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The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (Latin: Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium,abbreviated CCEO) 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.
The 23 sui iuris Churches which collectively make up the Eastern Catholic Churches have been invited by the Catholic Church to codify their own particular laws and submit them to the pope so that there may be a full, complete Code of all religious law within Catholicism. Pope John Paul II promulgated Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches on October 18, 1990, by the document Sacri Canones.The Code came into force of law on October 1, 1991.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II issued the motu proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem,which amended two canons (750 and 1371) of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and two canons (598 and 1436) of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, so as to add "new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions."
The text of the CCEO is divided into 31 sections, 30 titles and a section of preliminary canons.
The 6 preliminary canons deal with scope and continuity, what is affected by the CCEO and how prior legislation and customs shall be handled.
Can. 1 The CCEO regards solely the Eastern Catholic Churches unless otherwise mentioned.
Can. 2 The CCEO is to be assessed according to the Ancient Laws of the Eastern Churches.
Can. 3 The CCEO does not "for the most part legislate on liturgical matters"and therefore the Liturgical Books are to be observed unless contrary to the Canons of the CCEO.
Can. 4. The CCEO neither degrades or abrogates treaties/pacts entered into by the Holy See with nations/political societies. Therefore, they still have their force, notwithstanding any prescriptions of the CCEO to the contrary.
This section defines the Christian faithful and catechumens.
It expresses that the People of God have the obligation to: maintain the faith and openly profess the Faith, maintain communion, promote the growth of the Church, listen to pastors, let pastors know their opinions on matters of the good of the Church, call private associations 'Catholic' only when approved by the bishop, preserve the good reputation and privacy of all people, help with the needs of the Church and promote social justice including providing aid to the poor from their own resources.
It also expresses various rights of the faithful.
The canons in this section are numbered 7-26.
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| Particular churches sui iuris |
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|Particular churches are grouped by rite.|
|East Syriac Rite|
|Latin liturgical rites|
|West Syriac Rite|
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 CCEO (Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium - Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches) and 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 preserve their patrimonial autonomous nature. The autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that they are under the authority of the Bishop of Rome.
For a better understanding of the concept of church sui iuris see, Žužek, Understanding The Eastern Code, pp. 94–109. “Una Chiesa Orientale cattolica è una parte della Chiesa Universale che vive la fede in modo corrispondente ad una delle cinque grandi tradizioni orientali- Alessandrina, Antiochena, Costantinopolitina, Caldea, Armena- e che contiene o è almeno capace di contenere, come sue componenti minori, più comunità diocesane gerarchicamente riunite sotto la guida di un capo comune legittimamente eletto e in comunione con Roma, il quale con il proprio Sinodo costituisce la superiore istanza per tutti gli affari di carattere amministrativo, legislativo e giudiziario delle stesse Communità, nell'ambito del diritto comune a tutte le Chiese, determinato nei Canoni sanciti dai Concili Ecumenici o del Romano Pontefice, sempre preservando il diritto di quest'ultimo di intervenire nei singoli casi” pp. 103–104. A rough translation of this may be rendered "An Eastern Catholic Church is on part of the Universal Church in which lives the faith in a corresponding manner to one of the five great Eastern Traditions - Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Chalcedon, Armenian - and which contains or is capable of containing, as its small marts, more community specific diocesan rule and the guide of a legitimately elected head of the community and in Communion with Rome, in which, with its own Synod, constitutes the highest law for all those affairs of an administrative character, legislative and guiding of its own community, in the aim of the direction common to all the Church, determined in the Holy Canons of the Ecumenical Councils or of the Roman Pontiff, always preserving the direction of the latter in individual cases."
According to the CCEO the Oriental Catholic Churches sui iuris are of 4 categories:
1. Patriarchal Churches:
The patriarchal church is the full-grown form of an Oriental Catholic Church. It is a community of the Christian faithful joined together by a patriarchal hierarchy. The patriarch together with the synod of bishops has the legislative, judicial and administrative powers within the ecclesiastical territory, without prejudice to those powers reserved, in the common law to the pope (CCEO 55-150). Among the Catholic Oriental churches the following hold patriarchal status: Maronite, Chaldean, Coptic, Syriac, Melkite, Armenian.
2. Major Archiepiscopal Churches:
Major archiepiscopal churches are those oriental churches which are governed by major archbishops, assisted by a respective synod of bishops. These churches have almost the same rights and obligations of patriarchal churches. A major archbishop is the metropolitan of a see; he is chosen by the pope or recognized by him, and presides over an entire Eastern Church sui iuris. What is stated in common law concerning patriarchal churches or patriarchs is understood to be applicable to major archiepiscopal churches or major archbishops, unless the common law expressly provides otherwise or the matter is obvious. (CCEO.151, 152). The 4 major archiepiscopal churches are the Syro-Malabar, the Ukrainian Byzantine, the Syro-Malankara Catholic and Romanian Byzantine.
3. Metropolitan Churches:
This is a church which is governed by a metropolitan "sui iuris." Such a church is presided over by the metropolitan of a determined see who has been canonically elected and confirmed by the pope. He is assisted by a council of hierarchs according to the norms of law (CCEO. 155§1). The Catholic metropolitan churches are the Ethiopian Catholic, Eritrean Catholic, Hungarian Byzantine, Slovak Byzantine and the Ruthenian Catholic Church.
4. Other Churches:
Apart from the above-mentioned forms of church there are other ecclesiastical communities which are entrusted to a hierarch who presides in accordance with the norms of canon law. (CCEO. 174). The following Oriental Catholic churches are of this status: Belorussian Greek, Bulgarian Greek, Macedonian Greek, Greek Byzantine, Italo-Albanian, Byzantine Church of the Eparchy of Križvci, Albanian Byzantine, Russian Byzantine. Altogether there are 22 oriental sui iuris churches in within the Catholic communion.
Jerusalem Church founded by St. James, the Apostle, in the year 37
Antioch Church founded by St. Peter, The Apostle, in the year 39
Alexandria Church founded by St. Mark, the Apostle, in the year 37
Greek Church founded by St. John, the Apostle, in the year 42
Rome church founded by St. Peter, The Apostle, in the year 44
Mar Thoma church of India founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, in the year 38
Celtic church founded by St. Andrew, the Apostle, in Scotland, in the year 55
PATRIARCHAL AND MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA: The bishops of the curia (maximum three); Permanent Synod:Patriarch + 4 bishops (3+1)and 4 substitutes (Quasi - Permanent Synod Patriarch + 2 bishops); Chancellor, vice-chancellor, notaries, chancery; Patriarchal Finance Officer (administrator of the goods of Church); Other Aspects like archives, inventory, financial sources of curia; The commissions: For the Liturgy, Ecumenism, Catechism, Evangelization, Preparation of the Synod of Bishops, Preparation of the patriarchal Assembly, censor of Books and the other commissions under the Patriarchal Authority; The Ordinary Tribunal The president, the judges(9), the administrative officials (auditors, promoter of justice, defender of the bond, notaries, advocates, procurators, experts, interpreters, etc.); The organs connected to patriarchal curia: All organs of patriarchal church who collaborate in the administration of the Patriarchal church, including superior tribunal, moderator general of the administration of justice, a group of bishops for recourse, patriarchal procurator in Rome, Roman curial organs, curia of other patriarchal churches, etc. (As far as the curia is concerned, it is the same for the Patriarchal and Major Archiepiscopal Churches)
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.
The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to pejoratively as Uniates, are twenty-three Eastern Christian sui iuris (autonomous) particular churches of the Catholic Church, in full communion with the pope in Rome. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church. In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome due to extenuating political and cultural circumstances influencing the churches' relations. As such the five liturgical traditions of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, including the Alexandrian Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite, and the West Syriac Rite, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches. Consequently, the Catholic Church consists of six liturgical rites; including the aforementioned five liturgical traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches along with the Latin liturgical rites of the Latin Church.
The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, also known as the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic, autonomous, particular church, in full communion with the pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. It is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title. It is headed by Major Archbishop Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Maphrian of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum based in Kerala, India.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church or Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church based in Kerala, India. It is an autonomous particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Church is headed by the Metropolitan and Gate of all India Major Archbishop George Cardinal Alencherry. The name Syro-Malabar is a prefix coined from the words Syriac as the church employs the East Syriac Rite liturgy, and Malabar which is the historical name for modern Kerala. The name has been in usage in official Vatican documents since the nineteenth century.
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 Eastern 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.
Catholicos, plural Catholicoi, is a title used for the head of certain churches in some Eastern Christian traditions. The title implies autocephaly and in some cases it is the title of the head of an autonomous church. The word comes from ancient Greek καθολικός, pl. καθολικοί, derived from καθ' ὅλου from κατά and ὅλος, meaning "concerning the whole, universal, general"; it originally designated a financial or civil office in the Roman Empire. The name of the Catholic Church comes from the same word - however, the title "Catholicos" does not exist in its hierarchy.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.
In the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for the chief hierarch of an autonomous particular Church that has not been "endowed with the patriarchal title". Major archbishops generally have the same rights, privileges, and jurisdiction as Eastern Catholic patriarchs, except where expressly provided otherwise, and rank immediately after them in precedence of honor.
Alphabetical list of Eastern Christianity-related articles on English Wikipedia
A curia is an official body that governs a particular Church in the Catholic Church. These curias range from the relatively simple diocesan curia, to the larger patriarchal curias, to the Roman Curia, which is the central government of the Catholic Church. Other Roman Catholic bodies, such as religious institutes, may also have curias. For example, the Legion of Mary has a rank called the Curia. It stands above the Praesidium but below the Regia. The Curia is responsible for several Praesidia.
The canon law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. It was the first modern Western legal system and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, while the unique traditions of Oriental canon law govern the 23 Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.
Major archiepiscopal churches are Eastern Catholic Churches governed by major archbishops, assisted by their respective synods of bishops. These Catholic churches also have almost the same rights and obligations as patriarchal churches. A major archbishop is the metropolitan of a see determined or recognized by the Holy See, the Supreme authority of the Church, who presides over an entire Eastern Church sui iuris that is not distinguished with the patriarchal title. What is stated in common law concerning patriarchal churches or patriarchs is understood to be applicable to major archiepiscopal churches or major archbishops, unless the common law expressly provides otherwise or it is evident from the nature of the matter".
Ivan Žužek, was a Slovenian Jesuit priest and Canonist. He was the General Secretary of Pontifical Commission for the Revision of Eastern Code (CCEO).
John Denver Faris is an American Chorbishop of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, serving the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. He is a canon lawyer of the Eastern Catholic Church, and an expert called upon for dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Christian Churches.
Oriental canon law is the law of the 23 Catholic sui juris (autonomous) particular churches of the Eastern Catholic tradition. Oriental canon law includes both the common tradition among all Eastern Catholic Churches, now chiefly contained in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, as well as to the particular law proper to each individual sui juris particular Eastern Catholic Church. Oriental canon law is distinguished from Latin canon law, which developed along a separate line in the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, and is now chiefly codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
In oriental canon law, a Territory Dependent on the Patriarch is a low-ranking, pre-diocesan type of Eastern Catholic jurisdiction, directly dependent on the Patriarch who heads a rite-specific Particular Church sui iuris, but not part of his or any ecclesiastical province, and in Rome depenent on the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.