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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Vatican City, 22 January, 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, the schedule for the Study Day “The Code: A Reform Desired and Requested by the Council” (25 January, Pius X Hall, Rome) marking the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law was presented. The study day has been organized by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the International Institute of Canon Law and Comparative Studies of Religion in Lugano, Switzerland and is sponsored by the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation and the John Paul II Foundation. Participating in the conference were Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of that dicastery, and Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation.

Cardinal Coccopalmerio began his address with the recollection that Blessed John XXIII, in his speech convening Vatican Council II in 1959, explained that the Council’s legal scope was to bring about the awaited revision of the 1917 Code. “In his broad perspective, the Pope saw clearly that the revision of the Code had to be guided by the new ecclesiology that emerged from an ecumenical and a global summit such as the Council.” Blessed John Paul II, under whose pontificate the Code was promulgated, also repeated that “the council’s ecclesiological structure clearly required a renewed formulation of its laws”.

“As John Paul II emphasized at the beginning of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Sacrae disciplinae leges’, the reason for the close relationship between Vatican Council II and the Code of Canon Law was that the 1983 Code was the culmination of Vatican II … in two ways: on the one hand, it embraces the Council, solemnly reproposing fundamental institutions and major innovations and, on the other, establishing positive norms for implementing the Council.”

The president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts then cited various examples of the strong bond between Vatican Council II and the Code of Canon Law.

The first is the “doctrine regarding the episcopate and the relationship between the episcopate and the primate, that is, episcopal collegiality. This is not entirely new doctrine in the deep consciousness of the Church but rather a happy discovery. The Code firstly, in canons 330–341, represents this clearly, and secondly, in canons 342–348,  accompanies it with the positive view that constitutes the structure of the Synod of Bishops, allowing effective implementation of the structure of episcopal collegiality.”

A second example is the “Council’s teaching on the laity and therefore on the appropriate and active mission of the lay faithful in the life of the Church. Once again, this is not absolutely new but more a rediscovery … through a series of regulations … regarding the diocesan pastoral council or … the parochial pastoral council. They are structures that allow the faithful laity to effectively participate in the pastoral decisions of the bishop or the pastor. This innovation is also the eloquent voice of the faithful relationship between Council and Code.”

“A third example may come from the conception of the parish as presented by the Council and implemented by the Code. Ultimately, the Council conceives of the parish as a community of believers, not as a structure or a territory. This represents an important innovation with respect to the previous point of view. The Code receives this concept, particularly in canon 515, and sanctions it with the positive regulations of the following canons.”

A final example of doctrine and innovation provided by the Council in the area of ecumenism “resides in the conciliar documents ‘Lumen gentium’, ‘Orientalium Ecclesiarum’, and ‘Unitatis redintegratio’, which show the doctrine of ecclesial communion as still imperfect yet real and existent between the Catholic Church and other Churches or non-Catholic communities. This is also a fact of incalculable value and scope already found in the Council and then later in the Code (cf. canon 844), with the possibility of welcoming non-Catholic Christians, even if under specific conditions, into the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

“In conclusion,” finished the cardinal, “we can affirm that the happy union between Vatican Council II and the Code of Canon Law has produced fruits of renewal in the life of the Church in many areas and on many levels.”


Vatican City, 22 January, 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in audience the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong. Following the audience with the Pope, First Secretary Trong and his entourage then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

This is the first time that a general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam has met with the Supreme Pontiff and other administrators of the Secretariat of State. During the course of cordial discussions, topics of interest to Vietnam and the Holy See were covered, expressing the hope that some pending situations may be resolved and that the existing fruitful cooperation may be strengthened.


Vatican City, 22 January 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:

  - Fr. Daniel Jodoin as bishop of Bathurst (area 18,770, population 113,900, Catholics 103,700, priests 47, religious 166), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in 1957 in Granby, Quebec, Canada, was a novice of the Verbites, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1992, having completed his formation at the seminary of Sherbrooke, Canada. He holds a licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Since his ordination he has served in several pastoral and administrative roles, most recently as pastor of Bon-Pasteur parish in Sherbrooke, director of the Office for the Clergy, and coordinator of the Sherbrooke Seminary.

  - Msgr. Gerardo Antonazzo as bishop of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo (area 1,426, population 155,900, Catholics 152,900, priests 103, religious 187, permanent deacons 16), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Supersano, Puglia, Italy in 1956 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1981, having completed his formation at the Major Seminary of Rome, Italy. He holds a licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He has served in several pastoral, administrative, and academic roles, most recently as rector of the Basilica-Sanctuary Santa Maria de finibus terrae in Leuca, Italy and diocesan administrator of Ugento-Santa Maria di Leuca. He was named a chaplain of His Holiness in 2007.

  - Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano as director of Vatican Television and secretary of the Administrative Council of that same agency. Msgr. Vigano teaches in the “Redemptor hominis” Pastoral Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, Italy.

  - Mr. Angelo Scelzo as vice director of the Holy See Press Office for the accreditation of journalists. Mr. Scelzo was previously undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication.
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