Friday, 23 October 2015

Costume Of Prelates Of the Catholic Church according to Roman Etiquette. By The Rev. John A. Nainfa S.S. Part 35.


1. Privileges.—2. Title. — 3. Biretta. — 4. Ring. — 5. Dignities Reserved for Doctors.

1. The Doctorate (from docere, to teach) is an academic distinction giving the right of publicly teaching the subject in which one has obtained this degree.

However, if the doctorate confers a right, it does not confer a mission, and, as is well explained in the diplomas delivered by the Roman universities, a doctor can not teach without having been positively appointed by his. Ordinary.

The doctorate creates a presumption de jure in favor of the candidate for teaching, so that his Bishop can not require from him an examination before appointing him to a chair. But, this presumption exists only when it is question of teaching, since a doctor as such is not exempted from the other examinations prescribed by canon law, if they are exacted in the diocese to which he belongs.

The privilege of teaching is the very basis of the doctorate. There are, however, other honorary privileges attached to the degree, as that of wearing a four-horned biretta and a gold ring. Some important dignities and offices in the Church are likewise reserved for doctors.

2. The title of Doctor is given by a university which has received from the Holy See the power of conferring academic degrees. Degrees conferred by other than apostolic authority are not recognized by the Church, and the recipients of such degrees are not entitled to any canonical privileges.

The titles most commonly granted to priests are those of Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Sacred Scripture, Doctor of Canon (or Civil) Law, Doctor of both Laws (in utroque).

These titles may be written in full after the Doctor's name, or be indicated by initials. These initials are the following:

Doctor of Theology: D. D. (Doctor Divinitatis) , or S. T. D. (Sacrae Theologian Doctor).

Doctor of Philosophy: Ph. D. (Philosophiae Doctor).

Doctor of Canon Law: D. C. L. (Doctor of Canon Law), or J. C. D. (Juris Canonici Doctor).

Doctor of Civil Law: J. C. D. (Juris Civilis Doctor) , and LL. D. (Doctor of Laws).

Doctor of both Laws: J. U. D. (Juris Utriusque Doctor).

Doctor of Sacred Scripture: S. S. D. (Sacrae Scripturae Doctor).

3. The principal mark of a Doctor's dignity is the four-horned biretta. This is not a choir cap; therefore, it should not be worn with the choir habit, or in church functions. A Doctor is allowed to wear his cap only when he acts as Doctor, namely, when teaching, attending academic solemnities, etc. (a)

The doctoral biretta given by the Roman universities is entirely black. Some other universities have adopted different designs of doctoral biretta. Thus the biretta of Lou vain is black, with a tuft of a color proper to each department of sacred sciences, The Doctors of Theology of the Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C, wear a doctoral biretta of black velvet, with red silk lining, trimmings and tuft.

All Bishops have the title "D. D." But this title does not carry with it the right of wearing a purple four-horned biretta. The purple biretta has been granted by Pope Leo XIII. as an exterior mark of the episcopal character, not as a sign of any academic distinction. (b) The biretta conceded is a choir biretta, therefore, three-horned, and its shape can not be changed. Moreover, even with only three horns, this biretta is sufficient to indicate that the Bishop is a Doctor, since it is understood that all Bishops are Doctors. Again, a Doctor must wear no other doctoral biretta than that conferred on the Doctors of the university of which he is a graduate. Now, no university, to my knowledge, includes the purple biretta among the insignia of its Doctors.

Finally, the Archbishop of Santiago (Chile) having asked whether he might use a four-horned biretta, the Sacred Congregation of Bites answered in the negative. (c)

Although the clerical biretta and the doctoral cap are very similar in shape, they differ as to the origin and meaning, and, therefore, should not be confounded. No one is ever allowed to wear his doctoral biretta with his choir habit, or to add one more horn to his choir biretta under the pretext of manifesting his doctorate.

4. Another mark of the Doctorate is the gold ring. For doctors of the Roman College it is a plain ring, with the word "ROMA" carved on the bezel. (d) In other universities, the doctoral ring is adorned with a gem. There is no written law prohibiting a doctor from wearing a gemmed ring. If he is a doctor in several branches, he may even wear several rings, one for each doctorate. (e)

The doctoral ring is worn on the same finger as the prelatical ring, namely, on the fourth finger of the right hand.

Doctors may wear the ring everywhere, at all times, except when saying Mass or when performing ecclesiastical functions. The Sacred Congregation of Rites, on several occasions, has given explicit and categorical answers to questions on this point. (f)

5. Besides these privileges, the doctorate is also desirable, because, according to the discipline of the Council of Trent, some ecclesiastical dignities and offices are reserved for Doctors. Such are the dignities of Chapters, (g) the functions of a Vicar Capitular, (h) those of an Archdeacon, (i) the office of Examiners of the clergy. (j) Above all, the doctorate is required in the candidates for the episcopacy. (k)

However, for all these dignities, the licenciate is accepted as a substitute for the doctorate. Candidates may be dispensed even from that requirement of the Council. Ordinarily, they obtain a dispensation if they are not doctors, or they receive from Rome a doctor's diploma, together with their bulls of institution.

(a) S. R. C, Decem. 7, 1844, in Venusina. — "Neo uti posse, in ecclesiasticis functionibus, tali bireto."

(b) Const. Praeclaro divinae gratiae, Feb. 3, 1888.—S. R. C, Dec. 7, 1844.

(c) S. R. C, Sept. 5, 1895.

(d) A. Battandier, Annuaire Pontifical (1906), p. 440.— Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., pp. 159, 171, 172.— Grimaldi, op. cit, ch. XXIII.

(e) Cfr. the Interesting discussion of this point In Battandier's Annuaire Pontifical, loc. cit

(f) S. R. C., May 22, 1612—Febr. 18, 1625— Nov. 1628—March 8, 1674 —May 28, 1846, etc.

(g) Benedict XIII., Const. Pastoralis officii (May 19, 1725).

(h) Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV., ch. XVI.

(i) Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV, ch. XII.

(j) Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV, ch. XVIII.

(k) Council of Trent, Sess. XXII., ch. II., De Reformatione.