CODE OF CANON LAW
BOOK I. GENERAL NORMS
CUSTOM (Cann. 23 - 28)
Can. 23 Only that custom introduced by a community of the faithful and
approved by the legislator according to the norm of the following canons has the
force of law.
Can. 24 §1. No custom which is contrary to divine law can obtain the force of
§2. A custom contrary to or beyond canon law (praeter ius canonicum)
cannot obtain the force of law unless it is reasonable; a custom which is
expressly reprobated in the law, however, is not reasonable.
Can. 25 No custom obtains the force of law unless it has been observed with
the intention of introducing a law by a community capable at least of receiving
Can. 26 Unless the competent legislator has specifically approved it, a
custom contrary to the canon law now in force or one beyond a canonical law (praeter
legem canonicam) obtains the force of law only if it has been legitimately
observed for thirty continuous and complete years. Only a centenary or
immemorial custom, however, can prevail against a canonical law which contains a
clause prohibiting future customs.
Can. 27 Custom is the best interpreter of laws.
Can. 28 Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 5, a contrary custom or
law revokes a custom which is contrary to or beyond the law (praeter legem).
Unless it makes express mention of them, however, a law does not revoke
centenary or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular