1985 letter: Pope Benedict resisted pleas to defrock pedophile priest
the Church forbids herself from imposing death penalties.  take that up with the civil authorities--the crime certainly merits it, and I think many of them would have a better chance at eternal salvation through expiation at accepting the just punishment of death.    not saying I'd support such a policy, but I wouldn't outright oppose it, it might be that that's the best possible solution.

HOWEVER, the Church herself will not shed blood.  She leaves that option to the civil authorities.  She'll never provide the executioner, she only provides the priest of Jesus Christ to prepare the executed for a good death.

So we are left at the same impass.  When the Church finds herself with the case of a priest who has committed a twisted crime and the civil authorities do not do their duty to punish him (at least with prison time and sex offender registry and legal monitoring), what is the Church to do with her wayward son?

cast him into the street and make the streets themselves less safe for children?
or house him where he can be monitored by the Church, where he can live a life of prayer and penance, where the Church can keep him away from children?  where he can, for the rest of his life, find solace and the strength to fight his inner demons in the grace of private masses.

he'll stand before the judgement seat of God as a priest of Jesus Christ, there's nothing the Church can do to undo that fact.  Which means the officials of the Church will stand before the judgment seat of God bearing some degree of responsibility for his soul.  Christ will not ask "were you able to successfully distance yourself from this man?  did you ostracize him as much as you could and disavow all contact with him?"  no, Christ will ask "how did you, his spiritual fathers, help this priest of mine seek repentance and salvation?"

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Re: 1985 letter: Pope Benedict resisted pleas to defrock pedophile priest - by Aloysius - 04-10-2010, 02:58 AM

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