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New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law [Hardcover]

By John P. Beal (Editor), Thomas J. Green (Editor) & James A. Coriden (Editor)
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Item description for New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law by John P. Beal, Thomas J. Green & James A. Coriden...

An entirely new and comprehensive commentary by canon lawyers from North America and Europe, with a revised English translation of the Code. Reflects the enormous developments in canon law since the publication of the original commentary.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   1952
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.6" Width: 7.86" Height: 2.74"
Weight:   6.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2000
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809105020  
ISBN13  9780809105021  

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Reviews - What do customers think about New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law?

While not perfect, it is a good reference book.  Jun 9, 2006
While some are accurate in describing subjective, agenda-like influence found in the commentary at different points, I believe that this volume is a overwhelmingly helpful reference tool for anyone involved in the Church. Any commentary is going to remain miles from objectivity since several individuals with their own histories and experiences composed it. That aside, I believe that the authors of this commentary have made an effort to provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of each of the canons of the church.

I believe that this is an indispensable reference book that all clergy, civil attorneys and theologians should have on their shelf. It is a must-have book.

Overall I find this a good commentary...  Dec 9, 2004
After reading the debate taking place between the other reviewers, I thought I would share my own feelings as a canon lawyer. Coincidentally, I happen to be friends with some of the reviewers on each side. This sorta summarizes how I feel about this commentary.

Overall, I find it quite useful. Its biggest strength, in my opinion, is the commentary on General Norms, which is the first book of the Code. (For non-canonists, the Code of Canon Law is divided into seven books -- aka major divisions) General Norms are the basic canonical principles that define key terms and determine how the law should be applied. While many find it the most boring book in the Code, it is nevertheless the most important. Thus it is essential to any any good commentary on the Code that its commentary on General Norms be solid. The commentary in this book is stellar and I consult it regularly.

Nevertheless, as others have noted, there are certain parts in this commentary, mainly in the book covering the Sacraments, that I would either question or disagree with. I would not say that any of the commentary is erroneous, but it does push the envelope on occasion.

But overall, it's a good resource and the commentary on General Norms, which is very readable without compromising depth, alone is worth the price.
Agenda proliferates instead of canonical comments  Mar 13, 2002
While the overall scholarship of the new commentary is impressive, there are some serious, significant and grave errors which compel me not to recommend this book. Instead of relying on sound jurisprudence, this edition degenerates with theological dissent, speculation and confusion. Book Three (the Teaching Office of the Church) is where it begins. The footnote on page 913 in reference to canon 749 on Infallibility attacks ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS when it says: "the statement by the CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] of October 28, 1995, that the teaching to the effect that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women requires the definitive assent of the faithful since `it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium' is an exaggeration" Classifying the authortative interpretation of the CDF on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis as being an 'exaggertion' is going well beyond the bounds of judicial commentary and now enters the realm of theological dissent. Cardinal Ratzinger's Responsum ad Dubium (10-28-95) made it clear that while Ordination Sacerdotalis itself was not an EX CATHEDRA statement (like the papal document MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS of Pius XII defining the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in 1950), nevertheless the TEACHING (doctrine) that only baptized males can be ordained (deacons, priests and bishops) IS infallible as it has been a consistent element of the ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM. "All members of the faithful are required to give their assent to the teaching stated therein." The Commentary continues in the footnote to attack the infallibility of the teaching when this is not a canonical issue, rather it is obviously doctrinal and the proper authority (CDF) has made a definitive ruling, not the CLSA.

Canon 752, according to the new Commentary "leaves room for dissent." This is based on the mistranslation of OBSEQUIUM by the Commentary. Ironically, the translated text in the same book reads "religious SUBMISSION of intellect and will" must be given to the authentic Magisterium (as opposed to an ASSENT of faith required of infallible teachings) whereas the commentary below the translated text keeps translating OBSEQUIUM not as SUBMISSION but as "RESPECT" or "DEFERENCE". Austin Flannery, OP, had no problem using SUBMISSION for OBSEQUIUM when he translated LUMEN GENTIUM #25 upon which canon 752 is based.

Another of many examples of an underlying agenda is shown in Book Four as well as Book Three. Canon 914 explicitly and unequivocally mandates First Penance BEFORE First Communion, yet the Commentary (p. 1110) suggests ""if the parents, who have the primary responsibility for the child's catechesis, should determine that their child is not yet ready for first penance but is ready for first communion, the child should not be denied the right to the sacrament." If that is not encouraging the faithful to oppose the law, what is it? Certainly not orthodox teaching or canonically licit behavior.

All in all, it is sad that the good scholarship has to be eclipsed by the creeping heterodoxy and subtle dissent in major portions of the book.

A Wonderful Discovery  Sep 13, 2001
It took me a while to figure out what this Commentary is all about. For one, I am not a catholic and secondly, I did not even know there is such thing as canon law. My curiosity compelled me to research and read more about the topic. In my profession as a foreign medical doctor, I have been trained to search for the "why's" and "how's" of every given thing. The commentary gave me not only a path to follow but ways to understand this so-called canon law, the absolute purpose of which according to its last law is "the salvation of souls". The commentary is very well written in a style and manner that reflects the author(s) intimate knowledge of the complexities of human life and the god that wants to save it. It is not always easy to find books (or commentaries for that matter) that can help one to understand issues, topics and events that are alien in one's mind and faith. The authors have successfully presented opinions and interpretations based on their obvious love and respect for the church they belong and the god they believe. If all laws are approached that way, perhaps not only souls but also lives will be saved as well. My compliments to the writers.
Canon Law Explained  Sep 12, 2001
This text is a clear and concise explanation of Canon Law as found in the Code of Canon Law 1983. This text can be used by both the professional Canon Lawyer as well as the pastoral minister in a parish in order to understand what the law means. This text provides the best explanation of the law, which is meant to be used in real situations in the Catholic Church.

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