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About the authorCathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange.
- Canon lawyers are not responsible for the content of canon law. The Supreme Legislator is. Only Pope Francis can change the Code of Canon Law, so if you're not happy with what the law says, please take it up with him.
Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed.
Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?).
Category Archives: Crimes and Sanctions
Q: There are certain enumerated acts which trigger automatic, latae sententiae excommunication. Some of these acts could conceivably be performed by a Pope; for instance, it seems a Pope could help procure an abortion. Is it, then, theoretically possible for a Pope … Continue reading
Q: In theory, can a Pope commit heresy? If so, I’m trying to figure out who could declare that he was a heretic. What would happen? –Thomas A: This question had already been asked, before the September 24 announcement that … Continue reading
Q: I have recently become friends with someone who follows Sedevacantism. It has provided an opportunity for me to be challenged to more fully understand church teaching. Would you consider sharing your wisdom and expertise to explain why Sedevacantism is … Continue reading
Q: Many young ladies have approached me with this question: they were taught that a woman who breaks the 6th commandment with a Catholic priest, if she goes to confession to the priest, that her sins will never be forgiven and that … Continue reading
Q: During this Jubilee Year, “Missionaries of Mercy” have been sent around the world with special powers to lift excommunications. The Vatican Archbishop who made this announcement mentioned the excommunicable crime of physical violence against the Pope, and said that … Continue reading