• Phyllis Zagano Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York


Catholic Social Teaching, Lay Participation, Parish Life Coordinators, Pastoral Councils, Finance Councils, Canon 517 §2


This paper attempts to answer questions about internal justice in the Catholic Church. It addresses Church structure and law in light of Catholic social teaching and the various suggestions and attempts to change or modify Canon Law to allow genuine participation by the people of God, whether through the “preferential option for the poor,” diocesan and parish councils, the wider use of Canon 517 §2 Parish Life Coordinators. In particular it points out the historicity of territorial jurisdiction by women and notes efforts recent by and for women to regain a share in Church governance. Overall, it suggests the possible results of applying Catholic social teaching to the Church structure itself.

Author Biography

Phyllis Zagano, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York

Phyllis Zagano, PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook (1979), is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University. Her recent publications include Women: Icons of Christ, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2020, “Women and the Diaconate: Ordaining Catholic Women for Ministry” in Unlocking the Future: Women and the Diaconate, ed. Hildegard Warnink, Leuven: Peeters, 2020, 65-78, and with Bernard Pottier, SJ, “What Do We Know About Women Deacons?” Asian Horizons 13, 4 (December 2019) 647–658.


Admonitions of Saint Francis, No. 6 “The Imitation of the Lord.”

Ajaccio is in southwest Corsica,

Becket was ordained priest on June 2, 1162 and was consecrated bishop on June 3, 1162 by Henry of Blois Bishop of Winchester.

Can. 536 §1. §2.

Elizabeth McDonough, “Jurisdiction Exercised by Non-Ordained Members in Religious Institutes,” Canon Law Society of America Proceedings 58 (1996) 292–307.

Essentially, to establish internal divisions and erect and suppress houses within their institutes, which they may represent; to admit, exclaustrate, release from temporary vows, and dismiss members (Canons 118, 581, 609, 616, 609, 634, 635, 638, 647, 656, 658, 686, 689, 699, as outlined by McDonough, 306).

Hans Küng, Why Priests? trans. John Cumming, London: William Collins Sons & Co Ltd, 1972, 77. a-woman-archbishop-for-lyon/12629

John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, June 28, 1988.

LG, 32.

Lord Acton, John Emerick Edward Dalberg, Letter to Archbishop Mandell Creighton, April 5, 1887.

McDonough, “Jurisdiction…” Ratzinger was, at the time, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position he held for 23 years, from 1982 to 2005,
when he was elected Pope Benedict XVI. McDonough refers to Cardinal Ratzinger’s animadversiones and suggested text of December 22, 1980, in Congregatio Plenaria, 294, fn. 4.

Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae, August 15, 1967.

Peter Llewellyn, “The Popes and the Constitution in the Eighth Century,” English Historical Review 101: CCCXCVIII (January 1986) 42–67, at 42.

Pius IV, Apostolic Constitution Alias Nos, August 2, 1564.

Pope Francis’s Amoris Laetitia (2016), Laudato Si’ (2015) and Evangelii Gaudium (2013) all refer to or borrow from the document.

Statistical Yearbook of the Church, Vatican City, 2017, 59–62.




How to Cite

Zagano, P. . (2021). VISIONS OF A JUST CHURCH?. Asian Horizons, 15(1), 56–69. Retrieved from

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