Eastern Catholic Churches

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Eastern Catholic Churches
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{{about|Eastern churches in full communion with the Catholic Church|other Eastern Christian churches|Eastern Christianity}}{{short description|Autonomous, self-governing particular Churches in full communion with the Pope}}{{Eastern Catholicism}}File:DPP 017 by Joseph Lazer.JPG|thumb|The Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours (of the Syro-Malabar Church) is the largest Eastern Catholic Basilica and the third tallest tower in AsiaAsiaThe Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches,{{efn|The term 'Uniate Churches' is considered pejorative or inaccurate by some Eastern Catholics.WEB, Syosset, NY, The Orthodox Church in America,, The Word 'Uniate'{{thinsp, |url=|archiveurl=|archivedate=17 June 2016|url-status=live}}WEB, The Catholic Eastern Churches,, New York, Catholic Near East Welfare Association,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 June 2011, live, It should be mentioned that in the past the Eastern Catholic churches were often referred to as 'Uniate' churches. Since the term is now considered derogatory, it is no longer used., See {{Section link||Uniate}} for further information.}} are twenty-three Eastern Christian autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) 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 (also known as the Western 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.JOURNAL, Yurkus, Kevin, The Other Catholics: A Short Guide to the Eastern Catholic Churches, August 2005,weblink 2019-10-03, 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.JOURNAL, LaBanca, Nicholas, The Other Catholics: A Short Guide to the Eastern Catholic Churches-The Other 23 Catholic Churches and Why They Exist, Ascension Press, January 2019,weblink 2019-10-04, 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 (the annual directory of the Catholic Church), 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.The Maronite Church is considered the only one of the Eastern Catholic Churches to have always remained in full communion with the Holy See, while most of the other churches unified from the 16th century onwards. However, the Melkite Catholic Church and the Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church also claim perpetual communion. The largest six churches based on membership are: the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), the Syro-Malabar Church (East Syriac Rite), the Maronite Church (West Syriac Rite), the Melkite Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), the Chaldean Catholic Church (East Syriac Rite) and the Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian Rite). These six churches account for about 85% of the membership of the Eastern Catholic Churches.Full communion constitutes mutual sacramental sharing between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church, including Eucharistic intercommunion. Although some theological issues divide the Eastern Catholic Churches from other Eastern Christian ones, they do admit members of the latter to the Eucharist and the other sacraments, as governed by Oriental canon law.{{efn|"Catholic ministers licitly administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick to members of Eastern churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See have the same beliefs in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches"{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 671 §3; {{webarchive |url= |date=November 30, 2012 }} cf. {{abbr|1983{{nbsp}}CIC|1983 Code of Canon Law}} canon 844 §3 {{webarchive |url= |date=December 21, 2015 }}}} Notably, many of the Eastern Catholic Churches take a different approach to clerical celibacy than the Latin Church does and allow the ordination of married men to the priesthood (although not to the episcopacy).Eastern Catholic Churches have their origins in the Middle East, East Africa, Eastern Europe and India. However, since the 19th century, diaspora has spread to Western Europe, the Americas and Oceania in part because of persecution, where eparchies have been established to serve adherents alongside those of Latin Church dioceses. Latin Catholics in the Middle East, on the other hand, are traditionally cared for by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


{{See also|Catholic (term)}}Although Eastern Catholics are in full communion with the Pope and members of the worldwide Catholic Church,{{efn|"The Catholic Church is also called the Roman Church to emphasize that the centre of unity, which is an essential for the Universal Church, is the Roman See"{{Citation-attribution|ENCYCLOPEDIA, An advanced catechism of Catholic faith and practice : based upon The Third Plenary Council Catechism,weblink Thomas J., O'Brien, Akron, OH; Chicago, IL, D. H. McBride, 1901, 669694820, n. 133, An Advanced Catechism of Catholic Faith and Practice: Based Upon the Third Plenary Council Catechism, for Use in the Higher Grades of Catholic Schools, }}}}{{efn|Examples of the use of "Roman Catholic Church" by Popes, even when not addressing members of non-Catholic churches, are the encyclicals Divini illius Magistri and Humani generis, and Pope John Paul II's address at the 26 June 1985 general audience, in which he treated "Roman Catholic Church" as synonymous with "Catholic Church".SPEECH, [catechesis], Pope John Paul II, General audience, 1985-06-26, Italian,weblink The term "Roman Catholic Church" is repeatedly used to refer to the whole Church in communion with the see of Rome, including Eastern Catholics, in official documents concerning dialogue between the Church as a whole (not just the Western part) and groups outside her fold. Examples of such documents can be found at the links on the Vatican website under the heading Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Holy See never uses "Roman Catholic Church" to refer only to the Western or Latin Church. In the First Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution de fide catholica, the phrase the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church () also refers to something other than the Latin-Rite or Western Church.}} they are not members of the Latin Church, which uses the Latin liturgical rites, among which the Roman Rite is the most widespread.{{efn|Some Eastern Catholics who use the Byzantine liturgical rite and call themselves "Byzantine Catholics" deny that they are "Roman Catholics", using this word to mean either Catholics who use the Roman Rite or perhaps the whole Latin Church, including those parts that use the Ambrosian Rite or other non-Roman liturgical rites: "We're Byzantine rite, which is Catholic, but not Roman Catholic" NEWS, Ukrainian church pastor honored,weblink {{Dead link|date=December 2014}}}} The Eastern Catholic churches are instead distinct particular churches sui iuris, although they maintain full and equal, mutual sacramental exchange with members of the Latin Church.

Rite or church

There are different meanings of the word rite. Apart from its reference to the liturgical patrimony of a particular church, the word has been and is still sometimes, even if rarely, officially used of the particular church itself. Thus the term Latin rite can refer either to the Latin Church or to one or more of the Western liturgical rites, which include the majority Roman Rite but also the Ambrosian Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, and others.In the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO),WEB,weblink Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches,, 2007-05-04, 2011-04-27, WEB,weblink Codex canonum Ecclesiarium orientalium,, 2007-05-04, 2011-04-27, the terms autonomous Church and rite are thus defined: canon 27
  1. A rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each autonomous [] Church.
  2. The rites treated in {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium &61; Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}}, unless otherwise stated, are those that arise from the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Chaldean and Constantinopolitan traditions" (canon 28){{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium &61; Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 28 (not just a liturgical heritage, but also a theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage characteristic of peoples' culture and the circumstances of their history).}}
When speaking of Eastern Catholic Churches, the Latin Church's 1983 Code of Canon Law (1983{{nbsp}}CIC) uses the terms "ritual Church" or "ritual Church " (canons 111 and 112), and also speaks of "a subject of an Eastern rite" (canon 1015 §2), "Ordinaries of another rite" (canon 450 §1), "the faithful of a specific rite" (canon 476), etc. The Second Vatican Council spoke of Eastern Catholic Churches as "particular Churches or rites".{{rp|at=n. 2}}In 1999, the United States National Conference of Catholic Bishops stated: "We have been accustomed to speaking of the Latin (Roman or Western) Rite or the Eastern Rites to designate these different Churches. However, the Church's contemporary legislation as contained in the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches makes it clear that we ought to speak, not of rites, but of Churches. Canon 112 of the Code of Canon Law uses the phrase 'autonomous ritual Churches' to designate the various Churches."BOOK, Catholic Church. National Council of Catholic Bishops. Committee on the relationship between Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, Eastern Catholics in the United States of America, 1999, Washington, DC, United States Catholic Conference, 978-1-57455-287-4,weblink And a writer in a periodical of January 2006 declared: "The Eastern Churches are still mistakenly called 'Eastern-rite' Churches, a reference to their various liturgical histories. They are most properly called Eastern Churches, or Eastern Catholic Churches."WEB, What all Catholics should know about Eastern Catholic Churches, Zagano, Phyllis, Jan 2006,,weblink 2011-04-27, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 17, 2011, However, the term "rite" continues to be used. The {{abbr|1983{{nbsp}}CIC|1983 Code of Canon Law}} forbids a Latin bishop to ordain, without permission of the Holy See, a subject of his who is "of an Eastern rite" (not "who uses an Eastern rite", the faculty for which is sometimes granted to Latin clergy).{{abbr|1983{{nbsp}}CIC|1983 Code of Canon Law}} canon 1015 §2 {{webarchive |url= |date=April 2, 2007 }}; see {{abbr|1983{{nbsp}}CIC|1983 Code of Canon Law}} canons 450 §1, and 476. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, that "any Catholic priest of the Latin rite",{{efn|Benedict XVI clarified his intent, in a parallel apostolic letter, which did not use "Latin rite"but used form or "usage of the Roman Rite."BOOK, Pope Benedict XVI, Motu proprio data [for Summorum Pontificum], 2007-07-07,weblink }} under certain conditions, "may use either" edition of the Roman Missal.BOOK, Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, 2007-07-07,weblink n. 2,


{{more|Ruthenian Uniate Church}}The term Uniat or Uniate applies to Eastern Catholic churches previously part of Eastern or Oriental Orthodox churches or of the Assyrian Church of the East. The term is sometimes considered to have a derogatory connotation, though it was occasionally used by Latin and Eastern Catholics prior to the Second Vatican Council.{{efn|The term was used by the Holy See, for example, Pope Benedict XIV in Ex quo primum.BOOK, Pope Benedict XIV, Ex quo primum, la, 1756-03-01, Rome, n. 1,weblink sive, uti vocant, (wikt:unitos, Unitos)., Luxemburgi, Translated in WEB, Irondale, AL, Eternal Word Television Network,, On the Euchologion,weblink The Catholic Encyclopedia consistently used the term Uniat to refer to Eastern Catholics, stating: "The ''Uniat Church' is therefore really synonymous with 'Eastern Churches united to Rome', and 'Uniats' is synonymous with 'Eastern Christians united with Rome'.{{catholic|inline=1|last=Vailhé|first=Siméon|wstitle=Greek Church|volume=6}}}} Official Catholic documents no longer use the term due to its perceived negative overtones. According to John Erickson of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary,
Quoted in JOURNAL, Neuhaus, Richard J., Orthodoxy and 'Parallel Monologues', 68–91,weblink! class="unsortable"|! Name! Est.! Rite! Seat! Polity! Jurisdictions! Bishops! Members|| |'''Ethiopian Catholic Church|1846||'''Albanian Greek Catholic Church|1628||'Belarusian Greek Catholic Church||'''Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church|1861||'Greek Byzantine Catholic Church|1911|several||'''Hungarian Greek Catholic Church|1912|Cathedral of Hajdúdorog, Debrecen, Hungary||'Italo-Albanian Catholic Church|1784|several||'''Macedonian Greek Catholic Church|2001||'''Romanian Greek Catholic Church|1697||'Russian Greek Catholic Church|1905|none||'''Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church||'''Syriac Catholic Church|1781|Syriac Catholic cathedral, Damascus, Syria||'''Syro-Malankara Catholic Church|1930||Other| class="sortbottom"! Total!!!!!!{{nts|250}}!{{nts|320}}!{{nts|17,836,000}}
publisher=Institute on Religion and Public Lifeissn=1047-5141issue=, March 2002, }}



Communion between Christian churches has been broken over matters of faith, whereby each side accused the other of heresy or departure from the true faith (orthodoxy). Communion has been broken also because of disagreement about questions of authority or the legitimacy of the election of a particular bishop. In these latter cases each side accused the other of schism, but not of heresy.The following ecumenical councils are major breaches of communion:

Council of Ephesus (AD 431)

In 431 the Churches that accepted the teaching of the Council of Ephesus (which condemned the views of Nestorius) classified as heretics those who rejected the Council's statements. The Church of the East, which was mainly under the Sassanid Empire, never accepted the council's views. It later experienced a period of great expansion in Asia before collapsing after the Mongol invasion of the Middle East in the 14th century.Monuments of their presence still exist in China. Now they are relatively few in number and have divided into three Churches: the Chaldean Catholic Church—an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with Rome—and two Assyrian Churches which are not in communion with either Rome or each other. The Chaldean Catholic Church is the largest of the three. The groups of Assyrians who did not reunify with Rome remained and are known as the Assyrian Church of the East, which experienced an internal schism in 1968 which led to the creation of the Ancient Church of the East.

Council of Chalcedon (AD 451)

In 451 those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon similarly classified those who rejected it as Monophysite heretics. The Churches that refused to accept the Council considered instead that it was they who were orthodox; they reject the description Monophysite (meaning only-nature) preferring instead Miaphysite (meaning one-nature). The difference in terms may appear subtle, but it is theologically very important. "Monophysite" implies a single divine nature alone with no real human nature - a heretical belief according to Chalcedonian Christianity - whereas "Miaphysite" can be understood to mean one nature as God, existing in the person of Jesus who is both human and divine - an idea more easily reconciled to Chalcedonian doctrine. They are often called, in English, Oriental Orthodox Churches, to distinguish them from the Eastern Orthodox Churches.This distinction, by which the words oriental and eastern that in themselves have exactly the same meaning but are used as labels to describe two different realities, is impossible to translate in most other languages, and is not universally accepted even in English. These churches are also referred to as pre-Chalcedonian or now more rarely as non-Chalcedonian or anti-Chalcedonian. In languages other than English other means are used to distinguish the two families of Churches. Some reserve the term "Orthodox" for those that are here called "Eastern Orthodox" Churches, but members of what are called "Oriental Orthodox" Churches consider this illicit.

East–West Schism (1054)

The East–West Schism came about in the context of cultural differences between the Greek-speaking East and Latin-speaking West and of rivalry between the Churches in Rome, which claimed a primacy not merely of honour but also of authority—and in Constantinople, which claimed parity with Rome.WEB, Caesaropapism?: Theodore Balsamon on the powers of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Halsall, Paul, Jan 1996, Halsall, Paul,, Internet History Sourcebooks Project,weblink 2011-04-27, The rivalry and lack of comprehension gave rise to controversies, some of which appear already in the acts of the Quinisext Council of 692. At the Council of Florence (1431–1445), these controversies about Western theological elaborations and usages were identified as, chiefly, the insertion of "Filioque" into the Nicene Creed, the use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist, Purgatory, and the authority of the Pope.{{efn|"In the third sitting of the Council, Julian, after mutual congratulations, showed that the principal points of dispute between the Greeks and Latins were in the doctrine (a) on the procession of the Holy Ghost, (b) on azymes in the Eucharist, (c) on purgatory, and (d) on the Papal supremacy"WEB, The Orthodox Response to the Latin Doctrine of Purgatory, Barnes, Patrick,, Patrick Barnes,weblink {{Citation-attribution|BOOK, Ostroumov, Ivan N., 1861, Opening of the council in Ferrara; private disputes on purgatory,weblink Neale, John M, John Mason Neale, The history of the Council of Florence, Translated by Vasiliĭ Popov, London, J. Masters, 47, 794347635, }}}}The schism is conventionally dated as occurring at 1054, when the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael I Cerularius, and the Papal Legate, Humbert of Silva Candida, issued mutual excommunications. (In 1965 these excommunications were revoked by both Rome and Constantinople.) In spite of that event, for many years both Churches continued to maintain friendly relations and seemed to be unaware of any formal or final rupture.WEB, The Normans and the schism of 1054, Constantinople and Rome, Anastos, Milton V.,,weblink 2011-04-27, However, estrangement continued to grow. In 1190, Eastern Orthodox theologian Theodore Balsamon who was patriarch of Antioch, wrote that "no Latin should be given Communion unless he first declares that he will abstain from the doctrines and customs that separate him from us".{{Google books |id=KugGDAAAQBAJ |title=Heresy and the Making of European Culture: Medieval and Modern Perspectives}} p. 42Later, Constantinople was sacked in 1204 by the Catholic armies of the Fourth Crusade, whereas two decades previously the Massacre of the Latins (i.e. Catholics) had occurred in Constantinople in 1182. Thus, by the 12th–13th centuries, the two sides had become openly hostile, each considering that the other no longer belonged to the Church that was orthodox and catholic. Over time, it became customary to refer to the Eastern side as the Orthodox Church and the Western as the Catholic Church, without either side thereby renouncing its claim to be the truly orthodox or the truly catholic Church.

Attempts at restoring communion

File:Sv shevchuk.jpg|thumb|upright|Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic ChurchUkrainian Greek Catholic ChurchWithin each Church, no longer in communion with the Church of Rome, there arose a group that considered it important to restore that communion. In 1438, the Council of Florence convened, which featured a strong dialogue focused on understanding the theological differences between the East and West, with the hope of reuniting the Catholic and Orthodox churches.BOOK, Constantinople and the West, Geanakoplos, Deno John, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI, 0-299-11880-0, 1989, Several eastern churches associated themselves with Rome, forming Eastern Catholic Churches. The See of Rome accepted them without requiring that they adopt the customs of the Latin Church, so that they all have their own "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage, differentiated by peoples' culture and historical circumstances, that finds expression in each Church's own way of living the faith".{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 28 §1In 1993 the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church submitted the document Uniatism, method of union of the past, and the present search for full communion, also known as the Balamand declaration, "to the authorities of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches for approval and application,"CONFERENCE
, Uniatism, method of union of the past, and the present search for full communion
, Joint international commission for the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church
, Seventh plenary session of the joint international commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Balamand, Lebanon. June 17–24, 1993
,weblink" title="">weblink
, dead
, 2003-12-23
, which stated that initiatives that "led to the union of certain communities with the See of Rome and brought with them, as a consequence, the breaking of communion with their Mother Churches of the East ... took place not without the interference of extra-ecclesial interests".{{rp|at=n. 8}}Likewise the commission acknowledged that "certain civil authorities [who] made attempts" to force Eastern Catholics to return to the Orthodox Church used "unacceptable means".{{rp|at=n. 11}} The missionary outlook and proselytism that accompanied the Unia{{rp|at=n. 10}} was judged incompatible with the rediscovery by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of each other as Sister Churches.{{rp|at=n. 12}} Thus the commission concluded that the "missionary apostolate ..., which has been called 'uniatism', can no longer be accepted either as a method to be followed or as a model of the unity our Churches are seeking."{{rp|at=n. 12}}At the same time, the Commission stated:
  • that Eastern Catholic Churches, being part of the Catholic Communion, have the right to exist and to act in response to the spiritual needs of their faithful{{rp|at=n. 3}}
  • that Oriental Catholic Churches, which desired to re-establish full communion with the See of Rome and have remained faithful to it, have the rights and obligations connected with this communion{{rp|at=n. 16}}

Emergence of Eastern Catholic churches

File:Qozhaya01072003.jpg|thumb|Monastery of Qozhaya in Kadisha Valley, the historical stronghold of the Maronite ChurchMaronite ChurchMost Eastern Catholic churches arose when a group within an ancient church in disagreement with the See of Rome returned to full communion with that see. The following Churches have been in communion with the Bishop of Rome for a large part of their history: The canon law shared by all Eastern Catholic churches, {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}}, was codified in 1990. The dicastery that works with the Eastern Catholic churches is the Congregation for the Oriental Churches which, by law, includes as members all Eastern Catholic patriarchs and major archbishops.

Orientalium dignitas

File:Papst Leo XIII 1898.jpg|thumb|Pope Leo XIII issued the apostolic constitution Orientalium dignitasOrientalium dignitasOn 30 November 1894 Pope Leo XIII issued the apostolic constitution Orientalium dignitas in which he stated:}}Adrian Fortescue wrote that Leo XIII "begins by explaining again that the ancient Eastern rites are a witness to the Apostolicity of the Catholic Church, that their diversity, consistent with unity of the faith, is itself a witness to the unity of the Church, that they add to her dignity and honour. He says that the Catholic Church does not possess one rite only, but that she embraces all the ancient rites of Christendom; her unity consists not in a mechanical uniformity of all her parts, but on the contrary, in their variety, according in one principle and vivified by it."BOOK, Fortescue, Adrian, The Uniate Eastern Churches : the Byzantine rite in Italy, Sicily, Syria and Egypt, 2001, First published 1923, Smith, George D., 0-9715986-3-0, Piscataway, NJ, Gorgias Press,weblink 40, Leo XIII declared still in force Pope Benedict XIV's encyclical Demandatam, addressed to the Patriarch and the Bishops of the Melkite Catholic Church, in which Benedict XIV forbade Latin Rite clergy to induce Melkite Catholics to transfer to the Latin rite, and he broadened this prohibition to cover all Eastern Catholics, declaring: "Any Latin rite missionary, whether of the secular or religious clergy, who induces with his advice or assistance any Eastern rite faithful to transfer to the Latin rite, will be deposed and excluded from his benefice in addition to the ipso facto suspension a divinis and other punishments that he will incur as imposed in the aforesaid Constitution Demandatam."

Second Vatican Council

File:Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh 001.jpg|thumb|right|Pope Paul VI presiding over the introductory ingress of the Second Vatican Council, flanked by Camerlengo Benedetto Aloisi Masella and two Papal gentlemenPapal gentlemenThere had been confusion on the part of Western clergy about the legitimate presence of Eastern Catholic Churches in countries seen as belonging to the West, despite firm and repeated papal confirmation of these Churches' universal character. The Second Vatican Council brought the reform impulse to visible fruition. Several documents, from both during and after the Second Vatican Council, have led to significant reform and development within Eastern Catholic Churches. {{Citation needed|date=August 2018}}

Orientalium Ecclesiarum

(File:Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh 007.jpg|thumb|Bishops, including Eastern Catholic ones as seen in their distinctive robes, assisting at the Second Vatican Council.)The Second Vatican Council directed, in Orientalium Ecclesiarum, that the traditions of Eastern Catholic Churches should be maintained. It declared that "it is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire and likewise that it should adapt its way of life to the different needs of time and place" (n. 2), and that they should all "preserve their legitimate liturgical rite and their established way of life, and ... these may not be altered except to obtain for themselves an organic improvement" (n. 6; cf. n. 22).BOOK, Vatican City, Catholic Church. Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI, 1964-11-21, Orientalium Ecclesiarum,weblink It confirmed and approved the ancient discipline of the sacraments existing in the Eastern churches, and the ritual practices connected with their celebration and administration, and declared its ardent desire that this should be re-established, if circumstances warranted (n. 12). It applied this in particular to administration of sacrament of Confirmation by priests (n. 13). It expressed the wish that, where the permanent diaconate (ordination as deacons of men who are not intended afterwards to become priests) had fallen into disuse, it should be restored (n. 17).Paragraphs 7–11 are devoted to the powers of the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Churches, whose rights and privileges, it says, should be re-established in accordance with the ancient tradition of each of the Churches and the decrees of the ecumenical councils, adapted somewhat to modern conditions. Where there is need, new patriarchates should be established either by an ecumenical council or by the Bishop of Rome.

Lumen gentium

The Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium, deals with Eastern Catholic Churches in paragraph 23, stating:}}

Unitatis redintegratio

The 1964 decree Unitatis redintegratio deals with Eastern Catholic Churches in paragraphs 14–17.BOOK, Vatican City, Catholic Church. Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI, Unitatis Redintegratio, 1964-11-21,weblink nn. 14–17,

Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches

The First Vatican Council discussed the need for a common code for the Eastern Churches, but no concrete action was taken. Only after the benefits of the Latin Church's 1917 Code of Canon Law were appreciated was a serious effort made to codify Eastern Catholic Churches canon laws.ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York, Paulist Press, New commentary on the Code of Canon Law, 2000, 0-8091-0502-0, study, Beal, John P, Coriden, James A, Green, Thomas J,weblink {{rp|page=27}} This came to fruition with the promulgation of the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which took effect in 1991. It is a framework document that contains canons that are a consequence of the common patrimony of the Churches of the East: each individual Church also has its own canons, its own particular law, layered on top of this code.

Liturgical prescriptions

File:Interiors of the Syriac Catholic Cathedral, Damascus.jpg|thumb|Inside a Syriac Catholic Church building in Damascus, capital city of SyriaSyriaThe 1996 Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches brought together, in one place, the developments that took place in previous texts,BOOK, Congregation for the Eastern Churches, Instruction for applying the liturgical prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1996, Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 978-88-209-2232-0,weblink and is "an expository expansion based upon the canons, with constant emphasis upon the preservation of Eastern liturgical traditions and a return to those usages whenever possible—certainly in preference to the usages of the Latin Church, however much some principles and norms of the conciliar constitution on the Roman rite, "in the very nature of things, affect other rites as well."{{rp|page=998}} The Instruction states:}}Past interventions by the Holy See, the Instruction said, were in some ways defective and needed revision, but often served also as a safeguard against aggressive initiatives.".{{efn| means "preeminent rite" or "more excelling rite".}} This attitude may have led to interventions in the Eastern liturgical texts which today, in light of theological studies and progress, have need of revision, in the sense of a return to ancestral traditions. The work of the commissions, nevertheless, availing themselves of the best experts of the times, succeeded in safeguarding a major part of the Eastern heritage, often defending it against aggressive initiatives and publishing precious editions of liturgical texts for numerous Eastern Churches. Today, particularly after the solemn declarations of the Apostolic Letter Orientalium dignitas by Leo XIII, after the creation of the still active special Commission for the liturgy within the Congregation for the Eastern Churches in 1931, and above all after the Second Vatican Council and the Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen by John Paul II, respect for the Eastern liturgies is an indisputable attitude and the Apostolic See can offer a more complete service to the Churches.{{rp|at=n. 24}}}}


Papal supreme authority

File:Pope Francis in Israel.JPG|thumb|Pope Francis in IsraelIsraelUnder the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the Pope has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary authority in the whole Catholic Church, which he can always freely exercise, including the Eastern Catholic churches,{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 43{{efn|The full description is in {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canons 42 to 54.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canons 42–54}} and their leaders.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 1

Eastern patriarchs and major archbishops

File:Mar Alenchery.jpg|thumb|Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchSyro-Malabar Catholic ChurchFile:Béchara-Raï.jpg|thumb|Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi is the head of the Maronite Church, and also a Cardinal.]]The Catholic patriarchs and major archbishops derive their titles from the sees of Alexandria (Coptic), Antioch (Syriac, Melkite, Maronite), Babylonia (Chaldaean), Cilicia (Armenian), Kiev-Halych (Ukrainian), Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar), Thiruvananthapuram (Syro-Malankara), and Făgăraş-Alba Iulia (Romanian). The Eastern Catholic churches are governed in accordance with Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.Within their proper churches there is no difference between patriarchs and major archbishops. However, differences exist in the order of precedence (i.e. patriarchs take precedence over major archbishops) and in the mode of accession: The election of a major archbishop has to be confirmed by the pope before he may take office.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 153 No papal confirmation is needed for newly-elected patriarchs before they take office. They are just required to request as soon as possible that the pope grant them full ecclesiastical communion.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 76{{efn|An example of the petition and the granting of ecclesiastical communion.WEB,weblink Exchange of letters between Benedict XVI and His Beatitude Antonios Naguib, Holy See Press Office, 2013-01-18, }}

Variants of organizational structure

There are significant differences between various Eastern Catholic churches, regarding their present organizational structure. Major Eastern Catholic churches, that are headed by their patriarchs, major archbishops or metropolitans, have fully developed structure and functioning internal autonomy based on the existence of ecclesiastical provinces. On the other hand, minor Eastern Catholic churches often have only one or two hierarchs (in the form of eparchs, apostolic exarchs, or apostolic visitors) and only the most basic forms of internal organization if any, like the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church or the Russian Greek Catholic Church.WEB, David M. Cheney,weblink Apostolic Exarchate of Russia, Catholic Hierarchy, 2018-04-16, Individual eparchies of some Eastern Catholic churches may be suffragan to Latin-rite metropolitans. For example, the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb.WEB, David M. Cheney,weblink Diocese of Križevci, Catholic Hierarchy, 2018-04-16, Also, some minor Eastern Catholic churches have Latin prelates. For example, the Macedonian Greek Catholic Church is organized as a single Eparchy of Strumica-Skopje, whose present ordinary is the Roman Catholic bishop of Skopje.WEB, David M. Cheney,weblink Eparchy of Beata Maria Vergine Assunta in Strumica-Skopje, Catholic Hierarchy, 2019-04-24, The organization of the Albanian Greek Catholic Church is unique in that it consists of an "Apostolic Administration".WEB, David M. Cheney,weblink Apostolic Administration of Southern Albania,, 2018-04-16,

Juridical status

Although every diocese in the Catholic Church is considered a particular church, the word is not applied in the same sense as to the 24 particular churches: the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.Canonically, each Eastern Catholic Church is or autonomous with respect to other Catholic churches, whether Latin or Eastern, though all accept the spiritual and juridical supreme authority of the pope. Thus a Maronite Catholic is normally directly subject only to a Maronite bishop. However, if members of a particular church are so few that no hierarchy of their own has been established, their spiritual care is entrusted to a bishop of another ritual church. For instance, members of the Latin Church in Eritrea are under the care of the Eastern rite Eritrean Catholic Church, whereas the other way around may be the case in other parts of the world.Theologically, all the particular churches can be viewed as "sister churches".BOOK, Congregation for the doctrine of the faith, 2000-06-30, Note on the expression 'sister Churches', n. 11,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-04-01, According to the Second Vatican Council these Eastern Catholic churches, along with the larger Latin Church, share "equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite, and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. {{bibleref2|Mark|16:15|rsvce}}) under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff."{{rp|at=n. 3}}File:Syro-Malankara Holy Mass 1.jpg|thumb|left|An Eastern Catholic bishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church celebrating Qurbono Qadisho in West Syriac ]]The Eastern Catholic churches are in full communion with the whole Catholic Church. While they accept the canonical authority of the Holy See of Rome, they retain their distinctive liturgical rites, laws, customs and traditional devotions, and have their own theological emphases. Terminology may vary: for instance, diocese and eparchy, vicar general and protosyncellus, confirmation and chrismation are respectively Western and Eastern terms for the same realities. The mysteries (sacraments) of baptism and chrismation are generally administered, according to the ancient tradition of the church, one immediately after the other. Infants who are baptized and chrismated are also given the Eucharist.Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 1233The Eastern Catholic churches are represented in the Holy See and the Roman Curia through the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, which is "made up of a Cardinal Prefect (who directs and represents it with the help of a Secretary) and 27 cardinals, one archbishop and 4 bishops, designated by the pope (for a five-year period). Members by right are the Patriarchs and the Major Archbishops of the Oriental Churches and the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity among Christians."WEB, Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Profile,weblink, 2003-03-20, 2011-04-27, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-05-14, Totalling about 16 million members, the greatest numbers of Eastern Catholics may be found in Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia), Eastern Africa and the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria) and India.

Bi-ritual faculties

File:Jan Babjak SJ.jpg|thumb|A bishop celebrating Divine Liturgy in a Greek-Catholic church in Prešov, eastern Slovakia. Another bishop stands to his immediate right (white omophorionomophorionWhile "clerics and members of institutes of consecrated life are bound to observe their own rite faithfully",{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 40 priests are occasionally given permission to celebrate the liturgy of a rite other than the priest's own rite, by what is known as a grant of "biritual faculties". The reason for this permission is usually the service of Catholics who have no priest of their own rite. Thus priests of the Syro-Malabar Church working as missionaries in areas of India in which there are no structures of their own Church, are authorized to use the Roman Rite in those areas, and Latin-Rite priests are, after due preparation, given permission to use an Eastern rite for the service of members of an Eastern Catholic Church living in a country in which there are no priests of their own particular Church. Popes are permitted to celebrate a Mass or Divine Liturgy of any rite in testament to the Catholic Church's universal nature. John Paul II celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Ukraine during his pontificate.For a just cause, and with the permission of the local bishop, priests of different autonomous ritual Churches may concelebrate; however, the rite of the principal celebrant is used whilst each priest wears the vestments of his own rite.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 701. This English translation omits the word "" of the original Latin text. No indult of bi-ritualism is required for this.Biritual faculties may concern not only clergy but also religious, enabling them to become members of an institute of an autonomous Church other than their own.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canons 451 and 517 §2The laity is typically encouraged to foster an appreciation of their own rite, and is invited to observe that rite unless there is good reason, e.g. Latin-Rite Catholics living in an exclusively Ethiopian Rite country.{{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 40 §3. This English translation uses "is excused" for "" instead of "is excepted". This does not forbid occasional or even, for a just cause, habitual participation in the liturgy of a different autonomous Church, Western or Eastern. The obligation of assisting at the Eucharist or, for members of some Eastern Churches, at Vespers, is satisfied wherever the liturgy is celebrated in a Catholic rite.{{abbr|1983{{nbsp}}CIC|1983 Code of Canon Law}} canon 1248 §1; {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canons 881 and 883

Clerical celibacy

{{See also|Clerical marriage}}File:Catholic priest with his Family.jpg|thumb|Romanian Eastern Catholic priest from Romania with his family.]]Eastern and Western Christian churches have different traditions concerning clerical celibacy and the resulting controversies have played a role in the relationship between the two groups in some Western countries.In general, Eastern Catholic Churches have always allowed ordination of married men as priests and deacons. Within the lands of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest Eastern Catholic Church, priests' children often became priests and married within their social group, establishing a tightly-knit hereditary caste.BOOK, Subtelny, Orest, 2009, Ukraine: a history, 4th,weblink Toronto [u.a.], University of Toronto Press, 214–219, 978-1-4426-9728-7, Most Eastern Churches distinguish between "monastic" and "non-monastic" clergy. Monastics do not necessarily live in monasteries, but have spent at least part of their period of training in such a context. Their monastic vows include a vow of celibate chastity.Bishops are normally selected from the monastic clergy, and in most Eastern Catholic Churches a large percentage of priests and deacons also are celibate, while a large portion of the clergy (typically, parish priests) are married, having taken a wife when they were still laymen. If someone preparing for the diaconate or priesthood wishes to marry, this must happen before ordination.In territories where Eastern traditions prevail, married clergy caused little controversy, but aroused opposition inside traditionally Latin Church territories to which Eastern Catholics migrated; this was particularly so in the United States. In response to requests from the Latin bishops of those countries, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith set out rules in an 1890 letter to François-Marie-Benjamin Richard, archbishop of Paris,JOURNAL, Acta Sanctae Sedis, 565282294, Latin, 24, 1890–1891, 390–391, Catholic Church. Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, Fragmentum epistolae S. C. de Propaganda Fide diei 12 Maii 1890 ad Archiep. Parisien, de auctoritate Patriarcharum orientalium extra proprias Dioeceses ..., 1890-05-12,weblink which the Congregation applied on 1 May 1897 to the United States,JOURNAL, Collectanea, No. 1966 stating that only celibates or widowed priests coming without their children should be permitted in the United States.This celibacy mandate for Eastern Catholic priests in the United States was restated with special reference to Catholics of Ruthenian Rite by the 1 March 1929 decree Cum data fuerit, which was renewed for a further ten years in 1939. Dissatisfaction by many Ruthenian Catholics in the United States gave rise to the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.BOOK, Barringer, Lawrence, Good Victory, 1985, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, MA, 0-917651-13-8, 102–103, The mandate, which applied in some other countries also, was removed by a decree of June 2014."Vatican lifts married priests ban in US, Canada, and Australia" in CathNews New Zealand, 21 November 2014While most Eastern Catholic Churches admit married men to ordination as priests (although not allowing priests to marry after ordination), some have adopted mandatory clerical celibacy, as in the Latin Church. These include the India-based Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and Syro-Malabar Catholic Church,WEB, An Oriental Church returns to unity choosing priestly celibacy, Thangalathil, Benedict Varghese Gregorios, 1993-01-01,,weblink WEB, A Source of Hope, Ziegler, Jeff, 2011-05-09,,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2013-05-17, live, and the Coptic Catholic Church.BOOK, Galadza, Peter, Eastern Catholic Christianity,weblink 303, Parry, Kenneth, The Blackwell companion to Eastern Christianity, 2010, 978-1-4443-3361-9, Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, Blackwell companions to religion, In 2014, Pope Francis approved new norms for married clergy within Eastern Catholic Churches through {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 758 § 3. The new norms abrogated previous norms and now allow those Eastern Catholic Churches with married clergy to ordain married men inside traditionally Latin territories and to grant faculties inside traditionally Latin territories to married Eastern Catholic clergy previously ordained elsewhere.JOURNAL, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Latin, 0001-5199, 106, 6, 2014-06-06, 496–499, Catholic Church. Congregatio pro Ecclesiis Orientalibus, Pontificia praecepta de clero uxorato orientali, 2014-06-14,weblink Translated in WEB, Pontifical, precepts about married eastern clergy,weblink 2014-12-19,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-12-19, live, This latter change will allow married Eastern Catholic priests to follow their faithful to whatever country they may immigrate to, addressing an issue which has arisen with the exodus of so many Christians from Eastern Europe and the Middle East in recent decades.WEB, La Stampa,, Vatican introduces new norms for Eastern rite married priests, 2014-11-15,weblink 2014-12-19,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-12-19, live,

List of Eastern Catholic churches

{{see also|List of Christian denominations by number of members#Catholic_Church – 1.285 billion}}The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio gives the following list of Eastern Catholic churches with the principal Episcopal See of each and the countries (or larger political areas) where they have ecclesiastical jurisdiction, to which are here added the date of union or foundation in parenthesis and the membership in brackets. The total membership for all Eastern Catholic Churches is at least 16,336,000 people. Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) gives the same list, except that it does not place the liturgical traditions in the alphabetical order in which they are given by both the Annuario Pontificio and {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 28, and, as noted below, it treats the Apostolic Exarchate for Byzantine-Rite Catholics in the Czech Republic, which for the Holy See is part of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, as if it were a separate autonomous church.{|class="wikitable sortable"|+ Eastern Catholic ChurchesJurisdiction and bishop numbers from GCatholicWEB, Rites of the Catholic Church,,weblink 2019-07-09, (current as of July 9, 2019)Membership numbers from {{abbr|CNEWA|Catholic Near East Welfare Association}} (2017)WEB, The Eastern Catholic Churches 2017, Roberson, Ronald,, Catholic Near East Welfare Association,weblink 2018-09-17, Except as otherwise indicated for the Albanian, Belarusian, and Russian Churches.
20px)|'''Coptic Catholic Church|1741 AlexandrianCathedral of Our Lady of Egypt>Cathedral of Our Lady, Cairo, EgyptPatriarchate >8}} {{nts187,320}}
Eritrean Catholic ChurchHTTP://PRESS.VATICAN.VA/CONTENT/SALASTAMPA/DE/BOLLETTINO/PUBBLICO/2015/01/19/0048/00098.HTML PUBLISHER=HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 19, 2015, |2015Kidane Mehret Cathedral, Asmara>Kidane Mehret Cathedral, Asmara, EritreaMetropolis (religious jurisdiction)>Metropolitanate {{nts4}} {{nts|167,722}}
Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Addis Ababa, EthiopiaMetropolis (religious jurisdiction)>Metropolitanate {{nts4}} {{nts|70,832}}
27px)|'''Armenian Catholic Church|1742Armenian Rite>ArmenianCathedral of Saint Elias and Saint Gregory the Illuminator>Cathedral of Saint Elias and Saint Gregory, Beirut, LebanonPatriarchate >18}} {{nts757,726}}
Byzantine|Pro-Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Louis, Vlorë, AlbaniaApostolic administrator#Apostolic administrations>Apostolic administration {{nts2}} {{ntsWEBSITE=GCATHOLIC.ORG, 2019-07-09,
Union of Brest>1596|none''noneThe Belarusian Greek Catholic Church is unorganized and has been served by Apostolic visitor#Eastern Catholic Apostolic Visitors>Apostolic Visitors since 1960. {{nts0}} {{ntsWEBSITE=GCATHOLIC.ORG, 2019-07-09,
Cathedral of the Dormition, Sofia>Cathedral of the Dormition, Sofia, BulgariaApostolic exarchate >1}} {{nts10000}}
20px)Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and SerbiaCATHOLIC CHURCHYEAR=2012ISBN=978-88-209-8722-0, {{rp|page=1140}}|1611|severalno unified structureThe Byzantine Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia comprises two jurisdictions: Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci covering Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Ruski Krstur covering Serbia. The Eparchy of Križevci is in foreign province, and the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur is immediately subject to the Holy See. >2}} {{nts42,965}}
no unified structure''The Greek Byzantine Catholic Church comprises two independent apostolic exarchates covering Greece and Turkey respectively, each immediately subject to the Holy See. >2}} {{nts6,016}}
Metropolis (religious jurisdiction)>Metropolitanate{{nts4}} {{nts|262,484}}
no unified structure''The Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church comprises two independent eparchies (based in Lungro and Piana degli Albanesi) and one territorial abbacy (based in Grottaferrata), each immediately subject to the Holy See. >3}} {{nts55,812}}
Cathedral of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, Strumica>Cathedral of the Assumption, Strumica, North MacedoniaEparchy >1}} {{ntsKiro Stojanov serves as bishop of the Macedonian Eparchy of the Assumption in addition to his primary duties as the Latin-rite bishop of Skopje, and so GCatholic only counts him as a Latin Rite bishop. >11,374}}
20px)|'''Melkite Greek Catholic Church|1726Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition>Cathedral of the Dormition, Damascus, SyriaPatriarchate >29}} {{nts1,568,239}}
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Blaj>Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Blaj, RomaniaMajor archiepiscopal church>Major archiepiscopate {{nts8}} {{nts|498,658}}
none''The Russian Greek Catholic Church comprises two apostolic exarchates (one for Russia and one for China), each immediately subject to the Holy See and each vacant for decades. Bishop Joseph Werth of Roman Catholic Diocese of Transfiguration at Novosibirsk>Novosibirsk has been appointed by the Holy See as ordinary to the Eastern Catholic faithful in Russia, although not as exarch of the dormant apostolic exarchate and without the creation of a formal ordinariate.{{nts0}}3,200{{citation needed|date=July 2019}}
Union of Uzhhorod>1646St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral (Pittsburgh)>Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Pittsburgh, United StatesMetropolis (religious jurisdiction)>MetropolitanateThe Ruthenian Catholic Church does not have a unified structure. It includes a Metropolia based in Pittsburgh, which covers the entire United States, but also an eparchy in Ukraine and an apostolic exarchate in the Czech Republic, both of which are directly subject to the Holy See.{{nts8}} {{nts|417,795}}
20px)|'''Slovak Greek Catholic ChurchUnion of Uzhhorod>1646Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Prešov>Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Prešov, SlovakiaMetropolis (religious jurisdiction)>Metropolitanate {{nts6}} {{nts|211,208}}
20px)|'''Ukrainian Greek Catholic ChurchUnion of Brest>1595Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, Kiev>Cathedral of the Resurrection, Kiev, UkraineMajor archiepiscopal church>Major archiepiscopate {{nts50}} {{nts|4,471,688}}
20px)|'''Chaldean Catholic ChurchSchism of 1552>1552 East Syriac|Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows, Baghdad, IraqPatriarchate >23}} {{nts628,405}}
18px)|'''Syro-Malabar Catholic Church|1663Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly>Ernakulam-Angamaly, IndiaMajor archiepiscopal church>Major archiepiscopate {{nts63}} {{nts|4,251,399}}
22px)|'''Maronite Church 4th c. West Syriac|Church of Bkerke, Bkerke, LebanonPatriarchate >29}} {{nts3,498,707}}
Patriarchate >16}} {{nts195,765}}
Cathedral of Saint Mary, Pattom>Cathedral of Saint Mary, Pattom, Kerala, IndiaMajor archiepiscopal church>Major archiepiscopate {{nts14}} {{nts|458,015}}
variousFive of the ordinariates for Eastern Catholic faithful are multi-ritual, encompassing the faithful of all Eastern Catholic rites within their territory not otherwise subject to a local ordinary of their own rite. The Ordinariate for Byzantine-rite Catholics in Austria>sixth is exclusively Byzantine, but covers all Byzantine Catholics in Austria, no matter which particular Byzantine Church they belong to.|severalThe six ordinariates are based in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Vienna (Austria), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Paris (France), Warsaw (Poland), and Madrid (Spain).Ordinariate for Eastern Catholic faithful>Ordinariates {{nts6}}Technically, each of these ordinariates has an ordinary who is a bishop, but all of the bishops are Latin-rite bishops whose primary assignment is to a Latin see. {{nts|47,830}}


File:Chomnycky london cathedral.jpg|thumb|Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Paul Patrick Chomnycky in London, United KingdomUnited KingdomEastern Catholic Churches make up a small percentage of the membership in the Catholic Church when compared to the Latin Church, which has over 1.2 billion members. The 2017 statistics collected by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) show that the four largest Eastern Catholic Churches are the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church with 4.5 million members (roughly 25% of all Eastern Catholics), the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church with 4.3 million members (24%), the Maronite Church with 3.5 million members (20%), and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with 1.6 million members (9%).


The list shows that an individual autonomous particular church may have distinct jurisdictions (local particular churches) in several countries.The Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church is organized in an exceptional way because of a constituent metropolia: the Ruthenian Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, United States. The latter is also, unofficially, referred to as the Byzantine Catholic Church in America. Canon law treats it as if it held the rank of an autonomous () metropolitan particular church because of the circumstances surrounding its 1969 establishment as an ecclesiastical province. At that time, conditions in the Rusyn homeland, known as Carpatho-Rus, were such that the Byzantine Catholic Church had been forcibly suppressed by the Soviet authorities. When Communist rule ended, the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo (founded in 1771) re-emerged. As of the early 21st century, it has some 320,000 adherents, greater than the number in the Pittsburgh metropolia. In addition, an apostolic exarchate established in 1996 for Catholics of Byzantine rite in the Czech Republic is classed as another part of the Ruthenian Catholic Church.On the {{abbr|EWTN|Eternal Word Television Network}} website, the Ruthenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Czech Republic is mentioned in a list of Eastern Churches, of which all the rest are autonomous particular churches.WEB, Catholic Rites and Churches, Donovan, Colin B., 2007-08-22,, Irondale, AL, Eternal Word Television Network,weblink This is a mistake, since recognition within the Catholic Church of the autonomous status of a particular church can only be granted by the Holy See.{{efn|name=CCEO27|cf. {{abbr|CCEO|Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium = Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches}} canon 27}} It classifies this church as one of the constituent local particular churches of the autonomous () Ruthenian Catholic Church.


Eastern Europe

A study by Methodios Stadnik states: "The Georgian Byzantine Catholic Exarch, Fr. Shio {{Sic|Batma|nishviii|expected=Batmalashvili}}, and two Georgian Catholic priests of the Latin Church were executed by the Soviet authorities in 1937 after having been held in captivity in Solovki prison and the northern gulags from 1923."WEB, A concise history of the Georgian Byzantine Catholic Church, Stadnik, Methodios, 1999-01-21,,weblink 2011-04-27, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-07-15, Christopher Zugger writes, in The Forgotten: "By 1936, the Byzantine Catholic Church of Georgia had two communities, served by a bishop and four priests, with 8,000 believers", and he identifies the bishop as Shio Batmalashvili.BOOK, Zugger, Christopher L., Secret agent and secret hierarchy,weblink The forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Union Empire from Lenin through Stalin, 978-0-8156-0679-6, Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press, 2001, 228, {{Interlanguage link multi|Vasyl Ovsiyenko|uk|3=Овсієнко Василь Васильович}} mentions, on the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union website, that "the Catholic administrator for Georgia Shio Batmalashvili" was one of those executed as "anti-Soviet elements" in 1937.WEB, In memory of the victims of the Solovky embarkation point, Ovsiyenko, Vasyl, 2006-10-26,, Kyiv, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union,weblink 2011-04-27, Zugger calls Batmalashvili a bishop; Stadnik is ambiguous, calling him an exarch but giving him the title of Father; Ovsiyenko merely refers to him as "the Catholic administrator" without specifying whether he was a bishop or a priest and whether he was in charge of a Latin or a Byzantine jurisdiction.If Batmalashvili was an exarch, and not instead a bishop connected with the Latin diocese of Tiraspol, which had its seat at Saratov on the Volga River, to which Georgian Catholics even of Byzantine rite belonged JOURNAL, Catholic Church. Congregatio pro Ecclesiis Orientalibus, Oriente Cattolico : Cenni Storici e Statistiche, Italian, 2905279, Vatican City, 1974, 4th, 194, this would mean that a Georgian Byzantine-Rite Catholic Church existed, even if only as a local particular Church. However, since the establishment of a new hierarchical jurisdiction must be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and no mention of the setting up of such a jurisdiction for Byzantine Georgian Catholics exists in that official gazette of the Holy See, the claim appears to be unfounded.The 1930s editions of Annuario Pontificio do not mention Batmalashvili. If indeed he was a bishop, he may then have been one of those secretly ordained for the service of the Church in the Soviet Union by French Jesuit Bishop Michel d'Herbigny, who was president of the Pontifical Commission for Russia from 1925 to 1934. In the circumstances of that time, the Holy See would have been incapable of setting up a new Byzantine exarchate within the Soviet Union, since Byzantine Catholics in the Soviet Union were being forced to join the Russian Orthodox Church.Batmalashvili's name is not among those given in as the four "underground" apostolic administrators (only one of whom appears to have been a bishop) for the four sections into which the diocese of Tiraspol was divided after the resignation in 1930 of its already exiled last bishop, Josef Alois Kessler.WEB,weblink Roman Catholic Regional Hierarchy, 2004-06-01, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 2004-06-01, {{tertiary}} This source gives Father Stefan Demurow as apostolic administrator of "Tbilisi and Georgia" and says he was executed in 1938. Other sources associate Demurow with Azerbaijan and say that, rather than being executed, he died in a Siberian Gulag.WEB, Small Catholic community comes to life in former Communist country, 2005-09-10,, Vatican City, Agenzia Fides,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2011-06-14, dead, Until 1994, the United States annual publication Catholic Almanac listed "Georgian" among the Byzantine churches.JOURNAL, Catholic Almanac, Until corrected in 1995, it appears to have been making a mistake similar to that made on the equally unofficial {{abbr|EWTN|Eternal Word Television Network}} site about the Czech Byzantine Catholics.There was a short-lived Byzantine Catholic movement among the ethnic Estonians in the Orthodox Church in Estonia during the interwar period of the 20th century, consisting of two to three parishes, not raised to the level of a local particular church with its own head. This group was liquidated by the Soviet regime and is now extinct.

Muslim world

Since the American invasion of Iraq, Christians have faced increasing levels of persecution in the Islamic world. Previously, the secular governments in Iraq, Syria and other nations protected their Christian minorities. Muslim, Jewish and South Asian nations in which Christian populations have suffered acute discrimination, persecution and in some cases death include; Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea, United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Chechnya.WEB,weblink Prince Charles urges Muslim leaders to 'show tolerance' over persecution of Christians, Richard Palmer,, WEB,weblink Report: Persecution of Christians reveals most abuse in Muslim countries, The Jerusalem Post -,

United States

{{See also|Orthodox Church in America|Alexis Toth}}While not subject to the kind of physical dangers or persecution from government authorities encountered in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, adherents of Eastern Catholic Churches in United States, most of whom were relatively new immigrants from Eastern Europe, encountered difficulties due to hostility from the Latin Rite clergy who dominated the Catholic hierarchy in United States who found them alien. In particular, immigration of Eastern Rite priests who were married, common in their churches but extremely rare in Latin churches, was forbidden or severely limited and some Latin rite bishops actively interfered with the pastoral work of those who did arrive. Some bishops sought to forbid all non-Latin Catholic priests from coming to United States at all. Many Eastern Catholic immigrants to United States were thus either assimilated into the Latin Rite or joined the Eastern Orthodox Church. One former Eastern Catholic priest, Alexis Toth, is well-known for having abandoned Catholicism after difficult experience with John Ireland, the Latin bishop of Saint Paul, and joining the Orthodox Church, in which he has been canonized as a saint for having led as many as 20,000 disaffected former Eastern Catholics to the Orthodox Church.

See also

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Further reading

  • BOOK, Nedungatt, George, George Nedungatt, A Guide to the Eastern Code: A Commentary on the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches,weblink 2002, Rome, Oriental Institute Press, 9788872103364,

External links

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