The Catholic University of America

Course Descriptions

Canon Law (CL)

To view the complete schedule of courses for
each semester, go to Cardinal Station.

CL 692: Directed Readings (Licentiate)

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 696: Licentiate Thesis Research

0 Credits

This course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.

CL 698A: Licentiate Comprehensive Examination (w/Classes)

0 Credits

no description available

CL 698B: Licentiate Comprehensive Examination (w/o Classes)

0 Credits

Enrollment in this course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.

CL 700: Study Visit Roman Curia

0 Credits

no description available

CL 701: History of Canon Law

3.00 Credits

Legal texts: church orders, Oriental collections, Dionysiana, Hispana, Pseudo-Isidorian forgeries, Decretum of Burchard, collections of Ivo of Chartres, the formation of the Corpus Iuris Canonici, developments after the Council of Trent. Church structures: the episcopate, presbyterate, patriarchate, papacy, councils, and the like.

CL 702: Seminar in Sources

3.00 Credits

Readings in Gratian, the Decretals, the Glossa ordinaria, and the commentators before the Council of Trent. Required for J.C.D. candidacy.

CL 711: General Norms I

3.00 Credits

Introduction to the Church's legal system and in particular Book I of the Code of Canon Law. Canons 1 to 95 examined in the light of the canonical tradition, documents of the Second Vatican Council and the revision of the law. Includes the following: specificity of the Code, law, custom, general decrees and singular administrative acts.

CL 712: General Norms II

3.00 Credits

A study of the second part of Book One of the Code of Canon Law. Includes physical and juridic persons, juridic acts, the power of governance, ecclesiastical offices, prescription and the computation of time. Canons 96-203.

CL 715: American Law for Canonists

3.00 Credits

Following courses on the juridical structure of the Church, norms of Church governance, marriage and religious freedom, this course provides students with an overview of the American legal system. Basic principles of American constitutional law and governance are touched on, with an emphasis on aspects of American law that are especially relevant to canon law today. As such, the course endeavors to assist students in seeing more clearly the relationship of canon law to civil law, and to become aware of the most significant areas where canon law and civil law are likely to interact. The course presupposes a basic grasp of the Church's theological and juridic self-understanding. The course lays groundwork for understanding the most important issues concerning the relationship between the civil law and canon law in the United States today, with a view toward facilitating communication between canonists and civil lawyers who advise Church officials.

CL 716: Religious Liberty

3.00 Credits

Study of several aspects of the relations between Church and State. The students will be confronted with theoretical considerations and principles as well as with practical applications of the latter in national and international jurisprudence.

CL 717: Selected Issues in Canon and Civil Law

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 718: Constitutional Law of the Church

3.00 Credits

'Ius Publicum Ecclesiasticum' both Externum and Internum. Critique of historical approaches to the Ius Publicum; theological foundations in view of Vatican II; elements comprising the Church constitution. Canons 3; 204-207.

CL 719: The Second Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law

2.00 Credits

The course shall investigate the documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the fundamental fons of the Codex Iuris Canonici. The course will begin with an introduction to the Council itself from its inception by Pope John XXIII to the promulgation of its texts. The course shall then turn to the implementation of the conciliar texts and the revision of the Codex. The conciliar documents themselves shall be the primary focus.

CL 720A: Ordained Ministry

3.00 Credits

The canonical study of the sacrament of orders and the legal state associated with that sacrament. Issues include the selection, training, ministry and life of the ordained as well as the sacrament itself: reception, minister, requirements, and irregularities and impediments. Canons 232-293; 1008-1054; 1708-1712.

CL 721: Structures of the Particular Church

3.00 Credits

Theological-canonical reflections on the various structures whereby the particular church is organized for mission. 1983 code in light of Vatican Council II and post-conciliar legal developments, some comparative analysis of the 1917 code. The nature of the particular church, the office of diocesan bishop, the diocesan synod, the diocesan curia, consultative bodies such as the presbyteral council, the finance council and the college of consultors, the office of pastor, and the structure of the parish. Canons 368-430, 460-555.

CL 722: Administration in the Diocesan Curia

3.00 Credits

Contemporary theories of management and communication applied to the diocesan curia as described in the Code of Canon Law and actual practice from a representative sampling of United States dioceses. Specific concerns such as planning, organizational structure, record keeping, confidentiality, budgeting, and relating to agencies outside the diocese. Offered alternate years.

CL 724: Law for Consecrated Life

3.00 Credits

This course examines the history, nature, spirit, and purpose of life consecrated by the evangelical counsels. It presents an overall history of the beginnings and evolution of this gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Further, it demonstrates how the Church treasures and preserves this divine gift through stable forms of living, while encouraging these forms to grow and flourish in accord with the spirit of the founders and their sound traditions (canon 576).

CL 725: Selected Issues in Consecrated Life

2.00 Credits

Research and case-study seminar on practical current issues in consecrated life: constitutions, incorporation and separation procedures, government, apostolate, administration of goods, rights and obligations, recourse. Prerequisite: 724.

CL 726: Special Issues in Lay Ministry

2.00 Credits

The course considers various aspects of lay ministry; definition, interpretation and implementation of pertinent canons on office and power of governance, parish staffing (c. 517.2), employment practices and preparation for ministry. Also, cc. 208-231 on obligations and rights of the Christian faithful and lay Christian faithful, as well as cc. 298-329 on Associations of the Faithful.

CL 727: Philosophy and Theology of Law

3.00 Credits

A study of select philosophers and theologians whose views on the role of law in society and in the Church have shaped the canonical system of law and continue to provide keys for its interpretation and development.

CL 728: Supra-Diocesan Structures of the Church

2.00 Credits

Theological-canonical issues pertinent to Latin church governance at the universal and intermediary levels. Reflections on petrine ministry and college of bishops/ecumenical council, synod of bishops, college of cardinals, Roman Curia, and pontifical legates. Observations on provinces and regions, metropolitans, particular councils with particular attention directed to episcopal conferences. Canons 330-367; 431-459.

CL 728N: Medieval Papacy

3.00 Credits

This seminar will concentrate on the history and development of the papacy from the Age of Reform in the eleventh century to the Age of Conciliarism in the fifteenth century. The pontificates of Popes Gregory VII, Alexander III, Innocent III, Innocent IV, Boniface VIII, John XXII, Martin V will receive special emphasis. The course will focus on the development of papal monarchy during this period and its effect on the structure and institutions of the Church. A final research paper will be required. There is no language requirement.

CL 729: Liturgical Law

2.00 Credits

The nature of liturgical legislation. The discipline of the Constitution on the Liturgy, implementing documents, and the praenotanda of the Roman liturgical books. The authority of diocesan bishops and conferences of bishops. Particular liturgical books and norms. Relation of liturgical legislation to the Code of Canon Law, especially canons 2, 834-839.

CL 730: Liturgical Law: Selected Issues

2.00 Credits

Building on the foundation of CL 729, this seminar will devote time to an in-depth examination of selected issues in liturgical law of interest to the instructor and the students. Possible issues include the development of specific liturgical books or ritual elements, authorities competent to regulate the liturgy, vernacular translations, liturgical inculturation, music, and art. Prerequisite: CL 729 Liturgical Law.

CL 731: Sacramental Law:Selected Issues in Discipline of Church's Sanctifying Office

3.00 Credits

Theological-canonical reflections on selected questions in the canons of Book IV, other than the sacraments of orders and marriage, in light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, postconciliar legislation, and the process of revising the Code of Canon Law. Particular emphasis on issues in the sacramental law of Christian initiation, penance, and anointing of the sick. Selected questions in Part II (other acts of worship) and Part III (sacred places and times) of Book IV.

CL 732: The Sanctifying Office: Parts II and III

2.00 Credits

This course will explore Parts II and III of Book IV on the sanctifying office. Attention will be given to the universal law and applicable particular law on acts of divine worship (outside of the seven sacraments) and to sacred places and times in light of the teaching and discipline of the Second Vatican Council and post-conciliar legislation. Prerequisite: CL 731 Sacramental Law.

CL 734: Juridical Structure: Sacrament of Matrimony

3.00 Credits

A study of the principal canons on matrimony in their historical and doctrinal context. The canonical definition of marriage and its ends and properties, canonical preparation for marriage, impediments, mixed marriage, dissolution of the bond, separation, convalidation, sanation. Canons 1055-1094, 1124-1165.

CL 735: Selected Issues in Marriage

2.00 Credits

Canons 1142-1150 sketch the circumstances in which the Church will dissolve valid marriages. This course examines the theory behind these exceptions to the principle of marital indissolubility, the conditions which must be met for dissolutions to be granted, and the procedure to be followed when processing these cases.

CL 736: Theology of Marriage: Foundations in Theological Anthropology

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 739: Matrimonial Jurisprudence

3.00 Credits

An examination of the nature of jurisprudence and of selected capita nullitatis of particular relevance to practitioners in church courts; so-called traditional capita but also various psychological bases for nullity. Writing and critique of briefs and sentences. Canons 1057, 1095-1103, 1107. Prerequisite: 734.

CL 740: Selected Issues in Matrimonial Jurisprudence

2.00 Credits

A more detailed examination of selected grounds for marital nullity in light of the jurisprudence of the Rota and American courts. Prerequisite: 739.

CL 740A: Jurisprudence of the Roman Rota

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 741: Procedural Law

4.00 Credits

A general overview of key issues in the law on the formal process in the 1983 code with reference to the marriage nullity process in particular; competence, tribunal organization, procedural capacity, the opening of the formal process, the rules of evidence, the decision, and ways of impugning the decision. Canons 1400-1691.

CL 742: Selected Tribunal Issues

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 743: Procedural Law in the Causes of Saints (Beatification and Canonization)

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 744: Temporal Goods

3.00 Credits

This course considers the ownership, administration and alienation of ecclesiastical goods, normally after students have acquired some background in the history of canon law, general norms, sacramental law and particular Church structures. The canon law of temporal goods can only be understood properly in relation to the Church's theological self-understanding and the role that temporalities have played in the history of the Church. It is especially important that students understand the canon law of temporal goods in relation to the doctrine of the Incarnation and its implications for the Church's ownership and use of material things. The Church asserts a fundamental right and responsibility to own and use material things. How the Church's structure is understood theologically and given concrete expression juridically affects the exercise of this fundamental right and fulfillment of the responsibilities it gives rise to. This concern should likewise influence the way Church entities are structured in civil law. After a brief consideration of the theological context in which the Church's law of temporal goods should be understood and the historical development of theological concepts that inform the current norms of the Code regarding temporalities the course will begin to consider the norms of the Code themselves, starting with the general principles outlined in the introductory canons of Book V. Interwoven with the treatment of the introductory canons will be a consideration of the temporal context within which the Church's regulation of temporalities is to be understood (a brief history of Church/State relations with respect to the Church's ownership and use of property, and the contemporary context in this regard). Following the structure of Book V, the course will go on to consider norms that apply to the acquisition of goods by Church and specific Church entities. Because of the relationship between the acquisition of goods for the Church's use and the necessity of identifying exactly what person or entity has acquired them, at this point in the course attention will also be given to the ecclesiological context within which the canon law of temporal goods is to be understood and applied (that is, how authority is distributed in the Church and various discrete entities capable of property ownership are created and identified), and the civil context (how those same persons and entities gain recognition before the civil law for purposes of protecting and vindicating property rights). Norms that apply to the administration of Church goods will then be taken under consideration, and then norms that apply to contracts that affect the ownership and use of Church goods. As the Code itself does, special attention will be given to contracts and transactions that involve the alienation of Church property. Finally, pious causes and pious wills and foundations will be considered.

CL 745: Due Process

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 746: Protection of Rights in Administrative Life of the Church

3.00 Credits

Contemporary concern for rights within the Church, causes and implications; canonical tradition and the protection of rights; categories of rights and their respective bases; selected human, ecclesial, and ecclesiastical rights; necessity of juridical protection of rights within the Church; nature of juridical protection; juridical protection in the new Code of Canon Law; administrative justice; ecclesiastical due process; administrative courts. Canons 208-231, 1713-1716, 1732-1739.

CL 747: Selected Issues in the Law on Clergy

2.00 Credits

Some controverted questions concerning the rights and obligations of diocesan clerics; e.g., responding to complaints of sexual misconduct, issues regarding reassignment to ministry, voluntary petitions for return to the lay state, structuring policies and practices on leaves of absence, nonpenal disciplinary actions. Topics adjusted to needs and interests of participants. Prerequisite: 720.

CL 748: Confidentiality and the Law

2.00 Credits

Survey of issues relating to confidentiality in civil and canon law: the seal of confession and the 'priest-penitent' privilege; other evidentiary privileges in civil law; principles of moral theology with respect to confidentiality; 'mandatory reporting' laws; secret archives' etc. The course will consider areas of potential conflict between the two legal systems and the bases for claiming protection in civil law for confidential communications and other information considered confidential.

CL 750: Teaching Office of the Church

2.00 Credits

Canonical aspects of the Church's teaching office or magisterium. Canons 747-833 examined in the light of the documents of the Second Vatican Council from both doctrinal and disciplinary aspects. The ministry of the word, including preaching and catechetical formation; missionary activity, including the catechumenate; Catholic schools and higher education; communications media.

CL 751: Sanctions

3.00 Credits

Some background reflections on the post-conciliar revision of penal law. Systematic examination of key substantive penal law institutes in the 1983 code; notion of delict, penal authority, imputability, types of penalties, application and remission of penalties, etc.; administrative and judicial penal procedure; penalties for specific delicts. Canons 1311-1399, 1717-1731, and related canons, especially April 2001 motu proprio 'Sacramentorum sanctitatus tutela' and USCCB 'Essential Norms.'

CL 757: Selected Issues in Chancery Practice

2.00 Credits

Some practical issues involving canon law faced by those who work in diocesan curiae: e.g., personnel management, dealing with extern clergy, investigation of complaints of sexual misconduct, developing policies, administering temporal goods, disputed issues in liturgical law, dealing with recourses to the Holy See.

CL 758: Special Procedures: More Grave Delicts

2.00 Credits

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is solely competent in penal matters related to the most serious delicts [graviora delicta] committed by clerics and members of the lay faithful. The course will examine the substantial and procedural norms of universal law governing the graviora delicta as well as the applicable particular ecclesiastical law for the United States. It will also provide practical guidance in the implementation and application of these norms.

CL 760: Roman Law

3.00 Credits

Selected institutes of Roman public and private law as they have influenced the development of canon law and aid in its interpretation.

CL 771: Survey of Eastern Canon Law

2.00 Credits

Ecclesiological background. Codification and revision of Eastern canon law. Orientalium Ecclesiarum. The 1990 Code of Canons for Eastern Churches. Hierarchical and collegial governance; synodal governance. Structures in patriarchal, major archiepiscopal and autonomous metropolitan churches. Eparchies and exarchies. Pertinent canons on the Church's teaching and sanctifying missions. Selected canons on procedures and sanctions.

CL 784: Ecumenism and Canon Law

2.00 Credits

The attitude and regulations expressed in the code and in pre-Vatican II legislation concerning persons and religious institutions other than Roman Catholic. A study of the documents issued during and since Vatican II dealing with ecumenical matters and their canonical implications. Questions concerning the reception and administration of the sacraments in an ecumenical context.

CL 788: Special Issues in Church Governance

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 795: Tribunal Internship

1.00 Credits

no description available

CL 800: Seminar in Canonical Studies

3.00 Credits

Introduction to doctoral study of canon law, research and writing at the doctoral level. Discussion of selected topics in canon law, experience in research and moderating group examination of questions of special interest.

CL 802: Readings in General Norms

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 803: Readings in Clergy, Laity, Ministry

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 804: Readings in Church Structures

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 804A: Readings in Eastern Church Structure

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 805: Readings in Religious Law

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 805A: Readings in Liturgical Law

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 806: Readings in the Church's Office of Teaching

2.00 Credits

Selected issues in the area of Teaching Office in the Church (book III of the Code of Canon Law) will be dealt with. In the Spring Semester of 2008, the focus will be on catholic universities and the application of the apostolic constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae.'

CL 806A: Bishop and Magisterium

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 807: Readings in the Church's Office of Sanctifying

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 808: Readings in the Church's Office of Governance

3.00 Credits

The aim of the course is to provide a canonical overview of issues connected with the governance of the Church. Assigned readings will be discussed with the professor on a weekly basis. The student must have prepared the readings and prepared specific questions on issues raised.

CL 808B: Eastern Churches: Synodal Governance

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 808C: Eastern Churches: Relationship with Rome

2.00 Credits

The Historical and Contemporary State of the Eastern Churches in Their Relationship with Rome.

CL 809: Readings in the Law on Temporal Goods

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 810: Readings in the Law on Penalties

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 811: Readings in Procedural Law

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 866: Readings in Ecumenism

2.00 Credits

no description available

CL 892: Directed Readings (Doctorate)

3.00 Credits

no description available

CL 996: Doctoral Dissertation Research

0 Credits

This course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.

CL 998A: Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (w/Classes)

0 Credits

no description available

CL 998B: Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (w/o Classes)

0 Credits

Enrollment in this course bills at the equivalent of one credit hour.