Canon Law as Ministry
Freedom and Good order for the Church
James A Coriden
Soft cover - 199 pages
James Coriden offers a vision of canon law in the Catholic Church - seeing it not as an instrument of control but as a guide and guarantee of freedom for believers. In the process he emphatically joins the ongoing debate about the role of church law, a debate that he believes "will have profound implications for the long term," possibly reshaping the law and indeed "the very face of the church." While his message is addressed primarily to professional canonists, it will resonate among all Catholics who care about the way their church functions.
The view of canon law that unfolds in these pages is that of a ministry that upholds the freedom of believers and the good order of the community. This is based on the assumption that "church" is first of all a local community rather than a global structure. The test of effective law depends upon its service to the lived experience of its members in their own cultural, economic and social situations.
The concluding section of this book sets forth "An Urgent Agenda for the Future of the Ministry," particularly in the way church law is revised and amended.