1st semester: Wednesday morning                                                                        (Min. No. 8)



This unit serves as an introduction to the canon law of the Catholic Church. Emphasis will be placed on the historical development of the Canon Law and its relationship with theology. The basic content of the unit will be found in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the unit is designed to provide an overview of this document with particular attention being paid to the basic principles of interpretation of the law and their pastoral application in areas of general relevance such as the People of God and the Sacraments. Topics covered will include General Norms, Persons in the Code of Canon Law, Consecrated Life and the Sacraments, except Orders.

PREREQUISITES: At least one unit in moral theology or equivalent


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the history and development of law in the Church
  2. discourse critically on the inter-relationship between theology and canon law
  3. critically apply the principles of interpretation of canon law to concrete situations
  4. demonstrate familiarity with the overall structure and general content of the 1983 Code of Canon Law
  5. demonstrate detailed knowledge of the major aspects of the laws relating to the People of God and the sacraments and the ability to interpret and apply them (Level 3 only)



Level 2: 1000 word tutorial paper (20%); 1000 word tutorial paper (20%); 2000 word essay (60%)

Level 3:1000 word tutorial paper (20%); 1000 word tutorial paper (20%); 3000 word essay (60%)


BIBLIOGRAPHY *set text recommended for purchase

Beal, J. P., James A. Coriden and Thomas J. Green, eds. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2000.

*Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. The Code of Canon Law in English Translation. New rev. ed. London: Collins, 1997.

———. The Canon Law: Letter and Spirit. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1995.

Caparros, E., and H. Aubé, eds. Code of Canon Law Annotated. 2nd ed. Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur, 2004.

Coriden, J. A. An Introduction to Canon Law. Rev. ed. London: Burns & Oates, 2004.

Flannery, A., ed. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents. Northport, NY: Costello, 1998.

———. Vatican Council II: More Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents. Northport, NY: Costello, 1998.

Huels, J. The Pastoral Companion: A Canon Law Handbook for Catholic Ministry. Quincy, IL: Franciscan, 2009.

Peters, Edward N. The 1917 or Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law: In English Translation with Extensive Scholarly Apparatus. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2001.

Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions. Washington, DC: CLSA. 13 Vols to date, 1983-2016.