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This is the homepage and resource center of Dr. Edward Peters, an American lay canon lawyer. Dr. Peters teaches, writes, speaks, and consults on a wide variety of canonical issues impacting the Church in the United States and around the world. He holds the Edmund Cdl. Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI.


Research Interests: Ius Novissimum, Legislative Histories & Theory, Canonistics

Precepts of the Church: Basic Norms for Active Catholics

Los Preceptos de la Iglesia: Normas básicas para Católicos Activos


Leges Ecclesiae conservant libertatem Spiritus Sancti.


Canon Law, the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the western world, is the internal legal system of the Catholic Church. It affects virtually every aspect of the faith life of some one billion Catholic Christians throughout the world. But, as Pope John Paul II explained when he signed the 1983 Code into law, canon law "is in no way intended as a substitute for faith, grace, charisms, and especially charity in the life of the Church and of the faithful. On the contrary, its purpose is rather to create such an order in the ecclesial society that, while assigning the primacy love, grace, and charisms, it at the same time renders their organic development easier in the life of both the ecclesial society and the individual persons who belong to it." See ap. con. Sacrae disciplinae leges, para.16. 


It is Dr. Peters' conviction, based on many years of study and practical experience in the field of ecclesiastical law, that Church laws work to preserve the freedom of the

Holy Spirit, and that the more Catholics at all levels in the Church understand their canonical rights and duties, the more effectively they can partake in the mission of the Church, a mission that flows from and results in communion with God and one another. May the materials on this site further those goals.


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