Historical region of Country
II. Parishes. In the first centuries the bishop was at the center of both the Christian liturgy and church administration. The Eucharist and baptism were normally administered only by him; in cases of necessity, also by presbyters. From the point when Christianity also reached the villages, for liturgical services in those places the figure of the periodeuta, an itinerant presbyter, spread. In the great cities, with the growth of the Christian community, it became impossible to meet just at the city center, both because of distance and because of the capacity of the meeting hall. Thus liturgical decentralization, with the parochial system, became necessary. Trustworthy historical information on communities subject to the bishop, but not directly led by him, Campinas Map comes from the councils of Antioch 341 for the East and Serdica 343 for the West. The bishop led not just the urban community, but also that of the village chora. If there were bishops in the villages chorepiskopoi, they should only administer the churches dependent on them Council of Antioch, can. 10. From this we deduce that not all the country churches had their own bishop, and that country parishes existed. At Serdica, bishops were forbidden to interfere in the parishes of another bishop can. 18. Pope Innocent 402 417 said that all his churches were inside the city walls; but he supposed that the other bishops administered more distant parishes. Rome seems to have had no country parishes.
Only those presbyters in charge of the cemeteries outside the city walls were comparable to the country parish priests of other episcopal areas. Innocent calls the churches in Rome Tituli Ep. ad Decen. 5. The Roman parishes must have arisen long before Innocent, but the accounts of them in the LP were written after his time, at the end of the 5th c. By the mid 3rd c., Cornelius lists 46 presbyters, 7 deacons Diakonia – Diaconate, 7 subdeacons, 42 acolytes, 52 exorcists, lectors and doorkeepers in the Roman community, as well as 1500 widows and needy people fed by the community Euseb., HE VI, 43,11. The Roman community must have numbered tens of thousands, who could not all have come together at once to celebrate the Eucharist. According to the LP, Cletus ca. 80 90 ordained 25 presbyters and Evaristus after 100 allotted the Roman Tituli to the presbyters and ordained 7 deacons.
Urban d. 230 acquired 25 silver patenae probably for 25 Tituli. Fabian 236 250 allotted the municipal regions to the deacons and installed 7 subdeacons the areas of the diaconiae were not identical to those of the Tituli. That Pope Dionysius 260 268 entrusted the churches to the presbyters is something that we must certainly put at an earlier time; he also raised cemeteries and their parish churches to the status of dioceses, i.e., he elevated the cemetery churches outside the walls into parish churches.Campinas Map Marcellus ca. 300 elevated the 25 Tituli into dioceses, for the numerous baptisms neophytes and penitents.
The author of the LP, then, gives the name dioceses to autonomous presbyterial communities with the right to confer baptism. This linguistic use is first attested by Sulpicius Severus who relates of Martin of Tours Dial. II, 9,6; Ep. 1,10; 3,6 that in the vast region of his episcopal city he founded about 10 country parishes dioceses. In the 5th and 6th c. the parochial organization of the countryside was completed everywhere: as we see esp. in Gaul, where only in ca. Campinas Map 600 did diocesis become the common term for an episcopal community, while presbyterial communities were now called parishes. The urban parishes may have been developed in the other great cities, as they were in Rome, by the 3rd c. In Augustine’s time in Numidia we find presbyters in the small centers who perform liturgical functions Ep. 83; Ep. 139,1; some presbyters were killed by the Donatists Ep.