Catholic particular churches and liturgical rites

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A particular church (Latin : ecclesia particularis) is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop (or equivalent), as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the bishop (which again depends on the particular church). In this context "particular church" thus refers to the institution, and "liturgical rite" to its practices.

Catholic ecclesiology

The ecclesiology of the Catholic Church is the area of Catholic theology covering the ecclesiology -- the nature, structure, and constitution -- of the Catholic Church itself on a metaphysical and revealed level.

Contents

Particular churches exist in two kinds:

  1. An autonomous particular church sui iuris : an aggregation of particular churches with distinct liturgical, spiritual, theological, and canonical traditions. [1] The largest such autonomous particular church is the Latin Church. The other 23 Eastern Catholic Churches are headed by bishops, some of which are titled Patriarch or Major Archbishop. In this context the descriptors autonomous (Greek : αὐτόνομος, romanized: autónomos) and sui iuris (Latin) are synonymous, meaning "of its own law".
  2. A local particular church: a diocese (or eparchy) headed by a bishop (or equivalent), typically collected in a national polity under an episcopal conference. However, there are also other forms, including apostolic vicariates, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, personal prelatures, and territorial abbacies. [2]

Liturgical rites also exist in two kinds:

  1. Liturgical rites depending on traditions of Catholic liturgy of an autonomous particular church sui iuris
  2. Catholic order liturgical rites: variants of liturgical rites exceptionately depending on a specific religious order

Churches

Ecclesiology

In Catholic ecclesiology, a church is an assembly of the faithful, hierarchically ordered, both in the entire world (the Catholic Church), or in a certain territory (a particular church). To be a sacrament (a sign) of the Mystical Body of Christ in the world, a church must have both a head and members (Col. 1:18). [3] The sacramental sign of Christ the head is the sacred hierarchy – the bishops, priests and deacons. [4] [5] More specifically, it is the local bishop, with his priests and deacons gathered around and assisting him in his office of teaching, sanctifying and governing (Mt. 28:19–20; Titus 1:4–9). Thus, the church is fully present sacramentally (by way of a sign) wherever there is a sign of Christ the head, a bishop and those who assist him, and a sign of Christ's body, Christian faithful. [6] Each diocese is therefore considered a particular church. [7] On the worldwide level, the sign of Christ the head is the Pope, and, to be Catholic, particular churches, whether local churches or autonomous ritual churches, must be in communion with this sign of Christ the head, [8] Through this full communion with Saint Peter and his successors the church becomes a universal sacrament of salvation to the end of the age (Mt. 28:20). [7]

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Sacraments of the Catholic Church seven visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of Gods presence, consisting of those of initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and of service (holy orders, matrimony)

There are seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of reconciliation and anointing of the sick; and the sacraments of service: holy orders and matrimony.

Epistle to the Colossians book of the Bible

The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, often referred to simply as Colossians, is the twelfth book of the New Testament. It was written, according to the text, by Paul the Apostle and Timothy to the Church in Colossae, a small Phrygian city near Laodicea and approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Ephesus in Asia Minor.

The word "church" is applied to the Catholic Church as a whole, which is seen as a single church: the multitude of peoples and cultures within the church, and the great diversity of gifts, offices, conditions and ways of life of its members, are not opposed to the church's unity. [9] In this sense of "church", the list of churches in the Catholic Church has only one member, the Catholic Church itself (comprising Roman and Eastern Churches).

Within the Catholic Church there are local particular churches, of which dioceses are the most familiar form. Other forms include territorial abbacies, apostolic vicariates and apostolic prefectures. The Code of Canon Law states: "Particular Churches, in which and from which the one and only Catholic Church exists, are principally dioceses. Unless the contrary is clear, the following are equivalent to a diocese: a territorial prelature, a territorial abbacy, a vicariate apostolic, a prefecture apostolic and a permanently established apostolic administration." [10] A list of Catholic dioceses, of which on 31 December 2011 there were 2,834, [11] is given at List of Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) .

Apostolic vicariate

An apostolic vicariate is a territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church under a titular bishop centered in missionary regions and countries where dioceses or parishes have not yet been established. It is essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more. The hope is that the region will generate sufficient numbers of Catholics for the Church to create a diocese. In turn, the status of apostolic vicariate is often a promotion for a former apostolic prefecture, while either may have started out as a mission sui iuris.

Apostolic prefecture missionary area not yet developed enough to become a diocese

An apostolic prefect or prefect apostolic is a priest who heads what is known as an apostolic prefecture, a 'pre-diocesan' missionary jurisdiction where the Catholic Church is not yet sufficiently developed to have it made a diocese. Although it usually has an (embryonal) see, it is often not called after such city but rather after a natural or administrative geographical area.

Within the Catholic Church there are also aggregations of local particular churches that share a specific liturgical, theological, spiritual, and canonical heritage, distinguished from other heritages on the basis of cultural and historical circumstances. These are known as autonomous (" sui iuris ") churches. The 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines such a church as follows: "A group of Christ's faithful hierarchically linked in accordance with law and given express or tacit recognition by the supreme authority of the Church is in this Code called an autonomous Church." [12] There are 24 such autonomous Catholic churches: One Latin Church (i.e., Western) and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches", a distinction by now more historical than geographical. Although each of them has its own specific heritage, they are all in full communion with the Pope in Rome.

Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches is the title of the 1990 codification of the common portions of the Canon Law for the 23 Eastern Catholic churches in the Catholic Church. It is divided into 30 titles and has a total of 1546 canons. The Western Latin Church is guided by its own particular Canons.

Latin Church automonous particular church making up of most of the Western world Catholics

The Latin Church is the largest particular church of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 sui iuris churches, the 23 other forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity, according to Catholic tradition, through its direct leadership under the Holy See.

Unlike "families" or "federations" of churches formed through the grant of mutual recognition by distinct ecclesial bodies, [13] the Catholic Church considers itself a single church ("full communion, "one Body") composed of a multitude of particular churches, each of which, as stated, is an embodiment of the fullness of the one Catholic Church. For the particular churches within the Catholic Church, whether autonomous ritual churches (e.g., Coptic Catholic Church, Melkite Catholic Church, Armenian Catholic Church, etc.) or dioceses (e.g., Archdiocese of Birmingham, Archdiocese of Chicago, etc.), are seen as not simply branches, divisions or sections of a larger body. Theologically, each is considered to be the embodiment in a particular place or for a particular community of the one, whole Catholic Church. "It is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists." [14] [15]

Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.

Coptic Catholic Church Coptic Catholic Church is an Alexandrian Rite particular Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome

The Coptic Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic particular church in full communion with the Catholic Church. The Coptic Catholic Church uses the Alexandrian Rite. Uniquely among Eastern Catholic Churches, it uses the Coptic language in its liturgy, whereas the Ethiopian Catholic Church and Eritrean Catholic Church use the Alexandrian Rite in the Ge'ez language.

Armenian Catholic Church one of the Eastern particular churches sui iuris of the Catholic Church

The Armenian Catholic Church, also referred to as the Armenian Uniate Church, is one of the Eastern particular churches sui iuris of the Catholic Church. They accept the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, known as the papal primacy, and therefore are in full communion with the Catholic Church, including both the Latin Church and the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches. The Armenian Catholic Church is regulated by Eastern canon law, namely the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Particular churches sui iuris

There are 24 autonomous churches: one Latin Church and twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, a distinction by now more historical than geographical. The term sui iuris means, literally, "of its own law", or self-governing. Although all of the particular churches espouse the same beliefs and faith, their distinction lies in their varied expression of that faith through their traditions, disciplines, and canon law. All are in communion with the Holy See.

For this kind of particular church, the 1983 Code of Canon Law uses the unambiguous phrase "autonomous ritual Church" (Latin: Ecclesia ritualis sui iuris). The 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches , which is concerned principally with what the Second Vatican Council called "particular Churches or rites", shortened this to "autonomous Church" (Latin: Ecclesia sui iuris). [16] [ original research? ][ not in citation given ]

Particular churches sui iuris sorted by liturgical traditions

Local particular churches

In Catholic teaching, each diocese (Latin Church term) or eparchy (Eastern term) is also a local or particular church, though it lacks the autonomy of the autonomous churches described above:

A diocese is a section of the People of God entrusted to a bishop to be guided by him with the assistance of his clergy so that, loyal to its pastor and formed by him into one community in the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes one particular church in which the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active. [17]

The 1983 Code of Canon Law , which is concerned with the Latin Church alone and so with only one autonomous particular church, uses the term "particular Church" only in the sense of "local Church", as in its Canon 373:

It is within the competence of the supreme authority alone to establish particular Churches; once they are lawfully established, the law itself gives them juridical personality. [18]

The standard form of these local or particular churches, each of which is headed by a bishop, is called a diocese in the Latin Church and an eparchy in the Eastern churches. At the end of 2011, the total number of all these jurisdictional areas (or "sees") was 2,834. [19]

Local particular church of Rome

The Holy See, the Diocese of Rome, is seen as the central local church. The bishop, the Pope, is considered to be, in a unique sense, the successor of Saint Peter, the chief (or "prince") of the apostles. Quoting the Second Vatican Council's document Lumen gentium , the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, 'is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.'" [20]

All the Catholic particular churches, whether Latin or Eastern, local or autonomous—are by definition in full communion with the Holy See of Rome.

Rites

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines "rite" as follows: "Rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage, distinguished according to peoples' culture and historical circumstances, that finds expression in each autonomous church's way of living the faith." [21]

As thus defined, "rite" concerns not only a people's liturgy (manner of worship), but also its theology (understanding of doctrine), spirituality (prayer and devotion), and discipline (canon law).

In this sense of the word "rite", the list of rites within the Catholic Church is identical with that of the autonomous churches, each of which has its own heritage, which distinguishes that church from others, and membership of a church involves participation in its liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage. However, "church" refers to the people, and "rite" to their heritage. [22]

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches states that the rites with which it is concerned (but which it does not list) spring from the following five traditions: Alexandrian, Antiochian, Armenian, Chaldean, and Constantinopolitan. [23] Since it covers only Eastern Catholic churches and rites, it does not mention those of Western (Latin) tradition.

The word "rite" is sometimes used with reference only to liturgy, ignoring the theological, spiritual and disciplinary elements in the heritage of the churches. In this sense, "rite" has been defined as "the whole complex of the (liturgical) services of any Church or group of Churches". [24]

Between "rites" in this exclusively liturgical sense and the autonomous churches there is no strict correspondence, such as there is when "rite" is understood as in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The 14 autonomous churches of Byzantine tradition have a single liturgical rite, but vary mainly in liturgical language, while on the contrary the single Latin Church has several distinct liturgical rites, whose universal main form, the Roman Rite, is practised in Latin or in the local vernacular).

Latin (Western) rites

Extant
Defunct

Eastern rites

Extant

See also

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References

Notes

  1. This rite, though used by 14 Eastern particular churches has preserved, apart from the diversity of languages used, its uniformity and remained a single liturgical rite, though there is a Slavonic Use among Ukrainian and other Slavic churches.

Citations

  1. "Orientalium Ecclesiarum". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  2. Particular Churches, in which and from which the one and only Catholic Church exists, are principally dioceses. Unless the contrary is clear, the following are equivalent to a diocese: a territorial prelature, a territorial abbacy, a vicariate apostolic, a prefecture apostolic and a permanently established apostolic administration. (Code of Canon Law, canon 368)
  3. "Catholic Culture Church Definition". CatholicCulture.org. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  4. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Hierarchy". NewAdvent.org. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  5. "The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  6. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Mystical Body of the Church". NewAdvent.org. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  7. 1 2 "CATHOLIC RITES AND CHURCHES". EWTN. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  8. "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on some aspects of the Church understood as communion". Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  9. "Catechism of the Catholic Church, 814". Vatican.va. 1975-12-14. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  10. "Code of Canon Law, canon 368". Intratext.com. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  11. Vatican, Annuario Pontificio 2012, p. 1142.
  12. "Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 27". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  13. Also unlike the situation of those countries within the Commonwealth that consider the British monarch to be their head of state, but are nonetheless fully independent and quite distinct states, not just one state.
  14. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Decree on the Church Lumen gentium , 23
  15. "The particular Churches, insofar as they are 'part of the one Church of Christ' (Second Vatican Council: Decree Christus Dominus, 6/c), have a special relationship of mutual interiority with the whole, that is, with the universal Church, because in every particular Church 'the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active' (Second Vatican Council: Decree Christus Dominus, 11/a). For this reason, the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches. It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church" (Communionis notio, 9).
  16. Canon 27, quote: "A group of Christ's faithful hierarchically linked in accordance with law and given express or tacit recognition by the supreme authority of the Church is in this Code called an autonomous Church."
  17. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus ,11
  18. "Code of Canon Law, canon 373". Intratext.com. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  19. Central Statistics Office (March 2012). Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. p. 1142. ISBN   978-88-209-8722-0.
  20. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 882
  21. "Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28 §1". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  22. Arangassery, Lonappan (1999). A Handbook on Catholic Eastern Churches. p. 52. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  23. "Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28 §2". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  24. Griffin, Patrick (1912). "Rites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 2011-02-14.

Further reading