PLACET, plese't, or PLACITUM, (placitum regium), the assent of the civil power to the promulgation of pontifical ordi nances within its jurisdiction; called also exe quator. The right to exercise supervision over communications of the Holy See with bishops, clergy and people of sovereign states and to prevent or suspend the promulgation of bulls, letters apostolic and other papal instruments, unless they have received the approval of the secular state itself, is asserted in the famous 'Declaration) of the Gallican clergy (1682); and in the various German states it is embodied in the constitutional law: this is no less true of Catholic states than of Protestant. The exer cise of the right was carried to extreme lengths by the Emperor Joseph II (reigned 1765-90) who asserted for himself a supremacy in the administration of Church affairs. And not only ordinances emanating from Rome but even those of the local bishops were made subject to censorship by the secular authority. The see of Rome has never admitted as a matter of right the claim of the state to impede the exe cution of papal ordinances; but to prevent greater evils it has generally acquiesced in the exercise of this power. All the Catholic states
of the continent of Europe claim and exercise the right. In the kingdom of Prussia in the years 1873-75 very stringent laws were enacted (Falk laws, May laws) to control the Catholic bishops and clergy, the Catholic theological seminaries and the Catholic Church discipline. A newly-ordained priest was made liable to fine and imprisonment if he proceeded to the work of his ministry without the placet or exequatur of the Minister of Worship; or confessors in curred the like penalties for refusing absolution under certain circumstances to penitents; in 1884 there were in the one diocese of Breslau 119 priests who had incurred the penalties; hut the government intervened and the penalties were remitted; afterward all of the Falk laws were either repealed or mitigated essentially.