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Bishop's Vicar

(244 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In the Roman Catholic church, the episcopal or bishop's vicar is a representative of the diocesan bishop. Unlike the vicar general, he possesses only a limited authority in the executive sphere: the bishop entrusts him with responsibility for one particular part of the diocese, for one particular group of persons or rite, or for specific tasks…

Bishops' Conference

(339 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] An episcopal or bishops' conference is a permanent institution in which the Roman Catholic bishops of a nation or of one particular region come together to exercise their pastoral ministry in common. Episcopal conferences were first introduced in some countries in the 19th century (Germany, 1848; Austria 1849). Vatican II and post-conciliar legislation developed the new form of gatherings of bishops in local churches which exists today (cc. 447–459 CIC/1983). The theological basis is the collegial structure of the episco…

Penitentiary, Apostolic

(285 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The Paenitentiaria Apostolica is one of the three highest courts of the Roman Curia ( Apostolic Constitutions, “Pastor Bonus,” arts. 117–120). It comprises the cardinal grand penitentiary, the regent, prelates, and officials. They are responsible for the sacramental (Confession) and non-sacramental forum internum, and for indulgences, absolutions, dispensations ( CIC/1983 cc. 1048, 1082), commutations, sanations, condonations, remission of punishment, and other acts of mercy, and supervision of the penitentiaries of the Roman pa…

Bishops, College of

(232 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The term “College of Bishops” refers to all the bishops in the Catholic Church in all¶ rites. One becomes a member of the Bishops' College through consecration as a bishop (Bishop, Consecration of) and the hierarchical community ( hierarchica communio) with its head and members. The apostolic body continues in the College of Bishops (c. 336). Like the pope, it bears supreme and full authority in reference to the entire church. As bishop of Rome, the pope is also a member of the College of Bishops and, according to c. 331 CIC/1983, is its head. The …

Primate

(498 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] ( primatus) is used in the Catholic Church in two senses: (1) in the constitutional law of the Latin church, not as a distinct constitutional authority but as the title of a diocesan bishop (above a bishop) linked with specified episcopal sees ( CIC/1983 c. 438). (2) In the law governing religious orders, there is an abbot primate under the general of a monastic congregation ( CIC/1983 c. 620). 1. Primate, like patriarch, is an honorary title of diocesan bishops in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church; in the Eastern Church they are called exarchs.…

Missio canonica

(718 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] is a collective term for legal acts of the church, which are necessary because every action in the name of the church requires a canonical mandate: (1) mandates with functions in doctrine and proclamation; missio canonica in state church and concordat law, ( Nihil obstat , mandatum) for professors and teachers of religion; (2) canonical commission to an office, a service, or a function; (3) (liturgical or legal) mandate to celebrate and dispense sacraments (deacon: to read the gospel, by the celebrating priest; clergy or lait…

Administrator

(112 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In the Roman Catholic Church, the administrator, as apostolic administrator, is leader of a church entity similar to a diocese and is called apostolic administrator. In the law, he is equal to the diocesan bishop (c. 381 2 CIC/1983) and is usually a titular bishop (Episcopal titles). He exercises his office as a representative of the pope (c. 371 2 CIC/1983). The diocesan administrator was formerly called chapter vicar. He leads a vacant diocese. In this regard, the principle sede vacante nihil innovetur pertains. Other administrators include the pastoral …

Defectus

(252 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In Catholic canon law defectus refers to the lack of or error in a legal act or in one of its essential elements. A distinction is made between a lack of consensus and errors of form. An error in or lack of the will to act or of consensus affects the validity of laws. This circumstance pertains, for example, to external authority that renders a law null as well as dolus (a fraudulent deceit), which also makes it contestable (cc. 125, 126 CIC 1983). The concept also plays a role with regard to irregularities (qualified hindrances to ordination). One distinguishes between irregular…

Codex Iuris Canonici (1983)

(498 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] An aggiornamento of canon law had already been announced by John XXIII, as Vatican II had made the Codex of 1917 appear outdated. On Jan 28, 1963, a reform commission was established (commission of cardinals with consultors). The churchgoing public was widely integrated in the making of the new Codex Iuris Canonici ( CIC). Some drafts were withdrawn. John Paul II canonized and promulgated the CIC on Jan 25, 1983. It came into effect on Nov 27, 1983. The Codex itself is written in Latin, though authorized translations into several languages followed. The CIC applies…

Codex Iuris Canonici (1917)

(696 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The intention of restructuring canon law had existed ever since the preparatory work for Vatican I, although the popes of the time never followed up on it. Instead, several private outlines were drafted in which the methodic approach of the Codex Iuris Canonici ( CIC) was anticipated. The definitive work began under Pius X ( Motu Proprio “Arduum sane munus,” Mar 19, 1904). The objective was to harmonize the hitherto fragmented laws concerning the larger and more important issues of church life. A commission was then set up a…

Bishops' Synod

(211 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The Bishops' Synod is an assembly of (Roman Catholic) bishops selected from the various regions of the world who gather at certain times (c. 343 CIC 1983). It originated as an organ of the pope during Vatican II. Its legal regulations are the Motu proprio “Apostolica sollicitudo,” the CIC/1983 (cc. 343–348) and the Ordo synodi. The Bishops' Synod is an advisory organ to the pope and a representative organ of the bishops of the worldwide church (disputed). There is an ordinary an…

Freisen, Joseph

(212 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] (Sep 14, 1893, Warstein, Westphalia – Feb 5, 1932, Würzburg) was ordained to the priesthood in 1878, earned the Dr.iur.utr. from Munich in 1881, the Dr.theol. from Tübingen in 1884, the Habilitation in canon law from the theological faculty of Freiburg in 1885, where he declined a position as assistant professor, became cooperator in Hoinkhausen (Westphalia) in 1885, and professor of canon law at Paderborn in 1892. In 1905, he resigned his professorship in Paderborn and gained his…

Instructio

(179 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] An instructio in the meaning of CIC/1983 c. 34 serves the interpretation and application of laws for the use of those who are responsible for their execution. Bearers of the potestas executiva (e.g. the Vicar General, but also the diocesan bishop [no separation of powers in Catholic church law!]) are competent to issue an instructio. It is subordinate to the laws. Consequently, its validity ends through derogation or with the expiration of the underlying law. It can neither alter nor invalidate a law. More recent instructions by the Roman dikasteria (e.g. “instruction…

Haring, Johann

(199 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] (Aug 5, 1867, Wettmannsstetten, Austria – Dec 25, 1945) studied theology in Graz and was ordained a priest in 1891. Haring received the Dr.theol. from Graz in 1896, he became lecturer (1899/1900), associate professor (1900) and professor (1906–1937) of church law at the faculty of theology in Graz, and, after 1929, an official of the diocese of Graz-Seckau and consultant for Roman congregations. Haring was one of the most important Austrian canonists of his time. His scholarly attention was primarily devoted to the law in force, from 1917 to the CIC. His work, Der Rechts-…

Commandments of the Church

(351 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The commandments of the church are disciplinary precepts and ethical rules that are comparable to those of Judaism and Islam. The are promulgated by the church and originally also arose out of custom. They are subject to change. As statements of the teaching office of the church ( magisterium) intended for pastoral and catechetical use, they appear in catechisms (II) and canon law (II; CIC/¶ 1983, Particular law). Since the Middle Ages, the number of church commandments and their content have varied because of uneven regional …

Dignity, Ecclesiastical

(215 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] Dignity refers to an office (formerly a benefice), the officeholder being the dignitary, and in a broader sense also an ecclesiastical dignity. The CIC/1917 uses the term in reference to cathedral and monastic chapters (cc. 393ff.). Those who hold dignities have administrative functions in chapters in the spheres of jurisdiction or liturgy, either externally (Temporalities, Church), such as the provost, or internally (spirituals), such as the dean. The CIC/1917 reserves the establishment (c. 394 §2) and conferment of dignit…

Diocesan Synod

(371 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] As a separate type of synod, the diocesan synod has existed from very early times (6th cent.). During the Middle Ages it developed into a body having real jurisdiction (Synodal court). In the Codex Iuris Canonici (1917) ( CIC), the diocesan synod is a representative assembly of the clergy of a diocese, convened and presided over by the bishop (III, 1). Vatican II was followed by a greater participation by all the people of God in the diocesan synod. The Codex Iuris Canonici (1983) defines the diocesan synod as “an assembly of selected …

Brief

(157 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The brief (breve) that is expedited through the (papal) state secretariat basically contains shorter texts of lesser importance than bullae, whereby only certain topics are deemed appropriate for bulls. The style is also more direct (fewer stipulations). Further differences exist with respect to the material (parchment) and the structuring of the content. The intitulatio begins with the name of the pope and continues with the servus servorum Dei and the inscriptio with the blessing of the addressee. There follows the stipulation ad perpetuam rei memoriam, then th…

Degradation

(207 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In CIC/1917 degradation ( degradatio) still refers to the simultaneous deposition ( depositio), removal of clerical garb, and the transfer of a cleric into lay status. It was the harshest penalty for clerics (cc. 2292 no. 12, 2305 §1 CIC/1917), since the 12th century, involving dismissal from clerical status (X, 5, 20, 7; X, 5, 40, 27). In addition, as capitis deminutio (X, 5, 1, 24), it deprived the cleric of the privilegia clericorum and subjected him to the authority of the secular magistrate. The degradatio verbalis included judicial examination, the determinat…

Gasparri, Pietro

(282 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] (May 5,1852, Ussita, Diocese of Norcia, Italy – Nov 18, 1934, Rome) was ordained a priest in 1875, held the Dr.phil.theol. and iur.can., was lecturer in canon law at Roman faculties, became professor of canon law at the Institut Catholique in Paris in 1880, titular bishop in 1898, was apostolic delegate to Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, became secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, and was consultant to several Roman congregations. Pius X commissioned him with the creation of the Codex Iuris Canonici . Appointed car…
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