Talk:Hierarchy of the Catholic Church

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unclear[edit]

This article makes it very unclear and difficult to discover a system of rank within the church. One can eventually derive it from this overbloated article, but it does remain quite a chore. While the unsummarized, lengthy paragraph form is undoubtedly professional, it is unattractive, and makes it a daunting task to try and discover the system of rank. In addition to all the unnecessary information, this article also needs a condensed list of the level of rank. Beginning with the highest rank and ending with the lowest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.253.215.137 (talk) 11:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, the Catholic Church doesn't really have a "rank" system where there is a clear pecking order, like you'd see in the military. For example, if the "highest ranking" member of the Church in my home state of California, the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, were to show up at my local parish in Saratoga, California, he would have to ask my bishop, the Bishop of San Jose in California, for permission before he could perform any liturgical function, even though Cardinal Mahony is both a Cardinal and a Metropolitan Archbishop while Bishop McGrath is just a diocesan ordinary. Additionally, there's more than one "chain of command", making it difficult who exactly would "out rank" who. Is a diocesan ordinary higher in rank than a provincial superior of a religious order? Does the cardinal prefect of a curial congregation outrank a cardinal major archbishop? Where exactly does the Bishop of Urgell, who is a head of state, fit into the Church's rank structure? Unfortunately, the Church's vast size and organizational complexity are going to make this type of article inherently unclear to some extent, or overly simplified.Gentgeen (talk) 22:51, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Canon Law gets even murkier than many know. In the case mentioned above, Cardinal Mahony has the right to perform a liturgical function outside his archdiocese and without informing the local ordinary provided it is in his province and it is not the Cathedral. (See Canon 436§3). I should note the right is because he is a Metropolitan, not because he is a Cardinal. It is rare, however, to invoke that right.--Dcheney (talk) 03:03, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
While a metropolitan archbishop might have the "right" to perform a liturgical function in a non-cathedral church of a suffragan see (without informing the latter see's diocesan bishop), it would be considered "poor form" for him to not inform the diocesan bishop of that suffragan diocese in advance, as a courtesy, so the said diocesan bishop doesn't learn from the grapevine that the metropolitan was in a church of his diocese, i.e., without the bishop being aware of such a visit. Being a member of the "college of bishops" assumes a certain collegiality, courtesy, etc. Eagle4000 (talk) 22:58, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I think the Canon Law is very specific specially in Canons 349-359 in regards to the functions of the Cardinals. Although the Cardinals can function in two ways, either as a college or as an individual, their function depends upon how the Pope calls upon them. Thus any authority that they have does not come from their position as Cardinals but from the Pope. Which is the reason why they could not be placed in the actual Hierarchy since the function that they perform is either very specific as prescribe by law in a "special manner" or as delegated by the Pope. A good example is when they are given a function as legates of the Supreme Pontiff as covered by Can 362-366. Just a thought, hope it helps.Kylyne (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:35, 4 April 2010 (UTC).

Personal Ordinariate(s)[edit]

While the new text regarding the recently announced new structure is entertaining it is factually wrong on several points. However, given that the document which actually creates the new structure has not yet been published, its difficult to provide good sources for the correct information.--Dcheney (talk) 14:32, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced table[edit]

This table originally appeared in the "Hierarchy, personnel and institutions" section of Catholic Church. I have moved it here because this is the primary topic to which it applies, and the article on Catholic Church is too long and requires summary style. Please help source it if you can. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 02:31, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Personnel[citation needed] Members Institutions Number
Pope 1 Parishes and missions 408,637
Cardinals 183 Primary and secondary schools 125,016
Archbishops 914 Universities 1,046
Bishops 3,475 Hospitals 5,853
Permanent deacons 27,824 Orphanages 8,695
Lay ecclesial ministers 30,632 Homes for the elderly and handicapped 13,933
Diocesan and religious priests 405,178 Dispensaries, leprosaries, nurseries and other institutions 74,936
Religious brothers and sisters 824,199
Seminarians 110,583
Total 1,402,989 Total 638,116

In-Universe Perspective[edit]

Several sections of this article need to be rewritten. As written, the article primarily conveys an "in-universe" perspective which is complete inaccessible to the non-catholic reader. For example, consider the first sentence of section 1.1:

    The bishops, who possess the fullness of the priesthood, are as a body (the College of Bishops) considered the successors of the    
    Apostles[4] and are "constituted Pastors in the Church, to be the teachers of doctrine, the priests of sacred worship and the ministers of 
    governance."

What does "who possess the fullness of the priesthood" mean? The rampant use of undefined, specialized jargon throughout the article renders it virtually impenetrable to the non-catholic reader. Currently, the article reads not unlike a poorly written Wikipedia article about a science fiction topic. For example, consider the following "mad libbing" of the preceding example sentence"

    The gharnals, who possess the fullness of nipflankhoood, are as a body (the College of Gharnals) considered the successors of the Cornaks 
    and are "constituted Velpas in the Goofwrak, to be the teachers of doctrine, the nipflanks of scared worship and the gooflabs of 
    governance."

To the non-catholic there is no semantic difference between these two sentences. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phaeolus (talkcontribs) 04:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi everyone, I'd like to revisit this thread and the goal of improving the context this article provides for laypeople (see Wikipedia:AUDIENCE). A few days ago I added a discussion of sensus fidelium to the Laity section with the goal of conveying the theological basis for members of hierarchy to consult lay catholics with respect to the governance of the church. User:Esoglou first separated this discussion of sensus fidelium into its own section and later removed it, calling it unrelated off-topic material. If it looked out of place, this may have been because the Laity section (and most of the others, it seems) focuses rather narrowly on the roles in the hierarchy, how individuals are selected into these roles and what tasks they perform. There is less emphasis on what the hierarchy's goals are, what major theological considerations relate to the structure, functions and authority of the hierarchy, or generally speaking why the hierarchy is so noteworthy to the catholic church and to the world that its structure should interest lay readers. While improving context may at some point mean re-introducing sensus fidelium, after re-reading the full article a few times it seems a discussion of sacred tradition in the lead paragraphs is perhaps more important. I'm posting this to seek feedback about what other elements may be incorporated into the lead, I'm particularly thinking about how to better state the obvious. I'll post draft contributions to the lead article here before changing the main article page.
cheers, Isaac.holeman (talk) 10:28, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I think it's worthwhile to add material on sensus fidelium to the article. May I suggest that you Esoglou collaborate on the effort? I liked the material you added from CCC and thought that Newman quote was interesting, but I would also suggest that there are other perspectives on sensus fidelium and the role of the laity which would need to be incorporated and cited. Majoreditor (talk) 16:05, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I'll gladly collaborate. Perhaps the first thing to do is to define what is meant by the hierarchy of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church excludes the laity and the religious as such, while indicating that individual religious can happen to be members either of the hierarchy or of the laity. It deals with the question under the heading "Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life" - three categories that, while overlapping with regard to the third, together make up the christifideles (Christ's Faithful). It speaks of "both groups [hierarchy and laity]" - two distinct non-overlapping groups - from whom come those "who are consecrated to God in their own special manner" (873). It then makes three distinct subsections: "I. THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH"; "II. THE LAY FAITHFUL"; "III. THE CONSECRATED LIFE". It speaks of the Twelve Apostles (not all the disciples in general) as "the beginning of the sacred hierarchy" (877). It speaks of Christ fulfilling the prophetic office "not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity", again clearly indicating that the laity are not part of the hierarchy (904). And it says that "The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels" does not "enter into the hierarchical structure of the Church" (914). Thus it shows that the official understanding of Catholic Church hierarchy is the same as that of common parlance (according to which lay people are not part of the Church hierarchy), and not as sourcelessly presented in this article as including laity. The hierarchy are those in holy orders. The sensus fidelium is much less part of "the hierarchy's goals", to quote Isaac, than are the goals of teaching, governing and sanctifying. The sensus fidelium is for the hierarchy - this article has a title that indicates it is about the hierarchy, not the laity - rather one of the elements utilized for their goal of teaching and defining the faith by the bishops (not the whole of the hierarchy, although the fideles in question include all members of the hierarchy, deacons, priests and even bishops). So, can we start by agreeing on what is meant by "Catholic Church hierarchy"? Esoglou (talk) 17:53, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm also very happy to have a collaborator on this, and I agree it's clear that the laity are not part of the hierarchy. I'd be open to the sections on laity and the priesthood being deleted entirely, but if they are retained, it may be appropriate to emphasize how they interact with the hierarchy rather than their role in the sacraments. As you mentioned, the primary purposes of teaching, governing and sanctifying are a great place to start for the lead section. I'm proposing some new content here and it'd be great to have your feedback or edits.
This article is about the clergy and governance of the roman catholic church. For the levels of solemnity of the official teaching of the catholic church, see hierarchy of truths (link).
In the Roman Catholic Church (link), the term hierarchy refers primarily to the bishops who govern the church, and to the organization of ordained clergy. Collectively, the bishops comprise the magisterium (link), which is the official teaching authority of the church. While bishops celebrate mass and teach directly in other ways, the primary meaning of 'teaching authority' is that the magisterium defines the doctrines and practices that all clergy will spread throughout the world.
Like other christian faiths, catholic beliefs are rooted in holy scripture (link) describing the teachings of Jesus Christ (new testament) and the people of Israel (old testament). In contrast with the Sola Scriptura (link) tradition of many Protestant churches, Catholics believe that the written experience of God or Jesus Christ can only be correctly interpreted in the context of the sacred traditions and church community that experienced revelation (link). The tradition of Apostolic Succession (link) holds that present-day bishops are uniquely positioned to preside over both scripture and tradition because they have inherited the offices of the Apostles (link) in an unbroken line. Further, catholics believe that the work of the hierarchy is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and specifically that each bishop interprets scripture and tradition in light of their own sensus fidei, or "sense of faith". Historically, the belief that all of Christ's faithful have this sense of faith has influenced how the bishops interact with the laity and those in consecrated life who are not part of the hierarchy.
Like the apostles, bishops are called to minister to all of Christ's faithful. According to the Council of Trent, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted them to the Church.[1] While bishops may administer all seven sacraments, they may also ordain clergy to administer some of these sacraments. As of 31 December 2011, the ministry of the Catholic Church was carried out in 2,834 dioceses,[4][5] each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into smaller communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests.[6] Priests may be assisted by deacons. All clergy, including deacons, priests, and bishops, may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies.[7] Only priests and bishops are allowed to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Confirmation (priests may administer this sacraments with prior ecclesiastic approval), and Anointing of the Sick.[8][9] Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.[10]
In addition to the common roles of deacon, priest and bishop, the Catholic hierarchy's order of precedence indicates the precedence or 'rank' of various ministers and offices in the Church for use during liturgies or other ceremonies where such protocol is helpful.
Will need to clean up links and sources of course, I'm mainly looking for feedback on content.Isaac.holeman (talk) 21:21, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I apologize for my tardiness in responding. I felt I had here been given more than I could chew, and there were many other calls on my attention. You obviously want your text to be a new introduction. I thought I could immediately insert your first paragraph as
This article is about the clergy and governance of the Catholic Church. For the levels of solemnity of the official teaching of the Catholic Church, see Hierarchy of truths.
But, as you can see, there is no article called "Hierarchy of truths" to direct the reader to. So I find myself stuck right at the beginning, without being able to add or alter a single word.
The present introduction certainly needs correcting. For a start: The term "hierarchy" does not mean "holy government". Almost anything would be better. For instance the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, which says: "HIERARCHY (Greek ἱερός hieros, holy, and ἀρχεῖν archein, to rule), the office of a steward or guardian of holy things, ... a term commonly used in ecclesiastical language to denote the aggregate of those persons who exercise authority within the Christian Church, the ... episcopate or entire threefold order of the clergy". The section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that I cited above uses "hierarchy" in the sense of the clergy. So you can't delete the presbyterate (priests) nor the diaconate, though you can delete the laity. The 1911 EB cites the Council of Trent as anathematizing anyone who would deny the existence within the Catholic Church of a hierarchy instituted by divine appointment, and consisting of bishops, priests and ministers (deacons). Other Catholic sources, such as John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary - and there are many others - do apply the term "hierarchy" to the bishops to the exclusion of the priests and deacons. Then there is the distinction that you find in the old Catholic Encyclopedia and elsewhere between a hierarchy of orders (bishops, priests and deacons) and a hierarchy of jurisdiction. Going into these matters would be complicated and would moreover probably stir up controversy. For that reason, I think the present introduction needs pruning, not prolongation. Perhaps the introduction should do nothing whatever more than simply indicate, with source(s), in what sense the article will use the term "hierarchy", and then go straight on to the body of the article, which speaks about the different elements that compose the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Certainly, the introduction should not go into matters that are not dealt with in the body of the article. Precedence needs not be touched on at all: there is another (largely original-research) article on that. Esoglou (talk) 16:21, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
My chief concern with the present lead section is that it does not provide context about what the hierarchy does or its raison d'être in a form accessible to a general audience. In my opinion at least four central teachings are obvious to catholics and necessary for an outsider to understand the hierarchy's nature and authority: 1) magisterium as teaching authority actually means defining dogma (not teaching classes); 2) apostolic succession; 3) hierarchy as stewards of holy tradition; and 4) Christ entrusted the hierarchy with the sacraments. These items are discussed in the body of the article, but not in a way that is obvious without prior reference to the core teachings (e.g. mentioning without explanation that the pope is the successor of saint peter). Can we reach consensus that these four items serve the spirit of Wikipedia:PCR? I also find sensus fidei very enlightening context, but it's not currently discussed in the body of the article. In the draft below I have incorporated some of your sources, cut hierarchy of truths and order of precedence as suggested. I agree that hierarchy of jurisdiction/orders is beyond the scope of a lead section. Feel free to edit the below directly. cheers, Isaac.holeman (talk) 19:44, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
The Catholic Church hierarchy is the body of persons who exercise authority within the Roman Catholic Church.[2] Often the term is used in reference to all ordained clergy, including bishops, priests and deacons.[3] In other cases, it may refer exclusively to the bishops,[4] who collectively comprise the magisterium, which is the official teaching authority of the church. While bishops celebrate mass and teach directly in other ways, the primary meaning of 'teaching authority' is that the magisterium defines the doctrines and practices that all clergy will spread throughout the world.
Like other christian faiths, catholic beliefs are rooted in the Bible. In contrast with the Sola scriptura tradition of many Protestant churches, Catholics believe that the written experience of God or Jesus Christ can only be correctly interpreted in the context of the sacred traditions and church community that experienced revelation. The tradition of Apostolic succession holds that present-day bishops have the unique authority to preside over both scripture and tradition because they have inherited the offices of the Apostles in an unbroken line. Further, catholics believe that the work of the hierarchy is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and specifically that each bishop interprets scripture and tradition in light of his own sensus fidei, or "sense of the faith". Historically, the belief that all of Christ's faithful have this sense of faith has influenced how the bishops interact with the laity.[5]
According to the Council of Trent, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted the Church hierarchy to administer them.[6] As of 31 December 2011, the ministry of the Catholic Church was carried out in 2,834 dioceses,[7][8] each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests.[9] Priests may be assisted by deacons. All clergy may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies.[10] Only priests and bishops are allowed to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Confirmation (priests may administer this sacraments with prior ecclesiastic approval), and Anointing of the Sick.[11][12] Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.[13]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My point is that the term "hierarchy" is not a technical term of the Catholic literature, and it is used also in the Catholic Church with different meanings (such as hierchy of doctrines, hierarchy of sacraments, hierarchy of govermnent, hierarchy in cerimonials), specified time by time by the contest. Moreover when the Wiki reader look for this article, he aspects to find an article on the general meaning of "hierarchy": thus our answer shall be based on the general menaing of the term, focusing on the goverment structure of the Catholic Church, and giving references to the other occorrences. We may also add a section on the use of the term "hierachy" in Catholic formal documents, but this section shall be secondary.A ntv (talk) 11:35, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

We can't include hierarchy of doctrines, hierarchy of sacraments, hierarchy of government, hierarchy in ceremonials, hierarchy in general, hierarchy of needs, hierarchy of angels, hierarchy of demons, hierarchy of life, hierarchy of truths, hierarchy of evidence, hierarchy of learning, hierarchy of religious orders, hierarchy of feasts, and so on. The article must surely be about the hierarchy of the Church itself, not about hierarchy of other things, no matter how closely the other things may be linked to the Church. (I would add that we ought to highlight the Catholic Church's understanding of its own church hierarchy.) Esoglou (talk) 14:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Odd Recent Addition with Bad Footnotes[edit]

There was a recent change (the last paragraph before the "contents" box) that is rather odd. Also a number of the footnotes are bad.

Footnote 4 is claimed to indicate that there were 2,795 dioceses in 2008. I'm looking at that page and that number is not on it. Nor can I find any way to add up the various numbers on that page to arrive at that figure. Regardless of that, the text would make one think that the Church is composed of dioceses and nothing else - which is simply untrue. At the end of 2008, according to the footnote reference, there were 13 Patriarchal Sees, 4 Major Archbishophorics, 539 Metropolitan Archdioceses, 77 non-Metropolitan Archdioceses, 2170 Dioceses, 48 Territorial Prelatures, 11 Territorial Abbeys, 35 Military Ordinariates, 1 Personal Prelature, 80 Apostolic Vicariates, 44 Apostolic Prefectures, 9 Apostolic Administrations, 1 Personal Apostolic Administration, and 9 "sui juris" Missions.

Footnotes 6 and 10 are simply labeled "Barry" and a page number without suggesting who or what is "Barry".

All in all, this whole addition seems inappropriate for this article. Most of the information is either already contained in the article or not relevant.--Dcheney (talk) 03:28, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

On what is now footnote 4: the Wikilink was to the Wikipedia article on the annual publication which was online; the material that the annual document contained in 2009 was hardcopy. I furnished another link which is a copy of the information online. And removed the link to the annual publication to avoid future confusion.
And yes, there are multiple historic groups, but Councils, for example, are comprised mostly of bishops or their equivalent, representing dioceses, or their equivalent. Patriarchs, for example, usually run the equivalent of archdioceses. They may be metropolitans which carries prestige, but little weight. Bishops/archbishops or their equivalent run most everything, from the Vatican's pov. Plus some order-Generals which may rank as high as bishops, I suppose. The rest are maintly interesting, curious, archaic titles carried along by mostly near-Eastern and some Indian hierarchs. But generally, from an administrative pov, you either run a diocese, or it's equivalent or you don't. And that includes cardinals, metropolitans, and the like. Titular sees (for example) don't really count, administratively. There is probably some double counting with military ordinates. Some of the rest have vast expanse but few people.
The intent was to provide a real cornerstone for the true hierarchy of the church which is Pope-Diocese-Parish-Member, which constitutes 95% or more of the world's Catholics, not a inventory of interesting titles. Student7 (talk) 14:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The footnotes I questioned are now numbered 7 and 11 - both remain "Barry" with a page number without the slightest hint as to who or what "Barry" is. No "Barry" is mentioned in the article or in any of the other footnotes.
The point of my first question is how did you arrive at the magical number of "2,795", since it is not in the source cited (yes, I know its a book, and I have a copy beside me as a I type this).
As to your other comments, perhaps you should read the article. You seem to have little understanding of the hierarchy of the Church.
One last note on your apparent favorite topic of "mission" dioceses. Don't you find it odd for something that is so fundamental to the nature of those dioceses (which seems to be your view) isn't even mentioned in the Annuario Pontificio? I mean the listing of dioceses is right there, they could have just added a mark after their name. But apparently they didn't think it was that important. --Dcheney (talk) 00:22, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't recognize the "Barry" reference. I agree that it needs to be questioned and properly explained. Student7 (talk) 14:58, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
According to the Wikipedia logs _you_ added them on 17 Dec 2010 at 21:24. Thanks for removing the bit about missions. --Dcheney (talk) 01:43, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I must have copied them from another article. Erase them, if you sure they are false. I am not. I'll see if I can find the data to get the "Barry" reference.
The problem with "mission" diocese, is they don't "belong" anywhere. 30% of the dioceses in the world are "mission", but because this is defined as "hierarchy", they don't go here. Neither do they go into the RC article which has to be vague because of its size. Because Wikipedia articles were defined from two directions, bottom up, and top down, with a fake "outline" constructed to reflect what has already been done, there are gaps in coverage. This generally affects governance, of which this article is one. Student7 (talk) 15:35, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
The clip was from the RC article which was well examined, I think, while undergoing FA scrutiny. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church#Hierarchy.2C_personnel_and_institutions. It could be changed to a footnote. Also explains where the number of dioceses came from. Note that this article was missing that information. Student7 (talk) 15:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

The Laity[edit]

This section of the page has been completely without proper citations for two and a half years now, and there was material added today, again without sources. I've put [citation needed] tags where I think a source is needed. Per Wikipedia guidelines, because this section is not about a living person, I will not remove the material immediately, but this cannot stay without reliable sources forever. Can anyone give spend some time and properly cite this section?--Msl5046 (talk) 14:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Use of primary sources[edit]

WP:PRIMARY says "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources." Of course we should use secondary sources first and foremost, if they are available, rather than primary or tertiary sources. If reliable published secondary sources are not available, then we may and should use reliable published tertiary and, with the proviso that Wikipedia indicates, primary sources. The proviso that Wikipedia indicates when it explicitly authorizes use of primary sources is: "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source." Unless the editor who added to the article an unspecified objection to its use of primary sources can point to one or more concrete statements in the article that are not covered by that Wikipedia rule, the addition of the tag is unjustified. Esoglou (talk) 11:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

No you must show why not? You are reversing the rule. Failure to use outside sources will cause the article to fail in the notability area and be deleted. This article even cites Wikipedia itself which along with Wikinews are not appropriate sources. Laws, including Cannon Law, themselves are not straight forward and should not be used. I can have to mark the article for deletion if you prefer not to comply. You remove of the tag is unjustified. See the [[Donation of Constantine] on why the Church is not a good source. Spshu (talk) 20:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia expressly allows citation of primary sources "to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source." What statement in the article do you find not to be a straightforward, descriptive statement of facts that any educated person, such as yourself, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source?

Of your view on primary sources, Anglicanus has written: "I don't see how 'self source' is a policy problem when it comes to such apparently straightforward and uncontentious information."

Of your excision of a statement based solely on a primary source, Elizium23 has written that "just because it is a primary source is no reason to exclude it. No interpretation of the facts is being made."

Of another statement that you excised because based on a primary source, Gugganij has said: "source is perfectly valid". Esoglou (talk) 21:34, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Opening[edit]

May we please consider the matter bit by bit? This discussion section has got enormously long. Let's start with the definition of "Catholic Church hierarchy", before considering whether other matters need to be dealt with in the lead, rather than in the body of the article. I would suggest opening the article as follows:

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, as declared by the Council of Trent, consists of those members of the Catholic Church who are in holy orders.[14] Accordingly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church distinguishes the Church's membership as belonging exclusively either to the hierarchy or to the laity.[15]
However, the term "hierarchy" is also commonly, even if unofficially, used to refer to the bishops alone, excluding the priests (presbyters) and deacons.[16]

If we can agree on that or some modification of it, we can then insert it into the article and afterwards go on to discuss the many other questions you are raising, such as your claim that the magisterium means "defining dogma". Defining dogma is, I would say, a "supreme magisterium" (cf. CCC 891) that the college of bishops (including its head) exercise from time to time; but they exercise a vastly wider magisterium every day. Let us leave until later that and all the other questions you are raising. Esoglou (talk) 09:51, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The general reader of Wiki has no idea of of the meaning of a sentence with an anathema. Further the classin distinction in Catholic Canon Law is between clergy/laity, not between hierarchy/laity. Moreove the quoted sentence of Trent shall be read in the contest of the xxiii section, i.e. the context is hierarchy in the sacramento of order, not hierarchy in general. I may suggest something like: The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of the Pope and the bishops. The the term "hierarchy" is also commonly used, depending on the contest, for hierarchy of holy orders, hierachy of doctrines, hierarchy of sacraments and hierarchy in cerimonials. (see also my above comment)A ntv (talk) 11:35, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
In response to your objection to the word "anathema", I have put the quotation in a footnote and added a wikilink. The proposed text does indicate that the canon in question is "on the sacrament of Order". If you can find a Church document at all as authoritative as the Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a document that speaks of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church (not hierarchy in relation to doctrines or sacraments or other things associated with the Catholic Church but that are not the Catholic Church) in a different way, then we must of course cite it and indicate that other understanding of "the hierarchy of the Catholic Church". It is clear, at any rate, that the Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Catholic Church do not limit the use of the term "hierarchy" to the pope and the other bishops, while of course indicating clearly that the college of bishops, as successor to that of the apostles, is the dominant element in what they call the Church's hierarchy. Esoglou (talk) 14:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
My point is that "hierachy" is not a technical catholic term, so we should explain what is the catholic hierarchy from a general prospective. The hierarchy into the sacrament of order is important but it is off topic here as well as the hierarchy of doctrines etc. I suppose that the general reader when searching for Catholic Hierachy, he is looking for the informations at Cathechism par 873 to 887, that we should rewrite in a encyclopedic way.A ntv (talk) 21:04, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, A ntv, for agreeing that the article should provide the information that is found at CCC 873-887. Logic indicates that you have thereby withdrawn your objection to defining the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as described in CCC 873-887. Esoglou (talk) 07:50, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Dear Esoglou, becareful of par 873 of the CCC, because it makes reference to CIC 206-207 [1] where the two groups are clearly named as clerics/laity. The point is that the technical name for the "not-laity" in the Catholic canon law tradition is -without any doubt- "Cleric", and not "Hierarchy". It is not possible to give a unique definition of "hierarchy" for the Catholic Church, because it depends of the context (hierarchy as three steps of the sacrament of order in the context of sacramentary as Trent xxiii, hierachy as other name for cleric in par 873 -not the same thing). Thus I suggest not to start the lead of the article giving a definition of hierarchy according to the catholic use (that doeas not exist), but simply describing the government structure of the Church following -not literally- par 873 to 887.A ntv (talk) 08:11, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
That is precisely the point. The division that CCC 873 makes between laity and non-laity (which CCC calls hierarchy) is exactly the same as that which CIC 206-207 makes between laity and non-laity (which CIC calls clergy). They both agree that there are exclusively two groups in the Church: Laity (which means non-ordained members) and Non-Laity. There is no tertium quid. What makes you think the Church thinks that "Hierarchy of the Church" means anything other than Non-Laity? You now seem to be demanding a change of subject (and title) for this article from "Hierarchy of the Church" to "Government of the Church". Esoglou (talk) 08:31, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Canon 207.2 of CIC speaks of people with vows (religious), who belong to the clergy or layith but their state does not belong to the hierarchical structure of the Church. CIC is precise, uses the terms clergy/laity according to the tradition of the Catholic Church, and lists at leadt one case, the monks, who are clergy but not hierarchy. So we cannot use here the definition of hierarchy as from CCC 873, because it is a bracket, it is not explicit and it contraddicts CIC, and it is not conguent with Trent xxiii (not all clergy are in the holy orders): it is not to us to decide if for the Catholic Church hierarchy is sinonym of clergy, but simply if the implicit definition of CCC 873 is strong enough to be used in out lead section.A ntv (talk) 08:58, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a change of title from "Hierarchy of the Church" to "Government of the Church" (with redirect from Hierarchy of the Church) would made everything simpler.A ntv (talk) 08:59, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
As canon 207 §2 says, there are states that are neither lay nor non-lay, such as the religious state, the state of being a speaker of Italian, the state of being a teacher, of being a pupil, parenthood etc., etc. But as canon 207 §2 also indicates, whatever states the members of the Church are in, they are all either laity or non-laity (clergy/hierarchy) and nothing else. There is no other category in which those people can be put. So we can of course and indeed we must use the categories that are recognized by the Church. It is not for us to decide differently. The Code of Canon Law contradicts your idea that there are clergy who are not in holy orders: it says that one becomes a cleric by diaconal ordination, holy orders. This article is not about "Government of the Church". That would be another article. Esoglou (talk) 09:31, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

If we mention other uses of the term hierarchy, it should be with a single link to a disambiguation page (feel free to create a disambiguation page A ntv). I agree with Esoglou about most of the content and appropriate sources for the first paragraph of the lead, but I couldn't find a statement in the cited document that all church members belong exclusively to either laity or hierarchy. A rewrite something like this would enable the lay reader to understand the first sentence without having to read the articles on holy orders and council of trent:

The Catholic Church hierarchy is the body of persons who exercise authority within the Roman Catholic Church.[17] Since at least the Council of Trent, Church documents have used the term to refer to all ordained clergy, including bishops, priests and deacons.[18][19] However, the term "hierarchy" is also commonly used to refer exclusively to the bishops,[20] who collectively comprise the magisterium, which is the official teaching authority of the church.Isaac.holeman (talk) 00:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

CCC 873-887 does divide the Church's membership exclusively into hierarchy and laity. What other groups does it envisage in the Church who are neither hierarchy nor laity? The religious? CCC 873 says: "From both groups [hierarchy and laity] there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church through the profession of the evangelical counsels" (emphases added). In other words, the religious too are either hierarchy or are laity. CCC 873 does not limit the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to bishops alone. If it did, it would say that religious are not of two groups but three: a) bishops; b) people in holy orders (non-laity) who are not bishops; c) laity. It leaves no room within the Church for a third group who are neither hierarchy nor laity: all members are either hierarchy or they are not, and if they are not hierarchy, they are laity (non-ordained). Under the heading "hierarchy" CCC 873-887 mentions not only bishops but also priests (CCC 877, 886, 888, 893) and deacons (CCC 886, 896).
You have also - quite unnecessarily, I think - introduced the term "magisterium" into the definition of "hierarchy of the Catholic Church". What is much worse, you have given the term a meaning that contradicts the meaning given to it in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and elsewhere. You say the bishops are collectively the magisterium. Instead, the magisterium is an office, a duty, a service that the bishops "exercise" (read CCC 891-892). Esoglou (talk) 07:50, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't object to defining all faithful as either laity or hierarchy. For what it's worth, I would have left it out of the first paragraph because sentences like this seem to suggest some grey area that isn't relevant to our understanding of the hierarchy "The term 'laity' is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church." (CCC 897, emphasis mine)
My purpose in mentioning the magisterium was to convey that bishops play a greater role in governing the church than do priests and deacons. Yet another matter that is extremely obvious to Catholics but needs to be stated for lay readers. Would you care to offer a sentence that conveys the special teaching authority of the bishops but frames it in a manner more appropriate to the nature of the office? Although it has too many commas to read smoothly, here is the sentence from the present lead "In some cases, it refers only to the magisterium, the official teaching body of the church, the bishops, excluding deacons and presbyters (priests)." Isaac.holeman (talk) 17:45, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Looking back to earlier comments, I see Esoglou wanted to discuss the magisterium after we post an initial new lead paragraph. I'm comfortable with leaving this out for now if it's easier to reach consensus on something like:
The Catholic Church hierarchy is the body of persons who exercise authority within the Roman Catholic Church.[21] Since at least the Council of Trent, Church documents have used the term to refer to all ordained clergy, including bishops, priests and deacons.[22][23] However, the term "hierarchy" is also commonly used to refer exclusively to the bishops, who have greater authority than do priests or deacons.[24] Isaac.holeman (talk) 18:04, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I think we need not discuss the meaning given to "laity" in Section II of that part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where they are distinguished from "Section III. The Consecrated Life". When in CCC 873 they are instead distinguished from "the hierarchy", it is explicitly stated that there the laity includes those religious who are not in holy orders.
The 1911 article to which you give first place as a source is about "Hierarchy", not "Catholic Hierarchy", and is over a century old, a century that saw many changes, including the Second Vatican Council. I'm not at all saying it is inaccurate, only that it does not merit first place. How about this proposal, which incorporates that source of yours:
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, in the Church's own understanding of the term, is composed of the section of its members who are in holy orders, as distinguished from the laity.[25][26] Within that group, consisting of bishops, priests (presbyters) and deacons, the chief authority belongs to the bishops,[27] the other two orders being described as under the bishops' direction and as their assistants, co-workers or helpers.[28] Since, in ecclesiastical language, the word "hierarchy" is commonly used to denote the aggregate of the persons who exercise authority within a Christian church,[29] the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is often understood as its bishops alone.[30]
If we can agree on that, and if A ntv and others do not object, we can insert it in the article and then (in a new subsection) discuss any additions you think should be put in the lead rather than in the body of the article. Esoglou (talk) 20:44, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Hi again Esoglou, your comment about not leading with the 1911 source makes sense; you clearly have a better grasp of this topic and multiple sources than I do. Concerning copy-editing, the draft that I proposed before intentionally avoids or explains the meaning of terms such as presbyter, ecclesiastical and holy orders (see Wikipedia:JARGON). Each sentence has just one or two clauses rather than 4+ (see Plain_English in Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style). If your main issue with this prior draft is to put the 1911 source near the bottom, is it okay if I rearrange that paragraph but keep the writing style intact? If you disagree with my take on the MOS, perhaps we could seek feedback from another editor such as Majoreditor? Isaac.holeman (talk) 01:17, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how you can believe that, for instance, "holy orders" is more jargon than "ordained" clergy, or that Wikipedia cannot use "ecclesiastical", as the 1911 Britannica did, to indicate that "hierarchy" is here used in that sense, and not in the immensely wide sense that A ntv envisaged. Do you think people have become so much dumber since 1911, a time when readers of an encyclopedia were expected to have enough intelligence to work out the meaning of "HIERARCHY (Gr. ἱερός, holy, and ἀρχεῖν, to rule), the office of a steward or guardian of holy things, not a 'ruler of priests' or 'priestly ruler' (see Boeckh, Corp. inscr. Gr. No. 1570), a term commonly used in ecclesiastical language to denote the aggregate of those persons who exercise authority within the Christian Church, the patriarchate, episcopate or entire threefold order of the clergy"? Have you confused Plain English with Simple English? This is not the Simple English Wikipedia, and its wikilinks enable readers to find out more about terms they may be unfamiliar with.
We can omit the parenthetic word "presbyters", which was included in view of the not-that-dumb Wikipedia editors who might object that the word "priest" is used in the Catholic Church not only in that restricted sense but also as inclusive of bishops. When in the future some Wikipedia editor points that out, the word can then be reinserted. Esoglou (talk) 07:53, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable addresses this--replace jargon with "a more familiar English word" as long as accuracy is not sacrificed. With this policy in mind, I'm offering this copyedit of your paragraph and would appreciate constructive feedback.
The Roman Catholic Church uses the term Catholic Church hierarchy to refer to all members of the clergy, including bishops, priests and deacons.[31][32] Authority resides chiefly with the bishops,[33] while priests and deacons serve as their assistants, co-workers or helpers.[34] Outside of official Roman Catholic documents, the term hierarchy often refers to the body of persons who exercise authority within a Christian church. In this usage, hierarchy commonly refers to the bishops alone.[35] Isaac.holeman (talk) 10:18, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Good job, thanks. I appreciate not to mention explicitally Trent. A ntv (talk) 12:02, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd be very surprised if it were shown that the Roman Catholic Church ever uses the term "Catholic Church hierarchy", which you attribute to it. It does use in relation to the Church the term "hierarchy", and explains how it understands the term "hierarchy" when used in that ecclesiastical sense. I see that you have dropped the link to the 1911 work. However, since you still want to keep the statement that it was cited for, the link had better be put back in. You had better also put back the indication given in that source that "hierarchy" means "the body of persons who exercise authority within a Christian Church" only when "hierarchy" is used in its ecclesiastical sense, i.e., when speaking of "the hierarchy of a church". A ntv rightly pointed out that "hierarchy" has many other senses even in matters associated with churches: "the hierarchy of values", "the hierarchy of dogmas", "the hierarchy of the sacraments" ... On the other hand, now that you have removed the mention of priests exercising their ministry under the direction of their bishop, the reference to CCC 887, which you kept, should be removed. The Catholic clergy do not "include" bishops, priests and deacons: since the revision of its canon law the Catholic Church has no clergy whatever except bishops, priests and deacons. Indeed it is unnecessary to use, especially without wikilink, the (jargon?) word "clergy", instead of saying simply: "bishops, priests and deacons". Priests too, you surely know, exercise authority in the Catholic Church. Pastors or elders exercise authority in Protestant churches, many of which have no bishops. So it is false to say that "in this usage - i.e., when used of "the body of persons who exercise authority within a Christian church" - hierarchy commonly refers to the bishops alone." The following is an attempt to revise your text in a way that clears up these inaccuracies. Although I think it is in some ways inferior to what I proposed at 20:44 yeaterday, I would let it pass.
The Catholic Church describes as its hierarchy its bishops, priests and deacons.[36][37] Authority resides chiefly with the bishops,[38] while priests and deacons serve as their assistants, co-workers or helpers.[39] In the ecclesiastical sense of the term, "hierarchy" commonly means the body of persons who exercise authority within a Christian church.[40] Accordingly, in relation to the Catholic Church, "hierarchy" is also used to refer to its bishops alone.[41]
An alternative and in my opinion more logical ordering of the sentences would be:
The Catholic Church describes as its hierarchy its bishops, priests and deacons.[42][43] In the ecclesiastical sense of the term, "hierarchy" commonly means the body of persons who exercise authority within a Christian church.[44] In the Catholic Church, authority rests chiefly with the bishops,[45] while priests and deacons serve as their assistants, co-workers or helpers.[46] Accordingly, "hierarchy of the Catholic Church" is also used to refer to bishops alone.[47] -- Esoglou (talk) 14:36, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
This second paragraph works for me. I'm very happy to see the accessible plain english and I appreciate the detailed contributions of both Esoglou and A ntv! I think we're ready to replace the first 3 paragraphs of the current lead with this one paragraph. I would propose to leave in the final paragraph of the present lead, which discusses the current number of clergy and the sacraments each administers. Isaac.holeman (talk) 00:31, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Now we can close this section. Esoglou (talk) 08:41, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, the text is not fully precise, because the CIC uses the term "ordinary" in place of bishop to denote the jurisdictional power. Ok, at 99% the ordinaries are bishops, but they can be aslo simple priests as some abbots or apostolic vicars. A ntv (talk) 14:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
As long as no reliable source is brought forward that calls them hierarchy, they stay out. Esoglou (talk) 15:44, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Unexplained edits[edit]

  1. Why was the cited source removed that supports the statement that the title of primate "now only gives a prerogative of honor with no power of governance unless an exception is made in certain matters by a privilege granted by the Holy See or by an approved custom"?
  2. Why was the sourced information removed about what for the Eastern Catholic Churches is meant by an "exarch" (who can be an apostolic exarch, if appointed by the Apostolic See, or a patriarchal exarch, if appointed by a patriarch, as indicated in canons 312-320 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)? And why was a false and unsourced indication added that in Eastern Catholic canon law an apostolic exarch is not an exarch?!
  3. Why was the indication removed of the meaning of the title "Exarch" in Eastern Orthodoxy (a meaning not in use in the Eastern Catholic Churches)?
  4. Why was the explicit definition of "exarchate", which is given in canon 311 of the Code of Canons that governs the Eastern Catholic Churches, removed? Esoglou (talk) 19:55, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Secondary source already exists and is THE PREFERED SOURCES ON WP. It is not the exarch at the level of a primate. Apostolic exarch are covered under the Diocesan bishops equivalent section. Given that an apostolic exarch is an equivalent to a regular Diocesan bishops and not a primate which is near Patriarch (or the possible the same as Major Archbishop) status thus they are not the same. That is like assuming the president of a village is the same as a president of the US or the . I assumed (given it was in Latin or Italian) it described an apostolic exarch not a primate level exarch. Spshu (talk) 21:54, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Read WP:OR. Primary sources are not excluded from Wikipedia. You say that "secondary source already exists ( [sic])". If and when you will cite a secondary source for the statement about the effect of the title of primate, then and only then will you be justified in removing the source already cited for the statement.
By "It is not the exarch at the level of a primate" you seem to mean that the position of exarch in eastern Catholic Churches is not at the level of a primate. That is true: in the eastern Catholic Churches, no exarch, whether appointed by the Apostolic See or by a patriarch, is a near equivalent of a primate. Only in Orthodox Churches is an exarch a near equivalent of a Latin primate. And it should be quite obvious that in Orthodox Churches there are no apostolic exarchs.
A primate is not "possible ( [sic]) the same as Major Archbishop".
Wikipedia accepts only what is supported by reliable sources. Your assumptions are not reliable sources. Esoglou (talk) 08:22, 18 May 2013 (UTC)


Proposed Image[edit]

This image could be quite helpful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Patriarchs,_Primates,_and_Major_Archbishops.png — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.0.112.152 (talk) 21:08, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Picture of bishops[edit]

The first picture in the article currently shows some (former) Belgian bishops, one of which is mgr. Roger Vangheluwe. He was found guilty of child abuse some years ago. Maybe another picture would be more appropriate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:2C40:1E0:0:0:0:0:7C1 (talk) 07:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ CCC, 1113–1114, 1117
  2. ^ title=1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica Article on Catholic Church Hierarchy|url=http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Hierarchy
  3. ^ title=Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life|url=http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm
  4. ^ title=John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary|url=http://www.catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=33923
  5. ^ title=NEWMAN ON THE LAITY|url=http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/NEWMNLAY.HTM
  6. ^ CCC, 1113–1114, 1117
  7. ^ Vatican, Annuario Pontificio 2012, p. 1142.
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Barry, p. 52
  10. ^ Committee on the Diaconate. "Frequently Asked Questions About Deacons". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  11. ^ Canon 42 Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  12. ^ Canon 375, Catholic Church Canon Law. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  13. ^ Barry, p. 114.
  14. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  15. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 873
  16. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  17. ^ title=1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica Article on Catholic Church Hierarchy|url=http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Hierarchy
  18. ^ title=Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life|url=http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm
  19. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  20. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  21. ^ title=1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica Article on Catholic Church Hierarchy|url=http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Hierarchy
  22. ^ title=Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life|url=http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm
  23. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  24. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  25. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 873
  26. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  27. ^ [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2A.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, 874-896
  28. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 877, 886, 888, 893, 939
  29. ^ 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, article "Hierarchy"
  30. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  31. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 873
  32. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  33. ^ [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2A.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, 874-896
  34. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 877, 886, 888, 893, 939
  35. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  36. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 873
  37. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  38. ^ [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2A.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, 874-896
  39. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 886, 888, 893, 939
  40. ^ 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, article "Hierarchy"
  41. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  42. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 873
  43. ^ "If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, session XXIII, canon VI on the sacrament of Order).
  44. ^ 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, article "Hierarchy"
  45. ^ [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2A.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, 874-896
  46. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 886, 888, 893, 939
  47. ^ "Hierarchy" in John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary