Apostolic See in the New Eastern Code of Canon Law

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This study reviews how the term Apostolic See was used in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and in post-Conciliar documents including the new Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium which opts, with but one exception, for the use of Apostolic See when naming the Roman Apostolic See. The Second Vatican Council's consistent use of "Sedes Apostolica Romana" in Unitatis redintegratio implicitly recognizes other Apostolic Sees besides the Apostolic See of Rome, whereas the new Eastern canonical legislation uses "Sedes Apostolica" without qualification one hundred and forty-nine times. While this unqualified use of the term Apostolic See for Rome persists, the study discloses that there was a growing awareness on the part of Conciliar Fathers and the Popes themselves following the Council to qualify the exclusive formula. To help explain the origin and spread of the exclusive usage of Apostolic See, the thesis adopts an inter-disciplinary approach using insights from the sciences of ecclesiology, linguistics and sociology. Applying the sociological concept of reference groups, the study argues that the Eastern churches initially conformed to the Roman usage as the model to imitate. However, a more recent sampling of the use of Apostolic See by the Maronite, Melkite and Coptic Catholic Churches reveals that these Churches have not invariably adopted the Western practice of naming Rome the Apostolic See.


"The title of the book announces that the work belongs in the field of canon law, but owing to its interdisciplinary approach its horizons and interests are wider ... The author has painstakingly investigated and accurately analysed an abundance of material ... helps the reader to appreciate that the mere fact that authority's exclusive or excessive claims are subscribed to by others does not constitute tradition in the Church. With the help of the sociological concept of reference groups he explains the overall terminological conformity in this matter by the so-called uniate Churches. His conclusion points to the future of ecumenism ..." - Orientalia Christiana Periodica

Table of Contents





Chapter I: Apostolic See - Terminology at the Second Vatican Council

Chapter II: Apostolic See - Terminology in Post-Conciliar Documents

Chapter III: Apostolic See - An Historical Overview

Chapter IV: Apostolic See in Ecclesiological Perspective

Chapter V: Apostolic See - Context and Meaning

Chapter VI: Apostolic See - A Sociological Perspective

Chapter VII: Apostolic See - An Overall Perspective

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