Roman Catholics: Reforming Canon Law

Pope Paul called the Second Vatican Council "the beginning not the end" of renewal in the Roman Catholic Church, but apart from the vernacular liturgy, change has come slowly. To get on with reform, a study group of the Canon Law Society of America—representing the U.S. experts who teach and explain the church's juridical code—met this month in Pittsburgh and put forth a series of recommendations for carrying out the spirit of Vatican II.

The proposals, which emphasize human rights rather than church discipline, deal not only with the canon-law code but with basic constitutional problems of the...

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