Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Excommunication? Let the punishment fit the crime

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 11, 2013

My favorite canon-law blogger, Edward Peters, is unhappy with the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative for demanding the excommunication of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, an advocate of same-sex marriage.

Peters does not agree with Quinn—not by a long shot. On the contrary, he believes that Quinn should be subject to canonical discipline. But he reminds us that excommunication is a particular disciplinary remedy, applicable only in certain carefully defined cases. “Support for so-call ‘gay-marriage’ is not an excommunicable offense,” Peters says, “and it cannot be made one except in accord with Canons 1314-1318, none of which has been put on the table.”

”Meanwhile Canon 1369 gets ignored again, and for that matter Canon 915 is overlooked as a possible response,” Peters continues. There are appropriate penalties. By calling for excommunication, which is not an appropriate penalty in this case, conservative Catholics confuse matters, at a time when clarity would be more likely to prompt effective action.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($21,925 to go):
$35,000.00 $13,074.95
63% 37%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15