An archconfraternity (Spanish: archicofradía) is a Catholic confraternity, empowered to aggregate or affiliate other confraternities of the same nature, and to impart to them its indulgences and privileges.
A confraternity is generally a Christian voluntary association of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy. They are most common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and the Western Orthodox. When a confraternity has received the authority to aggregate to itself groups erected in other localities, it is called an archconfraternity. An example is the Confraternity of the Rosary.
Canonical erection is the approval of the proper ecclesiastical authority which gives the organization a legal existence. Archconfraternities do not erect confraternities; they merely aggregate them. It ordinarily belongs to the bishop of the diocese to erect confraternities.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.
In the case, however, of many confraternities and archconfraternities, the power of erection is vested in the heads of certain religious orders. Sometimes the privileges of these heads of orders are imparted to bishops. The vicar-general may not erect confraternities unless he has been expressly delegated for the purpose by his bishop.
Aggregation, or affiliation, as it is also called, may be made by those only who have received from the Holy See express powers for that purpose. They must make use of a prescribed formula. In the same church only one confraternity of the same name and purpose may be aggregated. The consent of the bishop must be given in writing.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.
In the case of religious orders aggregating their own confraternities in their own churches, the consent of the bishop given for the erection of the house or church of the order is sufficient. The bishop must approve, but may modify the practices and regulations of the confraternity to be aggregated, except those to which the indulgences have been expressly attached. Only those indulgences are imparted by aggregation which have been conceded with that provision.
Only the general process of conducting the aggregation is given. If it pertains to the bishop to erect the confraternity, then the pastor of a church or the superior of a religious house petitions him for canonical erection,. If the erection pertains to the head of a religious order, then the bishop's consent to the aggregation is required.
Examples of archconfraternities include the following.
The Archconfraternity of the Holy Family is a Roman Catholic archconfraternity, founded in 1844 in Belgium.
Archconfraternity of the Most Precious Blood refers to a Roman Catholic archconfraternity, associated with confraternities which make it their special object to venerate the Blood of Christ.
The Archconfraternity of Holy Agony is a lay association for giving special honour to the mental sufferings of Christ during His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was founded as a confraternity in 1862, at Valfleury, France, by Antoine Nicolle (1817–90), a priest of the Lazarist order.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is an association established in Rome in 1562 for the purpose of giving religious education. Its modern usage is a religious education program of the Roman Catholic Church, normally designed for children. In some parishes, CCD is called PSR, meaning Parish School of Religion.
The Congregation for Catholic Education is the Pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for: (1) universities, faculties, institutes and higher schools of study, either ecclesial or non-ecclesiastical dependent on ecclesial persons; and (2) schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities.
The Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Transalpine Redemptorists or The Sons, are a religious institute of the Catholic Church canonically erected in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen and based on Papa Stronsay in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, as well as in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. They were formed in 1988 as a traditionalist offshoot of the Redemptorists, following a monastic rule based on that of St. Alphonsus Liguori, and was later formally erected as a religious institute in 2012.
The Plenary Councils of Baltimore were three national meetings of Catholic bishops in the United States in 1852, 1866 and 1884 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Confraternities of the Cord are pious associations of the faithful, the members of which wear a cord or cincture in honour of a saint, to keep in mind some special grace or favour which they hope to obtain through his intercession.
A canonical visitation is the act of an ecclesiastical superior who in the discharge of his office visits persons or places with a view to maintaining faith and discipline, and of correcting abuses. A person delegated to carry out such a visitation is called a visitor. When, in exceptional circumstances, the Holy See delegates an Apostolic visitor "to evaluate an ecclesiastical institute such as a seminary, diocese, or religious institute ... to assist the institute in question to improve the way in which it carries out its function in the life of the Church," this is known as an apostolic visitation.
Purgatorial societies are Roman Catholic Church associations or confraternities which aim to assist souls in purgatory reach heaven. The Catholic doctrine concerning purgatory, the condition of the poor souls after death, the communion of saints, and the satisfactory value of our good works form the basis of these associations. In the modern Church this role is fulfilled by the Purgatorian Archconfraternity which is run under the auspices of the Transalpine Redemptorists.
Holy Hour is the Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. A plenary indulgence is granted for this practice. The practice is also observed in some Anglican churches.
The Confraternity of the Holy Rosary is a Roman Catholic Archconfraternity or spiritual association, under the care and guidance of the Dominican Order. The members of the confraternity strive to pray the entire Holy Rosary weekly.
The Society of the Holy Name, formally known as the Confraternity of the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus, is a Roman Catholic confraternity of the laity and is one of several which are under the care of the Dominican Order. It is open to all Catholic adults. The primary object of the society is to beget reverence for the Holy Name of God and Jesus Christ; it is also dedicated to making reparations, in particular, for blasphemy, perjury and immorality.
The conditions for the canonical erection of a house of religious are indicated clearly and succinctly in canons 608-611 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
Confraternities of Penitents are Roman Catholic religious congregations, with statutes prescribing various penitential works. These may include fasting, the use of the discipline, the wearing of a hair shirt, etc.
The apostolic constitution Romanos Pontifices, by Pope Leo XIII, was issued 8 May 1881, and defined the relations in England and Scotland between bishops and members of religious institutes. This constitution was later extended to the United States, to Canada, to South America, to the Philippine Islands, and quite generally to missionary countries.
The Priests' Eucharistic League was a Roman Catholic confraternity set up in the nineteenth century, with primary object the frequent and prolonged worship of the Blessed Sacrament by priests.
The Guild for Altar Servers or Archconfraternity Guild of St. Stephen was set up in 1904 by Father Hamilton MacDonald as an organisation for altar servers. The patron saints of the Guild are the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Stephen, St. Thomas More, and St. Pius X.
Indulgentarium Doctrina is an apostolic constitution about indulgences issued by Pope Paul VI on 1 January 1967. It responds to suggestions made at the Second Vatican Council, it substantially revised the practical application of the traditional doctrine relating to indulgences. The title is taken from the opening words of the original Latin text.
Santa Lucia del Gonfalone is a church in the diocese of Rome, Italy. It is located on Via dei Banchi Vecchi just one block south of Corso Vittorio Emanuele.