Category Archives: Canon Law

Does Contracepted Sex suffice to Consummate a Marriage?

The Catholic Sacrament of Marriage is “ratum tantum” (ratified only) after the exchange of vows in the wedding ceremony, and is “ratum et consummatum” (ratified and consummated) after the spouses have had marital relations. The sexual relations in question is … Continue reading

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Is Canon 915 a reflection of a universally binding divine law itself?

Dr. Ed Peters has made some exaggerated and harmful claims about Canon 915. That’s the canon that is used to deny Communion to the divorced and remarried. Peters and others say that the divorced and remarried must be denied Communion, … Continue reading

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Pope Francis changes Canon Law on Baptism of Infants

Here is the change to Canon Law: § 3. Infants of non-Catholic Christians are licitly baptized if their parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place request it and if it is physically … Continue reading


Is It Against Canon Law For Catholic Schools To Require Non-Catholic Employees To Obey Catholic Teaching?

Yes, it is. Many Catholic schools require their employees — whether they are Catholic or not — to follow Roman Catholic teaching, at least in their public lives. As a result, some gay teachers have been fired for marrying someone … Continue reading


Can a Pope be Excommunicated? Is he above Canon Law?

The Pope can add to, subtract from, and change Canon Law. Pope Saint John Paul II signed into effect the current Code of Canon Law in 1983. This new Code includes hundreds of changes from the older 1917 Code. Any … Continue reading


Can Excommunicated Persons Receive The Sacraments?

Canon 1335 only applies to clerics (ordained persons): Can. 1335: “If a latae sententiae censure has not been declared, the prohibition is also suspended whenever a member of the faithful requests a sacrament or sacramental or an act of governance; … Continue reading

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Contra Ed Peters on Excommunication for Abortion

The news media falsely claim that Pope Francis now permits priests to forgive the sin of abortion. My understanding is that priests could and still can forgive the sin of abortion, and many priests have long been authorized to lift … Continue reading

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Jimmy Akin’s grave error on Abortion and Confession

UPDATED (see the last section of the post). On his blog, Jimmy Akin makes a false claim which is gravely harmful to souls, on the subject of abortion, excommunication, and Confession. He erroneously claims: “Therefore, a person who procures an … Continue reading


Pope Francis permits all Priests to lift Excommunication for Abortion

Here is the official letter of the Pope: issued 1 September 2015. In the letter the Pope calls abortion “profoundly unjust” and he states: “The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing … Continue reading

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The Right of the Christian Faithful to Publish

Canon law (Can. 212, n. 3) states that the Christian faithful have the right to express their opinion, on matters pertaining to the good of the Church, to the rest of the faithful. Here is the English text: “According to … Continue reading


Married deacons/priests and Marital Relations

I’ve updated my previous post: May married deacons have marital relations?. Dr. Peters and some other commentators are continuing to argue that married deacons and married priests are required by Canon Law to refrain from all marital relations. There are … Continue reading

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Suppose that the Pope were to rule…

…that it is now unlawful for any priest to kill a human being, under any circumstances whatsoever. And suppose also that a priest is confronted by an attacker, who attempts to murder him. Can he kill in self-defense? Should he … Continue reading


More on Married Deacons and Continence

Some months ago, there was a controversy on various Catholic blogs as to whether married Catholic deacons may have marital relations with their spouses. Dr. Ed Peters of In the Light of the Law (A Canon lawyer’s blog) proposed an … Continue reading

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Married Deacons and Marital Relations: Church decision

Can a married permanent deacon continue to have natural marital relations open to life with his spouse after he is ordained as a deacon? The question was much discussed on the internet due to the repeated assertions of Canon lawyer … Continue reading


Concerning the approval of Bible translations

Since the completion of my translation of the Bible in March of 2009, I’ve read a number of different comments about my work. More than a few persons have shown appreciation for my translation, the Catholic Public Domain Version. More … Continue reading

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Is a Catholic who procures IVF automatically excommunicated? Yes.

Is a Catholic who procures in vitro fertilization (IVF) automatically excommunicated? Yes, if he or she knows that the Church issues a sentence of automatic excommunication for the procurement of a direct abortion, and realizes that IVF, as it is … Continue reading

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Who should be denied Communion under Canon 915?

UPDATED — Any baptized Catholic who has committed the sin of apostasy, or formal heresy, or formal schism is thereby automatically excommunicated, and many not receive holy Communion, nor any of the other Sacraments (except Confession, if the sinner is … Continue reading


The lesbian communion incident: Canon law versus the Eternal Moral Law

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo was in the sacristy, preparing for a funeral Mass, when the daughter of the deceased entered with another woman. The daughter, Barbara Johnson, identified the other woman as her lover. She made a deliberate disclosure to the … Continue reading

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Is Sister Margaret McBride still excommunicated?

Sister McBride was automatically excommunicated for her role in a direct abortion at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. “The revised canonical legislation continues this tradition when it decrees that ‘a person who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic (latae … Continue reading


Automatic Excommunication for the Use of Abortifacient Contraception

The penalty of automatic excommunication applies to anyone who deliberately chooses and accomplishes a direct abortion, with knowledge of the penalty attached. Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication. This penalty applies to … Continue reading