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June 19, 2024
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June 19, 2024

Church lawyers discuss mercy and justice

Judge, hammer and woman on tablet writing legal notes, checklist and compliance documents, justice .

The Antilles Canon Law Society (ACLS) convened its 18th Convention June 17–20 at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Mt St Benedict. Under the theme Discerning God’s Mercy is the Perfection of Justice, the convention brought together Canon Law experts across the region to delve into crucial issues concerning mercy and justice within Church law.

The convention began with Holy Mass presided over by Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon at the Archbishop’s Chapel on Monday evening followed by dinner hosted by the Archbishop at the Archbishop’s House.

On Tuesday, the programme commenced with a morning Mass at the Seminary Chapel followed by formal opening ceremonies. Greetings were exchanged, including messages from Msgr Michael Palud, President of ACLS and Bishop John Persaud of Mandeville, ACLS Past President and Liaison Bishop of the ACLS with the Antilles Episcopal Conference, via Zoom.

Treasurer of the Canadian Canon Law Society (CCLS) Kay Weerasooriya, who is also Judge of the Tribunal London Ontario and Judge of the Western Antilles Trinidad also delivered greetings.

The convention featured a presentation by Archbishop Santiago De Wit Gúzman, Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles.

During the day, participants engaged in insightful discussions, including a Zoom presentation by Fr Michael Fahlman on ‘The Theory and practice of the Lack of Canonical Form: A Response of Mercy.’

Weeraeooriya delivered a presentation on ‘Auditors and the Administration of Mercy in Tribunal Practice’, followed by workshops for auditors that she facilitated throughout the day.

Wednesday’s agenda focused on workshops, revision of statutes, and discussions led by key figures such as Bishop Persaud (via Zoom) and PetaGay Lee-Brace, Vice-President of the ACLS. The day concluded with cocktails and dinner at the Seminary.

Thursday saw the continuation of statutes revision and concluded with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a closing Mass followed by a dinner.

Friday offered participants a choice between a day of personal reflection at Mt St Benedict or a day out.