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Complicit absolution is an offense in Roman Catholic canon law consisting of the absolution of a party complicit with the absolving priest in an offense. Because it constitutes the abuse of a sacrament, it is held to be sacrilege.
A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.
A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance.The Church of England prayer book describes a sacrament as 'an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace'. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. Many denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace that has been instituted by Jesus Christ. Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.
Sacrilege is the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object, site or person. This can take the form of irreverence to sacred persons, places, and things. When the sacrilegious offence is verbal, it is called blasphemy, and when physical, it is often called desecration. In a less proper sense, any transgression against what is seen and making unseen, any transgression against what is seen as the virtue of religion would be a sacrilege, and so is coming near a sacred site without permission, obscuring and relinquishing permission. Destruction of religious objects or sites is the destroying of order and makes a journey difficult. Preparing for a difficult journey requires some sight into the possible, religious permission that is implicitly followed is acceptance of both the possible and impossible, sacrilege prevents both. The term "sacrilege" originates from the Latin sacer, meaning sacred, and legere, meaning to steal. In Roman times it referred to the plundering of temples and graves. By the time of Cicero, sacrilege had adopted a more expansive meaning, including verbal offences against religion and undignified treatment of sacred objects.
A notable case in recent times was that of Father Marcial Maciel, who was alleged to have abused the confessional in a situation where he had compromised his clerical celibacy.Other related cases involve secular clergy in the archdiocese of Boston who were similarly accused of abusing the confessional in the documents Crimen sollicitationis and De delictis gravioribus.
Marcial Maciel Degollado was a Mexican Catholic priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement, serving as general director of the legion from 1941 to 2005. Throughout most of his career, he was respected within the church as "the greatest fundraiser of the modern Roman Catholic church" and as a prolific recruiter of new seminarians. Late in his life, Maciel was revealed to have sexually abused boys and young men. After his death, it came to light that he had also maintained relationships with at least two women, one of whom was a minor. He fathered as many as six children, and allegedly abused two of these children as well.
De delictis gravioribus was a letter written on 18 May 2001 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to all the Bishops of the Catholic Church and the other Ordinaries concerned, including those of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The letter was published in the official gazette of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, in 2001.
Crimen sollicitationis is the title of a 1962 document ("instruction") of the Holy Office codifying procedures to be followed in cases of priests or bishops of the Catholic Church accused of having used the sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents. It repeated, with additions, the contents of an identically named instruction issued in 1922 by the same office.
Brendan Comiskey, is the Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Ferns. He was born in Clontibret, County Monaghan, Ireland.
Seán Fortune was a Catholic priest from Ireland, accused of child molestation, who allegedly used his position to gain access to his victims. He was accused of the rape and sexual molestation of 29 different boys. He was never tried, and committed suicide before any charges were proved against him.
Barry Edmund Ryan is an American former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting a six-year-old boy, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison.
The pontifical secret or pontifical secrecy or papal secrecy is the code of confidentiality that, in accordance with the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, applies in matters that require greater than ordinary confidentiality:
In the Catholic Church, the Seal of Confession is the absolute duty of priests not to disclose anything that they learn from penitents during the course of the Sacrament of Penance (confession). Even where the seal of confession does not strictly apply – where there is no specific serious sin confessed for the purpose of receiving absolution – priests have a serious obligation not to cause scandal by the way they speak.
Colm O'Gorman is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. He is founder and former director of One in Four.
Father Ronald Bennett OFM is a Franciscan friar and a former spiritual director, sports master and bursar of Gormanston College, County Meath, Ireland, who was convicted of sexual assault against some of his pupils. His faculties for hearing confession and celebrating mass publicly have been withdrawn. Bennett lives at Dún Mhuire, Killiney, County Dublin.
Vincent Mercer, OP is a Dominican priest and former headmaster at Newbridge College. He is a convicted sex offender, guilty of dozens of counts of sexual abuse of children.
Donal Collins was a priest of the Diocese of Ferns. He was appointed principal of St Peter's College, Wexford by Bishop Brendan Comiskey in 1988 despite his removal by Comiskey's predecessor, Bishop Donal J. Herlihy, following allegations of Collins sexually abusing pupils in his charge. The knowledge relating to the earlier allegations does not appear to have been made known to Comiskey.
Paul McGennis, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, pleaded guilty in 1997 to two charges of sexually assaulting a child, Marie Collins, at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, when he was chaplain there in 1960. He also pleaded guilty in 1997 to two charges of assaulting a nine-year-old girl in County Wicklow between 1977-79. He continued to serve as a priest until 1997 in Edenmore, Dublin.
Fr Noel Reynolds was a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin who died in 2002. He served as curate in eight parishes including Rathcoole, parish priest of Glendalough, County Wicklow and then chaplain at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin.
Donald Wren Kimball was a Roman Catholic priest with a radio ministry directed toward youth, until he was removed from the priesthood over allegations of sexual abuse.
VIRTUS is a program created by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group in the United States with a "Protecting God's Children" component that combats sexual abuse of children in the Church. It is currently in use in over 80 dioceses in the United States.
Sex Crimes and the Vatican (2006) is a documentary film filmed by Colm O'Gorman, who was raped by a Catholic priest in the diocese of Ferns in County Wexford in Ireland when he was 14 years old.
Hand of God is a 2006 independent documentary that was acquired for national airing in the United States by Frontline. The film was directed and edited by Joe Cultrera and tells the story of how his brother Paul was molested in the 1960s by their parish priest, Father Joseph Birmingham, who allegedly abused nearly 100 other children. Cultrera tells the story of faith betrayed and how his brother Paul and the rest of the Cultrera family fought back against a scandal that continues to afflict churches across the country.
Marcial Maciel was the founding leader of the Legion of Christ, based in Mexico, and its general director from 1941 to January 2005. The sexual scandal was related to accusations since the 1970s that the prominent Mexican Roman Catholic priest had sexually abused many minors and fathered a total of six children by three different women. Described as a charismatic leader and the "greatest fundraiser of the modern Roman Catholic church," he was successful in recruiting seminarians at a time of declining priestly vocations. Maciel was the "highest ranking priest ever disciplined because of sexual abuse allegations."
The media coverage of Catholic sex abuse cases is a major aspect of the academic literature surrounding the pederastic priest scandal.
Although Angelo Roncalli has a reputation as being one of the most liberal Popes in history, a careful examination of the moral theology of John XXIII tends to deconstruct this reputation, given that he was highly critical of abortion, contraception, artificial insemination, divorce and the ordination of homosexual seminarians.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, excommunication, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense.
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