Orientalium dignitas is a papal encyclical concerning the Eastern Catholic churches issued by Pope Leo XIII on November 30, 1894. The encyclical further established the rights of the Eastern Catholic churches. This includes a prohibition against Latinizing influences among Eastern Catholics, encouragement of Eastern Catholics to remain true to their church traditions, and the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Melkite patriarch to include the whole of the Ottoman Empire.

Orientalium dignitas
Latin for 'The dignity of the Easterners'
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII
Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII
Signature date 30 November 1894
SubjectOn the Churches of the East
Number53 of 85 of the pontificate
← Iucunda semper expectatione
Christi nomen →

In the encyclical, Leo said "that the ancient Eastern rites are a witness to the Apostolicity of the Catholic Church, that their diversity, consistent with unity of the faith, is itself a witness to the unity of the Church, that they add to her dignity and honour. He says that the Catholic Church does not possess one rite only, but that she embraces all the ancient rites of Christendom; her unity consists not in a mechanical uniformity of all her parts, but on the contrary, in their variety, according in one principle and vivified by it."[1]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The Uniate Eastern Churches[permanent dead link], by Adrian Fortescue, George D. Smith (2001 reprint ISBN 0-9715986-3-0), p. 40

References edit

  • Descy, Serge (1993). The Melkite Church. Boston: Sophia Press.
  • Dick, Ignatios (2004). Melkites: Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholics of the Patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Boston: Sophia Press.

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