Structural Change Working Group
Margaret Roylance gave a PowerPoint presentation
on "Rights of the Faithful under Existing Canon Law"
to parishioners of Our Lady Help of Christians, West
Concord, Mass. Her summary of the issues covered appears
Rights of the Faithful under Existing Canon Law
New Code of Canon Law "
promulgated in 1983 "
the theology of the Church that emerged from the Second
Vatican Council "
a new section entitled The People of God that
provides a "Bill of Rights" for members of the Church
for the first time in Christian history "
Organization of Book II, Part I of the 1983 Code
of Canon Law
Part I: Christ's Faithful
I: The Obligations and Rights of All Christ's Faithful
II: The Obligation and Rights of the Lay Members of
Christ's Faithful (224-231)
III: Sacred Ministers or Clerics
IV: Personal Prelatures
V: Associations of Christ's Faithful
Who Are Christ's Faithful?
Can. 204 §1- Christ's faithful are those who, since
they are incorporated into Christ through baptism, are
constituted the people of God. For this reason, they
participate in their own way in the priestly, prophetic
and kingly office of Christ. They are called, each according
to his or her particular condition, to exercise the
mission that God entrusted to the Church to fulfill
in the world.
Rights of the Faithful, e.g. "Freedom of Speech"
Can. 212 §1 Christ's faithful, conscious of their own
responsibility, are bound to show Christian obedience
to what the sacred pastors, who represent Christ, declare
as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of
the Church. §2 Christ's faithful are at liberty to make
known their needs, especially their spiritual needs,
and their wishes to the pastors of the Church.
Some Other Rights of the Faithful under the 1983
of access to the sacraments (C.213)
to freely establish and direct associations that service
charitable or pious purposes or that foster the Christian
vocation in the world (C.215)
to a Christian education (C.217)
to acquire knowledge of Christian teaching (C.229)
Claiming Our Rights
1983 Code of Canon Law includes a Bill of Rights,
but does not define a means to obtain redress when
those rights are violated
Code, as approved by the Commission, authorized Episcopal
Conferences to establish in their territory 'administrative
tribunals' to deal with such grievances
canons were "deleted" before the New Code's promulgation
VOTF work to recover them?
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