(Lat. Indultum, found in Roman Law, bk. I, Cod. Theodos. 3, 10.
and 4, 15: V, 15, 2; concession, privilege). Indults are general
faculties (q.v.), granted by the Holy See to bishops and others,
of doing something not permitted by the common law. General needs,
peculiar local conditions, the impossibility of applying to Rome
in individual cases, etc., are sufficient reasons for making these
concessions. They are granted for a definite term, three, five,
ten years, or for a specific number of cases; they are ordinary or
extraordinary, contained in certain formula, and are of the nature
of privileges or quasi-privileges. Indults are personal in so much
as they must be used by the bishop himself (or his vicar-general),
unless he be allowed to communicate them to others. Permission to
communicate indults is conceded in some formulae, denied in
others, while in others it is granted conditionally. The one to
whom these faculties are communicated is the agent or commissary
of the ordinary rather than his delegate. Indults are communicated
as they are received; are possessed and exercised not in the name
of the one communicating them, but in the name of him to whom they
have been communicated: consequently they do not cease with the
death or loss of jurisdiction of the ordinary through whom they
were communicated. Faculties that are subdelegated may be
restricted in regard to persons, number of cases, etc, and are
exercised not in one's own name, but in the name of another: the
power of the subdelegate ceases on the death of the delegate.
It is to be noted moreover that the word indult, employed in a
less restricted sense, is synonymous with privilege, grace, favor,
concession, etc. (Decretals, L. V, tit. 33, c. 17, 19, tit. 40, c.
21; Cone. Trid., VI, c. 2, De Ref.). Hence we speak of the Lenten
indult, an indult of secularization granted to a religious, an
indult to absent oneself from the recitation of the Divine Office
in choir, an indult permitting the celebration of Mass at sea, the
indult of a private oratory, a privileged altar, and so on. An
induIt or privilege differs from a dispensation, since the former
grants a permanent (not necessarily perpetual) concession, while
the latter is given for a particular case, outside which the
obligation of observing the law remains. (See FACULTIES,
ANDREW B. MEEHAN
Transcribed by Charles Sweeney, S.J.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the
Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by
New Advent, Inc.
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