In the Province of Halifax, Canada, it was decreed in 1857 that a collection be taken up annually in October for the support of the bishops.
In England, the Third Provincial Council of Westminster in 1859 placed the amount of the cathedraticum at one half pound sterling.
In Canada, the Provincial Council of Halifax in 1857 declares: "As the bishop is constituted not for one part but for all parts of his diocese, and as he labours and watches for all alike, all are obliged to contribute for his proper sustenance".
The Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866, likewise states that "it is evidently equitable and just that all the faithful of each diocese should contribute to the support of their bishop, who bears the solicitude for all".
According to canonists, this remains the obligatory amount of the tax, unless custom establishes a different sum. The regular clergy are not obliged to pay the cathedraticum for their monasteries and conventual churches, as is expressly stated in the "Corpus Juris" (cap. As exempt regulars are immediately subject to the Holy See, there is no obligation on them to pay the cathedraticum.
If a smaller amount than the original tax becomes customary in a diocese, the bishop must be content with this reduced pension, nor can he command a return to the higher sum (S. In the case, however, that regulars administer parish churches or secular benefices, they are subject to the tax, inasmuch as such institutions fall under diocesan law.
It is also to be noted that, according to the common law, the cathedraticum is to be uniform for all institutions in a diocese, without regard to the opulence or poverty of the benefices.
Owing to the phraseology of the Council of Trent (Sess. ii), a controversy arose as to whether this council had abrogated the cathedraticum. Congregation of the Council gave the following interpretation: "The Council did not abolish the cathedraticum; but desired that it be paid, not at the time of the episcopal visitation, but rather at the diocesan synod." It is owing to the custom of paying this tax at the synod that the name synodaticum has been given to it.
This was likewise the opinion of the Fathers of the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866.
It declared that the liability to pay this tax was obligatory on each cathedral chapter; on priests ordained for the mission, who receive salaries from churches or oratories ; on those who have the cure of souls ; and on all who preside over churches and public oratories unless they can prove a special exemption.
In the United States, the Eighth Provincial Council of Baltimore, when vindicating the right of the bishop to part of the revenues of the churches, enumerates as such revenues, the renting of pews, the collections taken up during Mass, and the offerings made at baptisms and marriages.
A certain sum of money to be contributed annually for the support of the bishop, as a mark of honour and in sign of subjection to the cathedral church, hence its name.
In the early ages of the Church, contributions for the support of the bishop were tendered rather through custom than by law.
Thus the Eighth Provincial Council of Baltimore (see B ALTIMORE, P ROVINCIAL C OUNCILS OF ), held in 1855, declares in its seventh decree : "As it is just that the bishop who watches over the salvation of all, should receive from all the faithful of the diocese whatever is necessary for his proper support and for enabling him to execute his office, we decree that he may demand for this purpose a part of the revenues of all churches in which the care of souls is exercised".