John asked:

What is canon law?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"... the Church's canon law long pre-dates civil law here in the United States. There has always been some sort of civil law in human society even to the most primitive levels... so we recognize that. But the Catholic church has an internal set of laws that govern the rights and duties of every person in the Church. So all the individual men and women and children in the Church as well as what's called juridic persons, or legal persons. Things like parishes and dioceses and religious orders as such.

All these things have a need of being protected in some circumstances and punished in other circumstances if certain things are done that are contrary to the health and well-being of the Church so that's what canon law serves to do.

The most common example of a canon law issue that most people will have some awareness of or contact with would be the Church's ... canons that pertain to marriage..."

Source material:

Surprised by Canon Law: More Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law by Pete Vere and Michael Trueman

Surprised By Canon Law: 150 Questions Laypeople Ask About Canon Law by Pete Vere, Patrick Madrid and Michael Trueman


© 2013 Immaculate Heart Catholic Radio

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

Click icon for archived podcast answering this question in its entirety.

Show air date: January 15, 2013

Question appeared in show: 27:15

Social: Share:

This site is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

"...and upon this rock I will build My Church..." Matthew 16:18