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(04-21-2010, 08:45 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]Honestly, I think they will be lucky to find another bishop who knows how to say the TLM and is available on this short of notice.

Isn't Bishop Tissier de Mallerais still in America for Confirmations. I know, I have a better shot at winning the Lotto, but... :incense:
(04-22-2010, 01:35 AM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-22-2010, 01:04 AM)Walty Wrote: [ -> ]Absolution wouldn't be withheld in that situation though.  Absolution is valid and effective whether or not the person fulfills their penance.  I see no reason why a priest couldn't give a penance of turning oneself in.  In fact, I think that would probably be his duty as confessor.

That is still breaking the seal of confession by ordering that he turn himself in to civil authorties A confessor can recommend the penitent turn himself in, as a form of advise, but he cannot order him to do it as a part of his penance. Penance is an order to make reparation for sin and is given before absolution. The absolution is conditioned on every penitent accepting his penance.

Perhaps it is conditioned on his acceptance of it, but it is not conditioned on the actual carrying out of the penance thus the priest isn't forcing  the individual to turn himself in in order to gain absolution in the strictest sense.  

I've always heard that a priest could indeed give this as a penance and that seems quite logical for it neither breaks the Seal of confession nor does it allow for the murderer to go on without making proper retribution for his sin which is indeed handing himself over to his rightful secular judgment.
[Image: i-confess.jpg]
(04-21-2010, 05:16 PM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]The bishop should have turned him to the cops if he had found out about the abuse outside of the confessional, but since the learned of the abuse during confession, he was bound to keep the seal of confession.  The bishop made the right decision, the seal of confession must always be kept.

He did learn of it outside the confessional. Someone was just not telling the truth:

"I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration," Castrillon Hoyos wrote in his letter to Pican.  At the Murcia conference, the cardinal said that Pican did not denounce Bissey because the priest had told sins in the confessional, where secrecy is respected under the law.  At his trial, Pican said Bissey admitted his abuse in a private conversation, which would not enjoy legal protection.
Well, if true, that pretty much changes everything.
I read that it will be Bishop Slattery (from Oklahoma I think) who will be the celebrant.
Especially in the midsection of our country there are bishops more than 'friendly' to the TLM but who have a personal preference. I expect that sentiment to get ever stronger. Bishop Conley, the auxiliary in Denver is one such bishop as is Bp. Bruskewitz and Bp. Finn just to name a few others.
Brick by brick and episcopate by episcopate.
(04-21-2010, 09:04 PM)littlerose Wrote: [ -> ]If a person is known to have rejected the penance then he is not absolved of the sin and cannot receive the Eucharist, thus the priest cannot celebrate the Mass.  The Bishop would have to act on that.

Not true.  The absolution is contingent on the penitence shown in the confession.  If I go out of the confessional repentant but  then fail to do the penance, that doesn't retroactively invalidate my absolution.  No more than my subsequent backsliding invalidates the Act of Contrition I made in the confession.  And besides, that would apply only to the bishop's oversight of Mass, not to the civil law.  And the bishop would have no way of knowing if the priest subsequently went to a differen confessor who advised something different.  And the bishop can't ask. 
(04-22-2010, 01:01 AM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-21-2010, 08:57 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Actually, while the bishop could have made it a condition of absolution for the priest to turn himself into the secular authorities, the bishop cannot either say or act upon anything he learned in the confessional.

Actually that is not quite theologically correct. It is never allowable for a confessor to condition absolution on the revelation of a crime to civil authorities, as this would break the seal of confession.

"Q: Can absolution be withheld from a murderer until he agrees to give himself up to authorities? 

A: Absolutely not. A priest may withhold absolution from a murderer if he has reason to believe that the penitent is insincere. He also may assign the penitent to atone for his sin by helping those he has harmed, anonymously if necessary. For example, if the victim was a husband and father, the priest may direct the penitent to contribute to the support of the widow and children. In order to avoid revealing the murderer’s identity, the support may be given through the mediation of the parish’s charitable funds. The priest also may encourage the penitent to turn himself in to authorities. But he may not condition absolution upon the murderer’s confession to civil authorities. No one—not even the priest—can require an action that would reveal to outsiders the contents of his sacramental confession and thus violate the seal of the confessional." 

Pardon my poor choice of words here.

By what I wrote I wasn't intending to suggest the the priest's absolution was given conditionally (as this quotation suggests).

What was running though my head was the idea of a sincere sorrow for sins, which the priest must at least ascertain before giving absolution. If a priest is made aware that a penitent does not have sorrow for his sins (at least imperfectly), then he cannot give absolution, since the absolution would be invalid (and a sacrilege). If he is made aware that the murderer is not repentant of his sin, then he must deny absolution. One way would be to ask or discuss the willingness of the penitent to turn himself in.

Thus in the case of a murder, as above, in order to ascertain whether the murderer has sorrow for his sin, the priest can explain the necessity (for restitution to society) of a layman submitting to the civil authorities. He can't withhold absolution unless in doing this the penitent makes clear he lacks sorrow for his sins. The priest, however, can make clear that valid absolution for the sin requires sorrow, and part of that sorrow and penance is to submit to the civil authorities in just and competent matters. If the priest is not made aware of any lack of sorrow, then he may not withhold absolution.

Regarding the penance, as Bonifacius notes, the penance assigned is not a condition of absolution. It would be sinful to not perform the penance assigned (so long as it is possible to perform), or to substitute some penance if it is forgotten, but the absolution itself is what removes the sin, not the penance. That said, if the penitent fails to perform his penance, chances are he lacked sorrow for his sin and probably was not absolved of the sin (in addition to committing another sin of sacrilege).

In this case, anything that the Bishop learned in the confessional had to stay there. If he subsequently learned the same information outside the confessional from a non-priveleged source, then he could act on that information (but nothing from the confessional).

Regarding superiors: Indeed, it is improper for a superior to hear the confessions of those over which he has direct charge, with some exceptions, because it creates potential conflicts of interest and difficulty for the priest to keep the seal. In schools, for instance, this is why there are typically chaplains and it was normal for the principal of the school to be either a layman, brother or even a nun or sister. If a priest was the principal of the school, then he would typically not hear the confessions of the students unless there was a reasonably grave reason to do so.
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