From the Church Law Society
A Lecture from the
Lecture Series The Effects of Law on Society
and the Church
The Church Law
Society and the Law Chapter of the Czech
organized the 60th event in the lecture series on Monday, 30 November 2009; the
topic was “Decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic
in Matters of State Law on Churches.” The panel discussion took place in room
220 of the Law School of Charles University in Prague
and was well attended by members of the Church Law Society from Bohemia and Moravia
and the general public. Doc. JUDr. Jan Kysela, Ph.D.,
from the Department of Theory of Law and Legal Thought of the Law School of
Charles University in Prague
spoke about the role of constitutional courts in new democracies. JUDr. Jan Klail, an attorney and the
legal representative of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Pilsen,
discussed court proceedings in the matter of the Mass Foundation of Dean Josef Schöniger, Olšová Vrata, and in other matters concerning Church entities
before courts in the Czech
Republic. A number of
participants took part in the discussion following the presentations.
A Visit from the Canton
On Friday, 11
December 2009, the Church Law Society leadership, located in the office of the
Society in Prague 3, Sudoměřská 25, enjoyed a
distinguished visit from the following representatives of the Catholic Church
Council of the Canton of Thurgau, Switzerland: Mr. Peter Hungerbühler,
President of the Council, Mr. Urs Brosi,
Executive Officer and Secretary General, and Mr. August Biedermann,
Council Actuary, and his wife. The guests were informed about the activities of
the Society since it moved its offices to its new location; the guests
expressed their support for the Society.
Recognition from Rome
H.E. S.E.R.C. Zenon Grocholewski, the Prefect of the Roman Congregation
for Catholic Education, once again recognized the achievements of the Church
Law Review in his Christmas greetings. We recall with gratitude his lasting
support for conferences on Canon Law that have been organized every year at the
seat of the Diocesan Bishop in Spišská Kapitula (Slovakia)
by the Slovak Canon Law Society; a number of members of the Church Law Society have
participated in the conferences. We also recall his extremely interesting
lecture during his visit to the Prague
Church Court in 1994. The Church Law Review
printed the Latin sermon that he delivered in 1994 in the Benedictine Monastery
Church of St. Margaret in Prague
− Břevnov, which was addressed to members of Church courts (Church Law Review 2/95, pp. 123 – 125).
A.R.P. Roberto Ombres,
OP, the Procurator Generalis of the Dominican Order
and a member of the Church Law Society, regularly follows the Church Law
Review. We appreciate the warm words of encouragement that he expresses each
time he receives a new issue of the Review, as he did again in December 2009.
We recall the pleasant visit of three representatives of the Church Law Society
to his Dominican priory in Oxford in 2000, and
another visit to his Dominican General Curia at St. Sabina during a pilgrimage
to Rome in
4 December 2009, P. prof. ICDr. Mgr. MVDr. Konštanc Miroslav Adam, OP, was appointed Dean of the Canon Law
School of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
in Rome (Angelicum), and on 10 December 2009 he was appointed
Vice-President (Vice Rettore) of the
University. He was born in 1963
in Michalovce in Slovakia, where
he worked from 1987-1990 as a veterinarian and bacteriologist. In February 1989
he joined a secret novitiate of the Dominican Order and from 1990-1995 studied
theology at the Sts Cyril and Methodius School of Theology of Palacký University in Olomouc.
He worked in the Church administration in the parish Bratislava
– Kalvária and later studied Canon Law at the Angelicum in Rome
from 1996-2001, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Canon Law. In 2001
he was appointed Provincial of the newly established Slovak Dominican
Province. He taught Canon
Law at Trnava
University in Slovakia and at the Theological Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas in Kiev (Ukraine); he also served as a judge of the
Metropolitan Tribunal in Košice in Slovakia.
Since October 2005 P. prof. Adam has been a professor of Canon Law at the Angelicum in Rome; since
2006 he has also been a judge of the Interdiocesan
Tribunal for the Rome Diocese and other dioceses in the Latium region. For the past two
years he also has served as a defensor vinculi at the Metropolitan Tribunal in Los
Angeles, CA (USA). He conducted
his research at Catholic University in Lille (France), the Pontifical
University in Salamanca
(Spain), and at Providence College, RI (USA). He is one
of the founding members of the Church Law Society, which he co-founded in
On 15 December 2009 the Holy Father appointed Mons. ICDr. Stanislav Zvolenský,
the Metropolitan and Archbishop of Bratislava, a
judge of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. For a number
of years Mons.
Zvolenský was the head of the Canon Law Department of
the Sts Cyril and Methodius School of Theology of Comenius
University in Bratislava. He has been a member of the
Church Law Society/Prague since 26 August 1998.
Presentation of a Czech Translation of the Jerusalem Bible
A Czech translation
of the Jerusalem Bible was presented in the historical Baroque refectory of the
Dominican monastery at St. Giles in Prague
on 30 November 2009. It took more than 30 years to prepare the translation,
which is now published by the Carmelite Publishing House in Kostelní Vydří and by the
Publishing House Krystal OP in Prague.
The work was translated by Professor PhDr. František X. Halas and PhDr.
Dagmar Halasová, who are husband and wife; the
Dominican Order cooperated with the translators during its secret activities in
before 1989. Most notably, a former Provincial of the Order
and the current Bishop of the Hradec Králové Diocese,
Mons. ThLic. Dominik Duka, OP, provided great
assistance to the translators. A number of prominent theologians from Bohemia and Moravia
took part in specialized editing, and technical experts also invested significant
and detailed work in the publication.
Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem by Benedict XVI Amends Certain
Provisions of the Code of Canon Law
The text of Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem by Benedict XVI, dated 26
October 2009, was presented in the Vatican on 15 December 2009; the
document amends certain provisions of the Code of Canon Law in two areas.
The first area is
the canons on the holy orders, in which the diaconia
of liturgy, word and charity function of deacons is clarified. After this
clarification the function of acting “in the person of Christ” − the Head
of the Church (in persona Christi Capitis) – is no longer attributed to deacons.
The second area is
marriage law, where certain exemptions are eliminated; these exemptions were
originally made to the requirement of the Canon Law compliant form of marriage
and concerned the obstacle of difference of religion and prohibition of mixed
marriages for Catholics who defected
from the Catholic Church by a formal act (actus
ab Ecclesia Catholica).
The significance and formal requirements of this legal act were refined in 2006
by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts; this
amendment returns the legal regulation to the previous status under the former
Code of Canon Law that was promulgated in 1917.
This Motu Proprio has not yet been
officially promulgated; the promulgation should occur through its publication
in Acta Apotolicæ Sedis (AAS), and according to Canon 8 CIC/1983 the law will
be effective three months after the date of publication in an AAS issue. The
Church Law Review has prepared a translation but will publish it after the
official promulgation; it will be published with an appendix documenting the
amendments to CIC/1983 and CCEO as introduced by this Motu
Proprio and also by the Motu
Proprio of John Paul II Ad tuendam fidem
from 1998 (a translation of which was published in Review No. 10 – 2/98 at pp.
124-127). The Church Law Review is also preparing articles on the topic.