Sins so heinous that only the Pope can grant absolution

Details of some high-level Catholic tribunal and how it handles the most grievous sins have been revealed. In a very strange overview, we learn that murder and genocide, while truly horrible crimes, can be handled by lower members of the hierarchy. There are a few that only this tribunal and the Pope are qualified to cope with. They are briefly listed: trying to assassinate the Pope, a priest spilling the beans about what is said in the confessional, priests having sex, and abortionists becoming priest. But there is one other crime, which the article dwells on:

Defiling the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ, is also considered a sin of extreme gravity and one which is on the increase, the high-ranking members of the tribunal said.

Cardinal Stafford said there had been a rise in incidents in which people would receive Communion and then spit it out or otherwise desecrate it, sometimes in Satanic rituals.

In July last year an American academic, to make a point about freedom of thought and religion, drove a nail through a Communion wafer and then threw it in a rubbish bin.

Paul Myers, from the University of Minnesota, said later: “I pierced it with a rusty nail. Then I simply threw it in the trash. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your Lord.”

Such sins, which can only be dealt with by the Pope, acting through the tribunal, bring automatic excommunication from the Church. If the Pope decides to grant absolution, the excommunication is lifted.

But how can I be excommunicated from a church to which I’ve never belonged?

And aren’t their priorities a little screwed up that they consider genocide a lesser offense?

Pough sent along an illustration that I must use.



  1. Piltdown Man says

    Owlmirror @484:

    Gee, Pilt, I thought you weren’t SSPX?

    I’m not.

    Hm. “Williamson has expressed controversial views about Judaism and the Holocaust. He has endorsed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has denied the Holocaust, and praised Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. He states that Jews aim at world dominion, and that Jews and Freemasons, whom he also opposes, have contributed to the “changes and corruption” in the Catholic Church. He argues that Jews are the “enemies of Christ”, and urges their conversion to Catholicism. Williamson denies that he is antisemitic, stating that he is following the New Testament, and noting that he also attacks other enemies of Christ such as Communists and Freemasons.”
    Nice guy you got there, Pilt. You sure that it isn’t him who is possessed by demons?

    I gather Williamson is regarded as a bit of a loose cannon among traditionalists, many of whom wince whenever he opens his big mouth.

    I don’t believe he’s a Jew-hater, though, as he’s obviously got a sense of humour.

    Although I know you agree with him 100% on the Freemasons. Ooh, those scary Freemasons!

    I do think they’re a villainous bunch.

    According to Wikipedia, the only Richard Williamson who is a bishop is, in fact, “a bishop of the Society of St. Pius X.”, and was “declared excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church because of his unauthorized consecration by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, deemed by the Holy See to be “unlawful” and “a schismatic act””.
    How very funny! He suffers the exact same fate as someone driving a rusty nail through a Eucharistic wafer!
    Say, aren’t schismatics further down in Hell than blasphemers, at least according to Dante? [*Checks*] Yup, blasphemers are in the Seventh Circle, inner ring. Schismatics are in the Eighth Circle, Bolgia 9.
    Of course, “Williamson upholds the SSPX view that they are not schismatic, but keep the orthodox “complete faith” and are the genuine Roman Catholics, while the mainstream church is under “the power of Satan””. But of course any schismatic would say that.

    I believe the correct online vernacular is snrk.

  2. John Morales says

    Piltdown responds to Owlmirror:

    Although I know you agree with him 100% on the Freemasons. Ooh, those scary Freemasons!

    I do think they’re a villainous bunch.

    Then there’s this.
    I love the Internet :)

  3. llewelly says

    John Donner | January 20, 2009 8:32 PM:

    I can honestly tell you that I really don’t believe that Jesus is God (although I can’t prove he isn’t – insert spaghetti monster theory here) but I can appreciate the community that was created in his name (if even he did exist).

    So you’re a Jeffersonian Christian?

    (Thomas Jefferson re-wrote the 3 synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), minus all the miracles, including the resurrection, all of which he rejected, and published the result, which is called ‘the Jefferson Bible’. )