[orthodox-synod] monastery prisons? was: blanco - my final words
- Rev'd. Fr. Hierodeacon Symeon
>>But secular counsel, in the face of the secular trial,Dear Father,
>>had obstructed Church justice. If an ecclesiastic
>>court found a monk or clergyman guilty of immorality,
>>then I can understand the plaintiff taking criminal
>>and civil action.
I am not wanting to offer any contribution at all to the Blanco affair,
but I have to say that the concept contained in your above sentence is
extraordinary, although admittedly it was the practice in Catholic
Europe in the Middle Ages when clerics were left to the ecclesiastical
courts for judgement.
But I cannot see how this would operate under modern systems of justice
anywhere in the world. Just one example - should a clergyman accused of
murder stand trial in a church court and only proceed to a civil trial
if found guilty. And if acquitted by the church court, should the civil
justice system then accept this verdict and leave him in peace.
Is your own Synod capable of such legal work? I doubt it. And some
Synods have an unfortunate proclivity to prefer to avoid this type of
responsibility. It can be messy. Look at the reluctance of the Russian
Church to take action on the matter of the recent moral charges against
the Bishop of Ekaterinburg.
But if you wish to return to the Church its medieval rights as judge and
jury for clerics, then you'll have to advocate for the return of
prison-monasteries also! Would your monastery in Texas welcome such a
role? Why! you could be flooded by priests wanting to serve their
sentence there and avoid the cold northern winters!!