(Matins and the other hours are treated of in another section.)
RULES FROM MORAL AND ASCETIC THEOLOGY FOR THE RECITATION
OF THE BREVIARY.
MORAL THEOLOGY GIVES THE RULES AND LAWS, WHICH MUST
BE FOLLOWED FOR THE
VALID AND LICIT RECITATION OF THE HOURS. ASCETIC THEOLOGY EXPLAINS THE
MEANS, WHICH ARE TO BE USED IN THEIR FERVENT RECITATION.
MORAL AND ASCETIC THEOLOGY.
Q. Who are bound to recite the Divine Office?
R. 1. Religious, that is, all those who have
Religious Profession, in the Canonical
sense, and who are bound to Choir recitation
(Canon 610, Juris Canonici).
2. Clerics in Holy Orders (Canon 135, Codex).
3. Beneficed Clergy.
Who are Beneficed Clergy?
Beneficed Clergy are those who hold a Canonically erected benefice. Canon 1409 of the Codex Juris Canonici defines an ecclesiastical benefice to be a “Juridical entity constituted or erected by competent ecclesiastical authority, consisting of a sacred office and the right of receiving revenues from endowments attached to the office.” Hence under this Canon, as previously three conditions are required for a benefice, first, a sacred office, second, the right of receiving revenues from endowment attached to that office, third, erection by ecclesiastical authority. There never was any doubt in the many discussions on this subject, that the work and care of a parish is a sacred office, and that parish priests hold such an office. But the second condition mentioned above received different interpretations. Some held that it implied a certain amount of ecclesiastical property set aside, from the revenues of which the holder of the benefice would derive his income. Hence the revenues of parish priests in these Kingdoms, arising from certain and voluntary offerings of the faithful, were not fixed revenues, did not fulfil the conditions of “endowment,” and parishes must not be regarded as benefices. This opinion is no longer tenable. Canon 1410 says:—“The endowment of a Benefice is constituted either by property, the ownership of which pertains to the Juridical entity itself, or by certain and obligatory payments of any family or moral personality, or by certain and voluntary offerings of the faithful which appertain to the rector of the benefice, or, as they are called stole fees, within the limits of diocesan taxation or legitimate custom, or choral distributions, exclusive of a third part of the same, if all the revenues of the benefice consist of choral distributions.”
This Canon seems to make it clear that the second condition is fulfilled in all the parishes of these Kingdoms, since to the sacred office is attached the right of receiving revenue from the certain and voluntary offerings of the faithful or from stole fees or from both.