Monday, 9 October 2006

Canon law

I am currently cataloguing The canon law digest : officially published documents affecting the Code of canon law, 1917-1933 by T.L. Bouscaren (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1934). He has collected a series of question & answer sessions, as well as illustrative cases, to help priests undersand and interpret canon law. It makes it more...digestible, as it were. Well, this case on p. 518 certainly did:

Null (i.e., marriage declared invalid) - AAS 13-54
"Chinese girl, 13, in 1900, married Chinese man, 30, who was semi-fatuus [fatuus: L, foolish, silly, idiotic]. Evidence showed he did not understand nature of marriage. Rota quotes Gasparri, n. 881, on degree of discretion needed for matrimonial consent. "Simple use of reason is not sufficient." Man really was an idiot. A clear case."

Sometimes, the Catholic Church is succinct, correct, and says far more about the human condition - and itself - than it ever intended to.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

I thought you were catalogging...not reading the books :-) It'll take you forever at this rate. Mind you, then you'll be the best informed person in the world...

Jacquetta said...

Hear hear!

And she keeps us posted on funky stories from history.

Irim said...

Thank you, ladies, good to hear from you both :-).
I know, Rach, I know - but the cases that come up are fascinating, and I've always wondered, how do YOU apply a particular canon to real life? Take two cases that look identical, but the tribunal comes up with different decisions. Why? What are the factors involved? Oops, *boring alert*
Basically, watching theory applied to human stupidity is as hypnotic as a cobra's dance... Ixx