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The New Church Law on Matrimony

The New Church Law on Matrimony

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  • ISBN-13: 9781493721634
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Nov 10, 2013
  • Pages: 470 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.06 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches


The promulgation of the New Code of Canon Law has not only revolutionized ecclesiastical discipline but has become an epoch-making factor of far-reaching consequences. By codifying its laws the Church has simplified, facilitated, and stabilized the study of a very important ecclesiastical science, and has afforded an access to a permanent and authentic source which, besides serving as a guide, will constitute the basis of Church government. The systematic presentation of the various canons contained in the New Code is of signal assistance to the student, but the terseness of the language in which they are couched and the scientific and technical terminology employed, must of necessity give rise to some difficulties. These difficulties have been anticipated by the Supreme Legislator and a remedy was applied by establishing a Sacred Congregation, or rather Commission, whose exclusive purpose is to render authentic decisions in doubts arising in connection with the interpretation of the various canons. This Commission has already exercised its function by promulgating authentic declarations and interpretations in doubts submitted for solution. Some of these decisions concern the subject which forms the burden of this work. The subject of matrimony, as viewed in the light of the New Code of Canon Law, has undergone many changes, some of them fundamental, others again less significant. With regard to its importance the subject cannot be overemphasized. Its comprehensiveness is admitted by all who are engaged in the sacred ministry. The principles directly or indirectly connected with it are many, their application is very consequential. Some of the 133 canons, within whose compass the main discipline of the Church on this subject (exclusive of some specific dispensations, and matrimonial trials) is comprised, embody a discipline entirely new, others again either implicitly or explicitly modify or abrogate the former law. To explain the canons mentioned above all the available sources on which the author could draw were limited to the former discipline of the Church as reflected in the Corpus Juris, in the numerous decisions of the various Sacred Congregations, in the works of accepted and approved authors, and to the mere wording in which the matrimonial legislation is couched. This limitation is due to the fact that the present law is of very recent origin, the interpretations thus far suggested fragmentary, hastily compiled and necessarily inadequate, and the times unfavorable to serious and extensive research, to publication, and to the procuring of works, if there be any, on the subject treated in this book. These facts will explain why the author was not in a position to advance authorities for some of his statements regarding certain opinions he has espoused in the interpretation of canons containing a law either entirely new or modified when compared with the former discipline. Though the author guarded his statements as much as possible, the seeming obscurity and indefiniteness prevailing in some canons constrain him to say that some of his opinions in this, what may be styled a pioneer-work, are only tentative and provisional.

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