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Title: Bringing Together Eastern Catholics under a Common Civil Head
Subtitle: The Agreements between the Syriac and Chaldean Patriarchs and the Civil Head of the Armenian Catholic Church in Constantinople (1833-1871)
Author(s): MAGGIOLINI, Paolo
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 64    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2012   
Pages: 253-285
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.64.3.2961412

Abstract :
Between 1829 and 1830 the official recognition of the Armenian Orthodox and Catholic Churches as separate denominations drastically changed the traditional relationship between ecclesial and temporal powers, triggering a controversial development in the ecclesial identity of the Eastern Churches within the Empire and the socio-political condition of Christian Ottoman subjects. This dynamic involved two different issues. First, the Armenian Catholic Church legally had the chance to reunite ecclesial and civil power under a single authority, an important proof of its socio-political emancipation within the Ottoman system. Second, recognition of an Armenian Bishop as Bishop to all Catholic subjects and attribution of the title of 'Civil Patriarch' to this prerogative legally established that Melkites, Maronites, Syriacs and Chaldeans would be placed under his authority. Accordingly, for the first time in the history of Catholicism in the Ottoman Empire, the Sacred Congregation de propaganda fide was obliged to deliberate the possibility of reuniting all Catholic Ottoman subjects under a single civil authority.

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