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Catholic canon law
Papal rescripts are responses of the pope or a Congregation of the Roman Curia, in writing, to queries or petitions of individuals. Some rescripts concern the granting of favours; others the administration of justice under canon law, e. g. the interpretation of a law, the appointment of a judge.
In legal terminology, a rescript is a document that is issued not on the initiative of the author, but in response to a specific demand made by its addressee. It does not apply to more general legislation.
There are currently nine congregations of the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church. They are second highest-ranking departments, below the two Secretariats, and above the pontifical councils, pontifical commissions, tribunals and offices.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives.
Sometimes the favour is actually granted in the rescript (gratis facta — a rescript in forma gratiosa); sometimes another is empowered to concede the request (gratia facienda — a rescript in forma commissoria); sometimes the grant is made under certain conditions to be examined into by the apostolic executor (a rescript in forma mixta).
An apostolic executor is a cleric who is charged with putting into practice a Papal rescript.
The petition forwarded to Rome should comprise three parts: the narrative or exposition of the facts (context); the petition (object of the demand); the reasons for the request.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
The response likewise contains three parts: a brief exposition of the case; the decision or grant; the reason of the same.
Every rescript pre-supposes the truth of the allegations found in the supplication. Intentional falsehood or concealment of truth (obreption and subreption) renders a rescript invalid, since no one should benefit through his own deceit. According to some, however, a rescript is valid if voluntary misrepresentation affects only the secondary reason of the grant. This is certainly true where there is no fraud, but merely inadvertence or ignorance of requirements; for, where there is no malice, punishment should not be inflicted; and the petition should be granted, if a sufficient cause therefor exists. A rescript in forma commissoria is valid, if the reason alleged for the grant be true at the time of execution, though false when the rescript was issued.
Obreption and subreption are terms used in ancient Roman law and in the canon law applied by the Catholic church to species of fraud by which an ecclesiastical rescript is obtained.
When a rescript is null and void, a new petition is drawn up containing the tenor of the previous concession and cause of nullity, and asking that the defect be remedied. A new rescript is then given, or the former one validated by letters perinde valere.
If the formalities sanctioned by canon law or usage for the drawing up of rescripts are wanting, the document is considered spurious. Erasures, misspellings or grave grammatical errors in a rescript render its authenticity suspected.
Excommunicated persons may seek rescripts only in relation to the cause of their excommunication or in cases of appeal. Consequently, in rescripts absolution from penalties and censures is first given, as far as necessary for the validity of the grant.
Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular receiving of the sacraments. The term is often historically used to refer specifically to excommunications from the Catholic Church, but it is also used more generally to refer to similar types of institutional religious exclusionary practices and shunning among other religious groups. For instance, many Protestant denominations, such as the Lutheran Churches, have similar practices of excusing congregants from church communities, while Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as the Churches of Christ, use the term "disfellowship" to refer to their form of excommunication. The Amish have also been known to excommunicate members that were either seen or known for breaking rules, or questioning the church.
Rescripts have the force of a particular law, i. e. only for the persons concerned; only occasionally, e. g. when they interpret or promulgate a general law, are they of universal application.
Rescripts in forma gratiosa are effective from the date they bear; others only from the moment of execution. Rescripts contrary to common law[ citation needed ] contain a derogatory clause: all things to the contrary notwithstanding. Rescripts of favour ordinarily admit a broad interpretation; the exceptions are when they are injurious to others, refer to the obtaining of ecclesiastical benefices, or are contrary to common law.[ citation needed ] Rescripts of justice are to be interpreted strictly. Rescripts expire for the most part in the same manner as faculties.
A faculty is a legal instrument or warrant in canon law, especially a judicial or quasi-judicial warrant from an ecclesiastical court or tribunal.
The Fourth Council of the Lateran was convoked by Pope Innocent III with the papal bull Vineam domini Sabaoth of 19 April 1213, and the Council gathered at Rome's Lateran Palace beginning 11 November 1215. Due to the great length of time between the Council's convocation and meeting, many bishops had the opportunity to attend. It is considered by the Catholic Church to have been the twelfth ecumenical council and is sometimes called the "Great Council" or "General Council of Lateran" due to the presence of 71 patriarchs and metropolitan bishops, 412 bishops, 900 abbots and priors together with representatives of several monarchs.
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some archbishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or (usually) ceremonial precedence.
Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place. In legal terminology, an annulment makes a void marriage or a voidable marriage null.
In the canon law of the Catholic Church, the loss of the clerical state is the removal of a bishop, priest or deacon from the status of being a member of the clergy.
In law, motu proprio describes an official act taken without a formal request from another party. Some jurisdictions use the term sua sponte for the same concept.
The process of beatification and canonization has undergone various reforms in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. For current practice, as well as a discussion of similar processes in other churches, see the article on canonization. This article describes the process as it was in 1914, before the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983.
In the jurisprudence of canon law of the Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases. Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases.
A Commissary Apostolic is Commissary who has been appointed by the pope, hence commissary Apostolic.
In Catholic canon law, a validation of marriage or convalidation of marriage is the validation of a Catholic putative marriage. A putative marriage is one when at least one party to the marriage wrongly believes it to be valid. Validation involves the removal of a canonical impediment, or its dispensation, or the removal of defective consent. However, the children of a putative marriage are legitimate.
Enclosed religious orders of the Christian churches have solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world. The term cloistered is synonymous with enclosed. In the Catholic Church enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by subsidiary legislation. It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question.
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.
Ecclesiastical letters are publications or announcements of the organs of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authority, e.g. the synods, but more particularly of pope and bishops, addressed to the faithful in the form of letters.
Canonical faculties, in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, are ecclesiastical rights conferred on a subordinate, by a superior who enjoys jurisdiction in the external forum. These rights then allow the subordinate to act, in the external or internal forum, validly or lawfully, or at least safely.
The Acts of Roman Congregations is a term of the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, used to designate the documents issued by the Roman Congregations, in virtue of powers conferred on them by the Roman Pontiff.
Regarding the canon law of the Catholic Church, canonists provide and obey rules for the interpretation and acceptation of words, in order that legislation is correctly understood and the extent of its obligation is determined.
Custom in Catholic canon law is the repeated and constant performance of certain acts for a defined period of time, which, with the approval of the competent legislator, thereby acquire the force of law. A custom is an unwritten law introduced by the continuous acts of the faithful with the consent of the legitimate legislator.
The jurisprudence of Catholic canon law is the complex of legal theory, traditions, and interpretative principles of Catholic canon law. In the Latin Church, the jurisprudence of canon law was founded by Gratian in the 1140s with his Decretum. In the Oriental canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches, Photios holds a place similar to that of Gratian for the West.
The canon law of contract follows that of the civil jurisdiction in which canon law operates..
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