Major archbishop

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In the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for the chief hierarch of an autonomous ( sui juris ) particular Church that has not been "endowed with the patriarchal title". [1] 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. [2]

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 1.3 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.

Patriarch ecclesiastical title

The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.

Contents

In addition to their role governing their particular Church, major archbishops, like Eastern Catholic patriarchs, are ex officio members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia. [3] They are required to attend the annual general meeting of this congregation, as well as other sessions if they are visiting Rome or are otherwise able. [4]

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, and the curial congregation responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development and protecting their rights. It also maintains whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage and Oriental canon law of the various Eastern Catholic traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, and also oversees jurisdictions based in Romania, Southern Italy, Hungary, India and Ukraine. It was founded by the Motu Proprio Dei Providentis of Pope Benedict XV as the "Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church" on 1 May 1917 and "considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches."

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.

There are currently four major archbishops each leading a major archiepiscopal autonomous Church.

History

There was a strong movement within and after the Second Vatican Council to elevate Josyf Slipyj, then metropolitan of Lviv, for the Ukrainians, to the status of patriarch. Many of his admirers use this title for Slipyj when referring to him historically and many in Ukraine use this title for the current major archbishop even today. However, Pope Paul VI specifically declined to grant this title, instead creating this new title and appointing Slipyj the first "major archbishop" of Lviv (the seat has since been moved to Kiev). Slipyj's successors have only used the title of major archbishop.

Second Vatican Council Roman Catholic ecumenical council held in Vatican City from 1962 to 1965

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.

Josyf Slipyj Major Archbishop of Lviv

Josyf Slipyi was a Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church.

Lviv City of regional significance in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and the seventh-largest city in the country overall, with a population of 724,713 as of January 2019. Lviv is one of the main cultural centres of Ukraine.

The title "major archbishop" was first granted to the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1963. The Syro-Malabar Church became major archiepiscopal in 1992, followed by the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Romanian Greek Catholic Church in 2005.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See. It is the second-largest particular church in the Catholic Church. It is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title.

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church also known as the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris 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 Cardinal Cleemis Maphrian of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum based in Kerala, India. The Church follows the West Syriac Rite liturgy of Saint James, which is also used in the Maronite Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The Church traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic Churches from India, the other one being the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church which uses the East Syriac Rite liturgy.

Suggestions have been made at various times to elevate major archbishops to patriarchs, most notably the major archbishops of the Ukrainians and Syro-Malabars. Popes from Paul VI to Benedict XVI have rejected this suggestion, at least in part, on ecumenical grounds: it is the hope among Christians that these Catholic jurisdictions will one day be reunited with their Orthodox counterparts in a reunification of the Church; hence, establishing a "patriarchate" in Ukraine would be interpreted as an insult to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow (as it would seem to question the legitimacy of his claim to that title). A similar concern applies in India, where such a move would insult non-Catholic Patriarchs in the Middle East.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Russian Orthodox Church autocephalous Orthodox Christian church, headquartered in Moscow, Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as its primate, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church; the Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.

Comparison to other titles

Compared to other titles available to the heads of sui juris Eastern Catholic Churches, the title of "major archbishop" falls below "patriarch" and above "metropolitan archbishop". The title is used for archbishops of episcopal sees that were founded more recently than the patriarchal sees and are therefore less prestigious. Canon law generally treats major archbishops as equivalent to patriarchs, except where specifically provided otherwise. [5] What differences there are between the two offices are mainly differences of ceremony or honor. Major archbishops rank immediately below patriarchs in the order of precedence of the Catholic Church. [6] If made members of the College of Cardinals, major archbishops join the order of Cardinal-Priests, whereas Eastern Catholic patriarchs join the highest order as Cardinal-Bishops. Like patriarchs, major archbishops are elected by the synod of the sui iuris Church, but their election requires confirmation by the Pope, not the simple notification and request for communion required of patriarchs. [7] On the other hand, metropolitan archbishops of Eastern Catholic Churches sui juris are appointed by the Pope (rather than elected by their synod) and have much less authority even within their own churches. [8]

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.

Episcopal see the main administrative seat held by a bishop

An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

College of Cardinals body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church

The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its current membership is 215, as of 29 August 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.

The title major archbishop in the Catholic Church is roughly equivalent to the patriarchal title catholicos in some Orthodox Churches. Catholicos is used internally by the Syro-Malankara Church for their major archbishop. [9]

List of Major Archbishops

This section provides a complete list of every bishop who has held the title of major archbishop, organized according to the precedence of their titles, which follows the order in which their churches became major archiepiscopal. [10] So far, every major archbishop has been a cardinal except for Cyril Baselios and Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Antony Padiyara and Lubomyr Husar are the only major archbishops to resign the office, rather than dying in it.

List of Major Archbishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

For a complete list of heads of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, including prior to its establishment as a major archiepiscopal church, see List of Leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

List of Major Archbishops of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

For a complete list of heads of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, including prior to its establishment as a major archiepiscopal church, see List of Major Archbishops of the Syro-Malabar Church.

List of Major Archbishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

For a complete list of heads of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, including prior to its establishment as a major archiepiscopal church, see List of Major Archbishops of Thiruvananthapuram.

List of Major Archbishops of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church

For a complete list of heads of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church, including prior to its establishment as a major archiepiscopal church, see List of bishops of Făgăraș and Alba Iulia.

Notes

  1. Slipyj became Metropolitan Archbishop of Lviv on 1 November 1944, but he was not elevated to the title of Major Archbishop until 1963.
  2. Because he had been appointed coadjutor to Slipyj, Lubachivsky succeeded directly to the major archiepiscopacy upon Slipyj's death.
  3. The see of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and with it the title of the Major Archbishop, was transferred from Lviv to Kiev in 2005. Hence Lubomyr Husar began his reign as Major Archbishop in Lviv and ended it in Kiev.
  4. Padiyara became Metropolitan Archbishop of Ernakulam on 23 April 1985, but he was not elevated to the title of Major Archbishop until 1992. The promotion of the see to a major archeparchy was simultaneous with a change of its name to Ernakulam-Angamaly.
  5. Baselios became Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum on 6 November 1995, but he was not elevated to the title of Major Archbishop until 2005.
  6. Mureșan became Metropolitan Archbishop of Făgăraș and Alba Iulia on 4 July 1994, but he was not elevated to the title of Major Archbishop until 2005.

Sources

  1. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 151
  2. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 152 , Canon 154
  3. Pope John Paul II (1998), Apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus , Article 57
  4. Pope John Paul II (1998), Apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, Article 11.
  5. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 152
  6. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 154
  7. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 153 ; cf. Canon 63 and Canon 76
  8. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 155
  9. "Syro Malankara Church says it can use Catholicos title" Archived 2015-05-14 at the Wayback Machine , Indian Catholic News Service, July 21, 2005
  10. 1990 Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Canon 154
  11. 1 2 https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia/2019/08/30/head-of-syro-malabar-church-stripped-of-administrative-responsibility-in-archdiocese/

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