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The restriction in certain cases by a superior of the jurisdiction ordinarily exercised by an inferior. Reservation obtains in appointing to a benefice (q.v., section Collation ), in dispensing from vows, and in absolving from sins and censures. The power of reservation is vested in its fullness in the pope, who may exercise this right throughout the world. Bishops, regular superiors, or others with quasi-episcopal jurisdiction in the penitential forum may reserve to themselves the absolution of sins of their own subjects. Parish priests and local superiors do not possess this right. The chief reason for thus restricting the power of confessors is to deter evil-doers by the difficulty of obtaining absolution. Only graver mortal sins, that are external and completed, not merely attempted acts, should be reserved. Confession would prove too odious, were the confessor's jurisdiction unduly limited. Sins are reserved with censure (see Ecclesiastical Censures) or without censure: nearly all papal reservations belong to the former class, and the reservation is principally on account of the censure; episcopal reservations pertain for the most part to the latter category.

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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.

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

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