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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 re…

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 A…

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,…

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 …


(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, …


(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…

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 …


(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 (

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 (1972–1…

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, wi…


(242 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] . Der P., so wie er in den Bistümern Deutschlands derzeit besteht – in den übrigen…


(150 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] Rekonziliation, von lat. reconciliatio, »Versöhnung«, bez. erstens im alten Kirchenrecht, noch im CIC/1917, die (liturgische) Entsühnung, die erforderlich war, damit eine Kirche, ein Friedhof oder Altar nach erfolgter Entweihung bzw. Schändung wieder benutzt werden durfte (cc.1172–1177; 1207 CIC/1917). – R. bez. zweitens die Versöhnung mit Gott und der Kirche durch das Bußsakrament (Buße: IV., 3., a); vgl. cc.959f. CIC/1983; cc.718 und 720 § 1 CCEO) und speziell die Wiederaufnahm…


(253 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] (bisweilen auch Primatial-, General-, Universal-, National- oder Reichskonzil) bez. seit alters eine Kirchenversammlung, die für ein mehr oder weniger großes Teilgebiet der Kirche berufen wurde, das zwar mehr als eine Kirchenprovinz umfaßte, nicht aber die Gesamtkirche, so daß sie nicht als ökum. Konzil (Konzil: II.) gelten konnte. Zu den bedeutsamsten P. zählten jene der afrikanischen Kirche im 4. und 5.Jh. unter Leitung des Primas von Karthago. – Obwohl die drei P. von Baltimore (1852, 1866, 1…


(99 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] bez. beim päpstl., bfl. und quasi-bfl. (vgl. c.381 § 2 CIC/1983) Stuhl den Zeitraum zw. Erledigung des Amtes (durch Tod, Amtsverzicht; beim Papst außerdem durch sicher und irreversibel eingetretenen Verlust des Vernunftgebrauchs; beim Bischof auch durch Ab- und Versetzung) und Amtsantritt durch den neuen Amtsinhaber. Die Normen für die S. des päpstl. Stuhles finden sich in der Apostolischen Konstitution Universi Dominici Gregis vom 22.2.1996, jene für das Bischofsamt hauptsächlich im CIC bzw. CCEO. Helmuth Pree Bibliography N. del Re, La Curia Romana, 41998,…


(169 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[English Version] Regionaldekanat, auch »Kreisdekanat«, ist ein Zusammenschluß benachbarter Dekanate zum Zweck der Koordinierung und Wahrnehmung übergreifender pastoraler Angelegenheiten. Gesamtkirchl. Grundlagen sind CD 30; Motu proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae I 19 § 1; Directorium de Pastorali Ministerio Episcoporum, 1972, Nr.189; c.374 § 2 CIC/1983. Bereits die Gemeinsame Synode der Bistümer der Bundesrepublik Deutschland hatte für die mittlere Ebene neben dem Dekanat die…
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