The Info List - Western Church

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The LATIN CHURCH, sometimes called the _Western Church_, is the largest part of the Catholic Church , governed directly by the Pope , tracing its history to the earliest days of Christianity . It represents the largest particular church sui iuris in full communion with the Catholic Church. Employing the Latin liturgical rites , with 1.197 billion members (2011), the Latin Church is considered to form the original and still major part of Western Christianity . It is headquartered in the Vatican City
Vatican City
, enclaved in Rome , Italy .

Historically, the Latin Church is viewed as one of the five patriarchates - the Pentarchy - of early Christianity , along with the Patriarchs of Constantinople , Alexandria , Antioch , and Jerusalem . Due to geographic and cultural considerations, the latter churches developed within the distinct Eastern Christian traditions. The majority of Eastern Christian churches broke full communion with the Latin Church, following various theological and leadership disputes, notably in the centuries following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD ( Oriental Orthodoxy ), and the East-West Schism of 1054 (Eastern Orthodoxy ). Until 2005, the Pope claimed the title " Patriarch of the West ", although retired this title for ecumenical purposes, while continuing to exercise a direct patriarchal role over the Latin Church.

In the Catholic Church, in addition to the Latin Church, there are 23 Eastern Catholic Churches , self-governing particular churches . These churches trace their origins to other patriarchates, but either never historically broke communion or returned to full communion with the Pope 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 .

The Eastern Catholic churches represent a minority of Christians in communion with the Pope. There are approximately 13 million Eastern Catholics, compared to more than 1 billion Latin Catholics. Additionally, there are roughly 80 million Oriental Orthodox, and 225-300 million Eastern Orthodox. Unlike the Latin Church, the Pope does not exercise a direct patriarchal role over the Eastern Catholic Churches, allowing them instead to develop separate internal hierarchies from that of the Latin Church, analogous to the hierarchies of the corresponding Eastern Christian churches in Eastern and Oriental Othodoxy.


* 1 Terminology

* 1.1 "Church" and "rite"

* 2 Distinguishing characteristics

* 2.1 Liturgical patrimony * 2.2 Disciplinary patrimony

* 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links


See also: Catholic Church § Name


For more details on this topic, see Catholic liturgical rites and particular churches .

The 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines the use within that code of the words "church" and "rite" as follows: CHURCH: A group of Christian faithful united by a hierarchy according to the norm of law which the supreme authority of the Church expressly or tacitly recognizes as _sui iuris_ is called in this Code a Church _sui iuris_. RITE: 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 Church _sui iuris_.

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.



The then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would later be elected Pope Benedict XVI ) spoke on 24 October 1998 of the Latin liturgical rites as follows:

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.


Part of a series on the

Jurisprudence of Catholic canon law -------------------------

Current law

* 1983 Code of Canon Law

* _ Omnium in mentem _

* Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches * _ Ad tuendam fidem _ * _ Ex Corde Ecclesiae _ * _ Indulgentiarum Doctrina _

* _ Pastor Bonus _

* _ Pontificalis Domus _

* _ Universi Dominici gregis _ * Custom

Legal history

* 1917 Code of Canon Law

_ Corpus Juris Canonici _

* Decretist * _ Regulæ Juris _

* _ Decretals of Gregory IX _

* Decretalist

* _ Decretum Gratiani _ * _ Extravagantes _ * _ Liber Septimus _

Ancient Church Orders

* _ Didache _

* _The Apostolic Constitutions _

* _ Canons of the Apostles _

Collections of ancient canons

* _ Collectiones canonum Dionysianae _ * _ Collectio canonum quadripartita _ * _ Collectio canonum Quesnelliana _ * _ Collectio canonum Wigorniensis _


* Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals * Benedictus Deus (Pius IV) * _ Contractum trinius _ * Defect of Birth

Oriental law

* _ Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches _ * Eastern Canonical Reforms of Pius XII * Nomocanon

* Archeparchy

* Eparchy

Liturgical law

* _ Ecclesia Dei _ * _ Mysterii Paschalis _

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* _ Musicam Sacram _

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Holy Orders

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* Eucharistic discipline * Canon 915

Matrimonial law

* Affinity * Banns of Marriage

* Declaration of Nullity

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* Defender of the Bond

* Impediments to Marriage

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* _ratum sed non consummatum_

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* Canonical coronation

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* Computation of time * Custom * _ Delegata potestas non potest delegari _ * Derogation

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* Jurisdiction * _ Peritus _ * Obreption padding:0"> Philosophy, theology, and fundamental theory

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Law of persons

* Person (canon law) * Canonical age * Canonical faculties * Clerics and public office * Clerical celebacy * Consecrated life * Defect of Birth * Emancipation * Juridic padding:0"> Canonical documents

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Penal law

* Canon 1324 * Canon 1398 * Excommunication * Interdict * Internal forum * Laicization (penal) * _Latae Sententiae_ censure

Catholicism portal

* v * t * e

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.


* Catholicism portal

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* Latin liturgical rites

* Roman Rite * Latin Mass * General Roman Calendar

* Particular church * Sui iuris


* ^ Marshall, Thomas William (1844). _Notes of the Episcopal Polity of the Holy Catholic Church_. London: Levey, Rossen and Franklin. * ^ _A_ _B_ _ Fortescue, Adrian