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» The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church
» Particular Churches and Their Groupings
» The Internal Ordering of Particular Churches
» Chapters of canons
A chapter of canons, whether cathedral or collegiate, is a college of priests, whose role is to celebrate the more solemn liturgical functions in a cathedral or a collegiate church. It is for the cathedral chapter, besides, to fulfil those roles entrusted to it by law or by the diocesan Bishop.
The establishment, alteration or suppression of a cathedral chapter is reserved to the Apostolic See.
Every chapter, whether cathedral or collegiate, is to have its own statutes, established by lawful capitular act and approved by the diocesan Bishop. These
statutes are not to be changed or abrogated except with the approval of the diocesan
§1 The statutes of a chapter, while preserving always the laws of the foundation, are to determine the nature of the chapter and the number of canons.
They are to define what the chapter and the individual canons are to do in carrying out divine worship and their ministry. They are to decide the meetings at which law, they are to prescribe the conditions required for the validity and for the lawfulness of the proceedings.
§2 In the statutes the remuneration is also to be defined, both the fixed salary and the amounts to be paid on the occasion of discharging the office, so too, having taken account of the norms laid down by the Holy See, the insignia of the canons.
§1 Among the canons there is to be one who presides over the chapter. In accordance with the statutes other offices are also to be established, account having been taken of the practice prevailing in the region.
§2 Other offices may be allotted to clerics not belonging to the chapter, so that, in accordance with the statutes, they may provide assistance to the canons.
§1 The canon penitentiary both of a cathedral church and of a collegiate church has by law ordinary faculties, which he cannot however delegate to others, to absolve in the sacramental forum from latae sententiae censures which have not been declared and are not reserved to the Holy See. Within the diocese he can absolve not only diocesans but outsiders also, whereas he can absolve diocesans even outside the diocese.
§2 Where there is no chapter, the diocesan Bishop is to appoint a priest to fulfil this office.
§1 It belongs to the diocesan Bishop, after consultation with the chapter, but not to the diocesan Administrator, to bestow each and every canonry both in the cathedral church and in a collegiate church, any privilege to the contrary is revoked.
It is also for the diocesan Bishop to confirm the person elected by the chapter to preside over it.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 509 §1, 20.V.1989]
§2 The diocesan Bishop is to appoint to canonries only priests who are of sound doctrine and life and who have exercised a praiseworthy ministry.
§1 Parishes are no longer to be united with chapters of canons. Those which are united to a chapter are to be separated from it by the diocesan Bishop.
§2 In a church which is at the same time a parochial and a capitular church, a parish priest is to be appointed, whether chosen from the chapter or not. He is bound by all the obligations and he enjoys all the rights and faculties which by law belong to a parish priest.
§3 The diocesan Bishop is to establish certain norms whereby the pastoral duties of the parish priest and the roles proper to the chapter are duly harmonised, so that the parish priest is not a hindrance to capitular functions, nor the chapter to those of the parish. Any conflicts which may arise are to be settled by the diocesan Bishop, who is to ensure above all that the pastoral needs of the faithful are suitably provided for.
§4 Alms given to a church which is at the same time a parochial and a capitular church, are presumed to be given to the parish, unless it is otherwise established.
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