We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Church tribunals must 'think with the Church,' Pope says

Catholic World News - January 23, 2012

The proper application of canon law entails “a search for the truth about law and justice in the Church,” said Pope Benedict XVI on January 21, as he spoke with officials of the Roman Rota as the tribunal opened its judicial year.

The Pope noted that canon law can be applied legalistically, looking only at the letter of the law; or it can be applied pastorally, looking at individual cases without reference to the canons. Neither way is proper, he said.

Instead, the Pope said, ecclesiastical tribunals should ask “what is just in each particular case,” applying canon laws and precedents—as well as natural law and pastoral wisdom--to individual situations. Citing the principle sentire cum Ecclesia, the Pope encouraged the canonists to judge cases with the mind of the Church.

The doctrinal truths on which Church laws are based do not change, the Pope reminded the officials of the Roman Rota. “Thus the hermeneutic of renewal in continuity, about which I have spoken with reference to Vatican Council II (which is so closely associated with current canonical legislation), must also be applied to canon law.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($32,959 to go):
$35,000.00 $2,041.25
94% 6%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Two links - moral relativism in elementary schools and charges of "genocide" in the Old Testament 5 hours ago
Don’t touch that Smile! Helping CatholicCulture.org by shopping on Amazon. 14 hours ago
Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists March 1
Ad Imaginem Dei: a gem of a blog on Christian art February 28
The Complexities of Persecution February 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5