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Code of Canon Law Seen as Realization of Vatican II vision

CWN - January 22, 2013

The Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1983 realized the vision of the Church set forth by the Second Vatican Council, according to the Vatican’s top canon-law official.

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, spoke about the relationship between the Code of Canon Law and the documents of Vatican II at a January 22 press conference in Rome. The press conference was called to introduce a “study day” organized to mark the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the new Code of Canon Law.

When Blessed John XXIII convened Vatican II, he foresaw that a new Code would be required, Cardinal Coccopalmeiro said. Blessed John Paul II, who officially promulgated the new Code, also observed that “the council’s ecclesiological structure clearly required a renewed formulation of its laws.”

Cardinal Coccopalmeiro pointed to several respects in which the new Code reflects the Council’s teachings: in the handling of episcopal collegiality; in its attention to the active role of the laity: in its understanding of a parish “as a community of believers, not as a structure or a territory;” and in its support for ecumenical activity.

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