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Offences by Clerics Against the Sixth Commandment (Can. 1395)

Josip Šalković ; Katolički bogoslovni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 373 Kb

str. 247-273

preuzimanja: 1.630



Using legal sources and literature, the author focuses on commenting on Can. 1395 of The Code of Canon Law (1983), in which the legislator determines offences by clerics against the sixth commandments and the relevant penalties. Can. 1395 notes three types of offences by clerics against the sixth commandment: 1) concubinage (Can. 1395, § 1); 2) scandal (Can. 1395, § 2); 3) other external sin a) by force or threat; b) in public; c) or with a minor under the age of sixteen (e.g. the age has been raised to 18). The author reflects in particular on offences committed with a person under 18 years of age and presents the latest process adopted by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter of 30. IV. 2001. as a Motu Proprio: Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (Normae de gravioribus delictis Congregationi pro Doctrina Fidei reservatis).
The legislator presents several penalties for offences of concubinage and scandalous actions by clerics above allferendae sententiae, which can be expanded gradually with other penalties if the offender continues with the offence even after canonical warning (Can. 1347, §1) - all to the point of being dismissed as a cleric. For offences in particularly difficult circumstances, the legislator foresees the penalty offerendae sententiae, undefined but compulsory but which does not exclude dismissal from the clergy if the individual case requires. The legislator with strictness and special attention penalises offences against the sixth commandment conscious of the fact that human weakness can be pertained to man's sexuality and that the faithful - like all people - wish to see that clerics adhere to the law concerning celibacy and to see the face of the Church in them.
Cases of sexual abuse committed by clerics opens the question of the content of obligation and rights which involve several persons, besides the common good of the Church: obligations and rights of the offending cleric, the obligations and rights of the diocesan bishop or the head of the institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life of which the cleric is a member and the obligations and rights of the victim of sexual abuse. The correct legal approach, that is, the application of penalties in the Church may contribute to returning optimism, serenity, peace and trust amongst many upset »spirits«.

Ključne riječi

The Code of Canon Law (1983); penalties in the Church; offences against the sixth commandment; concubinage; outrages acts by clerics; offences by clerics with special aggravating circumstances; paedophilia

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