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(259 words)

A dispensation is a grant of relief from an ordinance in individual cases, a means for the church to give spiritual direction in particular matters affecting an individual. In canon law the dispensation presupposes the presence of adequate legal grounds (1983 CIC 90). A dispensation from divine law is impossible. The cases of dispensation today are primarily in relation to hindrances to marriage or ordination. Except when the privilege is reserved for the papacy (e.g., see discussion of celibacy, can. 291), diocesan bishops grant the dispensation, although with delegation to pari…

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Stein, Albert, “Dispensation”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_D346>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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