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  • Las Universidades Católicas: Ensayo de Teología del Derecho canónico, by Iván Federico Mejía Álvarez
  • Sean O. Sheridan, T.O.R.
Las Universidades Católicas: Ensayo de Teología del Derecho canónico, by Iván Federico Mejía Álvarez. 6 vols. Bogotá: Digiprint Editores, 2011.

Las Universidades Catolicas: Ensayo de Teología del Derecho canonico is a six-volume study on certain theological and canonical principles applied to Catholic universities. The work is divided into two major parts. The first major part, which encompasses two of the volumes (1:1–290; 2:1–303), considers the contribution of a hermeneutical model to the theological foundations of canon law. The second major part, which encompasses [End Page 599] the remaining four volumes of the series (3:1–525; 4:1–578; 5:1–370; 6:1–198), examines the application of this hermeneutical model to select canons that pertain to Catholic universities, namely, canons 748 §1; 809; 811 §2 and 820. The author also discusses the relationship between these specific canons and certain general norms of Pope Saint John Paul II's apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae on Catholic universities (6:124–150). The series is an updating of the author's 1996 doctoral thesis in canon law (1:71–76). While much of the work focuses on theological study and even some study of Sacred Scripture (e.g., 3:1–525), the majority of the canonical analysis is embodied primarily in volumes 2 and 6.

In volume 2, the author examines each of the chosen four canons (cc. 748 §1; 809; 811 §2; and 820), including their foundations in the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, certain documents from the Holy See and the application of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, and the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. For example, in section III of Chapter III of volume 2, the author undertakes a study of canon 811 §2 (2:178–226). The reader will recall that canon 811 §2 requires Catholic universities to offer classes that treat theological issues: "In individual Catholic universities, there are to be classes which especially treat those theological questions which are connected to the disciplines of their faculties." The exegesis of the provision entails: a study of its relationship with the 1917 Code of Canon Law and other sources for the canon (2:178); the Vatican II documents Gravissimum educationis and Gaudium et spes and articles 10 and 62 of these documents, respectively (2:179–190); parallels in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, particularly c. 643 (2:190–191); a study of the provisions of canon 811 §2 itself (2:191–222); and the author's own interpretation of its provisions (2:222–225). Throughout the remainder of volume 2, the author undertakes similar and helpful analyses of canon 748 §1 (obligation of all persons to seek and observe the truth); canon 809 (conferences of bishops to establish Catholic universities or faculties, if possible and expedient); and canon 820 (ecclesiastical universities and faculties to cooperate with other faculties). From time to time, the author also summarizes information in useful diagrams and charts (2:226; 2:232).

In volume 6, the author performs a review of certain canonical commentators who have addressed the four canons pertinent to his discussion. For example, following on the examination of canon 811 §2 undertaken in volume 2, the author presents the thinking of five canonical [End Page 600] commentators: Lamberto de Echeverría (6:105–106); José María González del Valle (6:106); Francisco Javier Urrutia, S.J. (6:106–107); Antonio Benlloch Poveda (6:107); and Davide Cito (6:108–112). For each of the relevant canons, the author adds his own comments to further expound upon his analysis of the canon embodied in volume 2 (e.g., 2:222–225; 6:112–118).

Perhaps of most interest to the canonist working in this field is the author's application of his study of the four select canons to each of the general norms embodied in Ex corde Ecclesiae, as well as certain relevant portions embodied in Part I of the...


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