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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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Abbreviations

Masterpage

1983 Code

 

Masterpage

1917 Code

 Masterpage

 Liber Extra

 

 Masterpage

 Eastern Code

Resolution

1152 x 864

Updated

2 nov 2013

Dictionaries, Encyclopedia, and Standard Reference Works on Canon Law


Overview

Canon law has many specialized concepts, categories, and vocabulary that are not always self-evident to those untrained in canonistics. Over the last several hundred years, and particularly during the 20th century, many canonical dictionaries, encyclopedia, and reference works were produced in an effort to unify and explain these special matters. Although, with one exception, none of these works is authoritative per se (only Communicationes is produced by ecclesiastical authority, and even it has not been designated as a site for the promulgation of law per 1983 CIC 8 § 1), their use greatly facilitates accurate canonical research.

 

The works below are grouped into broad chronological sets; that does not mean, however, that materials listed in one group are of little or no value to researchers with interests in other periods. Canon law, like other legal systems , builds on what came before, even as it reshapes what it inherited. In short, older works retain a relatively high degree of usefulness even after the law that they were developed to explain has evolved into later forms or passed from use.

 


1983 Code

Communicationes

 

Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Recognoscendo (1969-1983); Pontificia Commissio ad Codicem Iuris Canonici Authentice Interpretandum ([mens. VI] 1984); Pontificia Commissio Codicis Iuris Canonici Authentice Interpretando ([mens. XII] 1984); Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Authentice Interpretando (1985-1988); Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus Interpretandis (1989-1998); Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus (1999 to date).

The dicastery charged with responsibility for legislative texts has undergone a distressing number name changes; there is little purpose served by retracing them in footnotes. Communicationes is so well-known in canonical circles that there is no need to identify it further. The name of this journal should never be abbreviated as it would be hopelessly confused with the abbreviation for "commentary". Note that the year materials were published in Communicationes is often not the year in which they were originally produced; that can be very confusing and is best avoided by not listing the year a given issue of Communicationes was published.

 

X. Ochoa, ed., Leges Ecclesiae post Codicem iuris canonici editae, (Commentarium pro religiosis, 1987-2010) vols. VI - X.

 

Canon Law Digest, vols. XI - XII (Canon Law Society of America). Cite volume and page only; the year of publication is worse than irrelevant—it is confusing when tracking documents published in many different years.

 

C. Corral, et al., eds., Nuovo Dizionario di Diritto Canonico (Pont. Univ. Comillas, 1993) = pp.

 


1917 Code

 

Bouscaren, Founder

Canon Law Digest

 

 

P. Gasparri & J. Serédi, eds., Codicis Iuris Canonici Fontes, in 9 vols., (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1923-1949). For an orientation to using Pio-Benedictine footnotes, go here.

 

Canon Law Digest, vols. I - X (various publishers). Cite volume and page only; the year of publication for each volume is worse than irrelevant—it is confusing when tracking documents published in many different years.

 

X. Ochoa, ed., Leges Ecclesiae post Codicem iuris canonici editae, (Commentarium pro religiosis, 1966-1987) vols. I - VI.

 

DDC • R. Naz, ed., Dictionnaire de Droit Canonique, in 7 vols. (Librarie Letouzey et Ané, 1935-1965).

 

 

This work is so fundamental to canonical research that the initials DDC should be reserved for it. Although the DDC appeared over three decades, there is no need to cite the year of publication for each individual volume; it suffices to recall that they were published in the decades immediately proceeding the Second Vatican Council.

 

DMC • P. Palazzini, ed., Dictionarium Morale et Canonicum, in 4 vols. (Officium Libri Catholici, 1962-1968). Review: J. Abbo, The Jurist 23 (1963) 249-252 (on vol. 1 only), and W. Reich, The Jurist 29 (1969) 237-241 (on vol. 4 only).

 

This work is not as well known as it should be; the initials DMC should deserve to be reserved for it. The DMC appeared over just six years and there is no need to reiterate the year of publication for each individual volume; it suffices to recall that they were published about the time of the Second Vatican Council and reflect, for the most part, pre-Conciliar canonistics. A large number of the entries were written by the editor, Pietro Palazzini (Italian prelate, 1912-2000).

 
DTC • A. Vacant, ed., Dictionnarie de Théologie Catholique, 1923-1950. This work is so fundamental to canonical and theological research that the initials DTC should be reserved for it. Although the DTC appeared over three decades, there is no need to reiterate the year of publication for each individual volume; it suffices to recall that they were published in the decades immediately proceeding the Second Vatican Council.

 

Patrick Lydon (American priest, 1883-1969), Ready Answers in Canon Law [1934], 3rd ed., (Benziger, 1948) 523 pp. Review by T. Martin in The Jurist 9 (1949) 354-356.

 

Marius Pistocchi (1874-1943), Lexicon Juridico-Canonicum (Berruti, 1934) 169 pp.

 

P. Trudel (Sulpician, =), A Dictionary of Canon Law (Herder, 1919) 242 pp.

 


Decretal Law

 

 

 

Ethelred Taunton (English priest, 1857-1907), The Law of the Church: A Cyclopaedia of Canon Law for English-Speaking Countries (Herder, 1906) 652 pp. Taunton's Cyclopaedia is available here.

 

Lucius Ferraris ( c. 1763), Prompta Biblioteca canonica, juridica, moralis, theologica [1746], in 7 vols., rev. ed., (Typis Abbatiae Montis Casini, 1844-1847). See also G. Lepointe, "Ferraris (Lucius)" DDC V: 831.

 

 


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