Reserved Offences Catalog or ‘Delicta Graviora” now Updated by the Pope

Despite the update, no new offences reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have been introduced, keeping the typification of crimes unchanged.

Newsroom (09/12/2021 5:58 PM, Gaudium Press) This week Pope Francis promulgated a new version of the “Norms on the most serious offenses reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF),” the so-called “delicta graviora.” The original text from 2001, already amended in 2010, has been now modified and updated.

No new offenses were introduced

Despite the update, the 2021 norms do not introduce any new offenses reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, keeping the typification of crimes unchanged. The modifications introduced concern mainly aspects of procedure, with the aim of clarifying and facilitating the correct course of the Church’s criminal action for the administration of justice.

Normative measures increased

Numerous normative measures of various kinds have been included, such as the motu proprios “As a loving mother,” and “You are the light of the World.” The two rescripts of December 2019 have been finalized to a more secure and incisive penal protection of the Church’s greatest goods: the faith, the sanctity of the sacraments, the lives of vulnerable people who have limited means of protection, minors and adults with an imperfect habitual use of reason.

Improving the Church’s prosecution

The updating of the norms aimed at improving the Church’s prosecution of crimes reserved to the CDF, including the most serious ones against morals and the celebration of the sacraments. It also readjusts the practical guidelines of recent years. It has become the norm to be able to decree the ex officio dismissal from the clerical state, without prosecution, even for cases against the faith, such as, for example, a priest joining a schismatic community. (EPC)

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