An ecclesiastical province (Latin, provincia ecclesiastica ) or Metropolia is a federation of several neighboring dioceses and forms in the Church hierarchy, an intermediate level between the local Church and the universal Church. Provinces there are in the Roman Catholic Church, the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Church. Only name similarity exists with the former ecclesiastical provinces of the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union.
The head of an ecclesiastical province is entitled Metropolitan and is itself diocesan bishop of a diocese of the Ecclesiastical Province (Metropolitan diocese ). The other dioceses of the ecclesiastical province are called suffragan dioceses whose bishops suffragan bishops also. Compared to these, the Metropolitan has a management or supervisory function without intervention rights. Related to this is his duty to report to the Apostolic See. He watches over the observance of the faith and of ecclesiastical discipline in his suffragan dioceses and in the case of a vacancy for the appointment of a diocesan Administrator is responsible. With the consent of his suffragan bishops also a provincial council may be convened.
The diocese of the Metropolitan has the rank of Archdiocese, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the. However, the Archdiocese has no special legal status, in most cases goes with this rank but the seat of a Metropolitan Church accompanied. In rare cases, may also be suffragan to another church province but an archdiocese, the Archdiocese of Aix is one example of the ecclesiastical province of Marseille and is subordinate to the archbishop of Marseille as Metropolitan.
Roman Catholic Church
The legal bases are in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 can. 431 CIC can. 432 CIC set:
- Can. 431: § 1 In order to promote a common pastoral action of various neighboring dioceses according to the personal and local circumstances and to establish relations of diocesan bishops to care for each other better, neighboring local Churches are to be connected to ecclesiastical provinces with well circumscribed area. § 2 Exemte dioceses should not usually give it in the future; therefore, the individual dioceses and other particular Churches that are in the area of an ecclesiastical province, are attributed to this church province. § 3 It is the responsibility solely of the highest ecclesiastical authority, to establish, after consultation with the affected bishops ecclesiastical provinces, withdraw or modify.
- Can. 432: § 1 of the Ecclesiastical Province have line authority in accordance with the law, the provincial council and the Metropolitan. § 2 The Church Province has by law legal personality.
However, there are dioceses that do not belong to the ecclesiastical province and report directly to the Apostolic See. Such dioceses are called exemt or immediat. Examples of immediate dioceses are:
- The dioceses in Switzerland,
- The Archdiocese of Vaduz,
- The Archdiocese of Luxembourg and
- The Archdiocese of Strasbourg.
In Germany there are seven ecclesiastical provinces since 1994. These are Bamberg, Berlin, Freiburg (also Oberrheinische ecclesiastical province ), Hamburg ( also North German Ecclesiastical Province ), Cologne ( also Rhenish ecclesiastical province ), Munich - Freising and Paderborn ( also means German Ecclesiastical Province ). Former Church of provinces are in the present-day territory of Germany all or part of Basel ( to 1801 ), Bremen ( until 1648 called to 1072 Hamburg- Bremen), Gniezno ( for Lebus until 1424), Wroclaw ( also East German Ecclesiastical Province ), Lund ( 1104-1536, Roskilde in North Western Pomerania, and Schleswig ), Magdeburg (up to 1648), Mainz ( until 1801 ), East German ecclesiastical province ( 1930-1972 ), Salzburg ( until 1821 ) and Trier (up to 1801).
In Austria there are two ecclesiastical provinces, the ecclesiastical province of Salzburg with the Archdiocese of Salzburg as a Metropolitan bishopric and suffragan Gurk, Graz -Seckau, Innsbruck and Feldkirch, as well as the ecclesiastical province of Vienna with the Archdiocese of Vienna as a Metropolitan bishopric and suffragan Linz, St. Pölten and Eisenstadt.
In Switzerland, there is neither church nor archdioceses provinces. The dioceses in Switzerland are directly subordinate to the Holy See.
In Italy there are forty church provinces. Because of this large number of several ecclesiastical provinces are there together again to an association, the church region.
In France there are 15 ecclesiastical provinces. The bishoprics of Metz and Strasbourg are exempt directly under the Holy See.
Roman Catholic ecclesiastical provinces in Austria
Roman Catholic ecclesiastical provinces in France
The Church of England is divided into two provinces, Canterbury and York, each with an archbishop at the top. The Anglican Church of Australia has five provinces: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as an extra a provincial diocese. The Anglican Church of Canada has four: British Columbia and the Yukon, Canada, Ontario and Rupert's Land. The Church of Ireland has two: Armagh and Dublin. The Episcopal Church of the United States of America will award its nine provinces numbers instead of names.