INTERDICT (Lat. inienlictu)fi, prohibition, from int, rcinvc., to forbid, from bag r, re, to say, C.k. SciKviwat, df iktlymti, Skt. fli4, !Milli 011t ; l'011114S•ted ‘N it II (tont. gab /ban, to tell, (MI:. zihon, Ger. it, AS. Uon, to ac euse). An ecclesiastical censure or penalty in the Catholic. Church, which deprives the faithful of certain sacraments (q.v.), of partici pation iu the celebration of the dic'ine a .1 of ecclesiastical banal. Interdicts are of three kinds personal, local. and mixed. \\ hen the censure affects only some designated individuals, it is called a part ienlar personal interdict. When it affects a whole eommunity or corporation, it is 0:111(1 It general personal interdict. A. local inter dict affects only such individuals as are present in a designated place. and Call be avoided by re moving from the place. .\ particular local inter diet affects only a single monastery, church, or seminary. A general loeal interdict applies to nn entire parish. pity, province, or kingdom. In such general censures, certain churches arc usu ally excepted. Lastly, mixed interdicts affect both a locality and all its inhabitants wherever they may go, or a person and any place in which lie she may be. The last is called an ambula tory interdict. The principle cm which this cc elesiastieal penalty is founded may be traced in the early discipline of public penance, by which penitents were for a tittle debarred from the sac raments• and from the privilege of presenee at the celebration of the Eucharist. It grew out of excommunication (q.v.). and at first, was (-ailed n general excommunication. Then it tistially de prived the persons who dwelt in the exeomminti eated place of all sacraments. From 375 on, there are instances of such general exeommunica lions. But the interdict proper took its pecu liar form, although not its name. in Northern France in the ninth century. It was adopted by the Popes about the middle of the eleventh eentury• and the term interdict was used in its technical meaning in 10112. it, came into use as an ordinary Church censure in the frequent con fliets of the ecclesiastical civil power. It was designed to nwaken the popular conscience to the nature of the crime, by including all alike in the penalty with which if was visited. In this way public pressure could be brought upon the rulers who had °trended. The most famous interdicts are those laid upon England in 1171 by Alexander III. after the murder of Thomas
Becket (q.v.) ; upon Scotland in 11SO by Alex ander III.; on France, under Philip Augnstus, by Innocent Ill., in 1200 (although SUM(' historians dray that. any interdict was then laid) : and in England under .John. in 1209. The description of England under the last-named interdict, ns detailed by some of the contemporary chroniclers, presents a striking piettire of the condition of a country where the interdict was strictly obeyed. It would be a great mistake, however, to sup pose that during the continuance of an interdict the people were entirely destitute of spiritual assistance. The severity had been greatly less ened by the middle of the eleventh century; it was permitted to administer baptism, confirma lion, penance, and the Eucharist in all cases of urgency; privately to confess and absolve all who were not personally the guilty participators in the crime which the interdict was meant to punish; to celebrate marriage, with only the wit nesses present; and to confer orders in eases of necessity. Gregory IX. allowed mass to be said once a week, behind closed doors, in order to consecrate the host for the use of the sick; Boniface V111. permitted the offices to be said in the churches, but the laity were to he ex cluded; public celebration of services were al lowed on Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, the As sumption of the Blessed Virgin, the festival of Corpus Christi, the festival of the Conception, and a few other occasions. The Council of Basel enacted very stringent rules as to the use of this penalty, and in later times the general interdict has been entirely disused. The interdict on Venice in 1606 is often cited as the last one pronounced, but occasionally, in very special cir cumstances, and to mark the horror of the Church for sonic enormous crime, instances are still recorded in which a particular place or church has been visited with the penalty of a local interdict. Interdict differs from cream munieation, in that those under the censure are not given over to eternal damnation. It differs also from suspension, which applies only to ec clesiastics.
Consult the existing regulations on the subject in Aielmer, Compendium Juris Ecclesiastici ( Brixen, 1900 ) Lnemmer, des ka t wlischen K irchenreelas ( Freiburg, 2d ed. 1892). Also: De Ligorio, Thelogia Noralis, vol. vii., 251 (Paris, 1S34); Ducange, Glossarium, under "Interdictum."