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.
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.
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