New Evangelization Needs Canon Law, Says Cardinal Burke

Vatican Official Addresses Kenya Law Society

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NAIROBI, Kenya, AUG. 30, 2012 ( The prefect of the Apostolic Signatura says that knowledge and respect for canon law is indispensable to the Church’s response to the call to a new evangelization.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated this Tuesday when he addressed a canon law conference in Nairobi, organized by the Canon Law Society of Kenya.

The Tuesday-Thursday conference was attended by some 100 priests from all over Kenya, including 10 bishops

Cardinal Burke asserted that a general ignorance of canon law must be overcome. He called for an end to a false conflict between canon law and the pastoral nature of the Church, between truth and love. And he also said that liturgical law must enjoy primacy among canonical norms, for it safeguards the most sacred realities in the Church. 

The theme of the conference was “Canon Law at the service of justice and freedom in the Church as the People of God.”

Bishop Sulameti, patron of the Kenya Canon Law Society, and Bishop Dominic Kimengich, president of the Society, in their welcoming addresses said it was an honor for the Church in Kenya to be visited by an expert such as Cardinal Burke. They noted hopes that his participation at the conference will give encouragement to the recently established diocesan tribunals, one of the fruits of previous conferences.

Fr. Aphonse Diaz, organizer of the conference for the past 10 years, has spoken of the increasing interest and attention to canon law in this country. This, he said, is expressed by the regular 100 or so priests from every diocese who attend the conference each year.

Students from CUEA (Catholic University of East Africa), including some nuns, also attend as well as participants from Uganda and Tanzania.

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Full text of Cardinal Burke’s address:

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