Path to Canon Law Studies: Rome or not?


Peace all.

For any priests who are Canon Lawyers out there—or even lay Canonists for that matter—I’d like to know what value would you see in a seminarian attending a Theologate in Rome (as opposed remaining in the states) with the intention of studying Canon Law in Rome after ordination.

Basics arguments I have heard for why the seminarian should take Theology courses in Rome are:

(1) networking will prove valuable in his ministry as a Canon Lawyer working for the diocese and being in Rome will alone provide important exposure;

(2) once ordained, having already been in Rome for 4-5 years, the man would already have connections throughout the PNAC or potentially with officials competent in Canon Law;

(3) immersion into the language and culture of the place early on will ensure that the man is acclimated to the locale and provide a smoother transition into graduate studies.

I see merit when it comes to networking, especially if this seminarian were to do his Theology years at the PNAC. Otherwise I’m afraid there isn’t a solid case for him to attend seminary at the PNAC besides the fact that it’s located in the eternal city.

Your diverse perspectives will prove valuable in deciding to make a case before the local Ordinary who will ultimately decide on sending this man to Rome or to remain here in the states.

NOTE: It is more than likely that whatever the case of the Theologate this man attends, he will end up leaving to study Canon Law in Rome (Santa Croce). Whatever can facilitate that best is up in the air right now.


This is all moot. Whether in a religious order or studying for a diocese, a seminarian (and, if selected, post-ordination student) does not choose their own path, but goes to where their legitimate superiors (the bishop or the religious order’s leadership) send him.

Obedience, and not simply doing what one wants to do, is at the core of any kind of religious dedication, whether through vows or through ordination. In both cases, one promises obedience to one’s legitimate superiors.



Each according to their capacities ,talents and interest, i think each congregation sends seminarians to the Pontifical Universities in Rome and those which are recognized by the Holy See,are prefered, that is to get a feel of the Roman spirit and familiarity,which is essential, this is a part of the formation which is a crown of virtues like universal openness ,fidelity to the Catholic Church and the Magisterium,to gain a missionary spirit and overall experience,to be well grounded and all round development of the seminarian.i think one should go for it, it i’ll have a lasting faith filled impression and experience on one’s life, which will help them in their whole life. God Bless

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