Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/60

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ABDON
ABDUCTION
32

in the practice of virtues which afterwards procured his canonization. Owing to the troubles which evil-minded persons caused his successor, Boniface VIII, by their theories about the impossibility of a valid Abdication of the papal throne, Boniface issued the above-cited decree to put the matter at rest for all time. The latest instance of a papal resignation is that of Pope Gregory XII (1406–15). It was at the time of the Great Schism of the West, when two pretenders to the Chair of Peter disputed Gregory's right, and rent the faithful into three so-called "obediences". To put an end to the strife, the legitimate Pope Gregory renounced the pontificate at the General Council of Constance in 1415. It is well known that Pope Pius VII (l800–23), before setting out for Paris to crown Napoleon in 1804, had signed an abdication of the papal throne to take effect in case he were imprisoned in France (De Montor). Finally, a valid Abdication of the Pope must be a free act, hence a forced resignation of the papacy would be null and void, as more than one ecclesiastical decree has declared.

Smith, Elem. of Eccl. Law (New York, 1895), I; De Luca, Prælect. Jur. Can. (Rome. 1897), II; Craisson, Manuale Jur. Can. (Paris, 1899), I. For Papal Abdication see Ferraris, Bibl. Jur. Can., art. Papa (Rome, 1890); Pezzani, Codex S.R.E. Ecclesiæ (Rome, 1893), I; Wernz, Jus Decretal. (Rome, 1899). II; De Montor, Lives of Rom. Pont. (New York, 1866); Hergenrother, Handb. der allg. Kircheng. (Freiburg, 1886).

Abdon and Sennen, Saints (variously written in early calendars and martyrologies Abdo, Abdus; Sennes, Sennis, Zennen), Persian martyrs under Decius, about a.d. 250, and commemorated 30 July. The veneration paid them dates from as early as the third century, though their Acts, written for the most part prior to the ninth century, contain several fictitious statements about the cause and occasion of their coming to Rome and the nature of their torments. It is related in these Acts that their bodies were buried by a subdeacon, Quirinus, and transferred in the reign of Constantine to the Pontian cemetery on the road to Porto, near the gates of Rome. A fresco found on the sarcophagus supposed to contain their remains represents them receiving crowns from Christ. According to Martigny, this fresco dates from the seventh century. Several cities, notably Florence and Soissons, claim possession of their bodies, but the Bollandists say that they rest in Rome.

Acta SS., 30 July. Martigny, Dict. der antiq. chret., 1; Cheetham, in Dict. Christ. Antiq.; Butler, Lives of the Saints, July 30.

Abduction.—Abduction may be considered as a public crime and a matrimonial diriment impediment. Viewed as a crime, it is a carrying off by force, physical or moral, of any virtuous woman, or even man, from a free and safe place to another place morally different and neither free nor safe from the captor's power, with intent to marry her or to gratify lust. Abduction considered as a matrimonial impediment is a violent taking away of any woman whatsoever, chaste or unchaste, from a place free and safe to a morally different place, and there detaining her in the power of her abductor until he has coerced her into consenting to marry him. Abduction as a crime is of wider scope than is the impediment, inasmuch as the former includes man-captors and intent to gratify lust, both of which are excluded from the scope of the impediment. On the other hand, the impediment is of wider import than the crime in as far as it includes all women, chaste as well as unchaste, while the crime excludes the corrupt. This difference arises from the fact that the State aims to suppress the public crime as a menace to the safety of the commonwealth, while the Church cares, directly and immediately, for the freedom and the dignity of the Sacrament of Marriage. Abduction is often divided into Abduction by Violence (Raptus Violentiæ) and Abduction by Seduction, or Elopement (Raptus Seductionis). The former is when (a) a woman evidently reluctant, and not consenting either to the flight or to the marriage, is forcibly transferred with a matrimonial intent from a secure and free place to a morally different one and there held under the abductor's influence by force, physical or moral, i.e. threats, great fear, or fraud equivalent to force, as it is a well-known axiom that "it is equal to be compelled to do a thing as to know that it is possible to be compelled to do it", (b) a woman enticed by fair words and fraud and deception consents to go with a man for other reason than matrimony from one place to another where he detains her by force or fraud equivalent to force, in order to coerce her into a marriage to which she objects; (c) a woman who, although she had already consented to a future marriage by act of betrothal, yet strenuously objects to abduction, is carried off violently by her betrothed or his agents from a free and safe place to another morally different and there detained until she consents to marry him. Some deny, however, that the raptor in this case is guilty of abduction, saying that he has a right to his betrothed. He has, indeed, a right to compel her to fulfil her engagement by public authority, not, however, by private authority. His carrying off of the woman against her will is the exercise of private authority, and therefore violence to her rights. Abduction by Seduction (Raptus Seductionis), or Elopement, is the taking away from one place to another, by a man, of (1) a woman of age or under age who consents to both the flight and the marriage without consent of her parents or guardians; or (2) a woman who, although she refuses at first, finally, induced thereto by caresses, flattery, or any allurement, not however equivalent to force, physical or moral, consents to both flight and marriage without knowledge or consent of her parents or guardians. Abduction by seduction, as defined is held by Roman law to be abduction by violence inasmuch as violence can be offered to the woman and her parents simultaneously, or to the woman alone, or to the parents and guardians alone; and in the elopement, while no violence is done to the woman, violence is done to the parents or guardians. On the contrary, the Church does not consider violence done to parents, but the violence done only to the parties matrimonially interested. Hence, elopement, or abduction by seduction, does not induce an impediment diriment. Pius VII, in his letter to Napoleon I (26 June, 1805), pronounced this kind of abduction no abduction in the Tridentine sense. The Church considers it, indeed, a wrong against parental authority, but not a wrong to the abducted woman.

The old Roman law (Jus Vetus), mindful of the actual or imaginary "Rape of the Sabines", dealt leniently with woman-stealers. If the woman was willing, her marriage with her abductor was allowed and solemnized by the lictor leading her by the hand to the home of the raptor. Constantine the Great, to protect female virtue and safeguard the State, forbade (a.d. 320) such marriages. The law was neither universally received nor observed. The Emperor Justinian (a.d. 528, 533, and 548) forbade these marriages and fixed the punishment, for the principal and his accomplices in the crime, at death and confiscation of all their property. Legal right to avenge the crime was given to parents, relations, or guardians; to put to instant death the abductor caught in the act of Abduction. Appeal by the victim in behalf of her abductor, on the plea that she gave consent, was denied. The law awarded the confiscated property to the woman, if she had not consented to the abduction; to her parents, if they