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Revisiting Diocese/Parish Screening Policy

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Revisiting Diocese/Parish Screening Policy

Post  MotelKamzoil on Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Sadly, the Church has decided that some Catholics who have committed crimes in the past are not eligible for community service. The pedophile rage takes front seat in the discrimination, and eventually swallowed up those with history of unrelated minor offenses in other categories. All this the Church finds justification under the umbrella of the common good.
 
       The policy raises a lot of questions for Catholicism, from the doctrine on how Christ handled criminality in his time, and how his Apostles did so in the context of the common good, and how the consequences affects the lives of the past offenders(PO) within the Church today.

       This policy was initially a focused one, responding to community outrage where the qualifying offense was pedophilia and was to be addressed at any cost. These were the target. The screening policy statement notified the congregation that a panel would decide which cases were not a threat, allegedly intending that misdemeanors or crimes of a social nature would allow the PO to contribute to his community. In short order this screening expanded like the predictable attitude of a French revolution mob to these others. "Why not everyone who erred?", they insisted to the Church.

      While researching excommunication, I discovered one such justification was the delict of civil crime. Here, the offender is excommunicated because of a past civil crime. This is the first issue, since every PO who has paid his debt to society is presented with an exclusion to community service, giving the impression that he is simply disqualified because of skill factors. In reality it constitutes a de facto excommunication for him. The advantage of this method to the Church is that the PO's 'state' is not immediately known to him, and he goes on unhappily accepting his fate. The problem here is that he enters a state similar to Adm. Husband Kimmel(Pearl Harbor) fame where he is not told his true state, and is given total blame for his position. If he had been told that his case constituted a real excommunication, then he could have the ecclesial court force a bann, and allowing him an audience to be heard. Of course this would involve informing his family including his children. The parish not desiring the publicity, keeps silent. He could present his case to the Vatican and have canon lawyers assigned. but as in the Kimmel case, he is kept in the dark of the true implications of the state placed on him, and canonical due process nowhere to be found. These usually go on to be ostracized, not knowing why he has trouble making friends or getting assigned work in his new community, only a sneaky suspicion remains.

This is one effect. The next sets a precedent in our time as a Doctrinal issue. Over all, scripture tends to handle criminals harshly prior to any sentenced imposed. The intent we find is to bring the offender to reform and acceptance into the community.  Admitted prior offenders tend to receive no unjust burden or post sentencing as a consequence in their new life. Paul admits to being a murderer. His job entailed the probability that children would be sent to the forum along with the parents for the sport of lions, pedophilia to the extreme. But no, this the reader understands is a matter on personal conscience, and scripture emphasizes finality. If what he was about to admit was an issue with Christ, He would have stated it. Therefore, the OF's previous state is no consequence, or at least not an impediment to his future mission. Again, Christ tells Dismas on the cross to expect a choice seat at the head table, the list goes on.

The Church proper, confident no OF will venture an ecclesial protest because of their ignorance of their situation, exposing this behind the scenes general treatment, it goes on to break a promise it made to the civil government and the community, to work with the governments in this matter. One diocese discovered that a member who's criminal record showed a pardon, decided to ignore it and asked him to resign regardless. The civil government made a complete switch and expressed a totally Catholic and 'Dismas' attitude to venture and pardon a person. Apparently that was too Catholic for the diocese. The person agreed to resign.

Ironically, he then becomes a subject for canonization since he, a 'New Man',  is asked to make a sacrifice and sets an example for the community, of a case of persecution by an Institution that is in conflict of interest with him. Paul was a New Man' as well we recall.  

The issue is that we need to first be up front with these people. Put into place in canonical justice an obligation to the Church also to honor due process. Carry through to the end it's acts on people. Only then can the Church see the tears of the subject's children as a life of discretion is exposed, the breakup of a family and absolving of a marriage, the eyes of the community in disgust on these accused now  a vulnerable member of the Church's own making.

The pedophile issue seems to have no answer, but there is an obvious answer. The matter is one for the civil government. Catholics, as citizens, could have the law changed to keep these incarcerated longer. Put it back where it belongs and deal with it there. Anything else is presumption, and if a Catholic is tempted to be presumptuous with ecclesial approbation, a la Henry VIII style, start with our criminal saints and protest to the Church with the same vigor. In fact this is exactly the place it belongs, since now the Church is again Mater and Teacher, as in Mater et Magistra for the civil government, not a partner.

There are more comments, but I'll pass. I welcome your comments.

MotelKamzoil

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Re: Revisiting Diocese/Parish Screening Policy

Post  MRyan on Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:47 pm

MotelKomzoil,

A belated welcome to the forum. I’m not sure how much traction you’ll get here, the forum went into a sort of voluntary hibernation (we all needed a break), and Tornpage and I just recently decided to test the waters to see if there was anyone still out there (besides Lionel).  

But thanks for a very interesting post. I must admit to being a bit mystified by where you are actually going with this, so please be patient as I ask for some clarification.  

Let’s begin with this, where you wrote:

Sadly, the Church has decided that some Catholics who have committed crimes in the past are not eligible for community service. The pedophile rage takes front seat in the discrimination, and eventually swallowed up those with history of unrelated minor offenses in other categories. All this the Church finds justification under the umbrella of the common good.
Are you suggesting that convicted pedophiles are unjustly discriminated against by their exclusion to community (Church) service? If so, what community service are you referring to?  

You also wrote:

While researching excommunication, I discovered one such justification was the delict of civil crime. Here, the offender is excommunicated because of a past civil crime. This is the first issue, since every PO who has paid his debt to society is presented with an exclusion to community service, giving the impression that he is simply disqualified because of skill factors. In reality it constitutes a de facto excommunication for him.
Could you provide an example or two of when anyone was ever excommunicated strictly for a civil crime, and not for a crime against the faith or against the Church?

Or, are you saying the excommunication to which you refer is strictly a de facto excommunication (a social exclusion), say, for example, in the case of a convicted pedophile who is not permitted to be alone with or teach children in the parish?

Thanks.
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Re: Revisiting Diocese/Parish Screening Policy

Post  MRyan on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:03 pm

MRyan wrote:MotelKomzoil

OK, should have said "MotelKamzoil". What can I say, I never actually watched Fiddler on the Roof, though I have seen very similar musical extravaganzas at Novus Ordo Easter Vigils.
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