Judicial vicar

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In the Roman Catholic Church, a judicial vicar or episcopal official (Latin: officialis) 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 (or officialis ) ought to be someone other than the vicar general, unless the smallness of the diocese or the limited number of cases suggest otherwise. [1] 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 (or vice-officiales). 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.

Diocese Christian district or see under the supervision of a bishop

The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

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.

A diocesan bishop, within various Christian traditions, is a bishop or archbishop in pastoral charge of a diocese or archdiocese.

Judicial vicars, adjutants, and other judges who preside in cases must be priests of good repute, must be at least thirty years old, and must hold a doctorate or Licentiate of Canon Law. [2]

Doctorate academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a variety of names for doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

Licentiate of Canon Law is the title of an advanced graduate degree with canonical effects in the Roman Catholic Church offered by pontifical universities and ecclesiastical faculties of canon law. Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a license.

Judicial vicars are to serve for a specific term of office [3] and, unlike vicars general and episcopal vicars, do not cease from office when the diocese is without a bishop, [4] either through the bishop’s death, resignation (having been accepted by the Roman Pontiff), transfer, or privation of office (having been made known to the bishop).

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References

  1. 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 1420 §1
  2. 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 1420 §4
  3. 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 1422
  4. 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 1420 §5