Catholic Dictionary




An agreement by which certain conditions are imposed on a candidate and accepted by him or her before election to an office subject to ecclesiastical law. Provided these conditions are just and capable of reasonable fulfillment, they are to be fulfilled. Grave moral questions, however, may arise if a candidate does not make the promises sincerely, or if the conditions are exacted as a threat and the promises are therefore made under duress. (Etym. Latin captilum, a small head; division of a book; capitulare, to distinguish by heads or chapters.)