What exactly is Cannon Law?

Where does Cannon Law come from and does it change…?
Thanks you.

It’s canon, not cannon. It’s the official legal code of the Church, issued by the Vatican. Yes, it does change; the present code of canon law was issued in 1983, replacing that issued in 1917.

Canon law (with one n) is the administrative law governing the functioning of the Church. It comes from the Church, and changes regularly to adapt to the times and circumstances.

I should point out that there are a handful of provisions in canon law – such as the requirement to use only bread and wine for the Eucharist, say – that reflect elements of divine law. These, of course, are not subject to change; or rather, if the canon law were repealed, the requirement would still remain in place as a matter of divine law.

There are two current codes, Latin Catholic (1983) and Eastern Catholic (1990), plus the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus:


Periodically changes occur. There are some I know of:




Cannon law is also known as ballistics:p

:thumbsup: Sometimes it is used that way… :rolleyes: sorry I couldn’t resist.


just don’t aim your Cannon Law at the Alter …

Love it :rotfl:

I’m sorry, but I can’t help myself-

Don’t stand in front of one.:smiley:

According to Canon Law, are the Orthodox permitted to receive the Holy Eucharist in the Western Church?


Very cool thread :onpatrol:


OK was helping a friend out - does someone want to throw out some scriptural basis for Canon Law making this thread an apologetics weapon or cannon

Because you might hit some girl alter boys.

Hope this helps…
The Catholic Church has what is claimed to be the oldest continuously functioning internal legal system in Western Europe, much later than Roman law but predating evolution of modern European civil law traditions. What began with rules (“canons”) adopted by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem in the first century has developed into a highly complex legal system encapsulating not just norms of the New Testament, but some elements of the Hebrew (Old Testament), Roman, Visigothic, Saxon, and Celtic legal traditions.
In the Roman Church, positive ecclesiastical laws, based upon either immutable divine and natural law, or changeable circumstantial and merely positive law, derive formal authority and promulgation from the office of pope, who as Supreme Pontiff possesses the totality of legislative, executive, and judicial power in his person. The actual subject material of the canons is not just doctrinal or moral in nature, but all-encompassing of the human condition.

I am by no means an expert- :rolleyes: I just looked this up.
Edited to add citation: The Catholic University of America - School of Canon Law, Washington, D.C.

St. Matthew 18:18 – Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

Im hoping to see the laws loosen up a little more still, to start allowing Protestants to receive more Sacraments… I honestly don’t see what harm could come from it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.