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Rev. Phillip J. Brown, JCD

Rev. Phillip J. BrownPast President

Rev. Phillip J. Brown, pss, JCD


  • Member of the Society of Saint Sulpice
  • Priest of the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, ordained 1989

Canonical Education:

  • JCL, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1997
  • JCD, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1999

Experience in Ministry and Especially Canon Law:

    • Rector/President of Theological College of the Catholic University of America
    • Économe Général (General Treasurer), Société de Saint Sulpice
    • Assistant Professor of Canon Law, School of Canon Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (2006-2010)
    • Canonical Consultant: Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archdiocese of Boston, Diocese of Wilmington, St. Mary’s Seminary & University (Baltimore), Order of the Most Holy Trinity, Conception Abbey Seminary/Conception Abbey (MO), The Jospehites, JP Morgan Chase Banks
    • Tribunal Judge, Diocese of Bismarck (1999-2001)
    • Adjutant Judicial Vicar, Diocese of Bismark (1999)
    • Professor of Canon Law, St. Mary’s Seminary & University (2001-2006)
    • Dean, School of Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, MD (2004-2006)
    • Pastor-St. Wenceslaus Church, Dickinson, ND (1999-2001)
    • Pastor-St. Philomena Church, Glenburn, ND (1990-1995)
    • Chaplain-Bishop Ryan HS, Minot, ND (1989-2005)
    • Chair-Priests Personnel Board, Diocese of Bismarck (1992-1995)
    • North Dakota Catholic Conference: Holiness of Human Life Committee (1991-95); Board of Directors (1999-2001)
    • Priests’ Benefit Association (Retirement Board)-Diocese of Bismarck (1990-95; 1999-2001)
    • Vocation Team-Diocese of Bismarck (1993-95)
    • Board of Directors-Abused Women’s Resource Center, Minot, ND (1991-95)
    • Advisory Board-Clinical Pastoral Education Program, Trinity Hospital, Minot, ND (1992-95)
    • School Board-Trinity High School, Dickinson, ND (1999-2001)

Service to the Society:

  • Member since 1999
  • Chair, Canon & Civil Law Committee (2003-2008)
  • Pre-Convention Workshop "51 to 1: Issues in Canon and Civil Law" (2005)
  • Consultor, Board of Governors (2007-2010)
  • President, Board of Governors (2013-2014)


  •  Canon Law and Seminary Formation, Sulpician Journal, 2002-2003.
  • "The Interpretation of Canon Law: A Concise History from Gratian to CIC 1983," Appollinaris (Canon Law Journal of the Lateran University, Rome), Spring 2004.
  • "Justice Law and War,” America Magazine, August 18-25 2003.
  • "The Non-Sacramental Internal Forum:  A Matter of Conscience,” Touchstone 22, no. 1, January 2008
  • Diccionario General de Derecho Canónico , s.v."Declarative Interpretation; "Extensive Interpretation; ” "Restrictive Interpretation; ” "Strict Interpretation, University of Navarre, Pamplona, 2008.

  • "Free Exercise and the Incarnational Nature of the Catholic Faith,” Festchrift in Honor of Jack Lynch, The Jurist 68:1 (2008) 223-251.

  • "Canon Law: Faith or Reason?” in Between Text and Context: Hermeneutics and Scriptural Politics in Religion and Human Rights, published in Proceedings of 2006 Conference on Hermeneutics, Utrecht.

  • "Droit Canonique: Foi ou Raison” (French language version of "Canon Law Faith or Reason,” translated, edited and re-written by the author, presented for publication in Revue de Droit Canonique, Strasburg 2008.

  •  "Prescription & Statutes of Limitation,” CLSA Proceedings of the Seventieth Annual Convention, (Washington: CLSA, 2008) 383-451.
  • "Due Process in American Civil Law and The Right of Defense in Canon Law,” CLSA Proceedings of the Seventieth Annual Convention, (Washington: CLSA, 2008) 355-382.

  • "Canon 1692 (Legal Separation): A Pastoral Option,” Studies in Church Law IV (Bangalore, India: St. Peter’s Institute, 2008) 215-252.

  • "The Juridic Structure of Catholic Schools in Canon and Civil Law,” Proceedings of the National Catholic Education Association SPICE Conference (2008).

  • "Square Pegs in Round Holes: Toward A Better Model of Parish Civil Law Structures,” The Jurist 69:1 (2009) 261-310.

  • "The 1983 Code and Vatican II Ecclesiology: The Principle of Subsidiarity in Book V,” The Jurist 69:2 (2009) 583-614.

  • "Structuring Catholic School Boards,” Proceedings of the National Catholic Education Association SPICE Conference (2009).

  • "Societies of Apostolic Life: The Evolution of a Canonical Institute,” The Jurist: Festchrift in Honor of Sr. Rose McDermott (Catholic University of America-School of Canon Law).

  • "Defining a juridic person: A cautionary note from a canon lawyer.” Short article in NCEA Notes, March 2009.

  • "The Perils of Bankruptcy: Rights and Obligations Regarding Clergy Support,” Studia Canonica 45:1 (2011) 27-66.
  • Rotal Jurisrudence: Selected Translations, (contributor; Washington: CLSA, 2011) 191-212; 227-246.
  • "Lex Iurandi Lex Credendi,” Bulletin Saint Sulpice, 2012/01.


  • Practiced civil law-Bismarck, ND (1979-1985)
    •  Trial and appellate experience in all state and federal courts in ND.
  • Member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court (1987-present)
  • Member: The United States Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Law Intern-U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Prisons-Regional Office, Kansas City, MO.
  • Special Assistant Attorney General-State of North Dakota State Pardon Board; Parole & Probation Dept.
  • Advisory Boards: Early Childhood Development Program (Bismarck, ND), Abused Women’s Resource Closet (Bismarck, ND), Native American Urban Re-Location Program (Bismarck, ND), Laotian/Southeast Asia Mutual Assistance Association (Bismarck, ND)
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