Can. 1 The canons of this
Code concern only the latin Church.
Can. 2 For the most part the
Code does not determine the rites to be observed in the celebration of liturgical actions.
Accordingly, liturgical laws which have been in effect hitherto retain their force, except
those which may be contrary to the canons of the Code.
Can. 3 The canons of the
Code do not abrogate, nor do they derogate from, agreements entered into by the Apostolic
See with nations or other civil entities. For this reason, these agreements continue in
force as hitherto, notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this Code
Can. 4 Acquired rights, and
likewise privileges hitherto granted by the Apostolic See to either physical or juridical
persons, which are still in use and have not been revoked, remain intact, unless they are
expressly revoked by the canons of this Code.
Can. 5 §1 Universal or
particular customs which have been in effect up to now but are contrary to the provisions
of these canons and are reprobated in the canons of this Code, are completely suppressed,
and they may not be allowed to revive in the future. Other contrary customs are also to be
considered suppressed, unless the Code expressly provides otherwise, or unless they are
centennial or immemorial: these latter may be tolerated if the Ordinary judges that, in
the circumstances of place and person, they cannot be removed.
§2 Customs apart from the
law, whether universal or particular, which have been in effect hitherto, are retained.
Can. 6 §1 When this Code
comes into force, the following are abrogated:
1° the Code of Canon Law
promulgated in 1917;
2° other laws, whether
universal or particular, which are contrary to the provisions of this Code, unless it is
otherwise expressly provided in respect of particular laws;
3° all penal laws enacted
by the Apostolic See, whether universal or particular, unless they are resumed in this
4° any other universal
disciplinary laws concerning matters which are integrally reordered by this Code.
§2 To the extent that the
canons of this Code reproduce the former law, they are to be assessed in the light also of
Title I: Ecclesiastical Laws
Can. 7 A law comes
into being when it is promulgated.
Can. 8 §1 Universal
ecclesiastical laws are promulgated by publication in the Acta Apostolicae
Sedis, unless in particular cases another manner of promulgation has been
prescribed. They come into force only on the expiry of three months from the date
appearing on the particular issue of the Acta, unless because of the nature of
the case they bind at once, or unless a shorter or a longer interval has been specifically
and expressly prescribed m the law itself.
§2 Particular laws are
promulgated in the manner determined by the legislator; they begin to oblige one month
from the date of promulgation, unless a different period is prescribed in the law itself.
Can. 9 Laws concern matters
of the future, not those of the past, unless provision is made in them for the latter by
Can. 10 Only those laws are
to be considered invalidating or incapacitating which expressly prescribe that an act is
null or that a person is incapable.
Can. 11 Merely
ecclesiastical laws bind those who were baptised in the catholic Church or received into
it, and who have a sufficient use of reason and, unless the law expressly provides
otherwise, who have completed their seventh year of age.
Can. 12 §1 Universal laws
are binding everywhere on all those for whom they were enacted.
§2 All those actually
present in a particular territory in which certain universal laws are not in force, are
exempt from those laws.
§3 Without prejudice to the
provisions of can. 13, laws enacted for a particular territory bind those for whom they
were enacted and who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in that territory and are actually
residing in it.
Can. 13 §1 Particular laws
are not presumed to be personal, but rather territorial, unless the contrary is clear.
§2 Peregrini are not bound:
1° by the particular laws
of their own territory while they are absent from it, unless the transgression of those
laws causes harm in their own territory, or unless the laws are personal
2° by the laws of the
territory in which they are present, except for those laws which take care of public
order, or determine the formalities of legal acts, or concern immovable property located
in the territory.
§3 Vagi are bound by both
the universal and the particular laws which are in force in the place in which they are
Can. 14 Laws, even
invalidating and incapacitating ones, do not oblige when there is a doubt of law. When
there is a doubt of fact, however Ordinaries can dispense from them provided, if there is
question of a reserved dispensation, it is one which the authority to whom it is reserved
Is accustomed to grant.
Can. 15 §1 Ignorance or
error concerning invalidating or incapacitating laws does not prevent the effect of those
laws, unless it is expressly provided otherwise.
§2 Ignorance or error is
not presumed about a law, a penalty, a fact concerning oneself, or a notorious fact
concerning another. It is presumed about a fact concerning another which is not notorious,
until the contrary is proved.
Can. 16 §1 Laws are
authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator
entrusts the power of authentic interpretation.
§2 An authentic
interpretation which is presented by way of a law has the same force as the law itself,
and must be promulgated. If it simply declares the sense of words which are certain in
themselves, it has retroactive force. If it restricts or extends the law or resolves a
doubt, it is not retroactive.
§3 On the other hand, an
interpretation by way of a court judgement or of an administrative act in a particular
case, does not have the force of law. It binds only those persons and affects only those
matters for which it was given.
Can. 17 Ecclesiastical laws
are to be understood according to the proper meaning of the words considered in their text
and context. If the meaning remains doubtful or obscure, there must be recourse to
parallel places, if there be any, to the purpose and circumstances of the law, and to the
mind of the legislator.
Can. 18 Laws which prescribe
a penalty, or restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception to the law,
are to be interpreted strictly.
Can. 19 If on a particular
matter there is not an express provision of either universal or particular law, nor a
custom, then, provided it is not a penal matter, the question is to be decided by taking
into account laws enacted in similar matters, the general principles of law observed with
canonical equity, the jurisprudence and practice of the Roman Curia, and the common and
constant opinion of learned authors.
Can. 20 A later law
abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states, or if it is
directly contrary to that law, or if it integrally reorders the whole subject matter of
the earlier law. A universal law, however, does not derogate from a particular or from a
special law, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
Can. 21 In doubt, the
revocation of a previous law is not presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to
earlier ones and, as far as possible, harmonised with them.
Can. 22 When the law of the
Church remits some issue to the civil law, the latter is to be observed with the same
effects in canon law, insofar as it is not contrary to divine law, and provided it is not
otherwise stipulated in canon law.
Title II: Custom
Can. 23 A custom
introduced by a community of the faithful has the force of law only if it has been
approved by the legislator, in accordance with the following canons.
Can. 24 §1 No custom which
is contrary to divine law can acquire the force of law.
§2 A custom which is
contrary to or apart from canon law, cannot acquire the force of law unless it is
reasonable; a custom which is expressly reprobated in the law is not reasonable.
Can. 25 No custom acquires
the force of law unless it has been observed, with the intention of introducing a law, by
a community capable at least of receiving a law.
Can. 26 Unless it has been
specifically approved by the competent legislator, a custom which is contrary to the canon
law currently in force, or is apart from the canon law, acquires the force of law only
when it has been lawfully observed for a period of thirty continuous and complete years.
Only a centennial or immemorial custom can prevail over a canonical law which carries a
clause forbidding future customs.
Can. 27 Custom is the best
interpreter of laws.
Can. 28 Without prejudice to
the provisions of can. 5, a custom, whether contrary to or apart from the law, is revoked
by a contrary custom or law. But unless the law makes express mention of them, it does not
revoke centennial or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular
Title III: General Decrees And Instructions
Can. 29 General
decrees, by which a competent legislator makes common provisions for a community capable
of receiving a law, are true laws and are regulated by the provisions of the canons on
Can. 30 A general decree, as
in can. 29, cannot be made by one who has only executive power, unless in particular cases
this has been expressly authorised by the competent legislator in accordance with the law,
and provided the conditions prescribed in the act of authorisation are observed.
Can. 31 §1 Within the
limits of their competence, those who have executive power can issue general executory
decrees, that is, decrees which define more precisely the manner of applying a law, or
which urge the observance of laws.
§2 The provisions of can. 8
are to be observed in regard to the promulgation, and to the interval before the coming
into effect, of the decrees mentioned in §1.
Can. 32 General executory
decrees which define the manner of application or urge the observance of laws, bind those
who are bound by the laws.
Can. 33 §1 General
executory decrees, even if published in directories or other such documents, do not
derogate from the law, and any of their provisions which are contrary to the law have no
§2 These decrees cease to
have force by explicit or implicit revocation by the competent authority, and by the
cessation of the law for whose execution they were issued. They do not cease on the expiry
of the authority of the person who issued them, unless the contrary is expressly provided.
Can. 34 §1 Instructions,
namely, which set out the provisions of a law and develop the manner in which it is to be
put into effect, are given for the benefit of those whose duty it is to execute the law,
and they bind them in executing the law. Those who have executive power may, within the
limits of their competence, lawfully publish such instructions.
§2 The regulations of an
instruction do not derogate from the law, and if there are any which cannot be reconciled
with the provisions of the law they have no force.
§3 Instructions cease to
have force not only by explicit or implicit revocation by the competent authority who
published them or by that authoritys superior, but also by the cessation of the law
which they were designed to set out and execute.
Title IV: Singular
Chapter I : COMMON NORMS
Can. 35 Within the limits of
his or her competence, one who has executive power can issue a singular administrative
act, either by decree or precept, or by rescript, without prejudice to can. 76 §1.
Can. 36 §1 An
administrative act is to be understood according to the proper meaning of the words and
the common manner of speaking. In doubt, a strict interpretation is to be given to those
administrative acts which concern litigation or threaten or inflict penalties, or restrict
the rights of persons, or harm the acquired rights of others, or run counter to a law in
favour of private persons; all other administrative acts are to be widely interpreted.
§2 Administrative acts must
not be extended to cases other than those expressly stated.
Can. 37 An administrative
act which concerns the external forum is to be effected in writing; likewise, if it
requires an executor, the act of execution is to be in writing.
Can. 38 An administrative
act, even if there is question of a rescript given Motu proprio, has no effect in so far
as it harms the acquired right of another, or is contrary to a law or approved custom,
unless the competent authority has expressly added a derogatory clause.
Can. 39 Conditions attached
to an administrative act are considered to concern validity only when they are expressed
by the particles if, unless, provided that.
Can. 40 The executor of any
administrative act cannot validly carry out this office before receiving the relevant
document and establishing its authenticity and integrity, unless prior notice of this
document has been conveyed to the executor on the authority of the person who issued the
Can. 41 The executor of an
administrative act to whom the task of execution only is entrusted, cannot refuse to
execute it, unless it is quite clear that the act itself is null, or that it cannot for
some other grave reason be sustained, or that the conditions attached to the
administrative act itself have not been fulfilled. If, however, the execution of the
administrative act would appear to be inopportune, by reason of the circumstances of
person or place, the executor is to desist from the execution, and immediately inform the
person who issued the act.
Can. 42 The executor of an
administrative act must proceed in accordance with the mandate. If, however, the executor
has not fulfilled essential conditions attached to the document, or has not observed the
substantial form of procedure, the execution is invalid.
Can. 43 The executor of an
administrative act may in his prudent judgement substitute another for himself, unless
substitution has been forbidden, or he has been deliberately chosen as the only person to
be executor, or a specific person has been designated as substitute; however, in these
cases the executor may commit the preparatory acts to another.
Can. 44 An administrative
act can also be executed by the executors successor in office, unless the first had
been chosen deliberately as the only person to be executor.
Can. 45 If there has been
any error in the execution of an administrative act, the executor may execute it again.
Can. 46 An administrative
act does not cease on the expiry of the authority of the person issuing it, unless the law
expressly provides otherwise.
Can. 47 The revocation of an
administrative act by another administrative act of the competent authority takes effect
only from the moment at which the person to whom it was issued is lawfully notified.
Chapter II : SINGULAR DECREES AND PRECEPTS
Can. 48 A singular decree is
an administrative act issued by a competent executive authority, whereby in accordance
with the norms of law a decision is given or a provision made for a particular case; of
its nature this decision or provision does not presuppose that a petition has been made by
Can. 49 A singular precept
is a decree by which an obligation is directly and lawfully imposed on a specific person
or persons to do or to omit something, especially in order to urge the observance of a
Can. 50 Before issuing a
singular decree, the person in authority is to seek the necessary information and proof
and, as far as possible, is to consult those whose rights could be harmed.
Can. 51 A decree is to be
issued in writing. When it is a decision, it should express, at least in summary form, the
reasons for the decision.
Can. 52 A singular decree
has effect in respect only of those matters it determines and of those persons to whom it
was issued; it obliges such persons everywhere, unless it is otherwise clear.
Can. 53 If decrees are
contrary one to another, where specific matters are expressed, the specific prevails over
the general; if both are equally specific or equally general, the one later in time
abrogates the earlier insofar as it is contrary to it.
Can. 54 §1 A singular
decree whose application is entrusted to an executor, has effect from the moment of
execution; otherwise, from the moment when it is made known to the person on the authority
of the one who issued it.
§2 For a singular decree to
be enforceable, it must be made known by a lawful document in accordance with the law.
Can. 55 Without prejudice to
cann. 37 and 51, whenever a very grave reason prevents the handing over of the written
text of a decree, the decree is deemed to have been made known if it is read to the person
to whom it is directed, in the presence of a notary or two witnesses- a record of the
occasion is to be drawn up and signed by all present.
Can. 56 A decree is deemed
to have been made known if the person to whom it is directed has been duly summoned to
receive or to hear the decree, and without a just reason has not appeared or has refused
Can. 57 §1 Whenever the law
orders a decree to be issued, or when a person who is concerned lawfully requests a decree
or has recourse to obtain one, the competent authority is to provide for the situation
within three months of having received the petition or recourse, unless a different period
of time is prescribed by law.
§2 If this period of time
has expired and the decree has not yet been given, then as far as proposing a further
recourse is concerned, the reply is presumed to be negative.
§3 A presumed negative
reply does not relieve the competent authority of the obligation of issuing the decree,
and, in accordance with can. 128, of repairing any harm done.
Can. 58 §1 A singular
decree ceases to have force when it is lawfully revoked by the competent authority, or
when the law ceases for whose execution it was issued.
§2 A singular precept,
which was not imposed by a lawful document, ceases on the expiry of the authority of the
person who issued it.
Chapter III : RESCRIPTS
Can. 59 §1 A rescript is an
administrative act issued in writing by a competent authority, by which of its very nature
a privilege, dispensation or other favour is granted at someones request.
§2 Unless it is otherwise
established, provisions laid down concerning rescripts apply also to the granting of
permission and to the granting of favours by word of mouth.
Can. 60 Any rescript can be
obtained by all who are not expressly prohibited.
Can. 61 Unless it is
otherwise established, a rescript can be obtained for another, even without that
persons consent, and it is valid before its acceptance, without prejudice to
Can. 62 A rescript in which
there is no executor, has effect from the moment the document was issued; the others have
effect from the moment of execution.
Can. 63 §1 Except where
there is question of a rescript which grants a favour Motu proprio, subreption, that is,
the withholding of the truth, renders a rescript invalid if the request does not express
that which, according to canonical law, style and practice, must for validity be
§2 Obreption, that is, the
making of a false statement, renders a rescript invalid if not even one of the motivating
reasons submitted is true.
§3 In rescripts of which
there is no executor, the motivating reason must be true at the time the rescript is
issued; in the others, at the time of execution.
Can. 64 Without prejudice to
the right of the Penitentiary for the internal forum, a favour refused by any department
of the Roman Curia cannot validly be granted by another department of the same Curia, or
by any other competent authority below the Roman Pontiff, without the approval of the
department which was first approached.
Can. 65 §1 Without
prejudice to the provisions of §§2 and 3, no one is to seek from another Ordinary a
favour which was refused by that persons proper Ordinary, unless mention is made of
the refusal. When the refusal is mentioned, the Ordinary is not to grant the favour unless
he has learned from the former Ordinary the reasons for the refusal.
§2 A favour refused by a
Vicar general or an episcopal Vicar cannot be validly granted by another Vicar of the same
Bishop, even when he has learned from the Vicar who refused the reasons for the refusal.
§3 A favour refused by a
Vicar general or an episcopal Vicar and later, without any mention being made of this
refusal, obtained from the diocesan Bishop, is invalid. A favour refused by the diocesan
Bishop cannot, without the Bishops consent, validly be obtained from his Vicar
general or episcopal Vicar, even though mention is made of the refusal.
Can. 66 A rescript is not
rendered invalid because of an error in the name of the person to whom it is given or by
whom it is issued, or of the place in which such person resides, or of the matter
concerned, provided that in the judgement of the Ordinary there is no doubt about the
person or the matter in question.
Can. 67 §1 If it should
happen that two contrary rescripts are obtained for one and the same thing, where specific
matters are expressed, the specific prevails over the general.
§2 If both are equally
specific or equally general, the one earlier in time prevails over the later, unless in
the later one there is an express mention of the earlier, or unless the person who first
obtained the rescript has not used it by reason of deceit or of notable personal
§3 In doubt as to whether a
rescript is invalid or not, recourse is to be made to the issuing authority.
Can. 68 A rescript of the
Apostolic See in which there is no executor must be presented to the Ordinary of the
person who obtains it only when this is prescribed in the rescript, or when there is
question of public affairs, or when it is necessary to have the conditions verified.
Can. 69 A rescript for whose
presentation no time is determined, may be submitted to the executor at any time, provided
there is no fraud or deceit.
Can. 70 If in a rescript the
very granting of the favour is entrusted to the executor, it is a matter for the
executors prudent judgement and conscience to grant or to refuse the favour.
Can. 71 No one is obliged to
use a rescript granted in his or her favour only, unless bound by a canonical obligation
from another source to do so .
Can. 72 Rescripts granted by
the Apostolic See which have expired, can for a just reason be extended by the diocesan
Bishop, but once only and not beyond three months.
Can. 73 No rescripts are
revoked by a contrary law, unless it is otherwise provided in the law itself.
Can. 74 Although one who has
been granted a favour orally may use it in the internal forum, that person is obliged to
prove the favour for the external forum whenever this is lawfully requested.
Can. 75 If a rescript
contains a privilege or a dispensation, the provision of the following canons are also to
Chapter IV : PRIVILEGES
Can. 76 §1 A privilege is a
favour given by a special act for the benefit of certain persons, physical or juridical;
it can be granted by the legislator, and by an executive authority to whom the legislator
has given this power.
§2 Centennial or immemorial
possession of a privilege gives rise to the presumption that it has been granted.
Can. 77 A privilege is to be
interpreted in accordance with can. 36 §1. The interpretation must, however, always be
such that the beneficiaries of the privilege do in fact receive some favour.
Can. 78 §1 A privilege is
presumed to be perpetual, unless the contrary is proved.
§2 A personal privilege,
namely one which attaches to a person, is extinguished with the person.
§3 A real privilege ceases
on the total destruction of the thing or place; a local privilege, however, revives if the
place is restored within fifty years.
Can. 79 Without prejudice to
can. 46, a privilege ceases by revocation on the part of the competent authority in
accordance with can. 47.
Can. 80 §1 No privilege
ceases by renunciation unless this has been accepted by the competent authority.
§2 Any physical person may
renounce a privilege granted in his or her favour only.
§3 Individual persons
cannot renounce a privilege granted to a juridical person, or granted by reason of the
dignity of a place or thing. Nor can a juridical person renounce a privilege granted to
it, if the renunciation would be prejudicial to the Church or to others.
Can. 81 A privilege is not
extinguished on the expiry of the authority of the person who granted it, unless it was
given with the clause at our pleasure or another equivalent expression.
Can. 82 A privilege which
does not burden others does not lapse through non-use or contrary use; if it does cause an
inconvenience for others, it is lost if lawful prescription intervenes.
Can. 83 §1 Without
prejudice to can. 142 §2, a privilege ceases on the expiry of the time or the completion
of the number of cases for which it was granted.
§2 It ceases also if in the
judgement of the competent authority circumstances are so changed with the passage of time
that it has become harmful, or that its use becomes unlawful.
Can. 84 A person who abuses
a power given by a privilege deserves to be deprived of the privilege itself. Accordingly,
after a warning which has been in vain, the Ordinary, if it was he who granted it, is to
deprive the person of the privilege which he or she is gravely abusing; if the privilege
has been granted by the Apostolic See, the Ordinary is obliged to make the matter known to
Chapter V : DISPENSATIONS
Can. 85 A dispensation, that
is, the relaxation of a merely ecclesiastical law in a particular case, can be granted,
within the limits of their competence, by those who have executive power, and by those who
either explicitly or implicitly have the power of dispensing, whether by virtue of the law
itself or by lawful delegation.
Can. 86 In so far as laws
define those elements which are essentially constitutive of institutes or of juridical
acts, they are not subject to dispensation.
Can. 87 §1 Whenever he
judges that it contributes to their spiritual welfare, the diocesan Bishop can dispense
the faithful from disciplinary laws, both universal laws and those particular laws made by
the supreme ecclesiastical authority for his territory or his subjects. He cannot dispense
from procedural laws or from penal laws, nor from those whose dispensation is specially
reserved to the Apostolic See or to 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 can dispense from these laws, even if the dispensation is reserved to the Holy
See, provided the dispensation is one which the Holy See customarily grants in the same
circumstances, and without prejudice to can. 291.
Can. 88 The local Ordinary
can dispense from diocesan laws and, whenever he judges that it contributes to the
spiritual welfare of the faithful, from laws made by a plenary or a provincial Council or
by the Episcopal Conference.
Can. 89 Parish priests and
other priests or deacons cannot dispense from universal or particular law unless this
power is expressly granted to them.
Can. 90 §1 A dispensation
from an ecclesiastical law is not to be given without a just and reasonable cause, taking
into account the circumstances of the case and the importance of the law from which the
dispensation is given; otherwise the dispensation is unlawful and, unless given by the
legislator or his superior, it is also invalid.
§2 A dispensation given in
doubt about the sufficiency of its reason is valid and lawful.
Can. 91 In respect of their
subjects, even if these are outside the territory, those who have the power of dispensing
can exercise it even if they themselves are outside their territory; unless the contrary
is expressly provided, they can exercise it also in respect of peregrini actually present
in the territory; they can exercise it too in respect of themselves.
Can. 92 A strict
interpretation is to be given not only to a dispensation in accordance with can. 36 §1,
but also to the very power of dispensing granted for a specific case.
Can. 93 A dispensation
capable of successive applications ceases in the same way as a privilege. It also ceases
by the certain and complete cessation of the motivating reason.
Title V: Statutes And Ordinances
Can. 94 §1 Statutes
properly so called are regulations which are established in accordance with the law in
aggregates of persons or of things, whereby the purpose, constitution, governance and
manner of acting of these bodies are defined.
§2 The statutes of an
aggregate of persons bind only those persons who are lawfully members of it; the statutes
of an aggregate of things bind those who direct it.
§3 The provisions of
statutes which are established and promulgated by virtue of legislative power, are
regulated by the provisions of the canons concerning laws.
Can. 95 §1 Ordinances are
rules or norms to be observed both in assemblies of persons, whether these assemblies are
convened by ecclesiastical authority or are freely convoked by the faithful, and in other
celebrations: they define those matters which concern their constitution, direction and
§2 In assemblies or
celebrations, those who take part are bound by these rules of ordinance.
Title VI: Physical And
Chapter I : The Canonical Status Of Physical Persons
Can. 96 By baptism one is
incorporated into the Church of Christ and constituted a person in it, with the duties and
the rights which, in accordance with each ones status, are proper to christians, in
so far as they are in ecclesiastical communion and unless a lawfully issued sanction
Can. 97 §1 A person who has
completed the eighteenth year of age, has attained majority; below this age, a person is a
§2 A minor who has not
completed the seventh year of age is called an infant and is considered incapable of
personal responsibility; on completion of the seventh year, however, the minor is presumed
to have the use of reason.
Can. 98 §1 A person who has
attained majority has the full exercise of his or her rights.
§2 In the exercise of
rights a minor remains subject to parents or guardians, except for those matters in which
by divine or by canon law minors are exempt from such authority. In regard to the
appointment of guardians and the determination of their powers, the provisions of civil
law are to be observed, unless it is otherwise provided in canon law or unless, in
specific cases and for a just reason, the diocesan Bishop has decided that the matter is
to be catered for by the appointment of another guardian.
Can. 99 Whoever habitually
lacks the use of reason is considered as incapable of personal responsibility and is
regarded as an infant.
Can. 100 A person is said to
be: an incola, in the place where he or she has a domicile; an advena, in the place of
quasi-domicile; a peregrinus, if away from the domicile or quasi-domicile which is still
retained; a vagus, if the person has nowhere a domicile or quasi-domicile.
Can. 101 §1 The place of
origin of a child, and even of a neophyte, is that in which the parents had a domicile or,
lacking that, a quasi-domicile when the child was born; if the parents did not have the
same domicile or quasi-domicile, it is that of the mother.
§2 In the case of a child
of vagi, the place of origin is the actual place of birth; in the case of a foundling, it
is the place where it was found.
Can. 102 §1 Domicile is
acquired by residence in the territory of a parish, or at least of a diocese, which is
either linked to the intention of remaining there permanently if nothing should occasion
its withdrawal, or in fact protracted for a full five years.
§2 Quasi-domicile is
acquired by residence in the territory of a parish, or at least of a diocese, which is
either linked to the intention of remaining there for three months if nothing should
occasion its withdrawal, or in fact protracted for three months.
§3 Domicile or
quasi-domicile in the territory of a parish is called parochial; in the territory of a
diocese, even if not in a parish, it is called diocesan.
Can. 103 Members of
religious institutes and of societies of apostolic life acquire a domicile in the place
where the house to which they belong is situated. They acquire a quasi-domicile in the
house in which, in accordance with can. 102 §2, they reside.
Can. 104 Spouses are to have
a common domicile or quasi-domicile. By reason of lawful separation or for some other just
reason, each may have his or her own domicile or quasi-domicile.
Can. 105 §1 A minor
necessarily retains the domicile or quasi-domicile of the person to whose authority the
minor is subject. A minor who is no longer an infant can acquire a quasi-domicile of his
or her own and, if lawfully emancipated in accordance with the civil law, a domicile also.
§2 One who for a reason
other than minority is lawfully entrusted to the guardianship or tutelage of another, has
the domicile and quasidomicile of the guardian or curator.
Can. 106 Domicile or
quasi-domicile is lost by departure from the place with the intention of not returning,
without prejudice to the provisions of can. 105.
Can. 107 §1 Both through
domicile and through quasi-domicile everyone acquires his or her own parish priest and
§2 The proper parish priest
or Ordinary of a vagus is the parish priest or Ordinary of the place where the vagus is
§3 The proper parish priest
of one who has only a diocesan domicile or quasi-domicile is the parish priest of the
place where that person is actually residing.
Can. 108 §1 Consanguinity
is reckoned by lines and degrees.
§2 In the direct line there
are as many degrees as there are generations, that is, as there are persons, not counting
the common ancestor.
§3 In the collateral line
there are as many degrees as there are persons in both lines together, not counting the
Can. 109 §1 Affinity arises
from a valid marriage, even if not consummated, and it exists between the man and the
blood relations of the woman, and likewise between the woman and the blood relations of
§2 It is reckoned in such a
way that the blood relations of the man are related by affinity to the woman in the same
line and the same degree, and vice versa.
Can. 110 Children who have
been adopted in accordance with the civil law are considered the children of that person
or those persons who have adopted them.
Can. 111 §1 Through the
reception of baptism a child becomes a member of the latin Church if the parents belong to
that Church or, should one of them not belong to it, if they have both by common consent
chosen that the child be baptised in the latin Church: if that common consent is lacking,
the child becomes a member of the ritual Church to which the father belongs.
§2 Any candidate for
baptism who has completed the fourteenth year of age may freely choose to be baptised
either in the latin Church or in another autonomous ritual Church; in which case the
person belongs to the Church which he or she has chosen.
Can. 112 §1 After the
reception of baptism, the following become members of another autonomous ritual Church:
1° those who have obtained
permission from the Apostolic See;
2° a spouse who, on
entering marriage or during its course, has declared that he or she is transferring to the
Church of the other spouse;
on the dissolution of the marriage, however, that person may freely return to the latin
3° the children of those
mentioned in nn. 1 and 2 who have not completed their fourteenth year, and likewise in a
mixed marriage the children of a catholic party who has lawfully transferred to another
ritual Church; on completion of their fourteenth year, however, they may return to the
§2 The practice, however
long standing, of receiving the sacraments according to the rite of an autonomous ritual
Church, does not bring with it membership of that Church.
Chapter II : JURIDICAL PERSONS
Can. 113 §1 The catholic
Church and the Apostolic See have the status of a moral person by divine disposition.
§2 In the Church, besides
physical persons, there are also juridical persons, that is, in canon law subjects of
obligations and rights which accord with their nature.
Can. 114 §1 Aggregates of
persons or of things which are directed to a purpose befitting the Churchs mission,
which transcends the purpose of the individuals, are constituted juridical persons either
by a provision of the law itself or by a special concession given in the form of a decree
by the competent authority.
§2 The purposes indicated
in §1 are understood to be those which concern works of piety, of the apostolate or of
charity, whether spiritual or temporal.
§3 The competent
ecclesiastical authority is not to confer juridical personality except on those aggregates
of persons or of things which aim at a genuinely useful purpose and which, all things
considered, have the means which are foreseen to be sufficient to achieve the purpose in
Can. 115 §1 Juridical
persons in the Church are either aggregates of persons or aggregates of things.
§2 An aggregate of persons,
which must be made up of at least three persons, is collegial if the members decide its
conduct by participating together in making its decisions, whether by equal right or not,
in accordance with the law and the statutes; otherwise, it is non-collegial.
§3 An aggregate of things,
or an autonomous foundation, consists of goods or things, whether spiritual or material,
and is directed, in accordance with the law and the statutes, by one or more physical
persons or by a college.
Can. 116 §1 Public
juridical persons are aggregates of persons or of things which are established by the
competent ecclesiastical authority so that, within the limits allotted to them in the name
of the Church, and in accordance with the provisions of law, they might fulfil the
specific task entrusted to them for the public good. Other juridical persons are private.
§2 Public juridical persons
are given this personality either by the law itself or by a special decree of the
competent authority expressly granting it. Private juridical persons are given this
personality only by a special decree of the competent authority expressly granting it.
Can. 117 No aggregate of
persons or of things seeking juridical personality can acquire it unless its statutes are
approved by the competent authority.
Can. 118 Those persons
represent, and act in the name of, a public juridical person whose competence to do so is
acknowledged by universal or particular law, or by their own statutes; those persons
represent a private juridical person who are given this competence by their statutes.
Can. 119 In regard to
collegial acts, unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise:
1° in regard to elections,
provided a majority of those who must be summoned are present, what is decided by an
absolute majority of those present has the force of law. If there have been two
inconclusive scrutinies, a vote is to be taken between the two candidates with the
greatest number of votes or, if there are more than two, between the two senior by age.
After a third inconclusive scrutiny, that person is deemed elected who is senior by age;
2° in regard to other
matters, provided a majority of those who must be summoned are present, what is decided by
an absolute majority of those present has the force of law. If the votes are equal after
two scrutinies, the person presiding can break the tie with a casting vote;
3° that which affects all
as individuals must be approved by all.
Can. 120 §1 A juridical
person is by its nature perpetual. It ceases to exist, however, if it is lawfully
suppressed by the competent authority, or if it has been inactive for a hundred years. A
private juridical person also ceases to exist if the association itself is dissolved in
accordance with the statutes, or if, in the judgement of the competent authority, the
foundation itself has, in accordance with the statutes, ceased to exist.
§2 If even a single member
of a collegial juridical person survives, and the aggregate of persons has not, according
to the statutes, ceased to exist, the exercise of all the rights of the aggregate devolves
upon that member.
Can. 121 When aggregates of
persons or of things which are public juridical persons are so amalgamated that one
aggregate, itself with a juridical personality, is formed, this new juridical person
obtains the patrimonial goods and rights which belonged to the previous aggregates; it
also accepts the liabilities of the previous aggregates. In what concerns particularly the
arrangements for the goods and the discharge of obligations, the wishes of the founders
and benefactors, and any acquired rights must be safeguarded.
Can. 122 When an aggregate
which is a public juridical person is divided in such a way that part of it is joined to
another juridical person or a distinct public juridical person is established from one
part of it, the first obligation is to observe the wishes of the founders and benefactors,
the demands of acquired rights and the requirements of the approved statutes. Then the
competent ecclesiastical authority, either personally or through an executor, is to
1° that the divisible
common patrimonial goods and rights, the monies owed and the other liabilities, are
divided between the juridical persons in question in due proportion, in a fashion which is
equitable and right, taking account of all the circumstances and needs of both;
2° that the use and
enjoyment of the common goods which cannot be divided, be given to each juridical person,
and also that the liabilities which are proper to each are the responsibility of each, in
due proportion, in a fashion which is equitable and right.
Can. 123 On the extinction
of a public juridical person, the arrangements for its patrimonial goods and rights, and
for its liabilities, are determined by law and the statutes. If these do not deal with the
matter, the arrangements devolve upon the next higher juridical person, always with due
regard for the wishes of the founders or benefactors and for acquired rights. On the
extinction of a private juridical person, the arrangements for its goods and liabilities
are governed by its own statutes.
Can. 124 §1 For the
validity of a juridical act, it is required that it be performed by a person who is
legally capable, and it must contain those elements which constitute the essence of the
act, as well as the formalities and requirements which the law prescribes for the validity
of the act.
§2 A juridical act which,
as far as its external elements are concerned, is properly performed, is presumed to be
Can. 125 §1 An act is
invalid if performed as a result of force imposed from outside on a person who was quite
unable to resist it.
§2 An act performed as a
result of fear which is grave and unjustly inflicted, or as a result of deceit, is valid,
unless the law provides otherwise. However, it can be rescinded by a court judgement,
either at the instance of the injured party or that partys successors in law, or ex
Can. 126 An act is invalid
when performed as a result of ignorance or of error which concerns the substance of the
act, or which amounts to a condition sine qua non; otherwise it is valid, unless the law
provides differently. But an act done as a result of ignorance or error can give rise to a
rescinding action in accordance with the law.
Can. 127 §1 When the law
prescribes that, in order to perform a juridical act, a Superior requires the consent or
the advice of some college or group of persons, the college or group must be convened in
accordance with can. 166, unless, if there is question of seeking advice only, particular
or proper law provides otherwise. For the validity of the act, it is required that the
consent be obtained of an absolute majority of those present, or that the advice of all be
§2 When the law prescribes
that, in order to perform a juridical act, a Superior requires the consent or advice of
certain persons as individuals:
1° if consent is required,
the Superiors act is invalid if the Superior does not seek the consent of those
persons, or acts against the vote of all or of any of them;
2° if advice is required,
the Superiors act is invalid if the Superior does not hear those persons. The
Superior is not in any way bound to accept their vote, even if it is unanimous;
nevertheless, without what is, in his or her judgement, an overriding reason, the Superior
is not to act against their vote, especially if it is a unanimous one.
§3 All whose consent or
advice is required are obliged to give their opinions sincerely. If the seriousness of the
matter requires it, they are obliged carefully to maintain secrecy, and the Superior can
insist on this obligation.
Can. 128 Whoever unlawfully
causes harm to another by a juridical act, or indeed by any other act which is deceitful
or culpable, is obliged to repair the damage done.
Title VIII: Power Of Governance
Can. 129 §1 Those
who are in sacred orders are, in accordance with the provisions of law, capable of the
power of governance, which belongs to the Church by divine institution. This power is also
called the power of jurisdiction.
§2 Lay members of
Christs faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this same power in accordance with
Can. 130 Of itself the power
of governance is exercised for the external forum; sometimes however it is exercised for
the internal forum only, but in such a way that the effects which its exercise is designed
to have in the external forum are not acknowledged in that forum, except in so far as the
law prescribes this for determinate cases.
Can. 131 §1 Ordinary power
of governance is that which by virtue of the law itself is attached to a given office;
delegated power is that which is granted to a person other than through an office.
§2 Ordinary power of
governance may be proper or vicarious.
§3 One who claims to have
been delegated has the onus of proving the delegation.
Can. 132 §1 Habitual
faculties are governed by the provisions concerning delegated power.
§2 However, unless the
grant has expressly provided otherwise, or the Ordinary was deliberately chosen as the
only one to exercise the faculty, an habitual faculty granted to an Ordinary does not
lapse on the expiry of the authority of the Ordinary to whom it was given, even if he has
already begun to exercise the faculty, but it passes to the Ordinary who succeeds him in
Can. 133 §1 A delegate who
exceeds the limits of the mandate, with regard either to things or to persons, performs no
act at all.
§2 A delegate is not
considered to have exceeded the mandate when what was delegated is carried out, but in a
manner different to that determined in the mandate, unless the manner was prescribed for
validity by the delegating authority.
Can. 134 §1 In law the term
Ordinary means, apart from the Roman Pontiff, diocesan Bishops and all who, even for a
time only, are set over a particular Church or a community equivalent to it in accordance
with can. 368, and those who in these have general ordinary executive power, that is,
Vicars general and episcopal Vicars; likewise, for their own members, it means the major
Superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and of clerical societies
of apostolic life of pontifical right, who have at least ordinary executive power.
§2 The term local Ordinary
means all those enumerated in §1, except Superiors of religious institutes and of
societies of apostolic life.
§3 Whatever in the canons,
in the context of executive power, is attributed to the diocesan Bishop, is understood to
belong only to the diocesan Bishop and to those others in can. 381 §2 who are equivalent
to him, to the exclusion of the Vicar general and the episcopal Vicar except by special
Can. 135 §1 The power of
governance is divided into legislative, executive and judicial power.
§2 Legislative power is to
be exercised in the manner prescribed by law; that which in the Church a legislator lower
than the supreme authority has cannot be delegated, unless the law explicitly provides
otherwise. A lower legislator cannot validly make a law which is contrary to that of a
§3 Judicial power, which is
possessed by judges and judicial colleges, is to be exercised in the manner prescribed by
law, and it cannot be delegated except for the performance of acts preparatory to some
decree or judgement.
§4 As far as the exercise
of executive power is concerned, the provisions of the following canons are to be
Can. 136 Persons may
exercise executive power over their subjects, even when either they themselves or their
subjects are outside the territory, unless it is otherwise clear from the nature of things
or from the provisions of law. They can exercise this power over peregrini who are
actually living in the territory, if it is a question of granting favours, or of executing
universal or particular laws by which the peregrini are bound in accordance with can. 13
§2, n. 2.
Can. 137 §1 Ordinary
executive power can be delegated either for an individual case or for all cases, unless
the law expressly provides otherwise.
§2 Executive power
delegated by the Apostolic See can be subdelegated, either for an individual case or for
all cases, unless the delegation was deliberately given to the individual alone, or unless
subdelegation was expressly prohibited.
§3 Executive power
delegated by another authority having ordinary power, if delegated for all cases, can be
subdelegated only for individual cases; if delegated for a determinate act or acts, it
cannot be subdelegated, except by the express grant of the person delegating.
§4 No subdelegated power
can again be subdelegated, unless this was expressly granted by the person delegating.
Can. 138 Ordinary executive
power, and power delegated for all cases, are to be interpreted widely; any other power is
to be interpreted strictly. Delegation of power to a person is understood to include
everything necessary for the exercise of that power.
Can. 139 §1 Unless the law
prescribes otherwise, the tact that a person approaches some competent authority, even a
higher one, does not mean that the executive power of another competent authority is
suspended, whether that be ordinary or delegated.
§2 A lower authority,
however, is not to interfere in cases referred to higher authority, except for a grave and
urgent reason; in which case the higher authority is to be notified immediately.
Can. 140 §1 When several
people are together delegated to act in the same matter, the person who has begun to deal
with it excludes the others from acting, unless that person is subsequently impeded, or
does not wish to proceed further with the matter.
§2 When several people are
delegated to act as a college in a certain matter, all must proceed in accordance with
can. 119, unless the mandate provides otherwise.
§3 Executive power
delegated to several people is presumed to be delegated to them together.
Can. 141 If several people
are successively delegated, that person is to deal with the matter whose mandate was the
earlier and was not subsequently revoked.
Can. 142 §1 Delegated power
lapses: on the completion of the mandate; on the expiry of the time or the completion of
the number of cases for which it was granted; on the cessation of the motivating reason
for the delegation; on its revocation by the person delegating, when communicated directly
to the person delegated; and on the retirement of the person delegated, when communicated
to and accepted by the person delegating. It does not lapse on the expiry of the authority
of the person delegating, unless this appears from clauses attached to it.
§2 An act of delegated
power exercised for the internal forum only, which is inadvertently performed after the
time limit of the delegation, is valid.
Can. 143 §1 Ordinary power
ceases on the loss of the office to which it is attached.
§2 Unless the law provides
otherwise, ordinary power is suspended if an appeal or a recourse is lawfully made against
a deprivation of, or removal from, office.
Can. 144 §1 In common
error, whether of fact or of law, and in positive and probable doubt, whether of law or of
fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and the
§2 The same norm applies to
the faculties mentioned in cann. 883, 966, and 1111 §1.
Title IX: Ecclesiastical
Can. 145 §1 An
ecclesiastical office is any post which by divine or ecclesiastical disposition is
established in a stable manner to further a spiritual purpose.
§2 The duties and rights
proper to each ecclesiastical office are defined either by the law whereby the office is
established, or by a decree of the competent authority whereby it is at one and at the
same time established and conferred.
Chapter I : The Provision Of Ecclesiastical Office
Can. 146 An ecclesiastical
office cannot be validly obtained without canonical provision.
Can. 147 The provision of an
ecclesiastical office is effected: by its being freely conferred by the competent
ecclesiastical authority; by appointment made by the same authority, where there has been
a prior presentation; by confirmation or admission by the same authority, where there has
been a prior election or postulation; finally, by a simple election and acceptance of the
election, if the election does not require confirmation.
Can. 148 Unless the law
provides otherwise, the provision of an office is the prerogative of the authority which
is competent to establish, change or suppress the office.
Can. 149 §1 In order to be
promoted to an ecclesiastical office, one must be in communion with the Church, and be
suitable, that is, possessed of those qualities which are required for that office by
universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation.
§2 The provision of an
ecclesiastical office to a person who lacks the requisite qualities is invalid only if the
qualities are expressly required for validity by universal or particular law or by the law
of the foundation; otherwise it is valid, but it can be rescinded by a decree of the
competent authority or by a judgement of an administrative tribunal.
§3 The provision of an
office made as a result of simony, is invalid by virtue of the law itself.
Can. 150 An office which
carries with it the full care of souls, for which the exercise of the order of priesthood
is required, cannot validly be conferred upon a person who is not yet a priest.
Can. 151 The provision of an
office which carries with it the care of souls is not to be deferred without grave reason.
Can. 152 Two or more offices
which are incompatible, that is, which cannot be exercised at the same time by the same
person, are not to be conferred upon anyone.
Can. 153 §1 The provision
of an office which in law is not vacant is by that very fact invalid, nor does it become
valid by subsequent vacancy.
§2 If, however, there is
question of an office which by law is conferred for a determinate time, provision can be
made within six months before the expiry of this time, and it takes effect from the day
the office falls vacant.
§3 The promise of any
office, by whomsoever it is made, has no juridical effect.
Can. 154 An office which in
law is vacant, but which someone unlawfully still holds, may be conferred, provided that
it has been properly declared that such possession is not lawful, and that mention is made
of this declaration in the letter of conferral.
Can. 155 One who confers an
office in the place of another who is negligent or impeded, does not thereby acquire any
power over the person on whom the office is conferred; the juridical condition of the
latter is the same as if the provision of the office had been carried out in accordance
with the ordinary norm of law.
Can. 156 The provision of
any office is to be made in writing.
Article 1: Free Conferral
Can. 157 Unless the
law expressly states otherwise, it is the prerogative of the diocesan Bishop to make
appointments to ecclesiastical offices in his own particular Church by free conferral.
Article 2: Presentation
Can. 158 §1
Presentation to an ecclesiastical office by a person having the right of presentation must
be made to the authority who is competent to make an appointment to the office in
question; unless it is otherwise lawfully provided, presentation is to be made within
three months of receiving notification of the vacancy of the office.
§2 If the right of
presentation belongs to a college or group of persons, the person to be presented is to be
designated according to the provisions of cann. 165--179.
Can. 159 No one is to be
presented who is unwilling. Accordingly, one who is proposed for presentation must be
consulted, and may be presented if within eight canonical days a refusal is not entered.
Can. 160 §1 One who has the
right of presentation may present one or more persons, either simultaneously or
§2 No persons may present
themselves. However a college or a group of persons may present one of its members.
Can. 161 §1 Unless the law
prescribes otherwise, one who has presented a person who is judged unsuitable, may within
a month present another candidate, but once only.
§2 If before the
appointment is made the person presented has withdrawn or has died, the one with the right
of presentation may exercise this right again, within a month of receiving notice of the
withdrawal or of the death.
Can. 162 A person who has
not presented anyone within the canonical time prescribed by can. 158 §1 and can. 161, or
who has twice presented a candidate judged to be unsuitable, loses the right of
presentation for that case. The authority who is competent to appoint may then freely
provide for the vacant office, but with the consent of the proper Ordinary of the person
Can. 163 The authority to
whom, in accordance with the law, it belongs to appoint one who is presented, is to
appoint the person lawfully presented whom he has judged suitable, and who has accepted.
If a number lawfully presented are judged suitable, he is to appoint one of them.
Article 3: Election
Can. 164 Unless it
has been otherwise provided in the law, the provisions of the following canons are to be
observed in canonical elections.
Can. 165 Unless it is
otherwise provided in the law or in the statutes of the college or group, if a college or
a group of persons enjoys the right to elect to an office, the election is not to be
deferred beyond three canonical months, to be reckoned from the receipt of notification of
the vacancy of the office. If the election does not take place within that time, the
ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right to make
provision otherwise, is freely to provide for the vacant office.
Can. 166 §1 The one who
presides over the college or group is to summon all those who belong to the college or
group. When it has to be personal, the summons is valid if it is made in the place of
domicile or quasi-domicile or in the place of residence.
§2 If someone who should
have been summoned was overlooked and was therefore absent, the election is valid.
However, if that person insists and gives proof of being overlooked and of absence, the
election, even if confirmed, must be rescinded by the competent authority, provided it is
juridically established that the recourse was submitted within no more than three days of
having received notification of the election.
§3 If more than one third
of the voters were overlooked, the election is invalid by virtue of the law itself, unless
all those overlooked were in fact present.
Can. 167 §1 When the
summons has been lawfully made, those who are present on the day and in the place
specified in the summons have the right to vote. Unless it is otherwise lawfully provided
in the statutes, votes cast by letter or by proxy cannot be admitted.
§2 If an elector is present
in the building in which the election is being held, but because of infirmity is unable to
be present at the election, a written vote is to be sought from that person by the
Can. 168 Even if someone has
a right to vote in his or her own name by reason of a number of titles, that person may
cast only one vote.
Can. 169 In order that an
election be valid, no one may be allowed to vote who does not belong to the college or
Can. 170 If the freedom of
an election has in any way been in fact impeded, the election is invalid by virtue of the
Can. 171 §1 The following
are legally incapable of casting a vote:
1° one incapable of a human
2° one lacking active
3° one who is
excommunicated, whether by judgement of a court or by a decree whereby this penalty is
imposed or declared;
4° one who notoriously
defected from communion with the Church.
§2 If any of the above
persons is admitted, the vote cast is invalid. The election, however, is valid, unless it
is established that, without this vote, the person elected would not have gained the
requisite number of votes.
Can. 172 §1 For a vote to
be valid, it must be:
1° free; a vote is
therefore invalid if, through grave fear or deceit, someone was directly or indirectly
made to choose a certain person or several persons separately;
2° secret, certain,
absolute and determinate.
§2 Conditions attached to a
vote before an election are to be considered non-existent.
Can. 173 §1 Before an
election begins, at least two scrutineers are to be appointed from among the college or
§2 The scrutineers are to
collect the votes and, in the presence of the one who presides at the election, to check
whether the number of votes corresponds to the number of electors; they are then to
examine the votes and to announce how many each person has received.
§3 If the number of votes
exceeds the number of electors, the act is null.
§4 All the proceedings of
an election are to be accurately recorded by the one who acts as notary. They are to be
signed at least by that notary, by the person who presides and by the scrutineers, and
they are to be carefully preserved in the archive of the college.
Can. 174 §1 Unless the law
or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can be made by compromise, that is the
electors by unanimous and written consent transfer the right of election for this occasion
to one or more suitable persons, whether they belong to the college or are outside it, who
in virtue of this authority are to elect in the name of all.
§2 If the college or group
consists solely of clerics, the persons to whom the power of election is transferred must
be in sacred orders; otherwise the election is invalid.
§3 Those to whom the power
of election is transferred must observe the provisions of law concerning an election and,
for the validity of the election, they must observe the conditions attached to the
compromise, unless these conditions are contrary to the law. Conditions which are contrary
to the law are to be regarded as non-existent.
Can. 175 A compromise
ceases, and the right to vote reverts to those who transferred it, when:
1° it is revoked by the
college or group before it has been put into effect;
2° a condition attached to
the compromise has not been fulfilled;
3° the election has been
held, but invalidly.
Can. 176 Unless it is
otherwise provided in the law or the statutes, the person who has received the requisite
number of votes in accordance with can. 119, n. 1, is deemed elected and is to be
proclaimed by the person who presides over the college or group.
Can. 177 §1 The election is
to be notified immediately to the person elected who must, within eight canonical days
from the receipt of notification of the election, intimate to the person who presides over
the college or group whether or not he or she accepts the election; otherwise, the
election has no effect.
§2 The person elected who
has not accepted loses every right deriving from the election, nor is any right revived by
subsequent acceptance; the person may, however, be elected again. The college or group
must proceed to a new election within a month of being notified of non-acceptance.
Can. 178 If the election
does not require confirmation, by accepting the election the person elected immediately
obtains the office with all its rights; otherwise, he or she acquires only a right to the
Can. 179 §1 If the election
requires confirmation, the person elected must, either personally or through another, ask
for confirmation by the competent authority within eight canonical days of acceptance of
the office- otherwise that person is deprived of every right, unless he or she has
established that there was just reason which prevented confirmation being sought.
§2 The competent authority
cannot refuse confirmation if he has found the person elected suitable in accordance with
can. 149 §1, and the election has been carried out in accordance with the law.
§3 Confirmation must be
given in writing.
§4 Before receiving notice
of the confirmation, the person elected may not become involved in the administration of
the office, neither in spiritual nor in material affairs; any acts possibly performed by
that person are invalid.
§5 When confirmation has
been notified, the person elected obtains full right to the office, unless the law
Article 4: Postulation
Can. 180 §1 If a
canonical impediment, from which a dispensation is possible and customary, stands in the
way of the election of a person whom the electors judge more suitable and prefer, they
can, unless the law provides otherwise, postulate that person from the competent
§2 Those to whom the power
of electing has been transferred by compromise may not make a postulation, unless this is
expressly stated in the terms of the compromise.
Can. 181 §1 For a
postulation to have effect, at least two thirds of the votes are required.
§2 A vote for postulation
must be expressed by the term I postulate, or an equivalent. The formula
I elect or postulate, or its equivalent, is valid for election if there is no
impediment; otherwise, it is valid for postulation.
Can. 182 §1 The postulation
must be sent, within eight canonical days, by the person who presides to the authority
which is competent to confirm the election, to whom it belongs to grant the dispensation
from the impediment or, if he has not this authority, to seek the dispensation from a
superior authority. If confirmation is not required, the postulation must be sent to the
authority which is competent to grant the dispensation.
§2 If the postulation is
not forwarded within the prescribed time, it is by that very fact invalid, and the college
or group is for that occasion deprived of the right of election or of postulation, unless
it is proved that the person presiding was prevented by a just impediment from forwarding
the postulation, or did not do so in due time because of deceit or negligence.
§3 The person postulated
does not acquire any right from the postulation; the competent authority is not obliged to
admit the postulation.
§4 The electors may not
revoke a postulation made to the competent authority, except with the consent of that
Can. 183 §1 If a
postulation is not admitted by the competent authority the right of election reverts to
the college or group.
§2 If the postulation has
been admitted, this is to be notified to the person postulated, who must reply in
accordance with can. 177 §1.
§3 The person who accepts a
postulation which has been admitted immediately obtains full right to the office.
Chapter II : LOSS OF ECCLESIASTICAL OFFICE
Can. 184 §1 An
ecclesiastical office is lost on the expiry of a predetermined time; on reaching the age
limit defined by law; by resignation; by transfer; by removal; by deprivation.
§2 An ecclesiastical office
is not lost on the expiry, in whatever way, of the authority of the one by whom it was
conferred, unless the law provides otherwise.
§3 The loss of an office,
once it has taken effect, is to be notified as soon as possible to those who have any
right in regard to the provision of the office.
Can. 185 The title
emeritus may be conferred on one who loses office by reason of age, or of
resignation which has been accepted.
Can. 186 Loss of office by
reason of the expiry of a predetermined time or of reaching the age limit, has effect only
from the moment that this is communicated in writing by the competent authority.
Article 1: Resignation
Can. 187 Anyone who
is capable of personal responsibility can resign from an ecclesiastical office for a just
Can. 188 A resignation which
is made as a result of grave fear unjustly inflicted, or of deceit, or of substantial
error, or of simony, is invalid by virtue of the law itself.
Can. 189 §1 For a
resignation to be valid, whether it requires acceptance or not, it must be made to the
authority which is competent to provide for the office in question, and it must be made
either in writing, or orally before two witnesses.
§2 The authority is not to
accept a resignation which is not based on a just and proportionate reason.
§3 A resignation which
requires acceptance has no force unless it is accepted within three months. One which does
not require acceptance takes effect when the person resigning communicates it in
accordance with the law.
§4 Until a resignation
takes effect, it can be revoked by the person resigning. Once it has taken effect, it
cannot be revoked, but the person who resigned can obtain the office on the basis of
Article 2: Transfer
Can. 190 §1 A
transfer can be made only by the person who has the right to provide both for the office
which is lost and at the same time for the office which is being conferred.
§2 A grave reason is
required if a transfer is made against the will of the holder of an office and, always
without prejudice to the right to present reasons against the transfer, the procedure
prescribed by law is to be observed.
§3 For a transfer to have
effect, it must be notified in writing.
Can. 191 §1 In the process
of transfer, the first office is vacated by the taking of canonical possession of the
other office, unless the law or the competent authority has prescribed otherwise.
§2 The person transferred
receives the remuneration attached to the previous office until the moment of obtaining
canonical possession of the other office.
Article 3: Removal
Can. 192 One is
removed from office either by a decree of the competent authority lawfully issued,
observing of course the rights possibly acquired from a contract, or by virtue of the law
in accordance with can. 194.
Can. 193 §1 No one may be
removed from an office which is conferred on a person for an indeterminate time, except
for grave reasons and in accordance with the procedure defined by law.
§2 This also applies to the
removal from office before time of a person on whom an office is conferred for a
determinate time, without prejudice to can. 624 §3.
§3 When in accordance with
the provisions of law an office is conferred upon someone at the prudent discretion of the
competent authority, that person may, upon the judgement of the same authority, be removed
from the office for a just reason.
§4 For a decree of removal
to be effective, it must be notified in writing.
Can. 194 §1 The following
are removed from ecclesiastical office by virtue of the law itself:
1° one who has lost the
2° one who has publicly
defected from the catholic faith or from communion with the Church;
3° a cleric who has
attempted marriage, even a civil one.
§2 The removal mentioned in
nn. 2 and 3 can be insisted upon only if it is established by a declaration of the
Can. 195 If by a decree of
the competent authority, and not by the law itself, someone is removed from an office on
which that persons livelihood depends, the same authority is to ensure that the
persons livelihood is secure for an appropriate time, unless this has been provided
for in some other way.
Article 4: Deprivation
Can. 196 §1
Deprivation of office, that is, as a punishment for an offence, may be effected only in
accordance with the law.
§2 Deprivation takes effect
in accordance with the provisions of the canons concerning penal law.
Title X: Prescription
Prescription, as a means of acquiring or of losing a subjective right, or as a means of
freeing oneself from obligations, is, apart from the exceptions prescribed in the canons
of this Code, accepted by the Church in the manner in which it is adopted in the civil
legislation of each country.
Can. 198 No prescription is
valid unless it is based on good faith, not only in its beginning, but throughout the
whole time required for the prescription, without prejudice to can. 1362.
Can. 199 The following are
not affected by prescription:
1° rights and obligations
which are of divine law, whether natural or positive;
2° rights which can be
obtained only by apostolic privilege;
3° rights and obligations
which bear directly on the spiritual life of Christs faithful;
4° the certain and
undisputed boundaries of ecclesiastical territories;
5° Mass offerings and
6° the provision of an
ecclesiastical office which, in accordance with the law, requires the exercise of a sacred
7° the right of visitation
and the obligation of obedience, so that Christs faithful could not be visited by an
ecclesiastical authority and would no longer be subject to any authority.
Title XI: The Reckoning Of
Can. 200 Unless the
law provides otherwise, time is to be reckoned in accordance with the following canons.
Can. 201 §1 Continuous time
means unbroken time.
§2 Canonical time is time
which a person can so use to exercise or to pursue a right that it does not run when one
is unaware, or when one is unable to act.
Can. 202 §1 In law, a day
is understood to be a space of twenty-four hours, to be reckoned continuously and, unless
expressly provided otherwise, it begins at midnight; a week is a space of seven days- a
month is a space of thirty days, and a year a space of three hundred and sixty-five days,
unless it is stated that the month and the year are to be taken as in the calendar.
§2 If time is continuous,
the month and the year are always to be taken as in the calendar.
Can. 203 §1 The first day
is not to be counted in the total, unless its beginning coincides with the beginning of
the day, or unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
§2 Unless the contrary is
prescribed, the final day is to be reckoned within the total; if the total time is one or
more months, one or more years, one or more weeks, it finishes on completion of the last
day bearing the same number or, if the month does not have the same number, on the
completion of the last day of that month.