Military ordinariate

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A military ordinariate is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church, of Latin or Eastern Rite, responsible for the pastoral care of Catholics serving in the armed forces of a nation.

Until 1986, they were called "military vicariates" and had a status similar to that apostolic vicariates, which are headed by a bishop who receives his authority by delegation from the Pope. The apostolic constitution Spirituali militum curae of 21 April 1986 raised their status, declaring that the bishop who heads one of them is an "ordinary", holding authority by virtue of his office, and not by delegation from another person in authority.[1] It likened the military vicariates to dioceses.[2] Each of them is headed by a bishop, who may have the personal rank of archbishop. If the bishop is a diocesan rather than a titular bishop, he is likely to delegate the daily functions to an auxiliary bishop or a lower cleric.

Some nations have military ordinariates of the Anglican Communion, Lutheranism and Eastern Orthodoxy.[3]

The personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church announced on 20 October 2009 are similar in some ways to the existing military ordinariates.[4] But the jurisdiction of military ordinariates is cumulative to that of the diocesan bishops.[5]

List of Roman Catholic military ordinariates[edit]

Country Military Ordinariate Notes
Africa
 Kenya Military Ordinariate of Kenya created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 20 January 1964; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 South Africa Military Ordinariate of South Africa created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 17 May 1951; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; it is vested in the Archbishop of Pretoria
 Uganda Military Ordinariate of Uganda created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 20 January 1964; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; vested in a Metropolitan
Americas
 Argentina Military Bishopric of Argentina created military vicariate 8 July 1957; first military vicar appointment in 1957; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Bolivia Military Bishopric of Bolivia created military vicariate 19 March 1961; first appointment military vicar 26 July 1961; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Brazil Military Ordinariate of Brazil created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 6 November 1950; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Canada Military Ordinariate of Canada first military bishop appointment 20 September 1939; created military vicariate 17 February 1951; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Chile Military Bishopric of Chile created military vicariate 3 May 1910; first military vicar appointment 27 May 1910; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Colombia Military Bishopric of Colombia created military vicariate 13 October 1949; first military vicar appointment 14 July 1950; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Dominican Republic Military Bishopric of Dominican Republic created military vicariate 23 January 1958; first military vicar appointment 1958; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Ecuador Military Bishopric of Ecuador created military vicariate 30 March 1983; first military vicar appointment 5 August 1983; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 El Salvador Military Bishopric in El Salvador created military vicariate 25 March 1968; first military vicar appointment 4 November 1968; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Paraguay Military Bishopric of Paraguay created military vicariate 20 December 1961; first military vicar appointment 7 December 1965; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Peru Military Bishopric of Peru created military vicariate 15 May 1943; first military vicar appointment 13 January 1945; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 United States Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA first military bishop appointment 24 November 1917; created military vicariate in November 1939; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; headed by an Archbishop with three Auxiliary Bishops
 Venezuela Military Ordinariate of Venezuela created military ordinariate 31 October 1995; first military ordinary appointment 11 February 1996
Asia
 Indonesia Military Ordinariate of Indonesia created military vicariate 25 December 1949; first military vicar appointment 1949; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Philippines Military Ordinariate of the Philippines created military vicariate 8 December 1950; first military vicar appointment 10 December 1951; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 South Korea Military Ordinariate of South Korea created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 22 November 1983; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
Europe
 Austria Military Ordinariate of Austria first military bishop appointment in 1773; created military vicariate 21 February 1959; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Military Ordinariate of Bosnia and Herzegovina created military ordinariate 1 February 2011
 Belgium Military Ordinariate of Belgium created military vicariate 7 September 1957; first military vicar appointment in 1957; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; vested in the Archbishop of Mechelen and Primate of Belgium
 Croatia Military Ordinariate of Croatia created military ordinariate and first military ordinary appointment 25 April 1997
 France Diocese of the French Armed Forces first military bishop appointment in 1949; created military vicariate 26 July 1952; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Germany Military Ordinariate of Germany first military bishop appointment 22 May 1868; created military vicariate 20 July 1933; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Hungary Military Ordinariate of Hungary first military bishop appointment 23 March 1920; in abeyance from 1947 to 1994; created a military ordinariate 18 April 1994
 Italy Military Ordinariate in Italy created military vicariate 6 March 1925; first military vicar appointment 23 April 1929; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Lithuania Military Ordinariate of Lithuania created military ordinariate and first military vicar appointment 25 November 2000
 Netherlands Military Ordinariate of the Netherlands created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 16 April 1957; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Poland Military Ordinariate of Poland created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 5 February 1919; suspended from 1947 to 1991; elevated to a military ordinariate 1991
 Portugal Military Ordinariate of Portugal created military vicariate 29 May 1966; first military vicar appointment 1966; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 Slovakia Military Ordinariate of Slovakia created military ordinariate and first military vicar appointment 20 January 2003
 Spain Military Archbishopric of Spain first appointment military bishop 4 June 1819; created military vicariate 5 August 1950; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; headed by an archbishop
 United Kingdom Bishopric of the Forces first military bishop appointment 30 October 1917; created military vicariate 21 November 1953; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
Oceania
 Australia Catholic Diocese of the Australian Defence Force first military bishop appointment in 1912; created military vicariate 6 March 1969; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986
 New Zealand Military Ordinariate of New Zealand created military vicariate and first military vicar appointment 28 October 1976; elevated to a military ordinariate 21 July 1986; currently vested in the Metropolitan of Wellington

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