Obstacles to Fulfilling the Parental Canonical Duties in the Field of Catholic Education

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation 2002 191 Pages

Theology - Miscellaneous


Table of Contents


Chapter One
I. Definitions
II. Participants in Education
III. Mission and Preaching and their impacts on education

Chapter Two
I. Historical roots of education
II. The demanding role of the diocesan bishops in education
III. The border line and the norm since Vaticanum
IV. Conciliar work and codification

Chapter Three
The essence of the Christian marriage
I.The ideal marriage
II.Parental status in divorce, cohabitation and re-marriage

Chapter Four
The duties of parents according to the present law

Chapter Five
The rights of the Church in education, civil attitudes

Chapter Six
Obstacles to fulfilling the parental duties
I.A.Impediments and obstacles in canon law
I.B.Special impediments
Introduction to the term obstacles
I. Environmental Obstacles
II. Juridical Obstacles
III. Obstacles of capability


Hungarian Summary



Hungarian Laws consulted

Foreign Laws consulted



Declaration of copyrights

Except as noted, the information below applies to Talabér János such as this essay, which is defined as his own product of mind. All texts, images, logos and information contained in this essay are the intellectual property of the writer. Copyright gives the owner exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license a given work. The writer declares that he has not violated the copyrights of other authors and publishers, he avoided plagiarism and that all the things except for notes are the production of his own intellectuality.

“To my beloved wife and lovely children”

© Revised, compressed version, 2010.


Many would consider Codex Iuris Canonici to be the best choice of triggering out a new, acceptable, modern legislation in the Catholic Church[1], the origin source of maintaining the unique spells of Christ, of which faithful had to be given an up-to-date book of church disciplinae. However, in many fields the duties and rights are somehow violated, even do obstacles lie in front of them. The intent purpose of this essay, therefore, is to deal with obstacles lying before the acceptable fulfillment of duties of the Christian believers in the field of catholic education. When our dealing with the topic of catholic education, canons 793-821 are put into view. We would not, however, state that all duties are violated, and that the purpose of the editors of the code has not reached its aims. Our wish is to highlight those fields in the civil legislations where, practically proved, there are some significant obstacles preventing the faithful from giving the most proper education to their offspring. Thus, we cannot apart from drawing the historical as well as legal backgrounds to make out obvious and provable evidences.

The first chapter intends to clarify the features of the terms education and teaching. It concentrates on the church model rooted far back in the history, though the Second Vatican Council is detected as the real border line in legislation. This chapter also comes out to highlight the essence of bringing up children, and to define the parental status and duties. These obligations are viewed in two main territories such as canon law and civil law. We could have decided to put only the Hungarian situation in focus. However, the basic aim of our doctorial essay is to show a wider aspect either on canonical law and civil acts. This has made us deal with the following foreign acts: Hungarian Family Act, Deutsche Familie Rechts, Family Act (England), and other overseas Family Acts. Though it is absolutely impossible to draw up the palette of all acts, we have chosen the best and the most acceptable way to provide a very good view on civil legislations.

As having practice in teaching at schools, we have to very early define the active (sometimes passive) participants in the teaching procedure. Hence, the next part is devoted to handling the inevitable significant participants in catholic education, naming all people from parents to other lateral people who somehow are engaged with the facts. The evidence of mentioning these people is very simple: throughout a child’s being brought up, he meats a lot of people, he has a lot of confrontations and he obviously acquires knowledge that might be significant in his would-be life.[2]

Still under the title of this present chapter, it is very important to mention the form of mission and preaching prescribed by canonical law, even though the main target of this essay is not centered around these two

munus.[3] However, it is absolutely important to define them in order that we could avoid any misunderstandings later on.

When our talking about law, it could not be sufficient to talk just about the present situation in legislation, but to highlight those very significant historical stages which, without any doubts, led to the present situation, as either confirming the contemporary juridical procedures or abrogating them in the name of forming it more perfect. To make out the perfect view of history is not an easy task. However, it is already agreed that the Second Vatican Council is the most perfect event that could serve us as a dividing border. This is because, the modern legislation dates from the decisions and documents of the Council. Some experts, however, would sate that the modern legislation dates far back in the history.[4]

Before getting on analyzing the impacts of the Council, this chapter is also devoted to noting some other urgent facts. First, the effects of Reformation is worth mentioning. Did it serve as a destructive phenomenon or it was a good launch for the catholic church to change its attitudes and

ascend? Experts are still puzzled about it. For all this, the push that it provided was very successful. Second, the demanding role of the diocesan bishops is significant to comment.[5] Finally, this chapter would also like to deal with the term catechesis. It is not only the most preferable term to use in teaching procedure, but it also expresses the church prior mission to spread the spells of God all around the world. It forms, without any doubts, the basis of our essay, though the principal aim stretches over this term. For it would not be accurate to narrow the process of teaching and educating offspring into the frame of catechesis.[6]

The second chapter is of targeting to find historical evidences in legal procedure, mainly centered around two basic views: situation before and after the Second Vatican Council, and the root of the parental promise when a new-born baby is baptized. Although the parental promise is discussed in another chapter of the Code, it is absolutely essential to mention its impacts on duties. Moreover, being the possessors of parental duties stems form this

moment. Even then the Code clarifies that the duties date back to the times when the would-be mother is before delivering the child.[7]

Parallel to the rise of the demanding role of diocesan bishops, this time was absolutely abundant to mention the appearance of the professional staff. Hereby, honestly we are to note the layman religion teachers and the rise of academic studies. This rise, however, is rooted in the middle ages and went on until the end of the 19th century, when at many European universities the religious tests were suddenly removed from the university exams. Thus, this is the turning point from which the separation theory[8] launched its overwhelming crusade.

The third chapter is devoted to forming one of the core parts in our argumentative essay. This would like to describe the Christian education as it is prescribed in the Codex Iuris Canonici, and would arrange it by a special structure. First step in the process, as we suppose this could be named like that, is concentrating on the sacred catholic marriage. The marriage, which is a contract between the spouses triggered out by the mutual consensus and is - per naturalem - aimed at the joy of the spouses, and the generation and education of children,[9] is observed from other aspects. First, we try to take a look at the ‘normal’ Christian marriages, which, without any doubts, are according to the Code. In addition, we aim to point out its impacts, and the way of giving the most perfect education to the children. For all this, we are to deal with the problematic cases in order to carry out all our targets. Hence, our attention is going to turn onto the parental duties in separation[10], parental duties after a civil divorce[11], parental duties after an official declaration of the nullity of marriage[12] and finally to the parental duties in a cohabitation.[13]

Afterwards, we are supposed to draw up the consequences of the parental promise when the children are baptized. This is, certainly, the core part and basis of the possibility for a well-balanced education, where stemming from a serious will of both parents and both godparents, the promise could make up a whole structure in educating and bringing up children.

The forth chapter will launch to view the rights and duties of Christian parents prescribed by the Code. This intends, moreover, to highlight how the Second Vatican Council set the base for a new understanding of the rights and responsibilities of parents regarding the Catholic education.[14] This enhances all the possibilities that the Church of Christ could offer, even though we cannot apart from comparing the legislation in the Code 1917 and the encyclical letter, Divini illius Magistri by Pope Pius XI. The canons here observed are 796-806, drawing up a sequenced structure of parental rights and duties.

The fifth chapter is aimed at showing the rights and duties of the Catholic Church in general, the way as they are put in words in the Code. The Church, forming a unique right to educate people, lawfully claims both church- and civil Administration to produce an adequate frame for the proper education. This, however, was viewed differently in the former law.

The new Code has pointed at a liberal view[15] in this field, though the liberalism here does not meet the liberalism as a form of political agenda. Therefore, here we mean that the new law gives more alternatives to the parents, and it is also providing wider aspects on the Christian religion. In addition, this can be highly observed nowadays, when the Church preaches the catholic universities ought to be the places of research and high standard education, and should be available for all casts of the society.[16]

Until the former chapter, our doctoral essay would have liked to give a structural presentation of the previous and the contemporary legislation.

However, the moment feels like being appropriate to introduce the main core of our essay: The obstacles that forms up a bit of difficulty in fulfilling the parental duties in catholic education. Thus, our target here is not only to point out the obstacles, but to find some practical solutions for them.

The sixth chapter will have the intention to be divided into two major parts. On one hand, it is obviously inevitable to speak about obstacles in general. Many experts would ask us why we have chosen the term obstacles instead of using other words like difficulties, flaws, impediments and so on. This is, however, not only our option; as the Code defines what impediments are, we have been somehow forced to insert our term into the frame of the Code. The structure of the first part of this chapter will follow the next pattern. First, we have to throw up a question: are there any obstacles? Since our answer is a strict yes, secondly, as a matter of fact we are to define what we mean by obstacles. What is the nature of these? Do they absolutely exclude carrying out the parental duties? Do they cause incapability of parents to make deeds?[17] Obviously, they did not cause any incapability or inhabilitation. What they trigger out is, however, a concrete difficulty in the practical sphere and some major flaws in civil laws.

On the other hand, after defining the thing that lies behind the term, we have to construct our obstacles by naming them. Hence, the next part of this core chapter is to show the specified obstacles in the field of catholic education.

The first obstacle opening our list is about religious education in public schools. There is still a strong debate in initiating Religious Education as a subject in general, or Moral and Ethic education. This caused many disagreements, and in Hungary it is still a problematic sphere.[18] This also enhances another question, which follows the dilemma. How could a state maintain neutrality in religious affairs? What does state neutrality mean in this field? Is neutrality a form of total apathy? If yes, how could catholic universities function equally to the state owned ones? If they cannot function with the same support, they easily could be stamped as negatively discriminated universities. This, as starting a flow of serial actions, would be able to lead to the suppression of human rights, which at the end could question the nature of human rights prescribed by the internationally accepted Declaration of Human Rights. If not, then the state has something common with the churches, which will obviously question the theory of neutrality. As a result of our research, this status, where the border of neutrality and interference hangs on a slight difference, has been able to form a very good bed for an obstacle. For many parents will be kept in doubts about choosing between a catholic and non-catholic schools. Our concepts will be proved by showing the relevant civil and non-civil legislation.[19]

Although the new Code, unlike its ancestor, does not force the parents to choose only the catholic schools, it is very highlighted that the lines are talking about a hidden obligation.[20] This could easily lead to difficulties. Are there abundant numbers of catholic schools? Could the Christian faithful easily opt for them? Do these meet the requirements prescribed by the Code? Unfortunately, our answer could only be negative. Even then it is with a negative intensification when the Western Countries are taken in consideration.[21]

Concentrating on the procedure of bringing up offspring, we have to follow the growth of a child throughout his/her life. However, the Code itself does not mention any words about nurseries or kindergartens. Where is the place of them in the Code? What roles could be connected to them? Although it is highly agreed that they are inevitable parts of the procedure, the Code does not devote even a line to them. Is it a mistake or it has been made wittingly? What does the Code suggest? To be absolutely honest, nobody could blame the Codex itself. Hence, we have to insert the pre-school education someplace in the Code, as it has a special place to work within. Many experts[22] would suggest that these are implanted in the part where public education is dealt with. It is, additionally, totally correct when we regard civil legislation. Therefore, we might suppose that the answers to our question are hidden in the Code where general statements about the education are drawn up.

A recurring problem ought to be handled in our essay as well, since it is highly related to catholic academic education. It is the mandate to teach theological disciplines at universities. This case has always been the matter of professional discussions, stage or lecture productions. Our aim, therefore, is not to talk about it in every detail, hence it could be the major topic of another doctoral work, but to point out some important and interesting things absolutely relevant to our matters. Does the lack of the mandate ban the teacher to teach? Does it abrogate or derogate his capability? In Hungary, some the teachers teaching at a catholic university could have dual status. On one hand, they could be the employee of the church, on the other, however, they could get support from the state. The purpose of the state is to maintain equality between a catholic or a non-catholic university. What does the church and the civil legislation tell us about this?

In accordance with the previous affair, the status of the religion teachers is not clearly defined. Hereby, we would intend to speak about the following questions: what does the civil legislation tell us about the status of the religious teachers? Are they reputed as well as other teachers within a public state-owned school? Are they supported equally as the other teachers are? Notably, the civil law would like to maintain equality in support[23] – as it will be discussed later on – however, the moral respect of the religion teachers is not yet achieved. In addition, strongly related to this case, there is ranking in the school subjects. This would bring about many problems. Parents as well as children would prone to ranking the subjects, and this would lead to giving priority to the so-called compulsory subjects and forgetting about religion education. Nevertheless, it is absolutely true that this view of the school classes is the bastard of the previous dictatorial regime in Eastern European Countries, thus this anomaly would rarely occur in Western Countries. For all this, we cannot disregard mentioning this affair.

Still joining this point, there are other frequent unanswered questions. First, as mentioned above the status of the religion teachers is not yet fixed.

This inevitably enhances a flaw: could for instance a religious teacher be asked to help organize the timetable in a state school? Could a religion teacher be regarded as the member of the school staff? Could she/he be granted the same extra benefits? Obviously, our answer suggest not. However, there have not been any attempts to mitigate the depth of this social gap between religion and other subject teachers up till now. Thus we, talking about obstacles which make parental duties harder to be fulfilled, have to come up with acceptable solutions as well. It must be, therefore, the part of our main ambitions also.

In the past few pages we have intended to show some cardinal theoretical obstacles that might have impacts on parental duties. However, we have avoided naming precisely the exact matters. This has been not a fault, but the result of a constructed work. For our intention is to pile up all the matters contributed to the catholic education, and then after compressing the facts and opposites, the beings and possibilities, we will only be able to make our consequences on the affair and find adequate solutions if necessary. This must be the honest purpose of this essay.

Chapter One

I. Definitions

Surprisingly, the Codex Iuris Canonici avoids defining education and teaching children.[24] Catechesis, on the contrary, is defined, though not in the Code but in Catechesi tradendae. According to this adhortatio apostolae, catechesis is a process of education, in which children, young people, adults are educated in order to be initiated into the whole of the Christian life.[25] To speak about education, we should not apart from talking about catechesis beforehand. This is, moreover, not up to our choice. The Codex deals with catechesis before mentioning education. In addition, catechesis seems to be dealt with in another part of the Code under the title of De divini verbi ministerio in chapter two. In spite of this, the choice of categorizing the terms in this way is rather for the best construction of the Code than a fault

that should be ignored.[26] Hence, to simplify the term, catechesis is a process in which religious information is transferred towards people. This process, on the other hand, forms the basic part of education.[27]

Nevertheless, this would not be sufficient for initiation. Education needs more. Education, in itself, is a lot more than catechesis. Some people tend to bewilder the following terms: education, teaching, catechesis. Catechesis, as it has been drawn up before, is some special kind of teaching process, whereas education is more like a complex procedure which has social as well as psychological and religious ingredients.[28] Throughout education, we assist the person’s mind and intellectuality in order to integrate him into the society.[29] This, though seems to be the social view of education, could be applied in religious education as well. Therefore, Christian education is a process in which throughout adequate teaching we integrate the person positively into life, where – in accordance with the spell of Christ – he/she will be able to join the life of the Catholic Church actively, and will intend to

serve people and the common good.[30] Moreover, many experts also keep saying that throughout education people must not only get closer to the world and the society, but to himself as well. This might help him discover the values as well as faults in himself.[31]

Another important aspect is that education and teaching cannot be totally separated. In fact, they could only work together. Thus, for us the target of education is to lead people to the acquisition of adequate knowledge, to find Christ himself in the catholic church and live his mystery.[32] Living Christ’s mystery is the most important goal. However, the means towards this goal are not always easy. More properly, education in itself is a complex phenomenon and in itself it includes teaching.[33] Therefore, as a last word to this term-identification, education is a complex process in which children are initiated into the mystery of Christ throughout proper teaching and by this they will be integrated into the welfare of the Christian society.[34]

Where is the border between teaching, catechesis and education? Can we draw up a direct line, or these are absolutely built upon each other? We have already seen that many canonical experts rely on the fact that education includes teaching, and teaching is related to catechesis. However, these are not interchangeable. Moreover, the Code emphasizes that teaching is related to experience as well as education is related to undertaking the mystery and life of Christ. These are the basic pillars of this process.[35] Undertaking and experience, as the Spell and the Example of our Lord. Hence, to educate somebody is not about just giving information, or even giving instructions to behave in a Christian way. In addition, it is a task to show our way of living and project it as an example in front of the newcomer. It is more than a performance or information process. It is the Life we have. It is the Life our Lord has.

II. Participants in education process

After defining these terms, let us still remain at these terms and analyze them. We have already made them clear as basic terms. However, two important things were not yet mentioned. It is seriously worth talking about

the people standing on the two opposite sides of the education process. First, we are supposed to define those people who are triggering out education, so

those who are willing to educate. Second, we most drop some words about those who are the addressee of the education. It is a process – we have consumed; due to this fact, it has a beginning and an end.

The canon 266 in §2 would intend to name the first persons to educate. These are the parents of children.[36] From this step, therefore, we are willing to sketch up all the people around who could be viewed as educators.

Notably, parents are the first step in education. They are the first people in connection with offspring, and they form a familiar milieu in which a child spends his early years. There is not any other choice for them. Being a parent is equivalent to possessing duties. It is absolutely clarified in the Code. Parents are the basic educators, because they gave birth to their offspring.[37] On the contrary, it would not be absolutely proper to talk about each person separately. Experts keep saying that the family atmosphere the parents build up is the most important thing. Not only the things they talk about, but the way they behave. A family should be regarded as a small society.[38] In this small society, it is very notable how everyday life is going on. The interaction between parents and relatives would be the first acquisition of the newborn. Hence, it is not perplexing why the Code puts a great demand on the parental obligations.[39] Even before the child is due to be delivered, the Code suggest that the mother go to local parish priest for a short discussion. This is could be viewed as a preparatory work for the first initial step: the baptism.[40] For baptism, being the first step to be the child of God, mainly depends on parents in the infant ages. Thus, for education, the parental attitude is very basic. We could observe the educational process from this point. Who could be also responsible for the catholic education the parents exclusive? The Code emphasizes that all Christian faithful must work on building up a Christian life, being entitled to teach and educate people. This is the mission which everyone gets when being baptized.[41]

The Code denotes the importance of godparents. Godparents must be active members of Christ’s society, active participants in taking the sacraments, and active educators.[42] These are the main features that the godparents must sufficiently have. However, we are all aware of the fact that godparents, though being very important in the first years of a child, are actually the least effective persons. What could be the reason for this anomaly?

Though the Church claims a very lot if somebody intends to be a godparent, according to our research, godparents are not sufficient educators, even in a normal Christian family.[43] However, the Code does not say that they are supposed to take over the role of parents. Thus, the principle responsibility of a godparent is to give witness to the Christian faith by their lives, not, as it is often thought, to take over for parents if something happens to them. The role of godparent obligates one to a sacred responsibility for the whole of one's life. For all this, hereby we have to note one thing: in practice, this additional role of a godparent seems to be simplified as somebody who supplies the infant with goods and money, and will remain in the child’s mind as somebody who always sends presents as Christmas. On the contrary, we still can find many families where the traces of the sacramental status of being a godparent are still visible. Many attempts have already been made even in the frame of church legislation to make the godparental status more effective. Moreover, the new Code, as it has already been mentioned before, would like to define clearly the real candidate for godparents. Still, however, we cannot figure out any acceptable solutions for this matter.

There is one another aspect in this field. The Code says that one of the godparents must be active initiated catholic, the other could be the member of another church. In this case, this non-catholic parent has not any sacramental mission, but still has juridical importance. Therefore, he/she can be viewed as a witness in baptizing. Unfortunately, some experts say that the non-active catholic godparents downgrades him/herself to a simple witness.[44]

Positively, the Code recognizes the non-catholic godparents as witnesses of the evidence of baptism without taking up sacramental positions. However, as denoted before, the catholic godparents could be degraded to witnesses, if they are not an active participants in the Church.[45]

It is obvious that we must divide baptism into two major parts according to its participants. When we wanted to talk about the degrading of godparental status, we mainly concentrated on infant baptism.

The Code has brought back the institution of catechumenatus. Thus, if we are not regarding infant baptism, the candidate must go through a detailed teaching and education before his being baptized and accepted to the Church of Christ. Therefore, in this case, the candidate will intend to opt for his would-be godparent. Since the candidate is of near adult age, he could choose the most appropriate godparent. Because of this, his godparent will be the best example before him, and will fulfill his roles according to the law.[46]

The next supportive people could be the grandparents. It is absolutely agreed that children could acquire a lot from their grandparents. The Code, however, does not mentioned them namely. On one hand, it could be listed as an insufficiency, since the Code ought to have talked about the presence of grandparents. On the other hand, we have to be aware of the fact that the Code follows another structural construction. In many countries, we talk about Family Laws or Family Acts in civil legislation. On the contrary, the Church talks about Marriage Law, where the sacred importance of marriage is underlined, and everything is built upon this.[47]

Depending on the Code, the grandparental status could be derived from two points: first, it could stem from the parental status automatically,[48] second, it could be picked on where the Code talks about the rights and duties of every Christian faithful.[49]

Still within the frame of a family, we could list many people. However, as denoted before, their duties and rights are listed generally in the Codex Iuris Canonici. Moreover, we must avoid stating evidences, since our work would like to deal with a special problem in this field.

Outside the family, we could name – according to the Code – two significant layers of the society. One part could be marked as other non-familiar staff (such as nursery teachers, teachers, educators, etc) and non-familiar professional staff (such as ordinates, bishops, parish priests and religion teachers). Both layers are dealt with in the Code.

The Code talks about the rights and duties of every Christian faithful, and as drawn up before, the non-professional staff could be inserted in that category. In addition, the Codex itself puts them into this category, since it aims to talk about the role of parents, clergy, professional non-clerical staff, and the others. Within these structural categories, the role of parents, as we have talked about it before, is highly underlined and handled in many parts of the Code.[50] The role of the professional staff is also forming a category.[51] In this field the Codex defines two parts of education. The public education, and the academic one. It is highly similar to civil legislation. In Hungary as well as in western countries, the education is divided into the former two categories. This is very significant to be made difference. The Codex Iuris Canonici denotes this difference as well and the conditions are not the same as well.. It has already been a question of great debates whether the capacity of a university lecturer is degraded by canon 812 or not. However, what is absolutely sure is that the Code requires much more control on academic education than on public one. Why did the Code enhance this?

Notably, the Church while training professional staff is much more serious. This means, moreover, that the Church must have guarantee on her professional work, and so it is inevitably severe to have a wide overwhelming control.[52]

Academic control, on the other hand, seems to be a great factor of contemporary debates. Many experts would tend to emphasize initiating mandate required in canon 812 will trigger out an enormous dilemma. Is it a concrete ban that simply makes the teacher incapacitas to teach holy disciples at the universities or it is just formal impediment?[53]

To take everything into account when we regard the participants of education process, on the side of educators we were able to make out the following list:

- parents, who are congenitally responsible for the education of their offspring.
- godparents, who share sacred responsibility for education their godchildren, but not taking over the role of the parents, but standing as example of an active Christian faithful.
- other familiar people (e.g. grandparents and others, but as for the Code they take the responsibility of every Christian faithful.)
- other non-familiar, non-professional people (e.g. nursery teachers, teachers, friends)
- other non-familiar professional staff:
- diocesan bishops
- ordinates
- local ordinates
- monastery leaders
- parish priests
- other clerics
- monks, nuns
- layman religion teachers

On the other side we could not make such a long list. However, a simple division is produced by the Codex: the education process is viewed from the moment when the subject (e.g. the person) has been first educated. Hence, we could see the person from his/her infant baptism, so he/she is under Christian education from the very moment of his/her birth. Second, we could talk about adult education, when the person, after the catechumenatus, is initiated and further educated. As a result, however, both education must have the same aim: well- initiated, active member of the society of Christ’s.

III. Mission and preaching and their impacts on education

Our dealing with these two terms under a separate title might be systematically questioned. However, it is very important to clarify these two terms, and it is very notable that the Codex handles them separately as well. Hence, for us it was absolutely without any doubt to discuss them under this new title. Moreover, we consider that these termini must be talked of very carefully, since their functions are not totally in accordance with education.[54]

The Codex as well as the Second Vatican Council denotes that the Church in herself is a mission, since her primer aim is to sow the seeds of Christianity all over the World.[55] This means that in general, the basic essence of Church, in herself, is mission. On the contrary, mission is a special work, by which the spell of God is spread amongst non-Christian peoples.[56]

Thus, mission is a special kind of work, which requires specially trained staff. Notable, however, that the Code makes out a lists of people being

engaged with mission: the Pope, college of bishops, diocesan bishops, other bishops, members of consecrated institutions, missionaries, religion teachers, etc.[57]

The Code avoids defining preaching, but it clearly identifies the people who are entitled to preach. Preaching requires someone who bears the sacrament of ordo. Hence, the capability[58] of preaching is derived from ordo consecration. However, the possibility to give permission for laymen to preach could be absolutely regarded as one of the innovative bombshells of the Second Vatican Council.[59] The Code says that all priests have rights to preach in every church, though they have to suppose the consensus of the proper rector ecclesiae.[60] The Code then talks about the possibility given to layman, though it denotes that homily cannot be carried out if the person does not posses ordo sacramentale. As the Code clearly assumes that homily cannot be done by layman, the local ordinate has no rights to give

suspension from this impediment.[61] It is important since after the Council in some special cases, the ordinate was able to give suspension. On the contrary, the Code undoubtedly expresses that giving explanation on the spell of our Lord must require a sacramental capability, so without having this sacrament, the person is not able to carry homily out.[62]

Throughout these canons about preaching, its time and place are mentioned. Every Sunday and Fest preach and homily are supposed to be done by the priest. These must not be omitted, only if there is a serious reason. It is highly recommended, if there are many people attended, especially in the period of Advent and Lent. It is also preferable during mourning masses or during other recommended fests.[63]

Mission and preaching have impacts on education, though the Code as well as canonical experts are dealing with them in another aspects. What are then the consequences we have to denote? First, obviously their Christian essence. Mission, in general meaning, is the most preferable task for every Christian faithful, starting from parents to all people in the world. Mission, in special coherence, is the severe work of people in order to spread the seeds of the spell of our Lord in the non-Christian territories of the world. Both could be viewed as the roots of the primer education. In general meaning, the education is launched by parents because they have felt touched by the missionary intention of the Almighty. In special coherence, the seeds thrown by missionaries will form a basis in those non-Christian territories, and then they could stand as examples before would-be parents.

Preaching, on the other side, has a bit of difference in function. Since preaching itself is a kind of education. Whereas mission either in general or particular is a special work, preaching is absolutely functioning as education. The way, however, is different. Preaching has a time and place. Education has no these limits. Preaching is rather connected to a sacramental action (eg. holy mass), while education in itself is a process for a life time. That is why preaching is the sub-clause of education, a special kind, when the spell of Christ, throughout a holy mass, is transferred towards people.

When considering their impacts on education, both could be viewed as parts of it. Both as slices of a cake which together would make up a whole. Therefore, preaching and mission could not be handled separately. They must be there in our everyday life, and parents must be aware of their significance.

Chapter Two

I. Historical roots of education

Agreeably, the dividing border in the historical roots is the Second Vatican Council, though experts pay a very strong attention to the times beforehand. Even though, when we regard the most important pre-codical[64] document SapChrist, which absolutely reflects the concepts of the Council before the issue of the new Code.

Education and Catechesis stem from the very early years of the Christian church. In addition, these are from the same roots. Jesus himself sent his disciples to teach and educate, “And Jesus came and spoke to them: all power is given onto me in heaven and earth. Go then therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe the things whatever I have commanded you…”[65] This text shows us two important things: first it enables the holy men of Christ’s[66] to teach and educates, second it underlines the most

significant sacrament: baptism. Even though, it expresses that people could become the sons of God only if they are baptized, and they accept the commands of Christ. Interestingly, the writer uses the word commands, which inevitably intends to express a very high duty. Hence, we can absolutely be insured that this duty for obeying our Lord’s commands is to pass onto a duty to transfer His message towards other people. That is perfectly equivalent to our general mission, which we explained very before, and our duty to teach, which is the core of this essay.

The word catechesis was first used by Georg Witzel in 1535. Beforehand, we all know, it was not worth emphasizing it. It is absolutely understandable why. From the Edict of Milan in 320 AD to the sowing of the deeds of Reformation in 1517 the Catholic Church was the only State Religion mostly all over the world. It hung on stone pillars, and the civil authorities also placed great attention to them, forming it perfect for their profane aims.

The Reformation, however, triggered out a very strong break in this complex church-state “workshop”, and the way to stand by the original conceptions could be done only by initiating a new way of addressing people: educating them systematically. Then a strong demand was placed on the shoulder of

parents (eg. obligation to teach children), priests, and - some decades later -the professional staff.[67]

In the 16th century, in order to oppress the threatening emergence of the reformed doctrines, many books were issued. Erasmus from Rotterdam wrote Dilucida et pia explanatio[68] in 1533, explaining Luther Martin’s misunderstandings of the Holy Script. Georg Witzel issued Catechismus Ecclesiae[69] in 1535, using the term catechesis for the first time, and giving objective reasons for the significance of the systematic catechesis. Just to represent the great numbers of books, we would like to list some more titles from this century: Quaestiones Catechesicae (Mainz 1540), Newer und Kurtzer Catechismus (Köln 1560), Enchiridon (Köln 1538), Capita Institutionis (Köln 1546).

There are some other experts whom we have to name instantly. The prototype of the children’s religious books was edited by the Jesuit Peter Cansius in 1558. Also does Monheim’s catechism bear great importance in this field, which amongst humanists had reached a very high respect. Last but not least from this century, the Italian Cardinal Gasparo’s works, and the humble cooperation of the French Jesuits must also be mentioned.[70]

In the 17th century, the role of the diocesan bishops was getting to be emphasized very convincingly. The fact, on which it had been based on, was that the power of the Church could be maintained only if the all levels of a society had been systematically addressed. To reach this, the all territories had to be divided and built upon eachother. Then the tools of ruling and educating (eg. potestas regiminis) was put into the hand of the diocesan authority, namely diocesan bishops, or local ordinates. This concept is also backed by the documents issued in this century. If we take a very short glance at the documents, we could easily notice that the writers of the books are mostly bishops (eg. bishop Colbert, bishop Pouget). This century is also the century of the emergence of the professional staff, mainly at schools and universities.[71]

This tendency underlines the importance of the Church leaders as well as tends to intensify the significance of centralization. In the 17th century, however, we could only notice the traces of power centralization, hence it had not only devotional but political coherence. On the other hand, it was a very strong and beneath deed to make out. Emphasizing the importance of power centralization into the very hand of diocesan bishop-hood, it made up a very concise centralization in education as well.

This above is reflected in the first diocesan book of catechism, Catechisme au Doctrine chretienne (Paris 1675), highlighting the significance of the systematic catechism of diocesan bishops. This book was companied by many other great works: Catechisme by bishop Pouget in 1687, Katechismus von Montpellier in 1702, and other important works written by bishop Colbert in the turning years of the 17th – 18th centuries.

The European diocesan centralization, and in accordance with this, the centralization of catechism and education started in the middle of 18th century in the German Plain. The Jesuit Ignaz Parhammer was the author of the first German historical catechism written in three based-upon-one-another edition between 1750-1752, sowing the very stony seeds of education in Germany, which later did have a severe impacts on the need of catechism and education in other European countries, including Hungary as well.[72]

In the 19th century, however, had to conjure up another aspects in education, due to the State interference in many European countries. Namely in the first place, the Napoleonic area should be mentioned. Caesar Napoleon invaded the Church by initiating new acts, absolutely integrating catechism into the hands of the State. However, this exile[73] of catechism was not maintained for long. Many contemporary written pieces show that it had caused a greater effort to make out a systematic state education. Hence, this century could also be marked as the century of school foundations.

Many church owned schools were founded, and did not only Christian but profane education. Many countries had formed a new constitution, putting great emphasis on Christian education. In the United States, the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) had given out a new catechism book called Catechism of Baltimore in 1885, initiating religious education in state education, not separating profane and religious subjects. Still, we can notice the traces of religious aspects in American schools, though basically the American constitution contains the theory of state neutrality.[74]

The 20th century brought lightness to the systematic ordering of education and catechism, hence the Codex Iuris Canonici 1917 and the Codex Iuris Canonici 1983 both place very great demands on the systematic teaching. Even though, the very severe need of ecumenism was spreading all over the world. Despite, on the other side canon 775 identifies the duties of the diocesan bishops, highly underlining the conservation of the original Christian values, when they issue new religious educational books.[75]

Education and catechesis appear as activity in three different area in the 20th century, even though the new Code follows this structure respectively:

1. action by the clergy
2. action by schools
3. action by families

This is not a specified order. In our essay, we would start up from the third one (eg. action by families). However, this aspect listed above is observed in coherence with proficiency to teaching.[76] Therefore, in this combination the most perfect (eg. official?) education and catechesis could be carried out by the staff given the sacrament of ordination. Second, by the professional non-clerical staff at schools (or in-school teaching practice) and last but not least the most non-professional catechesis could be acquired within a Christian family. Our opinion, despite, is that the most important step in a child’s life is his/her familiar environment, and with the lack of a sufficient parental support all other steps could be never reached. Thus, we continuously emphasize the serious need of familiar education.

II. The demanding role of the diocesan bishop in teaching

The special responsibility of the Church’s pastors distinguishes their role and ministry from that of other members of the church. But it does not mean they are apart, rather does it reinforce the truth that they are bound to be found amongst people, if they are to charge their office effectively. It is not only teaching people, but live the Christian life. For faith is something which could be taught, but it is also lived. Thus the faith is not deposited with the pastors exclusively. It is deposited by all Christian faithful.[77]

The Second Vatican Council had recognized this demanding role of diocesan bishops. Therefore, it places munus docendi before munus santificandi. However, the way of carrying this teaching process out is not specified. There must be many clues found in order to organize teaching and catechism within a diocese.

Canons 773-780 clarifies the duties of pastors in catechesis. Although these canons seem to be speaking only about catechism, as we have already explained it, catechism, education, and teaching could not be strongly isolated from each other, hence catechism must be viewed as the part of education. Thus, these canons – though only talking about catechism strictly – are bound to aim at education as well.

Canon 773 denotes the general duty of pastors to teach. Moreover, built upon this canon, the next one notes the duty of every Christian faithful, everyone in accordance with his/her capability.[78] In this canon, in the second paragraph, the urgent duty of Christian parents is mentioned. Notably, the word mentioned here is not catechism, but education. The purpose of inserting this paragraph could be seemed in many aspects. It is obvious, however, that this change was made wittingly. This paragraph reinforces and introduces the next part of the Code (eg. from canon 793), where the parental duties are systematically discussed. This paragraph names three groups of people in children education:

1. parents
2. those who are instead of parents
3. godparents[79]

Notable, these people mentioned here are related to the familiar non-professional environment. The list of the participants of education has already been drawn up in the previous chapter in our essay.[80]

The following canons tend to speak about the role of the diocesan bishops in teaching, and the role of the Episcopal Conferences. What tasks are mentioned here?

Diocesan bishops are supposed to do the following things for enhancing catholic catechesis and education:

1. define special rules for the principles of catechesis
2. provide the adequate equipment as well as personal conditions of catechesis
3. give help to writing religious student books
4. give support to organizing catechesis

The Episcopal Conference would have to give out religious books in accordance with the special need of the exact territory.[81] There is a pause in the canons, and in the following, the duty of parish priests and other members (eg. those who give help in catechesis) is mentioned.[82] Skipping onto canons 800-806, the bishopric rights and the very duties of founding catholic schools are mentioned. In addition, these canons are talking about appointing religion teachers as well. The diocesan bishop has right to found schools, and if necessary, he is entitled to found schools for special needs.[83]

However, a bit of strange thing could be pointed at in the Code. Though the canons are talking about the duties and the rights of the diocesan bishops, appointing religion teachers is put into the hand of the local ordinate.[84] This looks very surprising since the local ordinate is not equivalent to the diocesan bishop as a term.[85] As the local ordinate is not always consecrated as bishop. Imagine a situation when the general or episcopal vicar is not a bishop, since the Codex does not require bishop consecration.[86] Thus, it is possible that the local ordinate is not a bishop. The canons before, on the contrary, are all talking about the duties and rights of the diocesan bishop in teaching and catechesis. So it seems to be a bit of anomaly that appointing religion teachers is effectively taken out of the hand of a diocesan bishop.

Some experts are saying that the situation when the local ordinate is not the diocesan bishop could really occur. So when the Code asks the local ordinate to appoint religion teachers, it follows up a practical viewed. Since the local ordinate, being in a closer connection with the exact territory, should know the catechetical circumstances much better. Some experts put this question apart. The Code, moreover, in a general sense, seems to be speaking about the diocesan bishop, not thinking of the possibility of the local ordinate’s not being consecrated as a bishop.[87]

However, this might not absolutely mean that pointing out religious teachers is not a bishopric task. The Code only would not like to allow for those cases in which the local ordinate is not ordered bishop. Moreover, the occurrence frequency of this possibility is so low that the Codex seems to apart from going into deep details. On the contrary, many canonists would like to note that the Code would have had to deal with this case. As for our opinion, this may make up a confusion only for those who are analyzing the Code scientifically, since in practice it will hardly ever cause any difficulties. For instance, in a normal diocese the local ordinate is the same in person as the diocesan bishop. Hence, the local ordinate as a bishop takes up all the rights and duties in organizing education. That is why the Code puts its emphasis on local ordinates. And that – as we have already mentioned – the Codex is entitled to give instruction to all catholic faithful, and at the same time to stand as an insurance to save catholicity and the orthodox catholic teaching. In order to provide this, the editors of the Codex were to change the word diocesan bishop to local ordinate in canon 804. Since there is no real catholic faithful without a local ordinate.[88]


[1] BAUM, G., Compassion and Solidarity, Montréal 1988, 11.

[2] JUHÁSZ, J. – SZŐKE, I. – O.NAGY, G. – KOVALOVSZKI, M.(eds.), Magyar Értelmezõ Kéziszótár, Budapest 1972, 1000.

[3] GREEN, T., The Church’s Teaching Mission: Some Aspects of the Normative Role of Episcopal Conferences, in Studia Canonica 27 (1993) 23.

[4] BAUM, G.,18. The church has always played a very important role in the civil procedures. Even was it of the main importance in the middle ages. Since its total autonomy, the church could not have been divided from the civil authorities. This inevitably led to the emerge of church law, which obviously roots back in the middle times. As a conclusion then, the church had to reserve some laws from the former times.

It seems true, however, the evidence of the Vaticanum is unquestionable.

[5] BEAL, J.P., Where’s the Body? Where’s the Blood? The Teaching Authority of Diocesan Bishop and the Right of Catholic School Teachers, in Canon Law Society of America Proceedings 57 (1995) 92. Notably the diocesan bishops were former rather executors than shepherds of the flock of God. This view, however, started to change in the 1900s, but reached its goal only after the new Code. Some are still searching for evidences to find out which way was more beneficial. In addition, many would think that keeping up discipline is the most urgent activity in a diocese. On the contrary, the new Code places teaching activity (munus docendi) in the first place, rehearsing that the first step towards Christian faithful is via spells and education.

[6] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, in MÜLLER,G.(Hrsg.), Theologische Realenzyklop ä die (Band 17), Berlin 1990, 730.

[7] c. 867 § 1

[8] This theory was first made out in Great Britain by issuing Education Act in 1871. The basis of this theory is bound to separate the church and the state, rehearsing that the church and the state must work separately. This theory, later, was adopted by many countries, and as a result, today apart from some sporadic examples all the democratic countries in the world accepted it in some way.

[9] c. 1055: “Matrimonale foedus , quo vir et mulier inter se totius vitae constituunt, indole sua naturali ad honum coniugum atque ad prolis generationem et educationem ordinatum …”

[10] If the connection between the spouses went so wrong that the partners could not stay together any more, the code justifies the evidence of an official separation, though the bond is still valid. What inevitably arises here that how could be the parental duties fulfilled in this situation. The promise they had made before God with consensus is how to be carried out, and in what extent is the responsibility shared between the parents? Who cares about the Christian education?

[11] Although according to the theology and the spell of Lord Jesus there is not divorce existed in Christian theory, we have to face this situation very often in our everyday practice. Hereby then we would like to point out some important cues to handle this anomaly.

[12] Still today there are a lot of marriage nullity cases, and plenty of marriages are declared null. In this situation obviously does the question arise: which spouse will be responsible for the education of the children later on?

[13] The code defines the notorious cohabitation. Our remark here would be just to clarify whether the partner shares any responsibility or not. It is clear, however, that the Code does not take the partner into account as an active participant, for the family itself exists only in the frame of a legal marriage.

[14] MORRISEY, F.G., The Rights of Parents in the Education of their Children, in Studia Canonica 23 (1989) 430.

[15] BAUM, G., 17.

[16] LETSON, D., Catholic Universities in the Modern World, in The Tablet (10th February 2001), 186. The Pope himself keeps stating in Ex corde ecclesiae that “Catholic university will achieve these ends by providing a forum for reflections upon the ever-expanding treasury of human knowledge , to which it seeks to contribute by its own research in fidelity to the Christian message and in light of the catholic faith. ” In the following, this article is talking about the freedom of education and the chance of getting into a university as a layman.

[17] The Code does not speak about impediments in general. However, when talking about the primer rights of personis physics some basic aspects of capability are mentioned. We can read about irregularities and simple impediments when De ordinae is discussed, and impediment s are also dealt in De matrimonio.

[18] SZÜDI, J., Hit vagy Erkölcs ?, Internet (2000.04.17.): www.oki.hu

[19] Here we would like to introduce the aspects of the Hungarian as well as the German, British and American laws and acts. Surprising, however, that the term neutrality does not always mean the same in the different states. (also see: MORGAN, R. E., The Supreme Court and Religion, New York 1972, 110.)

[20] c. 798: “parentes filios concredant illis scholis in quibus educationi catholicae provideatur…” This talks just about a possibility to choose catholic schools, however, it does correspond suggestion to opt for a catholic one. The previous Code, in canon 1374, prohibited the parents to choose the non-catholic school.

[21] Three aspects are put into questions here: what, how, and where should the parents choose? Is there an acceptable solution for this problem?

[22] REES, W., Der Religionsunterricht, in LISTL, J.- SCHMITZ, H.(Hrsg.), Handbuch der Katolischen Kirchenrechts, Regensburg 1999, 736.

[23] Közoktatási törvény: 1993. évi LXXIX. törvény see. also: KORZENSZKY, R., Katolikus iskolák ma, in Vigilia 59 (1994) 277.

[24] Nor catechesis, nor education is explicit defined in the Code. However, the Code implicit mention them, and so does John Paul II in CT. The canon 773 starts to speak about catechesis, whereas canon 793 talks about education. For the first look, it would suggest that catechesis obtains greater priority than education. It is, however, not true. As we are going to see later on, catechesis, which is dealt with in another part of the Code, could be regarded as a sub-part of the education process. What is more, this is a process in which the information is transferred by a repeated actions. However, to simplify catechesis into a systematic information process would be not appropriate. LÜDICKE, K. (Hrsg.), Münsterische Kommentar zum CIC, Essen 1985, 773. ’Ketechese als Glaubenvermittlung gescheit nie durch blosse Glaubensinformation, sondern durch den Verbund von Glaubenslehre und Glaubenspraxis. Die Erfahrung christlichen Lebens lässt nach Grund der Glaubenshoffnung fragen...’

[25] IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhortatio Ap. Cathechesi tradendae (16 Oct. 1979): AAS 71 (1979), 1292

[26] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, 729-731.

[27] LÜDICKE, K., 773-774.

[28] JUHÁSZ, J. – SZŐKE, I. – O.NAGY, G. – KOVALOVSZKI, M.(szerk), 1001.

[29] MARTIN, A. E. (ed.), Dictionary of Law, Oxford 1997, 157.

[30] Conc. Vaticanum II, Decl. Gravissimum educationis (28 Oct. 1965): AAS 58 (1966) 728-739, Introductio. See also: c. 217

[31] SCHMITZ, H., Bildung in CAMPENHAUSEN, A. – SPANGENBERGER, I.R. - SEBOTT, R. – HALLERMANN, H. (Hrsg.), Lexikon für Kirchen- und Staatkirchenrecht München 2000, 256.

[32] ERDÕ, P., Egyházjog, Budapest 1992, 322. What does living it mean? For Christian faithful it is not enough to receive and memorize information. To be the discipline of Christ we have to apply our knowledge in daily life. To be a real Christian would ask for behaving like that. Hence, teaching and education are similar but not analog terms, which finally will be supposed to lead the person to living his Christian life. See also: ASHLEY, B. M., Philosophy of Education, in MC DONALD, W. J. – MC GUIRE, R. P. - WHALEN, J. P. - MAGNER, J. A. (eds.), New Catholic Encyclopedia V, Washington D. C. 1981, 161-166.

[33] ASHLEY, B. M.,162.

[34] SCHMITZ, H., Bildung, 257.

[35] LÜDICKE, K. (Hrsg.), 773 (4). ’’Der neue Kodex betont als Ziel der Katechese den lebendigen, entfalteten, und tätigen Glauben der Gläubigen und nennt als ihre zwei Grundpfeiler die Unterwesung in der Lehre und die Erfahrung im christlichen Leben“

[36] see canon 226 §2: “Parentes, cum vitam filiis contulerint, gravissima obligatione tenentur et iure gaudent eos educandi; ideo parentum Christianorum imprimis est Christianam educationem secundum doctrinam ab Ecclesia traditam curare. “

[37] Ibid

[38] CSANÁD, B., Keresztény Valláspedagógia, Budapest 1991, 78-79.

[39] MORRISEY, F.G., 433. Notably, the fact that in the first paragraph in can. 226 the parental rights are mentioned first must not mislead us. The text reads “parents have the most serious obligation and the right to educate them…” This obviously expresses that obligation is the most important thing. This twist of obligations and rights – unlike in civil legislation – is normal in the Code. On the contrary, Morrisey notes that the canon makes comments only on the right itself, and would not intend to comment obligation. The Codex feels like giving reasons to rights, but supposing that obligation is absolutely clear. It is, Morissey adds, because reasoning with obligation was the teaching of the Council beforehand, but highlighting rights had not been included. This is, amongst many others, the renewal of the new Codex Iuris Canonici. Therefore, for us it is inevitably understandable that - in canonical aspects - obligations are put before rights, though the essence of talking about rights systematically cannot be questioned.

[40] Can 867. § 1: “Parentes obligatione tenentur curadi ut infants intra priores hebdomadas baptizentur; quam primum post nativitatem, immo iam ante am, parochum adeant ut sacramentum pro filio petant et debite ad illud praeparentur.”

[41] Can. 210, 794, 799. In these canons all the Christian believers are mentioned. However, the Code also notes that teaching about the truth of Church could not be effectively enhanced, only if the person who teaches has already gotten the basic education. This must be coordinated by the professional personal staff such as bishop conferences, local ordinate, local priests and religion teachers.

[42] Can 872. “Baptizando, … detur patrinus, cuius est baptizando adulto in initiatione Christiana adstare, et baptizandum infantem una cum parentibus ad batismus vitam christinam baptismo congruam ducat obligationesque eidem inhaerentes fideliter adimpleat”

[43] SMITH.,C., Baptism: Godparents and Sponsors, Internet: www. Stjosephcc.net/cliff8.html (21.07.2002): “The Church requires only one godparent for baptism, whether the person to be baptized is an infant or adult. The godparent must be a fully initiated Catholic, having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; they must be at least 16 years of age; and they must be good, practicing Catholics. Since the primary role of godparents is to assist parents "in their duty as Christian mothers and fathers," where two godparents are selected, they must be a man and a woman, so as to imitate the image of father and mother.

[44] Ibid.; See also HIEROLD, A., Taufe und Firmung, in LISTL, J. – MÜLLER, M. - SCHMITZ, H., Handbuch des katholischen Kirchenrechts, Regensburg 1983, 669.

[45] Some experts are still perplexed about this. However, as Cliff Smith remarks, we must observe the status of the catholic godparents from two aspects: juridical and functional ones. It is obvious that the aim of the Code is if both aspects meet eachother, so godparents interact according to the law. In this case, godparents could stand as real patrons of the baptized. However, in some cases in practice, these two aspects will not meet. Thus some catholic godparents could be viewed as godparents lawfully (they fulfill the requirements for being a godparent), but functionally not. In this case, legally they are godparents, but could not meet all the requirements prescribed by the Codex.

[46] There are still pros and contras about infant baptism. We all know that in the ancient Church only adult baptism existed. Throughout the history of Church, according to the core of baptism, the church had started to baptize children. It was, for other reasons as well. Since the mortal rate amongst children was so high up till the middle of the 20th century, the Catholic Church had persisted in emphasizing the importance of infant baptism.

[47] See. Can. 1055. The church underlines the sacred evidence of marriage, and from this all consequences are derived. Hence, the sacramental marriage is a contract between the spouses triggered out by the consensus, which in evidence enhances a dissolvable eternal connection between a man and a woman. In §2 the Code denotes that “inter baptized” the marriage is also a sacrament in itself, without depending on what the spouses had thought about it. This means that the sacramental effect of marriage functions automatically. See.: BURKE, C., The Sacramentality of Marriage: Canonical Reflections, in Mon. Eccl. 119 (1994) 547.

[48] BURKE, C., The Sacramentality of Marriage: Canonical Reflections, 550.

[49] However, it is very questionable whether the parental rights and duties are subjected to the general rights and duties or not. The Codex denotes that all the Christian believers baptized and accepted to the Church have the right to teach and educate. (Can. 217) Moreover, all Christian believers must work on living a sacramental life. (Can 210) Those who are living in marriage are obliged to live a sacramental, improving life; and parents – for the reason they had given life to their offspring – have a severe duty and right to educate them. (Can 226) These canons stand right before the exact list of parental rights and duties of education – which this essay would like to focus on. On this, as a conclusion we are absolutely able to make comments. The question is, however, whether the parental right are subjected or not. The purpose of the Code was to draw up a hierarchy when regarding parental duties. That is why it remarks “severe duty” (gravissima obligatione) to educate children. Getting back to our first question, in this canon grandparents are not included, so in our opinion the grandparental status has to be viewed from the other aspect, so grandparents are dealt with in the Codex equally to other participants in enhancing education.

[50] Parental domination upon their offspring: can. 98; rights to educate offspring: cans. 225, 774, 793, 796, 797, 798; education before baptism: can. 851, 867; their permission to their children’s baptism: can. 868.

[51] Religion teachers: can. 776, 780. (This one is talking about training professional staff. See also: can. 796 § 2: the religion teachers or other teachers must work together with parents in education. Other academic teachers and the conditions of their teaching process: cans. 229, 239, 261, 812, 819, 820.

[52] Note please that although the parish priest is responsible for coordinating the pastoral as well as educational work within his territory, the local ordinate is obliged to employ religion teachers, and also does he take the responsibility for training and educating them. (see. cans. 776, 780) Later in our essay we will return this point, when we will be discussing the historical importance of bishop-hood.

[53] ORSY, L., The mandate to Teach Theological Disciplines, in Theological Studies 44 (1983) 476-480. See also. SapChrist 27. This “problem” will be discussed in our work later on.

[54] Note please that all these terms are discussed in Book III in the Codex, but are observed from different aspects. Preaching and catechism are dealt under the same title, whereas mission is discussed separately. It is very important since mission it itself is a special kind of work, and it needs specially trained staff. See. cans. 782-788.

[55] ERDÖ, P., Egyházjog, 320.

[56] Can. 781. “Cum tota Ecclesia natura sit missionaria et opus evangelizationis habendum sit fundamentale officium populo Dei, shristefideles omnes, propriare responsibilitatis conscii, partem suam in opere missionali assumant.” This canon talks about the general mission of Church, which is upon the Christian faithful. Every believer must have his mission work, which he is supposed to fulfill according to his/her awareness. However, the Codex talks about another kind of mission, actio proprie missionalis, which is metioned in can. 786. As a conclusion, it is very inevitable to denote that

[57] See cans. 782-788.

[58] LG 25, can 762.

[59] ERDŐ, P., Egyházjog, 316. See also can. 766.

[60] Can. 764.

[61] Can. 767. See also STOFFEL, O., Die Verkündigung in Predigt und Katechese, in LISTL, J. – MÜLLER, M. - SCHMITZ, H., Handbuch des katholischen Kirchenrechts, Regensburg 1983, 543.

[62] What if a layman, for all the ban described in the canon, does carry homily out in the church during God service. Hence, some experts tend to say that canon 767 are not talking about capability or incapability to do layman homily, but it would intend to ban layman to carry it out. This means, in other words, that this impediment is a pure ecclesiastical ban. However, please note that in this case the layman who acted against canon 767 must face its consequences. For canon 1384 prescribes that “Qui…..sacerdotale munus vel aliud sacrum misterium illegitime exsequitur, iusta poena puniatur” . This means that homily by layman has the proper penitential consequences.

[63] Can 767.

[64] We think of the documents issued before the appearance of Codex Iuris Canonici 1983.

[65] Matthew 28, 18-20. All the English biblical texts are from The New Testament in four languages, Gravenhage, 1993.

[66] Symbolically, these two things are valid not only for the disciplines of Christ, but universally for all Christian faithful. Therefore, as it is studied and taught, the sacrament baptism could be served out by all people. See canon 862. Notably, in urgent cases baptism could be done by non-Christian people as well. See HIEROLD, A., 701.

[67] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, 729-730.

[68] Edited and issued in Basel, 1533.

[69] Edited and issued in Lepzig, 1535.

[70] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, 731.

[71] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, 731-732.

[72] GRÜNBERG, W., Katechismus II, 731.

[73] “Exile”, notably, is our own opinion about the Napoleonic invasion. Many other experts keep saying that Napoleon’s legislations were the ancestors of the modern law making.

[74] The Constitution of the United States of America, on the Internet: http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/ (04.05./2002.) “A secular purpose is the first requirement to sustain the validity of legislation touching upon religion, and upon this standard the Justices display little disagreement. There are adequate legitimate, non-sectarian bases for legislation to assist nonpublic, religious schools: preservation of a healthy and safe educational environment for all school children, promotion of pluralism and diversity among public and nonpublic schools, and prevention of overburdening of the public school system that would accompany the financial failure of private schools.” – State schools as well as religious school must provide the same environment and that they get the same financial support from the state budget. Varied views have been expressed by the Justices, however, upon the tests of secular primary effect and church-state entanglement. As to the former test, the Court has formulated no hard-and-fast standard permitting easy judgment in all cases. In providing assistance, government must avoid aiding the religious mission of such schools directly or indirectly.

[75]Episcoporum conferentiae est, si utile videatur, curare ut cetechismi pro suo territorio, praevia Sedis Apostolicae approbatione, edantur” (can. 775 § 2) Bishop conferences have rights to issue new catechism in accordance with the territorial needs, and so they take up responsibility for people’s official teaching.

[76] FUENTES, J. A., The Active Participants in Catechesis and their Dependence on the Magisterium, in Studia Canonica 23 (1989) 374.

[77] THOMAS, F.G., 233.

[78] “…. Ecclesiae membra pro sua cuiusque parte pertinet.” (can. 774 § 1)

[79] See canon 774 § 2.

[80] See pages 27-28.

[81] See canon 775 and BEAL, J.P., 92. “Goals and aims: encourage service to others and help educate those serving the needs of others. 1. Prepare and implement a plan to encourage service to others. 2. Identify the knowledge and skills required to serve others. 3. Develop programs to prepare individuals for service to others.”

[82] Canons 776-780.

[83] Canon 802.

[84] Canon 804.

[85] According to canon law, ordinate is the Pope, diocesan bishops, and those who lead an ecclesiae particularis, general and episcopal vicars (having general, normal potestas executiva), superior majors in monasteries and apostolic life. Local ordinates are those expressed before, except the superior majors. (See canon 134.)

[86] see canon 478. The general or episcopal vicar must be a priest not younger that thirty years. He has to posses a doctorate or licentiate either in canon law or theology, or he has to show experience in these holy disciples.

[87] TOBIN, J., The Diocesan Bishop as Catechist, in Studia Canonica 18 (1984) 365-366.

[88] Even in those case when the faithful is a vagus, his local ordinate is the ordinate of whose territory he is staying just when the case in which he is touched is up to.


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Obstacles Fullfilling Parental Canonical Duties Field Catholic Education Talabér János doktori értekezés doktori értekezés




Title: Obstacles to Fulfilling the Parental Canonical Duties in the Field of Catholic Education