Pope John Paul II will present a completely revised code of Roman Catholic canon law Tuesday. The new code of canon law, comprising 1,700 articles in seven sections, is the result of 23 years of work begun by the late Pope John XXIII. It reflects changes put forth by the Second Vatican Council 1962-65.
Although the new code will codify liberalizing changes that have taken place in the church, it will maintain the traditional ban on women in the priesthood and abolish lenient rules in marriage annulment cases that have been followed in the US and Australia. One liberalization is a reduction of offenses punishable by excommunication from 37 to 6.