Vatican Decree on the "Ordination" of Women

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the general decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the automatic excommunication for the attempted ordination of women, published in today's print edition of L'Osservatore Romano.

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On the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of a Woman

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in virtue of the special faculty granted to it by the Supreme Authority of the Church (cf. Can. 30, Code of Canon Law), in order to safeguard the nature and validity of the sacrament of Holy Orders, decreed, in the Ordinary Session of December 19, 2007:

In accordance with what is disposed by Can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, he who shall have attempted to confer holy orders on a woman, as well as the woman who may have attempted to receive Holy Orders, incurs in a latae sententiae excommunication, reserved to the Apostolic See.

If he who shall have attempted to confer Holy Orders on a woman or if the woman who shall have attempted to received Holy Orders is a faithful bound to the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches, he is to be punished with the major excommunication, whose remission remains reserved to the Apostolic See, in accordance with can. 1443 of the same Code (cf. can. 1423, Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches).

The present decree enters in force immediately after its publication in L'Osservatore Romano.

William Cardinal Levada
Prefect

Angelo Amato, s.d.b.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Secretary