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Course Number: STM658
Course Title: Practical Problems in Jurisprudence
Term: Summer 2014


Fr. Luis Luna Barrera, M.S.A.,



The primordial End of the Church is the Salvation of Souls (canon 1752). To accomplish this task the Church uses the animation of her ministers, ordained and lay, committed with the mission of the Church. In this perspective we train them to answer frequent problems that find in their apostolate. The normal requirement to take this course is to have some knowledge of Canon Law I and II, and theology.


  • We will provide some insights of the application of Church’s law referring to some important aspect touching the life of the faithful. It is a pastoral approach.
  • The law of the Church tries to protect the life of faithful toward his eternal salvation. We will see some documents of the Church to enlighten us.
  • Many married couples had experienced the brake in their marital life, and the access to the Holy Communion and other sacraments affect their spiritual life, we will see how to help them to find pastoral solutions.
  • The search of holiness it is the task of the ordained and non-ordained persons responding as the sign of times.


Week 1: Chapter I: Introduction to Canonical Jurisprudence

Readings: CIC: Canons 15-17

Populi: Why it is important the rules of interpretation in canon law? What to do when exists emptiness in the law?

Week 2: Chapter II. Rules for Interpreters

Readings: CIC canons 25-29

Populi: Why the Custom it is important? Exist a custom against divine law?

Week 3:  Chapter III: The Primacy of the Pope in the Church

Readings: CIC canons 330-367

Populi: How works the infallibility of the Pope? Why the Bishops need to be in communion with him?

Week 4:  Chapter IV: A Historical Survey of the Marriage               

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church (=CCC) 1601-1620

Populi: read and comment Gn 2, 23-24

Week 5:  Canonical View of the Marriage

Readings: CIC Canons: 1055-1165; Msgr. Paul Glenn, A Tour of the Summa, Questions 41-68.

Populi: Can you explain the importance of the ends of the marriage? What is polyandry and polygamy?

Week 6: Some Procedures about Marriage in the Roman Rota  (continued)

Readings: Lawrence Wrenn, The invalid Marriage, pp. 119-136

Populi: Why we can affirm that the Consensus facit nuptias? (The consent makes the marriage)

Week 7:  Some Procedures about Marriage in the Roman Rota  (continued)

Readings: Lawrence Wrenn, The invalid Marriage, pp. 137-154

Populi: Can you mention some irregularities that can affect the marriage?

Week 8: Ordination to the Priesthood (continued)

Readings: CIC canons: 1010-1029; Msgr. Paul Glenn, A Tour of the Summa, Questions 34-40

Populi: What you understand when the Church teaches that Holy Order it is a vocation where God call some to his service?

Week 9: Ordination to the Priesthood (continued)

Readings: CIC canons: 1030-1052

Populi: Can you explain the importance of the celibacy in the life of the cleric?

Week 10: Procedure to Leave Religious Life and Priestly Life

Readings: Catechism of Catholic Church: CCC 914-945; Canons: 686-704

Populi: the religious consecrate their life to God, can you explain the three evangelic vows?

Week 11: Procedure to follow when a Priest when to leave

Read the notes given for this chapter; canons: 1717-1739

Populi: Why it is important the life pf the priest for the Church? Are you comfortable when they leave his priesthood?

Week 12: Solicitation Against the Sixth Commandment (continued)

Readings: Read the notes given in the chapter; Canons: 1395-1398

Populi: The sexual abuse causes a pain than the community of believers it is possible to recuperate the thrust in the life of the priests?

Week 13: Solicitation Against the Sixth Commandment (continued)

Readings: Read the notes given in the chapter

Populi: The vocations that come to the seminary proceed from a Christian family, they come with Christian moral values?

Week 14: Solicitation Against the Sixth Commandment (continued)

Readings: Read the notes given in the chapter

Populi: How we can heal the victims and the parish community?

Week 15: Solicitation Against the Sixth Commandment (continued)

Readings: Read the notes given in the chapter

Populi: Can you give a word of hope to the new vocations coming to the Church and are confronted with very strong challenge in their future ministry?


  • Discussion Postings – 25% Weekly Saturday midnight
  • Midterm Exam – 25% June 21 midnight
  • Final Exam – 50% August 9 midnight

Summary of the Course:


Your midterm and final exam will be four pages, you can include footnotes and bibliography, if necessary. When you e-mail them to me, make sure you put your name, e-mail address, course number, and question on the title page. Paper’ should be e-mailed to

4.1. Midterm Exam: From the following questions, answer three of them:

1. Explain the importance of the Vatican Second Council documents about marriage and the jurisprudence in general. 2. Why the Authority of the Holy Father it is important in the Church? 3. Explain the Power of the Holy Father. 4. Can you make a distinction between the natural marriage and the sacramental marriage? 5. Give me the three aspects where the marriage can be contracted null. 6. If we say that everyone has the right to marry, why the Church limit this right to some persons? 7. Which are the defects of the will that can affect the valid consent in marriage?

4.2. Final Exam: From the two proposed essays choose one:

Write a four-page essay trying to help or some religious or some priest who needs assistance to ask a dispensation of his perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and the obligations of the celibacy and the duties as a valid ordained priest. You can divide your paper in three parts: The facts, the law and your recommendation.

Write a four-page essay: 1. The problems of misconduct had an impact negative in the Church, many believers’ feels betrayed by the priests, what is your point of view? 2. The actions made by the Church to heal and form, are you supportive? 3. How the families can help to have better candidates to the priesthood? 4. All need prayers, do you pray for the priests and the Church?


  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, by U.S. Catholic Church (Mar 4, 2003), English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America Copyright, 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc- Libreria Editrice Vaticana ISBN 0-385-50819-0 List price $ 14.95
  • CODE OF CANON LAW ANNOTATED: Prepared under the responsibility of the Instituto Martin de Azpilcueta, Second Edition revised and updated of the 6th Spanish Language Edition, Wilson & Lafleur Limitee, Montreal, -Midwest Theological Forum,Woodrige, 2004, 2066p. (Wilson & Lafleur) ISBN 2-89127-629-9. List price $ 43.54
  • Lawrence G. Wrenn, The Invalid Marriage, Canon Law Society of America, Washington D.C. 20064. Copyright 1998 by Canon Law Society of America, 238 pp., ISBN 0-943616-78-6. $18.06 at $15.00
  • William H. Woestman. (Wojciech Kowal and William H. Woestman), Special Marriage Cases and Procedures: Ratified and Non-Consummated Marriage, Pauline Privilege, Favour of the Faith, Separation of Spouses, Validation, Presumed Death, 4th rev. and updated ed., with appendices, Faculty of Canon Law, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, 2008, xii, 355 p.; 50.00 CAN. Can purchase online. Postage is not included. The office is only open three afternoons (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) Tel.: 613-751-4017  Fax: 613-782-3005
  • Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Essential Norms, Statement Episcopal Commitment, June 2011, USCCB.


  • JOHN PAUL II, Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, Rome, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1990, 578 p. Cfr. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 82-2 (1990), pp. 1061-1363. canones 774-866
  • The Documents of Vatican II, with notes and comments by Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Authorities, Walter M. ABBOTT, editor, MSGR. Joseph GALLAGHER, Translation Editor, New York, America Press - Association, 1966.
  • PAUL VI, Encyclical Letter Of Human Life (Humanae Vitae), July 25 1968, Pauline St. Paul Books & Media, Boston, 1968, 16 p.
  • PONTIFICIAL COUNCIL FOR THE FAMILY, The Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried and Vademecum for Confessors concerning some aspects of the Morality of conjugal Life, February 12 1997, Pauline Books & Media, Boston, 1997, 34 p.
  • ______, Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, May 13 1996, Pauline Books & Media, Boston, 1996, 47 p.
  • USCCB, Walk in the light: A pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse, September 1995.
  • Patrick J. COGAN, CLSA Advisory Opinions 1984-1993, Canon Law of America, Washington, 1995, 504 p.
  • Jordan Hite, T.O.R., Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., Readings, Cases, Materials in Canon Law, A Textbook for Ministerial Students, Revised Edition, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1990. ISBN 0-8146-1081-1
  • Msgr Paul Glenn, A Tour of the Summa, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Rocford, Illinois, ISBN 0-89555-081-4, 1978, 466pp.
  • L. ORSY, Marriage in Canon Law: Texts and Comments, Reflections and Questions, Michael Glazier, Wilmington, Delaware, 1986, 328 p.
  • Kevin W. VANN, et al., Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions 1995-1997, Canon Law Society of America, Washington, 1995, 1996, 1997.


(Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below). Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at


A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.


  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at  

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


 SL733043Name: Rev. Father Luis Antonio Luna Barrera M.S.A. professed member of his community in 1985 and Ordained Priest, January 18th, 1987.

Education:    1979-1981 Philosophy at Faculty of Theology Pontifical And Civil of Lima-Peru. 1983-1984   Testimonium Studiorum    Pontificium Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, Rome, Italy. 1982-1985   Baccalaureate in Sacra Theology at Pontifical University Gregorian, Rome, Italy. 1990-1992 Baccalaureate and Master in Canon Law, and from 1996-1999 Doctorates in Philosophy Ius Canonicum, University of Ottawa/Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada.

Publication: Las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica que Asumen los Consejos Evangélicos: Implicaciones Jurídicas, Ediciones Paulinas, 2001, Lima, Perú, 329 p.

Work experience: He worked in different field of education and priestly formation in several countries: Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Italy, Canada, and recently in United States of America at Holy Apostles College and Seminary where teaches Canon Law and specially helping in the formation of future priest and laity for the Church. Belongs to the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, where Fr. Luna had many responsibilities as member of the general council two periods and actually is the canonical advisor of his Society.

(860) 632-3010