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Estimates of the Eastern Churches:

1. The Catholic Church appreciates the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the Christian discipline of the Eastern Churches. Indeed, distinguished because of their venerable antiquity, shines in them that tradition that comes from the Apostles through the Fathers (1) and what is part of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church. Therefore, in exercise of its concern for the Eastern Churches, who are living witnesses of this tradition, this holy and ecumenical council, wishing them flourish and fulfill with new apostolic vigor the task entrusted to them, decided to establish some points, beyond what With regard to the universal Church, leaving the rest to the providence of the Eastern synods and of the Apostolic See.
Diversity of rites in the Church's unity
2. The Holy Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, consists of faithful who come together organically in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same scheme. Joining into several groups united by the Hierarchy, are the particular Churches or rites. Including force admirable communion, so that the variety in the Church, far from harming her unity, before the manifest. As this is the intention of the Catholic Church: they remain saved and the integrity of the traditions of each particular Church or rite. And she herself also wants to adapt their way of life to the various needs of the times and places (2).
Submission to the Roman Pontiff
3. These particular Churches of both the East and the West, although partially differ because of the rites, that is, the liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline and spiritual heritage are, however, equally so entrusted the pastoral care of the Roman Pontiff, who by divine institution succeed to Blessed Peter in the primacy over the universal Church. Therefore, they enjoy equal dignity, so that none of them above the others because of the rite; enjoy the same rights and have the same obligations, even with respect to preaching the Gospel around the world (cfr. Mk. 16:15), under the direction of the Roman Pontiff.
Protection and development
4. Provide, therefore, worldwide, the protection and the increase of all the particular churches. And where it is necessary for the spiritual good of the faithful, constitute up parishes and own hierarchy. But the hierarchs of the various particular Churches with jurisdiction in the same territory seek, through regular meetings, foster unity of action; and joining forces, help the common work in order to promote more unhindered the good of religion and protect more effectively the discipline of the clergy (3). All clerics and those who will ascend to sacred orders are well educated about the rites and especially the practices standards in inter-ritual matters; and even lay people in catechetical instruction, are briefed about the rites and its rules. Finally, each and every one of the Catholics and the baptized in any church or non-Catholic community to join the fullness of the Catholic communion, preserve everywhere their own rite and watch it as far as possible (4). It is, however, unless the right to appeal in peculiar cases of people, communities or regions to the Apostolic See; this, as the supreme arbiter of inter-church relations, will provide the needs with ecumenical spirit, itself or through other authorities and provide the appropriate norms, decrees or rewritten.
The eastern discipline, patrimony of the Church of Christ
5. The history, traditions and many ecclesiastical institutions clearly attest deserved as the Eastern Churches in the universal Church (5). So the sacred synod not only honors this ecclesiastical and spiritual heritage with due estimation and with fair praise, but also firmly believes as heritage of the universal Church of Christ. For this reason, solemnly declares that both the Churches of the East and the West are entitled and have a duty to abide according to their own unique disciplines, as is recommended by venerable antiquity, are more in line with the customs of their faithful and are more able to seek the good of souls.
Conservation and restoration of ancient traditions
6. Know and have certainly all East that always can and should watch their legitimate liturgical rites and their discipline; and changes will not be introduced unless because of an own organic progress. All this, therefore, must be observed by Eastern themselves with greater fidelity. And all of this should they acquire an ever greater knowledge and a more and more perfect practice. And if left unduly in view of the circumstances of time or persons, seeking to return to ancestral traditions. But those who, for reasons of trade or of the apostolic ministry, have frequent contact with the Eastern Churches or their faithful, seek a better understanding and practice of the rites, discipline, doctrine, history and nature of the East, of According to the importance of the position that exercise (6). It is recommended earnestly to Orders and Latin rite associations working in Eastern countries or among Eastern faithful, that for more effective apostolate, establish, as far as possible, houses or even Eastern Rite provinces (7).
Nature and jurisdiction
7. Since ancient times force in the Church the institution of the Patriarchate, as recognized by the first ecumenical councils (8). The Eastern Patriarch name means the Bishop in the territory or rite itself has jurisdiction over all bishops, not apart from the Metropolitans, on the clergy and people, according to the norm of law and saved the primacy of the Roman Pontiff (9). Wherever they constitute, outside the boundaries of the patriarchal territory a hierarch of any rite, he remains added to the Patriarchate hierarchy of the same rite, according to the norm of law.
Equality between them in dignity
8. Although subsequent each other in time, the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches are, however, all equal by reason of patriarchal dignity, save the precedence rightfully STATUTORY honor between them (10).
Restoration of their rights and privileges
9. According to the ancient tradition of the Church, singular honor must be attributed to the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, for each of them presides, as father and head to your Patriarchate. Therefore, this sacred synod states that restore their rights and privileges, according to the ancient traditions of each Church and the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (11). These rights and privileges are those which applied to the East and West union time, but should be somewhat adapted to today's conditions. The Patriarchs with their synods are the highest authority for all business of the Patriarchate, not excluded from the right to establish new eparchies and to appoint bishops of their rite within the limits of the patriarchal territory, unless the inalienable right of the Roman Pontiff to intervene in each affair.
The greatest Archbishops
10. What has been said of the Patriarchs is also true, according to the norm of law, to the greatest archbishops, who preside over the whole particular Church or rite (12).
Erection of new patriarchates
11. As the Patriarchal institution in the Eastern Churches the traditional form of the regime, the holy and ecumenical council want, wherever necessary, new patriarchates may establish the constitution of which is reserved for the ecumenical council or to the Roman Pontiff (13).
Conservation and restoration of the eastern discipline
12. The Sacred Ecumenical Council confirms, praises and, where necessary, longs to be restored the old sacramental discipline prevailing in the Eastern Churches as well as the practice to its conclusion and administration.
The Minister of Confirmation
13. Be fully restored discipline regarding the current minister of Confirmation from the East since ancient times. Therefore, priests can confer this sacrament with chrism blessed by the patriarch or the bishop (14).
14. All Eastern priests can administer this sacrament to all the faithful of any rite, not excepting the Latin, both at Baptism, either separately, noting, however, which for its lawfulness is prescribed by the common law or particular (15 ). Also the Latin rite priests, according to the faculties given to the administration of this sacrament, can administer it to the faithful of the Eastern Churches subject to the rite observed, however, the provisions of common or particular law regarding the lawfulness (16 ).
The Holy Sacrifice
15. The faithful are bound on Sundays and feast days to attend the Divine Liturgy, or according to regulations or customs of the rite itself, the celebration of the Divine Office (17). And so that more easily can fulfill this obligation, it is stated that the time for compliance with this provision stems from the vigil of the afternoon until the end of Sunday or the party (18). Earnestly recommended to the faithful who in these days, or even more frequently, or even daily, receiving the Holy Eucharist (19).
The Minister of Penance
16. Due to the daily association of the faithful of the various particular Churches in the same region or eastern territory, the college of priests of any rite to hear confessions granted legitimately and without any restrictions by their own hierarchs, it extends to the entire territory of that granting and also the places and faithful of any rite in the same territory, unless this is denied by the hierarch of the place with regard to the places of their own rite (20).
The diaconate and the lower orders
17. For the ancient discipline of the Sacrament of Orders vigore again in the Eastern Churches, want this sacred synod that the institution of the permanent diaconate is Restored
where it fell into disuse (21). As for subdiaconate and minor orders, provide the legislative authority of each particular church (22).
Mixed marriages
18. To prevent invalid marriages when Eastern Catholics marry baptized Eastern non-Catholics, and to ensure the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage and domestic peace, the sacred Council establishes that the canonical form of celebration for these marriages forces solely for lawfulness. For validity, the presence of a sacred minister, observing what rightfully should be noted is sufficient (23).
The holidays
19. In the future, compete solely to ecumenical council or to the Apostolic See establish, transfer or suppress days of celebrations common to all Eastern Churches. In addition to the Holy See, however, also lies with patriarchal and Archiepiscopal Synod establish, transfer or suppress feast days for each particular church, having, however, due consideration, the entire region and the other particular Churches (24).
The date of Easter
20. While not reach the desired agreement among all Christians about a single day that is celebrated by all the feast of Passover, to encourage unity among those living in the same region or nation, entrusts himself to the Patriarchs or the highest authorities of the place, by unanimous consent and after hearing the views of stakeholders, convenham on Easter party celebration on the same Sunday (25).
The liturgical cycle
21. The faithful who reside outside the region or territory of the rite itself, can concerning the law of sacred times, comply fully with the norms governing the place where they live. In families of mixto rite it is lawful to observe this law under one and the same rite. (26)
The liturgical office
22. Clerics and Eastern religious celebrate after the commandments and traditions of the discipline itself the Divine Office, which since ancient date was held in high honor by all the Eastern Churches (27). Following the example of their ancestors, the faithful, as far as possible, participate devoutly in the Divine Office.
The use of vernacular languages
23. At the Patriarch to the Synod, or the supreme authority of each church with the council of hierarchs competes the right to regulate the use of languages ​​in the liturgical ceremonies, and, after communicating to the Apostolic See approved the versions of the language texts vernacular (28).
Importance of the Eastern Churches in the ecumenical movement
24. The Eastern Churches in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome Racing peculiar obligation to promote, sgundo the principles of the Decree on Ecumenism of this sacred Council, the unity of all Christians, especially the Eastern, especially by prayer and example of life, by the religious fidelity to the ancient Eastern traditions, by greater mutual knowledge, by collaboration and brotherly regard for objects and attitudes (29).
The incorporation of the separated brethren
25. Of the separate East that under the influence of grace of the Holy Spirit, are heading to Catholic unity, do not require more than the simple profession of the Catholic faith. And since among them was preserved the valid priesthood, to the eastern clergy who join the Catholic unity give yourself the power to exercise the Order itself, according to the norms laid by the competent authority (30).
The "communicatio in sacris»
26. communicatio in sacris that offends the Church's unity or includes formal acceptance of error or danger of aberration in the faith, of scandal and indifferentism, is forbidden by divine law (31). But the pastoral practice shows, with respect to the Eastern brothers, who can and should consider the various circumstances of those in which neither is injured the unity of the Church, nor is there dangers to avoid, but urge the need for salvation and spiritual good of souls. Therefore, the Catholic Church, considering the circumstances of times, places and people, often has used and uses modes of act softer, offering to all the means of salvation and the witness of charity among Christians through participation in the sacraments and other functions and sacred things. Considered all this, the sacred synod, "not to be due to the severity of the sentence, deterrent to those who are saved" (32) and more and more favor union with the Eastern Churches separated from us, establishes the following standard:
27. In line with these principles, can be granted to the East in good faith find themselves separated from the Catholic Church when spontaneously ask are well prepared, the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick. Also Catholic is allowed to ask the same sacraments to non-Catholic ministers in whose church there are valid sacraments, whenever the need or true spiritual advantage suggests, and access to a Catholic priest becomes physically or morally impossible (33).
28. Suspected these same principles, allows himself, also for cause, the communicatio in sacred functions, things and places between Catholics and Eastern separated brethren (34).
29. This softer standard of communicatio in sacris with the brothers of the Eastern Churches separated, is entrusted with monitoring and moderation of the local hierarchs, so that, hearing each other, and, where appropriate, also listening to the hierarchs of separate churches, lay with timely and effective principles and standards coexistence between Christians.
Collaboration in achieving unity
30. Very rejoices this sacred synod for fruitful and active collaboration between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the West, while states, all these provisions of the law are established on the basis of present conditions even when the Catholic Church and the separated Eastern Churches are find the fullness of communion.
For now, however, all Christians, Eastern and Western, are strongly urged to make that fervent, frequent and even daily prayers to God that, with the help of the Most Holy Mother of God, may all be one. Ask although aflua the fullness of comfort and consolation of the Spirit Paraclete so many Christians throughout the Church, boldly confessing the name of Christ, suffer è anguish over.
All that we love one another with fraternal charity, porfiando to honor one another (35).
Rome 21 November of 1964.
1. Cf.. Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter. Orientalium dignitas, November 30. 1894: Acta Leonis XIII, vol. XIV, p. 201-202.
2. Cf. St. Leo IX, Letter. In land pax, year 1053: "ut enim"; Innocent III, V Lateran Council the year 1215, ch. V: "Licet Graecos";Letter Inter quatuor, 2 August 1206: "Postulasti postmodum"; Innocent IV, Letter Cum cetero 27 AGM. 1247; Letter Sub Catholicae,March 6, 1254, introductory phrase; Nicholas III, Instruction iStud est memoriale 9 October 1278; Leo X, Apostolic Letter. AccepimusNuper, May 18, 1521; Paul III, Apostolic Letter. Dudum, 23 Dec. 1534; Pius IV, Const. Romanus Pontifex, February 16. 1564, § 5;Clement VIII, Const. Magnus Dominus, 23 Dec. 1595, § 10; Paul V, Const. Circumspect Solet, December 10. 1615, § 3; Benedict XIV Letter Thesaurus. Demandatam, December 24. 1743, § 3; Letter Thesaurus. Sunt Allatae, June 26. 1755 §§ 3, 6-19, 32; Pius VI, Thesaurus. Catholicae Communionis, May 24, 1787; Pius IX Letter In supreme 6 January 1848, § 3; Apostolic Letter. EcclesiamChristi, November 26. 1853; Const. Romani Pontificis, January 6th. 1862; Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter. Praeclara, June 20. 1894 n "7; Apostolic Letter. Orientalium dignitas, November 30, 1894, introductory phrase;. Etc.
3. Cf.. Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati, June 2. 1957, can. 4.
4. Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati, 2 June 1957 can. 8; "Sine licentia Sedis Apostolicae" following the practice of previous centuries; also, as to non-Catholics baptized, I read in can. 11: "ritum who maluerint amplecti possunt"; the text put forward has become positively to observance of the rite for everybody and everywhere.
5. Cf.. Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter. Orientalium dignitas, November 30. 1894; Apostolic Letter. Praeclara, June 20. 1894, and the documents referred to in footnote 2.
6. Cf.. Benedict XV, Motu proprio Orientis catholici, October 15. 1917; Pius XI, Thesaurus. Rerum Orientalium, 8 Sept. 1928, etc.
7. The practice of the Catholic Church in the times of Pius XI, Pius XII and John XXIII abundantly demonstrates this movement.
8. Cf.. I Conc. Nicene, can. 6; I Conc. Constantinople, can. 2 and 3; Conc. Calcedonense, can. 28; can. 9; IV Conc. Constantinople, can. 17; can. 21; IV Conc. Lateranense can. 5; can. 30; Conc. Florentino, Decretum pro graecis; etc.
9. Cf.. I Conc. Nicene, can. 6; I Conc. Constantinople, can. 3; IV Conc. Constantinople, can. 17; Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati,can. 216, § 2, 11.
10. In ecumenical councils: I Conc. Nicene, can. 6; I Conc. Constantinople, can. 3; IV Conc. Constantinople, can. 21; IV Conc.Lateranense can. 5; Conc. Florentine decree pro Graeci s, 6 July 1439, § 9. Cf.. Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati, June 2. 1957 can. 219, etc ..
11. Cf.. Note 8.
12. Cf.. Conc. Efesino, can. 8; Clement VIII, Decet Romanum Pontificem, February 23. 1596:. Pius VII, Apostolic Letter In universalisEcclesiae, February 22. 1807; Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati, 2 June 1957 can. 324-327; Conc. Carthaginian, year 419, can.17.
13. Conc. Carthaginian, year 419, can. 17 and 57; Conc. Calcedonense, 451, can. 12; St. Innocent I, Letter Et onus et honor, ac 415, "Nam quid sciscitaris"; S. Nicholas I, Letter Ad consultation vestra 13 November 866: "a quo sutem"; Innocent III, Letter Rex irrigate25 February 1204; Leo XII, Const. Apostolic. Petrus Apostolorum Princeps, August 15. 1824; . Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter ChristiDomini, 1895; Pius XII, Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati, June 2. 1957 can. 159.
14. Cf.. Innocent IV, Letter Sub catholicae, March 6, 1254, § 3, n. 4; II Conc. Lugdunensis year 1274 (Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith offered to Gregory X); Eugene IV, in Conc. Florentino, Const. Exsultate Deo, November 22. 1439, § 11; Clement VIII, Instruction Sanctissimus 31 August 1595; Benedict XIV Const. Pastoralis Etsi, May 26, 1742, § 2, 1, § 3, n. ° 1, etc .; Conc.Laodicean, year 347-381, can. 48; Synod Sisen. the Armenians, year 1342; Libanense synod of the Maronites, year 1736, P. II, ch.III, n. ° 2, and other particular synods.
15. Cf. Instruction of the Holy Office (the Bishop of Scepusien.), 1783.; Propaganda Fide (for Copts), March 15, 1790, No. XIII: Decree. October 6. 1863 C, a; Eastern Church, May 1, 1948: Holy Office, resp. April 22, 1896 with the letter of May 19, 1896.
16. CIC, can. 782, § 4. Decree for the Eastern Church "De sacrament Confirmationis managing etiam Fidelibus orientis the presbyteris latini ritus qui hoc gaudeant pardon pro Fidelibus out ritus», May 1, 1948.
17. Cf.. Conc. Laodicean, year 347-381, can. 29; S. Nicéforo C. P "cap. 14, Sin. Duinen. the Armenians, the year 719, can. 31; St. Theodore the Studite, serm. 21; S. Nicholas I, letter Ad vestra consultation 13 November 866: "In Apostolorum quorum"; "Nosse cupitis"; "Quod interrogatis"; "Praeterea consulitis"; "Si die Dominico"; and particular synods.
18. There is something new, at least where force required to hear the sacred liturgy; moreover, agrees with the liturgical day among the Eastern.
19 Cf.. Canones Apostolorum, 8:09; Syn. Antioch, year 341, can. 2; Timothy Alexandrian, interrog. 3; Innocent III, Const. Quiadivinae, January 4. 1215; and many more recent particular synods of the Eastern Churches.
20. Saves the territoriality of jurisdiction can. aims to provide for the good of souls, to the plurality of jurisdiction in the same territory.
21. Cf.. I Conc. Nicene, can. 18; Syn. Neocesarense year 314-325, can. 12; Sin. Sardicense, year 343, can. 8; St. Leo M., LetterOmnium quidem 13 January 444; Conc. Calcedonense, can. 6; IV Cone. Constantin., Can. 23, 26; etc.
22. In various Eastern Churches, the subdiaconate is considered lower order; but at Motu proprio Cleri sanctitati of Pius XII, was prescribed to those subdeacons obligations of larger orders. The can. It proposes to make you go back to the ancient discipline of each Church, as regards the obligations of subdeacons, repealing the common law.
23. Cf.. Pius XII, Motu proprio Crebrae allatae, February 22. 1949 can. . 32, § 2, paragraph 5 (faculty of Patriarchs to exempt the form); Pius XII, Motu own Cleri sanctitati, 2 June 1957 can. 267 (faculty of Patriarchs to remedy in radice); the Congregation of the Holy Office and the Eastern Church grant for five years out of the Patriarchs and Metropolitans remaining Ordinaries ... that have no superior below the Holy See, the power to waive the requirement of form and to remedy the defect in shape.
24. Cf. St. Leo M., letter. Quod saepissime, April 15 454; "Petitionem autem"; S. Nicéforo. CP., Ch. 13; Syn. the Patriarch Sergius 18 September 1596, can. 17; Pius VI, Apostolic Letter. Assueto paterne, April 8, 1775, etc.
25. Cf.. Conc. Vat. II, Const. Sacred Liturgy De, 4 Dec. 1963.
26. Cf.. Clement VIII, Instr. Sanctissimus 31 August 1595, § 6: "Si ipsilateral Graeci"; Holy Office 7 June 1673, Ad 1 and 3; March 13, 1727, ad 1; Propaganda Fide, Dec. 18 August. 1913, art. 33, Decree. August 14. 1914, art. 27; Decree. March 27th, 1916 art. 14;Congregation of the Oriental Church, Decree. March 1, 1929, art. 36; Decree. May 4, 1930, art. 41.
27. Cf.. Conc. Laodicean, 347-381, can. 18; Syn. Mark Isaac of the Chaldeans, year 410, can. 15; St. Nerses Glaien. the Armenians, year 1166; Innocent IV, Letter Sub catholicae, March 6, 1254, § 8; Benedict XIV Const. Etsi pastoralis, May 26, 1742, § 7, n. 5; Instr.And quamvis tempore, May 4, 1745, § 42 ff. And the latest special synods: the Armenians (1911), the Copts (1898), the Maronites (1736), the Rumenos (1872), the Ruthenians (1891) and Syrian (1888).
28. And the Eastern tradition.
29. The content of the Bulls union every Catholic Eastern Church.
30. synodal obligation as the separated Eastern brethren what about all orders of any degree either of divine law or ecclesiastical law.
31. This doctrine also applies to the separate Churches.
32. S. Basilio M., Epistula canonical ad Amphilochium, PG 32, 669 B.
33. It is considered grounds for mitigation: a) the validity of the sacraments; b) good faith and disposition; c) the need for eternal salvation; d) the absence of the priest himself; e) the exclusion of dangers to avoid and formal adhesion to error.
34. This is the so-called "communicatio in sacris» extra-sacramental. And the council granting mitigation, servatis servandis.
35. cf.. Rom. 12, 10. 
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