Ecclesial rights (and duties): : Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine (Ed: Russell Shaw. Our Sunday Visitor, 1997)

The subject of ecclesial rights can be better understood if we first say a few words about a more familiar concept: human rights.

            "Human rights" mean the various rights that pertain to each human being which, when freely exercised, enable him or her to live in a way that befits the dignity of human nature. They comprise the rights to think, choose and act - to live - in ways that help each one fulfill him or herself as man or woman: to grow in humanity.

Communio: Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine (Ed: Russell Shaw. Our Sunday Visitor, 1997)

"Communio" is the central ecclesiological idea of Vatican II. The very opening paragraph of the Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen Gentium, describes the Church as "a sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity among all men" (LG 1). The Church is a living communion, drawing people into the life of Christ. She lives by that life and communicates it. "In the Church this communion of men with God... is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means" (CCC 773).

Renewal and Personalism in Canon Law (Forum 7 (1996) 327-340)

            The Second Vatican Council was aimed at formulating principles for the renewal of ecclesial life in all its aspects. More than thirty years later, varying evaluations of the results are made. Some persons, perhaps feeling that renewal was a dangerous idea in itself, hold that in any case it went off the tracks from the start. Others think that it ran into too much entrenched opposition from conservative forces, and is now largely dead-ended, an ideal or a dream they no longer really believe in. For others again, it remains a program of hope, which is still being attempted or needs to be attempted. Pope John Paul II is evidently one of these; he is a firm believer in renewal and, as I see his ministry, it is being constantly spent in seeking to bring it about.

Simulation of consent (Forum: 9 (1998) 2: pp. 65-82)

(Opening address to the Canadian Canon Law Society Convention, St. John's, Newfoundland, October, 1997)

            If I am glad to have been invited to speak on a topic other than canon 1095, the reason is certainly not any feeling that the last word has been said on consensual incapacity. It is simply because of a personal conviction that there are more null marriages today through simulation of consent, than through incapacity for it.

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