"Missionaries of Mercy" will have faculty to absolve "most grave" sins
Tomorrow Francis will grant them the authority to forgive those who steal consecrated hosts, use violence against the Pope, absolve an accomplice, illegitimately ordain a bishop, attempt to ordain a woman, violate the secrecy of the conclave, and even those who are complicit in an abortion or commit acts of pedophilia.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - This afternoon the so-called Missionaries of Mercy will have an audience with the Pope and tomorrow afternoon they will concelebrate Mass on Ash Wednesday with Francis during which they will receive their "mandate". They will be a "living sign of how the Father welcomes those in search of his forgiveness". "They will be priests - says the Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee – with the authority to forgive the sins that are also reserved to the Apostolic See”.
1070, exclusively appointed by the Pope, will be present in all the dioceses of the world and come from all over the world, even from Burma, Lebanon, China, South Korea, Tanzania, UAE, Israel, Burundi, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Latvia, East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt.
They alone, therefore, will also absolve sins reserved to the Apostolic See, concretely to the Apostolic Penitentiary. The Code of Canon Law indicates Five: stealing consecrated hosts for "sacrilegious" purposes (canon 1367); uses "physical violence" against the Pope (canon 1370, 1); absolve "an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment," that is the person with whom there has been sexual relations (canons 977 and 1378.1); consecrating a bishop "without pontifical mandate" (canon 1382); violation of the secrecy of confession (canon 1388.1); attempting to ordain a woman priest (Decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2007). Pope Benedict XVI added a sixth case concerning the "violation of the secrecy of the conclave".
These are the “most grave sins" that cannot be absolved through confession alone, but need a special papal dispensation issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the oldest Vatican department founded in 1200 by Pope Honorius III.
Added to these sins, "reserved" to the Apostolic See, is one which has been the focus of media attention, which requires the consent of the bishop or a major penitentiary or priests to whom the Bishop has given this faculty.
It is abortion, for which the Code provides excommunication latae sententiae for both the mother and for the doctor, the nurse and for those who have possibly convinced the woman to have an abortion, that is, in the words of John Paul II encyclical Evangelium vitae, "all those who commit this crime with knowledge of the penalty attached, and thus includes those accomplices without whose help the crime would not have been committed”.
Then again in 2010, Benedict XVI added, and reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, (art. 6): the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor under eighteen years of age; in this issue, a minor also include a person with an imperfect use of reason; he acquisition, possession or distribution of pornographic images of minors under the age of 14, on the part of a cleric, in any way and by any means.
Of course the principal applies that the penalty remains for all those who have committed one of the gravest sins until, as the Code states, they truly repent. And, as stated in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Reconciliatio and Paenitentiae" 1984 "the essential act of penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, that is a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with determination not to commit it again" (FP).