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  • Editor’s Introduction
  • Kurt Martens

When the editor of an academic journal writes his introduction to the latest issue, a sense of relief comes over him. Not only does this mean that all of the contributions are assembled, but that the journal is ready to go to the typesetter. Countless hours have been spent to ensure not only a good balance between the various topics treated in the issue but to guarantee the quality of the journal, beginning with double blind peer review and the careful editing of each of the contributions. It is also an opportunity to thank all the collaborators and authors. Without them, this endeavor would not be possible.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples is, together with the episcopal conferences and ordinaries, committed to bring the local Churches in mission territories to adopt that which is provided for by canon law to allow, in union with its own pastoral life, the administration of justice, which is the source of a peaceful existence. His Eminence, Fernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, focuses on the reception of the Code of Canon Law in mission territories and explains how the faculties granted to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples assist in this work.

What is the relationship between the state of consecrated life and the new ecclesial movements? Msgr. Markus Graulich, S.D.B., Under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, but above all a well-known scholar in canon law, focuses on this question in his contribution. The [End Page 1] Second Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law emphasize that all the Christian faithful must direct their efforts to lead a holy life and to promote the growth of the Church and its continual sanctification, according to their own condition. There are two possibilities that exist to realize this important Christian vocation in a form of community: one can join an association or one of the new ecclesial movements, or one can enter an institute of consecrated life. The author explains that these are two different vocational paths and emphasizes that there are certain risks if these vocations are mingled.

Fermina Álvarez Alonso of the Center for Studies and Research “Second Vatican Council” at the Pontifical Lateran University in Vatican City State observes that the Second Vatican Council remains silent about a theological juridical reception of the secular institutes. In her contribution, she presents these institutes from their first juridical recognition in the apostolic constitution Provida Mater Ecclesiae (1947), follows their journey during the work of the Second Vatican Council, and explains the contributions of secular institutes in the life of the Church.

On October 29, 2015, Rev. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave the Ninth Annual Frederick R. McManus Memorial Lecture at the School of Canon Law of The Catholic University of America on “The Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue: Achievements and Hopes.” He prepared his text for publication in this issue of The Jurist.

Canon lawyers know that independent general administrative norms are rather numerous in documents of the Roman Curia. The existence of these independent general administrative norms is however not acknowledged in the Code of Canon Law, much to the frustration of these same canon lawyers. These norms are scarcely mentioned in the canonical doctrine. John Huels addresses this lack of recognition, first, to avoid incorrect assessments of their juridical value and, second, to offer assistance to canonists in accurately categorizing the norms in documents of the Roman Curia and evaluating their juridical weight. He concludes his contribution with a proposal for a revision of canons 29–34.

In last issue of 2015 of The Jurist, we were able to publish five contributions on the revised and simplified procedure for the declaration of the nullity of marriages, introduced with the promulgation of the motu [End Page 2] proprio Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus for the Latin Church and the motu proprio Mitis et misericors Iesus for the Eastern Catholic Churches, in effect since December 8, 2015. This issue continues that good tradition by offering an additional five...


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