benefice

Latin, beneficium, a benefit

A juridical entity erected or constituted in perpetuity by competent ecclesiastical authority, consisting of a sacred office and the right of receiving the revenues accruing to that office. These revenues may arise from

  • property, movable or immovable owned by the benefice
  • obligatory contributions made by a family or some moral person
  • the voluntary offerings of the faithful or stole fees to be paid according to diocesan statute or laudable custom
  • the choir distributions, except a third part of the same, if the entire revenues consist of such distributions

Benefices are divided by the Code into

  • consistorial, which are usually conferred in a consistory
  • non-consistorial
  • secular or religious, according as they are confided to the care of the secular or religious clergy
  • double (residential), which have attached the obligation of residence
  • simple (non-residential)
  • manual (temporary, removable)
  • perpetual (irremovable), according as the incumbent can be removed at will or not
  • curata, which involved the cure of souls
  • non-curata

According to an official reply from Rome in 1921, parishes in the United States are regarded as benefices.