| Year 2002 Canonical Studies pp. 15-55
THE STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS OF THE DIOCESAN CURIA
(Prof. Augustine Mendonca)
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Part I: Introduction

Canon 469 of the 1983 Code defines the constitution and finality of the diocesan curia. It states that: “The diocesan curia consists of those institutions and persons which assist the bishop in the governance of the whole diocese, especially in guiding pastoral action, in caring for the administration of the diocese, and in exercising judicial power.”1 According to this canon, a diocesan curia consists of “institutions” and “persons,” and, unlike canon 363 of the 1917 Code, it does not list the “institutions” nor does it specify who the “persons” are, although in some of the canons that follow there is mention of a moderator of the curia (can. 473, §2),2 vicar general (can. 475), Episcopal vicar (can. 476), chancellor (can. 482), other notaries (can. 483), and finance officer (can. 494), and among the institution are, Episcopal council (can. 473, §4)3 and finance council (can. 492). This is not a taxative list because the very tenor of canon 469 leave to the discretion of the diocesan bishop the constitution of other “institutions” and creation of new “offices” to which other “persons” can be appointed according to the pastoral needs of the particular church. And the collaboration of “institutions” and “persons” with the bishop takes place particularly in three areas, namely: pastoral activity, administrative or executive and judicial functions. The activities of the curia are ordinarily carried out within two sections, namely administrative and judicial. While canons 469-494 deal with the persons and functions pertaining to the administrative section, prescripts of Book VII, Processes, concern cases and persons which belong to the exercise of judicial power in the curia.

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1. Canon 243 of the Eastern Code is more comprehensive and contains several points that are different from canon 469 of CIC 83. CCEO c. 243 reads:
Ҥ1. The eparchial bishop must have at his see an eparchial curia, which assists him in the governance of the eparchy entrusted to him.
Ҥ2. To the eparchial curia belong the protosycellus, syncelli, judicial vicar, eparchial finance officer and the finance council, chancellor, eparchial judges, promoter of justice and defender of the bond, notaries and other persons included by the eparchial bishop to discharge properly the offices of the eparchial curia.
“§3. For the needs or benefit of the eparchy, the eparcial bishop can also set up othe in the eparchial curia.”

2. This figure does not exist in CCEO. However, there is nothing in law that would prohibit an eparch in introducing this figure within his eparchy. In fact CCEO 243, §3 seem to provide sufficient discretion to establish an office moderator.

3. This organism does not exist in CCEO. In accord with CCEO 243, §3, an eparch can create this institution in his eparchy.

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