New Worcester Diocesan Law Reveals Appalling State of the Priesthood

The fact this law even needed to promulgate is disgraceful.

Bishop Robert McManus promulgated the new diocesan penal law March 24, warning that use of hookup app technology will lead to sanctions for priests and deacons in the Massachusetts diocese.

“The new law reminds the clerics to cultivate and preserve the virtue of chastity as well as the promise of celibacy for priests and single or widowed deacons,” the diocese announced in a statement Friday.

“This particular law specifically references digital solicitation, grooming, pornography and/or sharing of such material on social media as ways of violating their lifelong commitment to the observance of chaste celibacy.”

The diocese said the new law, which invoked the existing universal law of the Church related to the clerical obligation to “behave with due prudence towards persons whose company can endanger their obligation to observe continence or give rise to scandal among the faithful,” creates the legal option for the bishop to “punish with a just penalty according to the gravity of the offense” any clergy incardinated in the diocese or otherwise present in the diocese who uses such apps.

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