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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 …

Meurer, Christian

(170 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] (Jan 20, 1856, Camberg, Nassau – Mar 6, 1935, Würzburg) studied philosophy and jurisprudence, earned a Dr.iur. in 1882 and his Habilitation in Breslau in 1885, became adjunct professor in 1888, and was full professor in Würzburg from 1891 to 1926 as well as rector a number of times; he was also a member of the Lower Franconian Landtag (regional parliament), served as legal assessor on the parliamentary board of inquiry for war crimes in 1922/1925, was an associate member of the “Institut de droit inte…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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-…

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…

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…

Vicar, Apostolic

(91 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] Literally a vicar apostolic is a representative of the Apostolic See. He is a prelate, possesses episcopal ordination, and is entrusted with a specific territory (the vicariate apostolic), which does not, however, have the canonical status of a diocese nor the autonomy of a diocese vis-à-vis Rome. It is a way the church is organized in mission territories. The vicar apostolic is the local ordinary and possesses potestas ordinaria vicaria. Richard Puza Bibliography G. Bier, in: Münsterischer Kommentar zum Codex iuris canonici, 1997, c. 371 (loose-leaf ed.).

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…

Judicial Vicar

(392 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The word officialis, which in the broad sense means “official,” is used in canon law to denote the judicial vicar ( CIC 1983, c. 1420 §1); the judicial vicar and the bishop constitute a (diocesan) tribunal, on which he exercises ordinary vicarious power to judge, which c. 1420 §1 calls potestas ordinaria iudicandi but is traditionally better termed iudicaria ordinaria vicaria. In every diocese, as a rule, the bishop appoints a judicial vicar for a specific term. Associate judicial vicars ( vice-officiales) can also be appointed. A judicial vicar must be a prie…

Pastoral Council

(327 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In Catholic canon law, pastoral councils at the diocesan and parish level are consultative bodies made up of clergy and laity to advise the bishop and the local priest. Their roots go back to Vatican II (CD, art. 27, § 4; PO, 7): (synodal) shared responsibility of the faithful, right and obligation of consultation ( CIC/1983, c. 228 §2). The basic regulations appear in CIC/1983; the actual organization, terminology, and job descriptions of the councils vary, depending on the canons of the diocese. 1. Diocesant pastoral councils (cc. 511–514). Establishment by the bish…

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…

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…

Vatican Diplomatic Corps

(474 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] Under international law, the Holy See (Vatican) has both active and passive diplomatic privileges. It receives ambassadors dispatched by states as extraordinary, temporary, regular, or permanent representatives. It enjoys this right as a sovereign state. After some beginnings in the 13th century, there have been diplomatic representatives to the Holy See since the late 15th century (Italian city states). Permanent embassies developed in the 16th century, initially representing Catholic states. In the 19th cen-¶ tury, Protestant states also began to send…

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…

Consecrated Title

(261 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The consecrated title guarantees the support of clerics in higher orders (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication: I). In Old Church law, consecrated title relates to office and ministry, and the source of support. Consecrated titles were the titulus beneficii (sinecured office), patrimonii ([private] assets), pensionis (lifelong payments from assets) and mensae (title to the table, a third party's promise of support in emergencies), in the modern period, servitii dioecesis (service in the diocese) and missionis (in the area of the Propaganda fide). In the CIC/191…

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…

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 …
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