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Surprised by Canon Law, Volume 2: More Questions Catholics Ask about Canon Law Paperback – 15 Oct 2007


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Canon law--could it possibly have any relevance to your life? More than you might think. This legal system that governs the day-to-day workings of the Roman Catholic Church deals with matters that touch the life of every Catholic. The authors follow up their successful first book with answers to even more questions. Topics include: Can someone be denied a church funeral? Under what circumstance might a priest be removed from his role? How do parishes merge and what happens to their property? What is excommunication? How is it applied? What is the procedure for the election of a pope? What is the process for declaring someone a saint? This book is a clear and lively guide to laws that undergird the life of the Church.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Truely Surprised by Great Selection of Questions 22 Feb. 2008
By Nancy Carpentier Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Surprised by Canon Law 2 was a bit of a surprise to me. I didn't really think that it would contain any surprises. I thought that I was a fairly well informed Catholic who knew pretty much about the Church.

So, I surprised myself by sitting down to read this book, and discover that there was something I didn't know: I really was supposed to abstain from meat on Fridays. Not just Fridays during Lent (as I had thought)--but every Friday. I have acquaintances who recently decided to abstain from meat on all Fridays and I thought they were just bringing back an archaic practice, for fun, I guess: I didn't know why.

So, since I found this out on page 6, I decided I'd better read on and find out what else I didn't know.

From the beginning to the end, Surprised by Canon Law 2 contains many great questions and equally great answers. I found interesting reading all the way through. At the very end of the book, I discovered answers to questions I'd recently been asked about ecumenism, so that was very handy.

Questions in this second book are particularly relevant to the faithful in my area, where churches are being reorganized and merged. How do parishes merge? What happens to parish bank accounts and property in a merger? and How does a new parish get a name? were just some of the interesting questions found in this volume.

Anyone who had questions regarding church life, parish life, priestly life, consecrated persons life, the conference of bishops, the canonization of saints, or the election of a pope should find this book quite interesting, even if prior to this, you didn't even know you wondered about Canon Law.

Surprised by Canon Law Volume 2: More Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law is surprisingly interesting reading. Buy it together with Surprised By Canon Law: 150 Questions Laypeople Ask About Canon Law and you will know much more than your friends about Canon Law.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
100 of Your Questions About Canon Law Answered 12 July 2009
By ruthjoec - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Do we still have to abstain from meat on Friday? My pastor is awful; is there any way to get rid of him? The bishop is closing my parish; what happens to our stuff? Why is the Church still supporting that $%($ child molesting priest? The answers to those questions and more are in my latest read. Surprised by Canon Law, Volume 2, is presented in the form of 100 questions, with answers. Each answer cites the Canon (or section) of Canon Law that applies and explains the answer. The book includes chapters on Sacred Times and Places, Holy Orders, Institutes of Consecrated Life, Parish Life, Church Goods, Conferences of Bishops, Officers of the Roman Curia, The Canonization of Saints, The Election of a Pope, Penal Law, Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments, The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism.

So, what are the answers to my teaser questions?
Do we have to abstain from meat on Friday? Canon 1251 states that abstinence from meat or some other food is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a major feast falls on that day. The book goes on to explain why we abstain, and states that Canon 1251 envisions that there may be a food other than meat from which it is more appropriate to abstain (I guess that there isn't much penance involved in substituting lobster for bologna). It further says that the faithful may substitute in whole or in part, other forms of penance, charity or piety. In the US the faithful may substitute abstinence on all Fridays except the Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday.

My pastor is awful, can we get rid of him? Canon 1740 states that when a pastor's ministry becomes harmful or at least ineffective, the bishop can remove him from his role. Canon 1741 expands on what would constitute harmful or ineffective ministry. Those things are summarized as: acting in a way that harms or disturbs ecclesiastical communion; an illness of mind or body that causes the pastor to be unable to fulfill his duties; a loss of reputation among upright and serious-minded parishioners or and aversion to the pastor that is expected to continue; grave neglect of or violation of duties which persists after a warning or persistently bad administration of temporal goods, with grave harm to the Church. The book goes on to point out that parishioners cannot remove a priest; it is the sole prerogative of the bishop to do so.

What happens to our stuff if the parish closes? Canons 121 and 122 address this. Basically, the assets and debts go to the new parishes.

Why is the Church still supporting priests removed for molesting kids? Because the Church has an obligation to care for its clerics; further equity requires that a man who has spent a large part of his adult life in service to the Church rather than gathering retirement assets should not be left without support in his old age.
The answers given in the book are clear and concise. The questions are in bold-faced type so it is easy to skim the book for answers to particular questions. It doesn't deal with doctrine, but rather with the way things are done. If you are REALLY interested in Canon Law, you can find the whole code online. If you are more normal, I'd suggest this book, as well as the first volume in the series.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended to Catholics everywhere 7 May 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
How does the canon law of the catholic church apply in today's world - how does it apply to everyday American Catholics? The second volume of "Surprised by Canon Law: More Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law" believes it may be more than most believe. Seeking to inform Catholics more about the religion that they may have lost touch with, informing them on various topics like elections to papacy and sainthood, excommunication, funerals, and more. "Surprised by Canon Law: More Questions Ask About Canon Law" is highly recommended to Catholics everywhere and for community library collections on religion with a focus on Catholicism.
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