Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Ask a Canon Lawyer!

May 10th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Ask a Canon Lawyer

Have you ever had a question about the Canon Law of the Catholic Church and how it applies to annulments, excommunication for serious matters, reception of Holy Communion by politicians who reject the Teaching of the Church, whether Canon Law gives the right to bear arms, what makes a Mass illicit vs. invalid?  Can a Catholic Hospital legitimately merge with a hospital which does abortions?  Are accused priests guilty until proven innocent? Who determines laicization of priests?  What is the correct process for closing a Catholic Church or for selling it?  To whom do the funds and other patrimony belong?  Who can use the word “Catholic” and who can’t?  There are myriad additional questions, too numerous to list, governed by Canon Law.  This is your chance to “Ask a Canon Lawyer!”

Mr. Philip C. L. Gray, who holds a licentiate in Canon Law, will be visiting the Rochester area on Tuesday, May 20th and has agreed to address a private group on Canon Law matters and much more at 7:00 PM in a location to be announced to registrants (East side of Rochester).  He will begin with an overview of Canon Law structure and purpose, and share some of his specific case results, to the extent his obligations of confidentiality reasonably permit.  He will provide an extensive period for questions from the audience as well.  If attendees have a specific question they most want to hear discussed, they may submit it in advance by email and the staff will do their best to queue it up.

Philip Gray, JCL addresses attendees of Festival for Freedom (2012) on Freedom of Conscience

Philip Gray, JCL addresses attendees of Festival for Freedom (2012) on Freedom of Conscience

Mr. Gray represents laity as well as clergy from many areas of the U. S. and he is internationally recognized as an advocate to help the faithful assert their rights under the Canon Law of the Catholic Church.  He has submitted numerous cases to the Vatican Congregations, including the Apostolic Signatura.  He will comment on how the process works, how mandaters of Canon Lawyers have been able to realize some influence, and what he expects from the various changes now in progress under Pope Francis.  For more information on the Canon Law practice of Philip C. L. Gray, JCL please visit:

As a Director of the St. Joseph Foundation (SJF) in San Antonio TX,  Mr. Gray has been at the heart of recognizing developing issues on a variety of subjects, since the SJF is often a first stop in determining even if there is a matter that should be brought forward under Canon Law.  SJF has spent the last 30 years, as a not-for-profit, offering services without charge to those seeking to vindicate their rights, thus putting justice within the reach of anyone who has been seriously wronged under Church Law, and leading to referral when litigation becomes the next step.  Mr. Gray has also been a resource to the SJF and pursued cases on their referral as  procurator and advocate.  The SJF is a not-for-profit foundation which exists solely on donations from those who see the value in providing such service and protection under the Law of the Church.

Recently, the founder of SJF has announced his retirement from active involvement in most of the Foundation’s activities, and the Board of Directors has named Mr. Gray as President and successor.   Mr. Gray will also speak about the plans for SJF and continued faithfulness to its charter.  A tax-deductible, free-will offering will be taken up for the cause of continuity of SJF’s work.  For more information on the St. Joseph Foundation please visit:



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