En kirkerettsekspert, Ed Condon, skriver i Catholic Herald en artikkel som starter (friskt) slik:
The furore caused by Misericordia et Misera is a damning indictment of those surrounding the Pope. Pope Francis is not an expert in canon law. I do not think His Holiness would mind me putting it that bluntly. In fact I rather suspect that, given his personal style, he would happily agree. It is far from heresy to point out that a pope might not be a born canonical expert, anymore than it would be unreasonable to suggest that Donald Trump has no particular natural expertise in American constitutional law. …
Videre skriver han at paven nå har gitt alle prester noe de allerede har, nemlig myndighet til å tilgi synden provosert abort. Men med denne alvorlige synden følger også en ekstra konsekvens, nemlig automatisk ekskommunikasjon, og det er egentlig denne paven nå gir alle prester myndighet til å ta bort. Slik skriver han:
… How the faculty to hear confessions and forgive sins works, in canon law, is like this: a priest gets the “power” to forgive sins through his ordination, but to validly use this power he needs the faculty to exercise it (c. 966 §1). He gets this faculty from the law itself in some circumstances, like in danger of death for the penitent (c. 976), but the normal process is for him to be given the faculty by his bishop for use in the diocese (c. 969 §1). Once he has the faculty from his bishop to hear confessions and forgive sins in his diocese, the law then extends that faculty to apply anywhere in the world (c. 967 §2). In short: if a priest has the faculty to hear confessions and absolve any sins, he can absolve all sins, and if he has the faculty to do this somewhere he can do it anywhere.
This means that the actual effect of the Pope’s concession of the “faculty” to absolve the “sin” of abortion to all priests is to grant them a faculty which 99 per cent of them already have. The one-percenters who don’t have the faculty are those who have not already been given it by their bishop, or have had it revoked; those suspended from ministry, for example. Now it is pretty obvious that this is not what the Pope meant, even if it is what he technically said. So what did he mean to say?
What was supposed to be announced, and what would have been announced had his curial assistants done their job, was the concession of the “faculty” to “remit the censure” for the “delict/crime” of abortion.
While every canonical crime is a sin, not every sin is also a canonical crime, though some of the most serious are. Abortion is, for sure, a grave sin. It is also a delict (c. 1398) which carries the penalty of excommunication. To be clear: there is no such thing as a “reserved sin”, but there are “reserved crimes”. A reserved crime is one where only a person with particular authority can lift the penalty. In the case of abortion, only the ordinary of the territory (the diocesan bishop, for all intents and purposes) can lift the censure, in this case of excommunication. It is common practice for some bishops to give their priests this faculty by delegation, along with the faculty to hear confessions. But, since the faculty to lift the penalty is not extended by the law, as it is with absolving the sin, to cover everywhere, but is limited to the territory of the ordinary, the power to lift the censure does not travel with the priest, even if he has it at home. …
… What the Pope is actually doing, and I hope this will be clarified in the not too distant future, is giving all priests the faculty to lift the excommunication, always and everywhere and on their own. He did this first for the the Year of Mercy and is now making it permanent.
The Pope has in no way downgraded or mitigated the severity of the sin of abortion, and effectively ending the reservation of the delict is hardly the disciplinary earthquake some people are assuming it is.