Aggravation of Penalties under Canon Law and Polish Criminal Law

Keywords: penalty; aggravation; criminal law; crime


Canon 1326 § 1 and 2 CIC/83 provides for circumstances that are optional but can result in a harsher punishment of the offender. Regulations which provide for the aggravation of penalties were also incorporated in Article 64 § 1 and 2, Article 65 § 1, Article 57a § 1 and 2, and Article 91 § 1, 2 and 3 of the Penal Code. Both of these systems, however, do not exist in a vacuum. They refer to specific individuals who are simultaneously the faithful of the Catholic Church but also Polish citizens. The presented article is intended to characterize institutions that aggravate penalties and to demonstrate the similarities and differences between the two systems. Therefore, the systems of canon law and civil law contain systematic regulations that are both similar (as in the case of reoffending) and different, the latter being more numerous. The main reason for this is that criminal law is highly abstract law because it addresses all Polish citizens as well as individuals staying on the Polish territory. The regulations are designed to punish the perpetrator in a manner consistent with the expectations of the public as well as to serve preventive and educational objectives that the penalty is to achieve with regard to the offender, and the need to develop legal awareness in society. In contrast, canon law addresses specific entities that are the faithful of the Catholic Church. In addition, it is guided by the principle of clemency of church punishment contained in canon 1349 CIC/83.

Author Biography

Agnieszka Smoluchowska, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Agnieszka Smoluchowska, J.C.L. – Ph.D. student, Department of Public and Constitutional Church Law, Institute of Canon Law, Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin; Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin


Arias, Juan. 2011. „Komentarz do kan. 1326.” W Codex Iuris Canonici. Kodeks Prawa Kanonicznego. Komentarz. Powszechne i partykularne ustawodawstwo Kościoła katolickiego. Podstawowe akty polskiego prawa wyznaniowego. Edycja polska na podstawie wydania hiszpańskiego, red. Piotr Majer, 997-998. Kraków: Wolters Kluwer Polska.

Bojarski, Marek, red. 2017. Prawo karne materialne. Część ogólna i szczególna. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska.

Bojarski, Tadeusz, red. 2013. Kodeks karny. Komentarz. Warszawa: LexisNexis.

Filar, Marian, red. 2012. Kodeks karny. Komentarz. Warszawa: LexisNexis.

Gajda, Piotr M. 2008. Sankcje karne w Kościele w świetle Kodeksu Prawa Kanonicznego Jana Pawła II oraz późniejszych zmian i uzupełnień. Tarnów: Wydawnictwo Diecezji Tarnowskiej Biblos.

Giezek, Jacek, red. 2012. Kodeks karny. Część ogólna. Komentarz. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska.

Grześkowiak, Alicja, i Krzysztof Wiak, red. 2017. Kodeks karny. Komentarz. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo C.H. Beck.

Konarska-Wrzosek, Violetta, red. 2016. Kodeks karny. Komentarz. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska.

Królikowski, Michał, i Robert Zawłocki, red. 2010. Kodeks karny. Część ogólna. Tom II. Komentarz. Art. 32-116. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo C.H. Beck.

Mozgawa, Marek, red. 2013. Kodeks karny. Komentarz. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska.

Renken, John A. 2015. The Penal Law of the Roman Catholic Church. Commentary on Canons 1311-1399 and 1717-1731 and Other Sources of Penal Law. Ottawa: Saint Paul University.

Syryjczyk, Jerzy. 2005. „Powrót do przestępstwa w ujęciu prawa kanonicznego.” Prawo Kanoniczne 48, nr 3-4:151-74.

Syryjczyk, Jerzy. 2008. Sankcje w Kościele. Część ogólna. Komentarz. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo UKSW.

Wójcik, Walenty, Józef Krukowski, i Florian Lempa. 1987. Komentarz Prawa Kanonicznego z 1983 r. Księga V. Dobra doczesne Kościoła. Księga VI. Sankcje w Kościele. T. 4. Lublin: Redakcja Wydawnictw KUL.

Zoll, Andrzej, red. 2012. Kodeks karny. Część ogólna. Tom I. Komentarz do art. 1-116 k.k. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska.