Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

( Extra , outside; vagari , to wander.)

This word is employed to designate some papal decretals not contained in certain canonical collections which possess a special authority, i.e. they are not found in the Decree of Gratian or the three official collections of the "Corpus Juris" (the Decretals of Gregory IX, the Sixth Book of the Decretals, and the Clementines ). The term was first applied to those papal documents which Gratian had not inserted in his "Decree" (about 1140), but which, however, were obligatory upon the whole Church, also to other decretals of a later date, and possessed of the same authority. Bernard of Pavia designated under the name of "Breviarium Extravagantium", or Digest of the "Extravagantes", the collection of papal documents which he compiled between 1187 and 1191. Even the Decretals of Gregory IX (published 1234) were long known as the "Liber" or "Collectio Extra", i.e. the collection of the canonical laws not contained in the "Decree" of Gratian. This term is now applied to the collections known as the "Extravagantes Joannis XXII" and the "Extravagantes communes", both of which are found in all editions of the "Corpus Juris Canonici". When John XXII (1316-1334) published the decretals known as the Clementines, there already existed some pontifical documents, obligatory upon the whole Church but not included in the "Corpus Juris". This is why these Decretals were called "Extravagantes". Their number was increased by the inclusion of all the pontifical laws of later date, added to the manuscripts of the "Corpus Juris", or gathered into separate collections. In 1325 Zenselinus de Cassanis added a gloss to twenty constitutions of Pope John XXII, and named this collection "Viginti Extravagantes pap Joannis XXII". The others were known as "Extravagantes communes", a title given to the collection by Jean Chappuis in the Paris edition of the "Corpus Juris" (1499 1505). He adopted the systematic order of the official collections of canon law, and classified in a similar way the "Extravagantes" commonly met with (hence "Extravagantes communes") in the manuscripts and editions of the "Corpus Juris". This collection contains decretals of the following popes : Martin IV , Boniface VIII (notably the celebrated Bull "Unam Sanctam"), Benedict XI, Clement V, John XXII , Benedict XII, Clement VI, Urban V, Martin V , Eugene IV, Callistus III, Paul II, Sixtus IV (1281-1484). Chappuis also classified the "Extravagantes" of John XXII under fourteen titles, containing in all twenty chapters. These two collections are of lesser value than the three others which form the "Corpus Juris Canonici"; they possess no official value, nor has custom bestowed such on them. On the other hand, many of the decretals comprised in them contain legislation obligatory upon the whole Church, e.g. the Constitution of Paul II, "Ambitios", which forbade the alienation of ecclesiastical goods. This, however, is not true of all of them; some had even been formally abrogated at the time when Chappuis made his collection; three decretals of John XXII, are reproduced in both collections. Both the collections were printed in the official (1582) edition of the "Corpus Juris Canonici". This explains the favour they enjoyed among canonists. For a critical text of these collections see Friedberg, "Corpus Juris Canonici" (Leipzig, 1879 1881), II. (See CORPUS JURIS CANONICI; PAPAL DECRETALS.)


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter