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Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris ( // or /-/ ), is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". 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:
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.
- —Fr. Thomas Kuzhinapurath, Salvific Law, 1998
The Latin sui iuris (the individual words meaning 'self' and ('law) corresponds to the Greek 'αυτονόμος', from which the English word autonomy is derived.
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.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. 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 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.
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| Particular churches sui iuris |
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|Particular churches are grouped by rite.|
|East Syriac Rite|
|West Syriac Rite|
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 ]
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
The Congress of the United States is a good example of a sui juris institution.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. (However, in 2019 the United Kingdom Supreme Court ruled that the Prime Minister's advice to HM The Queen to prorogue the UK Parliament was designed to deprive Parliament of the opportunity to debate matters relating to the UK's leaving the European Union and was therefore unlawful and that the prorogue never, therefore, happened.)
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.
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.
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.
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 autonomous particular churches in full communion with the pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. 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, either due to theological concerns or due to understanding the role of the Bishop of Rome as head of church. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Abeba, officially the Metropolitan sui iuris Archeparchy of Addis Abeba is the metropolitan see of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, a sui iuris metropolitan Eastern Catholic Church.
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.
The Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Lutsk is an Archiepiscopal Exarchate in Ukraine of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
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.
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.
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]