Laity for Moral Reform in the Catholic Church


The Catholic response to the clerical abuse crisis has not been Catholic enough. It has not been Catholic enough because it has failed to draw upon the Church’s own sacred traditions of reform and renewal, as embodied by figures like St. Peter Damian. For too long, the language of bureaucrats and businessmen has been allowed to supplant that of the saints—of sackcloth and ashes, of bell, book, and candle. And while recent expressions of shame and sorrow are good, they are not substitutes for righteous anger and mortification.

The Abuse Crisis and Antinomianism

Posted: 2021-07-25

On May 23 of this year, Pope Francis released the Apostolic Constitution Pascite gregem Dei, which formally changed Book VI of the Code of Canon Law as it relates to sanctions in the Church. Notably, the changes to Book VI strengthen Church discipline regarding clerical abuse and other crimes, requiring that bishops initiate penal proceedings in instances where the previous law did not.