Written on 11 July 2016, 17.40 by Gene C. Alberto

Has the Catholic Church the right to make laws?

 

The Catholic Church has the right to make laws from Jesus Christ, who said to the apostles, the first bishops of His Church:  “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven.”

 

The Church has power from God to change the laws that it makes.  It has no power, however, over the laws of God themselves.  The Church can never change them to make it all right.

 

What is the purpose of laws of the Catholic Church?

 

We have seen the purpose of laws is to guide us to God.  Christ has sent His Church into the world as a living guide to point out new dangers that would arise in the course of time, and to apply the laws of God to new times and circumstances.

 

By whom is this right to make laws exercised?

 

This right to make laws is exercised by the bishops, the successors of the apostles, and especially by the Pope, who as the successor of the chief of the apostles, St. Peter, has the right to make laws for the Universal Church.

 

Which are the chief laws of the Church?

 

1. To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holydays of obligation

2. To fast and to abstain on the days appointed

3. To confess our sins at least once a year

4. To receive Holy Communion during Easter time

5. To contribute to the support of the Church

6. To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage

 

These are the chief laws of the Church but there are many others.  But there are many others.  Each diocese has particular laws for those who live in that diocese.

 

References:

Mt 6:16-18; 7:12; 9:14-15; 18:18-20;  Acts 2:42

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

642, 767, 857-65. 862-61, 881, 1269, 1560,...

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