My Canon Law professor, Catholic Priest, Washington Theological Union faculty member Fr. James A. Coriden, received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) this weekend at the annual conference. I cannot begin to express my delight in this honor, Jim Coriden is an absolutely wonderful man, whose brilliance in the field of Canon Law is only overshadowed by his pastoral sensitivity in the practice of Law. Where most people see Canon Law as an oppressive or stifling set of rules or procedures that harm more than help, Coriden has always sought to use Canon Law to build up the Body of Christ, noting as he does that Canon Law is not simply a matter of jurisprudence but is ultimately an expression of theology.

Congratulations, Jim!  Here is the story as told by National Catholic Reporter this morning:

*     *     *     *     *

James A. Coriden receives John Courtney Murray Award

By: Thomas C. Fox

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Fr. James A. Coriden, canon lawyer and a professor at the Washington Theological Union, is the recipient of the 2011 Catholic Theology Society of America’s John Courtney Murray Award, the highest honor bestowed by the society on a theologian. It is named after John Courtney Murray, the great American theologian known for his work on religious liberty.

The award was announced at a CTSA banquet here June 11. Read the CTSA Courtney Murray Award citation. He is a popular figure among the theologians. At an informal gathering following the award ceremony he was greeted with a rousing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

Coriden was ordained a Presbyter of the Diocese of Gary Indiana in 1957. He joined the faculty of the Washington Theological Union in 1975 and currently teaches canon law. Prior to joining the Washington Theological Union, he served on the tribunal and in the chancery in Gary and then taught canon law at Catholic University of America.

Coriden has published many articles in various journals, including Jurist, Studia Canonica, Theological Studies and New Theology Review. He was one of the editors and authors of The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary (1985) and of the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (2000). Recently, Coriden has been exploring the question of the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried Catholics.

He is the author of several books on canon law, church history and parish life. His latest book, published in 2007, “The Rights of Catholics in the Church,” attempts to lay out for Catholics their basic rights in the church.

Photo: CNS

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