Sacramentum Mundi Online

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Ecclesiastical Tribunals
(3,254 words)

A. Origin and History

The Church has sacred authority to dispense justice, that is, the power to pass sentence according to law on the faithful who come under its jurisdiction. Conflicts arise which charity alone is unable to resolve — although the Church prefers disputes to be settled by adjustment or arbitration, provided that the public interest is not at stake. But ecclesiasti…

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Charles Lefebvre, “Ecclesiastical Tribunals”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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