Canon Law: TITLE IX: ECCLESIASTICAL OFFICES
TITLE IX: ECCLESIASTICAL OFFICES
Can. 145 ง1 An ecclesiastical office is any post which by divine or ecclesiastical disposition is established in a stable manner to further a spiritual purpose.
ง2 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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for validity by universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation; otherwise it is valid, but it can be rescinded by a decree of the competent authority or by a judgement of an administrative tribunal.
ง3 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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.
ง3 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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. 165ญญ179.
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 ง1 One who has the right of presentation may present one or more persons, either simultaneously or successively.
ง2 No persons may present themselves. However a college or a group of persons may present one of its members.
Can. 161 ง1 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.
ง2 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 ง1 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 appointed.
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 ง1 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 quasiญdomicile or in the place of residence.
ง2 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.
ง3 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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 scrutineers.
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 group.
Can. 170 If the freedom of an election has in any way been in fact impeded, the election is invalid by virtue of the law itself.
Can. 171 ง1 The following are legally incapable of casting a vote:
1ฐ one incapable of a human act;
3ฐ one who is excommunicated, whether by judgement of a court or by a decree whereby this penalty is imposed or declared;
4ฐ one who notoriously defected from communion with the Church.
ง2 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 ง1 For a vote to be valid, it must be:
1ฐ 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;
2ฐ secret, certain, absolute and determinate.
ง2 Conditions attached to a vote before an election are to be considered nonญexistent.
Can. 173 ง1 Before an election begins, at least two scrutineers are to be appointed from among the college or group.
ง2 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.
ง3 If the number of votes exceeds the number of electors, the act is null.
ง4 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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.
ง3 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 nonญexistent.
Can. 175 A compromise ceases, and the right to vote reverts to those who transferred it, when:
1ฐ it is revoked by the college or group before it has been put into effect;
2ฐ a condition attached to the compromise has not been fulfilled;
3ฐ 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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 nonญacceptance.
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 office.
Can. 179 ง1 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 officeญ otherwise that person is deprived of every right, unless he or she has established that there was just reason which prevented confirmation being sought.
ง2 The competent authority cannot refuse confirmation if he has found the person elected suitable in accordance with can. 149 ง1, and the election has been carried out in accordance with the law.
ง3 Confirmation must be given in writing.
ง4 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.
ง5 When confirmation has been notified, the person elected obtains full right to the office, unless the law provides otherwise.
ARTICLE 4: POSTULATION
Can. 180 ง1 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 authority.
ง2 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 ง1 For a postulation to have effect, at least two thirds of the votes are required.
ง2 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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.
ง3 The person postulated does not acquire any right from the postulation; the competent authority is not obliged to admit the postulation.
ง4 The electors may not revoke a postulation made to the competent authority, except with the consent of that authority.
Can. 183 ง1 If a postulation is not admitted by the competent authority the right of election reverts to the college or group.
ง2 If the postulation has been admitted, this is to be notified to the person postulated, who must reply in accordance with can. 177 ง1.
ง3 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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.
ง3 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 reason.
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 ง1 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.
ง2 The authority is not to accept a resignation which is not based on a just and proportionate reason.
ง3 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.
ง4 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 another title.
ARTICLE 2: TRANSFER
Can. 190 ง1 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.
ง2 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.
ง3 For a transfer to have effect, it must be notified in writing.
Can. 191 ง1 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.
ง2 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 ง1 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.
ง2 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 ง3.
ง3 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.
ง4 For a decree of removal to be effective, it must be notified in writing.
Can. 194 ง1 The following are removed from ecclesiastical office by virtue of the law itself:
1ฐ one who has lost the clerical state;
2ฐ one who has publicly defected from the catholic faith or from communion with the Church;
3ฐ a cleric who has attempted marriage, even a civil one.
ง2 The removal mentioned in nn. 2 and 3 can be insisted upon only if it is established by a declaration of the competent authority.
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 person's livelihood depends, the same authority is to ensure that the person's livelihood is secure for an appropriate time, unless this has been provided for in some other way.
ARTICLE 4: DEPRIVATION
Can. 196 ง1 Deprivation of office, that is, as a punishment for an offence, may be effected only in accordance with the law.
ง2 Deprivation takes effect in accordance with the provisions of the canons concerning penal law.