indulgence is available to those study Christian doctrine (Enchiridion
1999, conc. 6; Ench-iridion 1986, conc. 20; see also
"Blessing of Students and Teach-ers" contained in the Book of
Blessings, Chap. 5 and in the Shorter Book of Blessings,
Chap. 4.) The partial indulgence applies to self-study projects
within any recognized ecclesias-tical discipline, and not just
to cateche-tics. See
1983 CIC 827.2.
Canon Law * Ius Decretalium * Readers Support Page
In January 2010,
I announced plans to read the
Decretals of Gregory IX over the next four and a half years and invited
interested persons to consider joining me, and a number of people have
expressed interest in doing so. This sort of
project is a highly personal undertaking, of course, and most of those
attempting it will be carrying out the project in
relative isolation. I hope this page can lessen the challenges confronting
those engaged in this extended independent study of the Liber Extra.
To finish reading the Decretals
by September 5th, 2014
doing just one column per day,
one should now be up to:
titulus I, De summa Trinitate et fide catholica.
St. Raymond of Peñafort, op,
compiled the Decretals from 1230-1234
Using the 928 columns of Friedberg's edition of the Decretals of Gregory
as a guide, one could, by reading just one column per day, Mondays
though Thursdays, and even taking two weeks off per year, read all of
the Decretals in just under 4 years, 8 months. In order to complete,
therefore, at this very easy pace, the Decretals of Gregory IX by
5 September 2014 (the 780th anniversary of their promulgation), one
should start reading in February 2010.
But, by no means should those who did not begin reading in early 2010
conclude that they cannot join this project! Several aspects of this
material can make the reading go more quickly, thereby assisting those
who wish to start later but still finish by the Fall of 2014. Most of
these aspects are variations on the simple fact that one need not limit
oneself to reading only a column per day. Consider:
A large number of the
capitulae contain lengthy partes
decisae (shown by Friedberg in italics). Partes decisae
did not form part of the Decretals, and were only added for historical
reference. They can be skipped, therefore, without detracting from
one's goal of reading the Decretals as they actually existed in canon law;
in the Decretals are, in terms of substance and Latinity, easier to
read than others, meaning that less challenging sections can be read
through more quickly;
Weekends or vacation times
can be used for
catching up or even for working ahead.
Friedberg, ed., Corpus Iuris
Canonici editio Lipsiensis secunda post Aemilii Ludouci Richteri, in
Pars Secunda, Decretalium
Collectiones, Decretales D. Gregorii P. IX Compilatio (most recently,
Lawbook Exchange, 2000) coll. 1-928. There are many, many editions of
Friedberg and the columnation is generally consitent from printing to
printing. For an general orientation to Decretal studies, see e.g.,
P. Torquebiau, “Corpus Iuris Canonici”, DDC IV: 610-644,
esp. Les Décretales de Grégoire IX, at coll. 627-632.
WorldCat Library options
for borrowing copies of Friedberg
can be found here.
here. Note: this is the same version (Bernhardi Tauchnitz) that I am
reading in hardcopy.
Bibliotheca Augustana has provided
an on-line text, arranged by book and title, and including the partes
The UCLA on-line edition,
with Bernard of Parma's Glossa Ordinaria (but without the partes
is available here.
Some practical suggestions for reading:
Work at steady pace, taking time to think, and sometimes even to pray, about
what is being studied.
This project is something like a marathon, and experienced runners know to avoid
starting off at a mad dash pace. Avoid the temptation to read far ahead in the
such efforts tire most people out and make one less willing to resume the work
Don't fall too far behind in your schedule, either.
Interruptions are inevitable, of course, and should not unduly discourage us, but if one falls far
out of the habit of steady reading, it is harder to get back into a routine and
makes one feel discouraged at how far "behind" one feels.
Set up your reading (whether hard copy or on-line) in one place with your next
starting place clearly and consistently marked. Don't waste time and energy
having to find your text, or your place in the text, or even a good spot in
which to read.
Further background on the Decretals of Gregory: