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Vicar for Canonical Affairs

“Since the Church is organized as a social and visible structure, it must also have norms: in order that its hierarchical and organic structure be visible; in order that the exercise of the functions divinely entrusted to it, especially that of sacred power and of the administration of the sacraments, may be adequately organized; in order that the mutual relations of the faithful may be regulated according to justice based upon charity, with the rights of individuals guaranteed and well-defined; in order, finally, that common initiatives undertaken to live a Christian life ever more perfectly may be sustained, strengthened and fostered by canonical norms.” Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, Blessed John-Paul II, 1983.

The Office of the Vicar for Canonical Affairs directly assists the Bishop of Manchester in conducting the legal governance of the Diocese of Manchester in accordance with Church teaching, the 1983 Code of Canon Law and subsequent universal and particular legislation. The Vicar for Canonical Affairs provides advice to Bishop Libasci on matters associated with the various aspects of Church law and conducts the necessary relevant and applicable canonical research. The Office aims to promote and protect the obligations, rights and privileges of the faithful throughout the Diocese; provides assistance and consultation on all areas of Church law for the Diocesan Curia, clergy, and laity. It also processes and regulates permissions, dispensations, rescripts and the alienation of temporal goods of the diocese. The Vicar represents the Bishop of Manchester and the diocese in matters of hierarchical recourse to the Holy See. The Vicar is assisted in his ministry by the Director of the Office of Canonical Services, the Promoter of Justice and other experts.

The Office of Canonical Services provides educational services to the faithful and personnel in the deaneries and parishes of the diocese in the form of workshops, lectures, and presentations relative to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, as well as diocesan policies, procedures, and particular law.

Father Georges de Laire is the Vicar for Canonical Affairs for the Diocese of Manchester.