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The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Groupings of Particular Churches » Ecclesiastical provinces and regions
Canon 431. Neighbouring particular Churches are to be grouped into ecclesiastical provinces, with a certain defined territory. The purpose of this grouping is to promote, according to the circumstances of persons and place, a common pastoral action of various neighbouring dioceses, and the more closely to foster relations between diocesan Bishops.

§2 From now onwards, as a rule, there are to be no exempt dioceses. Accordingly, individual dioceses and other particular Churches which exist within the territory of an ecclesiastical province, must be included in that ecclesiastical province.

§3 It is the exclusive prerogative of the supreme authority in the Church, after consulting the Bishops concerned, to establish, suppress or alter ecclesiastical provinces.
Canon 432. §1 The provincial council and the Metropolitan have authority over the ecclesiastical province, in accordance with the law.

§2 By virtue of the law, an ecclesiastical province has juridical personality.
Canon 433. §1 If it seems advantageous, especially in countries where there are very many particular Churches, the Holy See can, on the proposal of the Episcopal
Conference, join together neighbouring provinces into ecclesiastical regions.

§2 An ecclesiastical region can be constituted a juridical person.
Canon 434. It is for a meeting of the Bishops of an ecclesiastical region to foster cooperation and common pastoral action in the region. However the powers given to
Episcopal Conferences in the canons of this Code do not belong to such a meeting, unless some of these powers have been specially granted to it by the Holy See.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 434, 23.V.1988]
The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Groupings of Particular Churches » Metropolitans
Canon 435. An ecclesiastical province is presided over by a Metropolitan, who is
Archbishop in his own diocese. The office of Metropolitan is linked to an episcopal see, determined or approved by the Roman Pontiff.
Canon 436. §1 Within the suffragan dioceses, the Metropolitan is competent:

1° to see that faith and ecclesiastical discipline are carefully observed and to notify the Roman Pontiff if there be any abuses;

2° for a reason approved beforehand by the Apostolic See, to conduct a canonical visitation if the suffragan Bishop has neglected it;

3° to appoint a diocesan Administrator in accordance with cann. 421 §2 and 425 §3.

§2 Where circumstances require it, the Apostolic See can give the Metropolitan special functions and power, to be determined in particular law.

§3 The Metropolitan has no other power of governance over suffragan dioceses. He can, however, celebrate sacred functions in all churches as if he were a Bishop in his own diocese, provided, if it is the cathedral church, the diocesan Bishop has been previously notified.
Canon 437. §1 The Metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium from the Roman
Pontiff, either personally or by proxy, within three months of his episcopal consecration or, if he has already been consecrated, of his canonical appointment.
The pallium signifies the power which, in communion with the Roman Church, the
Metropolitan possesses by law in his own province.

§2 The Metropolitan can wear the pallium, in accordance with the liturgical laws, in any church of the ecclesiastical province over which he presides, but not outside the province, not even with the assent of the diocesan Bishop.

§3 If the Metropolitan is transferred to another metropolitan see, he requires a new pallium.
Canon 438. The title of Patriarch or Primate gives a prerogative of honour, but in the latin Church does not carry with it any power of governance, except in certain matters where an apostolic privilege or approved custom establishes otherwise.
The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Groupings of Particular Churches » Particular councils
Canon 439. §1 A plenary council for all the particular Churches of the same Episcopal
Conference is to be celebrated as often as the Episcopal Conference, with the approval of the Apostolic See, considers it necessary or advantageous.

§2 The norm laid down in §1 is valid also for a provincial council to be celebrated in an ecclesiastical province whose boundaries coincide with the boundaries of the country.
Canon 440. §1 A provincial council, for the various particular Churches of the same ecclesiastical province, is celebrated as often as, in the judgement of the majority of the diocesan Bishops of the province, it is considered opportune, without prejudice to can. 439 §2.

§2 A provincial council may not be called while the metropolitan see is vacant.
Canon 441. It is the responsibility of the Episcopal Conference:

1° to convene a plenary council;

2° to choose a place within the territory of the Episcopal Conference for the celebration of the council;

3° to elect from among the diocesan Bishops a president of the plenary council, who is to be approved by the Apostolic See;

4° to determine the order of business and the matters to be considered, to announce when the plenary council is to begin and how long it is to last, and to transfer, prorogue and dissolve it.
Canon 442. §1 It is the responsibility of the Metropolitan, with the consent of the majority of the suffragan Bishops:

1° to convene a provincial council

2° to choose a place within the territory of the province for the celebration of the provincial council;

3° to determine the order of business and the matters to be considered, to announce when the provincial council is to begin and how long it is to last, and to transfer, prorogue and dissolve it.

§2 It is the prerogative of the Metropolitan to preside over the provincial council. If he is lawfully impeded from doing so, it is the prerogative of a suffragan Bishop elected by the other suffragan Bishops.
Canon 443. §1 The following have the right to be summoned to particular councils and have the right to a deliberative vote:

1° diocesan Bishops;

2° coadjutor and auxiliary Bishops

3° other titular Bishops who have been given a special function in the territory, either by the Apostolic See or by the Episcopal Conference.

§2 Other titular Bishops who are living in the territory, even if they are retired, may be invited to particular councils; they have the right to a deliberative vote.

§3 The following are to be invited to particular councils, but with only a consultative vote:

1° Vicars general and episcopal Vicars of all the particular Churches in the territory;

2° the major Superiors of religious institutes and societies of apostolic life. Their number, for both men and women, is to be determined by the Episcopal Conference or the Bishops of the province, and they are to be elected respectively by all the major
Superiors of institutes and societies which have a centre in the territory;

3° the rectors of ecclesiastical and catholic universities which have a centre in the territory, together with the deans of their faculties of theology and canon law;

4° some rectors of major seminaries, their number being determined as in no. 2; they are to be elected by the rectors of seminaries situated in the territory.

§4 Priests and others of Christ’s faithful may also be invited to particular councils, but have only a consultative vote; their number is not to exceed half of those mentioned in 1-3.

§5 The cathedral chapter, the council of priests and the pastoral council of each particular Church are to be invited to provincial councils, but in such a way that each is to send two members, designated in a collegial manner. They have only a consultative vote.

§6 Others may be invited to particular councils as guests, if this is judged expedient by the Episcopal Conference for a plenary council, or by the Metropolitan with the suffragan Bishops for a provincial council.
Canon 444. §1 All who are summoned to particular councils must attend, unless they are prevented by a just impediment, of whose existence they are obliged to notify the president of the council.

§2 Those who are summoned to a particular council in which they have a deliberative vote, but who are prevented from attending because of a just impediment, can send a proxy. The proxy, however, has only a consultative vote.
Canon 445. A particular council is to ensure that the pastoral needs of the people of
God in its territory are provided for. While it must always respect the universal law of the Church, it has power of governance, especially legislative power. It can, therefore, determine whatever seems opportune for an increase of faith, for the ordering of common pastoral action, for the direction of morality and for the preservation, introduction and defence of a common ecclesiastical discipline.
Canon 446. When a particular council has concluded, the president is to ensure that all the acts of the council are sent to the Apostolic See. The decrees drawn up by the council are not to be promulgated until they have been reviewed by the Apostolic

See. The council has the responsibility of defining the manner in which the decrees will be promulgated and the time when the promulgated decrees will begin to oblige.
The People of God » The Hierarchical Constitution of the Church » Particular Churches and Their Groupings » Groupings of Particular Churches » Conferences of bishops
Canon 447. The Episcopal Conference, a permanent institution, is the assembly of the
Bishops of a country or of a certain territory, exercising together certain pastoral offices for Christ’s faithful of that territory. By forms and means of apostolate suited to the circumstances of time and place, it is to promote, in accordance with the law, that greater good which the Church offers to all people.
Canon 448. §1 As a general rule, the Episcopal Conference includes those who preside over all the particular Churches of the same country, in accordance with can. 450.

§2 An Episcopal Conference can, however, be established for a territory of greater or less extent if the Apostolic See, after consultation with the diocesan Bishops concerned, judges that circumstances suggest this. Such a Conference would include only the Bishops of some particular Churches in a certain territory, or those who preside over particular Churches in different countries. It is for the Apostolic See to lay down special norms for each case.
Canon 449. §1 It is for the supreme authority of the Church alone, after consultation with the Bishops concerned, to establish, suppress, or alter Episcopal Conferences.

§2 An Episcopal Conference lawfully established has juridical personality by virtue of the law itself.
Canon 450. §1 By virtue of the law, the following persons in the territory belong to the
Episcopal Conference: all diocesan Bishops and those equivalent to them in law; all coadjutor Bishops, auxiliary Bishops and other titular Bishops who exercise in the territory a special office assigned to them by the Apostolic See or by the Episcopal
Conference. Ordinaries of another rite may be invited, but have only a consultative vote, unless the statutes of the Episcopal Conference decree otherwise.

§2 The other titular Bishops and the Legate of the Roman Pontiff are not by law members of the Episcopal Conference.
Canon 451. Each Episcopal Conference is to draw up its own statutes, to be reviewed by the Apostolic See. In these, among other things, arrangements for the plenary meetings of the Conference are to be set out, and provision is to be made for a permanent committee of Bishops, and a general secretary of the Conference, and for other offices and commissions by which, in the judgement of the Conference, its purpose can more effectively be achieved.
Canon 452. §1 Each Episcopal Conference is to elect its president and determine who, in the lawful absence of the president, will exercise the function of vice-president. It is also to designate a general secretary, in accordance with the statutes.

§2 The president of the Conference or, when he is lawfully impeded, the vice-president, presides not only over the general meetings of the Conference but also over the permanent committee.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 452, 23.V.1988]
Canon 453. Plenary meetings of the Episcopal Conference are to be held at least once a year, and moreover as often as special circumstances require, in accordance with the provisions of the statutes.
Canon 454. §1 By virtue of the law diocesan Bishops, those equivalent to them in law and coadjutor Bishops have a deliberative vote in plenary meetings of the Episcopal
Conference.

§2 Auxiliary Bishops and other titular Bishops who belong to the Episcopal
Conference have a deliberative or consultative vote according to the provisions of the statutes of the Conference. Only those mentioned in §1, however, have a deliberative vote in the making or changing of the statutes.
Canon 455. §1 The Episcopal Conference can make general decrees only in cases where the universal law has so prescribed, or by special mandate of the Apostolic See, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Conference itself.
[NB see Authentic Interpretation of canon 455 §1, 5.VII.1985]

§2 For the decrees mentioned in §1 validly to be enacted at a plenary meeting, they must receive two thirds of the votes of those who belong to the Conference with a deliberative vote. These decrees do not oblige until they have been reviewed by the
Apostolic See and lawfully promulgated.

§3 The manner of promulgation and the time they come into force are determined by the Episcopal Conference.

§4 In cases where neither the universal law nor a special mandate of the Apostolic
See gives the Episcopal Conference the power mentioned in §1, the competence of each diocesan Bishop remains intact. In such cases, neither the Conference nor its president can act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent.
Canon 456. When a plenary meeting of the Episcopal Conference has been concluded, its minutes are to be sent by the president to the Apostolic See for information, and its decrees, if any, for review.
Canon 457. The permanent committee of Bishops is to prepare the agenda for the plenary meetings of the Conference, and it is to ensure that the decisions taken at those meetings are duly executed. It is also to conduct whatever other business is entrusted to it in accordance with the statutes.
Canon 458. The general secretary is to:

1° prepare an account of the acts and decrees of the plenary meetings of the
Conference, as well as the acts of the permanent committee of Bishops and to communicate these to all members of the Conference; also to record whatever other acts are entrusted to him by the president or the permanent committee;

2° to communicate to neighbouring Episcopal Conferences such acts and documents as the Conference at a plenary meeting or the permanent committee of Bishops decides to send to them.
Canon 459. §1 Relations are to be fostered between Episcopal Conferences, especially neighbouring ones, in order to promote and defend whatever is for the greater good.

§2 The Apostolic See must be consulted whenever actions or affairs undertaken by
Conferences have an international character.

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