http://www.catholicherald.co.uk - The first English translation of the Pope's announcement on harmonising Eastern and Latin canon law. Translated by Fr James Bradley and Ed Condon

APOSTOLIC LETTER GIVEN MOTU PROPRIO

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF FRANCIS

BY WHICH ARE CHANGED

VARIOUS NORMS OF THE CODE OF CANON LAW

Moved by Our constant solicitude for the concordance between the two Codes We became aware of some points not in perfect harmony between the rules of the Code of Canon Law and those of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

The two codes have, on the one hand, common standards, and on the other, peculiarities, which make them mutually independent. It is however necessary that even in the particular rules there be a sufficient amount of correlation. In fact these discrepancies could affect negatively on pastoral practice, especially in cases which pertain to the relationships of individuals belonging respectively to the Latin Church and to an Eastern Church.

This is particularly true in our day in which the mobility of the population has effected the presence of a large number of Eastern faithful in Latin territories. This new situation generates many pastoral and legal issues, which need to be resolved with appropriate standards. It must be recalled that the Eastern faithful are obliged to observe their own rite wherever they are (cf. CCEO c. 40 § 3; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 6) and therefore the “competent ecclesiastical authority has the serious responsibility to provide them with appropriate means for them to fulfill this obligation” (cf. CCEO c. 193 § 1; CIC c. 383 §§ 1-2; post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Pastores Gregis, 72). Legislative concordance is certainly one of the means by which the development of the venerable Eastern rites is beneficially promoted (cf. CCEO c. 39), allowing the Churches sui iuris to act pastorally in the most effective way.

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