Vicario (DCH) (Vicar (DCH))
The article reviews the main meanings of the word Vicar in the context of canon law during the Spanish-American period, based on sources of the time. The most frequent use is that of the bishop's delegate with ordinary functions expressly granted by the bishop; but for other officials this term was applied as well: the foreigners, coadjutors and suffragans. Other meanings to which reference is made throughout this work are the following: the vicar of Christ, that is, the Pope; the capitular vicar, appointed by the Ecclesiastical Chapter; the military vicar. The meaning of the term in relation to religious orders is also significant for this entry. Whenever possible, the different modalities are illustrated by examples and data from the Hispanic-American context, with special reference to the River Plate area, where the author's studies are focusing on. She has attempted to shed light on some issues that go beyond the mere description of that institution. Among others, the tension between the prelates and the religious orders stemming from the administrative organization of the dioceses in America or the struggle between Creoles and Spaniards both at the diocesan level and within the Orders. A fundamental aspect is the growing influence of the Spanish Crown over ecclesiastical institutions.