“INTERDICT” February 20, 2010Posted by Boris Paul in Uncategorized.
Tags: Interdict, Kollam Bishop
In the Roman Catholic Church, the word interdict (pronounced /ˈɪntərdɪkt/, IN-tər-dikt) usually refers to an ecclesiastical penalty. Interdicts may be real, local or personal. A personal interdict pertains to one or more persons. A real or local interdict, which is no longer a part of canon law, suspends all public worship and withdraws the church’s sacraments in a territory or country. A local interdict against a country was to it the equivalent of excommunication against an individual. It would cause all the churches to be closed, and almost all the sacraments not to be allowed (i.e. preventing marriage, confession, anointing of the sick, and the eucharist). Certain exceptions allow for baptism, anointing of the sick, and sacraments on Christian holidays.
Interdiction was used by the Pope during the Middle Ages as a way to influence rulers. For example, Pope Innocent III placed the kingdom of England under an interdict for five years between 1208 and 1213 after King John refused to accept the pope’s appointee Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Pope Gregory XI placed the city of Florence under interdict in March 1376 during the War of the Eight Saints, while Pope Paul V placed the Republic of Venice under interdict in 1606 after the civil authorities jailed two priests. Rome itself was placed under interdict by Pope Adrian IV as a result of a rebellion led by Arnold of Brescia.
An interdict can also be a penalty against a specific individual or group. It is like excommunication in that the person is barred from receiving the sacraments and participating in public worship, but it does not bar the person from continuing to hold and exercise ecclesiastical office. For a lay member of the church, it is basically equivalent to excommunication, though with the implication that they remain Catholic.