A resource for both professional and armchair canonists.

Also including the GIRM, GILH, CCC, CCEO, DC, SST, ESI, USCCB Norms, and Vos estis.


  • Section Numbers
  • Text Search    

  • Documents



General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office
Canon 146. An ecclesiastical office cannot be acquired validly without canonical provision.
Canon 147. 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.
Canon 148. 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.
Canon 149. §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 Otherwise it is valid but can be rescinded by decree of competent authority or by sentence of an administrative tribunal.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.
Canon 150. 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.
Canon 151. The provision of an office which entails the care of souls is not to be deferred without a grave cause.
Canon 152. 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.
Canon 153. §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.
Canon 154. 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.
Canon 155. 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. The provision of any office is to be put in writing.
General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Free Conferral
Canon 157. 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.
General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Presentation
Canon 158. §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.
Canon 159. 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.
Canon 160. §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.
Canon 161. §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.
Canon 162. 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. 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.
General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Election
Canon 164. Unless the law has provided otherwise, the prescripts of the following canons are to be observed in canonical elections.
Canon 165. 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.
Canon 166. §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.
Canon 167. §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.
Canon 168. Even if a person has the right to vote in his or her own name under several titles, the person can vote only once.
Canon 169. For an election to be valid, no one can be admitted to vote who does not belong to the college or group.
Canon 170. An election whose freedom actually has been impeded in any way is invalid by the law itself.
Canon 171. §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.
Canon 172. §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.
Canon 173. §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.
Canon 174. §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.
Canon 175. 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.
Canon 176. 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.
Canon 177. §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.
Canon 178. 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. §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.
General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Postulation
Canon 180. §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.
Canon 181. §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.
Canon 182. §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. §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, §1.

§3. A person who accepts a postulation which has been admitted acquires the office in full right immediately.

Page generated in 0.0036 seconds.