Surprised by Canon Law: 150 Questions Catholics Ask about Canon Law


From time to time, all Catholics have them: nagging questions about church life, often prompted by some personal encounter or challenging situation:
  • Is a layperson allowed to preach a homily?
  • Is a pastor required to report to someone regarding parish finances, or is he on his own?
  • It seems like the parish council is running your parish. Does it have the authority to do so?
  • ...
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From time to time, all Catholics have them: nagging questions about church life, often prompted by some personal encounter or challenging situation:
  • Is a layperson allowed to preach a homily?
  • Is a pastor required to report to someone regarding parish finances, or is he on his own?
  • It seems like the parish council is running your parish. Does it have the authority to do so?
  • Must a child be baptized in a church, or may the baptism take place at home?
Surprised by Canon Law tackles these and many other questions, all of which have been formally addressed by the Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law. The Code—the internal legal system that governs the church’s day-to-day workings—deals with far-flung concerns of interest to the person-in-the-pew. This practical guide to the Code provides answers to a range of questions, from “Can the pope resign?” to the more sensitive query “Do you have the right to tell your bishop what the diocese needs?”

In straightforward language the authors discuss the nuts-and-bolts of church life, making canon law accessible to the everyday Catholic.  A Servant Book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867166088
  • Publisher: Franciscan Media
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 125
  • Sales rank: 1,222,789
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

PETE VERE, J.C.L., is a lay canon lawyer and freelance writer. He is pursuing a doctorate in canon law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. In his spare time he volunteers with the International Order of Alhambra, a Catholic family organization that works with the mentally and developmentally challenged. MICHAEL TRUEMAN, M.Div., J.C.L., completed his license in canon law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, after graduating from St. Peter's Seminary in London, Canada. He serves as ecclesiastical judge in the Archdiocese of Detroit and defender of the bond in the Diocese of London. Michael and his wife Cheryl have two children.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2004

    I Love these Q&As and this is a Good One!

    Usually you need true inspiration to read a book with the word Law in the title. Something like a gun to your head maybe. But that is not the case here. No problem at all reading this. Up front, let me confess that I truly love Q&As. They make me feel so smart on those few occasions when I already knew the answer they tell me. Along the way, you can usually learn a lot. This book is a treasure trove for the learning along the way. Can your child be baptized at home? Do I need an imprimatur for that new novel I wrote? Is my parish pastor supposed to be taking all of those vacations? The list goes on and on. These questions are truly informative for anyone with any interest in the Catholic Faith. The Questions are divided in a way that makes total sense, but I just kept picking it up whenever I saw it on the table, and randomly read where the pages opened. I was never disappointed. Can you really have an enjoyable, even fun, law book? A religious one no less? This book answers yes. Do not miss the end where they ask You to send Them more questions, just in case they do another volume. Get those questions in! I want another one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2004

    Finally! A canon law book for the average layperson

    Wow! As one of their former class-mates, I can't believe Mike and Pete actually pulled off such an exciting book for the average layperson. I wish I would have read this book before going to study canon law. So I more than agree with the following endorsements...<br><br>'Surprised by Canon Law presents straightforward answers to commonly asked questions about the law of the Church. This helpful book introduces the reader to the Church's rich legal heritage and makes it more accessible to the faithful. I recommend it as a valuable starting point for anyone interested in becoming familiar with canon law.'<br>+Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit<br><br>'This is far and away the most layman-friendly book on canon law I have seen. It explains everyday operations of the Catholic Church in terms of the Church's own legislation. Vere and Trueman have made canon law accessible to the average Catholic for the first time.'<br>- Karl Keating, President of Catholic Answers<br><br>'This book, like its title, contains many pleasant surprises. Written with a good sense of humor, it addresses questions that are sometimes difficult or painful. Particularly when dealing with sensitive issues, the authors have shown a fine openness of mind to new situations, and their opinions may be followed with security. I certainly recommend this book to those interested in becoming acquainted with the canon law of the Catholic Church.'<br>- Rev. Francis G. Morrisey, O.M.I., J.C.D., Professor of Canon Law at Saint Paul University<br><br>'For the average, even well-informed Catholic, sometimes even for clergy, canon law can be seen as 'an enigma wrapped in a puzzle.' That need not be the case, as the authors demonstrate so well. This volume is readable, interesting, pastoral and completely faithful to Church teaching and discipline. Its user friendly format should ensure the work a wide readership, which will be able to reply on this text to settle everyday aspects of ecclesial life.'<br>- Rev. Peter Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D., Editor of The Catholic Response<br><br>'Surprised by Canon Law fills a real need, providing a refreshingly readable introduction to canon law designed specifically for lay Catholics, who are called to active participation in the Church today. Readers indeed will be surprised at how much better they understand and appreciate canon law after reading this handy volume.'<br>- Leon J. Suprenant, Jr., President of Catholics United for the Faith

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