Presentation on theme: "Penal Law of the Church PL 4. penal law in the post Vatican II: canon law theories."— Presentation transcript:
Penal Law of the Church PL 4. penal law in the post Vatican II: canon law theories
1 Synod of 1967: guidelines for revision of penal canon law 1.1 Rights and obligations within a legal framework 1.2 Coordination of the internal and external forum 1.3 Pastoral care and equity; faculty to dispense from general laws 1.4 Penal law to be safeguarded, but in the external forum and normally through ferendae sententiae sanctions Synod of Bishops, Principles guiding the revision of the 1917 Code, October 1967
1.1 Synod of 1967: rights and obligations In renewing the law the juridic character of the new Code, which the social nature of the Church requires, is to be retained. Therefore the Code is to furnish norms so that the members of the Christian faithful in living the Christian life may share in the goods offered by the Church to lead them to eternal salvation. Hence, in view of this end, the Code must define and protect the rights and obligations of each person towards others and towards the ecclesiastical society to the extent that these rights and obligations pertain to divine worship and the salvation of souls. Synod of Bishops, Principles guiding the revision of the 1917 Code, October 1967, No 1
1.2 Synod of 1967: coordination between the external and the internal forum There is to be a coordination between the external forum and the internal forum, which is proper to the Church and has been operative for centuries, so as to preclude any conflict between the two. Synod of Bishops, Principles guiding the revision of the 1917 Code, October 1967, No 2
1.2 Synod of 1967: coordination between the external and the internal forum P. Prodi, Una storia della giustizia, Bologna, il Mulino, 2002.
1.3 Synod of 1967: pastoral care and equity (…) unduly rigid norms are to be set aside and rather recourse is to be taken to exhortations and persuasions where there is no need of a strict observance of the law on account of the public good and general ecclesiastical discipline. Synod of Bishops, Principles guiding the revision of the 1917 Code, October 1967, No 3
1.4 Synod of 1967: penal law to be safeguarded verum suppressionem omnium poenarum ecclesiasticarum, cum ius coactivum, cuiuslibet societatis perfectae proprium, ab Ecclesia abiudicari nequeat, nemo canonistarum admittere videtur. Indeed no canon lawyer seems to accept the repeal of all ecclesiastic penalties, based on the assumption that the Church is unable to adjudicate the right to coerce, which belongs to any perfect society. Synod of Bishops, ‘Principia de recognoscendo iure poenali’, in Communicationes, 2, 1969,
1.4 Synod of 1967: penal law to be safeguarded As an external, visible and independent society, the Church cannot renounce penal law. However, penalties are generally to be ferendae sententiae and are to be inflicted and remitted only in the external forum. Latae sententiae penalties are to be reduced to a few cases and are to be inflicted only for the most serious offenses. Synod of Bishops, Principles guiding the revision of the 1917 Code, October 1967, No 9. Quoted from Preface, Code of Canon Law of 1983, version established by CLSA.
2.1 Canon law theories: the elephant in the room It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will. This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act. (…) Man (…) offers to God the reasonable and free submission of faith. It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. In consequence, the principle of religious freedom makes no small contribution to the creation of an environment in which men can without hindrance be invited to the Christian faith, embrace it of their own free will, and profess it effectively in their whole manner of life. Dignitatis humanae, 7 December 1965, No 10
2.1 Canon law theories: the elephant in the room Code 1917 Can 1351 Ad amplexandam fidem catholicam nemo invitus cogatur. Nobody can be coerced to embrace the Catholic Faith contrary to his will.
2.2 Canon law theories: two fundamental questions 1. Is it still possible for the Church to punish? A. Borras, L’Eglise peut-elle encore punir ? In (1991) Nouvelle Revue Théologique Should the Church punish faith errors? M M. Bourke, ‘Deve la Chiesa imporre sanzioni per errori di fede? In 1 (1970) Concilium (IT) 34.
2.3 Canon law theories: wrestling with change Penalties can only survive as disciplinary measures Partial modernisation: enforcing legality in penal canon law Business as usual: there is no reason to alter the traditional understanding of canonical penalties Freedom of internal forum to be safeguarded, but limited application of religious freedom in the Church Theologised penal canon law. Penalty as penance
2.3.1 Penalties can only survive as disciplinary measures P. Huizing, ‘ Crime and Punishment in the Church ’, 8 (1967) Concilium (EN) 57 P. Huizing and W. Bassett, ‘ La disciplina ecclesiastica ’, 7 (1975) Concilium (IT) 15
2.3.2 Partial modernisation: enforcing legality in penal canon law J. Arias Gomez, ‘ Principios basicos para la reforma del derecho penal canonico ’, (1970) Ius canonicum
2.3.3 Business as usual. There is no reason to alter the traditional understanding of canonical penalties V. De Paolis, ‘De recognoscendo iure poenali canonico’, in (1974) Periodica V. De Paolis, ‘Coordinatio inter forum internum et externum in novo iure poenali canonico’, in (1983) Periodica V. De Paolis, De sanctionibus in Ecclesia (Roma: Gregoriana, 1986).
2.3.4 Freedom of internal forum to be safeguarded, but limited application of religious freedom in the Church P.A. D’Avack, Trattato di diritto canonico (Milano: Giuffrè, 1980)
2.3.5 Theologised penal canon law. Penalty as penance L. Gerosa, La scomunica è una pena? Saggio per una fondazione teologica del diritto penale canonico (Fribourg: Ed. Universitaires, 1984)
2.3.5 Theologised penal canon law. Penalty as penance: the problem of coercion considering the power of coercion in canon law as the inevitable ed exclusive implication of the nature of the Church as a society is definitely not conducive to answer the question of how to combine the free act of faith with the application of a canonical penalty la considerazione del potere coercitivo canonico quale conseguenza imprescindibile ed esclusiva della natura societaria della Chiesa evacua completamente il problema della conciliabilità fra la libertà dell'atto di fede e l'applicazione di una pena canonica L. Gerosa, La scomunica è una pena? Saggio per una fondazione teologica del diritto penale canonico (Fribourg: Ed. Universitaires, 1984) p 53
2.3.5 Theologised penal canon law. Penalty as penance: it is all about recognising (…) the Church limits itself to recognise and declare what in reality has been caused by the conduct itself of the faithful. In other terms, the ‘exclusio’ from the Eucharist, the sign of the ‘communio plena’, is not the effect of the deliberate will of the Church, but the consequence of the dynamic of communion which characterises the ecclesial structure as a whole. (...) la Chiesa altro non fa se non riconoscere o dichiarare ciò che in realtà è già causato dal comportamento stesso del fedele. In altri termini, la 'exclusio' dall'Eucarestia, quale segno della 'communio plena', non è l'effetto di una volontà positiva della Chiesa, ma la conseguenza di quella dinamica comunionale che informa tutta la struttura ecclesiale. L. Gerosa, La scomunica è una pena? (Fribourg: Ed. Universitaires, 1984) p 295
2.3.5 Theologised penal canon law. Penalty as penance: the same power of remittal (…) the absolution from an excommunication latae sententiae is not dictated by a theological necessity as the sacramental absolution of sins, but it has something in common with it. The two kinds of absolution are the same from the substantial point of view, even if they are different in the form. Both cases are about the exercise of the ‘potestas remittendi,’ [in which results the ‘potestas sacra’]. (...) l'assoluzione da una scomunica 'latae sententiae', pur non essendo dettata da una necessità teologica come l'assoluzione sacramentale dei peccati, ha qualcosa in comune con essa. I due tipi di assoluzione sono la stessa cosa dal profilo materiale, pur essendo diversi nella forma. In entrambi i casi, l'esercizio della 'potestas remittendi' è l'esito dell'intervento simultaneo delle due modalità formali in cui si esprime, seppure in modo differente e secondo un'intensità diversa, la 'potestas sacra’. L. Gerosa, La scomunica è una pena? (Fribourg: Ed. Universitaires, 1984) p
Penal Law of the Church PL 4. penal law in the post Vatican II: canon law theories