The titular churches
Titular churches are Catholic churches which are assigned to one of the cardinal priests. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, regions of Rome started being divided into ecclesiastical districts. It was at this time that the word “titulus” was used to refer to the early Christian churches that were located around Rome. By then, the word “titular” was used to mean the founder of the church who also held property for the Universal Church. These churches were distinguished from each other by the name of the founder. But today, titular church indicates the bond of unity between a certain local church and the Church of Rome.
The titular churches are now what are referred to as the parish churches. Ever since the establishment of titular churches in Rome during the 3rd century, many churches in Rome and in other parts of the world have received the status of titular churchs. According to the early Catholic tradition, it was only the priests who were in charge of titular churches and the clergy in charge of the deaconries that were eligible to elect the pope. The titular churches were also only in existence in Rome during ancient times but this changed later and these churches were later established all over the world.
Today, there are 143 titular churches located in different parts of the world. The cardinal priests in charge of these churches are normally involved in the maintenance and restoration of the church but they no longer engage in the actual management of these churches.
The titular churches of today are situated across the world and they are seen as representatives of the Roman Catholic Church. The establishment of these churches is normally commissioned by the reigning pope. These churches are well are used to represent and serve the needs of the Catholic Church. These churches are spectacular and well respected and therefore many faithful, who reside in areas where they are located, like to hold weddings and other ceremonies in these churches.
The titular churches still have a great significance to the Catholic Church. The churches symbolize the unity between themselves in their respective local areas and the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. They indicate and promote accord among the Catholics and demonstrate that the Roman Catholic Church is represented all over the world.
Most of the titular churches are architectural buildings that stand out from the rest of the other buildings in the area where they are situated. These church structures possess the richness in art characterizing Rome and they also have decorations, paintings and artworks connected to those displayed in Rome. This goes to show how the culture of Rome spread through the entire Catholic world. The titular churches also house various relics of great Catholic leaders from their respective locations. During special events and celebrations of the Catholic Church, events are usually held in the various titular churches.