Today while reading the Telegram and Gazette I came across an article about the Vatican.It seems they have issued a revision to its international laws making it easier to discipline sex abuser priest.
The Vatican will now use faster judicial procedures rather then full ecclesiastical trials.
Some feel this is just an adjustment rather then an overhaul because the new rules do not hold bishops accountable for abuse by priest on their watch,nor do they require them to report sexual abuse to civil authorities.
Now here is a part of this that floored me.
As I further read the article was the inclusion of the attempt to ordain woman in a list of the "more grave delicts" or offenses,which include pedophilia,heresy,apostasy and schism.
Now imagine the Vatican suggestion is that pedophilia is on the same level in punishment as ordination of women.The difference being that sexual abuse is an egregious violation of moral law while attempted ordination of woman is an offense on a sacramental orders law.
In 2007 a ruling was passed that made attempting to ordain a woman an offense punishable with excommunication.The new document says that any priest who tried to ordain a woman can now be defrocked.
The Vatican also added child pornography and sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults to the list of grave crimes.
They have also doubled the statute of limitations for abuse cases to 20 years from the victim 18th birthday. After that a priest could be removed from the ministry but not defrocked,unless the Vatican lifted the statute of limitations in the case.
I guess the one good thing with the Catholic Church is that while you might not agree with the rules at least they try to update and tell what the rules are.
We in the Orthodox faith do not always have these clear cut decisions so we tend to turn toward the Vatican and Catholic bishops to give us some direction when our own church has not given their advice on matters.