ecclesiastical jurisdiction

(Latin: jus, right, power; dicere to say)

The right to guide and rule the Church of God, the exercis of authority in regard to the three-fold office of the Church, teaching, priestly or ministerial, and pastoral. When this jurisdIction is exercised over the relations of man to God, as in teh Sacrament of Penance, or in the dispensing from vows, it is spoken of as jurisdiction of the forum (court) of Heaven, or of the internal forum. When it regulates external ecclesiastical relations it acts in the external forum only. When permanently attached to an office, it is called ordinary. This ordinary jurisdiction the Pope has by divine right for the whole Church, and a bishop for his diocese. Others have such authority by human right in matters over which they are placed. In this way a parish priest exercises jurisdiction in the internal forum. When jurisdiction is attached to an office, such as that of Vicar General, which may not be permanent, it is quasi-ordinary or vicarious. It is delegated, or extraordinary, when granted with limitations as to time or function.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author