G.K. Chesterton once observed that journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead” to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive. Thankfully, this article is not an obituary, but its purpose is to explain that diocesan law has been repealed to readers who likely (and justifiably) never knew that diocesan law existed.continue at Mad Cath Heral(very good article)
What is diocesan law? Like any society or any family, the Church has rules for maintaining good order. Some of these rules are “universal,” meaning that they apply to the whole Church worldwide, and others are “particular,” meaning that they only apply to a certain region or community, such as an ecclesiastical province or a diocese.
Whether they are universal or particular, these rules can be either “legislative” or “executive.” Legislative rules are laws in the strict sense, and at the diocesan level they can only be issued by the diocesan bishop. Laws are meant to have broad, generic, and fairly permanent application. Executive rules, on the other hand, are meant to apply the law in specific and concrete instances. They can be issued by other executive authorities such as the vicar general in addition to the diocesan bishop, but executive rules can never contradict laws.
We see the same division between executive and legislative rules in our civil government. The legislature passes a law that says, “Cars must drive at or below the posted speed limit,” but an executive authority passes a rule that says, “The speed limit on Main Street is 30 miles per hour.” In the Church, the diocesan bishop exercises both legislative and executive power (not to mention judicial power), but any given act of governance falls into one of those categories. “Diocesan law,” then, refers to the legislative rules issued by the bishop for the diocese.
HT Laetificat(details there)
UPDATE: Dr. Ed Peters did a post on the matter: Follow-up on Bp. Morlino’s latest legal reforms