| Year 1994 Canonical Studies, PP. 58-70
SOLVING CONFLICTS IN THE CHURCH
(Fr. Oswald Gracias )
PAGE 1: (Click here)

Given our frail human situation, conflict situations do often arise. The Church desirous that communion should be disrupted due to this has advocated the establishment of conciliation committees. Both the Latin Code and the Code of Canon for the Eastern Churches make mention of this:

C 1733 (CIC) - §1 When a person believes that he or she has been injured by a decree, it is greatly to be desired that contention between that person and the author of the decree be avoided, and that care be taken to reach an equitable solution by mutual consultation, possibly using the assistance of serious-minded persons to meditate and study the matter. In this way, the controversy may be some suitable method be avoided or brought to an end.

§2 The Episcopal Conference can prescribe that in each diocese there be established a permanent office or council which would have the duty, in accordance with the norms laid down by the Conference, of seeking and suggesting equitable solutions even if the Conference has not demanded this, the Bishop may establish such an office or council.

§3 The office or council mentioned in §2 is to be diligent in its work principally when the revocation of a decree is sought in accordance with can. 1734 and the time-limit for recourse has not elapsed. If recourse is proposed against a decree, the Superior who would have to decide the recourse is to encourage both the person having recourse and the author of the decree to seek this type of solution, whenever the prospect of a satisfactory outcome is discerned.

C 998 (CCEO) - §1 It is very desirable that whenever someone feels injured by a decree, there not be a dispute between this person and the author of the decree but that they seek to find an equitable solution between them, perhaps through the use of wise persons in mediation or study so that through a voluntary emendation of the decree or through just compensation or by some other suitable means the controversy may be avoided.

§ The Superior authority should encourage the parties to do this before he receives the appeal.

When C 1733 was being studied by the CBCI several years ago, it was felt that there was no need for conciliation committees. Times have changed. Events have shown that there is need for a structure at the diocesan or regional level to resolve disputes. Hence, this study,

PAGE 2: (Click here)
PAGE 3: (Click here)
PAGE 4: (Click here)