Corporation Ecclesiastical (CORPUS ECCLESIASTICUM), an association for ecclesiastical purposes sanctioned by the state and recognised as a civil person (corpus). Among the usual rights of corporations are those to acquire property, to contract obligations and debts, to sue and be sued. Their legal status may be regulated either by general laws applying to all corporations of a certain class, or by special laws given for the benefit of one corporation only. — Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:881.