What is CANON LAW?

A body of ecclesiastical jurisprudence which, in countries where the Roman Catholic church is established, is composed of maxims and rules drawn from patristic sources, ordinances and decrees of general councils, and the decretals and bulls of the popes. In England, according to Blackstone, there is a kind of national canon law, composed of legatine and provincial constitutions enacted in England prior to the reformation, and adapted to the exigencies of the English church and kingdom. 1 Bl. Comm. S2. The canon law consists partly of certain rules taken out of the Scripture, partly of the writings of the ancient fathers of the church, partly of the ordinances of general and provincial councils, and partly of the decrees of the pope* in former ages; and it is contained in two principal parts,

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