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  • Canon Law and the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith
  • Kurt Martens (bio)

Editor's Introduction

The celebration of the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is scheduled to begin in Rome on October 7, 2012. The theme of the Synod is: "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith." At the same time, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, to begin on October 11, 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Year of Faith will conclude on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on November 24, 2013.1 It is no coincidence that the starting date of October 11, 2012 is not only the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Blessed John Paul II. And in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.2 The importance of the new evangelization cannot be denied, as is shown by these three important events, and brings us inevitably to the question: What is the role of canon law in this new evangelization? Knowledge [End Page 1] of and respect for the canonical discipline is indispensable to the Church's response to the call for a new evangelization. Likewise, the study of the text of the law must also look at the mind of the legislator, and therefore requires knowledge of its juridical, canonical and theological foundations. Given the importance of the new evangelization for the life and the future of the Church, two articles in this issue focus on the new evangelization and canon law. The opening article is written by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, while the second article comes from Monsignor Ronny E. Jenkins, General Secretary of the USCCB and Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Canon Law of the Catholic University of America.

Also in this issue we have five contributions which result from the Spring Canonical Seminar of the School of Canon Law, held in Washington DC on March 25-26, 2011. The theme of that seminar was: "Temporal Goods for Diocesan and Parish Officials." The presenters at the seminar have further elaborated on their presentations and we are proud to present the results in this issue.

Two more contributions complete the current issue. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Mark L. Bartchak elaborates on child pornography as a reserved and most grave delict, and delves into the tradition of the Church on this subject matter. The article was first published in Periodica, but given the importance of the grave delict of an offense against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor, and the relation of child pornography to this delict, with permission we republish the article here in The Jurist, to promote the understanding of the grave delict as it relates to child pornography. Finally, John Chrysostom Kozlowski, OP, looks into the question of the necessary theological and canonical requirements involving the laity and liturgical preaching.

As I assume my responsibilities of editor of The Jurist, it is appropriate for me to thank a number of people in the first issue published under my editorship. First of all, I want to express my gratitude to my predecessor, Monsignor Thomas J. Green, who became the editor of The Jurist after the premature death of his own predecessor, Father James H. Provost on August 26, 2000, for his leadership in all these years, and for being the guarantor of the quality of our journal in that period. Likewise, I want to extend my gratitude [End Page 2] to Sister Rose McDermott, SSJ, for her years of service as the book review editor. As she prepares to retire from the Catholic University of America, I thank her for her service as book review editor. I am also grateful that Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, has agreed to assume the responsibility of book review editor. Of course, I have an editorial board to rely upon for assistance and...


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