Friday 14 October 2016

Cancellarius in Spiritualibus, Cancellarius in Temporalibus

In a busy Archdiocese like Toronto, there is a lot of administrative work to do. Issues big and small arise and need to be handled. The Archbishop can't do it all himself, so he has his auxiliary Bishops, vicars, and chancellors.

As mandated by Canon Law, the role of the chancellor is primarily record keeping:

"Canon 482 §1 In each curia a chancellor is to be appointed, whose principal office, unless particular law states otherwise, is to ensure that the acts of the curia are drawn up and dispatched, and that they are kept safe in the archive of the curia."

Historically, it has been the chancellor's job to ensure that the records and acts of the curia are properly preserved and maintained. He is therefore responsible for the archives. He also serves as a notary to authenticate documents originating from the curia.

Toronto has had over 30 chancellors since 1863. Many of the priests who served as chancellor have become auxiliary bishops as well as bishops of other dioceses. Two of Toronto's current auxiliaries, Bishop Nguyen and Bishop Boissonneau have previously served as chancellor. 

The first known chancellor in Toronto, Fr. Jean-Francois Jamot, was appointed by Archbishop Lynch in 1863. He went on to become Vicar Apostolic of Northern Canada in 1874, and was appointed the first Bishop of Peterborough in 1882.

Jean-Francois Jamot in attendance at the First Provincial Council of Toronto as Bishop of Peterborough.

PH 04/10P
ARCAT Photograph Collection

"August 26th, 1863. Very Rev Father Jamot, Dean of Barrie, was made pastor of the Cathedral, and Chancellor of the Archdiocese."

From the Acta of Archbishop Lynch
L AA05.172
Archbishop Lynch Fonds
The early chancellor dealt with all kinds of records: financial, property, sacramental, canonical. 

"Toronto: Accounts of Cathedraticum, dispensations, propagation & ecclesiastical education. Monies Received."

Fr. Jamot's record notebook, 1863-1873.
HO 03.20
ARCAT Holograph Collection

Inside Fr. Jamot's Notebook.

HO 03.20
ARCAT Holograph Collection

Over time, as the archdiocese grew, the job got too big for one person. The position of vice-chancellor was used, as well as the positions of chancellor in spiritualibus and chancellor in temporalibus.

Presently, we have a Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs, and a Chancellor of Temporal Affairs. The Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs is responsible for the archives. He is charged with ensuring that sacraments are properly recorded. It is through his mandate that we inspect and microfilm parish sacramental registers and advise parishes on their correct keeping. He is in charge of dispensations and faculties, and of keeping and ensuring that the laws and norms of the archdiocese are followed. He ensures that the archdiocese and its priests act in accordance with the laws of the Church. He must be an expert in both canon law and theology.

In Toronto, the Chancellor of Temporal Affairs is a lay person. He is in charge of administering the temporal goods of the church. He oversees the departments that deal with finances, investments, personnel, properties, and legal matters. He must be an expert in the world of business administration.

Having these two chancellors allows the archbishop and the bishops to work on the big picture questions like the direction of the archdiocese. You know what they say! Behind every great bishop is a great chancellor.

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