Variation, Right of
Variation, Right of (us Variandi) in canon law, is the right of a lay patron, during an established period, to suggest for confirmation by the proper ecclesiastical authority the diversion of a benefice already presented to a different candidate. Clerical patrons do not possess this right. Its exercise is entirely voluntary with the patron, though where the original presentation was made to a person afterwards found to be ineligible or unwilling or unable to receive it, a new presentation must take place of necessity. When a patron suggests a second person for presentation for reasons which do not affect the original receiver's eligibility, the question arises whether the spiritual superior is obliged to disregard the latter's claim for institution (pritative variation), or whether he may select the person who seems to himself the more available candidate (cumulative variation). Upon this question diverse views are given by the authorities; but the law of cumulative variation would seem to have the greatest support in law. Everything in connection with the dispute depends on the interpretation of cap. 24, 10 De Jure Patronatus, the rescript of which, by pope Lucius III, is as follows: "Quum autem advocatus clericum idoneum episcopo praesentaverit, et postulaverit postmodum, eo non refutato, alium, veque idoneum, in ecclesiam admitti, quis eorum alteri prseferatur,judicio episcopi credimus relinquendum, si laicus fuerit, cui jus cornpetit presentandi. Verum si collegium vel ecclesiastica persona presentationem haberet, qui prior est tempore jure potior esse videtur." The disagreement occurs on the interpretation of the italicized words; some understanding them as having reference to the patron's action, and others applying them to the bishop's part in the matter. The right of a patron to recommend a second person for the presentation, when the person previously recommended was a clericus idoneus, is expressly conceded by the pope, though he gives the bishop the right to determine between them. The extent to which the right of variation may be exercised has also been discussed, but without result. See Lippert and Weiss, Archived. Kirchenrechtswissenschaft, 1, 4; Richter, Kirchenrecht (5th ed.), § 193; Lippert, Versuch einer hist. — dogmat. Entwicklung d.Lehre vom Pattronate (Giessen, 1829); Schilling, Der kirchl. Patronat (Leips. 1854), and the literature there referred to; Gerlach, Das Praesentationsrecht auf Pfarreien (Ratisbon, 1855); Moy de Sons, Archivfiur kathol. Ki;chenrecht, 1857, 2, 412 sq. Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.