Through the centuries the Catholic Church as developed the Code of Canon Law which guides the Church in its day to day activities. The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church binds all faithful from the parishioners in the pews to the cardinals electing the Pope.

Saint John Paul II wrote of the Code of Canon Law,

The Code, as the principal legislative document of the Church, founded on the juridical – legislative heritage of Revelation and Tradition, is to be regarded as an indispensable instrument to ensure order both in individual and social life, and also in the Church’s activity itself. Therefore, besides containing the fundamental elements of the hierarchical and organic structure of the Church as willed by her divine Founder, or as based upon apostolic, or in any case most ancient, tradition, and besides the fundamental principles which govern the exercise of the threefold office entrusted to the Church itself, the Code must also lay down certain rules and norms of behavior.

The rules and norms contain both responsibilities of the faithful and rights of the faithful. If a member of the faithful is derelict in his responsibilities, he may incur a canonical punishment. Alternatively, if clerics or ecclesiastical authorities exceed their authority, a member of the faithful may be unjustly denied the rights of the faithful. In both of these circumstances the affected member of the faithful will need to navigate canon law. Canon lawyers guide the faithful through the Canonical hurdles in either defending themselves from an unjust canonical punishment or defending the faithful’s rights.

St. Thomas More’s Purse was founded to provide financial support to members of the faithful in need of assistance from a canon lawyer, but who are unable to afford the fees of a canon lawyer without financial aid.