What exactly is the "power to punish" in the peculiar case of the Roman Catholic Church's legal order? By continuously referring to the distinct normative choices expressed in Eastern churches' canon law code and the penal institutions of the Italian legal system, this manual attempts to clarify the difficult experience which, for the devout, marks the transition from sin to crime and exposes the guilty party to the possibility of penal punishment. The author skilfully unveils the functional specificity of such sanctions, and describes the different ways in which they may be applied. Particular emphasis is placed on the singular role played in penal canon law by the renowned principle of nullum crimen sine lege, which is typical of state-centred penal systems. Although it is a little known aspect of the Church's legal orders, penal law deserves to be studied for its extraordinary wealth of scholarly and research stimuli.
Contents: 1. The "Power to Punish" in Canon Law - 2. Features and Nature of Punishment in Penal Canon Law - 3. Manners of Punishment - 4. Sin and Crime.
Raffaele Botta teaches Canon Law in the Faculty of Jurisprudence at the University of Florence.