Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Abp. Raymond Burke vindicated on Canon 915

That, at least, is the opinion of our leading Catholic Canon Lawyer, Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD, in his post, "Abp. Raymond Burke on Canon 915" (In the Light of the Law, September 10, 2007). Let me give you Peters in his own words. I want you to appreciate his judicial restraint in this matter:

Is this cool or what?

One of America's sharpest canon lawyer bishops (Abp. Raymond Burke of St. Louis), has just published a terrific article in perhaps the world's most prestigious canon law journal (Periodica de re Canonica in Rome), on a topic of vital interest to the Church in the world (the correct application of Canon 915 on denial of Holy Communion). Best of all, it's available on-line here.

Like I say, it's just too cool.

Back in 2004, Abp. Burke was one of handful of bishops who understood and enforced Canon 915 against certain pro-abortion Catholic politicians who were attempting to receive Holy Communion despite their patent non-compliance with Church discipline. He suffered more than his share of slings and arrows over the months that followed, including some tsk-tsks from certain folks who really should have thought twice before putting their canonical acumen up against Burke's. In any case his article, "Canon 915: The discipline regarding the denial of Holy Communion to those obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin" Periodica 96 (2007) 3-58, demonstrates just how much law and sound pastoral theology Burke had, and has, behind him.

Periodica does not publish articles for beginners and Burke assumes that his audience knows, e.g., what the Decree of Gratian and the Decretals of Gregory are, and why Eastern canon law and the Pio-Benedictine Code derscoring the fact the scandal of unworthy reception can be assessed objectively, not just subjectively.Oh, how I wish someone would give a prize for "Most Important Canonical Article Published in a Peer-Reviewed Journal". I know what I would nominate for 2007.

[Hat tip to Ed Peters]

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