The 1983 Code of Canon Law

"Since the Church is organized as a social and visible structure, it must also have norms: in order that its hierarchical and organic structure be visible; in order that the exercise of the functions divinely entrusted to it, especially that of sacred power and of the administration of the sacraments, may be adequately organized; in order that the mutual relations of the faithful may be regulated according to justice based upon charity, with the rights of individuals guaranteed and well-defined; in order, finally, that common initiatives undertaken to live a Christian life ever more perfectly may be sustained, strengthened and fostered by canonical norms." 

(From the Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges issued on the 25th January 1983, through which Pope John Paul II instituted the 1983 Code of Canon Law)

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