Deisis (Novogorod)

Particular Law for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA

BYZANTINE CATHOLIC
METROPOLITAN ARCHDIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
MOST REV. JUDSON M. PROCYK, METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP
66 Riverview Avenue • Pittsburgh, PA 15214
(412) 231-4000 + Fax (412) 231-1697


Prot. No. G 67/99 P

 

DECREE

 

The hierarchs of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh, in tile United States of America, gathered in assembly as the Council of Hierarchs of said Church, in conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, have enacted, in accord with the prescripts of' canon law (CCEO 167), the herewith attached norms as the particular law of this Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. Copies of the aforesaid norms of particular law were forwarded to the Apostolic Sec of Rome, by the Metropolitan, in accord with the norms of law.

 

Written notification has been given by the Holy See, acknowledging the reception of norms legislated by the Council of' Hierarchs.

 

As the Metropolitan in collegial union with my brother bishops, I hereby promulgate The Norms of Particular Law of the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. Furthermore, these norms shall be effective as of October 1, 1999 at which time they become obligatory and binding throughout this Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh.

 

Given at Pittsburgh this 29th day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1999, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

 

Signed:

Most Reverend Judson M. Procyk, D.D.

Metropolitan Archbishop

 

Most Reverend Andrew Pataki, D.D.

Eparch of Passaic

 

Most Reverend George M. Kuzma, D.D.

Eparch of Van Nuys

 

Most Reverend Basil M. Schott, O.F.M., D.D.

Eparch of Parma



THE NORMS OF PARTICULAR LAW
OF THE BYZANTINE METROPOLITAN CHURCH SURI IURIS
OF PITTSBURGH, U.S.A.

 

Ever mindful of their obligation and responsibility to the Church, in 1995 the Council of Hierarchy of the Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolia In the United States consisting of Metropolitan Archbishop Judson M. Procyk, D.D., Archbishop of Pittsburgh; Bishop Michael J. Dudick, D.D., Bishop of Passaic; Bishop Andrew Pataki, J.C.L., D.D. Bishop of Parma; and Bishop George M. Kuzma, D.D., Bishop of Van Nuys, established the Canonical Commission for the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh. to draft a set of norms for this particular Church sui iuris in conformity with canon 167.§§ 1 & 2.

 

Each hierarch appointed a canon lawyer from his respective eparchy. The members of this commission are Father Philip Acquaro, C.S.B., J.C.L from the Eparchy of Van Nuys; Very Reverend Robert J. Hospodar, J.C.L., from the Eparchy of Passaic; Father Nicholas R.A. Rachford, J.C.L from the Eparchy of Parma; and the Very Reverend Richard J. Whetstone, J.C.O.L. from the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

 

The epochal task of drafting these norms was the first order of business for this canonical commission. Recognizing the importance of this project, the commission labored under the leadership of Bishop Andrew Pataki, episcopal moderator. Each draft of the commission, after careful study by the Council of Hierarchs, was submitted to the Congregation for the Eastern Churches for review. The commission had several exchanges with the competent authority in Rome concerning the text of the norms.

 

In June 1998, the final draft of the text was submitted to the Congregation in Rome as stipulated by canon law. After its reception in Rome, however, the Congregation asked for a more precise revision of the Norms due to a miscommunication regarding its text.

 

In December 1998, Bishop Pataki and the commission members traveled to Rome to meet with the Prefect of the Congregation, Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, his staff and canonical consultants. After this meeting, the final text of the Norms emerged.

 

The Norms were promulgated on June 29, 1999 the Feast of the Holy Preeminent Apostles Peter and Paul, by the Council of Hierarchs of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh. The hierarchs included Archbishop Judson M. Procyk, Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh; Bishop Andrew Pataki, Bishop of Passaic; Bishop George M. Kuzma, Bishop of Van Nuys; and Bishop Basil M. Schott, Bishop of Parma.

 

The Norms acquire the force of law for the Byzantine Metropolitan Church sui iuris of Pittsburgh on October 1, 1999, the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Godbearer.

 


 

MISSION STATEMENT OF THE

Byzantine Metropolitan Church Sui Iuris of Pittsburgh

 

The Byzantine Metropolitan Church Sui Iuris of Pittsburgh is desirous of remaining faithful to the principles of the Union of Uzhorod and feels a particular link with the Churches derived from that event. This Church also wishes to remain faithful to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the canons of the Codex Canonurn Ecclesiarum Orientalium, and other texts of the Holy See concerning this Church. Therefore, its Council of Hierarchs promulgates this mission statement.

Desiring the renewal of the spiritual, liturgical and canonical life of the Metropolia, this Council identifies the following goals:

 

          1) Education

          2) Worship

          3) Evangelization

          4) Ecumenism

according to the authentic traditions of the Christian East.

 

The hierarchs of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh, joined in full equality with all of the bishops of the United States, should collaborate to decide matters for the common good of the Churches, unity of action, common endeavors, the good of religion and ecclesiastical discipline.

 

In carrying out its mission, the Council of Hierarchs shall be ever mindful of its full communion with the Apostolic See of Rome.


Canon numbers are those of the Codex Canonurn Ecclesiarum Orientalium under which the respective norms fall.

 

EPARCHIES AND BISHOPS

 

Canon 194

§1. The eparchial bishops will confer only Eastern-rite dignities on their clerics, and only for outstanding contribution benefitting the church and its mission.

§2. Such dignities are conferred within a liturgical ceremony and, by the general agreement of the eparchial bishops, their insignia are then used in the territory of the Metropolitan Church.

§3. The dignities to be in use in the Metropolia of Pittsburgh are:

     1o. Mitred Archpriest - for the eparchial clergy;

     2o. Archpriest - for the eparchial clergy or archimandrite for the religious clergy.

§4. The insignia are the following:

     1E. Miter - for archpriests & archimandrites

     2E. Crozier - for archimandrites

     3E. Epigonation - for archpriests, hegoumenoi & archimandrites

     4E. Cross

 

Canon 198

The eparchial bishop is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the people on all Sundays and the days of precept. The days of precept are:

 

January 6 - Theophany of our Lord

Ascension of Lord

June 29 - Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

August 15 - Dormition of the Mother of God

December 25 - Nativity of our Lord 

 

 

Canon 204 §3

On the days of precept, and from the first day of the Great Fast through Bright Monday, the eparchial bishop is not to be absent from the eparchy unless for grave reason.

 

Canon 238 §1

To the eparchial assembly are to be called, besides those mentioned in canon 238:

1o. A number of deacons, not to exceed one-third of the number of priests, to be elected by the deacons of the eparchy.

2o. The superior of each religious community which has a house in the eparchy.

 

Canon 242

The eparchial bishop is to communicate the text of the laws, declarations and decrees which have been decided upon at the eparchial assembly to the metropolitan in his capacity as presider of the Council of Hierarchs.

 

Canon 252 §1

The chancellor, who is to be a presbyter or deacon, has only those obligations defined in the common law.

 

Canon 266

One-half of the members of the presbyteral council will be elected by the priests themselves. The proto-syncellus and syncelli and vicar judicial serve ex-officio. The remaining may come from the appointment by the eparchial bishop.

 

Canon 284 §3, 4o

A pastor is not to be assigned for a determined period of time except for the situations mentioned in canon 284 §3, 1o-3o.

 

Canon 294

The pastor is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the people of the parish entrusted to him on all Sundays and days of precept. The days of precept are:

 

January 6 Theophany of our Lord
  Ascension of our Lord
June 29 Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
August 15 Dormition of the Mother of God
December 25 Nativity of our Lord

 

Canon 295

It is required that each parish establish the appropriate councils dealing with pastoral and economic matters using the guidelines and operations set forth by the eparchial bishop.

 

Canon 297 §2

In order to provide for an adequate and dignified means of living the eparchial bishop will provide the retired pastor with 75 percent of the combined salary and subsistence pay of a pastor.

 

 

CLERICS

Canon 327

§1. Men who are properly prepared can be ordained to the offices of acolyte, lector cantor and subdeacon, who are minor clerics.

§2. Minor clerics will be governed by proper statute issued by competent authority.

 

Canon 353

§1. The seminary program of formation is to include at least one year of internship under the direction of a priest who has been trained for this responsibility.

§2. The internship is to take place during the academic year following the third year of seminary studies and prior to diaconal ordination. The internship is to emphasize social and charitable service, catechetical instruction and pastoral ministry.

 

Canon 365 §2

For the licit transfer of a cleric to an eparchy of another sui iuris church, the consent of the Council of Hierarchs is required.

 

Canon 377

When common prayer of the Divine Praises is not possible, all clerics should recite the divine praises privately in a manner to be established by the competent authority.

 

Canon 382

§1. Clerics are to abstain from all those things unbecoming to their state.

§2. Custom and the norms established by the eparchial bishop are to be observed in this regard.

 

Canon 386 §1

Clerics are not to be absent from their places of assignment for more than 60 days cumulatively per year, exclusive of the weekly day off, legitimate educational programs, conferences and spiritual retreats.

 

Canon 387

The attire for those in sacred orders is the clerical collar and suit.

 

Canon 392

§1. Clerics have the right to an annual vacation of 30 days including three Sundays.

§2. Priests must arrange for proper substitution approved by the pastor in the case of a parochial vicar and by the local hierarch in the case of pastors.

 

 

MONK AND OTHER RELIGIOUS

AS WELL AS MEMBERS OF OTHER INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE

 

Canon 410

The monastic life is held in special esteem. The Council of Hierarchs and each eparchial bishop is to foster the establishment and growth of monasteries, as well as communities of other vowed religious.

 

Canon 572

§1. Those wishing to establish a society of apostolic life without religious vows but living the common life and pursuing some particular apostolic purpose as a society, as set forth in canon 572, must submit their proposed constitutions to the eparchial bishop, who has the right to approve them.

§2. It is also the fight of the eparchial bishop to see to the canonical establishment of the society.

§3. A society of apostolic life, lawfully established, is a juridic person. The administration of goods is governed according to the common law.

§4. The Apostolic See and the eparchial bishop are competent to suppress a society of apostolic life. Regarding the disposition of goods of societies of apostolic life which cease to exist or are suppressed, the competent authority must be established in the statutes.

§5. The members of a society of apostolic life are subject to the Roman Pontiff as their supreme superior, whom they are obliged to obey also in accord with the virtue of obedience.

§6. A society of apostolic life may establish houses in other eparchies only with the consent of the eparchial bishop of the place in which the house is to be established.

§7. Admission to the society is governed by the constitutions, observing also the prescriptions of canon 450.

§8. Clerics and lay persons, in respect to all canonical effects, remain each in their own state.

§9. Dismissal is governed by the constitutions of the society. However, the decree of dismissal of a fully incorporated member cannot be executed unless it is approved by the eparchial bishop.

 

 

EVANGELIZATION OF NATIONS

 

Canon 585 §2

§1. There shall be a metropolitan commission on evangelization and missionary activity composed of the directors from each eparchy and chaired by a bishop.

§2. This commission is to prepare suitable guidelines for evangelization and missionary activity.

§3. The commission shall promote suitable evangelization and missionary programs and activities.

 

 

THE ECCLESIASTICAL MAGISTERIUM

 

Canon 622

There is to be a metropolitan catechetical commission composed of the directors of religious education of each eparchy and chaired by a bishop, as well as a metropolitan catechetical center.

 

Canon 621 §1

The Catechetical Commission shall prepare and update as needed a catechetical directory which will establish norms on catechetical formation by which the special character of the Eastern Churches is taken into account, so that biblical and liturgical emphasis as well as the traditions of the Byzantine Church in patrology, hagiography and iconography are highlighted in conveying the catechesis.

 

Canon 621 §3

The Catechetical Commission shall prepare and update as needed catechisms suited to the various groups of faithful, along with corresponding aids and means, and see to it that the different catechetical initiatives are promoted and harmonized among themselves.

 

Canon 657 §2

The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare new translations of the liturgical texts, as far as possible consulting with other churches, even non-Catholic ones, which share the Byzantine rite.

 

Canon 664 §1

§1. There are to be metropolitan censors, under the supervision of one of the eparchial bishops, composed of members, even from other churches, having suitable degrees in the sacred disciplines.

§2. This college is to serve as a resource for the various metropolitan commissions as well as to local hierarchs.

 

Canon 666 §3

All of the Christian faithful are to observe carefully the prescriptions of the secular law concerning copyright and the rights of authors.

 

 

DIVINE WORSHIP AND ESPECIALLY

THE SACRAMENTS

 

Canon 670 §2

It is for the eparchial bishop to grant the use of a Catholic building, church or cemetery to non-Catholic Christians, especially Eastern Christians, who lack such facilities.

 

Canon 685 §2

For liceity, a sponsor for baptism must be at least 16 years of age.

 

Canon 697

§1. Eucharist is to be given at the time of baptism regardless of the age of the one to be baptized.

§2. Baptism/Chrismation is most suitably administered during the Divine Liturgy; however, if it is administered outside the Divine Liturgy, the precious blood is to be reserved from the Liturgy of that day, to be used to communicate the newly-baptized.

§3. If it is absolutely not possible for the newly-baptized to receive the Divine Eucharist at the time of baptism, he is to receive it the next time he is present at the Divine Liturgy.

 

Canon 710

§1. An infant receives only the precious blood until he is able to take solid food.

§2. When administering the precious blood, it is to be given with the communion spoon.

 

Canon 707 §l

§1. Bread for the Eucharist is to be made of wheaten flour, water and yeast only. According to liturgical prescription the prosphora bears the seal (IC XC NI KA).

§2. The Eucharistic fast shall be from solids one hour before the reception of the Divine Eucharist. Medications and water may be taken anytime.

§3. The vestments for the Eucharist are according to the Ruthenian recension and are to be put on in the order of the vesting prayers. The sticharion can be of any liturgical color.

§4. The Divine Liturgy may be celebrated at any suitable time, although the morning hours are preferred. Rather than the Divine Liturgy, the Office of the Presanctified Gifts, preferably celebrated in the evening, is prescribed for the ordinary weekdays of the Great Fast.

§5. The Divine Liturgy should normally be celebrated in a properly constructed church. The altar where the Liturgy is to be celebrated should have its own iconostas. In a case of true necessity, the Divine Liturgy can be celebrated outside a church building.

§6. The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare a standard text of usage for the Divine Liturgy. This is to be adapted to modern times, legitimate organic development of the Liturgy.

§7. Only a bishop, presbyter or deacon may preach the homily.

§8. Women are prohibited from serving at the altar.

 

Canon 709 §2

§l. In cases of true necessity, deacons may distribute the Divine Eucharist.

§2. In the same cases, even minor clerics and members of the laity can be designated to distribute the Divine Eucharist.

     1o. A parish may have one person designated for this purpose plus another for each 75 communicants at the Liturgy.

     2o. The metropolitan Liturgical Commission is to prepare a program of training that includes theological and spiritual formation, the selection process for candidates and a practicum.

     3o. Those persons may take communion to those who, by reason of illness, infirmity or age, cannot attend the Divine Liturgy regularly.

     4o. If any priest or deacon is present at the Liturgy, in any capacity whatever, he is to make himself known to the principal celebrant and shall distribute the divine Eucharist, vested insofar as possible, and taking precedence over any minor cleric or lay person present.

 

Canon 758 §3

§1. Married men, after completion of the formation prescribed by law, can be admitted to the order of deacon

§2. Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the presbyterate, the special norms issued by the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases.

 

Canon 771 §1

§1. The name of each candidate for sacred ordination is to be announced publicly on at least three consecutive Sundays or days of precept prior to ordination.

§2. The publication should include an admonition to the Christian faithful that they make known to the competent authority any impediments or other reasons why the candidate is not fit tot sacred ordination.

 

Canon 782 §1

When a couple requests the service of solemn betrothal, it is to be done according to the prescriptions of the liturgical book.

 

Canon 784

§1. Besides the usual questioning concerning impediments, couples preparing for marriage should be given a psychological profile designed to evaluate their relationship in terms of suitability for marriage in the Catholic Church.

§2. The eparchial bishop is to determine which profile is to be used in his eparchy.

§3. The publication of banns is not required.

 

Canon 800 §2

For the licit celebration of a marriage, a person must be at least the minimum age required by the secular law of the place where the marriage is to be celebrated.

 

Canon 815

§1. In a mixed religion marriage, or when one of the parties is non-baptized, the pre-nuptial promises to raise the children Catholic and for the Catholic party to continue in the practice of the faith are to be made in the presence of the other party to the marriage and of the priest, who signs along with the one promising. They may also be made orally, but the priest must still sign as a witness.

 

Canon 838 §2

§1. It is recommended that marriages not take place during the Great Fast nor during the Great and Holy Week.

 

Canon 880 §2

§1. The special penitential seasons are:

     1o. The Great Fast

     2o. The Peter and Paul Fast 

     3o. The Dormition Fast [August 1-14]

     4o. The Philip Fast [November 15-December 24]

§2. Strict abstinence is to be observed on the first day of the Great Fast and on Great Friday. Simple abstinence is to be observed on Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast.

§3. Simple abstinence or an equivalent penance is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year.

 

 

ECUMENISM OR FOSTERING THE UNITY OF CHRISTIANS

 

Canon 904

§l. There is to be a metropolitan commission for ecumenism consisting of representatives of each eparchy and chaired by one of the bishops.

§2. This commission has for its purpose the objectives set forth in the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 25.3.93)

§3. Individual eparchial bishops are to establish within their own eparchies an officer for ecumenical affairs, guided by the objectives in Art. 44 of the Directory, who will work in close collaboration with other particular churches in their eparchy so as to give witness to Catholic communion.

§4. The metropolitan seminary is to foster ecumenical formation among its seminarians.

 

Canon 908

When joining with non-Catholics for prayer services of any kind, priests who have defected from the Catholic Church and are canonically irregular cannot perform any priestly functions in a Catholic Church.

 

 

OFFICES

 

Canon 937 §2

§1. Only the eparchial bishop can lawfully establish an ecclesiastical office in his eparchy.

§2. Lay persons who are appointed to an ecclesiastical office are not to be termed ministers. Rather, they exercise the lay apostolate.

 

 

THE TEMPORAL GOODS OF THE CHURCH

 

The finance officers of each eparchy are to consult with each other to draw up a list of taxes to be proposed to the eparchial bishops for various acts of the power of governance, and of the offerings made on the occasion of the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, of the sacraments, of the sacramentals and of the other liturgical celebrations, They are to review this list annually and make suitable proposals for adjustments.

 

Canon 1016 §1

In regard to offerings made by the Christian faithful for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy:

     1o. The eparchial bishop can accept stipends, or designate another to accept stipends, to be  persolved in the parishes or by the priests of his own eparchy.

     2o. The pastor of a parish can accept stipends or designate another to accept stipends, to be persolved in his own parish.

     3o. An individual priest can accept stipends thereby obliging himself to persolve those stipends.

  xxx


Exaltaton of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance. * Grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect your people by Your Cross. (Troparion)

Willing raised upon the Cross, O Christ God, * You bestow Your mercies upon a new people who are called by Your Name. *  May Your Church rejoice in Your strength. * Give her victory over every enemy. * May she have Your help as the weapon of peace, * the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

If God is slow in answering your request, and you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God. When you remain as you were before, without anything happening, it is either because your behaviour is not worthy of your request, or because the paths in which your heart was travelling were far removed from the aim of your prayer, or because your interior condition is far too childish, when compared with the magnitude of the thing for which you have asked.

St. Isaac of Nineveh [Syria], The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life.