And that word is . . .
According to Vatican Information Service, Pope Benedict XVI has–
Appointed as relators of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: Fr. Eduardo Baura de la Pena, professor at the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Fr. Paolo Giuseppe Bianchi, judicial vicar of the Ecclesiastical Regional Tribunal of Lombardy, Italy; Fr. Bruno Esposito O.P., professor at the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas; Fr. Luigi Sabbarese C.S., dean of the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical Urban University, and Edward N. Peters, professor of canon law at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of the archdiocese of Detroit U.S.A.
Over at his blog, Ed writes:
As one of some dozen international consultants to the Church’s highest administrative tribunal, it will be my privilege and responsibility to advise, on an as-needed basis, the officials of that dicastery regarding matters impacting the administration of law and justice within the Church.
A number of persons have graciously conveyed their congratulations to me on this honor, and I am truly grateful for their kind words. But I want to underscore that I see this appointment not so much as an honor, but rather, as an invitation to serve more effectively the mission of the Church as the Speculum Iustitiae [Mirror of Justice].
Even as I prepare, however, to place my training in canon and common law more readily at the service of the Church, I recall what Canon 1752 stresses, namely, that “the salvation of souls [is] the supreme law in the Church.” Salvation is not, in the end, a work of law, but one of love. As such, it is a work toward which we all can, and must, contribute.
Ergo, oremus pro invicem [Let us pray for one another]!
He also notes:
It bears mentioning perhaps that (1) in canon law consultors express opinions only and do not enjoy decision-making authority over the matters presented to them, and (2) my opinions as a canonist carry only the weight of the arguments I adduce for them, or in other words, that in all matters, I speak only for myself and not on behalf of the Church.
In a move recognizing a canonist held as one of the nation’s “premier” specialists in church law, the pontiff named Dr Edward Peters — the discipline’s lead hand at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary — as a referendare of the Apostolic Signatura, a consultant to the church’s highest court. (One now, of course, led by its first-ever American prefect.)
A blogger and father of six beyond the classroom, the honor for a layman is unique — Peters becomes the lone non-cleric among the dozen or so consultors. What’s more, the four priests likewise added to the group this morning are all based in Rome or Milan.
So again, congratulations, Ed!
And definitely, oremus pro invicem!