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Hoc in situ interretiali ordinantur responsiones, explanationes, et decreta ex « Notitiae » aliisque interdum fontibus (ut AAS) desumpta, quae aliis locis modo promptiore haud inveniuntur. Finis est praestare textum originalem, versionem anglicam, et exemplar PDF paginarum pertinentium ex « Notitiae » vel alio fonte. Presens igitur labor opusculum « Ordo Missae locis correspondentibus illustratus » aliquatenus extendit. Est enim labor imperfectus quem, cum operae mihi est, suscipio. Denique domino Daniel Gill, domino Radosław Gosiewski, et domino Abram Córdova y Muenzberg, qui nonnullas ex responsionibus transcripserunt, gratias refero, item etiam dominae Crista Mootz, quae in linguam anglicam responsiones quasdam verteri adiuvavit. Exemplaria PDF exstant etiam textuum nondum transcriptorum. This website organizes responses, explanations, and decrees from Notitiae and sometimes from other sources (such as AAS) that are not readily available in other places. The goal is to provide the original text, an English translation, and a PDF scan of the relevant pages from Notitiae or other source. In some ways, the project is a further development of my Cross-Referenced Ordo Missae. This is an ongoing prject which I work on in my spare time. I am also grateful for the help of Mr. Daniel Gill, Mr. Radosław Gosiewski, and Mr. Abram Córdova y Muenzberg in transcribing some of these responses and also to Miss Crista Mootz for helping to translate certain responses into English. PDFs are available even for texts that have not yet been transcribed.
Fac Patrem Dylanum Schrader certiorem si habes proposita vel corrigenda. Contact Father Dylan Schrader with suggestions and corrections.
N.B. In « Notitiae » 1 (1965) et 2 (1966), supra responsa, invenitur monitio: Solutio quae proponitur nullam induit vestem officialem. Solummodo habet valorem orientativum: solutiones enim ex officio publici iuris fient, si casus fert, a competenti Auctoritate in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ». N.B. In Notitiae 1 (1965) and 2 (1966), this notice appears above the responses: The solution which is proposed takes on no official character. It has only an orientative force; solutions will be published officially, if the case warrants, by the competent Authority in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ».

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TextUnofficial English TranslationCitationTagsPDF of the original document

Epistula Ordinariis locorum missa: in mentem normae vigentes de exorcismis revocantur.

Excellentissime Domine,

inde ab aliquot annis, apud quosdam coetus ecclesiales, conventus ad precationes faciendas multiplicantur hoc quidem proposito, ut liveratio obtineatur ab influxu daemonm, etiamsi non de exorcismis proprie dictis agatur; qui conventus peraguntur sub ductu laicorum, etiam praesente sacerdote.

Cum a Congregatione pro Doctrina Fidei quaesitum sit quid sentiendum de hisce factis, hoc Dicasterium necessarium putat omnes Ordinarios certiores facere de responsione quae sequitur:

1. Canon 1172 Codicis Iuris Canonici declarat neminem exorcismos in obsessos proferre legitime posse, nisi ab Ordinario loci peculiarem et expressam licentiam obtinuerit (§ 1), ac determinat hanc licetiam ab Ordinario loci concedendam esse tandummodo presbytero pietate, scientia, prudentia ac vitae integritate praedito (§ 2). Episcopi igitur enixe invitantur, ut observantiam urgeant horum praescriptorum.

2. Ex hisce praescrptionibus sequitur ut christifidelibus etiam non liceat adhibere formulam exorcismi contra satanam et angelos apostaticos, excerptam ex illa quae publici iuris facta est iussu Summi Pontificis Leonis XIII, ac multo minus adhibere textum integrum huius exorcismi. Episcopi hac de re fideles admonere curent in casu necessitatis.

3. Denique, ob easdem rationes, Episcopi roganturut vigilent ne -- etiam in casibus qui, licet veram possessionem diabolicam excludant, diabolicum tamen influxum aliqualiter revelare videntur -- ii qui debita potestate carent conventus moderentur, in quibus ad liberationem obtinendam precationes adhibentur, quarum decursu daemones directe interpellantur et eorum identitas cognoscere studentur.

Harm normarum tamen enuntiatio minime christifideles abducere debet a precando ut, quemadmodum Iesus nos docuit, liberentur a malo (cf. Mt 6, 13). Insuper Pastores hac oblata opportunitate uit poterunt, ut in mentem revocent quid Ecclesiae traditio doceat circa munus quod proprie ad sacramenta et ad Beatissimae Virginis Mariae, Angelorum Sanctorumque intercessionem spectat in christianorum etiam contra spiritus malignos spirituali certamine.

Hanc occasionem nactus impensos aestimationis meae sensus Tibi obtestor permanens

add.mus in Domino

Iosephus Card. Ratzinger, Prefectus

L. ✠ S.
In Cong. Pro Doctrina Fidei tab., n. 291/70.

CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI

A letter sent to local Ordinaries: The norms currently in force on exorcisms are recalled.*

Most Excellent Lord,

since a few years ago, in certain church groups, there have been more and more assemblies dedicated to praying for the purpose of obtaining liberation from the influence of demons, even if it is not a matter of exorcisms properly speaking. These meetings are conducted under the leadership of lay people, even if a priest is present.

Since it has been asked of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith what we should think of such actions, this Dicastery regards it as necessary to inform all Ordinaries of the following response:

1. Canon 1173 of the Code of Canon Law declares that no one can legitimately pronounce exorcisms over obsessed persons unless he has obtained the special and express permission of the Ordinary of the place (§ 1), and it determines that this permission should only be given by the Ordinary of the place to a presbyter endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life (§ 2). Bishops are therefore earnestly requested to enforce the observance of these prescripts.

2. From these prescriptions it follows that it is not permissible for Christ's faithful to make use of the formula for exorcism against Satan and the apostate angels taken from that which was made a matter of public law by order of the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII and much less to use the entire text of this exorcism. Bishops should take care to admonish the faithful on this matter if it is necessary.

3. Finally, for the same reasons, Bishops are asked to be vigilant lest — even in cases which, though they do not include true diabolical possession, seem to involve some degree of diabolical influence — those who lack due power oversee assemblies in which prayers to obtain liberation are used when in the course of them demons are directly addressed and an effort is made to learn their identities.

The publication of these norms should not at all lead Christ's faithful away from praying, as Jesus taught us, to be freed from evil (cf. Mt 6:13). Moreover, Pastors can use this opportunity to call to mind what the tradition of the Church teaches about the role that properly belongs to the sacraments and to the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Angels and Saints even in the spiritual battle of Christians and against the evil spirits.

On this occasion, I express my strong devotion and sense of respect for You, and I remain

your devoted servant in the Lord

Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect

✠ Albert Bovone, Secretary

* 29 September 1985.

AAS 77 (1985), 1169–1170exorcism, inde ab aliquot annisPDF of AAS 77 (1985), 1169–1170