Vatican Archives Register 6, fol. 72r (Innocent III's Sixth Pontifical Year)

Fourth Lateran Council c.8

[4 Comp. 5.1.4(X 5.1.24)]

Sources of Canon 8


Notorious (Infamatus)

Sed cum super excessibus suis quisquam fuerit infamatus, ita ut iam clamor ascendat, qui diutius sine scandalo dissimulari non possit vel sine periculo tolerari : absque dubitationis scrupulo ad inquirendum et puniendum eius excessus, non ex odii fomite, sed caritatis procedatur affectu, quatenus, si fuerit gravis excessus, etsi non degradetur ab ordine, ab administratione tamen amoveatur omnino, quod est secundum sententiam evangelicam a villicatione villicum amoveri, qui non potest villicationis suae dignam reddere rationem.

However when someone's offenses are so notorious  that a complaint can longer be ignored without scandal or tolerated without danger, then without the slightest hesitation, let action be taken in inquire into and punish his offenses, not out of hate but rather out of charity.  If the offense is grave, even though not involving his degradation, let him be removed from all administration in accordance with the saying of the gospel that the steward is to be removed from his stewardship if he cannot give a proper account of it [Luke 16:1].

Translation based on Norman P. Tanner, Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (Washington, D.C. 1990) 1.237-239