Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Solicitation in confession may be more widespread than believed, canonist says

May 31, 2011

Noted canon-law professor Edward Peters reminds readers of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review that when a priest hearing confessions encourages penitents to sin, he commits not only a sin but also a serious canonical crime.

Peters argues that there is reason to believe that the canonical crime of solicitation--in which a priest "solicits a penitent to sin against the 6th commandment"--is not rare. He notes that solicitation does not necessarily mean that the priest/confessor is soliciting sexual favors for himself. There may be cases in which a priest's advice encourages the penitent to sin with another person or in solitude. At first glance such advice would appear to be very bad pastoral practice; Peters points out that it is also a serious ecclesiastical crime.


Sound Off! 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!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Jim.K - May. 31, 2011 7:58 PM ET USA

    How about when the Priest condones artificial contraception?!!