Canon Law

The Latest

The cross of the German “Synodal Way.”

German Catholics write letter to Rome over Synodal Way, warn of ‘serious scandal’

Jun 13, 2024

By AC Wimmer

A Catholic committee has turned to the Vatican in an attempt to avoid a permanent Synodal Council to oversee the... Read more

Bishop Michael Olson.

Judge dismisses Texas monastery’s lawsuit against Fort Worth bishop

Jul 1, 2023

By Shannon Mullen

The Carmelite nuns of the Most Holy Trinity Monastery in Arlington, Texas, plan to appeal the judge’s ruling. Read more

Bishop Michael Fitzgerald on the day of his consecration as a bishop on Aug. 6, 2010.

Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fitzgerald retires after 4 decades serving Archdiocese of Philadelphia

May 24, 2023

By Courtney Mares

With degrees in both civil and canon law, Fitzgerald served as the judicial vicar and the founding director of the... Read more

Father Paul Hedman, the priest behind CanonLaw.Ninja.

Canon law copyright case: Priest’s website stays online thanks to new translation

Mar 20, 2023

By Tyler Arnold

A popular canon law website will continue to offer its content to the public despite fears that it would have... Read more


Here’s why a popular canon law website will have to remove much of its content

Mar 16, 2023

By Tyler Arnold

Father Paul Hedman created the website CanonLaw.Ninja to provide users with a searchable, up-to-date translation of the Code of Canon... Read more


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