Christ, the high priest, when the prophet was imprisoned, than whom no greater has arisen born of women, did not impose the interdict, nay not even when Herod beheaded him. Yea, when he himself was stripped, beaten and blasphemed by the soldiers, scribes, Pharisees, officers, and priests, not even then did he pronounce any malediction, but he prayed, saying: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,”
Now, these things being considered, the faithful should know how many prelates, clergy and laity are excommunicated of God; for all who depart from the Lord’s commandments are excommunicated, and also how many excommunicate themselves when they put excommunication on others, or publish it.
Hence, it is, that no obedience made to a superior profits for merit except in so far as it leans towards obedience of the counsels and commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is clear, for obedience to Christ, owed or performed, is in and by itself a reason of merit which increases or diminishes with the degree of obedience or disobedience. Hence nothing is more religious than obedience unto God.