The Canon Law Society of America Podcast
The Canon Law Society of America Podcast
Our podcasts feature topics of interest in the field of canon law through informal interviews of fellow canonists who share their experiences, knowledge learned and sage advice. These podcasts are meant to enlighten, inform and inspire others whose ministry involves the canon law of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Robert Barron - Keynote Address at CLSA Convention 2022
On October 10, 2022, the Canon Law Society of America (CLSA) welcomed Bishop Robert Barron as the keynote speaker at its annual convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Speaking on synodality, Bishop Barron noted that "one could easily interpret [Pope] Francis’s synodality as a development of the people of God ecclesiology of Lumen gentium and of the communio mysticism of John Paul II, especially if one remains at the level of abstract analysis.  But when we come to the more practical application of the idea, more critical questions emerge. I should like to use three figures—John Henry Newman, Bernard Lonergan, and Augusto del Noce—not so much to criticize the notion of synodality as to make some distinctions that will serve, I hope, to clarify the concept a bit and to hold off potential misunderstandings." The CLSA welcomes anyone wishing to learn more about canon law and the work of the Society to visit its website at
Nov 2, 2022
53 min
#3 Jenna Cooper, JCL: Animam Viventem in Sponsa Christi
Jenna Cooper is a canonist who directs the tribunal in the Diocese of Wynona-Rochester in Minnesota. She is also a consecrated virgin. Listen to her recent conversation with Donna Miller, Executive Coordinator of the Canon Law Society of America, as Jenna describes her path to achieving and harmonizing her two vocations.
Aug 4, 2022
32 min
Rev. James Coriden - Role of Law Award Recipient 1987
Reverend James Coriden may be one of the CLSA’s most recognizable and longest standing members. Since joining the Society in 1961, he has been a familiar face and a prophetic voice for thousands of canonists who have come to know him as a teacher, a theologian, and a friend. We are truly blessed to call Father Coriden our brother.
Jul 21, 2022
37 min
Michael Joyce, CM: Role of Law Response 2021
Fr. Michael Joyce was the 2021 recipient of the CLSA’s prestigious Role of Law Award. His service to the Church in many facets of ministry has made an impression on any canonist who has worked or dialogued with him. In his acceptance speech he speaks of his admiration for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the upcoming Synod on Synodality.
Feb 10, 2022
16 min
#2 Dr. David Keene: Deacon, Archaeologist, Student of Canon Law
This is the second episode in our new Member Spotlight podcast series. Dr. David Keene is a student member of the CLSA. His varied career has led him to special opportunities in and service to the Church. Because of his training and expertise as an archaeologist, Dr. Keene has been called upon to assist with the exhumation of the remains of two Servants of God as part of their respective journeys to prospective sainthood. In this podcast, Dr. Keene shares with us his background and why, at an age when many Americans are enjoying retirement, he accepted the challenge to study canon law.
Feb 9, 2022
40 min
Rev. Arch. Dr. Baasam Shahatit: Member Spotlight
Dr. Baasam F.M. Shahatit is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Petra and Philadelphia in Amman, Jordan. Here he shares with our listeners his observations on the Catholic Church in Jordan and what he wants canonists from other countries to know about being a Catholic canonist in a country that is 92% Muslim.
Aug 10, 2021
14 min
Observations on the New Book VI of the Code of Canon Law
Reverend John Paul Kimes and CLSA Executive Coordinator Donna Miller discuss the new text of Book VI of the Code of Canon Law.
Jun 17, 2021
49 min
James Conn, SJ: Lex Agendi, Lex Credendi
2020 ROLE OF LAW CITATION Presented by CLSA President Jay Conzemius Each year, since 1973, the Board of Governors has selected the recipient for the Role of Law award.  The criteria used to help narrow the field is as follows: 1) embodiment of pastoral attitude, 2) commitment to research and study, 3) participation in the development of law, 4) a response to needs or practical assistance, and 5) facilitation of dialogue and the interchange of ideas within the Society and with other groups. As is our custom, I will now give clues about this year’s recipient’s background.  He was born a cradle Catholic and only child on the East Coast and is an avid reader of 19th century British novels and 20th century imitators.  He graduated from a Jesuit high school and subsequently he and six classmates entered the Society of Jesus.  Our recipient began his professional life by teaching French, Latin and Greek to high school students. He became interested in canon and civil law when he worked in the President’s office of a Jesuit University. At first, he earned a license in canon law, then his juris doctorate, and then completed his canon law doctoral thesis a year later, summa cum laude from the Pontifical Gregorian University.  Over his many years of canonical service, our recipient has served as canonical counsel to several dioceses and archdioceses. In 2002, he was named ordinary professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and continued in this role for fourteen years. In 2004, he was appointed consultor to the Congregation for Catholic Education by St. Pope John Paul II. In November of 2008, he was named consultor to the Congregation for the Clergy by Pope Benedict XVI.  Perhaps most amazing about this year’s recipient is that he accomplished all of this despite being “legally blind” since birth. Most recently, he was named Professor Emeritus at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he continues to teach Latin and resides nearby.  As President of the Society, it is my pleasure to present the recipient of the 2020 Role of Law Award, Father James Conn, priest of the Society of Jesus.
Feb 18, 2021
45 min
Rev. Msgr. Kenneth Boccafola: Role of Law Response 2013
Role of Law Award Citation 2013 Delivered by CLSA President Reverend John R. Vaughan Each year the Canon Law Society of America presents its distinguished Role of Law Award to an individual considered to be outstanding in the field of canonical science. The By-Laws of the Society directs the Board of Governors to select a person who demonstrates in his or her life and legal practice the following characteristics: Embodiment of pastoral attitude, commitment to research and study, participation in the development of law, response to needs or practical assistance, facilitation of dialogue and the interchange of ideas within the Society and with other groups. These  qualifications  are  a  concise  re-statement  of  the  constitutionally-expressed purposes of the Society. The person to whom this award is given is viewed by us as one who embodies all that we, as members of the Society hold dear, as one to whom we can look for guidance and inspiration. Such an official statement alone is perhaps the greatest honor that can be bestowed on anyone – to be selected by one’s friends and peers as outstanding among them. The  canonist  we  honor  today  has  been  a  good  and  faithful  servant  of  the Church and of the Law for many years. Born and educated in the Empire State, our recipient was ordained to the priesthood in 1963. Having received his doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University in 1975 – his thesis was “The Requirement of Perpetuity for the Impediment of Impotence”. He has been an active member of our Society since 1976. Although  many  know  of  our  recipient’s  canonical  expertise,  few  here  are aware of his affection for golf. One of his friends relates the story of playing one day and his bragging to the opponent how well he was playing. The opponent told our friend “not to count his money before the match was over.” Our awardee announced, “I am not counting my money, I’m counting yours!” After a variety of pastoral assignments in his diocese, our recipient was named by Blessed John Paul II as a Judge of the Roman Rota on April 3, 1986 where he served for twenty-six years, becoming a Prelate Emeritus on October 9, 2012. Through the years our distinguished colleague has authored numerous articles such as The Special Penal Norms of the United States and Their Application,; Deceit  and  Induced  Error  about  a  Personal  Quality;  Invalid  Convalidation: A Legitimate Autonomous Ground of Marriage Nullity? While serving in the Rota, he also worked with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the Commission for Ratum et  Non  Consummatum  cases,  and  on  the  Commission  for  dispensations  from the obligations of the priesthood. He is a Consultor of the Congregation of the Clergy, and was a member of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia until he became a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Vatican City State in 2004. During his time in Rome, he was an invited Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and at the University of the Santa Croce. By now I am certain that everyone here knows the identity of our honored recipient  and  undoubtedly  many  are  familiar  with  his  many  sentences  coram Boccafola. Please join me in thanking this eminent canonist for the work he has done for our Society and for the universal Church. As president of the Canon Law Society of America, it is my honor to present the 2013 Role of Law Award, on this our 75th anniversary, to Monsignor Kenneth Everett Boccafola.
Feb 3, 2021
12 min
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