- CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH
- (dismissal from the clerical state and dispensation from its duties and responsibilities)
- Prot. N. 500/2012
- Mr. Gregory REYNOLDS
- 31 May 2013
- The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis
- having heard the report of this Congregation concerning the aggravated behavior (in connection with Canons. 751, 1364, 1367 and 1369 of the Code of Canon Law) of the above mentioned priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, and after the preliminary requirements have been observed, by with a supreme decision that cannot be appealed against and from which there is no recourse
- has decreed
- that for the good of the Church dismissal from the clerical state is to be inflicted upon the priest mentioned.
- By the same decree the Supreme Pontiff grants a dispensation from all the duties and responsibilities connected with sacred Ordination according to the following requirements:-
- 1. The dismissal and the dispensation takes effect from the moment itself of the decision of the Roman Pontiff.
- 2. Let the decree of dismissal and dispensation be made known to the priest by the competent Ordinary of the place, who must never be allowed to separate the two matters. It is the duty of the Ordinary to make known the censure incurred because of rebellious defiance, and if the priest puts up with it, the censure must be remitted. By this decree of dismissal, because there has been no repentance, the penalty of latae sententiae exommunicatinis (Canon 1367 of the Code of Canon Law) is made public. The remission of this excommunication is reserved to the Apostolic See.
- 3. Let the notice of dismissal, dispensation and excommunication be recorded in the register of baptisms of the parish of the above mentioned priest.
- In addition, when he has been cleansed from defiance and the censure has been, the following requirements also have force and effect
- 4. Let the ecclesiastical authority, whose concern it is to make known the decree to the above mentioned priest, earnestly encourage him to continue participating in the life of the People of God, in a manner that corresponds with the new situation of his manner of life. At the same time the following details must be made known to him
- a) by the very fact that he has been dismissed, the priest loses rights proper to the clerical state, its distinctions and ecclesiastical responsibilities; other obligations connected with the clerical state no longer bind him.
- b) he remains excluded from the exercise of the priestly ministry, with the exceptions mentioned in canons 976 and 986:2 of the Code of Canon Law, and for that reason he cannot deliver homilies nor can he exercise an executive role in a pastoral ambience nor can he perform the functions of administration in a parish.
- c) also he cannot carry out any responsibility in seminaries and equivalent institutes. In other institutes of higher learning, which to some extent depend on ecclesiastical authority, he cannot exercise any executive function nor the office of teaching.
- d) in other institutes of higher learning, however, that do not depend on ecclesiastical authority, he cannot teach theology at all.
- e) but in institutes of learning of a lower level dependent on ecclesiastical authority he cannot exercise executive functions nor the office of teaching. The dismissed priest is bound by the same law as regards the teaching of religion in institutes of the same category that do not depend on ecclesiastical authority.
- 5. As far as possible, let the Ordinary see to it that the new situation of the dismissed priest do not give an occasion to the faithful. Nevertheless, if there is the danger of scandal, the Ordinary can made public the fact of dismissal as well as its canonical reason.
- 6. The notice of dismissal and dispensation can be made personally or through a notary or ecclesiastical functionary or through registered letters. The dismissed priest must return one copy signed by him in acknowledgement of receipt and acceptance of the same dismissal and dispensation as well as its requirements, even if he does not comply entirely with it, the effect of this decree remains.
- 7. At an opportune time, let the competent Ordinary briefly make a report to the Congregation concerning the notification that has been completed, and if the faithful should somehow be puzzled, let a prudent explanation be provided.
- Anything to the contrary not withstanding by any means.
- From the Office of the Congregation 31 May 2103
- Gerhard Ludwig Muller
- Archbishop - bishop emeritus of Ratisbon
- Aloysius Francis Ladaria SJ
- Titular Archbishop of Thebes
- Day of notification 18th September 2013
Excommunication Letter English Translation
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