The Congregation for the Clergy introduced substantial changes in the rescript to obtain dispensation from the clerical state, ReligionDigital.org (September 23) reports.
It calls this a “substantial change,” “complete turnaround” and part of a movement against celibacy and for the rehabilitation of married ex-priests.
The rescript does not speak about “laicization” anymore – a term RelgionDigital.org believes to “underestimate” the laity – but of “dispensed clergy.”
The penance for having violated the priestly obligations imposed on ex-priests and the obligation to stay away from their former parish are abolished.
While ex-priests had to abstain from pastoral activities, now they “may exercise ecclesiastical offices which don't require sacred orders.” However, in Switzerland and other countries ex-priests have been re-employed for decades as “pastoral assistants” even if they left the priesthood to engage in homosexual fornication.
Now, ex-priests can teach religious education or theology, even in seminaries, and be directors of “Catholic” institutes of higher education.
Problems for a priest start only if he is faithful to his ministry and faithfully proclaims the Catholic Faith.
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