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Suspension (Catholic canonical penalty)

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Suspension (Latin: suspensio) in Catholic canon law is a censure or punishment, by which a priest or cleric is deprived, entirely or partially, of the use of the right to order or to hold office, or of any benefice.[1]

A suspension a divinis is a suspension which "forbids the exercise of every act of the power of orders which one obtained either by sacred orders or by privilege".[2]

When a suspension is total, a cleric is deprived of the exercise of every function and of every ecclesiastical rite, and can also be temporarily deprived of Communion. The principal grounds on which suspension is incurred in the present discipline of the Church are found in the Decrees of the Council of Trent.[1]

Types of suspension[edit]

The canon 1333 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states there is three categories of things a suspension can affect:[3]

Suspension, which can affect only clerics, prohibits:

1/ either all or some acts of the power of orders;

2/ either all or some acts of the power of governance;

3/ the exercise of either all or some of the rights or functions attached to an office.

The canons 2278 to 2280 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law define 11 types of suspension.[4]

Notable suspensions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Suspension (in Canon Law) - Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Library : A Canonical History of the Lefebvrite Schism". www.catholicculture.org. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  3. ^ "Code of Canon Law - Book VI - Sanctions in the Church (Cann. 1311-1363)". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  4. ^ The 1917 or Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law : in English translation with extensive scholarly apparatus. Translated by Peters, Edward N. Ignatius Press. 2001. ISBN 0-89870-831-1. OCLC 48064829.
  5. ^ Sean Brady, Mark Seymour (2019). From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage: International Perspectives since 1789. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 9781350023901.

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