A Proclamation from Defender Austin Campbell
18th Shoring 1008
Recent events have reminded me of what I believe is a growing problem in this land, and in fact in the churches themselves. That problem is how people view sin and excommunication. I would say that most people seem to view excommunication, the way that I view being in sin, and view sin as little more than an inconvenience until they are able to find a priest to cleanse them. I fear that if this continues it will undermine the very essence of both Ithronian society and the churches of light, something I will not allow to happen.
I then thought about what I can do to try to fix the problem?
Firstly my position allows me certain other powers within ithron with which I try to fight such undermining of the churches, unfortunately it is hard to bring charges for peoples views on this matter.
Secondly I can do something which we can all do, set an example. By not sinning (and I have never sinned), and by not treating sin and excommunication lightly.
Thirdly because of my position in the church I believe I must try to ensure the problem does not set in in my own church. While I do not believe there is a significant problem within the Longstorian church, I intend to ensure it stays that way, and reinforce teaching on this subject.
It is to this end that I make the following request.
I ask that when setting a penance for sin, from now on that the sinner be allowed to serve that penance for a period of time before absolving them. The penance could also still continue after the absolution.
I suggest that if the sinner can afford it there may be a charge for this service (I am asking the undercouncil for permission for priests to keep a quarter of this as usual but for now, tithe the whole fee to the church). However this fee is supposed to be punitive to help the sinner reflect on the seriousness of the sin, and like penances should be proportional to the nature of the sin and the wealth of the sinner. It must be also agreed with the local elders. It also must not replace the proper penance as the primary form of penance. Should I discover a case of a priest effectively robbing fellow longstorians or refusing to absolve someone who cannot afford to pay, there will be trouble.
There are obviously exceptions, for example vampire bites which are not true sin should be cleansed immediately. Or for example if asked to cleanse a village’s priest who you would not be able to visit for some time, it would serve the greater good to absolve them early rather than late as it were, so that the village is not without it’s priest.
I am aware that for some of you this may mean no change, but for others I am asking you to allow sinners to reflect more on their sins, I hope that by doing so we will reinforce the severity of sin and excommunication.
I Also ask that I be informed of every absolution carried out; who the sinner is; what the nature of the transgression was; what penance was given, and the justification for this; if a fee was charged, what this was and again the justification; how much of the penance was served before the absolution was carried out, and again why; and anything else you want to add.
I’m sure there maybe some who think this sounds a little extreme, but I together we can make sure that these matters are not taken lightly within the church, and this can serve as an example to the rest of Ithron and the world.
Father Austin Campbell
Defender of Faith