Indeterminacy in canon law
The Refusal of Holy Communion to Catholic Public Officials: Canon 915: “A Central Case”
This chapter consists of three sections. First, it describes the controversy about the application of Canon 915 during the 2004 US electoral campaign and discusses this controversy in reference to the indeterminacy claim. Second, it relies on two prominent features of H. L. A. Hart's legal theory—the rule of recognition and internal aspect of the law—to explore whether the application of Canon 915 to public officials is valid in the legal system of canon law. It also discusses indeterminacy and Canon 915 in light of another feature of Hart's theory—the law's open texture. Third, it asks whether the application of Canon 915 is a “central case” in light of traditional aspects of Catholic doctrine such as objective truth, individual conscience, and cooperation in evil.
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