Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PATRIARCH

The father and ruler of a family, tribe, or race in biblical history. A name commonly applied to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Also a prelate who has the honor of being called the prince of fathers but is without jurisdiction except in virtue of some particular law. He holds precedence over primates, metropolitans, and bishops. In the order of their dignity, the Patriarch of Rome leads those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In the East there are patriarchs of the Armenian, Maronite, Melkite, and Chaldean rites, with minor patriarchs of Venice, Lisbon, the West and East Indies. The power and importance of patriarchs, except that of the Pope, have diminished since the Eastern Schism. They have the right to ordain all bishops of their patriarchate; consecrate the holy chrism; summon synods; send the omophorion (pallium) to their metropolitans, and hear appeals from lower courts. they are the highest rulers in their churches. The Sovereign Pontiff alone is over them. (Etym. Greek patriarch_s, father of a race.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

New Ebook on Renewal and Evangelization 9 hours ago
More evidence that you can't trust the Pill 10 hours ago
Did Cardinal McCarrick compare Allah to the Trinity? 10 hours ago
An intriguing new Catholic publisher: Tuscany Press 11 hours ago
Calvary is a must-see Catholic film 15 hours ago

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days