77989 - Cultural Goods and Ecclesiatical Law

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The study of the ecclesiastical cultural heritage invests several aspects: from the illustration of the specificities that distinguish them, to their complex legal regulation. They are goods indeed mixti fori, on which there is a double ‘jurisdiction’, of the State and of the Church for more profiles: the historical and artistic aspects, the economic interests. And, last but not least, the religious, specifically relevance: that is the cultural, liturgical and pastoral finalization and use. In the cathegory of ecclesiastical cultural monuments are counted several important profiles for the identity and valorisation of a territory (and Ravenna is exemplary in this sense): churches, abbeys, convents, monasteries, but also libraries, archives, museums, pictuters and musive works, sculptures; and also several similar forms of spiritual experience realized in two millennia of Italian and European life. The course aims to provide the students with a complete knowledge of the institutional and legal framework in which the issues of this crucial field must find a solution. It will be explored the articulated normative system that combines canonical-confessional and civil law according to different harmonization plans: from the central one (which direcly binds the heads of the State and of the Church) to the local (with agreements concluded between ecclesiastical peripheral authorities and Regions, Provinces and Municipalities). Will be analyzed the various forms of collaboration between secular powers and religious confessions for the protection and promotion of these specific cultural patrimony, with the aim of promoting knowledge and enhancement. Students will then be able to move in the specific legislation, acquiring the knowledge and skills for any professionally to spend in managing of this whealty Italian heritage.

Course contents


- Notes on sources of production and sources of knowledge of canon law

- Concept of “Church’s goods”, “ecclesiastical goods”, bona temporalia. Changes and modifies in the Church’s property structure, particularly in the dioceses. Subjects and bodies invested of responsibility and functions in the administration of ecclesiastical goods; in particular the discipline of alienation

- The most remote antecedents of canonical regulation regarding historical-artistic patrimony: the legislative protection of the monumental heritage of Rome

- The “cultural goods” in Codex Iuris Canonici of 1917

- The “cultural goods” in later legislation: the letters of the Secreteriat of State to the bishops of Italy and the Pontifical Commission for sacred art

- The influence of Vatican Council II. The letter “Opera artis” of the Congregation for Clergy to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences

- The particular canonical law of the Italian Episcopal Conference: the provisions promulgated on June 14, 1974: “Tutela e conservazione del patrimonio storico artistico della Chiesa. Norme dell’Episcopato italiano”; the document of 9 december 1992: “I beni culturali della Chiesa in Italia. Orientamenti”. The National Office for ecclesiastical cultural heritage

- The “cultural goods” in the new Codex Iuris Canonici for the latin catholic Church of 1983; description of the discipline contained in the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium for the Eastern catholic Churches of 1990

- In particular, the canonical discipline of ecclesiastical archives, ecclesiastical museums, ecclesiastical libraries

- Organisms of Roman Curia competents in the matter: the Pontifical Commission for the cultural heritage of the Church

- The international and supranational activity of the Holy See regarding cultural goods


- Ecclesiastical bodies owners, holders and possessors of cultural goods in the Italian legal order: the Istruzione in materia amministrativa of the Italian Episcopal Conference

- The protection of historical-artistic heritage in Italian from the liberal season to fascism

- The discipline introduced by law no. 1089 of 1 June 1939, in particular the art. 8. The discipline of historical-artistic goods and those for worship in the Civil Code of 1942

- The protection of “cultural goods” in the new constitutional system of the democratic Republic. The art. 9 of Constitution. The debate on religious interests involved in the protection of cultural goods

- The Agreement of amendment of the 1984 Lateran Concordat and the protection of cultural goods of religious interest. Genesis of art. 12 of the Villa Madama Agreement. General characters and doctrinal debate: procedural and merit problems. The principle of collaboration: “needs of worship” and “needs of religious character”. Cultural goods of religious interest in the logic of res mixtae

- The agreement of 13 September 1996 between the Minister for cultural and environmental heritage and the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference: enlargement and perspectives of protection in the “collaboration”

- Cultural goods of religious interest between competences of the State and competecens of the Regions and Local Authorities after legislative decree no. 112 of 31 March 1998 and the riform of Title V of the Constitution (law const. no. 3 of 2001)

- The article 19 of Testo Unico in materia di beni culturali e ambientali(legislative decree 29 October 1999, no. 490) and the plurilateral programming

- The ecclesiastical libraries and archives (of historical interest): canonical law, Italian and bilateral laws, in particular the agreement of 18 April 2000 on matters between the President of Italian Episcopal Conference and the Minister for cultural and enviromental heritage

- Civil and canonical laws on ecclesiastical museums

- The Convention of 8 April 2002 between the Institute for the catalog and documentation of the Ministry for cultural heritage and activities and the Italian Episcopal Conference on the modalities of collaboration for the inventory and catalog of mobile cultural goods belonging to bodies and ecclesiastical institutions

- The art. 9 of the new Codice dei Beni Culturali e del Paesaggio of 2004. Other provisions of ecclesiastical interest in the Urbani Code. The ecclesiastical bodies in the Urbani Code: the novelties introduced by legislative decree 26 March 2008, no. 62.

- The agreement of 26 January 2005 between the Minister for cultural heritage and activities and the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference abrogating and replacing that of 13 September 1996.

- The most importat regional agreements on cultural goods of religious interest

- The Agreement of 8 March 2005 between the Department for cultural and landscape heritage of the Ministry for cultural henritage and activities and the National Office for ecclesiastical cultural heritage of the Italian Episcopal Conference on computerized procedures used by ecclesiastical bodies for the request of verification of the property’s cultural interest

- The discipline of circulation of cultural goods of religious interest

- The public exercise of worship and the opening of churches and oratories. Religious buildings, in particular the buildings of worship of historical and artistic value belonging to the Cult Buildings Fund and their transfer to ecclesiastical authority. The competences in the construction, maintenance and restoration of the worship buildings; urban planning rules. The financing of religious building. The protection of worship buildings in relation to interventions of civil authority. The art. 831 c.c. The discipline of the sanctuaries. The discipline of the burials and mobile goods destined for worship. The worship buildings of minority confessions

- Cultural goods in the State of the Vatican City

- Religious tourism, tourist-religious itineraries, pilgrimages

- The Jubilee Year 2000 regulation and its permanent results

- Cultural goods in “negotiated” legislation with religious confessions other than catholic

- Comparative law perspectives on the discipline of cultural goods of religious interest

For the integration of 1, 2, 3, credits, the student must contact the teacher by e-mail to decide a custom program.

Erasmus students must contact the teacher by e-mail to agree a custom program.


A.G. CHIZZONITI, Profili giuridici dei beni culturali di interesse religioso, Libellula Edizioni, Tricase (LE), 2008.

Teaching methods

The course will develop through lectures and seminars. The dr. Manuel Ganarin will hold a 20-hour teaching module during the second part of the course. Lectures will be given in the II nd semester. As a consequence, students obtaining their attendance certificate in the current academic year are allowed to take their exam only from the month of May. Examination will be oral. Only the student who has already supported the exams of Constitutional law and Private law is admitted to the oral exam. Students will be informed about dates and times of the seminars during the lectures or through notices, also on the Faculty web site. The teacher uses slides that will be made available to the students.

Assessment methods

The verify of learning consists in a final proof which will explore the acquisition of knowledge and skills requested trough an oral examination sustained directly with the professor. In this way the student will be can show not only the learned knowledge, but also the critical and methodological capacities gained. In the same time he will must demonstrate to have some specific abilities. First of all, the possess of a mastery of expression and an appropriate technical language; the second one is the ability to move in safely within the system of the sources of this matter. The student moreover must have a clear perception of the information received and, finally, he must have properly understood the issues explained in class and elucidated in the text books of reference.

Teaching tools

For the assignment of thesis the student must go to the reception of the teacher to discuss and decide the theme.

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Antonello De Oto

See the website of Manuel Ganarin