IN LINE with the Church’s mission of “new evangelization,” Canon Law should serve as the “crook of a shepherd” that clears the path toward the salvation of souls, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said in his keynote speech at the opening of Canon Law Week last Jan. 7.

Reflecting on the theme, “Canon Law and Canon Lawyers at the Service of New Evangelization,” Bacani reminded Canon Law students of the need to become charitable pastors, emphasizing that the Code of Canon Law is not merely a source of Church doctrines and teachings.

The code facilitates evangelization by ensuring that the relationship built by the people in the Church is in order and conforms to the life and mission of the Church, he said. Through the Church, the code becomes a bridge that connects God to mankind and man with one another, Bacani said.

The prelate cited the Latin phrase, salus animarum suprema est lex, or “the supreme law is the salvation of souls,” mentioned in Canon 1752. “You cannot just use Canon Law as a hammer to the detriment of the salvation of souls. The attitude towards this [should be], how can this person be saved?”

It is not enough that one is obedient to the commandments, Bacani added. One should always respond with service and love.

“Sometimes you have to see what is God’s intent for every law, even with his own law and even with the commandments. The good of human beings is the will of God. That is the way of saying salus animarum suprema est lex.”

Healing hands of love


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