Eastern canonical reforms of Pius XII

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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.

Pope Pius XII 260th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church from 2 March 1939 to his death. 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, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.

Oriental canon law is the law of the 23 Catholic sui juris 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.

Eastern Catholic Churches autonomous, self-governing particular Churches in full communion with the Pope

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio, thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.2 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.

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Reforms of canon law

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, [1] Church trials, [2] administration of Church properties and religious orders [3] and individual rights. [4]

Pope Leo XIII 256th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Leo XIII was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope, and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX and John Paul II.

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 called the Patriarch of the West - with headquarters in the Vatican City, enclaved within 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.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, also referred to as the Pio-Benedictine Code, was the first official comprehensive codification of Latin canon law. It was promulgated on 27 May 1917 and took legal effect on 19 May 1918. It was in force until the 1983 Code of Canon Law took legal effect and abrogated it on 27 November 1983. It has been described as "the greatest revolution in canon law since the time of Gratian".

New Oriental dioceses in the West

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. [5] Pastorally, the Pope tried to meet this challenge, by creating independent new oriental dioceses in Canada, Brazil, Iraq, France and the USA. They were legally independent from the jurisdiction of Roman Catholic bishops in these regions.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Western Europe region comprising the westerly countries of Europe

Western Europe is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Though the term Western Europe is commonly used, there is no commonly agreed-upon definition of the countries that it encompasses.

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Decentralization from Rome

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 . [6]

Encyclicals

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 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. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Orientalis ecclesiae is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII. Its topic is St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria.

Cyril of Alexandria Pope of Alexandria from 412 to 444

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Orientales omnes Ecclesiae 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.

Later developments

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. [14]

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.

Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Vacatio legis is a technical term in both Catholic canon law and civil law which refers to the period between the promulgation of a law and the time the law takes legal effect.

See also

Related Research Articles

An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Late Latin encyclios.

<i>Mystici corporis Christi</i>

Mystici corporis Christi is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII during World War II, on the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. It is one of the more important encyclicals of Pope Pius XII, because of its topic, the Church, and because its Church concept was fully included in Lumen gentium but also strongly debated during and after Vatican II. The Church is called body, because it is a living entity; it is called the body of Christ, because Christ is its Head and Founder; it is called mystical body, because it is neither a purely physical nor a purely spiritual unity, but supernatural.

Praeclara gratulationis publicae was an apostolic letter of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on June 20, 1894.

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" body 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.

<i>Deiparae Virginis Mariae</i>

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 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, 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.

<i>Fulgens corona</i> encyclical

Fulgens corona is an encyclical by Pope Pius XII, given at St. Peter's Rome, on 8 September 1953, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed 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 comprised forty-one encyclicals, as well as speeches and nearly 1000 messages, during his long pontificate. The encyclicals Mystici corporis and Mediator Dei clarified membership and participation in the Church. The encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu opened the doors for biblical research. 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.

Mariology of the popes

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.

Sempiternus Rex is an encyclical of Pope Pius XII dated in Rome at St. Peter on 8 September 1951, the feast of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the 1500th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, which declared Christ to be both fully human and fully divine.

Mariological papal documents

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.

<i>Ubi primum</i> (Pius IX, 1849)

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

<i>Le pèlerinage de Lourdes</i> encyclical

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.

Orientales Ecclesiae is Latin for "Eastern Churches", and is used to refer to the Eastern Catholic Churches.

The legal history of the Catholic Church is the history of the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, much later than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. The history of Latin canon law can be divided into four periods: the jus antiquum, the jus novum, the jus novissimum and the Code of Canon Law. In relation to the Code, history can be divided into the jus vetus and the jus novum. Eastern canon law developed separately.

References

  1. AAS 1949, 89-119.
  2. AAS1950 5-120..
  3. AAS 1952 65-120..
  4. AAS 1957, 433-603..
  5. Herder Korrespondenz Orbis Catholicus, (HK) 13, 84.
  6. Encyclical Mystici corporis Christi on the Vatican website Archived March 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ..
  7. Orientalis Ecclesiae. AAS 1944, 129.
  8. Orientales omnes Ecclesias. AAS 1946, 33-63.
  9. Sempiternus Rex. AAS 1951, 625-644.
  10. Orientales Ecclesiae. AAS 1953, 5-15.
  11. Apostolic Letters to the bishops in the East. AAS 1956, 260-264.
  12. Fulgens corona. AAS 1953, 577-593.
  13. Papal letter to the People of Russia. AAS 1952, 505-511.
  14. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution Sacri Canones of 18 October 1990.