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Accueil > Portugal > Droit et religion > Dispositions > Aumônerie > Le cadre juridique général des services d’aumônerie

Le cadre juridique général des services d’aumônerie

The Portuguese Law 16/2001 on religious freedom determines in article 10/a that individuals have the right to receive ministerial assistance once required. Article 13 determines which special situations require this ministerial assistance and give the right to the practice of acts of worship. They are, firstly, members of the armed forces, security forces or the police, and people rendering military or civil service. Secondly, people interned in hospitals, asylums, colleges, health, educational or welfare institutions or establishments, or similar. Finally, people in prisons or other places of detention.

Despite the regime of separation between state and religious communities provided for in article 41/3 of the Portuguese Constitution and on articles 2, 3 and 4 of Law 16/2001, the Portuguese state is bound to a principle of cooperation (in matters of human rights, for instance) with religious communities – see article 5 of Law 16/2001 and article 1 of the 2004 Concordat. That is why, according to article 10/3 of Law 16/2001, the state is bound to create adequate conditions for the exercise of ministerial assistance in the public institutions mentioned in the above paragraph. Any restriction to this right to ministerial assistance, due to functional or security reasons, may only be imposed by way of prior consultation by the minister of the respective religion.

By the Concordat (articles 17 and 18), the Portuguese state specifies that it guarantees the Catholic Church the free exercise of religious assistance and of relevant acts of worship to the Armed Forces and Security Forces. This assistance is assured in accordance to Canon Law norms and under the auspices of a military ordinary’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Is also determines that the Catholic Church has the right to the free exercise of religious assistance to individuals compulsorily interned for reasons of care, assistance, corrective education or similar, or detention in jail.

For further information :
- CORREIA, João P. M., “A assistência religiosa da Igreja católica nos estabelecimentos de saúde e reclusão em Portugal”. In : SATURNINO, Manuel C. G. (coord.), Estudos Sobre a Nova Concordata : Santa Sé – República Portuguesa, 18 de Maio de 2004. Col. Lusitania Canónica (11), Lisboa : Universidade Católica, 2006, pp. 151-173.
- FALCÃO, Miguel, A Assistência Religiosa nas Forças Armadas e de Segurança, col. Lusitania Canónica, Lisboa : Universidade Católica Editora, 2008.
- FERREIRA, Januário T. M., “Assistência religiosa às Forças Armadas e de segurança”. In : SATURNINO, Manuel C. G. (coord.), Estudos Sobre a Nova Concordata : Santa Sé – República Portuguesa, 18 de Maio de 2004. Col. Lusitania Canónica (11), Lisboa : Universidade Católica, 2006, pp. 129-135.
- LOURENÇO, Manuel Alves, “Modalidades de assistência religiosa às prisões e hospitais”. In : SATURNINO, Manuel C. G. (coord.), Relações Igreja- Estado em Portugal : Desde a vigência da Concordata de 1940, col. Lusitania Canonica (8), Lisboa : Universidade Católica, 2002, pp. 235-244.
- SEABRA, João, “Assistência religiosa nas prisões e hospitais”. In : SATURNINO, Manuel C. G. (coord.), Estudos Sobre a Nova Concordata : Santa Sé – República Portuguesa, 18 de Maio de 2004. Col. Lusitania Canónica (11), Lisboa : Universidade Católica, 2006, pp. 137-149.

22 décembre 2017