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Problems with Crimen Sollicitation
At the risk of appearing a defender of Catholicism, I have to point out several things wrong with this section:
- It's actually Crimen sollicitationis, not “Sollicitation.”
- Crimen contains no new policy, doctrine or procedure; it’s an encaspulation (or re-statement) of canon law. (That is, its principles exist in the RC Church with or without it.)
- The letter was issued in 1962, not 2001. It was re-issued with modifications in 2001 as De delictis gravioribus; this happened because of revisions to canon law made in 1983, 1990, and later.
- Ratzinger was no cardinal in 1962 when this letter was first issued; he was a professor at the University of Bonn, then.
- Crimen deals not with children per se, but with use of the confessional by priests to sexually abuse anyone in their care. Very few, if any, of the scandals revealed over the last 10 years or so involved the confessional, so Crimen is — in a strict legalistic sense — not very relevant.
- It definitely calls for secrecy in proceedings against priests, but this is nothing new. The RC Church has maintained, for centuries (going back to papal struggles over civil jurisdiction over clergy and lay investiture, in fact) that investigations and ecclesiastical/canon trials of priests must be secret.
- Thus, this particular document’s call for secrecy is a reminder of existing policy, not a new declaration.
- Crimen has been invoked, over the years, to silence critics with knowledge of specific cases, however, it merely reflects canon law, and the letter’s existence does not change that. (In fact, the compulsion to secrecy is really no secret at all.)
It’s easy to make too much of this one one document. If it makes no sense to you that an instruction was re-issued in 2001 because of canon-law revisions in 1983 and 1990, welcome to the bloated and dysfunctional bureaucracy of the Vatican. What takes a couple months in “the real world” takes years or decades in the various Vatican curiae and offices (in this case, Congregatio pro doctrina fidei). --PsiCop 21:31, 1 October 2007 (CDT)
If you have references to back that stuff up, feel free to modify the story and make corrections. Just use the <ref>xx</ref> tags and add a <references/> section --Pile 14:18, 3 October 2007 (CDT)
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