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2010 Convention: Theme
Renewal of Law

The CLSA Board of Governors has selected the above-mentioned theme for the 2010 annual convention.

The "renewal of law” is a foundational theme which occasions reflection on the role of canon law, attitudes towards the law, and the study and operation of the law. These are activities which are intrinsic to most bodies of law. The 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Latin Code occasioned various conferences in 2008-2009 which reflected on a quarter century of experience of this revised legislation. Speaking to the congress convened in Rome in January 2009 by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on the occasion of this 25th anniversary, Pope Benedict XVI reflected that "Church law is, first and foremost, ‘lex libertatis:’ law that makes us free to follow Jesus.” This statement identifies not only a canonical principle; it also echoes the fundamental attitude of discipleship. The Gospel that Jesus preached is the basis of this new law of the Kingdom of God.

Canon law must continually echo this theme of gospel freedom as it seeks to give expression to the various structures of the Church. These structures protect the rights of the faithful, direct the sanctifying mission of the church especially through the sacraments, and give guidance to those entrusted with the responsibilities of teaching and governance. The greater the law reflects this gospel freedom, the greater is the fidelity of the Church’s mission. As the Church continually encounters new situations and challenges, there is constantly operative the renewal of law in light of this gospel mandate.

Pope Benedict XVI further identified a threefold dynamism of the Church’s legislation: it should be current, complete and consistent. He entrusted this task in particular to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. The President of this dicastery, Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, in responding to this responsibility, has invited the various faculties and societies of canon law to collaborate in this task of renewing the law, and thus to indicate where such revision is desirable. The various addresses and seminars will similarly address this theme which will promote a greater fidelity to the gospel and stewardship of the law.

October 2009
Board of Governors

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