Code of Canon Law 112
113 §1. The Catholic Church and the Apostolic See have the character of a moral person by divine ordinance itself.
§2. In the Church, besides physical persons, there are also juridic persons, that is, subjects in canon law of obligations and rights which correspond to their nature.
114 §1. Juridic persons are constituted either by the prescript of law or by special grant of competent authority given through a decree. They are aggregates of persons (universitates personarum)or of things (universitates rerum) ordered for a purpose which is in keeping with the mission of the Church and which transcends the purpose of the individuals.
§2. The purposes mentioned in §1 are understood as those which pertain to works of piety, of the apostolate, or of charity, whether spiritual or temporal.
§3. The competent authority of the Church is not to confer juridic personality except on those aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or things (universitates rerum) which pursue a truly useful purpose and, all things considered, possess the means which are foreseen to be efficient to achieve their designated purpose.
115 §1. Juridic persons in the Church are either aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or aggregates of things (universitates rerum).
§2. An aggregate of persons (universitas personarum), which can be constituted only with at least three persons, is collegial if the members determine its action through participation in rendering decisions, whether by equal right or not, according to the norm of law and the statutes; otherwise it is non-collegial.
§3. An aggregate of things (universitas rerum), or an autonomous foundation, consists of goods or things, whether spiritual or material, and either one or more physical persons or a college directs it according to the norm of law and the statutes.
116 §1. Public juridic persons are aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or of things (universitates rerum)which are constituted by competent ecclesiastical authority so that, within the purposes set out for them, they fulfill in the name of the Church, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, the proper function entrusted to them in view of the public good; other juridic persons are private.
§2. Public juridic persons are given this personality either by the law itself or by a special decree of competent authority expressly granting it. Private juridic persons are given this personality only through a special decree of competent authority expressly granting it.
117 No aggregate of persons (universitas personarum)or of things (universitas rerum), intending to obtain juridic personality, is able to acquire it unless competent authority has approved its statutes.
118 Representing a public juridic person and acting in its name are those whose competence is acknowledged by universal or particular law or by its own statutes. Representing a private juridic person are those whose competence is granted by statute.
119 With regard to collegial acts, unless the law or statutes provide otherwise:
1/ if it concerns elections, when the majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; after two indecisive ballots, a vote is to be taken on the two candidates who have obtained the greater number of votes or, if there are several, on the two senior in age; after the third ballot, if a tie remains, the one who is senior in age is considered elected;
2/ if it concerns other affairs, when an absolute majority of those who must be convoked are present, that which is approved by the absolute majority of those present has the force of law; if after two ballots the votes are equal, the one presiding can break the tie by his or her vote;
3/ what touches all as individuals, however, must be approved by all.
120 §1. A juridic person is perpetual by its nature; nevertheless, it is extinguished if it is legitimately suppressed by competent authority or has ceased to act for a hundred years. A private juridic person, furthermore, is extinguished if the association is dissolved according to the norm of its statutes or if, in the judgment of competent authority, the foundation has ceased to exist according to the norm of its statutes.
§2. If even one of the members of a collegial juridic person survives, and the aggregate of persons (universitas personarum)has not ceased to exist according to its statutes, that member has the exercise of all the rights of the aggregate (universitas).
121 If aggregates of persons (universitates personarum) or of things (universitates rerum), which are public juridic persons, are so joined that from them one aggregate (universitas)is constituted which also possesses juridic personality, this new juridic person obtains the goods and patrimonial rights proper to the prior ones and assumes the obligations with which they were burdened. With regard to the allocation of goods in particular and to the fulfillment of obligations, however, the intention of the founders and donors as well as acquired rights must be respected.
122 If an aggregate (universitas) which possesses public juridic personality is so divided either that a part of it is united with another juridic person or that a distinct public juridic person is erected from the separated part, the ecclesiastical authority competent to make the division, having observed before all else the intention of the founders and donors, the acquired rights, and the approved statutes, must take care personally or through an executor:
1/ that common, divisible, patrimonial goods and rights as well as debts and other obligations are divided among the juridic persons concerned, with due proportion in equity and justice, after all the circumstances and needs of each have been taken into account;
2/ that the use and usufruct of common goods which are not divisible accrue to each juridic person and that the obligations proper to them are imposed upon each, in due proportion determined in equity and justice.
123 Upon the extinction of a public juridic person, the allocation of its goods, patrimonial rights, and obligations is governed by law and its statutes; if these give no indication, they go to the juridic person immediately superior, always without prejudice to the intention of the founders and donors and acquired rights. Upon the extinction of a private juridic person, the allocation of its goods and obligations is governed by its own statutes.
124 §1. For the validity of a juridic act it is required that the act is placed by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act.
§2. A juridic act placed correctly with respect to its external elements is presumed valid.
125 §1. An act placed out of force inflicted on a person from without, which the person was not able to resist in any way, is considered as never to have taken place.
§2. An act placed out of grave fear, unjustly inflicted, or out of malice is valid unless the law provides otherwise. It can be rescinded, however, through the sentence of a judge, either at the instance of the injured party or of the party’s successors in law, or ex officio.
126 An act placed out of ignorance or out of error concerning something which constitutes its substance or which amounts to a condition sine qua non is invalid. Otherwise it is valid unless the law makes other provision. An act entered into out of ignorance or error, however, can give rise to a rescissory action according to the norm of law.
127 §1. When it is established by law that in order to place acts a superior needs the consent or counsel of some college or group of persons, the college or group must be convoked according to the norm of CIC 166 unless, when it concerns seeking counsel only, particular or proper law provides otherwise. For such acts to be valid, however, it is required that the consent of an absolute majority of those present is obtained or that the counsel of all is sought.
§2. When it is established by law that in order to place acts a superior needs the consent or counsel of certain persons as individuals:
1/ if consent is required, the act of a superior who does not seek the consent of those persons or who acts contrary to the opinion of all or any of them is invalid;
2/ if counsel is required, the act of a superior who does not hear those persons is invalid; although not obliged to accept their opinion even if unanimous, a superior is nonetheless not to act contrary to that opinion, especially if unanimous, without a reason which is overriding in the superior’s judgment.
§3. All whose consent or counsel is required are obliged to offer their opinion sincerely and, if the gravity of the affair requires it, to observe secrecy diligently; moreover, the superior can insist upon this obligation.
128 Whoever illegitimately inflicts damage upon someone by a juridic act or by any other act placed with malice or negligence is obliged to repair the damage inflicted.
129 §1. Those who have received sacred orders are qualified, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, for the power of governance, which exists in the Church by divine institution and is also called the power of jurisdiction.
§2. Lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this same power according to the norm of law.
130 Of itself, the power of governance is exercised for the external forum; sometimes, however, it is exercised for the internal forum alone, so that the effects which its exercise is meant to have for the external forum are not recognized there, except insofar as the law establishes it in determined cases.
131 §1. The ordinary power of governance is that which is joined to a certain office by the law itself; delegated, 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.
§3. The burden of proving delegation rests on the one who claims to have been delegated.
132 §1. Habitual faculties are governed by the prescripts for delegated power.
§2. Nevertheless, unless the grant expressly provides otherwise or the ordinary was chosen for personal qualifications, a habitual faculty granted to an ordinary is not withdrawn when the authority of the ordinary to whom it was granted expires, even if he has begun to execute it, but the faculty transfers to any ordinary who succeeds him in governance.
133 §1. A delegate who exceeds the limits of the mandate with respect to either matters or persons does not act at all.
§2. A delegate who carries out those things for which the person was delegated in some manner other than that determined in the mandate is not considered to exceed the limits of the mandate unless the manner was prescribed for validity by the one delegating.
134 §1. In addition to the Roman Pontiff, by the title of ordinary are understood in the law diocesan bishops and others who, even if only temporarily, are placed offer some particular church or a community equivalent to it according to the norm of CIC 368 as well as those who possess general ordinary executive power in them, namely, vicars general and episcopal vicars; likewise, for their own members, major superiors of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and of clerical societies of apostolic life of pontifical right who at least possess ordinary executive power.
§2. By the title of local ordinary are understood all those mentioned in §1 except the superiors of religious institutes and of societies of apostolic life.
§3. Within the context of executive power, those things which in the canons are attributed by name to the diocesan bishop are understood to belong only to a diocesan bishop and to the others made equivalent to him in CIC 381, §2, excluding the vicar general and episcopal vicar except by special mandate.
135 §1. The power of governance is distinguished as legislative, executive, and judicial.
§2. Legislative power must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law; that which a legislator below the supreme authority possesses in the Church cannot be validly delegated unless the law explicitly provides otherwise. A lower legislator cannot validly issue a law contrary to higher law.
§3. Judicial power, which judges or judicial colleges possess, must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law and cannot be delegated except to perform acts preparatory to some decree or sentence.
§4. In what pertains to the exercise of executive power, the prescripts of the following canons are to be observed.
136 Unless the nature of the matter or a prescript of law establishes otherwise, a person is able to exercise executive power offer his subjects, even when he or they are outside his territory; he is also able to exercise this power offer travelers actually present in the territory if it concerns granting favors or executing universal laws or particular laws which bind them according to the norm of CIC 13, §2, n. 2.
137 §1. Ordinary executive power can be delegated both for a single act and for all cases unless the law expressly provides otherwise.
§2. Executive power delegated by the Apostolic See can be subdelegated for a single act or for all cases unless the delegate was chosen for personal qualifications or subdelegation was expressly forbidden.
§3. Executive power delegated by another authority who has ordinary power can be subdelegated only for individual cases if it was delegated for all cases. If it was delegated for a single act or for determined acts, however, it cannot be subdelegated except by express grant of the one delegating.
§4. No subdelegated power can be subdelegated again unless the one delegating has expressly granted this.
138 Ordinary executive power as well as power delegated for all cases must be interpreted broadly; any other, however, must be interpreted strictly. Nevertheless, one who has delegated power is understood to have been granted also those things without which the delegate cannot exercise this power.
139 §1. Unless the law determines otherwise, the fact that a person approaches some competent authority, even a higher one, does not suspend the executive power, whether ordinary or delegated, of another competent authority.
§2. Nevertheless, a lower authority is not to become involved in cases submitted to a higher authority except for a grave and urgent cause; in this case, the lower authority is immediately to notify the higher concerning the matter.
140 §1. When several persons have been delegated in solidum to transact the same affair, the one who first begins to deal with it excludes the others from doing so unless that person subsequently was impeded or did not wish to proceed further in carrying it out.
§2. When several persons have been delegated collegially to transact an affair, all must proceed according to the norm of CIC 119 unless the mandate has provided otherwise.
§3. Executive power delegated to several persons is presumed to be delegated to them in solidum.
141 When several persons have been delegated successively, that person is to take care of the affair whose mandate is the earlier and has not been subsequently revoked.
142 §1. Delegated power ceases: by fulfillment of the mandate; by expiration of the time or completion of the number of cases for which it was granted; by cessation of the purpose for the delegation; by revocation of the one delegating directly communicated to the delegate as well as by resignation of the delegate made known to and accepted by the one delegating. It does not cease, however, when the authority of the one delegating expires unless this appears in attached clauses.
§2. Nevertheless, an act of delegated power which is exercised for the internal forum alone and is placed inadvertently after the lapse of the time limit of the grant is valid.
143 §1. Ordinary power ceases by loss of the office to which it is connected.
§2. Unless the law provides otherwise, ordinary power is suspended if, legitimately, an appeal is made or a recourse is lodged against privation of or removal from office.
144 §1. In factual or legal common error and in positive and probable doubt of law or of fact, the Church supplies executive power of governance for both the external and internal forum.
§2. The same norm is applied to the faculties mentioned in cann. CIC 882 CIC 883 CIC 966, and CIC 1111, §1.
145 §1. An ecclesiastical office is any function constituted in a stable manner by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance to be exercised for a spiritual purpose.
§2. The obligations and rights proper to individual ecclesiastical offices are defined either in the law by which the office is constituted or in the decree of the competent authority by which the office is at the same time constituted and conferred.
146 An ecclesiastical office cannot be acquired validly without canonical provision.
147 The provision of an ecclesiastical office is made: through free conferral by a competent ecclesiastical authority; through installation by the same authority if presentation preceded it; through confirmation or admission granted by the same authority if election or postulation preceded it; finally, through simple election and acceptance by the one elected if the election does not require confirmation.
148 The provision of offices is also the competence of the authority to whom it belongs to erect, change, and suppress them unless the law establishes otherwise.
149 §1. To be promoted to an ecclesiastical office, a person must be in the communion of the Church as well as suitable, that is, endowed with those qualities which are required for that office by universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation.
§2. Provision of an ecclesiastical office made to one who lacks the requisite qualities is invalid only if the qualities are expressly required for the validity of the provision by universal or particular law or by the law of the foundation. Otherwise it is valid but can be rescinded by decree of competent authority or by sentence of an administrative tribunal.
§3. Provision of an office made as a result of simony is invalid by the law itself.
150 An office which entails the full care of souls and for whose fulfillment the exercise of the priestly order is required cannot be conferred validly on one who is not yet a priest.
151 The provision of an office which entails the care of souls is not to be deferred without a grave cause.
152 Two or more incompatible offices, that is, offices which together cannot be fulfilled at the same time by the same person, are not to be conferred upon one person.
153 §1. The provision of an office which by law is not vacant is by that fact invalid and is not validated by subsequent vacancy.
§2. Nevertheless, if it concerns an office which by law is conferred for a determined period of time, provision can be made within six months before the expiration of this time and takes effect from the day of the vacancy of the office.
§3. A promise of some office, no matter by whom it is made, produces no juridic effect.
154 An office vacant by law, which may still be possessed illegitimately by someone, can be conferred provided that it has been declared properly that the possession is not legitimate and mention of this declaration is made in the letter of conferral.
155 A person who confers an office in the place of another who is negligent or impeded acquires no power thereafter offer the person upon whom the office was conferred. The juridic condition of that person, however, is established just as if the provision had been completed according to the ordinary norm of law.
156 The provision of any office is to be put in writing.
157 Unless the law explicitly establishes otherwise, it is for the diocesan bishop to provide for ecclesiastical offices in his own particular church by free conferral.
158 §1. Presentation for an ecclesiastical office by a person who has the right of presentation must be made to the authority to whom it belongs to install in that office. Moreover, this must be done within three months from notice of the vacancy of the office unless other provision has been made legitimately.
§2. If some college or group of persons has the right of presentation, the person to be presented is to be designated according to the prescripts of CIC 165-179.
159 No one is to be presented unwillingly; therefore, a person who is proposed for presentation and questioned about his or her intention can be presented unless the person declines within eight useful days.
160 §1. The person who possesses the right of presentation can present one or even several persons, either at the same time or successively.
§2. No one can present oneself; a college or group of persons, however, can present one of its own members.
161 §1. Unless the law establishes otherwise, a person who has presented one found unsuitable can present another candidate within a month, but once more only.
§2. If the person presented renounces or dies before the installation, the one who has the right of presentation can exercise this right again within a month from the notice of the renunciation or death.
162 A person who has not made presentation within the useful time according to the norm of CIC 158, §1 and CIC 161 as well as one who has twice presented an unsuitable person loses the right of presentation for that case. The authority to whom it belongs to install freely provides for the vacant office, with the assent, however, of the proper ordinary of the person appointed.
163 The authority competent to install the person presented according to the norm of law is to install the one legitimately presented whom the authority has found suitable and who has accepted. If several persons legitimately presented have been found suitable, the authority must install one of them.
164 Unless the law has provided otherwise, the prescripts of the following canons are to be observed in canonical elections.
165 Unless the law or the legitimate statutes of a college or group have provided otherwise, if a college or group of persons has the right of election to office, the election is not to be delayed beyond three months of useful time computed from the notice of the vacancy of the office. If this limit has passed without action, the ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right of providing for the office successively is to make provision freely for the vacant office.
166 §1. The person presiding offer a college or group is to convoke all those belonging to the college or group; the notice of convocation, however, when it must be personal, is valid if it is given in the place of domicile or quasi-domicile or in the place of residence.
§2. If anyone of those to be convoked was overlooked and for that reason was absent, the election is valid. Nevertheless, at the instance of that same person and when the oversight and absence have been proved, the election must be rescinded by the competent authority even if it has been confirmed, provided that it is evident juridically that recourse had been made at least within three days from the notice of the election.
§3. If more than one-third of the electors were overlooked, however, the election is null by the law itself unless all those overlooked were in fact present.
167 §1. When the notice of the convocation has been given legitimately, those present on the day and at the place determined in the same notice have the right to vote. The faculty of voting by letter or proxy is excluded unless the statutes legitimately provide otherwise.
§2. If one of the electors is present in the house where the election occurs but cannot be present at the election due to ill health, his or her written vote is to be sought by the tellers.
168 Even if a person has the right to vote in his or her own name under several titles, the person can vote only once.
169 For an election to be valid, no one can be admitted to vote who does not belong to the college or group.
170 An election whose freedom actually has been impeded in any way is invalid by the law itself.
171 §1. The following are effected to vote:
1/ a person incapable of a human act;
2/ a person who lacks active voice;
3/ a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;
4/ a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.
§2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.
172 §1. To be valid, a vote must be:
1/ free; therefore the vote of a person who has been coerced directly or indirectly by grave fear or malice to vote for a certain person or different persons separately is invalid;
2/ secret, certain, absolute, determined.
§2. Conditions attached to a vote before the election are to be considered as not having been added.
173 §1. Before an election begins, at least two tellers are to be designated from the membership of the college or group.
§2. The tellers are to collect the votes, to examine in the presence of the one presiding offer the election whether the number of ballots corresponds to the number of electors, to count the votes themselves, and to announce openly how many votes each person has received.
§3. If the number of votes exceeds the number of electors, the voting is without effect.
§4. All the acts of an election are to be transcribed accurately by the secretary and are to be preserved carefully in the archive of the college after they have been signed at least by the same secretary, the one presiding, and the tellers.
174 §1. Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can also be done by compromise, provided that the electors, by unanimous and written consent, transfer the right to elect on that occasion to one or more suitable persons, whether from among the membership or outside it, who are to elect in the name of all by virtue of the faculty received.
§2. If it concerns a college or group composed of clerics alone, those commissioned must be ordained; otherwise the election is invalid.
§3. Those commissioned must observe the prescripts of the law concerning elections and, for the validity of the election, the conditions attached to the compromise agreement which are not contrary to the law; conditions contrary to the law, however, are to be considered as not having been attached.
175 The compromise ceases and the right to vote returns to those authorizing the compromise:
1/ by revocation by the college or group before any action was taken;
2/ if some condition attached to the compromise agreement was not fulfilled;
3/ if the election had been completed but was null.
176 Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, the person who has received the required number of votes according to the norm of CIC 119, n. 1 is considered elected and is to be announced as such by the one presiding offer the college or group.
177 §1. An election must be communicated immediately to the person elected who must inform the one presiding offer the college or group whether or not he or she accepts the election within eight useful days after receiving the notification; otherwise, the election has no effect.
§2. If the one elected has not accepted, the person loses every right deriving from the election and does not regain any right by subsequent acceptance but can be elected again. A college or group, however, must proceed to a new election within a month from notifcation of non-acceptance.
178 The person elected who has accepted an election which does not need confirmation obtains the office in full right immediately; otherwise, the person acquires only the right to the office.
179 §1. If the election requires confirmation, the person elected must personally or through another seek confirmation from the competent authority within eight useful days from the day of acceptance of election; otherwise, the person is deprived of every right unless it has been proved that the person was prevented from seeking confirmation by a just impediment.
§2. The competent authority cannot deny confirmation if the person elected has been found suitable according to the norm of CIC 149, §1, and the election was conducted according to the norm of law.
§3. Confirmation must be given in writing.
§4. Before being notified of confirmation, the person elected is not permitted to become involved in the administration of the office, whether in matters spiritual or temporal, and acts possibly placed by the person are null.
§5. Once notified of the confirmation, the one elected obtains the office in full right unless the law provides otherwise.
180 §1. If a canonical impediment from which a dispensation can be and customarily is granted prevents the election of a person whom the electors believe to be more suitable and whom they prefer, by their votes they can postulate that person from the competent authority unless the law provides otherwise.
§2. Those commissioned to elect in virtue of a compromise cannot postulate unless this was expressed in the compromise.
181 §1. At least two-thirds of the votes are required for a postulation to have force.
§2. A vote for postulation must be expressed by the words, I postulate, or the equivalent. The formula, I elect or I postulate, or the equivalent is valid for election if there is no impediment; otherwise it is valid for postulation.
182 §1. A postulation must be sent within eight useful days by the one presiding to the authority competent to confirm the election, to whom it pertains to grant the dispensation from the impediment, or, if the authority does not have this power, to petition the dispensation from a higher authority. If confirmation is not required, a postulation must be sent to the authority competent to grant the dispensation.
§2. If a postulation has not been sent within the prescribed time, by that fact it is null, and the college or group is deprived of the right of electing or postulating for that occasion unless it is proved that the one presiding had been prevented from sending the postulation by a just impediment or had refrained from sending it at the opportune time by malice or negligence.
§3. The person postulated acquires no right by postulation; the competent authority is not obliged to admit the postulation.
§4. Electors cannot revoke a postulation made to a competent authority unless the authority consents.
183 §1. If a postulation has not been admitted by the competent authority, the right of electing reverts to the college or group.
§2. If a postulation has been admitted, however, this is to be made known to the person postulated, who must respond according to the norm of CIC 177, §1.
§3. A person who accepts a postulation which has been admitted acquires the office in full right immediately.
Code of Canon Law 112