EXPECTANCY (Exspectantia, exspectativa, gratia exspectativa): In canon law, the right of succession to an ecclesiasical office not yet vacant, by virtue of which the person on whom it is conferred succeeds when the vacancy occurs. Such rights first come into notice in the twelfth century. For the purpose of rewarding deserving clergy and scholars, but also, especially later, in order to provide an income or a higher income for officials and favorites of the curia, or to please secular rulers, the popes began in the period named to give letters of commendation to bishops and chapters regarding the bestowal of benefices, whether vacant or not. These soon assumed a mandatory character, and compliance with them was enforced by special officials and by the employment of ecclesiastical censures, the right to issue them having been held since Innocent III. as a part of the papal powers. The resistance of the persons regularly entitled to nominate to such offices brought about the formal reservation of whole classes of benefices to the pope (see RESERVATIONS, PAPAL). To the expectancies described above was added in the fifteenth century the custom of papal nomination of perpetual coadjutors with right of succession, either to avoid long vacancies or contested episcopal elections, or to assure a see to a member of a particular princely house, or, especially in the Reformation period, to a person of assured loyalty to the papal system. Besides expectancies conferred by the popes, another class came up in the thirteenth century, in cathedral and collegiate foundations, varying according to their constitution (see CHAPTER), giving a right to the first vacancy in a limited chapter, or (where the number of canons was not limited but that of prebends was) conferring the title of canonicus supernumerarius with a right to the first vacant prebend, or promising both title and prebend at once. Again, expectancies developed from the exercise of the jus primariarum precum, according to which from the thirteenth century the emperors, the kings of France and England, and later a number of petty German princes and even empresses and queens of England, claimed the right on their accession or coronation to request from each endowed foundation or monastery in their territory the assignment of a benefice or position, vacant or to be vacated, to their nominees. This claim, based at first on custom, was confirmed by papal indults, and fell into disuse only at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Many of these developments were in direct contravention of the ancient canonical principle which forbade appointments to ecclesiastical offices before they were vacant, and even required evasion of the ruling of the Third Lateran Council of 1179 to the same effect. The process, however, went on until bishops, founders, and monasteries were obliged to protect themselves by special papal indults against the misuse of the practise. The Council of Trent again forbade all kinds of expectancies, only allowing the pope to nominate a coadjutor with right of succession to a bishop or head of a convent in case of necessity. This prohibition has, indeed, been interpreted as referring not to the pope but to other ecclesiastical dignitaries; but practically, in the altered modern circumstances, the matter is no longer of importance. The same thing applies to the Protestant churches of Germany, which at one time allowed expectancies to exist in the bishoprics and chapters that became Protestant at the Reformation or the Peace of Westphalia.