What is the congregation?

Catholic Church - an incredibly large organization.At its head is the Pope, who, according to the doctrine of the church, is the successor of the Apostle Peter, and this fulfills the ministry as Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.By the beginning of his spiritual papacy united around a billion and a quarter people.Therefore, it is safe to say that Catholicism - is the world's largest religious denomination.In addition, the pope is a secular ruler of a sovereign city-state of Vatican City, is located in Rome.

course, to manage all these structures successor Apostles helps powerful administrative resource, which is divided into various kinds of commissions, departments, boards, management, tribunals, and the secretariats of the congregation.That's what a congregation, and will be discussed in this article.

Roman Curia

Firstly, to make a clear idea of ​​the papal system of administration, it is necessary to find out what the Roman Curia.This is the central and supreme authoritative body which, on behalf of the Roman Pontiff (one of the titles of the Pope) administers the Church and the Vatican.Since the papal state is the theocratic character of a monarchical form of government, the curia can not be compared with the Duma, or parliament.It's just the administration, at the highest level, who oversees all administrative and religious affairs of the church and the Vatican, as well as to the key intermediary between the Pope and the rest of the world.

Congregation in this system performs the role of head of department on a particular range of issues - is the basic meaning of the term within the Catholic world.On further its semantic load will be discussed below.

Congregation of the Roman Curia

Congregation - is the highest administrative unit in the Curia.There are several, and they are accountable to other, smaller divisions and departments.They first appeared relatively late - in the sixteenth century, in the amount of fifteen pieces.Over time, the bureaucracy of the Church has grown to twenty congregations.The reorganization followed in 1908, when Pope Pius X has reduced them to twelve.And half a century later, Pope Paul VI, to reform the system of church government, leaving only nine.That's how much they exist in our time.

Since its appearance before the reform and John Paul II, each congregation bore the official title of "sacred."One of them is most clearly entered the history of Europe in connection with the witch-hunt and persecution of heretics, becoming to some extent a household name.This is the famous Inquisition, which, incidentally, still exists.Today, it is officially called the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."Of course, these days its working methods have changed a little, and in the dungeons of its subordinate institutions have long been dismantled all the instruments of torture and biased inquiries.Nevertheless, it is the main congregation, which has the weight of all the others.Housed in a modern Inquisition matters of religion and morality.Its objective is to guard the purity of Catholic doctrine on religious issues and prevent unhealthy trends in the church to the revision of the doctrine of faith and morals.

religious congregations

As already mentioned, the term "congregation" is not exhausted in the dictionary only among Catholic terminology departments of the Roman Curia.Canon Law know another definition of the term.According to him, the congregation - a monastic organization that does not have the status of the order.Initially, these communities of monks practicing its own constitution without the approval of the Pope.They are also distinguished by the nature of the offering of vows.The fact that the monastic vows in a Catholic church before divided into simple and solemn.Recent brings only members of the regular orders and congregations were content with the usual format.Later, this division has been canceled, but there were some other differences.Thus, the number of congregations are relatively small, and they are members of his ministry mainly in the world, not the walls of the monastery.

How many congregations there is hard to say.They are a great many, and their number is constantly changing due to the closure of old, the initiation of new, merging and splitting of existing ones.In the Catholic environment, there is even a joke on this subject that even God does not know three things - how much money the mendicant orders, that the plotting and the Jesuits as in the Catholic Church there are religious organizations and congregations.

Plus, before this term were called polumonasheskie of lay or community, taking on certain obligations.Later they were called Societies of Apostolic Life.

Congregation Protestantism

However, the word "congregation" - this is not the exclusive property of the papal administration so monks.Outside the Catholic Church, Protestant Church, also known this term.But in the ranks of independent from the Vatican church, he has some other connotations.According to the established terminology, the word "congregation" - local congregation of believers.This community includes both laity and clergy.The peculiarity of the congregation is its complete administrative and religious independence from someone else.This form of device called the church Congregationalism, which is also the name of a particular Protestant denomination, adhere to this principle in your life.

secular meaning of "Congregation»

In conclusion, it must be said about the semantics of the word secular.And here it is necessary to recall England and its famous university in which to address certain issues periodically convened an academic meeting.Congregation and there is a such a meeting, which has the status of an advisory body under the leadership of the institution.