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Dr. Edward Peters 

To work for the proper implementation of canon law is to play an extraordinarily

constructive role in continuing the redemptive mission of Christ. Pope John Paul II

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1983 Code

 

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1917 Code

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 Eastern Code

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1152 x 864

Updated

16 nov 2013

Legislative History of the 1983 Code


Overview

 

The process whereby the Pio-Benedictine Code was replaced by the Johanno-Pauline Code  was a protracted one, beginning in January 1959 and not ending until November 1983. Tracing the development of the Johanno-Pauline Code from its Pio-Benedictine roots, appreciating its profound debts to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and, in particular, observing its successive drafts, richly rewards those who would better understand and apply canon law in the life of the Church today.

 


Inauguration of the Reform Process

 

 

 

 

 

Pope John Paul II noted that the Roman Synod “was not closely connected with the reform of the [1917] Code.” SDL ¶ 1

Less than three months into his pontificate, Bl. Pope John XXIII (reigned 1958-1963) announced his intention to (a) hold a synod for the Diocese of Rome, (b) convoke an Ecumencial Council, and (c) reform the Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law. See John XXIII, alloc. Questa festiva (25 ian 1959), AAS 51 (1959) 65-69, esp. 68-69. This tripartite plan was reiterated a few months later in John XXIII, enc. Ad Petri cathedram (29 iun 1959), AAS 51 (1959) 497-531, at 498, Eng. trans., The Pope Speaks 5 (1959) 359-383, at 359, or in C. Carlen, ed., The Papal Encyclicals, in 5 vols., (Pierian Press, 1990) V: 5-20, at 5.

 

While the Second Vatican Council and the reform of canon law were momentous events in the life of the Church, the Synod of the Diocese of Rome (held in January 1960) had virtually no influence on either the ecumenical council or the revision of canon law. Today it is all but forgotten. Synodal acts and norms were published in Prima Romana Synodus A.D. MDCCCCLX (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1960). See generally John Abbo, The Roman Synod, The Jurist 21 (1961) 170-203.

 

Against the backdrop of all the usual problems of enforcing law in a 'voluntary' society, and combined with the marked social upheavals experienced in Western society during this same period (known generally as "The Sixties"), this prolonged period of uncertainty as to what canon law would eventually say—and indeed, according to some, whether canon law would ever again say it—produced a severely antinomian climate in the Church.

 


The Second Vatican Council

See Resources on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), here.

 


Legislative History of the 1983 Code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the course of discussing several topics, the first Synod of Bishops (October 1967) developed ten Guiding Principlesintended to inform the activities of the various coetus charged with drafting the revised Code of Canon Law. See Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Principia quae Codicis iuris canonici recognitionem dirigant Communicationes 1 (1969) 77-85, Eng. trans., Canon Law Society of America, Code of Canon Law, Latin-English Edition, New English Translation, (Canon Law Society of America, 1999) xxxvi-xxxvii. See also Relatio circa ‘Principia quae Codicis iuris canonici recognitionem dirigant’Communicationes 1 (1969) 86-91; “Responsiones ad animadversiones circa Principia quae Codicis iuris canonici recognitionem dirigant’Communicationes 1 (1969) 92-98; and “Manifestatio sententiae” Communicationes 1(1969) 99-100 (indicating strong synodal support for the ten principles). See also Richard Cunningham, “The Principles guiding the revision of the Code of canon law,” The Jurist 30 (1970) 447-455 (essentially a paraphrase of the ten principles); and John Alesandro, “Law and renewal: a canon lawyer’s analysis of the revised Code”, Canon Law Society of America Proceedings 44 (1982) 001-040.

 

The 1983 Code underwent four major published versions over  a 10-year period.

 

These drafts are collected and correlated in Edward Peters, Incrementa in Progressu 1983 Codicis Iuris Canonici: a Legislative History of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Series Gratianus (Wilson & Lafleur, 2005) xci + 1549 pp., Introduction in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, and German. ISBN: 2-89127-663-9. Reviews: J. Huels, Studia Canonica 40 (2006) 261-262, and Thomas Green, The Jurist 67 (2007) 265-267.

 

An earlier version of this work, providing correlations of draft canons but not their text, is Edward Peters, Tabulae congruentiae inter Codicem iuris canonici et versiones anteriores canonum, with a multilingual introduction (Wilson & Lafleur, 2000) 198 pp. Reviews: G. Stuart, The Jurist 62 (2002) 212-214, and P. Barber, Ecclesiastical Law Journal 7 (July 2004) 489.

 

 

 

"In modern legal systems, analysis of the incremental development of law--its legislative history--sheds important light on how the text of law came about, what alternatives were considered, and why some formulations were accepted while others were rejected. In canon law, legislative history is a great aid in applying the fundamental interpretative principles contained in Canon 17 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, especially in coming to understand the mind of the legislator." Peters, Incrementa, Introduction.

 

See a sample of legislative history sequencing, here [coming].

 

See also F. d’Ostilio, La Storia del nuovo Codice di diritto canonico: Revisione, promulgazione, presentazione (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1983) 139 pp.

 


 

Some researches might desire access to these earlier printed drafts of the law. They are as follows:

 

Primitive versions

 

Being in the late-1960s and continuing through the mid-1970s, early versions of proposed canons for what would become the 1983 Code were developed by ten drafting committees charged with the formulation of the new law. A correlation of these canons with the first published versions of same (see Primae Versiones, below), let alone with the 1983 Code, is not available at this time, in part because not all of these primitive versions have even been been published (generally, in Communicationes).

 

First published versions (primae versiones)

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum de procedura administrativa , (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1972) 16 pp., best cited as Processibus.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema documenti quo disciplina sanctionum seu poenarum in Ecclesia latina denuo ordinatur, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1973) = pp., best cited as Sanctionibus.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema documenti pontificii quo disciplina canonica de sacramentis recognoscitur, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1975) 96 pp., best cited as Sacramentis.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum Libri I de Normis generalibus, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 58 pp., best cited as Normis.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum Libri Ii de Populi Dei (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 159 pp., best cited as Populo Dei.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum de Institutis vitae consecratae per professionem conciliorum evangelicorum, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 37 pp., best cited as Vita cons.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum Libri III de Ecclesiae munere docendi, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 39 pp., best cited as Docendi.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum Libri IV de Ecclesiae munere sanctificandi Pars II de Locis et temporibus sacris deque cultu divino, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 26 pp., best cited as Locis et temp.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum Libri V de Iure patrimoniali Ecclesiae, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977)  23 pp., best cited as Patrimoniali.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema canonum de modo procedendi pro tutela iurium seu de Processibus, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1977) 96 pp., best cited as Proc. Admin.

The 1980 Schema Codicis

 

The first integrated draft of what would eventually be the 1983 Code was designed to give those working on the reform project, at long last, a sense of the whole.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Schema Codicis iuris canonici iuxta animadversiones S.R.E. Cardinalium, Episcoporum Conferentiarum, Dicasteriorum Curiae Romanae, universitatem facultatumque ecclesiascaticarum necnon Superiorum Institutorum vitae consecratae recognitum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1980) 382 pp., best cited as the 1980 Schema.

The 1980 Schema was the object of two extended sets of recommendations, namely, those submitted in writing to the revision commission, and those surfaced during a 1981 plenary session of the commission, both of which were published as follows:

  • Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus Interpretandis, Congregatio Plenaria, diebus 20-29 Octobris 1981 habita, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1991) 637 pp., best cited as Plenaria. Reviews: D Le Tourneau, Studia Canonica 28 (1994) 266-267, and J. Alesandro The Jurist 51 (1991) 504-507.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Relatio complectens synthesim animdaversionum ab Em.mis atque Exc.mis Patribus commissionis ad novissimum schema codicis iuris canonici exhibitarum, cum responsionibus a secretaria et consultoribus datis, (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1981) 358 pp., best cited as Relatio or Relatio Complectens. Largely available in Communicationes 14-16 (1982-1984).

The 1982 Schema Codicis

 

This final draft of the proposed Code was delivered to delivered to Pope John Paul II on 22 April 1982.

  • Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo, Codex iuris canonici: Schema novissimum iuxta placita Patrum Commissionis emendatum atque Summo Pontifici praesentatum (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1982), 308 pp., best cited as the 1982 Schema.


 

 

Preliminary Notes

on the Revision

of Canon Law

 

 

 Graphic Representation of the Development of the 1983 Code

 

 

1983 Codex Iuris Canonici(mense jan. 1983)

 

Modificationes papales (mense dec. 1982)

 

1982 Schema Codicis Iuris Canonici

 

Modificationes ex Sessione Plenaria, Relatione, & Aditamenta ex LEF

 

1980 Schema Codicis Iuris Canonici

 

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

De normis generalibus

 

De Populo Dei

De munere docendi

 

De munere sanctificandi

De bonis temporalibus

 

De sanctionibus

De processibus

 

Primae Versiones

 

 

1977 Schema de

Normis gen.

 

ex Coetibus de Normis general.,

Personis in gen.

 

 

 

 

 

1977 Schema de

Populo Dei

  

ex Coetibus de

Sacra Hierachia,

Laicis & Assoc.,

 

 

1977 Schema de

Vita cons.

 

ex Coetu de Instit. Perfec.

 

 

1977 Schema de munere docendi

 

ex Coetu de

Magisterio

 

 

1975

Schema de

Sacramentis

 

ex Coetibus de

Sacramentis,

Matrimonio

 

 

 

 

 

1977

Schema de Locis et temp.

 

ex Coetu de

Locis & temp.

 

 

1977 Schema de

Iure patrimoniali

 

ex Coetu de

Iure Patrimoniali

 

 

1973 Schema de

Sanctionbus

 

ex Coetu de

Iure poenali

 

 

1976 Schema de

Processibus

 

ex Coetu de Processibus

 

 

 

 

 

 

1972 Schema de

Proc. Admin.

 

ex Coetu de

Proced. Admin.

 

 

1917 Codex Iuris Canonci  (et ex Lege Romana)

 

I

II

III

IV

V

De normis general.

De
Personis
De
Rebus
De
processibus

De sanctionibus

 

Studies

Harry Eijsink, “Some striking changes in the Code of Canon Law since April 1982”, in J. Provost & K. Walf, eds., Ius Sequitur Vitam: Law Follows Life (Leuven, 1991) 1-20.

 


 

 

 Time Line of the Development of the 1983 Code

(A work-in-progress, of course, suggestions welcome to Webmaster).

 

Date

Development

Notes

1959 Jan 25

Pope John XXIII announces his intention to call a Synod of the Roman clergy, convoke the Twenty-First Ecumenical or Second Vatican Council, and reform the Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law.

Sollemnis allocutio “Questa festiva” (25 jan 1959), AAS 51 (1959) 65-69, at 68. Formal announcement came in enc. “Ad Petri cathedram”, (29 iun 1959), AAS 51 (1959) 497-531, at 498.

 

 

1962 Oct 11

 

Opening of the Second Vatican Council

 

1963 Mar 28

 

Ciriaci

 

Establishment of Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law. Cdl. Pietro Ciriaci appointed President of Revision Commission. Giacomo Violardo appointed Secretary.

Communicationes I: 5. The earliest published list of cardinal consultors, then numbering 66, appears in Communicationes I (1969) 7-13.

 

1963 Jun 21

Following the death of John XXIII on 3 June 1963, Paul VI elected pope.

 

1963 Nov 12

Revision Commission tables work until the completion of the Second Vatican Council.

 

1964 Apr 17

Paul VI appoints 70 consultors to the Revision Commission.

The earliest published list of consultors, by then numbering 125, appears in Communicationes  I (1969): 15-28.

1965 Feb 24

Paul VI appoints Rev. Raimondo Bidagor, SJ, Secretary of Revision Commission.

 

1965 Nov 17

Paul VI appoints Msgr William Onclin as Adjunct Secretary to the Revision Commission.

 

1965 Nov 20

Solemn Session of the Revision Commission.

The address given by Paul VI thereat is found in Communicationes  I (1969) 38-42.

1965 Dec 8

 

Closing of the Second Vatican Council

 

1967 Feb 21

 

Felici

 

Following the death of Cdl. Ciriaci on December 30, 1966, Paul VI appoints Abp. Pericle Felici pro-President of Revision Commission. On June 30 he becomes President.

 

1967 Apr 3-8

Consultors develop ten “Guiding Principles” under which the revision of canon law is to be carried out, Paul VI directs the upcoming Synod of Bishops of examine them.

Communicationes I (1969): 55-56, 77-100.

1967 Sep 30

to Oct 4

 

Synod of Bishops approves “Guiding Principles” .

 

1973 Dec 1

1973 Schema on Sanctions released for external commentary.

See Communicationes V (1973) 195-196.

1975 Feb 2

Schema on sacraments released for external commentary.

See “Notificatio”, 1975 Schema de sacramentis, p. 3.

1976 Nov 3

1976 Schema on procedures released for external commentary.

See Communicationes VIII (1976) 183.

1977 Feb 2

1977 Schema on consecrated life released for external commentary.

 

1977 Nov 15

1977 Schemata on General Norms, People of God, Teaching Office, Sacred Times and Places, and Temporal Goods, released for external commentary.

 

1978 Aug 26

to Sep 26

 

Pontificate of John Paul I. No impact on the reform of canon law.

John Paul I was committed to continuing the canonical reform process then well underway. See his alloc. Ad gravissimum, (27 aug 1978), Communicationes X (1978) 133-141, at 136.

1978 Oct 16

 

Election of John Paul II

See Communicationes IX (1977) 52.

1982 Apr 22

The 1982 Schema is delivered to John Paul II for final examination.

 

1983 Jan 25

 

John Paul II promulgates the 1983 Code.

 Communicationes IX (1977) 227-228.