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CANONIST. One well versed in canon or ecclesiastical law.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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These sources come from a genre of literature called pastoralia, which was heavily dependent on the writings of canonists. Medieval pastoralia was a didactic form of literature that emerged to assist pastors in the care of souls, particularly in their roles as preachers and confessors.
In a preemptive defense against peevish reviewers, McGuckin notes that he is not a canonist, a lawyer, or even a historian of law (11); neither is his book about canon law per se.
Moralists debated whether the requirements of a "direct abortion" had been met, while canonists questioned the penalty, noting the required lack of malicious intent to violate the law.
Although critical of the Cardinal, the sickening report gave him credit for instigating two secret canon law trials, despite strong opposition from one of the most powerful canonists in the Archdiocese, Monsignor Sheehy.
He argues for justice as inherent rights, finding them in the Bible and twelfth-century canonists and not in Enlightenment thinkers or late-Middle-Age nominalists, as justice-as-right-order theorists would have it.
Among canonists in Rabelais's time there occurred considerable discussion of privilege--usually in the abstract singular Latin form privilegium, not the plural privilegia as in Urquhart's Latin or privileges as in Rabelais's French.
Indeed, the centrality of conformidad to a marriage is a concept developed from Isidore of Seville and medieval canonists through sixteenth-century commentators, and was expressed with clarity by them well before the Comedia became an art form.
Many theologians and canonists agree that while the issue of abortion is worthy of serious discussion in the church, a person who is "prochoice" is not automatically a heretic.
Many canonists from across the country gathered in London, Ontario, to consider results 20 years after the launching of the new Code of Canon Law.
Scholars, theologians and canonists answer that there is a great deal a virtuous prince could do (for the good of the kingdom), particularly as England has been subject to discriminatory policies at the hands of various popes from centuries.
Euben calls the former group "conservative canonists" and the latter he calls "multiculturalists." While the labels might be thought unrealistically broad, the conflict is real enough.