Dr. Libor Botek, Th.D., email: l.botek@volny.cz

Mgr. Jiřina Navrátilová, email: jirina.navratilova@seznam.cz

 

A comparison of ecclesiastical and secular criminal law shows that both systems, despite safeguarding different social values and interests, are aimed at protecting justice in society and instead of competing, they complement one another. Canon and secular criminal law differ not only in their definition of the conditions of criminal liability and in the description of individual bodies of the crime, but also in the types of and the possibilities for imposing punishment and other measures. Nonetheless, many criminal offences are prosecuted by secular bodies active in criminal proceedings, as well as by the competent church authorities. At present, extensive discussions on how to deal with this issue are underway at the churchwide level and among the Czech clergy. In February 2019, episcopal conference chairmen met with the pope in Vatican and their meeting resulted in additional suggestions accompanied by legal orders binding for the entire church. Recently, Pope Francis called upon all Catholic Church priests who have committed a sexual delict involving minors to report themselves to state law enforcement bodies. In addition, in his Moto Proprio Come una madre amorevole, the pope calls for the removal of bishops from their offices who were dilatory in resolving matters of sexual delicts of their subordinates.