HOUSTON---Bishop Robert P. Deeley, J.C.L., was named the recipient of the “Role of Law Award,” the Canon Law Society of America’s most prestigious honor, on Wednesday, October 12, during the society’s annual convention held this year in Houston, Texas.
The “Role of Law Award” is given to an individual who has distinguished himself in the practice of canon law, serving God’s people through the use of this law of the Church. Bishop Deeley is being honored for his long record of dedication to the law of the Church in teaching, practice, administration, and pastoral assistance.
“Together, as a Society, we work to advance justice in the Church,” Bishop Deeley told those gathered for the presentation of the award on Wednesday. “We do it cooperatively and collaboratively. Our successes are part of that good which comes from a community working together. I am grateful beyond words for this honor, but I know the honor would not be mine if it were not for the good we were able to do together in serving the Church.”
Bishop Deeley earned both a Licentiate of Canon Law degree in 1983 and a Doctor of Canon Law degree (summa cum laude) in 1986 from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1978, with his appointment as secretary to the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston, he began a ministry in the Tribunal that would last for over 20 years, including eleven years as judicial vicar (1989-1999). From 2004 to 2011, he served at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Vatican City, which promotes and safeguards the doctrine on the faith and morals within the Church throughout the world.
The bishop has also lectured on canon law and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at many schools, including the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy; the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. He served as well as a translation editor for The Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition, published in 1988.
In addition, Bishop Deeley assumed the presidency of the Canon Law Society of America from 2000-2001 and has served as the society’s treasurer and on the board of governors.
Established in 1939, the Canon Law Society of America is a professional association dedicated to the promotion of both the study and application of canon law in the Catholic Church. Currently, the society’s membership is comprised of over 1,200 men and women from thirty-five countries.