Curia (Catholic Church)

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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.

These curias are historically descended from the Roman Curiae, and they keep that name even though they now have very different functions. When the Roman Empire collapsed, many of the administrative functions previously done by the state were subsumed by the only solid institution left, which was the church. The Bishop and curia took the place of the government officials, often to the point of sitting at the same chair in the same building. The Curia therefore passed into religious hands, and afterwards changed functions many times but always keeping its traditional name, at least in those Christian denominations that keep a strong continuity with the Apostolic tradition.

Diocesan curia

Every diocese and eparchy has a curia, consisting of the chief officials of the diocese. These officials assist the diocesan bishop in governing the particular church.

This diocesan curia includes the vicar general, who is normally also the moderator of the curia, any episcopal vicars, the chancellor of the curia, vice-chancellors and notaries, and a finance officer and financial council. The bishop may also add other officials of his choice. [1]

Patriarchal curia

Patriarchates and Major Archiepiscopates of the Eastern Catholic Churches have an assembly called the Patriarchal Curia, which assists the patriarch or major archbishop in administering the sui juris church. The patriarchal curia is distinct from the diocesan or eparchal curia of the patriarch or major archbishop's diocese or eparchy.

The patriarchal curia consists of the permanent synod of the Church, the chancellor, assistant chancellor, and notaries, the patriarchal finance officer, the patriarchal liturgical commission and other patriarchal commissions, and the patriarchal tribunal. [2] Up to three bishops may be elected specifically to serve in the patriarchal curia. [3]

Roman Curia

The administrative unit of the Holy See is called the Roman Curia, which assists the Pope in governing the Catholic Church. [4] The Roman Curia includes the Secretariats, the Curial Congregations, the Pontifical Councils, Pontifical Commissions, the tribunals, and other offices.

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The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.

Archbishop Bishop of higher rank in many Christian denominations

In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.

An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages these courts had much wider powers in many areas of Europe than before the development of nation states. They were experts in interpreting canon law, a basis of which was the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian which is considered the source of the civil law legal tradition.

Exarch

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.

Metropolitan bishop Ecclesiastical office

In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.

An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of jurisdiction in Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses, one of them being the archdiocese, headed by metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province.

A titular bishop in various churches is a bishop who is not in charge of a diocese. By definition, a bishop is an "overseer" of a community of the faithful, so when a priest is ordained a bishop, the tradition of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is that he be ordained for a specific place. There are more bishops than there are functioning dioceses. Therefore, a priest appointed not to head a diocese as its diocesan bishop but to be an auxiliary bishop, a papal diplomat, or an official of the Roman Curia is appointed to a titular see.

Ordinary (church officer) an officer of a church or civic authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws

An ordinary is an officer of a church or civic authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws.

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Organization of the Catholic Church

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Chancellor (ecclesiastical) ecclesiastic title

Chancellor is an ecclesiastical title used by several quite distinct officials of some Christian churches.

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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.

A diocesan bishop, within various Christian traditions, is a bishop or archbishop in pastoral charge of a diocese or archdiocese.

Judicial vicar position

In the Roman Catholic Church, a judicial vicar or episcopal official is an officer of the diocese who has ordinary power to judge cases in the diocesan ecclesiastical court. Although the diocesan bishop can reserve certain cases to himself, the judicial vicar and the diocesan bishop are a single tribunal, which means that decisions of the judicial vicar cannot be appealed to the diocesan bishop but must instead be appealed to the appellate tribunal. The judicial vicar ought to be someone other than the vicar general, unless the smallness of the diocese or the limited number of cases suggest otherwise. Other judges, who may be priests, deacons, religious brothers or sisters or nuns, or laypersons, and who must have knowledge of canon law and be Catholics in good standing, assist the judicial vicar either by deciding cases on a single judge basis or by forming with him a panel over which he or one of them presides. A judicial vicar may also be assisted by adjutant judicial vicars. The judicial vicar is assisted by at least one, if not more, individuals with the title defender of the bond, they are normally priests, but do not have to be. On staff will also be notaries and secretaries, who may be priests, religious brothers or sisters or nuns, or laypersons.

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References

  1. Can. 469—494 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law Archived February 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Can. 114—125 of the 1990 Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches
  3. Can. 87 of the 1990 Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches .
  4. Code of Canon Law, can. 360