I Want A Word With Dr. Edward Peters!

by Jimmy Akin

in Uncategorized

Zzpetersed  I want a word with Dr. Edward Peters (pictured).

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. 

Rocco Palmo also notes (CHT: American Papist): 

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!

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Nursing gowns May 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm

me too! his my idol, i’m an avid fan of Dr. Edward Peters! yay! *cheers*

SDG May 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

Woo hoo! Woo hoo! Congratulations Dr. Ed!

Ed Peters May 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Thanks guys. :)

Hans May 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Okay, it sounds very important and all, and it seems like a good thing, but can someone explain to this poor physicist just what a relator/referendare is and what he is expected to do?

Karl May 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Not everyone is thrilled with this appointment.

bill912 May 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Did it make you feel better to post that?

Karl May 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

Glad to live in CATHOLIK AMERIKA where there is only one acceptable opinion.
Whew, no wonder I left the Church.

David B. May 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

If you disagreed with the Church enough to leave it, why do you care about Mr. Peters’ appointment? Also, I would like to know precisely why you object to his appointment. For all I know, you may just dislike gray-haired white dudes. 😉

Hans May 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I am puzzled at what sort of fun-house world you live in, Karl. The Catholic Church is a house of ‘both/and’ when it comes to opinion, where so much of the rest of the world is ‘either/or’. However, when it comes to truth, actual truth not what might be called ‘opinion truth’, then things are different.
Since I’m a physicist, I’ll use a physical example to explain the difference.
There are various opinions about just what a particle wavefunction represents, just what is waving. That is because nobody really knows. That means that nobody really knows if a particle with a wavefunction that has density distribution is actually distributed in space in that way, or if it just has a certain probability of interacting with something else in that spatial distribution. You will hear (or read) people saying one or the other as if it were certainly that way, but it is not. It’s just a convenient way of speaking.
On the other hand, if two particles (suppose there are just two particles in a ‘box’) interact, that interaction is a definite thing, even if in a QED-sense the ways in which they interacted could be manifold.
So there are many ways we can think about the relations between people. Think of the differences in political theory between the Middle Ages (mutual relationships of rights and obligations, usually between individuals) and now (rights and responsibilities between individuals and the state, primarily). Yet people are fundamentally the same in either case.
(The Medieval system is somewhat like an organic [carbon-based] compound, with bonds mostly between pairs that can form many patterns, while the modern system is akin to a metal, where the individual bonds are much less important, but the bonding of the individual to the group is important.)

Hans May 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I still don’t know what the precise nature of a relator/referendare is.

Karl May 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Though a woman may leave her unrepentant adulterous spouse, can she not still love their marriage and her spouse? Would she then be unable to care enough to want a different person to be consulted on her errant husband’s behalf, if she earnestly believed the one chosen for him is not right for the specific things she views as most important?
Should she be attacked for saying this? Is this appropriate among Catholics? Is a person less attached to Christ when they leave a body they view as corrupted too much to remain an active part of? Can they still not love than body? Should they stop trying to show that body its errors? Can they not long for that body to return to better ways? Are they wrong, should they be condemned for that hope, to reconcile?
Dr Peters, in my opinion, does not take seriously enough the violations that occur, frequently, in both the pastoral ends of marriage and the administration of tribunals, specifically, how they deal with the respondents who DO NOT WANT their marriages ended, ask the Church for help and are refused, yet are forced, quite literally, into divorces, against their will and then tribunals. I do not hear him taking the part of those who claim serious violations of their rights or their marriages yet I hear him justify the large numbers of nullities. Now, I understand these are not the same exact things but, it would seem to me, that there should be a fire in any Canonist for justice and truth, particularly with respect for valid marriages. I see more of a fire to defend tribunals than I see a fire to defend marriages, in the learned, Dr. Peters. This causes me much sadness.
This, I would find sufficient, to not recommend him for
a position with the Apostolic Signatura, but I was not consulted for my opinion.
The Pope thinks otherwise and so be it. He is not a perfect being.
Now go ahead and cite the fact that I am not qualified to have an opinion because I am not a Canonist and not wonder why you listen to celibate priests regarding marriage.
By the way Hans, Jesus Christ IS the truth. That is my opinion. Also, go read Dr. Peters blog, In the Light of the Law to see his explanation of his new work. His blog is a quite a good read with his comments on current issues as they happen. I read it often and like it very much.
Though not quite as grey as Dr Peters, my hair has silver tones/highlights, although his is much fuller than mine.

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