Caution for a priest-confessor: giving bad advice can be a canonical crime
My favorite canon-law expert, Ed Peters, has called attention to an article he published in the June/July 2011 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, entitled When bad advice in confession becomes a crime. This article is especially relevant today in light of… Well, I’ll let you decide for yourself why it’s relevant.
The article explains how the canonical crime of solicitation in confession (Canon 1387*) penalizes not simply an attempt by a priest to use the confessional to solicit immoral acts from a penitent with the confessor himself, but also authorizes sanctions against giving immoral advice to penitents to be acted upon alone (such as condoning the use of pornography) or with others (such as approving of extra-marital sex).
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