A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care, at least in part, of some community or particular group of the Christian faithful, which is to be exercised according to the norm of universal and particular law.
Unless the law provides otherwise or someone legitimately has special rights, a chaplain is appointed by the local ordinary to whom it also belongs to install the one presented or to confirm the one elected.
§1. A chaplain must be provided with all the faculties which proper pastoral care requires. In addition to those which are granted by particular law or special delegation, a chaplain possesses by virtue of office the faculty of hearing the confessions of the faithful entrusted to his care, of preaching the word of God to them, of administering Viaticum and the anointing of the sick, and of conferring the sacrament of confirmation on those who are in danger of death.
§2. In hospitals, prisons, and on sea journeys, a chaplain, moreover, has the faculty, to be exercised only in those places, of absolving from latae sententiae censures which are neither reserved nor declared, without prejudice, however, to the prescript of can. 976
§1. The local ordinary is not to proceed to the appointment of a chaplain to a house of a lay religious institute without consulting the superior, who has the right to propose a specific priest after the superior has heard the community.
§2. It is for the chaplain to celebrate or direct liturgical functions; nevertheless, he is not permitted to involve himself in the internal governance of the institute.
As far as possible, chaplains are to be appointed for those who are not able to avail themselves of the ordinary care of pastors because of the condition of their lives, such as migrants, exiles, refugees, nomads, sailors.
Military chaplains are governed by special laws.
If a non-parochial church is connected to the seat of a community or group, the chaplain is to be the rector of that church, unless the care of the community or of the church requires otherwise.
In the exercise of his pastoral function, a chaplain is to preserve a fitting relationship with the pastor.
In what pertains to the removal of a chaplain, the prescript of can. 563
is to be observed.
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