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As regards sacramental absolution, it states definitely that the jurisdiction comes from the local Bishop (874, § 1): in other words, it rules out of court the view that accounted largely for the liberal practice of the past-the view, namely, that jurisdiction came from the (extern) Bishop of the peregrinus. On the strength of that canon (874), we think that local confessors are powerless when the sin is reserved in their diocese, though not in the diocese of the penitent: a fortiori, we need hardly add, when the sin is reserved in both. In a word, so far as we can see, the statute of the Maynooth Synod of 1875 has got to be restored, and the teaching of St. Alphonsus re-affirmed.1

2o. Other canons of the Code suggest the same. Take, for instance, No. 401 (§ 1)-on the powers of a Canon Penitentiary. Compared with ordinary confessors, he is on a pedestal all to himself. He is given certain powers that he cannot even delegate to others: one of them is the faculty ' absolvendi etiam a peccatis. . . . Episcopo reservatis, in dioecesi extraneos quoque.' Why announce this power over peregrini in such a special fashion, if every confessor can do the same? And, undoubtedly, every confessor can, if the view we express be incorrect.

Or turn back to Canon 349, § 1, 1o. There we are told that a Bishop may select for himself and others a special confessor in an extern diocese. This confessor is granted very extensive powers ipso jure (239, § 1, 2°); but, even so, we are given the additional assurance that his faculties extend to cases reserved to the local Ordinary.' Why, again, mention this at all, if every confessor can deal with these cases just as well as he?

3o. We may be told that, in virtue of Canon 881 (§ 1), it is not the local Bishop, but the law itself, that strengthens the hands of the local confessors in their dealing with peregrini: and that no account need, therefore, be taken of the restrictions he imposes. In reply to that we would state, 1°, that Canon 881, so far from contradicting Canon 874, is a necessary condition of its very existence-it had to be added in order to meet critics who would object to Canon 874 by inquiring, 'How can a Bishop grant jurisdiction over peregrini since he has no jurisdiction over them himself? '; 2°, Canon 881 operates either by making the local Bishop superior of the peregrini for the time being, or by conveying Roman jurisdiction through him to his confessors; in the first hypothesis, the Bishop presumably grants the same faculties to his confessors, whether the penitents be externs or not; in the second, the Roman delegation will, in accordance with the old-time principle, be restricted by local reservations.

4°. Canon 900, 3°, creates a little difficulty. It tells us that 'every reservation loses all its force outside the territory of the reserving (Superior), even though the penitent left [the territory] merely for the purpose of securing absolution.' It corresponds to the passage quoted

1 VI. 587 Talis poenitens judicandus est quoad confessionem tamquam incola illius dioecesis'; VI, 591: Confessarius quem respicit reservatio non potest absolvere peregrinos nisi juxta limites jurisdictionis quam habet a suo Ordinario.'

above (p. 827) from the Cum experientia, but the words we italicized are omitted. If it be closely examined, though, it will be found (we think) to contain them implicitly. Leaving the 'territory of the reserving Superior' is, we believe, the same as leaving the 'territory in which the sin is reserved.' If the sin is reserved in both dioceses, the peregrinus has not left that territory: and so-just as under the Cum experientia—he has no claim to the freedom that the canon promises. If it is reserved in the home diocese, but not in the diocese of confession, he has left the territory and is guaranteed full freedom: the Cum experientia is re-affirmed, and the italicized addition would be purely tautological. Someone may ask us to keep closer to the actual words of the Code. If so, we will put it this way. If the sin is reserved in both places, the peregrinus has left the territory' of one reserving Superior, but he has walked right into the territory of another. In such circumstances, the canon knows nothing about him, and there is no use (we believe) in his appealing to it for help.


5o. Finally, all the points in favour of the opposite view may be combined in one comprehensive objection and hurled at us in the words of a recent writer 1:

Any approved confessor can absolve a peregrinus who, whether in his own or in another diocese, has committed a sin reserved even in both. It is well to sketch briefly the principles from which this conclusion is derived :*

A peregrinus is not affected:

(a) by the reservation of his own Ordinary, since every reservation loses all its force outside the territory of the reseiver (IC, 900, n. 3);


(b) by the reservation in force where he confesses the sin. This would seem to be established with solid probability in the following

manner :

1o. Authors, ancient and contemporary, hold that the subject of reservation is not a peregrinus; because the Ordinary cannot reserve the sins of any except his own subjects, or because as others prefer to put it-peregrini are not bound by the laws of the territory in which they happen to be staying (cf. authors cited by Mazzoтa, n. 2320, q. 1; LEHMKUHL, ii. 520 sqq.; BALL, 739; GENICOT, ii. 345; PESCH, De paenit., 441; Mostaza, Sal Terrae, 5 pg. 1022, iv.). These authorities, therefore, either think that the subject of reservation is the penitent, or if we want to safeguard the doctrine that reservation affects the confessor immediately that the object of reservation is merely the sins of the reserver's subjects, unless in a particular case the reserver provides for the opposite. And this is deduced clearly enough from the Code itself. For :

2o. The object of reservation should be determined in accordance with the intention of Canon 897, in which its purpose is stated to be (a) the eradication of a deeply-rooted vice (i.e., in the diocese in which the reservation is decreed), (b) the restoration of shattered discipline (i.e.,

1 Translated from the Summ. Th. Mor., of Father Arregui, S.J. (p. 393 and note).


in that same diocese). Unless the contrary is expressed, the object of reservation, per se and properly speaking, is, therefore, merely the sins committed there and by diocesans: for a sin committed elsewhere is not a vice deeply-rooted there, nor one by which discipline there is undermined. Moreover, it is diocesan subjects that, per se and properly speaking, propagate vice and undermine discipline by their sins, or, through their amendment or punishment, contribute to root out the vice and restore discipline. These things may, of course, be predicated of peregrini in a secondary and incidental fashion; but, since reservation must be interpreted strictly, the latter must be held exemptunless the contrary is clear.

The statements in No. 1° have been met already : the half-abandoned claim that the subject of reservation is the penitent' might have been abandoned altogether in view of Canon 893, § 1. As for the assertions in No. 2°, we would remark that drastic local measures against a public scandal must sometimes be rigidly carried through, even though they press heavily on individuals much more spotless than the peregrini penitents. We may cite local interdict as an illustration: it certainly affects externs who had nothing whatever to do with provoking the affliction (2269, § 2). If, in the laws of man, as well as of nature, the innocent must sometimes suffer with the guilty, we need shed few tears over the alleged harsh treatment meted out to stained refugees from extern dioceses.

If the direct reply is considered insufficient, we will fall back on the indirect—and, in our opinion, it settles the question. Every point urged in favour of the liberal view-including, of course, the rooted vice' and shattered discipline' considerations borrowed from the Cum experientia itself was well known to the Holy Office on the 18th of July, 1916. Yet, on the 13th of July, 1916, the Holy Office re-affirmed the traditional teaching. All these points combined, therefore, furnish no sufficient reason why we should abandon that teaching now.

We should like to add, though, in conclusion:

1°. That our remarks apply only to the law; they have no bearing on what an individual Bishop may do. So far as we can see, there is nothing to prevent a Bishop from giving his confessors restricted jurisdiction over his own subjects and unrestricted jurisdiction over externs.1 In such circumstances, a peregrinus could, of course, be absolved from a sin technically reserved in both dioceses.' But the result would be due, not to the general law-the only matter we discuss-but to the special liberality of the local Bishop.

2o. That a good number of excellent authorities hold the liberal view. If Fathers Tanquerey, Noldin, or Arregui did us the honour of writing these notes, they would follow a line very different from ours. We do not see that the reasons they allege prove anything in particular; but, in deference to these distinguished men and to others as well, we admit that their theory hovers on the borders of extrinsic probability. In view of Canon 209-much more liberal than any corresponding regulation

1 Cf. a Bishop's declaration that ignorance excuses.

in the past-we are far from denying that an absolution given by a disciple of theirs would be valid. But, again, that arises, we believe, not from the jurisdiction actually held, but from the additional jurisdiction that the Church gives them in a crisis.

3°. That there is a growing movement-partially sanctioned by law -in favour of greater liberality in dealing with reserved cases. It may happen that, in course of time, the movement will result in a change of law-just as a similar movement started long ago by Sanchez,1 has resulted in Canon 1045, § 1. If that comes to pass, it will be through a decree that frankly proclaims itself a new-comer, or through an 'extensive declaration' that goes beyond what the law at present justifies. In short, the liberal theologians may change the law: our contention is merely that they have not changed it yet.

We apologize to 'Confessarius,' 'D.D.,' and 'Caius,' for keeping them so long. But we should have to give our reasons sooner or later, and it is just as well to have them over and done with. Taking our correspondents' queries in order, we would say:

I°, to 'Confessarius':

1o. That we believe he cannot, unless (perhaps) his ignorance of the local regulation excuses him.

2o. That, again we believe, he cannot. Génicot, we note, holds the opposite, though he claims that the peregrinus could not be absolved if he had committed the sin in his own diocese. 2 Strange that a Bishop should be supposed to give faculties over a sin committed at his own door and in open defiance of the local regulation, but not over one committed a thousand miles away, where perhaps the local regulation was never heard of.

3°. That we think not. The penitent has not left the danger zone. He escaped Scylla, but got shipwrecked on Charybdis.

4°. That there is no tertium quid '-except to go to the Bishop or his delegate.

II°, to 'D.D.', that we are in full sympathy with what he implies. The confessor in A, we believe, is powerless, whether the sin is reserved in the extern diocese or not. We are not sure to what'remark' of ours he refers. Presumably to some one or other in the January (1918) issue: but none of them, we think, had any direct bearing on the point he raises. We spoke of 'Superior,' but only in the sense suggested by the Code (874, 881).

III°, to 'Caius,' that he represents a school of thought far in advance of anything the law sanctions. He cannot surely have read Canons 895-900: they are not very 'complicated,' and anyhow they give the 'law'not the comments of the theologians.

NOTE. This last reply has grown to such an unexpected length that we must again hold over the queries sent by Philip' and 'Confessarius.' We are sorry. They will appear in our next issue.

1 De Matr., B. ii. dis. xl.


2 ii. 348.



REV. DEAR SIR,-Will you kindly state, in the pages of the I. E. RECORD, what changes, if any, have been made by the Code in

(a) the Apostolicae Sedis, as regards books and societies condemned by it?

(b) the index legislation ?


(a) There were only two articles in the Bull Apostolicae Sedis which referred to books. The first forbade, under penalty of excommunication specially reserved to the Holy See, the reading, retention, printing, or defending of books by apostates and heretics propounding heresy, and also the books of any author which have been condemned by name by Apostolic Letters. 1

The corresponding regulation of the Code is contained in Canon 2318, § 1. According to this section, those who publish books by apostates, heretics, and schismatics, propounding apostasy, heresy, or schism, incur ipso facto excommunication specially reserved to the Holy See. The same penalty is likewise incurred by those who defend these same books or others forbidden by name by Apostolic Letters, and also by those who knowingly, without the necessary permission, read or retain them.

There are some slight differences, therefore, between the old and new legislations :

1o. The books of schismatics, as well as of apostates and heretics, when they propound not merely apostasy or heresy but even schism, are now included in the censure.

2o. In the Apostolicae Sedis the printing, but not the publication, of these books was punished. The Code, however, mentions the publication specifically. Although it says nothing about the printers, still, in accordance with the general principles on co-operation contained in Canons 2209 and 2231, they also incur this penalty.

8°. It will be noticed that the publication of books condemned by name by Apostolic Letters does not involve the punishment contained in this canon.

4°. Under the Code those who read and retain these books must act knowingly (scienter) to incur the penalty. Consequently, any diminution of imputability on the part of the intellect or the will exempts them altogether from the excommunication (c. 2229, § 2). In the Bull Apostolicae Sedis there was no such restriction.

In the second section of this same Canon 2318 there is another

1 Sec. I, n. ii.

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