Equal Dignity in the Catholic Communion

Decoding the Decree on the Eastern Churches and the Eastern Code

  • George Gallaro
Keywords: History of Codification, Diversity of Rites, Guidelines for the Revision, Particular Churches, Rights of the Eastern Churches, Ecumenism


The author presents the history of the codification of the Eastern Code and highlights how the preservation of Eastern disciplines was a major concern even in the Vatican Council I. Analysing the structure of OE he says that since this Decree deals with various disciplinary features, it could be seen as a pre-code with no pretense of being complete. This conciliar Decree lays the foundations of a new positive way by specifically emphasizing the diversity of traditions and their equal dignity. Having examined the said decree and the Eastern Code the author asserts that the rites of the Eastern Churches are important not only for them but also for the entire Church. If the rites of the Eastern Churches waver, it is the entire Church that wavers and the apostolic and patristic traditions will suffer extensively. To maintain this variety in the unity, it is more than ever necessary to promote the rites of the Eastern Churches. Hence, he suggests ardent effort to implement the teachings of the decree and the norms of CCEO.

Author Biography

George Gallaro

George D. Gallaro, a Melkite priest of the United States, obtained his Licentiate and Doctorate in Eastern Canon Law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, and a Licentiate in Ecumenical Theology from the University of St Thomas (Angelicum). Before being recently appointed Eparchial Bishop of Piana for the Italo-Albanians of Insular Italy, he served his Eparchy of Newton and the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in various capacities.