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(Latin præconizare , to publish, from præco , herald, public crier)

This word means:

  • in its strict juridical sense the ratification in a public consistory of the choice made by a third person of a titular of a consistorial benefice, for example a bishopric. The pope approves the election or postulation of the titular made by a chapter, or ratifies the presentation of a candidate made by the civil power. This preconization is preceded by an informative process, which according to the present discipline is raised by the Consistorial Congregation for the countries not under Congregation of Propaganda, but the information is furnished by the Secretary of State if the question at hand refers to sees situated outside of Italy ;
  • some authors define preconization as the report made in the above-mentioned informative process by the cardinals at the consistory (Bargilliat, 'Prælectionas juris canonici", I, Paris, 1907, 467);
  • again, preconization is considered the announcement to the pope that in an approaching consistory a cardinal will propose in the name of the head of a State the candidate whom the latter himself has designated for a see (André, "Cours de droit canon", s. v. Préconization, V, Paris, 1860, 340);
  • finally, preconization is also the act by which the pope ratifies, in a consistory, a nomination of a bishop which has been made previously by a decree of the Consistorial Congregation. According to a Decree of the Congregation of Rites, 8 June, 1910 ("Acta Apostolicæ Sedis", 1910, 580) the date of the anniversary of the election of a bishop is no longer that of his preconization in the consistory, but that of the decree or letter by which he is appointed.

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