Ap LXXVII 3-4 (2004), 679-696: P. Gherri: Teologia del Diritto canonico: elementi per una fondazione epistemologica, (Article)

G. offres a series of reflections on the new subjet of "theology of canon law" which now forms part of the first cycle in canon law faculties following the decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education of 2 September 2002. The term "theology of law" (or "Theology of canon law" - the phrases have tended to be treated as interchangeable) has been used in the second half of the twentieth century by many different authors, and has caused confusion and ambiguity. In the climate of anti-juridical mistrust which accompained the revision of the Code, the suggestion of Pope Paul VI that canon law be considered in a "theological" way was accepted by many authors as a change to "appropriate" a generic formula, frequently using it for ideological purposes. Most of these developments can be traced back to K. Morsdorf, who insisted on creating a "theology of [canon] law" as the "fundation" for the legitimate presence of [canon] law within the Church seen as "communion" and guided by the charisms of the Spirit. There were further developments in later decades, among which is to be included the latest anthropological and theological proposal of G. Ghirlanda, recently reinitiated by M. Visioli. Other aucthors such as F. D'Agostino and D. Composta also took advantage of the opportunuty. Nevertheless the most problematic contribution is that of E. Corecco, who used the phrase "theology of [canon] law" to indicate what should really have been described as a "general theory of canon law". This approach, together with other "sensationalis" suggestions such as the interpretation of the concept of canon law ad ordinatio fidei instead of ordinatio ratoinis, and the replacing of the analogia entis by the analogia fidei, lead in G.'s view to serius problems. The possibility offered by the 2002 reform of canonical studies is, he argues, that of a "theology of canon law" as a supra-disciplinary introduction to the necessary relationship between theological and canonical sciences.

In: Canon Law Abstracts, (2006/2), n. 96, 9.