Jesus the Samaritan and Procedural Canons

«Nonne bene dicimus nos quia Samaritanus es tu, et daemonium habes? Respondit Iesus: Ego daemonium non habeo.»

Innocent_III_bas-relief_in_the_U.S._House_of_Representatives_chamberThe more one digs into canon law, past the codified laws of 1917 and 1983, one finds the Scriptural and Patristic roots which were gathered in the Middle Ages and became the basis for juridical action within the Church. Saint John Paul II, the Legislator who promulgated the 1983 Code of Canon Law, was particularly astute and in his addresses on canonical matters delivered to the Roman Rota (the highest appellate court in the Church). Reading his 1980 address, I saw him quote decretals from Pope Alexander II (d. 1073) and Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), and went searching after the original. This brought me to the Liber Extra  of Pope Gregory IX, the first authoritative collection of papal decrees, which remained in effect from 1234 until 1917. Continue reading

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