This unit together with DC9002C Canon Law B aims to provide students with an understanding of the role of law in the life of the Catholic Church. Emphasis will be placed on the development of the law of the Church since apostolic times and its relationship with theology. It is also an introduction to and commentary on current canonical legislation as expressed mainly in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and subsequent legislation, including local legislation. Particular attention will be paid to the basic principles of the interpretation of the law and its pastoral application in selected areas, including legislation concerning governance and relevant areas relating to the exercise of various forms of pastoral ministry.

Unit code: DC9001C (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Canon Law

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of the role of law in relation to the dogmatic, moral and pastoral theology of the Church.


Demonstrate a critical understanding of the basic principles of the interpretation of the law and an ability to apply them in concrete pastoral situations.


Show evidence of a working knowledge of the general structure and content of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and an awareness of other current legislation, in particular local legislation.


Critically evaluate the relevance, importance and binding force of specific legislative documents.


Exhibit an understanding of the governance structures of the Church on the universal, diocesan and parish levels, and the modes of accountability at each level.


Undertake a specific research exercise to demonstrate competence in canonical methodology and the ability to apply the law to pastoral situations.

Unit sequence

At least one of CT2121C/3121C; CT2131C/3131C; CT2141C/CT3141C


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

* = set texts recommended for purchase

  • Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium. Rome: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1990. Pontificia Commissio Codicis Iuris Canonici Authentice Interpretando. Codex Iuris Canonici. 1989.
  • *The Code of Canon Law in English Translation. London: Collins, 1983.
  • Beal, John B., James A. Coriden, and Thomas J. Green, eds. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. New York: Paulist, 2000.
  • Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. The Canon Law: Letter and Spirit. Alexandria: E. J. Dwyer, 1995.
  • Caparros, Ernest, Michael Theriault, and Jean Thorn, eds. Code of Canon Law Annotated: Prepared under the Responsibility of the Instituto Martin de Azpilcueta. 2nd ed. Montreal: Wilson & Lafleur, 2004.
  • Coriden, James A., Thomas J. Green, and Donald E. Heintschel, eds. The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary. New York: Paulist, 1985.
  • Flannery, Austin, ed. Vatican Collection. Vol. 1, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents. Rev. ed. Northport: Costello, 1992.
  • –––. Vatican Collection. Vol. 2, Vatican Council II: More Post-Conciliar Documents. Dublin: Dominican, 1982.


  • Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1909–.
  • Canon Law Digest: Officially Published Documents Affecting the Code of Canon Law. 14 vols to date. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1934–.
  • The Jurist. Washington: Canon Law Society of America.
  • Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions. 39 vols (to date). Washington: Canon Law Society of America, 1981–.
  • Studia Canonica. Ottawa: Saint Paul University.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Skeleton Argument (e.g. Philosophy) 700 10.0
Essay 4000 50.0
Case Study 1000 20.0
Oral Examination

20-minute oral examination

1500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-07-22 22:21:27 +1000