Speaking of which…

This is sort of cathartic to read ….

This is from the Roman Pontifical of Pope Benedict XI (Tertia Pars, Mecklenburg 1862, pp.114f).

The rubrics are in square brackets.

The Degradation of a Bishop

[If the degradandus be an archbishop, the degrading prelate removes his pallium, saying:]

We deprive thee of the rights and privileges of the episcopal dignity, symbolized in this pallium, since thou hast abused them.

[Then, even if the degradandus be a mere bishop, the degrading prelate removes his miter, saying:]

We strip thy head of this miter, emblem of the episcopal dignity, since thou hast befouled it by thy ill government.

[Then one of the ministers brings the Book of the Gospel to the degradandus, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying:]

Give us back the Gospel! Since thou hast spurned the grace of God and made thyself unworthy of the office of preaching, we rightly deprive you of this office.

[Then the degrading prelate removes the ring from the finger of the degradandus, saying:]

Rightly do we pull off thy ring, the sign of fidelity, since thou hast made bold to rape God’s own bride, the Church.

[At this time one of the ministers brings the degradandus a crosier, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying;]

Thy shepherd’s staff we take from thee, that thou shalt be powerless henceforward to exercise that office of correction, which thou hast brought to disarray.

[Then the ministers take off the gloves of the degradandus, and the degrading prelate lightly scrapes his thumbs and hands with a knife blade or a shard of glass, saying:]

We hereby deprive thee, to the extent of our powers, of the grace of blessing and of dispensing the mysteries, that thou shouldst forfeit the office of sanctifying and of blessing, and their effects.

[With the same knife blade or shard the degrading prelate lightly scrapes the head of the degradandus, saying:]

We utterly erase and eradicate the consecration, blessing and anointing bestowed upon thee, and we put thee out of the episcopal order, whence thou returnest unclothed.

[The ministers remove the shoes from the degradandus.]

Here, for reference, is the original Latin text:

Degradatio ab ordine pontificali

[Si degradandus sit Archepiscopus, Pontifex degradator aufert ab eo pallium, sic dicendo:]

Praerogativa pontificalis dignitatis, quae in pallio designatur, te exuimus, quia male usus es ea.

[Deinde, vel si degradandus sit Episcopus tantum, Pontifex degradator amovet ei mitra, dicendo:]

Mitra, pontificalis dignitatis videlicet ornatu, quia eam male praesidendo foedasti, tum caput denudamus.

[Deinde unus ex ministris tradit degradando librum Evangeliorum, quem

Pontifex degradator aufert de manibus degradandi, dicens:]

Redde Evangelium; quia praedicandi officio, quo spreta Dei gratia te indignum fecisti, te juste privamus.

[Deinde Pontifex degradator amovet annulum de digito degradandi, dicens:]

Annulum, fidei scilicet signaculum, tibi digne subtrahimus, quia ipsam sponsam Dei Ecclesiam temere violasti.

[Tum unus ex ministris tradit degradandus in manus baculum Pastoralem, quem mox Pontifex degradator tollir de manibus degradandi, dicens:]

Auferimus a te baculum Pastoralem, ut inde correctionis officium, quod turbasti, non valeas exercere.

[Deinde extractis sibi per ministros chirothecis, Pontifex degradator abradit degradando pollices et manus leviter cum cultello ut vitro, dicens:]

Sic spiritualis benedictionis, et delibutionis mysticae gratia, quantum in nobis est, te privamus, ut sanctificandi et benedicendi perdas officium, et effectum.

[Post haec Pontifex cum eodem cultello aut vitro abradit leviter caput degradandi, dicens:]

Consecrationem, et benedictionem, atque unctionem tibi traditam radendo delemus, et te ab ordine pontificali, quo inhabilis es redditus, abdicamus.

[Tum degradando per ministros extrahuntur sandalia.]


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