Territorial and personal jurisdictions. Ordinariates

Paul Hayward (“Canon Law Society of Great Britain & Ireland” Newsletter nº 176 (2013), pp. 36-48).


The main purpose of this paper is to take a look at the way in which the Church organises the division of her jurisdictions, that is, the manner in which different portions of the faithful are allocated or ascribed to the ecclesiastical authority for their pastoral care.

The term “jurisdiction” in this context is to be understood as referring to any of the Church’s hierarchical structures, consisting of a bishop (or priest exercising episcopal or quasi-episcopal functions), assisted by his presbyterium (whether incardinated in the structure or assigned in some other way), providing pastoral care for a defined group of lay faithful. The important thing is the “entrustment” of a group of faithful by the Supreme Authority to an episcopal authority, in such a way that a relationship of hierarchical subjection arises between the faithful and the bishop (or priest with episcopal faculties), who must by virtue of his office have all the necessary juridical power to enable him to govern.1

The question to be addressed here is fundamentally this: in the case of hierarchical structures, what is the criterion by which a particular group of faithful is entrusted to this or that episcopal authority for its pastoral care?

The principle generally adopted is that of territory, which in its turn is dependent on the concept of domicile.2 As we shall see, this principle has a long tradition in the Church’s history, and to a large extent retains its importance in the 1983 Code.3 

However, the current law also allows the possibility of other criteria, based on the personal condition of the faithful, such as nationality, rite, or profession. We might ask therefore: to what degree are these situations to be considered as exceptional or anomalous, or as constituting a deviation from the “ideal” of territoriality?

Connected with this is the question of the extent to which territoriality is to be considered an essential (constitutive) element of a hierarchical structure; and the related issue of “objective assignment”, that is, whether membership of a hierarchical structure should always be something determined “from above”, and not simply by the free choice of the person concerned.

Historical background

For a better understanding of these matters it may be helpful first of all to look briefly at some historical developments, before dwelling on certain aspects of the present-day situation, with particular reference to Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.4

Soon after the Church gained her freedom early in the 4th century, the 1st Council of Nicea (325) introduced the principle of “one bishop for one city”, chiefly for the sake of public order,5 but also as an expression of the fact that each bishop formed part of a sacramental and juridical order that demanded mutual harmony and unity.6

As territorial limits became clearer in the 5th and 6th centuries, the Christian Church decided to adopt the administrative structure of the Roman Empire, as a practical organisational measure.7 

The “one bishop for one city” principle was retained, by and large, over the succeeding centuries,8 and was reiterated at Lateran IV (1215), reinforced by reference to such images as the “mystical marriage” of the bishop to the city,9 and the need to avoid a “many-headed monster”;10 as well as by the growing feudalisation of civil society and the ever more powerful ties between the people and the land.11

The advent of the hierarchically-structured mendicant orders around this time gave rise to discussions over the territorial or personal nature of jurisdiction.12 For St Thomas Aquinas, ecclesiastical power was not to be seen as dominium or absolute power over a specific portion of territory, but rather as a service that could be rendered in collaboration with other pastors. Territory in his opinion should not be considered an essential element of jurisdiction, but should be viewed as one of a number of possible mechanisms for regulating the exercise of power.13

Despite St Thomas’s insights, there were few immediate inroads into the principle of territoriality, which was reaffirmed by the Council of Trent (1545-1563),14 and remained the overwhelmingly dominant organisational principle until the 20th century.

The CIC 1917 continued the strict territorialist approach, allowing little scope for defining a community of the faithful by any criterion other than that of territory.15

However, changed social circumstances and new pastoral needs, combined with an increased understanding of the rights of the faithful and the desire to make the means of formation more readily accessible to them, led to the search for more flexible pastoral structures.16

Significant developments during the 20th century included:

a) the promulgation by Pope Pius XII of the Apostolic Constitution Exsul Familia (1952),17 which provided special pastoral care for immigrants, sailors, refugees and others, through chaplains with special faculties granted by the Holy See;18

b) the erection of the Mission de France (1954),19 making use of the figure of the prelature nullius to create, within the territorialist confines of the CIC 1917,20 a structure allowing secular priests to carry out interdiocesan pastoral work;21

c) the establishment of a limited number of Latin Ordinariates for faithful of Eastern rite who had no hierarchy of their own in the country in which they were residing, the proper Ordinary usually being the Latin-rite bishop of the capital city;22

d) the development of the notion of “cumulative jurisdiction” from 1940 onwards, especially in respect of the military vicariates. Whereas formerly the practice was for the Pope to “exempt” military personnel from the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, and to delegate jurisdiction exclusively to the military vicar, cumulative jurisdiction now provided a way of ensuring that the military vicar’s jurisdiction did not eliminate or diminish that of the local Ordinary.23

In general, however, the heavy stress on the hierarchical dimension of Church meant that any personal structure was still seen as somehow “interfering” with the power of the local Ordinary and the parish priest.

Changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council

Vatican II represented a major change of vision: Lumen Gentium stressed the community aspect of the Church, which is the new People of God. To be a member of the People of God did not mean simply to be subject to the hierarchy, but above all to be a disciple of Christ.24

In this context Vatican II defined the diocese not as a territorial unit but as “a portion of the People of God which is entrusted to a bishop to be shepherded by him with the cooperation of the presbyterium”.25

No. 8 of the 1967 Guiding Principles for the revision of the Code of Canon Law spoke of the need “to adapt in some manner the principle of territoriality in the exercise of ecclesiastical government”, adding that “the requirements of the modern apostolate seem …. to call for the creation of personal jurisdictional units”. Hence “in drafting the new law, it is determined that the general principle according to which the people of God are to be governed is one of territoriality; however, where it is useful, other references along with territoriality can be entered as criteria for determining a community of faithful.”26

This change of vision meant that jurisdictions were now to be seen in the light of the Church’s sanctifying and evangelising mission: the diocese and parish were not simply static territorial units; they were also dynamic instruments of evangelisation – living communities, in which clergy and laity alike had “a share in the functions as well as the life of the body”.27 

New personal hierarchical structures

In the current definition of a diocese provided by canon 369 of the CIC 1983, there is no reference to territory.28 Territory is presented in canon 372 §1 as an extrinsic criterion (albeit the normal one) for determining a particular Church.29 Hence the Code allows the possibility of erecting, within the same territory, particular Churches based on other criteria.30 It follows that if a particular Church were to be based on one of those alternative criteria, it would not constitute a “privilege”: rather, it would reflect the reality that the two principles – territoriality and personality – are complementary.31

As a result of the new possibilities opened up by this new vision, a variety of personal jurisdictions have been established by the Holy See, specifically:

a) the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, whose characteristics were judged to be “perfectly suited” to the figure of the personal prelature which the Second Vatican Council introduced into the legislation of the Church,32 and whose specific pastoral task is “to put into practice the teaching of the universal call to sanctity, and to promote at all levels of society the sanctification of ordinary work, and by means of ordinary work”.33 It is headed by a Prelate (in practice a bishop), with proper, ordinary, personal power;34

b) military Ordinariates “for the spiritual care of military people”,35 replacing the former military vicariates, and extending to military personnel as well as members of their households and others involved in military institutions or tasks.36 The military Ordinary, usually a bishop, has proper, ordinary, personal power, cumulative with that of the diocesan bishop;37

c) the Personal Apostolic Administration of St John Mary Vianney, Campos, Brazil,38 for receiving into full communion with the Catholic Church the members of the traditionalist Priestly Union of St John Mary Vianney.39 The Apostolic Administrator (in practice a bishop) has proper,40 ordinary, personal power, cumulative with that of the diocesan bishop;41

d) a new Latin Ordinariate for faithful of Eastern rite residing in Poland (1991), entrusted to the Archbishop of Warsaw as its proper Ordinary;42 

e) the recent Anglican Ordinariates, established in response to requests from groups of Anglicans who have been moved by the Holy Spirit “to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately”.43 The power of the Ordinary, who may be a priest or bishop, is vicarious (in the name of the Roman Pontiff), ordinary, and personal.44 We shall consider shortly whether this power is also cumulative with that of the diocesan bishop.

Primary and complementary structures

At the time of the promulgation of the CIC 1983, the relationship of a “hierarchical structure” to a “particular Church” was not entirely clear;45 and while there is still no definitive clarification of what exactly constitutes a particular Church (or what prevents a structure from being one),46 what is beyond doubt is that a hierarchical structure does not necessarily correspond to the theological concept of a particular Church.47

Various authors have expressed the view that there is a distinction to be drawn between “primary” (or “original”) hierarchical structures and “complementary” (or “additional”) hierarchical structures.48 The latter, while not constituting particular Churches, nevertheless have a true hierarchical character (based on the bishop-presbyterium-laity relationship), and are instituted to fulfil some need either of the particular Church itself or of the universal Church.49 

Primary structures include dioceses and the other “portions of the People of God” listed in CIC 1983, c. 368 §1 (territorial prelatures, territorial abbacies, vicariates apostolic, prefectures apostolic, and permanently established apostolic administrations); while complementary structures include the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, the military Ordinariates, the Personal Apostolic Administration of St John Mary Vianney, as well as the Mission de France and the Latin Ordinariates for faithful of Eastern rite.50 Members of these complementary structures are at the same time members of the particular Church of their domicile.

Matters affecting the Anglican Ordinariate

What is the position of the Anglican Ordinariates in this respect? It seems to be generally agreed that the Ordinariate does not constitute a particular Church.51 If, as has been suggested,52 the members of the Ordinariate are not members of the particular Church in which they have their domicile, then there are certain ecclesiological issues which will require further clarification.53 Specifically the situation of its members in such a case would seem to conflict with the statement made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith54 in its 1992 Letter Communionis Notio (no. 10) that “entry into and life within the universal Church are necessarily brought about in a particular Church”. For this reason a number of authors consider that the members of the Ordinariate must also belong to the diocese in which they are domiciled: in other words, they belong both to the primary structure of the diocese, and to the complementary structure of the Ordinariate.55 

While the official documentation does not definitively resolve this issue, it should be noted that art. 9 of the Decree of Erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham of 15 January 2011 provides that: “The faithful of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham who are, temporarily or permanently, outside the territory of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, while remaining members of the Ordinariate, are bound by universal law and those particular laws of the territory where they find themselves”, with a footnote reference to CIC 1983, c. 13 §3.56 This canon is concerned with vagi – i.e. those who have neither domicile nor quasi-domicile. Members of the Ordinariate are thus treated as being “without domicile” whenever they leave the territory of England and Wales. Furthermore, art. 10 provides that a person who leaves the Ordinariate “automatically becomes a member of the Diocese in which he resides”, implying that until that moment he or she is not considered to be a member of the diocese.

Another issue which will require further clarification is the significance of the statement in Anglicanorum Coetibus, V, that the power of the Ordinary is to be exercised “jointly” with that of the local diocesan bishop, especially in matters to do with pastoral and charitable activities.57 In the case of the military Ordinariates, the Prelature of Opus Dei, the Apostolic Administration of Campos, and (at least some) Latin Ordinariates for faithful of Eastern rite,58 the power of the Ordinary is described as “cumulative”.59 In view of what has been said about members of the Ordinariate and their relationship with the diocese, it will be necessary to see with time – and hopefully with the benefit of authoritative clarifications – whether and to what extent the Ordinary’s power can in fact be considered as cumulative with that of the diocesan bishop.60 

One area in which this will have practical importance is that of marriage. Art. 5 of the Decree of Erection of 15 January 2011 establishes: “For a cleric not incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to assist at a marriage of the faithful belonging to the Ordinariate, he must receive the faculty from the Ordinary or the pastor of the personal parish to which the faithful belong.”61 In the opinion of Fr Ghirlanda SJ, if the faithful of the Ordinariate wish to marry in the parish of the territory in which they have their domicile, for the marriage to be valid the Ordinary (or the parish priest of the Ordinariate) must delegate the faculty.62 However, CIC 1983, c. 1109, provides that, within the limits of their territory, the local Ordinary and (territorial) parish priest validly assist at the marriage both of their subjects and of their non-subjects “provided one or other of the parties is of the Latin rite.” Since it seems to be generally accepted that members of the Ordinariate are Latin-rite Catholics,63 one wonders why the wording of that canon cannot be considered sufficient to ensure the validity of marriages of Ordinariate members in any church in which the local Ordinary or the parish priest is acting “within the limits of his territory”.64

Objective assignment and voluntary membership

Turning to the question of whether “objective assignment” (as opposed to the free choice of the faithful) is a necessary requirement for membership of hierarchical structures,65 it is clear that the law provides for “voluntary” membership of such structures in a number of instances:

a) art. IX of Anglicanorum Coetibus and art. 3 of the Decree of Erection of 15 January 2011 provide that those eligible who wish to enter the Personal Ordinariate “must manifest this desire in writing”:66 in other words, the fact of coming from Anglicanism is not in itself sufficient, but what is constitutive and necessary is the voluntary act of joining;

b) CIC 1983, c. 296, provides that lay faithful “can” become members of a personal prelature “by way of agreements made with the prelature”;67 similarly art. X, 4º of Spirituali Militum Curae appears to allow some possibility of voluntary membership by agreement with the military Ordinary;68

c) art. IX, 1 of the Decree Animarum Bonum allows those who were not already members of the previous St John Mary Vianney Union to apply in writing to join the new Personal Apostolic Administration.69

Hence although objective assignment may be the most common manner in which groups of faithful are entrusted to a bishop (for example, those domiciled within the territory of a diocese are normally assigned by law to that diocese; those who join the armed forces are assigned by law to the military Ordinariate, as well as to the diocese of their domicile) there is clearly no justification for holding that objective assignment has to apply in every case, or for arguing that the “voluntariness” of membership automatically means that the structure in question is of an associative rather than a hierarchical nature.


1. Territoriality is not an essential component of every hierarchical structure, as is clear from the Church’s actual practice, especially since Vatican II, and from its current law.70

2. The strongly territorialist approach of previous centuries was a logical reflection of the prevailing conception of the Church as a two-tier society in which the laity were effectively perceived as the passive recipients of the pastoral action of the hierarchy. The ecclesiological insights of Vatican II have helped bring about a clearer realisation that the overriding considerations are the salus animarum and the need to find the most effective way of enabling the faithful to respond to the call, “each according to his or her particular condition, to exercise the mission which God entrusted to the Church to fulfil in the world”.71 Seen in this light, the principles of territoriality and personality are instruments to be used in the manner that is most appropriate in each case.

3. Cumulative jurisdiction is likewise to be seen as an instrument at the service of the faithful, and as a way of providing them with all appropriate pastoral care.72

4. Membership of a hierarchical structure need not depend on “objective assignment”. Even though the structure itself needs to be erected by the Supreme Authority, there is no fundamental reason why membership cannot in appropriate cases be brought about by the free choice of the individual.73

5. Structures based on personality are not intended to “compete” in any way with primary territorial structures but rather to support and facilitate their pastoral governance.74

6. The various forms of personal jurisdiction which we have looked at can be seen to embody what Pope John Paul II, in promulgating the CIC 1983, described as “the elements which characterise the true and genuine image of the Church,” namely “the doctrine in which the Church is presented as the People of God …; the doctrine in which the Church is seen as a ‘communion’; the doctrine, moreover, according to which all the members of the People of God, in the way suited to each of them, participate in the threefold office of Christ: priestly, prophetic and kingly. With this teaching there is also linked that which concerns the duties and rights of the faithful, and particularly of the laity; and finally, the Church’s commitment to ecumenism.”75

Final consideration

In his homily at the ordination of the first three priests of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Archbishop Vincent Nichols described the event as “a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the Catholic Church”.

The Church establishes territorial and personal structures in order that, each performing its own role in the building up of the entire body, they may work together and provide mutual support and assistance in carrying out the Church’s task of sanctification and evangelisation. The eventual success and fruitfulness of a new structure such as the personal Ordinariate will depend to a large extent on the warmth and openheartedness with which it is welcomed by other Catholics. In this connection there is widespread appreciation of the manner in which the Bishops of England and Wales have responded to Pope Benedict’s request at Oscott College last September for generosity in implementing Anglicanorum Coetibus.76 As the Pope said on that occasion: “This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal can be accomplished.”77

1 Cf. J. I. Arrieta, Governance Structures within the Catholic Church, Montreal, 2000, pp. 55-59. The distinction to be borne in mind is between a hierarchical structure and a structure of an associative nature. The latter consists of “a permanent group of people gathered together to achieve specific purposes, by means of an organisation recognised by law”: L. Martínez Sistach, Associations of Christ’s Faithful, Montreal, 2008, p. 32. The purpose, foundation, constitution, organisation and membership of an association are always voluntary; while what ensures the permanence of the association is the continuing will of the members. Unlike a hierarchical structure, an association does not form part of the Church’s “self-organisation”, but arises out of the fundamental right recognised to all the faithful in CIC 1983, c. 215. Whereas in a jurisdictional structure it is essential that there be a bishop, presbyterium and laity, in an association the ecclesial condition of the members (ordained or non-ordained) is not of the essence.

2 Cf. CIC 1983, cc. 102-107.

3 CIC 1983, c. 372 §1: “As a rule, a portion of the people of God which constitutes a diocese or other particular church is limited to a definite territory so that it includes all the faithful living in the territory.”

4 4 November 2009: AAS 101 (2009), 985-990. The Apostolic Constitution was accompanied by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, issued in L’Osservatore Romano, 9-10 November 2009, p. 7 (English edition 11 November 2009, p. 4); cf. also the CDF’s Decree of Erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, 15 January 2011.

5 Canon 8 of the Council of Nicea dealt with the problem of the readmission to the Church of the heretical Cathari whose bishops and priests claimed similar powers to those of Christian bishops and priests. The Council stipulated that where a Cathari bishop was readmitted, he could remain a bishop provided that in his village there were only Cathari clergy; but if he was in, or came into, a city where there was already a Catholic bishop, he must take the rank of priest.

6 Cf. A. Viana, Derecho Canónico territorial: Historia y doctrina del territorio diocesano, Pamplona, 2002, pp. 22-23.

7 Cf. M. Costalunga, L’organizzazione in province e regioni ecclesiastiche, Ius Canonicum 22 (1982), pp. 749-762, at pp. 750-751.

8 Such exceptions as existed were explained by Gratian and later commentators in terms of subordination to the one Ordinary: if there were other bishops in the diocese, these were to be regarded as exercising their functions as vicars of the diocesan bishop, who remained the sole caput of the diocesan community: cf. O. Condorelli, «Ecclesia», «civitas» e giurisdizione episcopale: interpretazioni e applicazioni del c. 9 del Concilio Lateranense IV nei secoli XIII-XV, Ius Ecclesiae 16 (2004), pp. 21-40, at p. 25.

9 The image had in fact already been used around the time of Nicea I, and possibly earlier by St Cyprian (3rd century): cf. Condorelli, «Ecclesia», p. 24, footnote 5.

10 Canon 9 of Lateran IV was issued in response to the new situations arising out of the Crusades and the taking of Constantinople in 1204 – the short-lived Latin Empire of the East, 1204-1261, with the installation of Latin ecclesiastical hierarchies in the East, and the problems arising in dioceses populated by faithful of different rites or languages: cf. Condorelli, «Ecclesia», pp. 34-35. The canon stated: “Since in many places peoples of different languages live within the same city or diocese, having one faith but different rites and customs, we therefore strictly order bishops of such cities and dioceses to provide suitable men who will do the following in the various rites and languages: celebrate the divine services for them, administer the Church’s sacraments, and instruct them by word and example. We altogether forbid one and the same city or diocese to have more than one bishop, as if it were a body with several heads like a monster. But if for the aforesaid reasons urgent necessity demands it, the bishop of the place may appoint, after careful deliberation, a Catholic bishop who is appropriate for the nations in question and who will be his vicar in the aforesaid matters and will be obedient and subject to him in all things.”

11 Cf. M. Delgado, Los principios de territorialidad y personalidad y las circunscripciones eclesiásticas personales, Ius Canonicum 82 (2001), pp. 607-629, at p. 610; J. Otaduy, Territorialidad y personalidad son categorías jurídicas abiertas, Ius Canonicum 83 (2002), pp. 13-39, at p. 21. The practical effect of canon 9 of Lateran IV was the creation of separate hierarchies for the different Eastern Churches, whose jurisdiction was thenceforward to be determined by reference to both territoriality and rite. Thus the principle of strict territoriality, which continued to be adhered to in the Latin Church, was modified to one of “qualified territoriality” in the East, making it possible for various Churches of different rites to coexist within the same territory: cf. D. Le Tourneau, La “potestas regiminis” du patriarche sur ses fidèles, in Ius Ecclesiarum – Vehiculum Caritatis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004, pp. 825-835, at pp. 826-827.

12 Hitherto there had not been a problem in this respect, since monastic life had been characterised by the territorial stability and autonomy of governance of each monastic family. For details of the debate that arose between the University of Paris on one side, and St Thomas and St Bonaventure on the other, over the question of whether the local diocesan and parochial organisation was directly willed by Christ, see Viana, Derecho Canónico territorial, pp. 49-81; also C. Tammaro, La giurisdizione degli ordini mendicanti durante il Medioevo: la disputa tra religiosi e secolari nell’Università di Parigi durante il XIII secolo, Angelicum 83 (2006), pp. 377-395, at pp. 388-392.

13 Cf. Tammaro, La giurisdizione, p. 395.

14 See Viana, Derecho Canónico territorial, pp. 87-91. Viana explains how the Council had to address the problem of the coexistence of different jurisdictions, relating not only to religious orders but also to certain ecclesiastical jurisdictions of a secular nature, some of which stemmed from privileges granted and not revoked, others from customs arising in places where the boundaries of the diocese were vague. Trent lamented so many privileges and exemptions.

15 See for example CIC 1917, canons 215-217; 319 §1. Canon 216 §4 did allow the possibility of personal parishes, but only by special apostolic indult. The Code did not contemplate the possibility of personal dioceses or prelatures. Cf. E. Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, Philippine Canonical Forum 12 (2010), pp. 101-130, at p. 101.

16 The new pastoral needs arose out of, among other factors, increased social mobility and the need to protect and defend the faith of Catholic migrants: see V. de Paolis, La Chiesa e le migrazioni nei secoli XIX e XX, Ius Canonicum 85 (2003), pp. 13-49; E. Baura, Movimientos migratorios y derechos de los fieles en la Iglesia, Ius Canonicum 85 (2003), pp. 51-86; Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, pp. 102-103; A. Viana, La Sede Apostólica y la organización de la asistencia pastoral a los emigrantes, Ius Canonicum 85 (2003), pp. 87-121.

17 AAS 44 (1952), pp. 649-704.

18 Pastoral activities for these groups were coordinated by national organisms, which however did not enjoy jurisdictional power, each chaplain remaining subject to the authority of the local Ordinary: cf. Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 103.

19 Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Omnium Ecclesiarum, 15 August 1954: AAS 46 (1954), pp. 567-574.

20 CIC 1917, c. 319 §2, provided that an abbacy or prelature nullius having fewer than three parishes was to be governed by a special law. The erection of the prelature nullius of the Mission de France was made on the basis of the conferral of the single parish of Pontigny as territory.

21 Cf. Delgado, Los principios, p. 612. On the pre-1917 history and development of the prelature nullius (which corresponds to the territorial prelature in the CIC 1983), see Viana, Derecho Canónico territorial, pp. 97-123.

22 These included Argentina, Austria (for faithful of Byzantine rite), Brazil and France: cf. Arrieta, Governance Structures, pp. 187-189; G. Grigoriţǎ, Il concetto di Ecclesia sui iuris. Un indagine storica, giuridica e canonica, Rome 2007, p. 156.

23 For a detailed study of the history of cumulative jurisdiction, cf. C. Soler, Jurisdicción cumulativa, Ius Canonicum 55 (1988), pp. 131-180. Cf. also the analysis in Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, pp. 107-114.

24 “The state of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God”: Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 9. “And if by the will of Christ some are made teachers, pastors and dispensers of mysteries on behalf of others, yet all share a true equality with regard to the dignity and to the activity common to all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ”: Lumen Gentium, 32.

25 Decree Christus Dominus, 11.

26 Preface to the CIC 1983; cf. Communicationes 1 (1969), p. 84.

27 Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, 2. “The obligation of spreading the faith is imposed on every disciple of Christ, according to his state”: Lumen Gentium, 17; cf. J. Hervada, Pensieri di un canonista nell’ora presente, Venice, 2007, p. 212.

28 “A diocese is a portion of the people of God which is entrusted to a bishop for him to shepherd with the cooperation of the presbyterium, so that, adhering to its pastor and gathered by him in the Holy Spirit through the gospel and the Eucharist, it constitutes a particular church in which the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and operative”; cf. the similar definition given for an eparchy in CCEO 1990, c. 177 §1.

29 “As a rule, a portion of the people of God … is limited to a definite territory so that it includes all the faithful living in the territory.”

30 CIC 1983, c. 372 §2: “Nevertheless, where in the judgment of the supreme authority of the Church it seems advantageous after the conferences of bishops concerned have been heard, particular churches distinguished by the rite of the faithful or some other similar reason can be erected in the same territory.” To date no such particular churches have been established.

31 Cf. Otaduy, Territorialidad, pp. 14-18; Á. del Portillo, Dinamicità e funzionalità delle strutture pastorali, in Rendere amabile la verità, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, pp. 475-498. In fact there is no jurisdiction that is “purely” territorial or “purely” personal: every territorial jurisdiction has some personal element (e.g. there may be laws that “follow” a person who is absent from the territory), and every personal jurisdiction has some territorial element (e.g. the “scope” of personal jurisdictions may be defined by reference to the boundaries of an episcopal conference or a diocese).

32 Cf. Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, 10; Motu proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae, I, 4.

33 Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit, 28 November 1982, AAS 75 (1983), pp. 423-425, Preamble; cf. CIC 1983, cc. 294-297.

34 Cf. Ut Sit, III-IV; CIC 1983, c. 295 §1; cf. J. B. Achacoso, The Hierarchical Nature of Personal Prelatures. A Study of the Foundational Charism of Opus Dei and its Canonical Configuration as Personal Prelature, Philippine Canonical Forum 8 (2006), pp. 29-64.

35 Apostolic Constitution Spirituali Militum Curae, 21 April 1986, AAS 78 (1986), pp. 481-486, Preamble.

36 Cf. Spirituali Militum Curae, X, 1º-4º; see also Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 102, for brief details and bibliography relating to the history of the military vicariates.

37 Cf. Spirituali Militum Curae, II §1; IV-V.

38 Congregation for Bishops, Decree of Erection Animarum Bonum, 18 January 2002: AAS 94 (2002), pp.  105-108.

39 This came about in response to an initial request to Pope John Paul II in 2001 from Bishop Licínio Rangel and 25 priests of the St John Mary Vianney Union. Bishop Rangel had been excommunicated in 1991 for receiving episcopal ordination without a Papal mandate. For a detailed analysis of the decree of erection, see G. Incitti, Note sul decreto di erezione dell’Amministrazione apostolica personale S. Giovanni Maria Vianney, Ius Ecclesiae 14 (2002), pp. 851-860.

40 “Administratio Apostolica personalis … pastorali curae Administratoris Apostolici committitur, sui veluti Ordinarii proprii”: Animarum Bonum, IV. Baura, pointing out that the characteristic feature of apostolic administrations is that they are governed in the name of the Supreme Pontiff (c. 371 §2), considers that the phrase sui veluti Ordinarii proprii is not conclusive as to whether the power is in fact proper or vicarious: “what would be decisive is to determine the extent of the need for the consent of the Holy See for the governance of the circumscription”: Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 123.

41 Cf. Animarum Bonum, V.

42 Cf. Grigoriţǎ, Il concetto, p. 156. The decree of erection for this Ordinariate has not been published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, but the Ordinariate is listed in the Annuario Pontificio along with the other Latin Ordinariates for faithful of Eastern rite created prior to Vatican II. Also in 1991 a similar Ordinariate for Eastern Europe (with an Eastern-rite Ordinary) was created for Armenian Catholics in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and southern Russia: cf. Delgado, Los principios, p. 627.

43 Anglicanorum Coetibus, Preamble. For details of previous experience of the corporate reception of Anglicans into the Catholic Church, see W. H. Stetson, A History of the Pastoral Provision (1980-2000), Canon Law Society of America, Proceedings of the Seventy-Second Annual Convention, Buffalo, New York, October 11-14 2010, pp. 217-227. For the historical background to the Anglican Ordinariates see G. Read, Commentary, Canon Law Society Newsletter 160 (2009), pp. 24-35. Apart from the USA Pastoral Provision dealt with by Stenson, Read also mentions at pp. 26-27 the special arrangements made for the corporate reception of the Anglican Diocese of Amritsar, India, into full communion with the Catholic Church in 1975.

44 Cf. Anglicanorum Coetibus, IV-V; Complementary Norms, 4 §1. Although the latter provision seems to imply that the power of the Ordinary is less than fully episcopal, as it excludes or at least limits legislative and judicial power (cf. J. M. Huels, “Anglicanorum Coetibus”: Text and Commentary, Studia Canonica 43 (2009), pp. 389-430, at pp. 400-401), such a restriction would not be consistent with the overall intention of the Apostolic Constitution: cf. J. I. Arrieta, Gli Ordinariati personali, Ius Ecclesiae 22 (2010), pp. 151-172, at pp. 171-172.

45 Hence a degree of debate over the most suitable place in the CIC 1983 for personal prelatures; hence also the exclusion from the CIC for the time being of military Ordinariates, other than the reference in c. 569 to “special laws” for chaplains to the armed forces: see Arrieta, Gli Ordinariati personali, p. 159; Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 120.

46 Compare the descriptions in cc. 134 §1 and 368; the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 833; as well as the Vatican II Decrees Ad Gentes, chapter III, and Orientalium Ecclesiarum, passim.

47 According to Arrieta, the main difference is that, while entry to a particular Church is by means of Baptism, entry to other structures does not have the sacrament of Baptism as its efficient cause – even if membership takes effect from the moment of Baptism. He thus distinguishes between belonging to a structure “through” Baptism, and belonging to a structure “from the moment of” Baptism: cf. Gli Ordinariati personali, p. 160.

48 The terminology is not settled, and varies from one author to another. References to “complementary” structures are not intended to suggest that the primary structures are somehow incomplete without them: cf. Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 111.

49 Cf. J. Hervada, Elementos de Derecho Constitucional Canónico, Pamplona, 1987, pp. 308-313. The 1992 CDF Letter Communionis Notio, no. 16, states: “For a more complete vision of this aspect of ecclesial communion – unity in diversity – one needs to bear in mind that there are institutions and communities established by the Apostolic Authority for specific pastoral tasks. They belong as such to the universal Church, though their members are also members of the particular Churches where they live and work. The manner of belonging to the particular Churches, with its own particular flexibility, takes different juridical forms. But it does not erode the unity of the particular Church founded on the Bishop; rather, it helps endow this unity with the interior diversification which is a feature of communion.”

50 Cf. Hervada, Pensieri, p. 214.

51 Cf. Huels, “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, p. 391; see also footnote 63, below.

52 G. Ghirlanda, in a commentary published in L’Osservatore Romano, English weekly edition, 18 November 2009, pp. 8-10, says that those who join the Ordinariate are “members of a Personal Ordinariate and not of the Diocese in which they are domiciled” (p. 9).

53 Cf. Arrieta, Gli Ordinariati personali, p. 166.

54 The same Congregation upon which the Ordinariate is dependent: cf. Anglicanorum Coetibus, II; Complementary Norms, 1.

55 Huels is in no doubt about it: “The faithful of the ordinariate belong to two jurisdictions, both the Latin Catholic territorial diocese and the ordinariate, as well as a territorial parish and possibly also a personal parish of the ordinariate. The diocesan bishop has jurisdiction over the faithful of the ordinariate who have domicile or quasi-domicile in the diocese (c. 107, §1); the ordinary’s power is personal and extends to all members of the ordinariate anywhere in the world”: “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, p. 398. Similarly, Read, Commentary, p. 32, says: “As Latin rite Catholics, members of the Ordinariate would also belong territorially to a Diocese in much the same way as those who belong to a military Ordinariate.” Cf. also Arrieta, Gli Ordinariati personali, pp. 160, 166.

56 CIC 1983, c. 13 §3: “Vagi are bound by both the universal and particular laws which are in force in the place in which they are present.”

57 Cf. Anglicanorum Coetibus, IV; Complementary Norms, 5 §2.

58 In France the power is stated to be “cumulative”; in Argentina it is described as “exclusive”: cf. Arrieta, Governance Structures, pp. 188-189.

59 In the case of the Prelature of Opus Dei there is no explicit statement to this effect as the areas of jurisdiction of the Prelate are defined in its Statutes in such a way as not to overlap with those of the diocesan bishop. Nevertheless from the individual’s point of view there is a dual relationship of hierarchical subjection (to the Prelate and the diocesan bishop), and there is no reason why in any future personal prelature the jurisdiction of both Prelate and diocesan bishop should not extend to the same matters.

60 Huels considers that in matters other than those to which “joint” power applies, there is cumulative jurisdiction: “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, p. 399. Ghirlanda says that it is not cumulative: cf. G. Ghirlanda, La Costituzione Apostolica “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, Periodica 99 (2010), pp. 373-430, at p. 410. J. M. Diaz Moreno, in a Commentary on Anglicanorum Coetibus in Revista Española de Derecho Canónico 67 (2010), pp. 414-436, says (at p. 427) that “joint” and “cumulative” should be treated as substantially identical in their meaning, which is none other than to affirm that the personal jurisdiction of the Ordinary and the territorial jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop should be coordinated and should complement each other so as to avoid possible conflicts. Baura says: “Perhaps future singular acts of erection of Ordinariates may affirm the double subjection of these faithful to the jurisdiction of the diocese and to that of the Ordinariate; however, looking at the recently published normative texts, it does not seem possible to affirm that the jurisdiction of these personal Ordinariates is cumulative with that of the local Ordinaries”: Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 127. When cumulative power is looked at, not as a way of reconciling competing jurisdictions, but rather as a way of providing the faithful with suitable and convenient access to the sacraments and other spiritual goods, it would seem to be something of a backward step to exclude them from the jurisdiction of the place of their domicile. However, it may be that the legislative documents have been framed at this initial stage in such a way as to guard against the danger of what Arrieta calls “forced assimilations” to the diocese: cf. Gli Ordinariati personali, p. 156; also Ghirlanda, Commentary, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 18 November 2009, p. 9.

61 The footnote reference given is to CIC 1983, cc. 1110-1111.

62 In La Costituzione Apostolica, pp. 409-410, footnote 63, he says: “Per quello che riguarda ai matrimoni, hanno la facoltà ordinaria di assistere ai matrimoni dei fedeli dell’Ordinariato l’Ordinario e i parroci dell’Ordinariato stesso o qualsiasi sacerdote o diacono da loro delegati. Quindi se tali fedeli desiderano celebrare il matrimonio nella parrocchia del territorio in cui hanno il domicilio, l’Ordinario o il parroco dell’Ordinariato, per la validità della celebrazione, debbono delegare la facoltà di assistere a tale matrimonio” (italics added).

63 There is widespread agreement that the Ordinariate does not and is not intended to constitute a ritual Church or Church sui iuris: cf. Ghirlanda himself, La Costituzione Apostolica, p. 394; also L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 18 November 2009, p. 8, in which the same author states: “These Personal Ordinariates cannot be considered as Particular Ritual Churches since the Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral tradition is a particular reality within the Latin Church”; cf. also Arrieta, Gli Ordinariati personali, p. 157; Read, Commentary, p. 31; Baura, Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions, p. 128, footnote 17.

64 On the related question of the competent tribunal for marriages involving Ordinariate members, art. 8 of the Decree of Erection of 15 January 2011 establishes that, until the Ordinariate has its own tribunal, “the judicial cases of its faithful are referred to the Tribunal of the Diocese in which one of the parties has a domicile, while taking into account, however, the different titles of competence established in cann. 1408-1414 and 1673 CIC”. Read points out (Commentary, p. 33) that this appears on the face of it to be more liberal than the provision generally applicable under the CIC 1983 in that it seems to allow the tribunal of either the respondent or the petitioner to be used, but that this may be due to poor drafting. Indeed it may be argued that the effect of the phrase “while taking into account, however…” in art. 8 is to bring the trial within the ambit of c. 1673, so that the applicable forum is that of the respondent. The point will need further clarification.

65 As is argued by Ghirlanda: cf. for example La Costituzione Apostolica, pp. 392-393.

66 Art. 10 of the Decree of Erection of 15 January 2011 also allows a member to leave the Ordinariate by making his or her decision known to the Ordinary.

67 This leaves open the possibility of future personal prelatures in which membership is determined by “objective assignment”: cf. J. I. Arrieta, Considerazioni sulla giurisdizione ecclesiastica determinata per via di convenzione ex can. 296 CIC, Ius Canonicum, volumen especial 1999, Escritos en honor de Javier Hervada, pp. 169-183, at pp.181-183.

68 Spirituali Militum Curae, X: “… ad Ordinariatum militarem pertinent… 4º: Omnes utriusque sexus fideles … qui munere stabili funguntur, sibi collato ab Ordinario militari aut de ipsius consensu.”

69 Animarum Bonum, IX §1: “Qui, agnoscentes se cohaerere cum peculiaritatibus Administrationis Apostolicae personalis, poscent ut ad eam pertinent, suam voluntatem scripto patefacere debent”.

70 For a discussion of theological arguments which formerly considered territory to be a necessary part of a particular Church, see Viana, Derecho Canónico territorial, pp. 247-275; Otaduy, Territorialidad, pp. 32-39.

71 CIC 1983, c. 204 §1.

72 Hence in the case of the Anglican Ordinariates, it would seem to be beneficial if the jurisdiction of the Ordinary were to be “cumulative” with that of the diocesan bishop, as in other complementary structures.

73 Apart from the examples mentioned earlier there are other situations in which the will of the individual plays an important role in determining the jurisdiction to which he or she is subject: it is perfectly possible, for example, for someone deliberately to change domicile in order to become subject to a different territorial jurisdiction.

74 This is clearly brought out by the many provisions in the constitutional documents of the personal jurisdictions that refer to cooperation, collaboration, communion, etc., with the bishops’ conference, the local Ordinary and the territorial parish priest: cf. Spirituali Militum Curae, I §2; II §4; III; IV 3º; V; VI §§1-2, 5; VII; Animarum Bonum, V; VI §1; VIII §§1-2; Anglicanorum Coetibus, IV; VI §§4-5; VIII §§1-2; Complementary Norms, 2 §§1-2; 3; 4 §3; 5§2; 6 §1; 7 §2; 8 §§1-2; 9 §§1-3; 10 §§1-2, 5; 11 §3; 14 §§2-3; cf. also C. Ruini, The Service of the Prelature of Opus Dei to the Dioceses, in P. Hayward (tr. & ed.), Studies on the Prelature of Opus Dei, Montreal, 2008, pp. 141-151.

75 Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Leges, 25 January 1983: AAS 75 (1983), vol. II, pp. VIIXIV. Regarding the ecumenical aspect, the reactions within the Anglican Communion to the Anglican Ordinariate are described by Norman Doe in The Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus”: An Anglican Juridical Perspective, Ecclesiastical Law Journal 12 (2010), pp. 304-323, at pp. 305-308.

76 Cf. Benedict XVI, Meeting with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, Oscott College, Birmingham, 19 September 2010.

77 Ibid.