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TITLE 19 Persons and Juridic Acts
Canon 909 1. A person who has complete the eighteenth year of age is an adult,
below this age, a person is a minor. 2. Before the completion of the seventh year
a minor is called an infant and is held to be incompetent (non sui compos); with
the completion of the seventh year one is presumed to have the use of reason.
3. Whoever habitually lacks the use of reason is held to be incompetent (non sui
compos) and is equated with infants.
Canon 910 1. An adult person enjoys the full use of his or her rights. 2. In
the exercise of his or her rights, a minor person is under the authority of parents
or guardians, with the exception of those areas in which minors by divine or canon
law are exempt from their power; with reference to the designation of guardians,
the prescriptions of the civil law are to be followed, unless the common law or
the particular law of the Church sui iuris determines otherwise, with due regard
for the right of the eparchial bishop, to designate guardians himself if it is
Canon 911 A person is called a traveler (peregrinus) when he is in a different
eparchy from the one where he has a domicile or quasi-domicile and a transient
(vagus) if one has neither domicile or a quasi-domicile anywhere.
Canon 912 1. Domicile is acquired by residence within the territory of a certain
parish or at least of a eparchy, which either is joined with the intention of
remaining there permanently unless called away, or has been protracted for five
complete years. 2. Quasi-domicile is acquired by residence within the territory
of a certain parish or at least of a eparchy which either is joined with the intention
of remaining there at least three months, unless called away, or has in fact been
protracted for three months.
Canon 913 Members of religious institutes and societies of common life in the
manner of religious acquire a domicile in the place of the house to which they
are attached; they acquire a quasi-domicile in the house where they are living
for at least three months.
Canon 914 Spouses may have a common domicile or quasi-domicile; either can
have a proper domicile or quasi-domicile by reason of some just cause.
Canon 915 1. A minor necessarily keeps the domicile or quasi-domicile of the
one to whose power he or she is subject. After passing beyond infancy one can
also acquire a quasi-domicile of one's own; and one who has been legally emancipated
according to the norm of civil law can also acquire a proper domicile. 2. Whoever
has been legally placed under the guardianship or care of another, for some reason
other than minority, has the domicile or quasi-domicile of the guardian or curator.
Canon 916 1. Through both domicile and quasi-domicile each person acquires
his or her local hierarch and pastor of the Church sui iuris in which he or she
is enrolled, unless other provision is made by common law. 2. The proper pastor
of one who has neither an eparchial domicile or quasi-domicile is the pastor of
the place where that person is actually staying. 3. The proper local hierarch
and pastor of a transient is the pastor of his church and the hierarch of the
place where the transient is actually staying. 4. If there is no pastor for the
Christian faithful of a certain Church sui iuris, the eparchial bishop of these
people can appoint the pastor of another Church sui iuris to look after them as
their proper pastor, but with the consent of the eparchial bishop of the pastor
who is to be appointed. 5. In places where no exarchy has been constituted for
the Christian faithful of a certain Church sui iuris, the hierarch of another
Church sui iuris, even the Latin Church, of the place is to be considered the
proper hierarch of these faithful, with due regard for the prescription of can.
101; if, however, there are several hierarchs, that one is to be considered their
proper hierarch who has been appointed as such by the Apostolic See or, if it
is a question of Christian faithful who belong to a patriarchal Church, by the
patriarch with the assent of the Apostolic See.
Canon 917 Domicile and quasi-domicile are lost by departure from the place with
the intention of not returning, with due regard for the prescriptions of cann.
913 and 915.
Canon 918 Consanguinity is calculated through line and degrees: (1) in the
direct line, there are as many degrees as there are persons, not counting the
common ancestor; (2) in the collateral line, there are as many degrees as there
are persons in both lines together, not counting the common ancestor.
Canon 919 1. Affinity arises from a valid marriage and exists between one spouse
and the blood relatives of the other. 2. A blood relative of either one of the
spouses is related by affinity to the other spouse by the same line and in the
Canon 920 Besides physical persons, there are also in the Church juridic persons,
either aggregates of persons or aggregates of things, that are subjects in canon
law to the rights and obligations which correspond to their nature.
Canon 921 1. Juridic persons are constituted for a purpose in keeping with
the Church's mission either by actual prescription of the law or by a special
concession of the competent authority granted by decree. 2. By the law itself
Churches sui iuris, provinces, eparchies, exarchies as well as other institutes
expressly established as such in common law are juridic persons. 3. The competent
ecclesiastical authority is not to confer juridic personality except upon those
aggregates of persons or things which pursue a truly useful purpose and, all things
considered, have resources which are foreseen to be sufficient to achieve their
Canon 922 1. Every juridic person constituted by special concession of ecclesiastical
authority must have its own statutes, approved by the authority that is competent
to set it up as a juridic person. 2. While observing common law, the statutes,
to obtain approval, must contain provisions that deal more specifically with the
following matters: (1) the specific purpose of the juridic person; (2) the nature
of the juridic person; (3) who is responsible for the management of the juridic
person and how this management is to be carried out; (4) who is to represent the
juridic person in the civil and in the ecclesiastical forum; (5) who is responsible
for disposing of the goods of the juridic person and, in the case of the juridic
person ceasing to exist, who is the executor of the division of the goods among
several juridic persons, or the merger of the goods with other juridic person,
observing always the wishes of donors and acquired rights. 3. A juridic person
cannot validly transact business before its statutes have been approved.
Canon 923 An aggregate of persons cannot be constituted as a juridic person unless
it is made up of at least three physical persons.
Canon 924 With regard to collegial acts, unless other provisions have been
expressly made in law: (1) that has force of law which, when the majority of those
who must be summoned are present, is decided by an absolute majority of those
who are present; when the votes are equal, the person presiding can break the
tie with his or her vote; (2) however, if acquired rights of individuals are affected,
the consent of each of these is required; (3) concerning elections, can. 956 is
to be observed.
Canon 925 If even one member of a collegial juridic person survives, and the
aggregate of persons has not ceased to exist according to its statutes, the exercise
of all of the rights of the aggregated devolves upon that one member.
Canon 926 1. Unless other provisions have been made in law, the goods and the
rights of a juridic person which does not have any members left, must be safeguarded,
administered or exercised through the care of the authority that, in the case
of its extinction, is responsible for these things; this authority has the duty
in accordance with the law to faithfully meet the liabilities of the goods and
also to take care to see that the will of the founders or donors is meticulously
observed. 2. While observing the norms of law, the enrollment of members of this
juridic person can and, according to case, must be carried out by that authority
which is immediately responsible for the care of that juridic person; the same
thing is to be observed if those members who still exist are by law incapable
of carrying out the enrollment. 3. The appointment of administrators for an aggregate
of things devolves upon the immediately higher authority if it cannot be carried
out in accordance with the law; this same authority has the duty of administration
in accordance with 1, until he has appointed a suitable administrator.
Canon 927 1. By its nature a juridic person is perpetual; nevertheless, is ceases
to exist if it is suppressed by the competent authority, or if in fact it has
been inactive for a hundred years. 2. A juridic person can be suppressed only
for a serious reason, after its moderators have been consulted and the prescriptions
which are laid down in the statutes concerning suppression have been observed.
Canon 928 Except for cases mentioned in common law: (1) it is the competence
of the patriarch, having consulted the permanent synod, to suppress juridic persons
that have been constituted or approved by himself; however, with the consent of
the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church, the patriarch can suppress any
juridic person except those that have been set up or approved by the Apostolic
See; (2) it is the responsibility of the eparchial bishop, after having consulted
the college of eparchial consultors, to suppress those juridic persons that have
been set up by himself, unless they have been approved by a higher authority;
(3) in other cases, the authority which sets up juridic persons cannot validly
suppress them without the consent of a higher authority.
Canon 929 When the territory of a juridic person is divided in such a way that
either a part of it is united to another juridic person or a distinct juridic
person is established for the separated part, it is the duty of the authority
who is responsible for the division to divide, in accordance with what is right
and just, the goods held in common which had been destined for the good of the
whole territory and the debts that had been contracted for the whole territory,
while respecting each and every obligation as well as the wishes of pious founders
or donors, legitimately acquired rights and the statutes by which the juridic
person is governed.
Canon 930 On the extinction of a juridic person, its goods go to the next higher
juridic person, with due regard always for the wishes of the founders or donors,
legitimately acquired rights and the statutes by which the extinct juridic person
Canon 931 1. For the validity of a juridic act it is required that it be placed
by a person able and competent to place it, and that it include those elements
which essentially constitute it as well as the formalities and requisites imposed
by law for the validity of the act. 2. A juridic act correctly placed with respect
to its external elements is presumed to be valid.
Canon 932 1. An act placed because of extrinsic force brought to bear upon
a person, which the person was not in any way able to resist, is considered null.
2. A juridic act placed because of grave fear, which has been unjustly inflicted,
or because of fraud is valid unless the law makes some other provision; but such
an act can be rescinded by the sentence of a judge, either at the instance of
an injured party, or that party's successors in law, or ex officio.
Canon 933 A juridic act placed because of ignorance or error concerning an
element which constitutes its substance or which amounts to a condition sine qua
non is invalid; otherwise it is valid, unless the law makes some other provision.
However, a juridic act placed out of ignorance or error can be the occasion for
a rescissory action in accordance with the norm of law.
Canon 934 1. When the law determines that in order to place a juridic act a superior
requires the consent or counsel of a group of persons, the group must be convoked
according to the norm of can. 948, unless particular law provides otherwise for
cases stated in that law when counsel only is to be sought; however, for such
a juridic act to be valid it is required that the consent of an absolute majority
of those present be obtained or that the counsel of all who are present be sought,
taking into account 2, n. 3. 2. When the law determines that a superior in order
to place certain acts requires the consent or the counsel of certain persons as
individuals: (1) if consent is required, the action of the superior is invalid
if the superior does not seek the consent of those persons or acts contrary to
the opinion of the persons or person; (2) if counsel is required, the action of
the superior is invalid if the superior does not consult to those persons; (3)
although in no way obliged to accede to their recommendation, even if it be unanimous,
nevertheless the superior should not act contrary to it, especially when there
is a consensus, unless there be a reason which, in the superior's judgment, is
overriding. 3. The authority which requires consent or counsel has the duty to
provide those whose consent or counsel is required with the necessary information
and to see that in every way they have freedom to speak their mind. 4. All whose
consent or counsel is required are obliged to offer their opinion sincerely observing
secrecy, and this obligation can be insisted upon by the authority.
Canon 935 Anyone who unlawfully inflicts damage upon someone by a juridic act,
or indeed by any other act placed with malice or culpability, is obliged to compensate
for the damage inflicted. TITLE 20 Offices
Canon 936 1. An ecclesiastical office is any function constituted in a stable
manner by the Lord himself or by competent authority to be exercised for a spiritual
purpose. 2. The rights and the obligations proper to individual offices are defined
either in the law by which the office is constituted or in the decree of a competent
authority. 3. That authority which is competent to establish an office, can also
modify and suppress an office and make canonical provision for them unless the
law expressly establishes otherwise or it is clear from the nature of the case.
Canon 937 1. One who sets up an office must see that the means required for
its fulfillment are available and that the just remuneration of those who carry
out the office is provided for. 2. The particular law of each Church sui iuris
is to determine in greater detail how these requirements are to be put into effect,
unless provision has already been made for certain matters by common law.
Canon 938 An office cannot be validly acquired without canonical provision.
Canon 939 Provision of an ecclesiastical office occurs by: (1) the free conferral
of a competent authority; (2) if preceded by an election, through its confirmation,
or if the election does not need confirmation, through acceptance by the one elected;
(3) if preceded by postulation, through its admission.
Canon 940 1. In order to be promoted to an office, a person must be suitable,
that is, endowed with those qualities which are required by law. 2. When the person
promoted to the office lacks the required qualities, the provision is null only
if this is provided in the law; otherwise it is valid, but it can be rescinded
by a decree of the competent authority which must act observing equity.
Canonical provision, for which no term has been prescribed by law, may never
be deferred beyond six available months from receipt of the news of the vacancy.
Canon 942 Two or more offices which cannot be suitably fulfilled at the same
time by the same person may not be conferred upon one person unless there is a
Canon 943 1. The provision of an office which is by law not vacant is by that
very fact invalid, and a subsequent vacancy does not validate the provision. 2.
But if it is a question of an office which by law is conferred for a determined
period of time the
Canonical provision can be made within six months before the expiration of
this time, and it takes effect on the day of the vacancy of the office. 3. A promise
of an office, no matter by whom it is made, has no canonical effect.
Canon 944 An office which is vacant by law but perhaps held by someone illegitimately
can be conferred provided that according to the norm of law it is declared that
the possession is not canonical and provided that this declaration is mentioned
in the document of conferral.
Canon 945 A person who confers an office, while supplying for someone who is
negligent or impeded, thereby acquires no power over the person upon whom the
office was conferred, and the juridic situation of that person is the same as
though the provision had been made according to the ordinary norm of law.
Canon 946 Provision of an office which has been made because of serious fear
unjustly incurred, fraud, substantial error or simony is null by the law itself.
Canon 947 1. If a group has the right of election to office, the election,
unless the law provides otherwise, is not to be deferred beyond three months of
available time from receipt of the notice of vacancy of the office; if this period
of time has elapsed without action, the authority having the right to confirm
the election or provide for the office successively is to make provision freely
for the vacant office. 2. The competent authority can do the same thing if the
group has lost its right to elect in some other way.
Canon 948 1. With due regard for the particular law, the presiding officer
of the group shall convoke the electors at a place and time that is suitable to
them; and the notice of convocation, when it must be communicated to each member
personally, is valid if it is directed to the place of domicile or quasi-domicile
or actual residence. 2. If one of those to be convoked is overlooked and is therefore
absent, the election is valid; however, upon the request of such a one and after
proof of the oversight and absence, the election, even if it has been confirmed,
must be rescinded by the competent authority, provided that according to the norm
of law it has been established that recourse was made within at least three days
of receipt of the notice of the election. 3. But if more than one-third of the
electors were overlooked, the election is invalid by the law itself, unless all
those overlooked were in fact present.
Canon 949 1. Once the convocation has taken place according to the
Canons, those present on the day and in the place designated in the convocation
have the right to vote; the faculty of voting by mail or by proxy is excluded,
unless the law provides otherwise. 2. If one of the electors is present in the
house in which the election takes place but cannot be present for the election
because of ill health, his or her written ballot is to be obtained by the tellers.
Canon 950 Even if a person has the right to vote in his or her own name by
more than one title, such a person can cast only one ballot.
Canon 951 No one can be permitted to vote who is not a member of the group, or
else the election is invalid by the law itself.
Canon 952 If the freedom in an election was in fact impaired in any way whatever
the election is invalid by the law itself.
Canon 953 1. A person is ineligible to vote: (1) who is incapable of placing a
human act; (2) who lacks active voice; (3) who has publicly rejected the Catholic
faith, or has publicly defected from communion with the Catholic Church. 2. If
one of the above has been admitted, the vote is null but the election is valid,
unless it is clear that by subtracting that vote the person elected did not receive
the required number of votes.
Canon 954 1. A vote is null, unless it is: (1) free; therefore, a vote is invalid
if an elector has been coerced directly or indirectly by grave fear or by fraud
to vote for a certain person or many persons disjunctively; (2) secret, certain,
absolute, and determinate, any contrary custom being reprobated. 2. Conditions
appended to a vote prior to the election are to be considered as not having been
Canon 955 1. Before the election begins at least two tellers are to be designated
from the membership of the group. 2. The tellers are to gather the ballots, determine
in the presence of the presiding officer that the number of ballots is the same
as the number of electors, read the ballots themselves and announce clearly how
many votes each person received. 3. If the number of ballots does not equal the
number of electors the vote is invalid. 4. The ballots are to be destroyed immediately
after each ballot or after each session if several ballots have been held in the
same session. 5. The secretary is to record accurately all the acts of the election
and after they have been read to the electors they are to be signed by at least
the secretary, the presiding officer and the tellers and be carefully preserved
in the archive of the group.
Canon 956 1. In elections, unless other provisions are made by common law,
that action has the force of law which, when a majority of those who have to be
convoked are present, receives an absolute majority of those who are present,
or, after two indecisive ballots, receives a relative majority in the third ballot;
if, however, the votes are equal after the third ballot, the person who is senior
by age is considered elected, unless it is a question of elections among clerics
alone or religious, in which cases that person is to be deemed elected who is
senior by sacred ordination, or, among religious, the person who is senior by
first profession. 2. The person who presides at the election is to proclaim who
has been elected.
Canon 957 1. The election is to be communicated immediately to the person elected
in writing or in some other legitimate way. 2. Within eight days of available
time after having been notified, the person elected must inform the presiding
officer of the group whether or not he or she accepts the election; otherwise
the election has no effect. 3. A person elected who does not accept loses any
right deriving from the election and does not regain any such right by a subsequent
acceptance; such a person however, can be elected again; the group must proceed
to a new election within a month of notification of the non-acceptance.
Canon 958 Unless other provisions are made in law, the person elected who has
accepted the election immediately acquires the office with the full effects of
law if the election does not require confirmation; otherwise the person acquires
only the right to seek confirmation.
Canon 959 1. If the election requires confirmation the person elected must
personally or through someone else request confirmation by the competent authority
not beyond eight days of available time from the day of acceptance of the election;
otherwise the person elected is deprived of any right unless it is proved that
the person has been constrained from petitioning confirmation by a just impediment.
2. Before receiving confirmation, the person may not become involved in the administration
of the office, and acts placed by such a person are invalid.
Canon 960 1. The competent authority cannot deny confirmation if the person
elected is qualified according to the norm of law and the election was conducted
in accordance with the law. 2. Once confirmation has been received the person
elected acquires the office with the full effects of law, unless the law provides
Canon 961 If a canonical impediment, which can be dispensed, prevents the election
of the person whom the electors believe to be more qualified and whom they prefer,
they can vote to postulate such a person from the competent authority, unless
something else is provided by the law.
Canon 962 At least two-thirds of the votes are required for postulation to have
any effect; or else the election proceeds as if nothing happened.
Canon 963 1. The group must send the postulation as soon as possible but not
beyond eight days of available time to the competent authority to whom confirmation
of the election belongs; this authority, if it does not have the power to dispense
from the impediment and wishes to admit the postulation, must obtain a dispensation
from the competent authority; if confirmation is not required, the postulation
must be sent to the competent authority so that the dispensation may be granted.
2. If the postulation has not been sent within the prescribed time, it is by the
law itself invalid and the group is deprived for that instance of the right to
elect, unless it is proved that sending of the postulation had been constrained
by a just impediment. 3. The one postulated acquires no right from the postulation;
the competent authority is not obliged to admit it. 4. The electors cannot revoke
a postulation already sent to a competent authority.
Canon 964 1. If the postulation has not been admitted by the competent authority
the right of electing reverts to the group. 2. The admission of the postulation
is to be made known immediately to the one postulated observing can. 957, 2 and
3. 3. The person who accepts the postulation which has been admitted immediately
acquires the office with the full effects of law.
Canon 965 1. Office is lost, besides other cases prescribed by law, by the
lapse of a determined time, by reaching the age determined by the law, by resignation,
by transfer, by removal and by privation. 2. An office is not lost by the expiration
in any way of the authority of the one who conferred it, unless the law provides
otherwise. 3. Loss of office by lapse of the determined time or by reaching a
certain age takes effect only from the moment when it has been communicated in
writing by the competent authority. 4. The title of emeritus can be conferred
upon the person who loses an office by reason of age determined by law or by a
resignation which has been accepted.
Canon 966 Once it has taken effect, the loss of an office is to be made known
as soon as possible to all who enjoy any right with respect to the canonical provision
of the office.
Canon 967 A person of sound mind can resign an office for a just cause.
Canon 968 A resignation submitted out of grave fear, which has been unjustly
inflicted, or because of fraud, substantial error or simony is invalid by the
Canon 969 To be valid a resignation must be submitted to the authority who
is responsible for the canonical provision of the office, and this is to be done
in writing or orally in the presence of two witnesses; unless acceptance is required,
it takes effect immediately.
Canon 970 1. A resignation which requires acceptance takes effect after acceptance
of the resignation has been communicated to the person resigning; if, however,
acceptance of the resignation has not been communicated to the person resigning
within three months the resignation lacks all effect. 2. A resignation can be
withdrawn by the one resigning as long as it has not yet been accepted. 3. The
authority is not to accept a resignation which is not based on a just and proportionate
Canon 971 A person who has resigned an office can obtain the same office by
some other title.
Canon 972 1. Transfer can be effected only by one who has the right of providing
for the office which is being lost as well as for the office which is being conferred.
2. If a transfer is to be made against the will of the one who holds the office,
with due regard for the norms concerning members of religious institutes or of
societies of common life in the manner of religious, a grave cause is required
and the procedure prescribed by law is to be observed with due regard for the
right to bring forward arguments against the transfer. 3. To take effect a transfer
must be communicated in writing.
Canon 973 1. In the case of a transfer, the prior office becomes vacant through
canonical possession of the other office unless the law provides otherwise or
something else is prescribed by the competent authority. 2. The person transferred
continues to receive the compensation assigned to the prior office until taking
canonical possession of the other office.
Canon 974 1. A person is removed from office either by a decree legitimately
issued by a competent authority, with due regard for rights which may have been
acquired by contract, or by the law itself according to the norm of can. 976.
2. In order to be effective the decree of removal must be communicated in writing.
Canon 975 1. Unless other provisions are made in law, a person cannot be removed
from an office conferred for an indefinite period of time except for grave reasons
and according to the procedure determined by law; the same holds for the removal
of someone from an office conferred for a determined period of time before the
term has expired. 2. When, in accordance with the prescriptions of law, an office
has been conferred on someone at the prudent discretion of a competent authority,
that person can be removed from office for a cause which is, in the judgment of
the same authority, considered just with due regard for equity.
Canon 976 1. One is removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself:
(1) who has lost the clerical state; (2) who has publicly defected from the Catholic
faith or from the communion of the Catholic Church; (3) a cleric who has attempted
marriage even if only civilly. 2. The removal from office referred to in 1, nn.
2 and 3 can be enforced only if it is established by the declaration of a competent
Canon 977 If a person is removed from office which is the source of financial
support, not by the law itself, but by a decree of the competent authority, this
same authority is to take care such support is seen to for a suitable time, unless
it is provided otherwise.
Canon 978 Deprivation of office can be inflicted only as a penalty for an offense.
TITLE 21 The Power of Governance
Canon 979 1. In accordance with the norm of law, those who have received sacred
orders are capable of the power of governance, which exists in the Church by divine
institution. 2. Other members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise
of the power of governance in accordance with the norm of law.
Canon 980 1. The power of governance is exercised in the external forum or
in the internal sacramental or non-sacramental forum. 2. If the power of governance
is exercised only for the internal forum, the effects which its exercise would
normally have in the external forum are not acknowledged in that forum except
insofar as the law provides for this in certain cases.
Canon 981 1. The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain
office by the law itself; delegated power is that which is granted to a person,
but not by means of an office. 2. The ordinary power of governance can be either
proper or vicarious.
Canon 982 1. Habitual faculties are governed by the prescriptions for delegated
power. 2. However, unless otherwise expressly provided in the grant of faculties
or unless a hierarch was chosen for his personal qualifications, a habitual faculty
granted to a hierarch is not withdrawn when that hierarch's authority ceases,
but it transfers to any hierarch who succeeds him in governance.
Canon 983 1. The burden of proving delegation rests with the person who claims
to have been delegated. 2. A delegate who exceeds the limits of the mandate with
respect to matters or to persons acts invalidly. 3. A delegate who acts in delegated
matters in a manner other than that determined in the mandate is not considered
to have exceeded the limits of the mandate unless the manner of acting is prescribed
for validity by the one delegating.
Canon 984 1. Besides the Roman Pontiff, a hierarch is understood to mean, first
of all, a patriarch, a major archbishop, a metropolitan who presides over a Church
sui iuris, and an eparchial bishop, as well as one who for a time succeed these
in governance in accordance with the law. 2. Besides the Roman Pontiff, local
hierarchs are the eparchial bishop, the exarch, the apostolic administrator, as
well as those who for a time legitimately succeed them in governance in their
absence, also the protosyncellus and the syncellus; however, the patriarch, the
major archbishop, the metropolitan who is head of a Church sui iuris, as well
as those who for a time succeed them in governance in accordance with the law,
are local hierarchs only with regard to the eparchy which they govern, with due
regard for can. 101. 3. Major superiors in institutes of consecrated life, who
have ordinary power of governance, are also hierarchs, but they are not local
Canon 985 1. The power of governance is distinguished as legislative, executive
and judicial. 2. Legislative power is to be exercised in the manner prescribed
by law, and that legislative power in the Church possessed by a legislator below
the highest Church authority cannot be validly delegated, unless otherwise explicitly
provided for in the common law; a law which is contrary to a higher law cannot
be validly enacted by a lower level legislator. 3. Judicial power, which is possessed
by judges or judicial colleges, is to be exercised in the manner prescribed by
law and cannot be delegated, except to carry out acts which are preparatory to
a decree or a sentence.
Canon 986 A person can exercise executive power over his subjects, even though
he himself is outside his own territorial boundaries and even when they are outside
his territory, unless common law provides otherwise or the contrary is certain
from the nature of the case; he can also exercise this power over travelers actually
present in his territory, provided it is a matter of granting favors or of enforcing
either common laws or particular laws by which they are bound according to the
norm of can. 1491, 3.
Canon 987 Those things which are in the realm of executive power of governance
either by common law or by particular law of a Church sui iuris are attributed
by name to the eparchial bishop, are understood to belong only to the eparchial
bishop and to the exarch, to the exclusion of the protosyncellus and the syncelli,
unless there is a special mandate.
Canon 988 1. Ordinary executive power can be delegated either for a single
act or for all cases, unless the law expressly provides otherwise. 2. Executive
power delegated by the Apostolic See or by the patriarch can be subdelegated,
whether for a single act or for all cases, unless the delegation is granted in
view of the special qualifications of the delegate or unless subdelegation is
expressly prohibited. 3. If executive power delegated by another authority having
ordinary power was delegated for all cases, it can be subdelegated only for individual
cases; if, however, it is delegated for a single act or for a determined act it
cannot be subdelegated except by the expressed grant of the one delegating. 4.
No subdelegated power can be again subdelegated validly, unless this has been
expressly granted by the one delegating.
Canon 989 Ordinary executive power as well as power delegated for all cases
is to be broadly interpreted; any other is to be strictly interpreted; however,
a person who has received delegated power is understood to have also been granted
whatever is necessary to exercise that power.
Canon 990 1. Executive power delegated to several persons is presumed to have
been delegated to them individually. 2. When several persons have been delegated
individually to transact the same business, the one who first undertakes to deal
with it excludes the others from acting, unless thereafter that person is impeded
or does not wish to proceed further in treating the matter. 3. When several persons
have been delegated to transact some business collegially, all must proceed according
to the established prescription of collegial acts, unless some other provision
is made in their mandate.
Canon 991 1. Ordinary power ceases by the loss of the office to which it is
connected. 2. Unless the law provides otherwise, ordinary power is suspended in
the event that a privation of or removal from office is legitimately appealed
or recourse taken.
Canon 992 1. Delegated power ceases by fulfillment of the mandate, by the lapse
of the time or by the completion of the number of cases for which it was granted,
by cessation of the final cause of the delegation, by the revocation of the one
delegating directly communicated to the delegate, as well as by the resignation
of the delegate made known to and accepted by the one delegating; it does not
cease, however, by the expiration of the authority of the one delegating, unless
this is clear from clauses appended to the grant. 2. An act of delegated power
which is exercised only for the internal forum and which is placed inadvertently
after the lapse of time or after the completion of case for which is was granted,
Canon 993 Executive power of governance is not suspended by the fact that recourse
has been made, unless other provision is expressly made by common law.
Canon 994 In factual or legal common error, and also in positive and probable
doubt about law or about fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance
both for the external and for the internal forum.
Canon 995 The prescriptions of law concerning executive power of governance
apply, unless common law provides otherwise or it is evident from the nature of
the matter, also for the power spoken of in cann. 441, 1 and 511, 1 and for the
faculties which are required by law for the valid celebration or administration
TITLE 22 Recourse Against Administrative Decrees
Canon 996 What is determined concerning decrees in the canons of this title
is also to be applied to all particular administrative acts which are placed by
any legitimate power in the Church in the external forum outside of a trial with
the exception of those issued by the Roman Pontiff or an ecumenical council.
Canon 997 1. One who considers himself to be injured by a decree can make recourse
to the superior authority of the one who gave the decree according to the norm
of law. 2. The first recourse against decrees of the protosyncellus or the syncelli
is made to the eparchial bishop; against those who act by delegated power, recourse
is made to the one who gave the delegation.
Canon 998 1. It is very desirable that whenever someone feels injured by a
decree, there not be a dispute between this person and the author of the decree
but that they seek to find an equitable solution between them, perhaps through
the use of wise persons in mediation or study so that through a voluntary emendation
of the decree or through just compensation or by some other suitable means the
controversy may be avoided. 2. The superior authority should encourage the parties
to do this before he receives the appeal.
Canon 999 1. Before proposing some recourse, a person must seek the revocation
or emendation of the decree in writing from its author within a peremptory period
of ten days from legal notice of the decree; when such a petition is proposed
it is understood by the law itself that the suspension of the execution of the
decree is also being petitioned. 2. The obligation of petitioning the revocation
or emendation of a decree does not bind if it concerns the first recourse against
a decree mentioned in can. 997, 2, or if it concerns further recourse except for
recourse against decrees of the eparchial bishop, by which a first recourse has
Canon 1000 1. In cases in which recourse suspends the execution of the decree,
the petition also has the same effect as that mentioned in can. 999, 1. 2. In
other cases, unless within ten days from the receipt of the petition, the author
of the decree suspends its execution, a suspension can meanwhile be petitioned
from his superior authority who can decide it only for grave reasons and always
cautiously lest the salvation of souls be injured in some way; if recourse is
proposed later, the authority who must deal with the recourse is to determine
whether the suspension is to be confirmed or revoked. 3. If no recourse is proposed
against the decree within the stated period or if recourse is sought only for
the reparation of damages, the suspension of the execution ceases by the law itself.
Canon 1001 1. Recourse must be proposed within a peremptory period of fifteen
days. 2. The period of fifteen days runs: (1) in a case in which the petition
of revocation or emendation of the decree is permitted, from the day the decree
is made known the party by which the author amended the prior decree or rejected
the petition, or, if he decrees nothing, from the thirtieth day from the receipt
of the petition; (2) in other cases, from the day on which the decree is made
known to the party.
Canon 1002 The superior authority must issue a decree by which the recourse
is decided within sixty days of receipt of the recourse unless the particular
law of the proper Church sui iuris states otherwise; if it is not done and the
person making recourse petitions in writing that the decree be made, from the
thirtieth day after receipt of the petition, if still nothing is done, the recourse
is considered rejected as if it was rejected on that day by a decree, and a new
recourse can be proposed against him.
Canon 1003 In recourse against an administrative decree can. 1517 is to be
observed with due adaptations being made; the person making the recourse also
has the right of employing an advocate or procurator, avoiding useless delays;
furthermore an advocate can be constituted ex officio if the person making the
recourse lacks an advocate and the superior authority considers it necessary;
the superior authority can always order the person making the recourse to appear
so that he or she can be questioned.
Canon 1004 The superior authority who examines the recourse, is able not only
to confirm or declare the decree null, but also to rescind or revoke it, but the
superior authority cannot amend it unless by the particular law of the Church
sui iuris this power is also accorded to the superior authority.
Canon 1005 Even if a decree from a superior authority is confirmed, declared
null, rescinded, revoked, or amended, in regard to the reparation of damages,
if perhaps they are owed, the one who gave the first decree should respond; the
superior authority should respond only to the extent of the damages which arose
from its decree.
Canon 1006 Even if it is a case of decrees which concern the eparchy of the
patriarch or a decree by which the patriarch has decided recourse, recourse against
administrative decrees of patriarchs is made to a special group of bishops constituted
according to the norm of particular law, unless the question is deferred to the
Apostolic See; against the decision of this group one is not given further recourse
except by appeal to the Roman Pontiff himself. TITLE 23 The Temporal Goods of
Canon 1007 In looking after the spiritual well-being of people, the Church
needs and uses temporal goods, inasmuch as its proper mission demands it; therefore
it has an innate right of acquiring, possessing, administering and alienating
those temporal goods that are necessary to pursue its proper ends, especially
for divine worship, works of the apostolate and of charity and fitting support
Canon 1008 1. The Roman Pontiff is the supreme administrator and steward of
all ecclesiastical goods. 2. Under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff,
ownership of temporal goods of the Church belongs to that juridic person which
has lawfully acquired them.
Canon 1009 1. All juridic persons are capable of acquiring, possessing, administering
and alienating temporal goods in accordance with the norm of canon law. 2. All
temporal goods which belong to juridic persons are ecclesiastical goods.
Canon 1010 Juridic persons can acquire temporal goods by every just means permitted
Canon 1011 The competent authority has the right to require from the Christian
faithful whatever is necessary to attain the ends proper to the Church.
Canon 1012 1. Whenever it is necessary for the good of the eparchy, the eparchial
bishop has the right, with the consent of the finance council, to impose a tax
on juridic persons subject to his authority and which should be proportionate
to their income; no tax can be imposed on the offerings received on the occasion
of the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. 2. A tax can be levied on physical persons
only according to the particular law of their own Church sui iuris.
Canon 1013 1. The eparchial bishop has the right, within the limits set by
the particular law of his own Church sui iuris, to fix the amount of the taxes
for the various acts of the power of governance and of the offerings made on the
occasion of the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, of the sacraments, of the sacramentals
and of any other liturgical celebrations, unless common law provides otherwise.
2. Patriarchs and eparchial bishops from various Churches who exercise their power
within the same territory are to see, after consultation with each other, that
same norms on taxes and offerings be established.
Canon 1014 In all the Churches which are habitually open to the Christian faithful,
the eparchial bishop may prescribe the taking up of collections for specific projects
of the Church.
Canon 1015 Physical and juridic persons cannot collect alms without the permission
of the authority they are subject to and without the written consent of the hierarch
of the place where the alms are collected.
Canon 1016 1. The offerings given for a definitive purpose can be applied only
for that same purpose. 2. Unless the contrary is clear, the offerings given to
the moderators or administrators of any juridic person are presumed to be given
to that juridic person. 3. These offerings cannot be refused without a just cause
and, in matters of greater importance, without the permission of the hierarch;
with due regard to the prescriptions of can. 1042, the permission of the same
hierarch is required for the acceptance of those offerings to which are attached
a condition or a moral obligation.
Canon 1017 The Church also admits prescription for temporal goods, according
to the norms of can. 1540-1542.
Canon 1018 If sacred objects, that is, those things which are destined for
divine worship through dedication or a blessing, are privately owned, they may
be acquired by private persons by means of prescription, but they may not be used
for profane uses unless they have lost their dedication or blessing; if, however,
they belong to an ecclesiastical juridic person, they can be acquired only by
another ecclesiastical juridic person.
Canon 1019 Immovable property, precious movable property, that is, those things
which are especially important due to artistic, historical or material value,
personal or real rights and claims, which belong to the Apostolic See, are prescribed
after a period of one hundred years; those which belong to some Church sui iuris
or to an eparchy are prescribed after a period of fifty years; those which belong
to another juridic person are prescribed after a period of thirty years.
Canon 1020 1. Every authority is under the grave obligation to see that the
temporal goods acquired by the Church be registered in the name of the juridic
person to which they belong, with due regard for the prescriptions of civil law
which safeguard the rights of the Church. 2. If civil law does not allow temporal
goods to be registered in the name of a juridic person; the same authority is
to see that the rights of the Church remain protected by using appropriate ways
valid in civil law, after having heard experts in civil law and the appropriate
council. 3. These prescriptions are to be observed even as regards the temporal
goods lawfully possessed by a juridic person, but whose acquisition is not yet
confirmed by documents. 4. The immediately higher authority is bound to urge the
observance of these prescriptions.
Canon 1021 1. Unless other provisions have been made, each eparchy, according
to the particular law of the proper Church sui iuris of which it is a part, is
to have a special fund which collects goods and offerings, and whose purpose is
to provide appropriately for the decent and fundamentally equal support of all
the clerics who serve the eparchy. 2. Wherever social security and health insurance
have not yet been suitably arranged for the clergy, the particular law of each
Church sui iuris will provide for the creation of institutes safeguarding these
benefits and put them under the vigilance of the local hierarch. 3. Insofar as
it is necessary, each eparchy is to establish a general fund according to a manner
defined by the particular law of its own Church sui iuris, through which the eparchial
bishops can satisfy obligations towards other persons who serve the Church as
well as meet the various needs of the eparchy; this fund can also be the means
through which the wealthier eparchies can aid the poorer ones.
Canon 1022 1. It is the responsibility of the eparchial bishop to supervise
the administration of all the ecclesiastical goods which are within the boundaries
of the eparchy and are not exempt from his power of governance, with due regard
for lawful titles giving him greater rights. 2. Hierarchs are to see that the
entire administration of ecclesiastical goods be suitably organized, by issuing
appropriate instructions within the limits of common law and of the particular
law of their own Church sui iuris and with due regard for rights, legitimate customs
Canon 1023 Unless the law provides otherwise, the administration of the ecclesiastical
goods of a juridic person is the responsibility of the one who immediately governs
Canon 1024 1. An administrator cannot act validly beyond the limits and procedures
of ordinary administration, unless written consent has been given by competent
authority. 2. The acts which go beyond the limits and procedures of ordinary administration
are to be defined in the statutes; if, however, the statutes do not mention such
acts, it is within the competence of the authority to whom the juridic person
is immediately subject to determine those acts, after having consulted the appropriate
council. 3. Unless and to the extent that it is to its own advantage, a juridic
person is not held to answer for the invalid acts of its administrators.
Canon 1025 Before taking office, an administrator of ecclesiastical goods is
to: (1) promise before the hierarch or his delegate to conscientiously fulfill
his office; and (2) sign an accurate inventory, reviewed by the hierarch, of the
ecclesiastical goods committed to his care.
Canon 1026 One copy of the inventory of ecclesiastical goods is to be kept
in the archives of the juridic person to which they belong, the other copy is
to be kept in the archives of the eparchial curia; any change whatever which the
stable patrimony of that juridic person may undergo is to be noted on each copy.
Canon 1027 Authorities shall see to it that the administrators of ecclesiastical
goods be sufficiently bonded according to civil law, so that the Church may suffer
no harm in the case of the death or the cessation from office of these administrators.
Canon 1028 1. Each administrator of ecclesiastical goods is bound to fulfill his
office with the diligence of a good householder. 2. For this reason he especially
must: (1) take care that none of the ecclesiastical goods entrusted to his care
are in any way lost or damaged and take out insurance policies for this purpose,
insofar as it is necessary; (2) observe the prescriptions of both canon and civil
law as well as those imposed by the founder, donor or legitimate authority; he
must especially be on guard lest the Church be harmed through the nonobservance
of civil laws; (3) accurately collect the income and produce of goods when they
are legally due, safeguard them once collected and apply them according to the
intention of the founder or according to legitimate norms; (4) see to it that
the interest on loans or on mortgages be paid when it is due and take care that
the capital be repaid in due time; (5) with the consent of the hierarch, invest
the money which is surplus after expenses and which can be profitably allocated
for the goals of the Church or of the juridic person; (6) keep well ordered books
of receipts and expenditures; (7) draw up a report on his administration at the
end of each year; (8) keep in order and preserve in an archive the documents establishing
the rights of the juridic person to its ecclesiastical goods; where it can be
done conveniently, deposit authentic copies in the archives of the eparchial curia.
3. It is strongly recommended that administrators draw up each year a budget of
receipts and expenditures; however, it is left to particular law to make this
an obligation and to determine more precisely how it is to be presented.
Canon 1029 An administrator of ecclesiastical goods shall not make donations from
movable goods which do not pertain to the stable patrimony, unless it is for a
just cause of piety or charity or that these donations are in moderate amounts
and according to legitimate custom.
Canon 1030 An administrator of ecclesiastical goods: (1) is to observe meticulously,
according to Church principles, the civil laws pertaining to labor and social
policy in the employment of workers; (2) is to pay employees a just and decent
wage so that they may provide appropriately for their needs and those of their
Canon 1031 1. An administrator of ecclesiastical goods is to present an annual
report on his administration to his own hierarch; any contrary custom is reprobated.
2. An administrator is to publicly render an account, in the manner provided for
by particular law, of the goods given to the Church, unless the local hierarch
judges that the Church would be harmed by such an account.
Canon 1032 An administrator of ecclesiastical goods is neither to initiate
nor to contest a lawsuit in civil court, unless he obtains the permission of his
Canon 1033 An administrator of ecclesiastical goods who relinquishes an office
or function on his own initiative is bound to restitution, if the Church is harmed
by such an arbitrary abandonment of duty.
Canon 1034 Whatever general and specific regulations on contracts and payments
are determined by the civil law of the territory where the contract is entered,
are to be observed in canon law with the same effects in the matters which are
subject to the power of the Church.
Canon 1035 1. In order to alienate ecclesiastical goods which through lawful
designation constitute the stable patrimony of the juridic person, it is required
that there be: (1) a just cause such as urgent necessity, evident advantage, piety,
charity or a pastoral reason; (2) a written expert valuation of the goods to be
alienated; (3) the written consent of the competent authority, without which the
alienation is invalid. 2. Other safeguards prescribed by competent authority are
also to be observed to prevent loss to the Church.
Canon 1036 1. When the value of the ecclesiastical goods whose alienation is
proposed falls between the minimum and the maximum established by the synod of
bishops of the patriarchal Church or by the Apostolic See, consent is required
of: (1) the finance council and the college of consultors of the eparchy for the
goods of the eparchy; (2) the eparchial bishop, who gets in each case the consent
of the finance council and the college of consultors of the eparchy, for the goods
of juridic persons subject to that eparchial bishop; (3) the authority determined
in typicon or the statutes for goods of juridic persons not subject to the eparchial
bishop. 2. In patriarchal Churches, if the value of goods exceeds the maximum
established by the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church, but is not double,
consent is required of: (1) the patriarch with the consent of the permanent synod,
for the goods of an eparchy within the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal
Church, unless the particular law of that Church determines otherwise; (2) the
eparchial bishop and the patriarch who has the consent of the permanent synod
for goods of a juridic person subject to an eparchial bishop who exercises his
power within the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church; (3) the patriarch
who has the consent of the permanent synod for those goods of a juridic person
not subject to an eparchial bishop, even if pontifical right, within the territorial
boundaries of the patriarchal Church. 3. In a patriarchal Church, if the value
of the goods is more than double the amount set by the synod of bishops of the
patriarch Church, or if it is a case of precious goods or of goods donated to
the Church from a vow, 2 is to be followed but the patriarch needs the consent
of the same synod. 4. In other cases the consent of the Apostolic See is required
if the value of the goods exceeds the sum it established or approved or in the
case of precious goods or goods donated to the Church by reason of a vow.
Canon 1037 To alienate the temporal goods of a patriarchal Church or of a patriarchal
eparchy, the patriarch needs: (1) the counsel of the permanent synod if the value
of the goods is between the minimum and maximum amount established by the synod
of bishops of the patriarchal Church for the goods of the patriarchate; for the
goods of an eparchy of the patriarchate, can. 1036, 1, n. 1 is to be followed;
(2) the consent of the permanent synod if the value of the goods exceeds but is
not double the maximum amount established by the synod of bishops of the patriarchal
Church; (3) the consent of the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church if the
value of the goods is more than double the value or if the case involves precious
goods or those things given to the Church by reason of a vow.
Canon 1038 1. Those whose advice, consent or confirmation is required by law for
the alienation of ecclesiastical goods shall not give their advice, consent or
confirmation before having been thoroughly informed on the economic situation
of the juridic person whose temporal goods are proposed for alienation as well
as on previous alienations. 2. Advice, consent and confirmation are considered
as not to have been given, unless they request lists of the alienations which
have already been made.
Canon 1039 The consent of all interested parties is required for any kind of
Canon 1040 Whenever ecclesiastical goods are alienated contrary to the prescriptions
of canon law, but the alienation is civilly valid, the authority superior to the
one who carried out the alienation decides, after a thorough review of the situation,
whether and what type of action is to be taken to vindicate the rights of the
Church as well as by whom and against whom this action is to be taken.
Canon 1041 Unless they are of little value, ecclesiastical goods are not to
be sold or leased out to their own administrators or to their relatives up to
the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity without the special permission
of the authority mentioned in cann. 1036 and 1037.
Canon 1042 The prescriptions of cann. 1035 -1041 must be observed not only
in alienations, but also in any business transaction by reason of which the patrimonial
condition of juridic persons can be worsened.
Canon 1043 1. Those who in virtue of natural or canon law can freely dispose of
their goods can leave them to pious causes either by an act which becomes effective
during life or at death. 2. The prescriptions of civil law are as far as possible
to be observed in the last wishes made for the good of the Church; if these prescriptions
are not observed, the heirs must be advised of their obligation to fulfill the
will of the testator.
Canon 1044 The intentions of the Christian faithful who give or leave their goods
to pious causes whether by an act that becomes effective during life or at death,
once they have been lawfully accepted, are to be scrupulously fulfilled even as
regards the manner of the administration and distribution of the goods, without
prejudice to the provisions of can. 1045.
Canon 1045 1. The hierarch is the executor of all pious wills, whether made
they be made during life or on the occasion of death. 2. In virtue of this right
the hierarch can and must exercise vigilance, even by making visitations, so that
pious wills are fulfilled; other executors must render him an account concerning
the performance of their duty. 3. Stipulations added to last wills and contrary
to this right of the hierarch are to be regarded as nonexistent.
Canon 1046 1. A person who accepts to be a trustee for goods bequeathed for
pious causes whether by an act made during life or at death, must inform his own
hierarch of this trusteeship and list all the goods that are entrusted to him
along with the obligations attached to them; if, however, the donor expressly
and completely prohibits this, the person is not to accept the trust. 2. The hierarch
must demand that the goods held in trust be safeguarded and, in accordance with
can. 1045, 2, ensure that the pious will is executed. 3. When goods are committed
in trust to a member of a religious institute or of a society of common life in
the manner of the religious, and have been designated for the assistance of the
Churches of a place or an eparchy, or of the Christian faithful whose domicile
is there, or of pious causes, the hierarch mentioned in 1 and 2 is the hierarch
of that place.
Canon 1047 1. In the law pious foundations are: (1) autonomous pious foundations,
that is, aggregates of things destined to works of piety, of the apostolate and
of charity, whether spiritual or temporal, and established as a juridic person
by competent authority; (2) non-autonomous pious foundations, that is, temporal
goods given in any manner to a juridic person and carrying with them the long-term
obligation, to be determined by particular law, to arrange from the annual income
to pursue the purposes mentioned in n. 1. 2. If the temporal goods of a non-autonomous
foundation are entrusted to a juridic person subject to an eparchial bishop, they
are to be remanded to the fund mentioned in can. 1021, 1, on the expiration of
the time specified, unless another intention was expressly manifested by the donor;
otherwise they fall to that juridic person.
Canon 1048 1. Autonomous pious foundations can be constituted only by an eparchial
bishop or another higher authority. 2. In order for a non-autonomous foundation
to be validly accepted by a juridic person, the written consent of the local hierarch
is necessary; he is not to give his consent until he has lawfully established
that the juridic person can fulfill the new obligation as well as those already
accepted; the same hierarch is to take special care that the income entirely corresponds
to the attached obligations in accordance with the customs of his own Church sui
iuris. 3. Further conditions, without which pious foundations cannot be constituted
or accepted, are to be defined in particular law.
Canon 1049 The hierarch who constituted a pious foundation or gave his consent
to the acceptance of one, immediately designates a safe place in which money and
movable goods assigned as an endowment will be deposited, so that the money or
the value of the movable goods is safeguarded; as soon as possible, they are to
be carefully and profitably invested for the benefit of the foundation with an
express and specific mention of the obligations undertaken; the investment is
to be made in accordance with the prudent judgment of the hierarch, who is to
consult the interested parties and the appropriate council.
Canon 1050 A copy of the articles of foundation is to be filed in the eparchial
archive and another copy is to be filed in the archive of the juridic person.
Canon 1051 1. When the provisions of cann. 1044-1046 and 1031 have be observed,
a list of obligations arising from pious foundations is to be drawn up and retained
in a conspicuous place lest the obligations to be fulfilled be neglected. 2. A
book is to be kept by the pastor or the rector of the church in which the individual
obligations, their fulfillment and the offerings are recorded.
Canon 1052 1. The reduction of obligations of celebrating the Divine Liturgy
is reserved to the Apostolic See. 2. If it is expressly provided for in the articles
of the foundation, the hierarch may reduce obligations of celebrating the Divine
Liturgy because of diminished income. 3. The eparchial bishop has the power, when
income diminishes, of reducing the number of celebrations of the Divine Liturgy
in conformity with the level of the offerings legitimately established in the
eparchy, for as long as this diminishment of income continues, provided that there
is no one who has an obligation to increase the offering and can successfully
be made to do so. 4. The eparchial bishop also has the power of reducing the obligation
of celebrating the Divine Liturgy which bind ecclesiastical institutes if the
income proves insufficient to pursue the goals that were able to be pursued at
the time the obligations were accepted. 5. The powers mentioned in 3 and 4 are
also enjoyed by the superiors general of clerical religious institutes or societies
of common life in the manner of religious of pontifical or patriarchal right.
6. The eparchial bishop can delegate the powers mentioned in 3 and 4 only to a
coadjutor bishop, auxiliary bishop, protosyncellus or syncellus, to the exclusion
of any subdelegation.
Canon 1053 The same authorities mentioned in can. 1052 also enjoy the power
of transferring for a just reason the obligations of celebrating the Divine Liturgy
to days or institutes different from those determined in the foundation.
Canon 1054 1. The hierarch, only for a just and necessary reason, may reduce,
moderate or commute the intentions of the Christian faithful who give or leave
their goods to pious causes, provided such power has been expressly granted that
hierarch by the founder. 2. If, through no fault of the administrators, the fulfillment
of the obligations becomes impossible due to diminished income or some other reason,
the hierarch can diminish them equitably after consulting the interested parties
and the appropriate council, with due regard for the will of the founder as much
as possible and for the prescriptions of can. 1052. 3. In other cases, the Apostolic
See or the patriarch is to be approached; but the latter may act only with the
consent of the permanent synod. TITLE 24 Trials in General
Canon 1055 1. The object of a trial is: (1) to prosecute or to vindicate the
rights of physical or juridic person, or to declare juridic facts; (2) to impose
the penalty for offenses. 2. However, in controversies which have arisen from
an act of executive power of governance the superior authority in accordance with
cann. 996-1006, alone is competent.
Canon 1056 In cases which are reserved to a dicastery of the Apostolic See,
tribunals must follow the norms established by that dicastery.
Canon 1057 In causes of the servants of God whereby they are inscribed among
the saints, the special norms determined by the Roman Pontiff are to be observed.
Canon 1058 The Roman Pontiff is judged by no one.
Canon 1059 1. In virtue of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, anyone of the
Christian faithful is free to bring a case at any stage and in any grade of judgment
before the Roman Pontiff; since he is the supreme judge for the entire Catholic
world and he acts either personally or through tribunals of the Apostolic See
or through judges delegated by him. 2. This recourse made to the Roman Pontiff,
however, does not suspend the exercise of power by a judge who has already begun
to adjudicate the case except in the case of an appeal; for this reason, the judge
can pursue judgment up to the definitive sentence unless it is evident that the
Roman Pontiff has called the case to himself.
Canon 1060 1. The Roman Pontiff himself alone has the right to judge: (1) patriarchs;
(2) bishops in penal cases; (3) those who hold the highest civil office in a state;
(4) other cases which he has called to his own judgment. 2. With the exception
of bishops exercising their power within the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal
Church, other bishops are to be judged in contentious cases by the tribunal designated
by the Roman Pontiff with due regard for can. 1066, 2. 3. A judge cannot review
an act or document explicitly (in forma specifica) confirmed by the Roman Pontiff
without his prior mandate.
Canon 1061 Persons, whether physical persons who are not bishops or juridic
persons who do not have a superior authority below the Roman Pontiff, are to be
judged before the tribunals of the Apostolic See, with due regard for can. 1063,
4, nn. 3 and 4.
Canon 1062 1. The synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church, with due regard
for the competence of the Apostolic See, constitutes the highest tribunal within
the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church. 2. The synod of bishops
of the patriarchal Church shall elect by secret ballot for a five-year term, and
from among its members, a general moderator for the administration of justice,
as well as two bishops who with him shall constitute a tribunal; if, however,
one of the three bishops is party in the case, or is unable to be present, the
patriarch with the consent of the permanent synod is to substitute another bishop;
likewise, in the case where an objection has been raised, the patriarch is to
act in like manner with the consent of the permanent synod. 3. This tribunal is
to judge the contentious cases either of eparchies or of bishops, even titular
bishops. 4. Appeal in these cases is to be made to the synod of bishops of patriarchal
Church without any further appeal, with due regard for can. 1059. 5. The general
moderator for the administration of justice has the right of vigilance over all
tribunals within the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church, as well
as the right of deciding when objections are raised against a judge of an ordinary
tribunal of the patriarchal Church.
Canon 1063 1. The patriarch is to establish an ordinary tribunal for the patriarchal
Church, distinct from the tribunal of the patriarch's eparchy. 2. This tribunal
is to have its own president, judges, promoter of justice, defenders of the bond
as well as other necessary officials, appointed by the patriarch with the consent
of the permanent synod; the president, the judges, the promoter of justice and
the defenders of the bond cannot be removed from office except by the synod of
bishops of the patriarchal Church; however, the patriarch alone may accept a resignation
from office. 3. This tribunal is the appellate tribunal in second and further
instances with the assistance of judges who serve in rotation, for cases already
judged in lower tribunals; this tribunal has also the rights of a metropolitan
tribunal in those parts of the patriarchal Church where provinces have not been
established. 4. This tribunal is competent to judge in first and in succeeding
instances, by judges who serve in rotation, the cases of: (1) exarchs and delegates
of the patriarch who are not bishops; (2) physical or juridic persons immediately
subject to the patriarch; (3) institutes of consecrated life of pontifical right;
(4) superiors of institutes of consecrated life of pontifical right, who do not
have a superior within the same institute who possesses judicial power; (5) those
other cases reserved to this tribunal by a prescription of particular law.
Canon 1064 1. The metropolitan tribunal which is not distinct from the tribunal
of the eparchy of the metropolitan is the appellate tribunal for sentences of
the eparchial tribunals. 2. In cases in first instances tried before the metropolitan
or another eparchial bishop for whom there is no superior authority below the
Roman Pontiff, the appeal is to be made to the tribunal which the metropolitan
or eparchial bishop has designated in a stable manner, with the approval of the
Apostolic See, with due regard for cann. 139 and 175.
Canon 1065 The tribunal of third instance is the Apostolic See, unless common
law expressly provides otherwise.
Canon 1066 1. The eparchial bishop is the judge of first instance in each eparchy
and for all cases not expressly excepted by law. 2. If, however, the action concerns
the rights or the temporal goods of a juridic person represented by the eparchial
bishop, the appellate tribunal judges in first instance, with due regard for can.
Canon 1067 1. A tribunal of first instance for several eparchies of the same Church
sui iuris may be erected by the patriarch with the consent of the eparchial bishops
concerned, if it is a case of eparchies situated within the territorial boundaries
of the patriarchal Church; in other cases, it may be erected by the eparchial
bishops who have consented to this and with the approval of the Apostolic See.
2. This tribunal should be established if each of the eparchial bishops is unable
for various reasons to establish his own tribunal; within the territorial boundaries
of the patriarchal Church, if such is the case, this tribunal is to be established
by the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church. 3. In eparchies for which such
a tribunal has been established, a collegiate eparchial tribunal cannot be established
validly. 4. The group of eparchial bishops who consented to having such a tribunal,
or an eparchial bishop elected by them, has all the powers which an eparchial
bishop has over his own tribunal; if, however, the tribunal was established by
the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church or by the Apostolic See, the norms
determined by the synod or by the Apostolic See are to be observed. 5. Within
the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church, an appeal from this tribunal
is made to the ordinary tribunal of the patriarchal Church; however, in other
cases, it is made to the tribunal designated in a stable manner by the group of
bishops mentioned in 4, with the approval of the Apostolic See, or to the tribunal
designated by the Apostolic See.
Canon 1068 1. The eparchial bishops of various Churches sui iuris exercising their
power within the same territory, can agree among themselves to establish a common
tribunal to adjudicate contentious and penal cases of the Christian faithful subject
to one or other of these eparchial bishops. 2. If suitable judges and other tribunal
officers are lacking, the eparchial bishops are to see that they establish a common
tribunal. 3. The eparchial bishops who consent to having a common tribunal are
to designate one of their members who has the powers which an eparchial bishop
has over his own tribunal. 4. Appeals from sentences given in first instance by
a common tribunal are to be made to the tribunal designated in a stable manner
by the Apostolic See.
Canon 1069 1. Controversies between physical or juridic persons of the same
institute of consecrated life, except secular institutes, in which superiors possess
the power of governance, are to be heard before the judge or the tribunal determined
in the typicon or the statutes of the institute. 2. Except cases concerning secular
institutes, if the controversy arises between physical or juridic persons of various
institutes of consecrated life, or even of the same institute of eparchial right
or of another, in which the superior does not possess the power of governance,
or between a member and a juridic person of an institute of consecrated life and
any other physical or juridic person, the eparchial tribunal judges in first instance.
Canon 1070 Any authority establishing a tribunal shall see that the tribunal
has its own statutes approved by the same authority, in which shall be determined
the manner of appointing judges and other officers of the tribunal, the duration
of their appointment, their remuneration and all the other requisites of law.
Canon 1071 Every tribunal has the right to call upon the assistance of another
tribunal of any Church in order to carry out certain procedural acts, except,
however, those which involve decisions to be made by the judges.
Canon 1072 The incompetence of inferior judges is absolute in the cases mentioned
in cann. 1060, 1061, 1062, 3 and 1063, 4; the incompetence of the judge is also
absolute if competency by reason of grade of judgment is not observed.
Canon 1073 1. No one can be brought into a court of first instance except before
a judge who is competent in virtue of one of the titles determined in common law.
2. The incompetence of a judge who possesses none of these titles is termed relative.
3. Unless the law expressly provides otherwise, the petitioner follows the forum
of the respondent; but if the respondent has a number of fora, the choice of one
among them is granted to the petitioner.
Canon 1074 Anyone can be brought into court before the tribunal of one's own
domicile or quasi-domicile.
Canon 1075 1. A transient has the forum of the place of actual residence. 2.
A person whose domicile, quasi-domicile or place of residence is not known can
be brought into court in the forum of the petitioner provided no other legitimate
forum is available.
Canon 1076 By reason of the location of a disputed item, a party can be brought
into court before the tribunal of the place where the litigated thing is located
whenever the action is directed against the thing or whenever it is a question
Canon 1077 1. By reason of contract a party can be brought into court before the
tribunal of the place in which the contract was entered or must be fulfilled,
unless the parties agree to choose another tribunal. 2. If the case revolves around
obligations which arise from another title, the party can be brought into court
before the tribunal of the place where the obligation originated or is to be fulfilled.
Canon 1078 In penal cases the accused, even if absent, can be cited before
the tribunal of the place where the offense was perpetrated.
Canon 1079 A party can be brought into court: (1) in cases which concern administration
before the tribunal of the place where the administration was conducted; (2) in
cases which concern inheritances or pious legacies before the tribunal of the
last domicile, quasi-domicile or place of residence of the person whose inheritance
or pious legacy is the object of the action, with due regard for can. 1075, 2
unless it is a question of the mere execution of a legacy, which is to be examined
according to the ordinary norms of competence.
Canon 1080 If a judge is not competent in virtue of any of the above mentioned
canons and yet a case is introduced before him, he obtains competence if both
the parties and the authority to whom the tribunal is subject consent.
Canon 1081 Unless a prescription of the law blocks this, by reason of connection
cases which are interrelated are to be tried by one and the same tribunal and
in the same procedure.
Canon 1082 By reason of prevention, if two or several tribunals are equally
competent, the tribunal which first legitimately cites the respondent has the
right to judge the case.
Canon 1083 1. A conflict between judges as to which of them is competent to
hear the case, is to be decided by the appellate tribunal of that judge before
whom the action was first advanced by an introductory petition of suit. 2. If,
however, the other tribunal is the appeal tribunal of the first one, the controversy
is to be decided by the tribunal of the third instance for the tribunal before
which the action was first introduced. 3. There is no appeal to decisions handed
down in these conflicts.
Canon 1084 1. The following cases are reserved to a collegiate tribunal of
three judges: (1) cases concerning the bond of sacred ordination; (2) cases concerning
the bond of marriage, with due regard for cann. 1372-1374; (3) penal cases concerning
offenses which entail the penalties of major excommunication, privation of office,
reduction to an inferior degree or deposition; (4) cases which are determined
in the particular law of the proper Church sui iuris. 2. Other cases are to be
heard by a sole judge, unless the eparchial bishop reserves a certain case to
a college of three judges. 3. If it happens that a collegiate tribunal cannot
be established for a trial of first instance, while this impossibility lasts,
the patriarch, having consulted the permanent synod, can permit the eparchial
bishop to entrust cases to a single clerical judge who, if possible, is to employ
an assessor and an auditor; likewise the metropolitan who presides over a metropolitan
Church sui iuris as well as the metropolitan of a patriarchal Church constituted
outside the territorial boundaries of the patriarchal Church may do likewise,
in both situations having consulted the two eparchial bishops who are senior by
episcopal ordination; in other instances, the matter is to be referred to the
Canon 1085 1. A collegiate tribunal must proceed as a collegial body and pass
its decisions by majority vote; this is for validity in the following instances:
(1) the rejection of a petition for a counter-claim or for an incidental case;
(2) the settlement of recourse against a decree of the presiding judge; (3) the
handing down of sentences, even interlocutory ones, as well as decrees which have
the same effect as a definitive sentence. 2. Other procedural acts are to be carried
out by the presiding judge, unless the college has reserved certain acts to itself;
however, such reservation is not for validity. 3. If the tribunal of first instance
decided the case in a collegial manner, likewise in appeal the case is to be decided
collegially and not by a lesser number of judges; if, however, a single judge
gave the decision in first instance, the case is to be decided in appeal by a
single judge, except in the case mentioned in can. 1084, 3.
Canon 1086 1. The eparchial bishop is bound to appoint a judicial vicar with ordinary
judicial power, distinct from the protosyncellus, unless the smallness of the
eparchy or the small number of cases suggests otherwise. 2. The judicial vicar
constitutes one tribunal with the eparchial bishop, but he cannot judge cases
which the eparchial bishop has reserved to himself. 3. The judicial vicar can
be given assistants whose title is adjutant judicial vicars. 4. Both the judicial
vicar and the adjutant judicial vicars must be priests of unimpaired reputation,
holding doctorates or at least licentiates in canon law, known for prudence and
zeal for justice and not less than thirty years of age.
Canon 1087 1. The eparchial bishop is to appoint eparchial judges in the eparchy
who are clerics. 2. The patriarch, having consulted the permanent synod, or the
metropolitan who presides over a metropolitan Church sui iuris, having consulted
the two eparchial bishops senior by episcopal ordination, can permit other members
of the Christian faithful to be appointed judges; when it is necessary, one of
them can be employed to form a collegiate tribunal; in other cases, the matter
is to be referred to the Apostolic See. 3. The judges are to be of unimpaired
reputation, and possess doctorates, or at least licentiates, in canon law, and
be known for prudence and zeal for justice.
Canon 1088 1. The judicial vicar, the adjutant judicial vicar and the other
judges are to be appointed for a definite period of time. 2. If this period of
time elapses during the vacancy of the eparchial see, they cannot be removed,
but remain in office until the new eparchial bishop provides for the matter. 3.
If the judicial vicar is appointed by the eparchial administrator, when the new
eparchial bishop arrives, he needs confirmation.
Canon 1089 In any trial a single judge can make use of two assessors who are
members of the Christian faithful of upright life, to serve as his consultors.
Canon 1090 1. Unless in his prudence the eparchial bishop has decided otherwise,
the judicial vicar is to designate by turn two judges from among the eparchial
judges who together with the presiding judge shall constitute the college. 2.
The judicial vicar is not to appoint substitutes for judges once they are assigned
unless for a most serious reason, to be expressed for validity in a decree.
Canon 1091 1. The judicial vicar or the adjutant judicial vicar presides over
a collegiate tribunal insofar as this is possible. 2. The president of a collegiate
tribunal must assign one of the collegiate judges as the ponens, unless he wishes
to fulfill this function himself. 3. For a just cause the same president may substitute
another in place of the ponens. 4. The ponens reports on the case at the meeting
of the judges and puts the sentence into writing.
Canon 1092 A single judge has all the rights of the tribunal and of the presiding
Canon 1093 1. A judge or the president of a collegiate tribunal can designate
an auditor to carry out the instruction of the case, selecting one either from
among the judges of the tribunal or from among the Christian faithful approved
for this office by the eparchial bishop. 2. The eparchial bishop can approve for
the office of auditor members of the Christian faithful who are recognized for
their good character, prudence and learning. 3. The only task of the auditor is
to collect the proofs according to the mandate of the judge and to present them
to him; unless the mandate of the judge states otherwise, the auditor can in the
meantime decide which proofs are to be collected and how they are to be collected
if such a question perhaps arises while the auditor is exercising his or her office.
Canon 1094 A promoter of justice is to be appointed in an eparchy for contentious
cases in which the public good could be at stake and for penal cases; the promoter
of justice is bound by the obligation to provide for the public good.
Canon 1095 1. In contentious cases it is the task of the eparchial bishop to
judge whether or not the public good could be at stake unless the intervention
of the promoter of justice is prescribed by law or it is clearly necessary from
the nature of the matter. 2. If the promoter of justice has intervened in a preceding
instance, such intervention is presumed to be necessary in a further instance.
Canon 1096 A defender of the bond is to be appointed in an eparchy for cases
concerning the nullity of sacred ordination or the nullity or dissolution of marriage;
the defender of the bond is bound by the obligation to propose and clarify everything
which can be reasonably adduced against nullity or dissolution.
Canon 1097 In cases which require the presence of the promoter of justice or
the defender of the bond, the acts are null if they were not cited, unless, although
not cited, they were actually present, or, at least before the sentence, could
have fulfilled their office by inspecting the acts.
Canon 1098 Unless common law expressly provides otherwise: (1) as often as
the law requires the judge to hear the parties or one or other of them, the promoter
of justice and the defender of the bond are also to be heard if they are present
in court; (2) as often as the judge is required to decide something at the request
of a party, the request of the promoter of justice or the defender of the bond
has the same force when they are present in the court.
Canon 1099 1. The eparchial bishop is to name the promoter of justice and the
defender of the bond; in non-eparchial tribunals they are to be named according
to the tribunal's statutes unless the law provides otherwise. 2. The promoter
of justice and the defender of the bond are to be members of the Christian faithful
of unimpaired reputation who hold doctorates or at least licentiates in
Canon law and are proven in prudence and in zeal for justice.
Canon 1100 1. The same person can hold the office of promoter of justice and
of defender of the bond but not in the same case. 2. The promoter and defender
can be appointed for all cases or for particular cases; they can, however, be
removed by the eparchial bishop for a just cause.
Canon 1101 1. A notary is to be present during each procedure so that the acts
are considered null if they have not been signed by the notary. 2. Acts which
notaries draw up warrant public trust.
Canon 1102 1. Judges and other officers of the tribunals may be chosen from
any eparchy, religious institute or society of common life in the manner of religious,
of their own or even from another Church sui iuris with the written consent of
the proper eparchial bishop or major superior. 2. Unless the mandate of delegation
states otherwise, a delegated judge may utilize the assistance of officers residing
within the territory of the person mandating.
Canon 1103 1. With due regard for justice, all the Christian faithful especially
bishops are to strive earnestly to avoid lawsuits among the people of God as much
as possible or to resolve them peacefully as soon as possible. 2. At the very
start or even at any point during the litigation, whenever some hope of a happy
outcome is perceived, the judge is not to neglect to encourage and assist the
parties to collaborate in working out an equitable solution to the controversy
as well as indicating suitable ways of reaching such a solution, perhaps even
employing the services of reputable persons for mediation. 3. If, however, the
case concerns the private good of the parties, the judge should find out whether
it can profitably be resolved through a negotiated settlement or through an arbitrated
Canon 1104 1. A competent judge is to offer his ministry to any party legitimately
requesting it. 2. A judge cannot adjudicate any case unless the party concerned
or the promoter of justice has presented a petition in accordance with the norm
of the canons.
Canon 1105 A person who has taken part in a case as a judge, promoter of justice,
defender of the bond, procurator, advocate, witness or expert cannot afterwards
in another instance validly resolve the same case as a judge or act as an assessor
in another instance.
Canon 1106 1. A judge is not to undertake the adjudication of a case in which
the judge may have some interest due to consanguinity or affinity in any degree
of the direct line and up to the fourth degree inclusive of the collateral line,
due to functioning as a guardian or trustee, due to close friendship, due to great
animosity, or due to a desire to make some profit or avoid some loss. 2. In the
same circumstances the promoter of justice, the defender of the bond, the assessor
and the auditor must disqualify themselves from their office.
Canon 1107 1. If an objection is lodged against the judge of either an ordinary
or delegated tribunal, even if he is competent, the exception is dealt with by
the authority to which the tribunal is immediately subject, with due regard for
can. 1062, 2 and 5. 2. If the eparchial bishop is the judge and an objection is
lodged against him, he is to disqualify himself from judging. 3. If the objection
is lodged against other officers of the tribunal, the president of the collegiate
tribunal or the single judge deals with this exception.
Canon 1108 If the objection is accepted, the persons must be changed, but the
grade of the court does not change.
Canon 1109 1. The issue of an objection is to be solved most expeditiously
after having heard the parties. 2. The acts posited by a judge prior to an objection
are valid; but those acts posited after the objection has been moved must be rescinded
if the party petitions within ten days from the acceptance of the objection; after
the acceptance of the objection, the acts are invalid.
Canon 1110 1. In a matter which concerns private individuals only, a judge
can proceed only at the request of a party; once a case has been legitimately
introduced, however, a judge can and must proceed, even ex officio, in penal cases
and in other cases which involve the public good of the Church or the salvation
of souls. 2. Furthermore, a judge can supply for the negligence of parties in
furnishing proofs or in placing exceptions as often as it is judged necessary
in order to avoid a seriously unjust sentence, with due regard for can. 1283.
Canon 1111 Judges and tribunals are to see to it that, with due regard for
justice, all cases are concluded as soon as possible so that in the first instance
they are not prolonged beyond a year and on the appellate level beyond six months.
Canon 1112 All persons who constitute a tribunal or assist it must make a promise
that they will fulfill their function faithfully.
Canon 1113 1. Judges and tribunal personnel are always bound to secrecy in
a penal case; they are also thus bound in a contentious case if the parties may
be harmed by the revelation of some procedural act. 2. They are also always bound
and toward all people, to observe secrecy concerning the discussion among the
judges in a collegiate tribunal before passing the sentence and concerning the
various votes and opinions offered during the discussion; likewise all those to
whom knowledge of the above shall come in any way are also bound to secrecy 3.
Moreover, as often as the nature of a case or the proofs are such that the reputation
of others is endangered by divulging the acts or proofs, or an opportunity for
discord is provided or scandal or some other disadvantage of this kind might arise,
the judge can bind the witnesses, the experts, the parties and their advocates
or proxies by oath to observe secrecy.
Canon 1114 The judge and all tribunal officers are forbidden to accept any
gifts whatsoever on the occasion of their functioning in a trial.
Canon 1115 1. Judges who refuse to try a case even if they are certainly and obviously
competent, who declare themselves competent without any legal basis and hear and
decide cases, who violate the law of secrecy or who inflict some damage on the
parties out of malice or serious negligence can be punished by the competent authority
with fitting penalties, including deprivation of office. 2. Other officers of
the tribunal and auditors also can be punished with the same penalties if they
do not fulfill their office as above; the judge can also punish all of them.
Canon 1116 If the judge foresees that the petitioner will probably reject the
ecclesiastical sentence, if it is to be contrary to him, and thus the rights of
the respondent would not by sufficiently protected, he may at the request of the
respondent or even in virtue of his office oblige the petitioner to provide an
appropriate security for the observance of the ecclesiastical sentence.
Canon 1117 Cases are to be tried in the order in which they are presented and
put on the docket unless some of them demand speedier treatment than others, which
fact is to be determined in a special decree which states the reasons.
Canon 1118 1. Defects which can render a sentence invalid can be introduced
as an exception during any stage or grade of a trial; a judge can likewise declare
them ex officio. 2. Dilatory exceptions, especially those which concern the persons
and the manner of the trial, are to be proposed before the joinder of issues (litis
contestatio), unless they first emerged only after it; and they are to be settled
as soon as possible.
Canon 1119 1. If an exception is proposed against the competence of the judge,
the same judge must deal with the matter. 2. In the case of an exception of relative
incompetence, if the judge finds for competence, the decision does not admit of
appeal; but it can be attacked by a complaint of nullity, restitutio in integrum,
or the intervention of a third party. 3. But if the judge finds for incompetence,
the person who feels injured can appeal to the appellate tribunal within fifteen
available days (dies utiles).
Canon 1120 A judge who becomes aware of his absolute incompetence during any
stage of trial must declare that incompetence.
Canon 1121 1. The exceptions that the matter has become res iudicata and that
an agreement had been already reached (transactio), as well as other peremptory
exceptions which are called litis finitae must be proposed and adjudicated before
the joinder of issues (litis contestatio); a person who proposes them later is
not to be rejected but must settle the court costs unless there is proof that
presentation was not maliciously delayed. 2. Other peremptory exceptions are to
be lodged during the joinder of issues (litis contestatio) and are to be treated
at their proper time in accordance with the norms which deal with incidental questions.
Canon 1122 1. Counter-claim actions cannot be lodged validly except within thirty
days from the joinder of issues (litis contestatio). 2. Counter-claims, however,
are to be adjudicated at the same time as the principal actions, that is, on the
same grade of trial with it unless it is necessary to try them separately or the
judge deems it more appropriate to try them separately.
Canon 1123 Questions concerning a deposit for judicial expenses or the granting
of gratuitous legal assistance which has been requested from the beginning and
other such questions are to be dealt with before the joinder of issues (litis
contestatio) as a general rule.
Canon 1124 1. The time limits set by law for extinguishing the right to act
cannot be extended nor validly shortened unless the parties request it. 2. Before
they have lapsed, however, other time limits can be extended by the judge for
a just cause after hearing the parties or if they request it; such time limits,
however, may never validly be shortened unless the parties agree. 3. But the judge
is to see to it that the trial is not overly prolonged by such extensions.
Canon 1125 If the law does not establish time limits for positing of procedural
acts, the judge must determine them taking into consideration the nature of each
Canon 1126 If the tribunal is closed on the day scheduled for a judicial act
the time limit is extended to the first day following which is not a holiday.
Canon 1127 To the extent that it is possible, the tribunal is to be in a permanent
place which is open during specified hours according to the norms specified in
particular law concerning this matter.
Canon 1128 1. A judge who has been forcibly expelled from his own territory
or has been impeded in the exercise of judicial power there can exercise his power
and render a sentence outside that territory; however, the eparchial bishop of
the place should be informed of this fact by the judge. 2. Besides the case mentioned
in 1, for a just cause and after hearing the parties, a judge can travel outside
his own territory in order to acquire proofs with the permission of the eparchial
bishop of the place he enters and at a site designated by the bishop.
Canon 1129 1. Unless the particular law of the Church sui iuris provides otherwise,
while cases are being tried before a tribunal only those persons are to be present
in court whom the law or the judge decides are necessary to expedite the process.
2. After giving a warning in vain, a judge can punish with appropriate penalties
all who assist at the trial and who are seriously lacking in the respect and obedience
owed the tribunal; the judge can also suspend advocates and procurators from exercising
their function before ecclesiastical tribunals.
Canon 1130 If a person to be interrogated speaks a language which is not known
by the judge or the parties, a sworn interpreter designated by the judge is to
be employed; their statements, however, are to be put into writing in the original
language and a translation is to be added; an interpreter is also to be employed,
if a deaf or mute person must be interrogated, unless the judge perhaps prefers
that the person respond to questions in writing.
Canon 1131 1. All judicial acts, whether the acts of the case, that is, those
acts which concern the merits of the question, or the acts of the process, that
is, those which pertain to the formal procedure, must be put into writing. 2.
The individual pages of the acts are to be numbered and authenticated with a seal.
Canon 1132 Whenever the signature of the parties or witnesses is required for
judicial acts and a party or a witness cannot or will not sign them, this is to
be noted in the acts; both the judge and the notary are to attest that the act
has been read to the party or witness verbatim and that the party or witness either
could not or would not sign it.
Canon 1133 1. At the completion of the trial documents which belong to private
individuals must be returned but a copy of them is to be retained. 2. The chancellor
and notaries are forbidden to furnish a copy of judicial acts and of documents
which have been acquired for the process without a mandate from the judge. 3.
Anonymous letters are to be destroyed and mention is not to be made of them in
the acts; likewise signed writings and letters which add nothing to the merits
of the case or are certainly calumnious are to be destroyed.
Canon 1134 Anyone, whether baptized or not, can act in a trial; however, the respondent
who has been legitimately cited must answer.
Canon 1135 Although a petitioner or respondent has appointed a procurator or
an advocate, they themselves are nevertheless bound to be present in person at
the trial when the law or the judge prescribes it.
Canon 1136 1. Minors and those who lack the use of reason can stand trial only
through their parents or guardians or curators. 2. If the judge decides that their
rights are in conflict with the rights of the parents, guardians or curators,
or that the latter cannot satisfactorily safeguard the rights of the former, then
they are to be represented in the trial by a guardian or curator appointed by
the judge. 3. But in spiritual cases and in cases connected with spiritual matters,
if minors have attained the use of reason, they can act and respond without the
consent of parents or guardian; if they have completed their fourteenth year of
age, they can do so on their own; if a not, through a curator appointed by the
judge. 4. Those deprived of the administration of their goods and those who are
of diminished mental capacity can stand trial personally only to answer for their
own offenses or at the prescription of the judge; in all other cases they must
act and respond through their curators.
Canon 1137 Whenever a guardian or curator appointed by civil authority is present,
this person can be admitted by an ecclesiastical judge after having heard the
eparchial bishop of the person to whom the guardian or curator has been given,
if this can be done; but if a guardian or curator is not present or does not appear
admissible, the judge shall designate a guardian or curator for the case.
Canon 1138 1. Juridic persons stand trial through their legitimate representative.
2. Whenever, in a trial, a good is in danger, which, to be alienated, requires
someone's consent or advice or permission, the same consent or advice or permission
is also required to begin the trial or to contest it. 3. In a case where the representative
is lacking or is negligent, the hierarch himself can stand trial personally or
through another in the name of juridic persons which are subject to his power.
Canon 1139 1. A party can freely appoint a personal procurator and advocate; however
the party can petition and respond personally unless the judge has decided that
the services of a procurator or an advocate are necessary. 2. The accused, however,
in a penal trial must always have an advocate either appointed by the accused
or given by the judge. 3. In a contentious trial which involves minors or a case
in which a public good is called into question, except for marriage cases, the
judge is to appoint ex officio an advocate for a party who lacks one.
Canon 1140 1. A party can appoint only a single procurator who cannot substitute
another for himself unless written permission has been granted the procurator
to do this. 2. But if several procurators are appointed by the same party for
some just cause, they are to be so designated that prevention is operative among
them. 3. However, several advocates can be appointed to act together.
Canon 1141 The procurator and the advocate must have at least attained majority
and be of good reputation; furthermore, the advocate must be a Catholic unless
the authority to which the tribunal is immediately subject permits otherwise,
must have a doctorate in
Canon law or be otherwise truly expert and must be approved by the same authority.
Canon 1142 1. Before a procurator and advocate undertake their function, they
must present an authentic mandate to the tribunal. 2. To prevent the extinction
of a right, however, the judge can admit a procurator without the presentation
of the mandate provided that some suitable security is furnished if necessary;
the judicial acts, however, lack all force unless the procurator presents a mandate
within the peremptory time limits set by the judge.
Canon 1143 Without a special mandate the procurator cannot validly renounce an
action, instance of trial or judicial acts, make a settlement, strike a bargain,
enter into arbitration and in general do those things for which the law requires
a special mandate.
Canon 1144 1. For the removal of a procurator or advocate to take effect, it
is necessary that they be informed and that the judge and the opposing party be
notified of the removal if the joinder of issues (litis contestatio) has already
taken place. 2. After a definitive sentence has been issued, the procurator retains
the right and obligation to appeal unless the mandating party has renounced this.
Canon 1145 For serious cause the procurator and the advocate can be expelled from
the trial by the judge by means of a decree either ex officio or at the request
of a party; recourse can always be made to the appeal tribunal.
Canon 1146 1. Both the procurator and the advocate are forbidden to win the
suit through bribery or to strike a bargain for excessive profit or for a claim
upon a share of the litigated thing; if they do such things, the agreement is
null and the judge can punish them with a fine; furthermore, an advocate can be
suspended from office and also stricken from the list of advocates by the authority
to whom the tribunal is immediately subject if it happens again and again. 2.
Procurators and advocates are liable to the same penalties if they withdraw cases
from competent tribunals and submit them to other more favorable tribunals for
adjudication in deceit of the law.
Canon 1147 Procurators and advocates who have betrayed their function for the
sake of gifts, promises or any other reason are to be suspended from the exercise
of office and fined or punished with other suitable penalties.
Canon 1148 Insofar as it is possible, permanent advocates are to be appointed
in every tribunal and receive remuneration from that tribunal to exercise the
function of procurator or advocate on behalf of parties who wish to choose them
especially for marriage cases.
Canon 1149 Every right whatsoever is safeguarded not only by an action but
also an exception which is always available and of its very nature perpetual,
unless something to the contrary is expressly stated.
Canon 1150 Every action is terminated through prescription in accordance with
the norm of law or by another legitimate method except actions concerning the
status of persons which are never terminated.
Canon 1151 Unless the law expressly provides otherwise, contentious actions
are extinguished within five years from the day when the suit could first have
been introduced, without prejudice to any personal Statutes which might be in
Canon 1152 1. Every penal action is extinguished by the death of the accused,
by pardon granted by competent authority and by prescription. 2. A penal action
is extinguished by prescription after three years, unless it is a question of:
(1) delicts reserved to the Apostolic See; (2) actions for those delicts mentioned
in cann. 1450 and 1453, which are prescribed after five years; (3) delicts which
are not punishable under the common law, if the particular law has determined
another period for prescription. 3. Prescription runs from the day on which the
delict was committed, or, in the case of a permanent and habitual delict, from
the day it ceased.
Canon 1153 1. An action to execute a penalty is extinguished by prescription if
the guilty party has not been notified of the judge's decree of execution within
the time limits indicated in can. 1152 which are to be computed from the day on
which the condemnatory sentence became an adjudged matter (res iudicata). 2. All
other things being observed that are to be observed, the same holds true if the
penalty was imposed through an extra-judicial decree.
Canon 1154 Although a penal action has been extinguished by prescription: (1)
any contentious action that might exist to recover damages arising from the delict
is not by that very fact extinguished; (2) if the public good so requires, the
hierarch may apply opportune administrative remedies, not excluding suspension
from the exercise of sacred ministry or removal from office.
Canon 1155 A petitioner can bring a respondent to court by several actions at
the same time provided they do not conflict among themselves, whether on the same
or different matters, and if they do not exceed the competence of the tribunal
Canon 1156 1. A respondent can file a counter-claim action against the petitioner
before the same judge in the same trial either due to a connection of a case with
the principal action or to remove or to lessen the charge of the petitioner. 2.
A counter-claim to the counter-claim is not admissible.
Canon 1157 The counter-claim action is to be presented to the judge before
whom the first action was filed even if he were delegated for only one case or
was otherwise relatively incompetent.
Canon 1158 1. A person who through at least probable arguments, has demonstrated
a right to something retained by another and the threat of damage if that thing
is not placed in safe keeping, has the right to obtain its sequestration from
the judge. 2. In similar circumstances a person can obtain an order restraining
another from exercising a right.
Canon 1159 1. Sequestration of the object is also admitted as security for
credit provided the right of the creditor is sufficiently evident. 2. Sequestration
can also be extended to the goods of the debtor which are discovered in the possession
of others under any title and to the credit of the debtor.
Canon 1160 Sequestration of a thing and an order to restrain the exercise of a
right can in no way be decreed if the harm that is feared can otherwise be repaired
and suitable security for its repair can be furnished.
Canon 1161 The judge, in granting sequestration of a thing or an order restraining
the exercise of a right, can impose on the person a prior obligation to compensate
for damages if the right is not proven.
Canon 1162 In regard to the nature and force of a possessory action the prescriptions
of the civil law of the place where the thing, the possession of which is in question,
is located, are to be observed.
Canon 1163 1. Whenever a petition is introduced to obtain provision for the
support of a person, the judge, having heard the parties, may determine, by a
decree to be executed immediately, after having specified any opportune precautions
to be observed, that in the meantime the necessary maintenance is provided, without
prejudice to the law to be defined by the sentence. 2. Whenever a petition has
been presented by a party or by the promoter of justice to obtain this decree,
the judge, after having heard the other party, shall provide for it most expeditiously,
never beyond a ten day period; after such time, or if the petition is rejected,
recourse is available to the authority to whom the tribunal is immediately subject,
provided that such authority is not the judge himself, or, if a person prefers,
to the appellate judge who likewise shall determine the matter most expeditiously.
Canon 1164 In a settlement, the norms determined by the civil law of the place
where the settlement occurs are to be observed.
Canon 1165 1. A settlement cannot validly take place in cases concerning those
things or those rights which pertain to the public good, or concerning other matters
which the parties are unable to dispose of freely. 2. But there can be a settlement
when ecclesiastical temporal goods are involved, provided that if the matter so
requires, the formalities determined by law for the alienation of ecclesiastical
goods are observed.
Canon 1166 Unless otherwise expressly provided, each party is to pay one half
of the expense incurred in reaching a settlement.
Canon 1167 At least on a regular basis, the judge is not to carry out the settlement
negotiations personally; rather, such are to be entrusted to another person who
is an expert in law.
Canon 1168 1. Those who are involved in a controversy may agree in writing
to have the matter resolved by arbitrators. 2. Likewise, they may agree in writing
who have already entered into a contract, or are going to enter into one, regarding
any controversies that might arise from the contract itself.
Canon 1169 Controversies which may not be resolved by settlement, cannot validly
be entrusted to arbitrators for compromise.
Canon 1170 1. One or more arbitrators may be designated, but they are to be
of an uneven number. 2. In the compromise itself, unless they have been designated
by name, at least the number of arbitrators should be determined; likewise provision
is to be made for their appointment and substitution.
Canon 1171 A compromise is invalid if: (1) the norms determined for the validity
of contracts which exceed ordinary administration have not been observed; (2)
it is not carried out in writing; (3) the procurator agreed to the arbitration
without a special mandate, or the prescriptions of cann. 1169 and 1170 were violated;
(4) the controversy has not arisen or does not arise from a contract which is
certain according to the norms of can. 1168, 2.
Canon 1172 The following may not validly undertake the function of arbitrator:
(1) minors; (2) those bound by the penalty of excommunication, even minor, suspension
or deposition; (3) members of institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic
life in the manner of religious without the permission of the superior.
Canon 1173 The appointment of an arbitrator has no effect unless the duties
have been accepted in writing.
Canon 1174 1. If the arbitrators are not designated in the compromise document
or if there is to be a substitution, and the parties or others to whom the designation
is entrusted disagree regarding all or some of the persons chosen, any party may
entrust the matter to the tribunal that is competent to decide the case in first
instance, unless the parties have agreed otherwise; after having heard the other
parties, the tribunal is to provide by decree for the selection. 2. The same norm
is to be observed if one or other of the parties neglected to designate an arbitrator,
provided that the party which brings the matter to the tribunal which designated
the arbitrators, if it was to do so, at least twenty days beforehand.
Canon 1175 The tribunal mentioned in can. 1174, 1 shall examine any objections
raised against an arbitrator, and, after hearing the arbitrators in question and
the parties, shall resolve the matter by decree; if it upholds the objection,
other arbitrators are to be substituted, unless provided otherwise in the compromise
Canon 1176 1. The obligations of the arbitrators are to be spelled out in the
compromise, as well as those which touch on secrecy to be observed. 2. Unless
the parties have specified otherwise, the arbitrators are free to select the procedure
to be followed; it is however, to be simple and provide for brief time limits,
observing equity and the procedural laws. 3. The arbitrators do not have any coercive
power; in case of necessity they can introduce the case before the competent tribunal.
Canon 1177 1. Incidental questions which may arise are to be resolved by decree
of the arbitrators. 2. If, however, a prejudicial question arises which cannot
be entrusted to compromise by arbitrators, they are to suspend the process until
the parties have received a sentence from the judge and notified the arbitrators
of the sentence; it then becomes an adjudged matter (res iudicata), or, if it
concerns the status of persons, the sentence may be mandated for execution.
Canon 1178 Unless the parties have determined otherwise, the arbitration sentence
is to be handed down within six months from the day when all the arbitrators accepted
the appointment; the parties may prorogate the time limits.
Canon 1179 1. The arbitrated sentence is to be given by majority vote. 2. If
the matter allows it, the sentence is to be written by the arbitrators themselves
in the form of a judicial sentence and signed by each of them; for validity, it
is required and it suffices that the majority of the arbitrators sign the sentence.
Canon 1180 1. Unless the arbitration sentence is null because of their own grave
fault, the arbitrators have the right to be reimbursed for expenses; they may
even demand appropriate security for this. 2. It is recommended that the arbitrators
offer their services gratuitously; otherwise, provision for compensation is to
be made in the compromise agreement.
Canon 1181 1. The complete text of the arbitration sentence is to be deposited
within fifteen days at the chancery of the eparchial tribunal where the sentence
was given; within five days after it has been deposited, unless it is evident
that this sentence is null and void, the judicial vicar either himself or through
another is to issue a decree of confirmation to be communicated immediately to
the parties. 2. If the judicial vicar refuses to issue the decree, the interested
party may have recourse to the appeal tribunal where the matter is to be resolved
most expeditiously; if, however, the judicial vicar remains silent for one continuous
month, the same party can insist that he fulfill his duty; if he, nevertheless,
remains silent for five days after the party's insistence, the party may have
recourse to the appeal tribunal which is to resolve the matter most expeditiously.
3. If it is evident that the arbitration sentence is null because matters prescribed
for validity in the compromise document were neglected, the judicial vicar is
to declare the nullity and to notify the parties of it as soon as possible; there
is no recourse against this declaration. 4. The arbitration sentence becomes an
adjudged matter (res iudicata) as soon as the decree of confirmation is issued,
with due regard for can. 1182.
Canon 1182 1. An appeal from an arbitration sentence is allowed only if the
parties had agreed in writing that it would be subject to such a remedy; in which
case, the appeal is to be lodged before the judge who issued the decree of confirmation
within ten days of its notification; if, however, another judge is competent to
receive the appeal, the matter is to be brought before him within one month. 2.
An arbitration sentence against which an appeal is admitted becomes an adjudged
matter (res iudicata) according to the norm of can. 1322.
Canon 1183 If the injustice of the arbitration sentence is evident, the judge
who issued the decree of confirmation shall hear a complaint of nullity against
the sentence which has become an adjudged matter (res iudicata), the opposition
of a third party against the sentence, or a request for a total reinstatement
(restitutio in integrum); he shall also provide for the correction of any material
error, according to the ordinary norm of law.
Canon 1184 1. The execution of an arbitration sentence may take place in those
instances where a judicial sentence may be executed. 2. The arbitration sentence
shall be mandated for execution either by the eparchial bishop of the eparchy
in which it was given, or by somebody else, unless the parties have designated
TITLE 25 The Contentious Trial
Canon 1185 A person who wishes to bring another to court must present a introductory
libellus to a competent judge, which explains the object of the controversy and
requests the services of the judge.
Canon 1186 1. The judge may accept an oral petition if either the petitioner is
impeded from presenting a introductory libellus or the case can be easily investigated
and is of lesser importance. 2. But in either situation the judge is to require
the notary to put the act into writing, which is to be read to and approved by
the petitioner; this then takes the place of and has all the legal effects of
a introductory libellus written by the petitioner.
Canon 1187 A libellus which introduces a suit must: (1) express before which
judge the case is being introduced, what is being petitioned and by whom the petition
is being made; (2) indicate the basis for the petitioner's right and at least
in general the facts and proofs which will be used to prove what has been alleged;
(3) be signed by the petitioner or procurator, adding the day, month and year,
as well as the address of the petitioner or procurator or the place where they
say they reside for the purpose of receiving the acts; (4) indicate the domicile
or quasi-domicile of the respondent.
Canon 1188 1. After the single judge or the president of a collegiate tribunal
has recognized both that the matter is within his competence and that the petitioner
does not lack legitimate personal standing in court, he must accept or reject
the introductory libellus as soon as possible through a decree. 2. A libellus
introducing a suit can be rejected only if: (1) the judge or the tribunal is incompetent;
(2) it is undoubtedly clear that the petitioner lacks legitimate personal standing
in court; (3) the prescriptions of can. 1187, nn. 1-3 have not been observed;
(4) from the introductory libellus itself it is certainly obvious that it lacks
any basis whatsoever and that it is impossible that any such basis would appear
through a process. 3. If the introductory libellus has been rejected due to defects
which can be corrected, the petitioner can properly draw up a new libellus and
again present it to the same judge. 4. A party is always free within ten available
days (tempus utile) to lodge a reasoned recourse against the rejection of the
introductory libellus before the appellate tribunal or the college if it had been
rejected by its president; the question of the rejection is to be resolved most
Canon 1189 If within a month from the presentation of the libellus the judge
has not issued a decree by which he accepts or rejects the libellus the interested
party can insist that the judge fulfill his duty; but if the judge, nevertheless,
remains silent for ten days after the petitioner's insistence, the petition is
considered as having been accepted.
Canon 1190 1. In the decree which accepts the introductory libellus of the petitioner
the judge or president must either call into court or cite the other parties for
the joinder of issues (contestatio litis), determining whether they must respond
in writing or present themselves personally before the judge in order to join
the issues. But if from the written responses the judge perceives that it is necessary
to call the parties together for a session, that can be determined in a new decree.
2. If the introductory libellus is considered as having been accepted in virtue
of the norm of can. 1189, the decree of citation must be made in court within
twenty days from the party's insistence on action as mentioned in that canon.
3. But if the litigating parties de facto present themselves before the judge
in order to proceed with the case, there is no need for a citation; the notary,
however, is to note in the acts that the parties were present for the trial.
Canon 1191 1. The decree of citation to the trial must be forwarded immediately
to the respondent and at the same time to others who are to appear. 2. The introductory
libellus is to be joined to the citation unless for serious reasons the judge
determines that the libellus is not to be made known to the respondent before
the latter makes a deposition during the trial. 3. If the suit is filed against
a person who does not have the free exercise of personal rights or the free administration
of the controverted items, the citation is to be made known to the guardian, curator
or special procurator, as the case may be, or to the person who is bound to enter
the trial in the respondent's name according to the norm of law.
Canon 1192 1. Notification of citations, decrees, sentences and other judicial
acts are to be made through the public postal services, with an acknowledgement
of receipt card, or through another method which is the safest, observing particular
law. 2. The fact and method of notification must be clear in the acts. 3. A respondent
who refuses to accept the document of citation or who prevents its arrival is
considered as having been legitimately cited.
Canon 1193 If the citation is not legitimately communicated, the acts of the process
are null, unless the party nevertheless appeared to pursue the case.
Canon 1194 If the citation is legitimately communicated or the parties have appeared
before the judge to pursue the case: (1) the issue ceases to be res integra; (2)
the case becomes proper to that judge or tribunal before whom the action was begun
and is competent in other respects; (3) the jurisdiction of a delegated judge
is firmly established so that it does not expire when the right of the one delegating
ceases; (4) prescription is interrupted unless otherwise provided; (5) the litigation
begins to be pending and therefore the principle becomes operative: while a suit
is pending, nothing new is to be introduced.
Canon 1195 1. The joinder of issues (litis contestatio) occurs when the object
of the controversy based on the petitions and responses of the parties are specified
by the decree of the judge. 2. The petitions and responses of the parties, besides
those in the libellus introducing the suit, can be expressed either in response
to the citation or in a declaration made orally before the judge; in more difficult
cases, however, the parties are to be called together by the judge to specify
the question or questions to be answered in the sentence. 3. The decree of the
judge is to be made known to the parties; unless they have already reached an
agreement, they can within ten days make recourse to that judge that it be changed;
however, the issue is to be resolved most expeditiously by a decree of that judge.
Canon 1196 Once the object of the controversy has been determined, it cannot validly
be changed except for a serious reason through a new decree at the request of
one party and after hearing the other parties and considering their reasons.
Canon 1197 Once the joinder of issues (litis contestatio) has occurred, the possessor
of another's property ceases to be in good faith; if therefore, the possessor
is sentenced to make restitution, the profits made from the day of the joinder
of issues (contestatio litis) must also be returned and any damages compensated.
Canon 1198 Once the joinder of issues (contestatio litis) has occurred, the judge
is to furnish the parties suitable time to present and complete proofs.
Canon 1199 If the litigating party dies, or changes status, or ceases from
the office on behalf of which the suit was initiated: (1) if the case is not concluded,
its prosecution is suspended until the heir of the deceased, the successor or
an interested party resumes the suit; (2) if the case is concluded, the judge
must proceed to the final acts after having cited the procurator if present or
otherwise the heir or the successor of the deceased.
Canon 1200 1. If a guardian, curator or procurator who is necessary in accordance
with the norms of can. 1139, ceases from office, the prosecution of the suit is
suspended in the interim. 2. However, the judge is to appoint another guardian
or curator as soon as possible; the judge can appoint a procurator for the suit
if the party had neglected to do so within the brief time period stated by the
Canon 1201 Barring some impediment, if no procedural act is proposed by the parties
for six months, the prosecution of the suit if abated.
Canon 1202 Abatement takes effect by the law itself against all persons, including
minors, and it must also be declared ex officio with due regard for the right
of petitioning for indemnity against tutors, guardians, administrators or procurators
who have not proved that they were not at fault.
Canon 1203 Abatement extinguishes the acts of the process, but not the acts of
the case, which in fact may be operative in another instance provided that the
case involves the same persons and the same issue; as regards outsiders the acts
of the case have no other value than that of documents.
Canon 1204 When a trial is abated, each of the litigants is to bear the expenses
which he or she has incurred.
Canon 1205 1. A petitioner can renounce the instance at any stage or grade
of trial; both petitioner and respondent can likewise renounce either all or some
of the acts of the process. 2. In order for them to renounce an instance, the
guardians and administrators of juridic persons need to consult with or obtain
the consent of those whose involvement is required to place acts which go beyond
the limits of ordinary administration. 3. In order for a renunciation to be valid
it is to be made in writing and also signed by the party or by the party's procurator
with a special mandate to do so; it must be communicated to the other party, accepted,
or at least not attacked, by that party, and admitted by the judge.
Canon 1206 A renunciation admitted by the judge has the same effects concerning
the renounced acts as an abatement of an instance and it obliges the renouncing
party to pay the expenses for the renounced acts.
Canon 1207 1. The burden of proof rests upon the person who makes the allegations.
2. The following do not need proof: (1) matters which are presumed by the law
itself; (2) facts alleged by one of the contending parties and admitted by the
other unless proof is nonetheless demanded by the law or by the judge.
Canon 1208 1. Proofs of any type whatever which seem useful for deciding the case
and which are licit can be adduced. 2. If a party insists that a proof rejected
by the judge be admitted, the judge is to determine the matter most expeditiously.
Canon 1209 If a party or a witness refuses to appear before the judge to testify,
it is permitted to hear the person through a person assigned by the judge or to
seek the person's declaration before a notary public or in any other legitimate
Canon 1210 Except for a serious cause, the judge is not to proceed to gather
proofs before the joinder of issues (litis contestatio).
Canon 1211 The judge can always interrogate the parties so as to reveal the
truth more effectively; in fact the judge must do so at the request of a party
or to prove a fact which is to be established beyond doubt for the sake of the
Canon 1212 1. A party legitimately interrogated must answer and tell the whole
truth, unless by answering an offense committed by that party would be revealed.
2. But if a party has refused to answer, it is for the judge to evaluate what
can be drawn from that refusal concerning the proof of the facts.
Canon 1213 Unless a serious cause persuades otherwise, the judge is to administer
an oath to the parties to tell the truth or at least to confirm the truth of their
testimony in cases where the public good is at stake; the judge, in accord with
prudential judgment, can do the same in other cases.
Canon 1214 The parties, the promoter of justice and the defender of the bond
can present to the judge items on which a party is to be interrogated.
Canon 1215 To the extent it is possible the regulations on interrogating witnesses
are to be observed in the interrogations of the parties.
Canon 1216 A judicial confession is a written or oral assertion against oneself
made by any party regarding the matter under trial and made before a competent
judge, whether spontaneously or upon interrogation by the judge.
Canon 1217 1. If it is a question of some private matter and the public good
is not at stake the judicial confession of one party relieves the other parties
from the burden of proof. 2. In cases which concern the public good, however,
a judicial confession and the declarations of the parties which are not confessions
can have a probative force to be evaluated by the judge along with the other circumstances
of the case; but complete probative force cannot be attributed to them unless
other elements are present which thoroughly corroborate them.
Canon 1218 Having weighted all the circumstances, it is for the judge to evaluate
the worth of an extra-judicial confession which has been introduced into the trial.
Canon 1219 A confession or any other declaration of a party lacks all probative
force if it is proved that it was made through an error of fact or it was extorted
by force or grave fear.
Canon 1220 In every type of trial, proof by means of both public and private
documents is admitted.
Canon 1221 1. Public ecclesiastical documents are those which official persons
have drawn up in the exercise of their function in the Church, after having observed
the formalities prescribed by law. 2. Public civil documents are those which are
considered to be such in civil law. 3. Other documents are private ones.
Canon 1222 Unless contrary and evident arguments show otherwise, public documents
are to be trusted concerning everything which is directly and principally affirmed
in them; with due regard for other requirements for public civil documents in
the civil law of the place.
Canon 1223 A private document, whether acknowledged by a party or recognized
by the judge has the same probative force against the author or signer as that
deriving from an extra-judicial confession; against others it's probative force
is to be evaluated by the judge together with other aspects of the case but it
cannot be given full probative force unless there are other elements which fully
Canon 1224 If the documents are shown to have been erased, corrected, interpolated,
or affected by another such defect, it is for the judge to assess whether such
documents have value and how much.
Canon 1225 Documents do not have probative force in a trial unless they are
originals or presented in authentic copy and are deposited with the chancery of
the tribunal so that they may be examined by the judge and the opposing party.
Canon 1226 The judge can order that a document which is common to both parties
be exhibited in the process.
Canon 1227 1. Even if documents are common, no one is obliged to exhibit those
which cannot be communicated without risk of harm in accordance with the norm
of can. 1229, 2, n. 2, or without risk of violating the obligation to observe
secrecy. 2. Nonetheless, if some excerpt, at least, of a document can be transcribed
and can be presented in copy form without the above-mentioned hazards the judge
can decree that it be produced.
Canon 1228 Proof by means of witnesses is admitted in every kind of case under
the supervision of the judge.
Canon 1229 1. When the judge legitimately interrogates witnesses they must
tell the truth. 2. With due regard for the prescription of can. 1231 the following
are exempted from the obligation to answer: (1) clerics in regard to whatever
was made known to them in connection with their sacred ministry; civil officials,
doctors, midwives, advocates, notaries and others who are bound to professional
secrecy, even by reason of advice rendered, as regards matters subject to this
secrecy; (2) persons who fear that infamy, dangerous vexations or other serious
evils will happen to themselves, or their spouse, or persons related to them by
consanguinity or affinity, as a result of their testimony.
Canon 1230 All persons can be witnesses unless they are expressly excluded
by law, either completely or partially.
Canon 1231 1. Minors below the fourteenth year of age and those who are feebleminded
are not allowed to give testimony; however, they may be heard by reason of a decree
of the judge which declares such a hearing expedient. 2. The following are considered
incapable of giving testimony: (1) those who are parties in the case, or who represent
the parties in the trial; the judge and assistants, the advocate and others who
are assisting or have assisted the parties in the same case; (2) priests as regards
everything which has become known to them by reason of sacramental confession,
even if the penitent requests their manifestation; more-over, whatever has been
heard by anyone or in any way on the occasion of confession cannot be accepted
as even an indication of the truth.
Canon 1232 The party who has introduced a witness can forego the questioning
of the witness; but the opposing party can demand that the witness be questioned
notwithstanding that action.
Canon 1233 1. When proof by means of witnesses is demanded, their names and domicile
are to be made known to the tribunal. 2. The items of discussion upon which interrogation
of the witnesses is sought are to be presented within the time limit set by the
judge; otherwise the petition is to be considered as abandoned.
Canon 1234 It is the judge's responsibility to curb an excessive number of
Canon 1235 Before witnesses are questioned, their names are to be made known to
the parties; however, if in the prudent assessment of the judge, that cannot be
done without serious difficulty, it is to be done at least before the publication
of the testimony.
Canon 1236 With due regard for the prescription of can. 1231, a party can request
that a witness be excluded if a just cause for exclusion is demonstrated before
the interrogation of the witness.
Canon 1237 The citation of a witness is done by a decree of the judge made
known to the witness according to law.
Canon 1238 A witness who has been duly cited is to appear or inform the judge
of the reason for the absence.
Canon 1239 1. Witnesses must be questioned at the tribunal unless it appears
otherwise appropriate to the judge. 2. Bishops and those who, by the law of their
state, enjoy a similar right, are to be heard in a place which they themselves
select. 3. The judge is to decide where those are to be heard for whom it is impossible
or difficult to come to the tribunal because of distance, illness or other impediment
with due regard for the prescriptions of cann. 1071 and 1128.
Canon 1240 The parties may not assist at the questioning of witnesses unless
the judge believes that they must be admitted, especially when the matter concerns
the private good. On the other hand, their advocates or their procurators may
assist unless the judge believes that the process must be carried on in secret
because of the circumstances of things or persons.
Canon 1241 1. Each of the witnesses must be questioned individually. 2. If the
witnesses disagree among themselves or with a party in a serious matter the judge
can bring them together or have them come to an agreement with one another, precluding
disputes and scandal insofar as it is possible.
Canon 1242 The questioning of a witness is conducted by the judge, a delegate
or an auditor, who is to be assisted by a notary; as a result, if the parties,
or the promoter of justice, or the defender of the bond, or the advocates who
are present at the questioning have further questions to be put to the witness,
they are to propose these questions not to the witness but to the judge or the
person taking the judge's place who is to ask them, unless particular law provides
Canon 1243 1. The judge is to call to the attention of the witness the serious
obligation to tell the whole truth and only the truth. 2. The judge is to administer
the oath to the witness in accordance with can. 1213; but the witness who refuses
to take it is to be heard without the oath.
Canon 1244 The judge, first of all, is to establish the identity of the witness;
the judge should seek out what is the relationship of the witness with the parties,
and, when addressing specific questions to the witness regarding the case, the
judge is also to inquire about the sources of the witness' knowledge and the precise
time the witness learned what is asserted.
Canon 1245 The questions are to be brief, accommodated to the intelligence of
the person being interrogated, not comprising several points at the same time,
not captious, nor crafty, nor suggestive of the answer, free from every kind of
offense and pertinent to the case being tried.
Canon 1246 1. The questions must not be communicated to the witnesses ahead
of time. 2. However, if the matters which are to be testified to are so removed
from memory that unless they are recalled earlier they cannot be affirmed with
certainty, the judge may advise the witness of some matters if it is thought that
this can be done without danger.
Canon 1247 Witnesses are to give testimony orally; they are not to read from written
memoranda, unless there is question of calculation and accounts; in such a case
they may consult the notes which they brought with them.
Canon 1248 1. The answer is to be put in writing at once by the notary who
must report the exact words of the testimony given, at least as regards those
points which touch directly upon the matter of the trial. 2. Use of a tape recorder
is allowed provided that, afterwards, the answers are transcribed and are signed
by those making the depositions, if possible.
Canon 1249 The notary is to make mention in the acts whether the oath was taken,
omitted, or refused, also of the presence of the parties and of other persons,
the questions added ex officio and, in general, everything noteworthy which may
have occurred while the witnesses were being questioned.
Canon 1250 1. At the conclusion of the questioning what the notary has put
in writing from the deposition must be read to the witness or the witness must
be given an opportunity to listen to the tape recording of the deposition with
the option of adding to, suppressing, correcting or changing it. 2. Finally the
acts must be signed by the witness, the judge and the notary.
Canon 1251 Although witnesses have already been questioned, they can be recalled
for another examination at the request of a party or ex officio but before the
acts or the testimony have been published; this is true if the judge believes
such a reexamination necessary or useful, provided, however, that there is no
danger of collusion or corruption.
Canon 1252 In accord with an equitable assessment of the judge, witnesses must
be compensated both for the expenses they have incurred and for the income they
have lost by rendering testimony.
Canon 1253 In evaluating testimony, after having obtained testimonial letters
if need be, the judge should consider: (1) the condition and good reputation of
the person; (2) whether the witness testifies in virtue of personal knowledge,
especially what has been seen and heard personally, or whether the testimony is
the witness' opinion, or a rumor or hearsay from others; (3) whether the witness
is reliable and firmly consistent or rather inconsistent, uncertain or vacillating;
(4) whether the witness has supporting witnesses or whether there is support from
other sources of proof.
Canon 1254 The deposition of a single witness cannot constitute full proof
unless a witness acting in an official capacity makes a deposition regarding duties
performed ex officio or unless circumstances of things and persons suggest otherwise.
Canon 1255 The services of experts must be used whenever their examination
and opinion, based on the laws of art or science, are required in order to establish
some fact or to clarify the true nature of some thing by reason of a prescription
of the law or a judge.
Canon 1256 It is the responsibility of the judge either to name experts after
hearing to the parties and the names they propose, or to make use of reports,
if warranted, already drawn up by other experts.
Canon 1257 Experts can be excluded or rejected for the same reasons that witnesses
Canon 1258 1. After paying attention to those points which may have been brought
forward by the litigants, the judge is to specify by a decree the individual points
on which the expert's services must focus. 2. The acts of the case and other documents
and aids which the expert may need in order to function properly and faithfully
must be turned over to the expert. 3. After hearing the expert, the judge should
fix the time within which the examination is to be carried out and the report
Canon 1259 1. Each of the experts should draw up a report distinct from the
others unless the judge orders that one report be made and signed by the experts
individually; if this latter is done, differences of opinion, if any, are to be
carefully noted. 2. The experts must indicate clearly by what documents or other
apt means they have been informed about the identity of persons, things or places,
by what path and method they proceeded in discharging the function given to them
and on what grounds, for the most part, their conclusions are based. 3. An expert
can be summoned by the judge to supply further explanations which may seem necessary.
Canon 1260 1. The judge is to weigh attentively not only the conclusions of the
experts, even when they are concordant, but also the other circumstances of the
case. 2. In giving the reasons for the decision, the judge must express what considerations
prompted him or her to admit or reject the conclusions of the experts.
Canon 1261 Both the expenses and the stipends which must be paid to the experts
are to be determined justly and equitably by the judge with due regard for particular
Canon 1262 1. The parties may designate private experts who must be approved
by the judge. 2. If the judge admits them, private experts may inspect the acts
of the case if necessary and be present at the discharging of the court experts'
function; more-over they can always present their own report.
Canon 1263 If in order to settle a case the judge considers it opportune to
have access to a given place or to inspect something, this should be specified
in a decree which describes in summary fashion those elements which must be exhibited
at the access, after hearing the parties.
Canon 1264 When the judicial recognizance or access has been completed, a report
of it is to be drawn up.
Canon 1265 To come to a just sentence, the judge can formulate presumptions
which are not established by the law itself as long as they arise from a certain
and determined fact which is directly connected with the subject matter of the
Canon 1266 A person who has a favorable legal presumption is freed from the
burden of proof which then devolves upon the other party.
Canon 1267 An incidental case is had whenever, after the trial has begun, a
question is proposed which is so pertinent to the case that it very often must
be resolved before the principal question, although it is not expressly contained
in the libellus introducing the suit.
Canon 1268 An incidental case is proposed in writing or orally before the judge
who in competent to settle the principal case with an indication of the connection
between it and the principal case.
Canon 1269 1. The judge, having received the petition and heard the parties,
is to decide most expeditiously whether the proposed incidental question seems
to have a basis and a connection with the principal issue, or whether it must
be rejected from the outset; and, if it is admitted, whether it is of such seriousness
that it must be resolved by an interlocutory sentence or by a decree. 2. On the
other hand, if the judge decides that the incidental question is not to be resolved
before the definitive sentence, the judge is to decree that it will be considered
when the principal case is settled.
Canon 1270 1. If the incidental question must be resolved by sentence, the
norms of the summary contentious process are to be observed, unless the judge
decides otherwise given the seriousness of the matter. 2. But if it must be resolved
by decree, the tribunal may turn the matter over to the auditor or to the presiding
Canon 1271 Before the principal case is closed, if there is just cause, the
judge or the tribunal can revoke or reform the decree or the interlocutory sentence
either at the request of a party or ex officio after hearing the parties.
Canon 1272 1. If the respondent, after having been cited, has neither appeared
nor offered a suitable excuse for being absent, nor responded in accordance with
can. 1190, 1, the judge is to declare the respondent absent from the trial and
is to decree that the case should proceed to the definitive sentence and its execution,
while observing all the formalities which are to be observed. 2. Before issuing
the decree, the judge must have proof that the citation drawn up by law reached
the respondent within available time even by issuing a new citation if necessary.
Canon 1273 1. If the respondent is present in court later or responds before
the settlement of the case, the respondent can adduce conclusions and proofs,
with due regard for the prescription of can. 1283; however the judge is to take
care that the trial is not intentionally prolonged through rather long and unnecessary
delays. 2. Even if the respondent has not appeared or responded before the settlement
of the case, the respondent can use challenges against the sentence; if the respondent
proves that there was a legitimate impediment for being detained which without
personal fault was unable to be made known earlier, the respondent can use a complaint
Canon 1274 If the petitioner has not appeared on the day and at the hour set
for the joinder of issues (contestatio litis) and has not offered a suitable excuse:
(1) the judge is to cite the petitioner again; (2) a petitioner who does not obey
the new citation, is presumed to have renounced the suit; (3) but the petitioner
later wishes to intervene in the process, can. 1273 is to be observed.
Canon 1275 1. A party who is absent from the trial, who has not given proof
of a just impediment, is obliged both to pay the expenses of the lawsuit which
were incurred because of the absence and also to provide indemnity to the other
party, if necessary. 2. If both the petitioner and the respondent were absent
from the trial, they are jointly obliged to pay the expenses of the lawsuit.
Canon 1276 1. An interested party can be admitted to intervene in a case at
any stage of the suit, either as a party defending one's own right or as an accessory
to help a given litigant. 2. However, in order to be admitted, such an interested
party before the conclusion of the case must present to the judge a libellus briefly
demonstrating the right to intervene. 3. The person who intervenes in a case must
be admitted at that stage which the case has reached with a brief and peremptory
period of time assigned to present proofs if the case has reached the probatory
Canon 1277 After hearing the parties, the judge must summon to the trial a
third party whose intervention seems necessary.
Canon 1278 Unless the innovation is accepted by the law itself, an attempt is
the act, while a suit is pending, whereby something is introduced prejudicial
to one party who does not agree either on the matter of litigation or on the procedural
rights. Such an attempt may be introduced by one party against another or by a
judge against one of the parties or against both.
Canon 1279 An attempt is null by the law itself, therefore the judge must decide
on its revocation; nevertheless it is sanated by law itself if within a month
from the date of the notification of the attempt, a question is not proposed to
Canon 1280 Questions on attempts are to be decided most expeditiously before
the same judge of the main case if the attempt is introduced by one party; before
the appeal court if it is introduced by a judge.
Canon 1281 1. After the proofs have been collected the judge by a decree must,
under pain of nullity, permit the parties and their advocates to inspect at the
tribunal chancery the acts which are not yet known to them; a copy of the acts
can also be given to advocates upon request; however, in cases concerned with
the public good, in order to avoid very serious dangers, the judge can decree
that a given act is not to be shown to anyone, with due concern, however, that
the right of defense always remains intact. 2. In order to complete the proofs
the parties may propose additional proofs to the judge; when these have been collected
there is an occasion for repeating the decree mentioned in 1 if the judge thinks
Canon 1282 1. When everything pertinent to the production of proofs has been
completed, it is time for the conclusion of the case. 2. The conclusion takes
place whenever the parties declare that they have nothing more to add, or the
time set by the judge for proposing proofs has expired, or the judge declares
that the case is sufficiently instructed. 3. The judge is to issue a decree that
the conclusion of the case has been completed, in whatever manner it took place.
Canon 1283 1. After the conclusion of the case, the judge can still call the
same or other witnesses, or arrange for other proofs which had not been previously
asked for, only: (1) in cases in which it is a question solely of the private
good of the parties and if all the parties give consent; (2) in other cases, after
hearing the parties and provided that there exists a serious reason and all danger
of fraud or subordination is removed; (3) in all cases, whenever it is likely
that the future sentence may turn out to be unjust because of the reasons listed
in can. 1326, 2, nn. 1-3, if new proof is not admitted. 2. However, the judge
can order or allow that a document be exhibited which, perhaps, could not have
been exhibited earlier, through no fault of the interested party. 3. The new proofs
are to be published with due regard for can. 1281, 1.
Canon 1284 After the conclusion of the case, the judge is to determine an appropriate
period of time for the presentation of defense briefs or observations.
Canon 1285 1. The defense briefs and observations are to be in writing unless
the judge with the consent of the parties decides that an oral debate before the
tribunal is sufficient. 2. If the defense briefs together with the principal documents
are to be printed, the prior authorization of the judge is required but with the
obligation of secrecy if it exists. 3. The regulations of the tribunal are to
be observed as regards the length of the defense briefs, the number of copies
and other additional matters of this kind.
Canon 1286 1. After the defense briefs and observations have been communicated
to each one, both parties are permitted to present rejoinders within a short period
of time set by the judge. 2. This right is granted to the parties only once unless
it seems to the judge that it must be granted a second time for a reason; however,
in that case, the grant made to one party is considered made also to the other
party. 3. The promoter of justice and the defender of the bond have the right
to reply again to the rejoinders of the parties.
Canon 1287 1. It is absolutely forbidden that information given to the judge
by the parties or the advocates or other persons remain outside the acts of the
case. 2. If the discussion of the case has been done in writing, the judge can
determine that moderate oral debate take place before the tribunal to elucidate
Canon 1288 A notary is to be present at the oral debate mentioned in cann.
1285, 1 and 1287, 2, so that, if the judge orders it or if a party requests it
and the judge consents, the notary can immediately record in writing the points
discussed and the conclusions.
Canon 1289 If the parties neglect to prepare a defense brief within the time available
to them, or if they entrust themselves to the knowledge and the conscience of
the judge, the judge can pronounce sentence at once after requesting the observations
of the promoter of justice and of the defender of the bond when they are involved
in the trial, if the issue is plainly and fully known from the acts and proofs.
Canon 1290 After the case has been tried in a judicial manner, if it is the
principal case, it is settled by the judge by a definitive sentence; if it is
an incidental case, it is settled by an interlocutory sentence, with due regard
for the prescription of can. 1269, 1.
Canon 1291 1. For the pronouncement of any kind of sentence, there must be
in the mind of the judge moral certitude regarding the matter to be settled by
the sentence. 2. The judge must derive this certitude from the acts and the proofs.
3. However, the judge must evaluate the proofs conscientiously with due regard
for the prescriptions of the law concerning the efficacy of certain proofs. 4.
A judge who cannot arrive at this certitude, is to pronounce that the right of
the petitioner is not established, and is to dismiss the respondent as absolved,
unless there is question of a case which enjoys the favor of the law, in which
case the decision must be in favor of it.
Canon 1292 1. If the tribunal is collegiate, the presiding judge of the college
is to determine on what day and at what hour the judges are to convene for their
deliberation; and the meeting is to be held at the tribunal unless a special reason
suggests otherwise; only the college of judges can be present. 2. On the day assigned
for the meeting, the judges shall individually and without indicating their names
submit in writing their conclusions on the merits of the case and the reasons,
both in law and in fact, for arriving at these conclusions, which are to be appended
to the acts of the case with a notation of their authenticity signed by all the
judges, and are to be kept secret with due regard for 4. 3. The conclusions of
the individual judge are to be made known in the order of precedence, but beginning
always with the ponens or the relator of the case, and there is to be a discussion
under the leadership of the presiding judge, especially in order to decide what
is to be determined in the dispositive part of the sentence. 4. In the discussion,
however, each judge has the right to retract his or her original conclusions;
on the other hand, a judge who does not wish to accede to the decision of the
others, can demand that his or her conclusions be transmitted to the higher tribunal
if there is an appeal. 5. But if the judges are unwilling or unable to arrive
at a sentence in the first discussion, the decision can be deferred to another
meeting but not beyond one week unless the instruction of the case must be completed
in accordance with the norm of can. 1283.
Canon 1293 1. If there is only one judge, that judge will write the sentence.
2. In a collegiate tribunal it is the duty of the ponens or relator to write the
sentence, drawing the reasons from those which the individual judges brought out
in the discussion, unless it has been previously decided by the majority of the
judges which reasons are to be preferred; then the sentence is to be submitted
for the approval of the individual judges. 3. The sentence must be issued not
beyond one month from the day on which the case was settled, unless, in a collegiate
tribunal, the judges set a longer period of time for a serious reason.
Canon 1294 A sentence must: (1) settle the controversy discussed before the
tribunal with an appropriate response given to each one of the questions; (2)
settle what obligations of the parties arise from the trial and how they must
be fulfilled; (3) set fourth the reasons, that is, the motives both in law and
in fact on which the dispositive section of the sentence is based; (4) make a
determination about judicial expenses.
Canon 1295 1. After the invocation of the Divine Name, the sentence must express
in sequence who is the judge or the tribunal; who is the petitioner, the respondent,
the procurator, with the names and domiciles correctly indicated; the promoter
of justice and the defender of the bond, if they took part in the trial. 2. Next,
it must briefly report the facts together with the conclusions of the parties
and the formulation of the doubt. 3. Following these points is the dispositive
section of the sentence preceded by the reasons on which it is based. 4. It is
to close with an indication of the day and place where it was rendered and with
the signature of the judge or, if it is a collegiate tribunal, with the signatures
of all the judges and the notary.
Canon 1296 The regulations mentioned above concerning a definitive sentence
are to be adapted to an interlocutory sentence.
Canon 1297 The sentence is to be communicated as soon as possible indicating
the time in which an appeal of the sentence can be place; it has no force before
it is communicated even if the dispositive section has been made known to the
parties with the permission of the judge.
Canon 1298 The communication of the sentence can be made either by giving a
copy of the sentence to the parties or their procurators or by sending a copy
to them in accordance with the norm of can. 1192.
Canon 1299 1. If in the text of the sentence either an error in calculation
has crept in, or a material error has occurred in transcribing the dispositive
section, or reporting the facts or the petitions of the parties, or if the points
required by can. 1295, 4 were omitted, the sentence must be corrected or completed
at the request of the parties or ex officio by the tribunal which issued the sentence;
the parties, moreover, must always be heard and a decree appended at the bottom
of the sentence. 2. If any party objects, the incidental question is to be settled
Canon 1300 The other pronouncements of a judge, over and above the sentence,
are decrees which, if they are not merely procedural, have no force unless they
express the reasons at least in a summary fashion, or refer to reasons expressed
in some other act.
Canon 1301 An interlocutory sentence or a decree has the force of a definitive
sentence if it stops the trial, or if it puts an end to the trial or to some grade
of the trial as regards at least some party in the case.
Canon 1302 With due regard for cann. 1303 and 1304, nullity of acts which are
established by positive law and which, although they were known to the party proposing
the complaint, have not been denounced to the judge before the sentence, are sanated
by the sentence itself if it is a case involving the private good.
Canon 1303 1. A sentence is vitiated by irremediable nullity if: (1) it was
rendered by a judge who is absolutely incompetent; (2) it was rendered by a person
who lacks the power of judging in the tribunal in which the case was settled;
(3) the judge passed the sentence under duress from force or grave fear; (4) the
trial was instituted without the judicial petition mentioned in can. 1104, 2,
or was not instituted against some respondent; (5) it was rendered between parties
one of whom at least did not have standing in court; (6) one person acted in the
name of another without a legitimate mandate; (7) the right of defense was denied
to one or other party; (8) it did not settle the controversy even partially. 2.
In these cases, the complaint of nullity can always be proposed by way of the
exception in perpetuity and by way of action before the judge who pronounced the
sentence within ten years from the date of publication of the sentence.
Canon 1304 1. A sentence is vitiated by remediable nullity only, if: (1) it
was rendered by an illegitimate number of judges contrary to the prescription
of can. 1084; (2) it does not contain the motives, that is, the reasons for the
decision; (3) it lacks the signatures prescribed by law; (4) it does not contain
reference to the year, month, day and place in which it was pronounced; (5) it
is based on a judicial act which is null and whose nullity was not sanated according
to the norm of can. 1302; (6) it was rendered against a party who was legitimately
absent as provided for in can. 1273, 2. 2. The complaint of nullity in these cases
can be proposed within three months from the notification of publication of the
Canon 1305 The judge who pronounced the sentence examines the complaint of nullity;
but if the party fears that the judge who pronounced the sentence which is being
challenged by the complaint of nullity may be prejudiced and, as a result, regards
him or her as suspect, the party can demand that another judge be substituted
according to the norm of can. 1108.
Canon 1306 A complaint of nullity can be proposed together with an appeal within
the time determined for an appeal.
Canon 1307 1. Not only the parties who feel themselves aggrieved can file a complaint
of nullity but also the promoter of justice or the defender of the bond whenever
they have the right to intervene. 2. A judge himself can ex officio retract or
amend an invalid sentence which he has pronounced, within the time period for
acting set by cann. 1303, 2 and 1304, 2, unless meanwhile an appeal together with
a complaint of nullity has been filed.
Canon 1308 Cases involving a complaint of nullity can be treated according
to the norms for the oral contentious process.
Canon 1309 The party who feels aggrieved by a given sentence and likewise the
promoter of justice and the defender of the bond in cases in which their presence
is required, have the right to appeal from a sentence to a higher judge, with
due regard for the prescription of can. 1310.
Canon 1310 There is no room for appeal: (1) from a sentence of the Roman Pontiff
himself or of the Apostolic Signatura; (2) from a sentence vitiated by nullity
unless it is joined with a complaint of nullity according to the norm of can.
1306; (3) from a sentence which has become res iudicata; (4) from the decree of
a judge or an interlocutory sentence which does not have the force of a definitive
sentence, unless it is joined with an appeal from a definitive sentence; (5) from
a sentence or from a decree in a case in which the law provides for settlement
of the matter most expeditiously (expeditissime).
Canon 1311 1. An appeal must be filed before the judge who pronounced the sentence
within the peremptory time limit of fifteen available days (tempus utile) from
notification of the publication of the sentence. 2. If it is made orally, the
notary is to put it in writing in the presence of the appellant.
Canon 1312 A delegate cannot appeal to the one who delegated him but to his
immediate superior, unless the delegation has come from the Apostolic See itself.
Canon 1313 If a question arises regarding the right of appeal, the appellate tribunal
should examine it most expeditiously according to the norms of the summary contentious
Canon 1314 An appeal must be prosecuted within a month of its being filed before
the judge to whom it is directed, unless the judge from whom appeal is made has
set a longer period of time for the party of prosecute it.
Canon 1315 1. In order to prosecute an appeal, it is required and suffices
that the party call upon the services of the higher judge for the emendation of
the challenged sentence, append a copy of this sentence, and indicate the reasons
for the appeal. 2. Meanwhile the judge from whom the appeal is being made must
transmit the acts, duly authenticated by the notary, to the higher tribunal; if
the acts are written in a language unknown to the appellate tribunal they are
to be carefully translated into a language known to the tribunal and authenticated.
Canon 1316 If the deadline for appeal either before the judge from whom the
appeal is being made or before the judge to whom the appeal is directed has passed
without result, the appeal is considered abandoned.
Canon 1317 1. The appellant can renounce the appeal with the effects mentioned
in can. 1206. 2. If the appeal was proposed by the defender of the bond or the
promoter of justice, it can be renounced by the defender of the bond or the promoter
of justice of the appellate tribunal unless the law provides otherwise.
Canon 1318 1. An appeal lodged by the petitioner also benefits the respondent
and vice versa. 2. If there are several respondents or petitioners, and if the
sentence is challenged by only one or against only one of them, the challenge
is considered made by all of them and against all of them whenever the matter
sought is indivisible or it is a joint obligation. 3. If an appeal is filed by
one party regarding one part of the sentence, the other party can place an incidental
appeal regarding the other parts within a peremptory time period of fifteen days
from the date of being notified of the principal appeal even though the deadline
for an appeal has expired. 4. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, it is
presumed that an appeal is made against all parts of a sentence.
Canon 1319 An appeal suspends the execution of a sentence.
Canon 1320 1. With due regard for the prescription of can. 1369, a new basis
for petitioning may not be admitted at the appellate level not even by way of
helpful cumulation; consequently, the joinder of issues (litis contestatio) can
focus only on whether the prior sentence is to be confirmed or revised, either
totally or partially. 2. Moreover, new proofs are admitted only in accordance
with the norm of can. 1283.
Canon 1321 At the appellate level the procedure is the same as in first instance
insofar as it is applicable; however, immediately after the joinder of issues
has taken place the case is to be discussed and the sentence rendered unless perhaps
the proofs must be completed.
Canon 1322 With due regard for the prescription of can. 1324, a res iudicata
results: (1) if two concordant sentences have been issued between the same persons
regarding the same petition and arising out of the same basis for petitioning;
(2) if an appeal against the sentence has not been filed within the available
time (tempus utile); (3) if, at the appellate level, the prosecution of the suit
has been estopped or renounced; (4) if a definitive sentence has been rendered
from which no appeal is granted.
Canon 1323 1. A res iudicata possesses stability of law so it can only be challenged
by a complaint of nullity, restitutio in integrum or the opposition of a third
party. 2. A res iudicata settles an issue between the parties and gives rise to
an action for execution and an exception of res iudicata, which the judge can
declare ex officio to prevent a new introduction of the same case.
Canon 1324 Cases concerning the status of persons, including those concerning
the separation of spouses, never become a res iudicata.
Canon 1325 1. If two concordant sentences have been pronounced in a case concerning
the status of persons, it can be challenged at any time to an appellate tribunal
if new and serious proofs or arguments are brought forward within the peremptory
time period of thirty days from the proposed challenge. However, within a month
from the presentation of the new proofs and arguments, the appellate tribunal
must settle by decree whether a new presentation of the case must be admitted
or not. 2. An appeal to a higher tribunal to obtain a new presentation of the
case does not suspend the execution of the sentence, unless either the law provides
otherwise or the appellate tribunal orders its suspension, in accordance with
the norm of can. 1337, 3.
Canon 1326 1. Restitutio in integrum is granted against a sentence which has
become a res iudicata provided that there is clear proof of its injustice. 2.
However, clear proof of injustice is verified only if: (1) the sentence is so
based on proofs which are later discovered to be false so that without those proofs
the dispositive section of the sentence would not be sustained; (2) afterwards
documents have been found which undoubtedly prove new facts which demand a contrary
decision; (3) the sentence was pronounced because of the fraud of one party which
harmed the other; (4) a prescription of the law which is not merely procedural
has been evidently neglected; (5) the sentence is contrary to a preceding sentence
which has become a res iudicata.
Canon 1327 1. Restitutio in integrum for the reasons mentioned in can. 1326, 2,
nn. 1-3 must be sought from the judge who issued the sentence, within three months
to be computed from the date of one's becoming aware of the reasons. 2. Restitutio
in integrum for the reasons mentioned in can. 1326, 2, nn. 4 and 5 must be sought
from the appellate tribunal within three months from the communication of the
sentence; but if, in the case mentioned in can. 1326, 2, n. 5, notification of
the preceding decision is had later, the time limit runs from this notification.
3. The time limits mentioned above do not expire as long as the injured person
is a minor.
Canon 1328 1. A petition of restitutio in integrum suspends the execution of
a sentence if the execution has not yet begun. 2. If, however, from probable indications
there is a suspicion that the petition has been made in order to delay the execution
of the sentence, the judge can decree that the sentence be executed but with due
caution being taken to indemnify the person seeking restitutio in integrum if
it is granted.
Canon 1329 If restitutio in integrum is granted, the judge must pronounce on the
merits of the case.
Canon 1330 Those who fear damage of their rights from a given definitive sentence
that had been ordered for execution, can attack the same sentence before its execution.
Canon 1331 1. An opposition can be filed either by asking the tribunal that
issued the sentence for its revision or by appealing to the tribunal of appeals.
2. If the petition is accepted and the opponent acts at the appeal level, he is
to be bound by the norms on appeals; if the case is presented before the tribunal
that gave the sentence the procedural norms for incidental cases ought to be followed.
Canon 1332 1. The opponent in any case must prove that his or her right has
been truly damaged or is going to be damaged. 2. The damage must derive from the
sentence itself, insofar as it constitutes its cause or, if execution is ordered,
as it is going to affect the opponent with a serious prejudice.
Canon 1333 If the opponent proves his or her right, the sentence given earlier
is to be modified by the tribunal in accordance with the petition of the opponent.
Canon 1334 The poor, that is, those who are totally unable to pay the court
costs, have the right to the gratuitous legal assistance; those who can pay only
part of the court costs, to a diminution of expenses.
Canon 1335 The statutes of the tribunal must determine norms regarding: (1)
the parties to be liable for paying or compensating for judicial expenses; (2)
the honoraria for procurators, advocates, experts and interpreters and the indemnification
of witnesses. (3) the granting of gratuitous legal assistance or a diminution
of expenses; (4) the recovery of damages which are owed by the one who not only
lost the case but also engaged in litigation rashly; (5) the depositing of money
or the guarantees to be made concerning the expenses to be paid and the damages
to be recovered.
Canon 1336 From a pronouncement relating to expenses, honoraria and recovery
of damages, there is no separate appeal; but the party can have recourse within
fifteen days to the same judge who can adjust the assessment.
Canon 1337 1. A sentence which has become a res iudicata can be executed with
due regard for the prescription of can. 1328. 2. The judge who rendered the sentence
and also the appellate judge if an appeal has been filed, can ex officio or at
the request of a party order a provisional execution of a sentence which has not
yet become a res iudicata after having arranged, if the case warrants, for the
rendering of appropriate guarantees if there is question of provisions or payments
for necessary sustenance or if some other just cause is pressing. 3. On the other
hand if the sentence mentioned is challenged and if the judge who must take cognizance
of the challenge sees that it is probably well-founded and irreparable harm could
arise from the execution of the sentence, the judge can suspend its execution
or subject it to a safeguard.
Canon 1338 There can be no execution of a sentence prior to an executory decree
of the judge in which it is stated that the sentence must be executed; this decree
is to be included in the text of the sentence or issued separately, according
to the different types of cases.
Canon 1339 If the execution of the sentence demands a prior rendering of accounts,
it is an incidental question which must be decided by the judge who passed the
sentence ordering the execution.
Canon 1340 1. Unless particular law of a Church sui iuris determines otherwise,
the eparchial bishop of the eparchy in which the first instance sentence was rendered,
must execute the sentence personally or through another. 2. If he refuses or neglects
to do so, the execution belongs to the authority to which the appellate tribunal
is subject, at the request of an interested party or ex officio. 3. In cases of
can. 1069, 1 the execution of a sentence belongs to the superior determined by
the statutes or typicon.
Canon 1341 1. Unless something is left to the discretion of the executor in
the text of the sentence, the executor must execute the sentence according to
the obvious meaning of the words. 2. The executor may consider exceptions regarding
the manner and force of the execution but not regarding the merits of the case;
but if it has been discovered from other sources that the sentence is invalid
or manifestly unjust according to the norm of cann. 1303, 1304 and 1326, 2 the
executor is to refrain from executing it, refer the matter to the tribunal which
issued the sentence, and inform the parties.
Canon 1342 1. As regards real actions, wherever a given thing has been adjudicated
as belonging to the petitioner, if must be handed over to the petitioner as soon
as there is a res iudicata. 2. If the respondent is to furnish something mobile,
to pay money, or to give or to do something else, the judge in the text of the
sentence, or the executor with personal discretion and prudence is to set a time
limit for fulfilling the obligation, which, however, is not to be less than fifteen
days nor more than six months.
Canon 1343 1. All cases which are not excluded by law can be tried in the summary
contentious process unless a party requests the ordinary contentious process.
2. If the process is used outside of cases permitted by law, the judicial acts
Canon 1344 1. In addition to the points mentioned in can. 1187, the introductory
libellus by which the suit is introduced must: (1) set forth briefly, completely
and clearly the facts on which the requests of the petitioner are based; (2) so
indicate the proofs by which the petitioner intends to demonstrate the facts,
but which cannot be produced at once, so that they can be gathered at once by
the judge. 2. The documents on which the petition is based must be attached to
the libellus, at least in an authentic copy.
Canon 1345 1. If an attempt at reconciliation according to the norm of can.
1103, 2, has been fruitless, the judge, if he believes that the libellus has some
foundation, is to order within three days by a decree appended to the bottom of
the libellus that a copy of the petition be communicated to the respondent, granting
the latter the right to send a written response to the chancery of the tribunal
within fifteen days. 2. This notification has the effects of the judicial citation
mentioned in can. 1194.
Canon 1346 If the exceptions of the respondent demand it, that judge is to
set a time limit for the petitioner to respond so as to clarify the object of
the controversy from the points raised by each of them.
Canon 1347 1. When the time limits mentioned in cann. 1345, 1 and 1346 have
expired, the judge, after having examined the acts, is to determine the formulation
of the doubt; next, the judge is to cite to a hearing, to be held within thirty
days, all who must be present at it; the judge is to attach the formulation of
the doubt to the citation for the parties. 2. In the citation the parties are
to be informed that they can present to the tribunal a brief written statement
in support of their allegations at least three days prior to the hearing.
Canon 1348 At the hearing the questions mentioned in cann. 1118, 1119, 1121,
and 1122 are to be treated first.
Canon 1349 1. The proofs are collected at the hearing with due regard for the
prescriptions of can. 1071. 2. The party and his or her advocate can be present
at the examination of the other parties, of the witnesses, and the experts.
Canon 1350 The responses of the parties, witnesses, and the experts, and the
petitions and exceptions of the advocates must be put in writing by the notary
but in a summary fashion and only as regards those matters which pertain to the
substance of the controverted matter, and they must be signed by those making
Canon 1351 Only in accordance with the norm of can. 1110 can the judge admit
proofs which have not been presented or asked for in the petition or the response;
however, after even a single witness has been heard, the judge can decree new
proofs only in accordance with the norm of can. 1283.
Canon 1352 If all the proofs cannot be collected at the hearing, a second hearing
is to be scheduled.
Canon 1353 When the proofs have been collected, the oral discussion takes place
at the same hearing.
Canon 1354 1. Unless from the discussion it is discovered that something must
be supplied in the instruction of the case or something else turns up which prevents
the due pronouncement of the sentence, the judge immediately decides the case
privately when the hearing has been completed; the dispositive part of the sentence
is to be read at once in the presence of the parties. 2. However, the tribunal
can defer the decision until the fifth available day because of the difficulty
of the matter or for another just cause. 3. The complete text of the sentence
with the reasons expressed is to be made known to the parties as soon as possible,
ordinarily not beyond fifteen days.
Canon 1355 If the appellate tribunal should discover that in a lower grade
of the trial the oral contentious process was used in cases excluded by the law,
it is to declare the nullity of the sentence and remand the case to the tribunal
which passed it.
Canon 1356 In other matters which pertain to the mode of procedure, the prescriptions
of the canons concerning the ordinary contentious trial are to be observed. However,
the tribunal by a decree giving the reasons, can derogate from procedural norms
which have not been determined for validity, in order to expedite matters with
due regard for justice. TITLE 26 Certain Special Procedures
Canon 1357 Marriage cases of the baptized belong to the Church by proper right.
Canon 1358 Without prejudice to personal Statutes where they are in force,
cases involving the merely civil effects of marriage, if they are to be decided
as the principle case, belong to the civil magistrate, but these cases can be
tried and decided by the ecclesiastical judge when they arise as incidental and
Canon 1359 In cases regarding the nullity of marriage which are not reserved
to the Apostolic See the following are competent: (1) the tribunal of the place
in which the marriage was celebrated; (2) the tribunal of the place in which the
respondent has a domicile or quasi-domicile; (3) the tribunal of the place in
which the petitioner has a domicile, provided that both parties live in the territory
of the same nation and the judicial vicar of the domicile of the respondent agrees,
after hearing the respondent; (4) the tribunal of the place in which de facto
most of the proofs are to be collected provided that the judicial vicar of the
domicile of the respondent agrees after hearing the respondent.
Canon 1360 The following are capable of challenging a marriage: (1) the spouses;
(2) the promoter of justice when the nullity has become public, if the marriage
cannot be convalidated or this is not expedient.
Canon 1361 1. A marriage which has not been impugned during the lifetime of
both spouses cannot be impugned after the death of either one or both spouses
unless the question of validity is prejudicial to the resolution of another controversy
either in the canonical forum or in the civil forum. 2. However, if a spouse dies
while a case is pending, can. 1199 is to be observed.
Canon 1362 Before accepting a case and whenever there seems to be hope of a
successful outcome, the judge is to use pastoral means to induce the spouses,
if at all possible, to convalidate the marriage and to restore conjugal living.
Canon 1363 1. When the libellus introducing the suit has been accepted, the
presiding judge or the ponens is to proceed to the communication of the decree
of citation according to the norms of can. 1191. 2. Unless either party has petitioned
for a session on the joinder of the issues (contestatio litis), when fifteen days
have passed after such a communication, the presiding judge or the ponens is to
determine the formulation of the doubt or doubts within ten days by a decree ex
officio and notify the parties. 3. The formulation of the doubt not only is to
ask whether there is proof of nullity of marriage in the case, but it also must
determine on what ground or grounds the validity of the marriage is to be challenged.
4. Ten days after the communication of the decree, the presiding judge or the
ponens is to arrange for the instruction of the case by a new decree if the parties
were not opposed.
Canon 1364 1. The defender of the bond, the advocates of the parties and the
promoter of justice, if intervening in the suit, have the right: (1) to be present
at the examination of the parties, the witnesses and the experts, with due regard
for the prescription of can. 1240; (2) to inspect the judicial acts even though
not published and to review the documents produced by the parties. 2. The parties
cannot assist at the examination mentioned in 1, n. 1.
Canon 1365 Unless full proofs are present from other sources, in evaluating the
deposition of the parties in accordance with can. 1217, 2, the judge is to use
witnesses regarding the credibility of the parties, if possible, as well as other
indications and aids.
Canon 1366 In cases of impotence or defect of consent due to mental illness,
the judge is to use the services of one or more experts unless it is obvious from
the circumstances that this would be useless; in other cases the prescription
of can. 1255 is to be observed.
Canon 1367 During the instruction of a case, whenever a very probable doubt
emerges that the marriage was not consummated, after suspending the nullity case
with the consent of the parties, the tribunal can complete the instruction of
the case for a dissolution of a non-consummated sacramental marriage; the acts
are to be sent to the Apostolic See together with a petition for this dissolution
from either or both spouses and with the votum of the tribunal and the eparchial
Canon 1368 1. The sentence which first declared the nullity of the marriage
together with the appeals if there are any and the other acts of the trial, are
to be sent ex officio to the appellate tribunal within twenty days from the communication
of the sentence. 2. If the sentence rendered in favor of the nullity of marriage
was in the first grade of trial, the appellate tribunal by its own decree is to
confirm the decision without delay or admit the case to an ordinary examination
of a new grade of trial, after considering the observations of the defender of
the bond and those of the parties if there are any.
Canon 1369 If at the appellate level a new ground of nullity of the marriage
is offered, the tribunal can admit it and judge it as if in first instance.
Canon 1370 1. After the sentence which first declared the nullity of marriage
has been confirmed at the appellate level either by decree or by another sentence,
those persons whose marriage was declared null can contract new marriages immediately
after the decree or the second sentence has been made known to them unless a prohibition
is attached to his sentence or decree, or it is prohibited by a determination
of the local hierarch. 2. The prescriptions of can. 1325 must be observed, even
if the sentence which declared the nullity of marriage was not confirmed by another
sentence but by a decree.
Canon 1371 Immediately after the sentence has been executed, the judicial vicar
must notify the hierarch of the place in which the marriage was celebrated about
this. That hierarch must take care that notation be made quickly in the matrimonial
and baptismal registers concerning the nullity of the marriage and any prohibitions
which may have been determined.
Canon 1372 1. After a petition has been admitted, the judicial vicar or a judge
designated by him, omitting the formalities of the ordinary process but having
cited the parties and with the intervention of the defender of the bond, can declare
the nullity of a marriage by a sentence, if from a document which is subject to
no contradiction or exception there is certain proof of the existence of a diriment
impediment or a defect of the form for the celebration of marriage required by
law, provided that it is clear with equal certitude that a dispensation was not
granted; this can also be done if there is certain proof of the defect of a valid
mandate of procurator. 2. However if it is the case of one who would have been
obliged to observe the prescribed form for the celebration of marriage required
by law, but who attempted marriage before a civil official or a non-Catholic minister,
the pre-nuptial investigation mentioned in can. 784 suffices to prove his or her
Canon 1373 1. If the defender of the bond prudently thinks that either the
flaws mentioned in can. 1372, 1 or the lack of a dispensation are not certain,
the defender of the bond must appeal against this declaration to the judge of
second instance, to whom the acts must be sent and who must be advised in writing
that it is a question of a documentary process. 2. The party who feels aggrieved
retains the right to appeal.
Canon 1374 The judge in second instance, with the intervention of the defender
of the bond, having heard the parties, shall decree whether the sentence is to
be confirmed or whether the case must rather be handled according to the ordinary
process of law; and in that case the judge remands it to the tribunal of first
Canon 1375 Cases declaring the nullity of marriage cannot be treated in a summary
Canon 1376 In other procedural matters, the canons on trials in general and
on the ordinary contentious trial are to be applied unless the nature of the matter
precludes it; however, the special norms on cases affecting the public good are
to be observed.
Canon 1377 In the sentence the parties are to be advised of the moral and even
civil obligations which they may have to each other and to their children as regards
the support and education of the latter.
Canon 1378 1. Personal separation of spouses, unless otherwise legally provided
for in particular places, can be decided by a decree of a eparchial bishop, or
by a sentence of a judge. 2. Where an ecclesiastical decision has no civil effects,
or if it is foreseen that a civil sentence is not contrary to divine law, the
eparchial bishop of the eparchy of residence of the spouses can give them permission
to approach the civil forum, having considered the particular circumstances. 3.
Also, if a case is concerned only with the merely civil effects of marriage, the
judge can determine if is sufficient, with the permission of the eparchial bishop,
that the case be deferred to the civil forum from the start.
Canon 1379 1. Unless one party seeks an ordinary contentious process, a summary
contentious process is to be used. 2. If the ordinary contentious process has
been used and an appeal is proposed, the appellate tribunal, after hearing the
parties, is to proceed by its decree whether to confirm the decision or admit
the case to an ordinary examination in the second degree.
Canon 1380 The prescriptions of can. 1359, nn. 2 and 3 are to be observed in
regard to the competence of the tribunal.
Canon 1381 Before accepting the case and whenever it is perceived that there
is hope of a successful outcome, the judge is to use pastoral means to reconcile
the spouses and induce them to restore conjugal living.
Canon 1382 In cases involving the separation of spouses, the promoter of justice
must always intervene in accordance with the norm of can. 1097.
Canon 1383 1. Whenever the death of a spouse cannot be proven by an authentic
ecclesiastical or civil document, the other spouse is not considered free from
the bond of marriage until after a declaration of presumed death is made by the
eparchial bishop. 2. The eparchial bishop can make this declaration only after
appropriate investigation has enabled him to attain moral certitude of the death
of a spouse from the depositions of witnesses, from rumor, or from indications.
The mere absence of a spouse, even for a long time, is insufficient. 3. In uncertain
and complex cases, an eparchial bishop exercising his power within the territorial
boundaries of a patriarchal Church shall consult the patriarch; other eparchial
bishops shall consult the Apostolic See. 4. In such a procedure the intervention
of the promoter of justice is required, but not of the defender of the bond.
Canon 1384 In order to obtain the dissolution of a non-consummated sacramental
marriage or the dissolution of a marriage in favor of the faith, the special norms
issued by the Apostolic See are to be followed.
Canon 1385 The cleric himself, the hierarch to whom he is subject, or the hierarch
in whose eparchy he was ordained have the right to impugn the validity of sacred
Canon 1386 1. The libellus attacking the validity of sacred ordination must
be sent to the competent dicastery of the Roman Curia which will determine whether
the case is to be handled by it or by a tribunal designated by it. 2. If the dicastery
remands the case to a tribunal, the canons on trials in general and on the ordinary
contentious trial are to be observed unless the nature of the matter precludes
this; the canons on the summary contentious process cannot, however, be used.
3. Once the libellus is sent, the cleric is forbidden to exercise orders by the
Canon 1387 After the second sentence which has confirmed the nullity of sacred
ordination the cleric loses all rights proper to the clerical state and is free
of all obligations.
Canon 1388 In the removal or transfer of pastors, cann. 1389-1400 are to be observed
unless something else is established by particular law approved by the Apostolic
Canon 1389 When the ministry of any pastor has become detrimental or at least
ineffective for any reason, even through no grave fault of his own, he can be
removed from the parish by the eparchial bishop.
Canon 1390 The reasons for which a pastor can be legitimately removed from
his parish are especially the following: (1) a way of acting which is gravely
detrimental or disturbing to ecclesiastical communion; (2) incompetence or a permanent
infirmity of mind or body which renders a pastor incapable of performing his functions
in a useful way; (3) loss of good reputation among upright and good parishioners
or aversion to the pastor which are foreseen as not ceasing in a short time; (4)
grave neglect or violation of parochial duties which persist after a warning;
(5) poor administration of temporal affairs with grave damage to the Church whenever
this problem cannot be remedied in any other way.
Canon 1391 1. If after an inquiry has been conducted, it is proven that a reason
is present, the eparchial bishop is to discuss the matter with two pastors from
the group of pastors permanently selected for this by the presbyteral council
after their being proposed by the eparchial bishop; but if subsequently he decides
that the removal must take place, he is paternally to persuade the pastor to resign
the pastorate within a period of fifteen days, after he has explained, for validity,
the reason and the arguments for removal. 2. The pastor who is a member of a religious
institute or a society of common life in the manner of religious can be removed
either at the discretion of the eparchial bishop after having notified the major
superior or by the major superior who has notified the eparchial bishop, without
the need of each other's consent.
Canon 1392 A resignation by a pastor can be submitted conditionally provided
that this can be legitimately accepted by the eparchial bishop and is actually
Canon 1393 1. If the pastor has not answered within the prescribed time period
the eparchial bishop is to repeat the invitation extending the available time
for response. 2. If the bishop has the proof that the pastor has received the
second invitation but has not responded although not hindered by any impediment
or if the pastor refuses to resign giving no reasons, the eparchial bishop is
to issue the decree of removal.
Canon 1394 But if the pastor opposes the cause alleged for removal and its
reasons, alleging reasons which appear insufficient to the eparchial bishop, in
order for the latter to act validly, he is to: (1) invite the pastor to organize
his challenges to removal in a written report, having inspected the acts, and
also to offer proofs to the contrary, if he has any; (2) consider the matter with
the same pastors mentioned in can. 1391, 1 unless others must be designated due
to their inability, after he has completed the instruction if necessary; (3) finally
determine whether or not the pastor must be removed and promptly issue a decree
on the matter.
Canon 1395 When the pastor has been removed, the eparchial bishop is to provide
for him through an assignment to another office, if he is suitable for this, or
through a pension, as the case requires and circumstances permit.
Canon 1396 1. The removed pastor must abstain from exercising the office of pastor,
vacate the rectory immediately, and hand over all that pertains to the parish
to the one to whom the bishop entrusts the parish. 2. If there is question of
a sick pastor who cannot be transferred elsewhere from the rectory without inconvenience,
the eparchial bishop is to leave the rectory even to his exclusive use while this
need lasts. 3. While recourse is pending against the decree of removal, the bishop
cannot name a new pastor but meanwhile is to provide a parish administrator.
Canon 1397 If the good of souls or the need or advantage of the Church requires
that a pastor be transferred from his parish which he is governing usefully to
another parish or to another office, the eparchial bishop is to propose the transfer
to him in writing and persuade him to consent to it for the love of God and of
Canon 1398 If the pastor does not intend to yield to the counsel and persuasion
of the eparchial bishop, he is to explain his reasons in writing.
Canon 1399 1. Notwithstanding the reasons alleged, if the eparchial bishop
judges that he is not going to change his plans, he is to discuss the reasons
which favor or oppose the transfer with the two pastors chosen in accordance with
can. 1391, 1; if he then decides to implement the transfer, he is to repeat the
paternal exhortations to the pastor. 2. When this has been done, if the pastor
still refuses and the eparchial bishop thinks the transfer must be made, he is
to issue a decree of transfer stating that the parish shall be vacant after the
lapse of a predetermined time. 3. If this period of time has passed in vain, the
eparchial bishop is to declare the parish vacant.
Canon 1400 In cases of transfer, the prescriptions of can. 1396, are to be
observed with due regard to rights and equity.