Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/772

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698

ABCHPRIEST


698


ARCHPRIEST


were created, and sometimes several former archi- presbyterates were united. Sometimes, also, atten- tion "was paid to the civil subdivisions of the territory in question. The entire clergy of such a district constituted the rural chapter, at the head of which was the archpriest or rural dean. It was his duty, as representative of the bishop, to supervise the religious and ecclesiastical life of the entire territorj'. He enforced the regulations of the bishop and the decrees of diocesan synods, and watched over their observance; presented to the bishop for ordination all candidates for ecclesiastical office; adjusted minor differences among the clergy, and made known to the archdeacon any grosser misdeeds of clergy or laity in order that suitable penance might be imposed upon the offender. It was cus- tomary in the Carlovingian period that on the first of every month the archpriest and the clergy of


vicar, or vicar forane {vicarii joranei). an office at all times revocable. In France, and in those neigh- bouring territories affected by the ecclesiastical reorganization that followed the French Revolution, each of the new dioceses was diviiled into deaneries whose limits were calculated to corrcspontl with the civil subdivisions. In each district the parish priest of the principal church was usually the dean. Ac- cording to actual ecclesiastical law the di\'ision of a diocese into ileaneries pertains to the bishop; he may, if he chooses, combine .several such districts and make of them a single larger one. The selection of the deans pertains entirely to the bishop, though in some countries the rural chapters still retain the right of election. Deans possess no proper jurisdic- tion; they are merely delegates of the bishop for the performance of stated ecclesiastical duties. Their principal duty is to facilitate relations between the


Arcosolium with Frkscoes, Catacomb of St. Cy


his deanery should meet in common in order to discuss matters of importance. At a later date such meetings were called only once or twice a year. The rural chapter acquired in time the right of presentation to the deanery; it also elected a camc- rariuH for the atlministration of certain common funds, -Mid a diffinitoT, or assistant to the dean. The union of several such archipresbyterates formed an arcliidiaconate, whose deans were subject to the archdeacon.

In course of time, the office of dean or archpriest underwent many changes. This development was not the same in every country, and to this fact are traceable many local differences. The Council of Trent was content with the establishment of regulations concerning the visitation of parishes by the deans (Soss. X.VIV, cap.;J, De reform.). St. Cliarles Horromeo abolished the office of dean in his diocese and established in its place that of rural


clergy of their deanery and the ordinary (the bishop), to exercise a certain supervision over the clergy, to visit the parishes, and look into the administration of parochial duties by the parish priests. They are also wont to receive from the bishop permanent faculties for the performance of certain ecclesiastical benedictions. The duty of assisting the bishop at pontifical Mass, once incumbent on the archpriest of the cathedral, has devolveil partly on the dean of the cathedral chapter, and partly on the auxiliary- bishop, should there be one.

THOMA8HINU.S, V ctits ft 7tova Ecclfsiw dUcipHtui (London, 1700), pt. I. bk. II, iii-vi, 1. I'L'l s,|,,.; SciiMliiT, Thcmurus juris ecclesiasiici gcrmauu-i ( I IchU-IImt^. 1777^. Ill, 290 sqq., 314 Bqq.; Stutz, Gcsrhitfilr ths l,n;fi!)rhi ri Hmffiiuilwrsens von Anfana bis Aleia<i<lrr III (HorliTi, 1S!|-.); Imbaht i.k i.a Toun, Leg pnroissce rurnlea ilans rnncienne France du I\'o au XIo .sit-cle (Paris, 1900); SacmCi-lkh, Die Knlwieklunu det ArchiprcKhj/lrrats und Dikanats bia zum En/Ie drs Karolin(jer~ rriches (Tiiliingen, 1898); Idkm, Lchrbuch den kalhoHnchm AtrcAcnr(cA(« (Freiburg. 1904), 372 «iq. j p I^ihsch