Thursday, December 27, 2007


These quotes are from "The Battle for the American Church" (1979), Msgr George Kelly. They are from the chapter on the Code of Canon Law, then the subject of five years of reworking that would not be finished for another five at the time this book was written.

For almost two decades the general political trend in the United States has been antilaw in matters of private morals, and strict regulation of citizen's behavior that conflicts with governmental social policy.
Why is "obedience" given so little attention? Is it because the community "superior," according to the draft, is no longer superior but "moderator"? A moderator, however is not a person of authority. He or she is at best a facilitator or chief counselor with no power to command obedience. what does the institutional shift of terminology mean for the office of pastor, bishop, or pope? A major thrust of modernity has been the flattening of Church authority.
The test of the new code will be its penal section. Law without teeth is advice, not law.

Love that last one. I wonder what the author had to say after the Code of Canon Law was issued in 1984. Maybe it will say in the author's 1995 book, Battle for the American Church Revisited, althought his 1993 Keeping the Church Catholic With John Paul II sounds like another good read. oh my...

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