Ecclesiastical Law

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Ecclesiastical Law


the aggregate of rules, sanctioned or established by the state, that regulate the internal organization of the church and the relations between church organizations, believers, and the state. In countries where the church is separate from the state, ecclesiastical law does not exist, and the rules of internal church relationships have no legal character (seeCHURCH AND STATE, SEPARATION OF).

Until the October Revolution of 1917, church organizations had their own jurisdiction, both as regards family relations and with respect to certain other areas. Thus, the Russian Orthodox Church had the right to rule on conflicts between members of the Orthodox clergy concerning rights of ownership of church property and to conduct criminal proceedings against the clergy and laity accused of those criminal and lesser offenses subject to an ecclesiastical penance. Proceedings concerning criminal and lesser offenses committed by members of the clergy “contrary to their office, decorum, or moral behavior” were also relegated to the jurisdiction of the Church.

On Jan. 20 (Feb. 2), 1918, the Council of People’s Commissars passed a decree separating the church from the state and the schools from the church. Internal church affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church are subject to the Regulations for the Governance of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopted by the local council in 1945.


References in periodicals archive ?
Initially analyzed in the context of theology, by the 1830s or so ecclesiastical law had begun to draw the attention of legal experts as well.
Rallis, Manual of Ecclesiastical Law that is in Effect in Greece, issue A (Athens, 1927), 13ff; Chr.
As well as treating the question of the status of women, the essays highlight the increasing role of the deceased in devolution of lands, and the influence of ecclesiastical law on common law practice.
A FORMER in-house legal advisor to the Diocese of Durham is also bringing a new specialism to BHP Philip Wills is an expert in Anglican ecclesiastical law having worked for the Diocese for almost 30 years.
These include the basic issue of ecclesiastical law in the different kingdoms, the mutual interaction of ecclesiastical and secular law, ecclesiastical legislation and the role of bishops and Episcopal synods, the judicial structure inside the church, the influence of the papacy, the position of the monasteries and the secular clergy and particular aspects of canon law such as matrimonial rules.
Although the city councilors were the primary urban elite group that controlled the appointment and promotion of the clergy, chapter 4 shows that they were subject to the periodic intervention of the Saxon Elector in Dresden and the territorial consistories that were the ultimate determiners of ecclesiastical law.
Liverpool-born Stephen also practises ecclesiastical law and served as deputy registrar for the diocese of Birmingham.
ANDREW and Gail Wallbank have lost a seven-year legal battle against the Church of England enforcing an ancient ecclesiastical law requiring them to pay for pounds 200,000 repairs to a Warwickshire parish church, plus pounds 100,000 costs (and rising).
At the church's equivalent of parliament - the General Synod - members have been asked to remove the words from thousands of pages of ecclesiastical law, at the end of the month.
This discrepancy between local tradition and ecclesiastical law does not imply that the peasants of Ourense completely ignored the institution of marriage and its obligations.