Lawyers in the civil realm don't get a lot of respect till a person needs one. Sadly this attitude toward lawyers seems to have crept over to Canon Lawyers.
Governors, Catholic Deacons, and Priests nowadays get annoyed when a Canon Lawyer dare points out a problem.
I like this article that appeared at the Huntsville Times ( Tip of the hat Amywelborn2) Huntsville priest to study church law in Rome.
This part is important:
One book, about two inches thick - and three years to get a degree based on that one book?
"Well, it's a little more complicated than that," Father Bryan Jerabek said with a smile last week as he pulled the chunky green-backed book that contains the law of the Catholic church from the bookcase. "The law codifies in a legal way what the church believes to be truth."That means his studies will include the theology and history behind the statements collected over 2,000 years in the "Code of Canon Law."............
And canon law has been the response of the church to life on the ground of this earth, said Father Kevin Bazzel, who completed a similar course a few years ago and now is chancellor of the diocese, adjutant judicial vicar, pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul as well as campus minister for UAB, Birmingham Southern and Samford.
"Studying law can sound like a very burdensome, onerous task," Bazzel said. "But I found that studying church law was another way to study theology, how the church sees itself, how the body of the church functions, how it has responded to different questions through the ages. It was a great walk through history."........
Yes it takes three years ( the time it takes a Civil Lawyer to Law degree) to study that little ole book that so many people think is just a bit of dry rules that really just get in the way of faith and have no Pastoral application.
The Code of Canon law in fact is based on pastoral experience. Like 2000 years of it!! See Ed Peter's Communion, Canon Law, and Pastoral Practice
Dr Peters also said something here that I think is at the root of the problem at another post.Winters avoids the vulgarism of “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”, but he just as surely dismisses the role of law in the Church when he says that “Recourse to the canons of the Church are [sic] not just a last resort, they [sic] are an admission of failure.” If that really is Winters’ position, why does he bother asking a lawyer, canon or otherwise, to defend the role of law in society? Any answers that a lawyer might offer would be futile, per Winters: “There is not a brief in the world that can explain the role of briefs in the world.” So, although I believe that there are many errors in Winters’ essay, I’ve been forewarned that my answering them will be pointless.
How regrettable, for I might have something perhaps useful to say, like, for example, how Winters’ essay is a prime example of the lingering effects of the destructive antinomianism that swept through the West, including the Catholic Church, in the 1960s and 1970s.
Whence sprang that pervasive distrust of law that so blindsided my parents' generation and still haunts mine? Who really knows? My hunch is that several pernicious philosophical currents finally came crashing together in two human meat grinders called World Wars One and Two, leaving large segments of Euro-American society deeply disillusioned about the possibility that reason (a constitutive element of human law, per St. Thomas) could be relied on to save us from ourselves. So, naturally, substitutes needed to be sought—science became a major one in the world, and the “spirit” of Vatican II became a major one in the Church. Whatever strengths these substitutes possessed, and whatever weaknesses they suffered from, both were fundamentally immune to law (or at least to lawyers), and many found that a highly attractive trait. Civil authority and lawyers cannot tell chemicals how to react in test tubes, and Church authority and canonists cannot tell Catholics how to live their faith. From there…