Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Offences and Punishment In The Catholic Church: Rev.Msgr Pius Kii


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Introduction


God does not delight in punishment for its own sake, but delights in the order of justice which requires this.

Every organised society must have laws. These laws represent the values of that society. When these laws are violated, the values of that society are breached, constituting an offense against public good. Whatever violates the purpose of society breaches public order by an action or the economy of means to reach that end and which hinders the social order itself  is what is defined in law as a crime. These necessarily call for the application of penalties or sanctions on offenders in order to repair the social order. That is the rationale for the use of coercive power in the Church, for as Frans Daneels states, “Law must be effective, otherwise it would only amount to a fine-sounding declaration of intention.”
Law also determines when and under what circumstances a legal provision is violated, and which penalty is incurred by its violation. When society is disrupted by a violation of its rights and those of its members and by their failure to fulfill their obligations, competent authority must fulfill its role in justice to repay a juridic evil (delictum) with a penalty (poena) in order to protect or restore public order. Thus the imposition of a penalty is meant to restore natural justice (the order which must exist in a society for it to reach its goals), which is harmed by individuals or groups abusing their freedom. Penal law is therefore rooted in the necessity to protect public social order.
The Catholic Church as an organised society sui iuris like all other societies or organisations has her own legislation. The 1917 Code viewed the Church as a perfect society having all the means necessary within itself for the attainment of its proper ends. It is within this context that the foundation for penal law has to be understood. Furthermore, according to the Second Vatican Council, even though the church is described as a community of grace, the Mystical Body of Christ, a visible earthly reality, its life and mission (LG nn.1 and 8) by its social nature requires a juridical form. On account of the sinfulness of its members, situations of violations of Church order would always occur, and moral suasion and voluntary compliance prove not to be adequate to sustain peace and restore harmony within the community, necessitating the need for an official framework to deal with such violations and which logically calls for the application of ecclesiastical penalties. Put differently, the fact that the members are both graced and sinful (Simul iustus et peccator) calls for a dialectical interaction in the Church between Communio and coercive power; Communio is safeguarded by ius coactiuum which is primarily ordered towards communio. Therefore, when an act of a member violates a norm or law, it damages the entire ecclesial order and affects the dignity and rights of all persons involved, no less destroying the common good. Therefore, even though authority in the Church ought to be exercised in the spirit of love and in invitation to responsible behaviour, there are times when an authority of constraint may be called for, so that individualism and deliberate bad behaviour are not allowed to threaten and undercut societal values that will bring about chaos and a consequent diminishment of ecclesial charity. Any such constraint, however, should be subordinate to and in service of the basic call to accept divine love. At the heart of religion is divine love and a personal response invited and kindled by that love.
It is in this respect that the church, from her earliest days, aware of the reality of sin as a theological reality amongst her members, and the fact that certain acts of commission or omission involve serious consequences not simply for a person’s individual relationship with God but also for the community, employed a system of penalties against errant members of the Christian faithful for ecclesiastical offenses. All this is done with one purpose in mind – the salvation of all, including the offender.
No doubt, the current challenge of clerical sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons, which the Catholic Church is grappling with worldwide makes the examination of the Church’s penal practices ad rem. These scandals have created a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Perhaps surpassing it is the Protestant Reformation of the 15th century, if this particular crisis is not worse than it. Amid the whirl of emotions, bewilderment and shock the crisis has caused, it also surely throws up more than ever before the need to implement the Penal laws of the church. In some measure, the church would not have suffered through the crisis if it had only followed its own law in the past, for it does appear that only a few priests who were accused of sexual abuse of minors underwent a canonical penal process based on the allegations against them.
Apart from clerical malfeasance, there are growing concerns at all levels of the Church in Nigeria where various ecclesiastical public authority persons elected as leaders of public associations of Christ’s faithful have deliberately violated ecclesiastical norms and statutes establishing such associations, and this also necessarily calls for the application of sanctions. Therefore, while it is necessary to engage other areas of specialisation in the governance of the church (like spirituality, pastoral care etc), there are also definite occasions where inevitably some form of canonical intervention is necessary – particularly the application of sanctions in cases where discipline has to be enforced. It is in this sense that the words of the Gospel can be applied here in an accommodated sense: “These you should have practiced, without leaving the others undone” (Lk. 11:42). Therefore, for her own credibility, the Church needs to deal with offenses to its integrity in the pursuit of its threefold mission of governing, teaching and sanctifying. Yet a key focus of penal discipline must always be its reconciling spirit.
The challenge to resolve conflicts which arise from breaches of public order is common to church and state with obvious similarities and notable differences between the two legal traditions or orders. In other words, the state faces somewhat similar challenges to the integrity of the civic order and needs to deal with such breaches as well. Each has its specific orientation. Each legal system provides its own rationale for the application of penalties. While civil law punishes offenders against its legal provisions for punishment’s sake; in contradistinction, the church’s distinctive nature and purpose (its salvific finality) gives its penal discipline a distinct character that should not be overlooked”, - that even though she mobilises sanctions against errant members, which for the most part is medicinal purposes – the offender is punished so that he or she reforms and becomes converted in order to be saved. It is in this respect that the last and final words of the 1983 Code of canon law states “salvation of souls . . . must always be the supreme law in the Church” (c.1736); all other norms find their reason in this. This does not also mean that there are no expiatory penalties in the code – (penalties meted out to offenders for the sake of punishment and to serve as deterrent against those who contemplate committing similar delicts). As a matter of fact, chapter two of title IV, canons 1336-1338 treats expiatory penalties which will also be treated in this book.
Furthermore, unlike the civil system, there is no firm stare decisis in the canonical system. Each case is, at least in theory, to stand on its own. Over time, however, the expert practitioner will come to a better sense of the jurisprudence of the different tribunals and gain there from a better understanding of the continuity exhibited by these tribunals.
The differences highlighted above between the civil and ecclesiastical legal systems must be understood in the light of each system’s jurisprudential structure. A legal system should be seen in its entirety, not merely as the sum of its parts. Thus any attempt to compare the provisions of one system against the other would be a misguided effort. There is certainly no need to bring the penal laws of the Code of Canon Law and its procedures “in line” with the criminal laws of any country.
The question has also always been asked whether there is a need in the Church for sanctions. It is opined that since people belong to the Church primarily through an act of faith and purely through exclusively voluntary acts they should not be subjected to coercive laws of a penal nature; communion and charism in the Church should replace the rigid formalistic notion of offenses and penalties. Even during the process for revision of the code, and specifically during the drafting of Book VI of the present code, there were suggestions to the effect that the penal nature of the book should be suppressed and a disciplinary approach to offenses adopted. But the Coetus decided to retain the penal nature of “sanction” in the Church.
This book addresses recurring questions such as this: Is the church justified in her reactions against criminal acts of commission or omission of her members? Does she possess the right to establish penalties? What is the justification of this right? How does the church’s competent authority specify what criminal acts of commission or omissions are? And who are subject to them? What are the purposes of penalties? If penal law does not appear to offer definite benefit to the Church, what are the viable alternatives? What are the restrictions on the ability of ecclesiastical authorities to establish, impose or declare penalties? What is the place or penal law in the Church and its relationship to human freedom? In order words, what is the appropriateness of penal law in the Church based on the commandment of love? Should penal law exist in the Church as institute separate from the sacrament of penance? Since penalties should be established only to the extent that they are truly necessary to provide for better ecclesiastical discipline (c.1317), who is the competent authority to deal with such offenses? What means should be employed in the reactions?  What is the extent of this penal power?  Furthermore, since canon 221 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which clearly restates the traditional “principle of legality” of nulla poena sine lege (meaning where there is no law, there is no crime), and the fundamental right of the faithful in Penal matters not to be punished with canonical penalties, except according to the norm of law, as well as legitimately vindicate and defend the rights which they possess in the competent ecclesiastical forum, when is it therefore appropriate to instruct a formal penal procedure in a particular case?  If a formal process is to be initiated in a given case, how does a local Ordinary decide between a judicial and an administrative penal process? If the choice is for a judicial procedure, what special penal procedural norms will modify the application of the general provisions on trials? How does one balance the values of administrative and judicial discretion with the rights of the individual members of the community? In the application of sanctions, is the strict interpretation of the law which, according to canon 18, provides that laws which establish a penalty restrict the exercise of rights or contain an exemption from the law, first introduced into canonical legislation by Pope Boniface VIII in the Regulae Iuris and promulgated in the 13th century observed? This study may raise more questions than it actually answers.
Further concerns are, beyond the existence of a particular penalty attached to a particular law, what about other additional canonical factors that must be present before such penalties may be imposed or declared? Among the more significant of these factors is the imputability of an offense governed by canons 1321-1330; how is this to be established? What about the jurisdiction of the court or a superior over the accused (can. 1412)? What about the imposition of censures, where some preliminary warnings or admonitions (can. 1347) have to be administered before the application of sanctions, thereby ensuring that the principle behind penal norms that the legislator is gracious and merciful and slow to anger is guaranteed?
It is therefore the purpose of this book to examine coercive power, or rather, the general place of sanctions in the Catholic Church as a simple pocket atlas or pocket guide to assist all those in the service of justice and administration in the church. It would help canon lawyers. This book focuses on the canon law governing the laws the Catholic Church promulgated in 1983, although some brief references may be made to the canon law of the Eastern Churches promulgated in 1990. Likewise, the book will be more on the law of the Catholic Church as it exists today than on the law as it did exist or on any historical progression of the law.
The penal provisions of the Catholic Church have been codified in Book Five of the 1917 Code under the title Delictis et Poenis (delicits and punishments) and Book Six of the 1983 Code of Canon Law titled Sanctionibus in Ecclesia (Sanctions in the Church). These two codified legislations of the Catholic Church affirm one fact: the Catholic Church has the native right, as a visible society in common with all civil societies, to employ penal sanctions and provide the procedures to be followed. Since this book is an overview of the Church’s penal canonical legislation, attention is therefore focused on ecclesiastical penalties, its definition, nature and types, the church’s right to punish its errant members, the general principles governing penalties, their incurrence, and those having the authority to enact penal laws and to impose penal precepts.
Although the primary focus of this book are the 89 canons on sanctions of Book VI of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, codal cross-references will be made to the 230 canons on sanctions in the preceeding 1917 Code, to shed some light or clarifications on key issues, as well as some of the canons concerning penal trials governed by the canons on Contentious Trials in Book VII, De Processibus (Processes) of the 1983 Code.
References to the 1917 Code within the book are considered legitimate even though abrogated because canon 6, §2 states that to the extent that the canons of the 1983 Code reproduce the 1917 Code, they are to be assessed in the light of canonical tradition.
This book will primarily concern itself with the general theory on penalties as enumerated in part one of Book Six, canons 1311-1363. The canons in part two on penalties for particular offenses will also be examined and an appendix also provided which compares latae sententiae penalties in the 1983 and 1917 Codes.
In Chapter One of this book, clarification of key terms/concepts around which this book revolves will be made: notions and distinctions of offense and penalty. Chapter Two focuses on a brief historical development of ecclesiastical penalties stretching from biblical times to contemporary times. Chapter Three examines penal power: its existence, exercise, and types. Chapter Four deals with the general principles governing penalties, their incurrence and those having the authority to enact penal laws and impose penal precepts. Chapter Five examines subjects (persons) that are liable to penal sanctions in the Church. Chapter Six deals with penal remedies which are to be employed before the application of sanctions. Chapter Seven examines the application of penalties. Chapter Eight treats the remission/cessation of penalties. Chapter Nine treats the penalties for individual delicts. Chapter Ten deals with procedural considerations in the application of ecclesiastical penalties.



Rev. Msgr. Pius Barinaadaa KII  is the Chaplain of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria, and the Judicial Vicar of the Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt. He can be contacted via his email: Piuskii@yahoo.com
A copy of this book can be purchased at the chaplaincy office.



#OffencesAndPunishmentInTheCatholicChurch
#PiusKii #RevMsgrPiusKii #Ciwa

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Sunday, 19 November 2017

WTF' Nigerian Lady Goes Naked (See Pic)

A Nigerian lady known as Florence Flo on Facebook has revealed her Nude, she posted it on facebook and brags she has a banging body.

Do you think she's doing this to get popular? Well, your guess is as good as mine😉.
One word for her please!

SHARE After Reading.

Unbelievable: Lawyer who hates Homosexuals Caught having Sex with a fellow Man.

An Ohio anti-LGBTQ lawmaker has resigned from office after being caught having sex with another man. 

Wesley Goodman, a Republican Ohio state representative serving

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

"Davido Won the MTV Award After using his Friends for Sacrifice"- Nigerian Guy fires OBO

This Nigerian Guy has called out davido after he won the duo MTV Award of Best worldwide act and Best African act 2017. According to him, davido wouldn't have won the said awards if not that he sacrificed his friends, from all indications, the guy seems to be a die hard fan of wizkid who wouldn't spare a backlash on davido for trying to rubbish Wizkid's victory at the Afrima awards in Lagos.

What ya say?

"If Someone steals your husband, Steal another person's own" - Nigerian Lady defends Yvonne Nelson.

Amazing!!
Girls are not smiling oh!!
This Nigerian lady says If Someone should steal your husband, you too should go all the way out to Steal another person's own. She said this in response to the Yvonne Nelson's Baby Daddy Saga, when a Nigerian lady claimed that the Ghanaian actress snathched her legally married British husband and got pregnant for him.
See the screenshot attached, what's ya say? Is she making any sense?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Son is Dead

The Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has lost his son, Jide to the cold hands of death.

The cause of the death is unknown, but a statement by Chairman of Lagos State faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC reads:

"It's with regrets that I inform you of the demise of Mr. Jide Tinubu, the Son of Our dear and esteemed Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu"

Late Jide was a law graduate of the University of Liverpool, England. He obtained a Masters degree in Maritime Law from the University of London and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1999.

The late lawyer had served as Promoter of TSL Limited and also worked in the Legal Department of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from January 2000 to September 2001.

Prior to this, he had brief stints with Cargo Maritime in Paris, France, a firm of shipbrokers that specialized in petroleum product tankers, and Ocean and Oil Services Ltd.

May the good Lord console the families of the bereaved.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Davido Moves on, Performs in Sierra Leone

Naija's '30 Billion for the account' crooner, Davido aka OBO, has moved on to making music after the death of 3 of his friends who died in controversial alcohol/drug related occurrence.
He performed for fans in a 50,000-capacity stadium in Freetown, Sierra Leone, davido resumed tour with a show in Freetown and was shown massive love with people trooping out to groove to the singer dishing out thrilling performances of his hit songs.
Isn't it too early for Davido to have started hosting shows less than one month he lost 3 friends?

We are just asking ni o, you know
#DeParrot can say anything 😉

Lady Goes Completely Nude For her Birthday Photo Shoot

Could it be for fame?
Arrgh!! This Nigerian lady went completely Nude for her birthday photo session.
What say y'all?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

President Buhari Travels to Turkey for D-8 Summit

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart for Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday to participate in the ninth Summit of the Developing 8 (D-8) on Friday, October 20, 2017.

 

Prior to the D-8 Summit, President #End Buhari, at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, will participate in an official working visit to Ankara, the capital city.

 

In Ankara, the President will have a tete-a-tete with his Turkish counterpart while delegations from both countries will hold discussions in various fields including defence cooperation, security, educational and migration issues.

 

The Nigerian leader will also visit the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara where he will meet with the Speaker, Ismail Kahraman. While in Istanbul, the Turkish commercial centre, President Buhari will use the occasion of the D-8 Summit to bolster warm and growing ties across a broad range of areas of cooperation with leaders of the D8-member countries, namely Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

 

The Summit with the theme, ''Expanding Opportunities through Cooperation'', will among other things, focus on cooperation in the areas of agriculture, trade, transport, energy and increased private sector participation among member-countries.

 

During the ninth Summit of the D-8, which will also mark the 20th anniversary of the organisation established to improve the developing countries' positions in the world economy, the President will highlight the significant show of confidence in Nigeria's business environment and economy.

 

He will also affirm Nigeria's resolve to work with D-8 member-countries on many key areas, including peace and security, economy and trade.

 

At the end of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government will adopt a Communiqué, also known as the 'Istanbul Declaration'. The President will be accompanied on the trip by ministers, top government officials, including the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali.