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(310 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] Following the example of Roman law, canonical law developed the rescript as a legal institution which differentiates between rescriptum iustitiae and rescriptum gratiae (cf. Corpus Iuris Canonici: Liber extra 1.3; Liber sextus [VI] 1.3). The rescript was regarded as a quasi-contractual relationship; the petitioner was required to accept it (cf. VI 3.7.1; 3.4.17). CIC/1917 abolished this requirement (c. 37) and the rescript became a unilateral act of jurisdiction in the ambit of the ordinaries ( CIC c. 36 §1). CIC/1983 limits the concept of the rescript to th…

Plenary Councils

(298 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] (also called primatial, general, universal, national, or imperial councils) have been convened since the early days of the church as bodies representing a more or less extensive portion of the church – more than a single ecclesiastical province, but not the whole church, so they cannot be considered ecumenical councils (Council: II). Among the most important were those of the African church in the 4th and 5th centuries, presided over by the primate of Carthage. Although the three …

Marriage of Joseph

(198 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] In Catholic practice, a Josephite marriage is a marriage modeled on that of Joseph (Joseph, “Father” of Jesus) and Mary (Mary, Mother of Jesus), in which both parties agree voluntarily to sexual abstinence, whether from the beginning of the marriage or at some later time. Such a resolution by one or both parties, even if reinforced by a vow or pledge, is compatible with valid consent to marry as long as it does not refuse the other partner the right to the marriage act, in other w…


(97 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] is the violation of persons, places, or things that have been dedicated to God or are associated with God. In canon law, physical attacks on the pope, bishops,or clergy and religious are penal offences, as are desecration, retention, or discarding the eucharistic species, profaning a holy object, and consecration of only one eucharistic species or of both outside a eucharistic celebration. Helmuth Pree Bibliography W. Rees, Die Strafgewalt der Kirche, 1993 B. Maier, D. Piattelli & M.J. Suda, “Religionsvergehen,” TRE XXIX, 1998, 49–61 B.F. Pighin, Diritto penale ca…

Mass Stipend

(320 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] In Catholic canon law, mass stipend designates the traditionally established custom of donating money to a priest, so that the latter may apply the mass for a specific intention (cf. CIC 1983 c. 945 §1; CCEO c. 715 §1). The CIC deliberately avoids – as does the CCEO – the older term stipendium (cf. CIC 1917 cc. 824–844) to obviate the possiblility of a misinterpretation of the mass stipend as a payment for the performance of a spiritual act. It uses the term stips (donation) instead. Priests are to celebrate mass in the eyes of the faithful (and esp. of the need…

See, Vacant

(141 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] In the case of papal, episcopal, and quasi-episcopal office (cf. CIC/1983, c. 381 §2), the term sede vacante (“while the see is vacant”) refers to the period between the time the incumbent leaves office (through death or resignation; in the case of the pope also through clear and irreversible loss of the use of reason; in the case of bishops, also through removal or transfer) and a new incumbent takes office. The norms governing vacancy of the papal see are found in the apostolic constitution Universi dominici gregis of Feb 22, 1996, those governing episcopal office…


(449 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] originally referred in (non-Christian) Greek (διοίκησις/ dioíkēsis) to the state administration, especially of finances. The Roman Empire took over the term in a technical political sense: a redivision of the Empire into 12 dioceses and these into provinces (under Diocletian, 284–305). The organization of the church followed this division, with the church diocese originally coinciding with the imperial diocese. Their subdivisions into the parishes of the individual bishops were called παροικία/ paroikía (cf. c. 9 of the Council of Antioch, …

Reconciliation (in Canon Law)

(164 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] From ancient canon law to CIC/1917, reconciliation (Lat. reconciliatio) denoted the (liturgical) absolution required for a church, cemetery, or altar to be used again after desecration or profanation ( CIC/1917 cc. 1172–1177; 1207). It also denotes reconciliation with God and the church through the sacrament of penance (Repentance: IV, 3.a); cf. CIC/1983 cc. 959f. and CCEO cc. 718 and 720 §1) and specifically restoration to full communion with the church through lifting an excommunication incurred through apostasy (Apostate), heresy, …


(279 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] denotes three functions in canon law: 1. The paenitentiarius canonicus (canon penitentiary) to be appointed in cathedrals and collegiate churches. By virtue of his office he has both the authority, within ¶ his area of jurisdiction, to hear confessions ( CIC/1983 c. 968 §1), and also the regular, but not delegable, authority to absolve, within the sacrament of penance (Repentance: IV, 2.b; 3.a), from undeclared latae sententiae censures not reserved to the Holy See. This authority can be exercised by the penitentiary, within the diocese, even ov…


(427 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] The earliest evidence of punitive suspension from performing liturgical functions or any official function dates from the late Roman era. At the close of the 11th century, we find suspensio ab officio et beneficio (including loss of emoluments); the loss of income represents a reinforcement ( Corpus iuris canonici, Liber extra [X] 2.21.2; X 5.19.7). Suspension from the power of orders alone first appears toward the end of the 12th century (X 5.8.1). In CIC/1917 suspension appears as both a coercive penalty and an atonement penalty. It is one of three co…

Parish Council (Germany)

(286 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] The parish council (Ger. Pfarrgemeinderat), as it at present exists in the bishoprics of Germany (and similarly in other German-speaking ¶ bishoprics), owes its self-understanding and essential structure to the resolution “Councils and Associations” of the joint synod of bishoprics in the German Federal Republic (1972–1975), and the framework order for structures of co-responsibility in the diocese, passed at the same time. The resolution draws (a) on the traditional structure of the lay apostolate of…

Sanction, Church Law

(137 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] A sanction is the legal detriment associated with failure to observe a requirement of church law. Roman law recognized leges plus quam perfectae (legal action voided, penalty), leges perfectae (legal action voided), leges minus quam perfectae (penalty but legal action valid), and leges imperfectae (not voided and no penalty). Criminal sanctions must be distinguished from non-criminal sanctions. The former are ecclesiastical penalties. In canon law, there is a range of possibilities, depending on the legal action in questio…


(149 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] bez. das auf die Dekretale Papst Alexanders III. (Corpus Iuris Canonici: Liber extra 1,35) zurückgeführte »Vorstellungsrecht« (lat. remonstratio) der Bischöfe gegen päpstl. Gesetze mit Suspensivwirkung bis zur neuerlichen päpstl. Entscheidung. Obwohl im CIC/1917 nicht enthalten, wurde das Remonstrationsrecht von der Lehre als Bestandteil des geltenden Rechts angesehen und wird z.T. weiterhin als geltend anerkannt, ja von manchen ausgeweitet auf das Recht jeder von einem kirchl. G…


(211 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] refers to the right of bishops to “bring forward opposing arguments” (Lat. remonstratio) against papal laws. Going back to the decretals of Pope Alexander III (Corpus Iuris Canonici [ CIC]: Liber extra I, 3, 5), this privilege has a suspensive effect on the contentious laws until the further decision of the pope. Although it was not included in the CIC of 1917, the right of remonstration was regarded doctrinally as an integral part of prevailing law and is still recognized by some as valid, and even expanded by some as the right of any co…

Regional Deanery

(194 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] Regional Deanery, also called a district deanery, is a coalition of neighboring deaneries (Dean) to foster pastoral care through common action. Their legal basis is CD 30, the motu proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae I, 19 §1; the Directorium Apostolorum successores, 2004, no. 2; and CIC/1983 c. 374 §2. The Gemeinsame Synode der Bistümer der Bundesrepublik Deutschland had already provided for midlevel regional deaneries above the local deanery level, without making them mandatory. The function of regional deaneries, their relationsh…


(242 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] . Der P., so wie er in den Bistümern Deutschlands derzeit besteht – in den übrigen Diözesen des dt. Sprachraumes ist er ähnlich strukturiert –, verdankt sein Selbstverständnis und seine wesentliche Struktur dem Beschluß »Räte und Verbände« der Gemeinsamen Synode der Bistümer in der Bundesrep. D. (1972–1975) und der damit verabschiedeten »Rahmenordnung für Strukturen der Mitverantwortung in der Diözese«. Der Beschluß greift einerseits die traditionelle Struktur des Laienapostolats…


(143 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] Weihbischof, im dt. Sprachraum übliche Bez. für einen solchen Titularbischof (c.376 CIC/1983; c.179 CCEO), der einem Diözesanbischof als Auxiliarbischof oder Koadjutorbischof (vgl. cc.403–411 CIC; cc.85 § 2,1°, 212–218 CCEO) beigegeben ist. Sie verdankt sich dem Umstand, daß im Spät-MA dem Diözesanbischof (dies u.a. dort, wo er als Fürstbischof bzw. geistl. Reichsfürst zwar das Bischofsamt, nicht aber die Bischofsweihe besaß) ein oder mehrere W. gegeben wurden, um ihn in der Ausü…

Sanktion der Kirchengesetze

(128 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] ist der Rechtsnachteil, der sich an die Nichtbeachtung einer kirchl. Gesetzesvorschrift knüpft. Das röm. Recht kannte leges plus quam perfectae (Nichtigkeit eines Rechtsgeschäfts unter Strafe), leges perfectae (Nichtigkeit), leges minus quam perfectae (Gültigkeit und gleichzeitige Strafbarkeit) sowie leges imperfectae (weder Nichtigkeit noch Strafe). Es sind strafrechtliche S. von nichtstrafrechtlichen S. zu unterscheiden. Erstere sind die Kirchenstrafen. Letztere lassen sich im …


(245 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] bez. im kanonischen Recht drei Funktionen: 1. den an den Kathedral- sowie Kollegiatkirchen zu bestellenden paenitentiarius canonicus (Bußkanoniker): Er besitzt kraft Amtes für seinen Zuständigkeitsbereich sowohl die Befugnis, Beichten entgegenzunehmen (c.968 @ 1 CIC/1983), als auch die ordentliche, aber nicht delegierbare Befugnis, im Rahmen des Bußsakramentes (Buße: IV.,2., b und 3., a) von Beugestrafen loszusprechen, die nicht festgestellte Tatstrafen und nicht dem Apostolischen Stuh…


(359 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] . Die strafweise Enthebung von den liturgischen Funktionen oder von allen Amtsfunktionen ist bereits in spätröm. Epoche feststellbar. Die supensio ab offico et beneficio (auch Verlust der Amtseinkünfte) begegnet seit Ende des 11.Jh., wobei der Verlust der Einkünfte eine Verschärfung darstellt (Corpus Iuris Canonici: Liber extra [X] 2, 21, 2; X 5, 19, 7). Die Enthebung nur von den Weihefunktionen tritt erst gegen Ende des 12.Jh. auf (X 5, 8, 1). Im CIC/1917 begegnet die S. sowohl …
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