Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Excommunication of the Reformers

IX. Now although the Reformers were excommunicated from the church of Rome, they cannot on that account be said to have been deprived of the call which they had received. It was unjust and could not deprive them of their right, as the apostles did not lose their call because they were excommunicated by the Jewish synod; nor the orthodox bishops who were excommunicated by the Arians, especially since (on the hypothesis of the Romanists) ordination impresses an indelible mark. This very thing is sanctioned according to Gratian. (Pope) Celestine says, "If anyone was either excommunicated or divested of office or clerical dignity by the Nestorian bishop or by the others who follow him, from whom they began to preach such things, it is manifest that this one both continued and continues in our communion; nor do we consider him removed because he could not by his sentence remove anyone, who had alredy shown that he himself ought to be removed" (`Decreti," Pt. II, Causa XXIV,Q. 1.35 Corpus Iuris Canonici [1959], 1:980). This is confirmed in chapter 36 (ibid: 1.36, pp. 980-81). [Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol. 3, p. 238].

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