View previous topic | View next topic

Lowest age of consent

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

dr.bob
775307.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:59 am Reply with quote

paddington wrote:
No; but the commandment against adultery is taken as covering a wider range of specific behaviours. You'd have to do some reading in Catholic theology for the full reasoning behind this, but I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that the Church didn't regard premarital sex as against God's law!


I'd certainly agree that premarital sex is a sin, but I'm trying to establish whether everything that's a sin is, by extension, illegal in the Vatican City. After all, AIUI, impure thoughts are a sin, but I doubt you can get banged up for them.

paddington wrote:
Probably not; the Holy See adopted Italian law as far as it did not conflict with God's Law and Canon Law. If there's an Italian law which provides for coveting an ox to be a crime, then it would be valid law in the Vatican (as it wouldn't contravene those other laws), but I doubt that there is. If there's no such Italian law, then there's no such Vatican law.


OK, now I'm really confused. You mention adultery as being specifically mentioned in the 10 commandments is against God's Law. Yet coveting, which is also specifically mentioned in the 10 commandments, is not against God's Law, so there'd need to be an Italian law banning it for it to be illegal in the Vatican City.

Is there any strict definition of God's Law, is it defined in terms of precedent (much like the UK's "unwritten" constitution), or is it largely made up as you go along? (The "you" there being a general "you". I'm not specifically trying to have a go at you personally)

Mind you, all this theological debate seems to be fairly irrelevant. After 10 minutes with google, I managed to dig up this law (or check out this version which, as well as the original Italian, has the text (badly) translated into English and French as well). The law in question defines penalties for sexual violence. Article 3 deals with sexual violence, Article 4 deals with "compounding circumstances" (i.e. the use of weapons, drugs, etc), but the most relevant article to this discussion is Article 5.

As far as I can tell, Article 5 simply deals with sex with minors (with or without violence), and defines a crime as anyone who has sex with someone who is less than 14 years old (or 16 years old if the older person has a position of responsibility to the child, for instance a teacher), although it permits sex with anyone 13 years or older provided the older partner is not more than three years older than the younger partner.

This law came into effect on 20 February 1996 and so, AIUI, should have been adopted into Vatican law under the Lateran Treaty.

Unless I've missed something important, that should be a fairly simple, straight-forward proof that the age of consent in the Vatican City is not lower than in the rest of Italy.

paddington wrote:
but if a Catholic bows in front of the altar (for example) it is an act of worship of God, with the altar just a sign, not of worship of the altar itself.


Thanks for the explanation. I figured there must be some kind of explanation like that, I just didn't know what it was.

paddington wrote:
But I accept that from external appearances the difference may not be obvious, especially to someone who has no knowledge of the presence of God.


I must admit, the difference between making an idol in the form of something that is in heaven above (not allowed under the 10 commandments) and simply creating a "reminder" of the presence of God (apparently OK) does seem to me to be a very subtle distinction.

But I guess that's a whole other discussion, so I won't start anything here.

 
paddington
775368.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:46 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
paddington wrote:
No; but the commandment against adultery is taken as covering a wider range of specific behaviours. You'd have to do some reading in Catholic theology for the full reasoning behind this, but I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that the Church didn't regard premarital sex as against God's law!


I'd certainly agree that premarital sex is a sin, but I'm trying to establish whether everything that's a sin is, by extension, illegal in the Vatican City. After all, AIUI, impure thoughts are a sin, but I doubt you can get banged up for them.


As I understand it, the situation as far as criminal law is concerned is this:

- Italian Law applies (subject to some quibbles over date and what constitutes 'new law', as flagged by a previous poster)
- Unless it contravenes God's Law or Canon Law.

God's Law and Canon Law are not themselves criminal law, so you don't get prosecuted under them in the criminal courts.

Sex under certain ages is criminal by the laws of Italy, and that's not against God's law; making it legal outside marriage would be (so any provision which makes consent possible outside marriage would not apply in the Vatican).

dr.bob wrote:
paddington wrote:
Probably not; the Holy See adopted Italian law as far as it did not conflict with God's Law and Canon Law. If there's an Italian law which provides for coveting an ox to be a crime, then it would be valid law in the Vatican (as it wouldn't contravene those other laws), but I doubt that there is. If there's no such Italian law, then there's no such Vatican law.


OK, now I'm really confused. You mention adultery as being specifically mentioned in the 10 commandments is against God's Law. Yet coveting, which is also specifically mentioned in the 10 commandments, is not against God's Law, so there'd need to be an Italian law banning it for it to be illegal in the Vatican City.


As I said above, God's law is not criminal law and can't be prosecuted in courts - or not human ones anyway! - unless a code of criminal law is in place to back it up.

Quote:
Is there any strict definition of God's Law, is it defined in terms of precedent (much like the UK's "unwritten" constitution), or is it largely made up as you go along? (The "you" there being a general "you". I'm not specifically trying to have a go at you personally)


There's certainly an understanding of what is and is not in line with God's law in Catholic theology, but it's not in one easy to find place; it's in documents which have official standing. Much, in fact , as English law is based on a combination of statue, common law and court decisions.

Quote:
Mind you, all this theological debate seems to be fairly irrelevant. After 10 minutes with google, I managed to dig up this law (or check out this version which, as well as the original Italian, has the text (badly) translated into English and French as well).

[...]

This law came into effect on 20 February 1996 and so, AIUI, should have been adopted into Vatican law under the Lateran Treaty.

Unless I've missed something important, that should be a fairly simple, straight-forward proof that the age of consent in the Vatican City is not lower than in the rest of Italy.


I reckon (for what its worth) that the Italian courts would probably agree with you.

However, the issue brought up by a previous poster was that the wording of the Law of Sources of Laws referred to adoption of *new* laws, and that may be an amendment to previous law - and without knowing how the Vatican itself interprets the meaning of "new" in that context (is amended law a new law? It's a new provision of law, but is that the same thing?) it's hard to be sure that the 1996 law is covered.

I'm saying that even if that law is not 'new law' (and that's the basis on which it might be argued that the age of consent is till the 12 it was under Italian law at the time of he Latern Treaty), then the provisions of the Law of Sources of Laws mean that the ruling age would have to be that in Canon Law for marriage; and that's 16 for boys and 14 for girls.

Either way, the "12" is a myth, and needs exploding.

 
dr.bob
775377.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:23 am Reply with quote

paddington wrote:
As I understand it, the situation as far as criminal law is concerned is this:

- Italian Law applies (subject to some quibbles over date and what constitutes 'new law', as flagged by a previous poster)
- Unless it contravenes God's Law or Canon Law.

God's Law and Canon Law are not themselves criminal law, so you don't get prosecuted under them in the criminal courts.


OK, so let's see if I've got this right. I'm struggling a bit to understand here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

From what you've said, it sounds as if the law in the Vatican City is based on Italian Law, and they simply have the option to opt out of new laws if they conflict with God's law. For instance, if Italy changed the law to legalise same sex marriages, the Vatican would opt out of that change and keep the old laws that banned it.

However, just because something is against God's law, doesn't mean that it's illegal in the Vatican City, since you say that "God's Law and Canon Law are not themselves criminal law." For something to be illegal in the Vatican City, it sounds like it needs to have been illegal in Italy at some point, and the change to the law to legalise it was viewed as contrary to God's law, so the Vatican opted out of it.

paddington wrote:
Sex under certain ages is criminal by the laws of Italy, and that's not against God's law; making it legal outside marriage would be (so any provision which makes consent possible outside marriage would not apply in the Vatican).


So any change to Italian law making extra-marital sex legal would not be recognised by the Vatican City? I guess that kind of makes sense. In which case my question would be: was extra-marital sex illegal at the time of the the Lateran Treaty?

If it was, then I think your argument holds. If it wasn't, though, then it sounds like we're back in the territory of coveting my neighbours ox: something that's against God's law, but wasn't actually illegal in Italian law and so is not upheld by the criminal courts.

 
Jenny
775455.  Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:05 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
For instance, if Italy changed the law to legalise same sex marriages, the Vatican would opt out of that change and keep the old laws that banned it.


AIUI, it's not that same sex marriage is actively banned by any laws. It's just not permitted by virtue of not falling within the categories of things that are possible. A subtle distinction, but a real one.

 
paddington
776460.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:49 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

However, just because something is against God's law, doesn't mean that it's illegal in the Vatican City, since you say that "God's Law and Canon Law are not themselves criminal law." For something to be illegal in the Vatican City, it sounds like it needs to have been illegal in Italy at some point, and the change to the law to legalise it was viewed as contrary to God's law, so the Vatican opted out of it.


More or less, though I'm making the point that there is a distinction between 'illegal' (outside the law) and 'criminal' (outside the criminal law). Canon Law within the Vatican can make things illegal (since it's a source of law), but Canon law wouldn't stand up in a criminal prosecution in the Italian courts; only in Church courts. There are things which are illegal in Canon law which a criminal court wouldn't look at - conferring baptism in a private house (except in emergency), for example.

Quote:
paddington wrote:
Sex under certain ages is criminal by the laws of Italy, and that's not against God's law; making it legal outside marriage would be (so any provision which makes consent possible outside marriage would not apply in the Vatican).


So any change to Italian law making extra-marital sex legal would not be recognised by the Vatican City? I guess that kind of makes sense. In which case my question would be: was extra-marital sex illegal at the time of the the Lateran Treaty?


Extra-marital sex before certain ages was, and that's what affects the age of consent aspect.

I'd be quite surprised if Italian law had ever made all forms of extramarital sex criminal - perhaps we should ask the Italian prime minister :-)

 

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group