Pope Leo XVI, 1 April 2098
1. The health of the Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ on earth is the first and foremost concern of the Supreme Pontiff in his capacity as successor of Saint Peter, to whom was given the assurance that "the gates of hell shall not prevail," and the viceregal power of holding "the keys of the kingdom of heaven." 1 Good health is one of the greatest blessings of life in this world yet from time to time sickness or infection may require radical measures to return the body to a sound condition. In like manner, We are called upon to take appropriate remedies to excise the cancer of Modernism and the infection of Existentialism from the Body entrusted to Us by the Divine Physician.
2. Therefore, exercising our supreme Apostolic authority, We declare in perpetuity and without any hope of recourse to future Pope or council that all of the acts, canonizations excepted, issued by Our predecessors from the pontificate of His Holiness Pope John XXIII until the moment of Our immediate predecessor's demise (inclusive) directed to the Universal Church, or to those who observe the Latin Rite generally, or to those of the Roman Rite specifically, are, subject only to the provisions given below, hereby declared null, void, and of no effect whatsoever. We especially note that the acts of the Second Vatican Council, the encyclicals and other letters of Our above named predecessors, the Code of Canon Law of 1983, and the alleged Catechism of the Catholic Church are hereby abrogated.
3. Unless otherwise provided for below, the 1917 Code of Canon Law is to be observed as having its full force and authority. Patriarchs, Metropolitans, and Ordinaries of the Catholic Eastern Churches will take appropriate measures to restore traditional discipline to their respective charges, subject to confirmation by Us.
4. Pentecostalism and all other practices of false mysticism are particularly reprobated. The damage done by a council called because of "a voice in the Pope's ear" clearly demonstrates the danger of leaving one's self "open to the spirit" without careful and mature investigation of that spirit's nature. Mystical experiences are to be investigated and may be publicized only in accordance with the principles set forth by our holy predecessors, Benedict XIV, Urban VIII, and Clement IX, and following the regulations of the 1917 Code. Those acting in opposition to these principles are ipso facto excommunicated in a manner specially reserved to Us and Our successors in the Holy See.
5. The use of the false philosophy known as "existentialism" is reprobated. The directions of Our predecessor, Leo XIII, of blessed memory are to be employed in the restoration of scholastic philosophy as the norm for Catholic scholarship. 2
6. For the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments in the Roman Rite only those typical editions of the liturgical books issued prior to 1964 may be followed. However, in order to provide for the needs of the faithful, until such books can be obtained (but in no case longer than six months from the issue of this apostolic letter) the Sacramentary and Lectionary of His Holiness Pope Paul VI may be utilized if, and only if, the Offertory prayers and formula for the Consecration given in the pre-1964 books are utilized. The "emergency formulæ" alone (Appendix "B") for the administration of Baptism, Absolution, and Extreme Unction are to be employed until the approved books are available. 3
7. Under penalty of loss of benefice, during the next sixty days all of the clergy are to publicly proclaim the Tridentine Profession of Faith and the Oath Against Modernism, and to furnish their ordinary written testimony that they are not members of the secret societies mentioned in canon 2335. Under pain of termination, the same profession, oath, and testimony are required of all who teach in Catholic institutions or are engaged in clerical studies.
8. Membership in the clerical state is initiated by reception of the Tonsure. Progression in this state requires the reception of the minor orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte; and the major orders of Subdeacon, Deacon, Priest, and Bishop; with Holy Church determining the degree to which any individual is to be advanced.4 One may enter the religious life through Profession of Vows in the manner prescribed by the Church's legitimate religious orders, congregations, and other canonically approved foundations. Under pain of invalidity, only the pre-1964 liturgical books may be used in conferring these orders or receiving such vows. Those already in Orders who have failed to receive any of the preparatory Orders must do so within one year of the issue of this constitution.
Having carefully examined the issue of Orders, and having Ourselves received ordination and episcopal consecration from a Catholic source by virtue of the traditional rite, We have determined to guarantee the apostolic succession to the entire Church in the following manner: together with two bishops of the Catholic Resistance Movement, We will conditionally confer Confirmation, the Minor Orders, and the Holy Orders of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop on all of the male members of the College of Cardinals, with the exception of those already confirmed, ordained, and consecrated in a traditional Catholic rite by bishops ordained and consecrated in a traditional rite. The Cardinals, in turn, will see to the validation of the Orders of all clergy resident on their continent of origin. Due regard will be given to the metropolitan and episcopal jurisdictions, Our Cardinals enabling archbishops and bishops to validly Confirm and Ordain their suffragans and subjects. Particular difficulties will be resolved by the Holy See.
Those women who, in contradiction of the immemorial tradition of God's Church, mislead by those in highest authority, in good faith received the appearances of ordination to minor or major Orders, are necessarily and perpetually suspended a divinis. While not possessing the qualities of Holy Orders, insofar as their abilities are concerned, those baptisms and marriages over which they officiated are unquestionably valid; and the parochial acts to which they testify are to be received as though coming from one legitimately in Orders.
In an expeditious manner, bishops will arrange to conditionally Confirm their subjects previously Confirmed according to one of the new rites. Even those not subject to episcopal authority will approach the resident bishop for validation of the Sacraments of indelibility.
9. While there are legitimate secondary ends, the sole primary end of Holy Matrimony is the procreation and education of children. Catholic theology and moral teaching cannot recognize any other end on par with this sole primary end, and cannot advocate behavior in keeping with such recognition. Catholic clergy and institutions must not encourage couples to avoid this primary end, even by legitimate means.
Every Ordinary is to establish a commission to investigate the validity of each annulment and laicization granted within his territory to those still living. The faithful who have made use of such laicizations or annulments (except those granted in accordance with canon 1990 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) and have contracted marriage, will make arrangements to live in a state of celibacy until a decree confirming their laicization or annulment is received from one competent to grant it under the 1917 Code. In each such decree, the competent authority is to include any instructions that might be necessary for the validation of marital consent.
Those living in unions with another of the same gender, even though contracted in good faith, are advised to separate, and are obliged to celibacy unless and until contracting marriage with a person of the opposite sex, which marriage they are free to contract in the absence of the other usual impediments.
10. The religious congregations established as a result of Pope John Paul II's letter Ecclesia Dei are abolished. The members of these societies are to be entrusted to houses of monastic penance where they can ponder the evil of simulating the appearances of Catholicism while neglecting the true Faith and Its practices of morality. The personal prelature Opus Dei is likewise abolished.
11. All spiritual jurisdiction previously given to the United Nations or to the World Council of Churches is perpetually revoked.
12. While direct restitution of stipends accepted for invalid masses is impossible, a good faith effort is to be made by priests celebrating, without stipend, fifty (or more) percent of the Masses offered each week for the Faithful Departed, until the number of such Masses approximately equals the number of stipends accepted for masses lacking validity of form, intention, matter, or minister.
13. Insofar as every Catholic is responsible for the preservation of the Faith, and no one is free to accept "permission" to do evil from a superior of any rank, a period of penance will be observed by the entire Church. The blessed feast of Easter, which would have been celebrated on the twentieth of this month, will be suppressed this year. The Paschal season will be replaced by the repetition of the Lenten season according to the directions given in Appendix "C" below. Even those who took no part in reign of Modernism are asked to accept this penance joyfully to bring about the conversion those of the guilty who are unwilling to return to the practice of the Catholic Faith.
Everything to the contrary notwithstanding, subject to anathema, and the wrath of Almighty God and His saints. Given this first day of April in the year of our Lord MMXCVIII, the first of Our pontificate, under the protection of Jesus Christ the Physician of Souls, His most Blessed Mother, Our Lady Health of the Sick, and Saint Luke the physician of Antioch.
+ Leo, p.p. XVI
1. Matthew xvi.
2. Leo XIII, Æterni Patris, 4 August 1879.
3. The inserted Offertory prayers include everything from Súcipe, sancte
Pater through the Súcipe, sancte Trínitas (inclusive); the prayers of
Consecration include everything from the Hanc ígitur through the Hæc
quotiescúmque ... faciétis (inclusive). The text of omissions and deletions
is given in appendix "A," which is obligatory for all making use of
the temporary concession of the Pauline rite.
4. The Eastern Churches vary legitimately in the non-Sacramental orders,
according to their own proper traditions.
1. Matthew xvi.
2. Leo XIII, Æterni Patris, 4 August 1879.
3. The inserted Offertory prayers include everything from Súcipe, sancte Pater through the Súcipe, sancte Trínitas (inclusive); the prayers of Consecration include everything from the Hanc ígitur through the Hæc quotiescúmque ... faciétis (inclusive). The text of omissions and deletions is given in appendix "A," which is obligatory for all making use of the temporary concession of the Pauline rite.
4. The Eastern Churches vary legitimately in the non-Sacramental orders, according to their own proper traditions.