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My series on select canonical issues in Deaf ministry is complete

April 8, 2014

Several years ago, I sat down to write a canonical study on the possibility that Deaf Catholics might be able to use video communication technologies for sacramental Confession. About half-way through the writing of that article, however, I realized that some important questions concerning the celebration of sacraments in sign language needed to be settled first, so I set aside the Confession article and started writing an article on sacraments and sign. About half-way through writing that article, however, I realized that several preliminary questions about the ordination of Deaf men needed to be examined, so I set aside the sacraments article and started writing the Deaf clergy article.

In 2008 my Deaf clergy article came out in the Josephinum Journal of Theology and about a year later my article on sacraments in sign language appeared in Studia Canonica. The Confession article, though, was unfortunately delayed by a string of pressing projects and I only was able to get back to it a year or so ago. But today I am happy to announce that it has been published by The Jurist.

The three studies are best read in this order:

• Edward Peters, “Canonical and cultural developments culminating in the ordination of Deaf men during the twentieth century”, Josephinum Journal of Theology 15 (2008) 427-443.

• Edward Peters, “The ordination of men bereft of speech and the celebration of sacraments in sign language”, Studia Canonica 42 (2008) 331-345.

• Edward Peters, “Video communications technology and the sacramental confessions of Deaf Catholics”, The Jurist 73 (2013) 513-537.

I don’t believe any of these articles are on-line (canon law is, and will remain for some time, a largely physical-medium science) but one might try academic interlibrary services for copies.

Here’s hoping these articles might help advance Deaf ministry.

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