The Heart of the Penal System in the Catholic Church

A Critical Analysis of the Position of the Victim in Paedophilia Cases

  • Davis Panadan Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram
Keywords: Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, graviora delicta, Procedure, Religious, Criminal justice system, victim


The author deals with the context of child sexual abuses by Catholic priests and the Apostolic Letter Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela that approved the new laws on graviora delicta. The author critically analyzes the position of the victim in the penal process system of the Catholic Church and draws conclusions regarding its alleged placement at the heart of the criminal justice system. In conclusion the author states how the substantive and procedural changes to the graviora delicta will help the Church better serve her followers in achieving justice for victims and suggests ways and means of making the criminal justice delivery mechanism victim-friendly and sensitive, so that it can meet the challenges faced by victims and provide effective justice to those affected by crime

Author Biography

Davis Panadan , Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram

Davis Panadan CMI, born on 17 January 1971 at Meloor in Thrissur, was ordained priest on December 27, 2002. Currently as a research student he is about to defend his PhD thesis soon in law at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He holds an LLM from the same institution and a licentiate in Oriental Canon Law (LOCL) from DVK the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. He has authored many articles and at present he is lecturer of civil and canon law at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore.