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Title: Les circonscriptions ecclésiastiques ou communautés hiérarchiques de l'Église catholique
Author(s): SCHOUPPE, Jean-Pierre
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 81    Issue: 4   Date: December 2005   
Pages: 435-467
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.81.4.2004476

Abstract :
The notion of “ecclesiastical circumscription” is commonly used, notably in the Annuario Pontificio>, but it deserves to be more carefully studied at the theoretical level. This study specifies the ecclesiological context and canonical relevance of such “circumscriptions” and highlights its common characteristics. It reflects on the double phenomenon of the pluri-belonging of the faithful to different circumscriptions and the plurality of competitive jurisdictions of prelates. A typology of Catholic (Latin and Oriental) “circumscriptions” is then proposed. In the second part, the author considers the concept of “hierarchical community”. After an examination of whether or not the concepts “ecclesiastical circumscription” and “hierarchical community” are equivalent in the light of the French canonical literature, he argues in favour of the concept of “hierarchical community”, specifying the importance of giving the latter concept the same meaning as ecclesiastical circumscription. It is indeed important to prevent any unjustified reduction of the phenomenon of hierarchical communities present in Canon Law.

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