Sacraments for the laicized molesters

Sacraments for the laicized molesters

What rights do priests laicized for abusing kids have with regard to the sacraments? Should they be allowed to attend Mass in a parish, go to confession, pray in a chapel?

This isn’t exactly the same case, but a laicized priest in Toledo is at the center of a controversy. Chet Warren was laicized with credible evidence of his molesting some kids. He is now the member of a local parish. He wants to pray in the church’s Blessed Sacrament chapel, but in order to ensure that he’s not in there unsupervised, he agreed to come only during specific hours, but violated that agreement. The Diocese of Toledo has subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking to bar him. Okay, so he agreed to certain conditions and allegedly violated them.

But what about a different scenario, that of the credibly accused molester, now laicized, who just wants to receive the sacraments. I can imagine that if parents and even SNAP find out, they will complain and want him out. After all, it’s not much different from sex offenders on a public registry moving into a neighborhood. So what do we do? The Church says that every Catholic has a right to sacraments and if the offender has gone to confession and received absolution, then he is properly disposed. If he’s not wearing a collar, but is just another guy in the pew, can we keep him out?

Would it be right to deny the sacraments to someone who seeks them out, especially someone so evidently in need of them? If we believe that the sacraments are a conduit of grace shouldn’t we want such men to have access to it so that they can be strengthened to overcome their sinful compulsions?

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