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CCS Symposium on Canon Law

Date of news: 12 December 2017

On 7 December, the Center for Catholic Studies hosted a small but highly engaged symposium for people interested in canon law and canon lawyers, which met in Nijmegen at Radboud University in cooperation with the University of Münster.

CCS Symposium Canon Law 2017

Daniela Müllerand Gian Ackermans, who both have been teaching the History of Canon Law for many years in the master's program for canon lawyers, invited their colleagues Klaus Lüdicke, Thomas Schüller and Thomas Neumann to discuss new developments in canon law and the current relationship between canon law and theology.

Klaus Lüdicke, Emeritus Professor of Canon Law at Münster, spoke about the recent review of the marriage annulment process and the debate about the status of divorced and remarried people. It is clear that Pope Francis approaches theology from a powerful position of pastoral care and his recent actions indicate an end to a longstanding rigidity in canon law.

Gian Ackermans, teaches Canon Law at Radboud University and he presented the French canon lawyer Pierre-Toussaint Durand de Maillane and his contribution to the editorial staff of the Constitution civile du Clergé (1790), a document that describes the position of the church that changed fundamentally during the French Revolution and also strongly influenced its attitude afterwards.

Due to illness, Thomas Schüller, the current Professor of Canon Law and the Director of the Institut für Kanonisches Recht, was absent. His assistant Thomas Neumann presented his study of the current financial organization of the Catholic Church in Germany, with a focus on transparency and the recent practice of the archdiocese of Cologne as a positive example.

Thomas Neumann, Study Coordinator at the Institut für Kanonisches Recht, based on his analysis of post-conciliar official documents, gave an insight into the issue of the rights of women in the church on the basis of the ministries of acolyte and reader, who for the time being are reserved only to men on the basis of questionable standpoints.

Daniela Müller, Professor of Church History and Canon Law, provided a framework for the final discussion with some remarks about the relationship between Canon Law and Theology, after which the various speakers and participants discussed the implications of the new developments that were outlined throughout the day.

Learn more about the Center for Catholic Studies

Learn more about the Institut für Kanonisches Recht