General Decree Regarding the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of a Woman
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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. can. 30, Code of Canon Law), in the Ordinary Session of 19 December 2007, has decreed:
Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 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 can. 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. can. 1423, Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).
This decree, once published in L’Osservatore Romano, comes into force immediately.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 19, 2007.
William Cardinal LEVADA
S.D.B. Titular Archbishop of Sila
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