TITLE IV: SINGULAR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTS
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 favor of private persons; all other administrative acts are to be widely interpreted.
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. 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 administrative act.
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 judgment 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. 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 anyone.
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 law.
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.
Can. 55 Without prejudice to canon 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 to sign.
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.
CHAPTER III : RESCRIPTS
Can. 63 §1 Except where there is question of a rescript which grants a favor 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 expressed.
Can. 64 Without prejudice to the right of the Penitentiary for the internal forum, a favor 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 favor which was refused by that person’s proper Ordinary, unless mention is made of the refusal. When the refusal is mentioned, the Ordinary is not to grant the favor unless he has learned from the former Ordinary the reasons for the refusal.
§2 A favor 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 favor 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 favor refused by the diocesan Bishop cannot, without the Bishop’s 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 judgment of the Ordinary there is no doubt about the person or the matter in question.
§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 negligence.
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.
CHAPTER IV : PRIVILEGES
Can. 76 §1 A privilege is a favor 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.
§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. 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 it.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.