“It would be erroneous to insist that canon law is pastoral only insofar as legitimate exceptions can be made to it, such as through the institutes of canonical equity, dispensation, custom, etc.  While these are indeed pastoral elements of the canonical system, this conception of them is distorted since it implies that the norm of canon law in its integrity is un-pastoral.  Canonical norms – which are largely issued by the supreme shepherd (pastor) of the Church – are pastoral in their literal meaning and application, since they are deliberately directed toward fostering and reaching the supernatural end of the Church.  For they provide for relationships of justice;  and ecclesial justice, ‘which is moved by charity and tempered by equity, is always rightly called pastoral’ [John Paul II].

— William L. Daniel, “The Origin, Nature, and Purpose of Canon Law,” in Studia canonica,  25 (2011), p. 338.