Canon Law – Can it change?

Here is a copy of a Canon Law essay that was recently submitted and received a distinction. It takes what may be described as a position of supporting an unchanging continuation of the Canons. This position is very hard to maintain due to the evidence. The relationship between the rhetoric of the Canons and the practical dealing with the Canons is difficult to reconcile. The essay is an attempt to substantiate the rhetoric more closely in trying to explain the practice in a manner that equates with the rhetoric of unchanging Canons. However, the marker found some of the arguments rather forced and unconvincing and even perhaps seemingly contradictory. Nevertheless, he commented that the essay does bring to the fore that the works of many modern writers on the subject have looked at the practice of change and from this have either dismissed or interpreted that rhetoric to make it of little effect and that this approach is not consistent with the tradition.

So, the essay is here, with its weaknesses, to provide some thoughts on the issues from a position seeking to remain faithful to the rhetoric by harmonising this with the historical practice. It is also a warning to those who hope or believe that another Ecumenical Council can make wide sweeping changes to the Church’s Canon Law or to its traditions.

I look forward to any comments or feedback to help develop understanding of these issues, which still require much theoretical work to come to a satisfactory answer.

Canon Law


2 Responses to Canon Law – Can it change?

  1. […] Canon Law – Can it change? By Fr. Patrick (the monk) […]

  2. Mark Downham says:

    “I would only point to the spiritual abuse found on any number of “Orthodox” websites in which serious matters, originally written for monastics or for the guidance of clergy are tossed about for even the non-Orthodox to read. As if the canons of the Church were meant for mass consumption!” – A certain Eastern Orthodox Clerical Commentarain

    Which is the greater spiritual abuse to withhold Truth or to make Truth freely available?

    The most serious matter- Scripture – was written for everyone, so who is this to elevate a lesser aspect of Tradition above Scripture and call for restriction – understand this, if a man tosses the ’seed’ around, the problem in not in the properties of the seed but in the ground on which it falls – this does not mean you should stop sowing the seed [cf. Matthew 13:1-9).

    Matthew 13:8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown

    This allowing Passion to cloud Discernment – and so do you have Discernment [Diakrisis], Monk Patrick?

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