Why Canon Law is needed

This story was originally published by Catholic News Singapore on 10 August 2007. Republished with permission.

SINGAPORE – All Catholics have rights and duties within the church, and it is Canon Law that helps to ensure that what has been divinely entrusted to the church is properly administered to the faithful.

This was the message delivered to participants at a Catholic Lawyers Guild’s (CLG) forum by Friar John-Paul Tan and Family Life Society’s Andrew Kong.

Mr Kong explained that the church is a social unit and needs rules to regulate behaviour.

Friar John-Paul Tan, who spoke on marriage and the implication of a breakdown in marriage, advised lawyers, counsellors and those involved in church ministry on how they can help Catholic clients contemplating a civil divorce.

Francis Wong from the CLG said after the session: “As a lawyer, I see the difference between Canon Law and legislation passed by parliament. The latter would only tell us what we must do to qualify for a privilege and what we mustn’t do to breach the law. It cannot make us want to be a more caring citizen.”


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