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A cleric who puts into execution a papal rescript, completing what is necessary in order that it be effective. The executor of a rescript may be discovered from the tenor of the document itself. In matters which regard the government of regulars, the executor of Apostolic Letters is the superior of the order, namely, the general, the procurator general, or the provincial. Rescripts containing favours are sometimes granted by the Holy See directly to the petitioners; in which case, the executor merely has the office of executing the favour asked for, without any obligation of judicial inquiry into the opportuneness of the grant, or the reasons alleged for seeking it. Nevertheless, if it is notorious that the favour has been surreptitiously obtained, he must abstain from executing the rescript. Rescripts, however, are not usually sent direct to the parties interested, but, in the external forum to the ordinary, either of the petitioners or of the territory in question, and in the internal forum, to any approved confessor chosen by the persons concerned. In this latter case the grant is remitted entirely to the judgment and conscience of him who is to execute it. He enjoys delegated power, and must act within the limits of his mandate. The Apostolic Letters must first of all be in his hands before he may act; from them he determines whether he is the one delegated, and what are his powers. He must verify the force of the reasons alleged for granting the request, as well as the truth of other statements found in the petition. As a delegate of the Holy See he may, ordinarily, subdelegate another to execute the rescript, unless this is expressly forbidden in the grant, or unless it is apparent that he is selected by reason of his knowledge or other personal qualities specially fitting him for the office. It is important to know whether an executor is chosen for his personal characteristics, or on account of his office: in the former case the delegation is personal, in the latter it is attached to the position, and passes on to the successor of the same office. A rescript given to the ordinary may likewise be executed by the vicar general. An executor must know the rules for interpreting rescripts, also, when they are rendered void, because surreptitiously obtained or for other cause. Rescripts emanating from the Sacred Penitentiaria are executed in the confessional, and are then destroyed by the confessor, as they treat of matters of conscience. When the rescript pertains to the external forum, a decree should be drawn up to the effect that all necessary formalities have been observed in its execution, these formalities should be specified. No fee is allowed for the execution of Apostolic Letters, lest the executor's judgment be influenced thereby.

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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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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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.

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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

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