The Latin Church (also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church[N 1]) is the largest particular church of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 sui iuris churches, the 23 other forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the Bishop of Rome - the pope, traditionally called the Patriarch of the West - with headquarters in the Vatican City, enclaved within Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity, according to Catholic tradition, through its direct leadership under the Holy See.
Substantial distinguishing theological emphases, liturgical traditions, features and identity can be traced back to the Latin church fathers, and most importantly the Latin Doctors of the Church, active during the first centuries A.D., including in the Early African church. After the East-West schism in 1054, in the Middle Ages its members became known as Latins in contrast with Eastern Christians. Following the Islamic conquests, the Crusades were launched in order to defend Christians in the Holy Land against persecution. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was established for their care, remaining until this day. Other Latin dioceses were vanquished and transformed into titular sees when Christians were forced to convert, flee, or die, going on until today especially around the Islamic world.
The Latin Church was in full communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East-West schism. It was spread to Latin America in the early modern period. The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century resulted in Protestantism breaking away. Since 19th century, also smaller groups of Independent Catholic denominations broke away.
|Latin: Ecclesia Latina|
|Type||Particular church (sui iuris)|
|Region||Mainly in Western Europe, Central Europe, Italy, the Americas, Philippines, Central Africa, pockets of West Africa, Moçambique, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, with several episcopal conferences around the world|
|Liturgy||Latin liturgical rites|
|Headquarters||Vatican City (located within Rome, Italy)|
|Origin||1st century, according to Catholic tradition|
|Members||1.255 billion (2015)|
|Other name(s)||Western Church|
Roman Catholic Church
|Official website||Holy See|
Especially in an historical context, the church is sometimes also referred to as the Western Church.
However, the term of "Roman Catholic Church" is sometimes also used to refer to the Latin Church, for instance when used by Eastern Catholics, but can also be used for the Catholic Church as a whole in some context, such as non-Catholic contexts.
The 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines the use within that code of the words "church" and "rite". In accordance with these definitions of usage within the code that governs the Eastern Catholic churches, the Latin Church is one such group of Christian faithful united by a hierarchy and recognized by the supreme authority of the Catholic Church as a sui iuris particular church. The Latin rite is the whole of the patrimony of that distinct particular church, by which it manifests its own manner of living the faith, including its own liturgy, its theology, its spiritual practices and traditions and its canon law. A person is a member of or belongs to a particular church. A person also inherits, or "is of", a particular patrimony or rite. Since the rite has liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary elements, a person is also to worship, to be catechized, to pray and to be governed according to a particular rite.
Particular churches that inherit and perpetuate a particular patrimony are identified by metonymy with that patrimony. Accordingly, "rite" has been defined as "a division of the Christian church using a distinctive liturgy", or simply as "a Christian Church". In this sense, "rite" and "church" are treated as synonymous, as in the glossary prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and revised in 1999, which states that each "Eastern-rite (Oriental) Church ... is considered equal to the Latin rite within the Church". The Second Vatican Council likewise stated 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" and spoke of patriarchs and of "major archbishops, who rule the whole of some individual church or rite". It thus used the word "rite" as "a technical designation of what may now be called a particular church". "Church or rite" is also used as a single heading in the United States Library of Congress classification of works.
Historically, the leadership of the Latin Church (i.e. the Holy See) has been viewed as one of the five patriarchates of the Pentarchy of early Christianity, along with the patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Due to geographic and cultural considerations, the latter patriarchates developed into churches with distinct Eastern Christian traditions. The majority of Eastern Christian churches broke full communion with the bishop of Rome and the Latin Church, following various theological and leadership disputes in the centuries following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. These included notably the Nestorian Schism (Church of the East), Chalcedonian Schism (Oriental Orthodoxy), and the East-West Schism (Eastern Orthodoxy). The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century saw an analogous schism. Until 2005, the Pope claimed the title "Patriarch of the West"; Pope Benedict XVI lifted this title for ecumenical purposes while continuing to exercise a direct patriarchal role over the Latin Church.
The Latin Church is notable within Western Christianity for its sacred tradition and seven sacraments. In the Catholic Church, in addition to the Latin Church directly headed by the Pope as Latin patriarch, there are 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, self-governing particular churches sui iuris with their own hierarchies. These churches trace their origins to the other four patriarchates of the ancient pentarchy, but either never historically broke full communion or returned to it with the Papacy at some time. These differ from each other in liturgical rite (ceremonies, vestments, chants, language), devotional traditions, theology, canon law, and clergy, but all maintain the same faith, and all see full communion with the Pope, as Bishop of Rome, as essential to being Catholic as well as part of the one true church as defined by the Four Marks of the Church in Catholic ecclesiology.
The approximately 16 million Eastern Catholics represent a minority of Christians in communion with the Pope, compared to more than 1 billion Latin Catholics. Additionally, there are roughly 250 million Eastern Orthodox and 86 million Oriental Orthodox around the world. Unlike the Latin Church, the Pope does not exercise a direct patriarchal role over the Eastern Catholic churches and their faithful, instead encouraging their internal hierarchies separate from that of the Latin Church, analogous to the traditions shared with the corresponding Eastern Christian churches in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Several forms of the Latin rite have always existed, and were only slowly withdrawn, as a result of the coming together of the different parts of Europe. Before the Council there existed side by side with the Roman rite, the Ambrosian rite, the Mozarabic rite of Toledo, the rite of Braga, the Carthusian rite, the Carmelite rite, and best known of all, the Dominican rite, and perhaps still other rites of which I am not aware.
Today, the most common Latin liturgical rites are the Roman Rite (either in its ordinary form, the post-Vatican II Mass of Pope Paul VI officially authorized for present-day use, or in an extraordinary form such as the Tridentine Mass); the Ambrosian Rite; the Mozarabic Rite; and variations of the Roman Rite (such as the Anglican Use). The 23 Eastern Catholic Churches share five families of liturgical rites. The Latin liturgical rites, like the Armenian, are used only in a single sui iuris particular church.
Canon law for the Latin Church is codified in the Code of Canon Law, of which there have been two codifications, the first promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and the second by Pope John Paul II in 1983.
In the Latin Church, the norm for administration of confirmation is that, except when in danger of death, the person to be confirmed should "have the use of reason, be suitably instructed, properly disposed, and able to renew the baptismal promises", and "the administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion." In the Eastern Churches these sacraments are usually administered immediately after baptism, even for an infant.
Celibacy, as a consequence of the duty to observe perfect continence, is obligatory for priests in the Latin Church. Rare exceptions are permitted for men who, after ministering as clergy in other churches, join the Catholic Church. This contrasts with the discipline in most Eastern Catholic Churches. In the Latin Church, a married man may not be admitted even to the diaconate unless he is legitimately destined to remain a deacon and not become a priest. Marriage after ordination is not possible, and attempting it can result in canonical penalties.
At the present time, Bishops in the Latin Church are generally appointed by the Pope on the advice of the various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, specifically the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (for countries in its care), the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State (for appointments that require the consent or prior notification of civil governments), and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (in the areas in its charge, even for the appointment of Latin bishops). The Congregations generally work from a "terna" or list of three names advanced to them by the local church most often through the Apostolic Nuncio or the Cathedral Chapter in those places where the Chapter retains the right to nominate bishops.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law (abbreviated 1983 CIC from its Latin title Codex Iuris Canonici), also called the Johanno-Pauline Code, is the "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church". It is the second and current comprehensive codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It was promulgated on 25 January 1983 by John Paul II and took legal effect on the First Sunday of Advent (27 November) 1983. It replaced the 1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917.Acolyte
An acolyte is an assistant or follower assisting the celebrant in a religious service or procession. In many Christian denominations, an acolyte is anyone who performs ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles.
In others, the term is used for one who has been inducted into a particular liturgical ministry, even when not performing those duties.Auxiliary bishop
An auxiliary bishop is a bishop assigned to assist the diocesan bishop in meeting the pastoral and administrative needs of the diocese. Auxiliary bishops can also be titular bishops of sees that no longer exist.
In Catholic Church, auxiliary bishops exist in both the Latin Church and in the Eastern Catholic Churches. The particular duties of an auxiliary bishop are given by the diocesan bishop and can vary widely depending on the auxiliary bishop, the ordinary, and the needs of the diocese. In a larger archdiocese, they might be in assigned to serve a portion of the archdiocese (sometimes called deaneries, regions, or vicariates) or to serve a particular population such as immigrants or those of a particular heritage or language. Canon law requires that the diocesan bishop appoint each auxiliary bishop as vicar general or episcopal vicar of the diocese.
In Eastern Orthodox Churches, auxiliary bishops are also called vicarian bishops or simply vicar-bishops. In Serbian Orthodox church, the office of auxiliary (vicar) bishop is entrusted to titular bishops, who are assigned with assisting diocesan bishops in various aspects of diocesan administration. For example, Teodosije Šibalić (titular Bishop of Lipljan) was appointed auxiliary bishop to the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren in 2004.Bishop in the Catholic Church
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders and is responsible for teaching doctrine, governing Catholics in his jurisdiction, sanctifying the world and representing the Church. Catholics trace the origins of the office of bishop to the apostles, who it is believed were endowed with a special charism by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Catholics believe this special charism has been transmitted through an unbroken succession of bishops by the laying on of hands in the sacrament of holy orders.Diocesan bishops—known as eparchs in the Eastern Catholic Churches—are assigned to govern local regions within the Catholic Church known as dioceses in the Latin Church and eparchies in the Eastern Churches. Bishops are collectively known as the College of Bishops and can hold such additional titles as archbishop, cardinal, patriarch, or pope. As of 2009 there were approximately 5,100 bishops total in the Latin and Eastern churches of the Catholic Church.Bishops are always men. In addition, Canon 378 § 1 requires that a candidate for the Latin episcopacy should be:
outstanding in solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues, and endowed with other qualities which make him suitable to fulfill the office in question;
of good reputation;
at least thirty-five years old;
ordained to the presbyterate for at least five years;
in possession of a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred scripture, theology, or canon law from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines.Catholic Church in India
The Catholic Church in India is part of the worldwide Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope and the curia in Rome.
There are over 19.9 million Catholics in India, which represents around 1.55% of the total population and the Catholic church is the largest Christian church within India. There are 174 dioceses in India organised into 30 provinces. Of these, 132 are Latin Catholic Church, 31 Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and 11 Syro-Malankara Catholic Church dioceses. Despite the small percentage, India has the second largest Catholic population in Asia after the Philippines, due to India's huge population.
All the bishops in India, both Western and Eastern, form the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, which was founded in 1944. The Holy See's representative to the government of India and to the Church in India is the Apostolic Nuncio to India. The diplomatic mission was established as the Apostolic Delegation to the East Indies in 1881. It was raised to an Internunciature by Pope Pius XII in 1948 and to a full Apostolic Nunciature by Pope Paul VI in 1967.Catholic particular churches and liturgical rites
A particular church (Latin: ecclesia particularis) is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop (or equivalent), as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the bishop (i.e., the particular church).
Thus, though closely related, in this context "church" refers to the institution, and "rite" to its practices. There are two kinds of particular churches:
An autonomous particular church sui iuris: an aggregation of particular churches with shared, distinctive liturgical, spiritual, theological, and canonical emphases and traditions. The largest such autonomous particular church is the Latin Church, while the other 23 are referred to collectively as the Eastern Catholic Churches, some of which are headed by bishops who have the title and rank of Patriarch or Major Archbishop. In this context the descriptors autonomous (Greek: αὐτόνομος, translit. autónomos) and sui iuris (Latin) are synonymous, each meaning "of its own law".
A local particular church: a diocese (or eparchy) headed by a bishop (or equivalent), typically collected in a national polity under an episcopal conference. However, there are also other forms, including territorial abbacies, apostolic vicariates, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, and personal prelatures.Eastern Catholic Churches
The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio (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 1.2 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic 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 five 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), and the Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian Rite). These five churches account for about 80% of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Full communion constitutes mutual sacramental sharing between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church, including Eucharistic intercommunion. On the other hand, the liturgical traditions of the 23 Eastern Catholic churches, including Byzantine, Alexandrian, Armenian, East Syriac, and West Syriac, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches: the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East. 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.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.Ecclesiastical Latin
Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italian Latin, is a later form of Latin used to discuss Christian thought. It developed from the vulgar Latin of ancient Rome and includes words from Classical Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew) re-purposed with Christian meaning. It is less stylized and rigid in form than Classical Latin and commonly its pronunciation is based on Italian.Ecclesiastical Latin was the language of liturgical rites in the Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, and in the Western Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Today, ecclesiastical Latin is primarily used in official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, but it is still learned by clergy. The Ecclesiastical Latin that is used in theological works, liturgical rites and dogmatic proclamations varies in style: syntactically simple in the Vulgate Bible, hieratic in the Roman Canon of the Mass, terse and technical in Aquinas' Summa Theologica and Ciceronian in Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Fides et Ratio.Hierarchy of the Catholic Church
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity. (1 Cor 12)
In canonical and general usage, it refers to those who exercise authority within a Christian church. In the Catholic Church, authority rests chiefly with the bishops, while priests and deacons serve as their assistants, co-workers or helpers. Accordingly, "hierarchy of the Catholic Church" is also used to refer to the bishops alone.As of 30 December 2014, the Catholic Church consisted of 2,998 dioceses or equivalent jurisdictions, each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests, deacons, or lay ecclesial ministers. Ordinarily, care of a parish is entrusted to a priest, though there are exceptions. Approximately 22% of all parishes do not have a resident pastor, and 3,485 parishes worldwide are entrusted to a deacon or lay ecclesial minister.All clergy, including deacons, priests, and bishops, may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages, and conduct funeral liturgies. Only priests and bishops can celebrate the sacraments of the Eucharist (though others may be ministers of Holy Communion), Penance (Reconciliation, Confession), Confirmation (priests may administer this sacrament with prior ecclesiastical approval), and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, by which men are ordained as bishops, priests or deacons.Latin Church in the Middle East
The Latin Church in the Middle East represents members of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in the Middle East, notably in Turkey and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan). Latin Catholics are subject to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and employ the Latin liturgical rites, in contrast to Eastern Catholics who fall under their respective church's patriarchs and employ distinct Eastern liturgical rites, while being in full communion with the worldwide Catholic Church. Latin Catholics in the Middle East are often of European descent.
Depending on the specific area in question, due to their cultural heritage descending from Catholics who lived under the Ottoman Empire, they are sometimes referred to as Levantines, Italo-Levantines, or Franco-Levantines (Arabic: شوام; French: Levantins; Italian: Levantini; Greek: Φραγκολεβαντίνοι Frankolevantini; Turkish: Levantenler or Tatlısu Frenkleri) after Frankokratia.
A distinctive era of influence occurred during the Crusades with the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Middle Ages. As with the case of Eastern Catholics and other Christians in the Middle East, Latin Catholics have both a history and a present of persecution.Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (Latin: Patriarchatus Latinus Hierosolymitanus) is the Catholic episcopal see of Jerusalem, officially seated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was originally established in 1099 with the Kingdom of Jerusalem encompassing the newly territories in the Holy Land conquered by the First Crusade. From 1374-1847 it was a titular see, with the Patriarchs of Jerusalem being based at the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. A resident Latin Patriarch was re-established in 1847 by Pius IX.
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is now the diocesan archbishop of Latin Church Catholics of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jerusalem with jurisdiction for all Latin Catholics in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem also holds the office of Grand Prior of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Since 24 June 2016, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has been Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
It is exempt, being directly subject to the Holy See (and exceptionally its Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches, which normally handles Eastern Catholics). It is not an ecclesiastical province, and has no metropolitan functions.
The title of Patriarch in the Latin Church is retained by only four archbishops (since Benedict XVI relinquished the papal title of "Patriarch of the West" in 2006): the Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem, of Venice, of Lisbon and of the East Indies. Until 1964, there had also been the honorary patriarchal titles of Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch; still others were abolished earlier. The title of "Patriarch of Jerusalem" is also used by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, as well as, titularly (along Alexandria), by the Melkite Patriarch.Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites, or Western liturgical rites, are Latin tradition Catholic liturgical rites employed by the Latin Church, the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, that originated in Europe where the Latin language once dominated. Its language is now known as Ecclesiastical Latin. The most used rite is the Roman Rite.
The Latin rites were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches. Their number is now much reduced. In the aftermath of the Council of Trent, in 1568 and 1570 Pope Pius V suppressed the Breviaries and Missals that could not be shown to have an antiquity of at least two centuries (see Tridentine Mass and Roman Missal). Many local rites that remained legitimate even after this decree were abandoned voluntarily, especially in the 19th century. In the second half of the 20th century, most of the religious orders that had a distinct liturgical rite chose to adopt in its place the Roman Rite as revised in accordance with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council (see Mass of Paul VI). A few such liturgical rites persist today for the celebration of Mass, since 1965-1970 in revised forms, but the distinct liturgical rites for celebrating the other sacraments have been almost completely abandoned.Latins (Middle Ages)
The name Latin was in the Middle Ages a common demonym among the followers of the Latin Church of Western Christianity. It derived from the Italic tribe who in antiquity developed ancient Roman civilization. The name was used irrespective of ethnicity, including by Germanic, Italic and Slavic peoples. In the Byzantine Empire, and the broader Greek Orthodox world, Latins was an exonym for all people who followed Roman Catholic Christianity. It was generally a negative characterization, especially after the 1054 schism. Thus the people associated with the states created during the Crusades were generally referred to as Latins or Franks.List of Catholic dioceses (structured view)
As of May 31, 2018, the Catholic Church in its entirety comprises 3,160 ecclesiastical jurisdictions, including over 645 archdioceses and 2,236 dioceses, as well as apostolic vicariates, apostolic exarchates, apostolic administrations, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, personal prelatures, territorial prelatures, territorial abbacies and missions sui juris around the world.
In addition to these jurisdictions, there are 2,103 titular sees (bishoprics, archbishoprics and metropolitanates).
This is a structural list to show the relationships of each diocese to one another, grouped by ecclesiastical province, within each episcopal conference, within each continent or other geographical area.
The list needs regular updating and is incomplete, but as articles are written up, more will be added, and various aspects need to be regularly updated.Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.
Originally, the term referred to the bishop of the chief city of a historical Roman province, whose authority in relation to the other bishops of the province was recognized by the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325). The bishop of the provincial capital, the metropolitan, enjoyed certain rights over other bishops in the province, later called suffragan bishops.The term is applied in a similar sense to the bishop of the chief episcopal see (the "metropolitan see") of an ecclesiastical province. The head of such a metropolitan see has the rank of archbishop and is therefore called the metropolitan archbishop of the ecclesiastical province. Metropolitan (arch)bishops preside over synods of the bishops of their ecclesiastical province, and are granted special privileges by canon law and tradition.
In some churches, such as the Church of Greece, a metropolis is a rank granted to all episcopal sees. Their bishops are all called metropolitans, the title of archbishop being reserved for the primate.Priesthood in the Catholic Church
The priesthood is one of the three holy orders of the Catholic Church, comprising the ordained priests or presbyters. The other two orders are the bishops and the deacons. Only men are allowed to receive holy orders, and the church does not allow any transgender people to do so. Church doctrine also sometimes refers to all baptised Catholics as the "common priesthood".The church has different rules for priests in the Latin Church – the largest Catholic particular church – and in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. Notably, priests in the Latin Church must take a vow of celibacy, whereas most Eastern Catholic Churches permit married men to be ordained.
Deacons are male and usually belong to the diocesan clergy, but, unlike almost all Latin-rite (Western Catholic) priests and all bishops from Eastern or Western Catholicism, they may marry as laymen before their ordination as clergy. The Catholic Church teaches that when a man participates in priesthood after the Sacrament of Holy Orders, he acts in persona Christi Capitis, representing the person of Christ.Unlike usage in English, "the Latin words sacerdos and sacerdotium are used to refer in general to the ministerial priesthood shared by bishops and presbyters. The words presbyter, presbyterium and presbyteratus refer to priests in the English use of the word or presbyters." According to the Annuario Pontificio 2016, as of December 31, 2014, there were 415,792 Catholic priests worldwide, including both diocesan priests and priests in the religious orders. A priest of the regular clergy is commonly addressed with the title "Father" (abbreviated Fr., in the Catholic and some other Christian churches).Catholics living a consecrated life or monasticism include both the ordained and unordained. Institutes of consecrated life, or monks, can be deacons, priests, bishops, or non-ordained members of a religious order. The non-ordained in these orders are not to be considered laypersons in a strict sense—they take certain vows and are not free to marry once they have made solemn profession of vows. All female religious are non-ordained; they may be sisters living to some degree of activity in a communal state, or nuns living in cloister or some other type of isolation. The male members of religious orders, whether living in monastic communities or cloistered in isolation, and who are ordained priests or deacons constitute what is called the religious or regular clergy, distinct from the diocesan or secular clergy. Those ordained priests or deacons who are not members of some sort of religious order (secular priests) most often serve as clergy to a specific church or in an office of a specific diocese or in Rome.Protodeacon
Protodeacon derives from the Greek proto- meaning 'first' and diakonos, which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning "assistant", "servant", or "waiting-man". The word in English may refer to any of various clergy, depending upon the usage of the particular church in question.St. Francis Xavier's Church, Sampaloor
St. Francis Xavier's Church, Sampaloor, popularly known as Sampaloor Palli, is a parish church coming under the Diocese of Kottapuram of the Archdiocese of Verapoly. It is situated along Palayamparambu Road, at Sampaloor, Mala in Thrissur district of the south Indian state of Kerala. The church is best known for hosting a number of Christian saints and missionaries including Francis Xavier, John de Britto, Arnos Pathiri and Constanzo Beschi.Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a religious category composed of the Latin Church and Protestantism, together with their offshoots such as Independent Catholicism and Restorationism. The large majority of the world's 2.4 billion Christians are Western Christians (about 2 billion – 1.2 billion Latin Catholic and 800 million Protestant). The original and still major part, the Latin Church, developed under the bishop of Rome (the Patriarch of the West) in the former Western Roman Empire in Antiquity. Out of the Latin Church emerged a wide variety of independent Protestant denominations, including Lutheranism and Anglicanism, starting from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, as did Independent Catholicism in the 19th century. Thus, the term "Western Christianity" does not describe a single communion or religious denomination, but is applied to distinguish all these denominations collectively from Eastern Christianity.
The establishment of the distinct Latin Church, a particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church (in contrast to the Eastern Catholic Churches, also in full communion with the Pope in Rome) coincided with the consolidation of the Holy See in Rome, where the bishop claimed a particular role since Antiquity. The terms "Western" and "Eastern" in this regard originated with geographical divisions mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latin West, and the political divide between the Western and Eastern Roman empires. During the Middle Ages adherents of the Latin Church, irrespective of ethnicity, commonly referred to themselves as "Latins" to distinguish themselves from Eastern Christians.With the expansion of European colonialism from the Early Modern era, the Latin Church, in time along with its Protestant secessions, spread throughout the Americas, much of the Philippines, Southern Africa, pockets of West Africa, and throughout Australia, and New Zealand. Thus, when used for historical periods after the 16th century, the term "Western Christianity" does not refer to a particular geographical area, but is rather used as a collective term for the Latin Church, the Protestant denominations, and Independent Catholicism that trace their lineage to the original Latin Church in Western Europe.
Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute as in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, due to the spread of Christian missionaries, migrations, and globalisation. The adjectives "Western Christianity" and "Eastern Christianity" are typically used to refer to historical origins and differences in theology and liturgy, rather than present geographical locations.
While the Latin Church maintains the use of the Latin liturgical rites, Protestant denominations and Independent Catholicism use a wide variety of liturgical practices.
|Latin Church Fathers|
of the Latin Mass
of the faithful