LEO XIII 1878-1903
Assistance of a Physician or of a Confessor at a Duel *
[From the Response of the Holy Office to the Bishop of Poitiers, May 31, 1884]
To the question:
- Can a physician when invited by duelists assist at a duel with the intention of bringing an end to the fight more quickly, or simply to bind and cure wounds, without incurring the excommunication reserved simply to the Highest Pontiff?
- Can he at least, without being present at the duel, stay at a neighboring house or in a place nearby, ready to offer his service, if the duelists have need of it.
III. What about a confessor under the same conditions?
The answers are:
To I, he cannot, and excommunication is incurred.
To II and III, that, insofar as it takes place as described, he cannot, and likewise excommunication is incurred.