Screening Process, Ipso Facto excommunication
#1
  The diocese/parish screening process for church community services adopted by the church may seem like an excellent alternative to prevention of sexual exploitation of children in the church. The church has found that the screening process has it's side effect benefits that has it venturing into the intrusion of the personal rights of it's lay members, and puts into question his dogmatic placement in the role he is to play by his baptismal promise, some clearly a barrier to his carrying out his baptismal promise.

  I would like to address here the true effects of this new policy on lay members. I do not disagree with it's implementation, but in doing so the church needs to clearly understand it's jurisdiction, and realize that it treads a perilous course through the ecclesial rights of the lay community.  It needs to know when to 'let go' in the spirit of fraternity and emulation model of the Holy Family. It needs to once again review it's understanding on principles of condign punishment , occult compensation and how the church reacted to similar cases in the past, and how it extended it's mercy to the lay community in those troubled times.

  The current process initially started with the announcement that applicants for diocese/parish community service, must first obtain police record checks in order to be hired.  As we read the policy, it says that if a record is found, the member is called in for further discussion and inquiry. The current tasks within the church have been categorized according to the degree of tolerance and risk. Sexual impropriety was the key behavior to be screened. Contrary to the promulgated promise and the conveyed narrow focus, 'all' those having paid their debt to society in every class of offense, find themselves included in that unwanted list. The applicant is classed as not having
the appropriate qualification for the job. Here it is noted, discrimination becomes a 'qualification'. 

  The policy on the face of it is a lie to the faithful, as it is not being sincere. It conveys a partial truth. Outwardly, it conveys a welcome to all members, but in reality a more extensive criteria is sought. It tricks the member into believing he has some hope for being hired since his offense was not of a sexual nature. A person leaving the prison for theft, knows through the church teaching, that he can at least count on his church. The result of the record finding is stored permanently in the diocese archives. This effectively adds the risk the person will be ostracized by his community, and in the least by the civil community. (A bishop as verified this to me. The leak was traced to a secretary in a rural environment working for the diocese who divulged this to a friend.)

  The judicial right for it's adoption by the church is based on the right to common good. We recall that the source of common good must have a bases of good. Since the church depends on information from either of it's two entity pupils(Mater et Magistra, Man/Nation), it must ensure the data comes untainted and a conclusion from an untainted, uncorrupted process. The church has also a personal duty to ensure this to it's applicants in trust. It also has a right and obligation to judge the character of these two entities for uprightness and virtue. In this case the church is dealing with the civil authority where corruption and prejudice is rife in the judicial due process system. It obtains it's information from police forces that provide records from an already corrupted system, where a certain percentage of error in fact is nonchalantly accepted. The data then does not reflect an untainted certainty. The character of the nation entity has proven to be obstinately at odds with the church on fundamental moral matters. so compounding can be expected due to this capital attitude.

    The effect on the applicant bodes even more serious consequences. The ecclesial effect on the person places the person in limbo, technically an excommunication by delict. Try as we may to place the past-offender's situation in the context of murderous St. Paul, or vice ridden Augustine, doesn't seem to work. The habit of the modern catholic with dealing with the issue of crime, will not tolerate principles of acceptance. In fact, he has convinced his clerics to adopt a no tolerance behavior quite out of keeping with tradition. The catholic today cannot bear to accept reformed criminals unless it is in the abstract of saints of the past, even to the point in invoking their help through prayer. St. Paul if appeared today without revealing his name but admitting a genocidal life, would clear the room immediately.  Many secular orders insist in their rules that community service is an absolute requirement. So now we have a double effect of his exclusion. 

    How can we remedy this? In two ways. Either we reform in the church, or we carry through the excommunication process through bans and usual formalities. The exclusion to community is already applied, now all that is required is a formal process that completes it.

  It is his right to know how he officially stands in the church. It should not be by a deliberate act of the church that a paradox is created in that he could never hope to become a canonized saint through the unjust suffering imposed by the church itself.

 
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#2
Difficult post to read...

These policies have been implemented as a response to the clergy sex abuse scandals.  While this is respectable, the clergy, more than the laity, are the problem.  I'm all for doing a simple background check.  I have no problem having diocesan employees and volunteers go through a brief orientation (which could be done online).  This would be a simple measure to keep people away who have proven themselves to be unsafe around children.  This would also help ensure that everyone working for the Church is on the same page as to what are appropriate boundaries, as well as encourage them to be especially watchful for those who aren't doing right.
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#3
My diocese has a good program for training staff and for reporting problems.
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#4
Not being able to work on some church program is not excommunication. Also, you're forgetting how in the early church penances were real hard and penitents would stand outside the church during the faithful Mass--much different from 5 Our Father and 5 Aves or sitting quietly at one's sit. Augustine just didn't spent the rest of his life doing the penance prescribed at confession because he was baptized as an adult (and I can't complain, like many reverts I'd spend my life in the prescribed penance also and never participate in communion-- I'm just putting in perspective).
Try to find another position where you're accepted.
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#5
(07-04-2015, 09:24 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Not being able to work on some church program is not excommunication. Also, you're forgetting how in the early church penances were real hard and penitents would stand outside the church during the faithful Mass--much different from 5 Our Father and 5 Aves or sitting quietly at one's sit. Augustine just didn't spent the rest of his life doing the penance prescribed at confession because he was baptized as an adult (and I can't complain, like many reverts I'd spend my life in the prescribed penance also and never participate in communion-- I'm just putting in perspective).
Try to find another position where you're accepted.

"Not being able to work on some church program is not excommunication".

Not being able to work because of 'church discrimination' is an injustice and sin by the church. The mistake some people and eccelesia make is to view the church has an extension of the civil institution. The church cannot at the same time ally itself with the pupils as a partner.(Mater et Magistra). The church is all about reform of individuals and re-intigration into the christian 'family'. The acceptance of Paul and others for 'what they are now', and not for 'what they once were' is recognized by the Church of Corinth.  It's mandate doesn't include permanent ostrization. The adoption of civil, imperfect principles sets this church apart from that Church. If a member of our family erred, we could agree on punitive measures and it would even be revolting for us to apply it and see it carried through. But  one thing is set in our mind that is fundamental in our faith, and that is we are anxious for all of it to be over so that once again his place is restored without prejudice on our part. 

It is a canon fact that excommunication by delict is still practiced, but ipso facto excommunications are used instead of formal ones, because the church's activities would be an embarrassment if discovered. In other words, non-condign punishment is accepted by the church, since most of it's cases deal with individuals who have been treated and released into society. For instance if Bob applies for a church posting, and he has been released from jail because he completed his penitential obligation stated in sentencing, then there is no institution that can with the sanction of God apply post-conditions on him. 2Cor 2,6 is clear on this. The case is finished, complete. Now he has  the full compliment of rights of any citizen as defined in the constitution. "By the ways" are not a church option.

Augustine and others still committed a crime, even though the judicial infrastructrure was not in place to carry out the justice. In the eyes of God they have still committed a civil crime. In fact, why limit the convenience to the church by the use of the civil authority provides through it's corrupt data?. The church should prove it's stance by suggesting a reciprocal request that the civil authority publicly charge our criminal saints with the crimes in absentia, and it would be perfectly legal. ("what you bind on earth....."). The church, since it allows itself to delve into conflict of interest, must agree and substantiate it, otherwise it would be guilty of hypocrisy.  (The Muslims would have a field day with this one too.)..

"Try to find another position where you're accepted".

Exclusion from communion with the faithful demands a challenge and the church knows it. But by your suggestion, why not ask for a rescind(revocation?) of the baptismal promise while we are at it? If your son should pay his debt to society, would you recommend that he also move on in his church? It's not a club we belong to, it's our very life.


 
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#6
(07-04-2015, 08:16 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: My diocese has a good program for training staff and for reporting problems.

A person that payed his debt to society is no longer a problem, but a restored citizen, even if the civil(fallible) law refuses to reinstate his full constitutional rights. If your group refuses an application because of a paid debt from the past, your group is in communal sin, and God will place a substantive charge on it. Further, I would re-examine your parish's belief in the principles of penance and mercy, as the attitudes are similar. Sometimes the one offended does not wish to extend mercy, but it presents opportunities down the line for others to show it.

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#7
I still don't see how you are excommunicated. Supposedly you were forgiven your sins at Penance and you are able to participate in communion. When one is excommunicated one is outside the Church. That is clearly not the case when one is simply rejected to be a volunteer worker on some parish.

I don't remember Augustine committing “civil crimes”, except the episode with the pears.
Also, just to take one example, I wouldn't see how it would be prudent to place sex offenders to work with children. Even if he has done his penance and even if he claims he is ridden of his desires, I still don't see how it would be prudent. Would it be wise for an ex-alcoholic to work as bartender?
But you go even further saying it would not only not be wise but it would be an actual sin to refuse to employ certain persons. Would it be a sin (not only not wise or not virtuous, but actually a breaking of God's law and a separation from God) to not hire a convicted pedophile as baby sitter?
Should the pedophile/ephebphiles/hebephiles priests who destroyed many innocent (mostly pious) souls stay as parishioners as if nothing had happened?

Also, you have this constant motif that civil law is fallible and whatnot. But you seem to hold that once a person fulfills the civil penance he or she requires no further penance. So, basically, send everyone to prison for a while and get out of purgatory?

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#8
(07-05-2015, 11:11 AM)Spence Wrote: A person that payed his debt to society is no longer a problem, but a restored citizen, even if the civil(fallible) law refuses to reinstate his full constitutional rights. If your group refuses an application because of a paid debt from the past, your group is in communal sin, and God will place a substantive charge on it. Further, I would re-examine your parish's belief in the principles of penance and mercy, as the attitudes are similar. Sometimes the one offended does not wish to extend mercy, but it presents opportunities down the line for others to show it.

Just so I can be sure that I understand you, your position is that if a (for example) convicted thief has completed his civil penalty and his restitution then it is unjust to refuse to hire him as parish treasurer?  If so, then I strongly disagree.  Forgiveness isn't synonymous with forgetfulness and it is not merciful or just to the other members of the parish.
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#9
(07-05-2015, 03:45 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote:
(07-05-2015, 11:11 AM)Spence Wrote: A person that payed his debt to society is no longer a problem, but a restored citizen, even if the civil(fallible) law refuses to reinstate his full constitutional rights. If your group refuses an application because of a paid debt from the past, your group is in communal sin, and God will place a substantive charge on it. Further, I would re-examine your parish's belief in the principles of penance and mercy, as the attitudes are similar. Sometimes the one offended does not wish to extend mercy, but it presents opportunities down the line for others to show it.

Just so I can be sure that I understand you, your position is that if a (for example) convicted thief has completed his civil penalty and his restitution then it is unjust to refuse to hire him as parish treasurer?  If so, then I strongly disagree.  Forgiveness isn't synonymous with forgetfulness and it is not merciful or just to the other members of the parish.

It is the community that has concerns for the individual.

    newadvent/org:
  "The power of the State is limited by the end for which it was instituted, and it has no authority to violate the natural rights of its subjects. If it does this it commits injustice as individuals would do if they acted in like manner. It may indeed levy taxes, and impose other burdens on its subjects, as far as is required by the common necessity and advantage, but no further. For the common good it has authority to compel individual citizens to risk life for the defence of their country when it is in peril, and to part with a portion of their property when this is required for a public road, but as far as possible it must make suitable compensation. When it imposes taxes, military service, or other burdens; when it distributes rewards, offices, and honours; when it metes out condign punishment for offenses, it is bound to do so according to the various merits and resources of the persons concerned; otherwise the State will sin against that special kind of justice which is called distributive".

You would be extending his sentence as well as destroy is confidence in the church. Additionally, and worse of all, is that you deliberately
excommunicate him on the ground of delict. You have taken him from a state where he must strive to attain his place at the Father's table, to a state where you offer him to the world and it's prince, all the while knowing in your heart the information you acted on may be wrong.
Additionally, of all of the people in the past centuries that have received a valid excommunication through delict, you have heaped an injustice to all these of the past. As well, what confirms this attitude is that when clerics embark on their prison ministry, they come in close proximity to prison guards as well. It offers an opportunity to address conduct of the guards. Not one time in my talks with these clerics, have I ever heard that they take this opportunity. Christ is waiting for one person among the wavering thousands to step out beyond himself and dare to be Catholic.

Remembering isn't license to act out on it. 2 Cor 2,6 reminds not just one person, but we note it is a community Paul addresses.

Prior to a leader's knowledge that corruption poses a risk to his mission, he would not be at fault, has he had no knowledge of it. Having discovered through reliable sources that the process that creates these criminal records is corrupted, then with the same zeal that he guides the screening group, he must simultaneously address the corruption, has justice for the vulnerable is at stake. Catholicism isn't going through life wearing blinders. Our mission may demand that we put aside the peril to our reputation and risk the loss of honor among men. Sacrifices that are born of little effort are of less value to God than the ones we toiled for. It is not enough that we can go on and allow corruption. The field work of people like sister Prajean and others concerning the findings on the due process system is reliable, and indeed the same dioceses have had her has guest speaker. They are a call for us to act.

As I said, the common good is justified only if it's sources are untainted. It must be born of instrinsic good. 

To this day the only treatment that the incarcerated offenders receive is evengelical therapy. The person sent by the church no longer has credentials to play this part because he is insincere. Knowing that the prisoner requires good news, he should be told of the corruption in the criminal record system, and that some punishments do not have God's sanction. At least this will give him peace of mind. The prison ministry should be gathered to receive their good news of truth as well while they are in the compound.

In the church there is even now a cloud of dispensability, where we feel that some people can be sacrificed for the cause. This thought is ingrained in the national mind, and now infects the church.
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#10
(07-04-2015, 09:24 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Not being able to work on some church program is not excommunication. Also, you're forgetting how in the early church penances were real hard and penitents would stand outside the church during the faithful Mass--much different from 5 Our Father and 5 Aves or sitting quietly at one's sit. Augustine just didn't spent the rest of his life doing the penance prescribed at confession because he was baptized as an adult (and I can't complain, like many reverts I'd spend my life in the prescribed penance also and never participate in communion-- I'm just putting in perspective).
Try to find another position where you're accepted.

It results in exclusion from community service, which happens to be the same punitive measures meted out to excommunicants.

What I recall in the early Church was behaviour by it that was more in keeping with the Church of Corinth. 'Benefit of Clergy' was promulgated that showed mercy to offenders, this, in an even more violent and crime ridden society. One time offences were truly forgiven, and the civil courts honored the policy. The Church was an audacious and assertive Church, quite in keeping with it's Authorative Divine post, unafraid and unhindered with the temptation of honor among men/governments. It took from the secular world the privilege of setting it straight through example. 

There is an adverse side effect by not excommunicating formerly. It automatically creates an injustice to those who in the past hundreds of years have been for the same charge.
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