Sunday, May 05, 2002

What can I say about canon law?

The modern Catholic apologetics movement has Karl Keating and Pat Madrid; Scripture Scholarship has Scott Hahn; and theology, liturgy and philosophy have Fr. Fessio at Ignatius Press. Of course, there is also Andrew Greeley who, I think, best Malachi Martin
as modern day Catholic story-teller.....

Yet, for some reason canon law hasn't caught up to her sister sacred sciences in the areas of demystifying itself and becoming more
accessible to your average Catholic with a grade 10 ccd education in the faith. I feel this is too bad, since canon law belongs to the whole Church should be a part of every Catholic's spiritual treasury. In short, canon law needs to interact with the people to grow as a science, which is why I feel most of the development since the Second Vatican Council has been in the area of marriage law and annulments. WHich brings up another point, I think as canonists we need to become more pro-active in confronting the Culture of Death. I would rather prevent a bad marriage then rule it invalid.

Nevertheless, I think canonists are catching up. I note our diocesan newspaper featured a story in last week's issue on canon lawyers and what we do for a living. This is particularly important since over ten percent of canonists in North America are now laypeople, and the number is much higher when you add relgious, particularly women religious, since they're not clergy either. I think the addition of permanent deacons would also raise the numbers somewhat.

But anyway, I assure you canon law isn't stodgy. It's actually a lot of fun, which is why we can drink liturgists under the table any day of the week (and evening too!)