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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > M > Metropolitan

Metropolitan

Metropolitan, in ecclesiastical language, refers to whatever relates to the metropolis, the principal city, or see, of an ecclesiastical province; thus we speak of a metropolitan church, a metropolitan chapter, a metropolitan official, etc. The word metropolitan, used without any qualificative, means the bishop of the metropolitan see, now usually styled archbishop. The term metropolite (Metropolites, Metropolita) is also employed, especially in the Eastern Churches (see ARCHBISHOP). The entire body of rights and duties which canon law attributes to the metropolitan, or archbishop as such, i.e., not for his own diocese, but for those suffragan to him and forming his ecclesiastical province, is called the metropoliticum.

The effective authority of metropolitans over their provinces has gradually diminished in the course of centuries, and they do not now exercise even so much as was accorded them by the Council of Trent; every bishop being more strongly and more directly bound to Rome is so much the less bound to his province and its metropolitan. The jurisdiction of the latter over his suffragan dioceses is in a sense ordinary, being established by law; but it is mediate and restricted to the objects provided for by the canons. Since the Council of Trent the rights of the metropolitan have been reduced to the following:

Sources

FERRARIS, Prompta Bibliotheca, s.v. Archiepiscopus; SAGMULLER Lehrbuck des kathol. Kirchenrechts (Freiburg, 1909), 391; BOUIX, De Episcopo, I (Paris, 1859), 441.

About this page

APA citation. Boudinhon, A. (1911). Metropolitan. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10244c.htm

MLA citation. Boudinhon, Auguste. "Metropolitan." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10244c.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Kenneth M. Caldwell. Dedicated to the memory of Don McGonigle.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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