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Approbation, in Catholic canon law, is an act by which a bishop or other legitimate superior grants to an ecclesiastic the actual exercise of his ministry.
The necessity of approbation, especially for administering the Sacrament of Penance, was expressly decreed by the Council of Trent, so that, except in the case of imminent death, the absolution by a priest not approved would be invalid. This approbation for the Sacrament of Penance is the judicial declaration of the legitimate superior that a certain priest is fit to hear, and has the faculties to hear, the confession of his subjects.
By bishop is meant also his vicar general, or the diocesan administrator during the vacancy of a see, also any regular prelate having ordinary jurisdiction over a certain territory. This approbation may be given orally or in writing, and may be given indirectly, as when, for instance, priests receive power to choose in their own diocese an approved priest of another diocese for their confessor. The bishop may wrongfully but validly refuse his approbation, without which no priest may hear confessions.
A confessor's jurisdiction may be restricted to various classes of persons, e. g. to children, or to men, without the right to hear women. A special approbation is required to hear nuns or women of religious communities, and this extends with modifications to all communities of recognized sisterhoods.
In Catholicism, an abbess is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey.
Confession, in many religions, is the acknowledgment of one's sins (sinfulness) or wrongs.
Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which it is a rite, as well as among other Protestants. The word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven. Penance and repentance, similar in their derivation and original sense, have come to symbolize conflicting views of the essence of repentance, arising from the controversy as to the respective merits of "faith" and "good works". Word derivations occur in many languages.
An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages these courts had much wider powers in many areas of Europe than before the development of nation states. They were experts in interpreting canon law, a basis of which was the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian which is considered the source of the civil law legal tradition.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, a distinction is made between the internal forum, where an act of governance is made without publicity, and the external forum, where the act is public and verifiable. In canon law, internal forum, the realm of conscience, is contrasted with the external or outward forum; thus, a marriage might be null and void in the internal forum, but binding outwardly, i.e., in the external forum, for want of judicial proof to the contrary.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.
In the Catholic Church, the seal of confession is the absolute duty of priests not to disclose anything that they learn from penitents during the course of the Sacrament of Penance (confession). Even where the seal of confession does not strictly apply – where there is no specific serious sin confessed for the purpose of receiving absolution – priests have a serious obligation not to cause scandal by the way they speak.
A penitential is a book or set of church rules concerning the Christian sacrament of penance, a "new manner of reconciliation with God" that was first developed by Celtic monks in Ireland in the sixth century AD. It consisted of a list of sins and the appropriate penances prescribed for them, and served as a type of manual for confessors.
Valid but illicit and valid but illegal are descriptions applied in the Catholic Church to an unauthorized celebration of a sacrament or an improperly placed juridic act that nevertheless has effect. Validity is presumed whenever an act is performed by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act. Canon law also lays down rules for lawful placing of the act, beyond its validity.
Latae sententiae is a Latin phrase, meaning "of a / the sentence [already] passed", used in the canon law of the Catholic Church. A latae sententiae penalty is one that follows ipso facto or automatically, by force of the law itself, when a law is contravened. A penalty that binds a guilty party only after it has been imposed on the person is known as a ferendae sententiae penalty.
The Sacrament of Penance is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, in which the faithful are absolved from sins committed after Baptism and they are reconciled with the Christian community. While in current practice reconciliation services may be used to bring out the communal nature of sacraments, mortal sins must be confessed and venial sins may be confessed for devotional reasons. According to the current doctrine and practice of the Church, only those ordained as priests may grant absolution.
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.
Reserved cases or reserved sins is a term of Catholic doctrine, used for sins whose absolution is not within the power of every confessor, but is reserved to himself by the superior of the confessor, or only specially granted to some other confessor by that superior.
The canonical situation of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a group founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, is unresolved.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, excommunication, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense. The excommunicated person is basically considered as an exile from the Church and as non-existent, for a time at least, in the sight of ecclesiastical authority. The Church regards the excommunicated persons as having the status of that of a stranger.
There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of Penance and Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony.
Canon 844 is a Catholic Church canon law contained within the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which defines the licit administration and reception of certain sacraments of the Catholic Church in normative and in particular exceptional circumstances, known in canonical theory as communicatio in sacris.
A censure, in the canon law of the Catholic Church, is a medicinal and spiritual punishment imposed by the church on a baptized, delinquent, and contumacious person, by which he is deprived, either wholly or in part, of the use of certain spiritual goods, until he recover from his contumacy.
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