CHAPTER XXIII. Of Excommunication for Offences
28 Feb. 30 June. 30 Oct.
If any brother shall be found contumacious, or disobedient, or proud, or a murmurer, or in any way transgressing the Holy Rule, and contemning the orders of his seniors; let him, according to our Lord’s commandment, be once or twice privately admonished by his elders. If he do not amend, let him be rebuked in public before all. But if even then he do not correct himself, let him be subjected to excommunication, provided that he understand the nature of the punishment. Should he, however, prove incorrigible, let him undergo corporal chastisement.
We begin today the eight chapters of Saint Benedict’s penitentiale or penal code. In order to understand, right from the beginning of this section, the end that Saint Benedict has in view, we must go to the last phrase of Chapter XXX: ut sanentur, “in order that they may be healed”. All eight chapters of the Benedictine penal code must be read in the light of these two words: ut sanentur. Saint Benedict would have the abbot,