Canonical Rights of Clergy

Canon 221 upholds the right of defense. Such a right provides that a competent canon lawyer be made available, and that the person have access to all the accusations, the evidence, and information about one’s canonical rights.

It the penal trial, according to canon 1481:2 the accused must always have an advocate.

Pope John Paul II in his annual address to the Roman Rota in 1989 said that one couldn’t conceive of a just judgment unless the right of defense has been given.

Canon 220 suggests that everyone has a right to a good reputation and states that they have a right to protect their privacy.

Canon 384 points out that a bishop is obliged to protect the rights of priests and to provide for their support.

Canon 281:2 provides for a priest’s welfare in the event of illness, incapacity, or old age.

Canon 1350:1 states that if a canonical penalty has been imposed, the priest still has a right to those things which are necessary for a decent living.

Canon 1347:2 states that a censure cannot be imposed validly unless the person has been given a warning and suitable time to repent.

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