Imatges de pÓgina


















JUNE 28, 1938



CATHEDRAL. Certain churches are the church is believed to be held in virtue called cathedrals or cathedral churches, of a commission given to St. Peter, not as in consequence of having a seat of dignity his own personal prerogative, but as a (cathedra, a Greek term for such a seat) part of the constitution of the church, for appropriated to a bishop or archbishop. its advantage, and therefore intended to Thus there is the cathedral church of descend to his successors; as the episCanterbury, the cathedral church of Nor-copal power did from the apostles to wich, &c. The collegiate churches of Man- those who succeeded them in their respecchester and Ripon were constituted tive sees. cathedral churches of the new sees of The election of the pope, therefore, deManchester and Ripon by 6 & 7 Wm. volves upon the clergy of Rome, as being IV.c. 77, the act under which these sees their bishop; and it is confided to the colwere created.

lege of cardinals, who, bearing the titles CATHOLIC CHURCH (Roman). of the eldest churches in that city, repreAlthough in ordinary language this name sent its clergy, and form their chapter or is often used to designate the ruling au- electoral body. The meeting or chapter thority or power in the Catholic religion, formed for this purpose alone is called a as if distinct from the members of that conclave. The cardinals are appointed by communion, yet the definition which Ca- the pope, and compose the executive tholies give of the church is such as to council of the church. They preside over comprehend the entire body of its mem- the various departments of ecclesiastical bers as well as its rulers, the flock as government, and are divided into boards much as the shepherds. Thus we hear or congregations, as they are called, for of Catholics being under the dominion of the transaction of business from all parts their church, or obliged to obey it, as of the world; but every decision is subthough it were something distinct from ject to the pope's revision, and has no themselves, or as if they were not a part value except from his approbation. On of their church. This preliminary remark some occasions they are all summoned to is made to explain a certain vagueness of meet the pope on affairs of higher importexpression, which often leads to misap- ance, as for the nomination of bishops, or prehension, and serves as the basis of in- the admission of new members into their correct ideas regarding the peculiar doc- body; and then the assembly is called a trines of that church. The Catholic consistory. The full number of cardinals church therefore is defined to be the com- is seventy, but there are always some munity of the faithful united to their law-hats left vacant. ful pastors, in communion with the sec of The Catholic church, being essentially Rome, or with the pope, the successor of episcopal, is governed by bishops, who are St. Peter and vicar of Christ on earth. of two sorts, bishops in ordinary, and

Simply developing the terms of this vicars apostolic. By the first are meant definition, we will give a brief sketch of titular bishops, or such as bear the name the constitution or fundamental system of of the see over which they rule; as the this church under the heads of its govern- Archbishop of Paris, or of Dublin; the ment, its laws, and its vital or constitutive Bishop of Cambray, or of New Orleans. principle.

The manner of appointing such bishops I. The government of the Catholic varies considerably. When they are unchurch may be considered monarchical, shackled by the government, the clergy inasmuch as the pope is the ruler over of the diocese meet in chapter, according the entire church, and the most distant to old forms, and having selected three bishop of the Catholic church holds his names, forward them to the Holy See, appointment from him, and receives from where one is chosen for promotion. This him his authority. No bishop can be is the case in Ireland, Belgium, and perconsidered lawfully consecrated without haps in the free states of America. " In his approbation. The dignity or office of most countries however the election of pope is inherent in the occupant of the bishops is regulated by concordat, that is, see of Rome, because the supremacy over ) a special agreement between the pope

and The ap

the civil government. The presentation a vicar apostolic are necessarily more is geuerally vested in the crown; but extended than those of ordinary bishops, the appointment must proceed from the and are ampler in proportion to the diffipope.

culty of keeping up a close communicaThe powers of bishops, and the manner tion with Rome. Thus many cases of of exercising their authority, are regu- dispensation in marriage which a contilated by the canon law; their jurisdiction nental bishop must send to the Holy See on every point is clear and definite, and may be provided for by an English or leaves no room for arbitrary enactments American vicar apostolic; and other simior oppressive measures. Yet it is of such lar matters, for which these must consult a character as, generally considered, can it, could at once be granted by the eccleperfectly control the inferior orders of siastical superiors of the Mauritius or of clergy, and secure them to the discharge China. The nomination of vicars aposof their duty. In most Catholic coun- tolic is solely with the pope. tries there is a certain degree of civil The inferior clergy, considered in rejurisdiction allowed to the bishops, with ference to the government of the church, judicial powers, in matters of a mixed consists mainly of the parochial clergy, character; as in cases appertaining to or those who supply their place. In all marriages, where a distinction between countries possessing a hierarchy, the civil and ecclesiastical marriage has not country is divided into parishes, each been drawn by the legislature. Some provided with a parochus or curate,* who offences connected with religion, as blas- corresponds to the rector or vicar of the phemy or domestic immorality, are like-English established church. wise brought under their cognizance. pointment to a parish is vested in the

Where the succession of the Catholic | bishop, who has no power to remove hierarchy has been interrupted, as in again at will, or for any cause except a England, or never been established, the canonical offence juridically proved. The bishops who superintend the Catholic right of presentation by lay patrons is, church and represent the papal authority however, in particular instances fully are known by the name of vicars apos- respected. In Italy the parish priests tolic. A vicar apostolic is not necessarily are generally chosen by competition: upon a bishop-an instance of which we had a

a vacancy, a day is appointed on which few years ago at Calcutta-where the vicar the testimonials of the different candiapostolic was a simple priest. Generally, dates are compared, and they are exhowever, he receives episcopal consecra- | amined before the bishop in theology, the tion; and, as from local circumstances, it is exposition of scripture, and extemporanot thought expedient that he should bear neous preaching; and whoever is prothe title of the see which he administers, nounced, by ballot, superior to the rest, he is appointed with the title of an an- is chosen. cient bishopric now in the hands of in- Under an apostolic vicariate, the clergy fidels, and chus is called a bishop in par- corresponding to the parochial clergy tibus infidelium, though the last word is generally bear the title of apostolic misoften omitted in ordinary language. A sionaries, and have missions or local disvicar apostolic, being generally situated tricts with variable limits placed under where the provisions of the law their care ; but are dependent upon the cannot be fully observed, is guided by will of their ecclesiastical superiors. particular instructions, by precedents and Besides the parochial clergy, there is a consuetude, to which all the uniformity considerable body of ecclesiastics, who of discipline through the Catholic church do not enter directly into the governing gives stability and security. Thus the vicars apostolic, who rule over the four

The parish priest in Ireland corresponds to episcopal districts of England, have their the cure in France, the curato (or, in the couutry, code in the adınirable constitution of Pope arciprete) of Maly, and the cura of Spain. The Benedict XIV., beginning with the words equivalent to the vicaire of France and the sotto

curate in Ireland, as in the church of England, is Apostolicum ministerium. The powers of curato of Italy.


part of the church, although they help to only in presence of the parish priest, this discharge some of its most important is a matter of discipline not supposed to functions. A great number of secular rest on the revelation of God, but dicclergy are devoted to the conduct of edu- tated by prudence; and consequently a cation, either in universities or semi-degree of toleration is allowed regarding naries; many occupy themselves exclu- the adoption of the resolution in particusively with the pulpit, others with in- lar dioceses. It is only with regard to structiug the poor, or attending charitable such decrees, and more specifically the institutions. A certain number also fill one we have mentioned, that the Council prebends, or attend to the daily service of of Trent is said to have been received, or cathedrals, &c.; for in the Catholic church not, in different countries. pluralities, where the cure of souls exists, When a general council cannot be sumare strictly prohibited, and consequently moned, or when it is not deemed necesa distinct body of clergy from those en- sary, the general government of the gaged in parochial duties, or holding church is conducted by the pope, whose rectories, &c., is necessary for those duties. decisions in matters of discipline are conBesides this auxiliary force, the regular sidered paramount, though particular sees clergy, or monastic orders, take upon and countries claim certain special privithem many of these functions. The leges and exemptions. In matters of clergy of the Catholic church in the west faith it is admitted that if he issue a deare bound by a vow of celibacy, not for- cree, as it is called, ex cathedrá, or as mally made, but implied in their ordina- head of the church, and all the bishops tion as sub-deacons. This obligation of accept it, such a definition or decree is celibacy is only reckoned among the dis-binding and final.* ciplinary enactments of the church. The The discipline or reformation of smaller clergy of that portion of the Greek and divisions is performed by provincial or Armenian church which is united in diocesan synods. The first consist of the communion with the see of Rome may bishops of a province under their metrobe married; that is, may receive orders politan; the latter, of the parochial and if married, but are not allowed to marry other clergy under the superintendence after having taken orders. A similar of the bishop. The forms to be observed discipline, if thought expedient by the in such assemblies, the subjects which church, might be introduced into the West. may be discussed, and the extent of juris

The only point concerning the govern- diction which may be assumed, are laid ment of the Catholic church which re- down at full in a beautiful work of the mains to be mentioned is the manner in learned Benedict XIV., entitled • De Sywhich it is exercised. The most solemn nodo Diæcesana.' The acts and decrees tribunal is a general council, that is, an of many such partial synods have been assembly of all the bishops of the church, published, and are held in high esteem who may attend either in person or by among Catholics; indeed, they may be deputy, under the presidency of the pope recommended as beautiful specimens of or his legates. When once a decree has deliberative wisdom. Such are the depassed such an assembly, and received crees of the various synods held at Milan the approbation of the Holy See, there is under the virtuous and amiable St. Charles no further appeal. Distinction must be, Borromeo. however, made between doctrinal and dis- II. The laws of the Catholic church ciplinary decrees; for example, when in the Council of Trent it was decreed to be * The great difference between the Transalpine the doctrine of the church that marriage and the Cisalpine divines, as they are termed, is s indissoluble, this decree is considered independent of, the accession of the body of bi

whether such a decree has its force prior to, or binding in the belief and on the conduct, shops to it, or receives its sanction and binding nor can its acceptance be refused by any power from their acceptance. Practically there one without his being considered rebel. is little or no difference between the two opinions ; lious to the church. But when it is or

yet this slight variety forms a principal ground

work or what are called the liberties of the Gal. dered that marriages must be celebrated | lican church

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