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The Clergyman's Hand-book of Law   By:

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The Clergyman's Hand book of Law

The Law of Church and Grave


Charles M. Scanlan, LL.B.

Author of "Scanlan's Rules of Order," "Law of Fraternities," "Law of Hotels," etc.

New York, Cincinnati, Chicago

Benziger Brothers



Imprimatur Preface Chapter I. Introduction Chapter II. What Is A Church? Chapter III. Constitutional Law Chapter IV. Statutory Law Chapter V. Unincorporated Church Societies Chapter VI. Incorporated Religious Societies Chapter VII. Superior Authority Chapter VIII. Inferior Authority Chapter IX. Membership Chapter X. Heresy And Secession Chapter XI. Excommunication Chapter XII. Elections Chapter XIII. Officers Chapter XIV. Meetings Chapter XV. Church Records Chapter XVI. Church Tribunals Chapter XVII. State Courts Chapter XVIII. Evidence Chapter XIX. Contracts Chapter XX. Pews Chapter XXI. Property Chapter XXII. Religious Services Chapter XXIII. Bequests, Devises, And Gifts Chapter XXIV. Taxation Chapter XXV. Eleemosynary Institutions Chapter XXVI. Schools Chapter XXVII. Parent And Child Chapter XXVIII. Husband And Wife Chapter XXIX. Indians Chapter XXX. Juvenile Courts Chapter XXXI. Libel And Slander Chapter XXXII. Crimes Chapter XXXIII. Cemeteries Chapter XXXIV. Miscellaneous Index Footnotes


Nihil Obstat.


Censor Librorum .


John M. Farley,

[cross] Archbishop of New York .

NEW YORK, January 15, 1909.



The three learned professions, medicine, law, and theology, overlap; and a man who does not know something of the other two can not be prominent in his own. Laws relating to Church matters are scattered through such a vast array of law books that it would be a burden for a clergyman to purchase them, and without special training he would not know where to look for the law. Therefore a law compendium covering those subjects relating to Church matters must be of great value to a clergyman.

There is another view of this subject. When she was mistress of the world the laws of the Roman Empire were for the Roman citizens, particularly the patricians; the canon law was the law of the Christian people of conquered countries and the Christian plebeians of Rome. In the United States we have the same common law for the President and the hod carrier, for the multimillionaire and the penniless orphan, for the clergy and the laity. Consequently, in this practical age a knowledge of the law of the country with which the clergy come constantly in contact is expedient, if not necessary.

The poet says:

"What constitutes a state?... Men, who their duties know, But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain."

To insure harmony and good order, every Church should obey the laws of the country; but if any law should impose upon the rights of the Church in any way, the ruling authorities, the cardinal and bishops, if the wrong is national, should unite in a petition to the United States Congress, clearly stating the grievance and asking for its redress.(1) If the grievance should be within a State, the bishop or bishops of the State should present the matter to the Legislature of the State. If the President or the Governor has authority to remedy the matter, go direct to him. Such was the practice of the wisest of the Popes.(2) The author never knew of an instance in which a clergyman having a real grievance failed in obtaining a full and fair hearing from the powers that be, from the President downward. This method seems to be more in harmony with the relations of Church and State in a free government, and more intelligent than to have a convention of working men, who have little time to make a study of Church matters, pass resolutions, the passing of which generally ends the action of a convention... Continue reading book >>

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