Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/771

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697

AKOmVES


697


ARCHPRIEST


Orbit Situ (Leipiig, 1807). Ill; Tertdllian in P. L.; Potter, Antiquitiet of Greece (Kdillburgh, 1813); Uincham, Chrittian Aniiquitiea (Lomlon. 1840); Percival, The Serm (Ecumeni- cal Counnlt. Vol. XIV of 2d »eries of The Sicene and /'«»/- Nicrne Falhera (New York, 1900); Dighy. Morea Culhotici (New York, 1894); Putnam, liooka und Their Makers (New York. 1890), 47 siiq.; Maitland, The Dark Aoet {Landou, 1890); Pelliccia. I'otity of the Christian Church, tr. by IlKLl.trrr (London, 1883); llARO.s-irs, AnnaU; Ferrahih, Jiibtiotheca prompta, (1852); Ll'cidi, De Visitatione (Rome. 1883); Van Espen, Jus ecclrs. (I-ouvain. 1753); I{avmiinui, In- structio pastoratis (FreiliurK. 1902); EncyclopMie du dii' neuiUme si^cte (Paris. 184(1); KncyclopMi^ catholi^ue (Paris, 1840); MOhlbauer, Thesaurus resol. S.C. Concilit (Munich, 18721.

P. J. Hayes. Archives, Vatk'an. See Vatican Archives. Archives of the Holy See. See Vatican Ar-

IIIIVKS.

Archontics (from ipx"', prince, ruler), a Gnostic sect which existed in Palestine and Armenia about the midille of the fourth century. St. E|)iph:iniiis seems to be the earliest Christian writer who spealis of this strange sect. lie relates that a young priest in Palestine named Peter had been convicted of Gnostic errors, deposed from the oflice of the priest- hood and expelled by Bishop Aetius. lie fled into tl\at part of .\rabia where there was a centre of Ebi- onitism. In his olii age, apparently but not really converted, he returned to Palestine, where he lived the life of an anchorite in a cave near Jerusalem and attracted followers by the aiLsterity of his life and the practice of extreme poverty. Shortly before the deatli of the Ein|)eror Constantius {337-.'J(J 1 ) , Eu- tactus, coming from Eijj'pt, visited the anchorite Peter and was imbued by him with the doctrines of the sect and carried them into Greater and Lesser Armenia. St. Epiphanius excommunicated Peter and the sect seems to have died out soon after. Following the description of St. Epiphanius in giving a summarj' of the doctrines of the sect, we find there are seven heavens, each of whidi is ruled by an Spx"" (prince) surroimded by angels begotten by him, who are the jailers of the souls. In the eighth heaven dwells the supreme Mother of light. The king or tyrant of the seventh heaven is Sabaoth. the god of the Jews, who is the father of the Devil. The Devil, dwelling upon earth, rebelled against his father, and opposed him in all things, and by Eve begot Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel in a quarrel about their sister, whom both loved. The souls, which are of heavenly origin are the food of the princes who cannot live witnout them. When the soul has reached the stage of Knowledge {-yvCjaii), and has escaped the baptism of the Church and the power of Sabaoth, who is the author of the law, it flies to each of the heavens, makes humble prayer to its prince, and finally reaches the supreme Mother and Father of all things, from whom it h;is dropped upon the earth. Thcodoret adds that it is the prac- tice of some of these heretics to pour oil and water on the heads of the dead, thereby rendering them invisible to the princes and withdrawing them from their (xjwer. "Some of them", continues St. I-Jpi- phanius, "pretend to fast after the manner of the monks, deceiving the siinple, and boast of having renounced all property. They deny the rcsurre<lion of the lx)dy, admitting only that of the soul; they condemn baptism and reject the participation of the Holy Mysteries as something introduced by the tyrant Sabaoth, and teach other fables full of im- piety." "They are addicted", says St. John Dama- scene, "to a most sliamcful kind of lust." Their apocrj'phal books were the greater and!es.ser "Sym- phonia", the "Anabatikon [:issumption] of Isaias", a book called 'AXXo7e>'ei'$, and other iiseudo-propheti- cal writings. They rejected the Old Testament, but used sentences torn from their context both in tlio Old and the N'ew Testament to prop up their heresy. St. Epiphanius refutes their extravagant doctrines


at some length, showing the absurdity and dishonesty of their abu.se of Scripture texts. He writes, not with the calm detachment of the historian, but with the zeal of the pastor who is dealing with contemporary error.

St. Epiphanius, Adv.har., P. G., XLI.. 077. 699; Theodore- tub, liar. Fab. Comp., P. O., I.XXXIII, 361; St. John Da- mascene, D(f//tfr*r»iii«, /*. G'., XCIV, 701. li. GULDNER.

Arcbpriest. — Just as among the deacons of the bishop's church one stood out as the special as.sistant and rci)re.scntative of the bishop, and, as archdeacon, actiuired a jurisdiction of his own, -so do we find since the fourth century in numerous dioceses an arch- priest, or head of the college of presbyters, who aidetl and representctl the bishop in the discharge of his liturgical and religious iluties. As a rule, and especially in Home, whence the custom spread, the oklest of the presbyters was invested with this rank; in the Greek Church, on the other hand, his a|)pointment often lay in the hands of the bishop. Hy the seventeenth canon of the Fourth Synod of Carthage, the archpriest was also a.ssociated with the bishop as his representative in the care of the poor. After the complete Christianization of the Roman and Germanic peoples, we meet in the West with another kind of archpriest. The spiritual needs of the population scattered through the rural districts niultii)hed .so rapidly that it became impo.s- sible for the clergj- of the episcopal city to attend to all. Consequently, we .soon find the larger rural centres equipped with their own churches, a per- manent clergy, and their own sources of support. The inhabitants of the neighbouring hamlets, and of the wiilely scattered manors were, from the be- ginning, subject to these larger, or mother-churches {ecclcsia rusticana, dioccesana, varochia), in so far as it w:is there that they hearil Alass and received the sacraments. The entire parish was known as chrustiaititas or plcbs.

The archpriest was the fii-st in rank among priests attached to such mother-churches. He was at the head of the local clergj-, liad charge of Divine wor- ship, and supervi-sed the duties of the ecclesiastical ministry. He was, however, subject to the arch- deacon; several such large rural communities, or par- ishes, constituted an archidiaconate. The private chapels, which gradually multiplied on the estates of the great landowners and to which priests were at- tached, with the bishop's permission, Avere not exempt from the juri.sdiction of the archpriest. All parishion- ers were obliged to be present at the principal Mass on Sunday in the mother-church (trcUsia haplixmalis, titulu.s major). All baptisms took place there ami burial services were ticld nowhere else. In the lesser churches of the territory (lituli minores) there were permitted only the daily Mass, the usual devotions, ami instruction in the elements of Chri.s- tian faith. The archpriest of the mother-church was the head of all the dergj' in his parish, and was responsible for the proper execution of their eccle- siastical duties and for their manner of life. Grad- ually, it came about, especially in the Carlovingian period, that many tiluli miiiorcs became independent parish churches, where all religious ceremonies, including Sunday Mass and baptism, were performed; the number of parishes was tlius notably increa-sed. It came about also that when a diocese was very extensive, the entire diocese was subdivided into a number of ilistricts (called archipresbyterates, decanates, or christianitates), over each of which a priest was placed as dean or archpriest. The use of the term arclilprisbylcrale for these tiioccsan districts proves that the former exten.sive parishes made a basis for this division, though the boundarj' lines of the new districts did not necessarily cor- respond with the limits of the original parishes. In many cases entirely new ecclesiastical districts