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Can you recognise where this is in breach of ours laws and our Constitution

 
 
INSTRUCTION
ON THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN CASES OF SOLICITATION


The Decree
CRIMEN SOLLICITATIONIS


The Vatican Press,
March 16, 1962


1



FROM THE SUPREME AND HOLY CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY OFFICE

FOR ALL PATRIARCHS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS AND OTHER DIOCESAN
ORDINARIES ?EVEN OF THE ORIENTAL RITE?


 INSTRUCTION


ON THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN CASES OF SOLICITATION

The Vatican Press, 1962

 INSTRUCTION

On the manner of proceeding in cases of the crime of solicitation

[This text is] to be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia as strictly confidential.
Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.

 PRELIMINARIES

1. The crime of solicitation takes place when a priest tempts a penitent, whoever that
person is, either in the act of sacramental confession, whether before or immediately afterwards,
whether on the occasion or the pretext of confession, whether even outside the times for
confession in the confessional or [in a place] other than that [usually] designated for the hearing
of confessions or [in a place] chosen for the simulated purpose of hearing a confession. [The
object of this temptation] is to solicit or provoke [the penitent] toward impure and obscene
matters, whether by words or signs or nods of the head, whether by touch or by writing whether
then or after [the note has been read] or whether he has had with [that penitent] prohibited and
improper speech or activity with reckless daring (Constitution Sacrum Poenitentiae, ? 1).
2. [The right or duty of addressing] this unspeakable crime in the first instance
pertains to the Ordinaries of the place in whose territory the accused has residence (V. below,
numbers 30 and 31), and this not to mention through proper law but also from a special
delegation of the Apostolic See; It is enjoined upon these aforementioned persons to the fullest
extent possible, [in addition to their being] gravely encumbered by their own consciences, that,
after the occurrence of cases of this type, that they, as soon as possible, take care to introduce,
discuss and terminate [these cases] with their proper tribunal. However, because of particular
and serious reasons, according to the norm of Canon 247, ? 2, these cases can be directly
2



deferred to the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office or be so ordered. Yet [the right of] the
accused respondents ++6++ remains intact in any instance of judgment to have recourse to the
Holy Office. However, recourse thus interposed does not suspend, excluding the case of an
appeal, the exercise of the jurisdiction of the judge who has already begun to accept the case; and
he had therefore be able to pursue the judgment up to the definitive decision, unless it has been
established that the Apostolic See has summoned the case to itself (Ofr. Canon 1569).

3. By the name of Ordinaries of the place are understood to be, each for his own
territory, the residential bishop, abbot or prelate nullius, the administrator, any vicar or Prefect
Apostolic, [and, in the absence of these aforementioned (dignitaries), those who succeed them in
power in the meanwhile by the prescription of law or from approved constitutions (Canon 198, ?
1); [This norm does not apply], however, to the vicar general, except from his [having been]
specially delegated.
4. The Ordinary of the place in these cases is the judge even for regulars [religious],
even though exempt. It is indeed strictly prohibited for their superiors to interpose themselves in
cases pertaining to the Holy Office (Canon 501, ? 2). However, having safeguarded the right of
the Ordinary, there is nothing to prevent superiors themselves, if by chance they have discovered
[one of their] subjects delinquent in the administration of the sacrament of Penance, from being
able and having the obligation of being diligently watchful over those same persons, and, even
having administered salutary penances, to admonish and correct, and, if the case demands it, to
remove him from some ministry. They will also be able to transfer him to another [assignment],
unless the Ordinary of the place has forbidden it because he has already accepted the
denunciation and has begun the inquisition.
5. The Ordinary of the place can either supervise these cases himself or commit their
acceptance to an ecclesiastic who is serious and of a mature age. But (they may not [commit
such cases] on an habitual basis or for the entire group of these cases, but must delegate as often
as needed (toties quoties) for cases taken singly and through writing, saving the prescription of
Canon 1613, ? 1.
6. Although, as a rule, a single judge, by reason of its secrecy, is prescribed for cases
of this type, it is not forbidden, however, for the Ordinary in the more difficult cases to approve
one or two assessors and counselors, selected from the synodal judges (Canon 1575); or even to
three judges, likewise chosen from the synodal judges, to hand over the case to the judges to be
handled with the mandate of proceeding collegially according to the norm of Canon 1577.
7. The promoter of justice, the defender of the accused and the notary, priests who
are fittingly serious, of mature age, of integrity, doctors in canon ++7++ law or otherwise skilled
[in canon law] and worthy because of their zeal for justice (Canon 1589), and not found to be at
any disadvantage toward the accused, which Canon 1613 treats, are to be nominated in writing
by the Ordinary. The promoter of justice, however (who can be different from the promoter of
justice of the Curia) [can be appointed] for the entire series of cases. The defender of the
accused, however, and the notary are to be appointed each time for each case (toties quoties).
3



Nor is the accused prohibited from proposing a defender seen as favorable to him (Canon 1655),
who, however, is to be a priest and approved by the Ordinary.

8. Sometimes (this refers to his own location), the intervention [of the promoter of
justice] is required, and, in the case where he has not been cited, unless by chance even if not
cited he is still present [at the process], the Acts must be considered [totally] invalid. But, if,
however, he has been legitimately cited and is not present at some [parts of the ] Acts, the Acts
indeed are valid, but afterwards [those Acts] will be totally subject to his examination so that he
is able to comment upon all of them either in words or in writing and to propose what he has
judged to be necessary or opportune (Canon 1587).
9 It is fitting that the notary, on the other hand, be present at all the Acts under pain
of nullity and to note down with his own hand or at least to affix his signature [to the aforesaid
Acts] (Canon 1585, ? 1). Because of the special character of these procedures, however, it is
necessary for the Ordinary to dispense from the presence of the notary, though because of a
reasonable excuse in the acceptance, as will be noted in its own place, of the denunciations and
also in the expenditure of the degrees of attention or care expected of a notary in a given
situation, as they say, in pursuing and in examining the witnesses inducted [into the case].

10. Minor helpers are to be used for nothing unless it is absolutely necessary; and
these are to be chosen, in so far as possible, from the priestly order; always, however, they are to
be of proved faithfulness and mature without exception. But it must be noted that, if, when
necessity demands it, they can be nominated to accept certain acts, even if they are non-subjects
living in another territory or the Ordinary of that territory [can] be interrogated (Can. 1570, ? 2),
observing, of course, all of the cautions treated as above and in Canon 1613.
11. Because, however, what is treated in these cases has to have a greater degree of
care and observance so that those same matters be pursued in a most secretive way, and, after
they have been defined and given over to execution, they are to be restrained by a perpetual
silence (Instruction of the Holy Office, February 20, 1867, n. 14), each and everyone pertaining
to the tribunal in any way or admitted to knowledge of the matters because of their office, is to
observe the strictest ++7++ secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office, in
all matters and with all persons, under the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae, ipso
facto and without any declaration [of such a penalty] having been incurred and reserved to the
sole person of the Supreme Pontiff, even to the exclusion of the Sacred Penitentiary, are bound to
observe [this secrecy] inviolably. Indeed by this law the Ordinaries are bound ipso jure or by the
force of their own proper duty. The other helpers from the power of their oath which they must
always take before they undertake their duties. And these, then, are delegated, are interpolated,
and are informed in their absence by means of the precept in the letters of delegation,
interpellation, [or of] information, imposing upon them with express mention of the secret of the
Holy Office and of the aforementioned censure.
12. The aforesaid oath, the formula for which is to be found in the appendix of this
instruction (Form A), must be used (by those, obviously, who will use it habitually, once for all;
4



by those, however, who are deputed only for some determined piece of business or case, as often
as required (toties quoties), in the presence of the ordinary or his delegate done upon the Gospels
of God (also by priests) and not otherwise and with the added promise of fulfilling faithfully
their duty, to which, however, the excommunication, mentioned above, is not extended. There
must be an avoidance, moreover, by those who are set over those involved in this cases, lest
anyone be admitted to a knowledge of the matters from helpers, unless in some way a party or an
office to be performed by that person necessarily requires a knowledge of these matters.

13. The oath of keeping the secret must be given in these cases also by the accusers or
those denouncing [the priest] and the witnesses. To none of these, however, is there subjection
to a censure, unless by chance toward these same persons some censure has been expressly
threatened upon the person himself, for his accusation, his deposition or of his violation
(Excussionis?) [of such] by act. The accused, however, should be most seriously warned that
even he, with all [the others], especially when he observes the secret with his defender, is under
the penalty of suspension a divinis in case of a transgression to be incurred ipso facto.
14. Finally, as for the publishing, the language, the confirmation, the custody of and
the accidental nullity, in every way [these matters] must be observed which are prescribed by
Canons 1642-43, 379-80-82 and 1680 respectively.
TITLE NUMBER ONE

THE FIRST KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRIME

15. Since the crime of solicitation takes place in rather rare decisions, lest it remain
occult and unpunished and always with inestimable detriment to souls, it was necessary for the
one person, as for many persons, conscious of that [act of solicitation], namely, the solicited
penitent, to be compelled to reveal it through a denunciation imposed by positive law.
Therefore:
16. ?According to the Apostolic Constitutions and especially of the Constitution of
Benedict XIV Sacramentum Poenitentiae of June 1, 1941, the penitent must denounce the
accused priest of the delict of solicitation in confession within a month to the Ordinary of the
place or to the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office; and the confessor must, burdened
seriously in conscience, to warn the penitent of this duty.? (Canon 904).
5



17. Moreover, according to the mind of Canon 1935 anyone of the faithful can always
denounce the delict of solicitation, of which he will have had a certain knowledge; also, the
obligation of denunciation urges as often as the person is bound to it from the natural law itself
because of the danger to faith or religion or other imminent public evil.
18. ?The faithful, however, who knowingly have disregarded the obligation to
denounce the person by whom he was solicited, against the prescription (related above) of Canon
904, within a month, falls into an excommunication reserved latae sententiae, not to be absolved
unless after he has satisfied the obligation or has promised seriously that he would so? (Can.
2368, ? 2).
19. The duty of denunciation is a personal one and is to be fulfilled regularly by the
person himself who has been solicited. But if he is prevented by the most serious difficulties
from doing this, then either by letter or by another person favorable to him should approach the
ordinary or the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office or the Sacred Penitentiary, revealing all
the circumstances (Instruction of the Holy Office, February 20, 1967, n. 7).
20. Anonymous denunciations generally must be rejected. However, they can have
supportive force or give the occasion for further investigations, if the particular circumstances of
the matters involved render an accusation probable (Ofr. Can. 1942, ? 2).
21. The obligation of denunciation on the part of the solicited penitent does not cease
because of a spontaneous confession by the soliciting confessor done by chance, nor because of
his being transferred, promoted, condemned, or presumably reformed and other reasons of the
same kind. It ceases, however, at his death.
22. Sometimes it happens that the confessor or another ecclesiastic man is deputed to
receive some denunciation, together with an instruction concerning the acts to be assumed for a
judicial reason. Then that person is to be expressly warned that he should tell everything to the
Ordinary or to the person whom he deputed, keeping no example or trace of it to himself.
23. In receiving the denunciations, this order is to be regularly observed: First, an
oath to tell the truth while touching the Holy Gospels is to be given to the person making the
denunciation; he should be interrogated according to the formula (Formula E), circumspectly, so
that he narrates each and every circumstance briefly, indeed, and decently, but clearly and
distinctly, pertaining to the solicitations he has suffered. In no way, however is it to be extracted
from him whether he had consented to the solicitation. Rather, he should be expressly advised
that he is not bound to manifest his consent which he perhaps gave. The responses [in
uninterrupted fashion], not only as to what pertains to the substance but even to the words
themselves of the testimony (Canon 1778) should be consigned to writing. The entire instrument
[of the testimony] should be read in a clear and distinct voice to the one denouncing [the priest],
giving [the one denouncing the priest] the option of adding, suppressing, correcting, or varying
[his testimony]. His signature is then to be exacted [from him], or, if he does not know how to
write, or cannot, the sign of the cross. And with him still being present, there should be added
6



the signature of the person receiving the testimony, and if he is present (Ofr. n. 9), of the notary.
And before he is dismissed, there should be presented to him, as above, an oath of observing the
secret, threatening him, if there is a need, with an excommunication reserved to the Ordinary or
to the Holy See (Ofr. n. 13).

24. Even if, sometimes, for grave obstructing reasons always to be expressed in the
acts, this ordinary practice cannot be observed, it is permitted that one or the other form from the
prescribed forms, saving however the substance, ++11++ be omitted. Thus, if the oath cannot be
taken upon the holy Gospels, it can be given with some notion and also with words only. If the
instrument of denunciation cannot be put into writing in an uninterrupted fashion, it can be
written down at a more opportune time and place by the interviewer (the recipient of the
denunciation) and then confirmed and signed by the person who is denunciating in the presence
of the one receiving the denunciation; if the instrument itself cannot be read to the denouncer, it
can be given to him to read.
25. In more difficult cases, however, it is also permitted for the denunciation (the
previous permission of the denunciator having been given, lest the sacramental seal seemingly be
violated, and on a day convenient to each party and in the confessional itself, it is to be read or
given to read, and is confirmed with an oath and with one?s proper signature or the sign of the
cross (unless to do this is in every way impossible). Concerning all of these things, as has been
said in the number above, an express mention must always be made in the Acts.
26. Still, if an entirely serious case also that is also clearly extraordinary urges, then
the denunciation can also be done through a written account by the one denouncing, as long as,
however, it is before the Ordinary of the place or his delegate and notary, if he is present (ofr. n.
9), and afterwards confirmed by an oath and signed. The same must be said concerning an
informal denunciation, through a letter, for example, or given orally in an extrajudicial manner.
27. Any denunciation once accepted, the Ordinary is bound most gravely to
communicate this as soon as possible to the promoter of justice who must declare in writing,
whether the specific crime of solicitation in the first sense is present in the case or not, and
whether the ordinary disagrees with this or not. Within ten days he must submit the matter to the
Holy Office.
28. If, on the other hand, the Ordinary and the promoter of justice agree together, or
in some way the promoter of justice does not make his recourse to the Holy Office, then the
Ordinary, if he has decreed that the specific delict of solicitation was not present, should order
the Acts to be put into the secret archives, or he should use his right and duty according to the
nature and gravity of the things that have been denounced. If, however, he believed that they
were present, then he should proceed to the inquisition (Ofr. Can. 1942. ? 1).
7



TITLE NUMBER TWO

 THE PROCESS

Chapter I - The Inquisition

29. When the knowledge concerning the crime of solicitation is known first through
the denunciations, a special inquisition must be pursued ?so that it may become clear whether
and on what foundation the imputation rests? (Canon 1939, ? 1); and this by the fact or even
more so, since a crime of this type, as has already been stated above, is usually done in secret,
and direct testimonies concerning [solicitation], especially from the hurt party, can only rarely be
obtained.
Once the inquisition is open, and if the denounced priest is a religious, the Ordinary can
prevent him from being transferred before the conclusion of the process.

For the most part, there are three areas which such an inquisition must cover, and they
are:

a) the past history of the denounced person;

b) the consistency of the denunciation;

c) other persons solicited by the same confessor or, however conscious of the crime,
whether any of them, as not rarely happens, have been persuaded [to make the denunciation] by
those denouncing.

30. Therefore, as to what pertains to the first letter (a), the Ordinary at the same time
as he has accepted some denunciation of the crime of solicitation, if the one denounced, whether
from the secular clergy or is a regular (ofr. n. 4), with residence in his territory, should try to find
out from the archives whether other accusations against him are on record, even of a different
type; and, if by chance he had previously been living in other territories, he should seek, even
from the respective Ordinaries, and, if [he is a] religious, also from the regular superiors, whether
they have anything which can aggravate the situation in any way. But he will accept these
documents, referring to them in the Acts as accumulated together whether for a judgment, by
reason of content [continentia] or association of causes [connexio] (ofr. Canon 1567), and thus
all the matters will be brought forward together; ++13++ or for the establishment and
consideration of an aggravating circumstance of recidivism according to the sense of Canon
2208.
31. If the whole matter concerns a denounced person who does not have residence in
his territory, the Ordinary should transmit all the acts to the Ordinary of the one who has been
denounced, or, if he does not know who this might be, [he will transmit all the acts] to the
Supreme Holy Congregation of the Holy Office, reserving the right, in the meanwhile, to deny to
8



the denounced priest the faculty of exercising the ecclesiastical ministries in his own diocese or
of revoking them already by chance conceded to him, in the event that he approaches [the
Ordinary for these faculties] or returns [to the diocese of the Ordinary].

32. As to what pertains to the second letter (b), the importance of each denunciation,
of their qualities and of the circumstances must be weighed seriously and accurately so that it is
evident how they themselves merit belief. It is not sufficient that [this be done] in any way
whatsoever, but it is necessary that this become known by means of an established and a judicial
form; this customarily is signified in the Tribunal of the Holy Office by the phrase ?diligentias
peragere? [to undertake all the required formalities].
33. In order to arrive at this purpose [of undertaking all the required formalities], as
soon as the Ordinary shall have accepted any denunciation of the crime of solicitation, either
personally or through a priest, he will summon, either personally or through a priest specially
delegated to do so, two witnesses (he summons them separately and with appropriate
circumspection) two witnesses, in so far as it is possible, from the ranks of the ecclesiastics. But
it is far better, above any exception, to summon persons, who are familiar with both the one
denounced and the one denouncing. These persons, with the notary present (ofr. n. 9), who is to
put the interrogations and responses in writing, [are put] under the sanctity of an oath to tell the
truth and to observe its secret nature, accompanied by the threat, if it seems necessary, of
excommunication reserved to the Ordinary of the place or to the Holy See (ofr. n. 13). He will
interrogate them (Formula G), concerning the life, morals and public reputation both of the one
denounced and of the one denouncing. [They will be asked] whether they think that the one
denouncing is worthy of credence; or whether, on the other hand, that person is capable of lying,
of calumniating and of perjuring himself; and whether these persons know whether there has
ever been any case of hatred, grudge or reason for enmity between the one denouncing and the
denounced person.
34. If the denunciations are many in number, there is nothing to prevent the same
[character] witnesses to be used for all or [to use different] witnesses, always being careful to
have a double testimony as to the denounced and any denouncer.
35. If two witnesses cannot be found where each individual knows both the
denounced and the denouncer, of if they cannot be interrogated at the same time without the
danger of scandal ++14++ or without detriment to the good name concerning him, then
arrangements to be made, so that two persons, by means of a divided [dimidiatae] [testimony],
namely, interrogate two witnesses only about the denounced and another two only about the
individual denouncers. In this case, however, it will be necessary to inquire elsewhere as to
whether hatred, enmity or any other human disaffection against the denunciated [priest] was the
case.
36. If not even the divided efforts cannot be pursued, or because capable witnesses
cannot be found or because scandal or detriment has to be feared and rightly so, there is the
possibility of substituting, cautiously, however, and prudently, [for the witnesses] with
9



extrajudicial information about the denounced and the ones denouncing and their mutual
personal relationships, with [all of this] put into writing; or [the same results can come about]
also through supportive proofs which corroborate or weaken the accusation.

37. This [article], then, pertains to the third letter (c). If in the denunciations, which
happens not rarely, some persons are influenced, perhaps also solicited, or others who can
[simply] bring forward testimony concerning for some type of reason. All of these people must
be examined severally (that is, separately) according to the judiciary formula [below.] (Formula
I). First of all, they must be interrogated through general matters, and then, by degrees, as the
matter evolves, arriving at the particulars, whether and how they had really been solicited or did
they know or hear that other persons had been solicited (Instruction of the Holy Office, February
20, 1867, n. 9).
38. The greatest circumspection must be used in inviting these persons to this
interview; for it will not always be opportune to bring them to a public place such as the
chancery, especially if these are girls who are being subjected to the examination, married
women, or those who are domestics. If those to be examined live either in monasteries, in
hospitals or in pious homes for girls, then, the particular [persons] should be summoned with
great diligence and on different days according to circumstances (Instruction of the Holy Office,
July 20, 1890).
39. What was said above about the way to receive the denunciations, will also be
applied, changing what has to be changed (mutatis mutandis), to the examination of persons who
have been brought forward.
40. [If the examination of these persons, who corroborate each other by positive
evidence, and because of which examinations there exists [therefore] either an arraigned priest or
another person weighed down [with some accusations], then the denunciations that are true and
strictly speaking denunciations and all the rest of the information about these [denunciations] are
pursued regarding the qualification of the crime, regarding the resumption of the preceding acts
and of the resumption of the efforts to be taken in accordance with what is prescribed above.
41. Once, however, all these matters are taken care of, the Ordinary is to
communicate the Acts to the promoter of justice, who will see now whether all the procedures
[actions] have been performed correctly or not. And, if he thinks that there is nothing against
their acceptance, he should declare the inquisitorial process closed.
Chapter II : Canonical Directives and the Admonition of the Accused.

42. When the inquisitorial process has been closed, the Ordinary, having heard the
promoter of justice, should proceed as follows, namely:
10



a) if it is evident that the denunciation totally lacks a foundation, he should order this to
be declared in the Acts, and the documents of the accusation should be destroyed;

b) if the indications of the crime are vague and indeterminate or uncertain, he should
order that the Acts be put into the archives, to be taken up again if something else happens in the
future;

c) if, however, there are indications of a crime serious enough but not yet sufficient to
institute an accusatorial process, as especially in the case where only one or two denunciations
are had, where, indeed, [the regular process was followed] with diligence but were not
corroborated by any or insufficient proofs (ofr. n. 36), or even many [proofs] but with uncertain
procedures or procedures that are deficient, he should order that the accused be admonished
according to the different [types of] cases (Formula M) the first or second [time?], paternally,
seriously or most seriously according to the norm of Canon 2307, adding, if necessary, an exlicit
threat of the trial process, should some other new accusation is laid upon [the accused]; the Acts,
as above, should be kept in the archives and in meanwhile a check should be kept on the morals
of the accused (Canon 1946, ? 2, n. 2):

d) If then certain or at last probable arguments to institute the accusation are present, he
should order the accused to be cited and be subjected to the matters [which are prescribed for this
trial].

43. The admonition, concerning which treatment is made in the preceding number
with the letter (c), is always to be given secretly; it can be done, however, through a letter or by
an intermediary, but in each case, it must be clear from some document to be kept in the secret
archives of the Curia (ofr. Canon 2309, ? 1 and 5), adding the information about the manner in
which the accused accepted it.
44. If, after the first admonition, other accusations against the same accused take
place concerning solicitations, preceding the admonition itself, the Ordinary should see,
according to his own choice and conscience, whether the first admonition should be considered
sufficient or whether he should proceed to a new admonition or even to further measures
(Ibidem, ? 6).
45. It is the right of the Promoter of Justice to appeal and to have recourse for a
accused against the canonical prescriptions of this kind it to the Holy Congregation of the Holy
Office within ten days from the dissemination or intimation. In this case, the Acts of the case
will have to be transmitted to the same Holy Congregation according to the prescription of
Canon 1890.
46. These actions, however, even if put into effect, do not extinguish the penal action.
And therefore, when other accusations by chance take place, a method will be followed
concerning those matters which also have given cause to the said canonical instructions.
11



Chapter III - The decrees for the accused persons

47. When once there is a sufficiency to institute an accusation, as was said above in
number 42 (d), arguments should be made openly, and the Ordinary, having heard the promoter
of justice and having observed everything, in so far as the peculiar nature of these cases allows,
which is stated concerning the citation and denunciation of judicial acts in Book IV, Title VI,
Chapter II, of the code, shall issue a decree (Formula O) concerning the accused in the presence
of the Ordinary or before a judge delegated by himself (ofr. n. 5), citing [him] for crimes
introduced and brought against him, which in the forum of the Holy Office are said in unclassical
parlance ?Reum constitutis subiicere? [to subject the accused to an indictment]; and he will take
care to bring this information to the accused himself in accordance with canonical principles.
48. The judge should paternally and gently exhort the accused, who has now been
cited, when he appears, and before the indictments are formally begun, to confession, and, when
he has consented to these exhortations, the judge, having summoned the notary or ++17++ even,
if he has found it more opportune (ofr. n. 9) without his intervention, can receive the confession.
49. In this case, if the confession is found corroborated by the Acts and substantially
complete, a vow first having been taken, the Promoter of Justice puts the case in writing,
omitting the other formalities (See below, in Chapter IV), and he will be able to conclude [all of
this] with a definitive decision, having given, however, to the accused the option of accepting the
decision itself or of petitioning to have the regular and complete process carried out to the end.
50. If, however, on the other hand, the accused has denied the crime, or has made a
confession that is not substantially integral, or even has summarily refused the decision in view
of his confession, the judge, with the notary present, should read him the decree by which he
declares, concerning which paragraph 47 speaks, and the deliberations are then opened.
51. The trial opened, the judge can, having heard the Promoter of Justice according to
the mind of Canon 1956, suspend the accused respondent either from exercising any sacred
ministry at all or only from hearing the sacramental confessions of the faithful up until the time
of the judgment. If, however, by chance he thinks that [the accused] can impose fear upon the
witnesses or secretly instigate them [to thwart the trial] or in any way impede the course of
justice, he can also, having also heard the promoter of justice, order that he go to a predefined
location and remain there under special vigilance (Canon 1957). And, on the other hand,
[however], each decree of this type is not given a remedy in law (Canon 1958).
52. These things having been taken care of, there should be a procedure to present the
accusation to the person accused, according to formula P, having cautiously and most diligently
made sure that the persons of the accused and especially of those denouncing him to be not
revealed, and, on the part of the accused, that he in no way violate the sacramental seal. Now if
something in the surge of speech slips out which seems to savor of either a direct or indirect
12



violation of the seal, the judge should not permit this to be referred to in the Acts by the notary;
and if, by chance, it has been inconsiderately [put into the Acts], he should order, as soon as he
notices it, to be completely deleted. In every way the judge is to remember that it is never right
for him to bind the accused by an oath to tell the truth (Ofr. Canon 1744).

53. The indictment of the accused having been completed in all matters and the Acts
having been seen and approved by the Promoter of Justice, the judge is to issue a decree
concerning the conclusion of the case (Canon 860), and, if by chance he is a delegated judge, he
should transmit all the papers of the proceedings] to the Ordinary.
54. If it happens, however, that the accused remains contumacious, or, for some grave
reasons the indictments cannot be pursued in the diocesan Curia, the Ordinary, saving to himself
the right of suspending the accused a divinis, should defer the entire case to the Holy Office.
Chapter IV - The Discussion of the Case, the Definitive Decision, and the Appeal

55. The Ordinary, having received the Acts, unless he wishes himself to proceed to
the definitive decision, should delegate the judge (ofr. n. 5), another one, in so far as it can be
done, different from the one who conducted the inquisition or the indictment (ofr. Canon 1941, ?
3). The judge, however, whoever he is, whether the Ordinary or his delegate, should designate,
according to his prudent decision a space of time for the defender to prepare a defense and to
tender this in a double copy, one copy to be given to the judge himself and the other copy to the
Promoter of Justice (ofr. Canons 1862-63-64). However, the promoter of justice, within a time
period likewise previously established by the judge, should tender in writing his own inquiry
(requisitoriam), as they now call it.
56. Still, a congruent time having been interposed (Canon 1870), the judge, according
to his conscience informed from the Acts and from the proofs (Canon 1869), will pronounce a
definitive decision, either a condemnatory decision, if he is certain of the crime, an acquittal, if
he is certain of his innocence; or an abandonment of the charges, if he is invincibly doubtful
because of the lack of proofs.
57. The decision is rendered according to the respective formulas connected to this
Instruction and will have been to put in writing, with the addition of an executory decree (Canon
1918). First of all, the Promoter of Justice having been notified beforehand, the decision must be
solemnly made known to the accused, who has been cited for this by the judge who is presiding
at the Tribunal, with the notary present. If, however, the accused, rejecting the citation, has not
appeared, the intimation of the decision should be made through letter, having obtained exact
testimony of its reception through the public post office.
58. Both the accused, if he thinks that he has been [wrongly treated], and the
promoter of justice have the right of appealing from this decision to the Supreme Tribunal of the
13



Holy Office, according to the prescription of Canon 1879 and following within ten days from the
solemn notification of the same; and the appeal of this type has the effect of suspending the
decision [suspensive], but not so, if it is given (Ofr. n. 51) for a suspension from the hearing
++19++ of sacramental confessions or from exercising a sacred ministry.

59. The appeal having been made, the judge must transmit an authentic copy or the
original itself of all the Acts of the case to the Holy Office, as quickly as it can be done, adding
information as necessary or as he has judged to be opportune (Canon 1890).
60. As for the complaint, then, of nullity, as sometimes might occur, let those details
prescribed by Canons 1892-97 be observed to the last detail. However, what pertains to the
execution of the decision, those prescriptions should also be observed, according to the nature of
these cases, as is found in Canons 1920-24.
14



TITLE NUMBER THREE

 PENALTIES

61. ?He who has committed the crime of solicitation. . ., should be suspended from
the celebration of Mass and from the hearing of sacramental confessions or even, according to
the gravity of the delict, should be declared incapable of accepting them. He should be deprived
of all benefices and dignities, of his active and passive voice, and be declared incapable for all
these [honors and capacities], and in the more grievous cases also be subjected to reduction [to
the lay state]. Thus states the Code in Canon 2368, ? 1.
62. For a correct and practical application of this canon, in penalties decreed against
priests convicted of the crime of solicitation with an equal regard for the mind of Canon 2218, ?
1, these matters, especially for estimating the gravity of the crime, should be kept before one?s
eyes, namely: the number of persons solicited and their condition, as, for example, if they are
minors in age or especially consecrated through religious vows to God; the form of solicitation,
if perhaps, especially, it is joined with false teaching or false mysticism; the turpitude of the acts
not only formal but also material and especially the connection of solicitation with other delicts;
the length of the obscene conversation [between the parties involved]; the repetition of the crime,
the recidivism after his admonition, and the obstinate malice of the solicitor.
63. To the greatest penalty of degradation, there can be added for a religious who is
accused the reduction to the status of a lay-brother. This is only then imposed when, having
weighed everything, it evidently appears that the accused, immersed in the depths of malice in
the abuse of his sacred ministry, combined with the grave scandal that is harmful to the faithful
and their souls, exists to such a degree of foolhardiness and habit, so that there is not hope,
humanly speaking, or almost no hope, of his amendment that is evident any more.
64. On top of the penalties properly imposed, in order to obtain the effect of these
penalties more fully and securely, there will be supplementary sanctions in cases of this type,
namely:
a) Upon all accused persons judicially convicted there should be interposed congruous, to
the degree of the faults, and salutary penances, not in substitution for the penalties properly
speaking in the sense of Canon 2312, ? 1, but as a complement [to them], and among these (ofr.
Canon 2313) especially spiritual exercises for some days in some religious house to be
performed with a suspension, during these times, from the celebration of Mass.

b) Upon the accused convicted who has confessed, moreover, there should be imposed an
abjuration, according to the different cases, if there is a light or a strong suspicion of heresy into
which because of the nature of the crime soliciting priests fall into, or even of formal heresy if by
chance the crime of solicitation has been joined to false dogma.

15



c) Those who are in danger of falling back [into their former ways], and therefore of
becoming greater recidivists should be submitted to particular vigilance (Canon 2311).

d) As often as, in the prudent judgment of the Ordinary, it seems necessary for the
amendment of the delinquent, for the removal of the near occasion [of soliciting in the future], or
for the prevention of scandal or reparation for it, there should be added a prescription for a
prohibition of remaining a certain place (Canon 2302).

e) Then, when concerning the absolution of an accomplice, as this is outlined in the
Constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae, there is no indication at all in the external forum, and,
therefore, of the sacramental seal, there can be reason to add at the end of the condemnatory
sentence an admonition to the accused that, if he has by chance absolved his accomplice, he
should quiet his conscience by having recourse to the Sacred Penitentiary.

65. According to the norm of Canon 2236, ? 3, all of these penalties, as they have
been applied once by the judge ex officio, cannot be remitted except by the Holy See through the
Supreme and Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.
16



 TITLE IV

 OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS

66. Whenever an Ordinary immediately accepts a denunciation of the crime of
solicitation, he should not omit telling this to the Holy Office. And if by chance he treats of a
priest whether secular or religious having residence in another territory, he should transmit at the
same time (as already has been stated above, n. 31) to the Ordinary of the place, where the
denounced actually is staying, or, if the address is not known, he should send to the Holy Office
an authentic copy of the denunciation itself with the procedures, in the best manner possible, and
with opportune information and declarations.
67. Any Ordinary who has proceeded correctly against some priest who is soliciting,
should not omit informing the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office, and, if it is a matter in
which a religious is involved, also the General Superior concerning the outcome of the case.
If any priests condemned of the crime of solicitation, or even only admonished, should
transfer his residence to another territory, the Ordinary a quo should immediately warn the
Ordinary ad quem of the things that preceded that person and of his juridical status.

69. If any priest suspended in a case of solicitation from hearing sacramental
confessions but not from sacred preaching happens to go to another territory to preach, the
Ordinary of this territory should be reminded by the prelate of the accused, whether secular or
religious, that he cannot be utilized for hearing sacramental confessions.
70. All these official communications shall always be made under the secret of the
Holy Office; and, since they concern the common good of the church to the greatest degree, the
precept of doing these things obliges under serious sin [sub gravi].
17



 TITLE V

THE WORST CRIME

71. By the name of the worst crime is understood at this point a signification of any
obscene external deed, gravely sinful, in any perpetrated by a cleric or attempt with a person of
his own sex.
72. Those things that have been stated concerning the crime of solicitation up to this
point are also valid, changing only those things necessary to be changed by their very nature, for
the worst crime, if someone by chance in the presence of the Ordinary of the place, concerning
which (which may God prevent) happens to be accused, having accepted the obligation of the
denunciation from the positive law of the Church, unless perhaps it has been joined with the
crime of solicitation in sacramental confession. In decreeing penalties, however, against
delinquents of this type, besides those which are found spoken of above, and they should also be
kept before one?s eyes (Canon 2359, ? 2).
73. To have the worst crime, for the penal effects, one must do the equivalent of the
following: any obscene, external act, gravely sinful, perpetrated in any way by a cleric or
attempted by him with youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality).
74. Against accused clerics for these crimes, if they are exempt religious, and unless
there takes place at the same time the crime of solicitation, even the regular superior can proceed,
according to the holy canons and their proper constitutions, either in an administrative or a
judicial manner. However, they must communicate the judicial decision pronounced as well as
the administrative decision in the more serious cases to the Supreme Congregation of the Holy
Office.
FROM THE AUDIENCE OF THE HOLY FATHER, MARCH 16, 1962

Our Most Holy Father John XXIII, in an audience granted to the most eminent Cardinal
Secretary of the Holy Office on March 16, 1962, deigned to approve and confirm this instruction,
ordering upon those to whom it pertains to keep and observe it in the minutest detail.

At Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation, March 16, 1962.

Place of the seal

Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani
Prefect

18



 APPENDIX

FORMULAS TO BE USED ACCORDING TO THE CIRCUMSTANCE
(Omitting other matters which are found in various places among the authors)

++27++


FORMULA A
THE FORMULA FOR TAKING AN OATH TO EXERCISE ONE?S OFFICE FAITHFULLY
AND TO OBSERVE THE SECRET OF THE HOLY OFFICE


In the name of the Lord.

I . . . appearing before . . . .and touching the most holy Gospels of God placed before me,
swear and promise to exercise my duty faithfully . . . . Likewise, under the pain of
excommunication late sententiae ipso facto and to be incurred without any declaration, from
which outside of the moment of death, I can be absolved by no one except by the Holy Father,
excluding even the Cardinal of the Penitentiary, and, under other most serious penalties, at the
disposition of the Supreme Pontiff to be inflicted upon me in the case of transgression, I promise
sacredly, vow and swear, to observe inviolably the secret in all matters and details which will
take place in exercising the aforesaid duty, excepting precisely those matters at the end and at the
completion of this negotiation [or of these negotiations] which can be legitimately published.
Further, I shall observe this secret absolutely and in every way with all who have no legitimate
part in the treatment of this same matter [or, who are not constricted by the same sworn bond];
nor [will I ever], directly or indirectly, by means of a nod, or of a word, by writing, or in any
other way and under whatever type of pretext, even for the most urgent and most serious cause
[even] for the purpose of a greater good, commit anything against this fidelity to the secret,
unless a particular faculty or dispensation has been expressly given to me by the Supreme
Pontiff.
19



FORMULA B
Formula of Renunciation (Abjuration)


I (name, family name, etc. of the one abjuring, which, if he is a religious, he should add
his name, etc. which he used in the world) the son of (name of the father), being . . .years of age,
and personally brought to trial [arraigned], and, having genuflected before you (name, family
name, qualities, etc. of the person who is to receive the abjuration), and having before me and
touching with my hand the most holy Gospels and knowing that no one can be saved unless he
believes what the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church holds, believes, preaches,
professes and teaches, I confess and I am sorry that I have erred seriously against [that church]
through the abuse and profanation of the sacrament of penance [and through the profession and
doctrine of false dogma].

Now, sorrowful and penitent for the aforesaid [errors and heresies, persuaded about their
falsity and of the truth of the Holy Catholic faith], I abjure all the same [errors I made] with a
sincere heart and a real faith and I detest [in the same way in general all other errors and heresies
contrary to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church] and at the same time humbly accept
and promise faithfully to implement all the penances given to me by R.P.D. [The reverend
dignitary?] . . . that have already been imposed or will be disposed: and if I have not stood firmly
in some matter despite these promises and oaths of mine (May God prevent this) I subject myself
to all the penalties and castigations which have been stated and promulgated by the sacred
canons and other general constitutions against delinquents [who have acted] in this way. Thus,
may God help me and these Holy Gospels of His, which I touch with my hands.

I . . . the aforesaid have abjured, sworn, promised and obligated myself as above, and in
testimony [of my good faith] in this matter I have signed with my hand this written promise of
my abjuration ++29++ which I have related orally with words (here is noted the place in which
the abjuration has been made).
On this . . .day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

Signature

After the absolution has been imparted, the one who received the abjuration and gave the
absolution will put his signature here in the way it is noted in Formula C, which follows.

20



FORMULA C

The Formula of Absolution

Once the penitent, kneeling on both knees and having first touched the Holy Gospels of
God, has read and signed the formula of abjuration, [the bishop or his delegate] absolves him,
wearing at least the purple stole, and, while sitting, will recite the psalm Miserere or De
Profundis with the Gloria Patri.

Then, standing, he will say:

Kyrie, eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie, eleison.

Pater noster, secretly up to

And lead us not into temptation.

But deliver us from evil.

Save your people, Lord

My God, they are hoping in you.

Lord, hear my prayer.

And let my cry come unto you.

The Lord be with you.

And with your spirit.

Let us pray

God, of whom it is proper always to have mercy and to treat with forbearance, we
supplicantly beseech you, that the compassion of your holiness absolve with clemency this
servant of yours whom the shackle of excommunication binds. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then, again sitting down, he should absolve the penitent still kneeling before him with
these words:

By the Apostolic authority which I exercise in this matter, I absolve you from the bond of
excommunication, which you [perhaps] have incurred, and I restore you ++31++ to the holy
sacraments of the church, to the communion and unity of the faithful, in the Name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

With these acts, the one who has imparted the absolution should impose the salutary
penances (for the most part [a penance] of reciting determined prayers, of performing some pious
pilgrimage, of accomplishing other works of piety, of observing a particular fast, or of
dispensing alms in pious causes, etc.), and finally, then, the formula of abjuration and he signs
below in this way:

[In the execution of the orders of R.P.D. (the reverend superior) (the name, etc. of the one
delegating him)] the aforesaid (name, etc., of the penitent) was administered by myself [the
delegate] the abjuration concerning (e.g. formal, or grave or light) . . . and the salutary penances

21



in the usual form of the church, these on the day and year given above.

So be it. I (the signature of the person absolving the other)

[The delegate will transmit the formula [evidently this means the document itself]
directly to him from whom he has received his delegation together with the instruction, and other
letters also received, if he has any, keeping nothing at all for himself].

FORMULA D
The Formula of Delegation to Receive a Denunciation


The . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

We . . . delegate with these letters . . . to receive [without the intervention of the notary],
under the secret of the Holy Office and according to the attached instruction, the denunciation
which the named person intends to make.

L. S. The signature of the Ordinary of the place who is delegating
(Formula E is connected to the letter).

FORMULA E


The Manner of Receiving the Denunciation Pertaining Particularly to
Solicitation


[Note 1. Whatever words are included within the brackets are valid in the case in which the
denunciation is received by the delegate, or, respectively, without the intervention of a notary.]

If the delegate, however, having signified a serious reason, cannot observe this manner of
receiving the denunciation, he should make recourse for some instruction from whom he has
received the delegation.

The notary, if he is present, or he who is to receive the denunciation will begin with these
words or in words similar to these:

On the . . .day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

On my own accord I personally appeared before the undersigned (there should be written
the name, the family name, etc. of that person who is to receive the [denunciation], who, if the

22



notary is not present, should write: before me the undersigned) taking place in (here there are
noted the place and the diocese where the person who is to receive the action [that is, the
denunciation] lives) [Delegated specially only for this action by R.P.D. [The reverend person
delegating?]. . ., as [will be seen] from his letter directed [to me] and given under the date (Let
there be expressed on what day the letter itself was written) applying to the present situation]

N.N. (there should be written the name, family name, the name of the father, the country of
origin [that is, nationality], age, situation [no doubt the type of work the person does] and the
home address of the person denouncing; and if this person is a religious, also the name the
person was called by in the world) to whom, having made an oath to speak the truth, which he
took having touched the Holy Gospels of God (which he must touch with his hand, even a priest)
it was explained as below, that is:
This person denouncing in ordinary language [he must declare that he knows that this
faculty was obtained from the ordinary of the place to receive without the intervention of the
notary what he is about to relate to exonerate his conscience, and therefore because he cannot
present himself to the Most Reverend Bishop concerning the just causes: then] he must continue
to narrate, in words, however, discrete and contracted (brief) what pertains to the solicitations
made to him or what ++34++ were the words, the writings, or the acts, accurately describing the
place, time, occasion, times and singular circumstances, and whether in the act of confession
either before or after the sacramental absolution these things took place. He must identify the
confessional seat and the soliciting confessor himself, and in so far as he either does not know
his name and family name or has forgotten it, he shall describe accurately the person of that man,
noting distinctly all his characteristics, so that he might be recognized. He should note who
receives the denunciation, that he should avoid interrogating the denunciating person whether he
gave consent to the obscene deed in any way or refused, since the witness is not bound to
manifest his defects; nay, the one denouncing is expressly advised that he is not bound to
manifest consent if perchance he gave it. With these words written as they are narrated, and, in
so far as possible, in the same words of the one denouncing, what follows here, nor is anything
more required.

The interrogation: Whether he knows or heard it said, that said N.N. (naming the
person), the confessor, solicited other penitents to obscene things?

He responds: (If the response was affirmative, he will seek the name and family name of
the persons and the source (cause?) of the knowledge).

The interrogation: Concerning the good name of the aforesaid confessor N.N. with you
yourself as with others?

He responds: . . .

The interrogation: Whether he made the declarations from hate or from love, and from
enmity or other general reasons, etc.

He responds: Correct (if he will say that he had denounced in order to exonerate his own
conscience.)

If more than one month had passed since the solicitation, moreover, there should be

23



added:

The Interrogation: Why then did you delay the denouncing of the aforesaid matters to
your Ordinary and the exoneration of your conscience?

 He responds:

All of these matters having been absolved, there should read to the denouncing person
everything which was given in writing, or, having given a just reason in writing, a just cause in
writing, the instrument should be given to him so that he may read it in the presence of him who
receives the denunciation; all of these matters proved and accepted, together with the corrections,
additions and erasures, if there are some, ++35++ he is invited to write his signature below, and,
having given an account of his taking an oath to observe the secret, he should be dismissed.

All of these matters will be described in these words:

Having these matters and having accepted them, the one denouncing having been
dismissed has sworn to observe the secret, again touching the Holy Gospels of God (he swears
an oath upon the Gospel again); and in confirmation of what has been testified by word he writes
his signature (or, if he cannot write: since he cannot write, as he asserted, (let the cause be
noted), he made the sign of the cross).

After the one denouncing here has signed or made the sign of the cross, the notary should
sign, if he is present, in this way:

These are the Acts signed by myself, the notary (and if he has been assumed only for this
act: assumed only for this act).

Finally, he signs who receives the denunciation.

L. X S.
If, however, the notary was not present, then the one who receives the denunciation signs
in this way:

These Acts are signed by myself, N.N. [specially delegated only for this act by R.P.D.
(the reverend delegating person) N.N.].

[The delegate then delivers the entire act directly to him from whom he has received the
delegation together with the instruction and the letters received, keeping nothing for himself].

24



FORMULA F
Formula of Delegation to Undertake the Investigation


A) TO UNDERTAKE THE COMPLETE INVESTIGATION

The . . . day . . . of the month of . . . in the year . . .

We . . . ask you that you will take the customary diligence in pursuing [this investigation]
according to the affixed instruction about a false denunciation made by (for example, a woman
or women) . . . . . . . . . . . against the priest . . . . . . . . . by interrogating [them] separately,
formally and under oath to tell the truth and observe the secret, two witnesses, in so far as is
possible from the ecclesiastical body, but more important than anything else [to interview
somebody], who knows well both the denounced person and the one denouncing (or, if the
denouncing are many in number, one and all denouncers). If you cannot find only two witnesses
who know together the one denounced and each and every one denouncing, you will call many,
as many, namely, as it will be fitting so that there will be a double testimony as to the
denunciated and each one denouncing.

An authentic copy of the Acts, however, you shall transmit to us directly and in a safe
way, together with the instruction and these letters, retaining nothing for yourself.

L.X S.
The Signature of the Ordinary of the place, the one delegating
(Formula G is joined to the letter)

B) TO UNDERTAKE A PARTIAL INVESTIGATION

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

We . . . ask you to undertake the investigation according to the affixed instruction . . . . .
.++37++ by interrogating [them] separately, formally and under an oath to speak the truth and of
observing the secret, two witnesses, in so far as is possible, from the group of ecclesiastics, as
greater than any exception, who (e.g. the woman or women) know [them] more closely.

You will transmit an authentic copy, however, of the acts to us directly and in a safe way,
together with the instruction and this letter, keeping nothing for yourself.

L.X S. Signature of the delegating Ordinary of the place
(To the letter is joined Formula H)

25



FORMULA G

Way of Undertaking the Entire Investigation (Note 1)

[Note: Whatever is included between the brackets is valid in the case in which the work is
done by a delegate.]

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year of . . .

Having been summoned, this person personally came into the presence of myself, the
undersigned, (let there be written the place and diocese where he is located) [for this act only
specially delegated by R.P.D. . . . as [is evident] from the letters of the same person delegating
directed and given to me on this date . . . (there should be expressed on what day the letter was
written) binding to the present position].

N. . . N . . . (the name, family name and qualities of the Respondent witness) who, having
reported his taking his oath to tell the truth, which he gave (even if a priest), having touched the
holy Gospels of God, was by myself:
1. The Interrogation: whether he knew the priest N . . . N . . . (name, family name and
qualities of the person denunciated).
He responded: . . . (let there be written the language that the witnesses use and his
response).

2. The Interrogation: what is the lifestyle of this priest, what are his morals, what is the
opinion of people [about him]?
He responds: . . .

3. The Interrogation: Whether he knew N . . . N . . . (name, family name, and qualities of
the one denouncing, or, if there are many, of each one of them).
He responds: . . .

4. The Interrogation: What is his (each one of them) life-style, morals, and his opinion
among the people?
He responds: . . .

5. The Interrogation: Whether he thought that he or she is worthy of faith or capable, on
the other hand, of lying, calumniating in court and even of perjury?
He responds: . . .

6. The Interrogation: Whether he knows whether perhaps between him and the aforesaid
priest there ever existed any reason for hate or enmity?
26



He responds: . . .

Then, have duly read the work and brought him to take the oath of observing the secret,
which he took as above, he is dismissed and, before he goes away, signs in confirmation of what
has been stated (or, if he cannot write: when he asserted that he cannot write (let the reason be
noted), he makes the sign of the cross).

After the witness has signed here or made the sign of the cross, he signs that he received
the testimony in this way:

These acts are signed by myself, N.N., [specially delegated only for this act].

L.X S.
[The delegate then directly transmits the act to him from whom he has received
delegation together with the instruction and the letter he received, keeping nothing at all with
himself].

FORMULA H

The Way of Undertaking Partial Investigations (Note 1)
(Note 1. Anything included in brackets is valid in the case where the investigation is
done by a delegate).

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

Having been called personally there appeared before me the undersigned (let there be
written the name, family name, etc., of the person who is to do the activity) taking place in (let
there be noted the place and diocese where he is to be found) [specially delegated only for this
act by R.P.D. . . . . . ., as [can be seen] in the letter of that same person directed and given to me
on this date (let there be expressed on what exact day the letter was written) attached to the
present document. N . . . N . . . (name, family name and qualities of the respondent witness)
who, having been brought to take the oath to tell the truth, which he does (even a priest) having
touched God?s holy Gospels, performed this for me.

1. Interrogation: whether he knew (for example, the woman) N. . . N . . .? (name, family
name and qualities of the indicated person).
He responded: . . . (this should be written in the same language the witnesses uses for his
response).

2. The Interrogation: what is his lifestyle, what are his morals, what is his reputation
27



among the people?
He responded: . . .

3. Interrogation: Whether he thinks that he [or she] is worthy of credence or on the other
hand thinks that he or she is capable of lying, calumniating in court and even of committing
perjury?
He responded: . . .

4. The Interrogation: Whether he knows whether perhaps between him or her and the
priest there exists or has existed a cause for hate or enmity?
He responded: . . .

Then, the act duly read to the witness, having signified his taking an oath to observe the
secret, which he does as above, the witness will be dismissed, ++41++ and before he leaves,
signs as a confirmation of what has preceded (or, if he cannot write: when he cannot write, as he
asserted (let the cause be noted), he made the sign of the cross).

After the witness signed here or made the sign of the cross he who received the testimony
signed himself in this way:

These are acts done through me N . . . N . . . [especially delegated only for this act].

L.X.S.
[Then the delegate will transmit the act directly to him from whom he received the
delegation together with the instruction and letter keeping nothing for himself].

28



FORMULA I

Way of Conducting an Examination Through Generalities

Note: Whatever appears within the brackets is valid in the case where the examination is by the
delegate, or respectively, without the intervention of a notary.

If the delegate, however, having given a grave reason, cannot observe this way of
administering an examination, he should recur to him from whom he received the delegation for
[further] instructions.

The notary, if he is present, otherwise, he who is to undertake the examination will begin
the procedures in these or in similar words:

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

By force of the decree of R.P.D. [The Most Reverend Bishop] (Let there be written the
name, etc. of the Ordinary of the place) given on the date of . . . having been summoned there
appeared before the undersigned (let there be written down the name, the family name, etc. of the
person who is to receive the act, and who, if the notary is not present, will write: in the presence
of myself the undersigned), taking place in (let there be noted the place and diocese where he is
to bound who is to receive the action) [especially delegated only for this action by R.P.D. . . . .,
as appears from his letter directed to me and given to me on the date (let there be expressed on
what precise day the letter was written), this person, N.N. (here there should be written the name,
family name, father?s name, homeland, age, condition and address of the person summoned; and,
if he is a religious, also the name by which this person is known in the world), having been
brought to take an oath to tell the truth, which he does touching God?s holy Gospels (which he
must touch with his hand), was:

Asked: Whether he knows or imagines the reason for his being called for the present
examination?

He responded: . . .(Let there be written his response in that language which the
summoned person uses).

Asked: . . . For how many years have you been approaching the sacrament of penance?
He responded: . . .

Asked: Whether he always went to receive the sacrament of penance from the one and
same confessor ++43++ or whether from many priests: moreover, whether he always went to
receive the sacrament of penance in th one and same church?

He responded: . . .

29



Asked: Whether from each of the priests to whom this person confessed he received holy
admonitions and opportune instructions, which gave edification to the person being examined,
and kept him from evil.

He responded: . . .

If the response was affirmative, that is, if he says that he had always been directed well,
then he will be interrogated in the following manner:

Asked: Whether he knows or remembers if at any time it was said or heard that a certain
confessor had not acted in such a holy and honest manner toward penitents, so that murmurs or
even contemptible words against the confessor had been proffered: for example, had the person
being examined heard similar things from one or from many penitents, and over the past year or
over four or three months?

He responded: . . .

If after this interrogation and commentary the person being examined continues to deny,
let the action be concluded with the usual formula, which appears at the bottom of this
instruction.

But if there had appeared to be something against any confessor, according to those
things concerning which he is being asked, then he will be interrogated further as follows:

Asked: That he tell the name, family name, office, and age of the confessor, and the place
or seat of his confession; or whether he was a secular or a religious priest, etc.

He responded: . . .

Asked: That he tell, in order, sincerely and clearly, using, however, discrete and
constricted words, all of those things less than honorable which he had heard in the sacramental
confession either before or after or on the occasion of confession: whether there had been
something performed with him less than honest by nods, touches or action, etc., by the priest.

He responded: . . .

At this point, the judge solicitously will take care that the description is in the same
words which the confessor used, the obscene words, the seductions, the invitations to meet in
some place for an immoral purpose, and all the other things which constitute the crime of
solicitation, using the vernacular language for the answers which are to be sedulously and
truthfully recorded ++44++ and, in so far as possible, with the same words in which they were
offered; he should add the temperament of the person examined, if he notices that he seems
impeded by too much fear or bashfulness from telling the truth, assuring him that everything will
be kept under an inviolable secret. Then he should ask him the time from which the solicitations
began, how long they perdured, how often they were repeated, in what words or acts smacking of
an immoral purpose they had been expressed. He will diligent avoid asking about the consent of
the person himself being examined with regard to the solicitation, and, even more, he should

30



advise him expressly that he is not bound to manifest whether by chance he gave consent.
Likewise, he will avoid any interrogation which he give evidence of a desire to know the sins of
that person.

Asked: Whether he knows or heard it said that the aforesaid confessor had solicited other
penitents toward obscenities; and if affirmative, he should name them (and he will help give the
name, family name, etc., or at least the better indications by which the other solicited persons can
be detected).

He responded: . . .

Asked: Whether the aforesaid person being examined, had given testimony out of a love
for justice and truth, or rather from another motive of enmity or of hate, etc.?

He responded: . . .

With all of this taken care of, there should be read to the person being examined
everything that has been put down in writing, or, for a just cause expressed in the notes, the
instrument [that is, the document upon which the notary has written the answers] should be given
to him so that this person may read it to himself in the presence of the one who accepted the
examination; then, everything that has been approved and accepted by that person, together with
the corrections, additions and erasures, if there are any, he should be invited to sign and led to
take an oath to observe the secret, and then he should be dismissed. All of these matters shall be
described in this words:

The accused, having received and accepted all these matters, was dismissed, having
sworn to observe the secret, once again touching God?s holy gospels (He will swear again on the
Gospel book) and, in attestation of what he had stated, he signed it (or, if he cannot write: when
he asserted that he could not write (let the cause be noted), he made the sign of the cross).

After the person being examined has signed here or has made the sign of the cross [on the
document], the notary will sign, if he is present, in this way:

These acts are signed by myself, N.N., Notary (and if he has been authorized only for this
action: authorized only for this action).

L.X S.
Finally, he who been administered the examination will sign it. If, however, the notary
was not present, then the one who accepted the examination will sign in this way:

These acts are signed by myself, N.N., [specially delegated for this act only by R.P.D.,
N.N.].

[The delegate will then transmit the action [documentation for the lawsuit] directly to him
from whom he received his delegation together with the instruction and the accepted letter,
keeping nothing at all for himself].

31



FORMULA L


FORMULA OF THE PROPOSAL TO BE MADE BY THE PROMOTER OF JUSTICE;
THE COMPLETE INQUISITION


Having made a brief summary and inquiry about the reasons of law and fact, the
conclusion comes about through the promoter of justice, for example, as followed, however,
according to the circumstances:

Having considered everything, I think it must be decided that the priest . . . be warned
(simply or correctly) - or - let the case be constituted in the Curia, that is, the diocesan Curia, and
let the case be undertaken according to law (meanwhile, however . . . and here there are added
the canonical opportune provisions, if there are some that seem to need to be proposed to the
promoter).

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . . .
The signature of the Promoter of Justice

FORMULA M

FORMULA OF THE DECREE TO CONSTITUTE A PENAL REMEDY

We (name, and so on, qualities, etc., of the Ordinary of the place), having weighed the
actions against the priest, N.N. (our diocese, abbacy, prelature, etc.) about whom there is
reported the crime of solicitation, we decree that the aforesaid priest, N.N.: be admonished
(paternally, gravely, etc. according to the diversity of cases) under the secret of the Holy Office.

If some resolution has to be added, and there is added:

And according to the resolution, the resolution is that . . .

32



These are the acts of . . . (the address of the Ordinary of the place) on the . . . day of the
month . . . of the year . . .

L. X. S.
Signature of the Ordinary of the Place
Signature of the Notary

FORMULA N

The Method For Warning About the Crime of Solicitation

Concerning those who have been denounced once or twice concerning the horrible crime
of solicitation for the most part, having taken the opportune efforts, it is decreed that: They
should be warned (simply or correctly) under the secret of the Holy Office. The person to whom
belongs or is assigned the duty of imparting an admonition of this type, will summon the
denounced priest, with the proper circumspection, and he is to impress upon him with serious
words, more or less according to the circumstances and the tenor of the decision, but in a
paternal and fatherly way, avoiding lest in any way, whether directly or indirectly, he reveal the
ones denouncing him, in these words: ?It has come to the ears of the Ecclesiastical authority that
he, within the sacred tribunal of penance, not always acted as was befitting prudence and
holiness, so that not without merit it must be feared lest he, with a rash effort, attempted to
convert the sacrament itself of reconciliation into the ruin of souls: It is therefore greatly to his
interest that he carefully avoid these things in the future, lest the ecclesiastical authority be
compelled to proceed to more serious matters?.
Let there be observed, moreover, the secret of the Holy Office regarding all the matter and with
everyone to the greatest extent.

If the admonition is done through letter, the method of admonishing should be done in
this way.

[The delegate, however, is to give this admonition, at an opportune time, informs him
from whom he receives his delegation of the results, at the same time transmitting to him all
documents, if he has any, and not keeping anything for himself.]

33



The Form of the Decree for the Arraignment

The formulas proposed here are not, as is evident, definitive: they can and must be varied
according to the different circumstances. They are proposed therefore as an example.

A) TO INDICT SIMPLY

The Reverend . . . to be indicted in the diocesan Curia about all the matters deduced
against him and there should be a case according to law.

These are the Acts [signed at] (the address of the Ordinary of the place)
On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year of . . .
Signature of the Ordinary of the place
Signature of the notary

B) TO INDICT, HAVING ADDED CANONICAL PROVISOS

The Reverend . . . is to be indicted in the diocesan Curia about all the matters brought up
against him and let there be a trial according to law. Meanwhile, however (for example, let him
remain suspended from the celebration of Mass, or of exercising the sacred ministries and
spiritual offices; he should leave this place . . . and go to that place . . . where he should remain
under special vigilance, etc.).

These acts are signed (as above) on the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

L.X. S.
Signature of the Ordinary of the Place
Signature of the Notary

FORMULA P
Way of Indicting
N.B., according to the norm of article 52 he is not to bind the accused

to take an oath to tell the truth.
The notary will begin the action:
?On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .


34



Having been summoned, The Reverend N.N. personally appeared before the undersigned
(let there be written the name, family name, etc. of that person who is doing the indicting)
[especially delegated for this action], who was:

Interrogated about his name, family name, parents, homeland, age, condition, etc.

He answered: . . . (The Notary will write in the native language, and, in so far as he can,
in the same words which the accused uses, his answers.)

Interrogated: Whether he knows or perhaps imagined the reason of his having been
summoned?

He answered: . . . (and it will be continued in this way up until the end, noting down the
single questions and his answers to them).?

If the answer according to this interrogation has been affirmative, the judge will invite the
accused to explain everything separately and sincerely; otherwise, he will admonish him gravely,
in order that, having been stricken by his own conscience, he would say whether perhaps he felt
that he was burdened by any crime. And, if he then should respond affirmatively that he, as
above, will invite him to confess his own fault with appropriate humility and sincerity,
expressing the names of those who were delinquent with him and the words or facts and other
circumstances of the matters which constitute the matter and individuality of the impetrated
crimes.

And because it is difficult for him to be able to remember everything from the beginning,
the judge will be able to put aside the space of two or three days, during which the accused
person can diligently examine in prayer and tears his own conscience, giving him the option of
giving his confession in writing as well, which in the following indictment ++51++ the judge
will formally receive, or, if it is given in writing, he will accept from his hands the notebook in
which it is contained and will give it to the notary who will make a note of the matter, for
example, in this way: The accused gave [me] a notebook [containing] his confession, as he
asserted, having done it in writing, which he began . . . (he will note the first words of the
document), and finished with . . .(he will note the last words), and which I, accepting it, sign with
the letter A (he marks the page with this or another letter of the alphabet) and I have put it into
the Acts.? This method must be observed always as often as any document of any type received
from the accused has to be inserted into the Acts.

After these, the directing judge will compare the confession that has been made either
verbally or in writing with the denunciations existing in the Acts, and, if he shall find in it
nothing that is omitted or left out, having omitted the affirmations, he shall proceed to the last
questions; if, however, he finds anything in these which the accused either did not confess at all
or lacked integrity in his confession, he will only make mention of it, as will be stated below.

If, however, the matter still remains negative against the accused, the judge will
interrogate him further whether he knows against what delicts the supreme tribunal is

35



proceeding; if he does not know, he will enumerate the crimes of this type (heresy, solicitation to
grave matter, the worst crime [of pediastry], the violation of the seal, etc.) Then he will ask him
whether he impetrated any of these crimes: if he responds affirmatively, he will invite him to a
spontaneous confession, as before; otherwise, he will read to him the decree by which a mandate
has been issued that he be indicted. Then he will order him to relate the story of his own life and
career; where he was born, where he had been educated, whether he was promoted to any
academic grades or other signs of honor, where he lives, what offices and duties he had been
assigned and other matters of a similar nature. Finally, he will ask of him whether he has any
enemies, who they are and what is the cause of their enmity.

Having premised these general questions, the judge, before he addresses the single
denunciations with the summoned accused, he will ask him about the particulars of the persons,
places, and circumstances of the times brought out in the denunciation and what can demonstrate
its probable truth or falsity: For example, where the place of the confessional is in the church or
the rooms in the home of the priest; whether he receives the penitents before or after confession
at home so that ++52++ he may impart counsel; whether he put books at their disposal, etc.;
whether this took place that he would speak a long time with a woman at home or in the sacristy
after confession and this with closed doors, whether it took place on such and such a day and in
such a town or city, etc.

Then the judge will state to the accused ? always keeping secret the name of the one
denouncing him ? each denunciation. But he will not, indeed, do so in a global or combined
manner. He will bring up each and every denunciation distinctly in parts by reading them to the
accused so that he first presents the whole denunciation before the accused and then singly in
sections such as has been revealed in each denunciation.

The judge will begin from the less serious words and deeds and slowly proceed to the
more serious; nor will he omit proving also some saying or deed that is not criminal, if there is
something borne out by the denouncers, so that, once the accused has admitted that, if perhaps
then the accused is tainted, he can be shown that the criminal words or deeds have been so joined
that the public authority of the church cannot consider some of these criminal words or deeds as
true and others as false. These words and deeds will be brought forth to confirm each of the
denunciations, and, should there be any, those the earnest efforts [diligentiae],? favorable to the
one denouncing and not favorable to the one being denounced; ?Information? that is not
favorable to him should not be thrown up against him ?information?, which is not held to be
favorable to him.

By reason of association [connexio] or content [continentia], the judge will also bring up
to the accused the crimes not pertaining to the Holy Office, for which the accused has been
denounced and for which he has not yet gone into judgment.

Simultaneously, the counter arguments upon which the accused perhaps has relied,
whether [based] upon subterfuges, evasions and meaningless responses, must be proved.

36



The declarations of all the denunciations having been completed, if there are indeed more
denunciations and the accused remains negative, the judge should not omit to declare to the same
accused that, not in conformity with his denials there stand more denunciations in number,
distinct in time and reported by different persons, who, from reliable testimony, are of good
name, in every way worthy of credencel; they are incapable of calumniating or of committing
perjury; they are indeed unknown to each other, and hence conspiracy is impossible. Nor has
enmity or any other human pathological state been adduced as the reason to accuse [this priest].
It is only in order to satisfy the ineluctable obligation that they have taken the counsel of their
own conscience.

These things having been brought up, the judge will interrogate the accused as to what he
himself feels about the sixth precept of the decalogue and the sacrament of the penance; whether
he thinks it is licit for the confessor to act in such a way with penitents, so that, from certain
documents (or, if he has confessed, from his own confession) it was proved that he had himself
acted [in this way], whether he perhaps thinks that all [his actions were] in no way sinful;
whether he was familiar with the Apostolic Constitution of s.m. Benedict XIV, which begins:
?The sacrament of penance?, and with the penalties which this Constitution and the holy canons
threaten against the confessors in the sacred ministry who have abused their sacred ministry to
the ruin of souls; and finally whether he can offer anything to exonerate himself.

After this, the judge will ask him whether he should continue this process here and now
as being legitimate or on the other hand does the accused have an exception to make against it;
whether he would be content to be assisted by a defender ex officio [from the tribunal] or
whether he would wish to name his own defender for himself and, if he insists on some
exception, whether he wants perhaps to have the examination of the denunciators repeated.

If he gives an affirmative answer to this last question, or, if in some way he has some
[fact] to offer in his own defense because of which the witnesses must be heard (as, moreover, if
a serious and sometimes unexpected difficulty comes up), the arraignment should be suspended.
It should be reconvened after the denouncing persons have been examined once more or the
witnesses have been heard. From these persons the judge will elicit new depositions, and, having
formally made the [second] inquisition, formerly begins anew the arraignment.

The attestations of the denunciations having been taken care of, the text of the
denunciations must be given to the promoter of justice, who will scrutinize it and declare
whether he has any notes to make about it or whether there are new statements or new steps that
ought to be taken.

The arraignment will not be concluded by the judge, unless there has first been an express
consent by the promoter of justice.

At the end of each session there shall be read to the accused everything that has been

37



presented and in written form is read to the accused by the notary, and, once the accused has
approved and accepted these statements, together with any corrections, additions and erasures, if
there are any, he will be invited to write his signature; and, having been gravely warned about
keeping the secret, the accused will be dismissed. The notary will describe all of this in these
words: ?After having received and accepted all of this, the accused, before being dismissed, was
warned about keeping the secret and before he was to leave, he was to sign in confirmation of
what had been stated.?

After the accused respondent has signed, the notary will sign in this way: ?these Acts are
signed by myself, N.N., notary (and if he has been authorized solely for this act: authorized only
for this act).? Then the indicting judge will sign.

Since, however, there is a need for not only one single arraignment session to bring the
many matters to their successful completion, but for many sessions, each one of these sessions
should be opened and closed in the same way. At each session, at the bottom of every page,
there should be the signatures of the accused, the notary and the judge, and, at the end of each
session the judge will cite the accused, indicating the date for the following session which the
notary will note in this way: ?Having been informed of and having accepted all of these matters,
the accused has now been cited for the . . . day of the month of . . . to appear again, and he was
dismissed after having been admonished, etc.? as above. However, in the following session, the
first question will be: Whether to those things which were treated in the preceding sessions the
accused has anything to add, remove or correct on his own?, and, after his answer has been
transcribed, the sessions will then be continued, from that point at which the previous
interrogation ended.

N.B. ? It would be superfluous to note that the judge, before he comes to the indictment,
must accurately subject the whole informative process to his examination, ?obviously all the
denunciations both informal and formal and also of the material not pertaining to the Holy
Office; his examinations about the morals and the veracity of the ones denouncing, and the
investigations and information about the life, morals and good name of the one denounced, plus
love letters perhaps written by him, etc. ? so that the same judge has at hand all the elements
with which to weaken the denials of the accused, and with which to rebut his arbitrary
affirmations. From the partial concessions of the accused he can force him to admit more
matters.
38



FORMULA Q
The Formula for a Petition by the Promoter of Justice


A) IN THE CASE OF PROPOSING AN ADJOURNMENT


Once there is premised a brief summary and inquiry about the reasons of law and fact,
there is this conclusion; for example

Having taken everything into consideration, I think it should be decided that the
Reverend . . . be dismissed with a grave admonition, the process remaining in force. And for the
same reason and purpose. The purpose is (for example) that he be watched most diligently: that
he be kept from any familiarity with women, also using ecclesiastical censures, and, if anything
obscene (or, if anything not in keeping with the sacerdotal state, etc.) is observed in his life-style,
then he will be brought to the tribunal immediately.

On this . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

Signature of the Promoter of Justice

B) IN THE CASE OF PROPOSING A CONDEMNATION

What has been premised above, etc.

. . . I think that it should be decreed that, having imposed congruent (or grave) and
salutary penances, among which there would be spiritual exercises for . . . days to be done in a
religious house, during which he will remain suspended from the celebration of the Mass, the
Reverend . . . should be dismissed with (here there should be expressed according to the
prescription of Canon 2368 ? 1 and also the supplementary sanctions which seem to need to be
inflicted). If he has by chance absolved his accomplice, he should heal his conscience by a
recourse to the Sacred Penitentiary.

On this . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . .

Signature of the Promoter of Justice

C) IN THE CASE OF PROPOSING ABSOLUTION

. . . I think it should be decreed: that the innocence of the charged person is evident from
the Acts; and therefore the Reverend . . . should be dismissed once he has been absolved.

39



FORMULA R

The Manner of Rendering a Condemnatory Sentence in Cases where
the Accused Remains Negative

We (There should be noted the name, family name, qualities, etc., of the Judge-Ordinary
or the one delegated).

Since . . . (the name, family name, father?s name, age, condition, etc. of the accused, and,
if he is a religious, there should also be added the name he used in the world) was not afraid to
abuse the sacrament of penance by words and acts concerning which there is treatment in the
Pontifical Constitutions and especially in the Constitution of Benedict XIV, which first words are
Sacramentum Poenitentiae, by saying and doing these things. . . (here, summarily, and in prudent
and discrete words, there should be told how, how often, etc. the accused committed the fault);

And, since, because of all these matters he has been denounced to our tribunal, he has
been duly cited on this day (let there be noted the day and month of citation), with a proper
process having been constituted against him, he has now been indicted on these days (state on
which days); however, he remains negative. Nevertheless he has been convicted of the matter.

Therefore, although he has affirmed that he feels that he has acted correctly concerning
the faith and Catholic doctrine (having supposed, evidently that the matter was truly so), and the
defender for the court action was not remiss in his duty of promoting and sustaining the proper
defenses for the accused;

Nevertheless, having correctly and seriously weighed everything, we the Judge-Ordinary
or his delegate, on this day (let there be noted the day on which the sentence is given), from the
acts and proofs, believe and are convinced that the sentence which follows ought to be rendered.

Therefore, having invoked the name of God, and that of the most blessed and ever virgin
Mary the Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, we issue this our definitive sentence
which we, seated for the tribunal, issue, with these pages, in the cause which has been brought
before us between D. . . .(name, family name, etc. of the Promoter of Justice) the promoter
++57++ of justice at this tribunal and . . . (name, family name, etc. of the accused, as above), we
say, decree and declare and hold that . . . (the name, family name, etc. of the accused is
repeated), because of those matters of which he has been convicted, has been judged guilty of the
crime of solicitation toward obscene matters (and of false dogma) and therefore has merited the
censures and penalties which have been stated, legislated and promulgated against such
delinquents.

40



Lest, therefore, the above mentioned errors and faults remain unpunished, and in order
that the accused will hasten to live in the future more cautiously and be an example to others, we
will therefore condemn him . . . (there should be added the dispositive part of the decision.)

Likewise we impose upon him these salutary penances . . . (and let it be said what
penances are imposed).

And thus we say, discern, declare and order and definitively believe and we do intend and
wish to order its execution, as we order concerning the fact in this way and with that form which
by law we can and must [decree], at the same time mandating for this purpose with the present
letter that the accused on this date . . . will be cited to hear the reading and conveyance of this our
decision.

Thus we pronounce (and the act should be closed with an indication of the place and day
in which it is to be published).

L.X S.
Signature of the Judge the Ordinary or of his delegate
Signature of the Notary

FORMULA S

Manner of Delivering a Condemnatory Sentence in Cases Where
the Accused has Confessed His Crimes

We (Let there be noted the name, family name, qualities, etc., of the judge-Ordinary or
his delegate).

Since . . . (name, family name, father?s name, age, condition, etc. of the accused, and, if
he is a religious, let there be added also the name by which he is known in the world) was not
afraid to abuse the sacrament of penance by words and actions concerning which treatment was
given in Pontifical Constitutions and especially in the Constitution of Benedict XIV, whose
opening words are SACRAMENTUM POENITENTIAE, saying and doing these things . . . (here
in a summary fashion and with prudent and discrete words, it should be indicated how, how
often, etc. the accused has been at fault).

Since, because he has been denounced for all of these matters to our tribunal, and a
regular process has been set up at this tribunal against him and he was duly cited on this date
(here should be noted the day, and the month of the citation), and he was arraigned on these days

41



(let it be said on what days); he confessed this and this (here should be summarized his
confession).

Although, therefore, he has affirmed that he felt that he was correct in matters of faith and
Catholic doctrine (and with the supposition, evidently, that this is truly the case), and his
defending advocate, in keeping with his duty, was not remiss in his promotion and sustaining the
due defenses.

 Nevertheless, having weighed everything correctly and seriously, we the judge-Ordinary
or his delegate, on this day (let there be noted the day on which the sentence is given) from the
acts and proofs think and retain that the sentence which follows ought to be rendered.

Therefore, having invoked the name of God, and that of the most blessed and ever virgin
Mary, the Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, with this definitive sentence which we
publish seated here for the tribunal on this public record in the case which was processed in our
presence between D . . . (name, family name, etc., of the Promoter of Justice) and the Promoter
of Justice ++59++ in this tribunal and . . .(name, family name, etc. of the accused, as above), we
say, decide, declare and believe that . . . (name, family name, etc. of the accused is repeated),
because of those things which he has confessed, has been judged guilty of the crime of
solicitation to obscene matters (and of false dogma), and, moreover, that he has merited the
censures and penalties which have been put forth, stated and promulgated against such
delinquents by the holy canons.

Lest the aforesaid errors and faults remain without penalty, and in order that the accused
should hasten to live more cautiously in the future, and be an example to others, we condemn
him in this way . . . (here there should be added the dispositive part of the sentence).

Likewise for salutary penances, we impose . . . (here are indicated the penances which are
imposed).

Because, however, the accused has spontaneously confessed the aforesaid errors and
faults and he humbly asked forgiveness for them, we wish, moreover, to absolve him from any
excommunication he perhaps incurred, as long as he first given evidence that, with a sincere
heart and faith that are real he first abjures those errors and detests his faults; thus we ordain by
this our sentence that he act in accordance with the manner and form stated by us.

And thus we say, decree, declare, order and definitively believe and intend and wish to
command to execution, as concerning the fact, we order in a better way and according to that
form which we can and must use by law, at the same time ordaining with the present letter that
the accused on this day . . . will be cited to hear the reading and being informed of this our
sentence.

Thus we pronounce (and the act should be closed with an indication of the place and day
on which it was made known).

42



L. X S.
Signature of the Judge-Ordinary or his Delegate
Signature of the Notary

FORMULA T

Manner of Declaring Solemnly about the Promulgation and Intimation
of the Sentence in the Cases of Solicitation

The notary should begin the act with these words:

By force of the decree of this date (let the day be noted on which the sentence was given)
given by . . . (name, family name, etc. of the judge), in the presence of the same person at (the
location ought to be noted), with the notary present, N.N. appeared personally (name, family
name, father?s name, age, condition, etc. of the accused, and, he was a religious, there should
also be added the name which he used in the world), to whom by the aforesaid judge seated for
the tribunal there were read the following matters:

Here the document is read completely word for word by which the sentence has been
given.

Then there is added:

On the . . . day of the month of . . . in the year . . . with these writings there has been
promulgated the aforesaid sentence through the above mentioned person (name, etc. of the
judge) seated for the tribunal (let there be said in what place), and by his reading in a high and
intelligible voice, to the present person (the name, etc. of the accused) listening to him and not
contradicting; (if he had confessed, there should be added: being willing, genuflecting before the
judge, touching the holy Gospels of God placed before him, he abjured ht aforesaid errors [and
heresies and generally all the other errors and heresies contrary to the Holy, Catholic and
Apostolic Roman Church], as in the schedule of his abjuration, by which he undertook his
abjuration, still kneeling, was absolved in the customary form of the church from the sentence of
excommunication and was reconciled to the Holy Mother the Church, having undertaken prayers
and usual and customary ceremonies) ? and there having been enjoined upon him salutary
penances contained in said sentence. Having received all these things, he was dismissed, sworn
to observe the secrecy at the touch of the ++61++ holy Gospels and previously, in confirmation
of what was presented before, of his and my signature.

43



Signature of the Accused
These Acts have been signed by myself, N.N. the notary (and if he has been authorized
only for this act: authorized only for this Act).

Finally, the judge signs.

44



 
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