Categories: Q&A

Are Pope Gregory III and Pope Pius XII's ban still in effect?

Full Question

Are Pope Gregory III’s ban of horse meat and Pope Pius XII’s ban of reading communist literature (if he even did—I am still confused regarding this matter) still in effect? I am confused as to whether either can lead to excommunication.


The 1983 Code of Canon Law:

Can. 6 §1. When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated:
1. the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917; . . .
3. any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See unless they are contained in this Code.

Pope Gregory III’s ban on horse meat was a penal act by the authority of the Apostolic See.
Pope Pius XII’s decree against reading communist literature was based on the 1917 Code of Canon Law:

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(In addition to the cases established here or in other laws, the external violation of a divine or canonical law can be punished by a just penalty only when the special gravity of the violation demands punishment and there is an urgent need to prevent or repair scandals canon 1399).

As such, these penal laws are abrogated per the 1983 Code of Canon Law. This doesn’t mean that these actions are now considered moral, rather, they no longer carry canonical penalty

This post was published on July 15, 2017 10:30 am

Tags: Canon Law
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