Vatican City, Sep 19, 2019 / 06:30 am
Pope Francis said Thursday that canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue with Orthodox and Oriental Churches.
“Many of the theological dialogues pursued by the Catholic Church, especially with the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Churches, are of an ecclesiological nature. They have a canonical dimension too, since ecclesiology finds expression in the institutions and the law of the Churches,” Pope Francis said Sept. 19.
In an audience with members of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, Pope Francis said: “Canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue,” adding that “ecumenical dialogue also enriches canon law.”
Canon law is the Church’s legal discipline, it gives expression to concepts like natural and divine law, and orders the Church as an ecclesiastical society. It explains and safeguards the rights and duties of the faithful of all orders of church life: laity, clergy, bishops, and religious.