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The Eastern canonical reforms of Pope Pius XII were the several reforms of Oriental canon law and the Codex Iuris Canonici Orientalis, applying mainly to the Oriental Churches united with the Latin Church in communion with the Roman Pontiff. The Holy See's policy in this area had always two objectives, the pastoral care of approximately ten million Christians united with Rome and the creation of positive ecumenical signals to the two-hundred and fifty million Orthodox Christians outside the Church of Rome.
With his concern for the Eastern Catholic Churches with their combined ten million members, Pope Pius continued the initiatives of his predecessors, especially Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI. These Churches, not unlike the Latin Church before the Code of 1917, had their own ancient laws, which were not codified. The reform of Oriental Church laws, the CIC Orientalis for the Oriental Churches, was completed during the pontificate of Pius XII. The new, very comprehensive Church laws governed matrimonial law,Church trials, administration of Church properties and religious orders and individual rights.
After World War II, a new situation developed as millions of united Christians from Eastern Europe emigrated to the Western hemisphere: United States, Western Europe, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Australia. The new Church law was welcomed, yet in some points, it was critiqued, for not fully adopting to these new Western circumstances. Traditional Orientals insisted on legal exemptions, allowing them to keep most of the ancient customs and laws.Pastorally, the Pope tried to meet this challenge, by creating independent new oriental eparchies (equivalent to dioceses) in Canada, Brazil, Iraq, France and the USA. They were legally independent from the jurisdiction of Roman Catholic bishops in these regions.
Decentralized authority and increased the independence of the united Churches were aimed at in the Corpus Iuris Canonici (CIC) reform. In its new constitutions, Eastern Patriarchs were made almost independent from Rome (CIC Orientalis, 1957) These reforms and writings of Pope Pius XII were intended to establish Eastern Orientals as equal parts of the mystical body of Christ, as pronounced in the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi .
Several encyclicals addressed non-legal issues of the Oriental Churches. Orientalis Ecclesiae was issued in 1944 on the 15th centenary of the death of Cyril of Alexandria, a saint common to Orthodox and Latin Churches. Pius XII asks for prayer for better understanding and unification of the Churches. Orientales omnes Ecclesias , issued in 1945 on the 350th anniversary of the reunion, is a call to continued unity of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, threatened in its very existence by the authorities of the Soviet Union. The persecutions of the Church and a foreseeable schism are specifically mentioned and deplored. Sempiternus Rex was issued in 1951 on the 1500th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. It included a call to oriental communities adhering to monophysitism to return to the Catholic Church. Orientales Ecclesias was issued in 1952 and addressed to the Oriental Churches, protesting the continued Stalinist persecution of the Church in all Eastern Nations and the Balkans, asking for prayers. Several Apostolic Letters were sent to the bishops in the East. On 13 May 1956, Pius XII addressed all bishops of the Eastern Rite. Mary, the mother of God was the subject of encyclical letters to the people of Russia in Fulgens corona and a papal letter to the people of Russia.
These individual canon law reforms of Pope Pius XII were revised in 1991. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches for members of the Eastern Catholic Churches were promulgated on 18 October 1990 by Pope John Paul II and came into effect on 1 October 1991.
Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2 March 1939 to 1958 when he died. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, such as the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.
Mystici corporis Christi is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII on 29 June 1943 during World War II. It is one of the more important encyclicals of Pius XII because of its topic, the Church, which was strongly debated and further developed in the Second Vatican Council document on the Church, Lumen gentium.
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.
The invisible church or church invisible is a theological concept of an "invisible" Christian Church of the elect who are known only to God, in contrast to the "visible church"—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel and administers the sacraments. Every member of the invisible church is saved, while the visible church contains some individuals who are saved and others who are unsaved. According to this view, Bible passages such as Matthew 7:21-27, Matthew 13:24-30, and Matthew 24:29-51 speak about this distinction.
Deiparae Virginis Mariae is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII to all Catholic bishops on the possibility of defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma of faith.
Orientales omnes Ecclesias is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII to the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. It commemorates the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Union of Brest.
Orientales ecclesias is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII concerning the persecution of the Eastern Catholic Churches and describing the desperate situation of the faithful in Bulgaria.
Pope Pius XII and Russia describes relations of the Vatican with the Soviet Union, Russia, the Orthodox Church, and United Oriental Churches resulting in the eradication of the Church in most parts of the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era. Most persecutions of the Church occurred during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII.
Sebastiaan Peter Cornelis Tromp was a Dutch Jesuit priest, theologian, and Latinist, who is best known for assisting Pope Pius XII in his theological encyclicals, and Pope John XXIII in the preparation for Vatican II. He was an assistant to Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani during the Council and professor of Catholic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University from 1929 until 1967.
Ad Caeli Reginam is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII, given at Rome, from St. Peter's Basilica, on the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the eleventh day of October, 1954, in the sixteenth year of his Pontificate. The encyclical is an important element of the Mariology of Pope Pius XII. It established the feast Queenship of Mary.
Fulgens corona is an encyclical by Pope Pius XII, given at St. Peter's, Rome, on 8 September 1953, on the Birthday of the Virgin Mary, the fifteenth year of his Pontificate. The encyclical proclaims a Marian year for 1954, to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Fulgens corona is significant as it contained the mariological methodology of Pope Pius XII and his views on limits and challenges of mariology.
The theology of Pope Pius XII is reflected in his forty-one encyclicals, as well as speeches and nearly 1000 messages, during his almost 20-year pontificate. The encyclicals Mystici corporis and Mediator Dei advanced the understanding of membership and participation in the Catholic Church. The encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu began opening the door to historical-critical biblical studies. But his magisterium was far larger and is difficult to summarize. In numerous speeches Catholic teaching is related to various aspects of life, education, medicine, politics, war and peace, the life of saints, Mary, the mother of God, things eternal and temporal.
The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mariological papal documents have been a major force that has shaped Roman Catholic Mariology over the centuries. Mariology is developed by theologians on the basis not only of Scripture and Tradition but also of the sensus fidei of the faithful as a whole, "from the bishops to the last of the faithful", and papal documents have recorded those developments, defining Marian dogmas, spreading doctrines and encouraging devotions within the Catholic Church.
Ubi primum is an encyclical of Pope Pius IX to the bishops of the Catholic Church asking them for opinion on the definition of a dogma on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It was issued on February 2, 1849
Le pèlerinage de Lourdes is the only encyclical of Pope Pius XII issued in French. It includes warnings against materialism on the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes. It was given at Rome, from St. Peter's Basilica, on the feast of the Visitation of the Most Holy Virgin, July 2, 1957, the nineteenth year of his pontificate.
Eastern Catholic victims of Soviet persecutions include bishops and others among the tens of thousands of victims of Soviet persecutions from 1918 to approximately 1980, under the state ideology of Marxist–Leninist atheism.
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 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.
Catholic canon law is the set of rules and principles (laws) by which the Catholic Church is governed, through enforcement by governmental authorities. Law is also the field which concerns the creation and administration of laws.