Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/697

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APOSTASY


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APOSTASY


1st series, 111-144]. When the Roman Empire bo- came Christian, apostates were punished by depriva- tion of all civil rights. They could not give evidence in a court of law, und could neither be(|ueath nor inherit properly. To induce anyone to apostatize was an otTence punishable with death [Tlicodosian Code, XVI, title 7, De aposlatis; title 8, De Judceis; "Corpus juris romani ante-Justinianjei " (Bonn, 1840), 1521-1607; Code of Justinian I. title 7, De aposlatis, 1. c. GO, l)l|. In the .Middle .\ges, both civil and canon law dxssed apostates with heretics; so much so that title 9 of the fifth book of the Decretals of Gregorj- IX, which treats of apostasy, contains only a secondary provision concerning apostiisy a Fide (iv, Friedberg, Corpus juris caiionici (Leipzig, 1879-81), II, 790-792], Boniface \T1I, however, by a provision which was amended in the sixtli book of the Decretals [V, title 2, Dc hardicix, 13 (Friedberg, II, 107.^) ], merely cUisses apostates with heretics in respect of the penalties which they incur. This decretal, which only mentions apostate Jews by name, was applied indifferently to all. The Inquisition could therefore proceed against them. The Spanish Inquisition wa.s directed, at the end of the fifteenth centurj', cIiieHy against apostates, the Maranos. or new Christians, Jews converted by force rather than by conviction; while in 1609 it dealt severely with the Moriscos, or professedly- converted Moors of Spain.

To-day the temporal penalties formerly inflicted on apostates and heretics cannot be enforced, and have fallen into abeyance. The spiritual penalties are the same as those which apply to heretics. In order, however, to incur these penalties, it is neces- sary, in accordance with the general principles of canon law, that the apostasy should be shown in some way. Apostates, with all wiio receive, protect, or Ijefriend them, incur excommunication, reserved speciali modo to the Sovereign Pontiff (Constitution .\postolicic Sedis, n". 1). They incur, moreover, the note of "infamy", at least when their apostasy is notorious, and are "irregular"; an infamy and an irregularity which extend to the son and the grand- son of an apostate father, and to the son of an apos- tate mother, should the parents die without being reconciled to the Church [Decree of Gratian, Distinc- tion L, xxxii; V, tit. 2, ii, xv of the sixth book of the Decretals (Friedberg, 1, 191, II, 1069 and 107.5)]. Most authors, liowever, are of opinion that the irregu- larity affects only the children of parents who have joined some particular sect, or who have been jxjr- sonally condemned by ecclesiastical authority [Clasparri, De sacra ordinatione (Paris, 1S93). if, 288 and 294; Lehmkuhl, Theologia moralis (Frei- burg im Br., 1898), II, 725; Wernz, Jus dccretalium (Rome, 1899), II, 200; Ilollweck, Die kirchlichen Strafgesetze (Mainz, 1899), 162]. Apostates are debarred from ecclesiastical burial (Decretals of Gregorj' I.\, Bk. V, title 7, viii, Friedberg, II, 779). Any writings of theirs, in which they uphold heresy and schism, or labour to undermine the foundations of faith, are on the Index, and those who read them incur the excommunication reserved, speciali modo, to the Sovereign Pontiff [Constitution of Leo XIII, Otficiorum et munerum, 25 Januar}', 1S97, i, v; Vermeersch, De prohibitione et censurii librorum (Home, 1901), 3d ed., 57, 112]. Apostasy constitutes an imiwdiment to marriage, and the aposta.sy of hus- band or wife is a sufficient reason for separation o Uwro et cohabitatione, which, according to many authorities, the ecclesiastical tribunal may make perpetual [Decretals of Gregorj' IX, IV, title 19, vi; (Fnedl)erg, II, p. 722)]. Others, however, maintain that this separation cannot be perpetual unless the innocent party embnices the religious state [De- cretals of Gregory IX, ibitlem, vii (Friedberg, II, 722). See Gasparri, "Tractatus canonicus de matri-


monio" (Paris, 1891), II, 283; De Becker, ' De matrimonio" (Louvain, 1903), 2d ed., 424]. In the case of clerics, apostasy involves the loss of all dignities, offices, and Ixinefices, and even of all clerical privileges (Decretals of Gregory IX, V, title 7, ix, xiii. See HolUveck, 163, 164).

Apostasy ah Ohui.ne. — This, according to the present discipline of the Church, is the aliandon- ment of the clerical dress and state by clerics who have received major orders. Such, at least, is the definition given of it by most authorities. The ancient tliscipline of the Church, though it did not forbid the marriage of clerics, did not allow them to abandon the ecclesiastical state of their own will, even if they had only received minor orders. The Council of Chalccdon threatens with e.xconnnunica- tion all deserting clerics without distinction (llar- douin, II, 603). This discipline, often infringed indeed, endured throughout a great part of the Middle Ages. Pope Leo IX decreed, at the Council of Reims (1049): "Ne (juis monachus vel clericus a suo gradu apostataret ", all monks and clerks are forbidden to abandon their state (Hardouin, VI, 1007). The Decretals of Gregory IX, published in 1234, preserve traces of the older discipline under the title De ajmstatis, which forbids all clerks, witli- out distinction, to abandon their state [V, title 9, i, iii (Friedberg, II, 790-791) ]. Innocent III had however, at an earlier date, given permission to clerks in minor orders to quit the ecclesiastical state of their own will (Decretals of Gregory IX, III, title 3, vii; see also x, Friedberg, II, 458-460). The Council of Trent did not restore the ancient discipline of the Church, but deemed it sufficient to command the bishops to exercise great prudence in Ixstowing the tonsure, and only laid the obliga- tions involved in the clerical state on clerks who have received major orders and on those who enjoy an ecclesiastical benefice (Session XXIII, De ticjor- mationc, iv, vi). Whence it follows that all other clerks can quit their state, but, by the verj- fact of doing so, lose all the privileges of the clergj'. Even the clerk in minor orders who enjoys an ecclesiastical benefice, should he wish to be laicized, loses his benefice by the very fact of his laicization, a loss which is to be regarded not as the penalty, but as the consequence, of his having abandoned the ec- clesiastical state. These considerations suffice, it would seem, to refute the opinion maintained by some writers fllinschivis. System des Katholischen Kirchenrechts (Berlin, 1895)", V, 905], who think that a clerk in minor orders can, even at the present day, be an apostate ab ordine. This opinion is re- jected, among others, by Scherer, [Handbuch des Kirchenrechtcs (Gratz, 1886), I, 313; Wernz, II, 338, note 24; Ilollweck, 299].

To-<lay, after three ineffectual notices, the apostate clerk loses, ipso jaclo, the privileges of clergj' [De- cretals of Gregory IX, V, title 9, i; title 39, xxiii, XXV (Friedberg, II, 790 and 897)]. By the very fact of apost;usj' he incurs infamy, which, however, is only an infamy of fact, not one of law im|X)sed bj' canonical legislation. Infamj- involves irregularity, and is an offence punishable bj' the loss of ecclesiasti- cal benefices. Finallj', should the apostate |x>rsist in his apost;isy, the bishop maj' excommunicate him [Constit. of Benedict XIII, .\postolic» ccclesi;e re- gimine, 2 May. 1725, in Bullarum amplis-sima collcctio (Rome, 1731)), XI, ii, 400].

Apostasy a Religioxe, or Monachatus, is the culpable departure of a religious from his monasterj' with the intention of not returning to it and of with- drawing him.self from the obligations of the religious life. .V monk, therefore, who leaves his monasterj' with the intention of returning is not an apostate but a runawaj', and so is the one who leaves it in- tending to enter another religious order. The monks