The Purposes of Ecclesiastical Regulation

Norman Doe

in The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682315 | DOI:
The Purposes of Ecclesiastical Regulation

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A teleological view of ecclesiastical regulation made an early appearance in the development of canonical jurisprudence. The idea that ecclesiastical regulation is functional, having ends and objectives, exercises modern canonists in the Roman Catholic Church far more than in the Church of England. On one hand, regulation exists to enable the church to fulfill its mission in the world. At the heart of abstract, general theories, devised around concepts of facility and order, lie ecclesiological propositions about the nature and purposes of the church itself. On the other hand, at a more practical level, purposes are entirely dependent on the intent of the legislator — and the intent of the state in legislating for the church, needless to say, may be very different from that of the ecclesiastical legislator — and on the structure of the regulatory instrument in question, and the subject it addresses. In this sense, general theories about purpose are merely classifications of legislative motives.

Keywords: Church of England; ecclesiastical regulation; facility; order; canonical jurisprudence; Roman Catholic Church; general theories; purpose; intent

Chapter.  11678 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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