Ordinary


Ordinary
Pope Pius XI, depicted in this window at Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu, was ordinary of the universal Catholic Church and local ordinary of Rome. At the same time, Bishop Stephen Alencastre, Apostolic Vicar of the Sandwich Islands, was the local ordinary of Hawaii.

In those hierarchically organised churches of Western Christianity which have an ecclesiastical law system, an ordinary is an officer of the church who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute the church's laws.[1] The term comes from the Latin word ordinarius.

In Eastern Christianity, a corresponding officer is called a hierarch,[2] which comes from the Greek word ἱεράρχης (hierarchēs) meaning " president of sacred rites, high-priest"[3] and that from "ἱερεύς" (hiereus), "priest"[4] + "ἀρχή" (archē), amongst others "first place or power, rule".[5] In common usage in the Episcopal Church, an ordinary is a diocesan bishop.

The term is also employed within civic governance, notably in the US; the Ordinary role involves the discharge of certain, often legal or legally related, tasks falling to city or county authorities, such as licensing marriages and adjudicating claims against an authority.[6]

Contents

Ordinary power

In canon law, the power to govern the church is divided into the power to make laws (legislative), enforce the laws (executive), and to judge based on the law (judicial).[7] A person exercises power to govern either because the person holds an office to which the law grants governing power or because someone with governing power has delegated it to the person. Ordinary power is the former, while the latter is delegated power.[8] The office with ordinary power could possess the governing power itself (proper ordinary power) or instead it could have the ordinary power of agency, the inherent power to exercise someone else's power (vicarious ordinary power).[9]

The law vesting ordinary power could either be ecclesiastical law, i.e. the positive enactments that the church has established for itself, or divine law, i.e. the laws which the church believes were given to it by God.[10] As an example of divinely instituted ordinaries, Roman Catholics believe that when Jesus established the Church he in turn established the episcopate and the Primacy of Simon Peter and endowed the offices with power to rule the Church.[11] Thus, in the Roman Catholic Church, the office of successor of Simon Peter and the office of diocesan bishop possess their ordinary power even in the absence of positive enactments from the Church.

Many officers possess ordinary power but, due to their lack of ordinary executive power, are not called ordinaries. The best example of this phenomenon is the office of judicial vicar, a.k.a. officialis. The judicial vicar only has authority through his office to exercise the diocesan bishop's power to judge cases.[12] Though the vicar has vicarious ordinary judicial power, he is not an ordinary because he lacks ordinary executive power. A vicar general, however, has authority through his office to exercise the diocesan bishop's executive power.[13] He is therefore an ordinary because of this vicarious ordinary executive power.

Catholic usage

Local ordinaries/hierarchs

Local ordinaries exercise ordinary power and are ordinaries in particular churches.[14] The following clerics are local ordinaries:

Other ordinaries and hierarchs

There are other clerics who are also ordinaries (Latin Church) or hierarchs (Eastern Churches), but are not local ordinaries (Latin Church) or local hierarchs (Eastern Churches):

Orthodox Christianity

In the Orthodox Church, a hierarch (ruling bishop) holds uncontested authority within the boundaries of his own diocese; no other bishop may perform any sacerdotal functions without the ruling bishop's express invitation. The violation of this rule is called eispēdēsis (Greek: εἰσπήδησις, "trespassing", literally "jumping in"), and is uncanonical. Ultimately, all bishops in the Church are equal, regardless of any title they may enjoy (Patriarch, Metropolitan, Archbishop, etc.). The role of the bishop in the Orthodox Church is both hierarchical and sacramental.[17]

This pattern of governance dates back to the earliest centuries of Christianity, as witnessed by the writings of Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 100 AD):

The bishop in each Church presides in the place of God.... Let no one do any of the things which concern the Church without the bishop.... Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

And it is the bishop's primary and distinctive task to celebrate the Eucharist, "the medicine of immortality."[18][19] Saint Cyprian of Carthage (258 AD) wrote:

The episcopate is a single whole, in which each bishop enjoys full possession. So is the Church a single whole, though it spreads far and wide into a multitude of churches and its fertility increases.[20]

Bishop Kallistos (Ware) wrote:

There are many churches, but only One Church; many episcopi but only one episcopate."[21]

In Orthodox Christianity, the church is not seen as a monolithic, centralized institution, but rather as existing in its fullness in each local body. The church is defined Eucharistically:

in each particular community gathered around its bishop; and at every local celebration of the Eucharist it is the whole Christ who is present, not just a part of Him. Therefore, each local community, as it celebrates the Eucharist ... is the church in its fullness."[22]

This is not to say that the Orthodox Church has a Congregationalist polity; on the contrary, the local priest functions as the "hands" of the bishop, and must receive from the bishop an antimension and chrism before he is permitted to celebrate any of the Sacred Mysteries (sacraments) within the diocese.

An Orthodox bishop's authority comes from his election and consecration. He is, however, subject to the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church, and answers to the Synod of Bishops to which he belongs. In case an Orthodox bishop is overruled by his local synod, he retains the right of appeal (Greek: Ἔκκλητον, Ékklēton) to his ecclesiastical superior (e.g. a Patriarch) and his synod.

See also

References

  1. ^ c. 134 § 1, Code of Canon Law, 1983
  2. ^ c. 984, Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches, 1992
  3. ^ ἱεράρχης, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. ^ ἱερεύς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  5. ^ ἀρχή, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  6. ^ "County Ordinary Career Information". MyMajors. mymajors.com. http://www.mymajors.com/careers-and-jobs/County-Ordinary. 
  7. ^ c. 135 §1, Code of Canon Law, 1983
  8. ^ Id. c. 131 §1
  9. ^ Id. § 2
  10. ^ "Ordinary," The Catholic Encyclopedia
  11. ^ See Lumen gentium and Pastor aeternus
  12. ^ c. 1420 § 1, Code of Canon Law (1983)
  13. ^ Id. c. 479 § 1
  14. ^ Id.c.134 §§1–2
  15. ^ "Canon 134, §1 and §2". 1983 Code of Canon Law. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P1D.HTM. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  16. ^ "Canon 134, §2". 1983 Code of Canon Law. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P1D.HTM. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  17. ^ Ware, Timothy (1964), The Orthodox Church, London: Penguin Books, p. 21, ISBN 0-14-020592-6 
  18. ^ Ibid.
  19. ^ Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, VI:1; Epistle to the Smyrneans, VIII:1 and 2; Epistle to the Ephesians, XX:2.
  20. ^ Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church, V.
  21. ^ Ware, op. cit., p. 22
  22. ^ Ware, op. cit., p. 21

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ordinary — or·di·nary adj: of a kind to be expected from the average person or in the normal course of events; broadly: of a common kind or degree an ordinary proceeding compare extraordinary Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Ordinary — • Denotes any person possessing or exercising ordinary jurisdiction Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Ordinary     Ordinary     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ordinary — Or di*na*ry, n.; pl. {Ordinaries} ( r[i^]z). 1. (Law) (a) (Roman Law) An officer who has original jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation. (b) (Eng. Law) One who has immediate jurisdiction in matters ecclesiastical; an ecclesiastical …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ordinary — Or di*na*ry, a. [L. ordinarius, fr. ordo, ordinis, order: cf. F. ordinaire. See {Order}.] 1. According to established order; methodical; settled; regular. The ordinary forms of law. Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. Common; customary; usual. Shak. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ordinary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) with no distinctive features; normal or usual. 2) (of a judge, archbishop, or bishop) exercising authority by virtue of office and not by delegation. ► NOUN (pl. ordinaries) 1) (Ordinary) those parts of a Roman Catholic service,… …   English terms dictionary

  • ordinary — (adj.) mid 15c., belonging to the usual order or course, from O.Fr. ordinarie, from L. ordinarius customary, regular, usual, orderly, from ordo (gen. ordinis) order (see ORDER (Cf. order) (n.)). Various noun usages, dating to late 14c. and common …   Etymology dictionary

  • ordinary — Shortened designation for ordinary mail …   Glossary of postal terms

  • ordinary — [adj1] common, regular accustomed, customary, established, everyday, familiar, frequent, general, habitual, humdrum*, natural, normal, popular, prevailing, public, quotidian, routine, run of the mill*, settled, standard, stock, traditional,… …   New thesaurus

  • ordinary — [ôrd′ n er΄ē] n. pl. ordinaries [OFr & ML: OFr ordinarie < ML(Ec) ordinarius < L, an overseer, orig., orderly, regular < ordo,ORDER] 1. a) an official having jurisdiction within a specified area by right of the office he or she holds;… …   English World dictionary

  • ordinary — adj *common, familiar, popular, vulgar Analogous words: *usual, customary, habitual, wonted, accustomed Antonyms: extraordinary Contrasted words: *abnormal, atypical, aberrant: *exceptional: *irregular …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ordinary — 1. noun At common law, one who had exempt and immediate jurisdiction in causes ecclesiastical. Also a bishop; and an archbishop is the ordinary of the whole province, to visit and receive appeals from inferior jurisdictions. Also a commissary or… …   Black's law dictionary


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