Monday, October 20, 2008

Falling canonical dominos: from matrimonial form to defection from the Church

Dr Edward Peters writes:
Apparently the Polish bishops have just published a 22-point how-to pamphlet on committing ecclesiastical defection. Until I see a reliable translation of the guide, I will refrain from commenting on it, but I will venture this much: this document is quite likely (1) an overly detailed attempted to apply (2) a skewered official notification concerning (3) a poorly drafted canon (4) that was designed to blunt a nagging problem in the Code of Canon Law. I suggest the canonical dominos fall out thus:

The first domino is Canon 1108 by which canonical form (i.e., a wedding in the presence of an authorized cleric and two witnesses) is still required for valid Catholic marriage, even though canonical form has long ceased to serve its original purpose.

To see how requiring canonical form for marriages can result in defection from the Church, see this

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