In canon law an option is a way of obtaining a benefice or a title, by the choice of the new titulary himself. Many chapters enjoyed this right formerly and it is still the privilege of some: the canon, who has held his office for the longest time may, in conformity with the statutory regulation, resign the prebend he enjoys to accept another that has become vacant.
A second right of option existed in France before 1789: by virtue of a custom a prebendary, who was appointed to and had entered into possession of a benefice incompatible with one he already held, was entitled to select whichever of the two he preferred, when, according to the common law, he had already lost the incompatible benefice which he had previously held. The right of option still exists with regard to cardinalitial titles (see CARDINAL).
SCHNEIDER, Die bischoflichen Domkapitel (Mayence, 1885); VAN ESPEN, Jus ecclesiasticum universum (Cologne, 1778), part II, s. III, tit. 3, c. 4, t. I, 691; HINSCHIUS, System des katholischen, Kirchenrechts, II (Berlin, 1878), 615, 701.
APA citation. (1911). Right of Option. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11264a.htm
MLA citation. "Right of Option." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11264a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is feedback732 at newadvent.org. (To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.) Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.