The traditional Catholic doctrine, which considers the Church as a reality at the same time invisible and visible, spiritual and social, charismatic and institutional, sacramental and juridical, has been recently confirmed again by the ecclesiastical Magisterium. An indissoluble link between the social-visible dimension of the Church and the existence of juridical dimension is affirmed in the Conciliar documents (Lumen Gentium n. 8 and Optatam Totius n. 16) and the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte n. 45 of His Holiness John Paul II.
Canon law is absolutely necessary for the Church. Since the Church is established in the form of a social and visible unit, it needs rules, so that its hierarchical and organic structure may be visible; that its exercise of the functions divinely entrusted to it, particularly of sacred power and of the administration of the sacraments, is properly ordered; that the mutual relationships of Christ’s faithful are reconciled in justice based on charity, with the rights of each safeguarded and defined; and lastly, that the common initiatives which are undertaken so that Christian life may be ever more perfectly carried out, are supported, strengthened and promoted by canonical laws’ (John Paul II, Ap. Cost. Sacrae disciplinae leges, in AAS 75 (1983-II), pp. 12-13).
1. Nature of the Institute
- The Institute of Canon Law of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa is an institution founded byAssociation of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education to grant ecclesiastical degrees in Canon Law.
- The Institute has its founding body with full responsibility over it, its proprietorship, governance and future development, working through the AMECEA Executive Board and the personal and collegial authorities of the Institute (cf. Sapientia Christiana Art. 4).
- The Institute is under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
- The Institute, located within The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, is aggregated to the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. As an aggregated body, it remains under the general supervision of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical Urbaniana University.
- The Institute is governed by the norms of the Holy See, especially the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana (15th April 1979) and the Decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education Revising the Order of Studies in the Faculties and Departments of Canon Law (2nd September 2002). Its programmes are drawn up in consultation with the aggregating Faculty of Canon Law.
2. Objectives of the Institute
- Through teaching and scientific research, the Institute of Canon Law is committed to cultivate and promote the study of the canonical discipline and the matters connected with it, in order to deepen the knowledge of the ecclesiastical laws and to enunciate them systematically, considering the continuous renewal of the law and the progress in the life of the Church.
- The Institute is committed to promote the continuing permanent education of the sacred ministers of the Church, the members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, the laity, especially all pastoral agents in the field of Canon Law for efficient evangelization.
- The Institute is committed to form necessary personnel who will serve in the Episcopal Conference secretariat offices, ecclesiastical tribunals, diocesan curia, pastoral offices, parishes, institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life especially in the AMECEA Region and beyond to implement the provisions of the Code of Canon Law.
- The Institute is committed to train researchers, lecturers, and practitioners of Canon Law as well as the other holders of ecclesiastical offices (cf. Sapientia Christiana Art. 75) at institutes of higher learning, seminaries and novitiates of religious institutes.
- The Institute is committed to train students to a level of high qualification in the canonical discipline and to prepare them properly to face competently the tasks they will be assigned in the Church.
- The Institute is committed to conduct examinations aiming at granting canonical degrees through the aggregating Faculty of the Pontifical Urbaniana University.