CODE OF CANON LAW
BOOK III. THE TEACHING FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH
INSTRUMENTS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND BOOKS IN PARTICULAR
(Cann. 822 - 832)
Can. 822 §1. The pastors of the Church, using a right proper to the Church in
fulfilling their function, are to endeavor to make use of the instruments of
§2. These same pastors are to take care to teach the faithful that they are
bound by the duty of cooperating so that a human and Christian spirit enlivens
the use of instruments of social communication.
§3. All the Christian faithful, especially those who in any way have a role
in the regulation or use of the same instruments, are to be concerned to offer
assistance in pastoral action so that the Church exercises its function
effectively through these instruments.
Can. 823 §1. In order to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and
morals, the pastors of the Church have the duty and right to be watchful so that
no harm is done to the faith or morals of the Christian faithful through
writings or the use of instruments of social communication. They also have the
duty and right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful
which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment and have the
duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals.
§2. Bishops, individually or gathered in particular councils or conferences
of bishops, have the duty and right mentioned in §1 with regard to the Christian
faithful entrusted to their care; the supreme authority of the Church, however,
has this duty and right with regard to the entire people of God.
Can. 824 §1. Unless it is established otherwise, the local ordinary whose
permission or approval to publish books must be sought according to the canons
of this title is the proper local ordinary of the author or the ordinary of the
place where the books are published.
§2. Those things established regarding books in the canons of this title must
be applied to any writings whatsoever which are destined for public distribution,
unless it is otherwise evident.
Can. 825 §1. Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the
Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the
publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that
they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and
§2. With the permission of the conference of bishops, Catholic members of the
Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can
prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with
Can. 826 §1. The prescripts of can. 838 are to be observed concerning
§2. To reprint liturgical books, their translations into the vernacular, or
their parts, an attestation of the ordinary of the place where they are
published must establish their agreement with the approved edition.
§3. Books of prayers for the public or private use of the faithful are not to
be published without the permission of the local ordinary.
Can. 827 §1. To be published, catechisms and other writings pertaining to
catechetical instruction or their translations require the approval of the local
ordinary, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 775, §2.
§2. Books which regard questions pertaining to sacred scripture, theology,
canon law, ecclesiastical history, and religious or moral disciplines cannot be
used as texts on which instruction is based in elementary, middle, or higher
schools unless they have been published with the approval of competent
ecclesiastical authority or have been approved by it subsequently.
§3. It is recommended that books dealing with the matters mentioned in §2,
although not used as texts in instruction, as well as writings which especially
concern religion or good morals are submitted to the judgment of the local
§4. Books or other writings dealing with questions of religion or morals
cannot be exhibited, sold, or distributed in churches or oratories unless they
have been published with the permission of competent ecclesiastical authority or
approved by it subsequently.
Can. 828 It is not permitted to reprint collections of decrees or acts
published by some ecclesiastical authority unless the prior permission of the
same authority has been obtained and the conditions prescribed by it have been
Can. 829 The approval or permission to publish some work is valid for the
original text but not for new editions or translations of the same.
Can. 830 §1. The conference of bishops can compile a list of censors
outstanding in knowledge, correct doctrine, and prudence to be available to
diocesan curias or can also establish a commission of censors which local
ordinaries can consult; the right of each local ordinary to entrust judgment
regarding books to persons he approves, however, remains intact.
§2. In fulfilling this office, laying aside any favoritism, the censor is to
consider only the doctrine of the Church concerning faith and morals as it is
proposed by the ecclesiastical magisterium.
§3. A censor must give his or her opinion in writing; if it is favorable, the
ordinary, according to his own prudent judgment, is to grant permission for
publication to take place, with his name and the time and place of the
permission granted expressed. If he does not grant permission, the ordinary is
to communicate the reasons for the denial to the author of the work.
Can. 831 §1. Except for a just and reasonable cause, the Christian faithful
are not to write anything for newspapers, magazines, or periodicals which are
accustomed to attack openly the Catholic religion or good morals; clerics and
members of religious institutes, however, are to do so only with the permission
of the local ordinary.
§2. It is for the conference of bishops to establish norms concerning the
requirements for clerics and members of religious institutes to take part on
radio or television in dealing with questions of Catholic doctrine or morals.
Can. 832 Members of religious institutes also need permission of their major
superior according to the norm of the constitutions in order to publish writings
dealing with questions of religion or morals.
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH (Can. 833)
Can. 833 The following are obliged personally to make a profession of faith
according to the formula approved by the Apostolic See:
1/ in the presence of the president or his delegate, all those who attend
with either a deliberative or consultative vote an ecumenical or particular
council, a synod of bishops, and a diocesan synod; the president, however, makes
it in the presence of the council or synod;
2/ those promoted to the cardinalatial dignity, according to the statutes of
the sacred college;
3/ in the presence of the one delegated by the Apostolic See, all those
promoted to the episcopate as well as those who are equivalent to a diocesan
4/ in the presence of the college of consultors, the diocesan administrator;
5/ in the presence of the diocesan bishop or his delegate, vicars general,
episcopal vicars, and judicial vicars;
6/ in the presence of the local ordinary or his delegate and at the beginning
of their function, pastors, the rector of a seminary, and teachers of theology
and philosophy in seminaries; those to be promoted to the order of the diaconate;
7/ in the presence of the grand chancellor or, in his absence, in the
presence of the local ordinary or their delegates, the rector of an
ecclesiastical or Catholic university, when the rector’s function begins; in the
presence of the rector if he is a priest or in the presence of the local
ordinary or their delegates, teachers in any universities whatsoever who teach
disciplines pertaining to faith or morals, when they begin their function;
8/ Superiors in clerical religious institutes and societies of apostolic
life, according to the norm of the constitutions.