Canon 1337

So what does CIC 1337 actually mean? It almost sounds as though the Church has the power to put away or even lock up heretical clerics and religious. Anyone else think this to be an appropriate interpretation? Should it happen?

By lock up I don’t mean to jail them, per say, but mandatory retreat and penance at a Church designated facility? I think this has actually happened before in the US for priest child molesters.

I don’t see a problem. This power of the Church rests entirely on the obedience of the cleric. If he says “I won’t do it” the Church will not send in armed guards to compel him. If he decides one day to walk out, he will not be pursued by armed men and hounds.

HAHAHA! Yes I know that the Vatican will not send in the Swiss Guard or anything of the sort. First, this is just for conversation. But also, this is in regards to dissenting men who have been ordained. Since they are Priests forever, should the Church truly dispense them of their faculties and cut them loose, or send them away for continued discernment? I mean with Fr. Marcial of the Legionaries, he was sent away to do penance for the rest of his life, and he died a Priest.

Here is a link to some commentary on this canon.

That commentary seemed to agree with what I have stated, only saying that it is up to the Bishops rather than the Vatican. So after reading this, I feel even more convinced that Bishops should put away clerics who are teaching heresy in order to “reform” them. If this does not work, then the Vatican can get involved and dispense them of their faculties or require further formation.

If you’re asking if I think it’s a good or bad thing that the Church can e.g. “order” a cleric to go live in a monastery, I do think it’s a good thing. The goal, after all, is twofold: to protect others from the errors or sinfulness of the cleric, and also to put the cleric in a situation where he may be more likely to overcome his errors or sinfulness. Such an “exile” may accomplish both.

Completely agree. You put my feelings into words better than I could have! Thanks!

So what do others think about this? Should we “lock up” the dissenting, liberation theology teaching, heretical, female ordination preaching clerics and religious or not?

you wish
there is no “we” it is up to the bishop. what did the poor monks do to deserve having all these people dumped on them?

Now there is a charism for an order: a monastery for penitents, out in the middle of a dessert…

It would also be up to the religious superior. No bishop can order a person to move to a monastery or any other religious house without the religious superior’s approval.

In the case of a religious, the bishop would have not say and it would be the religious superior who does the ordering.

Now, wait a minute, some of us would want to go into the dessert in order to get away from the ones who are making all the heretical/liberal noise. Surely there isn’t enough space for all of us there, now is there?:wink:

Now, on a more serious note, medieval canon law used to require that priests who revealed a penitent sinner’s confession w/o the penitent’s consent to not only be removed from their ministry, but also to go into a strict monastery to do penace themselves…for the remainder of their days.

Now, this doesn’t have to do with heretical clerics or religious per se, but it does speak that there is precedent for the penalty.

If they are in a monastery hopefully they aren’t making much noise! Anyway, I’m sure we can find enough desert space for everyone.

As much as I would love this to be proposed for heretical theologians, much more likely we would see this for repentant sexual abusers.

Yeah, honestly I was thinking more in regards to heretics. However, I can’t deny its use for sexual abusers. Although monastery is not the right term for it. I like the term “permanent retreat center.”

puzzleannie: Yes I know it’s up to the Superiors and Ordinaries. Also, I never said that they would be handed over to the monks. I think the monks might be too nice. We need some old nuns! jk jk :slight_smile:

now wouldn’t that just be a pip?
come to think of it Benedict had precisely that problem when he tried to get away from it all, which is why we ended up with monasteries in the first place (yes I know the historical background that he was not the first, but he certainly started a trend in Europe)

puzzleannie: Yes I know it’s up to the Superiors and Ordinaries. Also, I never said that they would be handed over to the monks. I think the monks might be too nice. We need some old nuns! jk jk

now there is an idea that makes a lot of sense, I think my HS principal Sr. Bernardine Marie could put the fear of God into any heretic

I doubt a heretic would listen to any order to go anyplace they did not want to go.

Unlike the middle ages when the government (the Royalty) would enforce what the Church ordered, the governments of today are not going to support any superior or bishop in forcing a man into a place he does not want to be in.

This brings up an interesting point. A cleric who has indulged in sexual sin and/or child abuse would, for the most part, acknowledge that he has been sinning, and may very well enter such a “healing exile” out of obedience. But I imagine your typical heretical cleric would not see what he was doing as sinful at all, and would be much less likely to enter such exile out of obedience. The fault of pride seems to be the difference here.

No. Speaking as someone affiliated to the Benedictines, I can tell you that “punishment” should be the last reason to send someone to a cloistered monastery. A monastic community is based on discernment, a call to a specific vocation. Coherence of a community bound by a common rule and around an abbot or superior is a vital part of monastic life. Sending someone there who is entirely at odds with the Church will only disrupt community life and can be very damaging to the community. When a vocation is misread, and a monk ends up being a round peg in a square hole, it is very hard on the community. Imagine the impact of a heretic!

There maybe a case to be made for a short “rest” in a monastery, or an extended retreat, again with the superior’s permission as was pointed out. At our abbey a retired bishop spent a year a couple of years ago. But the abbot has to decide if the request is compatible with the life of his community.

The monastery should never be considered a “jail” for errant clergy.

I never said a monastery. I’m fairly certain that the person who made that comment was joking. I am not suggesting to send them to monasteries. I am suggesting that conferences of Bishops buy a piece of land, build a place there, have a bunch of siritual directors, and send troubled and/or troublesome priests there for retreat.

VociMike: You have a point since it’s been decided that we won’t be guarding the place with Swiss Guards lol.

I think that if they were sent to a monastery (one that was willing, perhaps founded for the purpose), they would not be entering the monastery as monks, but as long term ‘guests’ under obedience to the superior. Ans as has been said the only ones who would show up would be those who are accepting the life of penance.

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