Canon Law Question (approval vs indult)


#1

For all you budding Canon lawyers out there.

What is the difference between needing “permission of the Apostolic See” and “unless there is an Apostolic indult”?

Does the first one mean that proceeding without the “permission” makes the action both illicit and invalid where the second one would be illicit but valid?

Or are they basically the same thing, both illicit and invalid?


#2

I am not a J.C.L. I have read that indult means “granted by way of indulgence.” Generally an indult is a concession granted by the competent superior or authority that permits something contrary to or apart from the law, often with a wider scope than a dispensation.

I believe that the word “invalid” is used often with the Holy Mysteries. Illicit means against the law, and something may be valid even though illicit. With matrimonial law, there may be dispensation (as for disparity of worship, a.k.a. cult, as in Catholic with unbaptised) or permission for disparity of religion (such as Catholic with Protestant). Requiring a dispensation carries the idea that it is to be strongly discouraged and is certainly not normal.


#3

I am also not a canon lawyer, but my sense has always been that when the law provides that permission must be obtained, this means that it is contemplated that this will be done; and when it does not say anything (thus requiring an indult to dispense from the rule), this means that it is not really contemplated that it will be done -- at least not formally. Like Vico, I don't think it is correct to attempt to draw conclusions about things like validity. Take, for instance, everyone's favorite example of Communion in the Hand, which is (as I understand it) permitted most everywhere by way of indult. One certainly could not conclude that, in a country where the indult were not in force, giving Communion in the hand would be "invalid." In any event, most things governed by law are not even really susceptible to invalidity. A layman may not be permitted to give homilies, but if one does, there is no such thing as giving an invalid homily.


#4

An indult or privilege differs from a dispensation, since the former grants a permanent (not necessarily perpetual) concession, while the latter is given for a particular case, outside which the obligation of observing the law remains.

(from the Catholic Encyclopedia). Although it is talking about indult vs dispensation, it would be the same for permission.


#5

Dispensations are not part of this discussion.

What is being discussed is the need for “permission of the Apostolic See” and something requiring an “Apostolic Indult”.

I know for a fact that with out the “permission” the items that flow from that are invalid if the permission is not sought out and granted.

I am wondering if it goes the same way for the Indult. If the Indult is not sought out and granted will the action be valid?


#6

Perhaps it would be easier (not to mention clearer) if you’d give a concrete example.


#7

Upon second thought I have removed what I had posted here.

A concrete example is not needed and I do not feel like giving personal information out here.

Forget I asked.


#8

OK, now the question is much clearer (at least it is to me). It seems to me that the context is everything.

While I am , as you know, certainly not a Canon Lawyer (even the thought makes me cringe), I would have to say the terms are the essentially the same. In the given context, the absence of an indult (or “permission”), is the same thing: the ordination itself would be (using the Latin concept) “valid” but absolutely illicit since it would have been done contrary to established (Roman) law.


#9

Well you beat me to removing my post so I guess it is out there.

They are not the same thing then as you point out the ordination would be valid yet anything flowing from a novitiate without permission is invalid.


#10

Oops sorry … :o :wink: Oh well …

Anyway, nothing of a truly sacramental nature flows from novitiate, so the question of “validity” (in Latin terms) there seems to be a bit out of place. But yes, for a person in that circumstance, absent the “permission,” the liceity of his association with the Order (or congregation) would be questionable at best. However, if he were ordained, the ordination itself would be “valid” … the “indult” plays to liceity rather to to validity. :slight_smile:


#11

No problem, maybe I am just being a bit overly sensitive.

Anyway, nothing of a truly sacramental nature flows from novitiate, so the question of “validity” (in Latin terms) there seems to be a bit out of place. But yes, for a person in that circumstance, absent the “permission” the liceity of his association with the Order (or congregation) would be questionable at best. However, if he were ordained, the ordination itself would be “valid” … the “indult” plays to liceity rather to to validity. :slight_smile:

Yeah I know the ordinations would be valid following an invalid novitiate but the vows would not be valid which would create a big question about liceity of the association with the Order.

My question was just trying to understand if there is a difference between permission and indult.

I was not asking the two questions, novitiate and ordination, together I just used them as one, the novitiate, requires permission and the other, ordination, requires an indult.

Maybe the difference lies in that permission is easier to get than an indult.


#12

:slight_smile: :wink:

As I mentioned earlier, context is often everything, and in this context, I seem to think “permission” and "indut"are really the same thing. Both go to liceity rather than validity.

But anyway, I don’t believe that whether one is “easier” than the other is the point. As I see it, the real difference lies in the sacramental nature of Holy Orders. Hence, albeit that the net result amounts to the same thing, it would, (in Latin terms), be held to a higher standard, even if just a technically legal one. Just my :twocents: :wink:


#13

Thanks.

I was told that with out the permission for my novitiate that any vows I took in the order would not be valid becuase my novitiate would not be valid but the actual canon in the Eastern Code does say “lawfully admitted”.


#14

Hello,

Yes, this is a matter of liceity, not validity (CCEO c. 517.2). The answer to your broader question depends on the particular issue and what the law says about validity/liceity.

Dan


#15

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