Mandate of the Bishops Commission for Canon Law


The law of the Church “looks towards the achievement of order in the ecclesial society, such that while attributing a primacy to love, grace and the charisms, it facilitates at the same time an orderly development in the life both of the ecclesial society, and of the individual persons who belongs to it".

The ministry of canon law serves the church “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” John Paul II, Sacrae disciplinae leges

1. Membership and Meetings

The Commission shall comprise three bishops as determined by the Conference by laws.

The Commission shall meet at least two times each year at a time and place that the members determine. Use will be made of video or teleconference facilities when the agenda or circumstances warrant.

2. Areas of Responsibility

The Commission promotes the life and mission of the Catholic Church in Australia in all areas that are supported by the law of the church.

3. Particular Functions

In particular, the Commission performs the following functions:

The Commission is attentive to the activity of the Church and its agencies from the perspective of canon law.

The Commission, as approved or requested by the Conference, develops national policies in specific areas of its responsibility.

The Commission reviews documents of the Conference and its agencies from the perspective of canon law.

The Commission, in accordance with Conference policy, undertakes public and private activity in support of the observance of Church law and canonical principles.

The Commission undertakes such specific projects as the Conference may from time to time approve or request.

4. Advisory Role

The Commission advises the Bishops and the Conference on issues that arise in the areas of its responsibility and, where appropriate, makes recommendations for action that might be undertaken at a national level.

5. Relations

The Commission maintains informal relations with the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand.

6. Offices

The Commission supervises the work of the National Tribunal of Second Instance in accordance with canon law and the Decree of Erection, of 22 November 1974.

7. Secretariat

The Secretariat for Church Life assists the Commission in fulfilling its tasks.

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GPO Box 368
Canberra ACT 2601

1300 4FAITH (1300 432 484)
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