Office bearers and Committee Members

Office bearers and Committee Members






Fr Paul Churchill was ordained a priest for the Dublin Archdiocese in 1977.  After acting as a chaplain and teacher of religion in second level schools he began a licence in Canon Law at the Gregorian, Rome, in 1981.  Due to ill-health he had to leave Rome for a number of years but in the meantime joined the Dublin Regional Marriage Tribunal where he gained much experience. 

In 1988 he returned to Rome to complete the licence and also obtained a doctorate in the area of the Procedural Law of the 1983 Code in 1993. 

He returned to work in the Tribunal in Dublin. In 1997 as well as working in the Tribunal he became Assistant Chancellor.  Around this time he was also appointed to the Advisory Panel of his diocese for dealing with complaints against clergy and served on it for 16 years.  In 2009 he took over running the Dublin Regional Marriage Tribunal where he is currently JV.  He assists bishops and religious superiors on matters pertaining to accusations against clergy as well as having acted as Advocate for many accused priests.  He helped the Legion of Mary formulate their International Statutes.  He gives the section of Error/Deceit on the Jurisprudence Course run by the CLSGBI. 

He was elected President of the CLSGBI in May 2016.







General Secretary CLSGBI

St Kevin’s RC Church,

Mainhill Road,

Bargeddie, Baillieston,

Glasgow G69 6SS


T: 0141 771 1654



Fr James J. O’Kane was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Motherwell on 3rd July 1997, He trained at the Royal Scots College, Salamanca (1990-97), and obtained a Bachelor Degree in Theology (S.T.B) (1995) and a Licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L., 1997) (Can 1395.2: Clerical Sexual Misconduct in Scotland) from the Pontifical University of Salamanca.

He has held the offices of Case Instructor (1998), Judge (2000-2009), Associate Judicial Vicar (2001-2004) and Judicial Vicar (2004-2009).
Fr O’Kane is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde (Civil Law (LLB (Hons) Human Rights and the Freedom of expression of Religion (2010-2013); Masters in Law & Mediation (LLM), The Use of Mediation in Canon Law (2014). In addition to his work in Canonical Advocacy, Fr O’Kane is also a qualified Mediator and promotor of the use of Mediation in Canon law.

Fr O’Kane joined the Society in 1998. He was a member of the Society’s Research Sub-Committee (2001-2007), RSC Secretary (2004-2007).

Having served as hospital chaplain, schools’ chaplain and assistant priest, Fr O’Kane is currently Parish Priest of St Kevin’s, Bargeddie.







Treasurer CLSGBI                          

St John Vianney

East Stirling Street


Clackmannanshire FK12 5HA


Fr Brian McLean was ordained a priest on 5th July 1986 for the Diocese of Dunkeld. Following studies at the University of Dundee (BSc) he trained at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome, (1980-87) and was awarded degrees in Philosophy (PhB) (1980-82), Theology (STB) (1982-85) and a Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL, 1985-87), “Ignorantia irritante consensum, canon 1096 §1 Quomodo ergo habere potest vim?” from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

Fr McLean has worked at the Scottish National Tribunal since 1989 as Case Instructor and Judge and since 2005 as Vice-Officialis.

Fr McLean has been a member of the Society since 1988. He addressed delegates at the 1990 Conference on Movements within the Church. He was elected of Treasurer of the Society in 2001.

Fr McLean has held a number of diocesan appointments: assistant priest, school chaplain, hospital chaplain, parish priest, member of the diocesan College of Consultors. Fr McLean is currently parish priest of St John Vianney, Alva.






Fr. Simon Blakesley is a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia. He was ordained priest in 1990 during his canonical studies at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, (1989–1991) where he was awarded a licentiate in Canon Law (JCL).

He has since worked as a Defender of the Bond and Judge in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. In 1992 Fr Blakesley was appointed as Associate Judicial Vicar (1992-96) and four years later as Judicial Vicar (1996 -).

Father Blakesley has been a member of the Canon Law Society since 1989 and a regular attendee at the Annual Conferences of the Society and at other gatherings of Judicial Vicars in Rome.

He was assistant priest at St. George’s, Norwich, and from1995 he has held the office of Parish Priest in Beccles, Diss, and Newmarket where he currently is Parish Priest.





Fr Kristian Paver was ordained in 1992 and is a priest of the Diocese of Plymouth, of which he is the Judicial Vicar (appointed 1996) and the Chancellor (appointed 2014). He was awarded his Licence in Canon Law “summa cum laude” in 1993 from the Pontifical Lateran University with a dissertation entitled “L’ordinamento canonico generale e il diritto proprio dei religiosi”, as well as gaining Certificates of Praxis and Jurisprudence from the Congregations for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. On his return to England, he taught canon law at the Missionary Institute London (1994-2000), Heythrop College London (2000-2006) and St Mary’s University in Twickenham (2007-2014). He has been a tutor on the CLSGBI Jurisprudence Course since 1996.

He has fulfilled the roles of Judge at the Metropolitan Tribunal of Westminer (1994-2000) and at the Diocesan Tribunal of Oslo (2004-2009), and was the first Chancellor of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (2010-2015). He has acted as an expert witness in several civil law cases and as an adviser to a number of religious institutes.

He was appointed to the CLSGBI Working Party on Child Protection Procedures to consider the canonical implications of the Recommendations of the Nolan Report (2001) and became a member of the Nolan Working Party of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Following the Cumberlege Review (2007), he was a member of the Bishops’ Conference Implementation Group and subsequently served on the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of England and Wales (2008-2012). He represented the Bishops’ Conferences of England and Wales and of Scotland on the Clergy Working Group established by the then Department for Trade and Industry to consider proposed changes to the employment status of clergy and co-authored The Directory on the Canonical Status of Clergy, published by the Catholic Truth Society in 2009.

He has given numerous talks and presentations to Tribunals, Dioceses and professional bodies, including two papers to the CLSGBI Annual Conference: “Privacy, Information and Fairness: Civil Rights and Canon Law – Conflict or Partnership” (2003) and “Implementing the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus Four Years On: Developments and Continuing Questions (2014). Published articles include “Mandated Lay Ministry” in The Pastoral Review (2005), “Canon Law” in Bowden (ed), Christianity: The Complete Guide (2005), “Child Sexual Abuse and Canon Law” in Geary and Greer (ed), The Dark Night of the Catholic Church: Examining the Child Sexual Abuse Scandal (2011).

He has been the parish priest of Totnes in Devon since 2000.





Canon Joseph Rooney is a Priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor, Ireland. He took his primary degree (Bachelor of Arts) at The Queen's University of Belfast (1977-80) before proceeding to study theology (STB) at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1980-83).

He was ordained on 1 July 1984. Following ordination, he did post-graduate studies in Education (PGCE) at St Mary's University College, Belfast (1984-85).

He was appointed to the Armagh Regional Marriage Tribunal in January 1987; Case Instructor (1987-92). In 1992 he returned to the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, to study Canon Law and was awarded a Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL) The Notion of Sacramentality as found in Canon 1055 with particular reference to Baptised Non-Believers: and Exclusion of Sacramental Dignity considered in the light of the current juridical understanding of Canons 1099 and 1101, 2 of the Code of Canon Law (1994). Since 1994 Father Rooney has worked in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal: Judge Instructor (1994-). In September 2014 he was appointed Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Down and Connor and in September 2015 Judicial Vicar of the Armagh Inter-Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. In August 2015 Father Rooney was invested as an Honorary Canon of the Co-Cathedral of Bobbio (Italy).

Fr Rooney has been a member of the Canon Law Society since 1989 and has taught for several years on the CLSGBI Jurisprudence Course. In May 2016 he was elected as a member of the Executive Committee.