March 30, 2023/429 am
The Bishop of Worcester (United States), Mount Robert McMacnus, has promulgated a special law on sexual misconduct by priests on social networks, with the aim of preserving the chastity and celibacy of priests.
The law, which entered into force on March 24, 2023, was presented by the Bishop to the priests on the 20th, in a meeting in which he discussed the promises made on the day of his ordination, according to the Catholic Book. publication of the Diocese of Wigorn.
The norm, the diocesan publication specifies, is also a complement to the “Ministerial Code of Conduct”, which concerns the clergy and their interactions with adults.
For Bishop McMano, this new active law is a way of reminding clerics of the “moral gravity” of these, considering the expulsion of priests who violated the sixth commandment: “Thou shalt not defile.”
The new law specifies that each priest “must maintain celibacy and perfect continence as a strong sign of the kingdom of God, so that he can serve the Lord with an undivided heart.”
It also established that if a cleric creates or uses an account created by a third party, or uses social media for violations of the sixth commandment of the Decalogue with an adult, he will be punished with a sentence according to the standard with the gravity of the offense.
Norma also warns of cult (digital sexual harassment), which can lead to physical sexual abuse and which is spreading more and more in social networks.
A just penalty is also applicable to a cleric who “intentionally sends, receives, or circulates sexually expressed material (pornography) from another, whether adult words or images, including himself, through any social media, whether in analog or digital form or in printed media. .
The particular law of the Diocese of Worcester, in the state of Massachusetts, also mentions the Code of Canon Law, the universal law of the Church, establishes that the just sanctions of priests, deprivation of office or expulsion from the clergy are not excluded. of the city
And in this way the law indicates that this punishment can fall on a priest if he commits the sixth commandment with a minor or a vulnerable adult; if you prepare or induce a minor or vulnerable adult to expose themselves pornographically; and if in any way you share pornographic images of this kind.