The canons of this Code regard only the Latin Church.
For the most part the Code does not define the rites which must be observed in celebrating liturgical actions. Therefore, liturgical laws in force until now retain their force unless one of them is contrary to the canons of the Code.
The canons of the Code neither abrogate nor derogate from the agreements entered into by the Apostolic See with nations or other political societies. These agreements therefore continue in force exactly as at present, notwithstanding contrary prescripts of this Code.
Acquired rights and privileges granted to physical or juridic persons up to this time by the Apostolic See remain intact if they are in use and have not been revoked, unless the canons of this Code expressly revoke them.
§1. Universal or particular customs presently in force which are contrary to the prescripts of these canons and are reprobated by the canons of this Code are absolutely suppressed and are not permitted to revive in the future. Other contrary customs are also considered suppressed unless the Code expressly provides otherwise or unless they are centenary or immemorial customs which can be tolerated if, in the judgment of the ordinary, they cannot be removed due to the circumstances of places and persons.
§2. Universal or particular customs beyond the law (*praeter ius*) which are in force until now are preserved.
Canon 6.General Norms
§1. When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated:
1. the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;
2. other universal or particular laws contrary to the prescripts of this Code unless other provision is expressly made for particular laws;
3. any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See unless they are contained in this Code;
4. other universal disciplinary laws regarding matter which this Code completely reorders.
§2. Insofar as they repeat former law, the canons of this Code must be assessed also in accord with canonical tradition.
» Ecclesiastical Laws
A law is established when it is promulgated.
§1. Universal ecclesiastical laws are promulgated by publication in the official commentary, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, unless another manner of promulgation has been prescribed in particular cases. They take force only after three months have elapsed from the date of that issue of the Acta unless they bind immediately from the very nature of the matter, or the law itself has specifically and expressly established a shorter or longer suspensive period (*vacatio*).
§2. Particular laws are promulgated in the manner determined by the legislator and begin to oblige a month after the day of promulgation unless the law itself establishes another time period.
Laws regard the future, not the past, unless they expressly provide for the past.
Only those laws must be considered invalidating or disqualifying which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is unqualified.
Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who have been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, possess the sufficient use of reason, and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age.
§1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.
§2. All who are actually present in a certain territory, however, are exempted from universal laws which are not in force in that territory.
§3. Laws established for a particular territory bind those for whom they were issued as well as those who have a domicile or quasi-domicile there and who at the same time are actually residing there, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 13
§1. Particular laws are not presumed to be personal but territorial unless it is otherwise evident.
§2. Travelers are not bound:
1. by the particular laws of their own territory as long as they are absent from it unless either the transgression of those laws causes harm in their own territory or the laws are personal;
2. by the laws of the territory in which they are present, with the exception of those laws which provide for public order, which determine the formalities of acts, or which regard immovable goods located in the territory.
§3. Transients are bound by both universal and particular laws which are in force in the place where they are present.
Laws, even invalidating and disqualifying ones, do not oblige when there is a doubt about the law. When there is a doubt about a fact, however, ordinaries can dispense from laws provided that, if it concerns a reserved dispensation, the authority to whom it is reserved usually grants it.
§1. Ignorance or error about invalidating or disqualifying laws does not impede their effect unless it is expressly established otherwise.
§2. Ignorance or error about a law, a penalty, a fact concerning oneself, or a notorious fact concerning another is not presumed; it is presumed about a fact concerning another which is not notorious until the contrary is proven.
§1. The legislator authentically interprets laws as does the one to whom the same legislator has entrusted the power of authentically interpreting.
§2. An authentic interpretation put forth in the form of law has the same force as the law itself and must be promulgated. If it only declares the words of the law which are certain in themselves, it is retroactive; if it restricts or extends the law, or if it explains a doubtful law, it is not retroactive.
§3. An interpretation in the form of a judicial sentence or of an administrative act in a particular matter, however, does not have the force of law and only binds the persons for whom and affects the matters for which it was given.
Ecclesiastical laws must be understood in accord with the proper meaning of the words considered in their text and context. If the meaning remains doubtful and obscure, recourse must be made to parallel places, if there are such, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the mind of the legislator.
Laws which establish a penalty, restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception from the law are subject to strict interpretation.
If a custom or an express prescript of universal or particular law is lacking in a certain matter, a case, unless it is penal, must be resolved in light of laws issued in similar matters, general principles of law applied with canonical equity, the jurisprudence and practice of the Roman Curia, and the common and constant opinion of learned persons.
A later law abrogates, or derogates from, an earlier law if it states so expressly, is directly contrary to it, or completely reorders the entire matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, in no way derogates from a particular or special law unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
In a case of doubt, the revocation of a pre-existing law is not presumed, but later laws must be related to the earlier ones and, insofar as possible, must be harmonized with them.
Canon 22.General Norms
Civil laws to which the law of the Church yields are to be observed in canon law with the same effects, insofar as they are not contrary to divine law and unless canon law provides otherwise.
Only that custom introduced by a community of the faithful and approved by the legislator according to the norm of the following canons has the force of law.
§1. No custom which is contrary to divine law can obtain the force of law.
§2. A custom contrary to or beyond canon law (*praeter ius canonicum*) cannot obtain the force of law unless it is reasonable; a custom which is expressly reprobated in the law, however, is not reasonable.
No custom obtains the force of law unless it has been observed with the intention of introducing a law by a community capable at least of receiving law.
Unless the competent legislator has specifically approved it, a custom contrary to the canon law now in force or one beyond a canonical law (*praeter legem canonicam*) obtains the force of law only if it has been legitimately observed for thirty continuous and complete years. Only a centenary or immemorial custom, however, can prevail against a canonical law which contains a clause prohibiting future customs.
Custom is the best interpreter of laws.
Canon 28.General Norms
Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 5,
a contrary custom or law revokes a custom which is contrary to or beyond the law (*praeter legem*). Unless it makes express mention of them, however, a law does not revoke centenary or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular customs.
» General Decrees and Instructions
General decrees, by which a competent legislator issues common prescripts for a community capable of receiving law, are laws properly speaking and are governed by the prescripts of the canons on laws.
A person who possesses only executive power is not able to issue the general decree mentioned in can. 29
unless, in particular cases, it has been expressly granted to that person by a competent legislator according to the norm of law and the conditions stated in the act of the grant have been observed.
§1. Those who possess executive power are able to issue, within the limits of their competence, general executory decrees, namely, those which more precisely determine the methods to be observed in applying the law or which urge the observance of laws.
§2. With respect to the promulgation and suspensive period (*vacatio*) of the decrees mentioned in §1, the prescripts of can. 8
are to be observed.
General executory decrees oblige those who are bound by the laws whose methods of application the same decrees determine or whose observance they urge.
§1. General executory decrees, even if they are issued in directories or in documents of another name, do not derogate from laws, and their prescripts which are contrary to laws lack all force.
§2. Such decrees cease to have force by explicit or implicit revocation made by competent authority as well as by cessation of the law for whose execution they were given. They do not, however, cease when the authority of the one who established them expires unless the contrary is expressly provided.
Canon 34.General Norms
§1. Instructions clarify the prescripts of laws and elaborate on and determine the methods to be observed in fulfilling them. They are given for the use of those whose duty it is to see that laws are executed and oblige them in the execution of the laws. Those who possess executive power legitimately issue such instructions within the limits of their competence.
§2. The ordinances of instructions do not derogate from laws. If these ordinances cannot be reconciled with the prescripts of laws, they lack all force.
§3. Instructions cease to have force not only by explicit or implicit revocation of the competent authority who issued them or of the superior of that authority but also by the cessation of the law for whose clarification or execution they were given.
» Singular Administrative Acts
» Common Norms
A singular administrative act, whether it is a decree, a precept, or a rescript, can be issued by one who possesses executive power within the limits of that person’s competence, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 76,
§1. An administrative act must be understood according to the proper meaning of the words and the common manner of speaking. In a case of doubt, those which refer to litigation, pertain to threatening or inflicting penalties, restrict the rights of a person, injure the acquired rights of others, or are contrary to a law which benefits private persons are subject to a strict interpretation; all others are subject to a broad interpretation.
§2. An administrative act must not be extended to other cases besides those expressed.
An administrative act which regards the external forum must be put in writing.
Furthermore, if it is given in commissariat form, the act of its execution must be put in writing.
An administrative act, even if it is a rescript given motu proprio, lacks effect insofar as it injures the acquired right of another or is contrary to a law or approved custom, unless the competent authority has expressly added a derogating clause.
Conditions in an administrative act are considered added for validity only when they are expressed by the particles if (*si*), unless (*nisi*), or provided that (*dummodo*).
The executor of any administrative act invalidly carries out his or her function before receiving the relevant letter and verifying its authenticity and integrity, unless previous notice of the letter had been communicated to the executor by authority of the one who issued the act.
The executor of an administrative act to whom is entrusted merely the task of execution cannot refuse the execution of this act unless it clearly appears that the act itself is null or cannot be upheld for another grave cause, or the conditions attached to the administrative act itself have not been fulfilled. Nevertheless, if the execution of the administrative act seems inopportune due to the circumstances of person or place, the executor is to suspend the execution. In such cases the executor is to inform immediately the authority who issued the act.
The executor of an administrative act must proceed according to the norm of the mandate. If, however, the executor did not fulfill the essential conditions attached to the relevant letter and did not observe the substantial form of proceeding, the execution is invalid.
The executor of an administrative act can, according to his or her prudent judgment, substitute another as executor unless substitution has been forbidden, the executor has been chosen for personal qualifications, or a substitute has been predetermined. In these cases, however, the executor may entrust the preparatory acts to another.
The executor’s successor in office can also execute an administrative act unless the executor was chosen for personal qualifications.
If the executor has erred in any way in the execution of an administrative act, the executor is permitted to execute the same act again.
An administrative act does not cease when the authority of the one who established it expires unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
Canon 47.General Norms
The revocation of an administrative act by another administrative act of a competent authority takes effect only from the moment at which the revocation is legitimately made known to the person for whom it has been given.
» Singular Administrative Acts
» Singular Decrees and Precepts
A singular decree is an administrative act issued by a competent executive authority in which a decision is given or a provision is made for a particular case according to the norms of law. Of their nature, these decisions or provisions do not presuppose a petition made by someone.
A singular precept is a decree which directly and legitimately enjoins a specific person or persons to do or omit something, especially in order to urge the observance of law.
Before issuing a singular decree, an authority is to seek out the necessary information and proofs and, insofar as possible, to hear those whose rights can be injured.
A decree is to be issued in writing, with the reasons at least summarily expressed if it is a decision.
A singular decree has force only in respect to the matters which it decides and for the persons for whom it was given. It obliges these persons everywhere, however, unless it is otherwise evident.
If decrees are contrary to one another, a particular decree prevails over a general in those matters which are specifically expressed. If they are equally particular or equally general, the decree later in time modifies the earlier to the extent that the later one is contrary to it.
§1. A singular decree whose application is entrusted to an executor takes effect from the moment of execution; otherwise, from the moment it is made known to the person by the authority of the one who issued it.
§2. To be enforced, a singular decree must be made known by a legitimate document according to the norm of law.
Without prejudice to the prescripts of cann. 37 and 51
, when a very grave reason prevents the handing over of the written text of a decree, the decree is considered to have been made known if it is read to the person to whom it is destined in the presence of a notary or two witnesses. After a written record of what has occurred has been prepared, all those present must sign it.
A decree is considered to have been made known if the one for whom it is destined has been properly summoned to receive or hear the decree but, without a just cause, did not appear or refused to sign.
§1. Whenever the law orders a decree to be issued or an interested party legitimately proposes a petition or recourse to obtain a decree, the competent authority is to provide for the matter within three months from the receipt of the petition or recourse unless the law prescribes some other time period.
§2. When this time period has passed, if the decree has not yet been given, the response is presumed to be negative with respect to the presentation of further recourse.
§3. A presumed negative response does not exempt the competent authority from the obligation of issuing the decree and even of repairing the damage possibly incurred, according to the norm of can. 128
Canon 58.General Norms
§1. A singular decree ceases to have force through legitimate revocation by competent authority as well as through cessation of the law for whose execution it was given.
§2. A singular precept not imposed by a legitimate document ceases when the authority of the one who issued it expires.
» Singular Administrative Acts
§1. A rescript is an administrative act issued in writing by competent executive authority; of its very nature, a rescript grants a privilege, dispensation, or other favor at someone’s request.
§2. The prescripts established for rescripts are valid also for the oral granting of a permission or favors unless it is otherwise evident.
Any rescript can be requested by all those who are not expressly prohibited from doing so.
Unless it is otherwise evident, a rescript can be requested for another even without the person’s assent and has force before the person’s acceptance, without prejudice to contrary clauses.
A rescript in which no executor is given has effect at the moment the letter is given; other rescripts, at the moment of execution.
§1. Subreption, or concealment of the truth, prevents the validity of a rescript if in the request those things were not expressed which according to law, style, and canonical practice must be expressed for validity, unless it is a rescript of favor which is given motu proprio.
§2. Obreption, or a statement of falsehood, also prevents the validity of a rescript if not even one proposed motivating reason is true.
§3. The motivating reason in rescripts for which there is no executor must be true at the time when the rescript is given; in others, at the time of execution.
Without prejudice to the authority of the Penitentiary for the internal forum, a favor denied by any dicastery of the Roman Curia cannot be granted validly by any other dicastery of the same Curia or by another competent authority below the Roman Pontiff without the assent of the dicastery before which the matter was initiated.
§1. Without prejudice to the prescripts of §§2 and 3, no one is to petition from another ordinary a favor denied by one’s own ordinary unless mention of the denial has been made. When this mention has been made, however, the ordinary is not to grant the favor unless he has obtained the reasons for the denial from the prior ordinary.
§2. A favor denied by a vicar general or by an episcopal vicar cannot be granted validly by another vicar of the same bishop even if the reasons for the denial have been obtained from the vicar who denied it.
§3. A favor denied by a vicar general or by an episcopal vicar and afterwards obtained from the diocesan bishop without any mention made of this denial is invalid. A favor denied by a diocesan bishop, however, even if mention is made of the denial, cannot be obtained validly from his vicar general or episcopal vicar without the consent of the bishop.
A rescript does not become invalid due to an error in the name of the person to whom it is given or by whom it is issued, or of the place where the person resides, or in the matter concerned, provided that, in the judgment of the ordinary, there is no doubt about the person or the matter.
§1. If it happens that two contrary rescripts are obtained for one and the same thing, the particular prevails over the general in those matters which are particularly expressed.
§2. If they are equally particular or equally general, the earlier in time prevails over the later unless there is express mention of the earlier one in the later one or unless the person who obtained the earlier one has not used the rescript out of malice or notable negligence.
§3. In a case of doubt whether a rescript is invalid or not, recourse is to be made to the one who issued it.
A rescript of the Apostolic See in which no executor is given must be presented to the ordinary of the one who obtained it only when it is prescribed in the same letter, or it concerns public matters, or it is necessary that conditions be verified.
A rescript for whose presentation no time is specified can be shown to the executor at any time, provided that there is neither fraud nor malice.
If in a rescript the granting of a favor is entrusted to an executor, it is up to the prudent judgment and conscience of the executor to grant or deny the favor.
No one is bound to use a rescript given only in his or her favor unless bound to do so by a canonical obligation from another source.
Rescripts granted by the Apostolic See which have expired can be extended once by the diocesan bishop for a just cause, but not beyond three months.
Rescripts are not revoked by a contrary law unless the law itself provides otherwise.
Although one can use in the internal forum a favor granted orally, the person is bound to prove the favor in the external forum whenever someone legitimately requests it.
Canon 75.General Norms
If a rescript contains a privilege or dispensation, the prescripts of the following canons are also to be observed.
» Singular Administrative Acts
§1. A privilege is a favor given through a particular act to the benefit of certain physical or juridic persons; it can be granted by the legislator as well as by an executive authority to whom the legislator has granted this power.
§2. Centenary or immemorial possession induces the presumption that a privilege has been granted.
A privilege must be interpreted according to the norm of can. 36,
§1, but that interpretation must always be used by which the beneficiaries of a privilege actually obtain some favor.
§1. A privilege is presumed to be perpetual unless the contrary is proved.
§2. A personal privilege, namely one which follows the person, is extinguished with that person’s death.
§3. A real privilege ceases through the complete destruction of the thing or place; a local privilege, however, revives if the place is restored within fifty years.
A privilege ceases through revocation by the competent authority according to the norm of can. 47,
without prejudice to the prescript of can. 81
§1. No privilege ceases through renunciation unless the competent authority has accepted the renunciation.
§2. Any physical person can renounce a privilege granted only in that person’s favor.
§3. Individual persons cannot renounce a privilege granted to some juridic person or granted in consideration of the dignity of a place or of a thing, nor is a juridic person free to renounce a privilege granted to it if the renunciation brings disadvantage to the Church or to others.
A privilege is not extinguished when the authority of the one who granted it expires unless it has been given with the clause, at our good pleasure (*ad beneplacitum nostrum*), or some other equivalent expression.
A privilege which is not burdensome to others does not cease through non-use or contrary use. If it is to the disadvantage of others, however, it is lost if legitimate prescription takes place.
§1. A privilege ceases through the lapse of the time period or through the completion of the number of cases for which it had been granted, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 142,
§2. It also ceases if, in the judgment of the competent authority, circumstances are so changed in the course of time that it becomes harmful or its use illicit.
Canon 84.General Norms
One who abuses the power given by a privilege deserves to be deprived of that privilege.
Therefore, when the holder of a privilege has been warned in vain, an ordinary is to deprive the one who gravely abuses it of a privilege which he himself has granted. If the privilege was granted by the Apostolic See, however, an ordinary is bound to notify the Apostolic See.
» Singular Administrative Acts
A dispensation, or the relaxation of a merely ecclesiastical law in a particular case, can be granted by those who possess executive power within the limits of their competence, as well as by those who have the power to dispense explicitly or implicitly either by the law itself or by legitimate delegation.
Laws are not subject to dispensation to the extent that they define those things which are essentially constitutive of juridic institutes or acts.
§1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.
§2. If recourse to the Holy See is difficult and, at the same time, there is danger of grave harm in delay, any ordinary is able to dispense from these same laws even if dispensation is reserved to the Holy See, provided that it concerns a dispensation which the Holy See is accustomed to grant under the same circumstances, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 291
A local ordinary is able to dispense from diocesan laws and, whenever he judges that it contributes to the good of the faithful, from laws issued by a plenary or provincial council or by the conference of bishops.
A pastor and other presbyters or deacons are not able to dispense from universal and particular law unless this power has been expressly granted to them.
§1. One is not to be dispensed from an ecclesiastical law without a just and reasonable cause, after taking into account the circumstances of the case and the gravity of the law from which dispensation is given; otherwise the dispensation is illicit and, unless it is given by the legislator himself or his superior, also invalid.
§2. In a case of doubt concerning the sufficiency of the cause, a dispensation is granted validly and licitly.
Even when outside his territory, one who possesses the power to dispense is able to exercise it with respect to his subjects even though they are absent from the territory, and, unless the contrary is expressly established, also with respect to travelers actually present in the territory, as well as with respect to himself.
A dispensation is subject to a strict interpretation according to the norm of can. 36,
§1, as is the very power to dispense granted for a particular case.
Canon 93.General Norms
A dispensation which has successive application ceases in the same ways as a privilege as well as by the certain and total cessation of the motivating cause.
» Statutes and Rules of Order
§1. Statutes in the proper sense are ordinances which are established according to the norm of law in aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or of things (*universitates rerum*) and which define their purpose, constitution, government, and methods of operation.
§2. The statutes of an aggregate of persons (*universitas personarum*) bind only the persons who are its legitimate members; the statutes of an aggregate of things (*universitas rerum*), those who direct it.
§3. Those prescripts of statutes established and promulgated by virtue of legislative power are governed by the prescripts of the canons on laws.
Canon 95.General Norms
§1. Rules of order (*ordines*) are rules or norms, which must be observed in meetings, whether convened by ecclesiastical authority or freely convoked by the Christian faithful, as well as in other celebrations. They define those things which pertain to the constitution, direction, and ways of proceeding.
§2. These rules of order bind those who participate in these assemblies or celebrations.
» Physical and Juridic Person
» The Canonical Condition of Physical Persons
By baptism one is incorporated into the Church of Christ and is constituted a person in it with the duties and rights which are proper to Christians in keeping with their condition, insofar as they are in ecclesiastical communion and unless a legitimately issued sanction stands in the way.
§1. A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority; below this age, a person is a minor.
§2. A minor before the completion of the seventh year is called an infant and is considered not responsible for oneself (*non sui compos*). With the completion of the seventh year, however, a minor is presumed to have the use of reason.
§1. A person who has reached majority has the full exercise of his or her rights.
§2. A minor, in the exercise of his or her rights, remains subject to the authority of parents or guardians except in those matters in which minors are exempted from their authority by divine law or canon law. In what pertains to the appointment of guardians and their authority, the prescripts of civil law are to be observed unless canon law provides otherwise or unless in certain cases the diocesan bishop, for a just cause, has decided to provide for the matter through the appointment of another guardian.
Whoever habitually lacks the use of reason is considered not responsible for oneself (*non sui compos*) and is equated with infants.
A person is said to be: a resident (*incola*) in the place where the person has a domicile; a temporary resident (*advena*) in the place where the person has a quasi-domicile; a traveler (*peregrinus*) if the person is outside the place of a domicile or quasi-domicile which is still retained; a transient (*vagus*) if the person does not have a domicile or quasi-domicile anywhere.
§1. The place of origin of a child, even of a neophyte, is that in which the parents had a domicile or, lacking that, a quasi-domicile when the child was born or, if the parents did not have the same domicile or quasi-domicile, that of the mother.
§2. In the case of a child of transients, the place of origin is the actual place of birth; in the case of an abandoned child, it is the place where the child was found.
§1. Domicile is acquired by that residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there permanently unless called away or has been protracted for five complete years.
§2. Quasi-domicile is acquired by residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there for at least three months unless called away or has in fact been protracted for three months.
§3. A domicile or quasi-domicile within the territory of a parish is called parochial; within the territory of a diocese, even though not within a parish, diocesan.
Members of religious institutes and societies of apostolic life acquire a domicile in the place where the house to which they are attached is located; they acquire a quasi-domicile in the house where they are residing, according to the norm of can. 102,
Spouses are to have a common domicile or quasi-domicile; by reason of legitimate separation or some other just cause, both can have their own domicile or quasi-domicile.
§1. A minor necessarily retains the domicile and quasi-domicile of the one to whose power the minor is subject. A minor who is no longer an infant can also acquire a quasi-domicile of one’s own; a minor who is legitimately emancipated according to the norm of civil law can also acquire a domicile of one’s own.
§2. Whoever for some other reason than minority has been placed legitimately under the guardianship or care of another has the domicile and quasi-domicile of the guardian or curator.
Domicile and quasi-domicile are lost by departure from a place with the intention of not returning, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 105
§1. Through both domicile and quasi-domicile, each person acquires his or her pastor and ordinary.
§2. The proper pastor or ordinary of a transient is the pastor or local ordinary where the transient is actually residing.
§3. The proper pastor of one who has only a diocesan domicile or quasi-domicile is the pastor of the place where the person is actually residing.
§1. Consanguinity is computed through lines and degrees.
§2. In the direct line there are as many degrees as there are generations or persons, not counting the common ancestor.
§3. In the collateral line there are as many degrees as there are persons in both the lines together, not counting the common ancestor.
§1. Affinity arises from a valid marriage, even if not consummated, and exists between a man and the blood relatives of the woman and between the woman and the blood relatives of the man.
§2. It is so computed that those who are blood relatives of the man are related in the same line and degree by affinity to the woman, and vice versa.
Children who have been adopted according to the norm of civil law are considered the children of the person or persons who have adopted them.
§1. Through the reception of baptism, the child of parents who belong to the Latin Church is enrolled in it, or, if one or the other does not belong to it, both parents have chosen by mutual agreement to have the offspring baptized in the Latin Church. If there is no mutual agreement, however, the child is enrolled in the Church sui iuris to which the father belongs.
§2. If only one of the parents be catholic, the baptized is ascribed to the Church to which the catholic parent pertains.
§3. Anyone to be baptized who has completed the fourteenth year of age can freely choose to be baptized in the Latin Church or in another Church sui iuris; in that case, the person belongs to the Church which he or she has chosen.
Canon 112.General Norms
§1. After the reception of baptism, the following are enrolled in another Church sui iuris:
1. a person who has obtained permission from the Apostolic See;
2. a spouse who, at the time of or during marriage, has declared that he or she is transferring to the Church sui iuris of the other spouse; when the marriage has ended, however, the person can freely return to the Latin Church;
3. before the completion of the fourteenth year of age, the children of those mentioned in nn. 1 and 2 as well as, in a mixed marriage, the children of the Catholic party who has legitimately transferred to another Church sui iuris; on completion of their fourteenth year, however, they can return to the Latin Church.
§2. The practice, however prolonged, of receiving the sacraments according to the rite of another Church sui iuris does not entail enrollment in that Church
§3. All those transfers to another Church sui iuris have force from the moment of the declaration of the fact before the local Ordinary of the Church or the proper pastor or priest by delegation and two witnesses, unless a rescript of the Apostolic See provides otherwise; and [this is to be] noted in the baptismal register.
» Physical and Juridic Person
» Juridical Persons
§1. The Catholic Church and the Apostolic See have the character of a moral person by divine ordinance itself.
§2. In the Church, besides physical persons, there are also juridic persons, that is, subjects in canon law of obligations and rights which correspond to their nature.
§1. Juridic persons are constituted either by the prescript of law or by special grant of competent authority given through a decree. They are aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or of things (*universitates rerum*) ordered for a purpose which is in keeping with the mission of the Church and which transcends the purpose of the individuals.
§2. The purposes mentioned in §1 are understood as those which pertain to works of piety, of the apostolate, or of charity, whether spiritual or temporal.
§3. The competent authority of the Church is not to confer juridic personality except on those aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or things (*universitates rerum*) which pursue a truly useful purpose and, all things considered, possess the means which are foreseen to be efficient to achieve their designated purpose.
§1. Juridic persons in the Church are either aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or aggregates of things (*universitates rerum*).
§2. An aggregate of persons (*universitas personarum*), which can be constituted only with at least three persons, is collegial if the members determine its action through participation in rendering decisions, whether by equal right or not, according to the norm of law and the statutes; otherwise it is non-collegial.
§3. An aggregate of things (*universitas rerum*), or an autonomous foundation, consists of goods or things, whether spiritual or material, and either one or more physical persons or a college directs it according to the norm of law and the statutes.
§1. Public juridic persons are aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or of things (*universitates rerum*) which are constituted by competent ecclesiastical authority so that, within the purposes set out for them, they fulfill in the name of the Church, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, the proper function entrusted to them in view of the public good; other juridic persons are private.
§2. Public juridic persons are given this personality either by the law itself or by a special decree of competent authority expressly granting it. Private juridic persons are given this personality only through a special decree of competent authority expressly granting it.
No aggregate of persons (*universitas personarum*) or of things (*universitas rerum*), intending to obtain juridic personality, is able to acquire it unless competent authority has approved its statutes.
Representing a public juridic person and acting in its name are those whose competence is acknowledged by universal or particular law or by its own statutes. Representing a private juridic person are those whose competence is granted by statute.
With regard to collegial acts, unless the law or statutes provide otherwise:
1. if it concerns elections, when the majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; after two indecisive ballots, a vote is to be taken on the two candidates who have obtained the greater number of votes or, if there are several, on the two senior in age; after the third ballot, if a tie remains, the one who is senior in age is considered elected;
2. if it concerns other affairs, when an absolute majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; if after two ballots the votes are equal, the one presiding can break the tie by his or her vote;
3. what touches all as individuals, however, must be approved by all.
§1. A juridic person is perpetual by its nature; nevertheless, it is extinguished if it is legitimately suppressed by competent authority or has ceased to act for a hundred years. A private juridic person, furthermore, is extinguished if the association is dissolved according to the norm of its statutes or if, in the judgment of competent authority, the foundation has ceased to exist according to the norm of its statutes.
§2. If even one of the members of a collegial juridic person survives, and the aggregate of persons (*universitas personarum*) has not ceased to exist according to its statutes, that member has the exercise of all the rights of the aggregate (*universitas*).
If aggregates of persons (*universitates personarum*) or of things (*universitates rerum*), which are public juridic persons, are so joined that from them one aggregate (*universitas*) is constituted which also possesses juridic personality, this new juridic person obtains the goods and patrimonial rights proper to the prior ones and assumes the obligations with which they were burdened. With regard to the allocation of goods in particular and to the fulfillment of obligations, however, the intention of the founders and donors as well as acquired rights must be respected.
If an aggregate (*universitas*) which possesses public juridic personality is so divided either that a part of it is united with another juridic person or that a distinct public juridic person is erected from the separated part, the ecclesiastical authority competent to make the division, having observed before all else the intention of the founders and donors, the acquired rights, and the approved statutes, must take care personally or through an executor:
1. that common, divisible, patrimonial goods and rights as well as debts and other obligations are divided among the juridic persons concerned, with due proportion in equity and justice, after all the circumstances and needs of each have been taken into account;
2. that the use and usufruct of common goods which are not divisible accrue to each juridic person and that the obligations proper to them are imposed upon each, in due proportion determined in equity and justice.
Canon 123.General Norms
Upon the extinction of a public juridic person, the allocation of its goods, patrimonial rights, and obligations is governed by law and its statutes; if these give no indication, they go to the juridic person immediately superior, always without prejudice to the intention of the founders and donors and acquired rights. Upon the extinction of a private juridic person, the allocation of its goods and obligations is governed by its own statutes.
» Juridic Acts
§1. For the validity of a juridic act it is required that the act is placed 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.
§2. A juridic act placed correctly with respect to its external elements is presumed valid.
§1. An act placed out of force inflicted on a person from without, which the person was not able to resist in any way, is considered as never to have taken place.
§2. An act placed out of grave fear, unjustly inflicted, or out of malice is valid unless the law provides otherwise. It can be rescinded, however, through the sentence of a judge, either at the instance of the injured party or of the party’s successors in law, or ex officio.
An act placed out of ignorance or out of error concerning something which constitutes its substance or which amounts to a condition sine qua non is invalid. Otherwise it is valid unless the law makes other provision. An act entered into out of ignorance or error, however, can give rise to a rescissory action according to the norm of law.
§1. When it is established by law that in order to place acts a superior needs the consent or counsel of some college or group of persons, the college or group must be convoked according to the norm of can. 166
unless, when it concerns seeking counsel only, particular or proper law provides otherwise. For such acts to be valid, however, it is required that the consent of an absolute majority of those present is obtained or that the counsel of all is sought.
§2. When it is established by law that in order to place acts a superior needs the consent or counsel of certain persons as individuals:
1. if consent is required, the act of a superior who does not seek the consent of those persons or who acts contrary to the opinion of all or any of them is invalid;
2. if counsel is required, the act of a superior who does not hear those persons is invalid; although not obliged to accept their opinion even if unanimous, a superior is nonetheless not to act contrary to that opinion, especially if unanimous, without a reason which is overriding in the superior’s judgment.
§3. All whose consent or counsel is required are obliged to offer their opinion sincerely and, if the gravity of the affair requires it, to observe secrecy diligently; moreover, the superior can insist upon this obligation.
Canon 128.General Norms
Whoever illegitimately inflicts damage upon someone by a juridic act or by any other act placed with malice or negligence is obliged to repair the damage inflicted.
» The Power of Governance
§1. Those who have received sacred orders are qualified, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, for the power of governance, which exists in the Church by divine institution and is also called the power of jurisdiction.
§2. Lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this same power according to the norm of law.
Of itself, the power of governance is exercised for the external forum; sometimes, however, it is exercised for the internal forum alone, so that the effects which its exercise is meant to have for the external forum are not recognized there, except insofar as the law establishes it in determined cases.
§1. The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself; delegated, that which is granted to a person but not by means of an office.
§2. The ordinary power of governance can be either proper or vicarious.
§3. The burden of proving delegation rests on the one who claims to have been delegated.
§1. Habitual faculties are governed by the prescripts for delegated power.
§2. Nevertheless, unless the grant expressly provides otherwise or the ordinary was chosen for personal qualifications, a habitual faculty granted to an ordinary is not withdrawn when the authority of the ordinary to whom it was granted expires, even if he has begun to execute it, but the faculty transfers to any ordinary who succeeds him in governance.
§1. A delegate who exceeds the limits of the mandate with respect to either matters or persons does not act at all.
§2. A delegate who carries out those things for which the person was delegated in some manner other than that determined in the mandate is not considered to exceed the limits of the mandate unless the manner was prescribed for validity by the one delegating.
§1. In addition to the Roman Pontiff, by the title of ordinary are understood in the law diocesan bishops and others who, even if only temporarily, are placed over some particular church or a community equivalent to it according to the norm of can. 368
as well as those who possess general ordinary executive power in them, namely, vicars general and episcopal vicars; likewise, for their own members, major superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and of clerical societies of apostolic life of pontifical right who at least possess ordinary executive power.
§2. By the title of local ordinary are understood all those mentioned in §1 except the superiors of religious institutes and of societies of apostolic life.
§3. Within the context of executive power, those things which in the canons are attributed by name to the diocesan bishop are understood to belong only to a diocesan bishop and to the others made equivalent to him in can. 381,
§2, excluding the vicar general and episcopal vicar except by special mandate.
§1. The power of governance is distinguished as legislative, executive, and judicial.
§2. Legislative power must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law; that which a legislator below the supreme authority possesses in the Church cannot be validly delegated unless the law explicitly provides otherwise. A lower legislator cannot validly issue a law contrary to higher law.
§3. Judicial power, which judges or judicial colleges possess, must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law and cannot be delegated except to perform acts preparatory to some decree or sentence.
§4. In what pertains to the exercise of executive power, the prescripts of the following canons are to be observed.
Unless the nature of the matter or a prescript of law establishes otherwise, a person is able to exercise executive power over his subjects, even when he or they are outside his territory; he is also able to exercise this power over travelers actually present in the territory if it concerns granting favors or executing universal laws or particular laws which bind them according to the norm of can. 13,
§2, n. 2.
§1. Ordinary executive power can be delegated both for a single act and for all cases unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
§2. Executive power delegated by the Apostolic See can be subdelegated for a single act or for all cases unless the delegate was chosen for personal qualifications or subdelegation was expressly forbidden.
§3. Executive power delegated by another authority who has ordinary power can be subdelegated only for individual cases if it was delegated for all cases. If it was delegated for a single act or for determined acts, however, it cannot be subdelegated except by express grant of the one delegating.
§4. No subdelegated power can be subdelegated again unless the one delegating has expressly granted this.
Ordinary executive power as well as power delegated for all cases must be interpreted broadly; any other, however, must be interpreted strictly. Nevertheless, one who has delegated power is understood to have been granted also those things without which the delegate cannot exercise this power.
§1. Unless the law determines otherwise, the fact that a person approaches some competent authority, even a higher one, does not suspend the executive power, whether ordinary or delegated, of another competent authority.
§2. Nevertheless, a lower authority is not to become involved in cases submitted to a higher authority except for a grave and urgent cause; in this case, the lower authority is immediately to notify the higher concerning the matter.
§1. When several persons have been delegated in solidum to transact the same affair, the one who first begins to deal with it excludes the others from doing so unless that person subsequently was impeded or did not wish to proceed further in carrying it out.
§2. When several persons have been delegated collegially to transact an affair, all must proceed according to the norm of can. 119
unless the mandate has provided otherwise.
§3. Executive power delegated to several persons is presumed to be delegated to them in solidum.
When several persons have been delegated successively, that person is to take care of the affair whose mandate is the earlier and has not been subsequently revoked.
§1. Delegated power ceases: by fulfillment of the mandate; by expiration of the time or completion of the number of cases for which it was granted; by cessation of the purpose for the delegation; by revocation of the one delegating directly communicated to the delegate as well as by resignation of the delegate made known to and accepted by the one delegating. It does not cease, however, when the authority of the one delegating expires unless this appears in attached clauses.
§2. Nevertheless, an act of delegated power which is exercised for the internal forum alone and is placed inadvertently after the lapse of the time limit of the grant is valid.
§1. Ordinary power ceases by loss of the office to which it is connected.
§2. Unless the law provides otherwise, ordinary power is suspended if, legitimately, an appeal is made or a recourse is lodged against privation of or removal from office.
Canon 144.General Norms
§1. In factual or legal common error and in positive and probable doubt of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and internal forum.
§2. The same norm is applied to the faculties mentioned in cann. 882, 883, 966, and 1111
» Ecclesiastical Offices
Canon 145.General Norms
§1. An ecclesiastical office is any function constituted in a stable manner by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance to be exercised for a spiritual purpose.
§2. The obligations and rights proper to individual ecclesiastical offices are defined either in the law by which the office is constituted or in the decree of the competent authority by which the office is at the same time constituted and conferred.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
An ecclesiastical office cannot be acquired validly without canonical provision.
The provision of an ecclesiastical office is made: through free conferral by a competent ecclesiastical authority; through installation by the same authority if presentation preceded it; through confirmation or admission granted by the same authority if election or postulation preceded it; finally, through simple election and acceptance by the one elected if the election does not require confirmation.
The provision of offices is also the competence of the authority to whom it belongs to erect, change, and suppress them unless the law establishes otherwise.
§1. To be promoted to an ecclesiastical office, a person must be in the communion of the Church as well as suitable, that is, endowed with those qualities which are required for that office by universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation.
§2. Provision of an ecclesiastical office made to one who lacks the requisite qualities is invalid only if the qualities are expressly required for the validity of the provision by universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation. Otherwise it is valid but can be rescinded by decree of competent authority or by sentence of an administrative tribunal.
§3. Provision of an office made as a result of simony is invalid by the law itself.
An office which entails the full care of souls and for whose fulfillment the exercise of the priestly order is required cannot be conferred validly on one who is not yet a priest.
The provision of an office which entails the care of souls is not to be deferred without a grave cause.
Two or more incompatible offices, that is, offices which together cannot be fulfilled at the same time by the same person, are not to be conferred upon one person.
§1. The provision of an office which by law is not vacant is by that fact invalid and is not validated by subsequent vacancy.
§2. Nevertheless, if it concerns an office which by law is conferred for a determined period of time, provision can be made within six months before the expiration of this time and takes effect from the day of the vacancy of the office.
§3. A promise of some office, no matter by whom it is made, produces no juridic effect.
An office vacant by law, which may still be possessed illegitimately by someone, can be conferred provided that it has been declared properly that the possession is not legitimate and mention of this declaration is made in the letter of conferral.
A person who confers an office in the place of another who is negligent or impeded acquires no power thereafter over the person upon whom the office was conferred. The juridic condition of that person, however, is established just as if the provision had been completed according to the ordinary norm of law.
Canon 156.General Norms
The provision of any office is to be put in writing.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
» Free Conferral
Canon 157.General Norms
Unless the law explicitly establishes otherwise, it is for the diocesan bishop to provide for ecclesiastical offices in his own particular church by free conferral.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
§1. Presentation for an ecclesiastical office by a person who has the right of presentation must be made to the authority to whom it belongs to install in that office. Moreover, this must be done within three months from notice of the vacancy of the office unless other provision has been made legitimately.
§2. If some college or group of persons has the right of presentation, the person to be presented is to be designated according to the prescripts of can. 165-179
No one is to be presented unwillingly; therefore, a person who is proposed for presentation and questioned about his or her intention can be presented unless the person declines within eight useful days.
§1. The person who possesses the right of presentation can present one or even several persons, either at the same time or successively.
§2. No one can present oneself; a college or group of persons, however, can present one of its own members.
§1. Unless the law establishes otherwise, a person who has presented one found unsuitable can present another candidate within a month, but once more only.
§2. If the person presented renounces or dies before the installation, the one who has the right of presentation can exercise this right again within a month from the notice of the renunciation or death.
A person who has not made presentation within the useful time according to the norm of can. 158,
§1 and can. 161
as well as one who has twice presented an unsuitable person loses the right of presentation for that case. The authority to whom it belongs to install freely provides for the vacant office, with the assent, however, of the proper ordinary of the person appointed.
Canon 163.General Norms
The authority competent to install the person presented according to the norm of law is to install the one legitimately presented whom the authority has found suitable and who has accepted. If several persons legitimately presented have been found suitable, the authority must install one of them.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
Unless the law has provided otherwise, the prescripts of the following canons are to be observed in canonical elections.
Unless the law or the legitimate statutes of a college or group have provided otherwise, if a college or group of persons has the right of election to office, the election is not to be delayed beyond three months of useful time computed from the notice of the vacancy of the office. If this limit has passed without action, the ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right of providing for the office successively is to make provision freely for the vacant office.
§1. The person presiding over a college or group is to convoke all those belonging to the college or group; the notice of convocation, however, when it must be personal, is valid if it is given in the place of domicile or quasi-domicile or in the place of residence.
§2. If anyone of those to be convoked was overlooked and for that reason was absent, the election is valid. Nevertheless, at the instance of that same person and when the oversight and absence have been proved, the election must be rescinded by the competent authority even if it has been confirmed, provided that it is evident juridically that recourse had been made at least within three days from the notice of the election.
§3. If more than one-third of the electors were overlooked, however, the election is null by the law itself unless all those overlooked were in fact present.
§1. When the notice of the convocation has been given legitimately, those present on the day and at the place determined in the same notice have the right to vote. The faculty of voting by letter or proxy is excluded unless the statutes legitimately provide otherwise.
§2. If one of the electors is present in the house where the election occurs but cannot be present at the election due to ill health, his or her written vote is to be sought by the tellers.
Even if a person has the right to vote in his or her own name under several titles, the person can vote only once.
For an election to be valid, no one can be admitted to vote who does not belong to the college or group.
An election whose freedom actually has been impeded in any way is invalid by the law itself.
§1. The following are unqualified to vote:
1. a person incapable of a human act;
2. a person who lacks active voice;
3. a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;
4. a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.
§2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.
§1. To be valid, a vote must be:
1. free; therefore the vote of a person who has been coerced directly or indirectly by grave fear or malice to vote for a certain person or different persons separately is invalid;
2. secret, certain, absolute, determined.
§2. Conditions attached to a vote before the election are to be considered as not having been added.
§1. Before an election begins, at least two tellers are to be designated from the membership of the college or group.
§2. The tellers are to collect the votes, to examine in the presence of the one presiding over the election whether the number of ballots corresponds to the number of electors, to count the votes themselves, and to announce openly how many votes each person has received.
§3. If the number of votes exceeds the number of electors, the voting is without effect.
§4. All the acts of an election are to be transcribed accurately by the secretary and are to be preserved carefully in the archive of the college after they have been signed at least by the same secretary, the one presiding, and the tellers.
§1. Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can also be done by compromise, provided that the electors, by unanimous and written consent, transfer the right to elect on that occasion to one or more suitable persons, whether from among the membership or outside it, who are to elect in the name of all by virtue of the faculty received.
§2. If it concerns a college or group composed of clerics alone, those commissioned must be ordained; otherwise the election is invalid.
§3. Those commissioned must observe the prescripts of the law concerning elections and, for the validity of the election, the conditions attached to the compromise agreement which are not contrary to the law; conditions contrary to the law, however, are to be considered as not having been attached.
The compromise ceases and the right to vote returns to those authorizing the compromise:
1. by revocation by the college or group before any action was taken;
2. if some condition attached to the compromise agreement was not fulfilled;
3. if the election had been completed but was null.
Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, the person who has received the required number of votes according to the norm of can. 119,
n. 1 is considered elected and is to be announced as such by the one presiding over the college or group.
§1. An election must be communicated immediately to the person elected who must inform the one presiding over the college or group whether or not he or she accepts the election within eight useful days after receiving the notification; otherwise, the election has no effect.
§2. If the one elected has not accepted, the person loses every right deriving from the election and does not regain any right by subsequent acceptance but can be elected again. A college or group, however, must proceed to a new election within a month from notifcation of non-acceptance.
The person elected who has accepted an election which does not need confirmation obtains the office in full right immediately; otherwise, the person acquires only the right to the office.
Canon 179.General Norms
§1. If the election requires confirmation, the person elected must personally or through another seek confirmation from the competent authority within eight useful days from the day of acceptance of election; otherwise, the person is deprived of every right unless it has been proved that the person was prevented from seeking confirmation by a just impediment.
§2. The competent authority cannot deny confirmation if the person elected has been found suitable according to the norm of can. 149,
§1, and the election was conducted according to the norm of law.
§3. Confirmation must be given in writing.
§4. Before being notified of confirmation, the person elected is not permitted to become involved in the administration of the office, whether in matters spiritual or temporal, and acts possibly placed by the person are null.
§5. Once notified of the confirmation, the one elected obtains the office in full right unless the law provides otherwise.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
§1. If a canonical impediment from which a dispensation can be and customarily is granted prevents the election of a person whom the electors believe to be more suitable and whom they prefer, by their votes they can postulate that person from the competent authority unless the law provides otherwise.
§2. Those commissioned to elect in virtue of a compromise cannot postulate unless this was expressed in the compromise.
§1. At least two-thirds of the votes are required for a postulation to have force.
§2. A vote for postulation must be expressed by the words, I postulate, or the equivalent. The formula, I elect or I postulate, or the equivalent is valid for election if there is no impediment; otherwise it is valid for postulation.
§1. A postulation must be sent within eight useful days by the one presiding to the authority competent to confirm the election, to whom it pertains to grant the dispensation from the impediment, or, if the authority does not have this power, to petition the dispensation from a higher authority. If confirmation is not required, a postulation must be sent to the authority competent to grant the dispensation.
§2. If a postulation has not been sent within the prescribed time, by that fact it is null, and the college or group is deprived of the right of electing or postulating for that occasion unless it is proved that the one presiding had been prevented from sending the postulation by a just impediment or had refrained from sending it at the opportune time by malice or negligence.
§3. The person postulated acquires no right by postulation; the competent authority is not obliged to admit the postulation.
§4. Electors cannot revoke a postulation made to a competent authority unless the authority consents.
Canon 183.General Norms
§1. If a postulation has not been admitted by the competent authority, the right of electing reverts to the college or group.
§2. If a postulation has been admitted, however, this is to be made known to the person postulated, who must respond according to the norm of can. 177,
§3. A person who accepts a postulation which has been admitted acquires the office in full right immediately.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Loss of Ecclesiastical Office
§1. An ecclesiastical office is lost by the lapse of a predetermined time, by reaching the age determined by law, by resignation, by transfer, by removal, and by privation.
§2. An ecclesiastical office is not lost by the expiration in any way of the authority of the one who conferred it unless the law provides otherwise.
§3. Loss of an office which has taken effect is to be made known as soon as possible to all those who have some right over the provision of the office.
The title of emeritus can be conferred upon a person who loses an office by reason of age or of resignation which has been accepted.
Canon 186.General Norms
Loss of an office by the lapse of a predetermined time or by the reaching of a certain age takes effect only from the moment when the competent authority communicates it in writing.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Loss of Ecclesiastical Office
Anyone responsible for oneself (*sui compos*) can resign from an ecclesiastical office for a just cause.
A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.
Canon 189.General Norms
§1. To be valid, a resignation, whether it requires acceptance or not, must be made to the authority to whom it pertains to make provision of the office in question; this must be done either in writing, or orally in the presence of two witnesses.
§2. The authority is not to accept a resignation which is not based on a just and proportionate cause.
§3. A resignation which requires acceptance lacks all force if it is not accepted within three months; one which does not require acceptance takes effect when it has been communicated by the one resigning according to the norm of law.
§4. A resignation can be revoked by the one resigning as long as it has not taken effect; once it has taken effect it cannot be revoked, but the one who resigned can obtain the office by some other title.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Loss of Ecclesiastical Office
§1. A transfer can be made only by a person who has the right of providing for the office which is lost as well as for the office which is conferred.
§2. If a transfer is made when the officeholder is unwilling, a grave cause is required and the manner of proceeding prescribed by law is to be observed, always without prejudice to the right of proposing contrary arguments.
§3. To take effect a transfer must be communicated in writing.
Canon 191.General Norms
§1. In a transfer, the prior office becomes vacant through the canonical possession of the other office unless the law provides otherwise or competent authority has prescribed otherwise.
§2. The person transferred receives the remuneration assigned to the prior office until the person has taken canonical possession of the other office.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Loss of Ecclesiastical Office
A person is removed from office either by a decree issued legitimately by competent authority, without prejudice to rights possibly acquired by contract, or by the law itself according to the norm of can. 194
§1. A person cannot be removed from an office conferred for an indefinite period of time except for grave causes and according to the manner of proceeding defined by law.
§2. The same is valid for the removal of a person from an office conferred for a definite period of time before this time has elapsed, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 624,
§3. A person upon whom an office is conferred at the prudent discretion of a competent authority according to the prescripts of the law can, upon the judgment of the same authority, be removed from that office for a just cause.
§4. To take effect, the decree of removal must be communicated in writing.
§1. The following are removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself:
1. a person who has lost the clerical state;
2. a person who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church;
3. a cleric who has attempted marriage even if only civilly.
§2. The removal mentioned in nn. 2 and 3 can be enforced only if it is established by the declaration of a competent authority.
Canon 195.General Norms
If a person is removed not by the law itself but by a decree of competent authority from an office which provides the person’s support, the same authority is to take care that the support is provided for a suitable period, unless other provision is made.
» Ecclesiastical Offices
» Loss of Ecclesiastical Office
Canon 196.General Norms
§1. Privation from office, namely, a penalty for a delict, can be done only according to the norm of law.
§2. Privation takes effect according to the prescripts of the canons on penal law.
The Church receives prescription as it is in the civil legislation of the nation in question, without prejudice to the exceptions which are established in the canons of this Code; prescription is a means of acquiring or losing a subjective right as well as of freeing oneself from obligations.
No prescription is valid unless it is based in good faith not only at the beginning but through the entire course of time required for prescription, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1362
Canon 199.General Norms
The following are not subject to prescription:
1. rights and obligations which are of the divine natural or positive law;
2. rights which can be obtained from apostolic privilege alone;
3. rights and obligations which directly regard the spiritual life of the Christian faithful;
4. the certain and undoubted boundaries of ecclesiastical territories;
5. Mass offerings and obligations;
6. provision of an ecclesiastical office which, according to the norm of law, requires the exercise of a sacred order;
7. the right of visitation and the obligation of obedience, in such a way that the Christian faithful cannot be visited by any ecclesiastical authority or are no longer subject to any authority.
» Computation of Time
Unless the law expressly provides otherwise, time is to be computed according to the norm of the following canons.
§1. Continuous time is understood as that which undergoes no interruption.
§2. Useful time is understood as that which a person has to exercise or to pursue a right, so that it does not run for a person who is unaware or unable to act.
§1. In law, a day is understood as a period consisting of 24 continuous hours and begins at midnight unless other provision is expressly made; a week is a period of 7 days; a month is a period of 30 days, and a year is a period of 365 days unless a month and a year are said to be taken as they are in the calendar.
§2. If time is continuous, a month and a year must always be taken as they are in the calendar.
§1. The initial day (*a quo*) is not computed in the total unless its beginning coincides with the beginning of the day or the law expressly provides otherwise.
§2. Unless the contrary is established, the final day (*ad quem*) is computed in the total which, if the time consists of one or more months or years, or one or more weeks, is reached at the end of the last day of the same number or, if a month lacks a day of the same number, at the end of the last day of the month.
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