“In the Church the purposes of punishment are the restoration of justice, the correction of the matter, and the reparation of the offense and damage,” he said.
Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, told Vatican News “the new norms determine much more clearly when ecclesiastical authority must intervene in the case of crimes.”
“They are more precise and the penalties that must be imposed are also clearer, better determined,” Arrieta added. “In addition, the Eastern discipline has also been harmonized with the Latin discipline in so many aspects, such as the abuse of minors and the protection of the sacraments.”
A total of 23 canons were modified, many of them with the addition of new paragraphs. Canons 1443 and 1449 were replaced in their entirety.
Pope Francis wrote that “the pastors, therefore, reveal their concern when they see to it that the portion of God’s people entrusted to them is preserved within the ways of the Lord; when, out of fraternal correction, admonition, or other appropriate means, they endeavor to correct the behavior of the faithful Christians who err; and finally they use canonical punishments where offenses have been committed.”
“When the pastor acts in this way to avoid crimes and to properly punish the guilty,” he continued, “he shows that he is aware of his duty to love the faithful committed to him.”