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(2,357 words)

Author(s): Lorenz, Günther | Görg, Manfred | Avemarie, Friedrich | Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona | Bader, Günter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Voluntary promises to do something, either materially or ideally, in order to obtain the support of a divinity or ¶ some other metaphysical effects, are known as vows. Intended as an agreement in partnership with the gods ( do ut das, not always strictly), they are found worldwide as prominent forms of expressing partnership with the divine. They are to be distinguished from texts accompanying thankofferings for earlier gifts (notably in the Lat. ex voto or V[otum] S[olvit] L[ibens] M[erito]). They are made at times of personal or coll…

Privileged Altar

(191 words)

Author(s): Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona
[German Version] The legally important altar privilege, established in the 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII, which conceded to popes, bishops, and priests certain prerogatives in celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist, has completely disappeared in the current liturgical law of the Catholic Church. By current law, not only popes, but all bishops can celebrate at the high altars of the papal patriarchal basilicas (modification by Apostolic Letter Peculiare ius: AAS 58, 1966, 119–122). The right of priests to grant a plenary indulgence to a deceased person has been revoked (Apostolic Constitution …


(248 words)

Author(s): Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona
[German Version] (Catholic Church). Among the departments of the Roman Curia, the congregations are on an equal legal footing with the Secretariat of State, papal tribunals, councils, offices, and other dicasteria. They exercise a pastoral ministry by supporting and representing the pope in the performance of his duties as supreme pastor and in the exercise of his sovereign juridical leadership over the universal church (cf. CIC/1983, c. 360). Nine dicasteria are expressly designated as congregations: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Oriental Churches, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, for the Causes of Saints, for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and for C…


(2,399 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin | Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona | Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] I. Early Church The title patriarch appears to have been first used by early Judaism (I), with reference to the both the ancestral biblical figures ( 4. Macc. 7.19; 16.25; T. 12 Patr.; Ber. 16b) and the religious leaders of the Romans’ Jewish subjects (Heb. nasi ), throughout the history of that central religious office. The first such patriarch was probably Judah ha-Nasi, during the Severan dynasty (193–235); Cod. Theod. XVI 8.29 (May 30, 429) records the excessus (“termination”) of the Jewish patriarchate. In Christianity, the Montanists (Montanism; cf. Jerome, Ep. 41) may have been the first to call their leaders patriarchs; they were followed later by the “Arian” (Homoean [Arius]) Vandals (Victor of Vita, Historia persecutionis Africanae provinciae II 13.53–55). Probably not until after 429 was the title applied to major episcopal sees of the imperial church (Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, finally also Alexandria and Jerusalem; Church polity: I, 3), until Emperor Justinian I ( Novella 109 [541], prooemium; 123, ch. 3) mandated it legally as a title for a specific rank within the imperial hierarchy, reserving it for the occupants of the five leading episcopal sees (Pentarchy). These were the thrónoi men…