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Catholic Dictionary




A juridical entity erected in perpetuity by competent ecclesiastical authority. It consists of a sacred office and the right to receive the corresponding revenues. The revenues may arise variously from: 1. property movable or immovable owned by the benefice; 2. obligatory contributions made by a family or some moral person; 3. voluntary offerings of the faithful; 4. stole fees paid according to diocesan statute or custom; 5. choir distributions if revenues consist of such distributions. In many countries parishes are regarded as benefices according to ecclesiastical law.