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BISHOP


586


BISHOP


See (see below). Certain writers attribute to the bishop a third kind of jurisdiction which tliey call "quasi-ordinary" jurisdiction, but there are wide differences as to the definition of this kind of juris- diction. Several wTiters (such as Wernz, II, 10; Bar- gilliat, "Prielect. jur. can.", Paris, 1900, I, 164; and among the older canonists, Bouix, "De princip. juris canoniei", Paris, 1852, 530) think that this distinc- tion is useless; the jurisdiction known as quasi-ordi- nary is nothing else than an ordinary or delegated jurisdiction granted by written law or by custom.

It is a controverted question whether the bishops hold their jurisdiction directly from God or from the sovereign pontiff. The latter opinion, however, is almost generally admitted at the present day, for it is more in conformity with the monarcliical constitu- tion of the Church, which seems to demand that there should be no power in the Church not emanating immediately from the sovereign pontiff. Authors who hold the contrary opinion say that it is during the episcopal consecration that bisliops receive from God their power of jurisdiction. But habitually before their consecration the bishops have already all powers of jurisdiction over their dioceses (Bargil- liat, I, 442-445). Another question also discussed is whether the potestas magisterii, or teaching authority, is a consequence of the power of order or of jurisdic- tion (Sagmiiller, Lehrbuch des katholischen Kirchen- rechts, Freiburg, 1900-04, 24-25). Whatever the conclusion, teaching authority -n-ill here be ranked among the powers of jurisdiction. The teaching authority of the bishop and liis governing authority (j>otestas regiminis) will now be successively con- sidered, the latter comprising the legislative, dispen- sative, judicial, coercive, and administrative powers.

A. Teaching Authority. — By Divine law bishops have the right to teach Christian doctrine (JIatt., xxviii, 19; Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch. iv; Encvclical of Leo XIII, "Sapientia; cliristiance", 10 January, 1890; "Acta Sancta? Sedis", 1890, XXII, 385). At the same time, the obligation ot instructing the faithful either personally or, if liindered, tlu'ough other ecclesiastics is incumbent upon them. They are bound also to see that in the parish churches the parish rriests fulfil the requirements of preaching and t, aching which the Council of Trent imposes upon them (Sess. V, De ref., c!i. ii; Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch. iv). The bishop must also supervise the teaching of Christian doctrine in the seminaries, as well as in secondary and primarj' schools (Cone. Bait. III,nos. 194 sqq.; Const. "Romanos pontifices", 8 May, 1881; op. cit.. Appendix, 212). In virtue of this right of superintendence, and because of the intimate relations which exist between instruction and education, the bishop is empowered to forbid attendance at undenominational schools, at least in those districts where Catholic schools exist, and where attendance at the former schools is dangerous. In virtue of the same right he will very often be bound to erect Catholic schools or favour their establish- ment (Third Council of Baltimore, nos. 194-213). No one is allowed to preach Christian doctrine with- out the consent of the bishop, or at least without his knowledge if it is a question of exempt religious preacliing in their own churches (Council of Trent, Sess. V, De ref., ch. ii; Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch. iv). The bishop has power to supervise wTitings published or read in his diocese; works regarding the sacred sciences are subject to his approbation; he may forbid the reading of dangerous books and newspapers. He exercises a special control over the publications of the secular clergj-, who are bound to consult him before undertaking the direction of newspapers or of publishing works even upon profane matters (Const. of Leo XIII, "Officiorum et munerum", 25 Januarj-, 1897; Vermeersch, "De prohibitione et censura librorum", 4th ed., Rome, 1906). He has the right


of special super\-ision over the manuals used in educational establishments, and as far as possible he will encourage the publication of good books and good newspapers (Tliird Council of Baltimore, nos. 201, 220, 221, 225, 226). The bishop is the Inquisitor natus or protector of the faith for his diocese. He has not, it is true, the right to define, outside an oecu- menical council, controverted questions with regard to faith and morals, but when a heated discussion arises in his diocese, he can impose silence upon the parties concerned while awaiting a decision from the Holy See. If anyone, however, denies a point of doctrine defined by the Church, even though it be an exempt religious, the bishop will have the power to punish him (Council of Trent, Sess. V, De ref., ch. ii; Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch. iii). He must likewise guard the faithful of his diocese against dangerous societies condemned by the Holy See (Third Council of Balti- more, nos. 244-255).

B. Governing Authority. — (1) Legislative Pover. — The bishop can enact for his diocese those laws which he considers conducive to the general good. Though he is not bound to convoke a synod for this purpose his legislative power is not absolute. He cannot legislate contra jus commune, i. e. enact a law eontrarj' to the general law of the Church, ■nTitten or established by custom, or to the decisions of general, plenary, or pro- vincial councils. This is on the principle that an inferior cannot act contrary to the will of his superiors (ch. ii, De electione et electi potestate", I, iii, in the Clementines; Friedberg, II, 1135) He can, however, enact laws juxta jus comrnune, i. e. he can urge the observance of provisions of the common ecclesiastical law by penalizing the violation of the same (ch. ii, De constitutionibus, VI, I, ii; Friedberg, II, 937). He can determine the common ecclesiastical law, i. e. he can permit or forbid that which the common law neithe.- forbids nor permits with certitude, and can apply t.i the particular needs of his diocese the general enactments of the pontifical laws. Many WTiters say that the bishop has also the power to enact laws praeter jus commune, i. e. to regulate those matters concerning which the common ecclesiastical law is silent, or at least particular points unforeseen by the common law. In any case, if the bishop wishes to add to the enactments of the common law (and the same principle is valid when it is a question of apply- ing to the needs of his o%\'n diocese a general law of the Church), he must take care to make no enactments on matters which the common law, in the intention of the supreme legislator, has completely regulated. The common law implicitly forbids any episcopal action in such matters. Thus, e. g.. the bishop cannot introduce new irregularities. In his diocesan legisla- tion the bishop must not go bej'ond the purpose in- tended by the common ecclesiastical law. Thus, the latter forbids the clergj- to take part in games of chance {lucli aleatorii), the aim of the law being to condemn the love of lucre and to avoid scandal; at the same time the bishop cannot forbid in private houses other games, which are not games of chance On the other hand, if it be a matter concerning which the common law is silent, the bishop may take all necessarj' measures to prevent and put an end to abuses and to maintain ecclesiastical discipline. He must abstain, however, from imposing on liis clergj- extraordinarj' charges and obligations, and from unusual innovations. The legislative power of the bishop prceter jus comtnune, is, therefore, far from being absolute (Claeys-Bouuaert, De canonica cleri SEECularis obedientia, Louvain, 1904, 69-77). Canoni- cal WTiters discuss the right of the bishop to abrogate a local custom contrary to the enactments of the common ecclesiastical law. He probably has not the right, provided that the custom be juridical, i. e. a reasonable one and legitimately prescribed. As this custom obtains only because of pontifical con-