“A more dangerous reductionism is that which claims to interpret and apply the laws of the Church in a manner that is detached from the teaching of the Magisterium. According to this view, Only formal legislative acts and not doctrinal pronouncements would have disciplinary value. It is obvious, that those operating from this reductionist perspective could sometimes come up with two different solutions to the same ecclesial problem: one drawn from the texts of the Magisterium, and the other drawn from canonical texts. At the root of such a conception is an impoverished idea of canon law that identifies it only with the positive dictate of the norm. This is not right”

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Pope St. John Paul II

Address to the Participants in the Day of Study on the theme “Twenty Years of Canonical Experience”

January 24th, 2003


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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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