Tuesday, July 30, 2013


by Dr. Edward Peters, reposted from www.canonlaw.info

Most people think of canon lawyers as bespectacled, gray-haired monsignors who sit in dark-paneled rooms and quote Latin verses from authors dead for a hundred years. It may have been like that once, but today canon lawyers cut rather a different figure. Here I want to explain what canon lawyers are and aren't, what canon law is, and how to use (or not to use) a canon lawyer.

Canon law is the legal system of the Catholic Church. It is the oldest functioning legal system in the Western world. The word canon comes from the Greek kanon, meaning a rule or measure. In the early centuries of Christianity, canon law consisted mostly of rules developed in synods and councils. Like other legal systems, canon law developed over the centuries, adopting new techniques while discarding outdated ones. The rediscovery of Roman civil law in the eleventh century greatly aided the development of canon law as a discipline distinct from moral theology.

Read the rest of the article here.

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