(Latin: de legare, to delegate)

In canon law, the spiritual jurisdiction or power which a person exercises in virtue of a commission from one having ordinary jurisdiction, with the understanding that he must act in the name of the one delegating; he may not proceed to the exercise of his power until it be formally notified to him. Anyone having ordinary jurisdiction may delegate another, unless such power be expressly withheld from him. The fact of delegation must be proved to those interested, either by showing them the written instrument, or exhibiting proof that the power has been received. A delegate has the power to subdelegate jurisdiction to others, if he was appointed by the pope, even for a particular case. This is forbidden only when the matter has been especially committed to his personal attention, when it is unusually important, or of a merely executive nature. If the delegate was appointed hy an ordinary other than the pope, he cannot subdelegate, unless he has been commissioned ad universitatem causarum, or when the person delegating has given him special authority to subdelegate. The subdelegate cannot make a new delegation, but he can call in others to assist him in the details of his work.

New Catholic Dictionary

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