Simony Law and Legal Definition

Simony is the crime of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church. It is a crime of corruption for the purpose of a Church or religious benefit. It involves receiving or giving money or an item of property to a Church officer, in exchange for a religious, holy or spiritual benefit or preference. The offense is named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles. According to English law, Simony is an ecclesiastical matter, rather than a crime. It is punished by forfeiture of the office or any advantage from the offense and severance of any patronage relationship with the person who bestowed the office.