Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, Index of Faculties Granted to Pontifical Legates in Mission Territories, 1999.


1. To permit, before receiving the pertinent apostolic letter with the seal, the erection of the Diocese,1 the consecration of the Bishop and the taking possession of the Diocese.

2. To dispense from canon 382, §3 with regard to the showing of the apostolic letter to the College of Consultors for taking possession of the Diocese, when the convocation of the College of Consultors is impossible.

3. To extend, in case of urgent necessity, the time period within which the diocesan Administrator is to be chosen by the College of Consultors (can. 421, §1), without prejudice to the prescript of canon 502, §3.

4. To depute, in a Vicariate or Prefect Apostolic, while the see is vacant, a Pro-Vicar or a Pro-Prefect, if, for any reason, one has not been appointed or after the appointment he has passed away.

5. To grant, during the vacancy of a diocese and at the request of the apostolic or diocesan Administrator, whenever the need is urgent,

1. Whatever is said of the Diocese applies to any ecclesiastical circumscription.

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individual faculties for individual cases, which are within the ordinary power of the Bishop.

6. To grant permission to ecclesiastical juridic persons, which need the permission in accord with the norm of law, so that, whenever there is an urgent necessity and there is danger in delay, they may be able to alienate goods valued at double the maximum sum defined in accord with canons 638, §3 and 1292, §1,2 of the Code of Canon Law.

The same rule applies, keeping in mind the prescript of canon 1297, to transactions mentioned in canon 1295. The competent Congregation shall be informed, within a year, of the completed alienation.

7. To be vigilant so that justice is observed in the collection and distribution of economic subsidies, particularly those pertaining to Pontifical Missionary Works.

8. To forgive, entirely or in part, the obligations of Masses when there is physical or moral impossibility of celebrating them. Should it be possible to satisfy the obligations in part, an appropriate number of Masses shall be imposed, also by extending the time for their fulfilment. In occult cases, however, it is expedient to refer the petitioners to a confessor of their choice, and they shall approach the Apostolic Penitentiary through the confessor.

The petitioners themselves, however, are to be admonished that the obligations of Masses, which remain unfulfilled, will be forgiven, if per chance they die in the Lord before satisfying all of them, without leaving any money to fulfil them either wholly or in part, by the Supreme Pontiff supplying the remaining obligations from the treasury of the Church.

9. To offer Mass thrice on weekdays, for a just cause, and even four times on Sundays and on holy days of obligation, when pastoral necessity demands it.

10. To allow, whenever there is some more serious necessity or pastoral advantage and the Ordinary of the place requests it, the celebration of “Masses for various circumstances” (Missarum ad diversa) even on

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days prohibited by liturgical law, with the exception of Easter, Nativity of the Lord, Epiphany, Ascension, Pentecost, Assumption and Immaculate Conception of B.V.M. and the days of Paschal Triduum.

11. To extend once and for a just cause, not however beyond three months, the faculties, indults and rescripts granted by the Apostolic See, which have expired.

12. To visit persons, places and matters mentioned in canons 397, §2, 628, §2, 683, 806 of the Code of Canon Law, in particular cases and not in a manner of general visitation, either personally or through a presbyter, who excels in honesty, prudence and doctrine, provided that the visit is considered necessary and urgent, the Ordinary is impeded or is negligent, and there is no sufficient time to have recourse to the Holy See.

13. To decide, in extraordinary cases and in urgent necessity, on the status of a house or of a group of consecrated life, by seeking consultation and assistance of Superiors in order to apply appropriate remedies to abuses, after informing the Apostolic See as soon as possible, should it seem necessary to determine something new for the benefit of the Communities.

14. To enter, for a just cause, the papal cloister (clausura) of monasteries of nuns, which are situated in the territory assigned to him, and to grant permission, for a just and grave cause, so that others may be allowed into the cloister (clausura).

15. To impart, in accord with the prescribed formula, three times a year, the days to be chosen by him, the papal Benediction with a plenary indulgence to be gained by those who, after making confession, and after receiving holy Communion and reciting Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be or any other prayer that suits their piety, for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, have received the same Benediction.

Moreover, also in the following cases:

— whenever an ecclesial event is celebrated on a national level, at which the Apostolic Nuncio or the Apostolic Delegate presides;

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— at the occasion of visitation of the Diocese, after the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration, with which he carried out such a visit.

Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, Index of Faculties, 1999, Ius Ecclesiae 12 (2000): 286-288. Unofficial English translation by Rev. Augustine Mendonça, JCD. Used with permission.