The Bishop – the Judge in His Diocese Cover Image

Biskup soudcem ve své diecézi
The Bishop – the Judge in His Diocese

Author(s): Antonín Ignác Hrdina
Subject(s): Canon Law / Church Law
Published by: Společnost pro církevní právo

Summary/Abstract: Since the earliest times of the Church, the superior of the Church community – the diocesanbishop – was considered to be the bearer of all jurisdictional power: legislative, executive, and judicial. This notion refl ected the principle of the concentration of power, which is characteristicfor the hierarchical (therefore non-democratic) organization of the Church. Later, a bishop had more tasks (spiritual and secular), particularly following the Edict of Milan, andthe bishop had to delegate with increasing frequency the exercise of the administrative andjudicial power to his deputies (a vicar general, a judicial vicar, etc.); the legislative powerwas considered to be the only non-delegable prerogative of the bishop, who had – and stillhas – to exercise the power personally. This was the case until only recently, when the currentPope, Pope Francis, “drew” bishops back into judicial decision-making (at least in mattersof a nullity of a marriage and at least for so-called abbreviated proceedings).Since the earliest times of the Church, the superior of the Church community – the diocesan bishop – was considered to be the bearer of all jurisdictional power: legislative, executive, and judicial. This notion reflected the principle of the concentration of power, which is characteristic for the hierarchical (therefore non-democratic) organization of the Church. Later, a bishop had more tasks (spiritual and secular), particularly following the Edict of Milan, and the bishop had to delegate with increasing frequency the exercise of the administrative and judicial power to his deputies (a vicar general, a judicial vicar, etc.); the legislative power was considered to be the only non-delegable prerogative of the bishop, who had – and still has – to exercise the power personally. This was the case until only recently, when the current Pope, Pope Francis, “drew” bishops back into judicial decision-making (at least in matters of a nullity of a marriage and at least for so-called abbreviated proceedings).

  • Issue Year: XXII/2016
  • Issue No: 64-2
  • Page Range: 7-21
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Czech