Corpus Juris Canonici
Corpus Juris Canonici a collection of the sources of the Church law of the Roman Catholic Church, consisting of old canons, resolutions of councils, decrees of popes, and writings of Church fathers. The collection gradually arose from the desire to have for the decision of ecclesiastical cases a law-book of equally general authority as the Corpus Juris Civilis possessed in the province of civil legislation. Its component parts were originally compiled in strict imitation of the Corpus Juris Civilis.
I. Component Parts. — Generally recognized as parts of the Corpus Juris Canonici, and constituting what is called the Corpus Juris Clausum, are the Decretum Gratiani (1151), the decretals of Gregory IX (1234), the
Liber Sextus of Boniface VIII (1298), and the Clementines (1313). Disputed is the authority of the two collections of Extravagantes of pope John XXII (1340) and of the Extravagantes Communes (1484) Generally rejected are now the 47 Canones penitentiales taken from the Summa de Casibus Conscientioe of cardinal di Asti ("Summa Astesana"), and the Canones Apostolorum, both of which were, in the earlier editions of the Corpus Juris Canonici, given as an appendix to the Decretum Gratiani. The same is the case with the Institutiones Juris Canonici, and with the Liber Septimus of Peter Mathews of Lyons.
II. The Formation of the Collection. — The name of Corpus Juris Canonici was early given to the Decretum Gratiani in distinction from the Corpus Juris Civilis. But from the fifteenth century it became customary to apply the name to the collection of the law-books above enumerated. Printed editions of the collection with the title of Corpus Juris Canonici do not occur before the sixteenth century, Among those who are most noted for spending critical labor on the editing of the Corpus Juris Canonici are Anthony Demochares (ed. Paris, 1550-52, — without glossae, and Paris, 1561, 3 vols. fol., with glossae), who completed the indefinite references in the headings of the Decretum by more accurate statements; Charles Dumoulin, or (as he called himself with a Latin name) Car. Molinaeus (Lyons, 1554, 4to, and 1559, fol.), who designated the several passages of the Decretum (with the exception of the Paleoe) with notes; Le Conte, or Contius (Antw. 1569-1571, 4 vols. 8vo), who, from older unprinted collections added, in particular in the decretals of Gregory IX, the partes decisae which had been suppressed by Raymund of Pennaforte; the Correctores Romani (q.v.), whose work (Rome, 1582, 5 vols. fol.) is a turning-point of the history of the Corpus; the brothers Francois and Pierre Pithou, whose valuable notes were used by Le Pelletier in his edition (Paris, 1687; again Lpz. 1690 and 1705; and Turin, 1746, 2 vols. fol.); Justus Henning Bohmer (Halle, 1747, 2 vols. 4to); Aem. Lud. Richter (Leipz. 1833-1839, I vol. in 2 parts, 4to), who left out all the ,appendixes having no legal authority. For fuller information on the component parts of the Corpus Juris Canonici, and for their legal authority, see article CANON LAW (p. 87 sq.). See also Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:886.