Church of the Nativity
The Church of the Nativity Basilica of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem in the West Bank. The grotto it contains holds a prominent religious significance to Christians of various denominations as the birthplace of Jesus; the grotto is the oldest site continuously used as a place of worship in Christianity, the basilica is the oldest major church in the Holy Land. The church was commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena on the site, traditionally considered to be the birthplace of Jesus; that original basilica was completed sometime between 333 and 339. It was destroyed by fire during the Samaritan revolts of the sixth century, a new basilica was built in 565 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who restored the architectural tone of the original; the Church of the Nativity, while remaining unchanged since the Justinian reconstruction, has seen numerous repairs and additions from the Crusader period, such as two bell towers, wall mosaics and paintings. Over the centuries, the surrounding compound has been expanded, today it covers 12,000 square meters, comprising three different monasteries: one Greek Orthodox, one Armenian Apostolic, one Roman Catholic, of which the first two contain bell towers built during the modern era.
The silver star marking the spot where Christ was born was stolen in 1847. Some assert. Others assert; the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage site and was the first to be listed under Palestine by UNESCO. The site is on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger. A 250-year old understanding among religious communities, the Status Quo, applies to the site; the holy site known as the Nativity Grotto is thought to be the cave in which Jesus of Nazareth was born. In 135, Emperor Hadrian had the site above the Grotto converted into a worship place for Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and desire. Jerome noted in 420 that the grotto had been consecrated to the worship of Adonis, that a sacred grove was planted there in order to wipe out the memory of Jesus from the world; some modern scholars dispute this argument and insist that the cult of Adonis-Tammuz originated the shrine and that it was the Christians who took it over, substituting the worship of Jesus. The antiquity of the association of the site with the birth of Jesus, however, is attested by Justin Martyr who noted in his Dialogue with Trypho that the Holy Family had taken refuge in a cave outside of town: But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village.
Additionally, early Christian theologian and Greek philosopher Origen of Alexandria wrote: In Bethlehem the cave is pointed out where He was born, the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the rumor is in those places, among foreigners of the Faith, that indeed Jesus was born in this cave, worshipped and reverenced by the Christians; the first basilica on this site was begun by Helena of Constantinople, the mother of Emperor Constantine I. The construction started in 327 under the supervision of Bishop Makarios of Jerusalem and was completed a few years - it was visited in 333 by the Bordeaux Pilgrim and was dedicated on 31 May 339. Construction of this early church was carried out as part of a larger project following the First Council of Nicaea during Constantine's reign, aimed to build churches on the supposed sites of the life of Jesus; the design of the basilica centered around three major architectural sections: At the eastern end, an apse in a polygonal shape, encircling a raised platform with an opening in its floor of ca. 4 metres diametre that allowed direct view of the Nativity site underneath.
An ambulatory with side rooms surrounded the apse. A five-aisled basilica in continuation of the eastern apse, one bay shorter than the still standing Justinian reconstruction. A porticoed atrium; the structure was burned and destroyed in one of the Samaritan Revolts of 529 or 556, in the second of which Jews seem to have joined the Samaritans. The basilica was rebuilt in its present form in 565 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I; the Persians under Khosrau II invaded Palestine and conquered nearby Jerusalem in 614, but they did not destroy the structure. According to legend, their commander Shahrbaraz was moved by the depiction above the church entrance of the Three Magi wearing the garb of Persian Zoroastrian priests, so he ordered that the building be spared; the Church of the Nativity was used as the primary coronation church for Crusader kings, from the second ruler of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1100 and until 1131. The Crusaders undertook extensive decoration and restoration on the basilica and grounds, a process that continued until 1169, from 1165-69 through a rare cooperation between the Catholic king Amalric I of Jerusalem and the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos, his father-in-law.
The Khwarezmian Turks desecrated the Church of the Nativity in April 1244, leaving the roof in poor condition. The Duchy of Burgundy committed resources to restore the roof in August 1448, multiple regions contributed supplies to have the Church roof repaired in 1480: England supplied the lead, the Second Kingdom of Burgundy su
A Kalimavkion, kalymmavchi, or, by metathesis of the word's internal syllables, kamilavka, is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic monks or awarded to clergy. A approximate equivalent in the Latin Church is the camauro. In Byzantine times the term kamelaukion was a more general one for formal headgear, including items worn by the Imperial family; the kalimavkion is a stiff cylindrical head covering, similar to a stovepipe hat but without a brim. The kalimavkion is worn during services; the specific shape and colouring will differ between the various ethnic traditions: In the Greek tradition, monks wear a simple black kalimavkion, covered by a black veil, but ordained clergy wear a kalimavkion with a flattened conical brim at the top. Hierodeacons remove the veil when they vest for services. In the Greek tradition, nuns do not wear a kalimavkion, but rather just the veil. In the Russian tradition and deacons, if awarded it, wear a kamilavka, taller than the Greek style, widens as it rises, is flat at the top.
Monks wear a black kamilavka with black veil. Russian nuns wear the kamilavka with veil. Hieromonks and hierodeacons veil as non-ordained monastics. Again, hierodeacons remove the veil when they are serving. Protodeacons are awarded a purple or red kamilavka, but Archdeacons continue to wear the black kamilavka. Archpriests are awarded a purple or red kamilavka. Bishops, who are always monks, wear a black kamilavka with a black veil. Archbishops are distinguished by a jewelled cross on the front of their veil. Metropolitans wear a white veil over their kamilavka, with the same cross as an archbishop; the Patriarch of Moscow instead of the kamilavka wears a white koukoulion, a conical head covering with a monastic veil. In the Serbian Orthodox Church clergy of all ranks wear a black kalimavkion, flat at the top. Monastics wear a black veil over the kalimavkion during services. Bishops wear a black kalimavkion with a wide purple band at the bottom, remove the veil when they are outside the church. Syriac Catholic Priests and bishops in the past have worn a kalimavkion.
However this practice has faded to only a few wearing it and has explicitly been used by the patriarch only. Klobuk Skufia The Philippi Collection Biretta Zucchetto Philippi, Dieter. Sammlung Philippi - Kopfbedeckungen in Glaube, Religion und Spiritualität. St. Benno Verlag, Leipzig. ISBN 978-3-7462-2800-6. Pictures of Kamilavka and other clerical headgear and literarture in German language Bishop Bestowing Kamilavka on Priest A detailed picture of Greek kamilavkion
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Catholic Church. An archdeacon is responsible for administration within an archdeaconry, the principal subdivision of the diocese; the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has defined an archdeacon as "A cleric having a defined administrative authority delegated to him by the bishop in the whole or part of the diocese." The office has been described metaphorically as that of oculus episcopi, the "bishop's eye". In the Latin Catholic Church, the post of archdeacon an ordained deacon, was once one of great importance as a senior official of a diocese; the duties are now performed by officials such as auxiliary or coadjutor bishops, the vicar general, the episcopal vicars.
The title remains. The term "archdeacon" appears for the first time in Optatus of Mileve's history of Donatism of about 370, in which he applies it to someone who lived at the beginning of that century. From the office of the diaconus episcopi, a deacon whom the bishop selected to administer the church's finances under the bishop's personal direction, the office of archdeacon developed, as certain functions were reserved to him by law; these functions included not only financial administration but the discipline of the clergy, examination of candidates for priesthood. From the 8th century, there was in the West a further development of the authority of the archdeacon, who now enjoyed a jurisdiction independent of the bishop. Large dioceses had several archdeaconries, in each of which the archdeacon, had an authority comparable to that of the bishop, they were appointed not by the bishop but by the cathedral chapter or the king. However, from the 13th century, efforts were made to limit their authority.
This was effected in part by the institution of the new office of vicar general, who would be a priest rather than a deacon. In 1553, the Council of Trent removed the independent powers of archdeacons. Those, in charge of different parts of the diocese ceased to be appointed. Only the archdeacon associated with the cathedral chapter continued to exist as an empty title, with duties entirely limited to liturgical functions; the title of archdeacon is still conferred on a canon of various cathedral chapters, the word "archdeacon" has been defined in relation to the Latin Catholic Church as "a title of honour conferred only on a member of a cathedral chapter". However, Eastern Catholic Churches still utilize archdeacons. Archdeacons serve the church within a diocese by taking particular responsibility for buildings, including church buildings, the welfare of clergy and their families and the implementation of diocesan policy for the sake of the Gospel within an archdeaconry. An archdeaconry is a territorial division of a diocese.
This type of dual role has only existed in the Bishop suffragan of Ludlow. An archdeacon is styled The Venerable instead of the usual clerical style of The Reverend. In the Church of England the position of an archdeacon can only be held by a priest, ordained for at least six years. In the Church of England, the legal act by which a priest becomes an archdeacon is called a collation. If that archdeaconry is annexed to a canonry of the cathedral, the archdeacon will be installed at that cathedral. In some other Anglican churches archdeacons can be deacons instead of priests; the Anglican ordinal presupposes that the functions of archdeacons include those of examining candidates for ordination and presenting them to the ordaining bishop. In some parts of the Anglican Communion where women cannot be consecrated as bishops, the position of archdeacon is the most senior office a female cleric can hold: this being the current situation, for example, in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. "lay archdeacons" have been appointed, most notably in the case of the former Anglican Communion Observer to the United Nations, Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagoloa-Leota, who retained her title after having served as Archdeacon of Samoa.
In the Eastern Christian churches, an archdeacon is the senior deacon within a diocese and has responsibility for serving at hierarchical services. He has responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the service by directing the clergy and servers as appropriate; as such, he travels with the ruling bishop to various parts of the diocese, will sometimes act as his secretary and cell attendant, ensuring that he is able to balance his monastic life with his hierarchical duties. The archdeacon wears the double orarion, twice the length of the usual orarion, wraps under the right arm as well as hanging from the left shoulder. An archdeacon may come from either the married clergy. A protodeacon w
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities; the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition, it is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Gregorian Church. The latter is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, St. Gregory the Illuminator as the first official governor of the church, it is simply known as the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church believes in apostolic succession through the apostles Thaddeus. According to legend, the latter of the two apostles is said to have cured Abgar V of Edessa of leprosy with the Image of Edessa, leading to his conversion in 30 AD. Thaddaeus was commissioned by Abgar to proselytize throughout Armenia, where he converted the king Sanatruk's daughter, martyred alongside Thaddeus when Sanatruk fell into apostasy.
After this, Bartholomew came to Armenia, bringing a portrait of the Virgin Mary, which he placed in a nunnery he founded over a former temple of Anahit. Bartholomew converted the sister of Sanatruk, who once again martyred a female relative and the apostle who converted her. Both apostles ordained native bishops before their execution, some other Armenians had been ordained outside of Armenia by James the Just. Scholars including Bart Ehrman, Han Drijvers, W. Bauer dismiss the conversion of Abgar V as fiction. According to Eusebius and Tertullian, Armenian Christians were persecuted by kings Axidares, Khosrov I, Tiridates III, the last of whom was converted to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator. Ancient Armenia's adoption of Christianity as a state religion has been referred to by Nina Garsoïan as "probably the most crucial step in its history." This conversion distinguished it from its Iranian and Mazdean roots and protected it from further Parthian influence. According to Mary Boyce, the acceptance of Christianity by the Arsacid-Armenian rulers was in defiance of the Sassanids.
When King Tiridates III made Christianity the state religion of Armenia between 301 and 314, it was not an new religion there. It had penetrated the country from at least the third century, may have been present earlier. Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down shrines to idols, built churches and monasteries, ordained many priests and bishops. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending to the earth and striking it with a hammer. From that spot arose a great Christian temple with a huge cross, he was convinced. With the king's help he did so in accordance with his vision, renaming the city Etchmiadzin, which means "the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten"; the Armenian Church participated in the larger Christian world and its Catholicos was represented at the First Council of Nicea. In 353, King Papas appointed Catholicos Husik without first sending him to Caesarea for commissioning before Rome had any plans for a universal Roman church.
Its Catholicos was still represented at the First Council of Constantinople. Christianity was strengthened in Armenia in the 5th century by the translation of the Bible into the Armenian language by the native theologian and scholar, Saint Mesrop Mashtots. Before the 5th century, Armenians had a spoken language. Thus, the Bible and Liturgy were written in Syriac rather than Armenian; the Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrop to create the Armenian alphabet, which he completed in 406. Subsequently, the Bible and Liturgy were written in the new script; the translation of the Bible, along with works of history and philosophy, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance. Although unable to attend the Council of Ephesus, Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions. However, non doctrinal elements in the Council of Chalcedon caused certain problems to arise. At the First Council of Dvin in 506 the synod of the Armenian and Caucasian Albanian bishops were assembled during the reign of Catholicos Babken I.
The participation of the Catholicoi of Georgia and Albania were set to make clear the position of the churches concerning the Council of Chalcedon. The "Book of Epistles" mentions that 20 bishops, 14 laymen, many nakharars participated in the council; the involvement in the council discussion of different level of lay persons seemed to be a general rule in Armenia. A century the 3rd Council of Dvin was convened during the reign of Catholicos Abraham I of Aghbatank and Prince Smbat Bagratuni, with clergymen and laymen participating; the Georgian Church disagreed with the Armenian Church, having approved the christology of Chalcedon. This council was convened to clarify the relationship between the Georgian churches. After the Council, Catholicos Abraham wrote an encyclical letter addressed to the people, blaming Kurion and his adherents for the schism; the Council never set up canons. Despite this, the Albanian Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church while in co
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, about 10 km south of Jerusalem. Its population is 25,000 people, it is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate. The economy is tourist-driven; the earliest known mention of the city was in the Amarna correspondence of 1350–1330 BCE during its habitation by the Canaanites. The Hebrew Bible, which says that the city of Bethlehem was built up as a fortified city by Rehoboam, identifies it as the city David was from and where he was crowned as the king of Israel; the Gospels of Matthew and Luke identify Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Bethlehem was destroyed by the Emperor Hadrian during the second-century Bar Kokhba revolt; the church was badly damaged by the Samaritans, who sacked it during a revolt in 529, but was rebuilt a century by Emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem became part of Jund Filastin following the Muslim conquest in 637. Muslim rule continued in Bethlehem until its conquest in 1099 by a crusading army, who replaced the town's Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one.
In the mid-13th century, the Mamluks demolished the city's walls, which were subsequently rebuilt under the Ottomans in the early 16th century. Control of Bethlehem passed from the Ottomans to the British at the end of World War I. Bethlehem came under Jordanian rule during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since the 1995 Oslo Accords, Bethlehem has been administered by the Palestinian Authority. Bethlehem now has a Muslim majority, but is still home to a significant Palestinian Christian community. Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism, which peaks during the Christmas season when Christians make pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity, as they have done for 2,000 years. Bethlehem has 300 handicraft workshops. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site, is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem; the earliest reference to Bethlehem appears in the Amarna correspondence. In one of his six letters to Pharaoh, Abdi-Heba, Egypt's governor for Jerusalem, appeals for aid in retaking Bit-Laḫmi in the wake of disturbances by Apiru mercenaries: "Now a town near Jerusalem, Bit-Lahmi by name, a village which once belonged to the king, has fallen to the enemy...
Let the king hear the words of your servant Abdi-Heba, send archers to restore the imperial lands of the king!" It is thought that the similarity of this name to its modern forms indicates that this was a settlement of Canaanites who shared a Semitic cultural and linguistic heritage with the arrivals. Laḫmu was the Akkadian god of fertility, worshipped by the Canaanites as Leḥem; some time in the third millennium BCE, Canaanites erected a temple on the hill now known as the Hill of the Nativity dedicated to Lehem. The temple, subsequently the town that formed around it, would have been known as Beyt Leḥem, "House of Lehem"; the Philistines established a garrison there. Biblical scholar William F. Albright noted that the pronunciation of the name remained the same for 3,500 years, but has meant different things: "'Temple of the God Lakhmu' in Canaanite,'House of Bread' in Hebrew and Aramaic,'House of Meat' in Arabic."A burial ground discovered in spring 2013, surveyed in 2015 by a joint Italian-Palestinian team found that the necropolis covered 3 hectares and contained more than 100 tombs in use between 2200 B.
C. and 650 B. C; the archaeologists were able to identify at least 30 tombs. Archaeological confirmation of Bethlehem as a city in the Kingdom of Judah was uncovered in 2012 at the archaeological dig at the City of David in the form of a bulla in ancient Hebrew script that reads "From the town of Bethlehem to the King," indicating that it was used to seal the string closing a shipment of grain, wine, or other goods sent as a tax payment in the 8th or 7th century BCE. Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath, which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah; the Bible calls it Beth-Lehem Judah, the New Testament describes it as the "City of David". It is first mentioned in the Tanakh and the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside". Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi.
It was the home of Jesse, father of King David of Israel, the site of David's anointment by the prophet Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam. Writing in the 4th century, the Pilgrim of Bordeaux reported that the sepulchers of David, Asaph, Job and Solomon were located near Bethlehem. There has been no corroboration of this; the Gospel of Matthew 1:18–2:23 and the Gospel of Luke 2:1–39 represent Jesus as having been born in Bethlehem. Modern scholars, regard the two accounts as contradictory and the Gospel of Mark, the earliest gospel, mentions nothing about Jesus having been born in Bethlehem, saying only that he came from Nazaret
The stole is a liturgical vestment of various Christian denominations. It consists of a band of colored cloth usually of silk, about seven and a half to nine feet long and three to four inches wide, whose ends may be straight or may broaden out; the center of the stole is worn around the back of the neck and the two ends hang down parallel to each other in front, either attached to each other or hanging loose. The stole is always decorated in some way with a cross or some other significant religious design, it is decorated with contrasting galloons and fringe is applied to the ends of the stole following Numbers 15:38-39. A piece of white linen or lace may be stitched onto the back of the collar as a sweat guard, which can be replaced more cheaply than the stole itself; the word stole derives via the Latin stola, from the Greek στολή, "garment" "array" or "equipment". The stole was a kind of shawl that covered the shoulders and fell down in front of the body. After being adopted by the Church of Rome around the seventh century, the stole became narrower and started to feature more ornate designs, developing into a mark of dignity.
Nowadays, the stole is wider and can be made from a wide variety of material. There are many theories as to the "ancestry" of the stole; some say it came from the tallit, because it is similar to the present usage but this theory is no longer regarded much today. More popular is the theory that the stole originated from a kind of liturgical napkin called an orarium similar to the sudarium. In fact, in many places the stole is called the orarium. Therefore, it is linked to the napkin used by Christ in washing the feet of his disciples, is a fitting symbol of the yoke of Christ, the yoke of service; the most origin for the stole, however, is to be connected with the scarf of office among Imperial officials in the Roman Empire. As members of the clergy became members of the Roman administration they were granted certain honors, one being a designator of rank within the imperial hierarchy; the various configurations of the stole grew out of this usage. The original intent was to designate a person as belonging to a particular organization and to denote their rank within their group, a function which the stole continues to perform today.
Thus, unlike other liturgical garments which were worn by every cleric or layman, the stole was a garment, restricted to particular classes of people based on occupation. Stoles were used in pre-Roman Italic religion. In the Umbrian Iguvine Tablets, a stole was used by an officiating priest during offering rituals, it was worn on the shoulder during a sacrifice, placed on an offering cake: While you are slaying it, wear a stole on your right shoulder. When you have slain it, place upon the mefa cake. While you are presenting it, wear the stole on your right shoulder. Present grain-offerings and sacrifice with mead. Together with the cincture and the now defunct maniple, the stole symbolizes the bonds and fetters with which Jesus was bound during his Passion. Another version is. A stole will be the liturgical color assigned by the church for the liturgical season or for the particular service. In the Latin Catholic tradition the stole is the vestment, it is conferred at the ordination of a deacon, by which one becomes a member of the clergy after the suppression of the tonsure and minor orders after the Second Vatican Council.
A bishop or other priest wears the stole around his neck with the ends hanging down in front, while the deacon places it over his left shoulder and ties it cross-wise at his right side, similar to a sash. Before the reform of the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council, priests who were not bishops were required to cross the stole over the breast, but only at Mass or at other functions at which a chasuble or cope was worn, it is now worn hanging straight down without being crossed across the breast. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the liturgical law for the Roman Catholic Church concerning the Mass, no longer makes explicit that a Priest must cross his stole, it states, "the stole is worn by the Priest around his neck and hanging down in front of his chest...". Unless there is a law promulgated by a particular diocese or other ordinary, it is left to the priest to interpret what this means. On solemn occasions, the Pope wears, as part of his choir dress, a special stole of state decorated and bearing his personal coat of arms.
For the celebration of the Mass, the principal celebrant as well as concelebrants wear the stole over the alb but under the chasuble. The deacon wears the stole over the alb but under the dalmatic; the stole is worn over the surplice or alb for the distribution and reception of Holy Communion. The priest or deacon who presides in paraliturgical celebrations, such as the Stations of the Cross wears the stole over the surplice, always under the cope. During the English Reformation, the stole, along with all other sacramental vestments were removed from the Church of England; the Oxford Movement began an interest in pre-Reformation worship, the stole were revived among Anglo-
Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion; the way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was a rule adopted by a church council. Greek kanon / Ancient Greek: κανών, Arabic Qaanoon / قانون, Hebrew kaneh / קנה, "straight"; the Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles is a collection of ancient ecclesiastical decrees concerning the government and discipline of the Early Christian Church, incorporated with the Apostolic Constitutions which are part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. In the Fourth century the First Council of Nicaea calls canons the disciplinary measures of the Church: the term canon, κανὠν, means in Greek, a rule.
There is a early distinction between the rules enacted by the Church and the legislative measures taken by the State called leges, Latin for laws. In the Catholic Church, canon law is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the Church's hierarchical authorities to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. However, despite the power of the church and its insistence on creating a specific format for the way its members would live their lives, it was not followed. Powerful and wealthy individuals simply did not abide by the rules and were allowed to approach family life and marriage how they saw fit. A prime instance of this was shown through annulments granted by the church; the church disregarded and disallowed divorce. However, powerful men could annul their marriages; this was noteworthy due to the fact that an annulment was distorting to marriage law and contradicting to the disallowance of divorce.
An annulment would not only cease a marriage but rather end the marriage and rule that the marriage was never valid, nor did it formally exist. Another potent example of Canon Law not being enforced is in regards to polygyny. Men having multiple wives was outright banned by the Catholic church. However, as seen in the example of wealthy and powerful individuals it was allowed. Men who were powerful enough were allowed to have multiple wives, concubines and could have sex prior to marriage. Despite the aforementioned blatant nonobservance to Canon Law, the codes set in place did shape and provide a code that the majority of the members of the catholic church directly abode and lived their lives according to. In the Latin Church, positive ecclesiastical laws, based directly or indirectly upon immutable divine law or natural law, derive formal authority in the case of universal laws from the supreme legislator, who possesses the totality of legislative and judicial power in his person, while particular laws derive formal authority from a legislator inferior to the supreme legislator.
The actual subject material of the canons is not just doctrinal or moral in nature, but all-encompassing of the human condition. The Catholic Church includes the main five rites of churches which are in full union with the Holy See and the Latin Church: Alexandrian Rite Churches which include the Coptic Catholic Church and Ethiopian Catholic Church. West Syriac Rite which includes the Maronite Church, Syriac Catholic Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Armenian Rite Church which includes the Armenian Catholic Church. Byzantine Rite Churches which include the Albanian Greek Catholic Church, Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, Bulgarian Church, Byzantine Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia, Greek Church, Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, Italo-Albanian Church, Macedonian Greek Catholic Church, Melkite Church, Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic, Russian Church, Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, Slovak Greek Catholic Church and Ukrainian Catholic Church. East Syriac Rite Churches which includes the Chaldean Syro-Malabar Church.
All of these church groups are in full communion with the Supreme Pontiff and are subject to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Catholic Church has what is claimed to be the oldest continuously functioning internal legal system in Western Europe, much than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. What began with rules adopted by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem in the first century has developed into a complex legal system encapsulating not just norms of the New Testament, but some elements of the Hebrew, Visigothic and Celtic legal traditions; the history of Latin canon law can be divided into four periods: the jus antiquum, the jus novum, the jus novissimum and the Code of Canon Law. In relation to the Code, history can be divided into the jus novum; the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which had developed some different disciplines and practices, underwent its own process of codification, resulting in the Code of Canons of the Eastern C