chaplain

Latin: capella, chapel

A priest authorized to conduct liturgical functions in the army, or for an ecclesiastical association, a lay religious community, an institution, etc. The right of appointing chaplains for ecclesiastical institutions belongs to the local Ordinary, except for religious who appoint chaplains within their own territory, in which case the consent of the Ordinary is required should the chaplain chosen by the religious superior be one of the secular clergy. During his term of office the chaplain can bless the habit or insignia, the scapulars, etc., of the association, and invest the new members with them. For a just cause a chaplain may be removed from office by those who appointed him as well as by their successors or superiors. The chaplains of communities of non-exempt lay religious are appointed by the Ordinary; those of exempt religious by the religious superior. The chaplain has not parochial rights over the community. Accordingly the administration of Viaticum and Extreme Unction rests with the local pastor, unless the bishop withdraws the religious house from the jurisdiction of the pastor and subjects it to the chaplain. Approximately the same rule applies to funeral services, except that the chaplain and not the pastor conducts them in lay institutes of men. The chaplain of a hospital or other institution must adapt his services to the needs of the institution, avoiding all usurpation of parochial functions, such as the administration of solemn Baptism, if the institution is not withdrawn from parochial jurisdiction. See also: military chaplain.