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THE MISSING LINK IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE CCEO CANONS Jobe Abbass, OFM Conv.* Introduction In a 1998 article, Ivan Žužek, who had acted as secretary of the Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Orientalis Recognoscendo (PCCICOR) from its inception in 1972 until the promulgation of the 1990 Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium (CCEO), mentioned a cer-tain gap in the CCEO canons’legislative history as published in Nuntia . Žužek stated: I also ask you to keep in mind that information is missing on the amendments to the Eastern Commission’s schemas made by the Coetus de coordinatione between the time of the denua recognitio and the 1986 Schema Codicis Iuris Canonici Orientalis (SCICO) published in Nuntia 24/25, that is to say, a period of almost four years, from 1982 to 1986. To determine the exact dates of these amendments, one needs to have access to the index of this coetus’ decisions, which I compiled for the commission’s archives, coupled with an important volume containing the very systematic minutes of the coetus’ meetings. For almost all the decisions, one can easily determine the exact date and, often, also the reason for the amendments. It would be easy to fill this gap by publishing these two documents, evidently without profit, given their strictly technical character.1 In fact, the Coetus de coordinatione had been constituted by the presidency of PCCICOR at the beginning of 1984 to carry out a systematic coordination of the eight schemas that had been formulated by its other study groups in view of the new Eastern code. This coetus, presided over by PCCICOR’s vice president, was composed of five consultors, including the commission’s secretary.2 To guide the work of this expert study The Jurist 71 (2011) 173–200 173 * Faculty of Canon Law, St. Paul University, Ottawa 1 Ivan Žužek, “La ‘Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis’ et les deux Codes,” L’Année Canonique 40 (1998) 22. 2 See Nuntia 19 (1984) 93. 174 the jurist group, seven directive criteria were established. Specifically, the coetus agreed to concentrate: 1) on picking up imperfections of language and style and on their amendment to be made by concrete proposals in such wise, however , as not to upset the text of a given canon; 2) on the elimination of all the inconsistencies, both inside and outside the individual canons, with a view to giving the entire code a coherence, as far as possible complete, in every respect; 3) on the examination and precise definition of the exact meaning of individual juridical terms with the idea of precluding every possibility of ambiguity and semantic polyvalence of terms (which could entail a certain monotony of expression, which is, however, more preferable in juridical texts than imprecision) and of giving the entire code a complete uniformity and precision on a terminological level; 4) on checking the exactness of all the references that appear in the canons of the draft of the CICO; 5) on the organization of the titles; 6) on checking the logical and systematic order of the individual canons in the various sections of the code; 7) on the appropriateness of picking out those differences with the new Code of the Latin Church which can be eliminated without prejudicing, however, the Eastern character of CICO.3 In fascicle 27 of Nuntia, entirely devoted to the work of the Coetus de coordinatione, there is a report covering the group’s deliberations and decisions from 1984 until after the second plenary assembly of PCCICOR in 1988. However, regarding the first phase of the coetus’ work in which the experts methodically ordered the eight schemas into the one 1986 SCICO, the more detailed report of its proceedings was not published but remained in the commission’s archives. The coetus stated: It would be possible to make a detailed report about the work of this coetus, given that we have the indexes and minutes of the meetings, that make up altogether over 550 very concise pages. 3 These criteria are first reported in Nuntia 19 (1984) 93–94, repeated in Nuntia 21 (1985) 68, and essentially stated again in Nuntia 23 (1986) 118. That is beyond the...


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