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23 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (8)

If the Bible says we are only to follow God's Commandments, how can the Church require its members to follow…

Full Question If the Bible says we are to follow the Commandments of God and not the traditions of men, how can the Catholic Church require, under penalty …

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07 Nov 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis: Being a Christian is humbly serving others

Pope Francis called on Christians to be in service of others instead of waiting to be served. Christians are called to live the faith by going out to serve o…

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07 Oct 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

On the bishops' discussion slate: Streamlining annulments

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2014 / 03:02 pm .- The opening report for the bishops' synod on the family touched on the process of annulments, noting that reform is bein…

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01 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Must we believe in angels?

Full Question Why the big deal with angels? Are they really a part of the Tradition of the Church, or are Catholics free to believe or disbelieve in them? …

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15 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Ukrainian prelate speaks of Church’s growth

In a recent talk in California, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop of Paris discussed the resurgence of the Church in Ukraine over the past 25 years. “When …

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02 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Full text: Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy letter

The Pope has written to Archbishop Rino Fisichella To My Venerable Brother Archbishop Rino Fisichella President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotio…

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16 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope: ‘In sickness or health, trust in Mary’s intercession’

The Vatican has released Pope Francis's message for the World Day of the Sick 2016 Trust in Mary, who urges people to believe and do what Christ says, Pope F…

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18 Dec 2015 News USA Comments (2)

The Life-saver of many Jews is to be canonized

Blessed Elizabeth Hesselblad, Swedish and a convert from Lutheranism, baptized into the Reform Church and converted to the Catholic faith. She  was mother super…

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19 Aug 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

What is a "cafeteria Catholic"?

Full Question I frequently hear the term “cafeteria Catholic.” Exactly what does this mean? Answer A cafeteria Catholic is typically defined as one…

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What is a censure?

Full Question

I occasionally hear about the Church imposing a “censure.” What is that?

A censure is a type of penalty imposed by the Church. Imposition of such a penalty is intended to motivate a change in behavior and to reintegrate an offending party back into the Church. For this reason a censure is called a medicinal penalty (CIC 1312) as opposed to an expiatory penalty that is compensatory in nature.


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Note that excommunication is a censure – actually I can think of no other censure besides excommunication. Note as well that the only Nazi ever excommunicated was censured over an adultery/divorce issue – not mass murder. A priest who calls authorities to stop a sex abuser who confessed to him will be excommunicated. A doctor who performs an abortion on a child who was raped by her stepfather will be excommunicated for saving her life – but how many priests have been excommunicated for their sexual abuse crimes? The Church has a warped sense of justice, it seems to me, when it comes to what crimes or sins are worthy of censure, and which are not.

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