Canon Law Blog

Why does the Catholic Church have laws? What is the relationship between these laws and God’s law? If an emergency situation arises, do the laws designed for normal times still apply? Does the present crisis in Catholicism allow us to set aside the Church’s laws for the sake of “the greater good?” The purpose of the Canon Law Blog section of this website is threefold. First, to discuss all the preceding questions and many more, in a manner obedient both to what Sacred Scripture teaches about “law” as well to the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. Second, to make the case that the Code of Canon Law enacted by the Catholic Church in 1917 — and not the revised Code promulgated in 1983 by John Paul II to implement the Vatican II revolution in the juridical realm — is still the code in force. Third, to meticulously proceed through the 1917 Code with the aid of a) the standard commentaries (Abbo & Hannan, Augustine, Bouscaren & Ellis, Della Rocca, Wernz-Vidal, Woywod & Smith, and others), b) the Canon Law Digest, c) the relevant canon law doctoral dissertations, and d) other relevant resources, such as the massive Codices Iuris Canonici Fontes (comprising 8 huge volumes of nearly a thousand pages each). I own all of the above and more in a large bookcase (one of the over 100 such bookcases that make up the library of the St. Jerome Study Center housed in the lower level of my home). Hopefully our exploration of these volumes and issues will to show how the Church’s law helps us navigate our course through the current storm.

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