Administration, Ecclesiastical

Administration, Ecclesiastical,

of the property of the Church, in the early ages, was entirely in the hands of the bishops. They were enjoined, however, to consult with their priests and deacons. and were subject to give account to the provincial synod. This continued to be the case up to the beginning of the 9th century. There were (especially in the East) officers called Economi, SEE ECONOMUS, who managed the temporalities of the churches under the control of their respective bishops. The bishops had originally the entire disposal of all the property and offerings of all the parishes in their dioceses (Conc. Agde, can. 22; 1 Conc. Orlean. can. 15) except the sacred vessels and other such things, which were appropriated to the churches where they were offered. This was so in France up to the time of the first Council of Trent., The bishops received all the revenues of the Church, leaving to the clergy only two thirds of the offerings. The Council of Carpentras, in 527, ordered' that all the revenues, etc., should be given to the clergy of the parish and for repairs, unless the bishops were in great need. In Spain, the custom, in the beginning of the 6th century, was to give the bishop one third of the entire revenue of each parish. The Council of Braga, in 560, allowed the same, devoting the other two thirds to the clergy and repairs. The Council of Trdsld, in 909 (can. 6), appears to show that the clergy at that period enjoyed the sole use of the revenues of their benefices. but were liable to be called to account by the bishop for their use of' them. The Council of Trent (sess. 22, cap. 8, 9) granted to bishops the right of visiting all foundations for the temporal or spiritual good of the poor and sick, etc.

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