Reacting in a note dated 29 March to the appointment of Father Limond Toussaint (Catholic priest of the diocese of Jacmel) as Minister of Culture and Communication in the Government Moïse-Lafontant, Bishop of Les Cayes, Cardinal Chibly Langlois, President of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti (CEH), imposed a “suspense a divinis” on Father Toussaint, which prohibits him from exercising his priestly ministry and consequently administering the sacraments.
This sanction, which is primarily aimed at Father Toussaint’s amendment, was applied because of his violation of Canon 285 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 which states :
“1. Clerics are to refrain completely from all those things which are unbecoming to their state, according to the prescripts of particular law.
2. Clerics are to avoid those things which, although not unbecoming, are nevertheless foreign to the clerical state.
3. Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.
4. Without the permission of their ordinary, they are not to take on the management of goods belonging to lay persons or secular offices which entail an obligation of rendering accounts. They are prohibited from giving surety even with their own goods without consultation with their proper ordinary. They also are to refrain from signing promissory notes, namely, those through which they assume an obligation to make payment on demand.”
“We paternally exhort him, by virtue of Divine Mercy, to remember the promises of his priestly ordination,” recalls the note to Father Toussaint.
Learn more about “suspense” :
In canon law “suspense” is a penal sanction, which affects only the clerics (representative of the church). It belongs, with excommunication and prohibition, to the category of “medicinal” penalties, because they are aimed above all at the amendment of the culprit.