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From The Washington Post:
In Catholic Church law, being forcibly laicized is sometimes called the death penalty for priests. A dismissal from the priesthood is permanent — something that can’t even be said of excommunication. Even priests who request laicization are told to move away and, unless necessary, to keep quiet about what happened to avoid scandalizing other Catholics. No working in parishes, seminaries, Catholic schools. Your previous identity is wiped out.
Eyes - Church - Mark - Ordination - Changes
But, in the eyes of the church, the mark of priestly ordination can never be removed. Something metaphysical changes that can’t be undone.
Theodore McCarrick is believed to be the first cardinal — a title he held until sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced in the summer — laicized for sexual misconduct. He is one of just six bishops accused of similar crimes and dismissed, according to the abuse-tracking group BishopAccountability. But in an era of rampant clergy scandals, experts predicted that many Catholics won’t see the rare defrocking as sufficient justice for McCarrick’s alleged victims.
Reality - Issue - Embarrassment - Difference - McCarrick
“The reality is that, leaving aside the issue of embarrassment, and I’d be cautious on that, what difference does it make to McCarrick?” said Jennifer Haselberger, a canon lawyer who represented the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis...
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