Expectancy (Lat. expectantia, expectiva, gratia expectiva), in canon law, the name of a prospective claim to an ecclesiastical benefice which has not yet become vacant. At first the German emperors granted expectancies for the first place in every chapter that became vacant after their accession to the throne (jus primae precis). Afaer the eleventh century the popes granted expectancies at first in the shape of a request, and subsequently in the shape of an order. The expectancy was either for a definite benefice, or for any benefice of a certain class or chapter. The third Council of Lateran (1179), and later papal rescripts, forbade the expectancies, but the popes themselves continued to grant them. They were again restricted by the Council of Constance, and forbidden by the Council of Basel. The Council of Trent totally abolished them, except in cases of bishops and monastic superiors, to whom, in some specified cases, a coadjutor, with the right of succession, was given. In the Protestant state churches the princes have claimed the right to grant expectancies. — Allgem. Real-EncykI. 1:622; Herzog, Real-Encykll. 4:292. (A.J.S.)

Definition of expectancy

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