Canon Law

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Anglican04, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    Hello friends! I might be called to become a priest, so I thought why don't I prepare for that and educate myself now by studying canon law? I am stuck on what to study though because each of the autonomous Member Churches (of the AC), have a different canonical system. Should I study TEC canons? I don't really have a desire to learn about their canons because theirs is more contemporary, despite being based of the English canons. I also think TEC will be dead by the time I get into college, so me studying theirs would be relatively pointless. I was thinking maybe I should study the Church of England's canon law because they have an ancient, highly developed canon law, which is what I am looking for. Or perhaps the ACNA's canon?

    All replies are greatly appreciated, God bless! :)
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Congratulations on your initial thoughts. Please consider and continue to discern your vocation. In today's world, you need to recognize that you will be a missionary priest. Being effectively in uncharted waters, as a missionary priest it's not canon law you'll have to know most of all, but divine law, and natural law in order to make a defense of God to a post-Christian world.

    That being said, you should definitely have an understanding of ecclesiastical law, both the historical cases and today's examples. First and foremost, this means the historic canons of the Church of England:
    -the 1570s canons
    -the detailed 1604 code of canons
    -the proposed 1640 canons
    -and the various tomes of commentary on the canons in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

    Then I would definitely study the first codes of TEC canon law in the 1790s, which were based on the CofE ones but with less emphasis on the state and the monarchy.

    And then I'd look at ACNA's most recent edition of canons, which is quite good. Eventually you would probably want to connect with the Rev. Phil Ashey, who is the most prominent canon lawyer in ACNA right now. He was appointed by the Archbishop to constantly watch over and grow the ACNA canons, so at the provincial Synods every couple of years he is known to constantly propose new amendments and new canons, to grow the body of law carefully and organically, in harmony with historic precedent. You'll find his sessions on the canons in the ACNA livestreams.
    Cameron and Anglican04 like this.
  3. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    N Ireland
    Traditional RomanCatholic
    My young friend, as a former seminarian my advice to you is belay study of canon law until seminary. Now is a time for developing your prayer life in order to discern Christs will for you
  4. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Having watched a few of those sessions, he is another man I can’t regard with higher esteem. He has a brilliant mind and he knows his stuff so well!

    @Anglican04 you are good to discern your vocation now. As in the post quoted here, you will indeed, I believe, be a missionary priest, of that be your vocation, as every orthodox doctrine is under attack. Also, as Aidan has experienced the seminary, I would take his advice to heart. The first thing to get down is a good and hearty prayer life so that you can personally respond to Almighty God, and know His will for you in this life. Then, all the canon law stuff will fall in place. Not without difficulty, but like a puzzle with a thousand pieces. Because that is the Christian life: hard to put together, but once you have the frame, piece by piece it gets easier because of begin to understand the why and how of each piece’s position.
    Aidan and Anglican04 like this.

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