Edward N. Peters

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Edward N. Peters
Edward Neal Peters
EducationJD in Law from the University of Missouri 1982, JCD in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America 1991.
OccupationCanonist; Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura
In the Light of the Law

Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap. (1957) is an American canonist and Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura (an advisor/consultant to the Holy See's top tribunal).[1][2] He is professor of canon law at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Detroit.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Edward Neal Peters was born (1957) and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended the Chaminade College Preparatory School 1970-1975. He attended St. Louis University, majoring in Political Science, graduating in 1979.[4][5] He earned his JD from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1982, during the third year of which he was a teaching assistant in the Legal Research and Writing Program for Tate Hall. After graduation, Peters was admitted to the Missouri Bar Association.[4]

Professional career[edit]

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In 1988, Peters earned his J.C.L. degree from the Catholic University of America and was named Quasten Fellow for doctoral studies there, completing doctoral course work in 1990, and defending his doctoral dissertation, Penal Procedural Law in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, in August 1991.

Over the next twelve years, Peters served as Director of the Office for Canonical Affairs, Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor, Defender of the Bond, and Collegial Judge for diocesan and appellate tribunals for the dioceses of Duluth and San Diego. From May 2001, Peters taught at the (Graduate) Institute for Pastoral Theology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2005, he was appointed to the Cardinal Szoka Chair of Canon Law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. In 2010, he was named a Referendary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura by Pope Benedict XVI,[5] becoming the first layman appointed to that post since the re-establishment of the Signatura early in the 20th century.

His website, CanonLaw.info is the largest canon law website in the world, and his canon law blog, In the Light of the Law, has received the attention of many religious and secular news outlets.


  • 1988: Home Schooling & the New Code of Canon Law (Brownson studies)
  • 1997: 100 Answers to Your Questions on Annulments (a Basilica Press "Modern Apologetics" Book)
  • 2000: Tabulae congruentiae inter Codicem iuris canonici et versiones anteriores canonum
  • 2001: The 1917 or Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law: in English Translation with Extensive Scholarly Apparatus
  • 2004: Annulments and the Catholic Church
  • 2005: Incrementa in progressu 1983 Codicis iuris canonici
  • 2006: Excommunication and the Catholic Church
  • 2008: A Modern Guide to Indulgences


  1. ^ "Pope Francis washes women's feet in break with church law". MyFoxChicago. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "A Call to Deny Communion to Cuomo". New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Vatican Information Service, accessed June 10, 2013
  4. ^ a b Profile, canonlaw.info; accessed May 11, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Dr. Edward Peters profile at". Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

External links[edit]