The term canon law or Canonisches law can have several meanings: Most is he synonymous with the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church , in a broader sense it can canon law also other churches call, unless they canons of synods and councils or legal collections from pre-Reformation time consider. The science of canon law is called canon studies .
Origin of name (etymology)
The expression canonical law (earlier Canonical law ) is derived from the Latin canon 'measure' , 'fixed order', 'rule', this from Greek κανών kanón , German 'tube [stab]' , 'rod', 'measuring stick', ' Guideline 'from. The individual norm complexes are referred to as canons in the Codex Iuris Canonici . In the early Greek-speaking old church, the word κανών was preferred instead of the word νόμος nómos , German 'law' "to express the difference between church norms and those of the state".
Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church
The existing ambiguity of the expression "canon law" must be seen against the background of three distinctions:
- (a) whether one only looks at current canon law or works on legal history (synchronous / diachronous);
- (b) whether to include only codified canon law or also non-codified canon law (codified / also not codified);
- (c) whether one only includes canon law for the Latin Church or also canon law for the Catholic-Oriental churches (now codified in the CCEO since 1990 ) (Latin Church / Eastern Catholic Churches).
The canon law of the Roman Catholic Church is understood accordingly
- (1) in a narrower sense the canon law codified in a collection of laws of the Catholic Church
- (1 a) in the narrowest sense the law codified in the current Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) 1983
- (1 b) in a broader sense the law codified in the CIC 1983 or the CIC 1917
- (1 c) in an even broader sense the law codified in the CIC 1917/1983 or in the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium 1990
- (1 d) in yet another sense, including the law codified in the Corpus Iuris Canonici (before 1917);
- (2) in a broader sense the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church in general.
Theological foundation of canon law
The theological foundation of canon law is of decisive importance, which is controversial in detail. The same applies to the classification of canons as a theological discipline (see also there).
According to the self-image of the Catholic Church, canon law establishes a "binding order of life", which arises in central questions from (other) theological disciplines.
This applies above all to ecclesiology , i. H. the doctrine of the Church. This is decisively shaped by the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), in particular by the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church " Lumen Gentium ".
- The self-image of the Catholic Church
"According to this, the origin and nature of the church lie solely in the will of God and not in the will of people to unite."
- The role of law in the church
It is emphasized that it is not sufficient that canon law has "always" applied, but that theological legitimation is required.
- The extreme position of the evangelical lawyer Rudolph Sohm , that canon law is in contradiction with the nature of the church, is rejected as spiritualistic.
- Until Vatican II, the validity of canon law was derived from the doctrine of the church as societas perfecta : the church was intended by Jesus Christ as a perfect and thus also as a legal society.
- Since the Second Vatican Council this has been considered insufficient. The role of canon law is described in more detail in the Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges :
- The Codex should "translate the conciliar ecclesiology [.] Into the canonical language".
- The Codex aims "to give church society an order that gives priority to love, grace and charisma and at the same time facilitates their orderly progress in the life of church society as well as of the individual people who belong to it."
- The CIC (church law) is "absolutely necessary": "Because it [the church] is also designed in the manner of a social invisible structure, it needs guidelines so that its hierarchical and organic structure becomes visible and the exercise of it by God entrusted services, in particular the spiritual authority and the administration of the sacraments, is duly regulated so that mutual relations among the faithful are shaped in a justice based on love, so that finally the common projects undertaken for the perfection of the Christian life by the canonical laws are supported, strengthened and promoted. "
- The last half-sentence of the last 1752 canon of the CIC, in which it says: "The salvation of souls ... which must always be the supreme law in the church", becomes a corresponding "supreme legal principle" in church law read.
The collection and codification of Catholic Canon Law began in the Middle Ages and led to the collection of the Corpus Iuris Canonici , which remained the authoritative collection of laws of the Roman Catholic Church until 1917. In 1917 the revised Codex Iuris Canonici appeared for the Latin Church for the first time , which, at the request of Pope John XXIII. was completely revised by 1983 on behalf of the Second Vatican Council . The Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium was issued for the Eastern Catholic Churches in 1990 .
Influences on secular legal versions
The law of the Catholic Church, especially the inquisition procedure, strongly promoted the development of German procedural law , especially that of criminal procedural law . The law of obligations has also been significantly influenced , for example, by the principle pacta sunt servanda (“contracts must be kept”), which comes from canon law , because it was able to overcome the strict formality of Roman law . In marriage law it restricted the marriage of relatives and established the mutual fiduciary duty. Canon law was central to conveying the moral theological concept of punishment to secular criminal law ; today it is only legally effective within the Roman Catholic Church.
The vast majority of proceedings before Catholic church courts (in 2015 in Germany: 438 out of a total of 523 judgments in the first instance, i.e. around 84 percent) relate to marriage annulments . Although canon law does not permit a divorce from a church marriage, it recognizes the possibility of having such a marriage subsequently declared null and void due to the lack of the prerequisites for the marriage. This requires a procedure before the ecclesiastical courts. Such a cancellation enables the former spouse to remarry as a Catholic and can be of existential importance for religious teachers, since a divorce of a Catholic religious teacher according to secular law without church marriage can lead to the loss of the missio canonica .
Canon law of other churches
Canon Law of the Non-Catholic Churches of the East
The non-Catholic churches of the East, the Byzantine Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox churches also have a legal system. The canons issued by the seven ecumenical councils are particularly valued. The individual particular churches have issued different sets of laws.
The canon law of the non-Roman Catholic Orthodox Churches is to be distinguished from the canon law of the Unied Catholic-Oriental Churches , which is regulated in the CCEO , a code of law of the Roman Catholic Church as a whole.
The Canon Law of the Anglican Church
The Anglican Church adhered to medieval canon law. Over time, this Canon Law was supplemented by an Ecclesiastical Law . In England with the participation of Parliament. In other churches the Anglican Communion is autonomous.
Rejection of canon law in the Reformation churches
The Reformation churches rejected medieval canon law. Accordingly, they do not use the term canon law . Ecclesiastical law was similar in the Protestant state churches under sovereign church regiment by the respective sovereign, and is otherwise now decided by the synods of the respective regional churches.
- Mathias Schmoeckel : Canon Law. History and content of the Corpus iuris canonici. A study book. Beck, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-406-74910-0 .
- Canon Law
- Lecture notes Introduction to Canon Law (by Ulrich Rhode ; PDF file; 451 kB)
- Andreas Thier : Canonical Law Concise Dictionary of European Private Law (HWB EuP) 2009
- Friedrich von Schulte: The history of the sources and literature of Canon law. Stuttgart 1880.
- Ulrich Rhode : Canon Law. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015 (textbooks theology; vol. 24), ISBN 978-3-17-026227-0 , p. 15.
- See Ulrich Rhode: Church Law. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, p. 15: names (only) the meanings (1 b) and (2) and favors (2).
- Heinrich de Wall , Stefan Muckel: Church law. 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-66168-6 , § 16 Rn. 4th
- See Heinrich de Wall , Stefan Muckel: Church Law. 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-66168-6 , § 16 Rn. 5
- See Heinrich de Wall , Stefan Muckel: Church Law. 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-66168-6 , § 16 Rn. 11 mwN
- Pope John Paul II : Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges. of January 25, 1983, in: Codex Iuris Canonici . 5th edition. Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker 2001, pp. X ff.
- See Heinrich de Wall , Stefan Muckel: Church Law. 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-66168-6 , § 16 Rn. 15 ff. With further references
- Pope John Paul II : Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges. of January 25, 1983, in: Codex Iuris Canonici . 5th edition. Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker 2001, p. X (XIX)
- Pope John Paul II : Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges. of January 25, 1983, in: Codex Iuris Canonici . 5th edition. Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker 2001, p. X (XVII)
- Pope John Paul II : Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges. of January 25, 1983, in: Codex Iuris Canonici . 5th edition. Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker 2001, p. X (XXI)
- Codex Iuris Canonici . 5th edition. Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker 2001, p. 769
- Heinrich de Wall , Stefan Muckel: Church law. 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-66168-6 , § 16 Rn. 17 mwN for discussion
- Practical Problems of the New Annulment Processes accessed on April 22, 2019
- In the conflict between teaching and life, accessed on April 22, 2019
- According to Ulrich Rhode: Church Law. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, p. 17.
- Ulrich Rhode: Canon Law. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, p. 17 f.
- Ulrich Rhode: Canon Law. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, p. 18.