The term church means a sacred building intended for divine worship, to which the faithful have right of access for the exercise, especially the public exercise, of divine worship.
§1 No church is to be built without the express and written consent of the diocesan Bishop.
§2 The diocesan Bishop is not to give his consent until he has consulted the council of priests and the rectors of neighbouring churches, and then decides that the new church can serve the good of souls and that the necessary means will be available to build the church and to provide for divine worship.
§3 Even though they have received the diocesan Bishop’s consent to establish a new house in a diocese or city, religious institutes must obtain the same Bishop’s permission before they may build a church in a specific and determined place.
In the building and restoration of churches the advice of experts is to be used, and the principles and norms of liturgy and of sacred art are to be observed.
§1 As soon as possible after completion of the building the new church is to be dedicated or at least blessed, following the laws of the sacred liturgy.
§2 Churches, especially cathedrals and parish churches, are to be dedicated by a solemn rite.
Each church is to have its own title. Once the church has been dedicated this title cannot be changed.
All acts of divine worship may be carried out in a church which has been lawfully dedicated or blessed, without prejudice to parochial rights.
§1 Those responsible are to ensure that there is in churches such cleanliness and ornamentation as befits the house of God, and that anything which is discordant with the sacred character of the place is excluded.
§2 Ordinary concern for preservation and appropriate means of security are to be employed to safeguard sacred and precious goods.
Entry to a church at the hours of sacred functions is to be open and free of charge.
§1 If a church cannot in any way be used for divine worship and there is no possibility of its being restored, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for some secular but not unbecoming purpose.
§2 Where other grave reasons suggest that a particular church should no longer be used for divine worship, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for a secular but not unbecoming purpose. Before doing so, he must consult the council of priests; he must also have the consent of those who could lawfully claim rights over that church, and be sure that the good of souls would not be harmed by the transfer.
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