Pastoral practice, canonical thought and sound theology must go hand in hand, especially in the field of marriage: a truth that was driven home to me during my term as judge at the Roman Rota. The 1980s-1990s were indeed a unique period when canonists, pastoral workers and theologians alike were challenged to interpret and apply the new Code of Canon Law which had come in force in 1983 (being then described by John Paul II as "the last document of the Second Vatican Council").
Many main ideas of the Code, again particularly in relation to marriage, stood in such apparent contrast with those of the previous 1917 Code as to give a sense of rupture with earlier Church teaching and practice. Such ruptures, in the Church which proposes the teaching of Christ, do not occur - of that I was sure. Yet the challenge - to show continuity where there was continuity, and development where there was development - remained. The result was that my service at the Rota was a period not only of judicial and jurisprudential work but equally of theological research, reflection and writing.
Some years back, a number of friends (especially Dr. Janet Smith) encouraged me to put together and publish what might be considered some of the more innovative theses and analyses in this particular field of theology. The result is The Theology of Marriage: Personalism, Doctrine and Canon Law to be released by Catholic University of America Press at the end of the year. Amazon lists the book; further information can be had there:
By the way, Man and Values itself is now presented on the site in a new and re-edited format. And I thank Italian readers who have noticed crossed node-connections in the article on the ‟Remedium Concupiscentiae‟. This has now been put right.
Readers will notice that new additions can be quickly consulted through the What's New tab at the top right of the Homepage.
All the texts included on the website can be quoted freely with a due reference to the text and the website. E-mailed notification about reprinted extracts would be appreciated (email@example.com).
My prayers go to all those who use this website; and I would be grateful to count on their prayers.
N.B. Some footnotes have been omitted; others condensed. Where possible, shorter references have been incorporated into the text within simple brackets: (). Longer ones have been converted into end-notes and are marked by square brackets: .