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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses$
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James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.001.0001

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The Investigation and Pretrial Canonical Process

The Investigation and Pretrial Canonical Process

Chapter:
(p.313) Chapter 25 The Investigation and Pretrial Canonical Process
Source:
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses
Author(s):

James T. O’Reilly

Margaret S. P. Chalmers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.003.0025

The pretrial phase of a church prosecution of an accused abuser is cumbersome and very tradition-bound, and so the use of canon law to pursue older abuse claims is very difficult. The chapter walks the reader through the process, from the initial complaint onward, detailing the issues that must be addressed along the way, including whether the accuser has the status of a minor, whether the act alleged constitutes a “more grave delict,” and whether prescription bars the matter. The chapter describes who conducts the investigation, the timing of notice to the accused, and the role of the review board.

Keywords:   delict (crime), votum, minor, review board, decree, lay state, prosecutor, bishop

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