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POLITICAL, CONSTITUTIONAL, STATISTICAL
A WORK OF UNIVERSAL REFERENCE
ON SUBJECTS OF
CIVIL ADMINISTRATION, POLITICAL ECONOMY, FINANCE,
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR, LENOX TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SON, ST. MARTIN'S LANE,
CATHEDRAL. Certain churches are called cathedrals or cathedral churches, in consequence of having a seat of dignity (cathedra, a Greek term for such a seat) appropriated to a bishop or archbishop. Thus there is the cathedral church of Canterbury, the cathedral church of Norwich, &c. The collegiate churches of Manchester and Ripon were constituted cathedral churches of the new sees of Manchester and Ripon by 6 & 7 Wm. IV .c. 77, the act under which these sees were created.
CATHOLIC CHURCH (Roman). Although in ordinary language this name is often used to designate the ruling authority or power in the Catholic religion, as if distinct from the members of that communion, yet the definition which Catholics give of the church is such as to comprehend the entire body of its members as well as its rulers, the flock as much as the shepherds. Thus we hear of Catholics being under the dominion of their church, or obliged to obey it, as though it were something distinct from themselves, or as if they were not a part of their church. This preliminary remark is made to explain a certain vagueness of expression, which often leads to misapprehension, and serves as the basis of incorrect ideas regarding the peculiar doctrines of that church. The Catholic church therefore is defined to be the community of the faithful united to their lawful pastors, in communion with the see of Rome, or with the pope, the successor of St. Peter and vicar of Christ on earth.
Simply developing the terms of this definition, we will give a brief sketch of the constitution or fundamental system of this church under the heads of its government. its laws, and its vital or constitutive principle.
I. The government of the Catholic church may be considered monarchical, inasmuch as the pope is the ruler over the entire church, and the most distant bishop of the Catholic church holds his appointment from him, and receives from him his authority. No bishop can be considered lawfully consecrated without his approbation. The dignity or office of pope is inherent in the occupant of the see of Rome, because the supremacy over
the church is believed to be held in virtue of a commission given to St. Peter, not as his own personal prerogative, but as a part of the constitution of the church, for its advantage, and therefore intended to descend to his successors; as the episcopal power did from the apostles to those who succeeded them in their respective sees.
The election of the pope, therefore, devolves upon the clergy of Rome, as being their bishop; and it is confided to the college of cardinals, who, bearing the titles of the eldest churches in that city, represent its clergy, and form their chapter or electoral body. The meeting or chapter formed for this purpose alone is called a conclave. The cardinals are appointed by the pope, and compose the executive council of the church. They preside over the various departments of ecclesiastical government, and are divided into boards or congregations, as they are called, for the transaction of business from all parts of the world; but every decision is subject to the pope's revision, and has no value except from his approbation. On some occasions they are all summoned to meet the pope on affairs of higher importance, as for the nomination of bishops, or the admission of new members into their body; and then the assembly is called a consistory. The full number of cardinals is seventy, but there are always some hats left vacant.
The Catholic church, being essentially episcopal, is governed by bishops, who are of two sorts, bishops in ordinary, and vicars apostolic. By the first are meant titular bishops, or such as bear the name of the see over which they rule; as the Archbishop of Paris, or of Dublin; the Bishop of Cambray, or of New Orleans. The manner of appointing such bishops varies considerably. When they are unshackled by the government, the clergy of the diocese meet in chapter, according to old forms, and having selected three names, forward them to the Holy See, where one is chosen for promotion. This is the case in Ireland, Belgium, and perhaps in the free states of America. In most countries however the election of bishops is regulated by concordat, that is, a special agreement between the pope and