Questions of Canon Law

lreli1380  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

Questions of Canon Law
5 credits
30.0 h
Christians Louis-Léon;
This course assumes no prerequisites.
Main themes
It provides a pragmatic introduction to a religious legal system, i.e. the current law of the Catholic Church. (Other teachings on canon law are also provided in other programs organized by UCL). The course introduces students to the practical arrangements for legal intervention in the Catholic Church, managing the religious status of more than one billion followers worldwide. A mainly technical analysis is adopted to introduce more specific topics of canon law, chosen by the students.
The specificity of canon law over state law or in relation to other religions is analyzed about marriage and its forms of nullity and dissolution; about ecclesiastical status; about penal canon law against abuse in religious practices (e.g. the crisis of sexual offenses), about the status of religious courts.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


At the end of this course, the student will be able:

-   to understand the locus and role of canon law within the life and practice of the Roman Catholic Church understood as a community of believers;

-   to evaluate the relationship between canon law, State law and human rights as a joint project for good citizenship;

-   be able to find (at least some) ways of resolving issues using canon law.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
After an introduction that defines the fundamental concepts of canon law, the course presents a brief historical overview of the evolution of canon law. This path will help identify methodological problems with canon law and uphold the criticisms that have been addressed to it.
Based on these explanations, the course will present the main structures of canon law and then the major issues of the effectiveness of canon law: rights of the faithful, sacramental law, procedures of appeal.
Next, an analysis illustrated by a concrete case is conducted on two completely distinct matters: ' the canon law of religious marriage (with a special awareness to the contemporary debates within the Catholic Church and the society as well);'''the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church (sanctions, procedures, status of victims).  In addition, students may also choose another specific focus: canon law control to dissidence and doctrinal abuse; canon law about the relations between different religions and beliefs; status of the lay faithful (specific engagement to Catholic marriage, engagement in society, engagement in a religious NGO)
Evaluation methods
Works: Some short papers will be required on specific focuses along the semester. They will be included in the final evaluation.
Oral examination in three parts:  a question drawn at random from a list provided at the end of the course'''presentation and discussion of a brief personal research, proposed during the semester, and the resolution of a practical case, especially from reading a canonical judicial sentence (translated into French).
Other information
without object
Un syllabus est disponible.
Le Codex de droit canonique (1983) est indispensable (en accès libre sur internet).
Cfr le moodle du cours.
CHRISTIANS, L.L., Le mariage en droit canonique, Bruxelles, Larcier, 1995, 100 pp.
VALDRINI, et al., Droit canonique, Paris, Dalloz, 2e ed., 1999
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme

Minor in Christian Theology

Additionnal module in Religious Studies

Additionnal module in law