Ministros De Los Tribunales (DCH) (Court Ministers (DCH))
The action of ecclesiastical justice was exercised by a body of ministers and officials with specific functions. Their profile and competences were adapted according to the historical circumstances and the spatial and cultural realities of the population. The production of a new juridical corpus through previous conciliar experiences and the contributions of different parties to the reorganizing process of the Church in the new world allowed for normative adjustments in accordance with temporal and spatial circumstances. This study analyses the impact that such adjustments had on the ecclesiastical structures of justice in Spanish America, mainly by investigating how the courts were organized, both in the doctrine and in local practices. The author explores whether the same organizational form was available for the various instances and how the diocesan judicial practices themselves generated local specificities. He also asks how the body of ministers, its officials and agents of justice, locally adjusted itself to each situation, and how the legal and doctrinal corpus could establish general patterns in terms of their profiles, prerogatives, attributions, stipends and penalties.