Ukrainian canonists participated in the International Scholarly Conference Hodie et Cras

Tuesday, 29 October 2013, 11:00
On October 23, 2013 in Lublin (Poland) an International Scholarly Conference on Canon Law: Hodie et Cras was held, marking the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of the Codex of Canon Law. The conference was held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (LKU) and its organizers were: Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration of LKU, the Institute of Canon Law, and Department of History of Common Canon Law.

Participants included canonists from Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia.  The audience of scholars, lecturers, doctoral candidates, and students, staff members of courts and Church administration reached such a number that the large conference hall could not accommodate all of them – yet many stayed on to listen to the presentations at the hall entryway and spread into the corridors.

From the Ukrainian side, Rev. Serhiy Stesenko, a doctoral candidate of LKU        Faculty of Eastern Catholic Churches as well as Greek-Catholic seminarians of the Metropolitanate Spiritual Seminary in Lublin including among these experts on canon law.

The conference had three plenary sessions, chaired by:  Most Rev. Bishop Prof.  Dr. habil Artur Miziński , LKU Professor – lawyer of the Roman;   Rev. Prof. Dr. Ryszard Sztychmiler (Varmin-Mazur University in Olsztyn);  Rev. Prof. Dr. Tomasz Rozkrut, Dr. habil. LKU (Cracow).

The conclusion of the titanic work of many lawyers from various countries of the world who were part of a specially convened commission that reviewed the legal norms in the Church according to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, enhanced the proclamation by the Universal Arch Hierarch John Paul II on January 25, 1983 the Codex of Canon Law (effective as of November 27, 1983). 

Even though this Codex concerns the Latin Church, many of its canons were fully or partly reflected in the Codex of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which is to be treated, as stated by Jon Paul II, as an integral continuum, in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.  Together with Pastor Bonus – a document which regulates the activities of the Papal Curia, both Codices are Corpus Iuris Canonici of the entire Catholic Church.

It should be noted that the conference Hodie et Cras  [Today and Tomorrow]  was focused on the present and future state of law in the Church.

The presentation by  Most Rev. Bp. Prof. Dr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council of Legal Texts, “Revision of Book VI of the Code of Canon Law” (La revisión delLibro VI del Codex Iuris Canonici), that includes punishment sanctions in the Church evoked perhaps the most questions among many present.

Bishop Arrieta described the current state of cases reviewed by the Commission, which includes some 30 lawyers from different countries of the world, certain

Changes to the current Codex of Canon Law which, as a result, will also have appropriate changes in the Codex of Canons of Eastern Churches after its approval tomorrow by the Universal Arch Hierarch. 

Many questions were also posed to Rev. Dr. habil. Andrzej Pastwa, Professor of Silesian University (Katowice) regarding his presentation “Code norms pertaining to marriage and the challenges of the present”; to – Prof. Dr. Stephan Haering OSB (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich)  on “Coordination of Church and Secular law in Codex Iuris Canonici “ (Koordination von kirchlichem und weltlichem Recht  im Codex Iuris Canonici);  to Rev. Prof. Dr. habil. Piotr Stanisz, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration, KLU (Cracow) on “Spheres of delegating laity in the Church: current status and perspectives”; Rev. Marian Stasiak , Dr. habil. Prof.LKU on “The idea of codification of State and Canon laws”; to Rev. Prof. Dr. habil. Krzysztof Burczak, Prof. LKU on – “Ius sequitur vitam as a principle of development and review of law”. 

Almost all speakers in talking about the norms of law in the Latin Church referred also to the Codex of Canons of Eastern Churches, noting also that sometimes the latter was better than the Latin one, in explaining certain positions.

In summarizing the work of the conference, Rev. Dr. habil. Leszek Adamowicz, Head of the Institute of Canon Law, Prof. LKU, drew attention of the audience to the fact that “Eastern and Western Codices are a kind of lungs with which the Church breathes,” and therefore in studying canon law it is vitally important  to study with precision all the laws of the Catholic Church.

There are plans to publish the presentations of the conference in Spanish, German, English, and Polish. 

Reporters: Conference Participants

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