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Canon Law

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Definition:   The codified ecclesiastical laws of the Roman Catholic Church. The original Canon was compiled in 1917, and has been revised and updated in 1983. The current version consists of 1752 canons which describe the functioning and rules of the highly centralized Catholic Church. The Pope is the supreme administrator of all the Church’s holdings. The bishops are the stewards of all property at the diocesan level. The canon law covers such things as who may perform blessings (1169), who may define what objects are holy (1167), what marriages are valid (1075), who can bestow indulgences (995), who determines special days of mandatory church attendance (1246), when Catholics must fast (1251), how funerals are to be performed (1177), and rules determining where the Catholic is to be buried (1180).

Discussion: The Catholic Church is cultic in its control over the lives of its adherents, constraining the faithful from cradle to grave. The Pope requires complete submission from all Catholics. The canons and traditions of the Catholic Church usurp the authority of God and His revealed Word. The Catholic Church binds the consciences of Catholics where the Bible is silent (Col. 2:8).

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