We must, therefore, suspect the new legislation of codifying the same errors and so be ready not to accept all its “laws,” [principle
9] but only those which
do not evidently compromise Catholic teaching on faith or morals.
For the most part, we may regret the loss of clarity, precision and integrity the 1917 Code of Canon Law had, but that is insufficient reason to
reject these canons.
There a few novelties that must be rejected
Canon 844, §4 allows the administration of penance, anointing of the sick, and even holy communion to non-Catholics who manifest
“Catholic faith” (vs.
7) in these sacraments.
This used to be considered a mortal sin and was gravely forbidden
(1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 731, §21) because it implicitly denies the
dogma, “Outside the Church, no salvation” (principle
This is an inadmissible surrender to modernist
Canon 1055, §1
no longer defines marriage by its primary end, the procreation of children, but mentions this only after a secondary end, the good of the spouses. And this latter, as we can see in the light of annulments now given, has become the
essence of marriage [vs.
principles 5 & 6]: the partners
give each other their whole selves (and not just “the exclusive and perpetual right over the body of the partner as regards the acts capable in themselves of generating offspring,” 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 1081, §2) for their self-fulfillment in wedlock (canon 1057, §2).
There is considered to be no marriage where one spouse cannot provide the other this help (canon 1095, 20 and 30, canon 1098, etc.,
cf. canon 1063, 40). Whence today’s annulments’ fiasco: in the United States, for example, there were 338 annulments granted in 1968; there
were 59,030 in 1992.
Hence grave doubts are to be held concerning the annulments issued by
Canon 336 codifies the collegiality of Vatican II. The
“college of bishops,” a 20th century invention, is now made a
permanent subject, together with the pope, of supreme and full power over the Universal Church. A bishop, moreover, participates in this universal jurisdiction
by the mere fact of his consecration (cf. canon 375, §2).*
becomes all the more disconcerting when one considers the recognition now
given by the Vatican to the Orthodox bishops. Cf., Pope Paul
It is on the heads of the
Churches, of their hierarchy, that the obligation rests to guide the Churches
along the way that leads to full communion again. They ought to do this
by recognizing and respecting each other as pastors of the flock of Christ
entrusted to them...
Quoted at Balamand, by the Joint International Commission for the
Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox
Church, Final Statement §18 cf., §14; Ut Unum Sint
This collegiality tampers with
the divine constitution of the Church, derogates from the pope’s powers, and
hampers his government of the Church (and that of the bishops in their
dioceses). “episcopal conferences” now assume authority, which thus becomes impersonal and
These are but the most grave deficiencies; other defective points include the following:
mixed marriages (canons 1125, 1127),
diminution in censures (excommunication of freemasons, etc.),
the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas is no longer strictly enjoined in seminaries (canons 251ff), and
general absolutions are more readily available (canons 961-963, etc.).
In passing, it is interesting to note that for Pope John Paul II the
1983 Code of Canon Law has less weight than a conciliar constitution.