Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes
(Latin scrutinium from scrutari to search, to investigate)
A term variously employed in canon law.
(1) In promotion to orders a scrutiny or examination of the candidate is to be made according to the warning of the Apostle : "Impose not hands lightly upon any man " ( 1 Timothy 5:22 ). That the practice is ancient is testified to by St. Cyprian (who died in 258) in his thirty-eighth epistle. The ninth canon of the Council of Nicæa (325) supposes the scrutiny of candidates to be already in use. Many later synods enforced and defined more exactly this scrutiny of those who aspired to orders. The present discipline is laid down by the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIII, Cap. v, de ref.), though its observance in every detail has not been reduced to practice in all countries. A three-fold scrutiny is ordered: first, through the inquiry into the qualities of the candidates by the parish priest and teachers and by public proclamation in the Church. The information thus obtained is to be embodied in a testimonial letter to the bishop. Secondly, shortly before ordination through the bishop himself and ecclesiastical persons appointed to examine into the morals, faith, and doctrine of the candidates. Thirdly, through the ceremonial form prescribed by the Pontificale Romanum for the ordination of a deacon or priest.
(2) Scrutiny is also a form of ecclesiastical election and is made either by written ballot or by pronouncing the chosen name before legitimate scrutators alone. It is the usual form for electing the pope.
(3) Scrutiny is also the term for the examination of catechumens before baptism. In ancient times there were three such scrutinies and later on the number was increased to seven. From the Middle Ages onwards owing to the fact that most who received baptism were infants the prescribed scrutinies were reduced to that now found in the ritual for conferring baptism. The subject-matter of these scrutinies was the faith and dispositions of the candidate.
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Saints & Angels
Mysteries of the Rosary
Female / Women Saints
Saint of the Day for Friday, Sept 30th, 2022
Saints A to Z: A
Patron Saints A-Z
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Michael the Archangel
- Daily Readings for Saturday, October 01, 2022
- St. Therese of Lisieux: Saint of the Day for Saturday, October 01, 2022
- A Prayer to Saint Therese De Lisieux for Guidance: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, October 01, 2022
- Daily Readings for Friday, September 30, 2022
- St. Jerome: Saint of the Day for Friday, September 30, 2022
- Guardian Angel Prayer #2: Prayer of the Day for Friday, September 30, 2022
Help Now >
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.