immunity of clergy

An exemption from legal obligation. By this privilege clerics, according to the Code of Canon Law, are exempt from military service, and from all civil public offices that are not in keeping with the clerical state. What these latter offices are, the present law does not explicitly indicate; we may, however, say the offices of judge in secular courts, jurors, and magistrates. In general clerics should not be forced to accept any of those offices that are forbidden to clerics as unbecoming or not proper. Beyond the declaration that clerics are exempt from military service, there is intimation of what measures might on occasion be taken, as with France during the late war, to make the declaration effective. Governments as a rule recognize the propriety of this immunity.

New Catholic Dictionary

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