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Orders of precedence
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
The order of precedence in the Catholic Church is organized by rank within the hierarchy according first to order, then jurisdiction, and finally to titular or ad personam honors granted to individuals despite a lack of jurisdiction. Emeritus ecclesiastics are counted among the latter.
At this time, a current table of precedence in its entirety is not published by the Holy See. However, the principles of precedence present in the Codes of Canon Law, and the customs of precedence longstanding, inform any formulation of an order of precedence. Some contemporary authorshave compiled reference texts complete with a table of precedence based on such principles, and these, though helpful, remain unofficial in nature.
Though the 1911 Catholic Encyclopediaoffered a brief order of precedence based on these principles, it was updated and replaced by the New Catholic Encyclopedia in 1967, which was further updated with a Revised Edition in 2002. The current Catholic Encyclopedia does not include an entry on "precedence". Since the publication of the first edition, in 1911, several changes have rendered its order of precedence substantially out of date, including the publication of three codes of canon law (1917, 1983, 1990), an ecumenical council (1962-65), and multiple apostolic constitutions that affect the topic.
As noted above, the first consideration for precedence is always the hierarchy of order: first bishops, then presbyters, next deacons. At earlier times in the Church's history, deacons were ranked above presbyters, or the two orders considered equal, but the bishop always came first.[ citation needed ] Laity (including lay ecclesial ministers, religious, seminarians, et al.) are not part of the hierarchy of order.
The next principle is the hierarchy of jurisdiction: one who has authority over other persons has the right of precedence over them.This considers a person's office, and therefore can include laity, particularly lay ecclesial ministers and religious.
Relatedly, those with jurisdiction take precedence over those with titular, ad personam, or emeritus titles, so someone serving in a specific office (e.g., diocesan bishop) has precedence over someone with a titular claim to the same rank (e.g., titular bishop) or someone who used to serve in an equivalent office (e.g., a retired bishop).
Generally speaking, function, or the exercise of office, has precedence over purely honorary titles. De facto precedence should be applied where, a non-ordained religious or lay ecclesial minister serves in an office equivalent listed below (e.g., a diocesan director of Catholic Education is an equal office to an episcopal vicar, a pastoral life director an equal office to pastor, though with respect to the principle of the hierarchy of order noted above).
Among honorary titles, geographic extent is considered (e.g., the national primate has precedence over a titular patriarch, as the former has an honorary title extending over an entire country, but the latter only over a single diocese).
If two persons hold the same office, precedence is given to the one of a higher order (e.g., of two episcopal vicars, one being a presbyter and the other an auxiliary bishop, the bishop takes precedence).
If two persons are of the same order and office, the one who was promoted earlier takes precedence (e.g., of two metropolitan archbishops, whoever was promoted to a metropolitan see first has precedence).
If two persons of the same order and office were promoted at the same time, precedence goes to the one who was ordained first (to that order) (e.g., of two priests appointed as pastors at the same time, whoever was ordained presbyter first has precedence).
In the case of cardinals of the same rank created at the same consistory, precedence is given according to the order in which their names were published.
In their own dioceses, bishops have precedence before other bishops and archbishops, but not before their own metropolitan.A metropolitan archbishop has precedence before all other bishops and archbishops (except the Pope, his Patriarch, or his Primate) within his own province, and a patriarch has precedence over other patriarchs within his own jurisdiction.
Similarly, in their own parishes, pastors have precedence before other presbyters and deacons, even monsignors, but not before their own dean or archdeacon.
Diplomatic precedence in the Holy See's diplomatic corps incorporates the Congress of Vienna (1815) and the updated Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961). The office of nuncio (papal ambassador) is primarily a diplomatic rank and not of an ecclesiastical nature. Most nuncios are ordained as titular archbishops, and would be ranked accordingly. If, however, the nuncio is present in a diocese or at an event acting as the personal representative of the pope, as for example at the ordination of a bishop, he is granted precedence accordingly, taking precedence over even cardinals present.
Patriarchs of autonomous (sui iuris) churches have precedence above all other bishops of any rank, including cardinals. This has been defined in law since 1990.From 1965 to 1990, they were ranked as equal to Cardinal-bishops. It remains the case that, if a patriarch is also made a cardinal in the Latin Church, he is created at the rank of cardinal-bishop, without a named see, but retains his place of precedence. From the 1917 Code of Canon Law until the motu proprio of Paul VI in 1965, cardinals of all ranks took precedence over patriarchs.
Within each category, precedence is determined by the date of founding of the institute, society, or association.
A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of authority and oversight in a religious institution.
A cardinal is a senior member of the clergy of the Catholic Church. Known as princes of the Church, cardinals are created by the current pope and typically hold the title for life. Collectively, they constitute the College of Cardinals.
In Christian denominations, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In most cases, such as the Catholic Church, there are many archbishops who either have jurisdiction over an ecclesiastical province in addition to their own archdiocese, or are otherwise granted a titular archbishopric. In others, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination.
The Reverend is an honorific style most often placed before the names of Christian clergy and ministers. There are sometimes differences in the way the style is used in different countries and church traditions. The Reverend is correctly called a style but is often and in some dictionaries called a title, form of address, or title of respect. The style is also sometimes used by leaders in other religions such as Judaism and Buddhism.
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, the Hussite Church, Church of the East, and some Independent Catholic Churches are termed patriarchs.
Patriarchate is an ecclesiological term in Christianity, designating the office and jurisdiction of an ecclesiastical patriarch. According to Christian tradition three patriarchates were established by the apostles as apostolic sees in the 1st century: Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. Constantinople was added in the 4th century and Jerusalem in the 5th century. Eventually, together, these five were recognised as the pentarchy by the Council of Ephesus in 431.
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the Christian clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin praelatus, the past participle of praeferre, which means 'carry before', 'be set above or over' or 'prefer'; hence, a prelate is one set over others.
An exarch was the holder of any of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the Latin Catholic ecclesiastical patriarchate in Jerusalem, officially seated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was originally established in 1099, with the Kingdom of Jerusalem encompassing the territories in the Holy Land newly conquered by the First Crusade. From 1374 to 1847 it was a titular see, with the patriarchs of Jerusalem being based at the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. A resident Latin patriarch was re-established in 1847 by Pius IX.
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular metropolitan", "titular archbishop" or "titular bishop", which normally goes by the status conferred on the titular see.
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 Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental 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.
In the Catholic Church, a titular church is a church in Rome that is assigned to a member of the clergy who is created a cardinal. These are Catholic churches in the city, within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Rome, that serve as honorary designations symbolising the relationship of cardinals to the pope, the bishop of Rome. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a cardinal may assist his titular church through counsel or through patronage, although "he has no power of governance over it, and he should not for any reason interfere in matters concerning the administration of its good, or its discipline, or the service of the church".
An ordinary is an officer of a church or civic authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws.
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.
A diocesan bishop, within various Christian traditions, is a bishop or archbishop in pastoral charge of a diocese or archdiocese. In relation to other bishops, a diocesan bishop may be a suffragan, a metropolitan or a primate. They may also hold various other positions such as being a cardinal or patriarch.
Ecclesiastical titles are the formal styles of address used for members of the clergy.
Maximos IV Sayegh was Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church from 1947 until his death in 1967. One of the fathers of Second Vatican Council, the outspoken patriarch stirred the Council by urging reconciliation between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He accepted the title of cardinal in 1965 after Pope Paul VI clarified the significance of that title in the case of an Eastern Patriarch.
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism and office by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism and office has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.
The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the highest Orthodox authority in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It formulates the rules and regulations regarding matters of the Church's organisation and faith.
This is a glossary of terms used within the Catholic Church. Some terms used in everyday English have a different meaning in the context of the Catholic faith, including brother, confession, confirmation, exemption, faithful, father, ordinary, religious, sister, venerable, and vow.