Reporting a priest to Rome?

A parish priest I know was recently suspended and they’re awaiting a ruling.
When a priest is suspended do all allegations go to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a ruling or is it only more serious allegations - eg Sexual abuse.
Any experts in this?

Leave it to Church and pray.


We do not need to be privvy to the details. Your Bishop is handling things, pray for all involved


Looks like I found my answer to this.
It appears more serious issues must go through the Congregation .
If interested - I can’t post the link on this forum but it appears those issues that break the sixth commandment in some way are reported and aren’t necessarily criminal in nature.

His bishop is the one who made the choice to suspend him. So, that’s at the diocesan level.

If the priest did something to merit laicization (such as sexual abuse), such a case would certainly go to Rome. In that case, the CDF would be involved.

I believe the Congregation for Clergy is involved in less serious cases.


Thank you!

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Church lady welcome to CAF.

There’s no single answer here. There is canon law and also in the US there’s the Dallas Protocol or Charter, which pertains to sex abuse.other countries may have some parallel.

“Suspended” may mean different things. A priest accused of sex abuse will, nowadays, be removed from active ministry for the investigation. He retains his position as pastor or whatever but does no priestly work.

If the diocesan investigation process deems him to be unsubstantiated, and if the diocesan review board deems him able to return to ministry. he resumes ministry. No referral to Rome.

If the investigation and review process finds he did “something” it gets complicated. If it happened 30 years ago, and if he has gone to an evaluation of current risk, he might be reinstated to some kind of ministry, though this is far less likely than a few years ago. He might simply be held in permanent suspension, with no laicization or referral to Rome.

In this case he is still “attached” to the diocese, may still get financial support. Today it is much more likely he would be referred to Rome for laicization.

Religious order priests are a different process. He might still be referred for laicization (far more likely now than before) yet still remain as a member of the community.

In my diocese the failure to refer for laicization was rightly identified as a sign the diocese didn’t take abuse seriously. But now they seem to go to the other extreme, one-size-fits-all.

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I don’t know if it goes to Rome or not; the bishop can initiate the process; certainly it would go to Rome if the priest chose to fight the matter.

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It is likely the priest would try to avoid the referral to Rome. Rome is the only place he can be laicized, which really reduces his rights.

In my diocese, with dozens of priests that the diocese substantiated, only one was referred to Rome, in the two decades prior to last year. Now there’s 23 referred, all the substantiated ones still living. I’ve read that the CDF is now backlogged.

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We definitely want and need justice to be served. However If this is serious and involved someone close to me or if I was personally wronged, I would follow the proper and logical protocols in person or over the phone to be certain justice is done. I don’t think getting on the Internet over a General Forum is a place to look for issues to get resolved.

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These are very interesting answers. Thanks very much!

I’m deliberately not giving details on this case even though it’s been in the news but I became very curious about the process.
I don’t see how that’s inappropriate for the forum. If you’re not curious why your priest is suspended you’re doing Catholic wrong.

Keeping in mind prayer is the most productive response by forum members in this kind of situation.

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Why are you discouraging discussion?

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