"I'm a Roman Catholic
"I have been since before I was born
"And the one thing they say about Catholics is
"They'll take you as soon as you're warm!
"You don't have to be a six-footer,
"You don't have to have a great brain!"
I usually put extra emphasis on that last line when I sing it.
So, ever since the sex cover up scandal, the Vatican has been scrambling to keep the money flowing. Estimates are that it has lost $3 bil in donations from the US alone over this. So, in an effort to show they will not stand for such things, they are revising a 2001 decree to clarify who can be punished for sex abuse scandals and how it will be handled. Doesn't affect anything involved in the cover up (for example, nothing about turning over offenders to civil authorities), just clarifies who has to cover up their crimes better.
What else did they "clarify" with this revision? Hmm. Speedier procedures for dealing with the most urgent and serious cases, and to help speed things along, the tribunals can include lay people. Abuse of the mentally disabled is now equal to that of minors. New crimes introduced, paedophile pornography and attempted ordination of women....
...wait. Hit the rewind. "Ordination of women?" How is THAT part of a clarification on sex abuse crimes?!?
Attempting to ordain women as priests is grounds for excommunication. Ordination of women is already grounds for excommunication, and was last done in North Carolina (IIRC) about five years ago. This just tightens the noose around the congregations neck, making sure there are no loopholes. After all, in order to become a bishop, you have to 1) be an ordained priest and 2) always move diagonally. This effectively kneecaps that. By way of contrast, the Church Of England is moving towards ordaining female bishops.
Isn't it nice that they can take a crucial problem like clergy sex abuse and not only continue to ignore it (in fact, their actions border on sanctioning it), but turn it into another slam on women?
The Codex Juris Canonici is the governing laws of Catholicism. Last revised in 1983, it lists nine reasons for excommunication. One section is "apostasy, heresy, or schism". Schism happens when you break apart from the church. By repelling their followers, the church itself is committing schism. I'm excommunicated? Well, welcome to the party, assholes.