Charges made for certain of the more advantageous seats or pews in a church.
This constitutes one of the sources of revenue for the maintenance of the church and support of the clergy, especially in places where no state provision or endowment exists.
It has been approved by various provincial councils, including the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, and endorsed by the Holy See.
In these endorsements it is strictly stipulated that there should always be an ample sufficiency of free seats to accomodate those who cannot afford to rent one, in order that all the faithful might conveniently assist at Divine services.
The sum to be paid and the time of payment are to be determined by local law or custom.
Renting a pew in whole or in part, i.e., a sitting, entitles one to occupy that place during the time of all or some of the Divine services held in that church.
In some dioceses the custom is tolerated of allowing one who retains a sitting in a church to receive the administrations of the pastor of that church, even though living in another parish.
New Catholic Dictionary