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*Image: Agnus Dei by Francisco Zurbarán, c.1638 [Museo del Prado, Madrid] 

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, July 23, 2020

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Note: TCT Editor-in-Chief Robert Royal will once again join fellow members of the Papal Posse – Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Gerald Murray – this evening at 8 PM ET on EWTN’s The World Over. Consult local listings and EWTN’s Youtube channel for rebroadcasts.

Stephen P. WhiteMost Catholics are desperately ignorant of canon law. I expect this is not news to anyone, least of all to canonists. For most of us, canon law rarely touches our daily lives – at least not in ways that are apparent to us. While most Catholics are well aware of our obligation to attend Sunday Mass or to fast on certain days or to materially support the Church according to our ability, few of us ever think of these obligations in canonical terms: they’re just things we Catholics are supposed to do.

For the most part, a Catholic can live a good and holy life without ever having a serious run-in with the Church’s legal system. And that is probably the way it ought to be.  …

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