Apostolic Penitentiary, Dispensation from irregularity for reception of orders for assistance in procurement of an abortion, 2012, Private.
A diocesan bishop requested a dispensation from the irregularity for the reception of Orders from the Apostolic Penitentiary for a candidate for the permanent diaconate who, earlier in his life, had assisted in the procurement of an abortion of his child. The response of the Apostolic Penitentiary follows.
APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARYProt. N. ______
In response to the request that your candidate for the permanent diaconate be dispensed from the irregularity for the reception of Orders (canon 1041, 4°), incurred because of positive assistance in the procurement of the abortion of his child, this Apostolic Penitentiary hastens to answer as follows.
Considering the circumstances of the case: the lapse of 14 years from the crime, the anguish and remorse the candidate subsequently went through and which led him to deeper conversion and growth in the Catholic faith, the absence of any danger of scandal and above all your request made on his behalf, which indicates that you judge him suitable for Orders, this Apostolic Penitentiary, judging the candidate worthy to be dispensed from the irregularity, ex Apostolica Auctoritate grants to you, Excellency, the faculty to dispense the petitioner from the irregularity incurred. This is to be done in the internal forum, sacramental or non-sacramental, whichever you deem more opportune.
This Rescript belongs exclusively to the forum of conscience, and therefore, if knowledge of it did not come from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, then the Rescript, after its execution, should be signed and dated, and kept in the secret archives of the Diocese; otherwise, it should be destroyed.
Excellency, in matters dealt with by this Dicastery, the identity of the person involved should, if at all possible, be kept secret. Therefore the candidate’s name will be deleted from the documents which were sent here. Also, all that is needed is an articulate presentation of the case by yourself, and your opinion regarding the suitableness of the candidate for Orders. The candidate’s curriculum vitae and presentation of the case is helpful. If the one requesting a dispensation is a candidate for the priesthood, the policy of the Penitentiary is not to grant the dispensation until the person has been approved for Orders, namely 6 months before ordination. There is no need to send three copies of the request and documents.
With best wishes for a blessed and happy Easter, we are, Your Excellency,
Sincerely yours in the Lord Jesus,
Manuel Cardinal Monteiro de Castro
+Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M., Conv.
Apostolic Penitentiary, Dispensation from irregularity for reception of orders for assistance in procurement of an abortion, 2012, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2012, 35-36.