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November 22, 2006

Comments

Realist

You can also find a good general review at at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication

Excerpts:

"Excommunication is a religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word literally means out of communion, or no longer in communion. In some churches, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the subject member or group. Censures and sanctions sometimes follow excommunication such as banishment, shunning or shaming depending on the group's religion, its religious community or, its broader religious community. "

"Excommunication is the most serious ecclesiastical penalty for Roman Catholics. It is a rarely used punishment to discipline unrelenting defiance or other serious violations of church rules especially by those who (according to the Vatican [1]) are accused of "spreading division and confusion among the faithful". Excommunication for church leaders seen as damaging to the public order of the church or who challenge traditional church codes is automatic but rare."

Barbara

"Excommunication is a religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community."

While I haven't read Ed's book, it is my understanding that in the Catholic Church, this would be a false statement. Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but the statement at Wikipedia does not exactly match Catholic teaching.

Excommunication is suspending or depriving a member of the community from receiving the sacraments. A member can still attend Mass, they simply cannot receive the Eucharist, etc.

Scott W

Excommunication is suspending or depriving a member of the community from receiving the sacraments. A member can still attend Mass, they simply cannot receive the Eucharist, etc

I think you are right. It is not casting someone out of the Church, it is disciplining someone in the Church.

John

I guess the "excommunication" topic has come up because of the married Archbishop Milingo. But the church seems to use this as a political tool

But what about the horrible priests who commit pedophilia? Looking back at some of what I have read and bookmarked on this subject from the USCCB, I quote the following which was a statement the USCCB issued on the abuse crisis where they stated:

“The sexual abuse of minors is rightly considered a crime by society and is an appalling sin in the eyes of God, above all when it is perpetrated by priests and religious whose vocation is to help persons to lead holy lives before God and men.”

It then went on to say that "almost all the cases involved adolescents and therefore were not cases of true pedophilia” and that “a link between celibacy and pedophilia cannot be scientifically maintained.”

It then stated that “a special process for the dismissal from the clerical state of a priest who has become notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory, sexual abuse of minors.”

That is an incredible statement. Only if the priest has “become notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors?”


Then canon law is referenced “While recognizing that the Code of Canon law already contains a judicial process for the dismissal of priests guilty of sexually abusing minors, we will also propose a special process for cases which are not notorious, but where the diocesan bishop considers the priest a threat for the protection of children and young people, in order to avoid grave scandal in the future and to safeguard the common good of the church.”

So apply canon law only when it suits you, sort of like most of what takes place today

This just refutes the notion of an earlier thread that a married priesthood would solve the problem in the Catholic Church incorrectly makes the assumption that this is a problem that only exists because celibacy is expected of Catholic priests. Since most of the cases involved homosexual sex with boys perpetrated by homosexual priests, marriage would not be a cure for the problem.

Then take a look at Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who, at age 71, got married in a Moonie church with a group ceremony performed by Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. He was given the choice of excommunication or abandoning his new wife.


So we take the stand against a married man which is and should be excommunicated-but not against pedophiles?

What is the issue-can many of the Bishops themselves relate to pedophila as they are homosexual and have committed something in their past and not relate to heterosexual marriage?

If you ban one-then you have have to ban the thousands including those that are covering up for the abusers like Cardinal Law. I know of a few Priests that have, after countless victims came forward been placed on "administrative duty" and one or two here or there have been excommunicated, but the numbers are astounding to how many actually abused children and were shuffled from parish to parish for years

Scott W

I guess the "excommunication" topic has come up because of the married Archbishop Milingo. But the church seems to use this as a political tool

Sort of, but not really. With Milingo there is a real possiblity of schism. No one is going to go join a new church with Cardinal Law or any other bishopp who was dumb enough to take the advice of secular pyschologists (and they have no intention of forming a schismatic group).

Then there is the simple fallacy of the Highway-trooper argument. "Gee officer, I was just going 75. What about those people doing 90?" That is, it does not follow that because the Church does not break out excommunication as a tool for every abuse that it is somehow unfair to break it out in a particular case.

Brian John Schuettler

A minor correction is in order, Jimmy. Your upcoming interview will not be an exclusive since Ed already gave one to Carl Olson at Ignatius about a week ago.

Ed Peters

wow. lots of posts already.

bjs: ;). but can't there be more than one exclusive, at least over time? jimmy talked to me about this and has some different issues/angles in mind!

some other folks: i hope my book is discusssed for what IT says, not for what wipi mis-says, and then people say if EP wrote that, he's wrong. etc. unsettling for an author to hear topic-errors discussed in discussions about his book, as if his book, well, you see my point.

Realist

Ed,

Does your book have an Imprimatur and Nihil obstat?

Ed Peters

realist: nope. (1983 CIC 827). btw, it has a foreword by Bp. Thomas Paprocki, jd, jcd, of Chicago.

Brian John Schuettler

OK, EP...I defer to your definition of "exclusive" ...it works for me!

NewTrollObserver

I was hoping for a catchy subtitle, something like: "Everything You Wanted to Know about Excommunication but Were Afraid to Ask for Fear of Being Excommunicated".

Esau

...hope my book is discusssed for what IT says, not for what wipi mis-says...

What's a "wipi"?

I've really got to keep up with all the 'Net' abbreviations here!

Dean Whinery

Sounds like an interesting book, and I'm eager to read results of the interview.
I could be wrong, I was once before :O), but in a broad sense, we excommunicate ourselves any time we commit a mortal sin. It's only those very public transgressions that causes the Church to invoke a formal excommunication.

Tom A

It's books like this that make some of us really pleased (and honored) to see Dr. Peters now at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Now if only he was teaching my Marriage and Nullity class next semester I'd be able to say I met a really great guy in person. Ah well, looks like I could take a Latin class and catch him there...

Sharon

Why aren't abusive priests excommunicated?

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