Are all Catholics bound to follow the new canon laws that came out a few years ago?


Full Question

Are all Catholics bound to follow the new canon laws that came out a few years ago?

Answer

In January 1983, Pope John Paul II published a thoroughly revised Code of Canon Law, which became binding in the Roman Catholic Church on November 27, 1983. This 1983 Code, as it is commonly called, replaced an earlier set of canon laws, known as the 1917 Code. The passage of several eventful decades and, more important, the labors of the Second Vatican Council had rendered the 1917 Code, in some respects at least, out of date.

In October 1990, after a long consultation process, Pope John Paul II published a Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Catholic Churches; it went into effect on October 1, 1991. This Eastern Code replaced several smaller sets of Eastern canon law which were then in force.

Both the 1983 Code for Latin-rite Catholics and the 1990 Code for Eastern-rite Catholics are available to the general public in affordable vernacular translations, although Latin remains the only official language for both sets of laws.


Edward Peters