Forum Ecclesiasticum


The tribunals of the Church are of two kinds, internal and external. The internal forum is the tribunal established in the sacrament of penance, where the coercive power is the Holy Ghost acting on the conscience, the penitent is his own accuser, and the confessor, guided by Moral Theology remits or retains sin, exacts satisfaction, and directs restitution, according to the circumstances of each case.

Under the name of external forum is included every exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction external to the tribunal of penance. The judicial office in the external forum belongs to bishops in their respective dioceses, metropolitans in the cases assigned to them by the canons, and supremely and universally to the Holy See.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Forum Ecclesiasticum”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 3 March 2021. <>