Canon Law


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Edward Peters


   Obviously, my reading notes mean more to me than to anyone else and reflect my own interests and criteria, but perhaps these lists and notes might save others some time.


   Language of article title (regardless of language of journal) is language of article.


   When an article from a book is cited one may generally assume that the rest of the book has been searched for relevant entries as well.




Canon Law + Notes, Page Two

Canon Law + Notes, Page One


Notes in Canon Law, 2

Bibliographies with some annotations

ad usum scholarum


1. The Revision of Canon Law (1959-1982)

   A) Pre- and Intra-Conciliar Phase

   B) Post Conciliar Phase

   C) Post Promulgation Retrospectives

   D) Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis

2. Teaching Canon Law

3. The Seal of Confession

4. Canonical Form of Marriage

5. The Promoter of Justice

6. The Common  Law

7. Miscellaneous

Saint Raymond Working

St. Raymond Peñafort hard at work on his

Libri Quinque Decretalium, 1230-1234


L'Année Canonique 6-7 (1959-1960), 19-34 (1975-1991) ≠ 23, 31

CLSA Proceedings 31-64 (1969-2002)

Homiletic and Pastoral Review 59-65 (1959-1965)

Louvain Studies 1-16 (1966-1991)

Revue de Droit Canonique 28-33 (1978-1983)

Studia Canonica 1-16 (1967-1982)

The Jurist 1-56 (1941-1996)



2. Teaching Canon Law (updated 13 AUG 05)


J. Finnegan, "The teaching of Canon law in the seminary" The Jurist 27 (1967) 350-364. Excellent overview of the importance of Lumen gentium and broad historical awareness in the teaching of post-conciliar canon law. Good remarks on antinomianism and post WW2 emphasis on rights. Includes suggested outline of such a course. 0508


P. Golden, "Teaching canon law" CLSA Proceedings 35 (1973) 101-105. Canon Law should be required of everyone entering pastoral ministry though most places struggle to present two good lecture courses in it, should presume ecclesiology, and should be more prominent in diocesan continuing and adult education programs. Suggested some current titles for inclusion. 0508


P. Golden & T. Green, "Teaching canon law today" CLSA Proceedings 38 (1976) 42-51.• Presents results of informal inquiry among canon law teachers (21 out of 55 then) as to course content, mixed remarks on Garrone's 1975 letter. Garrone's text provided. 0508


F. Lonsway, "The case study method of teaching canon law" CLSA Proceedings 39 (1977) 94-97.• Bare outline of the Harvard Business School case study method. Virtually useless. 0508


R. Hill. "Talking faster is no help, or teaching canon law in the 1970s" The Jurist 37 (1977) 376-384. • Good essay, canonical education must emphasize pastoral practicalities over erudite accomplishment of professionals. Pure lecture will not do it, class time should allow for questions from well-read students. 0508


P. Golden & R. Hill, "Presentation on survey of teachers of canon law" CLSA Proceedings 40 (1978) 117-124.


L. Örsy, "Legal judgment and legal education: philosophical reflection and practical suggestions" The Jurist 38 (1978) 1-47.


T. Green, "Educating for the new law" CLSA Proceedings  41 (1979) 32-36. Interesting look at the very earliest steps followed in the preparing what became the (first) CLSA Commentary. All the more interesting because the possibility of a 1980 Schema was not clearly foreseen, and the scope of the subsequent revisions in the primae versiones, 1980 Schema, and even 1982 Schema was underestimated. 0508


R. Cunningham, "Glossing in the eighties--or teaching the new Code" CLSA Proceedings 43 (1981) 124-131. An introductory course in canon law should acquaint students with the concept of law in general, the historical context of canon law, basic techniques of interpretation and research, the role of governance as service, and fundamentals of practical ministry. 0508


J. Cuneo, "Education in the rights of persons at canonical training workshops" CLSA Proceedings 53 (1981) 98-123.


CLSA, "Statement on education in canon law for future ministers of the Church in the United States" The Jurist 42 (1982) 196-199.• An excellent statement warning that canon law cannot adequately taught in two courses, often using part-time faculty, while expecting that other theology courses will fill in the gaps. 0508


G. Gresko & D. Zwifka, "Canonical training for lay ministry: models & mentality" CLSA Proceedings 54 (1992) 110-129.


E. Rinere, "Canonical education of official Church ministers" CLSA Proceedings 57 (1995)/CCLS Proceedings (1995) 325-336


E. Grimes, "The teaching of canon law" The Jurist 55 (1995) 93-140.


3. The Seal of Confession (updated 11 AUG 05)


V. Allred, "The confessor in court" The Jurist 13 (1953) 2-32.


M. Callahan, "Historical inquiry into the priest-penitent privilege" The Jurist 36 (1976) 328-337.


O. Echappe, "Le secret en droit canonique et en droit français" L'Année Canonique  29 (1985-1986) 229-256.


D. Brewer, "The right of the penitent to release the confessor from the seal: considerations in canon law and American law," The Jurist 54 (1994) 424-476.


4. Canonical Form of Marriage (updated 13 AUG 05)


J. Barry, "The Tridentine form of marriage: is the law unreasonable?" The Jurist 20 (1960) 159-178. See also Cahill.


G. Gallen, "Proposal for a modification in the juridical form of marriage" The Australasian Catholic Record 38 (1961) 314-328.


J. Abbo, "A change in the form of marriage" The Priest 19 (1963) 670-674.


L. Örsy, "De forma canonica in matrimoniis mixtae religionis," Periodica 52 (1963) 320-347.


W. Cahill, "Change the marriage law?" Homiletic and Pastoral Review 64 (1963-1964) 115-129. Response to Barry.


J. Abbo, "The form of marriage" The Priest 20 (1964) 64-66.


C. Hettinger, "Collegiality and the form of marriage" The Jurist 24 (1964) 335-346.


J. O'Connor, "Should the present canonical form be retained for the validity of marriage?" The Jurist 25 (1965) 66-81. • Straight-forward discussion of pastoral and ecumenical problems with retaining canonical form for validity, argues that clandestine marriage is not a danger now, illustrates how Catholics abuse canonical form, and gives some startling statistics on pre-Conciliar nullity rates in Europe, all because of form. Has short bibliography. 0508


V. de Reina, "Emisio del consentimiento y forma del matrimonio: bases doctrinales canonicas", in Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Acta Conventus Internationalis Canonistarum (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1970) 577-637


H. Wagon, "La forme canonique ordinaire du mariage: abolition ou réforme?" in Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Acta Conventus Internationalis Canonistarum (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1970) 702-718.


G. DiMattia, La forma canonica del matrimonio: revisione radicale (Paoline, 1972).


E. Dunderdale, "The canonical form of marriage: anachronism or pastoral necessity?" Studia Canonica 12 (1978) 41-55.


J. Schmeiser, "Welcomed civil marriage: canonical statements" Studia Canonica 14 (1980) 49-87.


J. Bernhard, "Evolution du sens de la forme de célébration du mariage dans l'Eglise d'occident" Revue de Droit Canonique 30 (1980) 187-205.


R. Sobański, "Velut Ecclesia domestica et la forme civile du mariage" Studia Canonica 16 (1982) 353-366.



5. The Promoter of Justice (updated 11 Aug 05)


B. Fair, "The promoter of justice and his duty to impugn the validity of a marriage" The Jurist 7 (1947) 378-395.


J. Wolter, "The promoter of justice and the common good in matrimonial causes" The Jurist 11 (1951) 206-225.



6. The Common Law (updated 13 Aug 05)


R. Rodes, "The canon law as a legal system--function, obligation, and sanction" Natural Law Forum 9 (1964) 45-94.


L. Örsy, "The dynamic spirit of common law and the renewal of canon law" in J. Biechler, ed., Law for Liberty (Helicon, 1967) 172-180. • Good, non-technical overview.


P. O'Hearn, "The Lex Ecclesiae fundamentalis from a common law view point" Studia Canonica 5 (1971) 193-211.


J. Coulter, "The common law term 'voidable': its use in canonical jurisprudence" Studia Canonica 13 (1979) 465-485.


J. Leduc, "Principles of common law and the 1977 Schema on institutes of life consecrated by profession of the evangelical counsels" Studia Canonica 14 (1980) 405-422.


7. Miscellaneous (updated 14 AUG 05)




S. Kuttner, The Code of canon law in historical perspective" The Jurist 27 (1967) 129-148. • Fascinating talk that describes the mechanics of Gasparri's Herculean efforts, the impact of codification on Church's legal tradition, good remarks on the sacredness of canons, and calls for greater use of common law insights in canon law. 0508


A. Maida, "Visionary or reactionary: the canonist's challenge to create" CLSA Proceedings 39 (1977) 1-9. • Canon lawyers should treat law in real life, trust their judgments, be more engaged as advocates (personal and theoretical), have a sense of civil law impacts on their work, and engage in serious continuing education. 0508


S. Kuttner, "On the method of editing medieval authors" The Jurist 37 (1977) 385-386. • Originally this was a letter to the editor of Jurist; it's nice, once in a while, to see a great scholar go into orbit over a blithe review of problematic book. 0508


L. Wrenn, "Charles Augustine, O.S.B., excepts from a journal" The Jurist 45 (1985) 297-320. • Delightful picture of an influential American canonist. Interesting words for advocates who represent the weak against the strong. La plus ça change. 0508


L. Örsy, "Corecco's theology of canon law: a critical appraisal" The Jurist 53 (1993) 186-198.• A beautifully clear, fair, and insightful essay, with good observations on Sohm and Mörsdorf too. 0508


S. Kuttner, "The unfinished reform of the Second Vatican Council" The Jurist 54 (1994) 216-227. • Even though the article is written by a great master, and even though he says it is "informal" in nature, and even though he warns he will be critical, this is still the oddest, most rambling, and quite the harshest piece I ever saw from Kuttner. I think it regrettable, and forgettable. 0508






People of God


R. Hill, "The pastoral provision: ordination of married, protestant ministers" CLSA Proceedings 51 (1989) 95-100. Excellent survey, shows PP to be several things, not just one process. Oh, to write like Fr. Hill. 0508



Teaching Office



Sanctifying Office


J. Hannan, "Ignorance of the faith in relation to marriage" The Jurist 8 (1948) 426-434.• While ignorance of faith (in general) is not an impediment, shows how close it came to being recognized as one, chiefly under Benedict XIV, and how such ignorance can under certain conditions amount to sacrilegious reception of a sacrament. 0508


C. Kerin, "The burial of public sinners" The Jurist 9 (1949) 306-315. • Good basic overview of Pio-Benedictine law. 0508


D. Nugent, "The aggiornamento and marriage annulments" The Jurist 28 (1968) 74-83. • Poorly written, with irritatingly sweeping generalizations (mostly unsubstantiated) about history and theology, basically calls for the abandonment of intrinsic indissolubility. Did author have canonical training? 0508


J. Finnegan, "When is a marriage indissoluble? Reflections on a contemporary understanding of a ratified and consummated marriage" The Jurist 28 (1968) 309-329. • Though I am not convinced of its conclusions, this is an excellent article questioning the (too narrow?) limits of the terms ratum and consummatum. Good observations on Augustine, canonical form, and consent/consummation debate before Alexander III. 0508


J. Noonan, "Papal Dissolution of Marriage: Function and Fiction" CLSA Proceedings 39 (1969) 89-95. • A very concise explanation of the three papal marriage document incorporated into the 1917 Code, and a provocative call to keep legal fictions to a minimum. 0508


R. Rodes, "Natural law and marriage" The Jurist 35 (1975) 409-430.


R. Sztychmiler, "L’Obbligo dei genitori di educare i figli alla vita eucharistica" Ius Ecclesiae 2 (1990) 127-135. English trans: E. Peters, "The obligation of parents to educate children for Eucharistic life".


C. Burke, "The distinction between 2° and 3° of canon 1095" The Jurist 54 (1994) 228-233. • The argument is neatly made; the distinction lies between the mind (intellect and evaluation) versus the will (choice and ability). 0508


M. O'Gara, "Apostolicae Curae after a century: Anglican orders in light of recent ecumenical dialogue o ordained ministry in the Church" CLSA Proceedings 60 (1998) 1-18. • Interesting, but unconvincing. Among weaknesses, does not adequately distinguish between Leo's alleged motives for declaring Anglican orders null, and the efficacy of his declaration, does not address the possibility that a break in succession cannot be repaired by later insertion of more Catholic terminology (nemo dat), and makes too much of some Conciliar language on communio as a substitute for minister's and recipient's specific intention in celebration of rites. If author had been a canonist, would surely have outlined Cdl. Gasparri's fascinating role on Leonine commission, but we get not a word. 0508


Patrick Gordon, “Gotti, Mob Funerals, and the Catholic Church” Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 44 (2005) 253-276.• An utterly amateurish attack on Bp. Daily's refusal to grant gangster John Gotti an ecclesiastical funeral. 0508 See also my "Lest amateurs argue cannon law: a reply to Patrick Gordon's brief against Bp. Thomas Daily", on-line version here.



Temporal Goods


J. Moncion, "L'Église est-elle libre d'agir comme toute autre puissance financière?" Studia Canonica 14 (1980) 423-430.


R. Kealy, "Methods of diocesan incorporation", CLSA Proceedings 48 (1986) 163-177. • A strongly argued defense of corporation sole registration which, while ultimately incompatible with, for better or worse, unambiguous Roman directives in this area, makes sobering reading for those who must attempt to apply the law (for which law much can be said) in the best possible way. 0508








C. Park, "Is judicial or particular interpretation authentic interpretation?" The Jurist 7 (1947) 294-301. • Interesting exercise in hair-splitting, argues that 1917 CIC 17 § 3 should have been a separate canon because it is not "authentic" (i.e., authorial) interpretation. 0508


Norman Doe, “Canonical Doctrines of Judicial Precedent: A Comparative Study,” The Jurist 54 (1994) 205-215. • Excellent overview of a theoretical limitations to, and practical "work-arounds" that have developed for, judicial review in canon law; comparisons with Anglican canon law were interesting. 0508


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