governments in Eastern Europe, where for months past there have been attempts to split the Church by the appointment of pro-Red priests.
Now not only the priests themselves but all who aid and abet them are excommunicated.