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Surprised by Canon Law: 150 Questions Catholics Ask about Canon Law Paperback – September 24, 2004
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The Code of Canon Law was first issued in 1917, and later revised in 1983. Just as civil law governs our public entities, canon law governs how the Church operates.
As a former Evangelical Lutheran, I found the book very interesting. By reading how the Church approaches particular circumstances one can more easily understand why the Church teaches the things that it does and come to appreciate the Church's consistency.
Catholics and non-Catholics will find it helpful for answering such common questions as:
- Is it okay to have one godparent?
- Who may serve as a child's baptismal sponsor?
- What is required of a godparent?
- Who can use the title of Catholic?
- Can the priesthood be taken away from a priest?
- May a layperson give a homily?
- Why doesn't the Church butt out of the government's making of public policy?
With or without knowing it, canon law affects your daily life as a Catholic. Vere explains how. He provides lucid explanations of canon law, and offers responses to situations that lay Catholics often find themselves in. He also informs Catholics of their rights and responsibilities, and explains how canon law extends privileges to non-Catholics, especially with regard to marriage, divorce, annulments and remarriage. In the case of divorced, non-Catholics, for example, the Church must investigate whether the previous marriage was valid.
Those privileges also extend in the case of funerals.Read more ›
Unfortunately canon law is one of the most misunderstood and consequently least appreciated aspects of the Catholic Church. This is true not only for non-Catholics, but also for many Catholics, including many of the clergy. In a word, many do not like canon law because they do not really know anything about it, or have gross misconceptions.
Pete Vere and Michael Truman have attempted to put to rest such misgivings. I hasten to add that they are most successful in fulfilling their goal. This is not a text book of canon law, nor a reference book for canonists. The authors present 150 questions that ordinary Catholics may have concerning canon law, and then answer them in a clear fashion that is easily understood by the man or the woman on the street or the faithful in the pew. On every page of this short work their love for the Church radiates as they explain in simple language her legislation which reflects that "the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one's eyes." (Can. 1752)
The book begins by explaining the different types of law, and which one is covered by the Church's Code of Canon Law. Last revised in 1983, this code helps with day-to-day workings within the Church. Surprised By Canon Law answers questions such as whether a non-Catholic can have a Catholic funeral(yes), may a layman say a homily(no), and is it all right to have a single godparent(yes). Sensitive topics such as divorce and remarriage, sacraments for severely disabled Christians, and abortion are handled clearly and without harshness. The difference between heresy and schism is laid out, with concise definitions and explanations as to how to avoid falling into one or both. This book also clears up any confusion about the difference between what is valid or illicit; a bishop that was validly ordained but then excommunicated for a schismatic act may still validly ordain priests, but his and their sacraments, though also valid, are illicit.
Easy to read and reference, with a well laid-out format and index, Surprised By Canon Law should be in every Catholic household.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have looked up some questions I had and I could understand the law easly with out outside help thank goodnessPublished on May 21, 2014 by lee's
Taking Canon HIstory Law and found the material insightful with regard to the complexities of Canon Law
I should like to recomend this book. I have found it very well written, and quit easy to understand, for all that might read it.Published on November 4, 2006 by Rev.Deacon Joe Pasquella
This book is a goldmine! Thank you Pete Vere and Michael Trueman for doing the hard work for us. I run a catholic ministry and this is such a great resource because these... Read morePublished on July 7, 2005 by Sean Forrest
Not only is this book a comprehensive look at several common questions related to Canon Law, it is written in an engaging and coherent fashion. Read morePublished on May 8, 2005 by Lisa M. Hendey