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Canon Law/Church Law

(11,049 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Kalb, Herbert | Puza, Richard | Pirson, Dietrich | Engelhardt, Hanns | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. The Present – III. Orthodox Church – IV. The Study of Canon Law and Church Law – V. Practical Theology – VI. Oriental Orthodox Canon Law I. History 1. Early Church. The church has had laws ever since Christians recognized the need for a generally recognized authority to regulate the uncertainties, problems, and controversies involving church discipline brought about by the rapid expansion of Christianity. After the death of the initial authority figures (e.g. the fou…

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…

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies The term marriage denotes a relationship entered into between two or more persons of different sex, ritually formalized, intended to be permanent, and recognized by society. In all cultures, definitions of economic and sexual rights and the conveyance of social status to children (Child/Childhood) are part of the socially ¶ defined framework of marriage…

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.).

Chancellor

(304 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] Catholic canon law (II, 1) requires that every diocesan curia appoints as one of its members a chancellor, also called curial secretary (in France often secretary general), who may be a member of the laity. The chancellor and possibly the vice-chancellor ¶ are also notaries and secretaries of the diocesan curia. The chancellor is freely appointed by the diocesan bishop and can also be removed from his office at the bishop's own discretion; he can also be removed by the diocesan administrator, but only…

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 …

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…

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…

Council

(4,467 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Schneider, Hans | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Puza, Richard | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics I. Church History 1. Early Church Council (Lat. concilium, Gk σύνοδος [Lat. synodum]; the two terms were first differentiated in modern usage; see also synod) are meetings of bishops from various communities for binding clarification of disciplinary, organizational, or doctrinal questions, whose decisions, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, are not in principle revisable and claim validity for the whole church r…

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…

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…

Bishopric

(633 words)

Author(s): Müller, Ludger | Puza, Richard
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law I. Church History Following the political order, the parish of the bishop developed, from the 4th century, on the model of the city; it was termed a “paroecia” until the 12th century. Innocent I was probably the first to call it, as it has been generally termed since the 13th century, a “diocese.” The English equivalent “bishopric” primarily expresses the constitutive role of the bishop in his bishopric. Ludger Müller Bibliography H.E. Feine, Kirchliche Rechtsgeschichte, 51972, 97–100, 104f. (bibl.). II. Church Law The terms bish…

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-…

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 …

Celibacy of the Clergy

(1,541 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Lüdecke, Norbert | Puza, Richard
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. In the Christian Church – III.  Ethics I. History of Religions Celibacy, from Latin caelebs, “living alone,” refers to the unmarried state with the accent on sexual abstinence as practiced by a specific social group, while chastity represents a comprehensive form of abstinence going beyond the sexual. Celibacy is practiced for cultic reasons (purity [Pure and impure], defense against demons), societal needs (vestals; the preservation of ass…
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