When to report a priest? ( AKA. The Castrillon letter controversy)


#1

I’ve read about a case of a Cardinal praising a Bishop for not reporting a pedophile priest to the police. He praised the Bishop’s willingfulness to go to prison rather than reporting the priest. He said that he got permission from the Pope.
If his allegation about the Pope is true, then JPII would lose his beatification. Is it lawful to protect a priest from secular legal action, even in grave matters ( I know that homicide would make a priest irregular, so can irregural priest reported)?
The priest admitted his crime in Confession. So, reporting him to secular or ecclesial authorities would be a violation of the Seal. What would be better? To not absolve him and
command him to report himself to the competing authority or to absolve him and command him to report himself to the competing authority?
BTW if a laymen or a priest ( Not in Confession) notices a pedophile priest, then (s)he should call for ecclesial action.
And I’ve read that child abuse for clerics is a reserved case.
Can you give me answers?


#2

If you commit a crime with a real victim (rape for example) you should be turned in and anyone that does not tell on you is evil and holds almost equal responsibility for any future victims. I hope this isn’t true because it is DISGRACEFUL. Imagine if your child got raped by a priest who was known to be a pedophile but it was being covered up by a bishop. I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself if I ever saw that bishop knowing that he could have stopped it but didn’t.

And it was under my impression that if other people were in danger than a priest could go to authorities.


#3

Actually, the priest confessed his sin to the bishop, so, if the bishop would report him, then he’d be declared having incurred reserved latae sententiae excommunication. There was a martyr who chose death over breaking the Seal. Did Castrillon know about the confession? Or he was citing a rule that says that priests cannot be reported to secular authorities ( I think that an ecclesial court may determine whether the priest is to be given out to police or not)?


#4

I can’t imagine it would be a rule that priests can’t be reported for raping children. Who would belong to a church whose official stance is to protect pedophiles?


#5

by not reporting the guilty priest, the bishop is endangering other innocent children to the perversion of the former

and the church loses a good bishop, which she can ill-afford…

it is much easier said than done, for a layman to report a pedophile priest, considering that the laity are helpless as against an ‘omnipotent’ clergy…, which is why the heinous crimes against their children have been suppressed …for centuries!

i understand that this site does not appreciate negative comments against priests, so how could we discuss such sexual perversions of the clergy, without being debarred from membership, unless we use positive phrases to describe sin?

it raises the question, whether grave sins perpetrated by the clergy are defensible? they are virtues?

100 n.o.

“DEATH RATHER THAN SIN” - St. Dominic Savio.


#6

Surely Jesus would not have had it in his mind, that the Sacrament of Confession would be abused to the detriment of innocent children, whom he dearly loved?

surely there must be an exception to this rule, for as we know ‘every rule has an exception’


#7

I’ve read in the Code of Canon Law that the confessor shall not use knowledge from a confession to the detriment of the penitent ( from the IntraText version).
intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3F.HTM
Instead, absolution comes with an obligation for the penitent to report himself ( as in Crimen sollicitationis).
EDIT: I’ve heard something in the news about the Pope allowing pedophile priests to be handed out to secular courts.


#8

You read about this where? What’s the source? Is this an actual case or a case of “someone heard that someone said that someone did”?

He praised the Bishop’s willingfulness to go to prison rather than reporting the priest. He said that he got permission from the Pope.

This is starting to sound like a case of Confessional seal.

If his allegation about the Pope is true, then JPII would lose his beatification.

How did you make this logical leap? (I don’t think someone can be un-beatified.)

Is it lawful to protect a priest from secular legal action, even in grave matters ( I know that homicide would make a priest irregular, so can irregural priest reported)?

No, it’s not lawful to protect a priest from legal action as long as the knowledge is legitimately obtained and not obtained in the Sacrament of Confession. (the second sentance here doesn’t make sense to me)

The priest admitted his crime in Confession. So, reporting him to secular or ecclesial authorities would be a violation of the Seal.

Now we are getting somewhere. This is correct.

What would be better? To not absolve him and
command him to report himself to the competing authority or to absolve him and command him to report himself to the competing authority?

If the sin is revealed during the Sacrament of Confession, the confessor may not do anything to betray the penitent, not even “command” him to report himself. Nor can the confessor withhold absolution if the penitent is contrite.

BTW if a laymen or a priest ( Not in Confession) notices a pedophile priest, then (s)he should call for ecclesial action.

I don’t know what you mean by “notice a pedophile priest” but anyone who learns of inapproprieate behavior by a priest (not in Confession) must notify the proper authorities.

And I’ve read that child abuse for clerics is a reserved case.

Reserved for what? Where did you read this?


#9

I wonder how many kids needlessly got raped because of this rule. If a bishop commended a priest for not revealing that another priest confessed to pedophilia, and my child was raped by that priest subsequently, I would at the very least spit in his face. It is pathetic.

“Well I could stop this priest from raping children, but he told me in confession, so I will just let him go on with his raping ways…it is what Jesus would want.”

What kind of horrible logic is that? I hope that priests can see the error in this line of thinking and break the rules.


#10

The Bishop was commending the priest for not breaking the seal of Confession. That is a huge deal, not just for the priest involved (who would be excommunicated) but for the integrity of the Sacrament. If what someone says in Confession is subject to being reported, the main result would not be to prosecute criminals but to keep contrite criminals from receiving absolution and returning to a state of grace.

It’s not “pathetic” for the Church to be first and foremost concerned about the protection of souls.

“Well I could stop this priest from raping children, but he told me in confession, so I will just let him go on with his raping ways…it is what Jesus would want.”

The sacrament of Confession isn’t about what a penitent might do in the future but about what sins have been committed in the past.

What kind of horrible logic is that? I hope that priests can see the error in this line of thinking and break the rules.

And that logic is better?? Each time that would happen, the priest would be excommunicated and removed from ministry. That’s one more good priest who can no longer hear confessions, no longer say Mass, no longer Baptize, no longer bless the sick. Your logic is just a thinly veiled attack on the priesthood itself and an attempt to drive Catholicism underground.

Where would you draw the line, anyway? Would you require a confessor to report murder, trespassing, cheating on his taxes, adultery, jaywalking? To make a priest **in the context of a Sacrament **required to act as an agent of law enforcement is “horrible logic” unless it applies to all crimes.

[BTW, in most cases, the confessor wouldn’t even know the identity of the penitent so any “reporting” would be just a good guess anyway. That’s a greeeeat way to do criminal prosecutions.]


#11

This is a full attack on anyone that knows of a child rapist and does nothing about it. If they are a priest or a coach at penn state it doesn’t matter…both are evil.


#12

I’ve read about it in a Catholic blog. And I think that the Pope can reverse canonizations and beatifications. And I think that reporting oneself to the authority is not the violation of the Seal. I think that the confessor can tell a laymen who’ve committed a serious crime to do so. I meant that if a lay person learns about an unchasitite priest, (s)he should report it.

The case is a “matter of graver sin” reserved to the CDF. I don’t know when did this case happen, but I know the date of the letter. The De delictis gravioribus was issued before Castrillo’s letter. Did the bishop absolve this priest invalidly? At what area is the CDF competent regarding this issue? If the absolution was invalid according to this letter, does the Seal still bind the Bishop?
BTW, thanks for the info about reporting priests.


#13

Well, as they say, if it’s on the internet, it must be true.

And I think that the Pope can reverse canonizations and beatifications.

And your source for that? Canonizations are part of the infallible authority of the Church. Even a beatification can’t be “reversed” although a cause can be abandoned and no further progress toward canonization made.

And I think that reporting oneself to the authority is not the violation of the Seal.

Of course not. But a priest trying to force a penitent to report him/herself is.

I think that the confessor can tell a laymen who’ve committed a serious crime to do so.

They can certainly encourage someone to do so but can’t make it part of the penitent’s penance or make absolution contingent upon it.

I meant that if a lay person learns about an unchasitite priest, (s)he should report it.

It depends on how you “learn about” it. Information learned third hand from gossip, probably not. First hand knowledge, absolutely. And if the lay person is a mandetory reporter, it doesn’t matter who is invovled, he/she follows the law.

The case is a “matter of graver sin” reserved to the CDF.

What is? Breaking the seal of Confession is a grave sin reserved to the Holy See.

I don’t know when did this case happen, but I know the date of the letter. The De delictis gravioribus was issued before Castrillo’s letter.

The document in question does not have anything to do with reporting anything to civil authorities. It concens the steps a confessor must take when certain sins are revealed in Confession.

Did the bishop absolve this priest invalidly?

An absolution contrary to canon law would be valid but illicit. Note that the CDF document was not speaking specifically about sin revealed in Confession. It was a process to “fast track” the removal from the clerical state priests invovled in abuse of a minor.

At what area is the CDF competent regarding this issue?

Who else would be competent to judge a priest?

If the absolution was invalid according to this letter, does the Seal still bind the Bishop?

The seal and the absolution are not dependent on each other. The seal attaches as soon as Sacramental Confession begins. Even if no absolution is given, the confession is under the seal.


#14

Whenever the law enforcement agency they called immediately says it’s okay.


#15

that is what Jesus would want according to the Hon. corki or whatever!

Fr. corki, do you represent Jesus?, how is it you fail miserably to behold him in the heart of a child, whom your colleagues “rape”, but are able to see him in the HOLY EUCHARIST?

the outdated rules must be amended to withdraw protection for clergy and religious, who are on a raping spree!


#16

if a coach commits ‘rape’ of a child it is a heinous crime and is worse than murder…but if a clergy were to do it, Jesus would not mind, for they are his representatives!..what kind of a Jesus is this, whom we do not find in his WORD? - THIS IS WHAT HON. CORKI WANTS THE PEOPLE OF GOD TO BELIEVE!!!


#17

If priests routinely violated the seal of Confession then no one would trust them enough to honestly confess all of their sins to them for fear of being reported to the police. That is why the seal of Confession is a good thing and it must be absolute. A priest cannot reveal what is said during Confession under any circumstances whatsoever!

If a priest failed to report another priest for pedophilia because that priest confessed pedophilia to the priest during Confession then the priest who failed to report him did the right thing. Violating the seal of Confession is never justified.

I would also say that if a priest who confesses to pedophilia is truly contrite and is making a valid Confession then he would be firmly committed to not committing the sin ever again.


#18

is the penitent forgiven his sins by the mere act of confession, without any repentance?

in order to receive forgineness, the guilty priest would have to hand himself over to the law of the Land to receive due ‘reward’ for his crimes ; where he does not, the Sacrament is meaningless for he is not repentant and there is no forgiveness!!


#19

talking about canonizations, one wonders why the previous pope was considered for sainthood and for what? there is nothing extra-ordinary that he achieved which,to my memory, his 3 predecessors didn’t…Pj 23 & pp6 deserve sainthood more!


#20

You sure about that? I don’t remember Jesus handing the woman caught in adultery over to the ‘law of the land’, which if you recall was standing right by waiting to give her the ‘due reward’ (ie stoning to death) for her crimes. On the contrary, he stepped in between her and the ‘due reward’ that the ‘law of the land’ wanted to impose.

And there was no hint that she was anything less than a hundred percent repentant and a million percent forgiven. Even though she didn’t volunteer herself for stoning :shrug:

Methinks you have a thing or two to learn about man’s justice compared to God’s mercy (which is more perfectly utterly and completely just than our human laws could ever dream of being).


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