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Author Topic: Episcopacy, Monasticism and Monastic Orders  (Read 803 times) Average Rating: 0
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Benjamin the Red
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« on: March 12, 2013, 07:08:21 PM »

Hello again! I don't think I've ever posted so much in this forum.

I have another question for the Roman Catholics on the board (or others who may know), but I wanted to know canonically what the relationship is in a single man between his being a bishop, his being a monk and him belonging to a monastic order (e.g., Benedictine, Trappist, Dominican, etc.)

In the Orthodox Church, we very strongly follow the rule that a bishop must be a professed monk, which was decided by Ecumenical Council (I think Chalcedon, but maybe Constantinople II). Most churches bylaws also include this requirement, stating that a candidate for bishop must first be tonsured a monk prior to his consecration to the episcopacy. I know that the OCA requires the candidate to be at least a Rassophore monk (i.e., the first professed rank). Other jurisdictions, I believe, require them to be Stavrophore (the next rank of monasticism, generally considered "fully professed", also called the "small schema").

So, my questions are as follows:

1. Does the RCC require its bishops to be professed monastics?
2. Do professed monastics have to belong to a specific religious order? (or rather, are there monks that don't belong to a specific order?)

The reason I ask this is because I was doing some research on Pope Benedict, given the conclave, and I can't find any information about him belonging to a particular monastic order, which makes me wonder if he is a monk, and if so, that means he doesn't belong to a specific order.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 07:22:54 PM »

Hello again! I don't think I've ever posted so much in this forum.

I have another question for the Roman Catholics on the board (or others who may know), but I wanted to know canonically what the relationship is in a single man between his being a bishop, his being a monk and him belonging to a monastic order (e.g., Benedictine, Trappist, Dominican, etc.)

In the Orthodox Church, we very strongly follow the rule that a bishop must be a professed monk, which was decided by Ecumenical Council (I think Chalcedon, but maybe Constantinople II). Most churches bylaws also include this requirement, stating that a candidate for bishop must first be tonsured a monk prior to his consecration to the episcopacy. I know that the OCA requires the candidate to be at least a Rassophore monk (i.e., the first professed rank). Other jurisdictions, I believe, require them to be Stavrophore (the next rank of monasticism, generally considered "fully professed", also called the "small schema").

So, my questions are as follows:

1. Does the RCC require its bishops to be professed monastics?
2. Do professed monastics have to belong to a specific religious order? (or rather, are there monks that don't belong to a specific order?)

The reason I ask this is because I was doing some research on Pope Benedict, given the conclave, and I can't find any information about him belonging to a particular monastic order, which makes me wonder if he is a monk, and if so, that means he doesn't belong to a specific order.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!

Many of the modern popes have been members of the various Third Order Laity. I think Pope Benedict is a Benedictine Oblate. Other than that option, most popes are from the ranks of diocesan priests and bishops who do not take the monastic vows.

The papal white dress supposedly came about when Pope Saint Pius V, a Dominican, became Pope. Since he wore his white Dominican habit while Pope, the next pope continued wearing white.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 07:25:29 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 11:34:08 PM »

1. No
2. Depends.  A man normally becomes a monk by making a profession in a Monastic Order.  However, a bishop can erect an autonomous monastery belonging to no Order.

Popes in Orders: 17 were Benedictines, 1 Calmaldolese, 6 Augustinians, 4 Canons Regular, 4 Dominicans, 4 Franciscans, 2 Conventual Franciscans and 2 Cistercians
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 07:26:40 AM »

1. No
2. Depends.  A man normally becomes a monk by making a profession in a Monastic Order.  However, a bishop can erect an autonomous monastery belonging to no Order.

Popes in Orders: 17 were Benedictines, 1 Calmaldolese, 6 Augustinians, 4 Canons Regular, 4 Dominicans, 4 Franciscans, 2 Conventual Franciscans and 2 Cistercians

1. Interesting. When did this become the case? Or, not to ask a loaded question, were the appropriate canons of the Council ever actually followed in the West, or was it more of an Eastern problem, and thereby followed by them but not Rome?
--Also, sub-question, when was it that bishops had to be celibate in the West? Everyone talks about when priests had to be celibate, but did that history coincide with a celibate episcopacy, or were bishops expected to be celibate before then?

2. Also interesting. I'd like to learn more about these "autonomous monasteries" that belong to no order. Any info would be appreciated!

Hmmm. Only 40 popes have belonged to orders? More than interesting. Fascinating.
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 08:30:39 AM »

1. No
2. Depends.  A man normally becomes a monk by making a profession in a Monastic Order.  However, a bishop can erect an autonomous monastery belonging to no Order.

Popes in Orders: 17 were Benedictines, 1 Calmaldolese, 6 Augustinians, 4 Canons Regular, 4 Dominicans, 4 Franciscans, 2 Conventual Franciscans and 2 Cistercians

1. Interesting. When did this become the case? Or, not to ask a loaded question, were the appropriate canons of the Council ever actually followed in the West, or was it more of an Eastern problem, and thereby followed by them but not Rome?
--Also, sub-question, when was it that bishops had to be celibate in the West? Everyone talks about when priests had to be celibate, but did that history coincide with a celibate episcopacy, or were bishops expected to be celibate before then?

2. Also interesting. I'd like to learn more about these "autonomous monasteries" that belong to no order. Any info would be appreciated!

Hmmm. Only 40 popes have belonged to orders? More than interesting. Fascinating.

I don't believe that you are actually correct in your OP. I don't believe that it is a requirement that an Orthodox bishop be a monk (though they usually are), only that they are celibate. As almost all Roman Catholic priests are celibate anyway, it seems to me that were they Orthodox they'd be eligible to be considered for the episcopate just as they are in Roman Catholicism.

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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 08:46:15 AM »

Keep in mind though that within Orthodoxy, as often is the case,  one has to look beyond the texts and canons to the reality. Celibate men are rarely ordained to the priesthood in any of Orthodoxy's various national churches who are not monastics. In the Roman Rite, ONLY celibates are ordained.

In Orthodoxy, there are monastic priests who truly are of, and in, a monastic life AND setting and others who, while professed monks, are really more involved with academic, diocesan or even pastoral work. They may maintain ties with a particular monastery and may spend time there occasionally but they don't all live an idealized Athonite life. Bishops often come from that sort of background, not to mention from the ranks of widowed pastoral clergy. To me the comparison on this point between east and west is perhaps one more of form, rather than substance.

(In any case, a candidate for episcopal elevation in any Orthodox jurisdiction must be celibate and be at least some form of monastic, even if only for the purpose of his ultimate elevation.)
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 10:40:22 AM »

Antiochians do not require them to be monks.
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 11:33:58 AM »

I may be wrong about the canon, jmbejdl. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll see if I can find the text!

Also, I'd like to take a moment here and say that I'm not trying to poke at the RCC for not following some tradition or being weird, different or otherwise heterodox. I'm just generally interested in their practices and would like to know more. That's why I usually start a thread here. I hope no one has taken any offense or has been otherwise put off by my questions, that certainly wasn't the intention.

Appreciate the replies thus far, I feel like I've learnt quite a bit!
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 05:45:42 PM »

2. Also interesting. I'd like to learn more about these "autonomous monasteries" that belong to no order. Any info would be appreciated!

Most of the examples I can think of are Greek Catholic.  For example in my Eparchy there was a Byzantine Benedictine Monastery.  A few years back it fell under the numbers the Benedictine Order requires to be an independent monastery and they were going to have to affiliate with a larger Latin Benedictine Monastery.  Rather than do this they simply disaffiliated from the Order and were taken under the omophor of the Metropolitan as an autonomous monastery.
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 03:15:29 AM »

Antiochians do not require them to be monks.
Yea, but they're Antiochian.

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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 03:17:50 AM »

2. Also interesting. I'd like to learn more about these "autonomous monasteries" that belong to no order. Any info would be appreciated!

Most of the examples I can think of are Greek Catholic.  For example in my Eparchy there was a Byzantine Benedictine Monastery.  A few years back it fell under the numbers the Benedictine Order requires to be an independent monastery and they were going to have to affiliate with a larger Latin Benedictine Monastery.  Rather than do this they simply disaffiliated from the Order and were taken under the omophor of the Metropolitan as an autonomous monastery.
Out of interest, of what "order" are most Byzantine Catholic monasteries? How similar are they to Orthodox monasteries?
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 08:03:22 AM »

2. Also interesting. I'd like to learn more about these "autonomous monasteries" that belong to no order. Any info would be appreciated!

Most of the examples I can think of are Greek Catholic.  For example in my Eparchy there was a Byzantine Benedictine Monastery.  A few years back it fell under the numbers the Benedictine Order requires to be an independent monastery and they were going to have to affiliate with a larger Latin Benedictine Monastery.  Rather than do this they simply disaffiliated from the Order and were taken under the omophor of the Metropolitan as an autonomous monastery.
Out of interest, of what "order" are most Byzantine Catholic monasteries? How similar are they to Orthodox monasteries?

I have a Slovak cousin who is a BCC nun. I think her order is called Sister Servants of Mary and seems Roman in its formulation although she is what we would call very "vostochnyj" or Eastern oriented in her spiritual life.

The BBC Bishop of Parma Ohio, His Grace, Bishop John, has encouraged a proper Orthodox orientation for his eparchy' s nuns in recent years. Several of them have spent considerable time at the OCA monastery in Otego, NY in recent years and were professed last summer in traditional Orthodox style by Bishop John taking new names and adopting traditional Orthodox garb. So, in some parts is the EC world, the times they are a changing it seems.

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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 08:16:40 AM »

1. No
2. Depends.  A man normally becomes a monk by making a profession in a Monastic Order.  However, a bishop can erect an autonomous monastery belonging to no Order.

Popes in Orders: 17 were Benedictines, 1 Calmaldolese, 6 Augustinians, 4 Canons Regular, 4 Dominicans, 4 Franciscans, 2 Conventual Franciscans and 2 Cistercians
and one is a Jesuit
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 09:07:01 AM »

Is there something extraordinary in the idea of a Jesuit pope? Outside of the fact it has never happened before pope Francis. Are Jesuits supposed to avoid episcopacy or something?
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 09:19:40 AM »

Is there something extraordinary in the idea of a Jesuit pope? Outside of the fact it has never happened before pope Francis. Are Jesuits supposed to avoid episcopacy or something?
Yes.  Supposedly their founder didn't want them to be "administrators."
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2013, 09:32:47 PM »

Is there something extraordinary in the idea of a Jesuit pope? Outside of the fact it has never happened before pope Francis. Are Jesuits supposed to avoid episcopacy or something?
Yes.  Supposedly their founder didn't want them to be "administrators."

Jesuits promise not to seek out higher office in the Society or Church at large.  That does not mean they cannot be elected or appointed to them.  St. Ignatius' intent for his order was to be at the service of the Pope and be able to go anywhere needed, hence their fourth vow.  A bishop was wed to his diocese.

Jesuit vows:
I, (name), make my profession, and I promise to Almighty God, in the presence of his Virgin Mother, the whole heavenly court, and all those here present and to you, Reverend Father (Provincial, Rector, etc.) representing the Superior General of the Society of Jesus and his successors and holding the place of God, perpetual poverty, chastity and obedience; and, in conformity with it, special care for the instruction of children, according to the manner of living contained in the apostolic letters of the Society of Jesus and its Constitutions.  I further promise a special obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff in regard to the missions according to the same apostolic letters and Constitutions.
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