The Fourteenth Session



A penalty is decreed against clerics, who, being in sacred Orders, or holding benefices, do not wear a dress beseeming their Order.

And forasmuch as, though the habit does not make the monk, it is nevertheless need ful that clerics always wear a dress suitable to their proper order, that by the decency of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward correctness of their morals; but to such a pitch, in these days, have the contempt of religion and the rashness of some grown, as that, making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honour, they even wear in public the dress of laymen--setting their feet in different paths, one of God, the other of the flesh;-for this cause, all ecclesiastical persons, howsoever exempted, who are either in sacred orders or in possession of any manner of dignities, personates, or other offices, or benefices ecclesiastical; if, after having been admonished by their own bishop, even by a public edict,(p) they shall not wear a becoming clerical dress, suitable to their order and dignity, and in conformity with the ordinance and mandate of the said bishop, they may, and ought to be, compelled thereunto, by suspension from their orders, office, benefice, and from the fruits, revenues, and proceeds of the said benefices; and also, if, after having been once rebuked, they offend again herein, (they are to be coerced) even by deprivation of the said offices and benefices; pursuant to the constitution of Clement V. published in the Council of Vienne, and beginning Quoniam, which is hereby renewed and enlarged.


Voluntary homicides are n ever to be ordained: in what manner involuntary homicides are to be ordained.

Whereas too, he who has killed his neighbour on set purpose and by lying in wait for him, is to be taken away from the altar, (q) because he has voluntarily committed a homicide ; even though that crime have neither been proved by ordinary process of law, nor be otherwise public, but is secret, such an one can never be promoted to sacred orders; nor shall it be lawful to confer upon him any ecclesiastical benefices, even though they have no cure of souls; but he shall be for ever excluded from every ecclesiastical order, benefice, and office. But if it be alleged that the homicide was not committed purposely but accidentally, or when repelling force by force that he might defend himself from death, in such wise that, by a kind of right, a dispensation ought to be granted, even for the ministry of sacred orders, and of the altar, and for any kind of benefice whatever and dignity,-the case shall be committed to the Ordinary of the place, or, if there be a cause for it, to the metropolitan, or to the nearest bishop; who shall not be able to dispense, without having taking cognizance of the case, and after the prayers and allegations have been proved, and not otherwise.


No one shall, by virtue of any privilege, punish the clerics of another.

Furthermore, forasmuch as there are sundry persons,--some of whom even are true pastors, and have their own sheep,--who seek also to rule over the sheep of others, and at times give their attention in such wise to the subjects of others, as to neglect the care of their own; no one, even though he be of episcopal dignity, who may have by privilege the power of punishing the subjects of another, shall by any means proceed against clerics not subject to him,--especially against such as are in sacred orders,--be they guilty of crime ever so atrocious; except with the intervention of the proper bishop of the said clerics, if that bishop be resident in his own church, or of the person that may be deputed by the said bishop: otherwise, the proceedings, and all the consequences thereof, shall be wholly without effect.


The Benefices of one Diocese shall not, under any pretext, be united to the Benefices of another Diocese.

And forasmuch as it is with very good reason that dioceses and parishes have been made distinct, and to each flock their proper pastors have been assigned, and to inferior churches their rectors, each to take care of his own sheep, that so ecclesiastical order may not be confounded, or one and the same church belong in some sort to two dioceses, not without grievous inconvenience to such as are subject thereunto; the benefices of one diocese, be they even parochial churches, perpetual vicarages, simple benefices, prestimonies, or prestimonial portions, shall not be united in perpetuity to a benefice, monastery, college, or even to a pious place, of another diocese, not even for the sake of augmenting divine worship, or the number of beneficiaries, or for any other cause whatsoever; thus herein explaining the decree of this holy Synod on the subject of these unions.


Regular Benefices shall be conferred on Regulars.

Benefices of Regulars that have been accustomed to be granted in title to professed Regulars, when they happen to become vacant by the death of the titulary incumbent, or by his resignation, or otherwise, shall be conferred on religious of that order only, or on persons who shall be absolutely bound to take the habit, and make that profession, and upon none others, that they may not wear a garment that is woven of woollen and linen together. (r)


Those transferred to another order shall remain under obedience in enclosure, and shall be incapable of Secular Benefices.

But forasmuch as Regulars, after being transferred from one order to another, ordinarily obtain permission easily from their superior to remain out of their monastery, whereby occasion is given of their wandering about and apostatizing; no prelate or superior of any order shall be allowed, by virtue of any faculty whatsoever, to admit any individual to the habit and to profession, except with the view that he shall remain perpetually in enclosure under obedience to his own superior, in the order itself to which he is transferred; and one so transferred, even though he be a canon Regular, shall be wholly incapable of Secular Benefices, even of cures.


No one shall obtain a right of patronage, except by means of a foundation, or an endowment.

No one, moreover, of whatsoever ecclesiastical or Secular dignity, can, or ought to, obtain, or acquire a right of patronage, for any other reason whatever, but that he has founded, and built anew, a church, benefice, or chapel; or that he has competently endowed, out of his own proper and patrimonial resources,(s) one already erected, which, however, is without a sufficient endowment. But, in case of such foundation or endowment, the institution thereof shall be reserved to the bishop, and not to some other inferior person.


The Presentation shall be made to the Ordinary; otherwise the Presentation and Institution shall be null.

Furthermore, it shall not be lawful for a patron, under pretext of any privilege whatsoever, to present any one, in any way, to the benefices which are under his right of patronage, except to the ordinary bishop of the place, to whom the providing for, or the institution to, the said benefice would, that privilege ceasing, of right belong; otherwise the presentation and institution, which may have followed, shall be null, and as such reputed.


That the Mass, Order, and Reformation, shall be next treated of.

The holy Synod declares, moreover, that, in the next Session, which It has already decreed is to beholden on the twenty-fifth day of January, of the ensuing year, MDLII,--It will, together with the sacrifice of the mass, also apply itself to, and treat of the sacrament of order, and that the subject of reformation will be prosecuted.

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