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Dr. Edward Peters

Dr. Edward Peters joined Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2005 with his appointment to the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair.

 

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Peters went to Saint Louis University on a musicianship award, majoring in Political Science (B.A. 1979). He became active in pro-life activities and Catholic discussion groups and sang in the schola cantorum of Msgr. Martin Hellriegel's renowned Holy Cross Parish in North St. Louis. Peters then attended the University of Missouri at Columbia School of Law where he took his J.D. degree in 1982. He was a Superior Oralist in Tate Hall's Moot Court, received a teaching assistantship in the Legal Research and Writing Program, and began writing for religious and legal journals. He was admitted to the Missouri Bar Association in 1982.

 

In 1985 Peters began studies in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, earning his licentiate degree (J.C.L.) in 1988 and becoming the first canon law student to be named a Johannes Quasten Fellow. He completed doctoral course work in 1990 and defended his dissertation "Penal Procedural Law in the 1983 Code of Canon Law" in August 1991.

 

For ten years Peters served variously as diocesan Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor, Director of the Office for Canonical Affairs, Defender of the Bond, and Collegial Judge for diocesan and appellate tribunals in the Dioceses of Duluth (Province of St. Paul/Minneapolis) and San Diego (Province of Los Angeles). Throughout this time he continued writing for a wide variety of religious and secular publications (his articles and reviews have since appeared in some seventy-five publications) and serving as a canonical consultant to numerous ecclesiastical institutions and persons. During this same time, in addition to several years of adjunct teaching in canon law through the University of Dallas, Peters made dozens of appearances in Catholic and secular media explaining the interplay between Church law and life.

 

From 2001-2005 Peters taught canon law, ecclesiastical structures, and liturgy/sacraments for the (Graduate) Institute for Pastoral Theology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These same years saw the completion of his 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law in English Translation (2001) and the release of his textual history of the 1983 Code, Incrementa in Progressu 1983 Codicis Iuris Canonici (2005), both works winning international acclaim.

 

Since joining the Sacred Heart faculty in 2005, Peters has taught in the licentiate, theologate, and collegiate programs. Among his services to the wider Church are his work with the Religious Sign Translation Committee of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf and his numerous submissions as a canonical expert and amicus curiae in various US court cases impacting the Holy See and religious freedom in the United States. In 2010, Peters was named a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, becoming the first layman so appointed since the reconstitution of Signatura over 100 years ago. In 2012, Peters was named by His Holiness an expert consultant to the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

 

Dr. Peters and his wife Angela have six children, several godchildren, and, through PIME Missionaries of Detroit, sponsor three children overseas. Their family interests include American Sign Language, chess, astronomy, classic cinema, and great books. Peters maintains a prominent educational website dedicated to ecclesiastical law, www.Canonlaw.info.