In ecclesiastical terminology, an Auditor (from a Latin word meaning "hearer") is a person given authority to hear cases in an ecclesiastical court.
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.
|Part of a series on the|
| Hierarchy of the|
|Ecclesiastical titles (order of precedence)|
|Part of a series on the|
| Jurisprudence of|
Catholic canon law
In the Roman Catholic Church, an Auditor is the person (male or female) delegated to gather the evidence (drawing up the case) for presentation to the judge, and so could be called an instructing judge. Unless the judge determines otherwise, the auditor decides what evidence is to be collected and the manner of its collection.
The Auditor has been described as "the impartial court official that collects all necessary documents for the case, and may supplement the acts of the case with further questioning of parties and witnesses".
The Auditor may be chosen from the tribunal judges, or from persons, clergy or lay people, approved by the Bishop for this office. The persons chosen by the Bishop should be conspicuous for their good conduct, prudence and learning.
The manner in which the Auditor is to conduct the questioning of witnesses is indicated in canons 1558-1571 of the Code of Canon Law.
Whenever the Ordinary receives information with at least a semblance of truth about a punishable offence, he is to investigate the circumstances either personally or through some other suitable person, who then has the same powers as an Auditor. If later a judicial process is initiated, that person may not be a judge in the case.
The judges of the Roman Rota are given the title of Auditor or Prelate Auditor.
Until the late twentieth century, the title of Auditor was in use in the diplomatic service of the Holy See to designate a rank higher than that of First Secretary, but below that of Counsellor.
In the Church of England, the Auditor is a judge who is a member of both the Arches Court of Canterbury and the Chancery Court of York.
In the Church of Scientology, an Auditor is a spiritual counselor who is authorised to use Scientology tech while giving religious counsel (auditing).
Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.
In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.
Crimen sollicitationis is the title of a 1962 document ("instruction") of the Holy Office codifying procedures to be followed in cases of priests or bishops of the Catholic Church accused of having used the sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents. It repeated, with additions, the contents of an identically named instruction issued in 1922 by the same office.
Defrocking, unfrocking, or laicization of clergy is the removal of their rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry. It may be grounded on criminal convictions, disciplinary problems, or disagreements over doctrine or dogma, but may also be done at their request for personal reasons, such as running for civil office, taking over a family business, declining health or old age, desire to marry against the rules for clergy in a particular church, or an unresolved dispute. The form of the procedure varies according to the Christian denomination concerned. The term defrocking implies forced laicization for misconduct, while laicization is a neutral term, applicable also when clergy have requested to be released from their ordination vows.
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
An ordinary is an officer of a church or civic authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws.
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.
The Roman Rota, formally the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota, and anciently the Apostolic Court of Audience, is the highest appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church, with respect to both Latin-rite members and the Eastern-rite members and is, with respect to judicial trials conducted in the Catholic Church, the highest ecclesiastical court constituted by the Holy See. An appeal may be had to the Pope himself, who is the supreme ecclesiastical judge. The Catholic Church has a complete legal system, which is the oldest in the West still in use. The court is named Rota (wheel) because the judges, called auditors, originally met in a round room to hear cases. The Rota was established in the 13th century.
The Plenary Councils of Baltimore were three national meetings of Catholic bishops in the United States in 1852, 1866 and 1884 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches is the title of the 1990 codification of the common portions of the Canon Law for the 23 Eastern Catholic churches in the Catholic Church. It is divided into 30 titles and has a total of 1546 canons. The Western Latin Church is guided by its own particular Canons.
The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church. In addition, it oversees the administration of justice in the Church.
In the Catholic Church, a declaration of nullity, commonly called an annulment and less commonly a decree of nullity, is a judgment on the part of an ecclesiastical tribunal determining that a marriage was invalidly contracted or, less frequently, a judgment determining that ordination was invalidly conferred.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a judicial vicar or episcopal official is an officer of the diocese who has ordinary power to judge cases in the diocesan ecclesiastical court. Although the diocesan bishop can reserve certain cases to himself, the judicial vicar and the diocesan bishop are a single tribunal, which means that decisions of the judicial vicar cannot be appealed to the diocesan bishop but must instead be appealed to the appellate tribunal. The judicial vicar ought to be someone other than the vicar general, unless the smallness of the diocese or the limited number of cases suggest otherwise. Other judges, who may be priests, deacons, religious brothers or sisters or nuns, or laypersons, and who must have knowledge of canon law and be Catholics in good standing, assist the judicial vicar either by deciding cases on a single judge basis or by forming with him a panel over which he or one of them presides. A judicial vicar may also be assisted by adjutant judicial vicars. The judicial vicar is assisted by at least one, if not more, individuals with the title defender of the bond, they are normally priests, but do not have to be. On staff will also be notaries and secretaries, who may be priests, religious brothers or sisters or nuns, or laypersons.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a parish is a stable community of the faithful within a particular church, whose pastoral care has been entrusted to a parish priest, under the authority of the diocesan bishop. It is the lowest ecclesiastical subdivision in the Catholic episcopal polity, and the primary constituent unit of a diocese. In the 1983 Code of Canon Law, parishes are constituted under cc. 515–552, entitled "Parishes, Pastors, and Parochial Vicars."
"Appeal as from an abuse" is a legal term applied in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, meaning originally a legal appeal as recourse to the civil forum (court) against the usurpation by the ecclesiastical forum of the rights of civil jurisdiction. It could mean a recourse to the ecclesiastical forum against the usurpation by the civil forum of the rights of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law, also called the Johanno-Pauline Code, is the "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church". It is the second and current comprehensive codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It was promulgated on 25 January 1983 by John Paul II and took legal effect on the First Sunday of Advent 1983. It replaced the 1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917.
For the canonical penalty of excommunication as regulated by the Code of Canon Law of 1917 and the present Code, see excommunication#Catholic Church. This article reflects the state of before 1917.
In the Catholic Church the term minister enjoys a variety of usages. It most commonly refers to the person, whether lay or ordained, who is commissioned to perform some act on behalf of the Church. It is not a particular office or rank of clergy, as is the case in some other churches, but minister may be used as a collective term for vocational or professional pastoral leaders including clergy and non-clergy. It is also used in reference to the canonical and liturgical administration of sacraments, as part of some offices, and with reference to the exercise of the lay apostolate.