Canon Law different for American Catholics?

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Canon Law different for American Catholics?

Post  stihl on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:36 am

With the European Catholic pedo cases breaking, it was stated that the requirement to remove pastors from service (if guilty of child abuse) only applies to the American Catholic Church. Is that correct, there is a difference in canon Law based on the country?

Anyway, I am pretty sick about the new cases popping up across Europe and even more sickened that the priests were shuffled from parish to parish. I am not suprised though. Since the pedo cases were farretted out in the the US, I always figured it would eventually break in Europe. The fact that there is little difference between the incidence of pedophila between Catholic clergy and other vocations does not make me feel any better. The Church should be a basiton of protection. The standards for clergy should be higher then any other. Absolute zero tolerance for the abuse of children, teenagers or adults.
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stihl

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Hi stihl.

Post  cradlerc on Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:18 am

I don't think the canon law differs, though I can't be absolutely sure. The one thing I would advise is to be very, very careful about taking at face value what is being reported in the media right now. Now please understand that I am NOT dismissing abuse cases, and I do agree with you that it is more disheartening to find them in the Catholic Church than in other places. But the connections the AP are attempting to make to this Pope are pretty far-fetched, as I'm sure you know, and much is being conflated under the umbrella term "abuse" (e.g., slapping children is a regrettable practice, but it's not sexual abuse) --sorry if I'm preaching to the choir. Anyway, as far as the European cases go, I'm not surprised either, though I am sickened. I do think we're beginning, as a culture, to understand how pervasive child sexual abuse is.

One question I have, and I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts, has to do with laicization of priests. If a priest has been "defrocked," but there is no way to bring charges (or the authorities declined to do so, as happened inthe case with the deaf boys), is it a good thing to push for laicization of that priest? It seems to me that while this may satisfy some, it could actually create a bigger danger to children. Do you have thoughts on this?
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Funny you should bring that up....

Post  stihl on Tue May 04, 2010 2:58 pm

....I have settled down a bit since I posted that topic. Trying to be pragmatic about trying stop the abusers, if you boot them out of the cleregy are they simply going to find another occupation (or situation) where they continue their abuse?

If you keep them in the priesthood, you know there will be a cry of protecting their own and you would still have those individuals mingling with other priests.

I guess I would say give them the boot and create a data base to track them. Keeping abusive priests seems so repugnent and unhealthy. It would be like turning the Church into a prison system.
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You make good points.

Post  cradlerc on Tue May 18, 2010 5:23 pm

But does the Church tne have the authority to keep track of them? You're right, though, that the job of the RCC is not to be a policing agent--especially as that's part of what got us into this mess in the first place. On a connected note, the Supreme Court recently ruled that sexual abusers can be kept in prison longer than their terms allow for if they are deemed to be a threat to the outside world--I suppose I'm wondering if it might not be better to defrock a priest, but not laicize him, and send him to some kind of place where he could be isolated form children, especially if the statue of limitations has passed, and the priest has expressed repentance. I know that last aprt would make some people mad--but the church IS supposed to be a "hospital for sinners."
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