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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 .
A nomocanon is a collection of ecclesiastical law, consisting of the elements from both the civil law and the canon law. Collections of this kind were found only in Eastern law. The Greek Church has two principal nomocanonical collections.
The first nomocanon is the "Nomocanon of John Scholasticus" of the sixth century. He had drawn up (about 550) a purely canonical compilation in 50 titles, and later composed an extract from Justinian's Novellae Constitutiones in 87 chaptersthat relate the ecclesiastical matters. To each of the 50 titles was added the texts of the imperial laws on the same subject, with 21 additional chapters, nearly all borrowed from John's 87 chapters.
The second nomocanon dates from the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641). It was made by fusion of the Collectio tripartita (collection of Justinian's imperial law) and "Canonic syntagma" (ecclesiastical canons). Afterwards, this collection would be known as "Nomocanon in 14 titles". This nomocanon was long held in esteem and passed into the Russian Church, but it was by degrees supplanted by "Nomocanon of Photios" in 883.
The great systematic compiler of the Eastern Church, who occupies a similar position to that of Gratian in the West, was Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople in the 9th century. His collection in two parts—a chronologically ordered compilation of synodical canons and a revision of the Nomocanon—formed and still forms the classic source of ancient Church Law for the Greek Church.
Basically it was Nomocanon in 14 titles with the addition of 102 canons of Trullan Council (see Canon law), 17 canons of the Council of Constantinople held in 861,and 3 canons substituted by Photios for those of the Council of Constantinople in 869. Nomocanon in 14 titles was completed with the more recent imperial laws.
Nomocanon of Photios was retained in the law of the Greek Church and it was included in Syntagma, published by Rallis and Potlis (Athens, 1852–1859). Even though called Syntagma, the collection of ecclesiastical law of Matthew Blastares in 1335 is the real nomocanon, in which the texts of the laws and the canons are arranged in alphabetical order.
Following the example of the famous council of Lebanon for the Maronites, held in 1730, and that of Zamosc for the Ruthenians, in 1720, the Eastern Churches, at the suggestion of Leo XIII, drew up in plenary assembly their own local law: the Syrians at Sciarfa in 1888; the Ruthenians at Leopol in 1891; and a little later, the Copts.
Until 1917, the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith had a division for the "Affairs of the Oriental Rite", which ceased to exist on 30 November 1917. Benedict XV founded the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church by the motu proprio Dei Providentis.
The Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church was presided over by the Supreme Pontiff himself and included several cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, one of which functioned in the capacity of Secretary.There were also Councillors, chosen from among the more distinguished clergy and those experienced in things oriental.
With his concern for the Eastern Catholic Churches and 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.
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) is the 1990 codification of the common portions of the Canon Law for the 23 of the 24 sui iuris Churches in the Catholic Church. It is divided into 30 titles and has a total of 1540 canons,with an introductory section of preliminary canons. Pope John Paul II promulgated the CCEO on 18 October 1990 by the document Sacri Canones, and the CCEO came into force on 1 October 1991. The 23 sui iuris Churches which collectively make up the Eastern Catholic Churches have been invited by the Catholic Church to codify their own particular laws and submit them to the pope so that all canon law within Catholicism may be fully and completely codified. The Latin Church is guided by its own particular canons found in the 1983 Code of Canon Law .
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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, protecting their rights and also maintaining whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage of the various Oriental Christian traditions. It "considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches"and was founded by the motu proprio Dei Providentis of Pope Benedict XV as the "Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church" on 1 May 1917.
Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Oriental Churches, and the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, are members of this Congregation by virtue of the law itself.The consultors and officials are selected in such a way that reflects as far as possible the diversity of rites.
This congregation has authority over
This congregation's competence does not include the exclusive competence of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Causes of Saints, of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Signatura, and the Rota (including what pertains to dispensations for a marriage ratum sed non consummatum .In matters which affect the Eastern as well as the Latin Churches, the Congregation operates, if the matter is important enough, in consultation with the Dicastery that has competence in the matter for the Latin Church.
The Congregation pays special attention to communities of Eastern Catholic faithful who live in the territory of the Latin Church and attends to their spiritual needs by providing visitors and even their own hierarchs, so far as possible and where numbers and circumstances require, in consultation with the Congregation competent to establish Particular Churches in the region.
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.
The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to pejoratively as Uniates, are twenty-three Eastern Christian sui iuris (autonomous) particular churches of the Catholic Church, in full communion with the Pope in Rome. They are united with one another and with the Latin or Roman Church. In particular, they recognize the central role of the Bishop of Rome within the College of Bishops and his infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. The majority of the Eastern Catholic Churches are groups from the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the historic Church of the East that have returned to communion with the Bishop of Rome due to extenuating political and cultural circumstances influencing the churches' relations. As such the five liturgical traditions of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, including the Alexandrian Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite, and the West Syriac Rite, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches. Consequently, the Catholic Church consists of six liturgical rites; including the aforementioned five liturgical traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches along with the Latin liturgical rites of the Latin Church.
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.
Pietro Gasparri, GCTE was a Roman Catholic cardinal, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and the signatory of the Lateran Pacts. He served also as Cardinal Secretary of State under Popes Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI.
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."
Acta Apostolicae Sedis, often cited as AAS, is the official gazette of the Holy See, appearing about twelve times a year. It was established by Pope Pius X on 29 September 1908 with the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones, and publication began in January 1909. It contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The laws contained in it are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue, unless a shorter or longer time is specified in the law.
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.
The Pontifical Oriental Institute (Orientale), is a Catholic institution of higher education located in Rome. The plan of creating a school of higher learning for Eastern Christianity had been on the agenda of the Catholic Church since at least Pope Leo XIII, but it was only realized in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV (1914-1921). The Orientale forms part of the consortium of the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, both in Rome. All three institutions are run by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). While the Orientale depends on the Holy See, its management is entrusted to the Society of Jesus. Its Chancellor is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and its Vice-chancellor is the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, while the Congregation for Catholic Education is the dicastery competent for approving the academic programmes of the Orientale.
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.
A nomocanon is a collection of ecclesiastical law, consisting of the elements from both the Civil law and the Canon law. Nomocanons form part of the Oriental canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and are also used by the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Enrico Gasparri S.T.D. JUD was a Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop.
Luigi Sincero was a Roman Catholic Cardinal and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law and Secretary of Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the title of Prefect held by the Popes from 1917 until 1967.
Giovanni Tacci Porcelli known as Giovanni Tacci was an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who was Bishop of Città della Pieve for twenty years, then a papal ambassador, and finally Secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches from 1922 to 1927. He was made a cardinal in 1921.
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.
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.
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".
Promulgation in the canon law of the Catholic Church is the publication of a law by which it is made known publicly, and is required by canon law for the law to obtain legal effect. Universal laws are promulgated when they are published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and unless specified to the contrary, obtain legal force three months after promulgation. Particular laws are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.
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.
Marco Dino Brogi, O.F.M. is a prelate of the Catholic Church who has worked in the Roman Curia and in diplomatic service of the Holy See.