Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Application of canon 1395 §2 to a male religious before his ordination, 17 October 2009, Private.


The Provincial Director of a men’s religious congregation in the United States forwarded the acts of a case involving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith then sent the acts to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for its disposition since the alleged act had occurred prior to the priest’s entrance into the clerical state. The response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith follows.




Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

17 October 2009

Prot. N. _____

Reverend Father Moderator General,

Allow me to refer to the case of Reverend _____, a priest-member of the Congregation of _____, accused of sexual abuse of a minor. In a letter dated 7 July 2009, the Provincial Director, Reverend _____, informed this Dicastery about the accusation against the Reverend _____ and about the cautionary measures taken until a proper response to the accusation has been determined.

The aforementioned acts have been the subject of study by the Internal Commission of the Disciplinary Section of this Congregation. The Commission decided to transmit the acts to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for [its] disposition (pro competentia) insofar as the facts, in a word, occurred at a time preceding Reverend _____’s entrance into the clerical state and therefore the matter does not qualify as a delict according to the norms of the motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela.

Further, the submitted documentation includes the “Sexual Abuse Policies for the Protection of Children and Response to Allegations” of the _____ Province of the _____. In this document due reference to the norms of the motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela is missing, that is, to the exclusive competence of this Dicastery over all delicta graviora.

Accordingly, please communicate to the Provincial Director the need to revise the provincial norms. If information about such matters is required, this Congregation will be at your service.

Allow me to extend my sincere regards and to remain

Devotedly in the Lord,

(Signed)

Luis F. Ladaria, S.J.

Titular Archbishop of Thibica

Secretary




Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Application of canon 1395 §2 to a male religious before his ordination, 17 October 2009, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2010, 52-53.