0.0 Preface

  1. "A diocese is a portion of the people of God which is entrusted to a bishop for him to shepherd with the cooperation of the presbyterium, so that, adhering to its pastor and gathered by him in the Holy Spirit through the gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes a particular church in which the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative.” [1]
  2. "A diocesan bishop in the diocese entrusted to him has all ordinary, proper, and immediate power which is required for the exercise of his pastoral function except for cases which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme authority or to another ecclesiastical authority.” [2]
  3. In the Church, law is a way of regulating the relations of the Christian faithful to promote the conditions for justice based on charity. [3] It is intended to protect Catholic beliefs and values, to safeguard the divine, ecclesiastical and natural rights of persons in the Church, and to foster the good order needed to accomplish the mission of the Church. Ultimately, the purpose of law in the Church is the salvation of souls. [4]
  4. Therefore, the diocesan bishop directs and provides for the functions of sanctifying, teaching and governing in the diocese which he shepherds in a variety of ways. [5] In some cases, he establishes and promulgates particular (“diocesan”) law. In other cases, he issues administrative decrees or precepts with binding force. He may also approve a policy, guideline, regulation or procedure proposed to him by a council or office of his curia that is binding throughout the diocese.
  5. The purpose of this document is to state or clarify those norms that the diocesan bishop has either established or approved. These norms consist of various policies, guidelines, regulations and procedures. This document also restates or references other Church norms which affect the Christian faithful in the Diocese of Lansing.
  6. The norms in this document are directly intended for implementation by priests, especially pastors, and other members of the Christian faithful, who have ministerial roles in worship, teaching or administration in this diocese under the authority of the bishop.
  7. Keeping in mind that the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls, all members of the Christian faithful are bound to the observance of the above-mentioned norms.

Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor