The Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) released two books: “Complementary Norms to the Code of Canon Law” and “User Guide for Book VI of the Code of Canon Law." During the 35th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI held on January 30, 2024, in Bangalore, His Eminence Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão released the two books.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal Anthony Poola, Archbishop George Antonysamy, Archbishop Anil Couto, Bishop Antonysamy Savarimuthu, Father Stephen Alathara, Father Merlin Rengith Ambrose, Mr. Nigel Fernades, and Mr. Peter Purdue were present during the release ceremony.
During the meeting held on January 24–30, 2023, the Commission for Canon Law and Other Legislative Texts presented the updated Complementary Norms, which were unanimously voted on by the 34th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI.
The Dicastery for the Evangelization approved the updated Complementary Norms on August 8, 2023, consisting of 43 general decrees.
Canon 455 authorizes bishops’ conferences to enact or adapt certain canonical provisions to suit the specific needs of their local church. Building on this, the CCBI initially promulgated its set of complementary norms in 1994.
The many recent revisions in the Code of Canon Law involved a meticulous revision of existing complementary legislation by the CCBI’s Commission for Canon Law and Other Legislative Texts.
With their continued dedication, knowledge, and diligence, the Chairman of the Commission, Most Rev. Antonysamy Savarimuthu, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, and the Deputy Secretary General, Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara, meticulously carried out the revision process.
The insightful guidance of Cardinal Oswald Gracias steered the project toward precision. All these meticulous efforts and canonical erudition culminated in the revised legislation receiving the “recognitio"—official” pproval—from the Dicastery for Evangelization at the Holy See.
This extensive revision ensures that the complementary Norms of CCBI remain aligned with the latest developments in the universal Church while addressing the specific context of the Catholic community in India.
CCBI is grateful for the tireless efforts of the Commission members, whose expertise and dedication were instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
The revised Complementary Norms cover many areas, including ecclesiastical governance, pastoral ministry, and the administration of church property. It provides clarity and guidance for dioceses, parishes, and individual members of the faithful in navigating various legal matters.
This significant update marks a new chapter in the legal framework of the Catholic Church in India.
The revised Complementary Norms will serve as a valuable resource for bishops, canonists, chancery officials, and pastoral ministers in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Church and effectively responding to the pastoral needs of the faithful, always remaining faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church.
The recently released publications, Complementary Norms and the User Guide for Book VI of the Code of Canon Law stand as authoritative resources that showcase the CCBI's extensive efforts with the help of the Commission for Canon Law and Other Legislative Texts.
The meticulous crafting of these documents stems from the collective wisdom and dedication exhibited during the assembly.
For those interested in obtaining copies, please get in touch with [email protected] or call Mobile: +91-9886730224.
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