The Pastoral Companion: A Canon Law Handbook for Catholic Ministry Fourth Updated Edition by John M. Huels (review)
- The Jurist: Studies in Church Law and Ministry
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 71, Number 2, 2011
- pp. 460-462
- View Citation
- Additional Information
460 the jurist Issues.’ The index sub-divides these categories into topics allowing for ease in finding a needed answer. Each topic is covered thoroughly and succinctly. The book concludes with four brief but quite useful sections. Table A is a simple listing of the twenty-one Eastern Catholic churches sui iuris, divided according to their hierarchical structure. Table B lists those Eastern Catholic churches present in the United States. Perhaps this section could have included contact information at least for those churches with hierarchies in the United States. After the index comes a table of corresponding terms in the CCEO and CIC. From the common terms (e.g., a diocese in the Latin church is referred to as an eparchy in the East) to the unusual ones (e.g., a vicar general in a Latin diocese would be a protosyncellus in an Eastern eparchy) the text provides a list of terms that would be encountered by a parishioner or canonist. The final section, Forms of Rescripts by the Eastern Congregation, provides simple fill-in-the-blank form letters for approaching the Congregation for the Oriental Churches with a variety of requests. Examples include: the request to admit an Orthodox layperson to the Latin church, and the request for bi-ritual faculties. In future editions this section could be enhanced by providing English translations of the letters. The volume concludes with a select bibliography of books and articles related to the CCEO. The text is an extremely useful addition to the canonical library of the casual or professional reader. Michael K. Skrocki Eparchy of Newton Newton, Massachusetts THE PASTORAL COMPANION:ACANON LAW HANDBOOK FOR CATHOLIC MINISTRY Fourth Updated Edition by John M. Huels. Montreal: Wilson & Lafleur, 2009. John M. Huels’ updated The Pastoral Companion is a welcome addition to the Gratianus Series. Since 1986, The Pastoral Companion has been a mainstay for ministers. Huels synthesizes theology, ecclesiology, and law creating a manual that serves pastoral action and preserves the nuance of complex legislative texts. He highlights possible legislative deficiencies, but maintains respect for the values the law protects. Well versed in history, the author is a prudent interpreter of present-day ecclesial discipline. Since the 2003 third edition of The Pastoral Companion, several papal and curial instructions have been published that impact liturgical life: the 2004 instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, the 2005 instruction Dignitas connubii, and the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to name a few. Huels incorporates these significant texts into the treatment of his subject, for the most part, sacramental discipline. Huels calls his work a “handy reference of Church laws.” It is that and more. Huels grounds law in theology, accessing the sources for law, enabling wise interpretation and application. In promulgating the 1983 code, John Paul II noted one of its aims: to translate “conciliar ecclesiology into conciliar language” [Cf. AAS 75/2 (1983) 11]. Huels keeps postconciliar , 1983 code, and post-code legislation grounded in history, particularly in Vatican II, the sine qua non of present day liturgical law application. The author’s work consists of a preface and sixteen chapters: (1) fundamental laws and general norms, a field where Huels excels; (2–4) the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist; (5–6) those of healing: penance and anointing of the sick; (7) holy orders and (8–12) marriage. The author’s chapters on marriage: preparation; impediments ; matrimonial consent; the celebration; and dissolution, declaration of invalidity, and convalidation are perhaps most valuable to ministers who must walk couples through the either joyful beginnings or sad conclusions of a marriage. Those involved in marriage preparation and tribunal ministry will turn to Huels’ treatment of marriage often. Chapters 13–14 on other acts of divine worship, sacred places and sacred times are straightforward and helpful to ministers who often ask, “Is this allowed?” Chapter 15 on ecumenism treats various issues relating to the Catholic Church’s liturgical practice in ecumenical settings and sensitively addresses communicatio in sacris issues. Chapter 16 on pastoral administration treats the nuts and bolts of pastoral administration, ranging from, installation to term of office, and cooperation in a ministry. The work concludes with three appendices, a glossary of canonical terms, and three indexes...