Pope John Paul II promulgated the Code of Canon Law in 1983. Before that the law had not been changed since the Code of 1917. Prior to that, the history of the Code stretches back to the Apostles.
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Canon Law is the oldest continuously functioning legal system. It is the only functioning legal system that is universal; it governs its one billion members no matter where in the world they live. The Code is comprised of 1752 canons, all fitting neatly into one volume. Even though the entire Code is contained in one small volume, the Commentaries and Treatises on it fill many more.
The Gratianus Series is a premier succession of books dealing with the contributions of many canonists on the Code and its governance of the Catholic Church. It contributes not only to the intellectual life of the Code, but to the basic understanding by the person in the pew. The more Catholics who understand their rights and duties in the Church, the more they can participate in the mission of the Church, to bring us all ultimately to unity with God.