Beneficios eclesiásticos (DCH) (Ecclesiastical benefices (DCH))
This article deals with the concept of ecclesiastical benefice in the field of ecclesiastical normativities for Hispanic America and the Philippines (16th and 18th centuries). This legal institution is defined as one of the principles that supported the Church from a material point of view, by means of which those who performed a spiritual office were rewarded. The main normative sources show that a series of benefices were assumed by the authors without great debate, with the exception of the canonist Murillo Velarde who dealt with it in detail. Something different happened with the union or division of benefices, a delicate matter that generated greater debates in terms of doctrine and legislation. The article examines certain characteristics of the benefices in relation to clerics, such as reservation, vacancy, loss of the benefices and the illness of the holder, as well as the importance of the ecclesiastical pension as a quasi-benefice. Finally, the entry offers a brief historiographic overview, pointing out some new perspectives on the subject of benefices for these territories during the early modern period that remain to be studied.