Can. 1311 The Church has its
own inherent right to constrain with penal sanctions Christs faithful who commit
Can. 1312 §1 The penal
sanctions in the Church are:
1° medicinal penalties or
censures, which are listed in cann. 1331-1333;
2° expiatory penalties,
mentioned in Can. 1336;
§2 The law may determine
other expiatory penalties which deprive a member of Christs faithful of some
spiritual or temporal good, and are consistent with the Churchs supernatural
§3 Use is also made of
penal remedies and penances: the former primarily to prevent offences, the latter rather
to substitute for or to augment a penalty.
TITLE II: PENAL LAW AND PENAL PRECEPT
Can. 1313 §1 If a law is
changed after an offence has been committed, the law more favourable to the offender is to
§2 If a later law removes a
law, or at least a penalty, the penalty immediately lapses.
Can. 1314 A penalty is for
the most part ferendae sententiae, that is, not binding upon the offender until it has
been imposed. It is, however, latae sententiae, so that it is incurred automatically upon
the commission of an offence, if a law or precept expressly lays this down.
Can. 1315 §1 Whoever has
legislative power can also make penal laws. A legislator can, however, by laws of his own,
reinforce with a fitting penalty a divine law or an ecclesiastical law of a higher
authority, observing the limits of his competence in respect of territory or persons.
§2 A law can either itself
determine the penalty or leave its determination to the prudent decision of a judge.
§3 A particular law can
also add other penalties to those laid down for a certain offence in a universal law; this
is not to be done, however, except for the gravest necessity. If a universal law threatens
an undetermined penalty or a discretionary penalty, a particular law can establish in its
place a determined or an obligatory penalty.
Can. 1316 Diocesan Bishops
are to take care that as far as possible any penalties which are to be imposed by law are
uniform within the same city or region.
Can. 1317 Penalties are to
be established only in so far as they are really necessary for the better maintenance of
ecclesiastical discipline. Dismissal from the clerical state, however, cannot be laid down
by particular law.
Can. 1318 A legislator is
not to threaten latae sententiae penalties, except perhaps for some outstanding and
malicious offences which may be either more grave by reason of scandal or such that they
cannot be effectively punished by ferendae sententiae penalties. He is not, however, to
constitute censures, especially excommunication, except with the greatest moderation, and
only for the more grave offences.
Can. 1319 §1 To the extent
to which a legislator can impose precepts by virtue of the power of governance in the
external forum, to that extent can he also by precept threaten a determined penalty, other
than a perpetual expiatory penalty.
§2 A precept to which a
penalty is attached is not to be issued unless the matter has been very carefully
considered, and unless the provisions of Can. 1317 and 1318 concerning particular laws
have been observed.
Can. 1320 In all matters in
which they come under the authority of the local Ordinary, religious can be constrained by
him with penalties.
TITLE III: THOSE WHO ARE LIABLE TO PENAL SANCTIONS
Can. 1321 §1 No one can be
punished for the commission of an external violation of a law or precept unless it is
gravely imputable by reason of malice or of culpability.
§2 A person who
deliberately violated a law or precept is bound by the penalty prescribed in that law or
precept. If, however, the violation was due to the omission of due diligence, the person
is not punished unless the law or precept provides otherwise.
§3 Where there has been an
external violation, imputability is presumed, unless it appears otherwise.
Can. 1322 Those who
habitually lack the use of reason, even though they appeared sane when they violated a law
or precept, are deemed incapable of committing an offence.
Can. 1323 No one is liable
to a penalty who, when violating a law or precept:
1° has not completed the
sixteenth year of age;
2° was, without fault,
ignorant of violating the law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to
3° acted under physical
force, or under the impetus of a chanceoccurrence which the person could not foresee or if
foreseen could not avoid;
4° acted under the
compulsion of grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave
inconvenience, unless, however, the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to
5° acted, within the limits
of due moderation, in lawful self-defence or defence of another against an unjust
6° lacked the use of
reason, without prejudice to the provisions of cann. 1324, §1, n. 2 and 1325;
7° thought, through no
personal fault, that some one of the circumstances existed which are mentioned in nn. 4 or
Can. 1324 §1 The
perpretrator of a violation is not exempted from penalty, but the penalty prescribed in
the law or precept must be diminished, or a penance substituted in its place, if the
offence was committed by:
1° one who had only an
imperfect use of reason;
2° one who was lacking the
use of reason because of culpable drunkenness or other mental disturbance of a similar
3° one who acted in the
heat of passion which, while serious, nevertheless did not precede or hinder all mental
deliberation and consent of the will, provided that the passion itself had not been
deliberately stimulated or nourished
4° a minor who has
completed the sixteenth year of age;
5° one who was compelled by
grave fear, even if only relative, or byreason of necessity or grave inconvenience, if the
act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls;
6° one who acted in lawful
self-defence or defence of another against an unjust aggressor, but did not observe due
7° one who acted against
another person who was gravely and unjustly provocative;
8° one who erroneously, but
culpably, thought that some one of the circumstances existed which are mentioned in Can.
1323, nn. 4 or 5;
9° one who through no
personal fault was unaware that a penalty was attached to the law or precept;
10° one who acted without
full imputability, provided it remained grave.
§2 A judge can do the same
if there is any other circumstance present which would reduce the gravity of the offence.
§3 In the circumstances
mentioned in §1, the offender is not bound by a latae sententiae penalty.
Can. 1325 Ignorance which is
crass or supine or affected can never be taken into account when applying the provisions
of cann. 1323 and 1324. Likewise, drunkenness or other mental disturbances cannot be taken
into account if these have been deliberately sought so as to commit the offence or to
excuse it; nor can passion which has been deliberately stimulated or nourished.
Can. 1326 §1 A judge may
inflict a more serious punishment than that prescribed in the law or precept when:
1° a person, after being
condemned, or after the penalty has been declared, continues so to offend that obstinate
ill-will may prudently be concluded from the circumstances;
2° a person who is
established in some position of dignity, or who has abused a position of authority or an
office, in order to commit a crime;
3° an offender who, after a
penalty for a culpable offence was constituted, foresaw the event but nevertheless omitted
to take the precautions to avoid it which any careful person would have taken.
§2 In the cases mentioned
in 1, if the penalty constituted is latae sententiae, another penalty or a penance may be
Can. 1327 A particular law
may, either as a general rule or for individual offences, determine excusing, attenuating
or aggravating circumstances, over and above the cases mentioned in cann. 1323--1326.
Likewise, circumstances may be determined in a precept which excuse from, attenuate or
aggravate the penalty constituted in the precept.
Can. 1328 §1 One who in
furtherance of an offence did something or failed to do something but then, involuntarily,
did not complete the offence, is not bound by the penalty prescribed for the completed
offence, unless the law or a precept provides otherwise.
§2 If the acts or the
omissions of their nature lead to the carrying out of the offence, the person responsible
may be subjected to a penance or to a penal remedy, unless he or she had spontaneously
desisted from the offence which had been initiated. However, if scandal or other serious
harm or danger has resulted, the perpetrator, even though spontaneously desisting, may be
punished by a just penalty, but of a lesser kind than that determined for the completed
Can. 1329 §1 Where a number
of persons conspire together to commit an offence, and accomplices are not expressly
mentioned in the law or precept, if ferendae sententiae penalties were constituted for the
principal offender, then the others are subject to the same penalties or to other
penalties of the same or a lesser gravity.
§2 In the case of a latae
sententiae penalty attached to an offence, accomplices, even though not mentioned in the
law or precept, incur the same penalty if, without their assistance, the crime would not
have been committed, and if the penalty is of such a nature as to be able to affect them;
otherwise, they can be punished with ferendae sententiae penalties.
Can. 1330 §1 An offence
which consists in a declaration or in some other manifestation of doctrine or knowledge,
is not to be regarded as effected if no one actually perceives the declaration or
TITLE IV: PENALTIES AND OTHER PUNISHMENTS
I : CENSURES
Can. 1331 §1 An
excommunicated person is forbidden:
1° to have any ministerial
part in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist or in any other ceremonies of
2° to celebrate the
sacraments or sacramentals and to receive the sacraments ;
3° to exercise any
ecclesiastical offices, ministries, functions or acts of governance.
§2 If the excommunication
has been imposed or declared, the offender:
1° proposing to act in
defiance of the provision of §1, n. 1 is to be removed, or else the liturgical action is
to be suspended, unless there is a grave reason to the contrary
2° invalidly exercises any
acts of governance which, in accordancewith §1, n.3, are unlawful;
3° is forbidden to benefit
from privileges already granted;
4° cannot validly assume
any dignity, office or other function in the Church
5° loses the title to the
benefits of any dignity, office, function or pension held in the Church.
Can. 1332 One who is under
interdict is obliged by the prohibition of Can. 1331 §1, nn. 1 and 2- if the interdict
was imposed or declared, the provision of Can. 1331 §2, n. 1 is to be observed.
Can. 1333 §1 Suspension,
which can affect only clerics, prohibits:
1° all or some of the acts
of the power of order
2° all or some of the acts
of the power of governance;
3° the exercise of all or
some of the rights or functions attaching toan office.
§2 In a law or a precept it
may be prescribed that, after a judgement which imposes or declares the penalty, a
suspended person cannot validly perform acts of the power of governance.
§3 The prohibition never
1° any offices or power of
governance which are not within the control of the Superior who establishes the penalty;
2° a right of residence
which the offender may have by virtue of office;
3° the right to administer
goods which may belong to an office held by the person suspended, if the penalty is latae
§4 A suspension prohibiting
the receipt of benefits, stipends, pensions or other such things, carries with it the
obligation of restitution of whatever has been unlawfully received, even though this was
in good faith.
Can. 1334 §1 The extent of
a suspension, within the limits laid down in the preceding canon, is defined either by the
law or precept, or by the judgement or decree whereby the penalty is imposed.
§2 A law, but not a
precept, can establish a latae sententiae suspension without an added determination or
limitation; such a penalty has all the effects enumerated in Can. 1333 §1.
Can. 1335 If a censure
prohibits the celebration of the sacraments or sacramentals or the exercise of a power of
governance, the prohibition is suspended whenever this is necessary to provide for the
faithful who are in danger of death. If a latae sententiae censure has not been declared,
the prohibition is also suspended whenever one of the faithful requests a sacrament or
sacramental or an act of the power of governance; for any just reason it is lawful to make
such a request.
Chapter II : EXPIATORY PENALTIES
Can. 1336 §1 Expiatory
penalties can affect the offender either forever or for a determinate or an indeterminate
period. Apart from others which the law may perhaps establish, these penalties are as
1° a prohibition against
residence, or an order to reside, in a certain place or territory;
2° deprivation of power,
office, function, right, privilege, faculty, favour, title or insignia, even of a merely
3° a prohibition on the
exercise of those things enumerated in n. 2, or a prohibition on their exercise inside or
outside a certain place; such a prohibition is never under pain of nullity;
4° a penal transfer to
5° dismissal from the
§2 Only those expiatory
penalties may be latae sententiae which are enumerated in §1, n. 3.
Can. 1337 §1 A prohibition
against residing in a certain place or territory can affect both clerics and religious. An
order to reside in a certain place can affect secular clerics and, within the limits of
their constitutions, religious.
§2 An order imposing
residence in a certain place or territory must have the consent of the Ordinary of that
place, unless there is question of a house set up for penance or rehabilitation of
clerics, including extradiocesans.
Can. 1338 §1 The
deprivations and prohibitions enumerated in Can. 1336 §1, nn. 2 and 3 never affect
powers, offices, functions, rights, privileges, faculties, favours, titles or insignia,
which are not within the control of the Superior who establishes the penalty.
§2 There can be no
deprivation of the power of order, but only a prohibition against the exercise of it or of
some of its acts; neither can there be a deprivation of academic degrees.
§3 The norm laid down for
censures in Can. 1335 is to be observed in regard to the prohibitions mentioned in Can.
1336 §1, n. 3.
Chapter III : PENAL REMEDIES AND PENANCES
Can. 1339 §1 When someone
is in a proximate occasion of committing an offence or when, after an investigation, there
is a serious suspicion that an offence has been committed, the Ordinary either personally
or through another can give that person warning.
§2 In the case of behaviour
which gives rise to scandal or serious disturbance of public order, the Ordinary can also
correct the person, in a way appropriate to the particular conditions of the person and of
what has been done.
§3 The fact that there has
been a warning or a correction must always be proven, at least from some document to be
kept in the secret archive of the curia.
Can. 1340 §1 A penance,
which is imposed in the external forum, is the performance of some work of religion or
piety or charity.
§2 A public penance is
never to be imposed for an occult transgression.
§3 According to his prudent
judgement, the Ordinary may add penances to the penal remedy of warning or correction.
TITLE V: THE APPLICATION OF PENALTIES
Can. 1341 The Ordinary is to
start a judicial or an administrative procedure for the imposition or the declaration of
penalties only when he perceives that neither by fraternal correction or reproof, nor by
any methods of pastoral care, can the scandal be sufficiently repaired, justice restored
and the offender reformed.
Can. 1342 §1 Whenever there
are just reasons against the use of a judicial procedure, a penalty can be imposed or
declared by means of an extra-judicial decree; in every case, penal remedies and penances
may be applied by a decree.
§2 Perpetual penalties
cannot be imposed or declared by means of a decree; nor can penalties which the law or
precept establishing them forbids to be applied by decree.
§3 What the law or decree
says of a judge in regard to the imposition or declaration of a penalty in a trial, is to
be applied also to a Superior who imposes or declares a penalty by an extra-judicial
decree, unless it is otherwise clear, or unless there is question of provisions which
concern only procedural matters.
Can. 1343 If a law or
precept gives the judge the power to apply or not to apply a penalty, the judge may also,
according to his own conscience and prudence, modify the penalty or in its place impose a
Can. 1344 Even though the
law may use obligatory words, the judge may, according to his own conscience and prudence:
1° defer the imposition of
the penalty to a more opportune time, if it is foreseen that greater evils may arise from
a too hasty punishment of the offender;
2° abstain from imposing
the penalty or substitute a milder penalty or a penance, if the offender has repented and
repaired the scandal, or if the offender has been or foreseeably will be sufficiently
punished by the civil authority;
3° may suspend the
obligation of observing an expiatory penalty, if the person is a first-offender after a
hitherto blameless life, and there is no urgent need to repair scandal; this is, however,
to be done in such a way that if the person again commits an offence within a time laid
down by the judge, then that person must pay the penalty for both offences, unless in the
meanwhile the time for prescription of a penal action in respect of the former offence has
Can. 1345 Whenever the
offender had only an imperfect use of reason, or committed the offence out of fear or
necessity or in the heat of passion or with a mind disturbed by drunkenness or a similar
cause, the judge can refrain from inflicting any punishment if he considers that the
persons reform may be better accomplished in some other way.
Can. 1346 Whenever the
offender has committed a number of offences and the sum of penalties which should be
imposed seems excessive, it is left to the prudent decision of the judge to moderate the
penalties in an equitable fashion.
Can. 1347 §1 A censure
cannot validly be imposed unless the offender has beforehand received at least one warning
to purge the contempt, and has been allowed suitable time to do so.
§2 The offender is said to
have purged the contempt if he or she has truly repented of the offence and has made, or
at least seriously promised to make, reparation for the damage and scandal.
Can. 1348 When the person
has been found not guilty of an accusation, or where no penalty has been imposed, the
Ordinary may provide for the persons welfare or for the common good by opportune
warnings or other solicitous means, and even, if the case calls for it, by the use of
Can. 1349 If a penalty is
indeterminate, and if the law does not provide otherwise, the judge is not to impose
graver penalties, especially censures, unless the seriousness of the case really demands
it. He may not impose penalties which are perpetual.
Can. 1350 §1 In imposing
penalties on a cleric, except in the case of dismissal from the clerical state, care must
always be taken that he does not lack what is necessary for his worthy support.
§2 If a person is truly in
need because he has been dismissed from the clerical state, the Ordinary is to provide in
the best way possible.
Can. 1351 A penalty binds an
offender everywhere, even when the one who established or imposed it has ceased from
office, unless it is otherwise expressly provided.
Can. 1352 §1 If a penalty
prohibits the reception of the sacraments or sacramentals, the prohibition is suspended
for as long as the offender is in danger of death.
§2 The obligation of
observing a latae sententiae penalty which has not been declared, and is not notorious in
the place where the offender actually is, is suspended either in whole or in part to the
extent that the offender cannot observe it without the danger of grave scandal or loss of
Can. 1352 An appeal or a
recourse against judgements of a court or against decrees which impose or declare any
penalty, has a suspensive effect.
TITLE VI: THE CESSATION OF PENALTIES
Can. 1354 §1 Besides those
who are enumerated in cann. 1355--56, all who can dispense from a law which is supported
by a penalty, can also remit the penalty itself.
§2 Moreover, a law or
precept which establishes a penalty can also grant to others the power of remitting the
§3 If the Apostolic See has
reserved the remission of a penalty to itself or to others, the reservation is to be
Can. 1355 §1 Provided it is
not reserved to the Apostolic See, a penalty which is established by law and has been
imposed or declared, can be remitted by the following:
1° the Ordinary who
initiated the judicial proceedings to impose or declare the penalty, or who by a decree,
either personally or through another, imposed or declared it;
2° the Ordinary of the
place where the offender actually is, after consulting the Ordinary mentioned in n. 1,
unless because of extraordinary circumstances this is impossible.
§2 Provided it is not
reserved to the Apostolic See, a latae sententiae penalty established by law but not yet
declared, can be remitted by the Ordinary in respect of his subjects and of those actually
in his territory or of those who committed the offence in his territory. Moreover, any
Bishop can do this, but only in the course of sacramental confession.
Can. 1356 §1 A ferendae or
a latae sententiae penalty established in a precept not issued by the Apostolic See, can
be remitted by the following:
1° the Ordinary of the
place where the offender actually is;
2° if the penalty has been
imposed or declared, the Ordinary who initiated the judicial proceedings to impose or
declare the penalty, or who by a decree, either personally or through another, imposed or
§2 Before the remission is
granted, the author of the precept is to be consulted, unless because of extraordinary
circumstance this is impossible.
Can. 1357 §1 Without
prejudice to the provisions of cann. 508 and 976, a confessor can in the internal
sacramental forum remit a latae sententiae censure of excommunication or interdict which
has not been declared, if it is difficult for the penitent to remain in a state of grave
sin for the time necessary for the competent Superior to provide.
§2 In granting the
remission, the confessor is to impose upon the penitent, under pain of again incurring the
censure, the obligation to have recourse within one month to the competent Superior or to
a priest having the requisite faculty, and to abide by his instructions. In the meantime,
the confessor is to impose an appropriate penance and, to the extent demanded, to require
reparation of scandal and damage. The recourse, however, may be made even through the
confessor, without mention of a name.
§3 The same duty of
recourse, when they have recovered, binds those who in accordance with Can. 976 have had
remitted an imposed or declared censure or one reserved to the Holy See.
Can. 1358 §1 The remission
of a censure cannot be granted except to an offender whose contempt has been purged in
accordance with Can. 1347 §2. However, once the contempt has been purged, the remission
cannot be refused.
§2 The one who remits a
censure can make provision in accordance with Can. 1348, and can also impose a penance.
Can. 1359 If one is bound by
a number of penalties, a remission is valid only for those penalties expressed in it. A
general remission, however, removes all penalties, except those which in the petition have
been concealed in bad faith.
Can. 1360 The remission of a
penalty extorted by grave fear is invalid
Can. 1361 §1 A remission
can be granted even to a person who is not present, or conditionally.
§2 A remission in the
external forum is to be granted in writing, unless a grave reason suggests otherwise.
§3 Care is to be taken that
the petition for remission or the remission itself is not made public, except insofar as
this would either be useful for the protection of the good name of the offender, or be
necessary to repair scandal.
Can. 1362 §1 A criminal
action is extinguished by prescription after three years, except for:
1° offences reserved to the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
2° an action arising from
any of the offences mentioned in cann. 1394, 1395, 1397, 1398, which is extinguished after
3° offences not punished by
the universal law, where a particular law has prescribed a different period of
§2 Prescription runs from
the day the offence was committed or, if the offence was enduring or habitual, from the
day it ceased.
Can. 1363 §1 An action to
execute a penalty is extinguished by prescription if the judges decree of execution
mentioned in Can. 1651 was not notified to the offender within the periods mentioned in
Can. 1362; these periods are to be reckoned from the day the condemnatory judgement became
an adjudged matter.
§2 The same applies, with
the necessary adjustments, if the penalty was imposed by an extra-judicial decree.
Part II : PENALTIES FOR PARTICULAR OFFENCES
TITLE I: OFFENCES AGAINST RELIGION AND THE UNITY OF THE
Can. 1364 §1 An apostate
from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication,
without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 §1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be
punished with the penalties mentioned in Can. 1336 §1, nn. 1, 2 and 3.
§2 If a longstanding
contempt or the gravity of scandal calls for it, other penalties may be added, not
excluding dismissal from the clerical state.
Can. 1365 One who is guilty
of prohibited participation in religious rites is to be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1366 Parents, and those
taking the place of parents, who hand over their children to be baptised or brought up in
a non-catholic religion, are to be punished with a censure or other just penalty.
Can. 1367 One who throws
away the consecrated species or, for a sacrilegious purpose, takes them away or keeps
them, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric,
moreover, may be punished with some other penalty, not excluding dismissal from the
Can. 1368 A person who, in
asserting or promising something before an ecclesiastical authority, commits perjury, is
to be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1369 A person is to be
punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published
writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or
gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or
TITLE II : OFFENCES AGAINST CHURCH AUTHORITIES AND THE
FREEDOM OF THE CHURCH
Can. 1370 §1 A person who
uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff incurs a latae sententiae excommunication
reserved to the Apostolic See; if the offender is a cleric, another penalty, not excluding
dismissal from the clerical state, may be added according to the gravity of the crime.
§2 One who does this
against a Bishop incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if a cleric, he incurs also a
latae sententiae suspension.
§3 A person who uses
physical force against a cleric or religious out of contempt for the faith, or the Church,
or ecclesiastical authority or the ministry, is to be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1371 The following are
to be punished with a just penalty:
1° a person who, apart from
the case mentioned in Can. 1364 §1, teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff, or
by an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects the teaching mentioned in Can. 752 and,
when warned by the Apostolic See or by the Ordinary, does not retract;
2° a person who in any
other way does not obey the lawful command or prohibition of the Apostolic See or the
Ordinary or Superior and, after being warned, persists in disobedience.
Can. 1372 A person who
appeals from an act of the Roman Pontiff to an Ecumenical Council or to the College of
Bishops, is to be punished with a censure.
Can. 1373 A person who
publicly incites his or her subjects to hatred or animosity against the Apostolic See or
the Ordinary because of some act of ecclesiastical authority or ministry, or who provokes
the subjects to disobedience against them, is to be punished by interdict or other just
Can. 1374 A person who joins
an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty- one
who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.
Can. 1375 Those who hinder
the freedom of the ministry or of an election or of the exercise of ecclesiastical power,
or the lawful use of sacred or other ecclesiastical goods, or who intimidate either an
elector or one who is elected or one who exercises ecclesiastical power or ministry, may
be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1376 A person who
profanes a sacred object, moveable or immovable, is to be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1377 A person who
without the prescribed permission alienates ecclesiastical goods, is to be punished with a
TITLE III : USURPATION OF ECCLESIASTICAL OFFICES AND
OFFENCES COMMITTED IN THEIR EXERCISE
Can. 1378 §1 A priest who
acts against the prescription of Can. 977 incurs a latae sententiae excommunication
reserved to the Apostolic See.
§2 The following incur a
latae sententiae interdict or, if a cleric, a latae sententiae suspension:
1° a person who, not being
an ordained priest, attempts to celebrate Mass
2° a person who, apart from
the case mentioned in §1, though unable to give valid sacramental absolution, attempts to
do so, or hears a sacramental confession.
§3 In the cases mentioned
in §2, other penalties, not excluding excommunication, can be added, according to the
gravity of the offence.
Can. 1379 A person who,
apart from the cases mentioned in Can. 1378, pretends to administer a sacrament, is to be
punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1380 A person who
through simony celebrates or receives a sacrament, is to be punished with an interdict or
Can. 1381 §1 Anyone who
usurps an ecclesiastical office is to be punished with a just penalty.
§2 The unlawful retention
of an ecclesiastical office after being deprived of it, or ceasing from it, is equivalent
Can. 1382 Both the Bishop
who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a Bishop, and the one who receives
the consecration from him, incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the
Can. 1383 A Bishop who,
contrary to the provision of Can. 1015, ordained someone elses subject without the
lawful dimissorial letters, is prohibited from conferring orders for one year. The person
who received the order is ipso facto suspended from the order received.
Can. 1384 A person who,
apart from the cases mentioned in cann. 1378-1383, unlawfully exercises the office of a
priest or another sacred ministry, may be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1385 A person who
unlawfully traffics in Mass offerings is to be punished with a censure or other just
Can. 1386 A person who gives
or promises something so that some one who exercises an office in the Church would
unlawfully act or fail to act, is to be punished with a just penalty; likewise, the person
who accepts such gifts or promises.
Can. 1387 A priest who in
confession, or on the occasion or under the pretext of confession, solicits a penitent to
commit a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, is to be punished, according
to the gravity of the offence, with suspension, prohibitions and deprivations; in the more
serious cases he is to be dismissed from the clerical state.
Can. 1388 §1 A confessor
who directly violates the sacramental seal, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication
reserved to the Apostolic See; he who does so only indirectly is to be punished according
to the gravity of the offence.
§2 Interpreters and the
others mentioned in can. 983 §2, who violate the secret, are to be punished with a just
penalty, not excluding excommunication.
Can. 1389 §1 A person who
abuses ecclesiastical power or an office, is to be punished according to the gravity of
the act or the omission, not excluding by deprivation of the office, unless a penalty for
that abuse is already established by law or precept.
§2 A person who, through
culpable negligence, unlawfully and with harm to another, performs or omits an act of
ecclesiastical power or ministry or office, is to be punished with a just penalty.
TITLE IV: THE OFFENCE OF FALSEHOOD
Can. 1390 §1 A person who
falsely denounces a confessor of the offence mentioned in can. 1387 to an ecclesiastical
Superior, incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if a cleric, he incurs also a
§2 A person who
calumniously denounces an offence to an ecclesiastical Superior, or otherwise injures the
good name of another, can be punished with a just penalty, not excluding a censure.
§3 The calumniator can also
be compelled to make appropriate amends.
Can. 1391 The following can
be punished with a just penalty, according to the gravity of the offence:
1° a person who composes a
false public ecclesiastical document, or who changes or conceals a genuine one, or who
uses a false or altered one
2° a person who in an
ecclesiastical matter uses some other false oraltered document;
3° a person who, in a
public ecclesiastical document, asserts something false.
TITLE V : OFFENCES AGAINST SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS
Can. 1392 Clerics or
religious who engage in trading or business contrary to the provisions of the canons, are
to be punished according to the gravity of the offence.
Can. 1393 A person who
violates obligations imposed by a penalty, can be punished with a just penalty.
Can. 1394 §1 Without
prejudice to the provisions of can. 194, §1, n. 3, a cleric who attempts marriage, even
if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae suspension. If, after warning, he has not
reformed and continues to give scandal, he can be progressively punished by deprivations,
or even by dismissal from the clerical state.
§2 Without prejudice to the
provisions of can. 694, a religious in perpetual vows who is not a cleric but who attempts
marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae interdict.
Can. 1395 §1 Apart from the
case mentioned in can. 1394, a cleric living in concubinage, and a cleric who continues in
some other external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue which causes
scandal, is to be punished with suspension. To this, other penalties can progressively be
added if after a warning he persists in the offence, until eventually he can be dismissed
from the clerical state.
§2 A cleric who has
offended in other ways against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the crime was
committed by force, or by threats, or in public, or with a minor under the age of sixteen
years, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical
state if the case so warrants.
Can. 1396 A person who
gravely violates the obligation of residence to which he is bound by reason of an
ecclesiastical office, is to be punished with a just penalty, not excluding, after a
warning, deprivation of the office.
TITLE VI : OFFENCES AGAINST HUMAN LIFE AND LIBERTY
Can. 1397 One who commits
murder, or who by force or by fraud abducts, imprisons, mutilates or gravely wounds a
person, is to be punished, according to the gravity of the offence, with the deprivations
and prohibitions mentioned in can. 1336. In the case of the murder of one of those persons
mentioned in can. 1370, the offender is punished with the penalties there prescribed.
Can. 1398 A person who
actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.
TITLE VII: GENERAL NORM
Can. 1399 Besides the cases
prescribed in this or in other laws, the external violation of divine or canon law can be
punished, and with a just penalty, only when the special gravity of the violation requires
it and necessity demands that scandals be prevented or repaired.