Tag Archives: canon law

Motu Proprio: Variations to the Code of Canon Law, canons canons 1008, 1009, 1086, 1117 & 1124 –Omnium in mentem

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City, 15 December 2009 (VIS) – Made public today was Benedict XVI’s Motu
Proprio, “Omnium in mentem”. The document is dated 26 October 2009
and contains two variations to the
Code of Canon Law (CIC), variations which
have long been the object of study by dicasteries of the Roman Curia and by
national episcopal conferences.

The document published today contains five
articles modifying canons 1008, 1009, 1086, 1117 and 1124. According to an
explanatory note by Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the
Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, these variations “concern two
separate questions: adapting the text of the canons that define the ministerial
function of deacons to the relative text in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1581), and suppressing a subordinate clause in three canons concerning
, which experience has shown to be inappropriate”.

The variation
to the text of canon 1008 will now limit itself to affirming that “those
who receive the Sacrament of Orders are destined to serve the People of God
with a new and specific title”, while canon 1009 “will be given an
additional third paragraph in which it is specified that the minister
constituted into the Order of the episcopate or the priesthood receives the mission
and power to act in the person of Christ the Head
, while deacons receive the
to serve the People of God in the diaconates of the liturgy, of the
Word and of charity”.

Archbishop Coccopalmerio’s note then goes on to
explain that the other changes contained in the Motu Proprio all concern the
elimination of the clause “actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia
Catholica” contained in canons 1086 para. 1, 1117 and 1124. This clause,
“following much study, was held to be unnecessary and inappropriate”,
he writes.

“From the time the Code of Canon Law came into effect in the
year 1983 until the moment of the coming into effect of this Motu Proprio,
Catholics who had abandoned the Catholic Church by means of a formal act were
not obliged to follow the canonical form of celebration for the validity of
marriage (canon 1117), nor were they bound by the impediment concerning
marriage to the non-baptised (canon 1086 para. 1), nor did they suffer the
prohibition on marrying non-Catholic Christians (canon 1124). The
abovementioned clause contained in these three canons represented an exception
… to another more general norm of ecclesiastical legislation according to
which all those baptised in the Catholic Church
or received into her are bound
to observe ecclesiastical laws
(canon 11).

“With the coming into effect of
the new Motu Proprio”, Archbishop Coccopalmerio adds, “canon 11 of
the Code of Canon Law reacquires its full force as concerns the contents of the
canons thus modified
, even in cases were there has been a formal abandonment.
Hence, in order to regularise any unions that may have been made in the
non-observance of these rules it will be necessary to have recourse, if
possible, to the ordinary means Canon Law offers for such cases: dispensation
from the impediment, sanation
, etc”.

The Latin and Italian texts are here

The Pastoral Companion 4th edition, revised & updated

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Canon law isn’t the most scintillating subject for most
Catholics, even for priests, but it’s a necessary science in our ecclesial existence. I am happy to let you
know that the fourth edition, revised and updated, of Dr. John Huels’ The
Pastoral Companion
, has been published by Wilson & Lafleur of Montreal in
the Gratianus Series.

A link to the Table of Contents at the above link will demonstrate the topics covered. It seems to me that all pastoral ministers need this book.

It’s on the website, www.wilsonlafleur.com, on the link
for “new releases” or just follow the link above which may be easier.

The author was a professor mine at the University of Notre Dame and is quite good in his scholarship and pastoral insight. 

Funny, my 1000th post is on a book on canon law. 

Canon 915: its full, objective application

A recent interview with His Excellency, Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (The Pope’s Chief Justice) regarding the application of Canon 915 is online here. Nothing new is presented but he states the truth of Catholic teaching.


Canon 915 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law reads: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”


I think he’s clear on the thinking of the Church on its application, don’t you? Is there debate?

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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