Parish (civilian)


July 1, 2022

Parish (from the Greek παροικία, paroikía, 'near the house') is the denomination of some subnational entities in different countries.


Not in Ecuador, the parish is the lowest ranking political-territorial division. All of these are organized under the legal-political form of the municipality, which is the jurisdictional authority of the canton in administrative matters. There are two types of parishes: urban and rural. The urban parish is one that is circumscribed within the metropolis or city. It consists of all the necessary infrastructure to be a major city. The rural parish are those that are isolated from the main city or metropolis. They are usually regions or a set of enclosures whose inhabitants live from agricultural work and the countryside. The executive power of the parish is represented by the Parish Government and its president, who are elected by popular vote for 4 years; the legislative power of the parish is represented by the parish assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote. The functions of the urban and rural parish councils of the canton are to act as auxiliaries to the municipal government and administration and as an intermediary between them and their immediate representatives.[1] The creation, suppression and merger of municipal parishes is the responsibility of the council of each municipality.


Initially, in the urban centers, since the Middle Ages, they would be the neighborhoods that coincided and overlapped the different ecclesiastical parishes, each presided over by a church. In the Principality of Asturias and Galicia, autonomous communities of Spain, the parish is the category traditionally recognized for collective population entities. As such, they do not have any legal personality, and their delimitation, in terms of area, lacks legal validity,[citation needed] as it has not been carried out by any competent body.


During the Middle Ages, the residents of cities and large towns were distributed by collaciones, neighborhoods or parishes. They will be one of the bases for accessing council positions. The number of representatives of each parish was regulated in the municipal ordinances.[2]


In Asturias, the parish is a traditional form of administrative, religious and agrarian organization: Fernando Inclán Suárez, in the Great Asturian Encyclopedia,[4] affirms that the origin of the Asturian parish is the Roman gens, linked to a pagus, in which there is an altar, at the foot of which they carry out their burials and celebrate the festivities. compete. Quoting Ramón Prieto Bances, he affirms that the division into gentilitates – gentile communities – was respected by Rome and the Visigoths until the Reconquest. Then the Christianized gens became the parish. The parishes created their own rules (even written), called parish ordinances, to regulate aspects related to coexistence, community participation and even moral precepts. Starting from its ecclesiastical origin (jurisdiction of a parish priest), the parish had an economic and agrarian component: organization of traditional agrarian activity and use of common resources (mountains, pastures, etc.). From here a new meaning is born by which the parish is configured as the basic administrative unit to regulate neighborhood participation: The neighbors use the atrium of the parish church to meet, ordinarily after Sunday mass, and decide on their collective interests. These meetings are the remote origin of the open council, still in use in many of the rural parishes of Asturias. This administrative meaning has been consolidating over time, to the present day, the parish as a territorially based unit p