Audiencia Episcopal (DCH)
The article studies the episcopal court through the sources of canon law, the legal doctrine and the practice of the diocesan court in Spanish America and the Philippines. It focuses on three main aspects: first, the nature of the bishop as supreme judge of the diocese in order to understand the necessity of this judicial institution; second, its competences and organization; third, the judges directly linked to the court, such as the vicar general and official “provisor”, the delegated judges and the sub-delegates. Two ideas run through the article: the judicial action was closely related to the pastoral activity, while the latter was oriented toward the change of habits in view of the soul’s eternal salvation. The article closes with a brief historiographical commentary.