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The aim of the present article is to outline the elements of the right to the defence in the procedural law in the Catholic Church, and at the same time to point out some problematic aspects of this right which could appear during the trial. These questions are considered in the light of the norms of the new Code of canon law promulgated by John Paul II in 1983. These norms are compared with the norms of the previous pio-benedictine Code of 1917 in order to show the natural evolution of canon law in this respect. The function of canon law should correspond with natural functions of society. Considering the fact that the primary law in the Church is the salus animarus principle, it appears obvious that the practical implementation of love, perfection and justice is possible only by integrated study of Church teaching and canon law. Cardinal P. Felici was right by stressing that technical procedures of canon law shouldn’t be kept separately from theological and pastoral requirements. The new Code of canon law declares a fundamental right of the faithful to the defence in the competent ecclesiastic tribunal in order to achieve an impartial decision in the trial. This could be achieved by all legitimate acts of the parties in the trial either directly or with the assistance of procurator or advocate.
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