Canon Law

The Latest


Canon lawyer on Father Pavone's dismissal from priesthood: Only the Pope can issue a decision without appeal

Dec 18, 2022

By Shannon Mullen, Kelsey Wicks

Father Gerald Murray, a canon lawyer, offered insights from canon law regarding unanswered questions about the dismissal of Frank Pavone... Read more

Pope Francis in April 2022

A question of ‘delicate balance’: How might Pope Francis reform the rules of the conclave?

Aug 25, 2022

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Who will manage the Vatican when a pope resigns, is unable to govern, or passes away? And according to which... Read more

Alex Shingleton and Landon Duyka deliver a 'Gospel reflection' during Mass at Old St. Patrick's in Chicago, Ill., June 19, 2022.

Can laity preach at Mass? Chicago parish offers pulpit to same-sex couple

Jun 22, 2022

By Jonah McKeown

A Chicago Catholic parish is facing questions after the pastor allowed a couple in a same-sex marriage to offer a... Read more

Martin Navarro, a layman and founder of the group the Oblates of St. Augustine, is refusing to obey his bishop's demands that he no longer fundraise, identify himself as "brother," dress in a habit, and construct a chapel in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

'Br. Martin,' self-described monk with large Twitter following, says he won't heed bishop's warning

May 19, 2022

By Joe Bukuras

Martin Navarro  — whose “Br. Martin” Twitter account has more than 11,000 followers — told CNA he won't acquiesce to... Read more

Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, May 18, 2022.

Pope Francis changes rules for major superiors of religious orders

May 18, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

The change allows religious brothers who are not priests to lead their religious communities with Vatican permission. Read more

St. Peter holding the keys.

Pope Francis updates canon law on dismissal from religious institutes

Apr 26, 2022

By Courtney Mares

The change follows sweeping reform of the Catholic Church’s penal sanctions. Read more


German diocese hires self-identified transgender man to teach religious ed

Apr 8, 2022

By CNA Staff

A German diocese has granted a biological female who identifies as a transgender man permission to teach Catholic religion to... Read more


What has Pope Francis changed about Mass intentions? A CNA Explainer

Mar 16, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

Here’s what a recent clarification from the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary means. Read more

Pope Francis gives a Regina Coeli address at the Vatican on May 2, 2021

Will the latest canon law changes further delay the Vatican’s new constitution?

Feb 21, 2022

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The blueprint for reform of the Roman Curia has been years in the making. Read more

St. Peter's Dome.

Are Pope Francis’ changes to canon law true decentralization?

Feb 16, 2022

By Andrea Gagliarducci

In practice, the pope has imposed decentralization by centralizing decisions upon himself. Read more

Pope Francis’ general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Feb. 9, 2022.

Pope Francis seeks ‘healthy decentralization’ with new changes to canon law

Feb 15, 2022

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis signed the motu proprio on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Read more


Christmas falls on a Saturday this year. What does that mean for Mass obligations? 

Dec 21, 2021

By CNA Staff

This weekend, Latin rite Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass on both Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec. 25, and on... Read more

Pope Francis’ general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Nov. 17, 2021.

Is Pope Francis’ pragmatic approach creating a crisis for canon law?

Nov 19, 2021

By Andrea Gagliarducci

A new book claims that the Church’s legal framework is being thrown into confusion. Read more

Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź.

Polish Catholic archbishop sanctioned by Vatican defends election as mayor

Jul 1, 2021

By CNA Staff

Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź insisted his new role did not conflict with canon law. Read more

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Biden's DC parish says it will not deny Communion

Jun 29, 2021

By Matt Hadro

President Joe Biden’s regular parish in Washington, D.C. issued a statement on Tuesday that its priests and ministers will not... Read more

The entrance to the office of Rep. Ted Lieu in Washington D.C. on July 18, 2017.

Congressman dares bishops to deny him Communion over support for abortion, contraception

Jun 21, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

In a series of tweets from his personal social media account over the weekend, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) called the... Read more

Poll: Regular Mass attendees say politicians who oppose Church teaching on grave matters ‘create confusion’

Jun 15, 2021

By Kate Scanlon

A poll by a Catholic advocacy group released on Tuesday found that, among Catholics who attend Mass regularly, the vast... Read more

Press Conference about amendments to Book VI of the Code of Canon Law on June 1, 2021 at the Holy See Press, Rome.

'A welcome necessity': Canon law society praises revisions to Church penal sanctions

Jun 2, 2021

The Canon Law Society of America on Tuesday expressed gratitude for the Vatican’s new revisions to Book VI of the... Read more

Pope Francis unveils sweeping reform of Catholic Church’s penal sanctions

Jun 1, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis wrote in the apostolic constitution introducing the changes that those who have committed a crime “need both mercy... Read more

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Vatican responds to bishops’ call to amend Church law on crimes against minors

May 11, 2021

The Vatican told English and Welsh bishops that it was in the process of altering the Code of Canon Law. Read more