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What is a censure?

Full Question

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

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.









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  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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