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Lateran IV

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  • CANON 57
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Summary. Only members of a religious order and those who have given their possessions to the order, retaining for themselves only the usufruct, may be buried during the period of an interdict. To religious coming to an interdicted locality, only one church may be opened, and that merely once a year.

Text. That the privileges which the Roman Church has granted to some religious may be maintained in their entirety, we take occasion to make clear some things in regard to them, lest being misunderstood they lead to abuse, by reason of which they may be rightly revoked, because he deserves to lose privileges who abuses the benefits which they confer. The Apostolic See has granted permission to some regulars that to those who have become members of their order, ecclesiastical burial may not be denied if the churches to which they belong should be under interdict, provided they themselves are not excommunicated or nominally interdicted; and they may, therefore, take their brethren, whom the prelates of the churches are not permitted to bury from their churches, to their own churches for burial, if they (the deceased confrères) were not nominally under excommunication or interdict. By brethren we understand both those who, having lived in the world, gave themselves to their order and accepted its habit, and those who gave their possessions to the order, retaining for their own maintenance during life only the usufruct, who, however, may be buried from non interdicted churches of regulars or others in which they may choose to be buried; it is not, however, to be understood of those who join their fraternity and contribute annually no more than two or three denarii, for this would upset ecclesiastical order and discipline. Yet these also obtain a certain remission granted to them by the Apostolic See.

That other privilege also that has been granted to some regulars, namely, that when any of their brethren who have been sent by them to collect (alms), arrive in any city, fortified town, or village, if perchance that place be under interdict, in view of their joyful arrival the churches may be opened once a year for the celebration of the divine offices for those not under excommunication, we wish tt) be understood thus: that in each city, fortified town, or village, only one church of the same order may, as has been said, be opened to the brethren once a year; for though the statement, that on their joyful arrival the churches may be opened, is plural, yet it is not to be understood as referring to the churches of the same place separately, but to the churches of the aforesaid places collectively otherwise, if they should visit each church of the same place, the interdict would be too much disregarded. Whoever shall presume to act contrary to these enactments, let him be subject to severe penalties.[cf. III Lat, canon 9]

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