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 ($16,752 to go):
$35,000.00 $18,248.29
48% 52%
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
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Introducing the Church Fathers 3 hours ago
Straws in the Wind July 25
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters July 25
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21