Another path exists in which a proper comprehension of canon law gives way to a process of interpretation that is part of the search for truth regarding law and justice in the Church. As I pointed out to the Federal Parliament of my country, in the Reichstag in Berlin, true law is inseparable from justice. This principle obviously also applies to canon law, in the sense that it can not be locked within a merely human system legal, but must be connected to a just order of the Church, in which there is a higher law. In this context, positive human law loses the primacy attributed to it, since law is no longer identified with it alone; in this, however, human law is valued as an expression of justice, primarily for what it declares regarding divine law, but also for what it introduces regarding self-determination as a human right....It follows that the interpretation of Canon Law must take place within the Church. ... The sentire cum Ecclesia has a meaning also in discipline, motivated by the doctrinal foundations that are always present and operative in the legal norms of the Church. In this sense, also to Canon Law must be applied that hermeneutic of renewal in continuity of which I have spoken regarding the Second Vatican Council, so closely related to the current canonical legislation. Christian maturity leads to loving the law ever more and to wishing to understand and apply it faithfully.
January 21, 2012