Friday, July 16, 2010

The New Canon Law Norms regarding Grave Crimes

It is very unfortunate that the publication of the new Canon Law rules about Grave Crimes has been overshadowed by distracting comments about (1) the new rules regarding purported ordination of women and (2) supposed diificulties about news presentation by the Vatican of the new rules.

I do not think that I have seen a clear exposition of the new rules.

However the blog by a Canon lawyer Caritas in Veritate has helpfully rectified that omission.

As can be seen the new changes are far reaching. As well as the substantive law, there are reforms in the procedural law which should ensure that what defects there were in the past law and procedure have been substantially remedied.

However as was pointed out by one of the speakers at the Vatican news conference, it is only a "document", i.e. words. Unless and until they are put into practice by bishops at the diocesan level they will remain words. It is clear that there is "the will" to put them into effect at Vatican level. But is there "the will" at lower levels ?