Sui iuris

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Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris ( /ˈsˈʊərɪs/ or /ˈsi-/ ), [1] is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". [2] It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

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.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.

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.

—Fr. Thomas Kuzhinapurath, Salvific Law, 1998 [3] [4] [5] [6]

Etymology

The Latin sui iuris (the individual words meaning 'self' and ('law) corresponds to the Greek 'αυτονόμος', from which the English word autonomy is derived.

In developmental psychology and moral, political, and bioethical philosophy, autonomy is the capacity to make an informed, uncoerced decision. Autonomous organizations or institutions are independent or self-governing. Autonomy can also be defined from a human resources perspective, where it denotes a level of discretion granted to an employee in his or her work. In such cases, autonomy is known to generally increase job satisfaction. Autonomy is a term that is also widely used in the field of medicine — personal autonomy is greatly recognized and valued in health care.

Canon law

Church documents such as the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches apply the Latin term sui iuris to the particular Churches that together compose the Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church and those in communion with it. By far the largest of the sui iuris churches is the Latin Church or the Latin Rite. [7] Over that particular church, the Pope exercises his papal authority, and the authority that in other particular churches belongs to a Patriarch. He has, therefore, been referred to also as Patriarch of the West. [8] The other particular Churches are called Eastern Catholic Churches, each of which, if large enough, has its own patriarch or other chief hierarch, with authority over all the bishops of that particular Church or rite.

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.

Latin Church Automonous particular church making up of most of the Western world Catholics

The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition.

Pope Leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

The same term is applied also to missions that lack enough clergy to be set up as apostolic prefectures but are for various reasons given autonomy and so are not part of any diocese, apostolic vicariate or apostolic prefecture. In 2004, there were eleven such missions: three in the Atlantic, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; two in the Pacific, Funafuti (Tuvalu), and Tokelau; and six in central Asia, Afghanistan, Baku (Azerbaijan), Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Cayman Islands British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean

The Cayman Islands are an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The 264-square-kilometre (102-square-mile) territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are located to the south of Cuba and northeast of Honduras, between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. As of spring 2018, the population of the Cayman Islands was estimated to be 64,420 making it the second-most populated British overseas territory after Bermuda. The capital city is George Town, situated on Grand Cayman, by far the most populous of the three islands.

Saint Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean

Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the mouth of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres and has a population of 4,534. It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.

Ascension Island island in the South Atlantic Ocean

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 7°56' south of the Equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is about 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) from the coast of Africa and 2,250 kilometres (1,400 mi) from the coast of Brazil. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, of which the main island, Saint Helena, is around 1,300 kilometres (800 mi) to the southeast. The territory also includes the sparsely-populated Tristan da Cunha archipelago, some 3,730 kilometres (2,300 mi) to the south, about halfway to the Antarctic Circle.

Examples of Catholic ecclesiastical use

Categories of sui iuris churches

According to CCEO the Oriental Catholic churches sui iuris are of four categories:

(The term "sui iuris" is a self-evident Latinism, given it is a Latin term. The proper Greek terms would be "autocephalous" for the patriarchal and major archepiscopal churches and "autonomous" for the other churches.)[ citation needed ]

Patriarchal churches

A patriarchal church is a full-grown form of an Eastern Catholic church. It is 'a community of the Christian faithful joined together by' a Patriarchal hierarchy. The Patriarch together with the synod of bishops has the legislative, judicial and administrative powers within jurisdictional territory of the patriarchal church, without prejudice to those powers reserved, in the common law to the Roman pontiff (CCEO 55-150). Among the catholic oriental churches the following churches are of patriarchal status:

  1. Coptic Catholic Church (1741):Cairo, (163,849), Egypt
  2. Maronite Church (union re-affirmed 1182): Bkerke, (3,105,278), Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico
  3. Syriac Catholic Church (1781): Beirut,(131,692), Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United States and Canada, Venezuela
  4. Armenian Catholic Church (1742): Beirut, (375,182), Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Ukraine, France, Greece, Latin America, Argentina, Romania, United States, Canada, Eastern Europe
  5. Chaldean Catholic Church (1692): Baghdad, (418,194), Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, United States
  6. Melkite Greek Catholic Church (definitively 1726): Damascus, (1,346,635), Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Jerusalem, Brazil, United States, Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Egypt and Sudan, Kuwait, Australia, Venezuela, Argentina

Major archiepiscopal churches

Major archiepiscopal churches are the oriental churches, governed by the major archbishops being assisted by the respective synod of bishops. These churches also have almost the same rights and obligations of Patriarchal Churches. A major archbishop is the metropolitan of a see determined or recognized by the Supreme authority of the Church, who presides over an entire Eastern Church sui iuris that is not distinguished with the patriarchal title. What is stated in common law concerning patriarchal Churches or patriarchs is understood to be applicable to major archiepiscopal churches or major archbishops, unless the common law expressly provides otherwise or it is evident from the nature of the matter" (CCEO.151, 152). Following are the Major Archiepiscopal Churches:

  1. Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (1930): Trivandrum, (412,640), India, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  2. Syro-Malabar Church (1663): Ernakulam, (3,902,089), India, Middle East, Europe and America
  1. Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (1697): Blaj, (776,529), Romania, United States of America
  2. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (1595): Kiev, (4,223,425), Ukraine, Poland, United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia, France, Brazil, Argentina

Metropolitan churches

The sui iuris church, which is governed by a metropolitan, is called a metropolitan church sui iuris. " A Metropolitan Church sui iuris is presided over by the Metropolitan of a determined see who has been appointed by the Roman Pontiff and is assisted by a council of hierarchs according to the norm of law" (CCEO. 155§1). The Catholic metropolitan churches are the following:

  1. Ethiopian Catholic Church (1846): Addis Ababa, (208,093), Ethiopia, Eritrea
  2. Ruthenian Catholic Church (1646) - a sui juris metropolia , an eparchy , and an apostolic exarchate : Uzhhorod, Pittsburgh, (594,465), United States, Ukraine, Czech Republic
  3. Slovak Greek Catholic Church (1646): Prešov, (243,335), Slovakia, Canada
  4. Eritrean Catholic Church (2015): Asmara, Eritrea [9]
  5. Hungarian Greek Catholic Church (2015) - Hajdúdorog, (290,000), Hungary

Other sui iuris churches

Other than the above-mentioned three forms of sui iuris churches there are some other sui iuris ecclesiastical communities. It is "a Church sui iuris which is neither patriarchal nor major archiepiscopal nor Metropolitan, and is entrusted to a hierarch who presides over it in accordance with the norm of common law and the particular law established by the Roman Pontiff" (CCEO. 174). The following churches are of this juridical status:

  1. Albanian Greek Catholic Church (1628) - apostolic administration: (3,510), Albania
  2. Belarusian Greek Catholic Church (1596) - no established hierarchy at present: (10,000), Belarus
  3. Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church (1861) - apostolic exarchate: Sofia,(10,107), Bulgaria
  4. Byzantine Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia (1611) - an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate: Eparchy of Križevci for Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia; (21,480) + (22,653)
  5. Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (1829) - two apostolic exarchates: Athens, (2,325), Greece, Turkey
  6. Italo-Albanian Catholic Church (Never separated) - two eparchies and a territorial abbacy: (63,240), Italy
  7. Macedonian Greek Catholic Church (1918) - an apostolic exarchate: Skopje, (11,491), Republic of Macedonia
  8. Russian Greek Catholic Church (1905) - two apostolic exarchates, at present with no published hierarchs: Russia, China; currently about 20 parishes and communities scattered around the world, including five in Russia itself, answering to bishops of other jurisdictions

Secular law

Personal

In civil law, the phrase sui juris indicates legal competence - the capacity to manage one's own affairs (Black's Law Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary) — as opposed to alieni juris, which means someone under the control of another (such as a child or mentally incapable person might be).

It also indicates a person capable of suing and/or being sued in a legal proceeding in his own name ( in personam ) without the need of an ad litem , that is, a court appointed representative, acting on behalf of a defendant, who is deemed to be incapable of representing himself.

Instituional

The Congress of the United States is a good example of a sui juris institution. [10] The two chambers of the Congress convene by their own right as defined in the US Constitution (Twentieth Amendment) on January 3 every year. The US President does not have to invite or call the Congress to assemble for regular sessions, but he has the option to call special sessions. Thus, in the United States, the legislature functions independently of the executive, but there are some checks and balances.

That is in contrast with many parliamentary democracies, like Canada and the United Kingdom, where the Queen (the head of state), at the request of the Prime Minister (the head of government), has power to convene, prorogue, or dissolve Parliament, which has no choice in the matter.

Likewise, in India, the federal Parliament can assemble if and only if the President of India summons it on the advice of the Prime Minister. That is because the Indian Constitution is largely based upon the conventions of the [Westminster system]] that India inherited and adapted from British rule.

See also

Related Research Articles

Patriarch ecclesiastical title

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

Exarch

The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.

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.

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Organization of the Catholic Church

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.

Major archbishop position

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for the chief hierarch of an autonomous particular Church that has not been "endowed with the patriarchal title". 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.

Coptic Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria Wikimedia list article

The Coptic Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria is the Patriarchal and only Metropolitan see of the head of the Eastern sui iuris Coptic Catholic Church, a particular Church in the Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See, which follows the Alexandrian Rite in its own Coptic language. He is thus the superior of all Coptic dioceses, mostly in and around Egypt, the word Copt(ic) being a corruption of the Greek word for Egypt(ian).

Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Abeba archeparchy

The Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Ababa, officially the Metropolitan sui iuris Archeparchy of Addis Ababa is the metropolitan see of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, a sui iuris metropolitan Eastern Catholic Church.

Hungarian Catholic Archeparchy of Hajdúdorog Hungarian (byzantine) catholic eparchy of Hajdúdorog in full communion with Rome

The Hungarian (Greek) Catholic Archeparchy of Hajdúdorog is a Metropolitan Archeparchy of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church.

Major archiepiscopal churches are Eastern Catholic Churches governed by major archbishops, assisted by their respective synods of bishops. These Catholic churches also have almost the same rights and obligations as patriarchal churches. A major archbishop is the metropolitan of a see determined or recognized by the Holy See, the Supreme authority of the Church, who presides over an entire Eastern Church sui iuris that is not distinguished with the patriarchal title. What is stated in common law concerning patriarchal churches or patriarchs is understood to be applicable to major archiepiscopal churches or major archbishops, unless the common law expressly provides otherwise or it is evident from the nature of the matter".

John Denver Faris is an American Chorbishop of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, serving the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. He is a canon lawyer of the Eastern Catholic Church, and an expert called upon for dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Christian Churches.

Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk

The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk is an Archiepiscopal Exarchate in Ukraine of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles eparchy

Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is an entity pertaining to the Apostolic Maronite Patriarchal Church of Antioch and includes the Maronite faithful in the western and central United States. In conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO), the Eparchy is under the direct jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff. In 2013 there were 52,300 baptized. It is currently ruled by eparch Abdallah Elias Zaidan, MLM.

A particular church is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop, as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the particular church the bishop belongs to. Thus "particular church" refers to an institution, and "liturgical rite" to its practices.

Eritrean Catholic Archeparchy of Asmara metropolitan archeparchy

The Eritrean Catholic Archeparchy of Asmara, officially the Archeparchy of Asmara, more informally Asmara of the Eritreans, is the metropolitan see of the Metropolitan Eritrean Catholic Church, a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church whose territory corresponds to that of the State of Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It depends on the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

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.

In oriental canon law, a Territory Dependent on the Patriarch is a low-ranking, pre-diocesan type of Eastern Catholic jurisdiction, directly dependent on the Patriarch who heads a rite-specific Particular Church sui iuris, but not part of his or any ecclesiastical province, and in Rome depenent on the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

References

  1. "sui juris". Dictionary.com. 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  2. "Collins English Dictionary". HarperCollins Publishers. 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2012. sui juris [ˈsuːaɪ ˈdʒʊərɪs] adj (Law) (usually postpositive) Law of full age and not under disability; legally competent to manage one's own affairs; independent [from Latin, literally: of one's own right]
  3. "Malankara Catholic Church sui iuris: Juridical Status and Power of Governance". Scribd.
  4. Original italian: "Una Chiesa Orientale cattolica è una parte della Chiesa Universale che vive la fede in modo corrispondente ad una delle cinque grandi tradizioni orientali- Alessandrina, Antiochena, Costantinopolitina, Caldea, Armena- e che contiene o è almeno capace di contenere, come sue componenti minori, più comunità diocesane gerarchicamente riunite sotto la guida di un capo comune legittimamente eletto e in comunione con Roma, il quale con il proprio Sinodo costituisce la superiore istanza per tutti gli affari di carattere amministrativo, legislativo e giudiziario delle stesse Communità, nell'ambito del diritto comune a tutte le Chiese, determinato nei Canoni sanciti dai Concili Ecumenici o del Romano Pontefice, sempre preservando il diritto di quest'ultimo di intervenire nei singoli casi". pp. 103–104.
  5. Österreichisches Archiv für Kirchenrecht, Volume 43, pg.156
  6. For a better understanding of a church sui iuris see, Žužek, Understanding The Eastern Code, pp. 103–104.
  7. Vere & Trueman, Surprised by Canon Law, Vol. 2, pg. 121.
  8. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Eastern Churches"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. "Erezione della Chiesa Metropolitana sui iuris eritrea e nomina del primo Metropolita". Holy See Press Office. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  10. Legal Dictionary|https://legaldictionary.net/sui-juris

Sources