Canon (Canon Law)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canon , often Canon or canon written plural canons and canons (of . Grch κανών canon , "bar, rod, measuring rod, a guide", it . Latin canon , "scale fixed order") is a teaching or legal rule of canon law . Canons are particularly well known as the common subdivisions of the laws of canon law of the Roman Catholic Church , which has adopted the name “ canon law ” from them .

Use of terms

Canon is the most original technical term for church law. It can both designate the individual legal provision and serve as the final general subdivision of a code of law or a collection of canons. The current Roman Catholic codes of canon law, namely the Code of the Latin Church of 1983 (CIC / 83) and the Eastern Church Code (CCEO) , use it as a basic unit of classification.


Ecclesiastical legal norms of regional synods of late antiquity and the Middle Ages in contrast to papal decretals , i.e. H. The Pope's response to legal inquiries, known as canons . With the expression, the church norms can also be distinguished from the imperial laws ( nomoi ). The systematic distinction between ecclesiastical and secular law emerged in the west in the course of the church reforms of the 11th century and the rediscovery of Roman law in the 12th century at the Bologna School of Law . With it, especially as a result of the reception of the comparative legal compilation of the Decretum Gratiani compiled in the 12th century and the canon collections developed from it, the Latin term canon established itself as a basic division of the ecclesiastical legal texts collected in the Corpus Iuris Canonici .

Roman Catholic

Since definitions of councils have legislative acts of the Roman Catholic Church, even if they beliefs define the term canons also to refer to binding declarations of faith of Trent and Vatican I used.

Since the codification of canon law by the Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) promulgated in 1917 , the first code of law of the Roman Catholic Church, the designation has been used primarily as a unit of division for the norms of the CIC. “Canon” is abbreviated to c. (Plural: cc. ) Or can. (Plural: cann. ), Sometimes also capitalized Can. Usually, also in the CIC, a canon can be divided into paragraphs (abbreviated § , plural: §§ ). Paragraphs, in turn, can be subdivided into paragraphs which (like canons and paragraphs) are designated with Arabic numerals and referred to as "number" (abbreviated n. ).


The 44 member churches of the Anglican Communion are independent in their legislation . Some, e.g. B. the Scottish Episcopal Church , have codices that are only divided into canons. Most churches have a constitution ( constitution ) and use canons ( canons ) and other regulations such headings ( rubrics ), rules ( rules ), orderlies ( ordinances ), and written and unwritten customs ( customs ) and traditions ( traditions ) side by side. The canon law of many Anglican churches is based on the canons from the "Book of Canons" ( English Canons Ecclesiastical ) adopted by the Church of England in 1603/04 , historical collections of decisions by ecclesiastical courts or pre-Reformation canon law. In summary, the canon law of the Anglicans is called "canon law" as in the Catholic area ( Anglican Canon Law ).


The church ordinances of the other churches of the Reformation , which mostly refer to Martin Luther's rejection of canon law in December 1520, are not called canons. Among the sources of law of the canonical norms of Orthodoxy , largely dispenses with a codified church right next to include biblical canon and the fathers literature and the canons of the Ecumenical Councils and other Synodalbestimmungen, church orders and secular sources of law, as well as Holy Canons designated Syrian synodal which 692 recognized as apostolic by the Council of Trullo .


Text examples:

“Can. 1 - Canones huius Codicis unam Ecclesiam latinam respiciunt. "

"Can. 1 - The canons of this Codex concern the Latin Church only. "

- Can. 1 CIC / 83

“Can. 841 - Cum sacramenta eadem sint pro universa Ecclesia et ad divinum depositum pertineant, unius supremae Ecclesiae auctoritatis est probare vel definire quae ad eorum validitatem sunt requisita, atque eiusdem aliusve auctoritatis competentis, ad normam can. 838, §§ 3 et 4, est decernere quae ad eorum celebrationem, administrationem et receptionem licitam necnon ad ordinem in eorum celebratione servandum spectant. "

"Can. 841 Since the sacraments are the same for the whole church and belong to the good entrusted by God, only the highest ecclesiastical authority has to judge or determine what is necessary for their validity; the same or a different one in accordance with can. 838, §§ 3 and 4 competent authority has to decide what is allowed for the celebration, the administration and the reception of the sacraments and what belongs to the order to be observed during their celebration. "

- Can. 841 CIC / 83

Citation example:

  • According to c. 874, § 1, n. 5 CIC / 83, a godfather may not be the father or mother of the person to be baptized.

Deviating from the usual citation of legal passages in German legal texts (e.g. "§ 1 Abs. 3 Nr. 1 SprengG "), the information on canon, paragraph and number is usually separated by commas for canonical references .


Individual evidence

  1. James Brundage : Medieval Canon Law. Longman, London / New York 1995, ISBN 0-582-09357-0 , pp. 51f., 96f.
  2. ^ Egon Boshof : Europe in the 12th century. On the way to the modern age. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-17-014548-1 , pp. 265-267.
  3. ^ Herbert Vorgrimler : New Theological Dictionary. New edition (6th edition of the complete work), Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2008, ISBN 978-3-451-29934-6 , p. 337.
  4. ^ The Anglican Communion Office (Ed.): The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion. London 2008, ISBN 978-0-9558261-3-9 , p. 97.
  5. Gerald Bray (Ed.): The Anglican Canons, 1529-1947. Church of England Record Society, Boydell Press, London 1998, ISBN 0-85115-518-9 .
  6. ^ Sieghard Mühlmann: Luther and the Corpus Iuris Canonici up to 1530. An overview of the history of research. In: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History - Canonical Department (ZRG KA), Volume 58 (1972), Issue 1, pp. 235–305, here: p. 235 .
  7. ^ Richard Potz , Eva Maria Synek: Orthodox Church Law. An introduction. 2nd, updated and expanded edition, Plöchl, Freistadt 2014, ISBN 978-3-901479-92-2 , pp. 8 f., 319 f.
  8. Anargyros Anapliotis (ed.): Holy canons of the holy and highly honored apostles. EOS, St. Ottilien 2009, ISBN 978-3-8306-7370-5 ( blurb ).
  9. Code of Canon Law (1983), Liber I .
  10. Codex Iuris Canonici (1983), Liber IV .
  11. See Codex Iuris Canonici (1983), Book IV , Title I, Chapter IV (“Paten”).