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Objectively, a calumny is a mortal sin when it is calculated to do serious harm to the person so traduced.
In the acts of the First Provincial Council of Quebec in 1851, we fine the following scheme "proposed" to Propaganda.By law, however, there is, strictly speaking, no fixed time for making this payment.For although as a rule it is customary to do so in the synod, yet custom or agreement can place it at another time. Congregation of the Council has declared that the cathedraticum must be paid, even in those years in which no diocesan synod is celebrated (In Perus., Cathedr., 1735). He can require it, however, from the diocesan seminary if benefices have been incorporated with it.In Canada, the Provincial Council of Halifax in 1857 declares: "As the bishop is constituted not for one part but for all parts of his diocese, and as he labours and watches for all alike, all are obliged to contribute for his proper sustenance".The Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866, likewise states that "it is evidently equitable and just that all the faithful of each diocese should contribute to the support of their bishop, who bears the solicitude for all". A certain sum of money to be contributed annually for the support of the bishop, as a mark of honour and in sign of subjection to the cathedral church, hence its name.
In the early ages of the Church, contributions for the support of the bishop were tendered rather through custom than by law.
The earliest legislation on the subject seems to be a canon of the Second Council of Braga (572). The reason given for this limitation is that at the time of the Council of Braga the sacraments were administered to the faithful in parochial churches only. Ordin.) that not only chapters and parish churches, but also endowed chapels and benefices should be subject to the same tax (Rota coram Tan. This sum was to be paid to the bishop on the occasion of his annual visitation of his diocese.
According to the decree of this council, only parish churches and chapters were obliged to pay the cathedraticum (Can. When in the course of time, many other ecclesiastical edifices were built and endowed, it was judged proper that these also should pay the cathedraticum. The amount of the cathedraticum was fixed in ancient times at two solidi ; a solidus was one seventy-second part of a pound of gold. In general it is presumed that the quantity of the cathedraticum will be determined by reasonable custom according to the exigencies of various dioceses and countries. Congregation of the Council declared that either the amount paid by a neighbouring diocese or the equivalent of the original two solidi must be taken as the proper tax (In Albin., 1644). The reason is found in the very idea of the cathedraticum, which is given by a church or benefice in sign of subjection to the jurisdiction of the bishop.
It is also to be noted that, according to the common law, the cathedraticum is to be uniform for all institutions in a diocese, without regard to the opulence or poverty of the benefices.
Owing to the phraseology of the Council of Trent (Sess. ii), a controversy arose as to whether this council had abrogated the cathedraticum. Congregation of the Council gave the following interpretation: "The Council did not abolish the cathedraticum; but desired that it be paid, not at the time of the episcopal visitation, but rather at the diocesan synod." It is owing to the custom of paying this tax at the synod that the name synodaticum has been given to it.
It declared that the liability to pay this tax was obligatory on each cathedral chapter; on priests ordained for the mission, who receive salaries from churches or oratories ; on those who have the cure of souls ; and on all who preside over churches and public oratories unless they can prove a special exemption.