The application of the concept of law to the juridical dimension in the Church


  • Massimo del Pozzo Pontificia Università della Santa Croce



concept of right, juridical realism, canonical science, sacramentality, constitutional structure


Villey, Cotta and Hervada focused their attention on the fundamental question of what law is. Beyond the objective and ontological conception of ius, all three authors, with different emphasis, converge on the personal, historical and prudential aspects of law (the consequences of which are not indifferent in the canonical sphere). Only Hervada has made a considerable contribution to canonical science, identifying ecclesial juridicity in the intrinsic dimension of the salvific goods, in accordance with juridical realism. Some significant contributions from Hervada also regard the sacramentality and relationality of the ius canonicum, the delineation of its constitutional structure, and the push for the epistemological renewal of canonical science. Hervada’s developments require a certain level of deepening and enhancement, while staying true to his comprehension of the essence of the juridical phenomenon.