00227 - Ecclesiastical Law

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge and insights on the most relevant issues currently concerning the protection and promotion of religious freedom (both individual and collective) in Italy, also moving in a comparative perspective. In this regard, particular consideration will be given to the concrete functioning of religious confessions and their organization on an institutional level, namely in Italian law. The final part of the course will focus on the institution of concordatarian marriage.

The frequent institutional relations between the Italian Republic and different religious confessions (and sometimes, on the other hand, the lack of such relations or their difficulties) lead to the necessity for the students to develop the capability to interpret – and eventually criticize – them in the light of the Italian constitutional and legal context, as well as in the European one. The present-day multiethnic, multicultural and – namely – multireligious society also imply the development of the ability to face – with the assistance of the adequate juridical knowledge – the many issues that today’s social coexistence raise: for instance in hospitals, in schools, in prisons or in other detention centers (according to the availability of places of worship), or in family relationships, and so on.

Course contents

The contents of the course are the following, arranged by theme:

I. Historical and institutional framework, namely in Europe

- Religions, law and State: a general introduction to the issue and its historical background.

- The Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic traditions in the Europe of human rights and pluralism. A new comparison among the “Religions of the Book”.

- The role of religious denominations in the transformation of political society, especially in Europe.

- Islam in Europe: a test for secularity and religious freedom.

- Religious freedom and multiculturalism. The issue of compatibility. Overriding principles, cultural uncertainties and jurisprudential swings (namely in Italy).

- Religion and public spaces. The issue of religious symbols.

II. The State secularism and the religious freedom in Italy

- The State and its status from a religious point of view. Confessionalism in Italy: from the Albertine Statute to the Lateran Pacts.

- The role of religion in the Italian Constitution. The “positive” secularism of the State.

- Secular welfare state and sources of ecclesiastical law. Complexity and articulation of the hierarchy of sources.

- Religious freedom and European integration processes. Specifically the Strasbourg Court. Towards an European ecclesiastical law?

- Religious freedom and freedom of conscience in the Italian law (art. 19 Constitution). Conscientious objections. Atheism.

III. The most contentious issues

- Freedom of cult: configuration, facilitations and limitations.

- Places of worship.

- Ecclesiastical cultural heritage.

- Freedom of propaganda and proselytism. The free formation of conscience. Freedom to change religion.

- Criminal law protection of religious freedom.

- Confessional affiliation, religious beliefs as sensitive personal information, privacy protection.

- Religious freedom, marriage and family; minors’ freedom of conscience.

- Religious freedom and education. Confessional schools. Religious education in public schools.

- Religious freedom and employment relationships.

- Spiritual care in detention centers.

IV. Religious institutions and their relations with the State

- The collective dimension of religious freedom. Religious confessions with agreement or without agreement.

- New religious movements: the alternative between general law and special legislation.

- Churches and religious denominations in the Italian post-unitarian tradition.

- Independence and sovereignty of the Catholic Church, autonomy of other religious denominations (artt. 7 and 8 Constitution). Limits: namely the issue of “democraticity” in religious laws.

- Social groups and legislative negotiation.

- Lateran Pacts and their reform: the constitutional coverage.

- Agreements with religious confessions other than Catholicism.

- Religious confessions without agreement.

- Jurisdictional and disciplinary authority of religious confessions.

- Ecclesiastic and religious clergymen: namely the priest-penitent privilege, incompatibilities and religious’ employment.

V. Holy See and Vatican City State

- Holy See and Vatican City State. From the Law of Guarantees to the Lateran Treaty.

- Nature, internal organization and legal status of the Vatican City State. Relations with Italy. Relations with the international community and with the European Union.

- Rights and powers of the Holy See. The “central institutions” of the Catholic Church.

- The Holy See on the international stage: presence and activities.

- The Holy See and its activities in the Italian law.

VI. Organization and activities of the religious confessions

- Art. 20 Italian Constitution. Ecclesiastical institutions: definition and peculiarity. General conditions for the recognition. Designation for divine worship. General and special requirements for specific groups of institutions. Legal regime of ecclesiastical institutions: from the recognition to the closure, namely the controls over their administration and the disclosure regime.

- Assistance and charity activities. The non-profit organizations. Ecclesiastical institutions and the voluntary sector. Financial relationships between the Italian Republic and religious denominations

- Financial support of catholic clergy and ministers of other religious faiths.

VII. Religious marriage and its relevance in the Italian law

- Civil effects of religious marriages. Registration of a catholic marriage and registration of other religious marriages.

- Nullity of catholic marriage and the matrimonial nullity trial reform of Pope Francis. Civil effects of ecclesiastical judgments of nullity of marriage. Civil jurisdiction and ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

This year, an in-depth study will be dedicated to the limitations imposed on religious freedom following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For the integration of 1, 2, 3, credits, the student must contact the teacher by e-mail to decide a custom program.

Erasmus students must contact the teacher by e-mail to agree a custom program.

Readings/Bibliography

In preparation for the exam, students have to choose one of the following alternatives:

G. CASUSCELLI (ed.), Nozioni di diritto ecclesiastico, Fifth edition, G. Giappichelli Editore, Torino, 2015, pp. XIII-485.

I. ZUANAZZI, M.C. RUSCAZIO, M. CIRAVEGNA, La convivenza delle religioni negli ordinamenti giuridici dei Paesi europei, G. Giappichelli Editore, Torino, 2016, pp. IX-364.

F. FINOCCHIARO, Diritto ecclesiastico, Thirteenth edition, edited by A. BETTETINI and G. LO CASTRO, Zanichelli Editore, Bologna, 2020, pp. 1-561.

E. VITALI, A.G. CHIZZONITI, Manuale breve diritto ecclesiastico, Seventeenth edition, Giuffrè, Milano, 2022, pp. XV-416.

For the special part:

G. BONI, L’efficacia civile in Italia delle sentenze canoniche di nullità matrimoniale dopo il Motu Proprio Mitis iudex (parte prima), in the online Journal Stato, Chiese e pluralismo confessionale, www.statoechiese.it, n. 2/2017, 6 February 2017, pp. 1-112.

G. BONI, L’efficacia civile in Italia delle sentenze canoniche di nullità matrimoniale dopo il Motu Proprio Mitis iudex (parte seconda), in the online Journal Stato, Chiese e pluralismo confessionale, www.statoechiese.it, n. 5/2017, 13 February 2017, pp. 1-68.

In the course of her lessons, the teacher will supply and recommend teaching aids and further learning material, following students' specific requests and interests.

 

Teaching methods

The course will develop through lectures, seminars and meetings with experts.

Due to the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all teaching activities of the Department of Legal Studies scheduled in the Fall Semester will be organized according to the models described here: https://dsg.unibo.it/en/teaching/projects-and-teaching-methodologies/teaching-modes-at-dsg-on-i-semester-a-y-2020-2021

Lectures will be given in the I st semester. As a consequence, students obtaining their attendance certificate in the current academic year are allowed to take their exam only from the month of May.

Students will be informed about dates and times of the seminars and the meetings with experts during the lectures or through notices, also on the Faculty web site. The teacher uses slides (or other supplementary material) that will be made available to students on the Virtuale (Virtual Learning Environment) platform.

The students who attend the course will be invited to take part actively in the analysis of the themes studied in class: they will also be given the opportunity to prepare – with the assistance of the teacher – a paper about specific issues they’re particularly interested in, which will be evaluated during the final exam and will concur to the overall assessment.

A service of teaching tutorship is provided to students who need clarification about the content of the course and the exam. Students who want to ask for its operating modes have to contact the teacher by e-mail in order to receive communications.

Assessment methods

Only the student who has already taken the exams of Constitutional law and Private law is admitted to the oral exam.

The verification of learning consists in a final exam which will explore the acquisition of knowledge and skills requested through an oral examination sustained directly with the professor.

The exam will cover the issues described in the “Course contents” section. The examination entails the assignment of a grade.

In this way the student will be able to show not only the learned knowledge, but also the critical and methodological capacities gained.

In the same time he will have to demonstrate to have some specific abilities. First of all, the possession of a mastery of expression and an appropriate technical language. The second one is the ability to move in safely within the system of the sources of this matter. The student moreover must have a clear perception of the information received and, finally, he must have properly understood the issues addressed in class and elucidated in the textbooks of reference. Learning such skills is easier during the course, the attendance of which is recommended in order to improve the learning process and therefore the student’s performance during the exam.

Namely, about the oral exam:

 As previously mentioned, the aim of the oral exam is to assess the actual achievement of the learning outcomes: therefore, both the knowledge of the relevant legal issues and the student’s capability to apply it in order to realize the required logical-deductive connections will be taken into account.

By way of a mere example, the assignment of the final grade will be based on the following criteria:

Sufficient knowledge of a very small number of the topics addressed during the course and analytical skills that only emerge through extensive support by the interviewer, with the use of a language that is not incorrect but is not completely accurate either → 18-19;

Fairly good knowledge of a limited number of the topics addressed during the course and analytical skills that are autonomous only on purely executive issues, with the use of a correct but not fully confident and exhaustive language → 20-24;

Good knowledge of a wide number of the topics addressed during the course and capability to develop autonomous analytical skills, with an efficient and confident use of a technically specific language → 25-29;

Extensive and substantially exhaustive knowledge of the whole program addressed during the course, capability to develop very good legal reasonings and to critically analyse and connect different topics, with a fully confident use of a technically specific language that shows a mature ability to develop original reflections → 30-30L.

The students who attend the course will also be given the opportunity to prepare – with the assistance of the teacher – a paper about specific issues they’re particularly interested in, which will be evaluated during the final exam and will concur to the overall assessment. 

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures: the same also applies with regard to the final exam.

Students have to book the final exam on the web application AlmaEsami.

 

Thesis

For the assignment of thesis the student must go to the reception of the teacher to discuss and decide the theme.

Teaching tools

During the lessons the teacher will indicate and provide texts and supplementary materials to complete the preparation.

Students will be informed about dates and times of the seminars and the meetings with experts during the lectures and through notices on the Faculty website.

The teacher uses slides that will be made available to students on the Virtuale (Virtual Learning Environment) platform in order to help them understanding the issues and the institutions explained during the lesson.

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

The collaborators of the Chair and the Professor will receive the students on the same day.

A service of teaching tutorship is provided to students who need clarification about the content of the course and the exam. Students who want to ask for its operating modes have to contact the teacher by e-mail in order to receive communications.

Office hours

See the website of Geraldina Boni